#Ingress Flash Shards

Saturday, I went to Boston with a bunch of friends who play Ingress, an augmented reality game, somewhere between geocaching and capture the flag. It was a special event which drew people from across New England. This post is going to get into the underlying details about the event. If you don’t play Ingress, parts of it might not make a lot of sense.

In Ingress, you can carry two thousand items in your inventory. These can be bursters and ultra strikes, for blowing up your opponents portals, resonators and shields to put on portals you have captured, or a bunch of other items. Some items, like bursters, ultra strikes, resonators, and power cubes, come in strengths of Level 1 to Level 8. Other items, like shields, can be common, rare, very rare, or have some special capabilities.

Prior to the event, everyone tried to reach capacity in their items, with the right mix of offensive and defensive items, as high powered as possible. Before I left, I recorded what I had in my inventory. During the afternoon, I used a lot of my inventory, and at the after party and on my way home, I started replenishing my inventory. Here are some general details of what I used and what I had left over.

During the event, different people take on different roles, that may be more offense of more defense. I ended up starting off doing light offense and soon moved into pretty full time heavy defense. This determined what I used. I did find opportunities to play a little offense during brief periods of defensive play.

For resonators, I used about 275 Level 8 Resonators, 175 Level 7 Resonators, and 75 lower powered resonators. I ran out of lower level resonators first. I also farmed new resonators throughout the day. At the end of the day, I deployed just shy of 900 resonators and captured over 250 portals I am now less than 8,000 resonators deployed from getting my next badge for resonators deployed and less than 4,000 captures away from getting my next badge for captures.

I did not end up using many shields, deploying less than 30, and coming back with many of my very rare shields.

In terms of weapons, I ended up using about 275 Level 8 Bursters. I started with a lot of Level 8 Bursters, and came back with quite a few. On top of this I used over 100 Level 7 and Level 8 ultra strikes, which was all that I had. Ultra strikes are harder to get and I always try to get as many as I can for events like this. In terms of my own statistics, I destroyed over 175 resonators and neutralized over fifty portals. However, I’m not close to getting new badges in this area.

I also recycled a lot of portal keys, and got a bunch of new keys. Ultimately, I ended up with about 75 more keys than when I started. I visited nearly 150 new portals, and captured about 50 of those. I’m still a long way from getting badges in this area.

My role for the day didn’t involve as much walking as for others, and I only walked 14 kilometers, or about eight and a half miles. I try to walk a couple of kilometers each day playing Ingress, so this gave me about a week’s worth of Ingress walking. However, at my current rate, it will still be half a year before I get my next Ingress walking badge.

I also brought a lot of power cubes, but ended up using very few of them, so at the end of the day, while waiting for one thing or another, I used power cubes to recharge various portals, not something one normally does during an event like this. I ended up recharging around a million XM and using a little over a hundred power cubes, and I still have a bunch left over.

Now, I’m busy building my inventory back up. That will take a little while. All in all, it was a good day.

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The Samuel Baldwin Memorial Ingress Portal

The cars zoomed by
the large rock
with the rusting bronze
and the small American Flag
planted by the D.A.R.

No one,
except for the town historian,
an avid genealogist,
who served on the school board,
knew anything
about this
revolutionary war
the first cousin
of her fourth great grandfather
on her mother’s side.

But now,
late at night
young men with cellphones
stop beside the monument
a twenty first century
game of war.

Note: This was written for a writers prompt to describe a landmark. I took a different angle on this and described the landmark, first in terms of the actual, someone obscure landmark, and then brought in aspects of the game Ingress, played on cellphones, in which landmarks are ‘portals’ in the game.

Inside XM Truth

No, that is not a cable news style podcast about the augmented reality game, Ingress, although it could be. It is one of the many ‘glyph hack’ phrases I’ve come to recognize playing Ingress. In the game, you hack portals to get gear for playing the game. They added a new feature several months ago called glyph hacking. If you repeat a pattern on your phone successfully, you get extra gear, and if you do it perfectly, you get glyph hack points. You get more points for more complicated patterns from more powerful portals.

Then, you get badges for depending on the number of points. The highest glyph hacking badge, onyx (or black) requires 50,000 points. I’ve gotten pretty good at glyph hacking and yoday, I got that badge. However, at the level I’m at, other badges become further and further apart.

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Random Ingress Thoughts

This evening, I’m going heading off to an Ingress event. Ingress is an augmented reality game played on smartphones that I’ve been playing and writing about for quite a while. I haven’t written much about it recently because there hasn’t been much to say. I still play regularly and meet with friends I’ve met through Ingress.

There are things I could say about my strategy, but Ingress is a team sport, and I don’t want to advertise my strategy to people on the other team that might take advantage of knowing how I approach playing. I could talk about various milestones. I’m level 15 out of 16 levels. I’ve walked over 1800 kilometers playing the game. People who play Ingress mostly know this already and it probably doesn’t mean much to those that don’t play Ingress.

One of the things I was very interested in, when I started playing, was the story line of the game, but I never got as caught up in the story as I thought I would. I’ve also mostly chosen to simply play and not get involved in some of the drama. There is a lot of drama between players in the game.

It raises some interesting questions about how you manage the community around a multi-player game. I touch on this in a post on an Ingress related forum the other day, but haven’t really thought out the details. This is probably an area well worth the research, and I wonder if any of my old Internet Research friends are starting to do studies on Ingress.

Ingress Stats

It has been a while since I’ve written a blog post about the augmented reality game, Ingress. If you’re not an Ingress player, you may want to skip this post.

I am approaching 100,000,000 XM Recharged and it made me stop and figure. For each 1000 XM recharged, you get ten AP. If the resonators are close to fully charged, you might be able to get ten AP for less recharging than 1000 XM, but to keep things simple, it works out to be 1 AP for every 100 XM recharged. So, 100,000,000 XM Recharged would be a million AP. So, when I get to 120,000,000 XM recharged, I will have recharged enough to make it to Level 8 on just recharging.

This got me thinking, what is the mix of AP that I’ve received? With 125 AP for each resonator deployed, I’m around 7.4 million AP just for deploying resonators. With 500 AP for each portal captured, I’m at about 3.8 million AP for portal captures. I’m at about 2.6 million for resonators destroy and another 2.6 million for fields created.

I find the numbers fairly well reflect my style of play. I’m more of a builder than a destroyer, but when I destroy enemy portals, it is often to take out fields. While I have done a lot of recharging, it remains one of my lesser methods of gaining AP.

The other set of statistics I look at is when I’m likely to get my next badges. Some badges are so far out on the horizon that I doubt I’ll ever get them. For example, at my current rate of play, I’m unlikely to get my next mind controller badge for another 13 years. My next Connector badge is just under 10 years away. But, there are between five and seven badges that I could get within the next year.

All of this is based on the game remaining the same as it is right now, and my level of activity, likewise, remaining the same. However, I expect that we will see more changes over the next year, and my level of play will ebb and flow.

So, how are your Ingress Stats?

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