Mission submissions receiving arbitrary rejections

GrubbleGrubble ✭✭

Curious what's going on with the mission reviewers. There doesn't seem to a problem with the queue, as I'm getting feedback nightly, but if I submit more than one mission at a time, they all get rejected.

I'm submitting an 18-part banner set for a tour of a college campus. There's no banner/mosaic associated with this college campus. The title clearly states that it's a tour of a college campus, and each description has a little piece of trivia about one of the waypoints. The trivia is stuff like when the building opened, something about the unique architecture, etc. I've gotten the first out of 18 approved, but that was because I submitted it by itself. It seems that if I submit more than one mission at a time, they are all rejected within about 30 seconds. I'm not sure that the reviewer is actually taking the time to read them because the rejection reasoning is that there isn't a clear theme.

For example, this is the title and description of the first approved mission: Title: University of San Diego College Campus Tour (1/18); Description: "USD is a college campus. This is a tour across the campus on foot. USD is widely admired for its stunning Spanish Renaissance architecture"

Another point that was just rejected again for the 4th or 5th time: Title: "University of San Diego College Campus Tour (4/18)"; Description: "This is a tour of the USD college campus. Look up at the Immaculata. Spanish styling is dominant in the exterior architecture of the church with its mosaic dome and red Cordova tile roof."

I really don't understand why mission 1/18 got accepted, yet mission 4/18 has been rejected along with all the others for a lack of clear theme. It seems very arbitrary and capricious.

Additionally, the graphic isn't an issue. It's a custom and stylized version of the abbreviation USD and they're slanted so they can't be rearranged.

The help guide is useless--it literally lists a college campus tour as a great way to theme a mission. I just want to make the game more fun and give agents around me an opportunity to earn a new banner.

Can anyone from support chime in and let me know what's going on? I just want to get this thing up without spending 3 weeks submitting each mission one-by-one.



  • edited April 7

    I had one mission get rejected, then just sit there untouched for a year after resubmission.

    When I deleted it and then resubmitted it completely new, it went through immediately. I don't know that it's some sort of intentional thing from Support, but rather resubmitted missions somehow get sidetracked into a dead end.

  • GrubbleGrubble ✭✭

    There's no problem with the missions getting to a decision point. It's gone through every night. It's just the rationale for rejection seems arbitrary and capricious.

  • Care to post the Mission image and description? Maybe there's something in there that isn't being described well in the rejection.

  • GrubbleGrubble ✭✭
    edited April 8

    BLUF: Don't submit more than 1 mission at a time for approval, otherwise expect rejection.

    I posted the first title and description in the original post, but here's another:

    Title: University of San Diego College Campus Tour 2/18

    Description: This is a tour of the USD college campus. The Pardee Legal Research Center is the law library. The law library exists to support the educational and scholarly activities of the USD law community.

    This one just got approved last night, even though it had been rejected 5x over the past week. I guess the trick is to only submit one mission at a time for approval. Each description is unique, other than the first sentence. [Edit: I changed all the descriptions to unique information because of all the rejections and I figured they would value unique descriptions. Who knows if that actually matters.] I feel like I have to include that first sentence on EVERY description otherwise the neanderthal behind the mission approvals won't approve them. Outsourcing mission approval is probably part of the problem.

  • That one that kept getting rejected for me, was also a university logo, but they kept rejecting it because it was copyrighted material, so I changed it to a banner of a picture I took of the University sign.

    Submitting them all together may have meant that the Reviewer was able to piece together the banner, and one at a time makes them not realise?

  • GrubbleGrubble ✭✭

    I didn't get any notification about copyrighted or trademarked material. In any event, it's been modified, and I don't expect any reviewers to have understanding of legal nuances about intellectual property.

    I even submitted portals #2-6 and they were rejected when I submitted them together. That's not enough to piece them together. I've resigned to submitting these 1 by 1 and will just never submit a mission again. It's not worth the hassle to try to make the game more fun to play.

  • GrubbleGrubble ✭✭
    edited April 13

    Changed it to a picture of the campus. Still rejected all of them for the same reason. Guess it’s just a brainless shell behind the reviewing keyboard. I’m done trying. It’s not worth the hours I’ve put in. They killed the fun in this feature.

  • LilmavericLilmaveric ✭✭✭

    I have to agree with my personal experience as well. Whomever is reviewing submitted missions over the last few months has severely changed. Basic normal buttons that were 100% accepted previously are being denied with no logical and legitimate reasoning provided. The responses are quick, within 48 hours which is amazing, but the answer is confusing.

    One example is a 30 mission banner I submitted quite some time ago now, A photo I took myself. all 30 were quickly accepted except for mission 29. The top row of the banner is mostly sky above a beautiful historic building. Missions 25, 26, 27, 28, 30 all are very similar to the rejected mission in this regard. They all were accepted.

    The banners all speak about the history of the town from its founding to present day.

    The response is:

    • A lack of a clear and informative description and/or title
    • Mission Image, description, and/or title are unrelated to the Waypoints chosen

    The title, the description, the info nugget in mission, the waypoints chosen are all about and detail the rich history of the town.

    I've resubmitted and then recreated a brand new mission in its place a number of times, changing some portals, changing from hack requirements to other types, with no success.

    It is baffling because the rest of that top row of missions went live immediately even though from what I can tell, everything about them is built to the same standard as #29.

    I am confused.

  • GrubbleGrubble ✭✭
    edited April 13

    Really wish we could get some oversight on this. I assume that it's a reviewer with complete discretion and zero oversight. I'm curious if there's a potential language barrier or something like that going on, as it's always middle of the night for the US when mission decisions come down.

    Edit: I also changed some points to requiring passcodes, e.g. What year was the university founded?, but if you're not seeing success with it, then it's probably not going to make a difference.

  • 0X00FF000X00FF00 ✭✭✭✭

    I'd submitted a series of 6 missions, a little banner that had no copyright or other issues. I'd planned it so that you could walk around the area, and between the six missions hack every available portal a total of four times. If I were to add in any of the next-closest portals, that would end up adding in either a minimum of a half-hour walking, or force you to drive.

    Four of the six missions were accepted with no problems. Two ended up entirely unnecessarily in the "mission rejected; here's a list of arbitrary rejection reasons none of which apply here, so good luck trying again!" loop.

    I gave in, and the little mission banner now requires:

    1. wander around the location for missions 1-3
    2. go for a bit of a drive to the west of the location
    3. come back and do mission 5
    4. go for a bit of a drive to the east of the location

    (the specific pair of "gah! why??" missions may or may not be 4 and 6, but it's too much bother today to log in and check.)

  • GrubbleGrubble ✭✭

    I'm just going to unpublish the 3/18 i've gotten accepted and give up on it. Not worth the time I've put in. I'm not going to make an effort until Niantic makes a good faith effort to evaluate them.

  • GrubbleGrubble ✭✭

    Also, just got this unhelpful gem from in-game support. It's completely different than the reasoning given in the mission rejection email. I've attached both the in-game support rejection reason (also it's unclear which mission they're referencing, as there's 18 submitted) and a screenshot of the duplicitous emails I received for the most recent round of rejections. I've also included the mission submission related to the email. Not surprising at all that the random rejection reasons given don't match up.

    You'd think that requiring a specific reason as to why each mission would doesn't meet the criteria wouldn't be too burdensome.

  • I have a question related to this. A friend of mine designed and made some badges for doing some specific trail runs around my state. If you do the run you can get one of the badges from their shop. With their permission I've used those badges to submit missions following the same routes as the trail runs. One was passed but the rest have been failed repeatedly, presumably because of the use of the logo. How can I demonstrate that I have the rights to use those images? Or am I not allowed to use copyrighted images, even with the copyright owners permission?

  • GrubbleGrubble ✭✭

    Update: this reddit user has some really useful input. Apparently any names included in mission descriptions/titles will get rejected, even if it's the same name as a portal.

    Courtesy of /u/MargariteDVille:

    I've been pulling this together for years. I don't think they send two email types anymore, but I'm too tired of it to edit, lol.

    New Mission Reject

    • Add REJECT to its title, and create a new mission for your next try. This gives you a record of what happened (in case it’s rejected again and you want to try again, or you have a new theory later). Plus, the rejected version might be “tainted”, so go in a slow track.
    • Now your focus is to get it approved, even if it means making temporary changes you don’t like. Get a skeleton approved, and plan phases of edits to make it better.

    “Use of image or text” Email

    • Lower your standards (as listed below) to get approval; then edit to make it better.
    • Use a portal key picture as badge. Niantic already owns it.
    • Or, submit without a badge. Add it back after published! It’s quick! Don’t be that guy!
    • Remove words (even the name of the town) that in your wildest imagination might be a person’s name.
    • Google phrases used, in case they’re a product name, song title, TV show, etc. Ask someone older/younger than you, who would know a different decade.
    • Make the title and description boring, and remove portal descriptions (so definitely no potential copyright infringement). Like: “Hack these things to earn a badge.”

    “Quality issues” Email

    • Rearrange portals, even if Any Order. Sequence them shortest path, ignoring roads and trails.
    • Avoid starting on the same portal as another mission (some approvers allow; some don’t).
    • Add and drop one or more waypoints. Omit Fire stations, hospitals - anything that might raise a red flag for an approver.
    • Try to include 7 or more waypoints. Several times, I had missions approved minus a portal, and my edits to add the portal back were rejected (a store, a clubhouse, and a church). Best guess: these portals have been reported (so Niantic doesn’t want them on a mission), but not processed (so are still in play). If this randomness puts your mission below the 6 waypoint minimum, it will be rejected - still showing your original portals, so you won’t know why. Better to start with too many, then do the mission, and potentially edit to remove some.
    • Maybe your title, mission description, and/or portal descriptions are clever, but your approver didn’t ”get it”. Try making them boring for the initial approval, then edit.
    • Niantic greatly favors missions from people who have submitted none, or very few, already. If all else fails, find a pal to submit it for you.

    Wording Tips

    • Do mention if any portal has hours and/or admission fees.
    • Do not use an at sign - not even “Closes @ dusk.” (Yeah, the character limit is killer.) Avoid other special characters too, as they could be flagged by a security program as a possible attempt at code injection. (A dumb flag, but could happen.)
    • Minimize/remove acronyms. They’re not looking them up; just assuming the worst.
    • Be clear when using a city or county name – the approver doesn’t know what Barrow is, or that Helen is a town.
    • Clarify/remove anything a non-local might not understand, like A1A => Hwy A1A.
    • Avoid words that MIGHT mean you’re marketing something. I used “Banking” in a title, and every waypoint was about a long-gone bank, but I think they suspected I was trying to get customers. Changed title to “Historic Bank”, and it was approved.
    • Don’t assume that something in other missions - or a portal name - is OK for your mission. They were approved by somebody else. Your approver is not researching what’s already out there. Example: A mission named after its first portal, with that portal key as mission badge (BMW Water Tower) - was rejected. Changed only title - accepted. Another: Used identical description as another mission - rejected. Description changed - accepted

    A few more things:

    Take screen shots of the mission before you submit it. For laptop/desktop, I use the easy "snipping tool". At least write down what portals, picture, title, description.

    If a mission has waited a full month for review, it'll wait at least six. (My theory is it got assigned to a reviewer who quit, and they rarely redistribute.) After one month, submit a duplicate. When either gets approved, withdraw the other. You'll withdraw the first, I'll betcha.

    Also you can pull together screen shots of the same mission rejected over and over, and maybe see a pattern, or something you haven't tried.

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭

    Super helpful stuff.

    Too bad no one from Niantic can jump in here to help. Again, why does it never feel like Niantic wants to work with their community? The better they support us, the more we support them. Why is that concept so difficult to comprehend? Like, what exactly are they risking by not jumping in here and communicating?

    no, instead, they’re reading it, ignoring us and then maybe working on a fix behind the scenes that will eventually introduced weeks from now to fix issues. Yeah, sure, in a roundabout way, that works, but it sure doesn’t feel good to be ignored.

  • GrubbleGrubble ✭✭

    Should I post that advice as its own thread so it's easier to find/see?

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