Slice of Chaotic Life

The daily life of a celibate middle-aged man.

Archive for the ‘Ingress’ Category

You have to wonder…

Posted by Itlandm on April 28, 2016

Today my pulse is around 30 beats higher than normal. This is usually a sign that a noticeable infection is coming on, like a flu or “stomach flu”. And at the same time, for the first time in months, the Smurfs have come to wreak havoc on my portals and even made a long link from the highest point in the town. (Smurfs going out of their cars, how often do you see that?)


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Ingress journal: Blue invasion

Posted by Itlandm on January 11, 2014

Walked 28 km today according to my smartwatch. (29 km according to my smartphone, but I think it exaggerates.) My body is not amused, but I am, so that’s something.

It started last night, with a Resistance agent that seems to have recently moved to Birkeland or Lillesand, somewhere around that. He is level 8, a bit higher than the usual suspects, who are level 7 and 6, judging from their portals. In the evening, he came to Kristiansand and started destroying indiscriminately. Judging from the speed and extent of the destruction, he seemed to have loaded his inventory entirely with bursters and power cubes. I recharged the high-level portals from a distance, but the game is balanced such that point-blanc damage will always win out in an equal contest (or in practice even if the attacker is a level or two lower). There is also a slight delay in reporting the damage, so the defender is at a disadvantage. Still, I had (and still have) lots of level 7 power cubes, so it took him time and power cubes of his own to tear down the portals. For some reason he did not even try to claim them for himself.

Naturally, during the night my new Enlightened allies rebuilt the town. I won’t say that they are vampires and werewolves, but it is a fact that they are usually active in the middle of the night, and there was a bright moon this weekend…

Then the next day, the usual three agents came over together and went on a rampage as well. I suspect this is because Haaland took down their home portals in Birkeland, but it may be just some internal wave of fervor among the Resistance, I see there has also been hectic Blue activity west and north of here. This time, however, I happened to be in the city when they arrived. These actually built portals of their own and even started linking. I followed them and blasted the portals off the map, as is good and proper. Can’t let them get the idea that they can have blue portals in our towns! Now there were already Green agents in the town, I was in contact with them, but they stayed indoors until it was dark before coming out to take over the portals. Vampires? Who knows. I know I have never seen any of them in daylight…

I went home at 20:15, leaving half the town still gray, but two more Enlightened agents arrived around midnight to rebuild the portals and link them up. This is the good part, where you can get thousands of AP quickly, especially from making control fields. Since I no longer need AP, I try to not build portals or link them if there is any hope that my lower-level allies will do so. From what I gathered, everyone went up one level except for one, who was already level 6 and only came close to level 7.  All in all, the local Enlightened group made a lot of progress thanks to the reckless destruction by our Resistance neighbors. Now that one of them is level 6 (well, two of them after I left) and I am level 8, it is easy for us to make L6 portals. We made a string of those in town now, to replace the L5 and L7 which were taken down. L6 is just the right size for the locals, so I don’t mind.

We had the same thing recently when the self-declared genius attacked, although his damage was more limited. This is why I no longer go and tear down Grimstad after I am level 8. I won’t become L9 no matter what I do, since 8 is the highest in the game. But the Blue agents would level up from rebuilding the portals. Unless I have a deal with the local Enlightened so they can take over the portals immediately, I am going to let sleeping smurfs lie.

If the Resistance were hoping to break our spirit or something, they messed up badly. My midnight allies have been absolutely feasting on the AP and are already making plans to expand eastward with their newfound power. But if they were aiming to make an old man’s feet and back hurt, they hit the bullseye. I need a good night’s sleep before I go out to replenish my inventory – it is down from 2000 to 1700 virtual items. ^_^

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Ingress journal: Unnecessary

Posted by Itlandm on January 5, 2014

Yesterday, a self-named genius Agent from the Resistance came to visit Kristiansand. I have my doubts about his or her genius (well, probably his, as most Ingress Agents are male). He was already level 8, the maximum level, but still captured about a dozen portals in downtown Kristiansand.

Why is that not a sign of genius? Well, Kristiansand is a bit of a Green (Enlightened) stronghold lately, with no active Resistance agents and 3-5 Enlightened. There is me, who am also level 8, then two fairly local at level 5 and 4 probably, although that may have changed now. Then there are two from further west, probably, or at least that is where they took their first portals. They are also level 5. I don’t link up my portals anymore, as I don’t need the Action Points. It is not like I will be level 9 no matter what, it stops at 8. They, on the other hand, get a truckload of AP from linking, so they have linked all of Kristiansand, Mandal, and the smaller towns of Vennesla, Nodeland and Vigeland.

Because Kristiansand is surrounded by Enlightened fields, making Resistance portals in the middle of the city does not let you link to anywhere else. That is one of the less than genius things about it. The other is that the up and coming Enlightened players now got to take over the portals and link them again, getting truckloads of AP again, which they would otherwise have to drive for half an hour to get.  So only the Enlightened benefited from this invasion. Minutes after he was gone today, the city was all Green again. Everything he did was unnecessary and worse than unnecessary.

I am almost unnecessary myself now, in the game. Now that the locals are able to take down the portals alone, I am just depriving them of AP by taking them myself. I should really restrict myself to upgrading their portals. As I am the only one who can add L6, L7 and L8 resonators, I am still useful for that at least.

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Ingress journal: Feet and portals

Posted by Itlandm on November 3, 2013

After I got a “smartwatch”, it keeps me informed of how much I walk each day, among other things. It turns out that I need to walk upward of 15 kilometers a day from portal to portal in order to keep my green empire from decaying. The lowest amount of walking is when I am in Kristiansand, where there are a lot of portals in the Wergeland park, around the cathedral and the town plaza. If I traverse this cluster systematically, I get a truckload of XM, enough to recharge a good number of resonators. Unfortunately there are no other clusters nearby, although there is one in another part of downtown, so the optimal harvesting route includes visiting these two alternately. However, I must usually visit a number of other portals to redeploy, since I simply don’t have enough XM to recharge more than the highest level resonators. Otherwise I would have to walk something like 25 kilometers a day.

I did in fact walk 25 kilometers one day. The next day one of my toes was hurting. I don’t think that is a coincidence. It kept getting worse for a couple days. The first day I walked 10 km, the next 5, and then 15 as it started to improve. Today I’ve walked 18 km, and started feeling the pain after around 15. So I can probably not keep walking 25 km a day, fun as that might be. I am simply not that young anymore.

Make no mistake, the reason I preside over dozens and dozens of portals is not that I am high level – it actually gets harder to maintain portals the higher level they are, because higher level resonators take more XM to recharge – but rather, I can do this because of my dedication. You can get to some portals by car, sure, but most aren’t in a place where you can conveniently stop. So unless you’re dedicated enough to walk the distance, you’ll always be short on XM, and there’s not much you can do about it.

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Ingress journal: Blue visitors in Kristiansand

Posted by Itlandm on October 12, 2013

Two blue (Resistance) agents visited Kristiansand today. The stronger of the two tore down many of the most centrally located portals, while the lower-level one built blue portals in their place.  I went to the city and took the portals back, but unfortunately I can only make them level 5, not level 6 as they were. Well, it is hardly a big problem: I have stocked up so much that I have had to delete perfectly usable items in order to continue hacking and get the occasional rare item. Today I got a chance to spend both bursters for attack and resonators for building, so that gives me some room for more hacking. And of course, some AP toward my next and final level.

I suppose if I reach level 8, I will have rather less motivation without the AP, but I don’t see myself suddenly quitting the game if my health keeps up. It is fun, and good exercise. The game now actually counts the distance walked. I am not sure how accurate it is, but it is clearly able to tell walking apart from driving with at least some devices.

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Ingress journal: Weird visitors

Posted by Itlandm on October 5, 2013

So the last couple days two different (?) Resistance agents have visited Mandal and tore down a couple of my portals each time. It is unclear what they try to achieve: Unlike the more famous visitor from Rogaland who stopped by Kristiansand, they have not tried to take over the portals for themselves, much less set up any links or fields. It seems their only concern is to help me gain more AP by rebuilding the portals and links. Which is surprisingly nice of them, if a little strange. With their help, along with the excessive amount of recharging dozens of portals in Kristiansand, I am now level 7.

The reason for my question mark above is that the two of them exhibit exactly the same behavior. They attack the same portals with the same size of bursters, and until just some minutes ago even at similar times of the day. What’s more intriguing is that they follow the same pattern as another Resistance agent which stopped by here a couple months ago. Not sure if it’s the same person with different mobile phones or whether there is some recurring activity in Mandal that attracts visitors. Perhaps one of the local hotels is used for seminars or something. Strange though that only Resistance members attend these. I really doubt there are dedicated Resistance seminars in Mandal – or anywhere, really.

In any case, it livens things up a bit. I am quite happy to be the only active Ingress player on the south coast of Norway, but an occasional visit doesn’t hurt. Perhaps another time I’ll visit them. ^_^

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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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