Brian told us to post our feedbacks. So here's mine.

DaumerDaumer ✭✭
edited February 5 in Ingress Community Feedback

What follows is a reflexion on my experience with Ingress over the course of several years. I have been playing since beta, although I don't have the Founder badge since I didn't make it to level 5 by the end of it. I'm not very active anymore, but I thought I could provide a bit of useful feedback. Hopefully someone from NIA reads this.

I'll start by talking about the moment when things really started to change. When Niantic Labs became independent from Google, they seemed to stop taking Ingress seriously and somewhat "admit" that it's just a game. The website nianticproject.com was abandoned, the Ingress Report was discontinued, and the story's characters stopped posting their own updates on their Google+ profiles (well before the platform was shut down). Now it feels like the characters' only role is to be present at Anomalies so that players can get the corresponding medal, if they pay for it, without even actually meeting them in person.

Overall, Ingress does not have a solid backstory anymore, but just some sort of lore on the side. Anomalies don't seem to have a real impact on its progress, and their mechanics don't always reflect the storyline's events.

When it comes to the app itself, I feel that Ingress desperately needs some rebalancing of its core mechanics through a buff/nerf approach. Over the years, many items were introduced to the scanner which never received any additional tweaks, which resulted in the loss of some original mechanics. For example, the introduction of Power Cubes made it completely unnecessary to collect normal XM from portals (more on that later). Another imbalance was generated by the introduction of levels 9 to 16, which made it extremely easy to reach Level 8, and L4 Resonators are now a rarity because most portals are over L5. Levels are now essentially divided into two parts: the first half (L1 to L8) is a tutorial while the second half (L9 to L16) is a grind which only rewards agents with extra bragging rights.

Finally, and most importantly, the gameplay flow feels less and less thoughtful. Too many portals are either low-quality, mislocated, or way too close to each other. This quickly breaks the player's immersion as they perceive Ingress as yet another generic AR game, and not as a "real" XM scanner that can manipulate the world around them. In the first couple years of Ingress, every single portal captured was an achievement. It was genuinely challenging to gather enough resources to take down a portal before running out of XM. After every battle, you had to walk to collect the XM flowing out of portals, hacking them along the way to refill your inventory before attempting to take down your next target. This was a slower, but extremely engaging type of gameplay, that actually reflects the way Ingress is marketed in the trailer videos. Today, however, agents can simply fire a few hundred L8 XMPs in a place with a high portal density and fully deploy everything in 15 minutes, only to have it all taken down a couple of hours later by someone else. This has become quite boring, repetitive and grindy, and made me love Ingress less and less. Your actions as a single agent feel significantly less impactful than they used to.

Luckily, the community is still great and it's the reason I still play Ingress from time to time. The core itself needs some reevaluation and reworking. What I am playing today is a completely different game from what I was playing a few years ago.

Thank you for reading. Remember, this is just my opinion.

Comments

  • kholman1kholman1 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 6

    I agree there seems to be very little backstory tied the current game. I personally think if niantic developed more of story line in game there would be something tangible to keep players engaged. Currently the lore has to be researched or is only known about from long time agents. I think the lack of depth to the game currently likely doesn't help. The problem I see with increasing the playerbase is the game competes with three other properties niantic has development ties to. If I was a new player for the first time creating an account for Harry Potter Wizards Unite, Pokemon Go, Gatherers of Catan and was tasked to write an article on what makes these games something you would continue to play I could not honestly give Ingress any points for a story line. Pokemon Go, Harry Potter Wizards Unite, and Catan all have story and depth that keeps the players engaged ingress does not. The tutorial only handles with so much of learning to play ingress and leaves much to be desired. I think of the reasons why people don't really go far in ingress is that new players go what is the meaning of what I am doing. I have had friends try ingress and they really don't continue playing as they don't understand why making the fields is important or obtain a grasp of basic gameplay from the tutorial.

    I think that they do need to do some sort of mechanics change and tbh levels 9 to 16 I feel need to have more significance than just an expanded scanner attack range and increasd XM storage tank. Maybe introduce inventory items that are exclusive to players who are level 9 to 16 just like levels 1-8 have resonators and busters. Such as making new shields and weapons. Even maybe mods that allows agents to capture active fields and flip them. Just something to make the game a little more fun. I think that even something as making fields more unstable as you increase levels of portals the field is anchored into could be a game changer if you want to field using level 8 portals adding increased field decay rate for example.

    Dealing with the quality of waypoints is something that leaves a lot to be desired but it is not dealt directly by the ingress team anymore.

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