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GO Fest 2020: The Community Responds

Co-Written by: MT & Dare

Well Fam, we are roughly two weeks removed from Pokémon GO Fest 2020 and just a couple weeks away from the make up event for ticket holders. We requested your opinion of the initial event and, my goodness, did y’all respond! We are so incredibly grateful for each and every individual who participated in the survey as well as those who helped conduct the survey with us! See Credits below.

To start, we will say that the majority of the 1,924 individuals who responded to our survey felt the event was “ok” as most of the responses were middle of the road on a 0-5 scale with 0 = Failed Expectations and 5 = Exceeded Expectations. Below we breakdown each individual question and the results. To see the number of votes per response, be sure to hover over each bar in the bar chart.

We’d like to note that the sample size for our survey results is extremely small based on the number of individuals who participated in GO Fest 2020. We understand our results may not be the opinion of the majority but the opinion of those who chose to participate in our survey and is was only meant to give players an opportunity to voice their impressions of the individual event. This survey, its responses, and results are for Gaming2gether Media and their research only. The opinions given and used in the results writing are those of individual players and were given anonymously. All results were gathered by a Google Form and no responses were duplicated by individuals to our knowledge. 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Miko of LEGENDSLima for accurately translating the survey into Spanish to help us broaden our reach to the community.

Survey Questions & Responses

Survey Intro:

Community feedback for the first-ever global virtual GO Fest event!

On a scale of 0 to 5 where 0 is failed expectations and 5 exceeded expectations, please rate YOUR experience over the following topics, as well as offer constructive feedback as to why you selected your rating:

Overall Spawn Quality

Overwhelmingly, respondents to our survey reported that the overall spawn quality for GO Fest 2020 met, or exceeded their expectations. An astounding 1,322 people surveyed (69%) gave a positive rating (3-5) for spawns they saw.

“Thought spawn quality was okay, it was discouraging that it was pretty much the same for free players”
“Spawns were very quick which helped with the variety. Was beneficial for both, those who stayed home and those who went out.”
“Some good spawns like gible and heatmor (never been available in my region), but a lot of the spawns were uninspiring and felt tagged on, e.g. numel, snorlax, ferroseed. Given a lot of people are still staying home a lot, it would have been good to offer more spawns off an incense, like three at a time so you weren’t just waiting for something good to turn up. More encounters also means more happy shiny hunters. Raids were pretty underwhelming. Most people in our community have the shiny legendaries, so we’re just looking for gibles which were rare.”

Shiny Rates You Experienced

Tellingly, this portion of the survey had the most negative feedback for GO Fest 2020. With a low average score of 1.91, and 1,262 of our respondents (66%) reporting a less than favorable score (0-2). This is generally in line with the complaints and feedback given by players online, with plenty of trainers asking on Twitter for higher shiny rates.

“I played the whole 20 hours and got 26 shinies. Most of that time I was sat with three lured stops, and incense on, so had a lot of encounters. Would have expected more given the amount of time I played and the number of spawns I saw. Possibly an artifact of the number of spawns that couldn’t be shiny. Had those had a chance to be shiny too, I would probably have gotten around the number of shinies I was expecting.”

“Rates were okayy, but I had to work really, really hard to grind the shinies. Given that we were not at a go fest location with a hugely boosted number of spawns I feel it would have been prudent to increase the shiny chances a little higher than we experienced.”

“What makes shiny Pokémon special is that they’re rare. I don’t really think they should give out too many. I got a few, some I had, some I wish I got more of. It required me to play all day both days. That’s what I’d expect.”

Overall Playability (Stability of Servers/Downtime/Quality of Game) During GO Fest 2020

I’ll say, the results from this question are no surprise to many of us; as I, MT, personally only experienced a short downtime during the event, several Trainers around the world experienced a much longer period.

Others mentioned not getting the Stardust bonus that was promised during Battle hours. We at G2G cannot officially confirm that this was the case but, it was reported by a few in the comments of the question. With a staggering amount of individuals (1,011 / 53%) give their experience a rating of 2 or below, it is no wonder we will be receiving a make up event later this month. For more on that event, check out our article which can be found here.

“Very slow at times, was kicked out of multiple raids, had to restart a lot…kinda frustrating especially when I was buying raid passes to just get kicked out right before the win… but that’s happened even not during go fest so my feeling about remote raids is iffy.”

“Below average due to some instability. Had to restart a fair few times, but wasn’t too game breaking. Maybe lost an hour overall. “

“Rough patch for first hour and a half of day 1 and one slight hiccup on day 2. Other than that, the game held up quite well.”

New Features -
(Global Challenge Arena/GO Rocket Takeover/Raids during GO Fest 2020)

The new features including, but not limited to: The Global Challenge Arena that was implemented during GO Fest 2020 seemed to be a big hit for those who responded. With just over 50% of responses (1,030 total) giving a score of 4+.

“It was a nice idea to have those features, but they weren’t really adapted to a in-home-edition. The boxes contained in person passes not remote ones or a little amount. There were no resources to be obtained from inside the house. No Poké Balls from buddy, no item-farming options but gifts which were restricted since we were able to open and send 200 but we didn’t have gifts to send and therefore to open. So, the features weren’t enjoyable because of the limited items we could have”

“Loved the Raids, Loved the Challenges, Loved the Rocket invasion, but since we just had a Rocket event, it was a bit underwhelming compared to what it would have been without the previous event.”

“I loved the global challenge arena but wished it had continued into Sunday as well. The rewards were great on Saturday. I liked The easier wins vs. rocket and the more frequent spawns of rocket. The raids were sweet too but as a whole Sunday was a let down after Saturday.”

Bonuses received

Trainers also seemed to enjoy the bonuses that were received during GO Fest. Bonuses like: Rare Candy in Gifts, Extra Stardust from Raids, Shadow Mewtwo, and more! Only 486 of 1,924 of respondents found them less than favorable with an overwhelming 76% pleased with what they received.

“The new mythical Pokémon was a great bonus. I enjoyed the shadow Mewtwo as well. I liked the 200 Great Ball rewards and the 10 Incense was a great added bonus. It made playing from home much easier.”

“Awesome bonuses, maybe just a switch up on what bonuses gave what (as 2x Candy could’ve been used at any time, and not just during Fire Habitat etc.)”

“I got enough bonuses to play from home. That’s good for everyone’s safety. Also, the Revives and potions were helpful for the team rocket takeover. They’re not always the easiest to find.”

GO Fest 2020 Exclusivity: How do you feel about what ticket holders received versus non-ticket holders ?

I was quite surprised by the results of this particular question as I (MT) felt that the exclusivity lacked just a bit for those who had tickets seeing as everyone had access to spawns, raids, and some other features of the event. However, quite a majority 1,140 (59%) said that the exclusivity met or exceeded their expectations.

“I didn’t feel like my money was worth what I got extra. Sure, the regionals and Unowns were nice, but it wasn’t as worth as the money paid. The non-ticket experience was really good compared to all the trouble we got as ticket-holders. There was just too little of a difference between them.”

“Oh boy. I didn’t think there was enough separation between the two. When there’s a go fest IRL, the spawns for the rest of the world were still pretty mediocre except a couple boosted new shinies. I do not think this fest was worth the ticket price for regionals and a couple Unown.”

“My husband and I had two days of fun for $15 each, we aren’t going out and doing anything else, so I was happy with the value. Really hope play at home will continue to be an option in the future. It is highly unlikely I will travel/pay $50 per ticket to attend an in person event.”

Quests (special research and tasks)

Continuing the trend of positivity, Trainers around the world found the Quests to be nothing but positive. Only a small majority (24%) found the Quests to be less than favorable with a promising 76% being “ok” or pleased with how they turned out.

“I thought quests had a decent level of difficulty to be able to get done and have time for raids. But it was hard at one point to find the leaders we needed.”

“Day one research was underwhelming and too easy to complete as there was so little to it. Day two was better. I didn’t complete too many tasks as I was focussing on checking the spawns.”

“Quests could be a lot longer and more exciting. I have been thinking that for a long time. I love things like 50 excellent throws, or 100 fire Pokémon, or 5 raids, provided 5 raid passes are provided. There was surprisingly little surrounding the grunts. I would have liked better and more shiny shadow Pokémon for that at the minimum.”

Niantic's Communication about the event prior and during the event itself

Let’s talk about communication. Those of us at G2G did experience quite a bit of feedback with regards to this, as several within our community felt that not enough information was shared, by Niantic, for planning purposes prior to the event. Well, clearly that was not the feeling fo the majority. Ha! 883 individuals, or 46%, felt the communication was above average rating this question 4+.

“The communication leading up to go fest was great. we knew when and what to expect out of the event. You did a great job alerting us of the issues surrounding go fest all throughout the day. You also tweeted that there would be a make up event in the future. I fully expect this to happen and would love to see the entire day 1 replayed once servers are fixed and the bugs with raids are also fixed.”

“Most information was thrown out on Twitter, and while it is nice that they do it, 90% of all players are playing during the times they tweet, they will not have the time to go check twitter for updates every 5 minutes… an ingame change for that would be nice.”

“Definitely something they’ve improved on recently; lots of in-game news items, YouTube streams, online lounge area. Would have liked them to be more honest about highly sought after species like Gible being very rare early on rather than luring us in with false hopes of plenty of Gible.”

Overall Worth: Was the event worth the price of admission?

Ok…so this question was beyond interesting. Why, you may ask? As you may already know, we offered both an English and Spanish version of this survey to help broaden the responses to various communities. Well, with all the questions, most were pretty consistent with the responses, EXCEPT this one, so we wanted to break this down a little bit more. 

1,924 TOTAL Individual Respondents to this Survey
(responses rounded to the nearest percent)

266 (13%)235 (12%)302 (16%)438 (23%)364 (19%)319 (17%)

When you look at the overall numbers, it seems pretty neutral that a majority of player believe that the price of the ticket was worth it. Now, something to think about here is, we didn’t account for Trainer’s locations in either survey. (something we probably should have considered is asking for general location) However, this fact is pretty important with regards to why it would be considered “worth it” as conversion rates play a HUMONGOUS role since the cost of the ticket US$14.99 doesn’t translate to the same cost across the world. See our previous article about A Colossal Discovery that also touches on this.

1,454 TOTAL Individual Respondents to the English Survey

161 (11.1%)160 (11%)221 (15.2%)333 (22.9%)298 (20.5%)281 (19.5%)

From the English Survey we gather that only 37.5% of respondents felt the event was not quite worth it the cost of the ticket.

470 TOTAL Individual Respondents to the Spanish Survey

105 (22.3%)75 (16%)81 (17.2%)105 (22.3%)66 (14%)38 (8.1%)

Yet, the Spanish Survey gives a bit of a different result with with a staggering 55.5% feeling the event didn’t meet the expectations based on the cost of the event. Well, we aren’t 100% sure as to why there is this vast difference but, one contributing factor that we keep seeing repeat itself is the inflated conversion rates. We have been told that the US$14.99 cost of the ticket will convert to 49.90 Pesos.

To put things in perspective, if we used the 100 PokéCoin bundle as a baseline for comparison, it would have cost Trainers who use the USD approximately $25 to purchase a ticket. We also haven’t taken into consideration cost of living in these locations, but, with varying exchange rates, we can definitely understand if some trainers in some locations do not see the same value in their ticket price.

We understand that Niantic doesn’t have control over conversion rates and there probably isn’t too much they can do in order to remedy this situation but, we found it to be an extremely interesting consideration when looking at the overall worth of the ticket for the event. Are you in another country where ticket price deterred you from purchasing? Let us know in the comments below!

“In terms of what I walked away with, it was a little disappointing, however having spent 20 fun hours playing the game on top of that, it was worth the money overall. Some better spawns by replacing the non-shinies, and some better raids would have been great.”

“I think it’s pretty much what I was expecting to get out of it. I would have loved to have been wowed with something brilliant and felt like it was amazing value but it was just more of the same really, fairly similar to all the other special research with nothing to really make it feel like it justified the price tag in the way that actually attending an in-person Go Fest offers.”

“GoFest is supposed to feel like this massive best thing in the whole year. And it felt like little more than a glorified community day this year. And I know it can be better, because I did get a small taste of what it could have been with my remote raid passes. Remote Raid passes gave me a taste of feeling like I was actually participating in a global event rather than just watching an imaginary scoreboard number go up.

So my feedback to improve it is..
1) Make it easier for people to participate in remote raids. Either SIGNIFICANTLY increase the amount of remote raid passes that ticket holders get for free during the event OR have at least some way for trainers to earn remote raid passes without having to use coins. Being able to participate in raids allows users to have a more localized perspective of the teamwork that go fast is all about.
2) Make the goals that we are trying to accomplish more localized. Like the example I gave in the “New Features” question above, without more localized contexts of participation, the global goal feels incomprehensible. It feels like choreography. Allow us to see a heat map of contribution maybe, or maybe allow us to look up our individual city to see how much our individual city is credited with contributing. I don’t know the exact solution this problem, but it feels like my individual contributions to the global goal is completely insignificant. And it doesn’t give me any motivation to contribute. It just feels like an imaginary number that is continuing to go up like choreography. like even if no one was playing the game it would still go up at the same rate. There was one small thing that did make me feel a little bit better about this, seeing Indianapolis show up on the little ticker in the challenge card was cool. Take that same concept and amplify it as much as you can. It would make it so much more fun to do the exact same thing if only I could have a more bite-sized and comprehensible way to internalize it.
3) This one applies even to the in-person GoFest event. But is especially true for this global GoFest event. Built-in breaks and focus on the lounge during the intermission. Think about an ingress anomaly. At least for cluster battles, there’s only about 10-15 minutes per hour that people have to be actively involved usually. This allows for plenty of time between battle periods to take a break socialize and let your phone charge. GO Fest organizers need to find out how to apply that to a GoFest event. This event is long enough that people have to take breaks. They’ve got to charge their phone batteries. Make those events prescheduled. And offer intermission activities that don’t rely on their phone. But instead can be put on the TV or a laptop. Make them entertainment focused, so that people will still have the ability to not participate in your intermission activity without actually missing out on anything gameplay related. So if somebody only has their phone, they don’t have to choose between charging their phone or missing out. The trainer lounge website was a good start but It didn’t have enough follow-through. There wasn’t enough actually going on in the lounge and the game play directly conflicted with the team lounge. People had to make a choice to miss some of the gameplay in order to participate in the lounge. And in order for someone to take a break to eat or charge their phone they had to actively decide to stop participating in the event and let the event go on without them.
4) Leading up to Go Fest you had the challenges to help unlock Pokemon at GoFest, And after each of the challenges you had an elite challenge afterwards. Apply that to GoFest. Maybe this is the way that you offer more of the remote raid passes like I mentioned in my first feedback point in this question. If a player finishes the GoFest research quickly, they’re going to be bored again. So give them more “elite” challenges that they can do as a sort of stretch goal for their event. And reward them greatly for it.

5) This is somewhat an alternative to the point number one, but have coins be included in your GoFest ticket. It doesn’t cost you any extra money to give away coins, and from the perspective of a customer like me who is more of a free to play gamer most of the time, having coins be included with my ticket price makes my purchase of the ticket so much more valuable to me. And it allows me to purchase whatever premium item it is that I need during the event specifically. If I’m the type of person who wants to focus on hatching eggs during Go Fest I can buy incubators, if I’m more into raids I can buy the remote raid passes, If I’m more into catching I can buy more balls, and PokéBox space, etc. It would allow the value to me to be way higher because I can customize the event specifically to my preferences a bit better.

A Communities Voice

Again, those of us here at Gaming2gether Media want to thank each and every individual who took the time to participate in our survey.

Although we are merely a news site, our goal is to work together with PGO Communities all over the world to help get their voices heard in order to do our part in growing this game we all know and love. 

Be on the look out for future community surveys over specific events as we will continue to ask Trainers to share their unfiltered experiences so we may offer constructive and helpful feedback! Until then, stay safe out there everyone and happy catching! 

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Motha of 3 | G2G Media Co-Founder | Designer | Creator | Lvl40 PoGo Player

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