I discovered one additional feature of Ingress this weekend : XM collection.

Well, actually, I knew that XM was present in the game from the first – think “mana”.    You need to collect it to perform most functions in the game, including use of the scanner.    The scanner is, basically, the app.    It goes all snowy if you don’t have enough XM.    But I didn’t consider it too important because my XM bar filled up very quickly.   Then, I found myself in Belmont California.

Here was a place where I’m sitting in one spot most of the time (Easter weekend!) and there wasn’t any XM around my location.    My house is different – the XM just pops up and fills up the scanner fairly quickly, but not here.    Without XM, my scanner didn’t function.    I even took a walk, over some very steep hills, and it was difficult to fill the bar up.    Your XM does not simply regenerate, no matter how long you wait.    You have to move, with the app on, and make sure it’s active in order to fill it up.

I tried surreptitiously starting the app and sitting it in my pocket – since I was taking a group of people around – and hoping it would collect the XM as I drove.   No dice.    I don’t really know why, because I’ve driven a fair amount with the sole game purpose of filling up with XM.    This feature has annoyingly limited use because of the enforced “no freeways” rule.

If I could just sit in traffic and collect XM, I could recharge resonators and help defend something – in theory.    My lowish level stuff might not be able to hold, but I could at least try more.    The way the game is, you can charge some piece of a portal (at level 5 anyway) and you run out of XM.     And once the game detects you’re driving on a freeway, nothing works any longer.   Bah.

I managed to make a few fields while on vacation, but I’m heading home now.   I wonder how long it will take for the ENL to take down the remaining two.

My largest field to date.

My largest field to date.

One more bit of knowledge gained – key farming.    If I hack a portal, the very first time I’ll get a portal key.    All hacks after that, if you still are holding a key, you don’t get one.    Well, what if you want a bunch of keys ?    I sure do.     I need two to connect a triangle to that portal, and a third if I want to recharge it remotely.

The trick is to drop your keys while you hack.     Sure, someone else can come by and pick them up, but hopefully no one is operating in your area at the same time you’re doing this.   And you can limit this type of attack to only portals you find important.   I have several Belmont keys which proved the concept, but I’ll be recycling them soon as I don’t expect to get up here for many months to come.

217k of 300k towards level 6.