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#Ingress #MissionDay Update

It has been a while since I participated in an Ingress event. I’ve just been too busy with other things. I have been doing minimal daily ingress, mostly just enough to keep some of my streaks alive.

Today, I was supposed to go to a poetry picnic, but it got cancelled at the last minute, so I went to “Mission Day” in New Haven. People who play Ingress gathered on the Ingress Green at 11 am to start their mission day. They came in from Maine and New York City. Many wore their team colors, blue or green, carried flags, and had t-shirts, buttons, or other symbols of their participation.

In Ingress, you go from portal to portal, capturing the portal if the other team has it, hacking to portal to get more gear from it, and creating links, which joined together create fields. There are also missions where you interact with a group of different portals. Then there are groups of missions that some people participate in.

In Ingress, you get various badges for your participation. Some of the badges are for participating in large Ingress events. Others are for accomplishing various tasks, and you get different levels of badges depending on how many times you’ve completed the task. Having played for a long time, it is harder and harder to get new badges. Partly, these days, I am looking at hypothetical badges for multiples of the highest level. For example, the highest level recharger badge is for recharging 25 million XM. I am currently at 266 million. I celebrated getting to 10 times the top recharger badge and figure the next celebration will be at 12 times the top recharger badge.

Likewise the top Guardian badge is for holding a portal for 150 consecutive days. My record is 365 consecutive days, and my current oldest portal I’ve held for 141 days. For consecutive days hacking, the top badge is for 360 consecutive days. I’m currently at 471.

For Glyph hack points, the top badge is 50,000 points. I’m up to 90,000 points and approaching two times the top badge. For total hacks, I’m about 12,000 hack short of the second highest badge, having added 213 hacks today.

One badge that I haven’t done much with is the one for participating in missions. I completed 13 missions today, getting me the silver badge, but still leaving me many missions to go. For the distance walked badge, I’m current at 2,731 kilometers, having walked 13 kilometers today. That is a little bit beyond the 2,500 kilometers for the top walking badge, but a long way from the next multiple of that.

Another badge I am approaching and will hopefully get sometime this year is for the total number of portals captured. I’m currently at 14,610, which is 390 away from the second highest badge. Mission day was a good day for capturing portals. I capture 103 portals today. 48 of these portals were ones that I had not captured in the past, pushing me over 2,000 unique portals, but I have to hit 5,000 to get the next badge. Likewise, I visited 66 portals I hadn’t visited in the past, although I’m still a long way from the next badge for total portals visited.

I did deploy 549 resonators, pushing my total over 121,000 resonators deployed, but I still have a long way to go.

All in all, it was a good day, made all the better by running into various Ingress friends throughout the day.

Blogging the Alphabet - Ingress Agent Stats

A long week comes to an end. There have been lots of things going on. Time demands, technology malfunctions, other stresses. I have various blog posts in partial completion, but none that I feel ready to complete this evening.

One idea, has been to reflect on what Chrome thinks I’m most interested in. Type a letter, and see what website Chrome thinks I want to go to. I’ve thought about doing an analysis of this, what percentage of letters go to what type of websites. But that would take more time than I’m up for, so instead, I’ll start blogging the alphabet, typing in a character, and using it for a blog prompt. If the blog prompt isn’t all that compelling, I may use a couple letter, or look at the other suggestions for a given letter.

So, let me start with ‘A’. The most common website for me beginning with the letter ‘A’ is agent-stats.com. This is a website that has statistics about various scores in Ingress, the augmented reality game I like to play on my cellphone. As an aside, this has not been a great week for playing Ingress either. I haven’t had good walking days, which may contribute to it being a long week.

For my agent stats, I am level 16. That is currently the highest level you can get in Ingress. I have 54 million AP. That a basic score used for getting to higher levels. In Agent Stats, there are close to 5000 agents who have reported an AP score. Two of them have scores over 300 million, and I rank at about 1000th.

I believe my highest ranking on these boards is for recharging, where I currently have 241 million XM recharged. That puts me at 129 out of about 2200. The highest is 877 million

Agent stats also calculates when you are most likely to get your next badge. On Sunday, I should get my Onyx sojourner badge, for hacking 360 days in a row. My next badge is predicted to be platinum liberator, which I should receive at the end of May.

#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
plague
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
hero,
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
playing
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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