Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hack, Hack, Hack and then Hack Some More.

So you're a higher level agent now and you don't need to hack every portal you see. What are you  going to do with L2 or L2 items anyway?

Really who cares about that the resonators or bursters you get from those level portals. But as a higher level
agent you should be hacking any portal you come across. Remember, hacking a portal is similar to those video slot machines.

While I do not have validated proof that this is how it works only empirical evidence. It seems that when you hack a portal it is like pushing the spin button on a video slot machine. With lower level portals the ratios greatly favor getting leveled items such as resonators, XMP Bursters and Power Cubes. But you also have the opportunity for non-leveled items including Portal Shields, Multi-Hacks, Turrets, but also items like Jarvis Viruses & ADA Refractors.

A friend in my local community recently posted a screen shot of a Jarvis Virus he had hacked from a neutral portal. I recently got an ADA from a L5 portal.

Once again I have no hard evidence (but remember this is a blog - blogs require no evidence ;) ) but it appears that the standard hack rate for items like a common  Portal Shield is somewhere in the 1:15 range. Items like Very Rare Heat Sinks and Very Rare Multi-Hacks come up in the 1:1500 range. ADAs and Jarvis Viruses seem to come up on the 1:800 range.

To put more empirical proof to this we have seen events where it is announced for X amount of time there will be an increased portal drop rate on XMPs, Power Cubes, and other items. Also, you have probably noticed on Thursdays you will hack a media item of the latest Ingress Report.

So hack every opportunity you get on any level portal. You never know what you are going to get and worse case scenario, you recycle anything you don't want or need.

Happy Hacking!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ingress Courtesy

I've learned a lot about courtesy to your fellow Ingress agents since hooking up with a local players group. Unfortunately, looking back before I joined the group and was operating solo, I had some bad habits which probably irritated some others in my faction.

  1. Recharging - If you are hacking a friendly portal at least have the courtesy to at least put one recharge on it, especially if it looks like you are in a area that this person frequents. You can tell this if you see there name on multiple portals and having multiple resonators on it. So look at the portals as you hack them and see which players are associated with it. 
  2. Linking - When I was a lone wolf I thought it was cool to try to create these really long impressive links. I even posted here some of those. But remember, links can not intersect, so by creating this giant link or field that looks good on the Intel Map, you may be screwing other players. Remember you get the same amount of AP for a link regardless of the distance, and you get the same amount of AP for a field no matter how large. 
  3. Upgrading Resonators- At face value it may look like you're doing a good thing by upgrading a portal with either higher level resonators. But that may not always be the case. Higher level agents often create pet portals of a lower level, particularly L4 & L6, to be able to hack L4 & L6 resonators. Altering that can screw with others' plans.
  4. Upgrading Portal Mods - Just like upgrading resonators, putting portal mods on a random portal my interrupt others' plans. Sometimes there is strategic reason for putting one mod versus another on a portal. This is even more important now that the rules about portal mods have been changed. Where before 1 player could place 4 mods on one portal and replace unwanted mods, now an individual player can only place 2 mods and mods can not be removed. 
  5. Communicate - If in doubt get on the COMM and discuss with others. If you are not part of a local group find one. Most places will have some level of a local group. The may have private communication channels beyond the COMM and you can be in the loop on what is going on in your area. But there is nothing wrong with getting on the COMM, in the Faction channel and contacting someone who "owns" a portal and saying, "I pass by ___ portal regularly and wanted to know if you minded me upgrading it." 
So just show a little courtesy to your fellow players and keep the game enjoyable for everyone.

My Wishlist for Future Ingress Development

Over the past 8 months or so there have been many upgrades and enhancements to not only the game but to the user experience. I'm sure our friends at Niantic have some great enhancements to come. Here's my pie in the sky list of what I'd like to see in some form or another.

Greater Number of Items in Inventory

2000 items seems like a lot, but like many of you I am hitting my inventory cap several times a week. I would like to be able to have more items at my disposal. Now, I don't think I necessarily need more at any given time, but I think it would be nice to have more items in a cache. The trade off could be that once you put something in your cache it would not be available again to you for 4-5 days. 

Greater Functionality from the Intel Map

Well first lets say I've been really disappointed with the functionality of the Intel Map. One of Google's strengths has always been Google Maps. So I was expecting more. 

I'd like to be able to search for portals with multiple criteria. For example I'd like to only be able to see blue, L7 & 8 portals with links in a certain radius of a given location. 

I would also like to see more game interaction from the Intel Map. When I receive an alert of a portal being under attack I'd like to access my portal keys from my desktop somehow and recharge my resonators. 

I think it would also be great if we could access our inventory from the Intel Map including being able to drop and recycle items.

I would also like to have the ability to redeem codes again through the Intel Map like we use to be able to. 

Portal Invisibility 

Imagine a portal mad where you can make a portal invisible to an individual enemy. So you have a pesky enemy agent when you deploy this mod you can enter a players agent name and the portal will not be visible to them. But a portal equipped with this mod wouldn't be available to be linked to other portals.

Instantly Create a Portal of a Certain Level

When you deploy to a neutral portal you select what level portal you create and the correct resonators are deployed instantly to make that portal. The same rules apply so an individual can not create a L8 portal. But say I want to create a L4 portal I just select a create L4 portal button and it is done. 

Instant Portal

Another cool item the game could add that could be even more rare than Jarvis/ADA is an Item where you can instantly create a portal without any approval needed. Now if you give it an inappropriate name or make it inaccessible to the public, then it would be removed. 

Offensive Weapons

Think of how awesome it would be to have a weapon which can directly used against enemy players. You can fire this weapon at an enemy who is physically in proximity to you and disable their scanner for some period of time say half an hour to an hour.

Another offensive weapon idea would to have a weapon that has a range of a certain distance and when an enemy passes within its range it would fire at them and do damage to their XM levels. These weapons wouldn't appear on an enemy's scanner or Intel Map, but could be destroyed with an XMP of proper level in proper range.

Scanner Mods

I mentioned some mods which attack individual players, so to keep some balance we could offer some scanner mods. Like a scanner shield. The shield could mitigate damage done by offensive weapons, but the trade off would be it would lessen the range/ power of your XMPs or Offensive weapons.

Another scanner mod would be one which would be interesting would be a mod which you can increase your likelihood of obtaining a certain type of item (resonators, bursters, cubes, keys) but not exclusively. If you had this mod set up to increase your chance of getting XMPs you would still get other items just at a proportionally lesser amount.

Care Packages

When I was a leveling player I had some L8 agents help me out by dropping items for me. Some of these larger drops could take half an hour or more to transfer items. What I'd like to see is a way to build into a package. So I can in one package transfer hundreds of items if I wanted. It could be as easy as selecting an item then, selecting the quantity you want to add to the package. Then the intended recipient could just pick up the one care package.

This doing things in bulk could also apply to recycling items too. So you could instantly recycle say all of your L4 XMPs at one time.

Portal Transport

Say I have some items I want to transfer to another player. If I am at one portal and the other player is at a different portal then, I can select what portal I want to send items too. The portals must both be under control of the same faction and items not picked up within a short period of time would decay.