Feature Request - Septicycle Scoring Revamp
The Septicycle scoring broke a long time ago, still it's what a lot of agents play for as far as daily competitiveness goes. A few things are desperately needed to fix it.
Firstly, update the MU counts. It's been stale for 7 years now? Inaccurate borders, etc are also part of the issue with MU counts not being updated.
Secondly, portals captured or under control needs to be made part of the septi scoring. It's easy af to keep a field over an area for months while no one actually plays there. A much larger weight being given to portals under control would bring Ingress back to life. Capturing portals is also easier for new agents coming in.
And lastly, factor in unique agents playing somewhere into a new scoring mechanism. You can have 1 berserker capping 1000 portals every week, but what good is that if there's no community?
This isn't a small thing. It's part of what's desperately needed to keep Ingress alive. A combination of these 3 things will see Ingress change drastically.
Agree with all except unique players. This point would be good if Niantic was fighting multi-accounts. As we see it doesn't - some people have 5 backpacks in my area.
Also, portal control shouldn't have "much larger" weight than MU control. Many (if not most) BAF operations are still happening to win checkpoints and cepticycles. By taking out this reason, you take out BAFs built for it. I don't like it because big fielding ops are one of the most interesting parts of the game.
Fully agree that multis & by extension spoofers are an issue, but the thing is both will always be an issue for both fields & captures. Niantic has failed in stopping them over the last year and that's only made things worse. That however doesn't mean it should stop progress because of them.
I see portal control vs MUs vs unique contributors as a 50-40-10 thing. The problem is that game-play has stagnated because of the way fields affect scores. Big fielding ops should continue to be a marvel where they can absolutely overcome any portals captured advantage the other team has. It will change the way people play & plan. I've seen fewer & fewer big field ops happening because it's so predictable. For a lot of people it's been there, done that. A higher weightage to portals captured will help people under perma-bafs to fight back.
The general mechanic promotes strategic play (which is nice) but minimal activity (really not nice). This ultimately leads to a handful of agents being the only ones who play while a lot of newer agents simply drop out over time as there is no simple feature/scoring.
Capturing 100-300 portals in a week in a lot more achievable for a larger set of players than putting up 3-5 million MUs is. It still takes time to teach new agents how to field properly, vs telling them to capture 50 portals in a day. The link amps, strategic key distribution, hard anchors, and ridiculous distances also make it impossible for the vast majority of new players to immediately have an impact on the game. By the time they can, they've stopped playing.
Take a look at any small-medium sized city (maybe not right now during the pandemic). You have 5-20K portals but 2/3rds of them aren't even captured. Even though 100 odd agents may exist in that city, only a dozen of them are active because it takes a lot of strategic fielding to achieve anything. More of those agents could easily be retained if their local play could have a bigger impact. That bigger impact is only possible if the daily scoring mechanic is revamped to promote localised play.
Fielding is out of sync with the most commonly used anomaly mechanic - portal battles. If your daily game-play scoring is a lot more complicated than anomaly scoring is, that says a bit.
If the "battle beacons" found in APK teardowns are a sign of anything, that too would likely be aligned to portal battles. But that too will end up failing if the daily scoring isn't aligned to the same simple game play mechanic.
At the end of the day the simplest game mechanic needs to have the largest impact.
So it's not broken, you just disagree with the game premise,
Guess fielding depends on where you are,,, ops are still a big part of the game in Australia for example
The game premise of regional or global scores is still maintaining control of an area. All I'm saying is Control should be a combination of both XM Control via portals captured & MU Control via fields. Control without controlling XM is a broken concept of control.
The fact is that MUs are not the only thing that determines control of an area. In fact having MUs as the only indicator of control is a a bit deceiving. Even the anomaly logic of controlling an anomalous zone is basis XM Control. Take the USA, Europe or Japan for example. These parts have the majority of agents but a much lesser impact on global scores than India or China. One tiny OP in India or China changes the global score completely. OPs will always be a part of the game - no one can get rid of that. But in the wake of much simpler real world games, Ingress will only lose agents if things aren't simplified or made more universal. Portal control is simpler & more universal.
The biggest issue is keeping agents active. Localised play through XM control / portal control is the best way to do that. Revamping the daily scoring system to reflect this would refresh Ingress in a big way. Where a neatly layered BAF is enough to win a septi now, agents would need to counter or strengthen their presence by being truly active. If things were this way, only the biggest of BAFs would have any impact. That would force BAF planners to think of bigger better plans even.
I also understand that updating the MU counts around the world might be a more difficult thing to do. Hence it's stayed the same & largely stale. But if Ingress used portal control, every new portal would have an impact.
If done in the right way (a higher weight-age to portal control), portal control would even negate the influence of spoofers making or breaking fields. It's impossible for anyone to control enough accounts or have enough resources to handle the millions of portals around the world.
@aaronvianno thanks. i am a big fan of the septicycle scoring concept. thanks for highlighting some of the bugs. when you say MU counts you mean the underlying value for a particular s2 cell and you are saying that some of those values are known to be wrong? just want to make sure i'm taking away accurate interpretation.
incorporating portal captures and unique players is interesting. some blend seems like a good idea.... but definitely would preserve a big impact for big fields.
I think the biggest complaint about MU counts across the world is that they haven't been updated in years. It's understandable that this might not be possible to update since it's largely based on various Census data.
As far as S2 cell borders go, I don't know if you can fix some of these things since the underlying data borders are again census based. Eg. https://intel.ingress.com/intel?ll=19.229717,72.909479&z=21 is in the middle of a thick national park forest where close to zero people live. But if you throw a field over it, you get 1 million MUs easy. I did check our census maps and found that that the area falls under an adjacent populated part. So that census population gets spread out over the urban + forest area in the game. The map here (https://mickeykedia.github.io/mumbai_pop_map.html) would give you a better idea if you overlay it on the intel map.
It's the same situation in most of the world, so your MU counts in the game are always going to be "wrong".
thanks for clarifying. you have identified a key limitation of how population data is used and your summary of how that can lead to misleading scores with population from a conentrated area being 'smeared' over adjacent less populated areas.
How about a badge for MU that makes checkpoint?
And replace Illuminator with that, and ramp the needed scores an order of ten or so.
that's a cool idea. basically MUs that count.
Oh yes !! (and cumulative multiple CP)
Also we need more ladders, why not a weekly scoreboard of best agents for every stats (updated live reset each cycle) ?
Given that there are 11 million+ portals (and growing) in the world and the world has a population of approx 7.8 billion people (also growing but less frequently updated), 1000 points per portal under control would be a balanced point.
Niantic could easily start testing this out in a few cells around the world.
I can't level up or earn medals because the scoring system is all messed up. Its either frozen or just jumps around randomly. I should have leveled up to 16 long ago but my scores just keep changing. I'm getting fed up with it.
I think you mean the GPS accuracy. That has nothing to do with the Score tab on the right side f the menu.
I like the idea of controlled portals counting towards scores. Def keep MU for fields though.
Yes the population data areas are WEIRD. (Even when population changes are not taken into account).
For instance in Perth, WA, we can get substantial MU for fields completely over the ocean that hug the coast. These should be dead areas.
Also new large suburb areas have sprung up, with a lot of population in them, field over the area and you will get very little though.
It also seems to alter MU scoring depending on what order the links are thrown. I have seen field layers earn LESS MU over the top of herring bone fields just because the field was closed from a different location, despite the field completely covering the smaller one.
That last one is news to me.
But yeah, it adds to the fact that Ingress' most commonly used competitive feature needs a revamp in the direction of portals, which are more representative of the playing population, having the most impact.
I would like to see a system where 60% of portals being under control in a cell have the same or more impact as 20 layers of fields over the same area.
IMO, maybe every checkpoint could give one point in the score of an Cycle. It would prevent a faction win a cycle just playing in the last checkpoint (like I saw so many times in my cell agents doing millions MUs) but a faction would win after controll a cycle for 18 checkpoints.
One feature from Redacted that has not come to Prime is the Septicycle widget.
But also the scoring, population map, is something that needs to be updated. The world population has grown by 700 million since 2011
IMO change the weightings of fields, so that smaller fields give increased MU values, and larger fields have less value to the cycle score.
Keep the MU value for creation, but band it so that each increase in size provides a smaller % to the score.
1-500MU - 100%
501-10,000MU - 90%
10,001-100,000MU - 70%
100,001-1,000,000 - 50%
1,000,001+ - 30%
That way there's still a benefit for going for larger fields, but the benefit reduces as you go. It would also give people strategic targets to chase. For example, a 999,999MU field would be worth 499,999MU, but a 1,000,000MU field would be worth 300,000MU so they would have to find precise field sizes.
Alternatively, have it function like a graduated scale.
@Grogyan Yes, part of the problem is that the population counts & boundaries cannot be updated. It's pretty much out of Niantic's hands. The only thing in Niantic's control are Portals.
@Perringaiden Might be more balanced if based on area of the field rather than the MUs captured under one. Some places give 1 million MUs for really tiny fields. Another similar thought could be diminishing MUs per layer. Though idk if that would really be feasible considering the complex calculations it would involve.
One of the reasons for a septi revamp would be so that scores are more representative of player actions/effort. A gigantic field does involve a huge effort so not sure if a lower weight-age would be fair there.
If you wanted to reduce layers it's simple. Only the largest layer counts. But that would also reduce small field fielding.
Definitely don't want to reduce layers or fielding. Just the septis to give the due importance that portals deserve in the day to day scheme of things.