AF07-ROMEO-12 Struggle for a balanced board
Disclaimer: This relates to AF07-ROMEO-12 (cell center roughly 38.821315,-8.567907), where ENL is and has been for a long time, the underdog faction. I will try my best to keep faction rivalry out of this and stick to facts. Apologies in advance if I fail to do so.
TL;DR: any agents that use spoofing apps in AF07-ROMEO-12 to harm RES are swiftly dealt with. Any agents that do it against ENL, or use practices like win trading, take weeks and several continuous reports from ENL players to be sanctioned, IF they are sanctioned at all. Also, any lower level agents that show activity in the area are often reported and banned, even if no harmful action aside from casual playing was taken.
We recently tried to bring our act together and put up some fighting for Cycle control in the Cell. The following is how we feel NIA and Vanguards in the area have been biased so far. What do I hope to achieve with this? I'm not really sure... Some assurance that Niantic tries to keep Ingress fun and fair for all?
I tried to keep agent names out of this for privacy's sake. I do have real agent names to match every fictional name in this tale. Some cases are more detailed than others since I had to scavenge conversation logs and agent memories, and not all of them had printscreen proof.
Also some bonus reading regarding playing in this Cell and its neighbor AF07-ROMEO-15, from a RES agent:
RES agents personally and in Telegram channels claim to have the ears of Vanguards in the area, and to report every active ENL player regularly 'just because'. How much of this is truth or baseless bragging, it is obviously impossible to know. They also like to use catch phrases like "Everyone can report anything. If NIA acts, it's because they found something". This is interesting when related to the following cases.
PlayerA, ENL Level 7 - Recruited from PoGo since he has access to a portal usually only accessed by RES agents (38.775455,-9.127308). Personally walked through the game by fellow ENL agents, physically seen and even stroke conversation with RES agents at the portal in question. 07.11.2020 Banned in less than 24h after portal activity. Appeal denied.
PlayerA_2ndACC, ENL Level 7 - New account from previous agent. This time made a video of accessing the restricted access portal. Provided certified credentials to prove legitimate portal access (it is inside an airport controlled facility). 16.01.2021 Banned less than 24h after attacking the same portal (38.775455,-9.127308). Appeal denied.
PlayerB ENL Level 5 - player from Braga (41.5472695,-8.4464407), made a trip to Lisbon and played casually and without meaningful impact on Cycle score on 04.03.2021. Banned on 05.03.2021. Appeal denied even after providing bus ticket as proof.
PlayerC, RES Level 5/6 - usually plays in Algarve (37.2440998,-8.755662). Came to Lisbon for a doctor appointment and played casually and without Cycle impact between 24 and 29 of March 2021. Banned shortly after.
PlayerD ENL Level 6 - Recently recruited new player, played around the Lisbon suburbs (Coina, Mata da Machada, Barreiro) often in the company of an experienced agent. Also played solo in Fernão Ferro and Azeitão. Casual playing, no meaningful Cycle impact. Banned on 11.06.2021, appeal pending.
PlayerE ENL Level 6 - took down a RES held portal in a lighthouse only accessible a few times per year (38.660468,-9.29893) on 31.05.2021. Banned in minutes. The fallen RES links that were there were actually in the way of a trans-atlantic RES field that appeared a few days later.
Tough to Ban/Sanction:
PlayerF, RES Level 6 - showed amazingly at the right places (far apart) shortly before Check Points to **** ENL key portals. Low level agent without even Trekker badge 10km, only glyph and recharge badge. Never seen physically at attacked portals by agents on site. Reports denied until this day, still active (and doing the same magical appearance acts).
PlayerG RES/ENL - recursed from RES to ENL recently. Has access to the restricted portal accessed by PlayerA (38.775455,-9.127308). Never touched it despite the huge advantage it would bring to ENL. Spotted several times win trading with RES agents after recursion, clearing blocking links or protecting RES fields with ENL links. All reports to have him change back to RES or sanctioned were denied and agent is still in ENL to this day.
PlayerH, RES - destroyed several key portals to harm ENL scores or benefit RES scores. Eventually banned after weeks of providing evidence, including destroying portals with restricted access where no one saw the agent in person (no buildings, no cars passing by).
PlayerI, RES Level 6 - destroyed several key portals to harm ENL scores or benefit RES scores. Never seen by agents physically on site. Only banned after several days and many occurrences.
PlayerJ ENL - Captured a portal with restricted access to RES players (38.616944,-9.052608) and a hard to access one usually in control of RES (38.648625,-9.100538) and cleared most of Almada of RES links and fields with speed and impunity. This opened the way for a link between two restricted access portals controlled by RES agents (recaptured 38.616944,-9.052608 and previously mentioned lightouse 38.660468,-9.29893) which served as a base layer for several RES fields. Banned within a week after these events.
Recalling the "dictatorship" mentioned in the post linked at the start of this post, right now the feeling among ENL agents is that recruiting new agents, among family and friends or from PoGo communities, is hopeless. They end up banned 'just because' if they play in the Lisbon area.
Likewise, travelling agents from other spots of the country are currently avoiding playing if they pass by, because they might just be banned for it. The lower the level of the agent, the more likely it is to result in a ban.
On the other hand, no matter the proof mounted against really spoofing agents working in line with RES goals (From both factions) seems to take huge effort, many weeks, and many stolen check points before they are acted upon.
Please, whoever is enforcing fair play in this cell needs to recheck what they base their decisions on. Harassing new players and undermining veteran players from a whole faction cannot be a good business practice.