[Request] Remove Scout Controller Status

It's been talked about in different posts (here , here and here you have many opinions): Scout Controller Status discourages scanning instead of encouraging it.

  • Maintaining it even after the 30 days prevents you from getting the 2 extra points in VSCPs.
  • It's not clear if you need just one or two scans to become Scout Controller, since the flag is not removed after 30 days.
  • If anybody did scan X times a portal, you need X+1 scans, which is pretty frustrating specially if you are traveling to scan complete zones as villages.

Simple solution: Remove Scout Controller Status and count 1 point per unique portal scan. VSCPs points should count as now, 3 for uniques and 2 for already scanned.

@NianticBrian @ofer2


  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    Or just show 0 points after 30 days, this way everyone will know how many scan they need to be the new controller.

    I like the idea of letting the agent name be on the portal forever.

  • Hulk32Hulk32 ✭✭✭

    What I mean is removing the need of more than one scan to get Scout Controller points, like Explorer/Pioneer badges. In this scenario, having agent names adds no value from my point of view.

  • At a minimum, the controller status should actually expire after the 30 days.

    But as I mentioned elsewhere, the fact that it's one portal per level 14 cell, means that there's far less than one third of all portals marked, meaning that we're a long way from VSCPs actually improving the situation, and in many respects after the initial burst will make it worse.

  • grendelwulfgrendelwulf ✭✭✭✭✭

    It shows who last controlled it. There's no harm in showing 0 points since that will motivate the next person

  • I think it's mostly lazy programming that doesn't expire the ownership after 30 days, combined with lazy programming to implement the Scout Controller additional points "on claiming".

  • KhatreKhatre ✭✭✭✭✭

    Or a least it should change to how many scan you need.

  • MonkeyPeltMonkeyPelt ✭✭✭✭

    Perhaps if Niantic wants a lot of scans for these specific VSCPs, they could extend the 'volatile' nature to the normal Scout badge as well. Volatiles could give 2x, 3x, idk 10x credit to every scan performed on these portals. If I want to grind the normal Scout badge, I could scan these volatiles repeatedly for boosted badge credit until "enough" data has been collected, then the volatile status could shift to another portal in the same S14 cell.

    I get different people scan differently and Niantic wants different types/angles/lighting/etc of scans, so they may need to communicate to us what is needed with each portal so the same person doesn't scan the same portal the same way every Thursday on their lunch break in the same lighting. (Obviously I'm from Arizona where there are no seasons).

    Seems like this would increase the sheer number of scans on certain portals, but could break the idea of Scout Controller.

  • oscarc1oscarc1 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How about:

    • Let the Scout Controller point expire after 30 days (but keep the name)
    • Remove the VSCP ornaments, make VSCP portals invisible. That way instead of hunting VSCP's, people would have to scan everything and get lucky. Make the invisible VSCP's worth 5x or something lol
  • DSktrDSktr ✭✭✭✭

    Even more,

    1) Show 0 points after 30 days(or whatever,to clarify for those who want to do this,not to disadvantage agents from scanning by showing outdated N scans),actually it will introduce Agents to re-scan POI and will give more AR data U need.

    2) Count all scanned before points to new controller medal (this actually disadvantaged me to scan anything again...and again...and again). Ingress is about visiting new places not recording videos on the same place,it becomes boring.

    3) And if ARCore is not supported (arm7 builds and some unpatched arm8 phones which can actually run ARcore but not certified by G and/or not rooted with workarounds to enable AR) or if scanning is manually disabled - remove ornaments and scout controller info from Scanner(Prime). There are lots who don't want to rec video and argue with other people who dont like to been recorded,there are lots who still use mesosoic or cheap phones without any chance to run AR,so that's useless info only.

  • This is the whole "global scan" they want to avoid.

    Like many distributed systems, Ingress appears to be based on triggers. A thing happens, which starts a process to do a bunch of things. Scout Controller doesn't disappear after 30 days, because time isn't a good trigger. Time doesn't 'happen', or it happens every millisecond, depending on your POV.

    The 'lazy programming' part comes in that they're not triggering off a scan being received for a portal, but instead they're triggering off Scout Controller status changing.

    The needed addition would be to trigger off every scan to check whether to apply the extra two points above and beyond what they currently do. And likely, because that's a separate trigger to the Scout Controller which is where they normally check, this was discarded as "too much processing and too much development".

  • ToxoplasmollyToxoplasmolly ✭✭✭✭✭

    Having a Portal Scan "decay" after 30 days is conceptually no different from having a deployed portal decay every 24 hours: https://community.ingress.com/en/discussion/comment/125123/#Comment_125123. 🤷‍♂️

    they're not triggering off a scan being received for a portal, but instead they're triggering off Scout Controller status changing

    [citation needed]

    How would Niantic know that the Scout Controller status has changed without checking to see whether any given scan was the one that set someone new over the threshold? In fact, I just tried this experiment on a portal:

    1. Initial state: I'm listed as the Scout Controller with 27 Scout Points.
    2. Take and upload portal scan.
    3. Check portal immediately after the upload is complete: No one is Scout Controller. 🤔
    4. Wait some seconds.
    5. Check portal again: I'm listed as the Scout Controller but now with only 9 Scout Points.

    Niantic clearly did some recalculations and updates in response to the scan I uploaded.

  • edited December 2020

    But Decay is one of the big 'costs' of the server infrastructure after efforts by individuals.

    How would Niantic know that the Scout Controller status has changed without checking to see whether any given scan was the one that set someone new over the threshold

    I didn't say they couldn't. I said they took the lazy option to reduce processing, and triggered off the 2nd event.

    1. Portal is scanned.
    2. They check whether the Scout Controller requirements have been met. (more scans in 30 days etc).
    3. IF Scout Controller changes, then they go on to the other work.

    What you're suggesting would increase server load for the sake of completeness. They took the lazy/cheaper option.


    Literally the post above the one you linked, which you replied to says they 'won't'. You're equating decay to portal scans, and I'm pretty sure that if they could, Niantic would completely ditch decay in it's current form in order to reduce server load. They're not going to introduce another thing like it.

  • ToxoplasmollyToxoplasmolly ✭✭✭✭✭

    What you're suggesting would increase server load for the sake of completeness.

    Yes, yes I am. Oddly enough, I'm here to advocate for things as a player. If Niantic wants me to consider their bottom line, they're welcome to share their financials and calculations with me so that I can make an informed decision. Until then…

    They're not going to introduce another thing like it.

    Niantic literally just did so. They, apparently, simply refuse to implement it properly.

    The user experience here is bad — bad enough that I, personally, don't think it satisfies the "viable" in "minimum viable product." I open my scanner. I expect to see accurate information. This is not an outlandish design principle.

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    Some observations from someone with 500+ scout controller points.

    I haven’t scanned anything in the past month or two because I just don’t see the point in burning myself out for something that doesn’t offer much incentive and didn’t offer ANY incentive when I did my initial 750’ish scans.

    that being said, this potential for 3 scout points was intriguing enough to at least try a few out.

    1) I tried scanning a portal I already held scout controller on, again, something I scanned 45-60 days ago (but still showed as the controller, in game). I was only credited with one point for the scout medal. That’s been reported, but confirming. Once again, Niantic is punishing anyone who did scanning early. Oh, you already scanned your town, you get one point, anyone else who waited, we’ll give you three.

    2) If I see a volatile with a scout controller already on board, I just keep going. Did they scan that yesterday or two months ago? I dunno, but I’m not wasting even more time or data to figure it out.

    I can’t believe we’re still beta testing this for Niantic... Something I’m still skeptical will ever even make it to Ingress.

    Post edited by ZeroHecksGiven on
  • Niantic literally just did so. They, apparently, simply refuse to implement it properly.

    No, if you were actually reading, they didn't. The introduced a modification to the Scout Controller Gained trigger. There is no global repeating script like Decay. The trigger doesn't generate a timed event for millions of portals with no need. It increases the load on an action initiated by players.

  • ToxoplasmollyToxoplasmolly ✭✭✭✭✭

    You misunderstand me. Scout Controller, as specified, is literally another decay-based mechanic (each portal scan should stop counting after 30 days, i.e., decays 100% at 30 days). As players, what we observe clearly does not adhere to that specification. As players, we have no need to care how Niantic implements a feature that they themselves introduced and specified. We only need care that they get the job done. And Niantic has not done so. Hence the bug reports. Hence the complaints.

    I open my scanner. I expect to see accurate information. This is not an outlandish design principle.

    Epilogue: And having finally constructed a search on the forums so that I could include that link above, this is hilarious. Nearly four months ago, Niantic mentioned they were looking at ways to make this easier to understand, perhaps by showing the date of the last scan. That is, apparently, still a topic of discussion, I guess? I wouldn't consider that an ideal solution, but "9 Scout Points as of <date>" would at least qualify as showing accurate information.

  • edited December 2020

    I open my scanner. I expect to see accurate information. This is not an outlandish design principle.

    It's not. The problem is, you're not the developer of the game.

    The rules they have stated over and over do not accord with your belief of what should happen. "Properly" is not defined by you. "Accurate information" is displayed, as the rules of the game place it. Because Niantic defines the rules of the game.

    I agree that they should have defined it differently. But you cannot claim inaccuracy and authority, because this is how it was implemented.

    The system as they designed worked as designed. That's why I characterize it as lazy programming not a bug or an error. It works as they intended, and operates within their design. The design is lazy, but it's not inaccurate information.

    Your expectation is wrong in as much as you expect it to give you accurate information which is not actually "accurate information". The information you want it to give you, would be wrong if it gave you what you wanted. That would be an outlandish principle.

  • BTW "as specified" from your own link:

    The number of Scout Points on the Portal details screen is updated when a new Portal Scan of the Target Portal is successfully uploaded. Once Scout Controller has been claimed on a Portal, currently this title isn't automatically removed after 30 days. However, another Agent can still claim Scout Controller with a single Portal Scan if there were no Portal Scans uploaded over the last 30 days.

    (my emphasis)

  • ToxoplasmollyToxoplasmolly ✭✭✭✭✭

    I quote the post I linked to previously:

    Building upon the Portal Scanning feature, we now show the Scout Controller and number of Scout Points on the Portal details screen. … Scout Points are the number of Portal Scans successfully uploaded by the Scout Controller over the last 30 days.

    That is not what is being shown in the scanner. The number of Scout Points shown when I look at a portal includes scans that are well over 30 days old. Multiple people, over multiple months, have observed the same. It's the second point of the original post in this thread.

    Please, stop going on and on about what Niantic actually decided to implement. Whatever that implementation is, it's been causing confusion and consternation for months. It defies the expectations of players. Whether the fault/bug is in what was intended or in the implementation of what was intended is irrelevant. (And "currently…isn't automatically removed"? That leaves open the possibility that automatic removal might happen someday. Some might even read that is implying that automatic removal will be implemented.)

    You and Niantic can repeat until you're blue in the face that everything is working as intended, but I doubt that will change opinions, build up good will, or encourage anyone to actually go out there and scan something.

  • KarM3LKarM3L ✭✭✭✭

    It's working as intended within the limitations of the current programming....

    It's slow enough already without burdening it with extra processing - not to mention the cost of the processing power.....

  • CliffMCliffM ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’m intensely frustrated that I did a bunch of scans before Volatiles were introduced. Because I’m the only one scanning in certain areas, I will never get the 2 extra ticks since I am already the Controller, evermore.

    and before that I did scans that didn’t get Credit for Controller, because the badge didn’t exist yet.

    Basically, everything about Scout Controller is messed up - timing of announcement, incentives for getting Controller, communication about how the badge works, and targets for Platinum and especially Onyx levels.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    That why I stopped scanning after getting the bronze. The whole process isn't worthy the time.

  • oscarc1oscarc1 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Totally agreed, such a waste and burn by Niantic to the core people who are giving them the data!

    Unpopular, but effective: Make the VSCP's invisible to all, if you happen to scan it you get 3x. If you are already controller when the VSCP's switch, give that person 5x (or stick to 3x but give points to previous controllers). Again, there is a very small minority that are scanning, reward these players - because they sure as hell are giving up all their time to NOT play Ingress and instead do this silly work for Niantic.

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭

    Its good for proving someone went to a portal instead of spoofing, unless you now kludge a portal scan in whatever cheat tool?

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭

    This has been my beef all along. It's been a continual burn by Niantic to people who went out and did the work for them early on. The ONLY thing an agent got out of scanning at Day 1, was a badge. I wanted that badge, so I went out and scanned. Then they introduced the scout controller badge since I'm assuming agents were scanning the same portal over and over. But wait, Niantic isn't going to count any of the unique scans you've already done, so you'll have to start that badge with a clean slate. Then as time goes on, an event happens where you can now be rewarded with a small amount of AP for your efforts, again, all those hundreds of scans I've already done aren't rewarded. Now, this volatile thing is introduced, again, all those scans are worth even less as now, not only in the points I can earn towards a badge, but also the fact that by now, I've exhausted most of the portals in my area and will have to travel further than someone who waited Niantic out on scanning. Why scan now when I can just wait a little longer and the rewards will likely be better.

    When I look at these badges now, on my profile, or someone elses profile, I just see a huge waste of time. I think the final burn will be when we realize they're likely not even used in Ingress. Seeing the reaction to a little yellow square being added to the game makes me think it will be an outright war if they add 3D stuff, especially for the agents who seem to play this game on phones released 5+ years ago.

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