Incomprehensible speedlock behavior needed to be fixed yesterday

Device: Pixel 2

OS: Android 10

App Version: 2.33.1

At this point, this is an old, tired issue, but to recap:

  1. Stop at Location A. Open Prime. Take some actions.
  2. Put Prime and device away.
  3. Stop at Location B, some distance away. Open Prime. Try to take some actions.
  4. Observe nonsensical error messages for minutes or hours(!) in the flavor of Scanner communication error (1) and ENUM_MAP_FAILED_NO_LOCATION_SET.

The idea that legitimately traveling between two locations, coming to a stop, and being locked out due to some poorly communicated issue is beyond ridiculous. I cannot begin to describe how frustrating it is when the two locations are airports and the lockout lasts for hours.

So, I have a simple question:

What is the date and time (with timezone) when we can expect a release of Prime that resolves this issue?

<start snippy commentary>

Niantic: You're impeding and frustrating the gameplay of numerous, legitimate agents. Meanwhile, you're giving location spoofers free reign to do what they will. iBotPeaches tells one such story, and more elegantly than most: https://community.ingress.com/en/discussion/5328/the-bad-actor-darkness-return.

Take a step back. You're developing a location-based game. Your one job is to interpret the player's location in some reasonable fashion and to provide feedback accordingly. If after six? seven? years of experience across three games (Scanner [REDACTED], Pokémon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite), this is still a problem in search of a solution, then an Insights post on the topic is in order. Walk us through the thought and engineering processes, in detail.

Comments

  • Thank you for bringing forth this issue and discussing it elegantly

  • hiryuhiryu ✭✭

    Totally agree. After my morning commute today, I was speedlocked for a full 30 minutes. My commute was 50 minutes to go 26 miles, so the irony is if I had left my screen on the whole time, I'd probably be fine.

    Something about waking the phone up and switching back into Ingress causes it to trigger. I have even had it trigger while walking and switching apps.

    At a minimum, it would be nice if the issue were communicated with messages that aren't nonsense ("Scanner communication error (1)"). If this is some kind of security through obscurity against spoofing, it's not working, because spoofers continue to be very active in my area. Please make the experience better for legitimate players.


    Device: Pixel 3

    OS: Android 10

    App version: 2.33.1

  • Yeah, if you make the mistake of leaving Prime going in the background and bring to foreground, like I might do when I go into the subway in NYC, I can be assured I'll be speedlocked when I get to the next station. Granted, I admit, that movement might look a bit like a spoofer, but I'm really only in public transportation.

    And spoofers aren't being stopped and Niantic Ops completely ignores our reports, from multiple agents, with credible evidence of spoofer activity and yet the spoofer accounts keep going with no apparent penalty.

  • Yes, it is shameful this bug exists at all, and ridiculous that it has persisted this long.

    It is even triggered at walking speed!

    It is obvious and plain to see how it happens. You leave location A and switch away from the ingress app. You reach location B and make ingress the foreground app again. YOU CAN SEE IT display your prior location for an instant, then jump to your new position. Instant speed lock!

    Obviously the old app code knew how to deal with location changes while that app was in the background. Why is the new app unable to do this?

  • Can confirm that this even happens at walking speeds. If I leave the game idle for any period of time and then perform an action there's a good chance I'll speedlock for at least a few minutes, and almost guaranteed if I play before I board the train, and after I exit.

  • ToxoplasmollyToxoplasmolly ✭✭✭
    edited October 22

    So, the incident that originally pushed me over the edge into making this post was flying between two airports in the continental United States and getting speedlocked for about two hours after landing.

    Compare that experience to an "agent" that traveled from India to the midwestern United States in under three hours, as evidenced by actions shown on the intel map. That journey required an average speed of around 2400mph, on par with a SR-71 Blackbird, one of the fastest aircraft in history [1]. After taking into account various practical realities, I think one is forced to conclude that the chance that a person legitimately made that journey in that time is negligible.

    And thus we have another concrete instance of a legitimate agent getting impeded by speedlock while a location spoofer acts freely — and continues to act freely, even after being reported and the ticket closed. Conversation ID: #4713716, for those keeping score.

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_airspeed_record

    Post edited by Toxoplasmolly on
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