It’s been a weird year in Ingress and as we start to wind down the year in the later months all agents are waiting for the shoe to drop. You know, the redacted shoe. We’ve all known it’s been coming and even Agents such as myself who actually enjoy Prime are dreading it.
With that shoe on the way, you’d think Niantic might consider taking it easy on players, but instead, they keep making decisions to increase the stress level for players. The latest of which is adding a new charge to get a medal for anomaly participation. I have a lot to say about it, but instead of repeating what’s already out there, I’ll link to a community article written by a Vanguard: https://community.ingress.com/en/discussion/4203/an-open-letter-to-niantic
Claudija, ENL Vanguard wrote an open letter to Niantic on the Community forums and in a place that frequently divides across faction lines, the support for what she wrote seems to be unanimous. And after 19,700 views and almost 350 comments, Niantic changed their stance. Well, not really, but a little. You can read their response here: https://community.ingress.com/en/discussion/4225/update-on-umbra-anomaly-ticketing
Basically, you can physically go to an anomaly and get a free ticket, but you will not get the medal. So, out of all the comments, they still think the issue is just the money?
It’s not the money at all. I mean, every event I go to I get a supporter pack and some swag from friends or anomaly faction because I do want both to succeed and support how I can. Every NL1331 event I go to, I buy a pack. I have tons of nl1331 patches and stickers to give away, but did I ever need to buy more than one? No. It’s mostly out of wanting to support Niantic. Some of it is to have swag for giveaways.
Do you not understand you are making a medal in Ingress only about having $15. Can I just give you $15 to get my onyx Guardian badge while we’re at it?
Think about it. A POC for a city might be broke from forking over the guarantees for the hotel or the upfront costs for swag, website, missing time at work to do all the work that Niantic should be doing, and not have the $15 to buy their badge.
Are you kidding me?
This also feels like it’s more of a way to monetize rechargers. So many agents not at the event to buy swag or the kits. They figured out how to detect rechargers was the first step, so now how to charge them. Someone said, recharge 1 to many times in front of the accountants. And they said, OK. Let’s charge them. But, hey, I don’t know. Why not sell recharge room kits. They are always looking at ways to make the rooms more fun (i hear.. opsec)
How this was handled in the first place is baffling. The fact that there have been tons of threads and posts on the community about ideas that players have on how Niantic can monetize Ingress, and yet they go with this gem?
But what really irks me is the POCs getting the shaft. Not just this last-minute change that could affect agents attending for financial reasons, or just plain boycotting, but that there’s no mention of them helping the POCs put on their events for them.
Seriously, does everyone remember last year when there was a huge announcement about how Niantic was taking over the Hotel acquisitions? Website made to get those hotels and then they decided they were losing money on the deal, so they gave it back to the POCs to handle. Did you see an announcement about that from Niantic?
Do you think it’s ok for a company to realize that they were going to lose money on something, so they decide it’s better for their player base to take the risk and lose the money instead? Then they throw cash grab out there with no mention of helping the POCs. Do you think that’s ok? I truly hope that I am just not privy to conversations where they are helping, but from comments from the community thread, it appears there is not thought of that.
It’s been a long week of 15hr days for me, so I’m already a bit aggravated at life in general, so I’m probably a bit more heated on this subject than I normally would be, but I just don’t like the direction I see Ingress going right now.
It’s Tin Foil hat theory time, and I know you love it when I go there, so I’m going there. Here it is. I believe Niantic is trying to get rid of factions in Ingress. They want an end to the disharmony between players and turn Ingress into a game more like Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Think about it. All the events lately have been super XFAC focused. Everyone against Nemesis. Big push on #FS. The latest Field Test is now trying to get players to work against their own faction. Every agent for themselves. If you haven’t heard, the rules were announced for NIA Field Test: Hexathlon. Six Individual challenges where the top 10% of players get an elite badge. (Don’t worry, badges are free – this time)
Also, there seems to be a step back on the XFAC gameplay. Removal of terms in the TOS, and comments on how it’s ok to get together as long as everyone is allowed to join in on the XFAC fun, say at a bar.
How about the SHARDS event coming up. It’s all about XFAC play.
And don’t get me started on the Nemesis Helvetica. I don’t know how it plays into this theory, but holy crap. Who passed on Comic Sans and chose Helvetica. It’s definitely a Bold choice.
My final thought on their abolishment of factions is the latest last-minute announcement of charging for badges at anomalies.
“the enemy of my enemy is my friend”
As the comments in the thread linked above shows you. The factions are working together just like Niantic wants. They are used to the comments towards them, so what’s it to them.
So, they’ll get the factions to work together, lower the boom at some point that the rules will change in Ingress to somehow make XFAC play a part of the game. Maybe nemesis will actually attack and take portals. Maybe at the same time, they make it where green and blue can link to the same portals and make teal fields or hell, just combine the factions into 1 teal team vs the red or purple team. Another reason to get off redacted asap to work on some new game mechanics.
It’s a tough situation. I hate even posting this. Andrew has been incredibly nice to me. Always a welcome handshake or hug at an anomaly. A shirt here and there. Interviews live or even being on the show. Answer questions and throwing us some early news every once in a while. I love the man, and I don’t even know if he had input on this situation or even if he did if he was listened to.
Ah well, As I said, it’s just a theory. But I digress, I must get some sleep and make the decision on whether I want to go and play against my friends tomorrow at the field test. Maybe I’ll just go and see some friends and not open Ingress. Maybe I’ll just mow the yard.
Let me know how you feel in the comments. Be sure to leave a comment on the community forum as well. Niantic needs to hear from all of us.