"and all of this because players who just want to make tiny triangles in their backyard and level up by themselves have, so far, been the ones catered to the most."
It seems very few agents who want to make tiny triangles in their backyard were willing or capable of reaching portals used for large fields. I disagree with the notion that suddenly no one is going for large fields because these agents can just keep linking anyway.
"Lots of smiling happy people enjoying the community aspect of the game. They go out to dinner together after an op, they drive hundreds of miles together. They hike together and they communicate through so many different channels to make these amazing fields happen."
My hope is that you can still experience all of this with or without large fields. There are many dinners, ops, drives, hikes, and other options for this and I've experienced it many times, unrelated to any large fields.
Although I disagree with much of your analysis on the **** of big fields, I agree that "Big fields are dying because spoofers keep getting away with their shenanigans".
"I'm guessing you know where to find data like this ;)" - There has been a paid news reporting website (and you can get some basic info for free) for several years. It existed well before TBG and Drunken Frog were shut down and is available to both factions.
I need to amend this but my 24-hour window has elapsed... my saying all those green links from King's Peak should be attributed to spoofing was a gross oversimplification.
While the capture of King's Peak may be legitimate, several of the fields that have been created since then have taken advantage of clearing actions done by banned spoofers.
I should have also pointed out that the long blue links on the west side of SLC are extremely suspicious and the agents who threw them have been reported numerous times for seemingly impossible feats of hiking and driving.
In short, many of the longer links around the Salt Lake Valley at this point are, in some way shape, or form, tainted by the actions of either known spoofers or suspected spoofers who have been reported yet who continue to evade Niantic's detection capabilities.
Agents on both sides have come to the same conclusion on these reported spoofs and they have in fact been reported by agents from both teams.
The game is about triangles, not mental warfare.
"Don't pitch me and @KonnTower in the "Wants the same thing" bucket at all."
– My apologies. From my perspective, it just seemed like a coordinated attack on my suggestions by a number of agents who all happen to have the same color scanner and who are probably all in some of the same Telegram chats.
"The fact that you think MUFG key duplication is "necessary" despite the fact that it got added when the game's "Big Fielding" aspect was already in decline just highlights the disconnect."
– I have never once said MUFG key duping was "necessary." I have simply advocated for an idea that was mentioned by Ninatic as being under consideration. Kinetic duping.
"It's not that I don't agree that big fields with teams working in concert, were an amazing part of the game. I just disagree with your claim that the teamwork-destroying game feature is what caused teams to come together. It's been 10 years, and for many of us, the exact descriptions of doom and gloom and slide into obscurity that we gave as these features got added, has happened. Reversion of one of the worst (MUFGs) is one of the few steps in the right direction."
– @BoyPlankton has a very interesting graph he's working on. It's a small sample size - just the local cell covering SLC - but it shows the MU counts of fields thrown pretty much since they started keeping score. The MU counts went up and up for several years in the early days of the game but have been in rapid decline of late. I don't want to give away any spoilers so I'll let you guess when the peak happened but I will tell you it was quite a while after the introduction of MUFGs.
"Likely it won't be enough because the teams are already broken beyond repair without some other injection of either development or marketing, and the toxicity of players intentionally preventing others play for the sole purpose of driving them from the game has never been addressed by the company. But when they make a good change, that moves the needle back to the team, yeah, I'm going to defend that."
– This I can agree with. And I also agree that Quantums/MUFGs needed to go. However, I don't think too much gear, either from glyph hacking or Kinetics is even a minor portion of the reason the game is losing players. We all live with a gear cap and if the use of backpacks were better policed - or even policed at all - this wouldn't even rise to the level of being worth mentioning. I think a capsule that gives you better gear for moving is definitely in the spirit of the game and a welcome addition. And I think it should be a way to make more keys. I do recognize that with adventure sync, it's easy to put your phone in a baby swing and fake the distance walked. But there's one really easy way to fix that. Get rid of Adventure Sync. I got a black Trekker badge before Adventure Sync and I'm super proud of that badge. It was not easy to get distance under the old game mechanics.
I pointed this out to Stems in another reply but I think it bears repeating. There is a publicly available website that lists the in-game actions of players and is exactly the same sort of database you are saying players should be banned for having been involved with. It's existed since before either TBG or Drunken Frog were shut down. Having your actions in a publicly available location-based game listed in a database is no different than having the locations of Elon Musk's plane published on a public forum.
I assume you're referring to this one?
There's also this view though, where the cycle scores are scaled:
I find the second one interesting because it implies a relationship between the end of guardian hunting and the ENL cycle scores.
Quit whining. Both sides hunted. Both sides had tools. Get over it already.
The Guardian was to be a medal of wisdom.
I consider it an interesting medal because at the time it could be acquired by a variety of methods.
Some AGs earned it by creating portals with no signal. (This is mine).
One AG finally won it by capturing numerous portals in many areas anyway.
One AG had numerous portals burned by Guardian Hunters, but eventually acquired them at ordinary stations in the city, like hiding a tree in the woods.
Some AGs attempted to create portals so that they would be less visible to scanners.
It was unfortunate, however, that these medals of competing human wisdom were ultimately obliterated by the direct scraping of cheaters.
This discussion reminded me of an old opinion that the Guardian medal should be changed to time during the period of time you are the owner.
Yes, the Pokémon GO Gym Leader is a medal that goes along with that idea.
But the irony is that that Pokémon GO Gym Leader medal, combined with the acquisition of Pokécoins, has caused more obsession and resentment to swirl around it than the Guardian medal.
I can only be thankful that Ingress did not have a system like Pokécoins.
Well, that's my ramblings.
Right. And the specific groups of people on both sides doing it, were cheating. I never claimed it was only one side, but I'm sure that certain people are more sensitive to the accusation because... complicity?
Using Salt Lake City, home of the perma **** field, as any indication of play is probably a bad thing, given that it's the primary example of why the MUFGs were a problem. For years, a field was maintained over the city almost constantly, with the goal of preventing all play within.
A graph showing how that permafield has been declining doesn't help the argument.
Outside of the anomalous areas like SLC, big fielding started declining in the mid 2015s. Things like Green and Blue Marble were much earlier and the overall "bigness" has declined as people shifted to layering as the primary point scoring method, instead of area. Something that only got easier with key duplication.
And it's been shut down enough times that it now hosts out of Russia to protect itself from prosecution. Just because the thing exists, doesn't mean it's legitimate, and Niantic has repeatedly made changes to prevent it's operation. It just decides to continue by finding other ways to operate. Using it should be a bannable offence.
These well known sites operating for several years is case in point on how the #1 problem appears to be Niantics lack of enforcement of their own terms. Section 6 of TOU covers most of these situations and includes:
"attempt to access or search the Services or Content or download Content from the Services through the use of any technology or means other than those provided by Niantic or other generally available third party web browsers (including without limitation automation software, bots, spiders, crawlers, data mining tools, or hacks, tools, agents, engines, or devices of any kind);"
What does the data ACTUALLY reflect regarding player engagement? Not just MUs but number of daily active agents, hacks, captures, etc. The list of actions that reflect player engagement is quite extensive and I suspect the evidence on player engagement suggests it may have increased.
It seems according to TOU, Niantic should be the only one with reliable data on that, but I suspect they aren't. I'd love to see data on engagement far beyond MUs captured because that hardly feels relevant to the big picture.
It might be because one side has been using it as a crutch in arguments/discussions for years.
Big fields started declining in 2015? I mean I guess I don't have a huge frame of reference because I started playing in 2015 but I remember quite a few times when I had gigas overhead as an early Ingress agent. Were there really that many more in the first two years of Ingress? Also - don't you think the fact that portal density was increasing might have had something to do with making it harder to make large fields? I mean there were just post offices and libraries back when you first started playing, right?
It’s times like this I’m reminded of the famous American philosopher who said, “Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.”
You seem to be claiming a targeted claim at a target that the claim doesn't apply to. Regardless of faction, if you're using those services you're a dirty cheat that your faction should be disowning, along with anyone who supports them.
Think science not philosophy.
If your sample size of 1 is a statisical outlier, your argument is invalid.
The majority of big fields after the first few years were "giga" by layer, not by size. The 'early days' definition of a gigafield was fields with a link distance totalling more than 6000kms.
I’m simply pointing out that just about every time there’s a discussion like this one it’s inevitable that TBG will be brought up and usually as a way for ENL agents to dismiss an argument because we obviously all cheat because a list was leaked once upon a time.
Provide a sample with data that proves your argument. Otherwise that’s the only sample there is. You don’t get to just dismiss the only data point that’s been provided because you don’t like what the data implies.
Thanks for the lively discussion on this thread. Based on the content of the discussion, I will be closing it for future comments. I appreciate your understanding.