Battle Beacons concerns (in particular, alignment reversal)



  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't pretend to be the first to think about them, I simply grouped up and formulated them :)

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wonder if, after a few live tests, Niantic now does something about these problems... Because if everything went ok, probably we would've seen them already released.

  • aaronviannoaaronvianno ✭✭✭✭

    Another good limiter on who can activate a Battle Beacon might be kms walked. Like be able to activate one only after completing 50 Kms?

    Additional playing based limiters could be adopted for a free beacon while they could be purchase-only otherwise. Like deploy 100 resos + walk 50 Kms + make 50 links to earn a free beacon. But the trekker would be very important as a limited. These limits should be high as well.

    Of course keep free beacons limited to 1 per month or something.

    Having the portal neutralised after the battle ends could help if Niantic doesn't intend on having both factions activate the beacon.

    Would also ask that accounts flagged for multis / sharing / spoofing be disallowed to deploy these battle beacons.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    Now that Battle Beacons have been released, there's still no answer to people flipping BAFs using them. Except you have to pay for simple beacons and immunize portals with them, if you don't want your BAF to be destroyed. :/

  • One of proper ways of handling this

    ... would be that the Battle Beacon creates a new portal that cannot be linked to, which disappears after the event is over.

  • a1mirra1mirr ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    Today our fields at Moscow were flipped that way. There was only 500k mu, not even 5 or 500M. I think, battle beacons will be used to flip most of anchors at operations in our area.

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭


    1. Use battle beacons only in neutral or your faction portals. Or needing two agents to each use a battle beacon (half green half blue, and halve the currey price, of course)

    2. Make the BB flip remove all mods and make the resos lv1, or at the end of the event, neutralize the portal.

    3. Forbid links during BB event time.

    Those are pretty obvious issues and solutions that flew over their heads...

  • GoblinGranateGoblinGranate ✭✭✭✭✭

    Requiring both factions would be of no use since most spoofers have account in both.

    How about requiring the agent to be the owner of the portal prior to the BB use?

  • KhatreKhatre ✭✭✭✭✭

    niantic should just make them not usable on immune portals, just like viruses

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    And ideally return the portal to neutral once the battle is concluded. Agents that participated can then build it up to farm for the increased output.

    I hear this as "wintrade". For the other faction we are opponents, not farm partners.

    Deploy only on neutral portal - yes. Leave it neutral after the battle - no. Let it be in the state with which it passed the latest checkpoint, no need to alter it somehow.

  • The idea behind neutralizing it at the end is to prevent abusing BBs for flip-leveling portals. Factions collaborating to farm after the battle you can't prevent, no matter what's done to the portal. The "win" here is winning the battle, not getting some items, and that can't be traded.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭

    First of all thank you for your communication, I, as always, appreciate that from you.

    Yes, the problem with BBs flipping anchor portals is exactly in that you can't prevent it with means available for free. A free beacon everyday would partly resolve the problem and, I suppose, would hit your income (why buy if there's a free one everyday?). I think that the means of "protection" from BBs should be hackable or otherwise freely available in practically unlimited counts, as far as you hack or do other actions required to obtain them.

    Your example with drones firing XMPs, however, is a bit superficial. It's not just about being able to defend portals. Agents actions, when added to drones functionality, would undermine the whole idea of the game in the part where it's you who does the actions while being present directly on site. Not your drone, not your spoofing applications, YOU. That's the point. So in my opinion drones should have completely different set of actions, with no overlap to those which agents can do. Otherwise it would be simply unfair if I with a drone could do the same thing as an agent on site.

  • ofer2ofer2 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    Yeah, generally I agree with you about having a way to protect that isnt paid. As we get priority for more battle beacon features, I'll be sure to bring it up.

    As far as Drones, you're right in that you doing actions is super important. Therefore, nothing should ever beat you when you're there and someone else isnt...*cough cough* remote recharging *cough cough*. So, snark aside, I think that even though we do this poorly with remote recharging, we should be able to have similar gameplay with Drone. I.e. that you can do it, but at best its a stall. I.e. the in person player will always win. There are multiple ways of doing this: limit the number of drone actions per time + making drones visible + enable drone destruction (to return it to its owner). Again, this is all hypothetical (i.e. there arent concrete plans of doing any of this) but we need to have some mechanics which enable people / regions which cannot go out and play in person to play the game. Another option is to enable certain features at certain locations: imagine you have a drone at a battle beacon for example (remote VFS anyone?)

    That being said, the drone example wasnt meant to state "here is a feature we will ship," but rather, "not being able to declare that you want to defend a specific portal limits our ability to create new gameplay."

  • BTW why BB flip portal to a standart ADA/Jarvis account? Why not to agent who initially deployed a BB? Now everyone can make 7 level portals (with current possibility to deploy 8-7-7-6-6-5-5-4 resos -> 8-8-7-7-7-7-6-6 = level 7 portal), and with some time (less that a day) even make 8 level portal!

  • ofer2ofer2 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When the portal belongs to the other team, you cant be the owner of it since you're on the other team! When the portal flips back to your side, you will be the owner again. This way, the situation you describe is not possible because you wont be able to deploy new resos on the portal when it flips back. Does that help?

  • Nope! I can use ADA/Jarvis to make my resos not my own before beacon flip it

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    Isn't it easier just making the BB being only useable I neutral portals? Beacons aren't weapons or defense tools, they shouldn't change the Network/map.

    BB are supposed to be played by the two teams, so before activating it they can choose which portals will use, and cooperate to neutralize them before the match.

    This removes a lot of the concerns about BB.

  • GoblinGranateGoblinGranate ✭✭✭✭✭

    It has already been suggested that the solution to all these problems (which I agree) would be to create a new portal when using the BB.

    In order to avoid agents deploying them in private areas, distance restrictions could be applied, like requiring it to be deployed in an area with portals nearby, checking upon other virtual portals before deploying so they don't stack up (if there is even a stat for this) and such. Virtual portals are already existing (or they did exist) in the tutorial, so is not impossible.

    About BB prevention, it isn't enough to require another beacon deploy! Several OPs are planned over strategic portals and usually some of the anchors and unreachable at the planned time (that's why they are strategic). Deploying a beacon requires someone to deploy it. And this is spoofer's paradise already! Again, virtual portals solve this.

  • 1valdis1valdis ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    Virtual portals are faceless, not connected to the real world like usual portals. That is enough for me to disagree on that.

  • GoblinGranateGoblinGranate ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh, as if a 50m missplaced trash can was better, I don't think that outweights the rest of issues...

  • BLM beacons are currently free. Put one on the field anchor when you put the fields up after innoculation. As far as I read, you can't Battle Beacon a beaconed portal. When the BLM beacons run out, though, it needs to be addressed.

  • Virtual portals IMO would be a good solution, and also allow you to do it wherever you wanted. But it wouldn't be the mini anomaly they're attempting to create.

    Regarding deploying beacons, if you can't beacon the portal, you also couldn't inoculate it, so the argument is irrelevant because a flipcard will be more effective.

  • ofer2ofer2 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yeah, we thought about this and may still do it at some point if it becomes necessary. This has some considerable downsides though: Battle Beacons are meant to enable players to set up a mini anomaly by deploying to multiple portals. If we require that those portals all be neutral, it becomes so easy to have one individual grief an entire community. As far as the concerns remaining on BB, the main one that I'm aware of is that the only counter play to it is a paid object (beacons) instead of a free object, is there another?

  • There are a couple of concerns, all relating to the faction-switching feature.

    Let's ignore the fact that BBs are currently only available to players with 40mil+ AP, as I'm sure that will change down the line

    1) BBs can be used to destroy anchors regardless of inoculation, level or defense mods. Unlike ADA or Jarvis where the level of the portal determines the amount of XM needed to use it, BBs can be deployed by any level player (assuming the ultimate goal would be to make BBs available to all players). Also, BBs are available on demand, unlike ADA/Jarvis which need to be hacked and are VERY RARE items.

    2) BBs will be used (and I believe this will be the main use it'll be put towards) to farm AP with fielding engines. Several players have already made good use of this. Set up a bunch of fields, deploy your anchor and deploy your BB, then start linking. At each checkpoint it will flip to the opposing faction, destroying your fields. You can then either destroy the portal, redeploy it and refield if you have available softbanks, or wait the 3min until it flips back to then refield. No ADA/Jarvis needed in this scenario. No player of the opposing faction needed here either. It's pure AP for a single player.

    3) With one other agent, BBs can be used to upgrade a portal to higher levels for farming or link range, on demand, without needing a single Jarvis/ADA.

    Of all of these, #1 is the biggest concern as they will be used by both legit players and spoofers to drop anchors. If the only defense here is deploying a beacon, then that's poor form. Durable anchors are very very rarely manned, so spoofers will have an easy means of dropping these.

  • CliffMCliffM ✭✭✭✭✭

    2 and 3 are very welcome, for me at least. I can't buy Viruses for AP engines, but I can buy Battle Beacons. Woohoo!

    Not being sarcastic, I love it. AP Engines are my jam, except for the part where I need SBULAs and Viruses. As the player-base declines, it's harder and harder to get extra VR gear from other players.

    And the leveling up a portal with another agent? I love it. Again, not enough other players these days, so Battle Beacons makes getting a Level 8 portal at a remote spot like a vacation portal much easier. In the past, I have used the requisite flip cards to get the same effect, but it's tedious, and expensive (as far as VR inventory).

    The latter is a moot point though, who is traveling anywhere these days? :/

    But to the larger point about Battle Beacons, I really don't see using them for their "intended" purpose. The xfac relations in my area would preclude that, and I think that story plays out all over the place. Maybe when we have in-person IFS again, but here in the US, we are months away from that.

  • 1) Using a beacon isn't always an option. And spoofers may target durable unmanned anchors with these.

    2) It's not a bad thing, but it is still an exploit of the flip-function, outside of intended use.

    3) I haven't misunderstood. I probably should have mentioned that the two players would be same faction, so upgrading is definitely possibly.

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