Ideas on how to improve rural play

falcobirdfalcobird ✭✭✭
edited January 2020 in App Feedback (Archive)

As we all know, Ingress is not very fun unless you live in places with moderate to high portal density. Having to drive 10 miles to the next nearest portral is not fun. I have a few concepts that might help to make rural play more fun, without taking away from the central theme of the game.

1) Ephemeral portals - a special type of portal that only spawns in areas with low portal density. These are temporary portals that spawn for a certain timeframe (say, 1 week). They act like normal portals, and can be captured and fielded to, but will despawn permanently. They could have increased decay rate, which would simulate the effects of competition in areas with few players who can take down a portal. This would help to create portals where there are none, which would let rural players actually play the game. These could even be procedurally generated so that there are not millions of temporary portals sitting around - you could "discover" them by simply walking around in a rural area, similar to how you "discover" pokemon in Go

2) Phase shifted portals - Portals that are neutral for long periods can temporarily "phase shift" into being owned by one faction or the other. This would create portals that can be attacked and neutralized, which grants points to players in areas with little competition or action.

3) Incursion points - Exogenous entities could start to take advantage of the limited defenses that low XM density provides. This could combine the first two options into random, faction owned portals. The portals could be owned by Shapers or N'zeer or other entities that want to begin invading our dimension.

4) Transient signals - Similar to idea 1, but instead of creating a portal, it could be a new type of portal (I'm calling it a signal) that appears and can be interacted with, but will disappear once it is fully deployed. This would let players take actions in game, but would not provide any long term benefit like being a field anchor.



  • TheFarixTheFarix ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    I would suggest including some form of play loop that is separate from the portals themselves. Much like how PoGo has Pokemon to capture and HPWU has confoundables to defeat, Ingress can have something that fits in with its lore. Perhaps needing to defeat exogenous entities that are crossing into our plain. They can then drop resources that you can use to craft items that aid in battling other exogenous or to strengthen the portal network.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    Idea 4 is most likely to happen, mainly because it don't impact on multiplayer and scoreboards.

    Actually is incredible that something like that isn't standard since the beginning.

    When I started there were no portals on sight, so I quit it. Only came back months after when pokemon go was almost released, and spent months just playing with about 3 portals daily, on my way to work. Now I have over 50 in same route, but it taked 3 years.

    I know a lot of PoGo players who stated that only played back then with fakegps stuff because there were nothing to do where hey live. But majority of people don't cheat, so won't play if don't have what to do.

    Random interaction points if a far better options for games like pokemon and HP, since they're not strategic. A mix of both is even better, with gyms and fortress being fixed locations at parks, museum, etc.

    But ingress is strategic, and only have one type of waypoint, so for this to work it need a new type. It's proby easy to implement this. Just check if there are portal in x cell, and if not star the spawn of "notportal".

    That's glyphs you are talking about.

  • TheFarixTheFarix ✭✭✭✭✭

    Glyphs require portals and is not an engaging play loop. In fact, many players avoid doing them, hence all the complaining during the Aurora Glyph Challenge.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    But that forced loop in HP os what make me quit It, and they reason i dont play Pokemon so much. Having to do the same thing over and over again is painfully tedious. In HP you can't even know what creature will come from the traves until you open them. Ingress give you the choice of making glyphs or not.

  • TheFarixTheFarix ✭✭✭✭✭

    Whether you find the play loop "boring and tedious", the proof is that far more people find it engaging. You also completely miss the entire point of this topic, which is how to improve play for rural players who don't have many portals to begin with. That means you will need some sort of play loop that is outside using portals.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    I'm not against improvement on gameplay on rural areas, but while falcobird's ideas improve ingress using ingress features, yours just add pokemon on it.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    Much like how PoGo has Pokemon to capture and HPWU has confoundables to defeat, Ingress can have something...

    @TheFarix No. Personally I value absense of this stuff in Ingress. Let it stay in PoGo and HPWU.

    OP, you ideas sound interesting. Athough I don't support "Phase shifted portals", because some portals are deliberately kept gray.

  • edited January 2020

    @TheFarix The existence of a 'further play element' in PoGo outside of the locations of Stops, definitely increases the playability. Maybe if they implement 3 (Redfection), there could be XM 'ghosts' on the map, which can be destroyed with low level bursters, and award AP and leave a large amount of XM. This could then be collected for recharging purposes. It would give a use for all the low level bursters we simply recycle for XM these days.

    I think 3 has the most potential for extended gameplay (though probably biased). But it's true that in those situations lack of portals makes it impossible.

    Additional Idea

    @falcobird Perhaps for Rural play, if you're in an area where the nearest portal is Xkms away, or there aren't more than Y portals within Xkms, players level 7 and above could be given temporary submission rights while in that area, and players level 10 and above could be given Z free submissions to use only in that area.

    That way it would encourage people to submit in places without portals, and make it easier to bootstrap players to level 10.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020


    The existence of a 'further play element' in PoGo outside of the locations of Stops, definitely increases the playability

    The difference is that this "further play element" in pogo and WU are their primary gameplay element! Theirs "portals" has no strategic values, you can't connect them, there's no team work in large scale, there's no farms, no competition. Theirs main goals are to catch creatures. Even the only "mods" they have only do that.

    But in ingress, the portal is the main gameplay base. A new portal benefits the whole community and may impact the gameplay of many. A new pokestop barely made at change on the community (unless it has almost none), and gym only means more coins to a few. The neighborhood were I live has none portal, and I created about 50 there. This meant about 13 gyms, 4 are close my home. Sometimes my pokemon stay there for weeks, because locals don't care.a short trip is 1km from neighborhood to the other is long enough to make the player there never come here. But if I create one big field here, or a farm, people will travel 10km just to destroy it. Because that's what this game is about, capturing and destroying portal.

    Ingress is about Area domination. Pogo and Wu are about collect things. Adding the same feature will brake it.

  • Theirs "portals" has no strategic values,

    Gyms do.

  • How do you prevent Ephemeral portals spawning in to unsafe or private owned locations?

  • Great question. I was thinking that it could spawn only in areas that already have XM, Similar to how wild pokemon only appear on areas with grass (which are proxies for XM in the pokemon game), ephemeral portals could only spawn where XM is, because that means that there is public traffic in that area.

    Stretches of road for example, have XM on them, and could spawn these portals, but someone's back yard or the middle of a corn field would not have any XM since nobody can go there.

  • I don't really like that idea, because in order to level up, you need to level your badges up, which can only happen from portal interaction. Without portals, you can't get any points towards hacking, building, attacking, linking or fielding, which is the core of the game.

  • Do these two points alone guarantee safe pedestrian access?

    Also there is an minor issue with private roads.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    Jurrasic World Alive got random waypoints, that chance every few days. Each one has a button flag any problem with the location. But this game also have a much larger range of action (150 to 200m). Maybe for this new kind of interaction the range could be larger to. If it's a collectable, just appearing in the screen will be enough.

    Also, since this idea it's about a temporary portal, if it's not safe or not accessible, just don't go there. ;)

  • TheFarixTheFarix ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    All that implies is that Niantic needs to introduce new badges that go with the new gameplay loop. The problem with completely tieing the gameplay loop to portals is that it drastically limits who is able to play. In rural area, you will need to be incredibly moble and financially well off (owing you own car and purchasing gas and regular maintenance). If Niantic is looking to expand the appeal of Ingress, then it need some more that doesn't require portals to play.

    So what gameplay loops can be added that contributes to Ingrees as a "walking game" when there are few to no portals around?

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hope anything but collectable magical creatures to catch.

  • GersterwindGersterwind ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    In theory, I see some merit to all these original ideas.

    Ideally, spreading the portal network farther into less urban areas would make for continued, and standard improvements. Bonus portal submissions in portal-sparse areas might help.

    Capture of portals by non players might help too. I'd stick with familiar factions though, so that linking and fielding, not just purifying is improved in rural areas. Maybe Jarvis and ADA are getting more active somehow.

    Once again, we have calls for the introduction of pokemon into Ingress. I'd like to point out that in terms of the map, the XM in ingress is a stand in for the pokemon in pokemon go. With that in mind... perhaps random drops of power cubes in portal-sparse areas might be reasonable. Random drops of keys might at least ensure players could eventually recharge someplace worthwhile to their team... and might encourage strategic communication over longer distances... hopefully leading more well-off urban players to visit their more rural counterparts, and maybe submit more rural portals in the process.

    One person has already reminded us that the goal of ingress is to get people out walking. With that in mind, I have an idea for these temporary portal-like-objects: they could be hatched, like eggs in pokemon go. Different walking distances might hatch a portal like object of a different duration, or level.

    But how to keep them off private property? And how to ensure urban players don't abuse them? To avoid urban abuse. They would have to be some distance from other portals. If the portal-like objects have a level, or duration, better ones would have to be placed farther away from portals.

    To keep them off private property, we could make their positioning a two-step process. First, the person who 'hatched' one would submit a location. It could appear on the map as a waypoint mark. Then, another player could confirm it by interacting with it. Xfac may or may not be a wise addition to the process.

    Also, considering how rural players seem to feel about big fields... even though they need to link distant portals, might I suggest that we modify the function of the Link Amp, so that in addition to increasing link range, they also speed up the resonator decay rate. BAF ops will suffer slightly, but the personnel needed to run such an opposite should be able to keep up with regular recharge if desired.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just thought about a mod idea, let's call it Incinerator. It can only be dropped in rural areas, that would be defined by lvXsize of s2 cells, with X number of portals. It cannot be used in urban areas either. If used in a portal in a location with many portal it will be destroyed. When successfully used, it will disable every shield in this portal (same way itos disable each other). Now the advantage: grants every player to deploy 2x more resonators (2r8, 2r7, 4r6, 4r5, etc).

    That might help lone folks farm better, while enemies will easily destroy it.

  • beardedtitbeardedtit ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    It's not just rural areas, look at some centra African cities. They might have a cluster of portals, the next nearest can be 1000km away.

    Even getting up a few levels in pogo will be difficult (and expensive).

    In those areas you need L1 players to be able to submit portals - like in the first months of ingress.

  • The reason that all three of my ideas involve creating new portals where portals did not previously exist, is because adding portals to the game is the least disruptive way to get people to play in low-activity areas. If you start suggesting things like unique mods, or random item drops or key "hatching", that is fundamentally changing the game in ways that might be unpredictable.

    Portals are well known, well understood, and the game is already centered around them as a core game mechanic. I think anything beyond adding portals to the scanner (true portals or temporary portals) is probably overthinking things.

  • "Rural areas" is probably a bad description.

    It's really "Low POI density areas".

  • Given Niantic's lawsuit outcomes, there's probably a hesitancy to generate "untethered" portals that are not created by humans in places where a portal is. Imagine if they created those portals in places such as a random farm field.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, make It near streets like other games do without giving an penny. And since ingress has really few players, I doubt it's going to cause any problems. And the idea are them to be temporary (like pokemon), so actually won't be any new issues for Niantic.

    Just make it like a Pokemon spawn, but with a temp portal. If there's is xm on the ground and few portal in that cell, it may pop a portal.

  • like other games do without giving an penny.

    Most other games don't have millions of players and don't get the same level of notice. Also, pokespawn is reachable from visual distance, rather than just 40m, so there isn't the same issue.

    Possible, sure. Something they're willing to entertain, I'd be unsurprised if they're not willing.

  • If randomly generated portals aren't OK, maybe have multiple players assist in placing the portal.

    One nominates a temporary portal. Others interact with it.

    Sure, that might lead to multi account abuse, but I suspect we already have plenty of that in low POI areas. Maybe this could help spot suspicious behavior.

  • If we can do that, we should just speed up reviewing for real portals.

  • TheFarixTheFarix ✭✭✭✭✭

    "More portals" isn't going to solve the problem with maintaining engagement in rural areas. You need to come up with a gameplay loop that either maximizes the use of one to three existing portals or (and I know this is heretical in the community) create a gameplay loop that does not involve portals at all.

  • A possible problem with some "rural" areas might be a total lack of POIs worthy of portal status.

    In those areas, if there are players where these exist, temporary portal-like objects might make sense, either randomly generated, or user-created for some regulation.

    If randomly generated, the pokemon go 'grass' landscape might provide some guidance, as it appears to Indicate something about land ownership.

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