The way I see it is that a lot of us are past the endgame with the game in its current state. Not that I think the game is in a bad place right now, quite the contrary, but what makes it drastically different from the MSGs is that we do not get to start each new generation fresh from level one with level one starters; around midway through gen 2 in PoGO, day-one players were already balls-deep covered in terms of meta-relevant fighters and had little to no need to upgrade our teams. So we build upon our teams, already having some of the best Pokemon that have been available already maxed and in great quantities. Sure, a few new exciting species have come here and there to dethrone the previous king title-holder from each of the most relevant types, but there was little improvement to be made and this trend has continued.
I mean, Rampardos becoming the next rock emperor was exciting and all, but in truth, there was and still is little need for them when you have at least a full team or five of SD Ttar that already fill that role and are still only slighlty behind their ursurper.
So of course at this stage cosmetics have taken a hige rise is subjective importance to a lot of players. A hundo is always more valuable, but a difference in HUE that is also very rare stands out immediately, and feels “special,” even in cases where they are massively distributed due to events and whatnot because they are not guaranteed to have good IVs, so just getting a shiny isn’t that relevant by itself, you also have to hunt for a GOOD one which makes the hunt and struggle much more endearing for collectors.
Adding to that point is the fact that this kind of games draw in the collector-type of gamers that thrive on getting the rarest of the rarest just for the personal fulfillment of KNOWING they own them, let alone the bragging rights that stem from it.
I never had the chance to catch a good Snorlax back in the day, but by the time Blissey dropped it became unnecessary. Now I spent a whole two weeks battling grunts looking for a good shadow version of it just because I wanted one, not because I needed it (the hunt is still on for Shadow Dratini and Larvitar). When I finally cuaght one, I didn’t hesitate to max it still in shadow form. Why? Well because I can! I have the resources amassed from years and years of grinding and I have no spots left in my teams that need to be filled that could be an objectively better use of those resources. I know a lot of people that feel that way and are in that situation, offline and online.
So what’s left to do for players like us? We can’t just evolve the next best pseudos right off the gate because we are fully aware that they are obvious candidates for a CD move that might improve them if we save them thanks to years of conditioning by Niantic. And in cases where there are exceptions (like a few legendaries that are not restricted by one time only events -yet) the reality is that we simply do not need them. I do not need more dragons and my team of maxed Groudon gets me through just fine, so I havent evolved any of my good Gible, despite the fact that I can evolve around three and max them fully AND I love Garchomp. It is simply not worth it to me knowing what I could lose by being impatient.
So when shiny Giratina-O comes around, I -already owning 3 maxed ones, an army of legacy Gengar and a bigger army of Tyranitar to go against psychic raid bosses- will most certainly only be tempted to max another one of its a shiny with decent IVs, simply because I can. Again, not because I need it. The same goes with the current Mewtwo, of which my recent hundo became the sixth one I have maxed. The same will go for Shiny SB Mewtwo, which going by the current shiny trend will be very rare. IF -and only IF- I get a good one and max it, it will be only because of its shiny status. So… yeah…