@ofer2 You make it sound like you're limited to two options: reveal everything and mislead/disappoint the community or stay completely silent. That's a false dichotomy. Ingress is unlike other games in that much (I would argue a majority) of the playerbase is plugged into local and global communities and these communities typically care about one another and have a much more intimate relationship with one another than 99.9% of other games.
Subscriptions have been on agents' radar for a while now. When another 'leak' or mention of it comes up, chatter starts and community leaders are quick to point their people to official statements to reset expectations. I believe it was @NianticBrian who mentioned in a buried forum post how your team ran into snags, gave examples of the snags, and said it's still in the works. That went a long way in explaining to our communities why the feature is delayed and got to share a bit of the humanity of the Ingress team. Community leaders have a vested interest in ensuring longevity and most of us are happy to run damage control within our communities. The radio silence until a feature is released that @1valdis referenced seems to be doing more damage to community leaders than anyone else.
As many others have suggested, launch a poll so you can gage community interest on more features/events/etc. (the more official the better) and state OVER AND OVER that you're not making promises or committing to a timeline, just gaging interest. Your community leaders will stand by you and continue to point agents to those statements. You said you **** yourselves in the foot by speaking unless you can guarantee timelines, no, you're **** yourselves in the foot with silence which is forcing team and community leaders out in droves.
Niantic could help the community by re-instating the Recruiter badge along with an easy recruitment option in Prime. This could help the community to grow. Recursed agents should get some perk like more inventory, or an additional key capsule (just an example), to keep agents playing.
Yeah, I agree that we can do more to communicate about things. BUT there is a difference between communicating about what we're working on and trying to co-develop ideas. The latter is very rare and I have only seen superficial examples of it in other companies. Trying to communicate more is the reason I'm on these boards (as is Brian), but we're not a large team so we have to balance our time.
I wonder why the recruiter badge was retired. Did people cheat by creating fake accounts?
And does people cheat by creating fake accounts now that the badge is gone?
A very good example of how cheating in this game definetely pays off and being legal gets punishment.
It all falls down to this, am I the only one who sees that?
I think the majority of ban falls on the cheaters. I never been baned and never did anything illegal, o you're partially wrong.
IMO the Recruiter badge did more harm than good. People faking accounts etc.
Understood. After all, the old recruiter badge just required a gmail account and passing level 3, so the "vetting" just wasn´t there. However, one of the challenges for Prime, Niantic and the community is still Prime´s low score on the app stores, as well as fake accounts and multi accounts. IMO the best introduction to Ingress is mentoring, and the word of a mentor has more sway than a low score on the app stores. The new Subscription feature has to have a strict id authentication and could maybe be combined with some kind of recruitment boost (stat and/or badge) in a more secure way that prevents cheating by recruiting adhoc email accounts. But overall, dealing with fake and multi accounts has higher priority.
There was discussion of a mentoring program when Recruiter was first noticed to be disabled. I don't think Recruiter is necessarily the best vehicle for it, but having people declare that they're willing to help new players, and having the new players be able to find and contact them, would definitely be something that might help.
We used to ping people when the first arrived in game, to let them know who to call for help, but it was always hit and miss on who's willing to talk to or meet random strangers in chat. A Niantic blessing would definitely improve things.
Though it'd also need reviews and evaluations of mentors to make sure they're not doing the wrong thing.
The mentoring program is a novel idea. There are a couple of questions that arise from such a program which are as follows: (1) What qualifications should the agent possess to be considered an excellent mentor? It should go beyond vetting and badges. The agent should have good character, patience, and enthusiasm for it; (2) Who will initiate and evaluate this program? The community, Niantic or both?; (3) Will Niantic support this mentorship program and be clear in determining the qualifications/requirements of mentors and mentee?;
In my point of view, it would be difficult to establish such a program in a community that feeds on a "witch hunt" or "eat their young" culture. It seems some players just don't want to get involved, not say anything, or take delight in seeing new agents commit a mistake and just report those newbies for cheating instead of reminding or teaching those new agents what to do. While Niantic tells newbies to abide by the TOS, but there is a lack of resources provided to newbies in this game. Mentoring goes beyond teaching and it involves guiding and nurturing newbies so they can succeed.
This is why it wasn't pursued, in favour of simply ending the Recruiter badge. Because Niantic doesn't have the resources to police the community.
Thanks for the reply. It accurately answers the questions "What is "community' and how can Niantic 'help' it.
I'm A Bit Late™ to joining this thread, but… I would say that "community" exists in many forms. For example:
At a broad level, it's your sense of attachment to a place and the inhabitants with whom you share it. In Ingress, it's your sense that the game board is alive and that you can effectively interact with it; it's your sense that there are people around you interacting with each other in a healthy way.
At a more personal level, it's the group of people that you actively coordinate with and the group of people that you actively play against. I suspect that this is what many people have in mind when they say "community", but the former notion is also important. When I travel, I want there to be things to do, and I might want the opportunity to be that lone, random agent, quietly doing it.
If I have any advice to give Niantic, it might be to turn attention back to designing gameplay that accommodates, or even requires, active coordination. By "active coordination", think less like "agents need to capture X million unique portals over the course of a week" (à la the typical global challenge event) and more like "make a link between these two specific portals, at this specific time" (à la Dark XM).
The Tessellation was the last such event. Everything else that's come out since the pandemic's start has focused on the individual (Drone, Kinetic Capsule, C.O.R.E., Portal History), been a poor match for the pandemic (Battle Beacons), or ignored the "active" in "active coordination" (Eos Protocol, as originally presented).
It's the team-based play, the sense of a global conflict between two factions, that kept me interested in Ingress in the beginning. I stick around for the people I've made connections with.
N.B. "Active coordination" is not synonymous with "large groups of agents gathering in one place." Think of how agents spread out for a fielding op. Think of the Tessellation, especially as it evolved in the face of the pandemic.
I couldn't agree more. It's as simple as the difference between GO Fest/Safari Zone/HP:WU FanFest 2019 events and Anomalies. The former are crowds of people performing solo tasks; anomalies are crowds of people communicating and working in unison to perform a singular task (more or less).
While I appreciate the new monthly Ingress events as something to do, they hardly promote community and fall in the same camp as most (all?) monthly PoGO/HP:WU events which I fear is continuing to drive Ingress to be a solo game *edit: where people just get in each other's way*. I get it's tough during the pandemic, but I would LOVE to see Ingress turn these monthly events into team/strategy-based competitive events (ala Dark XM starburst or city-to-city links) where team scoring during these events could lead to anomaly intel/bonuses. This could not only reignite the spark within existing agents, but also drive recruitment since "we gotz to winz"!
Bring Back the Ingress Report.!
Was nice to look forward to a weekly news style program. Throw a little storyline in it, highlight some operations that were carried out the previous week.
Really since the pandemic started we haven't had any story.
TBH I am really looking forward to sponsoring a mini anomoly in our city using battle beacons. Once we can all play safely together again.
Sadly right now the whole game is facing the limitations of the pandemic. There are a ton of good ideas in this thread and they are worth exploring. I think Niantic is doing what they can to balance three games and keep each community as happy as they reasonably can.
One idea I saw was a mentoring program. While great in concept, I personally believe this leads too much to allowing people who may be creeps, ect. Since there is no general policing for what happens among players, minus obvious circumstances like very clear cases of people being unkind to each other, it would be very difficult to vet and maintain information on a mentor without opening the door to potential disaster. I'd love to be proven wrong, but there are a lot of scary and horrible people out there.
Pausing for a moment to address something else, I want to say that none of us should expect Niantic to try to help make the community better. They are first off a company, second off a group of professionals, and third off normal people just like us. If they want to reach out and help, then they should be welcomed. If they are unable to, then that should be accepted.
A lot of what is going on is COVID-19 causing everything social to fall to pieces. My hope is that by the end of 2021 we will finally be on the edge of escaping the grasp of the pandemic. Everyone who can will receive a vaccine and the virus itself would hopefully be better understood and easier to combat.
For now, as dim and hopeless as it may feel, just do your best to reach out to your fellow Agents. Make a Discord server. Set up a GroupMe room. Continue to participate in Virtual Ingress First Saturdays. If you need to set down the game then you can come back at any time. I know from experience, having been gone for over a year and finally coming back to the game out of my love for how fun it was.
If you can, if it helps, try to find that spark of fun. If you have the time you could start making plans or creating ideas, either to keep to yourself until you can meet with others in person or to share with your local group. As lame as it sounds and I'm sure a lot of us have heard these words Many times, we are all in this fight together. We can make it through. Even when everything sucks.
That is a very interesting idea. Now that we have the CORE subscription, many agents have CMU to buy battle beacons.
Do you already have a plan for the rules and organisation of the mini-anomaly?
I have to disagree with you on the point about Niantic not needing to try and make the community better. Without community, Niantic has nothing. With nothing, Ingress doesn’t exist. They have to work together. We need each other.
Be that as it may, it still has PoGo and HP Wu. Ingress was the first product, the first stab into AR gameplay. Now through Ingress and the other mentioned titles they have a better grasp on what can and cannot work.
However, I agree that without the community that we have built up, Niantic would have nothing. Doubtless many folks on these forums are also PoGo and HP WU players. It would be nice once we get out of the pandemic to see Niantic release something spectacular. Though that would, in my mind at least, bring up a question. Which game should they focus on first, and how can they spin it so the community in the other games don't feel slighted and/or ignored? I imagine Niantic has no easy choice here.
This doesn't seem like an either/or. I may be wrong, but I believe each of Niantic's games has a dedicated team. It's not like all of Niantic focuses on PoGO one month, HP:WU the next, and Ingress the next. The point being made is that the "Ingress Team" needs to focus (to some extent) on community, not so much the other games where a strong local/regional/global community isn't as necessary for the games to succeed.
The point being made is that the "Ingress Team" needs to focus (to some extent) on community, not so much the other games where a strong local/regional/global community isn't as necessary for the games to succeed.
To round back to the original topic, everyone says "The Ingress team needs to focus on community", but there's not a lot of concrete suggestions on what to actually do.
"Make it better" doesn't give a concrete example, and "Fix Spoofers" isn't really something they're not doing.
I think one of the biggest suggestions is communication. I know there is at least some amount of effort being put into hiring someone to help with that, but there could still be a little more communication being done in the meantime. The XMAs could potentially help with that as well. But either option is a bit of an unknown until there is actual action. All of that has been gone back and forth a hundred times in multiple threads, but I think that will help bridge a gap that's been growing for quite some time.
Completely agree! My point wasn't to provide a solution, it was to bring clarity that each game has a designated team and that "Niantic" won't necessarily focus developer energy on one game over the other.
There are lots of books available on Community Building. There are blogs, articles, self help columns, all available with plenty of ideas about to to create, fix, improve or otherwise build a community. I’m not sure we need to recreate all those ideas here. But maybe a simple, high level summary could help get us all thinking. Your questions were, specifically, what is community and how can Niantic help it. Here goes.
This is a very geeky summary, based on the research I’ve been doing, of things needed to turn a group into a Community. A lot of these thoughts are in line with Seth Godin’s book, “Tribes - we need you to lead us”. Maybe as I read other things my thoughts will change too, but this is where I am ATM.
What is Community?
How can Niantic help it?
I’d suggest that without these things happening, it will be difficult for the community to rebuild. If these things DO happen it sets the groundwork for all the other things we were suggesting through this thread. Just me thinking though. Feel free to disagree!
Well written! Seth Godin FTW!!
I don't want a leader because I don't want to be a follower. Passionate about the game, loyal to my faction, engaged in the local community - yes. A follower - never.
I would like to argue that being a leader does not require followers... at least, perhaps, not in the traditional sense that you are thinking of. Especially in the sense that I am looking at it here, a leader doesn't need followers so much as champions who share their vision and support their mission. Partners? A Team? I like those words better than "followers". Leaders can't really walk alone, or they are just taking a walk, I have heard. But they can walk with, or beside, or together maybe? Something to ponder. I like your point about not wanting to be a follower. It's well said.
Well given that information, I agree with you. The Ingress branch of the Niantic team needs to focus on the community.
Seeing some of the other posts in this topic, I like the idea of seeing if the XMAs can reach out to and help establish some form of connection with the Ingress team. As well having local leaders wouldn't be a bad idea either, as well as a team of sub-leaders and so forth. The positions wouldn't gain any bonus, or people would leap at the chance and maybe not do it out of an interest to help support and keep the community thriving.
I might not be phrasing that right, so forgive me if it comes across as confusing.
This post here is what I mean. Having a group of leaders, volunteers among the player base. As well, leaders can have partners and/or a team. It wouldn't rely on just one leader who may have life issues pop up or whatever. There would be sub-leaders who could communicate with and act as part of the collective team. Though this idea requires more delving into.
I would like to voice that by no means should any player Leaders or Team would be responsible for taking care of problem players. Spoofers, rude players, cheaters should be reported to the Ingress team and then a short record be kept so other players can be made aware of any problem players. Only agent names and nothing more. I think it would be a horrible idea to have any players try to police other players, because that is asking for trouble of various kinds, from having leaders spend possibly too much time trying to police trouble players or inviting the possibility of trouble leaders who would abuse the position somehow.
There's more to be spoken about this and hopefully in time we can come together to make something. As for how Niantic can help, I think if they can make a set of PR folks like the characters in the story be an outreach to the players, that would be a good idea. But of course I'd hope that players would remember that those people who portray those characters are still just people. So don't take their character roles seriously.