I take the new Resistance players I encounter (Smurflings) and try to help them.   Most of the time it’s about encouragement, the occasional gift of gear, putting them in touch with the rest of the community.    This makes sense and is encouraged in the spirit of the game of Ingress.

Then there’s the Enlightened newbie players (Toadlings).   Anyone I meet in person I am a normal nice person to.   At least, I try to be.   But Toadlings in game……. yes, I am going to try and crush their little spirits.

Last week I saw some noob try to take a portal in Downtown Burbank.   I drove by and took out all of his resonators.   I haven’t seen him again.    Mission, accomplished, I hope.

There’s another guy who continues to persist in fighting over the Downtown area, mostly by grabbing anything that ends up gray.   He’s killed a few of my portals, damaged ones or one-resonator-holds.   He makes occasional links.   He hasn’t given up yet, but I’m only taking a little notice of him.   The main DT Burbank battle is Me Versus The Energizer Bunny.

Then there’s the guy I ran into today.   While fighting off the Energizer Bunny, this guy comes in and starts capturing portals.   He’s clearly gear poor and is hacking the nearby level 1 portals for keys and gear to keep going.    Patiently he built up a little web of fields based off of six close portals, and I watched him do it as I worked my way down the familiar streets of Downtown Burbank.

Overcast day with the Flappers portal on our right.

Overcast day with the Flappers portal on our right.

And I walked my route, and got right up to his green portals.    Level 1 and 2 reso’s nicely linked with green shields.    A couple of bursters at each portal wrecked them.    It was exhilarating, and yet made me feel guilty.   Only in Ingress can you smash an enemy’s work and feel a twinge of guilt – that’s another guy a lot like I was at low level.    I shook it off and headed back to work.    Did not see an obvious Ingress player in the area, but that’s expected in a warren of old buildings like San Fernando Road.

And then…….. he decided to take back the portals I had just captured.   Not giving up, he is.    I charged what I could and saved two of them, but the other four all eventually fell to the noob.    I watched him do it again – he rebuilt all the same fields with these four portals and must have felt very satisfied, as he approached lunchtime.

Lunchtime in Ingress is a time of massive activity, at least in an urban area with white collar workers.   And I was no different today, even though I didn’t head out for a bite to eat.   I walked right back over to his fields and with vicious satisfaction wrecked them again for the cost of about 10 bursters – two glyph hacks on a decent-level portal.

I didn’t see the noob again.   His efforts weren’t completely in vain – I didn’t get to make many fields today, but I won the playing field.    Like a veteran soldier beating up on an 98 lb weakling, but I did win.

And I hold the ruins.  For the moment.

And I hold the ruins. For the moment.

The dynamic of this game is so weird.   My personal goal is always to be courteous, kind, helpful, and friendly.    But you literally can’t do that and play a war game like Ingress.    So instead I attempted to beat this guy down and maybe, just maybe, he’ll not bother me again.

Another way to look at it is he got all that AP from fielding this area twice, and in that sense I helped him.   But that was just a side effect of me being an in-game asshole, not really a role I relish, but I suppose you gotta do what you gotta do.