Operation Connect Burbank

Monday, 8/17/15

I had posted that I wanted to think bigger.   So I did.    What if I wanted to field from Burbank to the Santa Clarita Valley ?

I evaluated several lanes and found some routes where I could cover the mountains, which isn’t too impressive.   Then I thought, what about fielding the SCV ?    They did it this weekend.    But from Burbank perhaps……

A seven layer cake.

A seven layer cake.

Anchors are : 1) Newhall Ranch and the 5 freeway.   2) The top of Villa Cabrini, in Burbank.    This line snakes its way through Sylmar to the hills of Burbank, after passing straight through Newhall and just to the west of “Bluehall”, the downtown area of Newhall with a hundred portals.   Several friendly links in the way and even more green ones.

The layers are all portals I’m familiar with along the Sierra Highway.   These lines pass pretty much through the mountains down to Burbank, but must pass through a thin piece of Sunland which would need clearing.   Some spots in the SCV would need to be clear too.

On the North side there’s a lot of interference from friendly portals.    These are not durable by any means, and I could even minimize it by skipping two of the lower layers.    Or I could just ask for help from friendlies.

The key requirements are not too hard – minimum of 8 keys for the two anchor portals, plus one for each of the portal layers.   I have most of the Sierra keys already.

The Sierra portals will be very close to the SCV’s biggest baddest agent, and the Newhall Ranch portal will be an easy kill.    So I can’t worry about durability – making the fields, all by themselves, would be a miracle.

So that’s that.    Have to collect keys first, then evaluate how exactly to create the links and how much help I’d need.

Wed, 8/19/15

I farmed keys from the two main anchors today, need to hit them both again.    Sat at one portal, with plenty of time at lunch, and hacked 4x to burnout, then added a heatsink for four additional hacks.   The other portal just got a quick heatsink after one hack due to lack of time.    Hopefully one more round will finish them both.

Got the RESWUE tool working finally, and it counts 23 portals to kill to make the links – but 10 of those are friendlies.    Two green portals are pretty remote.    But I’m not in much of a hurry, this is very much a “Let’s see what happens” kind of an operation anyway.

Thurs, 8/20/15

The anchors chosen avoid Bluehall to the left (Often L8 blue with links) and Magic Mountain to the right (Usually Green and linked).   I’ve farmed all the keys strictly necessary for the op, but might need more in case of informed opposition.    The enemy players did me a favor and wiped out blue fields in the way.    The only real question now is, when do I do this ?

It’s a minimum 20 minute drive from Burbank up to the SCV, and clearing the “left lane” will take a while.   Probably best to have someone do that for me.    The “right lane”won’t take too long to clear.    The throw order is planned –

  1. Sierra Highway to Burbank.
  2. Field all these triangles for “skinny fields”
  3. Newhall Ranch to Burbank
  4. Newhall Ranch 7 times to Sierra for the seven layer cake.

It’ll be important to move quickly from Sierra over to Newhall Ranch.   Guaranteed that this field will be noticed quickly and smashed, but I at least want to see it thrown.    So I guess the question is, can I do this with just two people ?

Sat 8/22/15

With some experienced hands giving a completion time of 45 minutes, I think it’s time to go.   Set a time for the op of 0700 Tues 8/25/15.   I can be late into work that morning.

I am totally blown away at all the people who want to help.    Nobody has said ANYTHING about taking a piece of the field, and several have said they can’t because they cannot be present in the area.    Hopefully some will be with me for the final throws.

I have two agents traveling north from Burbank for the Sylmar/Sunland area; one guy killing on his way to work, early; and SCV agents to knock out additional links in the SCV.   Estimated time to complete is 30-45 minutes for blockers and total of 1 hour for the fielding.

Thank God I drove from Sierra Highway to Newhall Ranch today.   The route I chose has a very long time to reach the Old Road.   Much quicker jumping on the freeway for one exit.

Strangely enough, one of my team just threw a MASSIVE set of blocking links.   If those stay up until Tuesday morning……. But he’s assured me that he can Jarvis them easy if they stay up that long.

Ummm - dude. Did you not study the links needed for Tuesday ?

Someone did not study the links needed for Tuesday.

Killed one blocker as I was running errands in the morning.   I left a friendly portal alone as I assume Jarvising will be seen and reacted to by the opposition.   I was in the Newhall area at night and ran into hours of operation problems trying to kill some other blockers early.    Now I know, at least.

Sun 8/23/15

The family went to the park for a group activity.   And I cleared three blocking links wandering around – very helpful, as they are not easy access links in a car.    I resist the temptation to fiddle around with RESWUE as I’m sure I’m annoying everyone who is signed up to help.    The tool pushes an alert each time I make a change, so phones are buzzing and beeping.

Mon 8/24/15 AM

All blocking links in existence are assigned to agents, everyone swears they’ll take care of them all.    An agent not in the op, bless him, gave us an additional three portals to jarvis tomorrow.

I drove most of the route this morning, that I’ll need to take tomorrow.   It’s straightforward.    I get to clear the northern blocking links, and everything else depends on the rest of the team following through.    I don’t think I could be more prepared.

The Bad Man appeared at noon, and I stared at the intel map.   “Come on.   Kill that portal” – hoping he would take care of some jarvises for me.   One went down.  Then two.   Nice !   In the meantime the Bluehall area is suddenly clear between Green & Blue agents dualling.   That’s 5 portals less to jarvis.   Good luck keeps on coming !

Afternoon

Augh !    The greens threw a deadly bunch of blocking links in Lakeview Terrace !   I had nobody assigned to take care of that area.    Fortunately, I was able to get one more helper for that area, and he’ll check it tomorrow morning.   I killed these links on my way home.

Effective blocks.

Effective blocks.

 

Op Time

I was up and ready early, sitting at the computer.   East side was clear – including Lakeview Terrace – and no new blockers had emerged.    I got my daughter out of bed while passing out final assignments and working with my team.   She ate breakfast while my Sylmar guy killed portal after portal.    She brushed her teeth and got ready for school while I handed off the intel duties to another agent.   My job got a bit harder – a certain someone overslept so I had to kill their portals too.

The Bad Man was active in the SCV at 5 am, and was a constant worry as I cleared blockers, then created the skinny fields.    Is he going to notice ?   And stop me ?    Turns out, the answer was no.

The Connect Burbank field. (I should have used a better code name I guess.)

The Connect Burbank field. (I should have used a better code name I guess.)

This time I was not an emotional wreck while making the field – it was just fun, and a challenge, and an adrenaline rush all linked in together.    The butterflies didn’t hit until I got to the first anchor to throw from, and I worked through the connection issues and GPS loss that always happens in a canyon like the Sierra Highway.   I got stuck in traffic on the way to Newhall Ranch Road (all the muggles on their way to work.   Don’t they know I’m trying to keep them safe ?) and was almost to the anchor when the final problem emerged.

I was lucky that a Sylmar contact messaged me and asked me what on Earth I was doing.   Because we got a last minute blocker in Sylmar just as I was ready to make the layers.    I tried to wait patiently, and in 15 minutes Sylmar Guy came through, and the fields were thrown at 8:45 AM.    Two agents even made it to Newhall Ranch and got their own layers.

19 fields.   Seven layered cake.  1,120,298 MU from the main fields and another 10k or so from the skinny fields.    2 running Intel, 7 agents total, and three agents getting a “piece of the cake”.    The only thing that would have made it better would be surviving to checkpoint @ 10 AM, but as expected that didn’t happen.   What surprised me was The Bad Man slept through the whole thing, and it was taken down from Burbank instead, a mere 2 minutes before I arrived in Downtown again and could have recharged.

Remnants of the field. Since they were layered, each of these triangles stays empty now that the Burbank anchor is gone.

Remnants of the field. Since they were layered, each of these triangles stays empty now that the Burbank anchor is gone.

That was fun !

Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t use Jarvises.    If you have to use “too many”, your field is probably in the wrong spot.
  2. Spend more time planning.    Every Jarvis could ruin somebody’s day, and it helps to reach out to them.   Reaching out is tricky due to fluid situations, but it has to be done.
  3. Opsec is important, but I appear to have erred on the side of too much opsec.
  4. I now have more contacts across the Resistance for coordination.   Yay !
  5. Better to do ops at night, for many reasons.   This means I need to be “The Intel Guy” as I almost never get out at night.    Unlikely to get an Onyx Illuminator.
  6. Completion time, first estimated at 1 hour, stretched to 1 and 45 minutes.    Isn’t that the case with everything though ?

 

The Weekend’s BAF actions

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We had a massive layered field in Chino over the weekend –

Chino Fields

Chino Fields

12 agents.   91 jarvises.   And over 1.9 million MU.

The greens did not stay silent either – they attempted a massive BAF across the San Fernando valley.   I didn’t get all the details, but the field apparently got built, but missed the checkpoints thanks to night owl Resistance agents.    They even re-threw it, but it still missed the second time.

I have to get out of the house one of these nights and do some social fielding/farming with other agents.   It sounds like fun.   But it would be a bit difficult to explain to the wife, who never gets past “So you’re playing a game” before she loses interest.   Instead, I stay closer to the initial Ingress ideal of “Play the game as you’re out and about”.

Social-Recycling-Recharge

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As the months go by, I find that I’m a much more social gamer than I ever have been.   Ingress brings that out in me, strangely enough.

The game was clearly designed to make us all feel like we’re secret agents, and I certainly had that feeling at first.    But I keep running into people.    I spend break times with the Downtown Burbank crew, and we yap about things both in game and out.     And the more time goes by the more I’m getting to know all these people, even if we only chat via the Hangouts.    No more secret agent, instead, we’re teams of people fighting in the middle of a sea of civilians.

Not everybody wants to be friendly.    As I’m driving past, a new Burbank green agent took my portal.    Turns out, it’s the same guy who killed the “Fly Burbank” field I had built last week, so I decided to stop and say hi.    I pulled up and parked, and got out of the car, blowing up all his resos as I did so.

Then I spotted him.    He’s driving a car and he’s blocking the parking lot to the church, by being stopped curbside but in the driveway.    I sit down on a block wall nearby and try to make eye contact.   And I send him a message in comms.    He had to have seen me, especially since I waved, but he just drove off and didn’t say a thing.     That’s the way it goes.

***********************************************

Now I’m literally drowning in gear.     With my newly acquired habit of “Glyph all the things !” I acquire so much stuff that it’s unreal.   I think about the ideas I had in the past of making sure enemy agents used their gear, and I laugh.    We all have all the gear that we want, especially with people constantly socializing at farms.

I now keep just a few resos, only L7 and L8 bursters, and the myriad mods that come out.   Power cubes are a different beast – I always have more of them than I need, and I thought, today I’ll just burn some up by recharging.    It was almost impossible to use them effectively.    The gear glut is really making things grindy.   Recycle order is now :

  1. Bursters.
  2. Resos
  3. Link Amps
  4. Keys

The problem being, it looks like I’ll be recycling mods next, and after that…….. all I’ve got left is power cubes.

*************************************************

I’ve also made an interesting observation about recharging.    Portals lose 15% of their charge per day.   I’m pretty sure that the second decay, third, etc, are all on a predictable schedule like “2 am every day”.    But the first one isn’t.    It starts to decay at some random time each day, and then the timer (presumably) ensures decay every 24 hours.

So if any reso on a portal is at full charge, it will start to decay at some point.   The median should be 12 hours, not 24.    So the best possible state for a portal is just a hair under 100%; therefore my recharges start off with anything highly drained, and then move on to anything with one day of decay.

Yeah, I’ve gotten pretty into this game, haven’t I ?

Gaming update 8/21/15

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Even though most of my gaming time (and other time!) is spent Ingressing, I’m still continuing with Marvel Heroes.    You can be forgiven if you’ve forgotten that, since the Ingress posts have crowded that out of the blog.

But I’m about $40 into the game now – I’ve got the three heroes unlocked and at level 60 (Hulk, Cap, and Cyclops) and I went ahead and purchased the Fantastic Four during their sale.     The sale coincided with the opening weekend for the movie, which the chatter says was REALLY BAD, so I haven’t seen it.

Thing is now at level 52 and is another tank type of play like the Hulk.    My favorite power of his is the Stretch Teammate power – he takes Reed and swings him around in a bunch of circles, and eats up enemy health at a rapid rate when doing it.    Last night, I got to 300 Odin Marks again and bought a legendary for Invisible Woman, (Level 12) who I’m finding pretty fun to play – ranged and weakening is her power style.

Human Torch is not that much fun yet – Too squishy – but I’ve got him, and Plastic Man aka Reed will be a lot of fun to level up.    But first would be grinding Odin Marks to get them their legendaries.

On the Ingress front, it’s much the same old, same old.   Badges are advancing –

State of Levelling

State of Levelling

Now with a new platinum badge (Translator, for Glyphing), and having progressed Hacking to silver.     1500 more enemy resos to destroy and I have no more bronze.   The missing gold will certainly be filled in with the Mind Controller badge (fields) – only another 125 to go.

In the unofficial badge category, I’m moving forward on having a double onyx recharger.   Most of yall hide your stats so I can never tell who’s managed to do things like this, but Burbank has one ENL agent with a quintuple Onyx – 125 million recharged.    Holy Moly.   The other Onyx that many people have is the Illuminator (MU captured), and which mine is slowly moving forward – 387k at the moment, 1 million needed for platinum.    That’s what, 120 fields of 5k points, which is the highest I usually make.   I don’t see that one changing anytime soon.

But fielding is happening all the time.  Think I’ll go do some more again.

Looking nice and blue right now.

Looking nice and blue right now.

Stealth Mode, and Big @$$ Fields

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I took my afternoon Ingress walk to upgrade portals, when I saw him.    He had the Ingress Pose.     Head 75 degree angle pointed straight at his phone – not typing – standing still and looking around.    Up and looking at buildings.    Down and looking at the phone.    Has to be an agent.   But this is nothing new, I keep seeing people who are not actually agents a lot.

Then the bursters went off.

I walked right past him with my phone in my pocket, and stopped around the corner of the building.   I looked back through the bushes, and sure enough, he’s still standing right there.   Right on top of the portal.    Firing bursters.

For once, I made the agent, and he didn’t make me.    Today I am a stealth specialist.   Especially since I look nothing like every other agent I’ve ever met.   Details will not be disclosed :) .

I recharged on him for awhile and walked away, and I don’t know what he did next.    Walked home ?    Just headed back to his car ?    Spotted me as I rethrew fields and farmed keys ?   No additional sightings in the scanner happened.    Anyway, doesn’t matter, because while I’ve seen him in the game before, I don’t think he’s a very active player.

Compare that with Burbank’s two most prolific agents, both Enlightened, both Level 16.   The one guy is on the scanner all day, blowing things up.    If I was retired, that’s what I’d do, but I’m not.   I take walks during the day, and use early mornings when I can.

So that’s two agents I’ve spotted without them spotting me, while a large number of enemy agents know me.   And a handful of friendlies.    Still need to meet two specifically, the other Burbank guy, and “The Bad Man”.    One of these days.

Other things also happened over the weekend –

The Crying Blue Toad.

The Crying Blue Toad.

This guy covered the SCV for about 3 checkpoints.   Around 500k MU !

The In Between Field

The In Between Field

A nice three layered field between the SCV and the San Fernando Valley.   About 600k MU.

And a Chatsworth field

And a Chatsworth field

Brought about 180k MU for the Resistance.

It’s not all good news.   I’m not getting out to field most of this empty area, so DT Burbank is pretty empty, and Burbank is pretty green today.

I'd rather it was fielded blue.

I’d rather it was fielded blue.

Level 12

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I started off the day reflecting about how excited I got, creating a smallish field yesterday.   It’s the biggest one I’ve ever made, but 12.9k is actually not that big.   Biggest one I’ve ever seen over Burbank though, which is a nice pride point.    But anyway, I’ll have to think bigger next time, and at least now I have some practice.

Then I pushed for AP and hit Level 12 by helping with refielding DT Burbank.

After refielding.   I always forget to take a shot of the "Before".

After refielding. I always forget to take a shot of the “Before”.

Apparently this is the area to level, and the pattern is established.    Anywhere from 10 regular agents, along with up to 10 travelers, get together and field and defend the Downtown Burbank area.    There are so many of us it could actually become a competitive thing.

And many nights, anywhere from 1 – 6 green agents come through and blow things up to various degrees.    Sometimes they just poke a few holes, and sometimes literally everything is gone.    I’ve gotten used to the rhythm at this point, although my goal would always be to keep it blue.    And the AP continues to come fast and furious, so it’s hard to complain too much.

The most valuable things are keys.   Gear ?   It is to laugh.    I have tons of gear all the time, but keys drop around 80% of the time from a portal and according to the confused “You only have a chance at a key if it is not in your inventory, but on the virtual ground doesn’t count, nor does stuffing it in a capsule” rule.    Combine this stupid rule with the need to keep keys in your inventory to recharge and you’ll find yourself juggling them in a capsule, especially in an active area like DT Burbank.

Level 13 is just under 4 million AP away, which should be a long time – from 8.4 million to 12 million.   In other words, if I keep this activity level up, I’d probably hit it around Halloween.   But I need another gold badge.

Gold badge candidates, in order of likelihood :

  • Mind Controller – Fields – 303 needed
  • Explorer – Unique hacks – 404 needed
  • Pioneer – Unique captures – 336 needed
  • Connector – Links – 2,500 needed, only halfway
  • Liberator – Captures – not even half way.
  • Builder – Resos deployed – just barely have silver !

So looking at the above, I probably have nothing to worry about.    My favorite activity remains fielding, although I’m consciously trying to get uniques too, so I should be good for the level.

I’m doing my part to encourage new agents to level up and get out there as well, which is critical to long term success.   What I really need to do is write up more newbie guides.

Resist On !

Resist On !

 

Operation Fly Burbank

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Monday Afternoon.

This was a fun field to sneak in on the Burbank greenies :

Fielding Big in Burbank

Fielding Big in Burbank

A player who hits things mostly in the Golf Course area of Burbank – “Golf Course Guy” – took some portals and created two sides of that triangle.   One link was a very deep throw, all the way past BWP on Magnolia Blvd.

And I looked at the link that would be needed and realized – the only thing in the way are green links.   If I knock out all the blockers, I can complete that triangle.   And it doesn’t field over any portals that are usually blue, or any usual blue fielding areas.    So why not, let’s try and make it happen.

A trip to the Corner Bakery and Barnes and Noble was first.   I got the cold clammy chill of dread when I realized there was a green agent inside of the Corner Bakery – he took it back immediately from me, after I claimed it.   No matter – he didn’t end up making any blocks.     Second, a trip to the Starbucks mural got rid of all the eastern blocking links.    A final trip to an industrial street got me some uniques and the final kill needed, and then I shot the field.    I would have thought it would be bigger, but 2700 MU is not bad anyway.

The field was killed sometime that night.

Tuesday Afternoon

Data Points :

  • I have too many bursters.   I’m giving them away but I still have a lot.
  • Western Burbank is heavily fielded, and this is not something that makes me happy.   What can I do about it ?
  • The greenies left up one of the long links from yesterday, preventing them from making blocks and giving me the opportunity to refield this thing.

I take a second look at the field from yesterday, and think a little bigger.    I look a little higher, at “Golf Course Guy’s” links.   Wait, just a second here.

This is a potential three layer cake.

This is a potential three layer cake.   In other words, three overlapping fields.

With the lanes mostly clear due to the little field from yesterday, it sure is possible to complete one leg of the triangle easy.   The second leg is (mostly) already built.   The third leg just requires smashing green portals – they’ve taken too much of the City, so it’s easy to push through and make the links.

One of the defensive oddities of the game is, if both teams are fielding and linking in a particular area, you’ll have a hard time making a big field there.   Why ?   Killing the enemy portals is just a matter of doing it, but killing your factions links is very hard.   You can only Jarvis a couple per agent, usually.    But with the enemy team dominant or completely covering an area, it becomes much easier to push through.

I collect keys after leaving the office.     My pulse is racing; the excitement is driving me crazy.    This looks like a potential 20k MU field, times three.   And I’ve not seen anyone do a big field over Burbank itself before.   I love the idea of surprising my “friendly enemies” and impressing the rest of the Resistance team.

I swear at the VFW portal, which has four shields on it and is therefore immune to being sped up by heatsinks.    After 15 minutes I get one lousy key, giving me a total of two.   The Stough Canyon portal is much nicer – with a very rare heat sink, it gives up four keys in the space of five minutes.

Tuesday Evening

Careful planning is made via the intel map.   Eight portals to kill, and a few keys to grab, and I can field a big chunk of Burbank and surprise the greenies.    One friendly portal to Jarvis, and since it’s mine, good manners says I can just do it.   Operation Fly Burbank is ready for 4 am tomorrow morning.    Checkpoint is at 7 am so I would like to finish close to that time.   I’ll have to see how it goes.

All I’ll need to do is get a few more keys from the VFW.   Stough Canyon I have plenty of keys for.    And the three portals over by the airport look accessible, but I’ve never been to them.  Just need to update the plan when I wake up, in case someone’s fielding overnight.

Looks pretty do-able.

Looks pretty do-able.

I just hope I can reach these portals easily.

I just hope I can reach these portals easily.

Wednesday, 4 am.

Bless that agent who killed several of my target portals.   Also, critically important, he didn’t link them to anything.    Kill count is down to 6, plus the VFW, and the Jarvis.    Time to go and do it.

 Field is now up.

For Burbank it's a megafield.

For Burbank it’s a megafield.

As I drove down the freeway this morning to make it, I was filled with emotion.    A bit surprising, isn’t it – a game inspiring all these feelings.    REO Speedwagon came on my oldies station and I sang at the top of my lungs – “I CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEEEEELING ANYMORRRRRRRRREEEEE”, when I pulled over to start operations.

First blocker to take down was a church, went down quick.   Then I headed over to the Ralphs on Victory and Buena Vista for two portal kills.

Target portals in the middle. Statues "Old Glory" and "Whirlybird"

Target portals in the middle. Statues “Old Glory” and “Whirlybird”

Tough nuts to crack, but there was no question they were going down.   What was surprising was the speedlock introduced suddenly.    One minute I was attacking a portal, and the next I was speedlocked.   Hadn’t drifted or anything.    I spent a tense five minutes trying to recharge random portals before it was working once again, and I killed the two targets.

I parked over by the VFW (one anchor) and took it back, hacked a key, then sprinted full speed across the street.   Time was feeling short; it was around 5:30 already.   Any pretense I had before of being inconspicuous was gone now.   Compass Sidewalk Art portal fell next, and now it was time to Jarvis.   I headed over to San Fernando and Burbank.

After using the Jarvis I killed the green immediately and got back in the car.    Two bums were sleeping in the parking lot – I had to be careful.    I saw the first guy, but the second one could have gotten run over if I wasn’t paying attention.   Thank God for backup cameras.    Back to the VFW and hacked another key in a driveby, then Chandler Blvd to take out another statue.

Full speed sprint from the car to the statue, and the statue back to the car.     I’m overcome with the emotions of hoping I can pull this one off.    I literally have tears in my eyes, as my heart pounds, and the adrenaline courses through me.

One blocker remaining.   I had to remind myself to drive slow, most people are hardly awake at this hour (5:45).     Someone in front of me helped keep me driving slow.   The radio helped a tad, with the Byrds singing “Turn Turn Turn”.    And then the last blocker went down.

Now to the area with the layers.

Wait - what's that ?

Wait – what’s that ?

Someone had been active last night, and captured the neutral portal I was using for the first layer, no problem there.   But they also linked the second portal to a huge cluster of fields south.    Rats.    I’m not going to Jarvis someone’s big bunch of fields just for mine.   But two layers is pretty satisfying anyway.

And there it is.

And there it is.

My estimate was way too high, this is "only" 12 thousand points.

My estimate was way too high, this is “only” 12 thousand points.

I set out on a trail of destruction with multiple goals –

  • Use up all these damned bursters.
  • Cover up the comms showing the field creation.
  • Kill enemy fields before the checkpoint.

7 am came and went, so the fields scored.   The only question that remained was how long they would last.    And finally some guy I don’t know headed up and took the Stough Canyon portal, killing it around 9 am.

Whew !    That was a rush !

Smurf Gangsters

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Too much gear.   It’s a good problem to have.    I put out the call on Hangouts asking if anyone wanted gear.   I gave a local agent 100 bursters.  Then the new guy shows up, and sits down outside of my office.   I pass him 300 of various items, and he heads off to blue-up Downtown Burbank.

Another agent gets together with him and they wander the area.    They fight off enemy agents but aren’t able to make many fields.    I decide to go out and make a few, and the Fearless Leader also heads out.

Next thing I know, the four of us are sitting together on a seat-planter talking Ingress, complaining about various green agents, comparing war stories, and it’s a strange fraternal feeling.    We’re all in this struggle together, trying to do the best we can.   I pass out more gear (I’m just going to generate more soon anyway as I glyph) when Fearless Leader says “Let’s head out”.   I find myself walking a couple of blocks with them, dropping L8 resos.

I imagined us like this –

Ready to prowl the streets

The Outsiders.   Ready to prowl the streets

Or maybe like this.

Or maybe like this.

I headed back to my office first, then the other three meet up with *yet another agent* and got the place pretty well fielded.    A good time was had by all.   I suppose this is the best I can manage, while other (single!) agents tend to get together for beers after Ingressing.

The Happiest Portals on Earth

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Sunday AM

Planning for a family day at Disneyland.    About time – I think we’ve only hit the parks about three times into this year’s annual passes, with all four of us.    The other three (not me) have been about a dozen times.     And this area, of course, is quite the packed area for Ingress as well.     Literally every square inch of Disneyland is a portal.

A target rich environment.

A target rich environment.

I recognize some portals from previous visits, and I want to avoid those.   Instead I hope to hit the ones I have not already – which is more of Disneyland rather than California Adventure.   And I’m aiming to get my next gold badge from the uniques, so this is a perfect idea for an Ingress trip.

  • 1,464 Unique Hacks (2,000 target)
  • 553 Unique Captures (1,000 target)

Previous visits I burned out the phone pretty quickly.    A couple of hours walking around with Ingress running, and poof, all the power was gone.    This time, I’m armed with one of the power banks I’ve purchased.

  • Anker 16000 maH Resistance Badged Battery.   It is taking them a ton more time than they expected, so…..
  • Anker 3000 maH Zolo Battery is being gifted to me.    Well, thanks.   That’s a nice gesture and a smart one for Anker.    Still no delivery date fixed, so……
  • Anker 10000 maH Compact Battery got purchased on sale at Amazon for $22 and is in my pocket right now.    Bought this because…….
  • PNY powerpack of unremembered strength died after using it a mere four times and discharging it once.

Oh – and remembering to keep enough power for phone calls is important.   “We’re off of Space Mountain now, come meet us”.

Sunday/Monday night.   1 AM.

Well, Disney looks different but very little of it was my doing.

Downtown Disney the Farm - and Fielded

Downtown Disney the Farm – and Fielded

Report on the battery is very good.   The thing was charging the phone all day, and I was able to use it as often as I wanted.   And the battery pack hardly discharged.  What it has is four lighted dots.    Four dots = between 75% and 100%.    Three dots = between 50% and 75%.   I managed to kill it from four to three.

Around 3 pm I had a battle with a green agent who was creating long links, over the California Screamin ride.    I picked up about 3 of the 5 portals in the area for unique captures, but the other two were held by the enemy.   I wrecked the resos and they reclaimed it.    I eventually gave up on this one – until it came back to haunt me.

I found Disney getting fielded by the greens around 6:30 pm.   I didn’t understand as I walked back to the trams, what was going on – the City Hall area was under heavy green attack.  I just kept hacking and capturing until suddenly Disney was fielded.   Boo.    But just as quickly, the field went down, from some other blue agent.    And it came up again, smaller, as I’m heading back to the car for sweaters.

At the parking garage, I killed the field – Four portals were being used and I killed three of them and the field.   The fourth portal now, that was a challenge.

The Disney Welcome Sign

The Disney Welcome Sign

Protected by Green, Purple, and Axa shields, this portal was a tough nut to crack.    I didn’t crack it.   It was sitting across the tramway and I could not stand on it to ultrastrike things off, and 5 L8 bursters did not kill anything.   So I gave up, and obviously some other blue agent got it afterwards.    What was interesting was after I gave up killing it, I decided to prevent the greens from linking.

You can take a portal, that prevents the enemy from using it.     Or you can kill a single resonator.     I figured, now is the time to ultrastrike a single reso, then no more links could be established.   But despite standing on top of the reso, and firing multiple Level 1 US, the reso still stood undamaged.    I tried a few L5 US.   Same thing.   And then I gave up and headed back to the family.    My first attempt at ultrastriking a single resonator was a resounding failure.    All that happened were the enemy defenses depleting my meager XM reserves.

The end of day scores are not a failure, however.

  • 1,572 Unique Hacks (+108 for the day)
  • 647 Unique Portals (+94 for the day)
  • Over 11k resos deployed (Builder)
  • Over 7k resos destroyed (Purifier)
  • Just under 8m AP

The ?good? part is we spent little time in Disneyland.   Most of it was California Adventure, and Disney Main Street.    So the next trip should yield a large additional haul of uniques, if we can stay in Disneyland more.

Oh – and the look on my 12 year old’s face as he watched the parades was priceless.   And my (almost!) 15 year old watching the fireworks.    Some things are more important than gaming.   Including the smile on my wife’s face as we watch the kids together.

The Week In Review

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I’ve continued to do a lot of Ingress, had a lot of fun, and haven’t found anything to write about to describe what’s been happening this week.

I am starting to see agents drop off and give up the game, and new agents moving up the ranks and taking their place.   Now, with 4 months in, I’m the experienced agent trying to help out.    I’m not too good at that however – I don’t get to run around at my leisure.   I have to Ingress on my terms, but I did manage to help a guy get to Level 8 this week by giving away gear.

I’m more interested in the idea of cross faction stuff.    Neither Burbank nor SCV, to my knowledge, has any cross faction Hangouts and we really should.   We’re all playing the same game and we keep having to “deal with” each other.   No reason not to be friendly.   I’m not so sure I’m the guy to try and make it happen, but if nothing continues to happen I’ll probably try.

Marvel Heroes has been a strong draw.    I’m grinding the Odin Marks and enjoying the experience.   There’s a few different ways to get them –

  1. Random boxes when you log in.   Daily bonuses are cool.
  2. Daily Midtown / Industry quests.    Each one of these gives a couple of chests with several marks in them, once per day.    You can keep running the quests and get a few more.
  3. Legendary quests.    The title makes you think, “Wow, I’ll bet those are awesome and cool quests !”   No, they aren’t.   They’re boss runs for all the story points in the game.   You can get acheivements as you’re doing them, and 1 or 2 Odin Marks.     But I’m enjoying doing them.

284 Marks and counting.    Once I have 300, I buy the legendary for Cyclops, and start saving again.

 

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