"play your own game"????????
I was horrified to find this on the anomaly page at https://ingress.com/eventdescription/anomaly/anomaly-2020-munichgermany: "The more you coordinate, the better your odds -- but you always have the option of playing your own game, alone or with friends. "
Oh dear Saint Jarvis, NO.
It's hard enough for faction strategists to deal with a few rogue players who show up from time to time. Inviting players to strike out on their own will lead to chaos.
If you want people to be able to play their own game, do a global challenge. (I dunno, maybe every five hours for a week count how many cells win a given metric. That would be fun and cool.)
People travel thousands of miles to anomalies for the teamwork, not to see cool plans disrupted by a few players "playing their own game".
Starbursts. Shards. Volatiles. Innoculation. Longest link chains. Nothing happens without teamwork. Without teamwork it's just a matter of which faction has more people show up. Just vote for the winner and go to the party. That's not what an anomaly is for.
You may have gotten rid of official POCs but that doesn't mean you can get rid of the teamwork that makes anomalies fun and meaningful.
Teamwork is what makes anomalies fun, I just don't think Niantic understands this.
Why shouldn't people be able to "play their own game"? While cooperation is still encourage, there is noting requiring anyone to cooperate and Niantic is simply recognizing that fact. So why are you so upset by this?
I think the primary reason the OP is upset is the fact that this is yet another time that Niantic has made a statement that shows that they either don't know or don't care about how the community plays their game.
Niantic is out of touch with it's player base. Again.
Niantic is out of touch with it's player base. Again.
The "player base" for which you speak of is demanding that everyone "play 'our' way or don't play at all" and then goes about trying to run off anyone who disagree. That is not good for the long term health of the game and is why Niantic included the comment in their page.
Respectfully, I disagree. Might be a regional thing, but here anomalies are won using team strategy, not allowing random rogue agents run around ruining the experience for the other 99% of players. The vast majority of anomaly-goers in my area go for the team participation and camaraderie. So why would Niantic go supporting that rogue 1% of players who ruin the experience for everyone else unless they're out-of-touch with their players or have some sort of ulterior motive?
That's fine 364 days a year. Anomalies have always been about teamwork.
It's been pointed out to me that we haven't seen the rules for this anomaly yet and it's possible that Niantic is considering an anomaly format that de-emphasizes teamwork. That would be horrible. Please don't turn Anomaly into First Saturday, Hexathlon, or GoFest.
(And note: I love First Saturdays, haven't missed one since the badge was introduced, and been POC or staff at more than half. The last Ingress global email featured a FS photo I posted to Twitter. But that's not what I'd want to see at an anomaly.)
because anomaly isnt a sandbox and goofing around, its the most important thing there is in ingress, think of it as an important sports game where the team plays as a team ,and not goofs around... u cant be serious if u think people travel for anomaly and play their own game.. those kind of people should stay home for FS or whatever... and dont destroy for those that want real teamplay and win the series. It takes alot of stuff to host an anomaly how fun will it be if a few agents will destroy the teamspirit for those that traveled far ?
so if a few rogue agents would decide to make a huge field over the play area, would that be ok for u ? destroy for the rest of agents... i sure hope not...
I feel like the OP's statement is one that can get cross faction agreement, easily. Anomaly organizers on both sides have put lots of effort into finding and optimizing strategies for anomalies, and for some, that's even the main part of why ingress is fun for them. (And in my book, Ingress is so great, because everyone can find some aspect, that is fun to them, and all together, they can reach great things...)
It'd be sad to see Niantic dumbing down anomalies, really. I hope they reconsider this, and edit that event page, accordingly.
Also, tagging into the thread @NianticBrian
News flash! Niantic continues it's role at disengaging team efforts, which has been it's foundation for growth in their player base.
For some reason, Niantic is not connecting the dots that they are losing players, because they continue to sabotage team playing. We recruit players, so that we can play as a TEAM at ANOMALIES. It's such a simple concept. However, agents are playing less and less and there continues to be attrition, since Niantic has implemented this policy of playing as an individual, rather than building a team effort. How many of our best agents, must we lose, before Niantic listens to us?
Let's Keep it simple.
Individual focus = no reason to recruit agents = lose players = no money = no Ingress
Anomaly focus = need more agents = recruit new agents = more money = more Ingress
If we can have and learn to deal with random rogue agent trowing random links over the our cities, we can also be smart and deal with them during anomalies.
Not everybody like to "have fun" receiving orders and complainments. They can still help with hacking uniques and others goals.
Making their own game doesnt mean they cant coordinate with the team.
Clearly Niantic is working off of feedback that is not available to us, and also completely contrary to the feedback that faction organizers typically get from those who attend events in person and help to organize them. Top of the feedback that apparently Niantic has been getting:
- Competition is bad, and agents want less of it.
- Having two opposing factions is bad, because competition is bad. These other games don't require opposing factions, and that lack of direct competition makes them so much easier to monetize!
- Ingress is a game best played in my own personal bubble. Because MY reality is the only one that matters. I mean, why should anyone else play on my game board? If I'm going to travel to go to the ONLY competitive event this year, clearly I need my very own instance of the game to play in. Because competition is clearly bad, and we need less of it.
I'm sure you guys at the top are familiar with the phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.". Since the forced roll out of prime (and likely many things before this), Niantic really should have this motto at every desk, over every door frame, and tattooed on the forehead of every employee. You keep trying to "improve" a product that people like as is. Change is not always progress. And trying to move away from the one thing that Ingress has that NO OTHER GAME OUT THERE DOES is not progress in the eyes of the community that has grown and stuck with the game. Let me give you some feedback that matches the voices I am used to hearing:
-WE LIKE COMPETITION. THIS IS WHY PEOPLE FIELD OVER LARGE AREAS, WHY THEY ATTEND ANOMALIES, OH, AND ITS ACTUALLY THE CORE OF THE GAME.
-Unlike the other AR games available, Ingress has a pretty darned healthy global community, both intra- and cross-faction. Sure there are bad apples, but no one is walking up to an anomaly with 10+ accounts.
-New events are a great concept to augment the ones we are accustomed to and already enjoy. Not in lieu of the events we enjoy. But also keep in mind the nature of the events you are planning. You already have regular individual stat competitions (e.g. the ongoing [Font] [game mechanic] sets) as well as player-driven First Saturdays. Am I going to travel 14+ hours for another individual stat competition? Some might, and I did it for the first time. Where y'all couldn't accurately track all of the stats. Cool idea, terrible implementation, and it really should be a replacement for IFS, not a new event structure. Similarly, global shards are a mechanic that is dearly loved by many. When competitive, it brought agents out of retirement, got huge global community engagement. Xfac shards did the exact opposite.
- Communication. Look, Niantic is known for being slow and opaque, to the point that soon is yalls trademark. In the last year, things have only gotten worse. The global community manager is gone, with zero visible effort to replace him. The new director for the game has openly admitted that he doesn't engage with the Vanguards. Several agents have dropped out of the Vanguard program. And there is nothing coming from Niantic. Including the new "here, submit your mission day!" And then wait. Not even a "we got it and are reviewing your application." Meanwhile events are having mission days sprung on them without any local input going in. And the move to remove officially recognized PoCs? How long did it take before you had to ask "Uh, who do we contact locally regarding this aspect of the anomaly?". The increasing opacity and the fact you continue to ignore the input from the agents who still support your game is not promising.
On the communication front, I could have included this above, but no. Remember that really epic communication error y'all had last fall? Sure, it was a huge "mistake", but announcing 10+ anomaly sites in 2020, to retract that and wait MONTHS before announcing that there would be only one. Talk about a massive affront to a large chunk of your player base. Yes, there are agents who will (and are planning to) attend from all over the world. That's awesome for them to be able to attend and participate. And if it were like last year, I would actually applaud the whole "let's culminate the series in a dramatic fashion with one region per weekend." I liked that. I was looking forward to it happening again with [redacted] in the Americas, [redacted] in Asia, and Munich in Europe. But no. No ability to remote recharge for an anomaly event for the majority of the world, no ability to attend without a passport for the majority of the world, no quick day/weekend trips for the majority of the world. And now you're encouraging people to just go rogue at the event.....
So as I'm getting down off my soapbox, all I can ask is that you listen to your player base (you know, the ones that actually play this game and contribute to the community), particularly those who actually attend the events. Be more open about what the intent and direction of the game are. A little bit of information goes a long way in keeping the masses appeased. And please adopt the mantra, If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
OK, let's put it nice and easy for Niantic to understand:
Ingress is about teamplay. (Been playing since 2013, mostly in off-site anomaly capacities, since kids, work, wife etc.)
PoGo is minimal teamwork and a lot of individual play. (Uninstalled since a long time)
HPWU is, in my eyes and sole singleplayer game. (playing sporadically, fan of the universe)
You cannot impose the approach of the latter games onto Ingress. The player base of Ingress is built on teamplay, building the ingress universe, with anomaly victories which shaped the universe. With portal suggestions.
And now I might sound like an entitled A-hole, but the Ingress playerbase has enabled the success of the successor games and the last months it seems as if Ingress took more and more of a backseat and needs to be monetized heavily.
Culminating in the last anomalies, where a few weeks before the anomaly concerns were raised that prime is not performant enough. We were given the "go ahead, nothing to see here, everything is under control" treatment.
Also Niantic has raised a fee for participation shortly before the anomaly,for maintaining the standard
We all know what happened, don't we?
Now, players are encouraged to play their own game...
Seems as if after 7 years and approximately 15 anomalies it's time to finally shut down the scanner and Intel...
When I started playing in August 2016 after giving in to my curiosity after hearing about Ingress from the Pokemon Go community, what I found was a bunch of triangles and blue and green spaces on the map. I would walk a certain round almost every day for the first 2 weeks, figuring things out and trying to make the map around me look greener. The portals would also be attacked almost every day. This is the reason that probably kept me interested and engaged into the game in the first place. I had a worthy opponent that would keep me from slacking, having a challenge to face. After reaching level 7 after around 8 days, I first met fellow agents of my team. There was an anomaly that weekend, one being very close by, so everyone would talk about anomalies. It was very sudden to me since I never heard about those events before and I didn't know enough about the game and hadn't reached level 8 yet, but the month after, I attended my first anomaly. There was a structure behind everything and I would have been lost without it. I didn't know many players yet and teaming up probably wouldn't have happened without the guidance from my faction. I didn't know how to play during an anomaly. I didn't understand the goal or rule set. But being in a team and following a strategy together made me enjoy it and getting the hang of it. I have attended all the anomalies I possibly could ever since then. Planning and executing your every move, being in a team battle against and with the opponent, the well calculated strategic efforts from both sides... that is what I probably enjoy most about the game itself, apart from all the people that I have met and the community that I am happy to be in.
I did enjoy the hexathlon event in September, and I was surprised how it really made me put some effort into it, even though I was playing on my own. I would attend one again if it would be very close by again, but I don't feel the need to make it happen at all cost like I do for anomalies. I do prefer the "war game" that doesn't just make you walk around somehow doing your thing. And while I also appreciate crossfaction interactions and events, the very essence of the game itself to me is the friendly competition behind it and the team spirit. And anomalies are the best ground for it. If everyone or a considerable amount of agents was to "play their own game", all the team efforts would go to waste. It would not be what I know as an anomaly. I don't think that this sentence was supposed to be so impactful, but it certainly could become this way.
This text has been used to describe anomalies for several years. It's not new.
Getting agents to cooperate is the measure of a true strategist.
This is correct. I'm not gonna spend too much time digging up old anomaly pages, but the screenshot in this post is from Darsana Prime Atlanta.
Players are honestly saying "what's wrong with playing it your own way"?
Imagine you are trying to play baseball, or soccer, or any of a million other team sports.
You're playing at the highest level. You've spent months on gear, equipment, coaches, you've flown half way around the world to compete, just for a few hours.
In the middle of the game, someone runs onto the playing field - claiming to be for your side - and kicks the ball into the stands, giving the ball to the other team. Because, you know, they wanted to play the game their own way.
How is this even remotely fun?
It's fun if you don't think the game is a team sport.
I can only believe that it's not that "Niantic is out of touch with their player base", it's that Niantic does not believe the game should be a competition between two factions. By removing the POCs, and stating the game should be played "however you want", and reducing the number of anomalies to one in favor of hexathaons and first saturdays ( which are not faction oriented ), they are working to shift the game away from faction play. Perhaps they are doing this for the money, perhaps they have a philosophical reason. I'm not sure. I know it's what I like about the game, and why I don't play Pogo or WizU.
I think everyone who's played in or helped organize an anomaly has experienced some kind of damage from bad actors, and wishes Niantic could do something more about them. That said, I'm more concerned about the impact of server issues and GPS spoofers in a tournament situation than I am about rogue players. Community organizers are accustomed to dealing with the latter without Niantic's involvement, in any case, and I think many prefer it that way.
I've played and organized enough anomalies to know I don't want Niantic picking teams for me. I also have serious reservations about Niantic picking the people who pick teams for me. I don't think it's bad that they offer a reminder that we're all free to choose who we play with.
I wouldn't be surprised to discover that Niantic is intentionally choosing to become less involved in player politics. "No official PoCs" likely saves them time and effort. If I had a magic wish-granting Ingress genie, I'd love to see those resources reinvested into tournament play in the form of dedicated gamemasters and/or server infrastructure. For me, basic support of the team-based competitive game begins with ensuring tournaments be reasonably fair and free of technical glitches that could impact their outcomes.
Agreed. Anomaly is the World Cup of Ingress. It should not be decided on penalties.
Perhaps Niantic could include contact information for faction Orga, so that newer agents could get connected with their faction and learn the benefits of team play? That might be one way to incorporate the wording in a more positive way. (Yes, there should still be local organizers for an Anomaly. )
The process of identifying the "official" contact for a given anomaly site is, I think, exactly the sort of player politics that Niantic is trying to stay out of.
It's clear that Niantic is looking to monetize Anomalies more. Unfortunately they don't really even understand how their own game works. It would be like if Superbowl ticket holders could just come into the field and do whatever they want during the game, or better yet, if the coaches in the Superbowl just says, do whatever you want and told the QBs they were on their own.
But I need the terribad swag and rectūm themed badges
hjow are they supposed to make any money with only 1 anomaly coming this year? and given the corona virus now who knows if that anomaly might get canceled... bad idea gather thousands of people if WHO says its bad if people are big crowds gather etc..... and germany has strict laws etc.. so niantic better make a good decision long before its supposed to start.
They do include the global org websites for Enl and Res teams.
Just so wrong.
I am really surprised that all they have come up with so far was the virtual first Saturday which I'm sure cost them more money than anything because there only seems to be the classic Hank Johnson package that they could have probably sold with or without the FS event. It also seems the creative energy is just not there anymore. The fact that it took this long to realize that their two other game had the mechanic of the Apex and that it was missing from Ingress is a little bit troubling. I'm not sure if it was fear of backlash or being oblivious to the situation for years at this point now. Niantic really needs to innovate like they used to (or at least how they do with their other cash cows) and quickly.