Top cheats that destroy Ingress
It's always a nice thing and we are all always looking for it when Niantic releases new content for Ingress. It gets even more special when you get to know that the game is not generating too much benefits for Niantic.
But not being able to hold players within the game is and always was the main cause of low profit. Communities work very hard to keep the game alive and they do it for free, they always did. But is hard as hell to keep the game alive and legal (free of bad actors) if misbehaving has no punishment. Communities can and should keep bad actors outside to keep them safe and clean, but final punishment can only come from Niantic since just hoping for a cheater to quit because its playing alone is just too much to hope nowadays.
There is a need to make sactions effective. Is it really cheating if you get no punishment for it? Are you really a bad actor if your community does not outcast you for misbehaving?
But the system is not dead: bans do happen. But they happen in lower things, like trying to load an Ingress notification from a smartwatch, trying to open Ingress app from a rooted device or even using the wrong emoji in COMMs. Wonder how many players went away because of things like this.
Niantic gets actual work done yet Ingress shrinks instead of growing, so, to enlighten that massive ball of shadows we are playing in, here are the cheats that destroy the game balance:
-Spoofing. Always have been at the top of the list, yet Niantic seems unable to effectively cut it off and the longer it goes the stronger it gets. This cheat attacks the concept of AR itself and that is why it is so destructive.
-Multiaccounts. Backpacks always gave an insane advantage to softer cheaters over legal players that don't do backpacks, yet this issue seems to be ignored most of the time. It doesn't help at all teh fact that this seems to be a legit thing on the rest of their games.
-Modified clients. The use of unnoficial APKs or even modified clients is a very infrequent thing but gives some strong advantages as if you were a superagent. Niantic has implemented several ways to prevent it but was never able to effectively identify and erradicate it. But again, its low frequency makes it a rare cheat.
-Data scrapping. A very easy way to **** any player in the game since it allows you to get al sort of personal information about any player. They say its for the game, but who grants you they will not use that info to cause physical damage? How many car windows and house doors have been affected because of this? Data scrapping would not be possible if Niantic didn't publish the data in the first place.
-Black market. Being able to just purchase stuff (any stuff) has always been there. One could think that it's silly to just pay for things instead of playing to get them, and it actually is, but as in any other game, there is always people willing to take the fast way and also there is people that feels like it is their only chance to actually play if the opposing faction ovepopulates the area. Niantic seems to be fighting efficiently this one.
-Third party apps. This is considered a cheat since it gives an advantage, but most of the cases only give small advantages. Their use is discouraged at most and Niantic does not ban because of this anymore (they used to).
What I want to show with this post is that Niantic is not idle over the cheating aspect but is not focusing on the right target. There are a lot of post about each one of these and some more, I'm only trying to reveal the bigger picture. Because that's the only thing Niantic can handle: the bigger picture.
Thanks for your feedback and don't forget to hit that disagree button :)