@NianticBrian when we get The Citys for The Hexa? And where will be The munich after party? Have a look for the NaGa, one of my favorite Spots and its pretty zentral and has enough space for a lot of people
I hope my account works again until Munich.
Will there be goruck stealth ops? Because iirc the tough in Arnhem is at the same weekend.
@NianticBrian you are welcome to come and chat with the Vanguard team any time. I don't think @RedSoloCup will mind if you steal us for a while.
@NianticBrian Can you comment on the concerns that have been raised over de-emphasis of events requiring faction coordination and teamwork?
It sounds like Niantic is going to be taking more of a role in organizing events, can you comment on Niantic's track record of organizing events - are you satisfied that the company has the capability to create an experience worth paying for? How will the company interface with (and crucially, LISTEN to) the local communities hosting events?
I can't want for the new events! Sounds really exciting!
I don't understand why you guys like getting flak. If you were going to change something so drastically, you could have done this post first and then announced the dates. 🙃
Brian please consider making more anomalies worldwide.. just 1 for the entire world just doesnt seem right.. also more external mission days would be fun, if FS could somehow be made so that it connects as a external mission day somehow would be great. But having just 1 anomaly that starts in almost 6 months seems just very strange.. people will lose interest because its that far away both if u want travel and that its coming first in may 2020..
Unless the Hexathlon events are faction versus faction format, they still don't check the box.
A bunch of agents competing independently is not the same as coordinating as one front.
Edit: just to be perfectly clear. Either the list you posted is incomplete or we have to assume the flashpoint events aren't happening 1H.
"Yes, there is currently one Niantic-hosted event scheduled for H1 2020, but there will also be additional flashpoint events — a new scalable, competitive event format (separate from the hexathlon) — that are designed to enable more players to participate together as a faction, and contribute to the anomaly series."
So these "flashpoint" events are planned but don't have a date other than H1?
How are they "scalable"?
How are they different from anomalies?
Why aren't they on the list of events?
What was wrong with Umbra other than the servers completely falling over and only having limited sites?
So many more questions raised.
I have to agree with pinesinger. One of the primary drivers of agents playing Ingress is the inherent PvP nature of the game. Niantic's other titles are PvE Wonderland where community and communication are minimally required. Whether or not it was the intent, Ingress has created global communities and previous events like anomalies and competitive shards have brought agents from around the world to work together. Against the other faction. Let me repeat that, just in case it wasn't abundantly clear: WE LIKE TEAM-BASED COMPETITIVE EVENTS. Please note all six of those words. I'll emphasize two of them one more time: TEAM-BASED.
Hexathalons are a great way to get people to play, but unless there is a major overhaul of the format, those are also known as First Saturday, except run entirely by y'all. With six whole stats tracked instead of 2-3!!!! But you do realize that these "Super First Saturday" events are incredibly limited given the resources required by Niantic. An "event" that is essentially an individual stat competition over 90 minutes pales in comparison to an actual anomaly. And what's the difference? Two magical words: TEAM-BASED. I have absolutely nothing against Xfac or individual events, but those would not keep me playing for the 5 years I have. I won't put words in fellow agents' mouths, but I would say it's a pretty safe bet to say that I'm not alone.
I will say thank you for your post, but let's be blunt. Are team-based competitive events too difficult to host? Very few of the anomalies that I have participated in had a heavy on-site Niantic presence. That's actually fine by me. I would be curious how many agents actually have fedback "wanted more Niantic employees at anomaly!" Characters, sure, but be honest, what's the bigger driver for anomaly attendence? Game lore or community?
Too difficult to monetize? I'm not a financial guru, but it seems that there are a pelthora of ways to monetize Ingress that don't actually upset the competitive balance. From my point of view as a simply lowly agent, it seems that y'all have lost the creative spark that made Ingress the unique game that it has become. I'm not sure when that spark was lost, but there was a very concrete wall that many of us ran straight into with the attempted monetization of the Umbra series. Of all people, you should know that Ingress agents aren't stingy by any means. There are a host of badge-loving agents who will fork over cash for ornamental pixels. There are even more who will fork over a pretty penny, albeit to an airline or hotel rather than NIA, to go an event in another city, state, province, country, or continent. Anomalies are one of the biggest drivers in the game. They do more for player recruitment and retention than pretty much any other aspect of the game. Please start using your available resources (namely the Vanguards, but also community leaders worldwide) to rekindle the creative spark that has made this game unique over it's lifetime. And back to being blunt: you can't make money off a game people don't play.
Thanks for the clarification, hope to be able to see you in one of the sites...if they are revealed in time for me to get tickets. 😬🤨😝
@NianticBrian as said by many, i think this text should have been published along side the dates annoucement.
That being said, it explains a lot. Hopefully the extras events are enough for everyone that can't attend Munich to actually help the team and earn the badge (think of Ops community now having only 1 place to Ops for instead of 9).
I still think Nia should try to make an effort and do at least 3 cities, 1 in each region, for H1. That alone would be a huge improvement.
Also, adding remote ways to participe alongside Recharge Rooms is a good ideia but RRs do connect the people that could not attend with the onsite players and the community. You still get a sense of teamplay and that you are helping win that anomaly and not all players have the time or the means to travel very often to "just play a game" (yes, to us ingress still more than a game, don't lose that please).
I was really looking for my fourth anomaly but Munich is not an option as of right now unfortunaly. Hoping we really return to the amount of cities we were having until Umbra.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who saw this. It makes me think this blog post was a reaction to the negativity from the event posts.
I’m not a PR guy but I think a reasonable game developer might have posted this blog first. Solicited feedback from the community and then finally post an event schedule.
It’s the same thing over and over again. The overall trend has been Niantic not consulting the player base. This is the same situation as when they announced the last minute anomaly ticket fees.
I'm not sure I understand what "scalable, competitive events" are but I look forward to learning.
@NianticBrian I hate asking questions about a schedule that's still under construction, but: Do you expect 2020 to include any global medal challenges like the Myriad and Aurora challenges?
Hey seen he said you can get it off site, otherwise we’re flying...
I for one am very excited about all of this. I wholeheartedly agree with pinesinger and others that faction-vs-faction battles are a very major part of what makes Ingress so compelling - feeling like you're part of something bigger and having other people rely on you is a massive motivator. And we are getting that in May in the biggest form ever. I might have preferred the Abaddon Prime format with 3 sites on 3 days, but having one big event is spectacular.
I also loved the field test: Hexathlon and I'm looking forward to more in this format. This isn't the same faction-vs-faction battle that will draw me to travel far to help out my team, but it is a fun way to put your own skills against other agents to compete for the top prize. I'd be very disappointed if this was the only kind of Ingress event, but it's a wonderful complement to the anomaly battle.
I'm also intrigued by the flashpoint events Brian mentioned. I'm recalling the DarkXM v1 events where agents were called on to make massive linkstars or city-pair links. The flashpoints could be something like that, of perhaps it would be more like a mini-anonaly as they tested in Los Angeles this month. Either way, I like the idea of new ways to engage agents without calling on them travel and/or sacrifice large amounts of time.
My enthusiasm for Ingress has waxed and waned over the last couple of years, but events have always been a source of excitement and I am encouraged to see new formats continue to develop.
@NianticBrian I'd really like to focus in on Flashpoint events and ask that the team consider providing some further insight on this new format sooner rather than later. Personally I feel from the brief description that Flashpoint events have a lot of potential if they are established to be accessible to the community and impact to overall Anomaly series events.
Personally I'm reading into this as Flashpoint events meeting somewhere in the middle between an all out PVP Hexathlon, and a traditional competitive faction versus faction Anomaly. If Flashpoint events can provide a competitive faction versus faction experience, unique game play, and scoring elements similar to an Anomaly but more broadly accessible to agents who aren't located in a few select cities or regional cells then the format could do a lot to boost player engagement.
If I've touched at all on the vision for these events, please don't hold back on details long. Now more than ever the community needs a reason to continue engaging with Ingress. As many others have already stated, if this blog post had gone out ahead of the 2020 schedule announcement I believe reception and fear surrounding less Anomaly events could have been managed better.
Please bring back physical badge cards. I don't like badges, but I always bought a couple at every event because I want to support the game that enjoy. I haven't bought anything since you went digital. My only character badge is Initio. I don't care about a Hank Johnson badge.
All the badges that I did buy? First Saturday prizes. I understand that other people who can't attend anomalies enjoy them.
The connected cells idea is great, but losing anomalies is terrible. I'm never going to see my friends halfway across the country ever again. No one flies to Phoenix for a First Saturday. Please figure out how to run anomalies cheaper, not less often. Get us a reason to get together. Fun will ensue.
(I also really liked the team vs team comments.)
I think they would have done their fair bit of consulting / research or whatever, but it's really down to managing expectations. You don't need to take extra precautions when you're doing minor changes like the Hypercube. But when you're altering a core aspect of the game, you get to managing expectations before everyone gets out with pitchforks & torches. In the 10 hours that it took to get this reply, a ton of people left their 1* ratings and left. They're not going to read this now. They've left.
I find it bizarre that you and multiple vanguards have had to communicate to @NianticBrian via this thread.
I thought one of the purposes of vanguard was to have a closed focus group who could be the voice of the agents.
Why is niantic operating in a closed bubble? Who are they consulting with?
This sounds like the sort of bottleneck that should be evaluated and eliminated. Vanguard concerns as received from the player base, then passed through the community manager's filter? No offense to @RedSoloCup as he does make great efforts to keep communication lines open and clarify what he can, but by virtue of his position as community manager he doesn't and can't play the game the way the average user or especially the most passionate player does. His understanding of the contemporaneous issues the Vanguards and playerbase experience is not going to be nuanced enough to really advocate successfully for (or to) the playerbase. I'd like to see what happens with more connections between Niantic and the Vanguards *as a team with* the Global Community Manager. Being heard is critical, and we appreciate it. But being understood is what we still seek. Thank you all for your hard work to keep the lights on.
Also, I'd like to spotlight the tone-deafness of naming the single (known) anomaly event "Requiem", a song or ceremony for the dead. This does not inspire confidence in the future of Ingress. :'(
I am still very disappointed, even with this update. I have no interest in Hex events and will not be attending. I have attended on-site at every anomaly in 2018 and 2019. My interest is in competitive team events that involve project management. It's nice to have some support from Niantic, but part of what I most enjoy about anomalies is that they are largely player driven. Working with friends to help plan an awesome event is thrilling. Watching everyone have fun because you helped is incredible. I've learned real life skills that have helped me at my real life job from Ingress. It sounds like all of that will be gone with the new format.
The biggest reason I haven't attended a Pokemon or Wizards event is because they are run entirely by Niantic. There is little fun in that for me. They also involve standing around, doing basically nothing. There is no strategy involved. There is no need to spend months recruiting friends and building a community. All of those aspects will be stripped away with the new format.
Talk to your Vanguards. Talk to former POCs. Events run entirely by Niantic are events that I will not attend.
The issues with the Prime scanner were the main reason Umbra lacked a quality experience. I was thrilled with my faction's hotel, swag, and afterparty. Having Niantic employees onsite would not have enriched the experience for me--I greatly appreciated not having to wait in line to check in.
For the last hour of Umbra Brooklyn I struggled to make any action--hacks, mods, bursters--go through on the scanner. Restarting it over and over again didn't help. I know other sites had the same issue. Prime has gotten better even since Umbra--I have been actively playing and haven't had to restart it once since I got the last update--but in your post you glossed over the fact that that was a huge issue for so many Umbra anomaly attendees. Not addressing that concern at all makes you seem out of touch.
I am glad there will be more ways for players to contribute from offsite and I'm tentatively curious and excited for the flashpoint events. A roadmap of upcoming new features and event formats would go a long way.
So, Ingress is going back to an older format for anomaly scoring with connected cells being thrown back into the mix? Great! I strongly dislike the recharge room idea. But I do like the connected cells. They pushed agents to work together. I've had so much more fun doing connected cells than doing recharge rooms. Even when we didn't get our field up in time or were blocked at the last minute. Still more fun than sitting and pressing the recharge button!
But if we are doing connected cells what is Ingress / Niantic going to do, to combat the rampart spoofing that is currently still occurring @NianticBrian?
That has been one of the biggest reasons why agents have left the game (minus the ones who were unable to adapt to Prime) over the years.
New TR program is only for hard to reach or poor signal portals. It does nothing to combat where spoofers are leveling up in urban areas or even semi rural areas. That's a problem and it's a big one.
I'm happy to hear that Ingress has a path going forward in 2020.
I'm hoping for that new backend and some new features, types of game play, maybe even new badges to show up. Still hoping we find out what Recursion will be bringing the many brave agents who took the plunge (one or even several times over the past year).
Here's to hopefully a great new year for Ingress!
@NianticBrian Can you confirm if Requiem is part of the Nemesis sequence of anomaly events? Talking with a lot of agents who feel like the name was in poor taste or that it somehow is marking the end to all traditional Anomalies. Although lore points towards Requiem being an operative of Nemesis. A little clarification may go a long way here.
Will the Requiem anomaly scanner badge read Nemesis: Requiem much like the Myriad and Umbra badges have, as they are all part of the Nemesis sequence?
Brian, thank you for your thoughts.
I'd like to echo another comment here: the words missing from your modification to the game is faction-based competition.
If the event is competitive, but is individually competitive ( like the hexathalons seem to be ), they won't be attractive to me.
What makes ingress exciting and different, compared to the other Niantic games, is faction competition. With faction competition, the game is infinitely richer. There are layers to play at: team member, team captain, strategic, etc. The game is big. Fielding can only be done when a faction works together. Game elements like Frackers bring a faction together.
I'm sorry to say, a bunch of your terms are .... opaque. I don't really know what you mean by "scalable". That means "you can add more people", but nothing about current anomaly seems to prevent lots of people, except maybe the fact that the playbox has to be sized ahead of time? Is that what you're talking about? The difficulty of sizing the playbox? Or by "scalable" do you include "engaging people not physically able to travel"? Or maybe you even mean scalable in time, covering multiple days more easily? Or taking fewer Niantic resources, meaning more can be run concurrently across the globe? I would love to see a follow-up by you with more plain language.
Please remember to bring faction competition to the front and center. It is ( IMHO of course ) the single unique element of Ingress - otherwise, ingress is badges and levels just like Pogo and WizU or a million other games on my phone.
Brainstorming --- A twitch channel, run by Niantic, live during the competition, which shows the running scores and has commentary. Think of it like "monday night football" for an anomaly, which explains the strategic actions being taken by both sides. Enables remote people to share the most exciting parts of the game ( like how PlayerTracker, a non-niantic feature, is a key element of gameplay ). Factions are photogenic, decked out in regalia, trooping along. The richness of Ingress can be appreciated, instead of a leaderboard with individuals. Another one: have a score for some kind of true mass faction gathering, like pick a single portal, create a score which is "average distance to portal" ( aggregate over all registered faction anomoly participants ), and the point winner is the one who has the best average distance. I never figured out how many of my own faction were on the ground that day.
( PS. "meeting Niantic people" isn't of interest to me, there will be tens of niantic people and hundreds if not thousands of players, attending Niantic-sponsored parties isn't important to me, Niantic-created merch isn't important to me. What is important is good merch, good parties. it seems the factions ( filled with interesting creative people willing to put in more hours and heart than employees ) are creating better merch and better parties. I don't know what that says about the search for revenue. )
( PPS. Regarding "quality" of Umbra, I was in Sacto, saw you at a distance. In Sacto I was missing ( as many do in anomoly ) the overview of what was happening, and the only quality issues I saw were the really late description of the event ( start time set only weeks before the event ), and the disorganized announcing of results. Seemed pretty reasonable in terms of "quality" though. I can't think of how you're going to get me to like Niantic more or feel more "brand-aligned" to Niantic, although where you seem to be going - having a "Niantic Pavillion" which is what the Ingress Van turns into - would be obvious. )
Maybe next time there is a big announcement for Ingress, whomever is going to make it should take it to the vanguards first.
Lay it down for them, then ask them what is going to be the instant feedback from this? What other information could we post at the same time, so we don't have a bunch of angry people from our community? How can we better present this information?
Anytime I send out an email to a large group of people, I write it out then go back and look at it. Think about what might be questioned or asked about the email and then I add extra documentation or links to the wiki, Jira, stash, or any other sites that might contain the information that might be helpful. Granted I strongly hope that you don't add those types of links. 😉 But better information helps us out. Opening up more questions without at least some information on it drives us nuts.
Niantic isn't well known for their great communication skills. I hope that is something that can be worked on for 2020.
Requiem is part of the Nemesis sequence and as I understand it, the finale for for it. Hence the name.
Thank you for answering, since many times in the past we have made seemingly reasonable assumptions about the meaning or intention of a lore-related, cryptic, or non-specific game announcement only to later get burned by the misunderstanding.