Agents Playing for the Opposing Faction
I swear I remember this topic being discussed before in an AMA with Krug perhaps... but I can’t find anything in the terms of service or agent guidelines about it. So I’m looking for help finding official word on wether or not a blue agent actively involved in green chats, getting keys from green agents and coordinating operations with green agents violates the terms of service or any other official Niantic rules.
Personally, I think playing for the other team, if not against the written rules of the game, definitely goes against the spirit of fair play and competition. Blue links are mich more difficult for blue agents to destroy and vice versa. Using that fact to your advantage by having a player of the opposite faction coordinating with you gives you a huge advantage and should not be allowed.
That said, can anyone out there point me to official word on this subject?
If one faction is foolish enough to let the other in there chats that's a community issue not the game or Niantic...
if it's intentionally used to mutually benefit both parties, it's win trading. the only exceptions are field art ops (these don't happen every day) and official events (first saturdays and special events if there's a global target to be reached)
Why would anyone work with the opposite faction ? if he like it so much why not recurse or switch to the other team? seems this should not be accepted...
Something similar has been going on in NYC for a while now. Agents from the Resistance side have been flipping green and then "coordinating" First Saturday events from both sides, playing in anomalies in the area for the ENL and "helping" by spamming link amps on anomaly portals, and trying to breach opsec in anomaly chats as well. The First Saturday strategy is pretty problematic, a number of agents no longer participate due to this.
I've seen this before. As the OP says, a rogue same colour agent can cause a lot of damage.
Usually they have an axe to grind against members of their team.
Report for win trading.
Seems like there is no consensus? I would love to hear from NIantic on this, because it raises some interesting questions in a progression.
Do you have to follow orders from other members of your team?
Can you block, intentionally or unintentionally, members from your own team?
Can you coordinate with the other team to block members from your own team?
It's easy to say, "Well, if you do the last one, you're a bad actor." But what if my team is fielding over the place where I work and live? Maybe just as part of their play, or maybe because they don't like me? Can I prevent that? Can I coordinate with the other team to prevent it?
I don't think that counts as "win trading," but again, I would love to hear Niantic's perspective.
You'll unlikely to get an answer from the Ingress team any time soon. I suspect years of malicious reporting has mellowed the developers. They'd rather work on improving the core game than legislate against the gray area of gameplay.
If you ask around, stories of agents from opposing factions sharing couch portals aren't new. I know of agents who would drive around their neighborhood flipping portals for their friends in the other team to upgrade; switch sides when they recurse just to spite someone by gifting them link amps and countering ITO (+) with ITO (-); or throwing multiple blockers that cannot be removed without flip cards. Most of them do not belong to regional communities—and even if they do, Ingress in its current state offers no incentives for players to police each other.
I think win trading is certainly against the TOS. But recursing and then using the other team's network of portals to push forward your own team's goals . . . that is what I'm wondering is considered fair play. On the one hand, you're using the other team's portals to disrupt their plans. On the other side, you can literally add nothing to your own team's score. So it feels like it's self-balancing. You give up one ability to gain another.
Agents often block their own team to carry out field ops, throwing out vanguard lines. Usually the outcome is a benefit to the team.
Or they may be to stop large field creation by a few people who keep fielding over the whole area. Again, this is generally good for the team/game.
Maliciously blocking smaller urban fields or play that generally benefits only the opposition, I'd class that as win trading.
I see recursing to the other faction is an open opportunity for the game, it has unknown potentials that many(or me) are worried about. However, I saw more counter-effects than benefits, and thus stay negative for groups of agents flopping here and there. This is a regional problem, some areas where there are only like 8 agents of the same faction can benefit if they can manage the win-trading discussion.
On the other hand, I firmly say no if a group of agents flip sides to host events. The host, POC, leader or whatever, should be able to represent that faction in the area. Represent in the meaning that the same faction should acknowledge the agent as their faction, not like respect, long-time playing, etc. I see danger in small groups using faction flips to organize FS events, for some reasons I personally experienced. It also has potential to become a biased event. I don't remember anything in the ToS or FS rules, etc. that this isn't allowed, but these things really damages the event. I also suggest to boycott that event if it really happened, just simply making a new nearby event or hopping to another city.
Having an infiltrated agent in oposing faction is just a total lack of respect for anything in these communities. Some people just don't care about that, just their own game and profile.
Issue with IFS became a thing the very second a badge was awarded for it, you don't have an idea of how many have been conducted this way, yet there is nothing to do since this is exactly what Niantic intended. I remind you that Wintrade is allowed within XF events and not prosecuted outside XF events.
The only thing you can do with these agents is a total outcast from your community. Or be outcasted yourself.
Niantic can ban for wintrading, its rare but happens.
1. I know it happens in my box.
2. I've seen it happen.
3. If #1 were "violated" more often this wouldn't be an Issue.
#4 If it's a known spoof/blatant TOS violator all bets are off as to what measures need to take place so that "crime doesn't pay".
Box self policing sometimes has to happen to get the point across that garbage isn't tolerated.
Though that would probably require periodic items exchanging in large quantity.