Please remove a portal from a mission if it's moved more than 150 meters

MorganzaMorganza ✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 2021 in General

Sometimes a portal is moved quite a long distance: a statue is relocated, an iconic business moves, etc.

If the relocated portal is part of a mission, it can significantly change the character of the mission. It's no fun to start a highly-rated mission with a 7 minute average duration and discover that the last portal is 3 km away. It's even more frustrating to have a 4 km walk added in the middle of a banner. And it's downright embarrassing to be the author and field complaints over a problem you had no way to know about beforehand.


Mission 11 of includes a portal for Heebeegeebeez Comix & Games which has moved 1.4 km away. This was a problem in February 2020 and still has not been fixed by the mission author. (To be fair a lot of people haven't played much Ingress since then...)

My mission "Portal party: Cherry Orchard" includes a portal for the historic CJ Olson fruit stand which I had thought was removed when the building was converted to a coffee shop. Nope, the portal was moved to the Senior Center in the Sunnyvale Community Center complex a mile away. (As a side note, I just don't understand the logic behind that move at all. Is it supposed to be the site of the temporary seasonal tent where they sell apricots? The historic building still stands in its original location...)

The store "Capital Games" moved, taking its portal with it, adding a long dog-leg to -- and because it's the last portal of the mission, there's no easy way to find the next mission of the banner in mission-dense downtown Sacramento., (@aznpandafood is a fix coming?)

These are not isolated examples -- it's happened in Chicago, in Albuquerque, and elsewhere.



  • MorganzaMorganza ✭✭✭✭✭

    Two more current examples:

    In mission #10, last portal was moved 8 km (by car) to south-west

    You have to go there and after that: return the 8 km for Mission #11

    In mission #31, last portal was moved 8 km (by car) to south-west

    You have to go there and after that: return for Mission #32

  • Reminder that banners are not officially supported.

    The portals used in a mission should be selected because they are thematically related to the subject of the mission, not because they happen to be six portals a row of ninety six that are somehow supposed to be represented by a chopped off fragment of an unrelated pop culture character or whatever the trendy banner subject is these days.

    In most cases a moved portal should remain part of the mission, as it should have been the portals subject that got it included more so than its location.

  • MorganzaMorganza ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2021

    While you have a point, @spiesr, as one of my examples states, a standard standalone mission of the format "visit the cool art and historic building in this shopping center, as featured on most postcards of this city" should not be modified to include a meaningless spot a mile away without even notifying the mission author.

    And while missions were presumably originally intended to work the way you describe, that ship has long since sailed. Most discussion of missions are about banners because the most interest is in banners, and most non-banner missions are either a compact set of portals and waypoints at an interesting location or a logical travel route such as a hiking trail. I've created multiple missions of the format "hack all the portals in this park" or "upgrade all the portals in this park". Missions that take you all over town to support a theme are rare and generally unpopular.

    I created a mission to visit 12 different parks in my city and hack either a water-themed portal or a portal where you risk being hit by a sprinkler at night. Two people have done it in 4 years. I created a banner for the NL-1331X visit to Oakland, with passphrase questions teaching local history, and 101 people did it in an afternoon. I know which one has highlighted its local area better.

    Post edited by Morganza on
  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2021

    We have one in Seattle that I got caught on. Mission 14, 12km to complete, all other missions are a couple hundred meters.

    Post edited by ZeroHecksGiven on
  • MorganzaMorganza ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2021

    There are some really popular banners that devote themselves to a local theme, for example I did a really cool banner in Minneapolis that showcased all the music venues Prince played at when he was a young artist not known outside his hometown. That was cool. If it had been a single mission visiting all those places I probably wouldn't have taken the trouble. (And, of course, if one of those music halls moved to a new location, the historic connection to Prince would have been gone anyway.)

    Banners draw people to explore far more thoroughly than single missions do, and I, like many people, prioritize banners that highlight local content and culture.

    But the original point remains the same -- if a portal moves a long way away, the flow of the banner or mission is disrupted from what the author intended. And it doesn't need to be a huge shift in location to be thoroughly disruptive -- moving a portal to the other side of a river or train tracks can be more of an obstacle than a straight shot a few miles down the road.

    And even if a portal moves, the cultural significance may not all move with it. A mission to visit buildings designed by a famous architect loses value if a portal follows a business or statue to another location. A mission that leads you down an alley full of creative murals loses value if players need to detour down a block of monolithic office buildings.

    One of the most thought-provoking portals I used to play regularly was the testimonial wall of newspaper clippings and thank you letters on the wall of the first gym in my area that explicitly supported the special needs of people with disabilities, such as but not limited to wheelchair athletes. Something spectacularly cool that I would have never seen without Ingress. Then the gym closed and the portal was moved to an unrelated gym that didn't seem to have anything special for the disabled, but happened to have the same name. Can you imagine if someone drove all over town for a mission hunting portals with personal impact statements for a mission and then landed at a generic gym in a mall?

    So no, the problem doesn't just affect banners, even if that's the most visible examples.

    Post edited by Morganza on
  • MoogModularMoogModular ✭✭✭✭✭

    This makes me wonder the QAQC on these moves. You would figure it would be autoflag on Niantic's end?

  • hiryuhiryu ✭✭✭

    This happened to me, doing a banner by bicycle only to find that a portal had been moved 16 km away, as the crow flies. It was a church that had, in fact, relocated. But it was annoying to have to bike 20 minutes back to my car, drive to a different city, and then come back. As the OP said, this isn't going to be reflected in the mission rating or estimated time, because many people did it before the move.

    Fortunately the mission author was still active and fixed it for future players, but that's not often the case.

  • starwortstarwort ✭✭✭✭✭

    Missions that take you all over town to support a theme are rare and generally unpopular.

    This is going to be somewhat of a digression, but...

    Back in the early days - we're talking 2015, before banners were a thing - a friend made a very long mission of places in the city that are named after saints. It was not entirely serious - there's a much shorter one for people who want to keep to the city centre. Back then, missions really were missions - I made a couple that are a 3km walk and have 15-20 portals for one mission (the portals were further apart then, of course).

    Anyway, I'm one of three people who to this day have completed the long saints mission. It's listed with an average of 19.5 hours to complete. The shorter one? Well, the average is listed as 1.5 hours and still only 17 people have completed it (and remember, this is in the time before Prime when everything was rosy, the app had a good rating in the Android store and everyone in the world played Ingress). In 2017 I made a 24-mission banner that can be done in roughly 2 hours. Over 120 people have completed that one.

    So yes. Banners are popular, and missions that take you all over town are unpopular. If one of the saints moves, the long mission will still be perfectly good (provided it stays within the city) - particularly since it's an any-order mission. But on the other hand, no one will care.

    I support the original motion in this thread.

  • chndrkchndrk ✭✭✭

    It's also worth considering Silver Spring Tour in Maryland, Museum of Art in Philadelphia (the "Rocky Steps", which had a starting portal moved to a region so mission dense that it can't be located in intel unless you know what it is before looking), the old IFS ABQ in old Town Albuquerque, and the rainbow barcode set in old Town abq. The first question it raises is, was the portal move legitimate; but even when they are legitimate, they mess with a mechanic of the game. Sure, banners aren't a core mechanic of the game; but single missions are, and there's no reason for well-written missions to become arduous.

    Now if a mission is intended to be a PITA, that's one thing. But if a portal is moved and the mission author quit or died, there should be a mechanism for repair

  • XK150XK150 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2021

    They willl still approve really spread-out misisons if the theme makes enough sense:

    My wife is currently pretending she's not mad at me for making her do 15 miles worth of missions like this in Detroit yesterday.

  • Faster way is:

    -Just open intel, search that mission, grab the image and YOU send a new mission with the portals of your choice with that same image, wait approval, enjoy. 😎

  • ZeroHecksGivenZeroHecksGiven ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is just another issue with missions and the insane lack of attention it's received over the years. I know Niantic has much more important things to be working on, comms and latency being a big one. But it really is sad how much work needs to be done with missions. It's a bit of a behemoth in some ways and is something that should have been getting, at the very least, quarterly updates and improvements.

  • vidiconvidicon ✭✭✭✭✭


    1) That doesn't help when you realize the issue while you're in the middle of doing a mission series, possibly far from home, since at a minimum it is going to take a couple of days to get a new mission approved.

    2) That adds to confusion and mission clutter when there are two mission X of Ys starting on the same portal and you have to figure out which is the right one and why. I've seen agents mistakenly do 19 missions of an 18 mission series in that exact situation. That's a huge pain to correct so the agent's missions are properly aligned once again.

    Is this the highest priority thing? No. But it would be a quality of life improvement for those of us who do a ton of missions and use them to explore. When you're already 30k steps into a day of missioning and the blisters are already starting to form and then you realize you need to go a couple of km out of your way to finish a mission and get back on track, it does not engender the most love for missions.

    I really like @morganza's proposal here, but I'd also be happy with (if not happier with) the ability to buy a "skip." That could be used to address this situation, as well as cases where one or more portals are behind some kind of temporary barrier or in a signal dead zone that makes completion of the mission impossible.

  • the ability to buy a "skip." 

    Good idea @vidicon . Maybe a way to deploy your drone to a portal on a current mission, and hack or do a passcode. Limit once per mission. And it has to be a mission you've already started - at least done one hack/visit.

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