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The megafield is finally down.    I guessed wrong – the greens were active in Baja California and went off-roading to Coco’s corner and took the anchor.    And it went down on a day that I found myself without too much to do.    I used the time to create fields across the Sierra Highway area of Canyon Country, and found it all knocked down later that night.    Even with that, Santa Clarita is pretty much 90% blue, with Canyon Country approaching 100%.

Canyon Country, 10 am today.

Canyon Country, 10 am today.

Burbank is a different story, being very much in play although blue dominated.    The field falling down must have resulted in a lot of green activity, because when I reached downtown this morning, most of the blue fields were gone.    I rebuilt what I could in a limited time, with backup from teammates.

And Burbank

And Burbank

I’m feeling a bit more calm about the whole thing – this is a game, even if it’s a game that pretends you’re a secret agent in a bitter hidden war.   Remember to enjoy the experience and not to get too caught up in the bitterness.    One person can make a big difference here, but the biggest thing to do is keep plugging away.    With enough players on your team contributing, you can overcome anything thrown at you.   And of course, the ones you notice the most are the green guys who are the most active, so don’t let that bother you.

I finally get what this crazy shard game is all about as well.    The best explanation for it is……. air hockey.    With multiple pucks.

These are the goals, to either defend, or get a shard into.

These are the goals, to either defend, or get a shard into.

The Enlightened can score in Taiwan.    The Resistance can score in Santa Monica, California.

OK – but how can you score ?     Also on the big board are the actual “pucks”, called shards in Ingress.    If a link exists from the shard portal, to the goal, then you score.    It has to exist at a time specified for shard movement, which is random and not known to the player community.

That is a shard.

That is a shard.

The shards look like a differently-colored portal on the Intel map.   Each team can capture the shards, since they are portals as well.    This one is currently owned by the Enlightened.

Enlightened have this shard.

Enlightened have this shard.

Whatever this Filoli Estate is in Redwood City is covered by the Enlightened; shard is held by them, and even blocked (?!) on its way towards Taiwan.    Resistance would have to capture that portal then link southward, and given how green the area is I’m assuming that would be a tall order.    Most of those unlinked portals are full strength and all 7 and 8 level resonators.

 

This is further confirmed via the nice little tracker someone built.

A mere 500 odd kilometers from Santa Monica.

A mere 500 odd kilometers from Santa Monica.

So each Air Hockey shot takes place at a random time, and when a shot happens, depending on which team owns and links to a portal, the shard will move closer to that teams portal.    Depending on the links, of course, and any blocking activity that the other team has thrown.    So it’s very much a war for the shards, to say the least.

What if a shot happens to the shard in my example above ?    Nothing.   Enlightened have possession of the shard, and can’t move it closer to Taiwan so it will stay put.   Presumably, someone has the strategy of clearing the way for a link across the Pacific Ocean, will then remove the blocking link, and make the transoceanic link to move the shard to Taiwan.

Resistance strategy on this shard would be something like getting a team in to capture the portal pretty close to a guessed time for shard movement, and link southward to a more friendly area.    Or whereever.

This is why keys to Santa Monica’s “The Big Project” portal are in demand right now.    People are ferrying these keys across the country and the world, in an effort to be able to link whatever portal to Santa Monica.    If the link exists at the time of movement, then it’s a score for the Resistance.     Linking this portal to the Big Project in Santa Monica would be a score.

The scale and dedication at which this game is played boggles my mind.     Using a private plane or a helicopter to capture portals.    Driving (or flying!) to another city to ferry keys around.    These people make me look like a filthy casual.

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