There is still a global pandemic taking lives left and right. There are people out there who might be risking their lives to go to the grocery store, let alone exploring portals on foot.
What It was supposed to be 8 years ago can change. And I don't know you, but I have explored my city most by intel than in person. Before Ingress I could barely go anywhere without a GPS, and before gps I never dare to go in new places and got lost sometimes (it's a 15km radius city).
Not everyone has free time all the time and can wander around all day. The drone help you recover a bit of gear during he week to have enough to use on weekends and holidays. We're no longer limited to one hour sit before play, and yet that doesn't remove the regular farm, is still faster to build up gear with one regular farm. With drones a regular person will probably hack 12 or less times a day, and in one good farm you can do it under 5 minutes, probably with your mates and drinks.
All badges are optional, if you don't like a specific one, don't do it. You can tell how people should have fun. Even with no badge I'm currently bat 2857 uniques drone hacks, and my goal is to hack all the city (probably over 10k). And bout the possible ranks of a badge, I think 10k is enough for onyx. If hack 24 times a day, you can do it one year (which would be almost impossible), and with events that change the speed, it will be a challenge for a good two years. No one will exploit it to lv up (like recharger, illuminator, recruiter, spec ops, etc).
I think my only concern with dropping a drone explorer medal, now. Is there would be no way to track uniques, right? We’d be back to square one like we were before the portal history update came out. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but if there was a way, at the very least, to see uniques while in drone view, would sure help :)
Im honestly pretty hopeful this is something we might see in the next month or two. I’d love to see a drone trekker medal as well. Though, I’m currently maxed out in my area at 100km and would need to go elsewhere to fly any further.
The way drone mark I is right now make a trekking badge really hard and easy at the same time. 50km is easy I'd you live in NY, but hard to almost everyone else, and impossible for many. I'm locked at 35km, I can do up to 48km, but that will require me to do double this distance by car to collect the keys and drop the drone.
Maybe if mark II can really travel by links, that will make things interesting. Onyx could be 20000km (half the earth circumference), the final goal. But that would make the 2x/wings impossible, so 10000 for onyx.
let's not overlook the fact that some people can't get around on foot. why bemoan a game feature that allows some people to reach places in the scanner they may not otherwise have the ability to?
I'm well aware that there's a pandemic still raging. I don't see how that alone justifies the design of a long-term mechanic, though, unless you think we'll never be free of this plague.
Yes, games change over time. Yes, anyone can pursue whichever badges they want and ignore others. I know all this, and it doesn't concern what I asked.
What's so appealing about sitting on your proverbial couch moving a drone around? What's it add to this game that isn't satisfied by anything else? If I want to virtually explore the portal network, I have the Intel Map and the Mission Creator, neither of which is limited by 500m-ish once-an-hour jumps. If I want to maintain Sojourner and hack a modest amount of gear, yes, drones have a place, especially with the pandemic, but then, neither of those reasons really relate to uniques and distance traveled.
You kinda just proved your own point. If YOU want to virtually explore the network, YOU can do it the ways you just mentioned. Or, someone could do it another way, via a drone. The game does need to evolve and change. This is just a potentially new way to explore the network and something that might appeal to new agents while they stuck under a massive perma-field.
I also don’t think the ONLY reason for the drone is because of the pandemic. But it’s a big one currently and I think we all wish the drone medals were released shortly after the drone was initially released.
I think this loops around to a bigger issue that people are getting cabin fever with a pandemic and the gameplay in general. Virtual FS isn’t enough and we’re all itching for something “new” to keep us busy and checking into the game. It should appeal to the Ingress team as well, a medal that has agents opening the app more often. Easy win!
It was pretty clear to me that the drone was being developed for a long time before, and the pandemic just rushed it out. Navigation was already pretty much like dronenet is (jumping around between portals in range, the only difference is that now you can hack and have time limitations). Maybe it was intentionally removed to avoid functionality conflict.
What's the fun of playing on my couch? Well, what's the fun of getting badges without leaving my house just by: recharging, reconning and guarding? And of agent have a couch portal, he can also earn: hacker, translator, sojourner and scout, with lucky or help iluminator too.
So saying the badge is bad because you get it without leaving your home isn't a good argument. The drones help agents to get a bit of gear and keep up their interest in the game. Not everyone lives close enough to a portal to get their daily fun with just a walk, and if you have to drive half a hour or more each day to be able to "play", that's a recipe for quitting, and quitting doesn't give yours coins do Niantic.
We had a drone event recently and I bet you that was a test to see if the players are willing to use the feature, and even if it wasn't, Niantic have the database and can be monitoring how much o actual players are using the feature. Mark II is in development, so I guess dronenet was a success.
The primary reason for the drone IMO, was to alleviate some of the pain of the badly designed Sojourner badge. It's a bad badge, in the same way Guardian was a bad badge. The longer you go, the more pain a single mistake becomes.
What I personally don't want to see, is the drone becoming an 'alternative' play style, simply because of the fact that Ingress has few enough people in the field already. Giving people an option to choose to be there in person, or not be there in person will make the disconnection in the community wider at a time when we really need to be coming together (once the pandemic is over).
As for timing, the pandemic is real, but the game will outlast the pandemic if it's positioned as a game for going outside and new features encourage that. In almost every part of the world, you can still go outside and safely play solo. Yes, anything that would force people to come together is bad, and this is why we should still have Double 8s at all times for now etc. But positioning the game to be one that works well in a pandemic, will mean that the game is not well positioned once we move out of the isolation.
Ingress thrives on community. Drone's as a 'side game' is all fine and good, but things like "10,000 unique portals" for drones, is somewhat counter-productive to the message.
If you want a realistic scaling of the Drone badge, take the expected time period (1-2 years), multiply that by the number of times you want people to focus on the drone in a day (e.g. 2 new portals a day) and then use that as your figure for black.
So for example:
2 years, 2 new portals a day: ~730
2 years, 4 new portals a day: ~1460
If you think that 10,000 is a reasonable number, ask yourself how many moves per day that'd take to do in 2 years.
10,000 / 730 = 13.6 moves.
It's 13.6 moves a day, per day for two years. FAR too high for a realistic player to complete in that time.
Even if the Unique count was 2000, it would be a stretch for the average player to complete that in under a year, and the 'dedicated' player would still be moving their drone to a new portal 6 times a day to get that in a year.
Badges are not meant to take 8 years to complete. It was quoted to me once that their goal is to complete a badge in 1 year with direct effort, though from what I've seen two years is the more realistic version. Don't propose these absurdly high figures for some belief of 'cool elite'. It just does what happened to Scout Controller.
Nobody really cares about it any more.
lol. I'm genuinely trying to understand what's so appealing about moving drones around. Is this really such a hard question for someone to answer? "Busy and checking into the game" sounds like, well, busy work, not a fun time.
I've tried this myself, and I find it utterly pointless and boring. Furthermore, drones haven't gotten my partner re-interested in the game, and they provide nothing that appeals to friends that I could recruit. And mind you, I am basically stuck under a massive perma-field (albeit one that I can ask to have taken down with some notice, if I so desired), so between that and the pandemic, it's not as if there's a whole lot of "Ingress" happening in my life right now.
To address stale gameplay and cabin fever from the pandemic, I'd suggest Niantic turn some non-zero fraction of their focus towards collaborative gameplay, something that's been long overdue in my opinion. In the past year, we've gotten a bunch of features and "events" aimed at the individual or poorly suited to the pandemic, like Battle Beacons. With pandemic induced isolation, give agents a reason to still connect with each other. IFS @ Home proves that this is possible, and the later rounds of The Tesselation proved that this is possible within the context of gameplay.
It's the same amount of fun for some people as standing next to an interesting piece of art or a post office for a few minutes is for others. It's fine if you don't like it, but you don't really need to go on this posting spree to try to discredit the idea for others just because you don't care for it, do you?
It's just something else to do in the game. Ignore its existence if you don't like it.
The problem is this discussion it the following:
Only Niantic can set the goals, they have all the data they need to judge where is the midterm. You proposed 1460 for the onyx, well jokes on you, I'm instant double onyx already by your standards. You said that badges should not take years, but sorjouner require a whole year of precise dedication, IFs 3 years, MDs depend on the size of your wallet or who knows how long it takes, and many others badges of regular gameplayer take years already. They're all suposed to be a challange.
Actually, if there's going to be a badge for drones, it should be realistic.
If you think Scout Controller is 'realistic' then you're in a tiny minority of the population. That's why I replied with logic, not just rhetoric. It's not about 'hating the badge'. It's about setting realistic goals for the average player, not pandering to extremism and elitism.
Also, on the topic of MD, IFS, and NL-1331 badges, Niantic's been widely disconnected with the reality outside San Francisco. Aside from IFS which is a forced 3 years, the other two could be done in under two maybe even one year, if you live in San Francisco, where they constantly have events. MD Sacramento is becoming such a problem with old mission day missions interfering that they need to add a new display system to find the right one.
They are supposed to be a challenge, sure. I can agree with that as long as the requirements are realistic. You don't want the insane requirements to eventually take away all the fun from the task. For those who think a certain requirement is too "easy", they can always push to double/triple/quadruple Onyx too. I have yet to meet one agent who things Scout Controller was well thought out especially when you talk about the medal tiers. 12,000 is ridiculous even with volatiles. Period.
I never said Scout Controller is realistic. You're the one bringing that badge up.
And what is an average player anyway? You think 200000 hacks is average? I know players who play almost everyday for the last 4 years and still aren't black on illuminator, or gold in translator. Each player choose their own path. My point is that is not up to any player to decide, but to Niantic to decide.
brian rose via twitter:
Mission Authoring Tool performance degrades with more missions per Agent. We’re considering how to address that before expanding the per-Agent mission limit. One thing you can do in the meantime might be to help newer Agents level up and create missions together.
Apparently this seems to be the reason. Thanks for considering to address this!
Yes, I'm bringing up unrealistic badges, you're right. Seer Onyx was another bad badge, though bronze through gold were ok.
You think 200000 hacks is average? For an eager player yes. I got Plat Hacker in just over 18 months and had a period of minimal play during that, before Glyphing. After glyphing came out, Hacker is not a reasonable level, but that's due to changes in the game after the badge was created.
I got Translator in under 6 months, but I'd consider myself 'above average' in Glyphing and had the benefit of a big P8 farm for a large part of that.
The point is that while different people can take different times to complete things, and everyone has periods where they're not focused on one badge or another, focused play on a given thing should take about 2 years at most to complete. If you never glyphed, and just hacked, you would likely have 200,000 hacks in two years as a regular engaged player, because before glyphing that's what it took to have decent gear levels.
With a very concerted effort over a period of 3 months, I killed 50,000 resonators to complete Plat Purifier. That was 'above and beyond', but if I'd continued that, I'd have gotten Black Purifier in 18 months. And 'back in the day' (before we got other game changes and more badges), Purifier was considered one of the harder badges, with only Seer, Connector, Mind Controller being harder in terms of time effort.
Everyone plays differently, but badges should be aimed at the average not designed to push the most extreme players over the course of years. An extremely dedicated player should complete a badge far faster than the average.
1.000 is still ridiculously low tier.
10.000 sure is difficult and long. But it's a choice to go for it.
I'm settled somewhere in the middle. Easy badge isn't valuable.
1000 sounds easy, but that's still gated by 1 hour movements. Having to move 13 times a day every day for two years across a 13 hour period in the day is fairly ridiculous of an ask.
The issue isn't so much that it's "hard" but that there's no "rush option".
I can explain to you why I like standing next to art: I'm fascinated by the physical construction of art objects. I stand in awe of a massive, steel sculpture that seems to stand when I think gravity should make it fall. I puzzle over globs of paint on a canvas, wondering how individual brush strokes came together. I marvel at the pen strokes and inlays that bring an illuminated manuscript to life.
I can explain to you why I like standing next to a random post office: I enjoy going for walks, and there exists this virtual world in which I and others battle for control of a virtual game board at places like this. By taking a look at a map of this virtual world, I find places that Must Be Retaken in the Name of My Team™, and thus do I choose the destinations for my walks. I find it fun to puzzle out the strategies of the other team and to come up with my own. starts rambling about fields and blocking links and organizing tens or hundreds of agents…
But asking this same question about drones is somehow an existential threat to anything and everything about them? I don't get it.
Recharging is not fun; it's tedium in the name of maintaining "control." Recon is a disaster of wading through vast piles of mediocrity because of one-size-fits-all criteria being applied to games with vastly different needs and play styles. Guardian caused nothing but grief. Most agents don't have a couch portal, so the few that can work on Hacker, Translator, Sojourner, Scout, etc. are unusually fortunate. So, yes, Ingress on the proverbial couch strikes me as not fun and as not an option for most Agents.
My experience is that drones have done little, if anything, to maintain interest in Ingress. "Community" and collaborative play is what keeps people around and interested. Stickin' it to The Other Team™ is what keeps people around and interested. Being able to go out in the real world and interact with the game board in person is what keeps people around and interested.
The rush is getting it in less than a year rather than over 5 or never.
Community may be the strongest aspect of Ingress, but isn't the only one. There's in plenty of loners out there playing with almost no contact with anyone. They deserve love too. There's nothing wrong with a badge for drone.
The loners absolutely deserve some love! But that's so very different from a long-term incentive to play from home. To echo/quote @Perringaiden:
What I personally don't want to see, is the drone becoming an 'alternative' play style, simply because of the fact that Ingress has few enough people in the field already.
Long ago, the game board around me was alive in no small part due to all the loners and "weakly collaborative" individuals. Lunch break and commute hour warriors. That sort of folk. When the pandemic ends, I want those people back in the field, not still at home twiddling away at medals that'll take them years to get.
Given that these seem to be the easiest folk to crush through gear starvation and overhead fields, if someone wants to shower them with love, find ways to help them avoid those fates. (Visiting thousands of unique portals via drone is not the way.)
It's not a matter of being able to explain it or not, it's that no one owes you the answer you're seemingly demanding, that would justify somethings existence. To each their own.
I think that's the whole beauty of the game, right? While some people absolutely love wandering streets and grabbing uniques and scanning portals, other enjoy working on recon and flying the drone around. Some people love throwing large fields and working with their faction, others love **** micro fields and sticking to themselves. @Toxoplasmolly doesn't seem interested in anything related to the drone, but there are a large number of very vocal people pining for multiple medals related to the drone. That's not to say your opinion isn't valid or not worth voicing, but I'd say you're in the minority when it comes to what "the people want" in regards to the drone and subsequent medals. I don't really have any other way to explain it, but the drone is here, the stats are here, so I don't see how a medal could possibly be a bad thing for the game.
I'm going to have to point out that this statement in no way reflects the reality of both Ingress and any other game. Even World of Warcraft's "longest achievement" spans only one year in terms of normal achievements. Feats of Strength, a completely different category with achievements that don't show up unless you go looking for them, usually don't even take that long unless you're really unlucky.
There's in plenty of loners out there playing with almost no contact with anyone. They deserve love too.
Loners who play Ingress for the fun of Ingress, are not exactly thrilled over drones either. The people who love drones are more often than not, retired regular players who don't want to actually go outside any more, but still keep doing stuff, or people for which the game is difficult to play because of rural distances and lack of portal density.
The first group is a non-event for developing content, unless it's to get them back into playing the normal game, which drones aren't. The second would be far better served by providing better means of developing portals in their region, both with changes to portal criteria and changes to how portal submission credits work, and increasing player numbers.
I feel like you've got something you want, and now you're trying to find ways to explain why it's necessary, instead of attempting to solve a necessary problem with an idea.
I said it before, X like it will support it, Y hate it will complain. Can't argue here since is just opinions vs opinions.
Someone with 13 drone hacks in the last 9 months against someone with 3 thousands. Let's wait for someone with 500-1000...
I'm out. Happy with my future instantly 2x badge or a halfway through challenge.
I'm at 900 drone hacks, now. I enjoy it. Gets me to look at the scanner more frequently.
Drone medals are coming sooner or later. I mean, I posted after @NianticBrian all but said that. My opinion on the matter has been irrelevant this entire time. And yet, asking what the medals add to the game gets that "large number of very vocal people" yelling in my ear. Heavens forbid I should have posted a reason for disagreeing earlier, when medals were less certain…
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with these numbers, or what they do or do not entitle me to, but here they are:
I was aiming for a 16km flight, but the drone got forcibly recalled partway through, and I haven't had a chance to transport it back to a suitable starting point.
Personal opinion - drone adds nothing to the game other than a way to hack a portal to maintain sojourner. (Which I still lost after 2130 days when I missed the fact that recharge no longer counted).
Yes- you can hack gear, once an hour. Sorry but that is just not hacking gear anymore than a wafer is a full meal. It's incidental and basically does not meaningfully impact gear levels.
Yes-- you can explore the portal network, let's be honest, Intel is much faster for this.
I am totally against drones detracting from the main aim of Ingress, which is to get out and explore, battle people in the field etc.
If drone features come out that allow drones to attack portals in the wild, deploy, capture, upgrade, to me that's just Niantic authorized spoofing. If that happens, most of what's left of our local team, myself included, would pack their bags and so long and thanks for all the fish. Spoofing is the antithesis of Ingress. The amount of time myself and others have spent tracking and reporting and reinstating, it would be a complete slap in the face and basically a "We give up, we can't stop spoofing so let's build it into the game".
Niantic may never stop spoofing, but authorizing it as a bridge too far.
There may be a place for drones in specific sub play areas of the game, pure drone competitions etc. I would also argue that this was now a separate game and no longer Ingress.
Allowing recharge via drone on site, that would be OK, (you lost the key, it's out of normal recharge range etc).
Whether scarce resources should be devoted to this? I am doubtful.