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Hopefully not too extreme to dump this in here.

Very valid points made unfortunately.
The Slow Death of Ingress

I'm watching Ingress die a slow and painful death and +Niantic is entirely responsible. New players don't start up like they used to. Old players retire in droves, the magic of the game gone. Communities stagnate and the few new players who start often lose interest because there's no social connections. Behind all of it is a chain of bad decisions and inaction from Niantic.

The two biggest problems in Ingress are spoofing and multi-accouunting (either one person with multiple accounts, two or more agents sharing accounts, or a combination of the two). There's been progress made on both fronts, but it's also nowhere near enough. And really, that progress only took them from "endless hellscape" to just "grossly incompetent". I know of plenty of agents who have multiple backpacks for storing extra gear. Some of them are bold enough to use those accounts to deploy, link, and field. One has been caught in the car alone yet two accounts are deploying at the same time. The same thing happens with spoofing, paid or home brew. Anyone with any brain cells can see the obviousness of these actions.

Well, except Niantic's support people, apparently. Tickets are opened with the most damning evidence, then closed within a couple of days with no action. A local of mine had two backpacks banned (one of which was obviously paid, L8 with no badges and 1.2M AP on the nose), yet the main account persisted. The same player seems to always be able to get signal in places there isn't signal, always claiming that they are just really lucky and/or good. Letting the player keep their main account only made them get smarter and bolder about these actions.

And it ends up escalating. "Those dirty frogs/smurfs all have backpacks! We should have them too!" "Stupid spoofers, I'm going to spoof back!" Niantic's inability and apparent unwillingness to address these two things that are almost universally considered to be clear and obvious TOS violations (everything else is pretty open to personal interpretation) has lead from Ingress posts on G+ being cool sitreps and photo albums to endless posts about who should be banned and how quickly.

So back to that player I mentioned earlier? The one who has multiple banned accounts, probably still multi-accounts, and likely has a hand in spoofing either directly or indirectly? When the support process fails to remove them from the game in spite of handing Niantic all of the clear and convincing evidence on a digital silver platter, players are going to decide to try doing that on their own. (The few bans I've been able to get did not come through the support process; they had to go through a trusted reporter.) This means data sources get created to track their actions and wait for them to slip up again so that maybe they find the time where they screw up enough (and trust me that day almost always comes) that even the blind refs get the call right.

Catching those players that Niantic won't take care of creates the demand for third party data tools, many of which I understand greatly exceed Niantic's own capabilities. That's sad and a pretty damning indictment of Niantic. It also explains why they have, after years of looking the other way, decided to do some swift (for them) and harsh punishment of banning players using those tools to look up data. They are embarrassed. The players have better data than their own support people and are better at catching bad actors. Much of this has moved from the shadows to being common knowledge.

When it's laid plain and bare that Niantic has near zero competence in policing their own game, they choose not to work with and maybe hire the people who make those tools. No, they choose to go for the banhammer and legal nastygrams against their most active and passionate players at the behest of "shadow gamers" who want to get rid of as many opponents as possible. Nevermind that Niantic has incentivized every last drop of it though their own incompetence, an incompetence that a now $3.65B company (not the scrappy "barely paying the bills" startup) should no longer have. They'd rather kill their otherwise biggest promoters rather than make an admission that for years they have really really sucked at making the game better.

Unfortunately, Niantic seems committed to the course of destroying their own game by enabling drama, not doing anything to counter it like stopping the real cheating everyone can agree on. And it's all because they are so out of tune with players and their own lack of capabilities to try being the best version of themselves.

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Links for shiggles @ end of year

One of my Ingress goals for 2017 was to improve my longest link stat from 27km to something a bit more substantial.

A couple of us hatched a plan to boost our longest link stats by throwing a couple of links from a fairly close + drivable location. With 2 of us and 3 SBULs we would have sufficient range to easily reach Fiji from Auckland. On the last day of 2017, a few blockers fell, the door was open, and the plan was on.

I had a bunch of keys to the Fiji portal of Beach Hut on the island of Malolo Lailai that was our intended target

Massive thanks to AKRE agents +Yannick HAMMER​, +Adam Penberthy​, +KatieLlama Smith​, +John Chao​ we had good range and a variety of keys to throw links to 3 different Pacific countries – Fiji, Samoa, and Cook Islands with a max throw distance of 3,167km.

A field spanning 125 meters by 2,119km scored 60mu.

Thanks everyone!
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31/12/2017
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November Lima-1331 is coming to Auckland on Monday 05 February as part of it's tour across Australia, New Zealand, and Japan! Starting in mid January and ending in mid February, NL pilot +Ethan Lepouttre and global community manager +Andrew Krug will travel the portal network with NL-1331 hosting events, giveaways and Q&A sessions. There will be agent stat competitions for character badges and limited edition Nl-1331 swag for each country! Watch this space for more details about the Auckland event, giveaways, and competition details!

RSVP now! to the Auckland event to be held at the Birdcage Bar & Restaurant, http://www.birdcage.co.nz/, on the corner or Franklin Rd, Freemans Bay and next to Victoria Park Market. Plenty of nearby public transport, and public parking available in Union St, next to bar, as well as Drake St and City Works Depot carpark.

The Birdcage's food and drinks menu is here https://drive.google.com/file/d/18cQsq0o7mWB4W95pScvWAh4WpBRQiBg8/view?usp=sharing

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Nice Forkey, Knifey... errr table number holder mashup portal... whoever.
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It has been a journey of nearly 3 years, but finally, after glyph hacking nearly every damn portal, praying to the MOD RNGesus for more mods, and constantly checking for open mod slots, it is done. Onyx Engineer!

Shout out to some wonderful teammates that were willing to exchange their mods for my bursters (every little bit helps!). Thank you peeps! You know who you are ;-) Also the recent introduction of the ITO+ mod made it super easy to get more mods! Lastly, can't forget the churn provided by local RE, making it easy for me to deploy mods without having to travel too far from home :-)

Just in time for the holidays too!! Can kick back for the holidays, much to the relief of some local RE im sure =)

Furthermore, almost 2 years ago, I realised that my ratio of links to fields were pretty close. So I set out to get it to less than 1 link per field.

It got pretty boring and stale, churning keys to make fields, but the EXO5 event came along at the perfect time to help push me over the final hump, and now I have a link to field ratio of 0.965, and decreasing ;-)

Now to start planning for the next crazy Ingress goal =)
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14/11/2017
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Portal Recon references from Niantic

Hi Agents, for anyone using OPR and/or having discussions in your Community about Portal acceptance criteria this collection might be of use. I found it after seeing a quote from Niantic about whether playgrounds should be portals or not. It's an unofficial collection but shows Niantic's quote in context to the original post. I'd welcome any other references or comments on approaches to approving Portal submissions you may have below! Cheers!

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Evening everyone! Coming up on Saturday May 20th at 10am Christchurch is hosting a #MagnusAwakens #LuminescentHeart mission day-esque event! We have a 48 mission banner ready for everyone to do!

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Last night at the door to Riccarton Bush, where shard #2 was and is currently located, NZ ENL agents were prevented from entering the fenced Riccarton Bush area by a NZ RES agent. The door is a double door with a mechanism that means if the inner door is kept open the outer door will not unlock to allow entry.

This type of unsportsmanlike behaviour by agents of either faction will not be condoned nor tolerated by NZ EN and we trust it will not happen again.

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Hai from Auckland. It's Round 7 for the Motherload, who is undergoing Chemo. If you know the home portahl of our esteemed Enlightened Battler, some r8s wouldn't go amiss- It's been blue in the past and I know both RE and EN have been a great support to our mutual mate. The Motherload is planning on kicking Cancer's butt, but do feel free to stop by the HP and upgrade the thing. Huge thanks to everyone who has been so supportive so far. Have I mentioned Ingress is more than a game- it's a kick ass community?
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