ingress

Official Site: Ingress
Studio: Niantic Labs/Google
Launch Date: December 15, 2013
Genre: Augmented Reality Game (ARG)
Business Model: F2P
Platform: iOS, Android

Underdog Pokemon Go players took over the capital of Croatia

But it’s cool; they gave it back.

We’re talking, of course, about Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, which is apparently a flourishing Pokemon Go city with 420 gyms thanks to seeding years ago by Ingress players. A group of Croatian gamers were trying to conjure a way to persuade Niantic to switch a famous Croatian POGO trainer to the outnumbered Instinct faction when they hatched a plan to put together a massive 70-man raid to help the tiny team take over the whole city — that is, all 420 gyms — which necessitated crews of players and a fleet of cars to zip around the capital all day and all night in shifts. And they pulled it off.

“The biggest pride for us is that we managed to organize such a mission and did everything in it 100% legit play – not a single multiaccount was placed in a gym to make it stronger,” Redditor LekoZG writes. “Maybe we demolished all other gyms in the city, but what we built is far more valuable – a strong, positive and forward-looking community of players.”

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E3 2017: Pokemon Go’s raiding, gym revamp, badges, and an interview with Niantic

Surprise! Niantic brought Pokemon Go to E3 2017 and invited members of the gaming press outside the sacred halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center to check out the upcoming raid system at a nearby gym. We were granted not just some juicy details on upcoming changes but a rare chance to interview several key members of the team, including Senior Product Manager Tatsuo Nomura, Global Product Marketing Lead Archit Bhargava, and a bit of time with Niantic Director of Engineering Edward Wu.

Perhaps more so than the Generation 2 update, summer feels like it’s bringing an expansion-like update to the free to play game.

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The MOP Up: Pox Nora’s PS4 launch (May 28, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from Splatoon 2HellionEpocylipseLogresSteam HammerHEXIngressMabinogi HeroesPox Nora, and Heroes and Generals, all waiting for you after the break!

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Niantic MMOARG Ingress plots a Magnus event series in California this weekend

While Pokemon GO is getting a new global eventIngress is getting a local event in the form of new Magnus events, starting with an event in Camp Navarro, California. It’s a bit of an odd location considering the campground’s official website promotes the idea that it’s not exactly known for having good cell phone service. Niantic will be providing that itself, but the event seems more like a kind of art project/tech retreat from the event description.

13MAGNUS, an original lore society that infiltrates other societies and splinters off (because the game’s lore can be a pretty detailed and difficult to navigate), is also a reference to a previous Ingress storyline that involved international live events that were more than simple PvP matches, but organized gatherings by Niantic that even involved actors. It seems Niantic is trying to up its immersion game by grounding things not in the virtual world but in the real world.

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The MOP Up: Life is Feudal’s building sim (May 14, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from MapleStoryHeroes of the StormIngressWurm OnlineDCUOHellionLife is FeudalSkyforgeOverwatchH1Z1Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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The MOP Up: SMITE’s console mea culpa (May 7, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from Skyforge, EVE Online, IngressWar ThunderWorld of TanksWakfuLeague of LegendsSMITEGTA OnlineElsword OnlineWurm OnlineDarkfall: Rise of AgonWorlds AdriftCounter-Strike, SEAL Online, and Warspear Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Pokemon Go’s first Knight Foundation event is this weekend in North Carolina

Pokemon Go really wants to get you outside and moving. That’s the gist of its new partnership with the Knight Foundation, through which Niantic hope to

“advance civic engagement in local communities around the United States through augmented reality experiences. This partnership will foster discovery, bring communities together and promote engagement within public spaces by leveraging Niantic experiences and technologies including Ingress and Pokémon GO at select community events supported by The Knight Foundation.”

The first event is actually this Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina, in cooperation with the city government. Anyone down there and thinking of giving it a looksee?

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The Soapbox: Why is Pokemon GO still a tech demo?

I’ve been a bit frustrated with Niantic lately. I love some of its ideas, but I watched someone else play Ingress prior to Pokemon GO’s release, and I noticed very similar problems between the two games after release — problems that the company should have noticed and corrected in its followup.

Recently I decided to try out the former. Both are totally unintuitive. You have to search the UI for the tutorials, though Ingress’ can be accessed only near objectives. You’re asked to join a faction sooner there than in PoGO and with no context beyond 2-3 sentences. The game throws jargon with little to no context at you throughout the tutorial, making it difficult to follow. I walked around, clicking things and used items that I don’t fully understand, not because I’m too lazy to read but because I wanted to understand a game without consulting google. I saw portals get taken without anyone around me as I stood by an objective near a government-restricted area where standing still longer than it takes to read “No Trespassing” could trigger security. I couldn’t get into it, not just because it was simple but because it was poorly designed.

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The MOP Up: MMOs make math fun (March 5, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from FortniteWar ThunderArmored WarfareNeverwinterMabinogi DuelPokemon GoProdigyGuild Wars 2HellionIngressOld School RuneScapeWildStarDota 2, and Final Fantasy XIV, all waiting for you after the break!

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Niantic cracks down on third-party sales in Ingress

Stop cheating, you cheating cheaters, or else we’re gonna take your stuff.

That’s the gist of the message out of Niantic this week to Ingress players. The studio perhaps better known for thwarting cheaters in its other ARG, Pokemon Go, isn’t taking any crap from its sci-fi players either and is cracking down on third-party trading.

“We will be sending warnings to anyone who received items that can be traced back to a third-party seller. In the future, we will remove items from the game that were purchased from unauthorized sellers. This means that any items purchased through third-party websites or services will disappear from inventories – even if these items were passed to other players unknowingly.”

Here’s a peek at the letter sent to miscreants — and to their unwitting victims, as it appears simply acquiring anything that passed through such a vendor’s hands will also be deleted:

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Pokemon Go: 650M downloads, update cadence, and Ingress 2.0

There’s lots going on with Pokemon Go right now, thanks in part to the official Pokemon Day that kicked off the week. Here’s a quick look:

  • This week through March 6th, players can find special birthday-hat-bedecked Pikachu, which you must definitely go get because, um, birthday-hat-bedecked Pikachu.
  • Niantic CTO Phil Keslin told GDC-goers that Pokemon Go has now been downloaded 650 million times globally — the first 500 million downloads of which were within the first two months of the game’s launch last summer.
  • Niantic CEO John Hanke told interviewers at the Mobile World Conference that POGO is due to receive three more major updates this year, one each quarter. Presumably, Gen 2 counts for quarter one.

As part of the same interview, Hanke basically announced Ingress 2.0: “I can announce that there will be Ingress 2.0, and that it’ll come out at the end of this year. It will be a totally new version, something very important for the current players of Ingress, but for the new ones too. We’ve already got other projects, but unfortunately I can’t talk about them.”

Source: Official site, Gamasutra, Reddit. Cheers, Nordavind!

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The MOP Up: Hearthstone gets ready to banish dozens of cards (February 19, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from Overwatch, League of LegendsEVE OnlineMabinogi DuelSpace EngineersIngressEternal CrusadeElder Scrolls OnlineFinal BladeHearthstoneGod Eater OnlineDrakensang Online, and EVE Valkyrie, all waiting for you after the break!

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Pokémon Go was 50 times as successful as Niantic anticipated

Depending on your level and direction of nerdiness, you may be interested in this interview with Niantic’s Director of Software Engineering Edward Wu. Wu talks about how Pokémon Go grew out of the success of Ingress and Google’s cloud services but ended up being a much, much larger beast than even the team anticipated.

“So just to give you the sheer sense of scale– I mean, it’s almost beyond comprehension, you know, the collective effort that people have put into not only playing this game. But actually when you think about all that walking, is the exercise and exploration, and meeting of new people that they’ve done in the midst of it. From a more technical perspective, to give you an idea of how much bigger this was than what we expected, it was roughly 50 times greater than the capacity that we actually had planned for at launch,” Wu said.

Wu said that over 88 billion Pokémon have been caught so far, with the playerbase collectively walking far enough to shoot past Pluto. Rumor is, Mewtwo is hanging out there and can be caught by the most determined player astronauts.

Source: Google Cloud Platform Podcast. Thanks Nordavind!

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