Niantic messes around with their as usual.

The situation:

Niantic first disabled portal edits in Ingress and in Pokemon GO to stop abusive submissions and edits. Then, after the downtime, players could move Waypoints again in a 10-meter-range. This is, what Niantic announced to the community. Players then noticed, that gyms, which were moved in a S2 lvl 14 cell, which already had three gyms, will disappear. And now, stops, that get moved in a S2 lvl 17 cell, will delete all stops except of one in that cell.

I have several problems with those specific steps, that Niantic took to stop the abuse, Niantic's definition of "abuse" and the way Niantic communicates with their community about all that:

1.) The "abuse"

First things first, Niantic wants to stop the abuse, meaning they want to avoid the situation, that there are more than three gyms in a lvl 14 and more than one stop in a lvl 17 S2 cell. Why?

Why shouldn't be there more gyms and stops, that fit the portal criteria, in a certain area? Is it a danger to the game balance? Theoretically, everyone could profit from cluster areas. Everyone has got the same chances to use them, as they are not in a restricted area. And what about home-gyms and -stops? Everyone could visit them either. Their "owners" have just the advantage, that they profit more permanently from "their" clusters. Are there more home-stops to a person, that person can get more items, than others in a certain period of time. But, there are already limitations ingame. No one can carry more than 3000 items at a time and there is always a weekly item limit. If someone reaches that, one cannot spin Pokestops anymore. In addition the items have no end in itself, e.g. you can't catch more Pokemon at home, just because you have more balls. This is just determined by spawnpoints and spawntimes. Only if that player is willing to spend money on the game to use more inscenses, he really would have an advantage. But what about a player, who "owns" more than one gym? He can't get more coins from them either. Theoretically there are more chances to him for raids, but again, only if he spends money on premium raid passes. Concluding the biggest danger to the game balance are ingame purchases.

Is it an abuse to have more gyms and stops in a cell than usual then? It was a trick to the system, that Niantic uses, yes. But it can be considered as an improvement of the local community's gaming experience, as long as the Waypoints fit the portal criteria.

Now, Niantic wants Pokemon GO trainers to discover interesting spots in their area...but only as long as these have a distance of 20 meters to each other and as long as they are not in the same invisible fantasy cell, yeah.

To make one thing clear: This are my thoughts on Waypoints that fit the portal criteria. If you want to trick Waypoints into the game, that doesn't fit the criteria, this would be an abuse for me as well.

2.) The steps that Niantic took to stop the "abuse"

You can only move Waypoints within a 10 meter range. You want to move a Waypoint to its correct point, but you can't. 10 meters are nearly nothing. You can move it 20 times to a location, that is less incorrect until you finally reach the correct position. Or you can submit the Waypoints deletion in a form. When this is rejected, you can beg in this forum for the movement. Easy!

You move a Waypoint into a full cell, bad luck, all stops and gyms are gone. No Pokemon GO player wants ever to move a Waypoint to its correct position again.

But do we need these steps to avoid a real abuse, e.g. moving a gym 5 km to a totally incorrect position, right into a clusterfield? No! The wayfarer community has to verify this submission. Good reviewers will see the fraud. Bad reviewers will accept it, but in the end, it is Ninatics job to get those out of the system, e.g. they should implement a harder test at the beginning, or do random inspections on reviews. The fact, that Niantic has worked on the current steps instead, shows, that they cannot or don't want to rely on the wayfarer community and that the community isn't worth the effort to change that situation.

But speaking about abusive edits:

Whenever a trainer doesn't want another player to have his home-gym or -stops he can put another Wayspot in the full cells. Don't care about the correct position, revenge is a dish served cold!

3.) The communication

Niantic brought games to a massively huge community. Their games are great and the game system is...interesting.

But Niantic did never ever inform their players about those systems!

The transition of portals from Ingress to stops and gyms in PoGO depends on S2 lvl 14 and 17 cells. So many PoGO players don't understand this system, they don't even know that cell-thing at all, because Niantic doesn't tell them a bit about that. These cells are invisible! They might be a useful mapping structure, but they are totally imaginary in the end. Ingressplayers instead, they can give a **** about the cells, their game is not affected by all this. Even the new mechanic of disappearing gyms and stops in PoGO was not communicated by Niantic, it just were the players, who noticed the changes (when it was already too late).

Overall, Niantic runs three games (Ingress, PokemonGO an Wizards Unite). Every Wayspot submission and movement counts for all three games...but not in the same way. In Ingress there are no cells, in PoGO, there are lvl14 and 17 cells and in Wizards Unite...I don't even know what cells there are...but they are, of course, different from those in PoGO.

It would be good to inform every player about what Niantic is doing, before they are doing it. In this way, Niantic could get some feedback from the community and the players finally know about the extend of their actions in their game and about the implications in the other games.

Niantic, you may talk to us!


To me, stops disappearing, because of a Waypoint movement, is an example of missing expediency and a lack of communication.

The newly implemented restrictions punish PoGO players as they must fear to loose stops and gyms as well as Ingress players, who could not edit Portals for month and cannot move them further than 10 meters, even if it needs to be more to be correct; and all this just because Niantic doesn't do a thing against the real submission abusers as well as against unreliable reviewers; and the community in it's entirety will realize it when it is far too late to make things undone (notice: every discussion in this forum is a discussion set in the ivory tower, 99% of the players out there won't read this ever.).



  • KoriNoDokutsu-INGKoriNoDokutsu-ING Posts: 41 ✭✭✭

    Real fakers deserve all the rant in the world. Everyone in this forum would agree to that. You are totally right.

    I didn't adress them directly in my post, because they wouldn't give a **** anyway. That would be pointless.

    The fakers also didn't sit in the Niantic Headquater for a month or two and didn't disable a formerly well working tool for Ingress- and for PoGO-players just to come to the conclusion, that the key to all is to make portal movement nearly impossible (10 meters is nothing) and to remove all stops and gyms, that once fitted the criteria (I mainly relied to those and not to the others that have never been legit Waypoints, according to the criteria), just because, there are too many of them in a cell. This was Niantic. I hope they will read one or two lines of these posts here, that refer to these changes (there ate a few around by now :D) and rethink them a bit. That was the reason why I addressed to them.

    Again, fakers should be banned from submitting Waypoints and edits. Bad reviewers should be kept away from the reviewing process. Niantic should therefor listen to the reviewers rreported abuses on the one hand and have a harder test for potential reviewers and random inspections on the reviews on the other hand.

    In my eyes, this would be the key to stop the abuse once and for all and we would not need these new restrictions to all players.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We’ll just gloss over the loooong conversations going on here while location edits were disabled altogether, while the Wayfarer Team was explicitly working on ways to castrate its ability to overcrowd cells with stops and gyms then, k

    But the location edits were disabled because they were being abused to overcrowd cells with stops and gyms, and the only possible solution to that is to make sure that, when a location is edited, it would then be impossible to overcrowd any cell.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Somehow my comment didn’t post so I will try again.

    Niantic’s Wayfarer Team had shut off location edits for an extended period of time, that was posted and discussed here in these forums. They had them shut down explicitly because of repeated abuses by players attempting to overload cells with wayspots, and that was discussed here in these forums over an extended period of time.

    The only possible solution was to make certain that upon any location edit, the movements wouldn’t overload any cells, and THAT was discussed in these forums.

    And to belabour the point, their initial attempts at fixing it also had the unfortunate side effect whereby sometimes a gym might be demoted to a stop, and yet again THAT was also discussed in these forums.

  • TebanBlk54-PGOTebanBlk54-PGO Posts: 17 ✭✭✭

    None of what you said are relevant to the topic. Just because some people are discussing these topics here don't make it an announcement.

    Can you present one example where an Niantic employee explicitly announced that pokestops that move into an occupied L17 cell (or whatever code phrase they use like "too close to other pokestops") will disappear?

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That topic being, that there’s been no discussion about “how changes to how location edits function” hasn’t been discussed?

  • TebanBlk54-PGOTebanBlk54-PGO Posts: 17 ✭✭✭

    That's not what you said. Your initial claim was:

    "Niantic did indeed:

    1. announce these forums here as their official outlet for wayfarer-related communications
    2. announce the location-edit changes here in these forums"

    These are not true.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You may not agree with how much of an announcement there was, but there was indeed communication from @NianticCasey-ING that the Wayfarer team was tweaking the “density” rules on an ongoing basis. That this was “only” as commentary in some relatively minor thread and not as its own separate Niantic-made announcement thread doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    There have been many threads with regards to gym/stop overcrowding due to abuse, and in short Niantic got fed up with it and are on an ongoing basis continuing to find ways to automatically combat that abuse.

    Frankly I am personally irritated about the level of engagement Niantic-the-company has about internal mechanisms in their games, but am resigned in understanding that they basically consider them akin to “trade secrets”. This affords them the opportunity to CHANGE those mechanisms as they see fit, in particular when those mechanisms prove to be problematic.

    Some of those internal mechanisms include but are not limited to:

    * how the Sojourner badge actually ticks up in Ingress

    * how S2 cells relate to ingame POIs

    * which POIs become inns/greenhouses/fortresses

    * all policies/criteria related to when a wayspot that never met criteria in the first place can be removed

    The ONLY reason players even know that S2 density relates to stop/gym placement in the first place was due to player “citizen science” — experimentation and observation. Now that “something” has changed, unfortunately our only future path forward again is the same — more experimentation and observation.

    But in all likelihood, Niantic STILL won’t ‘fess up to “S2” cell usage. And perhaps some day in the distant future, they WILL find another way. I don’t expect that to happen, and I definitely don’t expect Pokémon to ever get more density — their current efforts on their advanced AR by way of wayspot “scanning” belies that.

    Do feel free to grump about Niantic’s general lack of direct communication. But YES they have told us that internal work on wayspot density is ongoing.

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,423 Ambassador

    When I see people blaming the company, I'll be sure to explain the player abuse that lead to it.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DobleJJGM-PGO It's certainly true that some Ingress players don't like it when PoGo players move wayspots that are already correctly positioned. If you're moving something that is correctly positioned to an incorrect location then I consider that cheating. I also think it's wrong to move something if both the old and new locations are correct.

    When you move things to change cells in PoGo you are impacting both Ingress and HPWU, and probably also CWE. In Ingress a move will cause existing links and fields to be destroyed, and it can mess up future fielding plans. In HPWU you can change which things are inns, greenhouses, and fortresses. I don't think it's fair to the players of other games when you alter the playing field to your personal liking. I'm pretty sure PoGo players would be upset if I started moving their stops around so that I could make a better spine for fields in Ingress.

    The Wayspot database is for all games, not just yours.

    My qualifications: Recursed L16 in Ingress, L40 in PoGo, L47 in HPWU.

  • KissakCZ-PGOKissakCZ-PGO Posts: 4 ✭✭

    So now is ok, when some Ingress player will be mad at PoGo community in their location and he will decide to move some portals, so pokestops and gyms will disappear and portals will stay in the game ? Take for example a football field with athletic oval, with playground, exercise machines, historic statue and some historic plaque. All not far from each other in real world, all in own L17 cell. An Ingress player can move portals from correct location to still correct location (you are also think this is bad), but he can move them STILL ON CORRECT location but closer together and it will probably be accepted. What will happen in these games ? Well in Ingress nothing, HPWU probably still nothing, BUT in PoGo he can destroy a place where could be 2 gyms and 4 pokestops to only 2 pokestops. And this is just ridiculous, player of different game CAN affect a gameplay of another game. I don't see a reason to have different S2 cell rules in these games. Just leave the 20 metres rule, it make sense to me and everybody will be happy AND it will reduce a location edit so much more than anything what Niantic did so far.

  • KissakCZ-PGOKissakCZ-PGO Posts: 4 ✭✭

    You are play all three games, but there may still be cases as I have described by someone who doesn't play all three games.

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