Pokémon Go’s loot box-style eggs can now show a list of their possible contents – a first for the nearly five-year-old game.
The feature is now being tested with a selection of users before being rolled out more widely, developer Niantic announced last night.
Clicking on an egg will now show a table of possible contents, which differ between egg type and regularly change as the game cycles through events featuring specific creatures.
How likely you are to get a specific creature is indicated by the their position in one of five rarities. Level 1, denotated by one egg symbol, appears to be the most common. Level 5, denoted by five eggs, appears to be the most rare.
No probabilities are listed, and there’s no suggestion of how much rarer one level is than another. Still, it’s the first time players have been able to see any indication in-game that some creatures will be a lot harder to find than others.
Previous fan research published by top Pokémon Go fan reddit TheSilphRoad suggested the rarest tier of creatures had around a 1-2 per cent chance of hatching during some events. Whether this still applies to the game’s current rarest tiers is unknown.
Some fans have said this system is still far from transparent, and have criticised the fact it has arrived with no further explanation from developer Niantic on the likely odds behind each tier. This is likely something the community will eventually work out for itself with a little more time and research.
Pressure had been mounting on Pokémon Go to make some change, however, fuelled by fan upset at in-game events last year which advertised extremely rare creatures – such as a Shiny Deino – that would in reality have incredibly low chances of being hatched. TheSilphRoad previously organised campaigns to contact Niantic, Apple and Google to demand more transparency – or have the game pulled off the App Store for promoting what some saw as gambling.
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Pokémon Go’s egg and incubator system is the game’s version of the familiar lootbox and key mechanic. You acquire Pokémon eggs for free through gameplay, then must walk to hatch them. You can hatch one egg at a time for free, or purchase additional incubators which hatch up to nine at once, or which also slightly cut the walking distance required.
One difference to a typical loot box is you can only shortcut this system up to a point – at least, until your phone has moved a certain number of kilometres and hatched the eggs you are holding. Still, there have been numerous calls to improve a system which is opaque and implemented in a game aimed at young players.
Eurogamer published a detailed investigation looking into the realities and legalities of Pokémon Go loot boxes in August last year. Fan criticism had been noted by Niantic, I wrote at the time, and the developer was discussing internally how to improve the game in response.