Battle Beacons concerns (in particular, alignment reversal)

1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2020 in General

As Battle Beacons are coming to their release and some leaks from apparent live tests of them appear, I'd like to share some concerns. It's good if Niantic has already thought of them; if they haven't then here they are.

In particular there's a rule which says "After each checkpoint, the Portal will reverse alignment to the opposing Faction".

If handled improperly, this rule creates a problem of portals being flipped by a faction A with no possibility to prevent it somehow by faction B, especially if the portals have important fields or links on them.

This creates such situations:

  1. Faction A covers a city. Agent of faction B comes to the anchor portal and deploys Battle Beacon. The portal gets realigned on first checkpoint and all the fields go down.
  2. Faction A covers a city. Faction B creates a one-time account of L1, spoofs to the anchor location, and sets a Battle Beacon on it. The portal gets realigned without the need of using a virus (and thus being, say, L7 agent to flip a P8).

One of proper ways of handling this in my opinion would be to start the battle only if at least one agent of an opposing faction has agreed to it, and show the nick name of such agent (or all participants) publicly to detect possible backpack accounts. The battles should start (and the alignment should change via Battle Beacon rules) only if there are agents of opposing faction who have agreed and are ready to battle.

If you, the readers, have some other concerns about the recent leaks/live tests, please share them there as well.



  • quirischaquirischa ✭✭✭✭

    I think it would be nice to see first the official description of the battle beacon's work in help, and only then speculate about possible abuse actions and how to prevent them

  • quirischaquirischa ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    We all understand that there are three ways to do something: the right one, the wrong one, and the one Niantic chooses, but I think we need to let them calmly test all the possibilities

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have nothing against them testing and checking different possibilities and ways for stuff to function. I just want to make sure that the concerns above (and probably below) are addressed and heard. The existence of this topic won't hurt if the concerns are already addressed without the help of the topic, right?

  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭

    lets just wait for the final details.

  • If they’re testing it in the wild, it’s way past the point in development where fundamental aspects can be changed and still be released soon.

    If you go look at the portal on desktop Intel and scroll back far enough in COMMS, you’ll see ADA and JARVIS actions on the portal:,-118.003705&z=20&pll=33.703052,-118.003705

    It looks like it does change actual alignment through the Battle Beacon process. I’m assuming it needs agents from both factions present to start, so hopefully your fellow agents won’t participate if it’s a strategic portal.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020


    You're assuming that battle beacons will became more common and cheaper than an ADA/Jarvis?

    Whether it is cheaper/more common or not, it might create an opportunity to make such plays, and this opportunity is the main point. ADA/Jarvis at least have cooldowns and level requirements.

  • quirischaquirischa ✭✭✭✭

    We know stuff because Brian tested it on the Production server yesterday

    And also because .APK file is parsed on fevgames, don't you look at?

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    I said it right there:

    and show the nick name of such agent (or all participants) publicly to detect possible backpack accounts.

  • EvilSuperHerosEvilSuperHeros ✭✭✭✭✭

    I based my post and information on what was tested in production by Brian yesterday. It shows some of the details about how it works and its raises issues in multiple chats. It's something that agents will want to discuss and come up with ways to fix something that if released as is, is going to cause a lot of problems and likely cause more agents to get upset and quit the game.

    Personally, I haven't seen ADA / JARVIS used in under an hour since the old Minitaur anomaly back in 2013/2014 or whenever it was. Let's just say a very long time ago when they realized that flip cards for volatile portals being used multiple times a minute might not be the best way for them to work.. But apparently now they are...

  • caderouxcaderoux ✭✭✭

    Perhaps they should start by making it initially only available to recursed agents. This would limit the scope and also eliminate most spoofing issues.

    After all, recursed agents were promised some benefit from that 2 years ago, and nothing has ever materialized.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    Yeah recursed agents were said to "in future, perform sophisticated actions not currently understood", and yet there's absolutely NOTHING exclusive for recursed agents right now. That is one of the reasons why I won't recurse despite being L16 at the moment.

    This won't solve the possible abuse of battle beacons for taking down fields or fielding though.

  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    terrible idea imo, would u want same for real anomalies only for recursed ? i guess the train passed for where recursed will get benefits except the badge and vr gear on lvlup.

  • GrogyanGrogyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NianticBrian The suggestion that the battle beacon ONLY goes live on a portal is if both a Resistance, and Enlightened player both hack the portal within 60s, is a good one.

    • leaving it for more than 60s means that there is a possibility that a Battle Beacon would be activated prematurely, on an undesirable portal

    In that, you use a Battle Beacon on a portal, but the Battle Beacon will not be activated until there is at least one Enlightened and One Resistance member who hack the Battle Beacon portal.

    Where this comes unstuck is during Hexathlons and Anomalies, where portal inoculation is a valid tactic.

    • Suggest that during those events, the Battle Beacon cannot be activated

  • MadReliqueMadRelique ✭✭✭

    I do not believe a battle beacon (BB) would be useful during an anomaly if Niantic makes it so you can not (re)apply battle beacons on a portal that already has a beacon on it.

    The important question that we need to know the answer to is if a BB's self flipping inoculates it from Jarvises/ADAs. If it does, than I foresee it being used strategically prior to an annomaly's start.

  • TRIBBLE2331TRIBBLE2331 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    Maybe the best way to use these is in areas under mega BAFs as you can’t throw links under fields and any flipping won’t cause issues with any links. Maybe this shouldn’t be used on link anchors however

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