Ingress AMA Archive
Q1: While I understand the need for speedlock for things such as hacking and deploying on a portal, I do not understand why recharging remote keys is subject to speedlock. You don't have to be at a portal in order to do that, so my question is why is remote recharging of portals subjected to speedlock. If I can be sitting at my desk on the other side of the country and recharge a portal, I should also be able to be a passenger in a car and recharge the same portal.
A1: Unfortunately, not everyone that claims to be a passenger is a passenger.
Q2: Is there any news on the battery-drainage of Ingress Prime?
A2: The most recent 2.16.2 and 2.17.1 versions had some pretty big improvements as a direct result of a number of changes like the way XM is handled. We are going to continue to tweak and improve things. But if you haven’t given the latest versions a try you should do so.
Q3: As Prime is still rated at 4.2 and 2.6 on the play and app stores vs Redacted being rated at 4.6 and 4.7 respectively, is there talk about a relaunch of Prime that looks,acts, and PERFORMS just as good as redacted does?
A3: Saying something looks, acts, and performs as good as another thing is subjective. You may not agree with the following, but there are people that like the way Prime looks and acts. The performance has gotten measurably better compared to when it was first released to the point where most of the critical bugs have been addressed. There are always edge cases that cause things to happen, but 2.17.1 is extremely stable. I can understand the ratings being low for the initial version. But I would hope folks would update their scores as things have progressively improved over the months since launch. That’s the long way to say, no, REDACTED is at its end of life. Prime will be the only client and version going forward at some point in the near future.
Q4: if the color saturation cannot be changed, could the Green and Blue portals and fields be adapted to have different textures in Prime? Blue/Green colorblind players, myself included, find Prime impossible to parse.
A4: Can you reach out to be via Telegram? My username is @RedSoloCup. The Ingress Product Team would like to get more information about your use case and see how we can change things based on feedback.
Q5: The new UI has seemed to have been given the same view all over.
It is difficult to read, especially in bright sunlight. Do you think that the GUI will be lightened up, a lot more, further down the road?
A5: Our developers have informed me that we are currently working on improving viewability when outdoors and in sunlight.
Q6: Will it be possible to choose other language than system language?
A6: Not at this time.
Q7: When are we likely to loose scanner redacted ?
A7: REDACTED will be removed when our team believes that Prime is at or extremely close to feature parity. I cannot provide you a specific date. We have our own internal goal for when this estimated to happen but resources and priorities change all the time. When when feature parity AND usability parity are close you will know the time is near.
Q8: Why hasn't Prime implemented the "fast actions" abilities of Classic since its one of the largest missing features for parity?
A8: Our Engineering Team says, “As with all features for parity, we are evaluating which and how best Prime can serve our diverse player base. Due to the way one-finger rotate and the tap to zoom work, if this is implemented it might require a double tap instead of how it functions in REDACTED currently.”
Q9: Hey Andrew. When will we get a new tiered stats-badge? So not one where you have to attend some event, but an oldskool stats badge?
A9: We have been talking about this lately in discussions about the long term roadmap for Prime. I would love to hear feedback on what you think the new badges should be and what their tier levels could be.
Q10: Do you personally think that prime at release date was at the same stage and complete as original ingress?
A10: Yes and no. Yes because Prime has many more features that the original scanner did not have in 2012. But no, by choice as explained in previous AMAs when compared to REDACTED.
Q11: In the last AMA, +Erika Yone asked about paying for more space so we could break the cap on 150 missions available for authoring. Your response, in so many words, was, that the Mission System and Processes needs an overhaul. Yes, those were 'not' quite the words, but drove the point home, the system needs some serious work.
1. Where is the reconstruction/redevelopment/recreation for Authoring, Processing, Approving of "Missions" AND "Banner Missions" on the plate for Niantic and Ingress? Is there a Priority set for this, at this time? If not, will there be one? If so, can you share this?
2. With the global audience for this feature, what would you first do to fix things in the immediate situation to improve the Approvals of Banner Missions to alleviate the frustrations many banner missions authors are experiencing?
3. To help with improvements of Authoring/Processing/Approving Missions/Banner Missions what about creating a public opportunity for authors to help assist with feature requirements to share in improving this feature. Say put this on REDDIT or something, as a post, since G+ is going to be giving up the proverbial Ghost in the near future...
A11: These are great questions. For future AMAs, if you can try to ask one question per post that would help out tremendously. However, I think it is important to address these.
The requirements for mission process redesign are being written up and planned out. I know NIA OPS and our PM want to make this priority. But they have to weigh it against all the other things they want to do as well.
I personally don’t know that this can be released in phases because of how interconnected it all is. So there isn’t a “first thing” in my opinion. The creation of Mission Banners directly impacts the way Missions should be reviewed and them being published impacts how they should ideally be displayed in the scanner. Those are the three pillars of the Mission process. Doing one thing first and not have all the supporting pieces in places wouldn’t make sense and we would be in the same position we find ourselves in today with a broken process.
We have been listening, reading, and gathering a lot of feedback on this. I don’t think anyone creates more banner missions than our own staff. We are acutely aware of the shortcomings. That isn’t to say that a formal public feedback mechanism would be a bad things. But we aren’t lacking in feedback or understanding of the issues caused by the current system. Maybe we’ll create a beta tester group for anything new -- I don’t know. But there is certainly a place and use for the community helping above and beyond what they already have.
Also, understand that regardless of whether it's a single Mission or part of a banner, it needs to meet the Mission Criteria. Specific Missions within a banner can be rejected if there are issues with the Mission image (mostly a watermark or copyrighted image) or there are issues with the content.
Q12: r/IngressPrimeFeedback - The dots in the glyph screen feel smaller and glyphing in general feels "delayed" be prioritized higher? It is actively holding people from several communities back from switching to Prime.
A12: A number of the glyphing issues were resolved in 2.16.2 and 2.17.1. If you haven’t tried the most recent version, please do. If there are still issues, or new issues, please provide them in the feedback subreddit.
Q13: Would it be possible to eventually get an option to toggle on / off button to allow players to see links available from keys in capsules / lockers?
A13: This is an interesting idea. I’m sure it is possible. But, I’ll have to ask the engineering team about the technical feasibility of it and what the UX impact would be.
Q14: Any plans to add some environmental features to the game? Like weather in PoGo. Magnetic fields impacting fields somehow for example or whatever.
A14: We were just talking about this during a few of our recent meetings. I’m not sure that a feature set like this would be implemented prior to Prime being completely on the Niantic Real World Platform backend. It certainly wouldn’t happen until REDACTED is retired. So for now, it isn’t a priority.
Q15: From the iOS patch-notes for 2.16.2 we can conclude that Niantic is working on Capsule renaming for 2.17
Can you confirm this? And will this be for iOS only, since it is only in the iOS App Store patch-notes and AFAIK nowhere else.
A15: That was a typo. When that feature is going to be released, I’m sure that similar to other features, we will make an announcement about it. Be sure to follow our social media channels for more information.
Q16: Will there be a way to link our agent profiles to whatever social media platform we move to? It is a great function because new players are able to connect. Alternatively is there a way to do something like a /bot ping and get a url or contact name for new players to connect with the local community?
A16: I agree it is a great function. There are no plans currently to add anything beyond what we have implemented. If we did, we would also probably have to limit it to the largest social networks like Twitter and Instagram.
Q17: Will Ingress get daily or weekly quests or similar things to improve longtime Motivation?
A17: The short answer is, yes. The long answer is, not any time soon due to the immediate priority of focusing on the Prime Scanner. I have been personally advocating for this though and will continue to do so. Everyone on staff agrees this is needed and something desirable as well. It is just a matter of time.
Q18: Is it possible to consider updates on the redacted scanner ?
A18: It is not.
Q19: Are there any plans to change up the monotony of the day to day gameplay besides anomalies? For example adding items or new mechanics that change the way the game is played or events such as the Bogdanovich portal virus, XM Drought, or similar post anomaly events.
A19: Event-wise, yes. We actually had something planned but had to put it on hold for the time being.
Q20: when can we expect announcement about events in second part of 2019? such as anomalies and mission days.
A20: The Events Team tells me that, Mission Days and other events will be announced on a rolling basis. The latest coming very soon. We are striving to be able to consistently announce events in advance, but we also want to be able to do so reliably. For Mission Days specifically, I believe by the time I’ve posted this there should be some already added with more to come in the following week or two.
Q21: Will Abaddon Prime "mega-nomalies" have GORUCK?
A21: I am told that Abaddon Prime will most likely have them.
Q22: Why is official Niantic swag only at primaries this round? Is this going to continue in the future as it will be a major deterrent for going to satellite sites. Some of us like our pins and patches and not being able to get them at the site I am attending this round stinks.
A22: I was able to confirm that this will likely continue in the future.
Q23: Might Niantic consider officially supporting additional activities during First Saturdays? I'm thinking specifically of flash shards, but I could see other anomaly-style mini games working too.
A23: We are very open to ideas. Given the scale of these events we do have limited resources that can support them though. But contact the folks at Fev Games if you aren’t in contact with them already and they can provide your feedback directly to us.
Q24: Why can FS applications not be done well in advance? This would help keep travel and accommodation costs down for attendees.
A24: Ultimately, our goal is to have applications opened in advanced. Remember though that Ingress First Saturdays are community run and organized events. The people that help us plan, manage, and execute these are all volunteers. So we need to make things scale in a way that can be managed without placing a heavy burden on a single group of people. But it certainly is a goal of ours.
Q25: Why is First Sunday no longer available?
A25: The world is a very dynamic place. Some people have religious restrictions, others have cultural limitations, and there may be personal reasons someone cannot attend an event on Saturday. As the First Saturday program continues to grow in scale, these issues become amplified. It would be impossible for us to accommodate all the various differences in a diverse global population. Similar to what Pokémon GO did with Community Day, we realized the only way to make this work on a global scale is to standardize it. Keep in mind, the people that help us plan, manage, and execute these events are volunteers. It would become a full-time job for them to have to support events every day of the week or even just a Friday through Sunday window.
Q26: When/where is the next OPR Live planned?
A26: I was told that the next OPR Live event has not yet been confirmed.
Q27: Would Niantic consider allowing FS organisers to buy Xfac swag packs to use as prizes? This would be a fantastic help!
A27: Our team say, “Yes! We're looking to redo the online store later this year, and having ideas like this are a great source of what should be there!”
Q28: Currently we are being informed by GORUCK that Stealth Ops events will not provide Anomaly Intel to winning factions. Can you shed any light on what rewards factions can expect for participating In Stealth Ops events going forward beyond a scanner medal? It would seem a growing number of agents are voicing concerns that a lack of Intel challenges in Stealth Ops will kill participation and a little info would go a long way in preventing this!
A28: I am told that you are correct. There will be no Intel rewards for the foreseeable near-term future for Intel or Stealth OPs. The tiered medals will still exists though. I don’t have any further information at this time.
Q29: There's a huge chunk of data about the history of anomalies which will vanish when G+ goes away. … Is there any chance that this historical record can be preserved after G+ goes down?
A29: This is a really good idea actually. We have our own historical records but we’ve never really curated them into a historical record. Now that we are building out the website, that could be a great thing to add. I’ll see if I can help make this happen in the next few months or so.
Q30: How does one tell if an anomaly city is a primary site or not with the events page?
A30: Hrmmm. You know… good question. I’ve taken this back to the team. Hopefully, we can add some sort of indicator.
Q31: Why doesn’t the events page work on mobile safari or mobile chrome on iOS?
A31: This bug should be fixed by the time the answers are published.
Q32: Have you planned another Shards event in the future?
A32: Nothing is planned at this time.
Q33: Has the criteria for proximity rejects after successfully passing OPR changed rectly?
A33: The OPR team has told me there has not been a change.
Q34: There is an issue with how portal edits are dealt with, we are finding portals in the wrong place but lots of agents have submitted location edits to the correct place but when we review it we can find 10 dots to choose from and they aren’t getting a decision. Would it be better to limit each portal to one of each type of edit (title/description/location) edit at a time so it’s easier to make a decision
A34: I am told, “The goal is for the players to choose the best location for the Portal. We would recommend locating the Portal in the map first and then selecting the edit closest to it.”
Q35: Is (NIA OPS) certain that upgrades in OPR are working as intended? My submissions that got upgraded came back last, after my 'ordinary' ones did.
A35: I confirmed with the team that they believe things are working as intended.
Q36: are they planning on streamlining the Upgrade system with additional features? … I was wondering if they were thinking of allowing us to burn an upgraded submission that we know is a duplicate or problematic in some way that we’d want to resubmit, and pass the upgrade onto the next randomly selected submission? It seems like that could definitely help declutter things a bit and get OPR moving even faster; especially when the impending influx of Pokémon submissions enter the fold.
A36: The OPR Team has said they are monitoring the feedback to consider what the future enhancements should be and what should be prioritized.
Q37: We have a lot a portal submitted far away from their localisation ou edited far away in a home. Why not limit relocalisation while submiting portal to 50/100m, there's no reason to change the position further and because it's possible, some players use old album photo / google photos to submit portals from distance.
A37: I am told by the team that there are a number of changes coming to edits once Prime is considered at or near parity. This specific issue may also be in the process of being addressed. More to come on this topic.
Q38: are they working on a system where you can look at your submissions, see what kind of reviews they’re getting, maybe a status bar that shows you how close they are to either being approved or denied assuming they continue to get the sort of scores that they’d gotten up till then, be able to double check your pin locations and maybe fix them if you realize that you flubbed one, or add to or fix a description that may not be good enough or may be killing a legit submission?
A38: The OPR Team informed me that this isn’t something that is currently being worked on. But they have been evaluating all the feedback on this topic and it is something they would like to see as well.
Q39: will there be a system that checks to see what categories that something has been tagged with that are legitimate, but rejected due to people not following guidelines or not up to date with them? For example Art galleries seem to be a mixed bag of approvals and rejections. Maybe there could be a monthly automatically generated report emailed to reviewers that lets them know where reviewing deficiencies may be and keep track of that? Also it would probably be good to let them know what they’re doing well on; no one wants a monthly fail email.
A39: From the OPR Team, “Good feedback. We do want to add engagement emails.”
Q40: Can we please have a report submission button, in the UK we have places like Pymmes Park and Basildon where submitters use fake pictures to try to get portals, or The Ivybridge Mural where a submitter continuously requests the same Mural again and again to try to get more portals from one piece of artwork
A40: I’m told that there should be a rejection reason for fake image uploads. If you give the Portal a one-star rating it should be an option. Let me know if this is not the case and we may have to look into it. But it seems to there in the quick test I did to verify. It’s labeled as “third party photo” under the rejection options.
Q41: A few days ago, I got a portal edit with 6 suggested discussions on it. One of the discussions was my edit suggestion. Is this intentional, or should I have not seen that?
A41: The OPR Team says that this is most likely a result of multiple people submitting the same edit.
Q42: There still is a lot of confusion about the star ratings in OPR, hypothetically, if every reviewer rates every section 2*, would that portal be accepted or rejected?
A42: I was told that, “If all reviewers rated all items 2* it would be rejected. Not all answers are considered equally so just the low safety rating would be a good reason for a rejection.”
Q43: Could Niantic add a way/extend the existing method of reporting misconduct in OPR to encompass portal description/title edits that breaks the ToS as well? I'm occasionally coming across suggestions for edits that contains hateful language or are just outright spam. If no, what are we supposed to do instead?
A43: The OPR Team confirmed that edit abuse is on the list of things they are/will be working on implementing. Until then, NIA OPS asks that you please use the Help Center to report them and that they do take actions on submitters who abuse the system. For what it is worth, I can personally confirm this as players have escalated issues to me and NIA OPS has taken action against the abusers.
Q44: Hi Andrew. Many are faced with the fact that their applications for the creation of portals "stuck" in the OPR. I have been waiting for replies to portals since mid-summer. Does this mean that the "limbo" problem is not solved and the portals disappear as before?
A44: NIA OPS would like to know if you have received an upgrade yet or not? If the Portals were selected for an upgrade and have not reached a decision yet, they ask that you reach out to support.
Q45: Since there are some differences in strategy in Pokémon Go and Ingress, should OPR reviewers base their review judgement only on Ingress, or on both games while reviewing?
A45: Review a Portal based on the Portal criteria. Do not try to project anything other than the acceptance criteria into the mix.
Q46: Hi, I still got 2 portals in limbo ~200 days. I got one upgrade available but it has not been applied to either. How can this happen?
A46: NIA OPS would like you to reach out to them via support so they can investigate this. It should not be the case.
Q47: Should portal candidates that contain references to Ingress (or Pokemon Go) game terminology in their title or description be rejected? If so, what reject reason should be used?
A47: NIA OPS says, “Give the candidate a one-star rating. Choose Text, then Title and Description in the rejection reason.”
Q48: Can we have a "naughty corner" for portal submitters with consistently low-quality portal submissions? Part of why OPR gets grating after a while is due to dealing with blatant couch portals, generic businesses, and downright offensive submissions because people fling stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
A48: NIA OPS told me that they monitor both submitters and reviewers and take action on people who consistently submit low-quality Portals.
Q49: OPR question: I see a lot of submissions where the location is across the street, or several yards away from the actual item. Would Niantic consider a 2-stage portal submission where the first page is submit photo/description, and the 2nd page is "MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE ACCURATE LOCATION" ? :)
A49: I am told by the OPR Team that this is already in the works and the submission process is changing and coming soon to Prime.
Q50: Would we be able to get a pavilion selection, or is selecting gazebo for things like park pavilions just as good?
A50: For now, selecting Gazebo should be OK. But NIA OPS did tell me that they are definitely monitoring the feedback for new categories to add to the list.
Q51: How unique does a business have to be to not be rejected as a “generic business”? I’ve been told that reject reasoning is specific to chain restaraunts/businesses, but I get a restaraunt rejected that is a hot-spot. How cultural/historic does a business have to be in order to be accepted?
A51: NIA OPS replied with, “It would depend on the combination of the Title/Description/Photo used. If the Restaurant is a significant location in the city, explaining that in the description might help the reviewers take the right call.”
Q52: if a Portal Submission meets all other guidelines, and is taken at night, but is a light-up or glowing display that looks just as good or better in the dark, would it still be considered a good quality photo for OPR purposes?
A52: I was able to confirm with NIA OPS that night time photos are ok as long as the candidate is clearly visible and the focus of the photo.
Q53: We see a lot of location edits in opr lately. always about 1 to 5 meters, unfortunately this is effect of PoGo players who wants more pokestops and gyms in s17 cells, so they edit a lot. problem has grown to the point that 80% in opr are edits in my area. if Niantic is aware of the problem, what intends to do about it?
A53: NIA OPS has said, “We are monitoring abuse in Edits and taking action on the submitters. For reviewers, we recommend choosing the location closest to the actual Portal candidate.”
Q54: There are sometimes places that have major overhauls in real life. A mall in my city has experienced a great deal.of redevelopment and now nearly all the existing portals for that mall have been demolished. I have tried submitting invalid portal reports to have them removed but to no avail. I can submit new portals for things that currently exist in this location, but they are likely to be rejected for being too close to existing portals. I am not alone in this problem. Here is a link to another report of a similar issue https://www.reddit.c...
. What method is there for a community to work with Niantic to update all the portals in an area that has redeveloped rather than trying to tackle the problem with individual edit requests?
A54: NIA OPS response to your question is, “If the Invalid Portal report was declined, there was probably not enough evidence that the Portal does not exist at the location. Use the Appeals community to submit any additional details you may have about the location.”
Q55: In my area, agents from another faction are editing valid portals for locations that are totally different from the correct locations. What can be done, since the wrong location editing requests are made in bulk and are being accepted by Nia?
A55: NIA OPS wants me to pass along that, “Edits are handled via OPR not by NIA OPS. If there are specific Portals that are in the wrong location, or they are concerned about abuse, ask them to report via the help center.”
Q56: Are charging stations for electric cars suitable as portals? In my opinion they encourage a cleaner environment…
A56: While admirable, the guidance I was given to pass along is that they are not eligible unless they have some sort of unique art associated with them. Otherwise, they are essentially the same thing as a gas/petrol filling station.
Q57: Can we have the ability in opr to see the current portal location when doing location edits.
A57: The OPR Team said that they want the players to choose the best location regardless of the current location for a candidate.
Q58: For a really long time, lots of Agents from both factions have accused each other of "Win-Trading", a term that was explicitly mentioned in the "Community Guidelines" of Ingress. Even "legitimate" XF efforts like Mission days, IFS and XF-Field-Art have been branded as "Wintrading". A few days ago, however, I noticed that the term is no longer found in either the Terms of Service or the Community Guidelines. Was that an intentional change? (and if yes, why was it changed?) And does this imply that all XF is "fair game" and people can no longer be banned for supporting Agents from the other faction in however they see fit?
A58: Let me be very candid about this, as I’ve said this before, and it clearly needs to be repeated. Official Niantic events such as IFS, NL1331, Mission Days, Glyph Challenges, Anomalies, etc. are not win-trading. You do not have to like that statement. But those are the rules. Things were changed because it felt redundant.
My advice, outside of official events, do not privately collude with one or more people from the other faction to benefit from each other's actions as that is against the spirit of the game and will likely open you up to being reported for cheating. If it is done publicly and without intent to negatively impact the community, such as announcing a cross-faction get together at a bar, that’s not in my opinion cheating because everyone has access to the information about the actions in advance. However, just publicly announcing your actions doesn’t absolve you of cheating. There has to be no negative impact to the community. Announcing you and your xfac friend are going to take down a zero-cell sat phone required Portal that is being currently used as an anchor over a region is likely to get you reported for cheating.
Q59: What is the recommended process to report systematically misplaced portals in certain cities?
A59: NIA OPS says, “Submit an edit via the scanner. If the edits have already gone through and they suspect abuse, report via the help center. As mentioned in a previous question, we are working on reporting abuse via OPR.”
Q60: With the recent question of sports fields & the portal being best placed on the edge to avoid obstruction, can we get confirmation that the same goes for buildings and other outdoor locations? for example a church portal would be best placed on one of the doors or corners of the wall and a play area would be best placed on the entrance gate or surrounding fences, instead of dead in the center where using an ultrastrike would become an issue if these places were in active use at the time and you can't gain access, thanks
A60: There is no way we can provide binary guidance on this. Buildings and “other outdoor locations” is extremely nebulous and without detail. There are buildings that are 3 meters by 3 meters. There are buildings that are 300 meters by 300 meters. Sports fields are typically all the same size universally so the rules governing those sports can be applied universally. But even in that case, there can be a drastic difference between a community baseball field and minor league baseball field stadium. In the previous conversation, we were talking specifically about community type fields. Buildings, as a category, can range from tiny historical pubs that require me to double over to enter and visit to the Eiffel Tower, English Parliament building, or Taj Mahal.
Q61: There is a 12-K rule for schools eg. This definition is sometimes unclear in European countries as we have a different type of educational system, often it even differs per country in the EU. For countries that dont use the 12-K system, could you specify the age limit? Should portals only be acceptable for schools where the average age of students is 12+, 16+, 18+ or some other age?
A61: NIA OPS confirmed that the criteria mentions, “Candidates on the grounds of primary/secondary schools” which can be used as a reference for countries that do not use the K12 system.
Q62: With the new support system, what happened with the tickets that were not yet closed? There is a ticket from me that was created before the new support system was installed, but still not resolved. (Missing Mission Day due to the registration writing down my agent name incorrectly (they replaced the 'p' by an 'r'))
A62: NIA OPS informed me that, “Any tickets submitted in the old Help Center have been responded to or moved to the new system. If you haven't received a response, please submit a new ticket.”
Q63: If someone was confirmed to deliberately provide misleading information to NIA OPS(such like using similar but false evidence to report a valid portal), would this guy get punishment finally?
A63: It is certainly a possibility. Your question is too generic to be able to give a specific answer to. But people have been punished for falsifying reports.
Q64: If there is a problem and we want to contact Nia Ops, is there a possibility without talking to a chat bot?
A64: NIA OPS says, “Our goal is to help you get an answer quickly. The chat bot is faster for cases where the information is already available in the help center. If you want to jump directly to submitting a ticket, type in "Skip" once you load the chat window. Thanks for the feedback, we'll update the welcome message to make this more clear.”
Q65: After the remake of Ingress Support, there's no possibility now to make a proper support ticket, with ability to attach screenshots or any media whatsoever. How can I get to a proper support instead of chat bot?
A65: NIA OPS wanted me to let you know that, “You can add attachments once the ticket has been created. Look for a small paper clip icon at the bottom right section of the chat window after the ticket is created. You will be able to add additional context or attachments at this stage.”
Q66: Recently we're experimenting a huge wave of Pokemon Go players looking for portals in their surroundings, specially home portals. While this is ok if those portals follow the criteria, some of them are cheating with multiaccounts (ENL and RES ones to destroy themselves), account sharing (a L10 account is shared to submit portals), spoofing (to play in far zones where they won't be catched), selling L10 accounts and abusing location edits to adjust to the PoGo cells they want instead of their correct possition. We are not agaisnt PoGo players, some of them are a crucial part of our communities. How are you dealing with it?
A66: If you suspect any TOS violations, please report them via the Help Center.
Q67: For several years, an agent has been refusing to remove or change a mission that uses a piece of unfinished artwork that I was working on around that time. What recourse can I take to have the mission icon changed to remove my stolen work?
A67: I was informed by NIA OPS that if you own the copyright to the artwork, they would like you to contact support and they will help remove the images.
Q68: Is there going to be a way to report invalid portals without doing so in the scanner first ? Some portals are far behind on private residential property that you cant see them in the scanner from a publiclly grounds making it impossible to report such portals via the scanner. Meanwhile the option for local business to report portals via the ingress support website no longer seems active. (page not found)
A68: The reply from NIA OPS is, “We recommend using the scanner to report Portals. You can use a key to the Portal or click on the Portal name in COMM to report the location. There is an option for property owners to report via the Help Center (note that older bookmarked links will no longer work).”
Q69: Can we get more clarification one what makes someone a Notable Member of the community for memorial POI submissions? Cause most people I talk to say they have to be famous on the national level to be considered.
A69: I would leave this up to the community. There isn’t a reputation ranking or requirement that the person have a Wikipedia page that we could declare as a global requirement. The local community should be able to make these decisions and distinctions. If it is not clear why someone is notable, the submitter should draft a good description to help the reviewers understand the significance of the Portal.
Q70: With G+ going away, is there any more progress on the new AMA Approved platform?
A70: There isn’t any additional progress that I can reveal publicly just yet. The good news is that as we were going through the planning for the launch of Prime, we identified the need for a tool/platform that could act a hub of information with the spokes of the hub being G+, Twitter, FB, Instagram, Reddit, etc. So work was underway early to put in place something that would enable this sort of functionality for us. This early planning meant when the closing of G+ came, we were not caught flat-footed. What caught us a bit off guard was the accelerated timeline for G+ going away that was announced in December. It is going to be close to getting it all up and running by April 2nd. But we are trying to hit that mark. If the original deadline hadn’t changed, we wouldn’t be having this conversation as the solution would have been in place well before that.
Q71: What do you think is a reasonable amount of capsules and quantum capsules to keep in reserve?
A71: That depends on the player and how they want to organize their items. Is 100 capsules with one item in each worse or better than 10 capsules with 10 items? I have no idea. It is a personal preference.
Q72: Will there ever be a leaderboard where all of us can look to see where we rank in every metric/badge category and maybe things like portals discovered?
A72: I don’t know to be honest. I personally go back and forth on this topic. On one hand, Ingress is very much all about Green versus Blue. It is largely the only thing that matters. So putting an emphasis on leaderboards may amplify negative behavior that we don’t want. That being said, will it really negatively impact the community to know that I am number 2458 in the world for hacking? If I wanted to raise my rank wouldn’t having that awareness be an incentive to play? Is the opposite true? Is being too low or not on a leaderboard a disincentive to play and does it accurately reflect my contributions? I have no strong feelings either way. If the majority of players want it, I’ll happily advocate for it.
Q73: The official ingress webshop is offline. When will it be back? I would like to buy the glider gloves.
A73: Things are being evaluated on how to better serve the Ingress community.
Q74: Has there been any discussion about making the annual leveled badges actually based on a player's activity during the year? E.g. 1 ap or more = bronze, perhaps 20 million AP during the year for onyx. I always find it odd to see profiles of inactive players who have 4 badges in a row for "contributions during Ingress Year x" when they clearly haven't played.
A74: There haven’t been any conversations that I am aware of. But you bring up an excellent point. Let me run this past the team and see what they think.
Q75: The new mission day medal seems to be extremely unpopular with agents. The old design was very nice. Why was it changed, and any chance it could be changed back?
A75: I do not think that it will be reverted at this time. It was changed to better reflect the purpose of the events.
Q76: I recall that there were Razer Phones being used to demo the Osiris Scanner to Agents at the Osiris Epiphany Night event. Is it possible that Razer and Niantic(or the NIA, I don't have those kinds of connections so I can't ask them) could collaborate on an "Osiris Edition" or "Prime Version" of the Razer Phone 2 similar to how Niantic collaborated with Motorola in 2013 on the release of the Ultra Strike XM weapon and the "RedX" phones? I think that'd be kinda interesting.
A76: I do not think this will happen. Cool idea. But, unlikely.
Q77: When is Niantic going to admit openly they don't really care about how communities feel about the nearly overt negligence Niantic gives to organizers? When is Niantic going to admit Ingress is merely a sandbox for their other games, and they don't even care enough to sunset it, that they'd rather let it fade out and make everyone sad and neglected?
A77: I normally would not respond to questions like this. But I have met you, dotsamantha, and I know your questions come from a place of frustration. You aren’t asking simply to be a troll or rude like others. Let me try to unpack what you wrote and address things.
There is no way I can speak to, or have knowledge of, every exchange between a Niantic employee and all of the potential community organizers over the last six years. People on both sides are human beings. Humans are imperfect creatures. I can’t say that every exchange has been positive. However, I’ve been involved in Ingress community organizing as a player as far back as 2012 and now as the Ingress Global Community Manager for Niantic. I would not describe anything I’ve witnessed or been exposed to as overt negligence towards any player organizer. It isn’t in our (Niantic’s) best interest to be overtly negligent. It sounds like there may be an issue I’m unaware of or perhaps thought was resolved that is not. I’d like nothing more than to help resolve whatever it is. Feel free to reach out to me to provide some additional context. Making sweeping generalization can be more destructive than constructive.
To add some context, Niantic has demonstrated the desire to improve the way they communicate with event organizers and to empower them. There exist multiple Slack teams for various types of events to facilitate direct communication with Niantic employees and event planners. This was not always the case. Event organizers are selected via player nominations and no longer via Niantic networks. Anyone can apply for Ingress First Saturdays, Mission Days, and for the first time ever -- we asked the Osiris Sequence POCs to nominate cities for Anomaly events. Anomaly organizer have a clear set of instructions and documentations to follow. This is something that didn’t always exist and continually gets updated and improved. Mission Day and Anomaly POCs are rewarded with limited edition items like volunteer coins. That wasn’t always the case. Niantic often helps fund faction organized Anomaly after parties too. Last year, Niantic took on the financial and contractual burden of securing hotels for players for Anomalies from Anomaly POCs. Have all of these things happened perfectly and without issues? No… But we tried. Anomaly POCs also get to review the Anomaly rules and provide input before they are published. That never happened in the past either. We ornament the playboxes in advance to ensure what Anomaly POCs requested is what we plan on using. Mission Day missions get fast-tracked. There are lots of examples that demonstrate anything but negligence and shows Niantic not only cares but wants to improve the relationship we have with event organizers and the community in general. Neither party is going to get 100% of what they want. But over the last several years it feels like there has been a great deal of collaboration and compromise that has occurred. Our EMEA regional Community Manager just took a day trip from Germany to The Netherlands to meet with the Amsterdam POCs to resolve a few issues face to face instead of doing it via a phone call to maximize the ability to resolve problems.
For the second question you posted, I would advise you to go back and read last month’s AMA. I address the original purpose of Ingress, it’s history, and how vested Niantic is in its success and future. I also include a recent direct quote from John Hanke on the topic. We don’t want it to fade away. Nor is it being neglected either. There are software updates that come out every two weeks for Ingress Prime. It is in active development with a team of dedicated engineers working on it. A feature roadmap was posted months ago. This was another first and something we did to communicate more directly with the players and to manage expectations. We now publish detailed release notes that show what changed and what we are working on. We are collaborating with players and created an active feedback loop by establishing the /r/IngressPrimeFeedback subreddit. I hold monthly AMAs dedicated to Ingress and clarifying issues and adding a layer of transparency. This isn’t a product that exhibits any sign of being shelved and fading away from a corporate support point of view. Quite the opposite.
Are we perfect? No. But to say we don’t care and aren’t trying is just simply not true.
Q78: Hi Andrew can you please advise on which social platform we will continue to contact you?
A78: You can contact me on Twitter at @KrugDrew. You can also find me on Instagram at @KrugDrew. I am on Reddit at /u/soloredcup (redsolocup was already taken). Lastly, I can be reached via Telegram chat via @RedSoloCup.
Q79: Oh, another question. Agents on both sides go to great lengths to capture challenging portals. When they inevitably get spoofed it's like pulling teeth to get them restored. It takes months sometimes, half the time the portal ends up broken due to the account being banned and the portal not restored properly if they answer at all. Knowing that Niantic has access to a wealth of information, why don't they just admit they don't care?
A79: I created and have managed the Portal Reset Program for two years. It has never taken multiple months for a Portal to be restored once it was brought to Niantic’s attention through the proper channels. I cannot speak to any delay with a player escalating it to Niantic because I don’t know about an issue prior to it being submitted.. But once it is documented, they typically get reset in days. Every now and then it might take a week or more if people are on travel or it is the holiday season towards the end of the year. But certainly never months. Also, at no time, has a Portal ever been restored incorrectly and left that way permanently. I can count on one hand over the last two years the number of times an error occurred. It was caught and usually resolved in a few hours.
To be clear though, not all Portals are eligible for a reset. There are numerous criteria that we take into account and are graded on a numerical scale. These include but are not limited to:
Was the account banned
- Distance to the nearest active Agent(s)
- Limited access or seasonal Portals
- Cellular reception at the Portals location
- Cost to capture Portal
- How often is the Portal captured
- How long was the Portal previously owned
- Is the location a suspected farm for bots
If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t have created the program in the first place to undo the actions of spoofers. Is there room to improve the process? Absolutely. That will come in time. Not caring would be doing nothing. Which is the opposite of what happens.
Q80: If Theophilus Thistle, the successful thistle sifter,Can thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb, How many thistles can think sift through the thick of thine thumb??
Q81: Would you consider the vanguard program to be a success? Is it providing anticipated/sufficient levels of feedback and community involvement?
A81: Very much so. The Vanguards have proven to be an invaluable resource for us to gather feedback on a diverse set of topics. We recently had a summit where the Vanguards were able to spend multiple days with the Ingress leadership team and provide feedback on every aspect of Ingress -- not just the software application. It generated well over 40 pages of notes and lots of action items. They are bound to a non-disclosure agreement though so most of their work happens silently, by design. But I can’t thank that group of player volunteers enough.
I saw a recent Reddit thread this past week about the Vanguards. I want to take a second to address it. The author of the post claimed a Vanguard had the power to influence Portal reviews and remove the ability of a player from being able to participate in OPR. This is categorically false. Vanguards are a player advocacy group that provides feedback to Niantic. They cannot alter any player’s permissions to any tools or game features. They cannot review support tickets. They cannot ban or unban players. They cannot directly contact NIA OPS. Their purpose is literally to provide Niantic with feedback on whatever topic we ask for their feedback on. That is it.
Q82: Often when two Agents are deploying on a newly captured portal, there is a question of who deployed the last Resonators to complete the deployment. One Agent will get all the AP, while the other doesn't get any Points. Has Niantic thought about using Instant Replay to confirm who actually deployed the final Resonator?
A82: No we have not. I don’t think we need to either. We use timestamps.
Q83: If Recursion Prime had somehow ended in a draw, would Hank Prime's new simulacrum have stayed unaligned?
A83: Good question. But because it did not, I’m not sure I understand what the value of speculating on a different outcome is. While it could be a fun thought experiment. The fact is, nothing changes since a winner was declared.
Q84: Are you getting tired of seeing a Tidal Wave of OPR questions on your AMA chats?
A84: No. It is clear that there are still some ambiguous areas.
Q85: Andrew, do you have any tips for a 'dead' enemy community? Besides actively recruiting for the other team?
A85: Sometimes desperate situations call for drastic measures. Near my home area, years ago, a player switched factions to recruit others since there was no one playing for the Enlightened. He built them up, got them going, then switched back to Resistance.
Q86: Have you ever tried cooking a pot roast in a croc pot, adding 1 can of sprite(which tenderizes the meat, roast meat of your choice(say a Chuck roast is the usual one) a can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 packet of Lipton onion soup mix, and adding carrots and potatoes about an hour or two before the end of a 4-6 hr cook time? If so, did you like the roast, or is roast not really your thing?
A86: I love pot roast! Maybe more than lasagna. Sadly, one winter a couple of years ago, I made it almost every week for months on end. My wife banned me from making it for a while after that. I’ve never done the Lipton onion soup mix trick. I’ll have to try that. My ban has since been lifted so I’m safe. I actually add the potatoes, carrots, and onions at the start and set it on low.
Q87: How would you, Andrew Krug, bring crafting to Ingress? (Assuming you had carte blanche to make gameplay changes and a team of developers to do it.)
A87: Wow… Great question. I think we would need to define what we want people to craft. I would allow lower level XMPs to be made into higher level XMPs and the same with Resonators. I’d let common items be made into rare items and rare items be made into very rare items. This can’t happen willy nilly or it would destroy the game economy. So perhaps we create a crafting capsule that you can purchase but only use once every 24 hours. You could only place 100 items in it as your max initial load. There should maybe be diminishing returns. So 100 X6 would make 50 X7 or 25 X8. That doesn’t seem game breaking to me. We’d need to set level gates too I think. At L8 you could craft X6 or R6 into X7. At L9 you can craft X8 or R8. I wouldn’t be in favor of allowing lower level L1-5 gear into items. You can farm that by yourself. At L12 you can make common into rare items. At 14 you craft rare into very rare. If you recurse once, maybe you get a crafting capsule with 150 or 200 max load capabilities. Since you can get items that would otherwise require you to collaborate with other players then I think we need to add a required consumable item as the catalyst that can only be obtained from hacking L8 Portals and cannot be traded. So by ONLY using the crafting capsule and the catalyst together can you craft items. The catalyst should have a fairly low drop rate. I’d also make any crafted items bound to the player so they couldn’t be traded. Perhaps they could be traded via a trade capsule that you purchase and can send to a player digitally like Pokémon GO gifts. But again, you can only do one capsule of 100 items every 24 hours. Without giving much additional thought. That is how I would start to design things.
Q88: Frank is eight years older than his sister. In three years he will be
twice as old as she is. How old are they now?
A88: See the problem with this question is it is missing context. Frank is a dog. A German Shepherd to be exact. He’s considered part of the family and sleeps in the parent’s bed at night. He has a sensitive stomach and has an allergy to corn so he has to eat a specific brand of dog food. This sensitivity and allergy actually reduce his lifespan just a little bit. But Frank’s family also lives on a farm so he gets plenty of exercise and is great shape. Frank comes from the mother of the family’s brother-in-law who breeds German Shepherds.
His sister is actually the family’s gerbil named Gere. Gere loves to run around his gerbil maze, sleep all day, and eat alfalfa. Gere was purchased from a Pet Smart in 2016 near Wabash, Indiana. The winters in Wabash can get cold. Not as cold as Rochester, New York which is home to the annual Lilac Festival. The festival starts this year on May 11th and takes place in Highland Park.
In 1888, nurserymen George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry endowed the Rochester community with 20 acres (81,000 m2) of gently rolling hills that are now known as Highland Park. It was noted as one of the nation's first municipal arboretums. Renowned park designer Frederick Law Olmsted was responsible for final development of Highland Park. The park's lilac collection was started by horticulturist John Dunbar in 1892 with 20 varieties, some of which were descendants of slips of native Balkan Mountain flowers that were carried to the new world by early colonists. Today, over 500 varieties of lilacs cover 22 of Highland Park's 155 acres (0.63 km2).
The inspiration for the festival dates to 1898 when 3,000 people came to the park one Sunday in May to see the lilacs. Ten years later, 25,000 people came to the first organized lilac festival. Since then the number of viewers has grown to over 500,000 and the festival plays out over the course of ten days. You should go to the Lilac Festival and buy some lilac honey. It’s fantastic!
Q89: Why do people ignore the "#2: Do not ask multiple questions on multiple topics in a single post. One topic, one post. " that's in the AMA Rules?
A89: People spoof, user multiple accounts, sell items, and break the Terms of Service even though the rules are quite clear on all of these things too.
Q90: For a while, my phone was doing this weird thing where it would insert a space at the beginning of portal titles I was submitting. Consequently, it wreaks havoc on key sorting. This also seems like something that will escape the attention of OPR reviewers if title edits are submitted. Can NIA please just edit these for us automatically?
A90: I think that the answer is simple. You can just edit the extra space out prior to submitting them. It seems like the easiest thing to do. Alternatively, you can stop using a Blackberry to player Ingress.
Q91: Any update on bacon beacons?
Q92: still wearing your dutch clogs?
A92: Only on April 27th when I dress up in Orange too.
Q93: Do you prefer black or white chocolate? I'm asking for a friend.
A93: I prefer chocolate.