Suggestion: Limit Machina growth by player actions.

Element 1: Machina should only spawn in regions where there are active players. If there has been no players acting in a given region cell, no new linking or spawning occurs. Eventually it will die out if no-one players there, and leave the area clear.

This is useful for big fields across regions not being blocked in areas where there are no players.

Element 2: Machina should not spawn new root nodes beyond a maximum level, per regional cell. For example if the maximum root nodes was 10, then once there are 10 spawned root nodes, no new Machina portals will spawn. As long as there's player activity in the cell, it can continue to spread from those root nodes, and splitting a tree in half doesn't mean two "root nodes", since the roots of those trees were infected by links.

This would allow players to pen in and control Machina in regions that don't want growth, but woudl require active maintenance to keep the fences up. Essentially, you'd have 10 corrals in a region that would control the spread, and the occasional saboteur who breaks the fences to let Machina out.

If you cleared out every child of a given root node (connected to it or not) and the node itself, a new node would spawn somewhere in the cell in the next wave.


  • GreenVamGreenVam ✭✭✭✭✭

    No no and one more time no. Machine needs to become a full-fledged player. Just like me and like everyone else, and his portals should be with shields, with modifiers and so on. Otherwise, we will have this nonsense.

  • edited August 2023

    In regions where there are enough players it's not needed, it can be stopped. In regions with no players, you're not there anyway. In regions where there's only one side, like yours, you can let it expand as much as you want.

    You are not the only use-case for this game. Currently "this nonsense" consists of a side that's playing more than the humans.

  • DrHydrosaurDrHydrosaur ✭✭✭✭

    I don’t think it needs to be that complicated. I’d just adjust the algorithm to make it act more like a “normal” player (by which I mean a median).

    For me that means ditch the random link behaviour to prioritizing short links and (hopefully) links that close fields (specifically nearby links that close fields).

    It looks like the current algorithm randomly picks targets from all unblocked neutrals within its maximum range. This means a Machina link is biased to throw long links because assuming a moderately uniform portal distribution there should be on average 3 times as many portals 1 to 2 km away than portals 0 to 1 km away.

    That approach encourages large numbers of awkward blocker links that discourage casual play, especially casual fielding.

  • From my original suggestion, the first part of the mechanics of linking was:

    • A link will be made to the nearest uninfected portal if available.

    I definitely agree it should stay close to itself until it runs out of things close to itself. The "shiggles link" mechanic does make things more annoying.

  • DSktrDSktr ✭✭✭✭

    Machina should have diffirent calculation. Some area with few players (faithful link-lovers not charging portals to rethrow) — really now suffer from it. Just look at general forum,how much topics that Machina interrupts any gameplay. Some (like in Your case) almost haven't seen it. In my case i should travel somewhere to have reclaimer badge (unfortunately it needs also to capture portals,so a bit more time to do that)(i'd created a "machina reservation area" somewhere closer).

    Or,maybe,a red flipcard and allow Machina (if it is summoned) to link under field like legit player?

  • KonnTowerKonnTower ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've thought about the same idea for a while @Perringaiden and it would make some sense. In particular, I'd like to see it become more active in higher-MU fielded areas. If you leave a larger field up for XXX,XXX MU-days (as tracked in the app already) the activity and spread of Machina should be increased.

    There's some fine tuning to do so machina comes inline, but it's a good addition.

  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭

    The formula to spread needs fine tuning, niantic cant think turning neutral cities all red will do any good in the long run.

  • EvilSuperHerosEvilSuperHeros ✭✭✭✭✭

    It needs more than fine tuning. Machina turning a recently destroyed portal that is locked behind a locked gate, red again and derping in less than 3 hours. It's annoying. Yet the places you'd enjoy destroying red, remains grey.

  • EngrishEngrish ✭✭✭✭

    Make it a smart AI and let mimic the local the style of agents in the same cell. If there's a player that does nothing but BAF's then let it "populate" some VRLAs and start linking as far as it can!

  • Given the lack of link crossing now, in this situation, you can ringfence the portal with a field, and as long as the field stays up, it stays in. In the suggestion in my OP, that would mean if you cleared out all the other red in the cell, that one portal would just remain there, and you'd neve encounter Machina any more as long as the field stayed up.

  • EvilSuperHerosEvilSuperHeros ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes as long as the field stays up. But that's not helpful when the other faction ignores Machina and targets your fields.

    But these days as you clear, Machina derps. Machina is beyond out of control. But I'm sure that's what Rose wants. Less active agents. Less complaints, right?

  • edited August 2023

    But that's not helpful when the other faction ignores Machina and targets your fields.

    Either the other team wants Machina to spread, or they leave the small field over it alone. If you use that field to build massive MUs at the same time, you're gonna lose that field and it's gonna get free.

    This is all strategy and/or tactics.

    But these days as you clear, Machina derps. Machina is beyond out of control.

    I agree it's too rapid, but it's also completely predictable, so if you're clearing around its derp time and not putting up blocking rails... are you really an Ingress Agent? 🤔

  • milofargmilofarg ✭✭✭

    Just drop linking for Machina, it's a total deal breaker.

    1. It makes people cancel CORE. Niantic loses money.

    2. Fielding Ops are DOA, hence player communities disappear. Communities that Niantic depend on for anomalies.

    3. Player retention and recruitment and Ingress as a forever game with this destructive element ruining the game??? Forget it.

    The total disconnect is pitting players in a physical world against a digital adversary seemingly without any limitations. It's like Machina is a different game dropped into Ingress.

    Machina could still cap neutral portals so people could work on their Reclaimer, but Machina linking is only destroying Ingress.

    Niantic could maybe turn on Machina linking for a global event whenever they decide to do them again, but drop every remaining Machina link when the event concludes, but that's it.

  • 2. Fielding Ops are DOA, hence player communities disappear. Communities that Niantic depend on for anomalies.

    Point of order: Multi-Agent fielding ops were rapidly declining long before Machina, and devolving into "I have no opposition, nor any other people near me, so I can field a few million MU with my 200 layer fields.... just like last week."

    And player retention was an issue ever since 2018.

  • milofargmilofarg ✭✭✭

    Well, user retention and all other Ingress activities were impacted during the transition to Ingress Prime in 2018-2019. Purely anecdotal, but the biggest fielding OPs I've participated in took place well after 2018, but they would have been impossible with all the Machina links now.

    It's really hard to see what purpose Machina linking has except as a software engineering exercise for Niantic. The impact on legitimate players is obvious, and will in turn hurt the community and Niantic itself through cancelling of Core as a protest.

  • edited September 2023

    It's definitely expanding too fast, and too much in regions with active players of both sides, but it's functioning "too slow" for players eager to do more than repetitive easy layers, with zero opponents. Look at the comments on the forums and you'll find plenty of people who both enjoy Machina, and want it to increase, simply because they have no teammates or opponents.

    Machina's purpose is the PVE part of the game that low population areas need.

    The problem is that Niantic isn't doing anything to allow active players to limit it, and it's reproducing far too often and too aggressively. There's a middle ground, and there's been quite a few worthwhile posts beyond this one, to reduce the impact in areas where players enjoy playing, and allow players in an area to suppress Machina with minimal effort so they can continue their repetitive fields if that's what they like.

    This is the whole point of this post and Machina will continue to divide people and cause angst, until Niantic actively reshapes how it works.

    If only there were people under an NDA that they could ask directly about ideas on how to make things better, or bounce ideas off...

  • Indeed. Imagine what Niantic could achieve with a group of volunteers, like XM Diplomats, something like that.

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