Word broke today about the new way to submit Ingress portals.   It’s about bloody time !    For about a year nothing has been happening with submissions, and precious little activity on deletions.

Here’s how it works:

  • In the initial closed beta rollout, the new hub will work in San Francisco and Tokyo.
  • The tool will initially only be invite-only, only open to Ingress players who’ve reached L16 — the highest level in the game. Getting there requires a helluva lot of time and dedication, but also suggests you know what a portal should be like.
  • Players will ultimately be able to give feedback on potential portals in two places: the area they play most, and one other location of their choice of which they have local knowledge — be it their childhood hometown or a place they visit often.
  • Players give feedback on multiple factors — the photo, the portal’s name, whether or not it’s a duplicate, etc. It’s not a straight-up yes/no vote.
  • They’ll be starting with Niantic’s existing backlog first
  • Behind the scenes, the hub weighs each player’s feedback based on how good they seem to be at ranking portals
  • Once a portal gets enough positive feedback and an algorithm gives it the green light, the portal goes live in-game. If it’s working correctly, there’s no human intervention required on Niantic’s side.

Apparently you get an email from Niantic to start the process; those agents who have recently been in San Francisco are getting them, even though they’re from So Cal.   Then you select your “Hometown”.   Once you pick it, it can never be changed.   You also get to pick one other “area of interest” which can be changed ONCE PER YEAR.   Finally, it will also give you portals in your current area.

Just from reading about it, it’s tough to be sure it will work, or be fair.    Hangouts chatter is positive.

now this is more fun than the game

these aholes tricked me into doing their jobs

I can’t wait.   The game has gotten too divorced from reality in some spots.

Giant Marilyn Monroe statue in Palm Springs was moved in 2014, yet when I visited in Summer of 2016 the portal was still there.   The location looked exactly like Google Maps, a dirt lot.

One very close portal to my workplace, the Working Man Mural, is both a duplicate of another portal, and located one block out of the way.   I have tried the complain tool many times and yet this guy just stays there.

And there are tons of other examples, everywhere.   Keeping it reality based helps immerse you in the gameworld.    Dangerous and inappropriate portals should get removed, like the one at a preschool that Santa Clarita used to have.   I think the owner finally must have complained after Pokemon Go came out.

And with the development activity across California, new things that should be portals continue to come online.

I think they did a pretty darn good job with the portals in the game.    Some are pretty bad; but the vast majority are good choices, varied, and interesting.   Hopefully the community can continue to keep that good quality, but you never know.

The obvious concern is that agents will game the system.    Make sure portals that are convenient for one side get approved, with inconvenient ones denied.    It’s a real danger, because this is certainly a game about warfare, and any war game continues even at the meta level.    Trolling and joking too – check out one portal in the submission queue :

oh man

who does this stuff

Invisible Plaque
Something interesting is hidden here   

I’m hopeful though.   But now I want to know, when will the community ban system for “That guy is a disgusting cheater!” come out ?