Double Deploy - Should it be Normalized?
Before everyone screams "Teamwork! Recruiting! Friends and community!" hear me out.
The Ingress playerbase is dying, through in large part, no fault of our own. The game is aging, the Prime release was not well delivered, Niantic is doing no advertising.
Where years ago we could expect 10 or 12 people at a flash farm, organic 8s from commuters and a healthy back and forth and rebuild culture, these days in most places, we're struggling to bring 8 people from across a city, and organic 8s are far more uncommon.
And also, in some areas, people are resorting to alts and spoof accounts, to finish off those last slots.
So do we need to have the discussion on whether we should keep the 8 player requirement, or should double deploys (2x R7, 2x R8) like we've enjoyed over the last fortnight, become the new normal?
- P8s encourage play. When you have lots of gear, you do more. When people are starved for higher level gear, they tend to stay at home and focus more on their little patch.
- It will encourage more social gatherings. As the player base shrinks, and people can't get 8, it gets harder to get 8 because people don't think they can. A self-fulfilling prophecy. Having to hit 4 as the base number will make social events more likely to succeed.
- Gear constriction of the other team is harder. When you only need 4 people, it's far harder to stop the other team from being able to make their own farms.
- Recruiting efforts may suffer. When you don't need to get 8 people, you don't try as hard to find new Agents. I think this will be offset greatly by the ability for new agents to get high level gear though.
I expect I'll get a lot of Disagree on this, but think about it with an open mind for a bit. Consider why the deploy limits exist, and what changing them does each time we have these events.
Will we ever get the playerbase of 2014 back? And if not, should we consider how we change to cope with that?
The double 8 deploy did motivate me to go play more. Although, I was working on the badge, I was just as motivated to see the number of 8s grow in my area.
However, I am worried that it would cause some apathy in recruiting new players, because we would only need 4 agents to farm, instead of 8.
It might be interesting to have a gear output option, if the portal was increased to 8 players, instead of 4. If a portal could be made with 4 agents, by deploying 2 L8s, then L8 resos could be replaced by additional agents. Once 8 agents are on the portal, then the portal output would increase how much gear we receive.
Happy new year! 😁
Cheaters with 2 smartphones have 2x l8. With 3 or 4 accounts thay can place 3 or 4 l8.
And with 8 accounts, they can already make a P8.
You don't punish players because cheaters exist.
Every since this first showed up in one of the holidays (and later as a pre-anomaly effect), I've observed the effect of the double deploy with some interest and became a fan as well.
It's not clear to me if it would be good as a long term mechanic, but I would be very interested in seeing what happens if there were a once a month XM flare/bloom/whatever where double deploys activate. That way there be better insights into the long term impact.
One question that does arise is 'Why didn't we have this problem when Ingress started?'. It was challenging to make P8s -- the first one didn't happen until basically a month after launch, and it took coordination in a dense population center. But there were still a lot of people playing Ingress with far fewer portals; what gives?
The answer is portal defense: Linking did not grant mitigation, and shields were a tiny tiny fraction of their efficacy today.
I honestly don't know if this was better or worse for the game in the limit because so many other things have changed. But it is pretty clear that as a new player, destroying one R8 today is far more challenging than it was in 2012.
Still don't think that's a good idea.If smb want some L8 resos they still can be obtained with L7 portal.Double deploy will only lead to more L8 portals built by "bad actors".
Happy new 2020:)
I play a lot more when there are double deploy events going on. It's a lot more fun.
A lot of people have made this suggestion, but Double Deploys could be a reward for Recursion, or getting Builder Onyx Badge. Or even getting "Wings" for Builder. It sucks that there is no reward for Recursion, or incentive to play beyond Onyx for various badges.
Regardless, I think Double Deploy for 7s and/or 8s is a great idea to energize the remaining player base, and gives players that are wildly outnumbered a chance to play on a level playing field.
Should every reward be normalised? Should we receive a performance bonus with every salary cheque? A trophy for every training session?
Double-AP on final reso deploy, 4 mods per player, double-ap for links/fields created. Why? Double-deploy is and should remain a limited event-driven perk/reward, as added incentive to play and participate.
If this becomes the new standard, what's the next event-driven reward going to be? Triple-reward? Quadruple? Hey, why not allow everyone to build a P8 on their own. Who needs a team anyway.
Quite frankly, I think this is a bad idea. Deploy restrictions are there for a reason, to balance the game. Lift them on the occasional event to make things interesting, and something to look forward to. Don't trivialise it by making it the norm.
I’m with dogboy and Perrengaiden. Yes, deploy restrictions are a balancing factor, but balancing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If the number of players drops, the number of L8 portals drops, so you want to think about rebalancing.
That said, Niantic has the data to inform this decision. If the daily active user numbers rise when double deploys are active, it’s a good idea to keep experimenting with the concept.
Enabling double-deploy as a corrective measures to address the issue of a declining player base is not the way to go about it. It's applying a band-aid to a symptom, not a cure for the underlying cause.
Experimenting with something like this, without proper thought, analysis and investigation to determine long-term effect and play-balance is asking for trouble.
Double deploy as limited time bonus is the right place. I also liked the bonus for taking down links/fields as it made players think very hard about whether or not to throw that link knowing links draw company.
I have only been playing a year in high portal density, very active environment. What is needed more than double deploy, is promotion. If you spend 1/10 of what you spend on Go for promotion of new players, I think the playbase will be percentage higher.
I would personally either make this a recursion benefit or a paid mod to enable double deploy. I see benefits, but I think that we have been so spoiled the last few years that we have forgotten that P8s are a luxury and not a necessity We had so much activity the last few years that P8s became the norm in many cities, just like VR gear in everyone's inventories. Is it VR if it takes up 50% of the inventory allotment? It is not. Remember when P8s were made by group marches, which were the exception rather than the rule?
I know in my area there are a lot of grey portals. We also no longer see bot recharging of these portals, so a grey portal doesn't necessarily mean that few people are playing as much as cheaters aren't making harder. What we do see is fewer people engaging in community chats. That is not the same. Many locals here no longer engage in the community yet they still play all the same. And without bot recharging, people can easily go out and play on their own and NOT need gobs of people or L8 gear to take things down. So I do think there is an element of perception that is incorrect. We have more players now than when the first P8s came into play I'd wager to bet. I just think we have become acclimatised to high numbers of P8s, and now that we have moved back in the other direction, we have to adapt our play.
Building a P8 is a fundamental part of the game. While it's nice to have them, do we really need to only play with level 8 gear when things are far easier to destroy now? Aegis have reduced stickiness for example and without bot recharging, which was rampant, i think we have just gotten use to things being harder than they really are. People are again saving aegis for anomalies versus deploying them on every single portal. I actually feel that the balance is far better now than it was 2 years ago.
I think it is a good exercise to look at this things, but I also think the game doesn't all need to be P8s and VR gear. THAT is what has imbalanced the game IMO. So if rewards are to be normalised, I think they need to be significantly limited. And if Ingress needs to be monetise, then it's things like this that they should capitalise on. A mod for double deploys that lasts 30 minutes would have a specific purpose: farms, (and VR links, but that is far rarer and specialised).
Call me a curmudgeon, but for the moment, I cling to the side that says 8 people for a level 8 portal makes Ingress special, and that the comings and goings of level 8 portals are a reasonable measure of a “community’s” health. Reducing the number of people for a level 8 portal from 8 to 4 is a drastic change that would be all but impossible to undo.
In the era of ten to twelve person flash farms and healthy back and forth and all that, at least as I experienced it, absent extreme local imbalances, suppressing level 7 portals was a Sisyphean task. All it took was three uncoordinated agents dropping R8s **** nilly. Furthermore, on a day-to-day basis, level 7 gear is quite serviceable. There are many scenarios where the range and power of a level 8 XMP is unnecessary, for example.
So, if the concern is that there is not enough high level gear to be had, rather than fixate on level 8 portals, I say we make level 7 portals great again. I posit that their comings and goings make a reasonable measure of Ingress’s general health in an area — the extent to which there are “enough” agents happily doing their thing, whether or not they’re connected or coordinate with their faction’s local community.
For example, we can start be making R8s more available. Today, one of the saddest sights I see is multiple agents deployed on a portal, yet there’s not a single R8 on it. Increase their drop rate from level 7 portals. Sell a 25 pack for 1200 CMU in the store. Make some incremental tweak that’s easily undone. With more R8s out in the wild, more level 7 portals should follow.
Increasing the availability of R8s would be a change that benefit all types of players. There's no dependence on being able to make farming events. It encourages the same organic processes that gave us plentiful level 7 portals in the past. It acknowledges that level 8 portals, the traditional source of R8s, are harder to come by, now, without compromising on what makes them special. It doesn’t change the dynamics of illicit deploys.
* * *
If we want to turn this into a conversation about the potential benefits of Recursion, I’d prefer to talk about anything other than 2x R8s. For example, how about 2x R7s? That would make it easier for recursed agents to make level 6 and level 7 portals without compromising the special nature of level 8 portals. And with the most recent anniversary event, there should be good data and how that might work out.
Here's my only take on this. I like the idea but I really feel like if we make the game "easier" in this way I would prefer we tie it to something else so there is some effort. Perhaps you can tie it to the subscription idea that's been thrown around? Or double deploy can only happen on certain days? Limit the amount of portals you can double deploy on per day? I'm just throwing stuff out there.
I don't think that the double deploy actually encouraged more playing or created a disadvantage by having stronger portals at least not in my area. Agents seemed to level up in high turnover area, with dense portal population and low level portals. This competition did not seem to encourage competition between newer agents. I did see recursed, seasoned Agents take advantage of the double AP who took down farms and fields, but they were the exception, rather than the norm. It is hard to say that double deploys actually increased the activity. I feel I observed new agents playing to earn the deploy badge and/or seasoned player who took advantage of the double AP by using strategies that are naturally part of their play style. I would be interested to see monthly events, with NO badge attached to the events to be able to really evaluate the impact of game changes, such as double deployments. This would be more insightful to see if agents are trying to earn a badge or if they are playing more, because they received a bonus or advantage for actually playing the game.
This isn't a reward. It's a temporary change during an event. And yes, the point is, are we at a stage where the playerbase is such that we need to have this temporary change made permanent for the good of the game...
And thus, threads like this discuss the pro's and con's from the player point of view, to inform the development team of the various expectations of the player base.
As a corrective measure is exactly what it is. The symptom we're facing may never go away. Part of this discussion touches on whether we believe the playerbase size can be turned around, or whether we're at a permanent 'new normal.
Selling R8s in the store is something I've pushed for a long time, but has been flatly denied by @NianticBrian and others before him. I do feel like we're at a point where something has to give, and there's a lot of different options, but in the aftermath of having this advantage I felt it was worth discussing the idea of the double deploys now.
Also, there was one shining moment in May 2014, when Brisbane was filled with EP8s, and for about 30 minutes one night, we managed to make the entire city free of all RP8s and all RP7s.
I could see the double deploy being given to a recursed agent. So far there hasn't been any benefit to recursing. But the real problem is more people are leaving the game than entering. So getting gear to even play has become more difficult for many areas. The cheaters will always get gear even without farming. Leaving the legitimate players to rely on lower level portals to try to compete. It's an unfair balance that unfortunately hasn't been addressed. So allowing double deploy to recursed agents at least will give them a chance to compete against the unlimited gear from those bad agents.
There is benefits to Recursing, from Level 9 up you receive 3 VRHS and VRMH in your levelling Field Kit. So that's 24 of each, each recursion, that's a lot more than most people would hack. I admit, I'd like to see more benefits, but there are some.
We didnt need a new normal. We needed a new platform for classic ingress.
But instead, we've got the primepocalypse, and nothing but promises for more of it.
Hmmm.... I really love being able to deploy double 8s. Super fun to go around with another agent and make P7s .... heaps of fun! Maybe have this double 8s thing for more events? Maybe 4th Friday of the month double deploy for 72 hours? Not quite convinced that double deploy of 8s should be an everyday thing for agents recursed or otherwise.
No-one ever asks for a new normal. It is usually foisted upon them.
No. Because: “Teamwork! Recruiting! Friends and community!”
I play since beta and we’re proud when we started having enough players to make L8 and also to destroy the opposite faction L8 portals in the city.
It’s part of the base gameplay of Ingress and also a small thing that some events bring to us. If they do change this to the “normal” will have multiple effect even on the small events for us.
I do understand your point but on the overall I disagree it will make Ingress any better, only easier to make P8 and people farm.
only easier to make P8 and people farm.
That is kinda the point.
You don't need l8 to play.
Double r8 is boring at best
Cheaters with 8 accounts will nevertheless make a level 8 portal. So why not give honest players the same opportunity?
I like the idea of a once a month flare-up similar to first saturdays.
Ingress can benefit more smaller, but frequent/consistant events. I can't tell you the number of inactive agents I know who hear about a big event after the fact and bemone how they couldn't participate because they made other plans. First Saturdays are nice, but not many areas have them (yes, yes I know make my own) and the areas that do sometimes have them a very long drive away that more casual agents aren't interested in.
Having more non-location based events like double deploy or AP multipliers would help draw in more casual and inactive agents who aren't paying attention to the erractic event schedule.
Having dailies would also help this out but that's another conversation.
The permanent ability to drop a second R8 is a pretty big change. Personally, I would like it if it was included as perk in a character-specialization system (skill tree). To quote / shamelessly promote an earlier comment I made in this thread:
"2 points: Deploy a 3rd R6 ➡️ 4 points: Deploy a 2nd R7 ➡️ 8 points: Deploy a 2nd R8"
Something that would benefit whom constantly tap recurse bottom is the possibility to deploy more than 2 reso L5 and L6 (but never L7 or L8) or insert eight L3 or L4 for example, for microfielding it's a good idea I guess.
And it does not give advantages that unbalance the dispute.
And it does not give advantages that unbalance the dispute.
It also doesn't address the issue in the initial post.
No, the double eight deploy is killing the game. At least for me. We are outnumbered already, the double deploy makes it too easy to for the other side.
It ends up being an injust, unbalanced game where effortness is lost.
Its probably another thread but, the declining playerbase is in my experience a result of the lack of rule enforcing from NIAs side. Fake portals, legit portals being stopped by groups, multiple accounts and a general lack of community values. Thats where to look, double eight is the wrong direction.