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It’s been a few days now of having Ingress increase the cube drop rate, and my impression is that effects of the drought are drastically diminished.   The trick now is, instead of XM laying on the ground, it’s taking some of your inventory slots instead.

Not quite rain, more like cubes though.

Not quite rain, more like cubes though.

One effect I hadn’t considered includes the effect on newbies.   They have a lot of trouble getting into this game, despite the often expressed help that experienced players try to give – there’s serious trust issues to overcome, along with a drastically different game model than ever played before.    Phone games do not involve meeting strangers usually.    And with having no XM laying on the ground, they find themselves without any XM to do anything.   Whoops.   Cutting out new players is never a good idea.

So at this point I expect the drought is considered rebalanced, and is now either

  1. A permanent game feature.   I hope not !
  2. A temporary feature until the next anomaly series, or some future date.

I may get a chance to find out what guiding a newbie feels like.    I have my buddy interested enough in the game to want to try it out.    Now, the trick is, he needs to get a job, which will allow him to get a smartphone, and thus be able to play.   He’s never been able to before since he couldn’t talk his office into buying him a smartphone, but this time he should get one.    Believe me once I get talking about this game I’m an evangelist, and I think I’ve talked him into it.

Ingress is literally a sea change in gaming, and I expect to see my grandkids wandering around the city playing the Farmville of 2036 which involves location-based gaming somehow.    Yet I’m playing the first iteration.    This is the wild west and it’s exciting to be a part of it, and to share it with your friends.

And then there’s Pokemon Go.   Apparently being tested in both Japan and Australia, we’ll see how much fun it ends up being.   If it ends up literally sharing the same portals as Ingress there’s not much stopping everyone from playing both.

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