In the immediate aftermath of the Obisidian anomaly/festivities, there is a major change in the Ingress game landscape.    Portal XM has disappeared.

This view used to be filled with XM.   No longer.

This view used to be filled with XM. No longer.

A drought has come to Ingress, in the form of the power that permits everyone to undertake game activities.   Everything you do costs a certain amount of XM, and this has been “mudflated” over the years and updates to the point that you really didn’t pay it much attention other than charging resonators, or trying to keep your attack going.   Well, now you’re going to pay much closer attention.

Must...... get..... Water !   I mean, XM.

Must…… get….. Water ! I mean, XM.

Wild XM – that which shows up on the map independent of the fact that portals are there – is still there.    The freeway is filled with XM which I scooped up on the way home.   But it’s been a given for a long time that if you were in a portal dense area, you had enough XM to do your thing.

Today was a typical Ingress day in Downtown Burbank.   I drove in and took some portals immediately – but I had to recycle and burn cubes to power the scanner.    I walked and fielded, but ran light on XM constantly, and got a ton of Enlightened attention which further wrecked everything in Downtown and inhibited my ability to keep it all going.   The only silver lining for me was, it has to be hurting the green team equally.

So far, my immediate reaction is, this sucks hard.   I hate it.   The system engineer in me says calm down, let’s see how it all goes – this changes the game and you have to adapt.   They might simply be doing this because shoot, we all need a bit of change to keep everything interesting.   It might be temporary (doubtful), or permanent (best guess).

But I am sure there are individual winners and losers with this game change.

  • Team players : This hurts solo players more than Husband/Wife teams or other groups.   A soloist used to grab any XM they needed, while a two person team had to share.   So team players hurt the least.
  • FAT’s.    Force Amp and Turret combinations just got deadlier.   If you need to create almost all of your XM – or farm it by doing something ridiculous like driving the freeway to fill it – getting smacked by these defensive mods is going to bother much more.
  • ZAP’s.   Where the portal, and nearby portals, zap you and take XM.    I think many or most players almost ignore this.   I think that’s much less viable now, which should slow down attackers, in the sense of requiring more time to execute attacks.
  • Cubes.    I have rarely used cubes to actively play the game, preferring instead to use them for recharging.   I think those days are finished.    Now you’ll need your cubes as you act upon the game world.
  • Defensive recharging.    It is to laugh.   If XM is at a premium I can’t imagine charging a portal that’s being attacked by a competent player.   The attacker advantages are huge already.
  • Key Portal Defensive recharging.   On the other hand, that portal you need so your big field can stay up might be worth it.
  • Litter.   There have been many people who care so little for gear they just throw it on the virtual ground.   I doubt that will happen any longer, and its been decreasing over the past year.    You’re going to need all that XM, even the +10’s from L1 resos etc.
  • Recharging.   I’m going to be charging a lot less portals now.   Will we be seeing fewer fields ?   Small fields disappearing ?    Will portals in my areas now actually decay instead of being killed ?

The next week will be interesting as we find out the tactics that emerge from this big change.