Thursday, June 06, 2013

Ingress: Portal Building, Field Building, Farm Building, Team Building

You start out by building portals. You deploy resonators, you fill up the slots, and you build portals. Then you go on to build fields. And I still get major kick out of it. The geometry of building fields gets me still. Then you go on to build farms. You can build up to a Level 5 farm on your own. You need two L8 agents to build a L6 farm, three for a L7. And the grand daddy of all are L8 farms: you need 8 Level 8 agents for that. Agents loaded with L8 bursters are just waiting to explode.

And farm building is great fun. L8 farms are probably the best part of hitting L8 as an agent in the game. Many agents go on to build home territories. They lay claim to maybe 20 portals. If you flip them, they will flip it right back.

What's after farm building? I think the answer is team building. There are only two global teams possible. Those who ask for a local count of mind units have not read the Ingress storyline. But there are countless local teams. There's room for as many teams as you might wish to create. One city can hope to have many teams. Just like there is no limit to how many portals you can submit, it is for you to decide if you want to build a team.

I am glad to have reached that stage in the game where I am taking active steps towards building what I hope will be the top Resistance team in New York City. My team really starts taking off when there are at least three times more people playing the game. Ideally my team will thrive best when the game is fully public. Anyone can get Gmail today. Anyone should be able to start playing Ingress. There are about five members of timtomhuze who have taken to expressing hostility to me personally on the local faction chat. They don't like the idea of me building a team. Guess what! It is not like I need your permission. This is not your game I am playing.

Ingress is not a complex game. It should not be turned into a complex game. A L8 agent should not be too much more powerful than a L1 agent. I love Niantic's goal of having a billion people play the game. Email is not just pigeons carrying letters. Ingress is not just Capture The Flag.

This is not a complex game. The only complexity comes from how big a team you can build. Complex farming and attack events are possible when you have a large team. But large is not how many people you manage to get on your G+ group. Large is how many people you can get to show up for your events. Last I checked the two teams in NYC hovered at about a dozen people showing up at any one time. This game is early stages. I look forward to building my team: The Squad.
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