Farewell from a Vanguard
Today is a hard day. Today I have to walk away from a game I love, a role in the game I cared about, a position which used to mean something and make a difference. Over the past two years as a Vanguard, I have worked hard to support the player communities of Ingress. I have helped people report cheating, problem-solved bad behavior in communities, helped Niantic roll back cheating actions on over 1000 portals, and offered feedback on many decisions about events and gameplay. We never thought Niantic was a perfect company. In the earlier years, Niantic’s mismanagement of events was viewed with bemusement but acceptance, and players picked up the slack and built incredible events where literally thousands of people came together to play hard and have fun. Addition of the Vanguard program, portal resets, and improving communication from our GCM gave many of us the sense that Niantic did actually care about the players, and wanted to improve the game experience for us.
We had a GCM who cared, a GCM who recognized a problem and reached out to a cross-faction player group to try to fix issues. It worked; for two years, we had a group of enlightened and resistance players who looked past faction to do what was right for the game. Were we perfect? Of course not, but we did the best we could, and with the assistance of Andrew Krug, we drove meaningful change in the game. We gave players a voice, we gave players the ability to counteract cheating, and we helped solve real issues. Sadly, Niantic decided to go down a path with this game I can no longer support. They hired a producer who chose to change the game in a way that we the Vanguards advised him not to do. Many of the things you see we advised not to do and if they felt the need to do it then give advance notice. We were ignored and quite clearly shown what our new role under this new leadership would be. I have been genuinely baffled by the decisions that Niantic has made. They have driven their core player base from the game with these decisions and continue down a path that I can not and will not follow.
The magic of this game has been lost through mismanagement and game failures. There is no way to recapture this magic, the thing about Ingress we all loved, the adventures, the battles, and the pure exhilaration you get when you achieve something as a faction or as a team. I tried to hold on and help with the transition when Andrew left, but after two months, I no longer feel that Niantic cares about the long term sustainability of this game. They are happy to squeeze every last dime out of what is left of the player base and exploit the player base for more API for the games “that make money” for them. I have lost confidence that Niantic has the capacity to keep Ingress alive. I do not now, nor have I ever, seen a coherent game plan to restore the luster to this pioneering game. I do not see a cohesive plan to make Ingress a viable game for Niantic, because the proposed changes will continue to drive players away. I do not see a company that understands that you can monetize a game to ****, and at some point, the number of players you have driven away destroys any monetization plans you have. I do not see a company that understands much of anything about how successful player-run events work. I do not see a company willing and able to invest in the resources needed to run a successful game like Ingress. I have given a truly uncountable number of hours of my life to serving the players of this game, and honestly, to serving Niantic. For free. I think there are some truly dedicated, thoughtful, and kind people who work for Niantic, and I appreciate their efforts to hold things together through some very rough weather. I do not have confidence in Niantic as a company, however. I do not have confidence in the current producer's ability to effect positive change in the game or accept and listen to the advice of players who are active in the game and care deeply about this game we have all grown to love. I have reached a point where I do not feel that I can continue in good faith to serve as a Vanguard because of my lack of confidence in the company and because I am frankly exhausted by the last few years.
Thank you so much for all you have done for the Community!
From my interactions with Niantic during anomalies and overall as a player I can only support everything you are saying.
This is a very true statement and agree. Niantic has lost it's connection to us players.
Lol at the fanboys disagreeing with factual statements
As a long time player, lover of the competitive side of the game at local, regional, and global levels, I have zero words to add to this, other than THANK YOU FOR PUTTING UP WITH THIS FOR AS LONG AS YOU HAVE. You've been a massive influence on both the game and the community, and I hope that Niantic realizes their loss today. Best wishes moving forward, and I really hope that Niantic wakes up to see how they are pushing away their most dedicated players. The ones who've put countless volunteer hours into helping organize and run events, organize and motivate communities, drive large field ops, and all of the other great aspects of this quirky little game that we've enjoyed for as long as we have. Thanks for your time and energy, sorry to see you go, but in no way can I fault you for wanting to step away from the game while it still bears any semblance to the game we once walked, hiked, kayaked, drove, and flew all over the world for.
Thanks for you, for all what you've done for the community.
Thanks for your words. It really describes the feelings of many agent's from both factions.
Thank you for your time and work as a Vanguard in the past.
Sad but I need to thank you too 😣
Thank you for putting your thoughts into words and share it with the community.
Hope things will be better for ingress.
I am deeply sad to hear this, but I fully understand your decision. Thank you so so much for everything you have done for the game and for the community.
Im sad to see you step down and saddened by all of the issues you mention.
It would have been nice to have seen some of this criticism of Niantic's policies and culture from you prior to this. Instead, my impression of you as a Vanguard and member of global event orga has been a trickle-down experience of the contempt, distain, elitism, and favoritism shown by the company itself. I hope this has been a learning experience for you, and you will show future teams and community members you deal with in other arenas a little of of the compassion, respect, and appreciation you failed to both receive and extend in your leadership roles in Ingress.
Best of luck to you.
Baller stuff--thanks for vanguarding during the ingress glory years!😎---all efforts have been appreciated
In my experience providing red flags to Niantic as a Vanguard when they are about to **** something up is akin to pissing into the ocean. I'm surprised you latest this long.
I'm also not surprised to hear that Andrew Krug has left, because it always appeared to me that was he having the same problems despite being in the payroll.
Good luck @MM207A
Thank you for everything you did
More stupid and mediocre than the "Producer" than it is now impossible to find.
Niantik intentionally kills the game.
Very sad and sad for 6 years of great play
I totally understand your frustration and disappointment on this new way of management.
In chats... I just read talking about Portal/Pokestops, new events for fast leveling and passcodes.
The game is now on a individual level that only understand the fasted access points available by land or sky... no matter.
Average ingress player age have decrease!!
Thanks for all the pro bono work for the ingress community over those years before and after the Vangurad program.
All the best for you on our new free spirit gameplay.
You will be missed! 💚💚💚💚💚
The lack of any response to both of these lost warriors by Niantic is so very telling that everything they said is true.
Maybe niantic will notice that something is not going well, that they have gone out of the way, maybe they will start listening to the community, maybe everyone else should follow this example, maybe just so, we will all really be heard.
Thank you for everything you have done for us and thank you for this last effort
I am really sad to hear about this, same time I fully understand your decision. The issues you mentioned are also those, some of us suspected, what is happening with Niantic and the gameplay.
Thank you very much for your hardwork and I wish you all the best for the future.
Thanks for the work to make the game better for all.
i have decided to quit after niantic restored a very remote portal from a spoof attack, basically confirming it was spoofed by restoring it, but not banning the account responsible.
The guy keeps playing to this day, no consequences whatsoever.
Thank you for all your time trying to better this game
Its clearly not worth our time anymore
Totally understand your point and felt this for a long time too, as an old Trusted Reporter. Vanguards was a great program from Andrew that died with his departure... I can't really say much more as an old Niantic employee and about the future they are trying to build for Ingress, but what I see makes me sad too.
The Vanguard program isn't dead.
Thank you for all your hard work! Sorry to see you go.
The Vanguard program is not dead. It is still full of people who are committed to the game and the players, people who I love and respect. We might make different choices, but my choice to leave should not be seen in any way as a reflection of the extremely dedicated and passionate Vanguards who are not leaving.