So it seems that Niantic might want to revise somethings, and connect more with the community...
It was nice to see a heartfelt response from Ace and it gives a lot of us players some hope that maybe Niantic is ready to start listening to the community. That's good.
So let's start with revising the way Niantic deals with certain issues. Specifically issues where Niantic has decided for some reason to give a negative response to something. Things like:
Requests to look in to spoofing
Reports of cheating
and stuff like those.
In ALL those cases all that's ever sent is a generic letter that says nothing. Requests for reviews of those letters, or discussion is met with another form letter. In the cases of a reported spoofer or cheater, the form letter is frustrating and pretty much sends the message that Niantic's staff has read it, deleted it, and since nothing is done in game, it's obvious that Niantic couldn't care less about it.
In the case of TOS violations and bans, the person on the receive end never gets the common courtesy afforded in a real world of law of being able to know who is accusing them, presenting evidence that would clear their name or prove their innocence, or anything else. At least in the real world, if you're going to wind up on **** row or behind bars, you get the chance to try to prove you didn't do whatever it was. And you get a judge that TALKS to you. And is actually impartial But Niantic, as much as they say they want to keep and engage their player base, does none of this - they just swing the ban hammer and destroy someone who has spent countless hours, and probably hundreds if not thousands of dollars playing their game. Remember folks, there are real people behind the agent name - real people who have (in a lot of cases) built their lives around playing the game - to the point of planning their vacation around events or certain portals they want to capture. And with a couple of form letters and the delete key, those players lives are shattered - quite literally.
In the case of portals - at least the community will talk about the rejections, but why bother? Everyone knows that the Niantic database is now full of garbage portals with garbage locations since it was opened to pogo players with plenty of portal submissions showing up in people's backyards - but perfectly good, legit portals being removed and then Niantic refusing to discuss any of it. Again, if Niantic really wants a quality database, and they want the players to care about building that database, they need to start talking, not sending form letters and ignoring.
The lack of personal care and communication by Niantic, and not just the flunkies on the level 1 desk, or the poor trusted reporters (who have no real power) and vangards (who care but look at the letters the three that have left have written, wow Niantic! Just wow) but the owner and VPs, is one thing that is alienating a large part of the community. The discord, telegram, slack discussion groups - even some of the forum threads here - of full of constant complaints about this.
The excuse of we don't have the staff, or it's too hard to be sure so we make our best effort (in the case of TOS and bans) is invalid. Get enough staff if you don't have it. And stop sitting at a desk, reading emails that with information that is all too easy to fake, and reading logs to determine if you destroy someone's life or not.
We, the players, do still care about this game. And we, the players do still want to support the company. But we, the players, are going to start giving up on you if you don't start talking to us and stop sending form letters.