We used to have this handy directory.
Unfortunately that was not maintained, long before G+ died.
Besides, Telegram is not secure since it exposes the person's precise location. https://www.theregister.com/2021/01/05/telegram_location_people_nearby/
If you enable it.... Weird that people would know you’re location if you turn on a feature called, “People Nearby.”
I am sure there are other messaging apps that are more secure than Telegram out there.
I saw the article a few days ago and that is one of the dumbest articles I've seen lately tbh. Not only the button to enable that (by default it's disabled) is called "Make Myself Visible" (wonder what could that mean), but there's also a popup warning you about possible implications.
That's not a problem of "security", that's a problem of users sho.oting themselves in the foot and thinking that the app should prevent them from doing so.
I think we've gotten off track on "Which alternate chat platform should we use?". Communities can pick their own and there are plenty of options.
Aside from Facebook and Band, there aren't a lot of places to have long term posts since G+ shut down, and Niantic's role in all this would only be to point people to the group in their area, unless Niantic is going to provide the platform to use. Telegram security isn't really relevant to the discussion.
Providing a secure means of chat/communication is relevant to the discussion. How do you expect other agents to participate in an IFS if Niantic and the Local IFS groups cannot provide and utilize a secure communication platform?
Because Niantic has never, and will never provide a secure communication platform, any more than it will provide you with a way to order pizza. It's not what it does.
If every single chat platform in the world is destroyed, someone will make a new one. This is a question far larger than Niantic, or our community.
No wonder some players state that Ingress is a dying game.
now last update over 1 month ago...
Given that the game thrived using Hangouts, panicking over what's a government-secure chat app is kinda ridiculous. Communities exist on many platforms, including Telegram, Hangouts, Slack, Discord, even GroupMe.
But all of those are ephemeral "don't pay 100% attention and you'll miss it" chat apps. G+ provided a niche that allowed longform discussions and pinned posts, strategic discussions and reviewable post notifications, in an enclosed group membership.
Niantic isn't going to provide that sort of environment just for Ingress, but the game's communities have definitely suffered for it's lack.
To be fair to Niantic, the last month (15 December-15 January) is usually pretty quiet for a lot of industries as they wind down for the Christmas holidays. No idea if that is the case with Niantic, but it's important to remember that the teams producing these games are still human, would still have families, etc. Constantly begging and whining for releases over Christmas is just selfish, as there is usually a lot more going on than what we are privy to.
and we got update aferall lastnight..
Always hear other seasoned agents encouraging newbies to reach out local communities, but it is easier said than done. Are there other factors why new agents cannot find suitable communities such as the fractured local community or the opposing faction is so toxic to the point that they prevent the newbies from finding the community they want to join.
Typically this is the issues of a given community itself. Niantic isn't going to (and can't) solve personal dramas or power plays between two different Agents, or solve the rift of half of a community "accepting cheating" etc.
And often "The other side is so toxic" is usually one or two visible agents, who the rest of the other side don't like, which can be solved by having more XFac events like IFS, and general chats where it can be seen that "they're not all like that".
But again, these are not things Niantic can solve everywhere for every community. They can only provide tools like the locator map or change the game, to encourage people to work together.
Part of the impetus for this post originally was all the people saying "Niantic destroyed the community, they need to fix it" when what they really meant was "Niantic depressed the player base, they need to recover the number of players".
Niantic didn't create the communities. We did. They can't fix the communities, only we can. But they can provide mechanisms and tools to help us, which is what this post was asking for ideas about.
I find it quite telling that no one from Niantic has joined this conversation...
Silence, that’ll build community! 🎉🎉🎉
To be fair, Niantic rarely joins any conversations on their official forums. #CommunicationWin /s
You mentioned that Niantic cannot fix existing communities and it is up to its members to fix itself. What if the community fails to acknowledge and take responsibility that something is broken and needs mending? Which goes back to the original question, “What is a community?” Does it help new agents out there or does it serve a few members who just want entertainment because they find the game so boring already?
That's an eternal struggle. How to convince people to that being good is better than being bad. The most common way is someone showing the right example and others joining them.
It's impossible for Niantic to police this from on high though.
When it comes to a local community, it all goes down to luck. It is just a shame if a new agent lives in an area where charades, drama, and toxicity prevails. You know what they say misery loves company. In those instances, Niantic has to step up because the outlook of the game is not good, particularly its lifespan. Otherwise, avoid joining a problematic community and be involved in its own problems.
Less "luck" and more "one honest leader".
So, with regards to communication, I typically try and respond to posts that I am tagged in. Notable exceptions include "I've been banned for the wrong reason," because they usually are cheaters trying to figure out how we've caught them (although I must apologize here in that some people dont know that theyve cheated because we've just acted upon something that we've detected from long ago and we dont tell them what exactly theyve been caught for (primary examples here include buying items/services from 3rd parties or using multiple accounts)) and posts about things that have been done where I have no context because I just cant contribute meaningfully. Other than that I do try, but I also have my engineering responsibilities to tend to. Again, since I am an engineer, I cannot talk about unannounced projects and cannot make promises about what we will or will not implement in the future. That being said, on MANY occasions I have lifted some of the things that I have read in threads and pinged people (specifically brian) about doing them directly. Sometimes this leads us to actually work on it, but we cant also always shift course for every new idea. One of the things that we really do want to focus on are the community and new players, so as I said earlier, there are some cool ideas in here that I have asked Brian about and I think would be awesome to do, but I can make no promises. That all being said, we've been hard at work and hopefully you all can see some of the stuff we've been working on soon.
In all honesty, this wasn't tagged with any Niantic employees, because it was for players to think of ideas, not "Hey Niantic, you're doing this wrong".
But your input is, as always, appreciated. 👍️
In addition to what was mentioned above, Niantic needs to improve its tutorial for new players. It should also include other topics such as why attaining Level 8 is important for every agent, how to create a farm and get gears for himself/herself particularly when an agent is in a rival faction's territory, drone hacking, & completion of special ops banners. If you do not want a long and boring tutorial, at least create a link or additional learning resources for those new agents. Not including the above important information in the tutorial sets up the new players for failure or other options. Help the new agents be self-sufficient by providing them enough information and resources to succeed in this game and in accordance with the rules.
Again, since I am an engineer, I cannot talk about unannounced projects and cannot make promises about what we will or will not implement in the future.
@ofer2 I wonder if you see that total absense of developer notes or similar insights is not good? That it's a missed chance to develop some hype and keep people excited about the game?.. Can we do something about Niantic's harmful "we can't tell you anything up to the moment a thing is released" policy?
It's not really a "community" idea, but a website by Niantic, that explains the game in more detail would be great. In terms of things like AP and badge requirements, how to calculate link lengths, how many resonators can be deployed etc.
There really hasn't been a good, easy to navigate, and maintained site for that in quite a few years.
@1valdis what type of developer notes are you talking about? Patch notes? Or something more technical?
Can we do something about Niantic's harmful "we can't tell you anything up to the moment a thing is released" policy?
I've been at a few game companies and this isnt unique to Niantic. The problem is that as soon as we make a statement publicly about what we're working on it becomes a promise which means that we cant really change it. Furthermore, even if we continue to work on it, people make many assumptions about how long something takes or should take and so by announcing it early, we **** ourselves in the foot unless we can guarantee the timeline (which is REALLY hard). The flexibility in what we're working on adn the timeline is super important in many cases. E.g. we recently had a hackathon which had an idea come out of which which we switched our plans to implement the real version of (and I'm planning on writing a developer post about it), but that wouldnt have been possible if we had to stick to some previous plan because we announced it publicly.
I believe @ZeroHecksGiven in a nearby topic has summed things up very neatly:
These days, devs are communicating with their people. They're active, they're hyping their own game, they're giving sneak peaks, they have easter eggs, they have fun with the game. And not even just game devs, but other app developers as well. This veil of secrecy is doing more harm than good and y'all still haven't figured that out.
But lets talk about possible features, lets flesh them out a bit before you spend valuable development time on something. Maybe even have some fun with it. You've got three ideas, hold it to a vote. Preface it with a, these aren't promises the other items will ever make it to the game or some other sort of warning.
There are many clever and dedicated people in this General forum section and probably if you do some shenanigans (I mean polls, discussions and stuff) here without announcing them in social media, it'd be understood in a correct way, not as promises etc. Speak to us, be clear with us (you're already good at this one), tell us stuff. Technical too! As a backend dev myself it's really interesting to read how stuff works, take your latest explanations on uniques as an example.