A slight change, to be sure, but slight changes are bound to be noticed. Niantic appears to have recently made a tweak to the way the game handles the Pokédex in Pokémon GO, in the continuing narrative of small changes being continually made to a game still in dire need of some big ones. A post on reddit over the weekend noticed that the “seen” marker in the Pokédex now appears to count any Pokemon that you’ve encountered in gyms as “seen,” adding them to the seen count at the top of the page and putting the creature’s silhouette in its properPoképlace. This means that you’ll be able to remove some of those unsightly blocks in the Pokédex without actually catching all thePokémon, but also that it will disrupt your seen/caught ratio. This latter point is the subject of much discussion on reddit.
It’s a slightly bigger deal when you consider the fact that filling thePokédex is basically the only endgame activity in Pokémon GO right now: gotta catch ‘em all, after all. Frankly, it’s a bit odd that that something like this hasn’t been in place since the beginning: seeing aPokémon in a gym should definitely count as “seeing” it, and this is the way things work in in the main line games. It also means that people who can’t travel the world to collect all the monsters can at least make headway towards actual completion without buying a plane ticket. Someone in North America is never going to see Mr. Mime in the wild, after all, but they might encounter the creature in a gym. One assumes that it will work the same way if Niantic ever introduces multiplayer battles or trading. You’ll still need to catch the things to properly fill thePokédex, of course.
There should be some larger changes coming our way soon, particularly with the new medal system that will allow you to hunt for specific Pokémon. In the meantime, the Pokécraze seems to be continuing its wane: we’ll see if Niantic has something big cooked up in November to jumpstart things, but winter is coming.