Ingress Prime is not Exploration Friendly
By exploration, I mean going to new and off-the-beaten-path places.
The reasoning for this is at least 3 points (others may offer more).
- Data load at startup is higher.
- Lack of signal prevents interaction.
- Lack of signal prevents submissions.
Data Load at startup is higher
Agents using satellite data pay expensive fees for that data. By increasing the data load, (which protobuf was supposed to reduce) you're making it more expensive to go to places without cell signal. By increasing the data load, you're also making it harder for people to start the game on low cellular signal in places like National Parks or points of interest in the middle of nowhere.
Lack of Signal prevents Interaction
This was something that I discovered while walking in and out of signal to a portal in the hills, after Navigation Boxes were added. I was encouraged by the fact that navigation boxes appeared, so I could follow them to portals. However, the moment I lost signal, I lost the navigation boxes and all interaction was blocked. The entire point of those boxes is to allow you to get to a portal that's not in view, and being able to see the range to the portal is extremely useful in low signal. If you have to stop and set up a satellite, being able to know that you're within 40m of the portal even if you have no signal is essential to navigating in Ingress.
Lack of Signal prevents Submissions
Partially related to the above statement, but submitting a portal when on low or no signal is impossible. If you're out of signal, you cannot interact with the game. If your signal drops in and out of reception, submitting keeps getting cut off. If you cannot get a decent signal within 25kms, you cannot submit a portal. This alone should be enough to change the way the game works. We need the ability to either submit remotely, or be able to cache a submission until we get back into signal range. Submitting a portal in no signal should be a gold standard for expanding the Portal Network to get people out of the house and into the wilderness. Yet Ingress Prime actively encourages people only to submit in cities or suburbs.
Ingress Prime has lost something that the classic client held true to. It no longer encourage people to go to crazy places, submit new portals, and then have someone else go to that crazy place in the middle of nowhere to build a multi-layered field over a continent. We have lost the adventure part of the game and the client now simply encourages people to shuffle around their neighborhood, no better than a PoGo train mindlessly capturing the same places over and over, because it has strong cell signal.
Ingress should encourage us to head down the path less taken, not just the path where there's a cell tower.
I've recently been traveling for work, and would like to point out a few additional issues caused by the changeover:
Higher bandwidth requirements interfere with lower cost options for improving connection:
Wifi range extenders will never be much help, but now they are nearly useless, because a range extender cuts internet speed in half.
Cell signal boosters, although not as bad at slowing connections, cause some latency in signals. Using more bandwidth causes them to slow to a snail's pace. Even before prime, lots of areas would time out on cell signal boosters.
Certain map tools are also an issue.
We're still waiting for feature parity on the "navigate to" option formerly present in Redacted.
First Repoted when forced to migrate from Redacted in September, the Compass rose does not rotate when I rotate the map. This appears to affect any user who has a phone without a magnetometer, despite the fact that the compass rose does rotate to indicate north on the map for pokemon Go, google maps, etc. Awful hard to navigate using Ingress when it doesnt show which way North is. And no, switching to Dynamic Compass does not help.
Reported Since September, portals are hard to see, especially neutral portals, unshielded portals, and portals under control fields.
I also noticed that the "nearby portal" icons only show me portals I've already interacted with. A mission showed me 6 waypoints within 150 meters, while "nearby portals" showed me three portals over 150 Kilometers away. I Reported this late in November.
I'd also mention a continuing issue present since day 1 of Ingress: you need internet connection to EDIT portals. This leads to some obvious abuse in rural areas, where portals were approved on private farms early on, and because there is no cell service, only abusers with private wifi can interact with them at all, and it would take a satellite connection to report them as invalid. This also raises the concern that non-locals might think these areas are open to the public.
If it was possible to report invalid portals from the intel map, that wouldn't be an issue. Maybe that would lead to other issues. But...
Traditionally, we've used the navigation boxes to report those farm portals and the like, but with the bugs in displaying nearest portals, Prime torpedoes that method.
This is precisely why I think Niantic's logic that low-signal issues are not a priority because it only affects a small percentage of players is flawed.
PoGo and HPWU are rather static games that are mainly played in the area the player is in anyways, while in contrast Ingress encourages the players to seek out other, often remote areas. It is the core of the game. And it's discouraging to see this is apparently no longer understood at Niantic,
I don't think they're not supporting it intentionally. I honestly don't think their Devs actually leave the city on grand adventures, and so never understand the real issues.
These are all very good points.
These issues are among many of the reasons I dont enjoy playing ingress.
Low signal IS a critical concern. One of the most critical concerns.
Lack of option for 'navigate to' IS a critical concern.
Poor compass function IS a critical concern.
Nearby portal malfunction IS a critical concern.
Missing railroad tracks ARE critical concerns.
Improving graphics was not a critical concern, and should not be so tenaciously defended for Prime.
I was recently driving through some sparse areas with muggles, and it was so frustrating trying to get Ingress to load when we stopped for coffee in a tiny town that I stopped bothering to try.
It was just too painful to have Ingress finally load as we were leaving town and see the gray portals I'd been right on top of and hadn't been able to capture, or check on Intel if ingress never loaded at all.