June/July AMA Questions and Answers
I apologize that it took two weeks to gather the questions and answers. The process on the forums to getting the questions was obviously different than on Google+. In the interest of transparency, we also discovered there is a character limit on the forums and my post wouldn’t go through. I had to shorten some of my answers.
Q: SaudF - When will Arabic and other RTL languages will be readable on Prime?
A: Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get an answer to this question by the time I wanted to publish the AMA. The Engineering Team did acknowledge that they are aware of the issue and it is on their list of things to address though.
Q: King0fHearts - Will there be a L17?
A: This has been asked and answered many times. But since this is the first time it has been asked on the forums it would be good to answer it again. There are no immediate plans to add new levels. The priority at the moment is feature parity and upgrading the servers to use the Niantic Platform. HOWEVER -- we have absolutely talked about it. We recognize there will be a need at some point in time. We have brainstormed ideas on what that looks like. It is, in my opinion, inevitable that it will occur. I just cannot provide a timeline as to when.
Q: Tribalgeek - What's the general percentage difference between ENL and RES players?
A: It is roughly split pretty even. This includes our own staff as well.
Q: Erper - How close is the Prime development team to adding in missing features such as a count for the XM value of items to be recycled?
A: Our Engineering Team confirmed that this is currently in development and being worked on. So we are close. I don’t have a specific date or version number unfortunately. I’m also told, a lot of small improvements will also come at the same time as part of the previously mentioned User Interface rework that is underway. I’m told it is officially called “UI Update 1”. Yes, there will be follow-on updates as well. Tentatively, UI Update 1 will be delivered with the 2.27 software update. Of course, I have to provide the disclaimer that this may change. But it should happen within the next month or two.
Q: ivanrussell - When will Prime comms have "new agent created their first link" etc messages? It's hard to welcome new agents if there is no way to see who they are.
A: This has been forwarded to our Engineering team.
Q: LemoMcLemonFace - Whilst I can't currently play niantics latest game, being UK based, I note it has an option to predownload textures and assets, would this perhaps be something that could be ported across to prime.
A: I’m told by our Engineering Team that Ingress already includes all the textures and assets with the exception of profile badges and Portal images.
Q: A2PANTHER - Can you please update the Progress on the redesign and new development for Missions/Banner Missions and do a little breakdown of it all?
A: I double checked on this but unfortunately higher priorities have bumped it and there are some server changes I’m told that will be required which are not yet completed.
Q: Xiphiax - Will there be a place to send suggestions to improve ingress?
A: You can post your feedback here: https://community.ingress.com/en/categories/feedback
Q: Khatre - Hello, is there any chance that one day the enl version of prime scanner will be available. Everything in prime is blue even glyphs, burst wave, xm bar and the bubble on cursor that's depressing for enl agents.
A: There are no plans to create a second Enlightened branded version of the scanner. That being said, the developers have confirmed that some of the visuals are being tweaked as part of the User Interface rework (UI Update 1) that is underway and will be coming in the next month or two. This will shift things from blue to more of a purple.
Q: LemoMcLemonFace - Has/is there any thoughts on a redacted type skin for prime? Not full blown identical functionality, but even just the hud / colours being used.
A: This is not something we plan to implement.
Q: Hydraulinski - Have you guys ever thought about more way to interact with the ambient while playing, similar to geocaching experience? Instead is just hacking it 20m away from the real place, like new mods that have to be in certain place to deploy or use AR camera to find out secrets.
A: Actually, yes! I don’t think many of these types of features will come to Ingress until the backend server upgrade has been completed. But there is no shortage of ideas. What if the AR camera enabled you to see XM substrate or another dimension that enabled different interactions than when your AR camera wasn’t on? Imagine having to battle an Exogenous creature in AR but because it is moving around it requires you to change your position, orientation, or location?
Q: TrinityPrincess - Could we please keep the recruiter badge and have our own personalized link that we can share more easily with friends and family?
A: The recruiter badge needs to be overhauled. I don’t think it’s been killed off entirely. But the old mechanic isn’t going to be used anymore and that’s why it no longer works.
Q: DarkEther - How about an option to sort keys by ownership and also lowest health etc.
A: I personally like these ideas. Our Engineering Team points out that from a technical standpoint it would be quite an expensive and potentially volatile feature. Portal ownership and health can change at a moments notice. So the key data you loaded when you viewed the key may not be current a second later. To keep it updated would require constant pinging of the Portal status. Which, on an individual level may not be an issue. But we have a lot more than one individual playing the game. I’m told there might be some clever ways to address this with the new servers but it still won’t change the fact that as a live real-world game, anything can happen at a moments notice.
Q: Erper - In the Ingress Anime we have seen any occasions where being under a field from your team provides additional abilities. Is there a plan for something like this in the "real" world?
A: Like many of these other questions, I’m not sure anything like this will be implemented until the backend server upgrade is complete or near complete. But, as we look to the future of what we want Ingress gameplay to be, we have had many of these conversations already. So while there is no set feature like this that has been designed that I can say will be implemented. We have explored many similar ideas and I’m excited to see what gets implemented in the coming years.
Q: X6996 - Some improvements have been done in prime for color blind players but still is it difficult for me to differentiate the portal status on the map. Who could I contact to support Niantic to fix this. With redacted I never had those issues. Just for info I am strong deutan color blind.
A: Please continue to voice your concerns on our community forums.
Q: thecatspaws - Hi, welcome back. As a user that can't play prime due to the UI moving in the background in prime any recommendations? I'd really hate to leave the game, and currently that is what I'm facing in October. Any suggestions or recommendations? The issue is the background, like the portals, moving around as I'm trying to focus on a different part of the screen to say deploy. Is there a way we could get it so movement could be frozen for a moment or two while I deploy or interact with he portal, then it could go back to moving as i stop pressing buttons.
A: Can you elaborate a little more on this with a post in the community forums and tag myself along with NianticScot? Is it the wavy Portal images? The map that rotates via the dynamic compass? Something else? A combination of all things?
Q: 3MAgent23 - Hi, would you able to add search button for mission? It's more convenient for us to complete missions if time constraint. Current page in mission, it takes too long to browse through a long list of other mission.
A: I think a search button would be good. We also have discussed internally the idea of being able to share a mission. The share feature would contain a deeplink directly to the mission. For a Mission Day or Ingress First Saturday, this would allow organizers to publish a list of missions in advance so you don’t have to search for them. This isn’t currently on the roadmap to be implemented any time soon as feature parity is still our focus. But hopefully sometime shortly thereafter.
Q: Lcfp - Would it be possible to introduce a capsule which works just like the Key Lockers but that would accept only media items instead of keys?
A: It is certainly possible. I know people like to collect the Anomaly and Ingress First Saturday media. I’ll pass this along. Thanks for bringing it up.
Q: Erper - Can the 3 second delay countdown before glyph hacking be removed, or at least be made a toggle-able option?
A: This is one of those personal preference issues. Admittedly, it is a low priority to implement at the moment. When implementing and testing things originally, the feedback was that without it you didn’t know when to start the Glyph tracing. So a request was to add an indicator. However, since its initial implementation, our Design Team has made some enhancements to it. Mainly moving it out of the way to not cover the Glyph area. They will also review it as part of the UI Update 2 set of improvements they plan on doing once the current round is complete. They added that we could test making it faster or adding a tap action to skip it all together. So… more to come.
Q: Netwalker - There will be the option to share the profile/stats in Prime?
A: Yes. Eventually. I don’t know what the initial implementation will be. There have been a lot of conversations about making it a more robust feature than what was previously in REDACTED by adding the ability to perhaps download your profile into a .csv file or something that would allow you to do creative things with it.
Q: interlocking - I've heard a number of folks say they will never use prime and will quit the game when redacted is deactivated. Is there a message that we can help pass along into the community to help encourage them to keep playing?
A: The entire purpose of the Prime upgrade is to provide a roadmap for long-term success for Ingress. Ingress was a proof-of-concept idea that quite frankly wasn’t initially supposed to last this long. The concept, however, proved to be wildly successful. But that proof-of-concept design has limitations and restrictions that are barriers for Ingress really reaching its fullest potential. So things had to change. With very few exceptions, we aren't able to add any new items or mechanics to the game. Improved security, anti-cheat, and enabling new gameplay are all things that will come with Prime that are not possible in REDACTED. When I look at Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and see some of the things they’ve implemented like skill trees, crafting, the Portkey AR experience, and a whole host of other features… it gets me excited to think about how we can bring those to Ingress. I know there is a sentimental factor attached to REDACTED. But the gameplay hasn’t significantly changed in years and I don’t think people really want that limited experience for another seven years.
Q: Redfox1701 - When will another developer timeline be published?
A: We are working on one currently. I don’t have a date for when it will be published. But we want to do those more regularly and on a specific and expected schedule.
Q: HopeaKotka - How Ingress Prime UI rework will affect plans to retire Redacted by end of September 2019 ?
A: The UI rework shouldn’t impact the retirement of REDACTED. They are not dependent on one another. UI improvements can and will occur over the life cycle of Ingress.
Q: monsieurtulipe - As the map origin changed from GMaps to OpenStreetMap in January 2018, is it planned to update it with the latest changes?
A: There are plans to update things. We do not publish our schedule or announce when to prevent abuse of OSM though. If you are making contributions to OSM, thank you. But you aren’t just benefitting Ingress. You benefit all the products that use it and the overall OSM community.
Q: HarmrrHarmrr - What's the status on the "stuck beacons"?
A: We are currently working on this. The ultimate solve will come with the new servers I’m told by our Engineering Team. In the meantime, we are exploring what we can do client side and the team has this as a task.
Q: Dtargarye - How about a more effective intel map ?
A: I think we can all agree that the current Intel map is less than ideal. While there are no plans that I am aware of in the short-term currently to change things, we do have long-term plans. Right now the team is focused on the client (the Ingress Prime app) and the servers as the higher priorities though.
Q: canon07 - Are there plans to improve Ingress Prime's functionality in low-signal situations?
A: Our Ingress Product Manager (PM) has talked about this a lot. We recognize and encourage people to use Ingress as an enabler for having awesome adventures. This includes going to unique places that may not have the best cell phone reception. However, this isn’t how the majority of players use and experience the game. So while we intend to make improvements, it’s not at the top of the priority list. I think more players would rather have a robust profile sharing feature first, for example. But we are aware of the concern and the limitations in low-signal situations and will continue to iterate on things to try to make it a better experience.
Q: ElFazzo - When i recharge a portal in PRIME I step to the recharge screen. Before reaching this screen all portal preview pictures are loaded. In my area a lot of portals have several pictures, often 6-10. This takes a lot of time/data volume. Will there be a possibility to reduce the data volume loaded by PRIME by settings ingame?
A: Our team says, “In a normal Portal interaction, only the thumbnail in the upper right (next to the portal title) should load. Then when you hit charge it no longer shows. So in normal portal interaction, we should just load that single image. If you are remote recharging from Portal Keys, those thumbnails will load but should be cached on the device after the first time you access the key.” They are going to look into this though and see what improvements can be made.
Q: FireWorksX - We got the force reload in prime after 10secs, so we don't stand around in empty maps that often, yay! Could you please tweak that time to allow for a more fluid experience? Reducing to 7 or better 5 would be much appreciated and presumably can't hurt the servers that much.
A: Unfortunately, this is another instance that when you think of things individually it doesn’t seem like a big deal. But when you scale the action to the size of our playerbase, it actually has pretty significant impacts. So there is a delicate balancing act our Engineering Team does in weighing the cost/benefit of actions like this. As I understand it, there are no current plans to tweak this further.
Q: CurieUSGlo21212 - When will battery drain issues in Prime be fixed?
A: The development team is making amazing progress in addressing data and performance issues. 2.25.2 that was just released as a good example of that. They also dramatically decreased the initial load time too. Geo-location games like Ingress are always going to be more battery hungry then using an app like Twitter. But we will continue to tweak and optimize things.
Q: shamrizz001 - I need key bookmark so that I wont misss to recharge the portal and easy to access when fielding.
A: I like this idea. Maybe being able to bookmark your eight favorite keys for quick access. I will pass this along.
Q: k1platinum - Is the compatibility with Wear OS included in the "parity" of Prime? REDACTED doesn't have compatibility too, but the old Ingress had.
A: No. Wear OS support is not planned at this time.
Q: DragonBallZeke - Will the Myriad anomaly sites have characters on-site?
A: No. We do not currently have any intel suggesting any persons of interest will be present at any event.
Q: Faeryen - When will be MDs for European sites for second half of 2019 finally decided?
A: I have been informed that the only Mission Days for European cities will be the ones on the Sunday after an Anomaly. There will not be any standalone Mission Days.
Q: 99666 - Hi Andrew.Many agents don't like the new design of Mission Day medal and tiered NL-1331 badge,will Niantic consider to bring old MD medal back or redesign them?
A: There are no plans to revert the design of the medal.
Q: Se7enOfNine - How are you? As the Resistance POC for the First Saturday in Rotterdam, I was wondering if you guys figured out what went wrong with the registration and restock portals in Europe on June 1st?
A: I am great thanks for asking. I believe we have identified the cause of the problem for the June Ingress First Saturdays. We are doing our best to ensure it does not happen for July and are exploring backups or safeguards that we can put in place should things fail again.
Q: quirischa - When can we expect Field Tests - a new series of experimental events? What will it be?
A: Our Events Team informs me that the first Field Test event will most likely be in September, with more information (including city application instructions) in July.
Q: King0fHearts - Will there be another Prime Ko Lan challenge seeing how it's a tear bage?
A: I’ve confirmed with our team that while Operation Ko Lan has concluded, there may be other Prime Challenges in the future. Not before 2020, however.
Q: Oxilium - After the Dark XM event and the end of the season 1 of the Ingress Anime, what kind of events Niantic will bring to us? Could you give us a little spoil about them?
A: Certainly! The goal is to have some sort of regular (monthly) events that are tied to the overall Nemesis sequence. We plan to announce the first of these very… soon.
Q: ModularModular - What is Niantic's timeline on getting anomaly series logos designed, and why is it often pushed so close to the event dates?
A: The Events Team understands the desire to have these early and they try to get these finalized as soon as possible. Sometimes other projects take priority and there are also strategic reasons, but we know that these are important to Agents for many reasons. As I understand it from further conversations, the events after Myriad should be ready sooner as the team is working to get ahead of things.
Q: Erper - Can Niantic provide some sort of affordable First Saturday swag to be used for participants, and/or specific awards?
A: Our events lead says, “We'd definitely like to offer this, and it's on the list of items to consider adding after we reopen the Ingress store. Knowing what IngressFS organizers specifically want for their First Saturdays will definitely help us figure out what to offer.”
Q: Strandit - Thrakazog is not maintaining his site any more, which is a shame but also understandable. For the last few anomalies he exposed the raw data feed he was getting from Niantic. Any chance of making that feed generally available for Myriad and Umbra anomalies?
A: Unfortunately, this is not something we intend to do.
Q: Ishira - Good afternoon Andrew! I was wondering if you knew if they were keeping the same portal markers that they used for the osiris sequence in the Myriad and Umbra anomalies?
A: This has not been determined yet.
Q: Angrox - Will anomaly series from now on have only one single day? It is difficult to attend on only one certain day to get the badges. Will we see more victory badges in the future even if this means that badge collectors never will get all badges anymore (e.g. bigmatty who had all badges until the victory badge appeared).
A: Anomaly series for July and October will only happen on a single day. Anomalies in general though are something that constantly change based on a number of different factors. I wouldn’t feel comfortable speculating on what will happen in the future. Yes, the plan is currently to have more medals like the Osiris Victory medal.
Q: Gargish - Will there be Mission Days after the Myriad anomalies? Right now the PoCs seem to be left in the dark, so a clarification would be great!
Q: DarkwingZA - Will Niantic look at changing the format of anomalies to be a bit more inclusive to agents worldwide? We have held anomalies in my area previously, in South Africa, but I missed the last anomaly by a month and haven't had an opportunity to partake in another.
A: We are exploring a lot of different ideas with Anomalies and how to make them scalable but still provide an impact. Anomalies are currently the only official Faction versus Faction events hosted by Niantic that you can earn an in game medal for participating in. We recognize the significance of them.
Q: Squamp - I heard the after party in Amsterdam was just great for everyone. Will we see this for the upcoming Myriad and Umbra anomalies, too?
A: Myriad and Umbra do not have primary locations so there will not be an official Niantic after party at any of those locations.
Q: DragonsForLunch - Will the N1331 be returning to the states in the fall.
A: Nothing has been confirmed yet.
Q: Hekler4u - For the new series of Anomalies there is no longer an option to paticipate off site. Does that mean there are no badge for rechargers?
A:Off-site participation (remote recharging and Intel operator support) has not changed. You can still be eligible for a medal for those specific roles by coordinating with the Anomaly city Points Of Contact (POCs).
Q: RuinDig - Myriad and Umbra are start from APAC region then finalle are America. Is there any plan or can be Anomaly event (like as Myriad and Umbra, not like as Abaddon Prime) start from America then end at APAC regions?
A: We’ve actually talked about this very recently. I am supportive of it and think it is a great idea to rotate things or even have the regions have events on different weekends. I don’t think things will change for July or October. But perhaps in 2020.
Q: M1chaeI - Not sure if it has already been asked, but will future Anomaly series remain 1 date or will there be 2 or 3 like other series?
A: The Anomaly format, schedule, amount of events, rules, are all very flexible. For July and October there is only one weekend with events. What happens in the future is anyone’s guess.
Q: DragonBallZeke - I run /r/IngressOPR, and currently trying to figure out whether or not I should allow posts directly asking about specific questions on the OPR test. (https://www.reddit.com/r/IngressOPR/comments/baizm8/meta_should_we_allow_posts_about_the_opr_test_in/) A user suggested getting Niantic input, and I think that is a good idea.
A: I don’t think we want Agents trying to game the system. If people participating don’t have a solid foundational understanding of what makes a Portal nomination a good one, is it really in everyone’s best interest to grant them access to the system just because they knew how to answer the questions and pass the test? In my opinion, no, it is not.
Q: DragonBallZeke - Will OPR agents ever be able to withdraw submissions?
A: I wasn’t able to get this one answered in time. But I did log it and passed it on to the team. From my outsider non-engineer perspective, this seems like a reasonable request.
Q: Hydraulinski - Why we don't have yet a system in OPR to mark/flag a candidate as a "possible fake"?
A: You can one-star the candidate and choose either Portal Criteria >> Does Not Meet Criteria or Abuse to report these cases.
Q: FluffyCobraexe - Will there ever be a way of seeing which portals you have submitted and are waiting to be accepted/rejected?
A: This is being discussed internally with the OPR Team as a possible future feature. But at this time we do not have a timeline to share.
Q: CapeValkyrie - In as much as portals get approved or denied, additional photos that were submitted to portals have been in limbo for quite a while. Is there no way that these can be added to portal edits in OPR?
A: I’m told this should no longer be an issue but NIA OPS will review your account to see if something was isn’t happening as it should.
Q: LemoMcLemonFace - Suggestion, can we have a report button, with defined selectable reasons and a comment box, to aid in reporting blatant abuse, such as screenshots of streetview being submitted etc?
A: NIA OPS says, “Currently, you can report these by one-staring the candidate and choosing Abuse.”
Q: XQlusioN - Can we get an update on if or when reject reasons will be added to rejected submission emails?
A: I wasn’t able to get an update on this in time. But please ask it again so I can follow-up on it. I’ve also logged it and will see if I can get a status update. If I can, I’ll update this thread.
Q: TernetNinja - Why Is it not possible to take the opr test after you recurse and reach lvl 12 again it would be nice to have another go after all that hard work to reach the lvl 12 again
A: According to NIA OPS, if you have used up all your attempts to take the test, you won’t get another attempt when you Recurse. We recommend reviewing the training materials before you take the test to ensure you make the most of each attempt.
Q: Fofaol - Here in my region we have a group of pokemongos that have organized in the Recon and are changing the location of portals to be able to generate the maximum possible number of gymnasiums, no matter if the portals will be out of place or not.
A: The OPR Team says, we are working on flagging bad edits in OPR. Until then, please use the Help Center to report these issues.
Q: trottkopfhirn - When there is no StreetView or Photosphere available, the default view displays the Satellite imagery. When there is 3D-Satellite View available, it prioritzes that over the default flat satellite view (or depending on zoom level). This creates problems for me and fellow agents (at least in my location, might be because of the altitude) because the Location marker of my submissions appears at a completely different place because of the distortion. From our experience this is leading to many wrongfully rejected portal submissions. Are you aware of this issue? Would it be possible to make the flat Satellite view the default one?
A: I’ll share this with the team.
Q: jessicorgi - I would really like some information on pools located inside neighborhood communities or apartment complexes. They're open to the whole neighborhood and promote exercise, community and meeting your neighbors. They're gated to keep kids from falling in, usually, but while playgrounds right next to them inside the same neighborhoods pass, the pools fail. They're open to the same people. To me, the pools should be a pretty clear fit to the rules but none seem to pass.
A: NIA OPS replied that, they agree with the community’s decision. Swimming pools do not fall under the same category of exercise equipment in a park and would not be considered eligible unless it had historical or cultural significance.
Q: kamikatze07 - Can we please have an clarificiation on the following portal candidates: Streetsigns with additionals signs telling something about the famous namesake of the street/alley/place/.... or cultural info why it was named this way. Usually put there by the local governments and in an standard design fitting to the street sign.
A: It would be hard to comment on this without an example. In general, if the signs have educational content, they can be considered valid candidates.
Q: Hydraulinski - Duplicate submission of candidates is currently generating a new picture in the preexisting portal. Can this function be removed?
A: I am told that, the photo from a duplicate candidate is added to the existing Portal to give credit to the other player(s) who have submitted the same candidate. At this time, there are no plans of changing this but we would love to hear any concerns you may have with this feature.
Q: msz21 - What are your thoughts about all the smaller businesses that now have the same function as a Post Office since they are allowed legally to have the same functions and also use US Postal Services for free. What I mean by free is that they can collect the US Postal Services Mail from the Post Office or collect mail for the people and send it to the Post Office.
A: The response from NIA OPS is, businesses that offer postal services will not meet the criteria for Post Offices and should be evaluated based on historical/cultural value, community significance, or distinctive architecture.
Q: liyu1 - When repositioning a portal in OPR it always automatically give 5 stars in 'is this location correct'. What's the reason for that?
A: The OPR Team explains it this way. Since the reviewer is moving the marker to the verified location, it’s recorded as being accurate. If you are unsure of where the Portal candidate is actually located, rate the location questions accordingly instead of moving the marker to an unverified/inaccurate location.
Q: DbatteryAClD - I am aware that in some cases, actions taken by a spoofer can be reverted to a degree. From what I know, this seems to be limited to reversion of a portal to a previous state, with the portal/resos/mods now being owned by NIAGameMaster. Restoring links is understandably a tricky situation. What about the case of a spoofer not capturing any portals or deploying/installing/destroying any resos/mods, but instead making links between portals? Is it possible to have such links removed if they are between portals which meet the same criteria that is used for consideration when reverting a portal's state?
A: Yes, we have been removing links in specific cases too.
Q: monsieurtulipe - There are two guides to submit points of interest : guide for portals, found in OPR, and guide for pokestops. There are slight differences (the one for pokestops is much more clear). Is it planned to harmonise both of them?
A: The FAQs for Portal and Pokestop nominations include the same content. The OPR version includes a few additional notes based on questions from the reviewers. We do plan to consolidate these FAQs and make the reviewers version available to all players.
Q: liyu1 - When a portal has very positive ratings over all criteria, but only the location is wrong ,(e.g. 10 m from object that is visible) what should i rate overall? Does it make sense repositioning the POI and then give it 5*?
A: NIA OPS recommendation is to rate each category based on the criteria mentioned in the guide. If you are able to verify the right location, use the ‘Suggest a new Location’ option to move the marker to the accurate location.
Q: Oxilium - Could you add the possibility to check if a portal is too close to the existing ones before sending the candidate submission?
A: Another good idea that I’ve passed along to the team. Although, I’m not sure how that would work if there are no live Portals at the time of the submission. Basing things off of existing submissions may not be the best idea as some submissions may not be acceptable candidates. Something we need to think about though.
Q: A2PANTHER - What tool do Mission Reviewers use for copyright validation for ALL missions?
A: NIA OPS replied, the best way to avoid getting a Mission rejected for copyright issues is to use an image that you’ve created/taken. In addition, make sure the Mission image is relevant to the Mission content (title/description and waypoints chosen).
Q: Lhuth - Is GPS locking allowed?
A: No. NIA OPS made a public post about this on Google+ about two years or so ago I believe. It is considered falsifying your location.
Q: nimbusparis - Since portal nominations is available in Prime, we see a lot more pogo players opening an Ingress account just to reach level 10 BY ALL MEANS. Here in Paris, we try to reports them, but it's like to empty the ocean with a spoon. Wouldn't it be possible to have à player validation in one to one, new player should meet irl an old player (with hight level, perhaps 14 or 16 or even, player who attended anomaly) to continue leveling up after level 2 (as it was the case with sms validation in old ingress time).
A: Players are not required to interact with anyone or make themselves known publicly. Nor should there be any gatekeepers to playing Ingress or forcing functions for people to out themselves. In fact, if we are being honest, it was long-term veteran Agents that submitted less than desirable Portal candidates causing the Portal system to be clogged and resources being spent having to deal with those instead of processing valid Portal nominations. So I don’t think an Agent’s level or age of an account are, by themselves, indicators that the person would be qualified to pass judgement on others.
I also think that focusing on someone’s motivation for playing or their play style is unhealthy. Ingress can be played many different ways. Where do you draw the line? There are people who only like to do fields. There are Agents who only like to create missions. To get to level ten, the player had to take some sort of in-game actions. Those actions create AP opportunities for the other faction and help fortify Portals for the same faction. If your attempts to reach out to them have not been met with a reply, accept the fact they don’t want to play your style of Ingress and move on. If they are submitting Portal nominations once they reach level ten, that seems like a good opportunity to participate in OPR in that area to help ensure what they are submitting are quality nominations and to bolster the Portal network in your city. If you don’t like OPR and don’t want to participate in it, you don’t have to. But you shouldn’t stop others from doing so. Even if they have ulterior motives. Ultimately, you’ll benefit from their actions in some way.
Q: XQlusioN - What are Niantics (or your) thoughts on limiting Edits to higher level agents only?
A: In theory and in a perfect world, I think this is a bad idea. I don’t have to be level 16 to see that a Portal is in the wrong location. With that being said, there is a noticeable trend when it comes to Portal edit submissions. So this is currently under review. I cannot provide more details than that at this time.
Q: Dittosaur - When can those agents that created accounts with Niantic's Facebook Login system going to be able to access the Mission Creator and OPR tools?
A: This is actively being worked upon but at this time but I’m told there isn’t a timeline that can be shared. We recognize the issue and the frustrations of Agents experiencing it. So it is not a low priority for us.
Q: emeryradio - Would the team at Niantic be open to considering raising the limit on the number of missions a single agent may submit, dependent on the number of unique missions they have completed?
A: I don’t believe there is a direct correlation to Unique Missions Completed and an Agents ability to create good Missions. I’m told that at this time, there are no plans to increase the Mission limit.
Q: DhrMekmek - I've been reporting a few portals as invalid for months now. Appealed, all denied. Now I did OPR Live and filled in the form with the same data, and the invalid portals are finally removed. So... What's the difference between OPR Live form and the appeals community?
A: Thanks for flagging this. NIA OPS is reviewing your actions to determine what happened and where things in the process can be improved.
Q: batteryAClD - I'd like to ask if NIA Ops could publish a simple list / chart of consequences for rules violations.
A: NIA OPS says, the Agent Protocol section mentions the actions that may be taken against a TOS violation.
Q: kabusnacks - Who sees the comment section for opr and what purpose does it serve?
A: The OPR team has access and may use the information to evaluate abuse reports.
Q: MikeJaga - With regards to the recent “false positive” agent bans for using the beta of Android Q, referenced on this Reddit post: Should agents have received a response to an appeal against a ban by now? If not, how can this best be escalated? Will Scanner REDACTED be updated to support Android Q?
A: As mentioned in the post about this topic, Scanner REDACTED is not compatible with Android Q and other beta OS. NIA OPS also says, all appeals have been reviewed and eligible accounts have been reinstated.
Q: Morganza - I've seen at least three examples recently where a portal has been moved several kilometers, with a severe impact on missions and mission banners that use that portal. (Albuquerque, Chicago, Sacramento.) Would it be possible to have portals that move more than a kilometer automatically marked as unavailable in missions that use them?
A: Without more details it’s hard to comment on this question. If the Portal in question was in fact in the wrong location to begin with, then it shouldn’t have been used for a mission and would have ideally been reported immediately. If the Portal was in the correct location, but you believe the location edit was malicious, that should be reported to NIA OPS. Ideally, location edits are only made to Portals that are in the wrong location and the team is investigating ways to curb abuse of edits.
Q: GearGlider - Are apartment buildings considered Private residential property?
A: For the purposes of submitting a Portal, they are acceptable areas. Portals on single-family private residential property are not allowed.
Q: yngemar - Is it possible to change factions more than once via the recursion mechanic?
A: Yes, you can choose a new Faction each time you Recurse.
Q: Azhreia - Since the introduction of this forum, we've seen some great ideas being posted, and overall it appears to be well-received. What has the impression been so far from Niantic's point of view?
A: The forums have been a fantastic way to concentrate feedback and interactions. Many of our employees are active on the forums and even those that are not actively posting read them frequently. I actually kind of wish we had them years ago so players had a social network agnostic place to comment and share their Ingress experiences on. I’m excited to see how it grows.
Q: M207A - Yay for AMA’s! Do you think the new forum will make them easier on you?
A: I need to get used to doing them on here. Unlike on G+ there isn’t a really easy way to dump all the questions that I’ve found -- yet. So it’s taken me a bit longer than I would have liked to process them. But now I know and I’m sure the next time it’ll go faster. I do like the fact we will have one central place for them that will be easily searchable.
Q: A2PANTHER - Can we please have a section for "MISSIONS" ON THIS TOOL PLEASE...
A: Not a bad idea. Let me talk with the team.
Q: AstralDreamer1 - Will all Investigations materials and postings be moved from Reddit to here now?
A: As I understand it, that is the goal.
Q: Oxilium - At this moment the forum is only in English. Do you expecto to create new categories for other languages as chinese or spanish?
A: Perhaps. We have a Japanese language forum. It’s a matter of scale and resources at the moment.
Q: maritjuuuuu - Are you gonna make this site more flashy? It's kinda boring now
A: Yes. We’ll be adding features and tweaking the design over time.
Q: nilsee - Will it be possible to use own profile pictures on the forum in the future?
A: We don’t anticipate this to be a feature any time soon. I’d rather we follow Blizzard’s World of Warcraft model where your forums profile is populated from your account profile. It also adds a bit of accountability, transparency, and potentially weight to comments made by people.
Q: oDGaleano - Since the closing of G+ agents in my area have been using myingress.net. Have you seen it? This forum can take some ideas from that. What do you think of those communities?
A: I have seen it and think it is a neat thing for players to use.
Q: Lucoire - Could we have a specific forum category for fan-creations (like swag, fan-fiction, etcpp)?
A: This has been a topic of conversation recently. I don’t think we are at the point where we can allow this yet as it would require near constant moderation and approval for legal reasons.
Q: DocApe - I love the new platform for AMA! Hope for a dark theme sooner than later!
A: Let me bring this up and see what we can do.
Q: unagiramen - What is the formal name of this web site? Ingress twitter account said "Ingress Community", but title of this web site is "Ingress Community Forums". Which is correct? I like shorter one!
A: I’ve been calling it the Ingress Community Forums. The Ingress Community, to me, is the players.
Q: CriminalBizzy - Is there a plan to re-organize the categories/topics into something easier to browse?
A: What suggestions would you have?
Miscellaneous, Off-Topic, Rumors, or Rhetoric (MORR)
Q: Patka07 - Good to hear from you again, how is your sojourner?
A: Sadly, I lost it on day 105 due to some personal reasons. It was a good run. Longer than I anticipated and I appreciated all the support.
Q: akrykm - I am a newbie investigator of ingress. Could you please tell me whether there will be a niantic file volume V?
A: At this time, there are no plans for a volume five.
Q: MandoMerc - Any chance you could share what's the plan on the Online Ingress merchandise site shop.ingress.com, if its coming back and when can we expect it to be back? Also for those of us still having items outstanding from the Thanksgiving sale (or earlier) how can we get some conclusion to the unfulfilled items/orders besides raising tickets which don't seem to get anywhere, really?
A: Can you reach out to me with your ticket id? NIA OPS told me they have processed refunds for everyone who contacted them.
Q: NineBerry - What will happen to me 1331 days after I have recursed?
A: We will find out in time.
Q: grendelwulf - My man, thank for continuing to engage us on Reddit. What are he chances of Niantic entering into Ingress promotions with anymore sponsors? I'm thinking Green vs Blue Monster Energy Drinks for those late night mission grinds.
A: I enjoy Reddit. I browse the front page daily. That said, I think I’m going to reduce the amount of engagement I have there and focus on here a bit more. But, I’ll still have a presence there and plan on interact with folks from time to time. As far as sponsorships go, some ideas have been kicked around but that’s about it. Also, I would probably get in trouble if I spilled the beans before a deal was made official. I don’t believe at this time there is anything on the short term horizon though. Perhaps once the new servers are in place and we can start offering new experiences and game play mechanics.
Q: xXGuMmYBeArSXx - As an aspiring game developer, what goes into a day to day at Niantic?
A: This isn’t something I could answer in an AMA. We have so many departments and people. It’s just like any other company. For me personally, as the Global Community Manager I have a lot of meetings with various departments as I’m the internal advocate of the players and provide strategic feedback through that lens. This can include policy decisions, new game mechanic ideas, social media campaigns, events, etc. I also do a lot of one-on-one interactions via various chat platforms with players and manage the various community programs we have as well like the Vanguard Program. It is a lot of communication, gathering feedback, informing decisions, etc. I wish I had the opportunity to play Ingress more. But I’m satisfied with the change I’ve been able to influence over the last three and a half years as a result of not being able to open my scanner as much as I would like.
Q: Burli - What do you say about the Busgress Event at the Chicago Anomaly?
A: There was nothing in the rules or the mechanics of Ingress that prohibited it. We could debate whether it was in the spirit of the game or not. But that’s almost irrelevant and likely to be a circular conversation as it was not forbidden.
Q: Redfox1701 - Niantic made a controversial decision to sell gear through the I app store to assist with monetization of Ingress. One thing that hasn't been done yet, that would help greatly with monetizing, is online swag sales. I'm curious why it has taken so long to get the shop going again, given the potential revenue growth implications it has.
A: It is one of priorities. There is a plan to do more with merchandise sales. Some of the new things I believe will start rolling out with Myriad series. Ultimately, we need to reach feature parity with Prime and complete the server upgrade first though. We want the product to be in a place and position that will set us up for long-term success. It won’t help Ingress to sell merchandise if the player base starts to decline and there isn’t anything new to get excited about.
Q: Oxilium - What is the status of the Vanguards? Some of them are doing an excellent work helping the community but some others have still a long way to do. Should we expect a refresh of the Vanguards?
A: I’m happy to hear that Vanguards are helping the community. But that is not their role or the intent of the program. The purpose of the Vanguards are to be a player advocacy group for Niantic. I suppose by doing that, they are helping the community. But I suspect you mean they are helping in other ways.
Niantic does not view Vanguards as community leaders. Although, I know several of them fill that role within their factions. Vanguards have no special influence of power over NIA OPS. They cannot review tickets, get someone banned by their word alone, or have any additional understanding of how tickets are adjudicated and processed that has not been made public by NIA OPS.
As a sounding board for Niantic and player advocacy group, they have done a tremendous job. Their feedback on a number of issues has been critical for us to make better informed decisions. They don’t always agree with our decisions and they don’t always agree amongst themselves. Which is fine. That’s exactly the purpose they serve. To present their various opinions on any number of topics.
I struggle with wanting more transparency with the program but also respecting their privacy and not wanting to put them in a position where they have a target on their back or have to defend themselves to people who don’t agree with them -- or like them. You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Ultimately, I’ve sided with being more conservative and less transparent. This strategy seems to enable a more free exchange of ideas and conversations while protecting their right to express themselves and their opinions how they feel comfortable with.
We will be expanding the Vanguard program in the next month and growing it from 24 Agents to 36 and potentially 48 the next year or two. The Vanguards also voted to have term limits so some of them will be rotating out at the end of the year in order to make way for new people. I look forward to what the future has in store for this program. So far, it’s been a great success.
Q: ArrayQueue - With Ingress, Pokemon Go, and Harry Potter Wizards Unite all sharing portal/gyms/stops/whatever, and considering there is a strong similarity in some of the backstory. Has there been any consideration for any cross pollination of the games?
A: Ingress is the only game that is completely owned by Niantic. All the various intellectual property owners would have to come together and agree to things. I don’t think that is likely or needed.
Q: ElBiscochin - Hi Mr. Krug, I want to make a documentary about ingress however you told me you cannot grant me permission to use your logos so... Any suggestions on how to make an ingress film without using the ingress logos?
A: You should contact our legal department at [email protected]. I am not in the proper position to provide guidance on such a topic.
Q: Chicken3gg - Hi Andrew. What do you think of planegressing, e.g. like resistance.airforce
A: Much like the busgressing event at the Chicago Anomaly, if there is nothing in the rules or game mechanics that prevent it, it seems acceptable.
Q: Tafkawac - Do you ever think that the portal density is too high and that even though portals might meet the accepted criteria some of them really are trash?
A: If Portals meet the criteria then I wouldn’t consider them trash. The density of Portals has limits. So if Portals are being created then, no, the density isn’t too high.
Q: Chicken3gg - As there is a job offer for "Global Community Manager, Niantic" the question is real: will you quit?
A: I am happy to report that Ingress Agents are stuck with me for the foreseeable future. The role posted on our job website is for the corporate Niantic brand and not a specific product. You will be able to burn my bio cards for many years to come.
Q: Dtargarye - Could you explain to us what impact the anime is supposed to have on the game?
A: The Anime takes place in a separate universe then the one you and I live in. I don’t know that we fully understand how the universes interact yet and what the cause and effect of events in the multiverse have on each other.
Q: dayostephdayosteph - Are you going on Mission Day at Sea? :)
A: Sadly, I am not. But I look forward to lots of pictures and SITREPs posted to the community forums.
Q: IloveMATHIloveMATH - I am glad to see you again! The certificate of website veruminveniri.com was expired 4 days ago. Can you remind someone of renewing its certificate? What's wrong with ingress report? The newest post is about Cassandra Prime!
A: I’ll have to reach out to my contacts to see if I can alert the VI group about this. Thanks for flagging it.
Q: MXXW - For Christmas I would like more key lockers. Can you please let Santa know that?
A: I’ll pass the message along to P.A. Chapeau next time I see him. He seems to know everyone. I have no contact with Santa or I would ask him why I got water purification tablets and two ball point pens when I was 13 instead of Transformers. Also, I hear Rudolph is a bit of a prima donna.
Q: Weyrleader - Is there plans to further automate the reinstatement process? It is still a very manual process recording and collating the portal state prior, xfac agreement, submission prior to reinstatement,
A: Long-term, I would love to figure out a more automated solution. Short-term, everyone is focused on feature parity and server upgrades. So we will have to endure the current process a bit longer.
Q: simonoid - No Questions. Just thanks for being a great community manager. I know that it must be tough trying to keep everyone happy, but its all moving forward! I look forward to prime, prime servers, and a bigger community in 2019 and beyond!
A: Thank you. I appreciate it a lot. I do what I do because of the players. I understand the power of Ingress beyond just being a mobile game. I love seeing what it enables for people in the real world. There is life that exists on Earth because two people met playing Ingress. That is powerful.
Q: mcwebtree - Are there any plans to recruit more hamsters to beef up the passcode processing server?
A: As we build up our server capacity for the Prime upgrade, there is a line item in the budget to purchase six additional hamsters. The good news is that our Engineering Team tells me, “We expect this pain to go away with the new servers.”
Q: iooryz - Hi Andrew, thanks for the time you're investing in the ama, and thanks a lot for your time in Amsterdam! How are you? I'm under the impression that it was your first Dutch or even European anomaly. I really enjoyed the xf afterparty and basecamp,but I'm curious how you experienced this anomaly?
A: I am great. Thank you for asking. I too enjoyed the after party very much. That was the second time I visited the Netherlands. I was there for the Deventer Mission Day and spent some time in Amsterdam before and after. It feels odd to admit, but yes, that was my first European Anomaly experience. Overall, I think the event was an amazing success. I did not get a chance to play in the Amsterdam Anomaly due to logistics. But I was impressed with the factions, their organization, and how they communicated everything to the players. I loved the fact that there was so much cross-faction love and people stayed very late, mingled and talked into the early hours of the morning. I will not forget that experience any time soon.
Q: Ratoo - while I always find most if not all NIA developers and community communicators friendly and helpful, sometimes things didn't go so well. Do you feel it has something to you're understaffed, and does it limit your potential to fully deploy ideas and features?
A: Ingress players are not shy about sharing their opinions. I don’t think you need to directly communicate with a Niantic employee to ensure your position is heard. Even if we don’t comment on everything, we read the majority of the posts on the forums, Reddit, and social media.
Our Community Managers are also human beings. They are going to have good days and they are going to have bad days. Ingress players are also human beings and are very passionate about Ingress. As a result, most of the feedback our Community Managers receive on a daily basis comes from a well intentioned place. But the feedback is often more negative in tone then positive. All of the Community Managers are also players. So they understand the frustrations Agents experience -- they experience it too.
Communication is a tricky thing that can be further complicated by people using a common language that is not either person’s native language (usually English). So, it doesn’t surprise me that things don't always go well. To expect that it would is just not reasonable. I don’t think things not going well is a common experience. I also don’t think players or community managers generally express themselves with the intention to hurt or offend the other person.
Also, where things tend to break down is when people come to a conversation with predetermined expectations of an output or result. That also isn’t reasonable. Provide constructive feedback. But don’t expect that every time you do, that change will occur as a result or a specific set of outcomes will happen. We all want the same thing and that is to make Ingress better. Keeping that in mind is important to successful communication. I don’t think the level of staffing is an issue for what we are trying to accomplish as a community team.