Slice of Chaotic Life

The daily life of a celibate middle-aged man.

Archive for September, 2013

Ingress journal: “Miracle” visitor

Posted by Itlandm on September 28, 2013

A level 8 Agent of the Enlightenment in the eastern part of Norway just happened to go to a wedding here in Kristiansand today. It was probably not his wedding, although for a sufficiently dedicated Agent, any occasion is an Ingress occasion…

He offered to upgrade the portals in Kristiansand while he had some time today, and he did: Approximately two dozen portals all over a 2x2km area. That’s pretty impressive.

For me, this was a rather big thing. At level 6.6, I can only make portals at level 4. That is simply not enough to yield much useful stuff, so I generally don’t bother with even hacking them. At level 8, he can create portals at level 5. But together, by one of us upgrading the portals of the other, we can make them level 6. That is just the right size for me.  So I walked around town for 3 hours, hacking like a hungry man picking fruit.

Indeed, since around the time I turned level 6, Kristiansand has been like a huge strawberry patch that must be watered almost every day, but where only two of the plants give ripe berries with any regularity. You can see how that turns out to be less than motivating if you are doing it just for yourself, and most of the time I am. But today suddenly it was like pretty much the whole garden was full of ripe sweet level 6 strawberries, more than I could eat. It was like a miracle, although in this case a miracle with feet. ^_^

I suppose the Resistance won’t just let this slide – Kristiansand must be shining like a small green sun on the national map now – but that’s part of the game. And at least I got to pick a lot of level 6 resonators and quite a few power cubes as well.

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Ingress journal: Visitors of two colors

Posted by Itlandm on September 27, 2013

On my way through the city after work, I noticed that many of the gray portals in the northern part of Kristiansand had turned green. This is good, because green is my color, that of Enlightenment. (I really disagree with their choice of colors, but that’s beside the point by now.)  Other portals that had lacked some resonators had been filled out. Some of the resonators were level 1, with one of them eventually level 2, as if a brand new player had gained his first level here in Kristiansand. I am not convinced it is a local, though, because there were also higher resonators, up to 5, by another green player. I would have noticed if he used to be active here, so he must have gained his levels elsewhere and just be visiting. The other is probably a friend or family member that has just started.

I upgraded the low-level resonators and was on my way to the bus when the Ingress alert went off. A well-known top-level Resistance member from Rogaland was attacking the three portals at the railway station, and using the highest-level bursters available judging from the radius. This implies that he was probably on a train making a short stop in Kristiansand, and making the most of his time here. I could hurry to catch my bus or get into a one-on-one duel with one of the country’s most accomplished Ingress players who had no doubt stocked up on level 8 bursters and power cubes. Given my knowledge of how long the trains stop in Kristiansand (they change direction so the seats are turned around) I had no chance to delay him long enough. The game favors attackers anyway, more so on higher levels.

He took over the three portals around the railway station and even made a link back to Stavanger. This pleases me, since keys are consumed in the process of making a link. I returned later in the evening and destroyed the link as well as erasing one of the portals to gray, and leaving the two others with a sliver of one resonator each, in case the newbies wanted to give it the final blow.

I guess my practice of leaving some gray portals for the newbies must have given rise to some rumor that I have retired or something. I am baffled that someone as dedicated to the game as him would imagine that I’d just leave a blemish like that on Kristiansand. You cannot take Kristiansand for the Resistance without a moving van. Kristiansand belongs to the Enlightenment, and like waves erase footsteps on the beach, we will wash away any trace of the Resistance unless you make them anew each day.

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Ingress journal: minus three, plus one

Posted by Itlandm on September 15, 2013

I have not seen hide nor hair of the newbies, neither the two green nor the one blue, for a full week now. There are gray portals for them to capture and link, but it’s like they’ve all gone away. However, the other day another green newbie appeared, captured one portal, and stopped. I have no idea why. Was he just traveling through? It was definitely a newbie, because he clustered all the resonators closely to the portal instead of spreading them as widely as possible. That’s a typical newbie error. Also, he only used level 1 resonators, and from around level 4 upward you don’t usually carry those, there’s no reason to and you don’t usually get them by hacking.

I upgraded the portal, as I’ve done with the rest. There are still many gray ones left, and I considered today whether I should claim some of them. But it is kind of nice to not have to walk around for an hour before work and two hours after work just to keep all the portals recharged. In addition to Kristiansand, I have the portals in Mandal, Vigeland, and Grimstad. (Although someone level 7 has stopped by Grimstad and set up a couple portals just lately. There used to be newbies there as well, but they haven’t been active for weeks.)

I can only assume that most people who sign up for the game stop when they realize that they won’t progress fast unless they actually walk around regularly. You probably have to like to use your body to stick with it. Well, that excludes most of the world’s population, I am sure. But it means the game is very rewarding: Not only do you make progress in the game, but you also “level up” in the real world, gaining health benefits and quite possibly a longer life. Science has tentatively concluded that you live an hour longer for each hour you exercise, barring random accidents. If that is the case, those hours ought to be fun hours. Ingress is that for me, but evidently your mileage may vary – literal miles, in this case.

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Ingress journal: Resistance in Kristiansand!

Posted by Itlandm on September 7, 2013

It looks like Kristiansand has got its first native “smurf” (Resistance member, named for the blue color of their portals – we are usually called “frogs” or sometimes “aliens”). The Enlightenment has taken down all the fields over Kristiansand, almost all the links and almost all of the portals as part of our two operations, “Kristiansand by Night” and “Lucky Star”. At this time, before all the portals were back online again, a newbie has appeared and taken control of 3 portals. Why do I think it is a new local player? Because the resonators are all level 1 and there are very few of them, not enough to fully power the portal. This implies that the user probably started today, as a day or two of hacking should give enough resonators. A visitor would have brought with him his resonators, as they follow your scanner (actually your Google account).

Now I am in Kristiansand, to make sure there are no improper links in town. Unfortunately, buses are infrequent on Saturday night, so most likely I will not be back in Mandal until 00:30. Actually, I am not even sure of that: The timetable of the bus company says 23:45, but the app says 22:15. Presumably only one of those is real, and I have to show up for the first in case the second does not go.  To add to the sacrifice, I am coming down with some kind of infection. My head is hurting slightly, my digestion is upset, and my pulse is over 80 instead of 60. I did not feel too bad until I left home, but I would probably have gone anyway. Overall, I’d say Ingress has been great for my health so far.

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