Ingress AMA with Andrew Krug (Global Community Manager) – July 10 to August 7
Andrew Krug, for those unaware, is the Global Community Manager for Ingress. Last month he started answering burning questions for Ingress on Mondays. We reviewed the last 5 weeks and have collected the best questions. As time continues some of these answers may become outdated.
Anomaly / Store / Events
Q) Is it possible to buy anomaly tickets without credit cards? (Jul 31)
A) To my knowledge, no.
Q) Last weekend, like it has been going on for a while now, Ingress First Saturdays have been organized around the globe by players from both factions. Some agents are still uncomfortable with it and refuse to host them as they believe it infringes upon the ToS, specifically by promoting wintrading. What’s your opinion on this topic? (Aug 7)
A) Even though these are organized by the player community, they are officially sanctioned events. You don’t have to worry about win trading at Ingress First Saturday events. The whole point of them is to come together as a cross-faction group and show new players how to play.
Operation Portal Recon / Portal Submissions
Q) How long is the remaining backlog of portal submissions? (Jul 31)
A) I know we said about a third a couple of weeks ago. That was a rough estimate and slightly inaccurate. I’ve been told we are at 36% of the backlog as of today.
Q) Will you consider a quota or cool down on portal submissions when they come back? (Jul 31)
A) We have definitely had these conversations. So, yes, it has been considered.
Q) Will portal submissions open again? (Jul 17)
Q) As for many countries with very low portal count, the current OPR mechanism will not help add up a decent number of portals for Ingress to continue and for agents to stay active. Is Niantic ever interested to allow different new portal creation rules to encourage the local communities of these countries? (Jul 25)
A) Yes. We plan to open portal submissions in the future.
Q) Why do MUFG capsules no longer drop? When will this be fixed? (Jul 31)
A) The theory that MUFGs are experiencing some kind of change within the Portal network can be confirmed. At this point in time, I’ve heard rumors of a variant Capsule. Treat those as wildly speculative.
Q) Does item deploying influence hack drop? (Jul 31)
A) In short, no.
Q) My question is, does Niantic take any action with regards to habitual harassment in-game and what can we as part of the global community expect from Niantic to assist in the future? (Aug 7)
A) First we have to define harassment. I’m not qualified to do that though. It is also very situational. So commenting on a broad topic with a specific answer is probably not wise. If habitual harassment is occurring, being reported, and nothing is happening, just ping me the information. But I need to be clear. One message a year ago and one message last month is not habitual. Also, engaging the harasser is really not a smart thing to do. Just block and move on. Lastly, don’t claim harassment if you use the same language and tone as the person you are reporting. It is hypocritical. People like to use NIA OPS as a weapon between factions. But again, if habitual things are occurring with no resolution let me know. I’ll see what I can do.
Q) There has been talks here in Japan if using 2 scanners with 1 account simultaneously is allowed or not. It does speed up deployments and other actions and the system does not ban such actions. Is using 2 scanners actually allowed? If not, why does the system allow it? (Jul 31)
A) Using two devices at the same time is not allowed. Why does the system allow it? Why do cars allow you to go faster than the posted legal speed limit? They are manufactured that way and the responsibility to abide by the rules is on the operator.
Q) What Niantic do or will do against cheating? (Multiple accounts on different mobile devices, fake GPS and similar things?) (Jul 25)
A) I’m going to be blunt, probably against better judgement, in my response. Every day multi-accounts are banned. Every day spoofers are banned. The latter is a problem that doesn’t have a single simple solution. To understand why, you have to understand that a person on an Android phone (and iPhone to an extent) has full control over their device. To include the ability to control what information is being sent from the device. This is why you can’t simply ban an IP address, MAC address, device ID, etc. It feels like every week we are tweaking things with the system. Improvements happen all the time. If you look at the situation today versus three years ago, today’s environment is significantly better than it was back then. Part of the issue is that Ingress Agents are very invested in the game. Because of this, one bad actor that slips through the cracks or figures out a loophole to the system can cause significant problems and it 100,000 accounts banned that day don’t really matter to the people that were impacted by that one person. We are improving though. Constantly.
Q) Why does Ingress support multiple accounts at all? What’s the reason to support it and prohibit it in the ToS? IMO it causes a lot of problems with multiaccounters and adds almost zero value for legit users. (Jul 10)
A) Ingress is a global game. As such it crosses a lot of boundaries. In some countries, families cannot afford to have more than one device or it is shunned to have more than one device because it is deemed an opulent expense. We do not limit the amount of accounts on a single device because it would prevent a segment of our player base from ever enjoying Ingress.
Q) Is Niantic going to release the 2.0 update this year? (Jul 31)
A) That is my understanding.
Q) Any news on plans to release a public API? (Jul 31)
A) I don’t think it would be in our best interest to release something for the existing platform since it will be OBE by the end of the year. This is something John Hanke has mentioned several times as wanting to do so I have to imagine it is still on tap to occur at some point with Ingress 2.0.
Q) Since the development of Ingress 2.0 is on the way and update of hosting platform is happening. Did you guys considered spicing things up by adding 3rd faction into the game? – RED for instance. (Jul 25)
A) This has been talked about. But I wouldn’t hold my breath for a red faction. That’s my advice.
Q) The stock Intel map remains useful but it has plenty of room for improvement. Are any enhancements planned for the stock Intel map with 2.0 and can you comment on what those may be? (Jul 10)
A) I haven’t heard of anything planned for the Intel map at the launch of Ingress 2.0. Right now we have our devs focusing on ensuring the basic functionality of Ingress 1.0 in-app works in Ingress 2.0 at launch. There have been many conversations about the Intel map. However, to my knowledge, nothing has been finalized. But stay tuned… we all acknowledge that there is room for improvement.