PoGo Task Force and Wayfarer

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

The decisions made by the Task Force employed by Niantic following the community outcry against the Pokestop interaction radius were just published. You can read them here.

Per the text, one of the main "themes" Niantic have heard from community leaders is:

"Niantic has a lot of room to grow when it comes to communication with our players."

I think many Wayfinders would agree that it doesn't have to do just with Pokemon Go, but with other Niantic products as well, especially Wayfarer.

The Task Force announcement thingy lists several ways in which Niantic intends to act in order to improve its communication with the community.

To Niantic team members: can we expect similar, new actions with the Wayfarer community as well?

For me personally, I'm wondering about this especially since Danbocat and Tintino's recent activity on the forum, which seemed like a step forward - and then the silent addition of Foursquare POIs to Ingress, which seemed like many steps back.

To community members: which actions/steps do you think Niantic can take in order to improve communication with the community?


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

    I think that it’s clear there are some Wayfarer Community Leaders too, whether that’s the admins of large Facebook (those that follow Niantic guidance anyways) or Telegram/Discord groups with a focus on Wayfarer or folks who post a lot of helpful advice/topics on these forums.

    The Pokémon GO note mentions that they will continue meetings with Pokémon GO community advocates/leaders. Why not do the same with Wayfarer?

    Reach out to the well known reviewers, or those who review/submit a lot of quality stuff, which the Wayfarer team would be able to see internally, and then have discussions with them as well.

  • @PkmnTrainerJ-ING - we're working on it (and had plans before Pokémon taskforce was even struck) :)

    @SiIverLyra-PGO - i figured out why i couldn't tag you before - I mistook the "I" in your name as an "L"... anyway one win at a time right? The addition of @NianticTintino was actually planned before the taskforce even struck, it just takes a bit more time to change up and grow our teams these days. I'm totally committed to being here with y'all when I can and to working with Tintino and the Wayfarer team to be more engaged in the future. Thank you for posing the question!

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 751 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021

    Indeed. Discuss with the communiy how to make Wayfarer better (i.e. revert a lot of the changes that were made last month, which people despise). I do hope Niantic is improving. I've often been one to critique them, and although I don't agree with the increased radius for Wayspot interaction being kept, at least it shows that they went with the seemingly majoritarian view.

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

    Sounds promising. If I meet whatever internal criteria you have, happy to discuss things further. 👍

  • Belahzur-INGBelahzur-ING Posts: 592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There's so many ways I could answer that question, but at the end of the day and currently right now, Niantic's biggest improvement (specifically for Wayfarer) is having a community member to speak as our "voice", there's so many things wrong with the way Wayfarer works/runs.

    The backlog in general, the fact we STILL have Redacted submissions in the system 4-5yrs later and yet these seem to go unnoticed and unseen because they are only a minority of the Wayfarer userbase... we lack any kind of problem/issue/concern "priority". Don't get me wrong, the appealing rejected stuff etc will be nice I'm sure, but in stark comparison, it's not a priority when there are bigger problems still lingering years later.

    The London (UK) blanket-ban limbo problem is still one of the biggest problems out there, and I'm sure there are similar problems across the world.

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,582 ✭✭✭✭✭

    thanks @NianticDanbocat you werent the only one, i wanted to tag @SiIverLyra-PGO before but it didnt work. Now i know why!

    There is alot going on ATM at wayfarer, and to be honest, you can tell us the thruth - theres a kerfuffle, and you are a bit lost. We feel for you, as you are new in your position and TBH, Wayfarer is broken since it replaced OPR.

    as the very good post from @Belahzur-ING already tells you the main problem: We have "candidates" in the system that are there for a long, long time. Instead of finding a fix for this main problem, Niantic decided to pull a stunt and fix other stuff.

    Yes i know, Niantic wants people to review, to earn upgrades, etc. pp. - dont even try to sell us anything, we already know this, as Niantic is beign Niantic. That is also why myself and alot of other people have quit reviewing, to show you that you cannot get free labour from us and basicly give us a backlog of 75 things in voting and 50 in queue.

  • Belahzur-INGBelahzur-ING Posts: 592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see it as 2 things, sure there is a lot of "features" of Wayfarer coming that will be an awesome edition, being able to track edits, photos etc, being able to appeal, those are all great and all, but they are "low hanging fruit" and not really super important, we've lived without them for years at this stage, and another 6 months isn't gonna change anything.

    However, there is core underlying functionality of Wayfarer (basically still OPR with a more updated UI on it) that need to be addressed, they're still broken, have been for years and we still haven't been given any solution or update on them since Casey was here.

    I genuinely don't mind **** upgrades, I'm an introvert and I enjoy the core aspect of improving the portal network, I like reviewing and I don't seem to suffer with these random rejections that other people complain about. I know people hate the long review times of 6+ months, but just for comparison, I pulled a Redacted sub (no supporting information) from Sheffield (UK) today, that's probably been since in the system since 2018 before the end of Scanner Redacted and it was a duplicate anyway, someone else subbed it too.

    There is the London limbo blackhole problem, submissions that are just stuck in the void, not because lack of reviewers, but the "abuse vector" that Niantic seem to have swept under the carpet.

    @NianticDanbocat - I'm only one person, but there are much bigger issues that need to be presented and addressed with some form of transparency, the "we'll get back to you" really hasn't worked thus far. I'm open to a conversation if you or Tintino want more.

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,582 ✭✭✭✭✭

    it would be a rather easy to get out everything, just priorize everything that is from 2018, then 2019, then 2020. Theres a guy on youtube that does videos and shrugs. That would fit here.

  • Belahzur-INGBelahzur-ING Posts: 592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One thing Niantic could do, not sure if it's a realistic thing to ever expect, but during early OPR when they closed submissions because there was just too much incoming, do it again. Close submissions from all games for a few months, and let the reviewers clear the backlog. Niantic definitely should be able to see the real numbers in the backlog database right? so they know when to re-open the ability to submit things again once things are back under control.

    Another suggestion made a while back was things that are still in the system from 2018/2019 should be given, or treated as automatic upgrades, push them all to the front of the queue and again, let reviewers clear the backlog and it'll be gone within a week or two. If every review you see was an auto upgrade from 2-3yrs ago, and then apply that to every person reviewing... the backlog would drop drastically.

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,582 ✭✭✭✭✭

    great idea, just make it an Event so that people will review like theres no tomorrow.

  • Eneeoh-PGOEneeoh-PGO Posts: 468 ✭✭✭✭

    A Niantic big-wig got the company to buy all that FourSquare garbage. And somebody paid for the naughty-word-list and accompanying software and set up a unit to administer it.

    Sometimes I fear that the unreviewed garbage in Wayfarer might be regarded as an asset. Deliberately slow down the evaluations/resolutions and you can pretend it’s worth more and more.

    To infinity, and beyond!

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,582 ✭✭✭✭✭

    of course, it is an asset for Niantic to have 4squiggy wayspots in turkey. They just needed to give ish-10.000 Dollars to a company that has a product that a) noone needs b) noone wants c) noone uses (because google maps does this all for free and better and doesnt have a 2002 UI)

    So Niantic just takes this backstreet gmaps and gives thousands of pokestops and arenas to the people of turkey. so they can spend their hard earned Lira to exchange in pokecoins.

    I dont know how much money Niantic makes with this, but it seems someone that they have not spend more than a nickle and a dime for this.

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 3,190 Ambassador

    Communication is the key, because it is needed in order to have a healthy community that works together.

    At the moment there are several different subgroups not a community going in one direction.

    The wayfarers are a very diverse group with a range of drivers for being involved in wayfarer. Communication between Wayfarers is at times problematic at it worst it descends into a slagging match which is unpleasant to watch, at its best wayfarers can be helpful and supportive to each other. It is no small task to get this part working better and in my opinion needs much more active involvement by Niantic staff.

    It is good that @NianticDanbocat and @NianticTintino have been appointed to improve things. They need to be embedded and feel part of the community and watching it from the sidelines. I suspect more staff are needed.

    Communication needs to be more natural, frequent and flowing so it is not something that happens when something goes wrong.

    Trust people more. The more wayfarers understand what is happening to their nominations the more they can help. People put in effort to find the points recognise that. There is no “reward” for creating a POI.

    There has been no apology for the stress/confusion caused by the fallout of the new lightHouse system (both problems with POI and the flood of new points) it would be a good start for improved communication as it would show understanding of those creating the waypoints.

    There are lots of very thoughtful posts and ideas spread across this forum but no equivalent from Niantic staff.

    let’s talk and work together more.

  • spiesr-INGspiesr-ING Posts: 313 ✭✭✭✭

    If you do this sort of first in first out type prioritization then you end up with nothing (except for upgrades I guess) getting reviewed until it reaches the end of the queue, and because submissions come faster than the get reviewed, the time between something being submitted and it getting to the front of the line will continually grow.

  • Thanks for the ideas everyone, keep em coming!

    @Elijustrying-ING - can you elaborate on what level of engagement would make you feel there is equivalent effort from us/Niantic? We are working on features to bring more transparency to all the contributions you make to Wayfarer!

    @rodensteiner-ING - Haha, I am tired, but I don't feel lost! There is lots to do for you. Thank you for your empathy. On the backlog issue - as I have loosely alluded to in my post, is still something to fix when the team starts looking at revamping the entire reviews experience. We need to look at that wholistically instead of trying to bandaid things here and there.

    @SiIverLyra-PGO - agreed on the bad experience for Ingress players on that flood of new wayspots - there were a lot of other stakeholders in that decision but as I mentioned in another discussion, I will take responsibility to ensure that, with whatever powers I have, we don't do it the same way again.

    cc @NianticPooja @NianticTintino

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

    I appreciate your replies. Have you had the chance to take a look at this thread? There's a lot of feedback on the Foursquare wayspots there.

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 3,190 Ambassador

    Thanks for picking up on points promptly which is a good example of engagement, including the more natural style.

    There needs to be less of Niantic employees popping in to quickly answer or take it away sometimes never to return, and more about joining in routine conversations. I’m not talking about a daily blog but even just quick acknowledgments.

    ”These are really interesting points…”. And making a contribution.

    ”This is starting to wander off topic…. Can we get back to talking about X because this is interesting “

    Someone should be contributing something each day so that a presence is felt, and it doesn’t feel like a vacuum. So a few people able to cover.

    It would be lovely to hear that they have done some reviewing or submitting. So occasional posts about that experience. For example the issues that arose quickly from the unannounced change (try warning) have been noted. But the feel would be different if someone said something like “Thanks for raising, yes I just realised this was an issue as I tried to review.” The difference here is because someone is having the same experience you know they get the problem and it is more likely to be taken seriously. Standard text book responses don’t give confidence.

    We should be able to have good discussions about cases that are not clear cut.

    Some video clips or live stream events of Niantic staff reviewing or submitting would be great. Listening to the thought process as they tried to decide on something would be helpful not just in terms of being part of wayfarer but general education about suitable waypoints. Watching them have difficulty trying to get a good picture with no one in the shot nice and clear, supplementary pics that help show location all of that again shows they are having the same experience and subject to its flaws.

    The AMA all seemed to take ages to amass and then slightly dissatisfying.

    People in here are keen to have a good wayfarer system and for it to work well because most actually take satisfaction in a job well done.

    Does that clarify?


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

    there were a lot of other stakeholders in that decision

    Are we not stakeholders are well? It is extremely humiliating that we take out time to review potential Wayspots on the eligibility criteria and receiving a lot of flack for correctly rejecting a bad nomination only to see Niantic adding a bunch of new Wayspots that clearly doesn't meet criteria, but also clearly haven't been vetted for accuracy.

  • VaskinCall-INGVaskinCall-ING Posts: 91 ✭✭✭


    Good day!

    Many posts have already been created and written since Monday morning.

    I see that you are trying very hard to answer everyone promptly. Thank you very much for that. 

    Please answer the main question of concern to the players of those seven countries that have been bombarded with Foursquare dots. 

    Will these portals that are taken from Foursquare be removed from our maps and games?



  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 419 ✭✭✭✭

    I think we have all dealt with long queue times. Queue times and voting times seem to be a symptom of several things; system design, where areas with lots of portals don't get priority over areas with few portals; user engagement and throughput on voting; duplicate and resubmitted stops clogging the system; disengagement from reviewers after various poor experiences; and I am sure I am missing several others.

    One of the things that I have advocated for is including some sort of internal timer on submissions and voting.

    For example: All submissions must go into voting within 90 days, regardless of cell rules restricting how many active voting candidates are currently in an area. All submissions then stay in voting for another 90 or 120 days. If an agreement has not been reached; meaning it hasn't garnered enough votes to either be rejected or accepted then the voting system turns to a weighted voting structure. So if the ratio of rejection vs acceptance votes would have allowed the submission to pass but it just hadn't hit that magic threshold, but its been in the voting pool for 180 days then it is accepted. The inverse and it gets rejected. Within a few months it would clear out the backlog and would ensure that future backlogs are kept to a minimum, if any exist at all.

    Obviously the timing can be changed based on the data that you folks are using. These are just examples. I think if folks know they have finish line it will be much more engaging for folks and encourage them to continue to submit and review on a more regular basis.

    @NianticDanbocat @NianticTintino

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 3,190 Ambassador

    sorry more to add….was on lunch break before 😎.

    Dont know if I can express this well but the ideas and the dynamism comes from the wayfarers. It would be good to see that from Niantic’s end.

    For example a staff member could start a discussion along the lines of…

    >>There have been lots of comments about the historical and cultural significance category, it’s something I find tricky too. We are starting to think about a redesign how could we make this more intuitive. Would this actually be better as 2 different categories. ……etc etc<<<

    Hopefully you get the gist - being inclusive, valuing our experience, showing you have been listening , empathising with our side of the reviewing experience, talking to us at an early stage.

    So using good communication to build a better community relationship where staff and wayfarers are more integrated.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wayfarer is broken since it replaced OPR

    To be fair (cue the Letterkenney singers), it was quite very broken DURING its opr phase too. But Niantic's opr/ingress teams treated that as part of an ongoing Beta process, and worked to improve. Just SOME of the issues we were rolling our eyes at back then:

    1. Team friction. One team was mad at the other, so was collectively refusing new wayspots where the other teams' players were dominant.
    2. At first, we had a basically IMPOSSIBLE time nominating things we now take for granted, including playgrounds and sports fields. Because the reviewers were more apt to accept the kinds of things they ALREADY saw in Ingress, and previously those had never been accepted.

    But overall, things got better over time. And they'll continue to get better, assuming that @NianticDanbocat listens and takes our advice lol

  • Eneeoh-PGOEneeoh-PGO Posts: 468 ✭✭✭✭

    Sure, somebody regards the FourSquare garbage as an asset. My concern is if the Company sees the metric of undigested coal as an asset, so they feel a vested interest in keeping it in the pipeline, unresolved.

    Evidence was offered a while back that after an initial delay, candidates were brought before Wayfarers for voting, but sometimes they were not resolved. Why did that happen? Is it due to a bug, or is it a feature?

    Is this Tri-state Logic? Yes/Maybe/No, with the maybes put back into the hopper again?

    Why might they prefer to grow the backlog?

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