Ingress AMA Archive

August 14th 2017

Q1: At the moment local cell MU score is hidden deep in the scanner (COMM shows only global MU score) and you have to know where to look for it, so an average Joe doesn't even know his faction is losing the battle. What do you think of creating an official site with cell MU score stats? A map of cells with some pretty graphs and stats to visualize the data would definitely motivate people to field, communicate, organize and play more actively in general. Here's a nice example of stats for one cell: http://nr13-romeo-08... - NR13-ROMEO-08
A1: I think that's a wonderful idea. I'll pass it along. With other priorities at the moment, Ingress 2.0 being the main one, I'm not sure we'll see anything like this immediately. But I like it.
Q2: Is there going to be any new glyph sequences released before the anomaly series on August 26th, that the Glyph Journal should be aware of before all chaos breaks out?
A2: Maaaaaaaaybe. We were actually commenting about maybe letting the Agents decide the next few phrases based on some sort of voting system. What do you think of that? Tag me in a post with your reply.
Q3: Hey Andrew, I've tried staying awake for last week AMA session to post a question, fell asleep in the end. When I woke up, the AMA session has already ended. Will love to see this being done to accommodate the players from other time zones. Singapore player here, it's 2am now.
A3: But then I would have to stay awake and completely forget answer questions. On a serious note, I've been toying around with the idea of creating a form people can submit questions to ahead of time. But I also have to be careful about soliciting too many questions because I won't have time to read them all of answer them all. So it is a fine tradeoff.
Q4: Hi Andrew! Is there still room on the wall for all the biocards, or do you guys need bigger office space?
A4: We're going to need a bigger office. /insert Jaws meme
Q5: Happy Monday :D Do you have a status update for shipping to other country's for the official Ingress shop? I would love to get my hands at some swag.
A5: I was told some good news on this front today. I would probably get fired if I told you though. Because I like my job I'll stop typing before I incriminate myself.
Q6: The Edgar Allan Wright Character Badge was given to (as far as we know) reward the intense dedication of the investigators at Essex. What do you (and/or Niantic) think about rewarding other positive examples of intense dedication (like the officially licensed swag designers/contributors or the dedicated community-news-anchors or passionate creators of fanfiction or organisers of FS's) in a similar manner? What types of dedication would be rewarded using virtual objects - like profile badges - and what would be rewarded using physical objects - like coins?
A6: Well... the secret is out about the volunteer and POC coins. So we do recognize those people using physical objects. That's new as of a few months ago. I think it could be fun to recognize more people with both physical and in-game items like badges. Some of the categories you recommend probably can't happen for obvious reasons. But others could and I'm sure as a community we could come up with a bunch.
Q7: How far are we from the end of the OPR queue, or at least close enough that we'll have submissions reopen?
A7: We are 75% through the queue. There is 25% remaining. We are very close to having submissions reopen.
Q8: The limit of incoming links to a portal seems to be 8192. Have you/the dev team increased that limit? Do we need to unite again to retest it?
A8: Some XM researchers believe that, in theory, a Portal could be linked infinitely both within and without our dimensional node. However, this would be difficult to achieve in practice, especially using our existing scanner technology. The upper bounds of linking is still be researched. We would not turn down an opportunity to research this again should you unite to do so.
Q9: Why are no ingress characters travelling to Europe for the next Anomaly?
A9: Because you had ME there a few months ago! I'm kidding. I have no idea.
Q10: Hey Andrew. The 500 new friend invites I get via Scanner with every LevelUp are not enough. How about more? 🙈🤗
A10: How many more do you want? I know a guy that make things happen.
Q11: Which ship was/will be the best ingress NPC ship from the following list?
A11: PAC x ADA
Q12: When will Ingress have more challenges like the Via Lux Explorer? I feel like not having at least a monthly one was/is a wasted opportunity, especially since there was such a huge delay between anomaly series.
A12: I would like there to be one in October between Anomaly series. That is just my personal preference and what I am advocating for currently.
Q13: When will the Guardian Badge finally be retired?
A13: There are ongoing discussions about what the best course of action would be. However, nothing is finalized at the moment.
Q14: Hi Andrew. May I ask what's NIA employees, and NIA Ops' attitude towards actions violating not TOS, but Agent Guideline? eg. win-trading.
A14: My personal opinion is on the record. Intentionally cooperating during the course of general game play should not occur. This does not include special events like Mission Day, First Saturdays, Anomalies, or even special fielding missions to make art. I don't know how NIA OPS interprets this though and this is just my opinion.
Q15: Do you think we will see new offensive XM weapons or defensive devices in ingress soon?
A15: Define soon. I don't think anything will happen prior to Ingress 2.0 being released. The team is really focusing on getting that done. However, once it is released and deemed stable, the opportunity for new things will be limitless. I'm really excited for 2018.
Q16: Is there any thought given to having a European Niantic representative that doesn't treat the Enlightened as an afterthought? In my mind, NIA employees should be Niantic representatives first and faction members second, not the other way around.
A16: There is context here that I am missing. However, I personally try to reinforce exactly what you said. I know our other employees also try to adhere to it as well. Are we perfect? No. We are human. Not ADA. There are times I'm sure when an employee has reached out to a friend for information because it was quick and easy. This is an entirely human thing to do and is not exclusive to one region.
Q17: What's your take on rooted phones? Will ingress 2.0 allow rooted phones?
A17: I used to do a YouTube show called The Android Show back in the day and wrote for a website named Android Activist. I'm a big proponent of open source development and rooting a phone is something very common in that ecosystem. Rooting enables a number of things you could not otherwise do without. Therein lies both the good and the bad of the situation. Obtaining root access is not evil. What the person does with it can be. Don't blame root. Will 2.0 allow root? I haven't heard anything definitively one way or the other. So I'll assume things will be the same as they are now until I hear otherwise.
Q18: What are future plans for incorporating the growing player base in Africa and possibly another satellite/anomaly/Mission Day in South Africa?
A18: Send me a message with what ideas you have. At this exact moment in time, I am not aware of anything specifically for Africa. But that doesn't mean tomorrow we won't.
Q19: Would NIA consider a special dispensation for Africa as a whole? I gave some options last time that I thought might be viable, but I'll hold off this time.
A19: With portal submissions returning very soon, I don't foresee the need to give Africa special dispensation.
Q20: Should we pay more attention to what the glyphs are telling us?
A20: Probably not a bad idea.
Q21: On another note, any chance of a fix for 'Imperfect' any time soon?
A21: You want the imperfect glyph to be perfect?
Q22: There are some urban legends in Ingress community, could you confirm or refute them please.
A22: Here are the most popular ones: 1) neutral portals give more very rare items; ----- this is a myth 2) the newly installed AXA shields get destroyed easier than the ones installed a while back (say, a day ago); ----- not sure 3) installing the shields precisely in 1st and 4th slots is the best way to protect the portal; ----- this is a myth 4) you should install mods to obtain them back from a portal hack sooner; ----- not sure 5) if mufgs don't produce any stuff, you need to drop it and acquire or unload stuff and load them up again or unload then drop/acquire and load, probably even reordering items, after that they'll start duplicating the items; ----- this is a myth 6) resonators are defended better when installed close to the center of the portal under the animated dome of the shield. ----- sounds too crazy to be true but I don't know
Q23: Schnitzel or Bratwurst?
A23: A Schnitzelwurst? Do I have to pick one?
Q24: Will full anomaly measurement reports ever come back? With Measurement Time Details, Portal Ownership Details and possibly other details influencing final scores of each faction.
A24: I don't know.
Q25: I've heard complaints from lots of agents and even experienced this myself as recently as yesterday... People are complaining about portals they own/have resos on being attacked and even neutralized without ANY in game notifications. It seems to happen randomly and doesn't matter if it is one person on the portal or 8 different agents, or whether users are Android or iPhone. Is this a widespread problem? It is bad enough sometimes we can't defend portals because of lag, but not being able to defend at all is really disheartening/frustrating. So... Is support aware of it? Are they doing anything?
A25: As I understand it, it is 5 minutes between notifications until your resonator is off the portal. Then you'll get no more notifications. So if multiple people are on a portal, only the last gets the notification. But I am not aware of situations with no notifications at all. Can you send me the recent details in a private post?
Q26: Hi Andrew, first again compliments for this open forum to be able to ask questions. In may 2017 there was an action to post your screenshot with a 730 day (2 year) sojourner to receive a passcode. I hear from people they have received one, but others have not. What happened with those passcodes?
A26: The problem was three fold. I discovered a glitch in the script I was using so it didn't send the code message to everyone. I tried to correct this by doing things manually however... someone(s) was reporting posts as spam which effectively hid them. Lastly, some people didn't check their G+ feed for a private message post from the Ingress account and missed the post altogether. Regardless of the issue, if people contact I am happy to provide them a code. #goodintentions
Q27: It feels like there's a very high rate of player attrition and a lack of new players to offset it. Is there any plan to try bringing people back to the game or to encourage more players to check it out?
A27: Absolutely!
Q28: I hope some of the Q4 Anomaly sites have Mission Days attached to them. Are decisions to have Mission Days at a particular site influenced on agent interest, likelihood of participation, turnout, location?
A28: All of the above, plus more.
Q29: When spoofers take out portals why aren't they set back up with the faction that owned it? Why do we have to jump through hoops to maybe get it set back up? And why is it dependent on strategic value? Cheating is cheating. Set them back up if they are still blank. The spoofers get banned fairly quickly but the portals take weeks if they get reset.
A29: It is largely based on strategic value because if you can easily recapture a portal, like one in the middle of a city, that is different than one on a mountain top in terms of resources required to recapture. They aren't automatically setup because we need to verify the claim that it was a spoofer and not a legitimate Agent.
Q30: Has there been any discussion on a tiered XM Anomaly medal system to make it easy to identify badges that were attained from being onsite and if so, can you share any future plans around this?
A30: We've talked about this internally. How do you, the Agents, feel about this? Tag me in a post with your thoughts.
Q31: What the hell is the deal with all those FALSE-POSITIVE bans?! I hear about at least two of these PER WEEK, anything you can do about that?
A31: Two a week is actually a pretty low false positive rate when you consider the amount of bans that occur and the amount of unique Agents playing weekly. I'm honestly not sure that we could get it lower. That said, I don't think it is two week on average. I'd have a hard time naming 10 Agents over the last six months that had a false positive and were unbanned.
Q32: Is +NIA Ops still working on reviewing their processes making sure they not missing anything regarding portal appeals ? It's now been 11 weeks sinds I posted my initial portal appeal after OPR came to europe.
A32: They are done reviewing their process and have put processes in place to ensure things don't get missed. Ping me and NIA OPS on your appeal. It might just be a problem of human error.
Q33: Can we get measurement data from Via Noir? Pretty please? Pretty please with a cherry on top?
A33: I really can't provide a definite because I don't know. But to set expectations, if it has been this long, I wouldn't wait any longer. But stranger things have happened.
Q34: any idea when +Edgar Allan Wright​​​ will release his next batch of Edgar Allan Wright medals?
A34: You would have to talk to him. If you can find him.
Q35: What is Niantic's Mission Statement?
A35: Niantic’s mission is to use emerging technology to enrich our experiences as human beings in the physical world. We seek to build products that inspire movement, exploration, and face-to-face social interaction. (taken from nianticlabs.com)
Q36: Hi Andrew, some agents reported being speed locked even while traveling less than 50km/h. Were there any changes made? And if so, what is the new max speed and why?
A36: I do not know.
Q37: Though I know that you are not in the position to produce it, tell me anything you know. Do you know if or when "Niantic Project Files" Vol 5 is going to publish? Is there information on that?
A37: I do not know
Q38: Can we move the scanner just with one finger ? Same as POGO? #Please
A38: As I understand it, this will be a feature of Ingress 2.0.
Q39: What is the future of BTS?
A39: Great question. I would love to bring it back. But doing it live every Thursday was hard and a lot of work. If I did bring it back I would make it a pre-tapped (not live show) that I could film when my schedule allows. Would people watch?
Q40: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?
A40: Oh god. I want to tell you. I really do. I think you'll see it soon enough or a demo of it.