There was a nasty traffic jam last night on the I-5 freeway northbound.    Three separate car accidents in the slick road conditions caused by a light rain.    The commute home was very slow and everyone was very annoyed.

But not me.

The freeway is covered with XM, ie, the “mana” for the game Ingress.    However, Ingress has a speedlock feature requiring you to move at a slow speed (let’s call it < 20mph) for your game actions to work.   This is irritating because the perfect recharge activity is when you’re moving gently down the freeway, but certainly faster than 10-20mph.    You can collect enough XM to fill the scanner in a few miles, but you can’t use it.    Recharging will be locked due to travelling too fast, aka “the speedlock”.

Not a real medal.   Funny anyway.

Not a real medal. Funny anyway.

Yesterday, I emptied the scanner maybe 13 times as we crawled northward on the freeway.

What I’ve settled into is stopping along the drive home at two different spots.    These are easy on, easy off freeway exits.   I park the car and wait for the speedlock to disappear, then I empty the scanner.   Instant recharge badge points, and keeping the teams portals from decaying, or being vulnerable to attack.    Time wasted : Maybe 3 minutes.

I’ve also gotten a better handle on what items to keep, and which to simply recycle quickly.    Level 3 and lower weapons get no consideration, they get recycled quickly.   Level 4 and lower resonators, if too many accumulate, also disappear.  Level 5 resonators fill up quickly and get killed too.    Recycling does give some XM, but not nearly as much as a mid-level power cube.

I used my first ADA flipper today too.    I found a tough portal in a green farm, with two AXA shields on it.   That would be hard to take down, what with the other nearby portals zapping me as hard as they can.   But one ADA and the portal is mine, all the links break, and I’m that much closer to killing the farm.   (And I did kill the farm before lunchtime was over – barely.)

An ADA Refactor, aka a "Flip Card".

An ADA Refactor, aka a “Flip Card”.

Being more careful with the gear allows me to hoard more of my favorite things – Keys.   Shields.    Power cubes.     I never seem to have much issue with weapons, any portal I attack will always fall.    I’ve yet to not have resonators to fill up a portal as I desired.    And power cubes can almost always be used – the team’s portals always need charging.

It’s a different ball game regarding teamwork in this game.    You have your personal levels and badges and whatnot.   But the main point of the game, the global score, is absolutely a team thing.    I always build off of others links.    I upgrade their portals, and they do the same with mine.    Equipment can be passed along between players as needed, and it only makes sense to do so.    If I manage to run into someone needing things, I’m sure I’ll pass them on.


Quite a social game, and yet this rather antisocial guy is thriving in it.