On the day that the new levels in Ingress went live, I had enough AP to be Level 11. Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the necessary Ingress badges, so I only jumped to Level 10. I did have all the Silver Badges, and I had two of the four required Gold Badges. However, as I played I realized that unlike the previous levels, just “playing” Ingress wasn’t going to be enough to get to Level 11 any time soon.
Level 11 AP and Badges Requirements
I checked around with my higher level Denver players. Most came to the same conclusion I did. I would have far more AP than necessary for Level 11 by the time I actually got the four gold badges needed to achieve 11. Ironically, according to decodeingress.me, the original required AP for Level 11 was going to be 7,500,000. That might have been a lot more realistic number for your average Ingress player as the point where 4 golds might actually happen.
As it turns out, I’m a fairly balanced player. I have the two “easy” Gold Badges: Recharger, and Guardian. The rest are all Silver except Purifier, and I’m pretty close to getting that one to Silver too. However, that also means that there isn’t one of the badges that I’m much closer to going Gold on either.
The only badge I don’t have is the Seer Badge. Honestly, it took so long for portals to get approved, and at the time, the only meaning for the badges was as trophies, that I just quit submitting portals. That’s too bad, because by now, all 5 of the portals I did submit late last year have been approved.
For most of the badges, there is really no way to go after them any more than you already do when you are playing Ingress normally. For example, the gold level Hacker Badge requires 30,000 hacks. Right now, I have 14,885, so that leaves 15,115 more hacks to go. That’s more than all the hacks I’ve ever made during the entire 5 or 6 months I’ve been playing Ingress. There is simply no way to “hack more” than I already do. If I have Ingress on (most always) and there are portals in range, I hack them. I could deliberately hack a little more, but no matter what, it’s just going to take time.
I could target getting the Gold Seer badge, but with four to six months for portal approval, that’s a pretty long wait for L11. In fact, I am going to start aggressively submitting portals, but I think that a Gold Seer Badge will help a lot more for Level 13, than L11 or L12.
Links and Fields both sound deceptively close. I have 2,517 out of the 5,000 links needed to get a Gold Connector Badge. But, again, there is no way to “force” links. There are either portals that I have keys to or not. True, I’m linking pretty much anything to anywhere instead of carefully creating fields, but that still doesn’t give me a way to just go out an get 1,500 more links. The same is true of the Mind Controller badge where I have 1,385 out of 2,000 necessary fields. Again, I’ll field anything now rather than trying to create bigger, or more nested fields, but without the portals to link and field, it’s just going to take time.
Getting Gold Badges Faster
There is still a way to maybe force the issue of two more gold badges faster. The added bonus, is that along the way, I’ll be moving forward toward the other badges too. After all, chances are that I’ll have 8,400,000 AP much quicker than I’ll have 6 Gold Badges that you need for L12. (Fortunately, I already have a Platinum Recharger, so L13 is just one more Gold).
Two badges require “unique” portals. The Explorer Gold Badge requires 2,000 hacks on unique portals, and the Pioneer Gold Badge requires 1,000 captures of unique portals. In this case, unique, means a portal that you haven’t hacked or captured before.
As of this morning, I had 1,140 unique hacks and 606 unique captures. That means I need 860 for a Gold Explorer and 394 unique captures for a Gold Pioneer. Those aren’t close by any means, but unlike the other badges, these may be ones that you can push ahead a bit.
If you are like me, you play Ingress in a fairly standard area. That area may be big or small, but it’s your “home” area and you defend, attack, field and link there most of all. That’s awesome, and you are building up tons of AP, and resonators deployed, and resonators destroyed, and so on, but by now, almost none of them are unique.
Fortunately, I live in a decent size metro area, and I have my own car, so that means all I need really push those two badges ahead is to play in some new areas. Thanks to some help from local players, I think I have 300 unique hacks that I can get in some fairly tight clumps. That’s without even checking the map. The 40 new uniques I got this morning happened to be in a beautiful L8 farm that I never made it to, so I stocked up on gear, and got some hacks.
The captures will be more difficult. Ideally, I’ll look for places that the other side has recently captured but doesn’t intend on keeping. Those areas are often left with one resonator or low-level resonators without shields. Otherwise, the newer more powerful shields make captures and resonator destruction more costly.