I got a surprise Saturday morning.    I was going to be the chaperone for my daughter at Universal.    The nightmare emotions this engenders will not be discussed on a gaming blog, instead, here’s what happened during the day Ingress – related.

Universal at 8 AM Saturday

Universal at 8 AM Saturday

A normal theme park in the game.    A million portals, light linking, and should be breeze to blast through.  I got prepared.

Ingressing baseball cap ?  – Check.    Cargo pants ?  – Check.   10000 mAH battery ?    16000 mAH battery ? – Check for both.    Skipped the water bottle – tons of drinking fountains.    And we headed out.

I immediately got a surprise, in the form of a nail in my tire.   Twice in less than a year.    I left the kids at the park and headed off to a nearby tire repair place, only to be told that this is not the kind of puncture they can repair – it’s too far on the sidewall.    It’s probably driveable, they said.   So I figured I’ll take care of this in a day or so.   That ate about an hour of Ingressing.

Back at the theme parks, I wandered along blasting things and claiming portals.    These are uniques, of course, and I want to gather as many as possible for the badges.    I made my way through most of the parks, but I wanted to head out to Citywalk again – Citywalk was set up as a farm area for the ENL.    Level 7 portals with strong defenses.   This is not what I thought I was walking into, but it’s OK.   I’m prepared.   I am geared to the nines.

I reached the edge of the farm.    The portals were DENSE – 5 to 10 feet between them.   They were set up well shielded and with force amps.   And I thought, ah, how hard can this be ?   I stood in range of several and let loose with a burster.

41% XM loss.   Yikes.  Well, let’s stand on some of the portals and hit them with ultrastrikes.

41% XM loss, and the scanner isn’t working.   Wow.   This will be tougher than I thought.  Then the connection and GPS issues started hitting.   Great, more technological defenses.    What on Earth to do ?    And then I figured out the correct formula.

I had all the time in the world, so I waited between shots each time.    If I could reach a portal, I stood on it – but most of them were unreachable.    No big deal, stand as close to one on the edge of the farm as possible.  Fire a bursters and let the XM be completely drained from me.     Then pop a Level 1 cube !

All I needed was enough power for the next shot.     The enemy wasn’t recharging – if they had been, I probably couldn’t have killed the farm.     Need more cubes ?   Find some of those level 1 portals I just created and hack them.     And the strategy worked wonders.

Of course, I eventually ran out of cubes, but I made a nice big dent in the farm by then.   And with each portal killed, the next one got easier – fewer defenses trying to “reach out and touch me”.    Recycling gear in the quest for just enough XM took place, and eventually I had the entire farm burned down.

Next, I linked most of it back up.    Blue and low level but close to 90% linked up.    One portal was mislocated; I stood next to the Three Goddesses, but they were clearly sitting 100 feet away in an inaccessible part of the Universal lot.  Too bad – there were a lot of green links spreading from there.

Farm is wrecked.   Some small fields are dead.    A good day's work.

Afterwards.  Farm is wrecked. Some small fields are dead. A good day’s work.

By the end of the day I was burned out, just throwing down resos without really being able to link things up.   I was just done with the whole thing.    And proud with myself being able to commando assault a highly defended enemy position like that.

I left several grey portals as they were on the tram tour, and therefore only accessible by taking the tram.    Why a pedestrian friendly game has tram-only accessible portals, I don’t know.    The ugly (and very large) green fields on Cahuenga Blvd would have been great to bust, but I ran out of time and ability to travel – stupid tire nail.   The few remaining green portals are inaccessible for mundane reasons like “That’s located in the movie theater”.

Now I see just how difficult it is to defend an area, even with force amps and turrets.   The “Get just enough XM to take a shot” strategy can’t be beaten.    It will work on people just casually walking/driving through an area, but a determined enemy on foot can defeat it handily – unless you get recharged on.    Same with an enemy driving through an XM dense area fast enough – they simply never really notice the lack because they keep gathering more – unless recharged.

The end of the day, because of careful gear hoarding which I can’t seem to break the habit of, sees me with……. 1900 items in inventory.    After a HEAVY enemy assault, I still only manage to burn 100 items.    There is, literally, no way for me to use up gear in this game.

Now the only question is how long it will take until it gets A) Burned down or B) Upgraded by friendlies.    Haven’t paid attention to the area, but A) seems most likely.

Gold Explorer !    And 13 captures to go for Pioneer.

Gold Explorer ! And 13 captures to go for Pioneer.