Why Niantic is failing miserably to promote Portal Scans

@NianticBrian @ofer2

I'll try to be constructive.

Even though Portal Scanning has nothing to do with Ingress gameplay, I'm enjoying traveling to explore and rise my sight from my scanner to actually watch at portals while scanning.

That being said, ridiculously high tiers in Scout Controller discourage me from spending the time and money to work on Scout Controller:

  • By design, Scout Controller status is kept after the 30 days. From my point of view, it's a huge flaw since you cannot know how many scans are required to harvest the point.
  • Also, having no way to check Scout Controller status of a portal by Intel discourages traveling to scan. It's a waste spending resources moving to different areas to discover you'll need more than 1 scan per portal.
  • Now with VSCPs it's even worse. By testing, I've found out that portal holding Scout Controller status after way longer than 30 days don't reward the two extra points since the system acknowledged them as controlled by me. Reviewing the FAQs, @Atunatunak pointed me out that this seems to be the intended behaviour.

So, let's see this from different points of view: rural player vs urban player.

  • Rural agent plays almost alone. No Scout Controller fights happening. Long trips to work on Explorer, Pioneer and Scout Controller. VSCP are worth nothing therefore since all near portals are already scanned, holding the Scout Controller status with no way to be reverted. If there's another agent scanning some other area, rural agent won't find out until he's there, frustrating his plans partially. After so many trips he will end up not scanning at all.
  • Urban agent plays in a dense area, having thousands of portals to play with without big travels. Some Scout Controller fights happening in the area. He can work on Scout Controller easily, exploring and taking notes manually about which portals has been scanned. Eventually, more scans need to be spent for a Scout Controller point. Having no way to distinguish Scout Controller status in portals will become frustrating. VSCPs are a thing, but if he's already the Scout Controller he'll have to wait until someone else reclaims the control. Taking care of that is too exhausting, which will drive to not scanning at all after a while.

Suggestions to address these issues:

  • Scout Controller status should drop after 30 days, that way you'll know exactly the status of portal before scanning. This also fixes the VSCP issue commented above.
  • We need a way to check Scout Controller without travelling to portals. Updating Intel Map to display it would make the thing.


  • Neku69Neku69 ✭✭✭✭

    I think the reason why they can't lower the scout points was the number of calls to the server each day to make sure after 30 days drop. Or something like that I read on the forum.

  • To your last suggestion:

    That already happened with the standart Intel map:

  • Hulk32Hulk32 ✭✭✭

    Ornaments indicate VSCPs, not Scout Controller status.

  • grendelwulfgrendelwulf ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tiers aren't really ridiculous anymore since you can get onyx from 4000 portals if you use the volatiles.

    Also, we get 500 ap per upload now too, so it isn't free work either.

  • grendelwulfgrendelwulf ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can earn 1, 2, or 3 points for earning scout controller. 1 point on a regular portal, two points if you gain scout controller on a volatile portal you have previously earned 1 point on, or three points for a brand new fresh volatile scout controller.

  • Don't rush. Ingres is being developed all the time and now the direction is visible. Portal scanning will be an even bigger part of gaming in the future. In pogo, scanning produces huge amounts of false data when young children try the function and there are many of them, but ingress players are more adult and more skilled.

    I will not scan any portals until I know what kind of game / software is being made around this information.

  • oscarc1oscarc1 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Those are some good suggestions @Hulk32

    I think they just need to remove the competitive element of Scout Controller, just make it unique portals scanned and don't let the number of scans on a portal be a factor. This will give everybody an equal chance to scan a portal and make it easier for us to scan stuff without having to waste time and resources re-scanning the same thing.

    I would pay for an optional event that would give 5x or 10x the number of controller points, anything really to not have to deal with the insane unthought-out 12k number for Onyx. I don't even want to think about double Onyx lol

    I scanned a volatile yesterday that I had scanned a few months ago, where I was still the Scout Controller. Got no additional points at all. Can confirm it is working for non-scanned VSCP's though. Maybe a bug

  • InvestigateXMInvestigateXM ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you were still a Scout Controller, you don't get the points. Someone else has to displace you, and then you have to retake it.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    As I've already said, I will not scan until I see how this benefits OUR game. Not some other future Niantic's games.

  • or current scout controller can put double r8. would make it possible for 4 agents to build p8 with 10 scans (and a lot of data, or time to visit the nearest wifi for uploading).

  • HosetteHosette ✭✭✭✭✭

    @aaronvianno I don't think it benefits most Pokemon Go players either. All of the PoGo players I know turn off AR and leave it off save for maybe the occasional photo.

  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭

    most turn off AR just drains battery and is not needed....

  • Given how easy it was for NIA to add a new symbol to intel because they want us doing scans, I'd really like to see the following things added to Intel map.

    1. show me who has scout controller and how many scans (like in game scanner). If I'm planning a trip and can see no scout controller, then I know this is a good Scout location as well. I've been scanning since it started, and I'm slowly chipping away at places I go, but i dont know which portals I've missed locally anymore.
    2. Show me how many scout controller points i already have on a portal
    3. Show me portals I have capped
    4. Show me portals I have interacted

    I'd be happy to pay a once off (fair) upgrade to get the data on intel for scout controller and uniques, afterall, its info that is already in there somewhere, as NIA needs to track it for the badges. I would also be happy to pay a once off amount for more lockers (I bought key lockers), or space. I am less happy about subsciption model. My policy with pretty much all games is i am happy to spend money for things i keep in game, I am less likely to spend on things I use. I spent $30 on storage upgrades for pokemon, but I hvaen't spent any money on raid passes. If the agent badges were $5 each instead of $20-30 each, I would probably have bought some / all of them, but I never need the stuff they come with (not when they are available), so the price is just too steep.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    It wasn't new symbols. They just reused them on a diferent way.

    Seeing the captured portals marked on the intel and game would be something I would pay to have on the subscription (but it should be standard).

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭

    Same. Not sure if I’d pay money, but if it were an option, I probably would. I travel for work and it would be nice if as soon as I booked my hotel, I could switch to intel map and plan a quick route, maybe it involves scanning, maybe it involves something else, right now, I just look to see if I can throw a big field or smash a big field, especially for cities ive already been to.

  • vctrsigmavctrsigma ✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    Can you link an explanation? I fail to see why this would this be any worse (actually should be an order of magnitude less) than doing resonator decay daily.

    p.s. and that still wouldn't be a reason that they couldn't make doing an extra scan of a portal you are already controller on provide the bonus credit for VSCPs. That doesn't involve any extra server calls.

  • One possibility is to increase key output for the controlling player or faction.

  • aaronviannoaaronvianno ✭✭✭✭

    At least they have some use for it. Pogo even teased a few things that will almost certainly use it in the future.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    And for us here on Ingress? Nothing. So why bother scanning :)

  • milofargmilofarg ✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    Claiming Scout controller could be awarded in addition to successful scan uploads: 500 AP per scan upload, and 2000 AP (just an example) for claiming Scout controller, and maybe higher AP tiers for volatiles.

    Post edited by milofarg on
  • vidiconvidicon ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NianticBrian joined our local IFS chat a couple of months ago and suggested some things that scans could be used for in Ingress. One of the more interesting possibilities was to do some "virtual dead drops" where the intel you had to find was hidden somewhere in the 3d space around the portal - like virtually putting an envelope under a bench or behind the statue. Being able to do this could bring back one of the cool "spy vs spy" things that made early Ingress great without the expense and complications of the physical version.

    I don't think it's fair to say that it's not going to do anything for Ingress just because it hasn't yet. It isn't doing anything for any game because there isn't enough data to put it to use.

    That said, I absolutely abhor the competitive aspect of the Scout Controller badge. I'd be happy with a "unique portals scanned" badge, but the competitive aspect a) makes it hard for me and my partner to scan together - even if we try to time it so we both get controller by having one of us do 1 scan and the other do 2 scans, we have to be super careful about the order in which the scans are uploaded to the servers, b) means that if I see that someone else has scout controller on a portal, I am much less likely to bother scanning the portal, especially if that person has 2 or more scout controller points, and c) generally demotivates me from scanning because if I'm going to put in the effort to scan, I want credit for both badges. Make it unique portals scanned and I'm back to scanning all the things, but for now I'm mostly taking a break on scanning.

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