Ingress AMA Archive

Any clarifications regarding portal/wayspot criteria is outdated.
Please refer to the official Wayfarer criteria for all current criteria

April 2018

Q1: What's the stance on live in businesses. Ones that are registered and operating as a business but also have an attached residence, or a residential house on the land of operations?
A1: I spoke to NIA OPS, they said, “Depends on the Portal candidate. If the candidate is associated with the business and meets our criteria (for example a hyper-local cafe), this would be ok.“
Q2: When can we expect more exciting news about the upcoming Anomaly series including series name and logo from Ingress?
A2: The series name has already been confirmed. It is Cassandra Prime. The logo will probably be released once we get closer to the event. More information on how the series will flow will be out next week.
Q3: Hi! What should we do with limbo portals? Resubmit it or waiting for solution?
A3: I spoke to the OPR team. By the time this AMA is published you should already have started to see Portals that were previously in “limbo” come online.
Q4: françois PRIEUR (JiefSourd) - Hello, We dont stop debate this in our group: Hawaiian pizza Is a pizza?
A4: Hawaiian pizza is pizza. Damn good pizza. The salt of the ham goes well with the sweet of the pineapple. I highly recommend it.
Q5: Is Niantic changing it's policy on multiaccounting, or is it just too hard to enforce? Many tickets with hard evidence have been closed and trusted reporters are not having any better luck either.
A5: The policy hasn’t changed. Keep reporting them.
Q6: Are MD applications for Europe currently open?
A6: The Mission Day application is currently closed. There will be an announcement with additional information in the coming days about it.
Q7: Do you think there will be new levels(17-18-19-20) after Ingress Prime ?
A7: What I’m about to type is my own personal opinion. I haven’t confirmed it with anyone and it would be unlikely to be confirmed at this point anyway. In my opinion, additional levels make sense to have. What that looks like and how people will level up I am not sure I have a good answer for. I would imagine that once the full Ingress Prime update is complete (client and server) that then the development team can focus on implementing new things.
Q8: Hi Andrew, there are rumors, that it is possible that we loose our gear when ingress prime will start.
A8: No. You will not lose your gear and we will not be resetting all of the Portals.
Q9: Any new medals planned which arent based on events or OPR? Like offensive medals for destroyed links, fields and portals?
A9: Similar to my answer to question seven -- I think once the full Ingress Prime update is complete (client and server) that then the development team will start to implement new things. It makes sense to add new medals and achievements. But I have no confirmation about this. It is only my opinion.
Q10: Can we get a roadmap for getting out of poor in OPR?
A10: The best advice I was told is to slow down, and rate every criteria for a Portal on its own merit.
Q11: Could the email we get when a portal submission is denyed contain a little bit more inforamtion about why the portal was denyed?
A11: This is on the OPR roadmap. I don’t have an exact date for you. But it will be coming at some point in the future I was told.
Q12: What do you think about the ability to "upgrade" mods on a portal?
A12: I’ve talked about this before. But I think it’s a great idea so I’ll happily answer it again. In my opinion, I think this is a wonderful idea. I would hesitate to give AP for it though. But if you can upgrade a resonator and there are different levels of mods it make sense. I will continue to advocate for this though.
Q13: But before, I would like you to tell us your worst Ingress related experience. If it is not too much to ask, of course :)
A13: My worst Ingress experience. Hrmmm… The one that stands out to me was the Cassandra Washington DC Anomaly. We knew we were going to be outnumbered so we created a strategy to overcome things. Part of the plan was creating a BAF (you got points for them back in the day). Everything was going more or less to plan through the first few measurements. We even got the BAF up once. It all came down to the last measurement and the Resistance were leading. We were planning on putting the BAF up again but something was blocking it. We were scouring Intel and couldn’t find the blocking link. It took almost the entire fourth measurement to find it. It turned out to be a tiny link between two portals on opposite sides of a street that someone threw it looks like while simply driving past. Because it took so long we couldn’t get it up and by the end of it someone from the Resistance had made it out to one of the anchors. That was a kick in the gut. I think someone did the math and said that if we would have gotten that field up we would have won. I could be wrong. I’m sure someone will go back and do the math on it and let me know. Regardless of the outcome we had a blast. The event and afterparty were so much fun.
Q14: So when are we to expect those information [about hotel information] to make further plans, decide if those special hotel arrangements are the right thing for each one and book transport.
A14: I wasn’t able to get an answer from the team before posting this. I’ll keep trying and provide an update when I do. I’m sure there will be a social post about it coming soon as well.
Q15: EXIF data is staying attached to portal submission pictures, in OPR. Any plans to change that?
A15: The team is looking into it.
Q16: Why do portal pictures get removed without warning or notice?
A16: NIA OPS says, photos may get removed if they do not meet criteria or the wrong photo was added (OPR duplicates). Will need more details before we can comment on a specific incident.
Q17: Will Vanguards be utilized in the upcoming anomaly series , in a similar way to Dark XM?
A17: We have no plans at this time to utilize them as we did for the Dark XM Cure event. There was a specific strategic need to do what we did that doesn’t exist for the Anomaly game play.
Q18: Any update on the possible dates for the restock portals for the final three weeks?
A18: By the time this is posted the information will already be out there.
Q19: Were areas during DarkXM purely random? ENL in Australia felt left out.
A19: Purely random. Sometimes the RNG is kind. Sometimes it isn’t. I’ll see if we can’t improve the process to have a more even distribution if we do something like that next time.
Q20: There's a fairly widely held belief among the player base that NIA OPS is ineffective at enforcing the game rules. Making public statements saying that they take that part of their role seriously doesn't help when it's not backed up with visible action. Why is nothing more being done to improve the way NIA OPS is viewed by the players?
A20: We are trying. NIA OPS constantly reevaluates their policies and procedures. For example, they no longer auto close tickets. Every ticket is read and responded to. However, ban appeals may be closed without further response if the petitioner has already received a reply from us and we have no new information to provide. I think a lot of the disparity comes down to local knowledge versus what NIA OPS can prove conclusively and expected outcomes. Most people submit tickets with an expected outcome -- usually a ban. But NIA OPS workflow, depending on the incident, sometimes requires additional intervention and warnings prior to jumping straight to a ban. Just because a player isn’t banned or there isn’t visible action doesn’t mean the player aren’t reprimanded or a mark put on their record.
Q21: ¿Do you read reports?
A21: I do not have access to the ticketing system. So no, I cannot read them.
Q22: Section III of the ingress agent protocol says "don't ... reveal it in the game by dropping items in front of their home or work location." Would deploying beacons solely on desk or home/neighborhood portals consistently (3-5 times a week) to be against said protocol?
A22: I had a conversation with NIA OPS about this. We both agree that it seems against the Agent Protocol.
Q23: We have a question, if you were subsumed by a Tecthulhu, what would your purpose as a Tecthulhu become?
A23: To predict the weather. Seriously. I would use all my sensors to knowledge to be the best weather Tecthulhu that ever existed.
Q24: Since the assets seem to already be in place for it, why does Niantic not release a wider variety of vanity beacons?
A24: This is something we talked about before. I think we would need to figure out how to ensure inappropriate images were not used for beacons if we opened it up for everyone. Maybe we could have a contest to design some new ones. I think it’s an idea worth considering.
Q25: I just loved the mission day in Tarragona in Spain. Great weather, fantastic people, and the fact that we had missions in sequential order without any passphrases. I've heard passphrases and random order are often a demand of Niantic. Is that true and would you consider removing those demands.
A25: I spoke to NIA OPS. Most Mission Days are hack only. Passphrases are not required and neither is a random order. They should only be used if they enhance the experience of Mission Day but are not a requirement. Here are the guidelines for setting up a Mission Day:
Q26: Hi, hope you had a nice trip. And this is where my question come from: who decide which ingress event are you going?
A26: It’s a combination of things. I collaborate with Ethan to see where NL1331 is going. I look at regions that might not have had a Niantic presence before or that could benefit from me coming. The Anomaly schedule plays a role as well as I might be needed to help at an event. I take that list to my supervisor, we discuss what is reasonable, then I make my travel plans.
Q27: Are there any plan to increase this [mission] limit?
A27: Not at this time.
Q28: On a cheerier note, will you come to London and do our new 504 mission banner?
A28: That is a lot of missions. If I could carve out enough time with my schedule, it seems like a great challenge. I love London as a city and have family in England. I need to get back there.
Q29: I'm curious if Niantic has a marketing plan to drive increased downloads of the Ingress (or Ingress Prime) app.
A29: We have an awesome Global Product Marketing Manager who has created an entire launch plan for Ingress Prime. I’m pretty excited about it. He would hate me if I stole his thunder and leaked anything though. So better to wait and see.
Q30: Why not to upgrade inventory with levelup, from 2k on L8 to 10k on L16?
A30: This has been discussed. Similar to my answer to question seven. I think once the full upgrade to Ingress Prime is complete then we’ll start to see new features implemented. I would imagine inventory will be one of the topics up for discussion. But we’ll have to do some analysis on what the right number is, how much per tier, etc. We don’t want to ruin the economy of the game by doing something willy nilly.
Q31: What's the status/timing for Resupply Portals for cities that were successful in Week 2, 3, and 4 of #DarkXMCure?
A31: By the time these answers are published all of that Intel will have been released.
Q32: Did anyone from Niantic actually send out Passcodes for SitReps as promised in the original Intel Packet
A32: This is a fair criticism. Thank you for bringing it up in a polite manner. To be frank, a lot of what we are doing is new to us. Each time we do something it is usually an iteration of something. So there is bound to be mistakes as we learn our way through new processes and procedures. It isn’t being done maliciously. That much I can assure you. Each time we analyze the lessons learned and try to improve. But sometimes, things slip through the cracks. Feel free to ping me about things if there are outstanding issues. I’ll try to get them resolved.
Q33: Are there any plans to remove AP from the forever passcodes to make the creation of L3 spoofies a bit harder?
A33: Not at this time.
Q34: When will you get more help?
A34: Soon™.
Q35: Is there any support for missions mosaic planned? So next mission will be visible after finishing previous one?
A35: This would require a re-write of how the mission planning tool functions or at least a decent upgrade. While I think it is a great idea personally, I think there are higher priorities at the moment.
Q36: Hi, had a great time this last weekend finding drops from a Navarro team. Can we do more find that portal type random things? Also the big game was great as it brought a lot of casual players out. Well done. However, maybe next time we could cancel f/s on that day or move it around?
A36: We can certainly do more. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive about the event. I agree about scheduling it around Ingress First Saturdays. Good input.
Q37: Can you suggest to the developers an NFC based invite system? Or inventory transfer? How about a badge for NFC "handshakes" with opposing faction players. It would encourage people to meet each other on friendly terms. Let players collect a list of who they met?
A37: We’ve actually talked about an idea like this. Google has an API for something called Nearby (https://developers.g...) that looked interesting. Again, I don’t think new features like this will be implemented until the full Ingress Prime upgrade is complete. But it definitely something I would love to have and will advocate for.
Q38: Is it true that the badge for epiphany night can ONLY be obtained through the Magnus event and the Fukuoka anomaly?
A38: and Agent Olympiad. Those four events are the only way to obtain the Passage to Osiris medal.
Q39: Hi Andrew, what's the best and worst of the new-to-you food and drink items you tried on your resent NL1331 travels? Are you going to make a cute #Iheartingress selfie to celebrate +Christine Jeffery's birthday?
A39: I was not a fan of cod milt sushi that I had in Japan. The best thing I ate was a grade A5 kobe wagyu steak in Kobe, Japan. Just thinking of it makes my mouth water.
Q40: Will the rules for the next anomaly series be circulated among city POCs for feedback before formal release, as per 2017 anomalies? That was cool.
A40: Yes. I think this worked out well last time so we will do it again.
Q41: The Enlightened agents who attended the first Camp Navarro event were awarded 50 beta invites to Ingress Prime for winning the mini-anomaly event. When may we expect to receive the invites?
A41: As soon as the beta is ready to be tested by Agents.
Q42: A gracious good evening Andrew. It is well known that you enjoy your comfort foods. It is a well known fact that the greatest comfort food in the world is poutine. Never heard of it? At it's purest composition, it is hand cut fries, topped with cheese curds and a most decadent gravy. There are however, variations on a theme, but I will not get into it at this point. The best poutine in the universe is found in Canada, Montréal to be much more specific.
A42: I love Montréal. I have been there numerous times. I am a big fan of poutine as well.
Q43: Why is browsing missions subject to speedlock? Not only that, but it can trigger it - just like if you attack a portal or hack a portal while going more than 35 mph.
A43: I brought this to NIA OPS attention. They are going to test this. Thank you for bringing this up.
Q44: Any progress on the unambiguous, specific and user-friendly ToS?
A44: Yes. I can’t really say anything more than this though.
Q45: Hi Andrew! Why Niantic does not pay attencion to agents reports? Can you confirm us if an only player with several phones, and one account per phone is not considered a cheater?
A45: You can have your account on multiple devices. But it is considered cheating to be playing on those devices simultaneously. It is considered cheating to be playing multiple accounts on multiple devices as well.
Q46: Can you ask the development team about the future of the Android Wear app?
A46: According to the Development team, there are higher priorities at the moment. It could be something later down the road that is supported but it is not currently on the roadmap.
Q47: How does Niantic secure in-game information and processes from employees whose jobs do not involve such things? I've heard stories of agents from both factions using insider access to alter gameplay, provide information to their team, expedite NIAOps reports, and other things that give them an advantage over the general public. Imagine how bad the outcome would be if one faction knew shard targets, special event rules, or other things that gave them a substantial advantage.
A47: Information is compartmentalized. Only those that need to know have access to it. For example, the Gamemasters are the only ones with access to when the measurements will be taken within a window, shard information, etc. The critical documents are protected using account permissions. The stories you have heard are just that… stories and rumors.
Q48: Is there any word of opening up portal submitting to lower level Agents, 8-9 for submitting new portals. Some areas just lack the high level agents needed.
A48: Not at this time.
Q49: Can we have clarification to what niantic considers tresspassing? Should we start calling the police to enforce park hours?
A49: NIA OPS says, “Our games are meant to augment reality, not replace it. If you're not certain you have the right to access a location or are not certain it is safe to access, please do not make any attempts to do so. As a player or any other member of the community, you must respect access restrictions, never trespass, or in any manner gain or attempt to gain access to any property or location where you do not have the right or permission to be.”
Q50: With portal edits moving to OPR, are invalid reports going to remain an NIA only review? What about photos submissions?
A50: NIA OPS and the OPR team says for now only edits are being implemented.
Q51: Would you be willing to appear on an episode of +The Portal Hunter Club?
A51: Perhaps after a couple of months when things settle down.
Q52: The Dark XM event was fun as everyone globally got to participate over the 4 weeks, can we have something on a much smaller scale(few hours on a weekend) like a community day like in pokemon go?
A52: This isn’t a bad idea. I’ll bring this up to the team.
Q53: Not sure if this was mentioned, in reference to the new information for the anomaly is in reference to prime, can I ask if agents with ingress 1.xx scanners will be able to participate the upcoming anomaly series?
A53: Whatever version(s) are supported at that time will be the one(s) players will be able to use. Unfortunately, I can’t provide a more clear answer than that.
Q54: Hi, Andrew. What is the redeemed count of the passcodes by solving the investigate puzzles and word of the day puzzles?
A54: I would have no way of knowing.
Q55: When agents get access to the "prime" scanner/universe will we be able to take our inventory with us to the new place/time?
A55: This answer is similar to question eight.
Q56: Would it be possible for us to get further clarification on the status of portal submissions on military bases?
A56: NIA OPS says that the OPR Guidelines state to one star submissions in Military bases.
Q57: Oh this is still up! Hey Andrew!!! So the recent reveal of prime shows we (or new agents to prime?) will be experiencing past anomalies through out this next year... I couldn't help but notice though that this would mean the first event, Cassandra, would be before Glyphs came out. Do you think we should suspect to not have the capability to glyph right after we enter Prime?
A57: It is difficult to speculate about what is being referred to as 'The Osiris Sequence' universe. The degree to which it may deviate from events of the past is not known.
Q58: Good motioning/night Andrew,could you tell us what will happen in the next years anomaly?I mean in the game world ,not ask for the real world.
A58: Oh man if I did that I’d be spilling the beans. You’ll have to sit through it and experience it. No shortcuts.
Q59: Andrew, what on earth happened with the first round of restock portals? Cities that had only between 50 and 100 links got restock portals, despite the rules stating they would only happen for cities that broke 100 links. Tuscon, for example, got a restock portal for 74 links.
A59: Great question and again, thank you for asking in a respectful manner. The short answer is -- we messed up. Nothing short of human error. There is no other explanation than that. Because we did it for the first weekend we applied the same courtesy to cities from the second weekend as well.