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The War of Ingress goes onwards, eternal, as expected.      The battlegrounds are changing just a bit, however.

Canyon Country, 11 am Friday

Canyon Country, 11 am Friday

Canyon Country is solidly in the hands of the Resistance nowadays.    I’m told that “back in the day” you could hardly keep blue portals up in this town, but today it’s a different story thanks to the committed blue team.    Half of them *should* be committed according to the Google Hangouts chat that I hear.

Kidding.   It’s a fun group, which I’ve yet to meet up with in real life, and may someday.   Who knows.    In the meantime we trade information and locations to capture and keep everything pretty blue that way.

Downtown Burbank, Friday, 11 am

Downtown Burbank, Friday, 11 am

I got busy over the course of the week, and I’m glad I got this screenshot before the inevitable enemy counterattack.    You should have seen what it looked like Monday, but I wasn’t smart enough to screenshot it.

Now I know – I have readers from both sides of the aisle.    Enlightened, and Resistance, and the first thing I’m doing if I’m an Enlightened player is looking for intelligence when reading this.     It’s…… discouraging, actually.     I’m feeling less free to share all of my thoughts if I find them turned strategically against me.

Instead I find myself thinking about the level of Ingress known as motivation.     The perfect world (For Resistance) is to convince all Enlightened players to stay at home and cover the world.     This will, of course, never happen.    It wouldn’t even be good for the game, because the Resistance would get bored and quit too.    Don’t believe me ?    I finally uninstalled City Domination due to a lack of opponents, and the much better Ingress gameplay.

But you’ll always have opponents, whichever side.    What actions should you take given that fact ?     Well, for one, take actions which DO NOT motivate your oppponents, and DO TAKE actions which motivate your team.     Seeing the problem does not mean its easy to solve.    What exactly are those actions ?    I sure wish I knew.

If you leave the portals in the area alone, this could motivate the enemy to redouble their efforts and expand; or simply to sit still and be content.     If, on the other hand, you continually attack and expand, are you discouraging your opponents by showing them the futility of their fight, or are you motivating them to be the rock unmoved by the floodwaters ?    It probably is an individual thing, and there are so many individuals in the game.

I think I fall back on the war between armies metaphor – the only actions for you to take are to play, a good amount, every day.    Hack some portals, take some, and maybe make some fields.     Don’t do too much or you’re on the thin edge of madness, and burnout.    If you don’t do something, the enemy wins.    The game goes to the team which can continually field the most operatives at the highest activity level over time.

And then there are motivation sappers.    The decline in the quality of the portals in the game is a big one.

Mountasia mini-golf has one fountain, but two portals representing it.    The mural at Alfredo’s Mexican place (an old Taco bell) is two portals in Ingress.     Recently a school mural got placed a second time in the game.    This is happening a lot, and it breaks the immersion for me, to see that on one block we have the Monterey Students High Schooler paintings, as well as on another block.    And to have the Centennial Park represented in the game 5-6 blocks away from its real-world location.

The addition of portals shows no sign of slowing down – it might be speeding up.   I don’t know – I’ve only been playing around 2 1/2 months.     But if your local art mural gets divvied up into four portals in the space of a city block, do you really feel like you’re drawing some otherworldly energy in, to harness for your faction ?    Or are you even more just poking away on your phone ?

The shard game is delivering a major butt-whooping to the Resistance – Today, and apparently for awhile, the Big Project portal is in the hands of the Enlightened and hasn’t been scored.     Two goals were made for the Enlightened in China, but Santa Monica is scoreless.    That’s a shame.    Not that I can complain, I’m not really participating in this level of the game – I can’t just head off anywhere, I’m not 20 with no responsibilities anymore.

As near as I can tell, the closest puck is in Denver – Shard 2 having moved from Silicon Valley over to Hawaii.     These things don’t move very much – Shard 14 has slid over to Denver after starting out in Canada.     Then again, the shard locations only matter if the blue team can actually hold Santa Monica, and it doesn’t look too good if you ask me.

Solidly Green.

Solidly Green.

So blue team – who’s motivated ?

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