Ingress AMA Archive

November 2019

Ingress: General

Q1: Concerning Very Rare Link Amps, they have become quite a rare item (probably the rarest one that has been available to the public). Especially after the quantum capsules rework. Are there any plans on adding them back to "the portal network"?
A1: Not currently.
Q2: Are there any plans for more “official” ingress merch besides the nemesis/anomaly themed stickers, shirts, hoodies, and beanies we’ve seen recently or is this the norm we should expect from here out?
A2: Not at this time.
Q3: Does using ADA/Jarvis on a unique portal increase the Unique Portals Captured counter?
A3: Our engineering lead confirmed that, “you don't get a metric for it (the count doesn’t increase), but you can complete a mission waypoint of capturing a portal that way.”

Ingress: Issues

Q4: you stated once Prime would run on 2G networks once it is already running... In fact it doesn’t. It doesn’t start and it doesn’t run. Therefore my question is, has this issue been really addressed and can we expect a fix soon?
A4: All I can say at this point is that we are aware of the issue.
Q5: Where are Prime 2.35? Soon but take long time to relese.
A5: Sometimes releases get delayed due to issues found during Quality Assurance (QA) testing. Other times a release will get delayed due to an issue found during the initial 10% rollout. It could also be delayed due to a feature or bug fix not being ready that we deem critical. This doesn’t mean work is not progressing. The development sprints continue even if the release cycle has a delay. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Q6: When will sorting keys by name be actually fixed so that keys are sorted by name and not "mostly" sorted with random keys in the middle?
A6: Brian believes this is fixed. But wants to highlight that there are specific portals that have unexpected portal titles (for example, space before title, emoji in title, etc.) and these inconsistencies will sometimes make the sorting look funny. If that's not what's happening, let us know and we can take a look.
Q7: When the 8 max outgoing links have been reached, linking is still possible, unless you close the linking hub. Any progress on fixing that?
A7: Our engineering team informs me that this is presently being looked into.
Q8: When will be be able to see our actions in comms? If I make a field I have to ask another player for the details of said field, such as MU obtained, if a field actually went in.
A8: I wasn’t able to get an answer to this in time for publishing the AMA. Please keep asking (I will continue to ask internally as well).

Ingress: Feature Requests

Q9: Where is the widget?
A9: As it stands, this is not a high priority for the development team.
Q10: Can we get an option to sort by # of keys?
A10: The team agrees that this could be a useful idea and should be relatively simple to add. However, there are higher priorities at the moment. But thank you for the suggestion.
Q11: Any timeline to implement the 'navigate to' feature?
A11: I am told that there is no timeline presently for this to be implemented. As a reminder, you copy the lat/long of the Portal from the Portal details screen and use it in third party navigation apps. I realize this isn’t the same thing as doing it in app. But that is the current state of things at the moment.
Q12: Are there any plans to revamp or add to the avatar creator for agents profiles? The designs and colors are kinda meh and could use a touch of prime redesign.
A12: Not for the profile icons at this time, but we’re working on updates to enable agents to personalize their map avatars.
Q13: Any timeplan when the North indication for placing resonators will be implemented in Prime? That is missing compared to [REDACTED].
A13: I wasn’t able to get a response to this question in time for publishing the responses. Keep asking and I’ll try to get an answer next time.
Q14: Is it possible to add a language selection to ingress Prime as it was in redacted? Some agents would prefer to use it in English.
A14: This is something under consideration but not a high priority at the moment. I understand that many people want to use English as it tends to be the default language Agents communicate in and makes sharing screenshots and information easier.
Q15: is there any plans to make it easier to connect to players using via our profilers?
A15: I am not aware of any plans at this time to implement this.
Q16: a tech question again: Will you unlock the game for higher framerates and 100% resolution scaling? Optional graphics checkboxes in the settings would be fine for this. Since you unlocked glyphing for 60fps it became really apparent how much nicer the gameplay feels with higher framerates, so why not have it for the map view also? If battery usage is an issue: We're Ingress players. We have powerbanks.
A16: Thank you for bringing this up. With devices capable of 120 fps we’ll look into this. As you note, it is a delicate balance between battery consumption and a less than ideal experience.
Q17: What is the possibility of there being a MOD to kick out only power cubes?
A17: Brian Rose says, “We want to encourage agents to walk more, so this specific mod isn’t on our roadmap. “It’s time to move.” XM was designed to be one limiting factor but we’ll continue to review game metrics and consider fine-tuning this.”
Q18: Would you like the idea of introducing a sort of "automatic filter" on the inventory?
A18: This was actually discussed at a recent team meeting with the idea of it maybe being a power feature in a subscription service.
Q19: Can you show the start date of playing on profile?
A19: This is another good idea and thank you for bringing it up. We started basic discussions based on your question and it should not be too hard to implement. It’s not something a lot of people have asked for to date though so I don’t know where it would land on the list of priorities.
Q20: Any chance of adding a fast track package in the in-app store for portal submissions kinda like how opr live events work?
A20: This isn’t possible currently.
Q21: When will you introduce an capsule which replicates items for xkm agents walked?
A21: The reply from Brian on this is, “This is a good idea in the future, and we first want to implement Adventure Sync in order to more accurately account for agents’ movements.”
Q22: I like to make a suggestion, the question would be what you think about and how possible it would be: a "photo registry book" feature at portals, accessible only at location (not keys or comm) allowing the owner of the portal to add a picture of itself within the portal. The picture can last until a new owner add a new picture, or have a small historic of previous owners.
A22: Almost like a digital guest book? I really like that idea. Maybe not exactly how it was described. But in some way to leave a mark that, “RedSoloCup wuz here!”.
Q23: Arabic and right-to-left support for portal names?
A23: I was unable to get an update on this. I know it is troubling for those whose native language is RTL.
Q24: I’d totally spend a buck or two to permanently change my cursor on the map into something like the toast again. Any plans to make something like that available in the in-app store?
A24: Yes. This is currently being worked on in fact.

The Investigation

Q25: How are various other entities within the world of Ingress handling the developments surrounding Nemesis, such as the inner workings of the NIA since Calvin's departure, the private Corporations such as Hulong and IQTech and the Magnus societies led by Jahan and Azmati Prime? We haven't really seen any developments in the world about what Nemesis has done to it. I'd like to believe that the fight against Nemesis is far more than just Agents + whatever's left of the Osiris NIA.
A25: In the most recent livestream by Osiris Hank Johnson, we learned that the Jahanites and the Azmati clan have temporarily put aside their differences to fight Nemesis. Hulong, Visur and IQTech have been running dark since Nemesis popped up, but the NIA has put out feelers to get updates, which we hope will bear fruit in the coming months. Despite our uneasy relations with those corporations in the past, right now we need ever ally we can get.
Q26: In last AMA you said that the EAW badge will return.Which way will it appear again?Make characters post at Twitter,community or other places?Or in a new way?
A26: There is no hard requirements or criteria. The medal is simply for aiding “Operation Essex founder Edgar Allen Wright.”
Q27: Is the Nemesis member Courier the trickster archetype and having a go at us or is he actually a Hank Johnson from an alternate universe.
A27: A Tessera for the Skeptic archetype recently surfaced, which leads us to believe that Tesserae for the rest of the archetypes will be released over time. We believe that an Archetype Tessera’s color, location on the board, and neighboring Tesserae will eventually provide us insight into Courier’s archetype. But, for the time being, we have no reason to doubt that Courier is Hank Johnson from the 1218 Node, the Explorer archetype.

Events

Q28: In the Avenir shard event, can you comment on how you chose which portals to use as spawns/targets? Was the target named "Beacon of Hope" a coincidence?
A28: We cannot comment on the overall process. However, while that Portal was not specifically targeted beforehand during the planning phase, once discovered, the irony was not lost on us. So, no, it was not a coincidence.
Q29: Will it be possible to organize a stand alone mission day (specifically Europe, but also for other continents of course) for 2020?
A29: As you may be aware, currently, the application process is closed. We have not determined yet what support will be available for standalone Mission Days in 2020, if any. We are currently reviewing with our team restrictions relating to Mission Days that may limit or alter how they are planned and executed.
Q30: The Ingress Mission Authoring Tool has not worked properly for many players for a few weeks now, the portals are no longer displayed as before, which makes it difficult to impossible to create high quality routes. So far there have been no reactions to postings in the community and the bug seems not to be known at support. Can you comment on this?
A30: NIA OPS just checked and tells me the issue appears to have been fixed between the time the question was asked and when I typed the response. If you test it and confirm it has not, please let us know.
Q31: When will the next anomaly dates released, booking needs to be done and arrangements with work. As longer we wait as higher the flight and hotel bookings become.
A31: I am told that,” We have every attention to release a schedule of upcoming events with an acceptable lead time to avoid last minute travel plans. As to when the schedule will be published I do not have a date to provide at this time.”
Q32: I'll ask again, for a +1 on the amount of times it's been asked: Will we have another event similar to Schloss Kaltenberg/Camp Navarro next year?
A32: Brian replied that, “Due to the high cost of these events, we aren’t able to host Camp Navarro in 2020. We’re looking at ways we can scale the kinds of activity at these events to more cities across more dates, but don’t have a definitive plan to share right now.”
Q33: In 2018 year medal OPR Live was presented. During this time, only a few events where could get this medal. On anomalies Myriad and Umbra did not have this event. Onyx needs to participate in this event 20 times. What is the fate of this medal?
A33: You bring up a good point and it kicked off a conversation on how we can do these things in a more scalable way to give people the opportunity to earn the medals at the tiers we published.
Q34: Recently events with tiered badges (such as IntelOps and OPR live) are not held frequently. But those tier levels are too difficult to upgrade. I think those tier should be modified, or those could be hold those more frequently?
A34: Given all the changes that have occurred in the last year, I think you are right and that the tiers should be modified if we can’t find a way to hold them more frequently. I’ll advocate for finding a solution for this.
Q35: Are there any plans to do MDAS again next year?
A35: Nothing definitive that I’ve heard at this time from the Agent that organized it. Remember this wasn’t a Niantic organized event. But we did support the creation of the Missions. Selfishly I would love to have another so I could attend. I couldn’t go on the one that just happened.
Q36: I was wondering what happened with the glyph challenge?
A36: The social media field art glyph challenge has ended for the time being. With less resources, it became too time consuming to continue to execute.
Q37: Is someone else going to take over the NL Van tour?
A37: Not that I’m aware of.
Q38: Some people still have not received MD/FS/anomaly badges without the issues of namechanges and such, which normally would cause this. In my example, I still have yet to receive the MD Bristol badge. How are earned, but not received badges processed by Niantic? And will people still receive them?
A38: The best course of action is to open a ticket with support so they can investigate the missing medals. You should also confirm with the Mission Day POCs tha they have sent in the correct information for your Agent name. Please check with the POCs you checked-in with at the event to make sure they included your codename in the error list. Here’s more info on the eligibility criteria for medals and who you can reach out to if you have issues: https://niantic.help...

Wayfarer/Portal Submissions

Q39: Judging by the portal appeals section and the official responses to them, it seems that "something which has never been portal worthy" is not a valid reason to remove a portal. Can this be changed or are location based reasons (PRP, school, safe access,not there anymore,..) the only reasons why an existing portal can be removed?
A39: The reasons you see under the Report Invalid Portal category are the ones that will be considered while reviewing the report. Property owners can reach out to us using the form on the help center.
Q40: Are there plans to let us see a list of our Portal Edits in Wayfarer like we can see our portal submissions? If not, is this an idea that can be taken under consideration?
A40: Not at this time.
Q41: Since adding the Intel Map Link in the portal review complete emails is now no longer an option, can we have some location indication like a google maps link or a gps coordinate?
A41: I’ll share the feedback with the team.
Q42: Are there any new plans to help encourage more OPR reviewing with some kind of added incentive other than the badge and upgrades, like CMU per agreement or limited-time events?
A42: Nothing is currently planned.
Q43: During the transition of OPR to Wayfarer, the Candidate Action Guide was removed from the Acceptance Criteria section. Does this mean that the guide no longer applies and that reviewers should use their best judgement, such as with city/subdivision/development signs, gazebos, water towers, individual holes on a golf course, etc?
A43: The guide has been renamed as Potentially Confusing Candidates (https://niantic.help...). There’s also an Acceptance Criteria log which lists when and what was added/updated: https://niantic.help...
Q44: Good evening from the UK, we appreciate you rotating the times so we get a chance to ask this month! I have an Wayfarer question - should we be mindful to avoid approving nominations which may affect vulnerable people? For example a community centre for adults with learning difficulties, or a historic plaque on an elderly nursing/care home.
A44: With the information provided, it is hard to provide any guidance. Much like with emergency personnel (fire and police stations), you wouldn’t want a Portal that prevents anyone from doing their job. Providing the Portal is not an impediment, I could see this being a very subjective topic. From my own personal experience with elderly relatives living in assisted living homes, they would probably welcome any sort of visitors and activity. But I could also see the other side of the conversation as well. So without additional details, a blanket statement is not something we can provide on this topic at this time.
Q45: With the launch of the Wayfarer website, will there also be a separate app for Wayfinders to use along with a comprehensive map of all accepted Wayspots?
A45: I am told that at this time there will not be one and that Ingress Agents can use the Intel Map to view accepted Wayspots.
Q46: Has there been a change in the way OPR upgrades are moved up the priority queue? Many agents have noticed a increase in the processing time for upgrades compared to when upgrades first came out.
A46: The Wayfarer Team says, “There has been no change. Being upgraded does not guarantee an immediate decision as there are other factors that could affect the upgrade behind the scenes. It is however still prioritized.”
Q47: For a populated country like India, if unrecognizable Faces are found in the submitted candidate can we accept such Submissions? e.g: Large Famous Temples where there is always a large gathering.
A47: NIA OPS says, “As a general rule, don’t submit photos that include people if you can avoid it. If you can’t (like at a temple), you may submit a photo with people in the frame, so long as they aren't the focus or posing for the camera.”
Q48: Have you ever thought about adding the question "What is it?" to the submissions in the game?
A48: I am told that the short answer is, yes -- we have thought about it. I wasn’t able to get any further details beyond that.
Q49: There has been a lot of confusion regarding certain types of playgrounds. It seemed like indoor playgrounds, even McDonalds playgrounds, were canonized; then uncanonized in the new wayfarer guide(by requiring historical or cultural significance that no playground I’m aware of has), and then in the last AMA given a status as ok as long as it’s not a part of a business. Can we get clarification/simplification on this such as ‘playgrounds are valid as long as they are not on school property, a military base, or part of a daycare’?
A49: NIA OPS informs me that, “Playgrounds are eligible, as long as they are not located on primary and secondary school grounds, child care centers, day care centers, or private residential property. For these indoor playgrounds, if they’re publicly accessible play areas (like a generic playground in a mall), yes. If it's part of a commercial business (like McDonalds), no.”
Q50: When submitting a location edit, many agents are also submitting a description edit at the same time, telling reviewers which location they would like them to choose. Is this something Niantic approve of? And if not, are there plans to show location/description edits in seperate reviews, so reviewers can choose the best location based on maps and satellite rather than the instructions of the submitter?
A50: I have been informed that, at this time, there are no plans to separate the edits by type. In general, choose the best option (location/title/description) for the candidate. If you come across an inappropriate description (either offensive, or one that tries to influence the reviewers), you can report these via the help center for now.
Q51: I’m trying to figure out a good example of a local hotspot that will pass review. We have a local non-chain coffee shop that is a common place for College students studying together and just people grabbing coffee with friends. Additionally it brands itself as a Cuban coffee shop and has a lot of cultural aspects inside. Would this kind of business fit what Niantic is looking for with that local hotspot criteria?
A51: Yes.
Q52: what is your position about a Casino ? Should is be a portal ?
A52: NIA OPS says, “This would fall under the category of Local Businesses and can be considered ‘Generic’ if there is no historical or cultural significance: https://niantic.help...
Q53: Regarding the policy that you must be able to reach out and touch a wayspot for it to be safe, does this disqualify objects/paintings on the outside of buildings that are too high to reach from the ground?
A53: The policy page says “Regardless of any other criteria, if a nomination doesn’t have pedestrian access it is not eligible.” Height is not something that is explicitly considered. If you can safely reach the wall a mural is painted on, but the mural is 20 feet off the ground, that is fine.
Q54: Are businesses that are educational and promote exercise like dance studios, martial arts dojos and art classes allowed the same way a College or University would be?
A54: I am told that this would fall under the category of Local Businesses and can be considered ‘Generic’ if there is no historical or cultural significance: https://niantic.help...
Q55: Can we confirm that products and places related to smoking (Head Shops, Weed Dispensaries, etc.) count as Adult Services and thus are instant 1*?
A55: NIA OPS clarified this for me and says, “That’s correct, because sale of marijuana isn’t legal globally, and where it is legal there is an age gate, these would be considered “Adult Services” under the criteria and therefore ineligible.”
Q56: Can we have a clarification on whether all properties owned by Scouts and Guides should be marked as "K12" please?
A56: I am told that if they’re full-time Cadet or Scout buildings where the primary purpose is gathering of people in the K-12 age range with a membership component, it would be considered similar to a private daycare center and ineligible. However, if it’s a public gathering place that’s occasionally used for Scout or Guide meetings, then yes it would be eligible.

NIA OPS/Policy

Q57: When will Niantic release names of inactive accounts? So active players get the chance to get a name they like but is on a lvl 1 or 2 account for years.
A57: I’ve been informed that we aren’t planning to release or re-use claimed usernames at this time.
Q58: The guidelines still state that military base portals should be rejected if obstructing emergency services. Users are still submitting things in neighborhoods/museums/gathering places on base because there is nothing in the guides saying not to. We know from your August AMA that they should be rejected regardless of other criteria. If that stance has not changed can this be edited into the guidelines with a note that existing base wayspots are ok?
A58: Some of these submissions could be from before the launch of Wayfarer. Please follow the guidelines in the Wayfarer site to review these nominations.
Q59: Can we clearly say no POIs are allowed on school grounds?
A59: That is literally the policy. “PLEASE DON’T SUBMIT Candidates on the grounds of PRIMARY/SECONDARY SCHOOLS”. Source: https://niantic.help... Note: Uppercase is not mine. That is how it reads on the website. I am not trying to shout over text.
Q60: I have heard that Niantic is not going to consider edit changes to historical markers that are clearly mislabeled. Is this correct. And is Niantic going to continue to allow edits of portals that have changed names and need a new picture.
A60: Edits to Historical markers from partner sources (for eg. hmdb.org) need to be approved by the partner. We recommend reaching out to them if you notice any discrepancies. If a Portal needs a change of both the name and photo, it sounds like the original Portal may no longer exist at that location. In that case, please submit an invalid Portal report from the Scanner. If the new candidate is eligible on it’s own, you can submit a new nomination for the location.
Q61: The Comm in my city has been filled lately with agents from both factions accusing each other daily as spoofers/multiaccounters/cheaters, directly and in the form of hints/emojis. Are those messages reportable/banable actions, specially when they start brigading about an specific agent?
A61: NIA OPS says, “Don’t engage with trolls. Block them in COMM and continue with your mission.”

Community

Q62: Certain AMA questions are time-sensitive such as those for upcoming events (the October AMA contained a couple of Umbra related questions). Is there a possibility to prioritize such questions and provide answers in a more timely manner? Maybe even splitting up the answers in 2 parts?
A62: No this isn’t something that is possible at this time. The AMA’s shouldn’t be used for anything time sensitive. If there are time sensitive questions about the product I would simply post in the forums and tag someone.
Q63: Can something be done about the warnings on peoples profiles on the forum not being removed correctly , if you check my profile you'll see I have the Jailbars on my profile, which should have been removed after 30 days, we are now at day 36 and ive still got them, and so have others
A63: I’ll ask the moderators to look into this.

Miscellaneous, Off-Topic, Rumors, or Rhetoric (MORR)

Q64: When will agents have access to the Lunar Intel Map so we can see the status of the moon landing portal?
A64: Soon.
Q65: Is Brian Rose related to Axl Rose?
A65: Go back far enough and you’ll find that we are all related, cousin.
Q66: Don‘t you think that destroying is rewared with too many AP? Destroying gives you about 60% of the AP that the builder of the fields got. But it requires no skills and only a fraction of the time that the builder invested.
A66: This is a very subjective question. There are people that don’t have access to hundreds of L8 XMPs or their opponents have access to a lot of AXA shields which in both cases makes things more difficult. You are also making a generalization that making fields is the same level of skill for all fields. This is false. I’ve YOLO’d a lot of fields in my day. There was no skill and took less time then attacking. Also, only one person can make a field or link. Groups of people can attack and weaken a Portal. If I wait and only use a few XMPs and let my Factionmates do all the work to weaken a Portal, why should I get all the AP that went into building it? I don’t think it should be a 1:1 ratio. I think things are pretty balanced for this specific set of actions.
Q67: Hank Johnson is Courier? What the...?
A67: Plot twist. Wendy is his daughter… I kid. I kid. I didn’t see the Courier thing coming either.
Q68: My understanding is, Mission at Sea had a moving portal for Agents to hack, any plans to implement this further?
A68: It did not have this.
Q69: Can you confirm that Ingress is set in the same universe as Battle Toads?
A69: I cannot. But did you know there was a Battle Toads/Double Dragon crossover event? Watch out for the dynamite!
Q70: Who would win in a fight between Godzilla, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, and a Lvl 8 portal with two aegis + force amp + turret?
A70: Only one of those is real. So it would naturally win.
Q71: Since we probably won't get answers until near December, what is on your Christmas Wish List this year?
A71: Anything related to Deadpool or Bob Ross. I already have the Deadpool/Bob Ross Funko POP. Yes, that really exists.