Shards and their suitability comes down to the format.
The biggest problem with shards is that it's flood or drought for communities. Having a single faction target for 6 weeks, with 12 hour cycles, has previously destroyed communities. Having shards in the world, and never ever coming near to them bores other communities.
Even the XFac shards where people worked together, largely meant a few big jumps to the area, then up an established path to the goal. The vast majority of players don't get more than spectator roles.
A mass shard event with lots of shards and local targets would probably work better for involving people, but it'd probably also overwhelm the slimline servers that we have, which often already feel stressed.
C'mon, the server can handle a million portals but can't calculate one shard movement once a day for each scorecell?
You're talking about a singular consistent action, vs a million discrete and independent untimed actions.
Wasn't there discussion about this, regarding upping the server ability for events? I think it came up last time there was a starburst somewhere.
Yeah they mentioned it. And a single shard traveling across the world would be fine. Snapshots of every single cell to determine movement of a shard in that cell, likely less achievable.
But far more enjoyable.
The difference between "Potential" and "what we got" is all about $$$.
Do you think that with subscription The game can be divided by free players and subscribers? I mean, some online games have this, a free access, extremely limited and premium players get complete full access and experience. Initially subscription in ingress is speculated to provide minor changes, but maybe they could start developing new feature just for subscription, and the rest keeps with what we got now.
Just asking for your opinion about this possibility, what you expect and hope for.
We really love Ingress too, and we're committed to iterating and improving the game. I read every thread that I can, and have the Report a Bug threads and Play Store ratings coming into my inbox as a digest feed. I've also tried a 1:many approach by joining First Saturday Zoom calls. Unfortunately, my 20% project on a human-sized Quantum Capsule, codename: Project Brundle, is on hold.
I think someone mentioned feeling an "us versus them" mentality coming from me, and to be crystal clear this isn't how I feel or how anyone on our team feels towards the Agent community. I do grok where that perception can come from because you just don't hear from me directly very often. To that end, we're working to hire a community manager so that we can be more proactive and visibly present here. We're a small team, we have our work cut out for us, and I'm trying to prioritize what I believe is the right order to focus on based on game actions/metrics and also Agent feedback.
We could also use your help. I love seeing Agents helping other Agents, and helping new recruits get started. Thank you for welcoming new Agents to the fold. Additionally, as others have noted, we've asked Agents on Android to rate Ingress to try and lift our 3.1 rating, and we're reviewing how often we should ask Agents to rate Ingress. In general, if things are going okay, then most Agents don't feel the need to rate. If things aren't okay, then some Agents are quick to let us know with a 1-star rating. The 1-star ratings make it harder for us to get new players into the game. Ingress is more fun with friends, and I'd like as many people playing Ingress as possible. Agents should rate Ingress at whatever score they feel is fair, but I believe the more Agents who leave feedback and rate Ingress, the more balanced our rating distribution curve will look over time (as compared to the "either/or" 5-star or 1-star distribution today).
Thanks for letting us know you're working toward hiring a communication manager! This bit of info goes a long way :)
I would definitely not want this to happen. The Subscription should provide improvements and benefits, but not so much that it's unavoidable. The game thrives on numbers and separating the community further would be even worse.
Any features for subscription should be in terms of additional or acceleration. Subscription-only items would be a poison pill because of the divide. The mindset of players, even those subscribed, would see it as a bad precedent. Extra storage isn't bad. Items with a quantitative advantage that can't be obtained by anyone not paying would be a step too far.
Thank you for the insight. I think the biggest problem is something that Niantic always had a problem with: communication. With the depature of Andrew, this only got worse (understandably, it was his job after all). Knowing that work has begun in finding another Community manager fills me with hope of having a bit more of an information flow between agents and Niantic again. And even until then, such post like yours really help understanding the situation a bit more, even if it doesn't feel like it from your side. And hey, if you're open for another Q&A, I don't think anyone will deny that, just let me know ;)
Let's face it, some agents seem to have an endless stream of nits to pick, but (most) of the complains stem from a deep love for the game and the desire to see it succeed. The subscription surly will be hated by a lot of players as well, but if it's communicated well enough with the community, a lot of waves can be soothed before. I have also seen a lot of status changes on the bug reports the last few days, that's also very much appreciated :D
I - over a year ago, dropped my rating on Prime on the Play Store, why? Because it deserved it.
I have since (about 9 months ago?) went back, re-rated the app 5 stars and left a positive review. Why? Because it deserved it.
Prime is not the original scanner, yes there are some bugs still, but it is very playable and not bad at all now really.
Thanks @NianticBrian for letting us know about the community manager hire.
Please get someone who is neutral, both in a faction sense AND not a complete Niantic fan boy. Lessen the reigns on what they can and can't say. I often got the feeling Krug was wanting to say heaps more but bound so he couldn't. End the days of SoonTM. Give regular bug updates, ask us how we are doing as a community and consider more feedback on the help system.
We are for the most part, not children, the average player is pretty old from personal experience and let US help Niantic more.
Oh, and don't do knee j e r k reactions/pander to vocal minorities.
Carefully consider decisions with input from Community Manager, Vanguards and the player base. Make a decision and then STICK TO IT.
Consider a mass forced recurse for older players, cap level to 8 again for a limited period, keep remote charge range. Keep badges.
Why? A lot of newer players are dismayed they are up against players with level 16 100Million plus AP accounts with no hope of catching up.
I was going to say remove recharge range as well before realizing spoofers would just charge em.
Consider forced credit card verification or mobile number or SOMETHING to prove you are human.
Literally cannot upvote this enough
I mean... I really love not having to scroll to the bottom EVERY TIME I LOOK FOR RECENT COMM ACTIVITY, but agents complained about this bug for MONTHS while your team released new features that were part of THE SAME SCREEN (news tab)!
You're probably not going to get better reviews, nor retain a healthy player base if situations like those above continue.
I love you.
Two issues with this are,
1). Old players who left, did so due Niantic not listening to players about the need to retain the old UI.
Myself I have been player over 8 years, and the new UI took quite some time to get used to.
@NianticBrian you need to contact those old players to try Ingress again, in hopes to change theur play store review. Though don't expect a miracle here.
2) You need to advertise Ingress as a game to play outside of these forums and word of mouth. The official Niantic social media accounts only advertise Pokémon GO and Wizard's Unite.
But also Covid-19 hit Ingress incredibly hard, and Ingress out of the 4 games was the slowest to respond to the changing game landscape. The Drone mk1 is great. But global big events needs to return in some fashion, I had suggested multiple times that perhaps providing a Drone Mk2, which can jump via links as well can make for some really cool global games, Shards but with drones as an example.
The last thing is to have big public events, Hexathlons were great, and low hanging in terms of effort to get going.
Both Australia and New Zealand are ready for these, because we have got the covid-19 pandemic under control.
@NianticBrian it is a relief that you/we will have a proper Community Manager
There is just so many issues being ignored, that it feels deliberate. And glad this isn't true.
One other thing, can we please get some real story going again, with live actors, as cheesy as the last casting was, it was enjoyable. This to me is one of the great things about Ingress.
Another thing, is The Ingress Report, which also helped to advertise Ingress as a game, because it advertised the big fielding Operations, Megalodon and Green Marble are two that spring to mind
I'm stuck at a 3 star review. Why?
I'm sick and tired of comms and the activity bug. How long has it been since it worked correctly? I open the app and have to bounce around through multiple tabs just to try to figure out what is being attacked or to try to reply to someone in comms. I wonder how much that impacts newer agents?
And still annoyed with the scanner hangs (most commonly when recharging) and the only way to fix it is force close and relaunch it. Kinda a bigger thing these days with FS centered around it, with many of us frequently being stuck at home almost all of the time.
Fix the comms/activity tab and I will go up to a 4 star. Same basic thing I said in an Ingress chat a few weeks ago when a similar discussion came up.
Hopefully getting a new community manager will help Ingress attempt to resolve their communication issues with the player base.
Honestly, this is a misunderstanding of the way the game works. At level 8 you're almost on par with L16 in terms of damage, contributions to building and general game play.
New players don't need to get to 16 to compare to long term players. And a forced recursion would lose you a lot of old players.
I rated the app a good while ago and the experience has been about 3.5, get the spoofers, cheats and tech cleaned up and you'll have your 5. The Brain execution and challenge are solid 4-4.5. the tech side is a 3 some days far worse.
Adding my personal experience of Ingress here (will also adjust my google play review). I installed the game in 2015 but only truly gotten into the game since a year ago when the pandemic forced me to have a lot of free time and avoiding indoor contact with mingly roomies was pop.
The best aspects of ingress is the community (likeminded people!), actually visiting interesting places (strategic portals, missions, events) and proper serious team based competition. Additionally I enjoy that ingress can give actual challenges, like the Tesselation and smaller personal problem solving (maxfielding) or learning based (glyph), instead of just mindless grin d (but it's good there are also those for the people who have time to burn, but so that it does not affect the balance).
The worst aspect of the game is that servers are unstable and there is constantly issues with spoofing. It's not great to wait in a spot that took many hours to travel to just waiting for the game to come online. Also the slowness of spoofer control kills the motivation of people who would otherwise put so much into the game.
One of the other troubling parts I've noticed during just one year is that the amount of portals is increasing in overwhelming amounts yet the amount of players is in decline. Most of them are very low quality portals, playgrounds or other mundane places that are the same behind every corner. There is nothing special about visiting them, they require a lot of repetitive gameplay, walking a few steps and deploy - it's extremely boring (starts to feel like a chore without accomplishment). Resources become ever abundant, glyphing as a skill is no longer very useful. There is no longer special feeling farm areas where there are more portals (like city centers or activity areas) because every living area is the same, every house has a playground, no need to walk anywhere, so I find myself closing the game and just walking so I don't have to stop all the time and actually get to the places where there is something see. Not to mention everyone complains about it all the time, but there's nothing that can be done.
I feel like the other clutter (drones, battle beacons, scans, kinetics) may soon start to add into the unnecessary clutter that will become overwhelming, just like playground portals. They are nice for now when the lockdown restrictions hold people to homes, but I hope a lot of these get removed or nerfed once we get back to normal. Ingress needs to remain challenging, balanced & give a reason to go to different places, not become yet another game where you have to remember to do all of these little chores.
What Ingress needs: Stable servers, bigger team to counter spoofing, serious teambased competition events (like more decoding now that we have to wait for irl events), allowing the community to shape the local battleground for better quality & enjoyable gameplay (maybe playgrounds are more interesting in other countries, but here they are a single mass produced swing), less cluttersome features that serve not much purpose to the gameplay.
Also I think Ingress could make it's money well with paid custom avatar symbols, cursor models and a moderate amount of paid medals. If money is an actual issue, I'm sure the playerbase would love to give for something that isn't invasive for gameplay.
Yes. Since Krug left, there has been a huge vacuum in communication. And it's hurt ingress.
Thank goodness ofer2 stepped up, but he/she can only give vague snippets of what's coming, and isn't even responsible for communicating with the player base.
The vanguards are just about useless, as they are in the same NDA boat, and they are apparently giving bad advice because we ended up with messed up releases of junk features such as battle beacons and scanning. And where are we on subscriptions?
This is not totally true, Ingress player numbers were declining BEFORE Prime was even announced. No I don't have numbers for this, but I sense it to be true. The communications thing, toxic environment between factions made up most of the reasons then I think
It took literally years for Niantic to remove Guardian Badge which caused major but hurt.
I am doubtful Niantic can do much about spoofing without adding a form of human verification.
A valid credit card would be a good check, one card per account, maybe two? Perhaps a Captcha that pops up every X actions.
Or, a SMS verification. A google auth requirement ? Something... Niantic don't seem to grasp how disheartening it can be to have spoofers impact hard work. Our local Enl just about packed up shop and shutdown when a massive op they spent $1-2k on got spoofed before completion. They are still sulking over it now. Over the course of a week, about half their team basically quit. Before they could get it reinstated, valid Res agents nullified their op further, and it was all too late for their op to ever be completed.
Feedback: I like the kinetic capsule, work on this a bit? Add more crafting option or custom crafts? (A resonator that when you deploy it does damage to enemy resonators nearby, less efficiently than an XMP?) You could open a huge sub crafting game here. Combine multi random graphics elements to create unique item graphics). Have to get random glyphs right to get it to work/operate?
Drones - I dislike, maybe something can be done to change/work them into team play, I dunno. The idea of an asset that moves when you don't seems to be the antithesis of Ingress to me.
Battle beacons - yet to see one used. A lot of angst over them when they were produced. Fix em or get rid of em.
Portal scanning - I like the concept, doubt we ever see functionality in Ingress. Adds value to Ingress player to Niantic in that they are getting data from players. Does no harm. Keep.
Portal network - consider filtering new portals into the Ingress game, those that rank really high only. I do tend to think we have too many now, many of which are totally junk. That said, as new, quality sculptures come online, these are great.
I still stand by my old comment on another thread, Pokemon and WU players, want portals EVERYWHERE. Ingress players only care about portal density at pubs/popular meeting spots. (For farming). Other than that we like quality, interesting spots, or strategic hard to get to ones.
Human actors. DO NOT EVER GET COLLEGE INTERNS TO DO VIDS AGAIN. I was ashamed for them.
The intention was correct, execution was embarrassing. I would much prefer 3 actors, Aged 30-60.
1 - Enl champion, 2 - Res champion, 3 - Impartial PAC type investigation person. They can be paid actors, Niantic employees, whomever. They should be stable, long term commitment types. If one leaves, work it into the story and replace them. They do not have to do much, a few posts a month on the storyline?
Bring back Investigate Ingress (character 3).
Bring back physical swag, charge more if you have to.
Shards- go for something mid level where we don't burn people out.
Make a Community Leader subscription, email addresses and IGNs to be provided/approved by Vanguards. The leaders get posted 12 physical mid level loadout cards per annum to be used for community prizes in return for an increased subscription fee. Maybe we need more verification here? Publish the names, Allow feedback from general players on their leaders to prevent abuse etc.
Most community leaders are people who enjoy organising and promoting the game and they should be Niantics biggest advocates, why not use them? Some leaders manage bank accounts for their teams for crowd funding ops etc, managing 12 mid level loadout cards should be easy.
Anyway I am writing a book here...
Your playstore/appstore validates credit cards, not Niantic. And store purchases can be done with Prepaid vouchers as well. Not everyone has a credit card either. Regarding Captcha popups, that's gonna get annoying really fast.
I do agree that verification needs to come back in some form though.
On loadout cards, I don't think those are an option anymore and may contravene agreements with Google/Apple regarding in-game item purchases.
I’ll comment on the “us vs them” attitude because I’ve felt it and I see it. In all my critical comments, none are ever directed at you, personally. All Niantic as a whole.
I think this feeling comes from just Niantics lack of communication. There are employees who say they’re reading these threads, reading the bug reports and having behind the scenes conversations about it. But why is there never any communication? No follow through when your community is frustrated, angry and ready to quit the game. The iOS 14 bug pissed me off and sure, there was a little feedback in the forums, but I had a 305 day streak erased and the best I got was, nothing we can do, start over. Missions. They were taking weeks/months to review. We’ll look into it. Can we please have a drone badge? Nothing. Can we have an update on portal scans? Silence. I know other people are still having issues with bugs. Just fixing it and hoping people get over it isn’t communicating. That’s Niantic doing what works for them and not worrying about the little guy. Reminding myself about that streak ending makes me wanna quit the game now, 3-4 months later or however long it’s been. I’d be done with that medal by now, that’s for sure. Taking a few seconds to respond to a single person isn’t just helping that one person, you’re showing other people that Niantic cares about its people, the community. And, they don’t get bitter and disenchanted and get out their pitchforks anytime they can. You can’t answer them all, but when a thread pops up with 50 replies and it’s gets swept under the rug/ignored, people start getting frustrated. I think you can tell Im frustrated. Coupled with a few bad actors in our area and I wonder why I still even play... I recursed two days ago, so something keeps pulling me back...
Codes are still issued, it is because they are not charged for?
Agree on the little things mattering. I see on Pokemon twitter, Niantic take complaints to direct message.
How hard would it be to at least do a one liner or two on the forums in response to complaints?
"Just read your message agent, we're looking into it." or
"Just read your message agent, please see this URL"
Then, if individual replies are too hard, do a once a month post, "Had these queries over the last 4 weeks, here's what we did".
A "Known Issues" page?
Have you considered asking your community or a representative group how many would recommend playing this game to friends? It's a different approach to asking the same question: how do you rate the game? It doesn't influence the rating in the Stores, but it'll allow you to track the perception among your base.