Moving your Idle Heroes forward

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After perusing Reddit, and finding bits and pieces of good info, I finally tried different Google searches and came up with a good list of “ratings” for the heroes in Idle Heroes.

According to this listing, I own two God Tier heroes.   Rosa, a Forest Faction support unit, is the best up until 10*.   Queen, mentioned previously, is a God Tier for  10*.    So if I manage to get another Rosa, and upgrade him to 6*, he’s a great addition to the team.   Queen is best held onto and upgraded constantly until 10*.

The rest of my team is mediocre.   Never mind their star levels – they just aren’t moving forward on the campaign, etc.   To get God Tier heroes, the advice is to do the events.  Okay, except the only problem is just how hard the events are to complete.   Current event – supposedly a “good one” – requires an insane amount of materials to complete.    For example, the Miracle event requires 16 5 * heroes.   Three from the easy factions, and two light and dark each.   This means some combination of :

  • Enough shards for 16 heroes
  • 1600 Heroic Scrolls (Assuming 1% / scroll)
  • 32000 Basic scrolls (At .05% /scroll)
  • 54 Prophet Orbs (Assume 15 shards/ orb)
  • 32000 Hearts (Assuming .5% / 10 hearts, no idea what the correct figure is)

My two 5 star hero shards and 10 heroic scrolls and 4 prophet orbs and 100 hearts are not going to get me anywhere.

Plus :

  • 600 chips (or 480 with VIP3).   I have 82.
  • A lot of Tavern quests (Maybe 500 ? ).   I have 7 low, and 2 high ones.

You might think, eh, just spend money.   But it’s not that simple.   Spending hundreds of dollars will not get you more than 2 or 3 God Tier heroes.

So the only thing for me to do is let the game “Idle” for the next week, buy materials, and see what comes up for the next event.

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And now, retirement

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The idea has grown on me.  A game like Ingress really becomes a part of your life.   No matter what you’re doing or where you go, you want to think about scoring the big MU and protecting humanity.   But can you literally do this, forever ?

I think, for my sanity, the answer needs to be no.  Two and a half years of hardcore really is a lot.   Everyone I know bugs me for the amount of messing about with my phone that I do when I’m out.   And I have acquired some pretty bad habits when I’m at work.

I remember when I started playing the game, and just didn’t get it.   No map.   No idea where the portals were.   What is the point of the game anyway ?   And I went out to this park, taken by a player about level 12 or 13, and I fired off my Level 1 bursters and nothing happened.   And I left.   Frustrated.

How does my “professional” career end ?  At the EXACT same park.   With the exact same player killing a portal.    Which I then took away from her (so says the rumor mill, I’ve never met her), fielded and achieved the goal.  Ten days to Onyx Sojourner.   And finally getting Onyx Illuminator.

And my current profile

Looking good on the Cell MU score.

I’m reminded of my first thoughts about the game when I was starting out.   Do just one thing a day to help out the war effort.   Now, this will do very little considering the small playerbase of the game as it has shrunk over the years – but it will do something.   So that’s my goal, and my prediction.   Let’s see if I can manage to stick to it.

But you can’t just abandon your team either – these friends you’ve made along the way.   So I’m still there, to blue up whatever area I can manage, or to help the RES do their thing.

Plus, I should be in time for the Harry Potter game rumored to be coming next !

The Final 100k

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Having gotten the idea, I find myself very happy about the idea of “Retiring” from Ingress.   But first – I need my Onyx Illuminator.

November 6th.

I have been keeping large fields east of Via Princessa Street in Santa Clarita.   I have a couple antagonists knocking them down, including one guy who is very regular about it all.   Every monday, he comes and kills things.   Sure enough, early evening, he killed the layered field I had set up.

Two of the portals are hard to access, with the other(s) inside of Santa Clarita proper.   So I rethrew the field such that, if he knocked it down, I could quickly get to a portal and set it up again.    And this throw pushed me over the edge of 3.9 million MU scored.

Sure enough !   He did exactly what I figured he would.   He came back, killed the field again on his way home.  So after the family got into bed, I sneaked out and threw fields.   In other words, I threw the field twice on the 6th.    3,934k MU is scored.

November 7th

The ENL do not cooperate by giving me easy fields.   Neither does my family – I have to be home and help with homework instead of gallivanting around throwing links.  I throw a little bit in Burbank at lunch.    3,936k total.

November 8th

Having set things up in Burbank, I proceed to throw some scoring fields.   The hills of Burbank are a beautiful blue.

3,946k scored.

November 9th

Burbank ENL disappoint, but I have an hour in the SCV to finally get up north of Bouquet Canyon.   Almost all of Canyon Country and a good chunk of Saugus gets covered.

3,967k scored.

November 10th

I head out to Magic Mountain and do a few things in the SCV.   No big fields are making themselves available.   I’m ready to head home…….. when the key SCV portal, holding up all the fields above, goes down.    My heart’s in my throat as I head to the park; I was just down the street.

Nobody’s there.    The agent jarvised the portal down, and killed a lot of MU worth of fields.   But now…… I ultrastrike all the mods, kill it and rebuild it, start throwing keys, and then the chase is over.

Onyx Illuminator

I’m kind of amused… I get this one before I get Sojourner.    I have 10 days to go.

Now, it’s time to retire.   Be a casual player – if I can, that is.

Idle Heroes

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For the past four months I’ve been playing Idle Heroes.

By itself this is not noteworthy – I am installing and deleting games constantly on the mobile.   But I like this one, and have discovered the points of argument about the game that make it more fun.

It works on the basis of Star Ratings.   Each hero’s power is based on a number of characteristics and for short is shown in a number of stars.   Some heroes can be upgraded – for example, from four to five stars.

One star.  Health, Attack, Defense – the standard stuff. Plus abilities.

To add to it, your hero has a number of levels available to upgrade too, so that it’s possible that a 5 star hero at level 1 can be beaten by enough level 50 1 star heroes.   Add gear and artifacts and the game gets interesting.

A lot of the game revolves around the end game goals, especially after you get past having enough 5 star heroes.   The maximum is 10 stars; but to get them, you have to sacrifice other high level heroes; the highest hero rating you will ever get dropped is a 5 star.

So do I use this 6 star hero to feed my hero and make a 7 star ?    That is one of the fun things about the game.

My current hero list

I have a full roster of 6 star heroes at the moment and trying to move them up.   But only the right ones – each hero is better or worse according to the community.   My favorite is Starlight (7 star!), top left, who is a terror on the solo battlefield of the Aspen Dungeon.   To upgrade her, I need four 5 star heroes and one 6 star hero; they all have to be “Forest” type heroes.   I don’t think I want to use either of my 6 star heroes for that, so I’m hoping to get the right mix of materials that I can make another 6 star and be ready to upgrade her.

Thane (2nd from left) and Faceless are pretty good but are not considered the highest tier heros so they can be sacrificed – just not now.   Need better ones to replace them first.    Gusta (Fire faction) is a not-so-good warrior who is definitely being used up at some point.

The Queen (5th position) is a really good hero.   I have to find the right equipment for her and she gets really useful; she is my most recent addition to the 6 star lineup.   Bonecarver and Honor Guard round out the 6 star list and are both pretty good heroes.

Decisions about what to upgrade are what makes the game hard/interesting/confusing.

The Upgrade screen, aka, “Creation Circle”

I could create a new 6 star hero in Dragonslayer above.   Do I want to feed him to Starlight to upgrade her ?    Not really.   I like the way this guy performs; he’s considered mid tier, but I like him.  I have to have two copies of him at 5 star (check), one specific hero Kargath (check), and any other three Forest heros.   I do have enough, I’m just hesitating.   One more drop could open up other, better heros shown.

The other question mark is OD-1.

Decisions, decisions

This hero is a good one, but requires me to sacrifice four of these guys.

Food ?

The LM hero at the botton is easy.   But extra Honor Guards and Mirage is not so obvious, so I’m waiting on this one as well.

I have a 6 star Honor Guard already, but what I don’t know is if I will want more of them as I go along the upgrade path.   These are hard to get, so I’m hesitating.

At some point, you run out of room on your hero roster and this forces decisions.  Naturally, you can upgrade the amount of room but it costs more and more gems (premium currency) each time.

So this is game you mess with for about 10-15 minutes per day, let your gold and EXP pile up, and gain power based on random and daily drops.   It’s fun.

Game Analogies and Ingress

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Ingress always contains a certain (American) Football analogy.

  • Teams play for a limited time to score as much as possible (Cells)
  • The macro games adds this activity up for a win (Global Score)
  • Everything resets after a few days for another cycle (Seasons ?   Individual games?)
  • Hit and smash a lot.   Just like football.

But I have discovered – to my dismay – that the Poker analogy also fits.

Imagine a line drawn with Many Players, and going to Two Players.    On the two extremes Ingress is Total War, versus a Poker Game.

Ingress is a total war ?

  • Two teams dedicated to complete domination of the other.
  • Destroy the other team’s stuff
  • Not usually personal; just wreck or build.
  • No one person is critical – notwithstanding that the important gameplay is accomplished by all the folks sinking many hours into the game.

And yet, with two players, Ingress gets more head gamish.

  • Goal is to get the other guy to quit.    Sort of.    Then you can have your way with the map.    But it might get boring, thus the “sort of” qualifier.
  • Start by making as much of the map your territory as you can.   The other guy will too.   You both mostly hope the other guy will go away, but he doesn’t.   What next ?
  • Don’t do what the other guy wants you to do.    Well, what is that ?    It varies depending on the personality of the player.    Thus, over time, you have to learn how to read the other guy and divine his “tells”.
  • React as appropriate.   If you frustrate/bore the other guy well enough, he quits.   You win.
  • Don’t forget the nastiest opponent of both teams – Entropy.   Portal decay.

The middle ground between the Poker Game and the Total War is interesting.   Now you have more of a Massively Multiplayer Chess Match going.   Somewhere between putting the most effort to dominate the map, and winning the head game, is a question of balancing these interests most effectively for your team.

Ingressers take great delight in playing against specific enemy agents.   Most of the information we get about what the agents are doing comes from the comms system.   Agent X has captured portal “The Eiffel Tower”.   Agent X has linked “The Eiffel Tower” to “Big Ben”.    Agent X is attacking your portal “The Chunnel”.

Personally I am on the low end of this spectrum – I play more of the game map than “the other guy”, but there are a large number of passionate agents who go out of their way to play something more like poker, and play “the other guy” instead of the game.    Things like :

  • Finding someone’s guardian portal and killing it.
  • Follow your nemesis.   Undo everything they just did.
  • Bricking your nemesis’ favorite portal.

And I get it.    To play the game map, at least to some degree, you do have to play “the other guy”.

I hate playing poker.   To me this is the perfect anti-game, and yet now I realize I am indeed doing that to a certain degree.    I guess this means I’m growing as a gamer.    I still feel a bit dirty about it, to be honest.    So I’d rather play Massively Multiplayer Chess or Total War.

Ingress 2.0 Thoughts

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There’s something about the software tools that Ingress was built with that isn’t sustainable.    So Ingress 2.0 is “coming soon”, probably built with the Unity engine.   And it’s their chance to change up the game a bit.   But there is NO COMMUNICATION – as usual – from Niantic about this.

I thought I’d speculate.

High level goals would include :

  • Keep the things about Ingress 1.0 that everyone loves.
  • Better monetization.    Profitable games continue, others don’t.
  • Remove kludgy things done because of the code previously written.
  • Tweak the key system.

And so, start with Ingress as currently created.

Niantic makes money from

  1. Anomaly Events.    You would want these to continue.
  2. In Game Store.   Needs serious expansion.
  3. Corporate Sponsorships.   I think these should continue.

The corporate sponsorships have to be a great deal for the companies.    I will assume most players are like me, and I have been exposed and gotten curious about multiple brands I had never heard of because of their sponsorships.    I would only stop at 7-Elevens at one point; now I attempt to stop at Circle K’s because of their sponsorship. I am aware of MUFG, AXA, Softbank and Lawson now, where I never would have been without Ingress.   The tiny bit of marketing I know suggests that Ingress is a good penetrator but only hits a very narrow band of people.   That’s a good deal all around as it’s been practiced.

I would revamp the in-game store more in line with the typical “free to play” and Pokemon store.

  • Frackers and Beacons would stay in game.
  • No item store purchases would count towards your inventory limit.   This is the single biggest reason I have bought a paltry $2 worth of stuff.
  • Inventory base would be 2000 items.    All the long term Ingress players have multiple accounts and/or backpack accounts – for additional storage.    So the store should sell additional item slots to help stop “backpacking”.    I would sell them like this :
  • 100 extra slots for $X – this brings the players inventory to 3000, ie, after you buy 10 inventory expanders.    To get 3100 the cost is instead $2X.    3200 is $3X.    Et cetera, either infinitely or to a 5000 item cap.
  • There are almost an unlimited number of ways to slice that pie; my attempt is just an example.    How would you do it, dear reader ?
  • Capsules are fantastically useful but are too small.    I would do away with “capsules as more inventory space”, and instead have them for players to organize items or give them to other players.    Buy a capsule in 50, 100, 200, 300, or 500 slot limits, and do away with free capsules from hacking.
  • Capsules as “Interest Bearers” probably go to whichever bank sponsors the game.   I would consider also a cash shop item that multiplies your interest level.

Having said all this about the cash shop, I think Niantic is treating Ingress now as their development laboratory, and favored hobby.    I doubt they make *a lot* of money from it, it’s more on the lines of “This brought us Pokemon Go our cash cow”.   Again, these things tend to end at some point.

Are more levels needed ?   Probably not.   I don’t think the levels are big draw for most players, and the one expansion from 9-16 was clearly designed so no one would reach it…… and then the game continued long enough that it DID get reached by most players.   That said, it would be simple enough to add 16-32, and then smooth out the progression a bit (as in, reduce the requirement for 16, then make progression linear after 15).

Instead, I would expand the badge system with multipliers.   And then players have a 2x showing inside the badge if they have passed the requirements twice.   Et cetera.    You could do this with the lower tier badges as well, to give people more sense of progression.   I may only have bronze, but I have a 5x bronze Illuminator badge = 25,000 MU scored.   Not enough for silver, but it’s more than bronze.    This would give me personally a 10x Onyx Recharger badge, for instance.

People really want the ability to reorder their badges.   I’d build that in but make it a cash shop purchase.   That, and mission badges.

Additional badge ideas (Obvious, but I wanted to list them) :

  • Portals Neutralized
  • Enemy Links Destroyed
  • Enemy Control Fields Destroyed
  • Enemy MU Killed
  • Portals Filled (As in, deploying the number eight resonator)
  • Portals Maximized (As in, deploying the last LVL 8 resonator)
  • Elevation Change.   How many players walk in the City (trekker), versus who carries their phone and climbs a mountain ?

I would make sure I’ve got the bug fixed that results in “empty fields”.   Make sure you can update the population base for the game as time goes on, since it appears it’s the same as at launch.   It’s really annoying to field a new subdivision with thousands of people and get +1 MU.

Not a whole lot different.   Just a few tidied up pieces.    Let’s see if I’m anywhere close to what Niantic comes up with.

 

Thoughts on Ingress Retirement

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Now having successfully reached 3.75m MU scored, I find myself wondering how long I’ll play “competitive Ingress”.

Oh, sure, you can continue to grind out medals forever.    I look at people who started day 1 and see them without “all Onyx” medals.    But the gap I’d have to cross is huge.    I’m also starting to get tired of that type of gameplay – getting the next goal that you made up.    Keeping up fields and keeping humanity safe, is pretty insanely boring too.    Glyph without end, and charge portals for an hour or more – providing you have enough cubes – and you’ll find yourself bored.

Entropy is a powerful opponent.   Each portal decays 15% per day, thus leading to towns developing by this formula : The more contested the area, the more small fields and spiderwebs built.    The less contested the area, the more portals are overfielded as players try to minimize what they need to recharge.

I tend to pick up the big MU from scoring 10-20k fields multiple times.    This is because you want to have fields stay up over your area – plus the thought being to discourage their destruction by building them up again as fast as possible.     So I’ll put up a field.    Greenie knocks it down.   I put it up again.   Rinse and repeat.   But this gameplay requires you to dash off to strange places and I’m getting sick of it.   So maybe the Onyx Illuminator is the right time to pull back and become a filthy casual.

If I became casual, then Santa Clarita would remain with little change.    It’s a very blue town most times, but a few greenies still challenge for the area.    Burbank’s greenies would probably rejoice to have me quit spreading out from Downtown.

So – the Onyx medal chase includes

  • Sojourner.    336 days active.    This one is an easy pickup.
  • Illuminator – 3.75m scored, the final 250k will come.

Other interesting medals, but still working on Platinum; don’t even think about looking at the Onyx requirements

  • Liberator.   900 portal captures to Platinum.
  • Builder, 8k to go.    Purifier, 30k to go.   Connector, 4k to go.

So here’s hoping that 4m comes during November along with Sojourner.   And then, maybe, just maybe, I can pull back a little or a lot from Ingress.

And Summer Vacation is Over

It’s been an interesting summer vacation for me.   Having stopped planning Big Fields, nobody wants to read the boring stuff.   But I keep moving onwards with it all, and vacation was interesting.

I am **this close** to 3 million MU captured, which would put me 3/4 of the way to the ultimate Ingress medal, Onyx Illuminator.    Somehow, counting up for a mere million points doesn’t sound that bad.    Got my gold Recon badge – the one you get for doing Operation Portal Recon – and also closing in on platinum Liberator, only 1200  portal captures to go for that.

The charging game is what it’s all about.   Charge, charge, and charge.   I am waiting to hear from anyone who wants to let things decay, but until then I keep everything up that I can manage, in this order :

  1. Strategic Portals – the really important ones even if unlinked.
  2. Things holding up fields – because it’s all about fields.
  3. Unlinked portals – every driveby might make it filled out.

And always field with the minimum amount of links (In the SCV that is).    You never know what your teammates are going to do and you roll with it, but the fewer portals we have to charge the more fun it all is.

I had quite the blast over summer vacation – I visited four different spots.

First we hit Monterey CA; a whole Downtown full of uniques.

Second we visited Auburn, CA.   This suburb of Sacramento features old style downtown areas to hit while you wander with your family; campgrounds being encroached upon by suburban sprawl – I was within walking distance of a brand new Target anchor store in a minimall with a portal, and a church featuring four portals; and the Auburn Mine.

This place was fielded over and the scene of an epic battle.

The locals were nice and over comms told me “Enjoy the mine!”.    We then battled while I wandered the museum.    When it was just my boy and I, I didn’t Ingress much – he asks so many questions as we figure out the mining equipment and his little engineer brain goes into overdrive.   The girls however, they look quick and move on, so I was hacking and firing like crazy with them.

When the battle was over I congratulated the ENL.   I was in the mine grounds for four hours.  They fought hard through all of it.   Still, the battle almost always goes to the attacker and I had captured almost all of the mine; two portals remained green and three uncaptured (they of course wiped out most of my captures the next day).   One guy I fought against lost his onyx Guardian and I got another unique.   I felt a little bad but it was clean playing – I had no idea this was a Guardian spot.

If you get a chance, go see the Empire Mine in Auburn.   It was an unexpected gem.

Our third stop was the Russian River and the town of Guerneville, just outside of “Bear Weekend” when the gay community visits in force.   We stayed in the absolute BEST campground – Cassini Ranch, near the hamlet of Duncan Mills.    If you like camping, stay here – the place also features four portals, while Duncan Mills has maybe a dozen.

Heading to our fourth stop I felt cocky.   No problem, I’ll get my portal hacks for my sojourner.   I got a bad feeling as we exited the freeway, headed along a deserted road with no signal whatsoever.  And I arrived at Lake Nacimiento, the lake with no portals and got nervous.

I planned this one out correctly at least.   We were in a boat all day, and as a concession I got the family to agree to “Let Dad go out and Ingress” when the sun went down.    I had spotted a portal on the intel map which was right outside the lake grounds, and it should be capturable.   I thought.

As the sun went down, the radiation interfered with signal, or something like that.   A 10 minute wait yielded no signal and I gave up, half frantic with the thought of losing my sojourner (It will end in December.   Then I’m free.)    But in between spotty internet connections I had noted some additional portals down the road in a direction we hadn’t been.    I headed in that direction.

Only a mile away is a new subdivision being built, with a minimall outside including a grocery store next to a post office – and a post office portal.    Now I’ll be good.   Right ?

Wrong.   No signal.   Again.    I sat and waited, and after forever passed I was positively panicked.    But I finally did get signal (I shall not reveal how), and captured the portal.    On my way back I hit the previously uncaptured portal – after sundown it was easy signal.    I bought groceries and even came back to the camper a hero.

Things look bad for the Resistance in Burbank.    My local that lived nearby moved away.    Starting Tuesday is the first school day, and I’m taking my kids to Burbank every day.   This means no more hitting the town early, or staying late.    Add to that the lower player count and I am pretty discouraged.   I can only do so much during working hours.   But the SCV stays blue, all the time, which is big.

The Game has Changed in Ingress

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I went out today to run an errand around town in the SCV.   I looked on the intel map, and couldn’t find anything that I wanted to do for Ingress.    90% or more of the town is fielded.   The local greens have largely given up – including my nemesis and his wife.   It’s either a strategic move, to bore all of us blues, or they’re just done with the game.

The new opponent we face in Santa Clarita is entropy.   Keeping all these portals charged up and not letting them decay is a challenge.   Farming gear takes on a whole new meaning when you need hundreds of cubes.   Fortunately, I have generally saved and never used the Lawson / Circle K cubes which I have acquired and it doesn’t take too many of these things to fully charge – after eating all the cubes I have in my inventory, that is.

Resonators and weapons get destroyed to clear inventory in the hope of getting more cubes, and keys are used not for their intended purpose but as micro batteries.

I think, this is what victory looks like.

A few greens in the middle, but the exterior is covered.

Now Burbank is another story entirely.    Burbank has continued active greens, including my local nemesis.   They’re getting stronger.    I’m getting more work.   These things all result in a greener Burbank, and I can’t even keep up with Downtown that much anymore.

Just after I refielded those fields between 3rd & Glenoaks.

I find it interesting how victory in one area, keeps me from assisting as much in another.   Less micro fields and more charging to keep the larger fields alive.

All in all, Burbank is dominantly green.

 

1 1/2 Times To 16

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I once thought I would never reach 40 million AP in Ingress.   Hah.

Got almost exactly 60 million.

Now, I’m half again that mark.   Looks like it took around eight months of gameplay.

The only real fun statistical thing to chase is MU.    2.55 million MU are scored, and 3m does not seem that far off.    4m is the Onyx badge.    I think it will/would be fun to count up from 3m to 4m, but I have 450k MU to score first before I’d find that out.

Everything else is just impossibly distant.   Onyx mind controller (Fields) badge is earned at 40,000 fields; I’ve just passed 10,000.    I have many gold badges inching their way to platinum.     Feh – Ingress 2.0 will be here before I onyx all of that stuff.

Blue dominant.

Santa Clarita is pretty firmly in RES control.    It’s a nice feeling.   The caveat being that normal gameplay has restarted today since the Magnus badge is finished.   Determined players on either side can either fill in all that blue, or knock it all down again.    It tends to creep blue slowly, both because that’s my natural game style, and because most other RES agents play that way too.    The greenies in the area fight over their neighborhoods and try to deal with being very outnumbered.

Battleground Area

Downtown Burbank just gets flattened, then blued up, then flattened, then blued up, and even greened up then flattened by the RES then blued up.   Citywide things are much bluer than they have been, which is a nice thing to see.    With a bit more ENL activity it would probably be 80%+ green – except Downtown.   Maybe.

Then again my only contribution to Burbank is Downtown.   And either drawing ENL to the area or just making them sick of flattening it and they head off elsewhere.   But the RES is much bigger than any one agent, and the team does a great job with Burbank all things considered.

I’ve seen multiple new portals in SCV and have hit most of them – and not a single new one in Burbank.   I think it’s slim pickings in Burbank anyway, seems that everything possible is already a portal.    I’ve added many deletion requests to the queue and we’ll see if any of them actually get deleted.    So far, I believe my deletion record is one, for the Cow Sculpture in Glendale in someone’s front yard.   And four new portals exist because of my submissions.

The Ingress lifestyle doesn’t stop.    Real life moves on.    I take my daughter to school every day, meaning that I rarely get a chance to leave at 4 am because of XYZ game reason.   Instead I arrive at work and wait for break time.    Then again, summer is fast approaching….

Most nights – as always – I don’t have the opportunity to run out and field/burn any areas, but I take them as I can.   And I run every errand my wife wants.   She’s figured me out, but she doesn’t seem to mind half as much as she used to.

It probably helps that I’m much more engaged in vacation/getaway planning nowadays.   I actually have ideas about places to go now !    As in portals I want to hit, uniques to collect, downtowns to wander, and weird tourist attractions to visit which just happen to have lots of portals.

Will I reach Onyx Illuminator ?    Or 100m AP ?   Only time will tell.