Better Bad Ideas
Yesterday’s post brought to light that Niantic needs help monetizing Ingress. They’re so bad at it that they are willing to sacrifice user experience for cheap opportunities to trick customers into micropayments.
Ingress has its CORE subscription, but what do you get for $4.99 US a month? There’s some other stuff, but you are paying for 500 inventory slots. You can spend $4.99/month on 500 inventory slots or get an additional 2,000 inventory for free with a backpack account. The math doesn’t check out, and it’s ridiculous that nobody at Niantic has recognized this yet.
So, in the interest of preserving Ingress, and because I don’t have any interest in watching fake pets breed, I would like to propose several solutions to monetize Ingress. They all still suck. But they suck less than surprising us with a button to buy resonators at the end of the carousel.
First of all, Niantic should treat the folks who pay for a CORE subscription with some respect. Giving them 500 inventory slots is one thing. But, as I already demonstrated, it’s not a good deal. Instead, Niantic should make every improvement a CORE-only feature unless they find someone to sponsor it.
For instance, the recent change to allow linking under fields, what if this was only allowed for agents with a CORE subscription? The free package in the store for Level 8 Day, each backpack account, with its 2,000 inventory slots, gets ten free hypercubes. Just another reward for agents who don’t pay for a CORE subscription. Why doesn’t Niantic let CORE subscribers turn off carousel store links?
That new method to curb spoofing, Compartmental Access Level (CAL) portals, why can’t we pay a small monthly fee to include portals that we own in the program? My portals get spoofed down often enough that this could save me money. You would need a CORE subscription to access this in the store unless Niantic finds a sponsor for the program. Possible sponsors could include home security firms. Imagine “CAL protection sponsored by ADT.”
This idea isn’t going to be popular. But, do you remember the Devra virus? Portals were decaying at a faster rate. Niantic could make it a permanent thing. Or, better yet, Niantic could increase the decay rate according to how old the portal is. Double the decay rate every 30 days until it’s impossible to keep it recharged unless you purchase Niantic’s new Portal Decay Delayinator from the store. It’s an item that can only be used on portals owned by CORE subscribers. But, if you buy it and apply it to your portals, then they continue to decay at the rate you have been used to for the last ten years.
XMP Burst Mode would be used like an Apex, but when activated, CORE subscribers will fire ten XMP every time instead of a single XMP. Heavily shielded opposition farms will melt before your fury.
Here’s an idea from a friend, reagents that supercharge your Kinetic Capsules. It’s too late to restrict Kinetic Capsule access to CORE subscribers, but Niantic could sell them reagents that unlock AXA shields, viruses, and more.
While we’re on the subject of Kinetic Capsules, I don’t get credit with them for riding my Peloton, and it isn’t enjoyable. Two ideas here. First, partner with Peloton and let CORE subscribers turn their rides into credits that can be redeemed in the Kinetic Capsule. Second, give us more credit for joining a live class. I would love to receive a shoutout from the instructor because it’s my birthday, and I’m crafting a VR Shield.
Drones are lame. What if CORE subscribers could purchase mods for their drones? An armed drone that could remotely attack portals would be excellent and add a new dynamic to the game. CORE subscribers could park their drones near anchor portals or opposition farms. How about a drone that could farm keys? CORE subscribers could park it on that portal that required a nine-mile hike and a BGAN rather than sitting there for hours burning VR mods, frackers, and expensive data plans.
It would be awesome if the military-industrial complex sponsored the armed drone. Maybe Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, the CIA?
CORE subscribers should have access to a special link amp. Very expensive, but it would allow you to link through existing links. The catch is that the field wouldn’t be established until all the blocking links were eliminated. Maybe this one could be sponsored by Pfizer?
Single-use, disposable, Kinetic Capsules that CORE subscribers could purchase to stock up on VR items before an event, an add-on that doubles the size of the XM bar so CORE subscribers could recurse without that penalty, a tactical XMP missile that can be used to neutralize any portal within a 10km radius and irradiates the portal so that it can’t be recaptured for 24 hours, the opportunities are endless.
What about Niantic’s biggest problem? You’re right if you assumed it’s their complete disregard for Customer Service. It’s a total disaster. However, imagine a world where CORE subscribers could escalate their support tickets for a small fee. Maybe even get an answer from support?
That might be a bridge too far for Sofonisba.