Once upon a time, before Ingress added new badges, the Guardian Badge was a key component of getting to higher Ingress levels. I wasn’t uncommon to see players with pile of AP above and beyond what was needed for the next level while they waited to achieve another gold or platinum badge in order to qualify. But then, Ingress started handing out badges like candy. I got a platinum Innovator Badge for free by being Level 13 on the day it came out. I also got Gold for several of the new Ingress badges by having already achieved the amounts before they were even invented. But, last summer, before all of this happened, I was going to need a Platinum Guardian Badge as soon as possible, and I would have needed black eventually.
How I Got My Guardian Portal
I got my gold Guardian Badge before I really knew what the badge even was. If you play in a lot of areas, you’ll eventually end up somewhere less contested than others. If you filed all of that, and then keep those fields up by recharging your portals, you’ll get a 20-day portal without much effort. (You’ll get your Recharger Badge pretty easily as well.) But, my gold Guardian badge was a different story.
I got one portal to 87 days before someone smashed the Denver Botanic Gardens and took my portal with it.
I got another to 89 days before Guardian hunting players from across town made a special trip for it.
After that, every time I thought I had a good Guardian portal, it got dropped, usually after 70 days. It’s just tough to keep a portal unnoticed for three months.
Then, I had an idea.
As a parent, I got season passes to the local amusement park, Elitch Gardens. There were new portals inside the park too far from the outside to be hit by even an L8 XMP. So, I watched the Intel map, and as the final days of the park being open went by, I ensured that I owned a few of the inside portals, every one of them with just 7 resonators so I couldn’t accidentally link them and lose the keys.
Sure enough, when the park closed last fall, I had a portal safely inside. Now, all I had to do was avoid spoofers.
The platinum badge came in January, and a few months later, black (or onyx, if you prefer). It lasted until 191 days when the portal was taken down by someone at the season pass sneak preview evening. By then, it was too late. I already had what I needed.
Best of all, that means I don’t need any more badges, ever, for Ingress, unless they make new levels. I’ve got 4 Platinum and 2 Black for L16. I’ll just need the AP. Which is good, because I really don’t care about a lot of the new stuff, like glyph hacking or missions.
The other fun piece, is that the only reason to hide your stats is to keep enemy players from seeing how close you are to a Guardian. Now that my stats say 191 for longest portal held, I can show my stats again. Not that it matters, I just like being open about who I am and how I play.
More importantly, there is no reason for me to find a portal in the middle of nowhere and remember to charge it for six months anymore.