Niantic Vanguard support.
I've just learnt one of Niantic's most treasured Vanguards is on the point of throwing in the towel.
They are hammered with requests, not paid and lately NIANTIC SUPPORT are not banning very obvious spoofers in a timely way.
This leads to the person having to log spoofed portals and links for hours whilst NIA Ops don't take action.
In the past NIA Ops took timely action, now they don't.
This had led to a snowballing of workload for the Vanguard. From what little I know, other Vanguards are nowhere near as active.
If this person quits the position, it's a huge loss to the game and fair play enforcement and a inditement on Niantic support.
Can Niantic please assist either by helping with more Vanguards and/or kicking NIA Ops up the backside?
It's upsetting to see someone who has been a stalwart for both factions so stressed out for what's a pretty thankless job.
Maybe, i know who you mean. And if is true it will be painful.
And totally agree about what you suggest.
This has been building ever since the Trusted Reporters program was shut down.
I should add. Vanguard is saying a lot of reason is little action on players spoof reports. We used to get very good player reported bans and now, not so much.
I've always felt that Niantic were keeping Ingress alive due to its insane potential in AR.
I hope this situation isn't a canary that Niantic has changed their mind regarding Ingress AR.
Maybe it's an indicator that the game has been going through a cost cutting phase and we're seeing the fallout from it now?
I hope (operative word) that Niantic can dig deep and get this resolved in a positive way for us lowly players and that ever-so generous with their time Vanguard.
Maybe spoofers have a fresh technique. Hopefully this is sorted out ASAP.
When and why was Trusted Reporters shut down?
How do Vanguards operate? Do the Nia Ops ask them for assistance on support requests, or can players contact them, or only PoCs?
Players can contact directly.
We usually don't advertise the Vanguards we know / use to avoid them being overwhelmed with minor issues. (Normally strategic spoofs only).
It becomes hard on the Vanguard when spoofers are running rampant for hours with NIA Ops not quickly banning with snowballing work level as reports come in for other spoofs and multiple tickets to start tracking/escalating.
This was the post subtley shutting down the TR program. Bot ceased, and all fast tracks went straight to Niantic from that point onwards.
Real sad to know about this.
But this was foresaw, so not a suprise anymore.
Whoever it is, you gave your best and we salute you. One battle has to the last battle. Let all previous battles shine on for you when you are gone, as the light of the brightest stars.
As far as I know, there's only one Vanguard so... what's gonna happen if they decide to leave? These are not good news. Are we slowly witnessing the downfall of Ingress?
Which Vanguard is the "one" you know of?
The only one you see in this forum. I didn't know there were so many, haven't seen any of those in here.
Most seem pretty inactive...
Jumping off a sinking boat is a good idea.
Most vanguards are quiet and dont interact on this community so its sad too see if the one that is active here will decide to quit 😕
Has anybody been contacted by any of the other Vanguards lately regarding any problem with portal reset or anything else? I got to speak with the 'one' Vanguard once because of a portal reset, but that's all, I've asked for her help some times but I've never heard of the others. Do they still exist?
None, recently. Even after I helped ban 12 spoofers within 1 month and I checked "contact me for portal restoration" option for some of them. None of Vanguards contacted me. This is absurd.
If considering the experience long ago. Once I was contacted by one Vanguard, twice, successively, for portal restoration, after I helped Niantic to ban two spoofers. Never talked with that Vanguard for something else. Later, I found that I was secretly blocked by that Vanguard on Telegram, after I spoke poorly on the forum of an Ingress fan channel.
Thus personally I couldn't say that I'm very sad about someone that's not really helping players as seems on the forum, and not really following Vanguard guidelines by utilizing player's private information acquired from NIA OPS (The Fast Track reporting form) to block specific player, to quit.
The system design of Vanguard is unstable as well. If we have to be familiar or build good relationship with specific Vanguard, so that they could do something voluntarily to get some jobs done that should actually be done by Niantic, then it means the system has already failed. Just let it go.
As far as I'm aware, the Vanguards have always been free to decide how much, or how little, to interact with other players. And portal resets became a thing after the Vanguard program became a thing, so how much the Vanguards wanted to participate in that process was their choice.
Let us be gracious towards to the ones who chose to reach out and actively help fellow Agents, and let us hold no ill will towards those who chose to keep to themselves.
To prove my saying, here goes a bunch of report reference number in the past 2 weeks. Almost all of them are spoofing reports that meets the Fast Track Report criteria. ALL of the spoofers I reported in those tickets were banned.
It's not a "probably they are not spoofers" situation. All of those spoofers I reported were banned. Considering the time of action taken, I suppose they really were escalated to Fast Track. However, even if I've chosen "Contact me for portal restoration" (if not for all the TR form for them, at least some were chosen for), NO vanguards contacted me after the spoofers were banned.
Any Niantic employee can see what I said is true. Not a single Vanguard contacted me, after I helped ban 10 spoofers in the past 2 weeks.
I understand that Vanguards are not required to do so but it's 10 spoofers in the past 2 weeks. At least it should trigger 1 portal restoration procedure, isn't it?
If current Vanguards are too tired to help, and even one of them intentionally blocked my Telegram account (while being very active on the forum), why not retiring and switching to a new bunch of Vanguards? There are definitely candidates that are caring about helping players to protect the in-game environment.
We haven't received a single reset request on our reset form from Ops from you, so apologies that nobody contacted you.
Ops evaluates fast-track and will mark it as eligible (and banned). Only then will that pull through to our sheet. We ourselves don't have access to the form, nor the tickets.
If any portals need restoring, you can have a fellow agent contact me and I'll take a look. My reasons for blocking you are my own and not related to anything with or on the IUENG chat.
For those of you wondering, yes the post refers to me, but I'm not stepping down yet. Though I can't say the thought hasn't crossed my mind. For various reasons I won't mention here.
Vanguards do not have to make themselves available to agents for support. In fact, its not even in our role description. We can choose whether or not we wish to engage agents. There are several VG still active, but that activity will not always be visible. I'm certainly not the only active VG, and we are still functioning.
"There are several VG still active" is already a critical problem. We are supposed to have 30 Vanguards named.
All Vanguards should be active. If they feel tired, please retire and let some others do the job. Players will still appreciate their contributions and works, rather than forcefully making them to stay in that position and do the job they no longer want to and thus making everyone frustrated.
I personally don't care whether specific Vanguard dislikes, disagrees with or blocks me because I have no interests to talk about leisure things and build personal relationship or even starting a chat with Vanguards on another continent except for the reporting procedure. I would like Vanguards present to do their jobs as expected. I know some of them are very tired and thus becoming silent but it's not us players that make them tired. Quiet quitting without rotation is not a solution.
Sounds like this needs clarification.... Being a Vanguard is not a job.
We are not required to assist players, it's not our role. Some of us volunteer our time to do so, and this is completely at our own discretion.
Every VG can choose to step down or not, as they see fit, until Niantic decides to rotate out current VG and invite new ones. No one is forced to stay.
Honestly, the fact that Vanguards are fronting portal resets is a broken system.
Niantic is using the Vanguards (who are willing to do this) as free labor because the company isn't willing to staff this in-house. IIRC, the main role of Vanguards was to serve as a player advisory committee for Niantic, a group of trusted users that they could discuss things with and bounce ideas off of. I'm grateful that some of them have been willing to do the volunteer labor of portal resets, and every time I've dealt with them in this regard the interaction has been wonderful, but really I should be going straight to Niantic. Ideally the company would restore spoofed portals automatically in cases where the portals were tactical/strategic, but asking Niantic for restoration is a reasonable compromise I guess.
OK, ideally Nitanic would have excellent spoof detection and prevention and we'd never have to restore portals but that's just a wild fantasy.
That's not the entire story, actually. According to https://niantic.helpshift.com/hc/en/3-ingress/faq/471-about-the-alliance-of-the-vanguards-program/?s=agent-protocol&f=about-the-alliance-of-the-vanguards-program
While participation is entirely voluntary, Vanguards are expected to actively and constructively engage with the Ingress team and other Vanguards on a regular basis on the designated chat platform. Failure to regularly contribute may result in being removed from the program. Vanguards may take on additional tasks as they choose. This brief summary of current Vanguard responsibilities is not intended to be comprehensive or complete.
When you mentioned "There are several VG still active, but that activity will not always be visible", I suppose this means that they are still "actively and constructively engage with the Ingress team and other Vanguards on a regular basis on the designated chat platform", while some VGs are not even active there, right?
If so, it means that they are not doing their job. It's not a Niantic's job or paid job, it's a job because they signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement and agreed to meet the expectation mentioned on that helpshift webpage including doing something.
Of course Vanguards are not required to help players. But we for sure have candidates that are willing to help players. Let them be Vanguards and retire the completely inactive ones. The problem lies in:
Becoming a Vanguard
We are currently not soliciting applications for the Vanguard program. Updates will be posted in the Ingress Community and the Official Telegram channel.
Why Niantic is not accepting applications when many Vanguards are said to be inactive?
I will not discuss other VG and their activity. You have no visibility as to who is active and who isn't. If any of them want to step down that is their choice.
Niantic has not opened up new applications nor made mention of rotation. We VG are not the ones that can choose and assign new VG, that is up to Niantic if and when they see fit to do so.
I fully agree on both points. The reset program shouldn't rely on volunteers. It was meant to be a stop-gap until they could work out a system to do it themselves, but that hasn't happened.
The introduction of CAL has helped prevent spoofing on durables/strategics (provided those portals are on CAL), so that has definitely been a step in the right direction, but the detection algorithms need serious work. I don't think we'll ever be in a space where a reset won't be needed, but NIA should definitely be working towards that goal.
Yes, and thus we can see clearly that the problem actually lies in not updating Vanguard program, which leads to players' not being able to smoothly reach Vanguards for help or feedback as players expect and need, and the dismissal of the old Trusted Reporter program, which leads to Vanguards voluntarily doing relevant work exhausted over time.
The problem does not lie in specific Vanguard's personal choice or thinkings or status of inactive or something else.
Yes, and thus we can see clearly that the problem actually lies in not updating Vanguard program, which leads to players' not able to smoothly reach Vanguards for help as they expect and need
Again, none of us are required to make ourselves available to players. It is not in the role description. No player can expect us to be available to help them.
Yes, again, as I mentioned "expect" and "need". Players expect and need help from Vanguard via communication with Niantic. It's not players think that Vanguards or specific Vanguard must help them. It's not players' ordering Vanguards to help them. Let's say in this way: it's hoped and longed for.
Current Vanguard program of course does not require Vanguards to be available to players. They do that by their own decision. However, I'm sure that there are candidates for Vanguards programs who would like to make them available to players more than current situation. Let them on.
Players are expecting that someone would help them on something like rehabilitation after successful reporting. They could be "Vanguards", or "Reporting Assistants", whatever the name, whatever the program. Players need a program and participants that are really listening to and helping them. Players are not intersted in discussing about the terms and borders of Vanguard program, and vanguards in the Schrodinger state.