Im interested to hear from anyone here about issues within their respective communities. I’m a (now former) member of a community that over the past 3-6 months has undergone significant changes, to the point where I’ve decided to stop playing the game because it’s just become so unpleasant to play the game. Whenever i read on twitter on see on Youtube people going to other communities or talking about theirs all I see are the positive bits, but i’d be interested to here if people have experienced the same problems as these, and how (if at all) they were dealt with.
I’d say the problems with my former community could be boiled down to:
Think most people are proud to be members of their team, but in the case of this community, this has escalated so substantially over the past few months it has seriously limited the number of people I would call “friends” in the group.
Whilst when I joined the community (about 8 months ago) everyone was on the whole very friendly with each other (despite the usual odd few), it has slowly progressed to the point where there are three very distinct groups of people that come together for raids, don’t interact with each other, then split up again until another raid of interest pops up.
One of the factors that escalated this was gold gym badges and coins from gyms. I’ve played in several communities and never seen the issue of coins from gyms discussed. “If you can get your 50 coins each day, good for you-if not, most of us can’t-thats just the game” was pretty much the philosophy I witnessed everywhere. In my community its very different. The number of spaces in gyms we have access to is actually very close to the total number of people who play on the island. As the community isn’t that large (between 40-60 active players, bump up to 150 if you include semi-active players) , and we have 28 gyms. As we are an island thats it-no travelling a few more miles down the road to the next nearest town. As a result, most of us can semi-reliably collect 50 coins a day from gyms-even from just one gym. As a result of people getting used to that not long after the new system came in about a year ago, its lead to a huge number of arguments in our group chats over people being kicked off before they got their 50 coins. It’s pretty much to the point where arguments are almost daily, can often last 30 minutes on the chat and have created a large amount of resentment, to the point where there are large groups of people who won’t talk to other large swatches of people.
Having just 28 gyms on the island also inevitably led to the challenge to see who could get a gold gym badge on each of the 28 gyms in the quickest time possible. Something I noticed really kicked into gear once people discovered I was trying to become the second person to do it. Following this, at least 10 other people, all on different teams, decided not long after I started to follow in my footsteps at the exact same time. After several arguments erupted among these people (which I largely tried to stay out of), I pretty much had to resort to creating a second account, battling on an off a gym and just doing raids to get the gold badges (by this point I was close I wasn’t just going to give up but I was fed up of being used as bait in arguments). At its peak it involved groups of 6-7 people on each team driving around up to 3am just to take 20 of the gyms (even long after they got the badge-it divulged to inconveniencing others soon after). We even had a guy make at least 15 accounts he used to spoof to gyms minutes after I would take them, just so he could come down later and add quickly whilst driving by.
(Severe) lack of organisation
I joined this community after a few months spent doing raids in another UK community. In this UK city, there was a brilliant (in my mind) system of organisation in place, involving a Discord group, raid polls etc. You couldn’t be much further from that in this community im in right now if you tried. I didn’t realise how much of a struggle it could be to get 6 people to turn up in one place at a certain time, it turns out its VERY. Despite efforts by myself to try and instigate this kind of organisation structure in our group, I was largely rejected and eventually just gave up.
Another good thing about having an actual structure in place is that in most other communities, you have moderators/admins of the group, who thereby become the “leaders” of the community. Our community has no leaders whatsoever. As much as I would have liked to step into that role, no one else seemed particularly keen, especially after I try and come in and change quite a lot of stuff. A moderating influence is really needed to break up arguments among the group, enforce rules (which, by the way, we also didnt have) and deal with dissenters. We had plenty of spoofers (including above), that pissed a lot of people off by taking gyms and such, but no one there to actually kick them out and rid them from our community, which we all wanted.
All of these stories, along with lots of other little moments at raids where organisation just collapses (some people writing 100 word messages to explain why they can’t come to a raid in a raid organising chat instead of not posting anything to avoid clogging up our feed), people just being jackasses to each other, arguments etc. led to me deciding I just can’t enjoy the game in this community im in at the moment. I don’t enjoy going to raids and having only 2 of the 16 people that show up actually be ok talking to me because the others are annoyed a battled a gym they were in for 2 hours and they hadn’t got coins yet. And all sorts of other stuff like that.
For me, the last straw was absolutely at a recent raid. With no help from a car, I had to run 20 minutes up from out town to an area just outside it. All uphill, just to get to a raid. That whole 20 minutes I was checking our raid chat-we were 2 people away from getting the numbers (it was a legendary raid) needed to be able to battle this thing. Thankfully I passed quite near my house on the way there, so pretty much cancelled my appearance as no one else was coming-only to find out that 5 people hadn’t written anything in our chat and were already there waiting for me. This is something that had been discussed at length in our chat group and something that was really beginning to piss me off, but when Im running 20 mins up a hill to get to a raid, thinking its not happening only to find out there were plenty of people. It just makes raid organisation pointless-you could turn up to one and find people just didnt bother posting it in the chat but a group of 8 people come to do it.
So in conclusion….
I’m not sure if anyone else has had similar experiences. I think the things to remember are:
-Chat groups are great for organising things but I wouldnt say they are great for long discussions, as people are usually at least 3x more annoying on chat groups than they are in real life, face to face conversations. With a few exceptions (naturally)
-I don’t understand the point of the team system, I don’t like it, and its led to really stupid arguments over some pretty stupid stuff in our community. I hope they do reform it
-Don’t get serious about the 50 coins you can get a day. Its just a chance at the coins that Niantic is giving you, not handing every single player them for no effort (though cant say i’d be too disappointed about that….)
-People need to seriously chill out and enjoy this as a game, make friends, have fun-not ruin everyone elses fun with name calling, arguments etc.
TL:DR-people need to enjoy this GAME but need to consider organisation seriously if we want effective communities