I fail to see how this feature will affect remote portals and BGAN gameplay. To deploy or move the drone, your target portal has to ble within ~500m of you/your drone and you still need to physically be at the portal to get keys or throw.
They also have very little effect on existing gameplay. As stated before nothing has changed in your regular gameplay loop. Fielding and destroying are unchanged, as are completing missions and exploring. It will mildly affect gear availability, you're right, but is one hack per hour truely game breaking?
Personally I'm looking forward to seeing the drone system fleshed out; it feels like a step in the direction Pogo took with the battle league. It added NEW gameplay that was doable from home without detracting from the existing systems.
Features I'd like to see added to drones:
With some tweaks the drone distance stat could be turned into guardian 2.0. Trying to keep your drone safe over a long distance while speculating where other agents have theirs and hitting those portals. The gameplay is more involved than Just building a portal and HOPING noone hits it for 150 days. And the shorter timespan makes losing your drone feel far less punishing. Losing a guardian 100+ days in was /soul crushing/. Having your drone shot down after a couple days of travel isn't even comparable.
It would also be nice to have the drone complete /single/ mission steps. Completing missions would remain virtually unchanged; You still need to physically start and walk the mission but you'd be able to hit that one portal behind a locked gate, inside a building, etc. Just a small QoL change
Drone changes/ foux pas:
My only gripe with drones in their current state is how /all/ portal alignment changes destroy them. The potential to take out a friendly agent's drone without even being aware of it's presence isn't good gameplay. Same goes for not being able to capture the neutral portal my drone is sitting on.
And of course like many people have mentioned the drone shouldn't replace existing gameplay, just add new layers and forms of it. But it's clear from the way you've implemented MK1 that you guys understand that so I have no anxieties. I hope as this feature matures and more like it come, that the more skeptical agents come to see that as well.
In summary, drones have great potential to add new avenues of gameplay without hurting existing ones. And isn't that kind of the core of what makes ingress appealing to a wide range of players?
Edit: added changes section and minor text fixes
The distance seems to update once the new destination portal has been hacked.
I hope drone can auto detect nearest portal/portals if agents have 1km or more from home to nearest portal/portals. I know agents never can use dronet from home now.
I seem to have a max. distance of 7 km even though the farthest portal I visited is about 6.4 km away from point of origin. I'm pretty sure distance between portals (with hack) is significantly more than 7 km. I'm circling back right now, having reached the edge of my current "bubble", so I'll see if the 7 km goes up.
Brian explained it here, you have 1999 but the item counter shows 2000, so the "current" cap is 2001 visually:
I see a few comments saying they don't want drones to be able to attack because of it being legitimised spoofing, and I agree with that stance, but what if specific attack drones were hackable, consumable items? So the drone would not just be recalled, but destroyed when attacking regardless of if the attack changes the portal alignment. Maybe combine that with a slower rate of motion, and the fact it has to sit above a portal for some time to collect enough XM to be able to attack, and it would make it only really useful as a way to drop XMPs on portals that are just out of reach.
All that said, I think a better use of drones would be a way to auto recharge resonators. Up to four recharge drones from different agents can hover at a portal and and use the nearby XM to recharge the portal from a small, auxiliary XM tank. They would only be able to recharge like an agent can, so if their tank runs dry they have to wait for more XM, and they can only recharge so much just like an agent (no boost recharge) so it would only be as good as up to four agents camping at a portal to recharge it.
Since drones are something technologically sophisticated, it could be added a drone mark (maybe in the top left corner within the portal view) to portals where they were moved to and give us some extra information (for example telling us if and when was the portal first hacked/captured) by clicking that mark. That would be useful for Pioneer and Explorer badges. Besides, we would be able to check if we have already moved our drone to a specific portal.
In the case that a "tasks" feature like the one in other Niantic games was also implemented in Ingress, there would be several possibilities involving drones (hack X portals by using your drone, move your drone X times, travel a distance of X m./km. with the drone, drone hack X X-glyph sequence portals, etc.).
Just some thoughts I didn't read about in this diary.
Always glad to see a new experience on Ingress. I consider Mark I a first step into a new way to play the game, beyond the "hack/attack/deploy/link" framework. It could be used to make the game way more playable/enjoyable under a field!
Some of my ideas @NianticBrian :
Reduce the cooldown to half an hour, maybe even 15 or 10 minutes, through an one-use item or something.
Add mods that can allow drones to travel through links from a specific portal;
Allow drones to transmit a signal (a sequence of glyphs, how about that) that can be received by other drones within a specific range. if the players accept the transmission, they could play a glyph sequence to receive some items (kinda like the gift mechanic on that other game);
Make minigames during anomalies, counting points for every drone that gets to a specific portal after travelling X kilometers;
Mods that can be a trap/bonus for a drone: if the drone owner risks "opening" the mod, it can receive extra items or be returned immediately to its owner with a 24h cooldown (the bonus or penalty is defined by the player who deploys the mod)
Thats not a bad Idea. Considering each stack drone were equivalent as or xmp8, an well shielded portal wouldn't be destroyed so easily. Each agent would be able to attack only once an hour, and would require a lot of agent to inflict na huge amount of damage. But with team work, some almost unreachable portals would be taken down easier. One time I couldn't destroy a rival farm because it was on the edge of xm8 range, and 2 resonators remained (the farest and lv8). Considering nthis drone idea, with synchronized help of X agents that portal would be taken down. It could have an limit of 4-8 drone over a single portal, and it's weapon range don't being over 40m. So a maximum of 8 attacks per hour, having to move the drone to move drone make it every 2h instead, more attacks would require a lot of team work changing places, the drone attack might be set to not destroy shield.
All this would ensure that destroying (a well guarded portal at least) only by drone would be impossible, but they will help the agente at location o take it down easier.
My big concern about making other agents' drones visible is that it will be Guardian hunting all over again. People will write scripts to scrape for drones and hit orders will be placed to destroy them, especially if a medal tied to drone actions ever gets released. So I'm opposed to making them visible.
I like the idea of drones being able to traverse links!
I also like drones having inventory slots, but I don't like agents being able to remotely upgrade portals via drones. Instead, I think it might be interesting to load up a drone with some items, fly it somewhere, then have it drop the items. Another idea would be that hacked items go into the drone rather than the agent's inventory, and the drone must be recalled to get the items it has. If the drone is forcibly recalled, you lose the items (or some percentage of the items).
I agree with HokeyBugle that friendly agents should not be able to inadvertently take out your drone. If your drone is on a neutral portal that is captured for your faction, or an enemy portal that is then neutralized, your drone should stay where it is.
You could have specialized drone types that can provide benefits at the portal: drones that increase item drop rates when the portal is hacked, for example. Maybe even allow drones that can cause a mild increase in mitigation at that portal (although in that case, I would also say that critical hits to the portal should have a chance to force recall drones with the same alignment as the portal).
Long time ago I found Guardian hunting an incredibly interesting activity. This might be frustrating for the target agent, yes, but it still encouraged long trips to remote portals, which is why I liked it. I do wish that force recalling drones would eventually make some substitute to Guardian hunting (drone hunting so to speak). And drones don't have badges currently at all, so this won't be too roasting. I think there needs to be a way to reveal other drones (maybe using other - recon - drones as I proposed earlier). Guess game is not as interesting as hunting for visible drones.
I don't think any visual clues should be given to other players about the whereabouts of a drone. That would result in a lot unintended consequences.
Agree with drones remaining where they are if your own faction takes control of a neutral portal or flips it to your faction. But it should move if a portal is neutralised or taken by the other faction.
Such a situation would force some ada/jarvis use if people knew their faction mates were sitting on a portal.
I vote for drones being visible, and make sound, during a period of time, like 15minutes, after hacking a portal. If you hack and move it right after, it will be visible on the next portal too.
I would be 100% on board if you could hack more than once per drone flight, 1 hack an hour is pretty pointless. It doesn't need to be the 2 minutes like being at the portal but even like 5 minute cooldown would be good
@NianticBrian are we going to be able to name our drones like we can name our capsules?
Want more hacks, go for a walk.
I don't really like the instant recall. Either needing to fly back home or going out in person to pick up your drone yourself sounds more exciting, especially when it crash landed somewhere.
Mini games with drones would be fun even mission day with drones from home, like less cooldowns and u get no items while doing a banner maybe? The Optima global challenge that is put on hold could resume with the drones perhaps.
It would be cool if Everytime you Recursed your drone would go up by a Mark.
Mark 2 drones get the ability to not be recalled by "friendly fire"
Mark 3 Drones game the ability to be loaded and deploy a virus to a portal...
Mark 4 drones the owner can throw links to the portal the drone is on without keys.
@Breenzy I definitely do not want to see the drone attack or link. We have been fighting spoofers doing this **** from their couches for years. I like it the way it is - it is a fun addition, especially during the pandemic. I am also worried in future linking or attacking will be added :/
I like the idea of visible 'you destroyed enemy drone portal' message feature.
I’m curious what is the thinking behind the forced drone recalls stat. It is a number one wishes would not grow, but not one you can really affect yourself (except keeping your drone “home”). Why is it listed under defense?
It would make more sense if it was under attack and count the number of other agent drones that we destroyed.
All the Drone Stats should be clustered seperately under a "Drone Ops" group regardless of what other categories they fit.
I just use it to farm my faction Lv8 portals. If they decided to update it as an attack drone, this will spice up the game, in my opinion. There's time where my faction captured everything. As of now, I'm still a Lv7 with 100s of strikes because my faction dominated the area. No, I don't do the 2 account thing. It gets boring with no one to battle against. I get it with the spoof thing. Honestly, I sometimes I wish somebody spoof my Portals or my faction just to put my weapons into use. I just want some battle action. I'm playing the game to build and to destroy my alliance portals. Sometimes I wish there was an A.I.(Red Factions) event where they randomly invade portals and destroy them. If we destroyed their portals, we get ap according to the level.
Again, these are just my personal opion.
Having used the drone for awhile now there are a few improvements I think could be made.
Just my opinion.
Thanks for all of your feedback and suggestions. We'll continue to monitor how Agents are using Mark I and will pause here before starting work on new features (or a Drone Mark II). In the meantime, over the last few app updates we've been iterating on Mark I to make it easier to use and fix issues that have been reported:
There's a lot of potential ways Dronenet can evolve, and we're mindful of how seemingly little tweaks can have outsized impacts on other parts of Ingress. Thanks for helping us navigate the different options by sharing your feedback here in the forum.
Can you tell us if dronenet always free in Prime in foture or we must pay CMU in foture for example Drone Mark II or Drone Mark III?
Thanks for the update, @NianticBrian! Just wondering, would there be a chance that the drone range would be increased (without using the "key trick")? I am currently at 74 KM but from what I see, I won't be able to cross 80 KM..