Half-Assed Ingress

For a half-month, we’ve gotten half-assed Ingress play, at least in my area. We talked about the (soon to be ending) second anniversary rules before, and how I don’t think that the changes produced anything close to what they were supposed to accomplish. After playing with them for some time, while the rule changes did perhaps enable the take down of some strongholds, what they really did was disincentive rebuilding.

Don’t Build 8s

In the area where I primarily play (Denver) there are both Resistance and Enlightened strongholds. Resistance seems to control downtown Denver pretty well, mostly because there are more of them who work down there, plus a terminator-level player who works nights. There are plenty of areas outside of downtown where Enlightened dominates, the most prominent of which is the city of Berthoud where no blue portal stands for long.

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Where are all the Level 8 portals? Check back next week after half-effort Ingress is over 🙂

In both areas, there are semi-standing Level 8 farms where the faction build, and quickly rebuild L8 portals that can be farmed for gear. Typically, a player or two from the opposing faction will show up, burn the farm to the ground, peg the portals with a single resonator or two, and then move on. The players from the original faction, will swarm down and quickly take back the portals, and over the next day or two, players will provide their 8s and rebuild the farm. In fact, in both factions, if it takes more than a day or two to get the portals back to L8, there starts to be some hand wringing about how, and how fast, the farm will be rebuilt.

However, with the half-month or so of 2nd Anniversary rules, those farms have gone fallow. No, the Enlightened doesn’t have many portals downtown, and Berthoud isn’t blue, but neither has seen Level 8 since the anniversary rules went into effect.

I’ve wrote before about whether or not anyone at Ninantic plays Ingress enough to truly understand the mechanics of their creation. In particular, I wonder if they realize that the most scarce resource in all of Ingress is the Level 8 XMP Burster. Certainly some items are more rare, but scarcity is the combination of both the rarity of the item and how quickly it is used, and by how many people. Once you reach L8, there is nothing you are more likely to run out of than L8 bursters.

As a result, when the L8 farms in downtown Denver and in Berthoud went down, no one bothered to rebuild them. Why give your opponents access to the one thing that you both need more of in the game? With triple bursters going to dirty hacks, not only did the farms not get rebuild, but no one cared. There were no messages about getting it back up and running.

Theoretically, this may be what Ninatic had in mind. The idea is that now, an opposing faction could get a toehold. That may be true in other areas, but here in the Denver Metro area, it just means we did without farms. For me, it means that I was very careful in what I attacked, and made more use of L7 and L6 bursters, eliminating only the portals that I needed for a link or field instead of clearing out all the portals in an area. My opponents in those areas do the same. There are no new strongholds, there are no newly ascendant players. Just like always, there are some new 8s around, and there are some 8s who aren’t around anymore, but most of us are just kind of sort of building and attacking.

I suspect that will all change once the temporary rules expire.

Oh, look, there’s a message from my faction now about when we should rebuild the farm. See you next week, for full-contact Ingress 🙂


6 thoughts on “Half-Assed Ingress

  1. Well, I can’t agree with this enough. What actually happened in my area was each faction intentionally building, and then flipping level 8 portals. And there’s literally nothing you can do if the portal’s flipped, at least for an hour, and maybe longer unless you’re willing to spend a flip card just to destroy a portal.

  2. Must admit I have a different view – I found it wonderful to see the shift in tactics, and the way rather established patterns of action changed. The status quote you describe was rather like tench warfare, and we have areas of that local to me as well, whereas under the temporary rules this all shifted to a more fluid and tactical approach – sometimes passing an enemy portal to leave it available for hacks, hitting anchor portals only.

    I also disagree that L8 XMP are the rarest items in normal play – in a well developed area it seems R1-4 are rarer, because you need at least a couple to stand up a portal fully unless you are travelling as a team, and you get relatively few from portals L5+

    • Others have said that it changed their areas. It changed our area, but it seemed like the team part went away, and everyone just went and did some things, but no one really cared to keep portals recharged, and no one hurried out to reclaim like they usually do.

      BTW, XMP are the weapons. I believe you are talking about needing some L 1 to 4 resonators. Usually I run out of 4s for exactly the reason you are talking about. But, I have over 100 now thanks to triple resonator hacks.

  3. I will admit that I don’t know how play changed during the rules change as I joined in the iddle of them, but I live in Erie, CO and work in the Gunbarrel area of Boulder. There are/were quite a few ENL L8 portals in the Gunbarrel area that remained in place the entire time. I’m RES and left them alone to farm from and focused more on the outer portals that they kept large fields on and/or lots of fields on, being a fly in their ointment as it were (since there are apparently very few RES in that area and I play alone). It seemed counter productive to me to destroy the whole area, but instead make them drive around a lot to rebuild the fields (especially since the ones I’d hit [and continue to hit] were on my way from home to work and vice versa). Perhaps if there were more “flies” around here, it would have been a different story. Erie, on the other hand, seems to flip from RES to ENL and back every few days.

  4. Wow, honestly I thought the average resistance person was smarter than this. In our area, not only did it change the game, but brought more of us together and helped to drive more collaboration, not less.

    Most of our team IMMEDIATELY ‘got it’ when the temporary rule changes came out. We went directly to areas most convenient for the group to farm, quickly built up level 8 farms with double application of very rare HS’s and MH’s and hit them ALL with JARVIS. This mve gave us a farm that was more convenient to our faction AND could not nentaken down by the ENL unless they wanted to ADA them. (They quickly ran out of virus and we were able to sustain.) Our intended farm to the point where we had RES agents from all over the area to come and farm!! Side effect? We drew more help into our area and went from living under green skies to blue.

    This change was a game changer for the better and I disappointed to see brother and sister RES agents not sharp enough to exploit it for the better. Just expected a higher level of intelligence from the smurfs, since it only took the TOADs in out area a week to get it and set up their own farms on their own turf…..I mean, even toads ‘got it’.

    • Thanks for stopping by to insult the intelligence of the players in my area. Or, it could just be that maybe the players here are evenly matched and that neither side ran out of ADAs or Viruses.

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