Short Range spawns are nearly universally hated by the community. For the most part, I'm right there with you. The move seems rushed, poorly timed, and not fully fleshed out. I do however, understand why there is a need for something like this. In this article I'll be explaining what they are, why they are, and how they can be made better. I'm only going to look at things from a mechanical perspective. We all know how COVID is affecting this game and I don't want to get into how Ludia is addressing that.
What Are Short Range Spawns
Short Range spawns have previously been known as "proximity" spawns and, for clarity, that's what I'm going to call them in this article. They are the spawns that appear when you get close to them. Before 2.3, there wasn't a difference in how proximity and long range spawns worked. They both used the same spawn tables as the current Long Range. In 2.3, proximity spawns have their own spawn table which consists of short range-only creatures, global creatures, and hybrid pursuit creatures. This doesn't mean that proximity spawns are only going to be those creatures. It's... complicated. Let me start over.
OK, here are the odds for each spawn type between long range and proximity spawns. There's really no way I can clearly explain how things work under the hood without confusing everyone, so you'll just have to trust me here.
|Spawn Type||Long Range||Proximity|
|Global Rare Hybrid||0.1244%||0.1571%|
|Global Epic Hybrid||0.0311%||0.0393%|
|Local Hybrid Rare||0.1244%||0.0103%|
|Local Hybrid Epic||0.0311%||0.0026%|
|Short Range Common||-||27.1266%|
|Short Range Rare||-||8.0532%|
|Short Range Epic||-||1.1505%|
|Short Range Legendary||-||0.3670%|
So, as you can see, Local creatures take a huge hit in the new spawning system. Even if Long Range ans proximity spawns were evenly distributed, this is a gigantic decrease in Local creature availability. But as we've all observed, Long Range spawns are much less frequent than proximity spawns. In my personal experiments, I observed 20 proximity spawns on a particular route while I only saw 7 Long Range spawns within 100 meters. If I had included all the Long Range spawns I saw regardless of distance, that goes up to 10, but I probably would have encountered more proximity spawns in my efforts to go dart them. Let's give Ludia a huge benefit of the doubt and say for every 1 Long Range spawn point there are 2 proximity spawn points. Using that ratio with the above table, that puts local spawns at a 61% decrease.
On top of all that, the Short Range creatures have darting limits applied to them. The limits are 30 for Rares, 10 for Epics, and 2 for Legendaries. If you are under level 7, the limit on Legendaries is 0.
Why is Ludia Doing This?
The reason this system was implemented is the same reason Daily Spawns were implemented. The greatly increased number of creatures available is diluting the spawn pool. Ludia is trying to come up with systems to keep individual creature availability high. The problem is, you can't increase one part without decreasing another. It's not mathematically possible. What you can do is create a system that compensates for the inevitable decrease.
The limits are an effort to prevent people from exploiting the relatively high spawn chances for the Short Range creatures. The really confusing part is that the only reason the spawn rates are so high is that there is only 1 creature per rarity in that pool. If they had committed more to their idea, the spawn rates for individual creatures wouldn't need limits.
How Can This Be Fixed?
Spawn dilution is absolutely a problem that needs to be fixed. I think the problem is Ludia is trying to take baby steps when what's really needed is a larger spawn system overhaul. Here is what I propose:
- Create a balance between Long Range and Proximity Spawns. If these two spawn point types are going to behave differently, they need to be equalized.
- Redistribute some Global creatures into the Local pools. Right now, the Global pool is incredibly bloated. Moving some of them into the Local pools will make hunting more diverse and engaging.
- Remove Global creatures from Long Range spawn pool. That's right, make the new smaller Global pool into Short Range only.
When you implement all of these changes together, the core gameplay loop for hunting becomes: Move from local creature to local creature and find global creatures along the way. It is key that all the changes be implemented together because they all reinforce one another. Moving some of the Globals into the Local pools dilutes the Local pools, but moving the Globals out of the Long Range pools brings the visibility of that diluted pool back up. What we are effectively doing is creating a new local that happens to follow you everywhere you go. As such, the global pool should be about the same size (a bit larger is fine since it's always present) as an individual local pool.
The only way to overcome spawn dilution is to create more targeted hunting.