Why Niantic is failing miserably to promote Portal Scans
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.