I think someone reading this is saying – “How can he keep playing that game ? It doesn’t look fun”. I think the key to the fun in Ingress is the triangles.
I used to play “Five in a row” on a piece of graph paper, in my youth. You had a roughly unlimited playing field, and had to create five X’s or O’s in a row with your opponent taking turns trying to do the same. It’s different every time. That’s the Triangle game, in feeling and spirit.
We call them control fields in Ingress, but think of an area where one side is very dominant. (If the area is in contention, or enemy dominated, it’s different). The goal of the game is to make as many fields as possible, so you have to create triangles. And other players are throwing lines in the area – they may have a different set of goals from you, as far as doing this. The interplay of this whole mechanic is what keeps it all fresh and fun, instead of a boring grind of the same thing every day.
The above should show some of what I mean. If you are out trying to field Downtown Burbank, the situation is always different. Sometimes a field is built with “Girl Under Shadow Tree” portal; one of the pair of portals touching in the middle of the map. Sometimes, it gets fielded over (because it’s enemy held). Sometimes, it’s available for you to capture and link someplace.
This is why I’m enjoying this so much. Life Is Crime, and City Domination, didn’t have a mutable map like this. You would take the area – and then the other guy would. Then you’d take it back. You’d try and defend it well, and sometimes succeed. But he’d take it all back anyway, and then you’d take it again. That just gets boring. But here, you fight over the same portals, but you create a different field, very often.
In Ingress, the tactical situation is different each time. When you stand at portal #1, you may be able to link it to portal #2. Or someone else blocked it creating links and fields of their own. Now, you have to link to a different portal to complete the fielding of the area. And it might be time to travel to a different area, or walk a block away, to keep the job going.
Or just maybe, you can create the biggest field you have ever created, and you should always do that because it’s fun. Or perhaps that big field you are about to create will be difficult for the enemy to kill. Best way to find out is to make it and see how long it stands.
An MMO where you fight the same enemies constantly would be boring. Most of the time, levels are established, and you enter a different area depending on your level, which helps keep the gameplay fresh and fun.
And so, my fielding depends on what I’m doing, but I tend to go for the best spiderweb I can create. My goal is to use every portal in an area, link them up, and build the fields. It’s a challenge to be sure – you have to have keys for the portals you are linking to, and it takes time.
You can field a bigger field over a whole bunch of portals. That nets you a lot more points all at once. But doing that makes the field very vulnerable; it doesn’t have as many links, and one portal capture brings it down immediately. A spiderweb always breaks when one point is killed – but the rest of the spiderweb stays up.
The way to play defense in Ingress, is to play offense the right way.