Your experience with the Niantic Reset Program - A call for testimonials



  • ThePoioThePoio ✭✭✭
    edited October 2021

    If i can suggest improvements is this: we send the link on the intell like the field was before being destroyed in fake, NIANTIC reconstructs by automatically removing link (made in fake o legit).

    usually remove fake reso the portals Tuesday and Friday, this resonators have to removed immediately after the ban.

    Consider punishing colluding players too, too many players use their legal accounts only in real and after do illegal things with secondary accounts like farming keys in fake and after using whit account legal.

  • I think this program has added some value back to a game we love to play and applaud the time and effort of the Vanguards.

    In the area I am playing, we have had dozens of spoofers in short periods many times and the reporting has improved with the new system as opposed to what used to be.

    I hope that the players that create and sell accounts get their main accounts banned, I wish that niantic would be a little more proactive and look at ebay and craigslist to find the perpetrators making money selling accounts and the people that buy them.

    I managed to get one of the spoofers to chat with me on tg and he admitted his involvement and the others that he assisted in doing the spoofing, it was quite disturbing that people spend so much time trying to cheat

  • SSSputnikSSSputnik ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't write 10 pages dude, Niantic will bin it.

    Suspected spoof, Ign, portal, UTC time. That's it.

    The more you write, the less likely Niantic will do anything.

  • I'm new to this whole dealing with spoofers thing, so this is good timing. A few weeks ago me and another agent figured out how to make a large layered field in our area, which I guess happened to be in a cell (MIKE-01) where a spoofer and a really intense legit player have teamed up to keep control of it for over 2 years, and suddenly we became a threat to this.

    At first it was just us vs. the legit player and it was a fun game of back and forth strategy trying to outsmart and outplay the other team. It was exciting and we were starting to learn patterns and come up with good plans and we started gaining ground, but once we became tougher opposition, we had a few of our anchors spoofed down. The spoof account was reported twice, but nothing happened and the account is still active to this day and recently spoofed down several of our other attempts at making fields. Then another agent trespassed, and then they spoofed into the same restricted area, and then continued to spoof down the fields, so we have given up.

    In talking with fellow agents, it seems the spoofing has been an ongoing issue with the same player for years. Their field is regularly rebuilt by either the intense legit player or the spoof accounts, most of the time before the next checkpoint. Eventually after they use the accounts enough and after enough people report the spoofing, the spoof accounts get banned, but the spoofer just makes new ones. Since he doesn't seem to spoof with his main account, that never gets in trouble, and the score will never stand a chance of being beaten.

    In my eyes the report form is a joke. People can spoof or trespass onto a closed area, but they suffer no consequences, and nothing is restored. Due to this I have given up rebuilding the field and have lost any motivation to do anything of consequence in this game. I have heard of others either quitting or switching teams due to this same spoofer. They are a blight on the community and Niantic hasn't done anything to solve the issue.

    I've only been driving for this field in the single cell, to relatively short hiking trails. Reading all these other stories makes mine feel small in comparison, so while I don't expect anything to change where I am, I truly feel for all the players on both teams that play legit and work much harder, only to lose things to someone on their couch.

    • Which method you used to request the reset (Support ticket, fast-track form, contact VG, etc),

    I used the Contact Us - Report Inappropriate Gameplay option in the scanner four times (first spoof account two times, trespasser once, and second spoof account once), and then also filled out the fast track form three times (first spoof account once, trespasser, second spoof account).

    • What you requested for restore/removal? You can generalise here or be specific.

    The first fast track form I submitted was because the anchor was about a 10 minute walk into the woods in a park, which seems like a silly request now, but I was new to all of this and felt that I shouldn't have to put more physical effort into the game due to someone else sitting at home violating the rules of the game. Oh how naive I was.

    The second report I didn't request resets because the anchors were in a town center, easy to rebuild, but we lost a few checkpoints because of it, and those can't be fixed.

    I filled out the form on 10/1 to request resets of two P8's taken out by the trespasser, which were on restricted areas that only I have access to, so they can't be rebuilt to P8's currently. I didn't hear anything and nothing was restored after 6 days, so I recaptured them and now they're only P6's, since the area is restricted and nobody else can visit to help bump them.

    I filled out the form again on 10/8 because a L3 spoof account took out two more of the restricted access P8's, but I doubt anything will come of that either, so I'll eventually go recapture them back to P6's.

    • How often you've had to request resets? Was it a once-off event or do you require resets more often?

    Only these four times within the past two months. Since we have stopped trying to win the score, or anything else of significance in this game, I doubt we'll have any further incidents to report.

    • How soon were those resets processed and was everything restored as requested? If not, please add why not.

    I never heard anything back about any of them, the spoof accounts are still active, and the initial spoof account has taken out anchors four more times since the initial report. Nothing was ever done after the first two times, so I didn't bother and just started expecting that we'd get spoofed down whenever we got close. Kind of like a badge of honor that we've been doing a good enough job to get noticed and to frustrate the spoofer.

    • How did the spoofing and the restore impact you? Either personally, or your community?

    The spoof accounts would hit right before checkpoints, so regardless of things being reset or not, the score was affected and the team using the spoof accounts wins. The intense player gloats that 'he' has a winning score streak that will never be broken. Even if the spoof accounts get banned, new ones can be easily created and affect the score again. This has caused me to stop playing for the score, stop playing for anything meaningful, and to not trust anyone on the other team. People play along with the spoofer and consider it part of the game that as long as they can get away with spoofing it's acceptable and the score is legit. It's ridiculous and stupid.

  • AgentGorangeAgentGorange ✭✭
    edited October 2021

    I am a survivor of cell K-spoofteen, where gps spoofing is a weekly and sometimes daily occurrence in a cell with around 20 active and semi-active players. The spoofing comes in all sorts in the cell:

    • long hauler spoofing accounts (12+ month) that are always in the right position to take down fields that have the ability to impact cell scores, followed shortly thereafter by blocking moves of other players
    • Newly created local accounts (agent training completion visible in intel) that get to level 2 or 3 and are equipped with the needed virus, depending on the target(s).
    • Newly created foreign accounts (first capture visible in comms in intel in a non-local language), again equipped with the needed virus, depending on the target(s).
    • Level 8 accounts never seen in the area and primed with ultrastrikes and bursters, usually targeting low signal and poorly accessible portals (islands). Hits for hire?
    • New accounts created in the area, leveled for a couple weeks with slow, but continuous progress before heading out for an airborne adventure.
    • and on, and on, and on...

    Before commenting on portal resets, it is necessary to say that Niantic simply must do better in the software to slow the advance of spoofing. Spoofing might never be completely preventable, but the apparent current ease for bad actors to engage in spoofing activities is a terrible situation.

    Which method you used to request the reset (Support ticket, fast-track form, contact VG, etc),

    • Support tickets and fast-track forms have been used to report the spoofing activity. Rarely have I used to form to request resets.

    What you requested for restore/removal? You can generalise here or be specific.

    • Generally only request the resetting of a single portal poorly accessible locations (typically on islands). In the most recent request, I was requesting the reset of an island portal and a series of strategic blockers / rails that had been established and maintained to the portal for a period of weeks.

    How often you've had to request resets? Was it a once-off event or do you require resets more often?

    • As above, reset requests are rarely requested. The exception being on island portals that are not easily accessible or in a different country. Heading out recapturing and rethrowing only comes a the cost of time, exercise, and killing the planet by burning some fossil fuels in the vehicle. And, it is faster than the reset protocol.

    How soon were those resets processed and was everything restored as requested? If not, please add why not.

    • This is a big area where improvement is required. The reset time is taking far too long - days and sometimes more than a week. In two recent examples, a portal was taken down by a spoofing account of the opposing faction, fully deployed by the spoofer, and flipped back to the original team.
    • Detailed example
    • Day 1, 20:35 spoofer (level 3 account never seen in the area) takes down an anchor 0.5km from the road, on a trail in a park with spotty mobile service.
    • Account is immediately reported by players from both factions, including me with a fast tack request.
    • Over the next 60 minutes, the account jumps to three other anchors, covering a distance of nearly 190 km.
    • The account continued by jumping to another anchor in an closed tourist attraction, jumping to an island 200km away in a different country (fully deploying this portal blue), before returning to my home country to take out one last portal at about 02:30.
    • At approximately, Day 2, 03:00 one of the spoofed portals is recaptured and several links are thrown from the portal as blockers.
    • Day 2, 07:00, a second spoofer account travels to the island portal and flips it back to Green.
    • Day 2, 08:00 the account was finally removed from the system, but the damage was done.
    • Day 2 (about 14 hours after all this started) the selected ticket for the fast track was raised by a player on the opposing faction. When the vanguard got in touch with this person, this RES player referred the report to another ENL player (call the account ENL1). ENL1 contacts me and asks for the inbound links and information on the portal status before the reset. I send as much information as I have.
    • Vanguard indicates to ENL1 that they want to reset, but there is a single link in place that is blocking the reset. I communicate this to the person that threw the blocker and they eventually flip the portal causing the problem. But, this is after the vanguard is done for the day.
    • Through Day 2, players start throwing links into the spoofed island portal.
    • Day 3, the vanguard has the island portal reset to the original status for the deploy, bouncing off all the newly created inbound links.
    • Day 4 players from both teams are active in the area and more unintentional blocking is up. None of the original inbound links were ever restored.
    • In this example, the main issues are the amount of time required to ban the offending spoof account was too long to prevent significant damage and the time to achieve the reset was far to long, disabling the ability to recover. The delay in reset was exacerbated by the game of telephone and that the vanguard assigned was in a different continent and timezone (+6h).

    How did the spoofing and the restore impact you? Either personally, or your community?

    • Personally, I try not to play much in K-spoofteen hoping that one day the bad actors will become self-consuming and disappear. I am fortunate, however, that I live at the convergence of four cells. I have options to play outside the cell. Others, more centrally located in K-spoofteen, have given up playing all togethers.

    Possible suggestions to make this better:

    (1) Much better spoofing prevention and detection by Niantic. Prevention, early detection, and rapid elimination are key.

    (2) Consider grouping all impacted parties that have raised the ticket into a single Telegram group. This can allow all needed information to travel to the vanguard in a timely manner and avoid the telephone game that was described above.

    A few more comments....

    • There is one nearby portal (<100km) that has been spoofed numerous times over the years, so much so that it is often difficult to tell if it is a legitimate day to play the portal or just another spoof-fest. Undoubtedly, at some point this will lead to legitimate accounts being reported. Anymore, the spoofing of this portal has been so rampant, that I now report most takedowns of the portal unless it is an account that I know from the area.
    • Because of the high rate of spoofing, new incidents sometimes happen faster than the close-out of the prior ticket. This creates a Niantic Support backlog on the user. It would be great to be able to raise new tickets while waiting for old tickets to be closed.
    Post edited by AgentGorange on
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