LA Anomaly Feedback
I (and much of the Ingress Team) was at the LA anomaly. We have been to a few anomalies before, but I wanted to take some time to talk about this one. I was playing as a player (i.e. I didnt not tell my team that I am a Niantic and used nothing that a player wouldnt have access to in order to participate). Similarly, I am making this post as a player (meaning that I simply want to learn what the community thinks and any ideas / changes / comments will be read by me, but I can make no guarantee of any changes) With that being said, some of the things that I experienced include:
- Scanner freezing + crashes.
- Server lag
- The massive amount of non-niantic tools needed to participate including everything from verifying player team, to private communication, to watching whats happening.
- Not being able to know what the score at any point was
- Having there be a massive player imbalance between the teams.
- Being "stuck" at a specific place for a while fighting over a beacon instead of being able to go see the whole play box
The crashed I noticed during the anomaly sucked and I got some information about whats causing them (with some help from others as well) so I'll make tasks to improve that.
Server lag is something we're already working on, but what I saw was generally in line with what I saw in redacted lag.
As far as players pretending to be part of the other team: I wonder if there should be some larger punishment for being caught doing this.
As for the player imbalance: battle beacons hit that point really hard. The larger team will win. I wonder if the format should include things which are based off of percentage (e.g. what % of players visited every portal in the playbox) so that the number of people is irrelevant. What do you think?
Overall, I am curious about the format of the event. Battle beacons hit the inventory pretty hard which makes extended play harder. When we were originally designing battle beacons we wanted the reward for participating to be large, so we created the category system which would yield large hack outputs. I think that waiting for a player to hack is what makes using battle beacons in situations like anomalies feel bad. I wonder if, instead, we gave you just one huge pile of rewards when the beacon finished automatically if that would feel better and would let you keep going much better.
We've done a lot of very similar style events before, but I was wondering about what new formats you think may work better? I was curious: what if there were "phases" where there was high intensity (e.g. battle beacon or shard play) followed by a "recovery" phase where players were able to a. go to the bathroom b. farm gear back c. eat something d. have a "portals visited" challenge in that phase so you can go see other places in the play box might be better. I was also curious if we structured the reward for victory in an earlier phase by giving one team extra information for a later phase if that might be more fun (and allow comeback mechanics even if one team was thoroughly trounced in an earlier phase). An example there might be: the winning team would be told which portals shard would start at and what the targets were during the rest phase before or told which portals would have the battle beacons / volatile battle beacons. That information is certainly a large advantage, but its not impossible to overcome which may make it a good reward for winning an earlier phase.
Is there anything simple that I've missed that we could do?
Just to reiterate: this is just me asking questions trying to gather some feedback and information, not the team. I cannot promise any specific changes from this, but I will read every comment and I will use that information to see what I can do. Also, I am not involved in the planning of anomalies and I know that there is improvement there, but for this thread I would ask to focus on the content of the anomaly over the planning (I have read through the other thread about the planning already)