I’ve been debating and going back and forth on how to write this piece for some time now and, I think I’ve finally figured it out. Aren’t y’all lucky? 😉
With the COVID-19 Crisis happening and changing the world and Pokémon gameplay as we know it, has given us (me in particular) some time to take to the Wayfarer project by helping review and submit Wayspots.
Now, it’s important to note that these reviews aren’t just your standard Amazon-type reviews. It’s your job/duty as a Reviewer to make sure that the submissions you are analyzing meet specific criteria set out by Niantic and can be found under the “Help” section of the Wayfarer website. Niantic has done a pretty good job updating the Wayspot Acceptance Criteria section on an every so often basis, but I’ll say, there have been a few times where I still become perplexed on how to rate a specific submission. It truly makes me grateful for our awesome Wayfarer G2G Fam/Community on our Discord Server. (You will be hearing a lot about them and see me reference our community and others, in like this quite often in this series of journal entries.)
Being relatively new to both sides of the system, as you can imagine, I’ve had a TON of questions along the way. Not only that, but I’m also seeing first-hand how easily one can become discouraged in the process. Yet, turn around and, jump with joy when they see their first submission go through the approval process. Then, the moment it becomes eligible and shows up in-game as a PokéStop! A few days later you have multiple stops and a Gym! Believe me, it’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
All that to say, I’ve decided to chronicle my journey to becoming an official Wayfinder starting with an overall look at the system, followed by reviewing, submitting, and offering some feedback to Niantic.
The wayfarer system
Let’s talk about the system as a whole, some overall ideas for you to think about as well as not get you down if your submissions aren’t accepted. Then, we’ll go through a step-by-step walk-thru of a submission, and later, tools tips about reviewing that you will also find incredibly useful.
Wayfarer has a solid foundation as it is based off of an already successful system that has been used in Ingress for quite some time. However, it seems that that history could be to some of the PokéStop submission’s detriment due to the guidelines adopted not being plain and/or simple. Not to mention, some Ingress players are far more critical than they should be when reviewing PokéStops. We can’t blame them, they are only following the rules they have known for some time now.
As to not completely rewrite Wayfarer’s Help Page, we have cherry-picked some of the Help Section’s guidelines below. These are some of the links I frequent on a regular basis being new to this system. We will get into some more advanced tools suggested by our experts later on.
About Niantic Wayfarer
How to Review Wayspots
Wayspot Acceptance Criteria
- Niantic Wayfarer Clarifications: January 2020
- Niantic Wayfarer Clarifications: October 2019
- Potentially Confusing Nominations (Examples)
- Ineligible Wayspots
- Eligible Wayspots
Information Overload, right?
So…they give you all this information, some examples, rules to help guide you along your path…but then, you come across a random water tower, or what looks to be a temporary trail sign at a park entrance, now what? Those examples aren’t in the links. They don’t follow the guidelines this way, but they do follow the guidelines that way so which outweighs the other? This is where your communities come into play in my opinion as those who have been reviewing quite some time can help you by offering their experiences when they too come across these examples.
To me, Wayfarer/Wayfinder Communities are your biggest asset to reviewing and submitting nominations.
Do note, not all Wayfarer Communities are created equally. Many communities are heavily dictated by their members…whether they are relatively new and working through it together, those who have been submitting since the start of Ingress, and others that can be helpful in their own unique way. We will take some time to introduce you to each type of community to help you see if any or all fit your Wayfarer style the best.
Niantic’s Official Wayfarer Community Site
Niantic has recently created their own Wayfarer Community Forum for Wayfinders new and old to connect, share experiences and help guide one another the goals and intentions behind the creation of the Community. If you’re a fan of Reddit, try out their Wayfarer Group there too!
I’ll admit, it’s a bit overwhelming as I look at it, and I prefer talking to my closer knit group, but I will definitely be looking into this a bit more…you know, for science. 😉
Pokémon GO Community Discord Servers
As mentioned above, I’m a HUGE fan of our G2G Discord Server’s close knit group of Wayfinders. We have a little bit of everything from former and current Ingress players, those who have been reviewing on Wayfarer since day one and have had seminars on it, to individuals like me who ask a million questions to make sure they are doing things correctly!
There may also be local Discord groups with Wayfinder support, so be sure to ask around and check them out as they will know your area better than any other when it comes to submitting nominations!
Ingress based communities
If you are looking for a hardcore, extremely helpful, and quite opinionated group of players, an Ingress Community would be my suggestion. They take nomination submissions EXTREMELY seriously so that would be the next step once you have gotten your feet wet in the others!
As they say, this is just the tip of the iceberg as I continue my “journal entries” about Wayfarer. Come say “hi” to us on Twitter and Discord. Share your experiences, communities, and questions with us too! Be on the lookout for the following topics comin’ at ya:
- Reviewing a Nomination from Start to PokéStop
- Tips and Tricks to Creating a Submission
- Program Feedback and Ways to Improve It
DON’T FORGET to check out our PokéStop Nominations and Niantic Wayfarer article that was written by our talented Senior Writer, Steven V. for a complete, concise look at Wayfarer!