The idea of Pokémon GO is that budding trainers will get out and about in their search for unique pocket monsters in their area, and maybe make a ton of friends along the way. It's a roll of the dice. You've no idea whether you'll come across the 15th Pidgey in the space of ten minutes or one of the game's rarest, and that's an inherent part of GO's appeal. However, a new website, which has sparked quite the debate in the Pokémon community, gives players the ability to circumvent Niantic's intentions.
Pokévision allows you to see the exact location of Pokémon in your area. It gives you a small timer beneath the mon which counts down to the point when they'll despawn, and for the most part it is really accurate. But first let's see how it works, then we can get into the debate.
Should You Use This Website To Cheat At Pokémon GO?
Pokémon GO sends a great deal of information to everyone's phones in a very simple and easily mineable format. If you visit one of numerous subreddits out there you'll uncover countless examples of pages littered with mined info.
But pokévision.com goes a step further by using GO's API, thus allowing you to see spawns of Pokémon at any point in the world in real time. The site is also shockingly easy to use. Simply type in your zip code and the little mons appear. But this ease of use is perhaps why players have been engaged in such a heated debate.
One particular thread on the The Silph Road subreddit highlighted the issues with using Pokévision and asked trainers for their input.
Now, technically, pokévision.com goes against the terms of service that Niantic have outlined for Pokémon GO:
you agree that when using the Services and Content, you will >not: attempt to access or search the Services or Content, or >download Content from the Services through the use of any >technology or means other than those provided by Niantic or >other generally available third-party web browsers (including, >without limitation, automation software, bots, spiders, >crawlers, data-mining tools, or hacks, tools, agents, engines, >or devices of any kind);
Simple enough. Using this tool, in Niantic's eyes, is a form of cheating as you're bypassing one of the game's chore mechanics. But here's what trainers think about it all.
Let's Talk About Cheating
Sephiroth15 points out that numerous forms of cheating are constantly being carried out:
According to Niantic, pretty much everything on this subreddit is cheating. It is against the ToS to data-mine, yet more than half of the front page currently is stuff retrieved through data-mining. So the real question is does anyone really care about the ToS?
An interesting point, for sure. While some took this as justification for cheating with Pokévision, others, like dronpes, feel that the blame actually lies with the publisher and that if the game was released in this state why shouldn't we exploit it?
Personally, I feel like the true burden for this moral dilemma lies largely on Niantic for sending so much information over the wire in an easily mine-able format.
Mornus' opinion supports dronpes' and calls into question Niantic's failings:
Normally I would say this shouldn't be encouraged because it's blatantly cheating. But I'll personally tolerate it until Niantic can fix their game. However I would prefer all these sites get taken down after the fix does finally happen.
With servers consistently crashing and trainers losing rare Pokémon in the process, cheating feels justified until the game is in a more stable condition. Of course, some condemned cheating with GO entirely and felt that it undermined the game's chore mechanic of trying to catch them all.
But where do you stand with all of this? Do you believe that players should refrain from using Pokévision as it devalues other people's achievements? Or are you totally fine with using it yourself? Let us know in the comments.