New Wayspots in India - Discussion
I hope you are all doing well. As you may know, we are constantly working to improve the gameboard for many communities. This has been done via your contributions, our Wayfarer Challenges, and at other times through Niantic adding Wayspots in communities that need them. Today, we are happy to announce that we will be adding new Wayspots to help our current and future Explorers in India.
We heard your feedback on the last time we added Wayspots in Turkey and have made significant changes to ensure that these new Wayspots meet our standards. In the meantime, we have also been accelerating the Niantic reviews of Indian nominations, so that we reduce the backlog before we add new Wayspots.
Starting on December 15, 2021, we plan to add about 500k new wayspots to the platform. These new Wayspots will be added between December 15, 2021 through February 2, 2022. We’ll let you know in advance when we’ll be adding them. Keep in mind that it is still up to each game to decide which ones will live in the gameboard. These wayspots will not have any images, and we are excited to see what great photos you submit for these new Wayspots.
Check out the original post HERE.
We heard your feedback on the last time we added Wayspots in Turkey and have made significant changes to ensure that these new Wayspots meet our standards.
I sincerely hope this is the case and that lessons were learnt. The Foursquare import was pretty horrendous. I hope the rest of us get to see feedback from Indian wayfarers once these new wayspots are implemented.
For me, the main source of doubt is that there have been smaller Foursquare imports since the big Turkey one - IIRC mainly in Finland and Russia - that had also resulted in some terrible new wayspots; despite the community already having had some very strong reactions to the Turkey affair.
Niantic's refusal to take responsibility for the ineligible Foursquare wayspots, and expecting players to report them, still makes my memories of that incident less than fond.
By all means, I'm always glad to be pleasantly surprised, but for now I'm keeping my expectations from this new import at the lowest low possible.
If I may, how are these counties selected? Is focus made to ensure rural or the most current under-represented areas are receiving the most attention, rather than already crowded locations?
What about areas which much more disparity, such as this thread below:
Stop using Foursquare as a source. The service is mostly inactive or have problems of its own - I'm saying that as a Superuser who has some mod functions on merging and approving edits to Foursquare.
To speak bluntly, I think Niantic's main focus here is money - breaching into untapped/poorly tapped markets to maximize profits from massive population centers. I have no doubt that Niantic is a lot more interested in Turkey's population of 80+ million, Brazil's 200+ million, and India's 1.3+ billion, and their respective player bases (existing and potentially growing once there are more wayspots to interact with) - than in Iraq's population of 40+ million and much smaller player base, to use your example.
I'm definitely not saying it's a fair strategy or one that I support - I definitely would've loved to be able to aid smaller player bases that struggle with getting new wayspots reviewed, and help improve their game maps - but this is probably the logic behind it.
Niantic is a business of course their gonna try & milk as much money out of us as possible but they also do this to encourage Exercise & exploration. So try not to judge pls
Exactly. Any effort made in India means many more players than in any other region of the world.
They already had some automatic import of wayspots, an event and now this massive 500K+ wayspots.
So India now had a wayfarer challenge, special reviews by Niantic and now get 500.000 new POIs for free, where most of them are probably similar to the 4square ones? I can already see the system getting flooded with more trash.
I really hope the selection is thorough. Even though the action in Turkey does not make me feel positive in that regard.
Wayfarers around the world invest a lot of time finding new Wayspots, researching backgrounds, taking good pictures and packaging it all into good submissions. Only to wait many months, receive a nonsensical rejection, and continue tweaking what are often already good submissions, and finally start the process all over again. Only to then after the second, third, fourth, ... attempt perhaps to have success.
On the other hand, really bad wayspots are brought into the game via some moderately tested mass imports in order to broaden the base in some interesting markets, which in turn take a lot of time for removal by means of appeals of the wayfarer community. Or if not, leave gameboards in terms of quality, which would be unthinkable and also not desirable elsewhere.
This is no way to motivate the Wayfarer community... (maybe it motivates the respective player base).
P.S.: I can only speak for myself, but please no such mass imports in Germany!
There's a bit of a silver lining in which many Indian Wayfinders and players will finally get to play Pokemon GO locally in their areas rather than simulating their location elsewhere and creating gunk in the process. Well, that's being optimistic, but I guess Niantic is looking into creating a new office somewhere on the continent. And maybe work with or look into some of the ideas the Hyderabad-based studio Empower Labs did too for inspiration into an existing Niantic game.
Well, all we can do is wait until Indian wayfinders start reporting in the Foursquare stuff, and given that Intel is now on Lightship (in which it had a 3-month delay when the Foursquare things in Turkey were exclusively in Pokemon GO), we will see it populate with the daily syncs.
We heard your feedback on the last time we added Wayspots in Turkey and have made significant changes to ensure that these new Wayspots meet our standards.
I am very curious what methods are used in this effort. Off the top of my head I can think of filtering by some combination of: type of location, average review score, review count, visit count, various location tags. Is this the kind of process that is happening to "ensure these Wayspots meet standards" or is it something else? 500k is quite a lot to be reviewed in any sort of manual way so I'm sure something must be automated.
Can @NianticTintino or @Danbocat-PGO weigh in on this?
Why India? Why adding 500k Wayspots using Foursquare method? And what's purpose of Wayfarer if everything is added via Foursquare?
And is it fair to add 500k Wayspots in India, while there are even fewer Wayspots in Middle East and Africa? I've even asked an AMA question about this:
I don't think their message was intended to be too judgy or critical. Niantic (and any business) exists for reason: profit and a sustainable business model. Setting up the India market helps secure long term sustainability for the market. There's nothing "wrong" with it, and I suspect profit has everything to do with the reasoning, or else we'd have seen more focus on Africa and the Middle East over the least year. The image below was based on user-generated POI contributions.
Little reminder, how "cool" the 4square wayspot imports have been:
So more trash coming in. I guess the whole concept of games like Ingress is lost here - to go out and explore the region. We've had vague portals like "chicken shop" that's just a butcher shop being imported from foursquare data. If more such things come in then there's no fun in playing ingress at all! Doesn't portal quality matter? We've had to deal with fake portals inside inaccessible locations in the past and only we know the struggle that we had in getting it removed. It took 3 years for us to get it removed. What if such portals come up again with foursquare data. And considering the experience in getting them removed in the past I'd not trust Niantic to approve it on the first go. Because of one game (PokemonGo) you guys ruined the other!
I really hope Niantic is mindful of the cultural minefield of India, especially closer to the Pakistan border. People being able to turn these into whatever they want sounds worrisome but glad to see them actively working to break the feedback loop.
Assuming this is more geared to rural low POI dense areas, or is there a criteria being applied to where these go?
Please stop implementing these nonsensical wayspots! We have been dealing with criteria for years and evaluate accordingly in Wayfarer and what do you do? Throw wayspots that do not meet any criterion into the games without photos at partially completely wrong locations! Please stop! Nobody wants that!
That is good and now please also the other countries.
For years we call for a standardization of the rules for the appearance of stops, especially in PokémonGO, and we want it now! We want to have ALL accepted POI`s in PokémonGo, like in the other games, bc all of them are based on the same database!
We too could discover so much more and explore in the world. Especially small cities and towns have it hard to get anything at all in stops due to the cell system and playing becomes so impossible. The system is outdated and just swallows up so many beautiful and really good submissions. We also want to benefit from them and not have a divided playing field. It just **** way too many good suggestions. Maybe that way people will stop putting all the **** into the vote.
And even with such a big change you can still balance the game well. Why don’t you change it? The outcry as several thousand stops were removed showed you that the players thought differently about how we were happy with many new stops and would like to have them still in the game. For more #MeetYouOutThere!
I’m aware that not everything is a good proposition in Wayfarer. But those that were adopted probably have their existence justification and should then also be included in ALL games. The big distinctions are sometimes unfair. Why don’t you give the companies the opportunity?
I don't think you understood anything. Absolutely nothing.
It's all about quality and not quantity!
Niantic did not say that they would let any wayspots appear in Pokémon Go that were previously only visible in other games. If so, I would support it.
The point here is to implement wayspots without images that do not meet any criteria from the purchased Foursquare database. Including e.g. petrol stations.
Who wants something like that as a wayspot? No one! That doesn't meet any criterion!
Then they could have saved themselves the task of submitting and evaluating from the start and simply distributing the wayspots randomly around the world.
So they're just ruining everyone's hard work and trampling on us.
I'll only say that only once: Should Niantic dare to pull this **** off in Germany, I'll never help report a single fake wayspot again.
This rubbish from Foursquare has absolutely no quality and in no way corresponds to any criteria!!!
I don't support this!
As you've been told previously @Liediawa-PGO, this is not a Wayfarer issue, it's a Pokémon Go issue. The development team for Pokémon Go get to set their own inclusion rules for what does and does not make it into Pokémon Go. The Wayfarer team has no say in this process.
Also, you are spreading incorrect information. None of Niantic's other games use all the POIs in the database. Not even Ingress. There are wayspots that don't appear in Ingress but do in Pokémon Go. There are even wayspots that don't appear in any games at all.
For the most part, the current inclusion rules in Pokémon Go are fine, especially in areas with a high wayspot density. I do think it would make sense to look at changing the rules for areas with a significantly lower wayspot density, as this would help rural players, but for the most part, players in towns and cities don't need the inclusion rules changing as we already have more than enough stuff in game, and in some cases the map already feels a bit crowded.
But yes, as I originally said, this is not a discussion that is suitable for the Wayfarer Forum, so please stop spamming your request here, especially when your views don't represent the Pokémon Go community as a whole.
My, don't let me call Giffard for all your spams here.
That standardization is not gonna to be happen, as each games has its own game mechanics that differs between them. Or did you wish Ingress has things like PvP battles or lucky trades or collectibles, just like in Pokemon GO? Or did you wish Pikmin Bloom has features like timed Mushroom raids, flower buds that can be hacked or spinned, or an external cloud storage that lets you send your Pikmins from your phone into a Nintendo Switch game called "Pikmin 3 Deluxe"?
Even better, would the poster like a four hour cool down after a pokestop is spun four times?
We definitely heard you on the experience with Turkey. So in India, we are not ingesting nearly the same density as we did in Turkey. First, we are selecting from a much smaller subset of wayspot categories and second, adding only to areas that need a little nudge for the gameboard to feel playable, particularly rural areas that just have a few to no nominations at the time that we add them.
@Liediawa-PGO - if you have gameboard suggestions for any of our current games, please reach out to the game community managers ! PGO, Ingress, and Pikmin teams are waiting for your feedback! Please think of Wayfarer like the supermarket - we stock the shelves with great ingredients from the real-world, we may even share some recipes, but we let each game cook up gameplay design the way they'd like to. This enables games to innovate and stay creative!
Please explain who are the Pokemon GO's community managers before your statement will causing confusions. We still didn't have an official Pokemon GO forum yet, unlike other games and Wayfarer.
During the earlier import from Foursquare, the Wayfarer team retroactively applied generic photo to these Wayspots so they would sync across eligible platforms.
At this moment, a significant amount of early Ingress seed Portals including hmdb.org and Post Office locations remain without photos. Is any effort being made to find ways to push all of these into the games? Kind of seems like low hanging fruit.
definitely glad to hear that, but my concern is our nominations get stuck in the process (from "in queue" to "being processed") for way too long. we have to wait almost 6-7 months for nominations to get evaluated only to see that it's rejected, well i'm not complaining why are the nominations getting rejected after taking so long, my point is if we get the negative result soon we can re-nominate and move on with the plan to populate a certain area with pokestops and gyms, but since the wait time is way too long people lose their zeal to nominate and well develop the area ! please do something about the waiting time there are only a handful of people left who actively participate in nominating, we don't want the game to die out just because people got sick of waiting.
Thank you Niantic for the stops. I've already seen some of these go live and they have certainly made it possible to play in several densely populated areas where stops couldn't go live earlier either because of vicinity of K-12 or highways and such. Malls and restaurants too have been added which got rejected earlier as generic businesses. I haven't seen any outdated/ mismatched addition so far, at least in my city (Delhi). Guess that puts to rest the apprehension that it'll be a repeat of Turkey/ Foursquare scenario.
For those commenting that it is unfair that India gets these stops - 500K is a tiny number given the country's size, population and extent of semi-urban/ rural areas. Further, if it weren't for rules pertaining to cells and minimum distance, we (at least in major cities) could have populated the gameboard with an even larger number of stops. That needs to be kept in mind. India has the potential to be a massive market for Niantic if they play their cards right.
I hope this new features help both the trainers and as well as you to explore more places and enjoy the game more than ever I'm eagerly waiting for this features in India
First of all, namaste/warm greetings from India!
I read many of the previous comments and I can relate to most frustrations people have vented.
As someone who has played in rural and semi urban India, I would say those places need all the help they can get. Adding PoIs can help reduce the temptation to spoof, make the game easier to introduce to new players in the same area. One should not have to introduce the game to the friend, saying this: you need to travel to the town every 3 days to stock up on pokeballs and put Pokémon in 20 gyms that will gradually give coins over a few days ( hopefully) otherwise the game is nearly impossible to play. And what happens when the nearby town also has only 10-12 pokestops and 3 gyms? People drop out very soon or they get tempted to spoof. So I appreciate this move from Niantic/ Wayfarer.
Any move to improve the game map is good for all Niantic games. It can make or break the community. Here's a anecdotal story.
I know someone who moved back to their home town after the first covid-19 lockdown was lifted. They found their town to have a only a handful of stops and gyms. Over the next few months he did a lot of work submitting stops and going to areas where low level players were and submitting for them. He says once the submissions entered the game, players were happy and the community became more active.
I have also submitted and got new PoIs added when I shifted to a new area around the same time. But it was too late. Everyone was already spoofing and eventually they stopped playing, as it got boring.
I understand the frustration of players in countries whom haven't caught Niantic's attention yet. We have been there as well. The Americas , rich Asian countries like Japan, Singapore, Taiwan ( hope this doesn't cause problems for Niantic;) ) and Western Europe were natural targets for Niantic to develop first. India sort of languished for sometime. We just got an Diwali themed event this year and while it didn't go well, atleast they showed interest in our cultural calender and tried something.
I think they collected feedback for why players have left or keeping leaving and coming back to the game, and got the feedback that the lack of a well-developed map in their area was a major factor. So they decided to work on it.
Please don't begrudge one country for attracting some attention of the devs. This is a business and the more markets Niantic can develop and make a profit from, the longer they'll keep a game running globally. I am also playing Wizards Unite and it's a shame it's being discontinued. Surely we all can agree that we want our respective games to do well for Niantic so that it's in their interest to keep those games going?