(Warning, incoming wall of text)
I enjoy this game. I've met a ton of cool people, who I hope to remain friends with long after this game. I've seen places I probably never would have gone to otherwise, and found places in my immediate area that I never knew existed. Even the simple walking exercise has been helpful. This game sometimes generally gives the feeling of genuine accomplishment, and it's quite impressive to see the teamwork and leadership that goes into the things we do. I don't regret the time I've spent with this game (almost a year now), and will still sport the Ingress logos on the back of my car. As well as the badge on my mirror.
But this game has serious issues that need priority. To me, it's to the point that the game has so many issues, that I can't bring myself to devote any more time to it. I'll try to keep this as short as possible, but no promises:Portal reviews
By that, I mean submissions, edits, reports, etc. The whole process is flawed. We all know that when you submit a portal, not matter how much it meets the criteria, it's a flip of the coin. You can submit Michelangelo's David, and still have no confidence that it'll get accepted. Just as well, you can submit a simple lamp post in someone's private property, and it'll be accepted (seriously, we have that in my area). This is a huge
problem, in my eyes. With no trust on Niantic's part of the portal review process, it weakens the core reason for this game; to go out and explore and see new things. As they say, "it's time to move". Why move if you're going to go see a patch of grass, a housing complex pond fountain, or a lamp? The game might as well exist in a virtual world, not the real one, if that's the direction the game is going. And with such flimsy "requirements" and evident random chance in portal submission, there's not much reason to strive for meaningful portals.
Also, the process of reporting/editing portals is another crap shoot. Report a bad portal as much as you like, there's no telling if it'll be removed or not. Add to that the fact that it can take months for the review to go through, and it nearly defeats the purpose. Just keep submitting bad portals, you'll be able to keep them going longer than it takes to remove them anyway.
To add to that, the fact that it's becoming a common tactic to report/move valid portals to disrupt the opposing faction is worrisome. Even more so due to the fact that it actually works. Recently the portal shown on the ingress.com
landing page was removed due to bogus reports. There's obviously a problem in the system if that can happen. Take that flaw, and apply it massively to areas worldwide, and there's no telling if a perfectly valid portal will one day just vanish. In fact, the term "valid portal" has become a bit of a misnomer.
Another personal gripe: Can we do without the edits to proper portal titles by Niantic? Sometimes a sculpture really is titled "Untitled". There's no need to slap the name "Untitled sculpture" on an obvious sculpture (I even had one with the typo "sculptrue" once). While we're at it, can they not remove proper portal descriptions? I recently submitted a sculpture park near me, and half the artist names were removed from the description. I've learned that bad portal names and descriptions are generally not the fault of the players, but Niantic's.Cheating
There is no doubt that cheating is rampant, easy to accomplish, and rarely punished. Spoofing, multi-accounts, account sharing, botting/scripting, portal abuse (bad portals, falsely reporting), etc. Do I expect perfectly clean game play? Of course not, no game can accomplish that. However, I also don't expect cheating to be so easy to do, and so ignored, that everyone constantly suspects everyone else of cheating.App performance
While the app may look pretty, it comes at the cost of performance. And rather than help fix those issues, we continually get more flair and animations to worsen the problem. Add this to the random server side issues such as actions hanging (like hacks and deployment taking upwards of 5 minutes), or content not loading, and it makes for a very confusing experience sometimes. There are no options to reduce graphical quality, or on screen effects. Instead, we're expected to "all play equally" with the same displays, so as to not have an unfair advantage over others. The problem being, not all phones are equal. By forcing everyone to have the same graphic quality, those with better hardware have an advantage.Features nobody asked for outnumber those we do ask for
We've been asking for an inventory count since last November. Not even a fancy inventory management solution, just a simple number. I think a lot of people would settle for that while a more sophisticated system is worked out. Yet here we are, nearly a year later, and all we have is a "we're working on it" post to hang on to. We've been asking for multi drop/pickup for just as long, and we've not heard a single word of its possible integration. And related to the above statements, we've been asking for better graphic options, and again, received no word on that. It makes us feel as though submitting feedback, or suggestions, is pointless.
Yet we are given badges, animated hacking results/linking/portal and mod destruction, player avatars, etc. None of these add content to the game play itself. Adding those features is fine, but please consider those later in the game's life, preferably beyond this "beta" phase. Or at least, spread them out with more meaningful updates.
I will admit, there have been some good things thrown our way. The update that drastically reduced app startup time was quite possibly the best update we've had yet. Also, the inventory sorting options, tapable portal names in COMM, better method of firing XMP, the removal of the dreaded resonator carousel and replacement with tapable quadrants, better key/portal views when linking, and better notification options are a few that come to mind. Please, continue doing things like that. Those actually improve what is already in the game. Before adding new content, please ensure the existing content isn't a problem to players.Intel map
Yes, we all hear nearly every day about how bad it is. And while it does work pretty poorly, it's not completely useless. It's lacking in features, but it at least works most of the time. That is, unless you want to use it on your mobile device. There are long standing issues with it, that render it nearly useless. For one, the fact that it defaults to a full world view, rather than your location is ridiculous. I very rarely am able to continue past this point. It will refuse to zoom on my location upon pressing the button, and zooming is impossible. This is due to it trying to load data for the entire world upon startup. If the AOSP browser or Chrome are singed into your account, why not use the last location like the desktop version does? Sometimes it simply fails to load anything. I'm yet to see any rhyme or reason to it.
I'll stop the wall of text here. I'm sure there's more than I could ramble on about, but it's 2am. But honestly, what this whole thing is, is my feedback. Sure, you can take it all as complaints (and really, it is), but I mean it all as suggestions on what to look into most.