What happened to Niantic involvement here?

Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,274 Ambassador

Title basically says it.

@NianticCasey-ING hasn't made a (public) post since June 16 and has only logged into the Wayforum intermittently.

@NianticGiffard hasnt been active since July 30.

@AnsonNIA-PGO pops in to make announcements but we haven't seen follow-through from their (or many other previous) roadmap updates, nor do they ever engage in other general discussions or bug reports.

Appeals have been ignored for over a week. Bug Reports have not been acknowledged for several weeks with many new ones popping up daily that are acting beyond anything we've seen before with no clue as it if sync (or lack of sync in many cases) is "working as intended" or if Niantic is even aware.

A new community manager has been hinted. There's also been hints (some even as early as last year) at increasing the Wayfarer team, and we even see random involvement from folks like @NianticAaron, @NianticAtlas, and a few others, but it's been a long time since and of them have even shown up. But in the meantime are there just no hands on deck for the Wayforum?



  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 2,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's funny as well, you would think niantic would want more people involved with Wayfarer, given that they use the pois map to sell their games

  • GearGlider-INGGearGlider-ING Posts: 1,328 ✭✭✭✭✭

    But for real though. It's very concerning that there's little to no involvement from Niantic staff most of the time on this forum. It really feels like at most it gets checked once a day by two or three niantic employees in different time zones. And then on an average day, it gets checked like once at all and barely anything important is responded to.

    I hope whenever the new Wayfarer manager is hired, if they're even announced or revealed to us, they take a more active role. But I am genuinly worried the new manager is just gonna start posting/commenting on random stuff without any formal announcement. Look how long it took to figure out Casey was acting as some kind of community manager for Wayfarer after Krug left.

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 1,499 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The quickest mod to respond to things right now is NianticVK, who is swift to shut down any game-related posts. It's hilarious just seeing posts end and some of the more productive discussions being quashed.

    But yeah legit, it's just starting to feel like Niantic staff resources are either being diverted or they're on an extended holiday. Like I always say like a broken record, there are some valuable contributors and heavily-active people on these forums who would make great strides into improving interactions with the community, escalating issues and just making people heard. Perhaps resources are being diverted into the interaction distance damage control..

    There are still a ton of unsolved mysteries, like the photo bug, portals not appearing in recent times (but pogo things on sync do, go figure!), the dot rejections to name a few... just so much unanswered things, and many things promised in the first half that just feel like they've been abandoned.

    I'm happy with Thia's involvement and prowess since she became Ingress Community Manager about two months ago. Her introduction was real, she has an edge of what's involved in the game, engaged with the community even beforehand and many things. In Pokemon Go, yeah there was Liz but there are naturally numerous YouTubers and influencers which sort of act as Niantic's mouthpiece at times. Right now for Wayfarer, it just seems like it's just various people and engineers/programmers who are just kind of put together forcibly, and have limited experience of Wayfarer. Do these Niantic staff members have 20k+ Wayfarer agreements? Do they know the submission process and have submitted quality candidates themselves? Have they also felt the pain and disappointment of getting a nomination they thought was a shoe-in rejected? Have they also an identity in the Niantic games? Yes, the -ING and -PGO suffixes are attached to the Niantic mods but right now, it just feels arbitrary. There is not somewhat a real-life image that we can relate to or confide in, like Thia or Brian do.

    Wayfarer is not just an office-hours platform for a Niantic employee working in an office (even if they are geographically spread in places like the USA, London, Zurich, Hong Kong and Tokyo for time zone coverage). The fact that appeals and mod-involvement is so far, clustered and in-between occurs at very random times, it does not exude confidence and adequate resourcing.

    Some people would looooooooove to do this for free, if it meant trash and coal nominations would be expelled out of the system in record time, abuse was curbed and such wayfinders responsible for those would visibly receive sanctions or punishments, if people were again confident that the abuse reports they submit to Niantic are actioned and received confirmation that their report was addressed, and if it also meant the queues would be shorter.

  • TheSFCaptain-PGOTheSFCaptain-PGO Posts: 63 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2021

    I guarantee you that Niantic has been hiding, because people on Silph Road Reddit and Twitter are (understandably) livid about them reducing the POI interaction range back to the stock 40m. Livid enough to where at least 10 gaming/journalism sites have made articles on the backlash. Apparently they want us to have to zigzag crossing busy streets, and crowding in a 40m bubble for gyms and stuff; kinda sucks from a player safety standpoint (even ignoring the vaaarus) but whatever.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,215 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Pokemon Go operated for 3 years just fine with 40 meter interaction radius. It was only increases to promote social distancing. Players still didn't social distances by all indications and this wasn't duplicated in any of the other games. All the "safety claims" are grossly over exaggerated in the face of actual evidence.

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 3,937 Ambassador

    Gaming sites will have made articles because it’s newsworthy and they want the money from the clicks.

    Niantic have published a blog post acknowledging the complaints so I wouldn’t say they’re hiding. Also, the Pokémon GO team doesn’t equal the Wayfarer Community Forum team.

  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 2,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So what if it operated fine for 3 years? Have you never had a pojt where you thought some way of doing something was fine, then improvements came about that were better?

    Also, it clearly didn't work that well, since the amount of people with disabilities coming out saying they couldn't play the game before but with the increased distance now could should be enough to convince it didn't work well

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,215 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2021

    It may be more convenient not having to walk around as much, but that doesn't make it better. And given that among the design goals of the game is to promote exercise and exploration, it is also counterproductive. Also, like the safety angle, the disability angle is also greatly exaggerated. And finally, it doesn't justify why Pokmeon Go should have a larger interaction radius than all of the other games.

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭✭✭

    More interaction radius is nice, but 80m is way too much. I'm way too often at the spin cap because of that, and that sucks.

    And I hate all these "zig zag crossing streets" arguments. I know not a single street, that is 40m broad. MAybe our German Autobahn, if its 4 lanes in each direction, but not even those reach 40m ...

  • SiIverLyra-PGOSiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 928 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I kind of wonder if the Wayfarer team have gone on a strike.

    It's not unusual for one or even two employees to be absent for their own personal reasons, and I certainly don't think they owe us an explanation for that.

    But nearly everyone has been quiet for days now (bar VK's sole action in closing that one thread). It's odd. Especially coming after all the talk of improving/extending the Wayfarer team.

  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 2,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sorry, but 80 meters instead of 40 meters doesn't stop people walking all for a sudden, it allows people who couldn't reach before can, it stops people having to run across roads and back, and you say you don't like that argument, yet, there are several places that is the fact. Facts are facts, being 80 meters was better all round and keeping it that way is of no negative to anyone, not even niantic. On top of that, pokemon go will be played by people with social anxieties, either pre existing or because the pandemic will make people afraid of big crowds, so that will also help those out. Oh, and I dint know if you have noticed, but we are not finished with this pandemic, it's picking up in most countries in the world

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 3,937 Ambassador

    I wonder if as part of the restructuring or whatever they’re doing they’re considering the XMA’s or advocates or whatever name they go with?

  • Shilfiell-INGShilfiell-ING Posts: 1,281 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It was NianticVK that commented on the Missing Portals bug.....on the Ingress forum. That same rep closed a thread on the Wayfarer General board. It looks like they might have a skeleton staff covering message boards while everyone else is either on vacation, responding to the Pokemon Go PR crisis, ill with Delta variant or engaging in a meeting (in the conference room deep in the hold of the Golgafrincham B Ark) about the possible logo colors for the possible Community Advocates.

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 3,937 Ambassador

    Can’t go blue (Mystic, Bears & Resistance), green (Enlightened), yellow (Instinct & Eagles), red (Wolves & Valor) or grey/white (empty portals/gyms/POI). Maybe Orange as the possible colour for the possible Wayfarer Advocates, as that’s the colour of the Wayfarer Pin?

  • TheSFCaptain-PGOTheSFCaptain-PGO Posts: 63 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2021


    40m was never a good fit for Pokemon Go. It was lifted from Ingress and while it works there, it doesn't for Go. The two games play super different, and if you disagree you're being intentionally obtuse.

    Not gonna dignify the rest of your post with a thoughtful response, as its as tonedeaf and intellectually void as that "Letter to the Community" we got a week or so back.

    Edit: Removing my posts won't make the backlash go away, Niantic, and it just makes you look bad.

    Post edited by NianticAtlas on
  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 3,937 Ambassador
    edited August 2021

    I did think you’d posted twice as I had two emails with very similar posts in my junk (nothing against you in particular, that’s where all the forum post emails go).

    I do disagree about the 40m though. It did seem to work absolutely fine for the game previously.

    I’d be interested to know why you think it does not.

    As mentioned during the pandemic Ingress and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite didn’t have their interaction distance increased, it was only Pokémon GO. Ingress had most of it’s temporary changes alter back in October;

    I don’t recall any “open letters” or uproar from those players when the bonuses ceased (sure Ingress players do “open letters” all the time on the forums, but I don’t recall seeing ones about these (if there are any that someone finds, please do share them)).

    Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (again, no added interaction distance for these players either, and the game play is similar to Pokémon GO) hasn’t had any announcement about theirs being removed/changed as yet.

    I guess they will once they have sorted their latest app update issues, but then I don’t see that their playerbase will kick off in the way that the Pokémon GO playerbase has. Maybe they will?

    Just my thoughts. I should note that I do play all three games.

    Edited: Wrong Harry Potter: Wizards Unite thread initially. Oops.

  • TheSFCaptain-PGOTheSFCaptain-PGO Posts: 63 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2021

    I don't think it works because:

    I don't think I should have to zigzag crossing busy streets to hit Pokestops.

    I don't think I should have to crowd in a 40m bubble (technically even less, as GPS drift at 40m radius means you all literally have to be standing right on the pin most of the time) with other groups of people at gyms; I have anxiety and groups of people get me claustrophobic. I know of others personally that have children with autism, for example, and the increased distance made it so that they could take their kid playing without the risk of overwhelming them with crowds of people, literally having meltdowns. Even ignoring the pandemic, more space is safer.

    I shouldn't have to stand on the doorsteps of businesses, being an obstruction to patrons trying to enter or exit.

    Harry Potter, I can't comment on, its a dead game where I am.

    All I know, is that for a game focused on walking and exploring, the increased distance made me want to explore more, not less. This isn't even about the pandemic anymore. It made the game more accessible, at the cost of nothing.

    I see literally no reason why anyone who actually plays Go would be supportive or "meh" of the reversion, other than gatekeeping, simple apathy, or blind reverence of Niantic, all of which I think are kinda crappy traits.

    I think anyone with the power to make/keep the game accessible to more people, and chooses to do the opposite, is morally and ethically suspect.

  • Shilfiell-INGShilfiell-ING Posts: 1,281 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Perhaps Niantic is less involved because threads keep going off-topic to more game-centered concerns. That's gotta be discouraging.

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 3,937 Ambassador

    Just breaking it down @TheSFCaptain-PGO;

    • I don't think I should have to zigzag crossing busy streets to hit PokéStops.

    I can’t recall a time where I have ever had to do that. Perhaps your roads are wider, but even with the regular distance, I can still interact with something on the other side of the road. If not, I can just wait until I get to a pedestrian crossing and cross over, or just not interact with that one, as there will be plenty of other Waypoints around.

    • I don't think I should have to crowd in a 40m bubble (technically even less, as GPS drift at 40m radius means you all literally have to be standing right on the pin most of the time) with other groups of people at gyms

    Didn’t copy all of this as I thought that covered it. I haven’t experienced this myself at gyms. Mine have been at locations like trailmarkers, libraries, churches, memorials and such so there’s plenty of space for all, and my local groups have never struggled or had to crowd in, during in person raids. Plenty have also brought their kids who have joined in with the raids too. I haven’t asked about if they/their kids have autism as they would volunteer this information if they wanted to, so can’t comment on any issues regarding that.

    • I shouldn't have to stand on the doorsteps of businesses, being an obstruction to patrons trying to enter or exit.

    I don’t feel you have to stand as close as you are saying, and that there’s a degree of exaggeration here and with what other players are stating with where they need to be to interact with these Waypoints/PokéStops/gyms. There’s plenty of pubs/restaurants/gyms where you absolutely do not need to be stood in the way to interact with them. If the only place you can be stood to interact with them interferes with the general running of the business, should they be Waypoints in the first place? Or should you/the business owner ask for them to be removed?

    My view is that Niantic were clear that this was temporary and they’re sticking with it. Players are just being very entitled about it.

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 3,937 Ambassador

    I think your comment got deleted again @TheSFCaptain-PGO ? Shame, as I was enjoying our debate.

  • TheSFCaptain-PGOTheSFCaptain-PGO Posts: 63 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2021

    And with that I make my leave. I hope y'all know what a joke this place is regarded as on Reddit/Twitter because of stuff like that.

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,274 Ambassador

    I wondered that but didn't want to speculate. To be honest, while we don't know each employee's title and responsibilities, I doubt people like Giffard who seems to just be a forum mod and team liaison would really see the need to go on a protest due to other gaming issues.

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,274 Ambassador

    Uh, to be honest, I always thought the advocate thing was just a distraction at the time from Casey. Nothing ever came from it or from the new abuse reporting method that was allegedly days away from release.

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,274 Ambassador

    I'm not sure they need to consider or run everything/anything through us, but I do agree.

    I remember spending months begging for updates to criteria, slight modification of the verbiage used on the reviewing site, and other various QoL updates for reviewers & submitters.... And then Casey announced the "long-requested" removal of the "review next" button. While that has been nice, it came from nowhere and had literally never been requested.

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 751 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I partially agree with this. Naturally, times change. There's some gyms in my area in rather confined spaces and the increased distance has helped people be father apart. Under in a country like the USA, many places were created and grew after the advent of the motor vehicle and as such they tend to be spacious. In Europe and parts of Asia there many layers of history upon history and social distancing in a tight alley will not always be possible. Narrow allies surrounded by tall buildings can also make for mobile signal blackspots.

    Just because things have been done a certain way for time immemorial that does not mean they should not be allowed to change. For centuries, people habitually tossed their excrement into the road but you don't hear people saying "we should have kept things as they are". Context matters and I can certainly understand how a north American or Australian player would be fine with 40m rule given how sparsely populated those countries are. Maybe try and play in somewhere like Monaco or the ancient streets of Rome and then come back and tell me if you think 40m is sufficient.

  • toniukupaoni10-PGOtoniukupaoni10-PGO Posts: 17 ✭✭
    edited August 2021

    It was said, the team will get expanded in the upcoming weeks/months. Which is the cue for Niantic HQ that there is too much people so they've decided to terminate some contracts. /s

  • SiIverLyra-PGOSiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 928 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh no, I never thought they'd protest against the whole PoGo thing. IF they are protesting against something, then it probably has to do directly with their work conditions. But obviously this is all baseless speculation.

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