So it seems that Niantic might want to revise somethings, and connect more with the community...

crystalwizardcrystalwizard ✭✭✭
edited May 2020 in General

@ace @NianticBrian

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:

Portal rejections

TOS violations


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.



  • @ace Thank you. For several things.

    1. for taking the time to read and think about what I said.
    2. for being willing to look at solutions
    3. for being more involved than you have for a while now - I personally am extremely happy to see this, and I know from comments I've read in the IUENG discussion group, so are a lot of other people.

    If you need help with anything, there are a lot of us that would be more than willing to assist.

  • @crystalwizard @ace Totally agree , having a clear line of communicating always helps with keeping a community engaged with the game and the company. I am one of those more than willing to assist.

  • PhantomR1982PhantomR1982 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020

    @ace just dont do a @NianticCasey or @NianticBrian or even a @ofer2 on us and start giving us hope then do a disapeering act.

    Communication is a big part of what makes Ingress very unique and different...yes the acrewed database is now multiuse over a few current games and possibly future projects as well but you need trusted community members willing to spend time checking things out and able to have a little bit of power to fix things by way of either a direct contact of a community manager that they/we can TRUST to act on things we report/query that then also gets actively followed up on in a timely fashion.

    Without that TRUST or even RESPECT from Niantic to its playerbase then how do you plan to win people back that have retired/semi retired/give up due to ongoing scanner problems etc.

  • aaronviannoaaronvianno ✭✭✭✭

    Agree with what's been said.

    Ban appeals are just not possible in the current state. Not gonna go into which or how many are false positives, but the process is outdated for sure. To a spoofer, these things don't matter they'll just make a new account. To anyone violating the ToS trying to hide the reason they got banned isn't going to stop them from figuring out how to get around your system. They're often people with a fair bit of technical knowledge or using Pokemon Go related spoofing services that get regular updates. So being extremely vague in the ban emails really doesn't serve any purpose.

    I think Niantic should also look into country-wise or region wise policies internally for handling ToS violators. It would ease off the burden of proof drastically. At the same time it's plainly obvious where a lot of non compatible devices are or where the spoofing is happening. Region-wise policies internally would help tackle them more effectively.

    Also lock up inactive accounts that do the bare minimum to remain "active". In the last few weeks I've seen low level accounts suddenly popping up with yearly badges from 3-4 years ago. Very obvious multis/spoofers but nothing is being done to handle them. At least put in basic things like having an "active" status only if you do at least X number of actions that SHOW UP ON COMM in Y number of months.

    Wayfarer has quite a few complaints from both Trainers & Agents. Stuff that doesn't meet criteria goes live but Niantic won't look into it or take it down. One could easily nominate any random apartment building, with almost no description or proof about it's value, manipulate the votes through WhatsApp groups, and get it live. Niantic won't take it down either. At the same time there are legitimately good nominations that get rejected with weird reasons like "Private Residential Property" or "Unsafe Access" but there's no mechanism to deal with the reviewers who are manipulating the votes. A great example of Niantic inaction came to light some weeks back when a surprisingly large number of Gyms were found around -8.618456,115.128155. The POIs weren't taken down despite having phone camera watermarks & the area still has several fakes named "Dewata Raid Team Munggu". It completely puzzles me at the same time about how Niantic wants sponsored POIs to coexist with people nominating random places as ones of great interest. For a very obvious example head over to Bangladesh on the mission maker and look up "KFC". It's an absolute joke.

  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    So @ace we have now spammers over 2 months sending comm spam to third party item-seller links with no sign of stopping. Many players are tired of getting nonsense spam no matter what time of day on their phones, any chance we can get an update on this ? Also spoofers and multi accounters are still an issue that are only destroying for us legit honest players. Many have quit long due to support not being helpful and they can still play like nothings wrong, and more probably will quit unless something is being done about this issues....

  • GoblinGranateGoblinGranate ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can be grateful, I know of some that got the straight ban with no warnings because of "COMM Harassment".

  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭

    Also the google play store rating is still 3.0 for prime and some time ago the app asks you to rate it, seems this has not helped much, what ideas has niantic to raise the average score on the google store ?

  • EvilSuperHerosEvilSuperHeros ✭✭✭✭✭

    Without Niantic actually replying to posts other than one here and one months later, we don't know if anything is ever being done to work on anything. Issues that persist over multiple updates, despite being told that they are fixed is more than annoying, but lack of responses from anyone at Niantic is beyond frustrating. It's been that way since the game's inception and still hasn't really changed. With the new Ingress forums, with Prime I thought that there might be better communication.

    Then again, it looks like the Catan Community ended up with much better forums than the Ingress one has.

    Thanks for taking time out of your day to reply @ofer2 Hopefully one day in the future Ingress will get someone who can speak for Ingress on a more consistent rate, something like a community manager or such, to remind us agents that people are actually working on the problems in the game...

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