Playing the Endgame, Everywhere


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I was watching the Super Bowl, and not amused by the commercials.   And then something really dumb, but attention catching came on :

Which reminded me that I hadn’t played World of Tanks in – I dunno, years – so I loaded it up and found myself involved in no less than four games now, at the “Endgame”.


I am currently dialing it back from Ingress a bit.    No big operations being planned – it’s all I can do to get out to slightly out-of-the-way portals for various reasons.    I am working towards platinum Mind Controller badge – only 1,400 more fields until I earn that one – especially since this badge is perfect for anyone microfielding the Downtown Burbank area.   I crossed the 50 million AP threshhold this weekend.


With a level 21 town halfway completed, and working on late game knowledge, this game creeps along.    Creeps is the right word.   I recently started a knowledge upgrade that had 27 weeks on the clock at the beginning.    You can wait for that time to pass, or you can use the time boosters that you acquire in various methods.   I burned all of them up, and am currently waiting to tick down the 10 weeks remaining for this one.   And then start another one nearly exactly the same.

Marvel Heroes

Nerfs to Story XP are annoying, but not nearly as annoying as the impossible Cosmic Trial.    Still can’t pass it with Captain America.    Of course I have the Cosmic modes unlocked with him anyway, but I’m not playing Cosmic Patrols until I can pass the Trial.   I so miss the old Cosmic Trial, which you could pass after gaining enough power.    Probably the only thing more annoying than that, is most players insistence that the trial is “Easy”.

42 heroes unlocked and finishing the story, alphabetically.   Human Torch is my hero today.    And the story grinding continues to move me forward with Infinity points, although the creeping upwards of XP requirements is getting bad – about 290 million for the next point.

World of Tanks

The game has a new Intro movie which is pretty well done –

Standard with the game now is two rows of tanks, not just one, along with view range circles and a drawable minimap.   You can sketch out what you want your teammates to do.   Chat with the enemy is gone, leaving your teammates only able to rage at how stupidly you play, which they do – the socially inept will lash out at anything.   I miss enemy chat.

Random platoons during gameplay is constant, giving you the chance to actually pass these missions that require platooning.    I’m getting in the habit of always being in a platoon due to the personal reserves that I’m earning for the privilege, plus the chance to knock out some of those tank missions.

The XVM mod is still going strong and has tweaked the statistics in the garage very nicely –


Left side – a Tier indicator, along with the laurel leaves that tell you if the tank is elited or not.

Highest level of mastery earned.

Average damage.

Right side – Did you get your daily double/triple/quintuple ?

Count of battles played.

Win rate in %

Despite my earlier statements that I was done adding tanks to my account, I reneged, and bought a bunch of additional slots along with more tanks on sale.    There’s no reason not to spend that gold I bought years ago.    Now waiting for a crew training sale to add a 100% crew to my Tier VIII German arty that I bought.

And so I grind along in the game with the usual goals – padding my battle counts, earning silver, creeping crew training along, and earning mastery badges.    Ace tanker is elusive, often.   With over 100 battles I still can’t earn it for the Medium Mk II, a tier II pig tank that I had figured I could get it with **someday**.   I gave up, and am moving along a list of low tier tanks until I actually have some silver again.

Silver is elusive if you collect tanks and mods constantly.   I am beginning to wonder if the smart thing to do is simply take equipment off tanks I’m not currently running (costs 10 gold each time) and add it to the ones that I am.   Probably makes a bit more sense than grinding to add it at 500k per piece typically.   And currently I’m trying to get another 700k silver so I have enough to buy yet another new tank.


It’s quiet around here !


The main game I am playing continues to be Ingress.    It’s more fun than ever, but it really is requiring some combination of deception and radio silence.   In other words, to post more, I have to be aware the Enlightened are reading this and plan accordingly.

I think I’m done with deception, and thus posting in general.   I’m not really a deceptive person, or find it fun.

I’ve posted several times about not wanting to be involved in big ops anymore, which is a huge ass lie.    I have been involved in multiple ops to cover the local areas (Burbank/Santa Clarita and beyond), and continue to be involved in these ops.    I’ve built a team and made the attempt to cover the entire Los Angeles County / Orange County – unsuccessful, but so close !    I’ve helped out on covering Southern California multiple times – even larger than City of LA.    And I’ve been an intel operator for several ops.     This stuff is a lot of fun !

First, you “meet” or get to know people from outside your general area of Ingressing.  Usually only from the Hangouts app, but still, you’re meeting people.   It takes all kinds, and that’s definitely true of Ingress players.    What everyone has in common is the desire to cover the world in Blue, and varying levels of ability to contribute to making that happen.   Everyone works together and makes it happen – or the attempt at least – and that social interaction is like nothing I’ve experienced before.

Everyone I’ve interacted with in PC-based MMO’s might as well have been characters in a game with an AI behind them.   I’ve never met them personally.    I very rarely meet Ingressers but when I do, it’s an interesting experience.    This game has really got staying power being located in the real world.    And 90% of that real world information is very privileged because it needs to stay secure, within the world of the faction or your locality, and not be shared with the opposition.

I have now reached the level where posting about operations is just very bad for security.   I do not want to name the lanes I’ve used to build fields, because that is very useful information for the enemy.   Even posting what I have above is useful, but I think I’m tired of existing in this “What can I post that will further deceive Enlightened while still being fun to write and interesting and sort of accurate ?”.      The number of things I CANNOT WRITE ABOUT is driving me nuts, to be honest.

That’s not why I write.   I write to document the gameplaying experience, and I’ve done an excellent job of that in Ingress.  I write to share the enthusiasm about the game – whatever it is – and expose the enjoyment of playing.    I do not write to further the very important goals of misdirecting the enemy, keeping them confused and in the dark, and advancing the goal of their defeat.

But something as simple as a meetup picture, saying “From L – R, here is player X, then Y, then Z….” is both part of the fun and opposition research.   I think I’m done pretending that aspect of the game doesn’t exist, but I’m also done with petty attempts at deception via blog.   For the record, I am not part of any opponent documentation ring and I would condemn them being built, either by Resistance or Enlightened, just as I condemn Guardian Hunting (futilely, since nearly every player I’ve ever talked to says they do it).

The blessing and the curse of playing Ingress at the highest level is it needs to be done silently.    Sort of.    In secure channels you can talk a lot, but even that is subject to “Is it really secure?”.    You start out thinking of this as a secret agent game.     Then you meet people and relax, and think of it as an unusual game yall play together.    And now I’ve reached the end and come back to the beginning.    You can bet, for sure, this is a secret agent game.

Farewell 2016


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The year is drawing to a close.    And gaming takes such a hold on my time that I don’t write that much.    There are a variety of reasons for this.

Vikings : War of Clans is not a game you can write a lot about.    I am back in, they did successfully recover my game for me.   Each building upgrade takes about a week, knowledge upgrades are similar, and I continue to pile up the resources (aka rss) for the clan.    Now, there is a new feature that’s been introduced called the Clan Stronghold, but until we manage to build it I don’t really know how it will work.

Ingress continues to be that amazing game that I’m grinding away at.    I have hit 2.1 million MU captured and inch towards the 4 million goal.    I’m pushing to move a lot of gold badges up to platinum, for linking and fielding, and building and destroying.   But that’s not something that keeps you going day to day, given that such badges would be the work of years in a best case.    It’s the strange community that you have with random strangers you meet, who become gaming friends through the game, just because you all picked blue.

Ingress really is amazing, in that it rewards a literally one-action-a-day playstyle – this helps the team, guaranteed – or a marathon of insane 16-to-24 hour a day blitzing.

But none of this is new, thus the lack of blogging.  I don’t have a lot to write about the game anymore.   I have quite literally covered it all – at least until I charter a helicopter to capture Mount Whitney or somesuch insane stunt.   After I take back the same portal for probably the 250th time, nobody wants to hear about it, and even more important I don’t want to write about it.

Marvel Heroes continues to get playtime when I need a break from the mobile insanity.   I think I have 37 heroes unlocked now.    Gameplay is roughly 1) Grinding new characters to 60 2) Grinding out prestige levels when I don’t have splinters to unlock more characters, 3) Working the achievement system.    Between all of these things I tend not to get bored.    I remain irritated by the overly difficult Cosmic Trial.   And I look forward to the “Big Update” which is “Coming Soon”, including a lot of balancing changes and perhaps an end to the Omega system.

Here’s to 2017 being a fantastic year of gaming.   2016 certainly has been.

“Clans” In Ingress



Guild drama is something that happens in online gaming.    It’s traditionally been in the Warcraft / Everquest model but it also applies in Ingress.

(As a sidenote, one other casualty of wiping my phone was Vikings : War of Clans.   Looks like whatever authentication/backup method they use – Google, most likely – it was never activated on my phone.   I have a support request in to them.   We’ll see if anything comes of it, because if not, I’m done.)

But Vikings has traditional clan drama.   There are a lot of shards/servers/worlds.    There is limited movement from one to another.    All the players are free agents.    And the guilds – “Clans” – are voluntary.    Want to switch clans ?   Go ahead.    It depends on your relationships with the other players.  But Ingress is very nontraditional.

The players are NOT free agents – the two teams are strictly defined.    It is just barely possible to switch teams, it’s comparable to a server transfer in Everquest2.    There are no shards – the game world is the world.

If you transfer between teams, there is a heavy penalty – you lose your level and start over again at level 1.    This is (normally) meant to keep you from switching, but for people who get bored at level 16, this is actually a draw.    The other penalty is your relationship with the community – all else being equal, nobody likes a turncoat.

The closest thing to a guild in Ingress is a hangout, but that’s imperfect too.   People belong to as many or as few as they want.   Non hangout players fit well with soloists in traditional MMOs.    But the guys who are in EVERY HANGOUT are just committed players.

The natural clan in Ingress is the “Your Town” hangout for your team.    Or an area you frequent for whatever reason (Work.   Travel.    Parent’s House.   Girlfriend’s house.   Etc.)

And Hangouts contain drama.    One early hangout I joined fell apart because of the ridiculous behavior of three agents – all of whom, strangely enough, have since quit.   Now I’m seeing it again in a new hangout.    This is comparable to the drama with Vikings guilds I have been in GSO and Assassin’s Hellgate – different people just create drama and make everything less fun.

I wonder if this is a natural reaction to a team’s dominance in an area, plus the actual participants.    The jerks create drama and make things fall apart.   If you get enough of them they wreck everything and the dominance subsides.

With the small size of most hangouts (there’s usually 5 – 10 participants that say anything, several others that occasionally contribute, a few silent ones, and always people who have since left the game) that helps to limit drama.   This is supposed to be about supporting each other in the game, not hooking up or proving your dominance, but some people don’t get it.

And yet – because the real world is layered on here – I feel pretty close to some of the other players.   I’ve met several multiple times.    I consider them friends.   I talk to them often – usually in spurts depending on what plan me or someone is cooking up.   I have never felt close enough in Everquest2 etc to feel like a clanmate is a friend.

It’s an interesting and exciting experience.    Where will the “Hangout Clans” lead us in the future ?

(By the way – the fielding we had planned was successful over the Santa Clarita Valley.   Yay !)


The ULTIMATE portal defense system ! (?)


I go out and try to kill a portal.    Turns out, it is remote enough that the service is available before it, and after it, but not directly AT the portal.   At least on Verizon.

I’m annoyed.   I want to kill this thing.    But nothing is cooperating about this portal.    It is on the side of the road with no good pedestrian access; as I walked to it cars come swooping up from the south and are far too close to me.    They can’t see me either, so I jump to the side of the road as much as possible.   But the side of the road is a little 45 degree angled hillock, and you can’t walk on it.   At least not in tennis shoes.

It’s a cross on the side of the road.    Well – it was at some point.    Right now there is nothing at all there.    A flat area on the side of the highway provides a place to stand, and I pace back and forth for 15 minutes praying to the Holy Gods of Signal, that I get enough reception to fire the ADA.    A brief 1X flashes, but Ingress still does not respond.

The wind is blowing really hard.    REALLY hard.   I get knocked around by the wind and dirt and grit smash into my face.   This place is very dangerous, actually.    There is a chance I could get blown off balance by a gust of wind and quite literally fall off the mountain.   Time to get back to the car.

There’s a ranger station by the side of the road, so I ask one of the rangers stocking his vehicle up.    “Which cell phone service works good out here ?”    He doesn’t know.

So I decide that I have service on both sides of the portal, but not actually at it.   Can I start firing the ADA, and drive past, and kill the thing successfully ?   Maybe.   It might work.

I drive past, hit the confirm button, pretty nervous about hitting other vehicles along this fairly busy road.    I have my phone outside of the car and am driving with one hand through the open window – you get better signal that way.

When I reach the other side of the portal, my phone shows an android character and says “Deleting all data”.

AUGGGGHHHH !   What has just happened ?

My best guess is that Ingress and the bad signal did not play nice with the Android OS, causing a reboot.   You can make an emergency boot somehow, by hitting the buttons on the side of the phone, and one option is to factory reset the phone.    I must have hit the button without seeing it.

So the portal still stands.     I am pissed off enough to be considering the purchase of boosters and BGANs.   Considering that boosters are $100 items that’s not too bad, but I think BGANs are $2,000+ items with data costs through the roof.    Yikes.

Now I need to get my phone working again.   Ingress works, at least, after reinstallation.    Lots of other things still need tweaking.

And the joke is, I wonder what mod that agent put on his portal to cause MY PHONE TO FACTORY RESET ! ?

Key Rules Are Changing


As per Niantic post (in typically cryptic fashion), we now have permanent increased key hack output.

During the anniversary event, as anyone actively playing Ingress knows, all AP was increased 2x until 11:59 on December 1st.   I could care less for me.   But the event also included extra keys being hacked.

Up until now, hacking a portal would yield a key, provided you did not already have a key in your possession – about 75% of the time.    And you could glyph hack, using the MORE glyph, to receive a chance at a key even if you were holding one, subject to the 75% rule still.   But you never got more than one key, unless using the Fracker tool.

No more.    For the past several days I have gotten between 1 -3 keys from use of a MORE glyph.    As a micro fielder, I love it.   I may finally reach the point where I stop hoarding keys permanently, if I can potentially get 12 keys in 15 minutes from 4 hacks.

Currently I keep my key inventory at : 500 keys loaded in key capsules.  95 keys in an MUFG, duplicating madly.   One key in inventory for everything over 500.    And for Downtown Burbank, all keys sit in inventory and get destroyed if I have too many.    The idea of having, say, 50 keys in inventory and not carrying all those DTB keys sounds pretty good, more room for …… something.   Not sure what, actually.

Perhaps more souvenir keys.   I currently hold these keys as souvenirs :

  • The Disney Water Tower in Burbank.   I never thought I’d get to touch it, but I did, thanks to Ingress.
  • A piece of the Berlin Wall, from the Reagan Library.
  • The SR-71 at Exposition Park, near USC.
  • The Golden Princess portal.   This one is hilarious.   The submitter gave one that can only be reached, as a pedestrian, if you’re on a cruise ship.    I suppose you could take a little skiff out in the water if no ship was there.   “Spoofers and Passengers only”.
  • The Granville Gateway to Granville Island, Vancouver.
  • Omnia Ab Uno, New Orleans Cemetery.   This is the tomb purchased by Nicholas Cage for him and his family’s future burial.   It’s Latin for “From one, many” which annoys me being the opposite of “E Pluribus Unum”.
  • The Steak House in Euro Disneyland.    Someone dropped this at the Burbank Mall.


The New Game


After having hit Level 16, my Ingress gameplay is a bit different now.   It’s a bit of a new game.

I have all the AP I’ll ever need.    It’s more about badges now – and boy, are there a lot of badges if you’d like to make them all Onyx.    My recent trip to New Orleans netted around 900 unique taps, with the Bay Area just pushing me over 4,000.   I still am not quite halfway to platinum for either unique badge, and I’m stuck in Gold medal land on most stuff.

Illuminator, Onyx that is, I’d like to get.    After the op I am at the halfway point, 2 million MU scored.    I should probably plan a BAF but they never seem to go very well.    So I peck away at this one, mostly in the SCV area.

Burbank, the MU is just so low.   I overfielded the entire Downtown Burbank area one time as a strategic move and calculated we are fighting over 600 MU.   Big points eh ?    Then again, anyone wanting onyx fielding and linking should get in and mix it up down there.   Plenty of +1 MU fields available.

I am also trying to help our lower level agents grow.    I tried to get my buddies playing, but it looks like they’ll only play when I’m around.   Yall in the SCV area (or Burbank) can always ask for stuff.   The problem with giving away gear is, I am generally always 100% full with gear.   So is everyone you try to give gear to.   Not to mention trying to get me anywhere to give the gear away.    But with that said, it’s always a good idea to try.

So badges and agents are now the draw.   And the daily grind.    I hit about 7 portals on a daily basis, maybe 100 weekly, and you never know where you’re going to end up any particular day.   Doing Beergress and meetups are fun, and I’m doing more of that.   There are a few of you I owe beers to once I finally run into ya.

And I spend time on the Intel map looking at interesting things.   It’s really weird that I’m playing a game that teaches me about places in the USA.    Did you know about the New Idria ghost town ?    3 portals there.    I look at places where we’re going camping for interesting portals.   And any downtown area is a place to wander, and gather uniques.

And wait until the portal approval system comes online.   Level 16 has at least that as a perk.

Farewell, Guardian #3


Every Ingresser has the story of losing their guardian.    I’ve had three, now.   They’re all pretty similar, but this is my blog, so you get my story.

Guardian #1 was a hard target, the Burbank Central Library.   It’s hard to capture.   Nevertheless, 20 days was all I could get out of it before the Energizer Bunny of Burbank knocked it down.   Gold Badge though.

Guardian #2 was never meant to be such – I only figured out which one of two it was after eliminating other possibilities.   But the RES in Santa Clarita royally pissed off the Bad Man for whatever reason, I’ve forgotten, and he went on a rampage taking every portal in town, finally taking down David March Park which had sat undisturbed for over 90 days.   Platinum Badge.

Then came #3, the perfect Guardian.  Summer of 2015.   July, if I remember correctly.   I visited Guerneville CA, a nice little old town way up north of San Francisco.    The draw was the Russian River, which you can lazily float down or just sit on a beach and relax near.

On our way home we stopped at a winery with horrid 3G reception and I captured the Russian River Mosaic, along with a bunch of other portals at wineries along the highway.    Sometime during September, some other Res player came by and used it to field.    I never saw it touched after that, until Saturday night, when an ENL player took it out.

I believe this was not a Griefing Incident (Although, if I’m wrong, I’d love to know).    Saturday night and an Ingresser stuck at a winery will probably result in a portal being taken, no matter how lousy the signal is.   It comes through eventually, or the portal would never have been submitted.    And I saw three distinct attacks the enemy player made, consistent with a portal with lousy signal.

I’m sort of relieved.    478 days is a long time to charge a portal; would have been nice to get 500, but oh well.    This was my second Onyx badge too.

I truly believe this is just a typical capture (this guy had over 10k unique taps), but I can’t believe the timing.   10:34 PM – I post the article about 7 Ingress Strategies.   I have some discussion about Guardians and Griefing with friends and players.    The people I hear from don’t really agree with me – Guardian Hunting is fine, many tell me.   That’s OK, it’s not like I’m an authority, all I get to do is express my opinion.   What’s weird is literally right at that time I lose my Guardian.

Coincidences are strange things, aren’t they ?     Sometimes what appears to be a coincidence is not – someone is up to something.    And sometimes, it is.   And in a paranoid game like Ingress, I will always have a nagging voice in the back of my head wondering, did somebody do this maliciously ?

The logical part of my brain insists no.   The “consipiritard” in me says it has to be connected.   I just need not to listen to that idiot… this time anyway.   He’s wrong.

Now, I wonder if any of my backup guardians will come through and push me towards 500.   I’m not holding my breath.

Guardian #3, Rest In Peace.

Guardian #3, Rest In Peace.

Postscript :

Want another coincidence ?   My MUFG just duplicated this key again.    Like I need it now.

Doc’s 7 Strategies For Ingress Success


I have played Ingress to completion – I’ve reached the level cap.   I pretty much know everything about this game.   I have thoughts about how the game should be played, so I decided to write out my list of commandments.   Seven Strategies for Ingress Success.

  1. Maximize your teams play, and minimize the other teams.
  2. This is actually just a game.   Real life comes first.
  3. Guardian Hunting is griefing.   Don’t grief.
  4. Give away your gear.   It’s a team game.
  5. Your experienced players are most important.   Still, help your newer players grow.
  6. Stay safe !   Don’t do dangerous or illegal things.
  7. Anomalies, Meetups, Rolling 8’s, Megafields are fun.   Do them.

Maximize your team’s play

It’s a tricky thing.    Does your play discourage an enemy agent ?   Then by all means, play as much as possible !    Do you encourage a lot of play by your fellow agents somehow ?   Keep doing it !

The idea isn’t too hard – the side with the most manpower wins.   Manpower is the amount of agents X their effort, added together.    It’s not hard to see on the micro level.   Go to some really small town on the intel map with only a couple of agents on one side, and you’ll see it all their color.    On a small enough scale you can do it alone, but on any scale that really matters it’s all about the team.

This even extends to NOT playing.   I have deliberately not played during times when I felt I was encouraging the enemy to come out and play; provided they did more than I did.   It’s all about winning the MU capture game in the end.

It’s a Game

Please don’t be like the agents who have marital problems because of the game.    Like, divorce and separation etc.    Most of us have spouses who are annoyed we play the game, that’s one thing.   But all good things can be overdone, and the muggles just don’t get it, so don’t be that guy/gal.

Don’t Grief

The hardcore MMO gamers came up with the term “griefing”, and it means playing the game in such a way as to make the other guy miserable, instead of the more conventional goals such as gaining levels etc.   This is distinct from PvP, since by its nature PvP means someone wins and someone loses.    So take that guy’s portal, by all means, but don’t decide that your opponent needs his guardian discovered and go out and hunt it.    Playing mean is not being a good gamer.

I am amazed at the steps people go to in this game to grief people.   Whole websites exist (I am told, I don’t know them) dedicated to figuring out which player has a guardian.   Creative types can figure out additional ones.   Really guys – play nice.   It’s not that difficult.

Give Away Gear

As a newbie I always felt bad about someone giving me gear.   DO NOT !    They are trying to contribute to the war effort by giving you gear, and you’re not beholden or anything to them.   By the same token, if someone needs something (or maybe even just asks), give it to them.    My best information is that we are usually in the same boat – most agents have too much gear.   So let it be used, and don’t worry about it.   You can hack more later.

Vets Vs Newbies

The veteran players, hardcore players, will always be the ones contributing the most to your side.    Either BAF’s, burning down farms, or the day to day grind, it’s the veterans who contribute the most, other than rare cases.    Newbies will never be more valuable, even though in theory 10 newbies should outplay one veteran.

And yet…. everyone started out a newbie.   Encourage your new players via comms, Hangouts, or whatever instant messaging platform.   Some of those newbies will disappear forever, but some will go on to be level 16 agents and may even outplay you.   So grow them, if you can.

There is a Burbank agent who is an absolute master at this craft.    I have seen him mentor so many bluebies up to being “over level 8” that I have lost count.    Be like this, and you’ll tip the balance in favor of your side just as effectively as that guy with no job who drives around 18 hours a day making fields.

Be Safe !

I have read about briefings at nuclear power plants, warning about trespassers coming for Ingress portals.    I have read about guys falling off of piers because they were hacking a portal.    And the most mundane being Ingressing and driving (I do it, too.   In traffic.   Usually).

We are playing a game only, please be safe.   Trespassing is illegal and prohibited, obviously.   But there are endless ways to be dangerous playing this game.    Remember to use your common sense.    And if you’ve fallen off the deep end, consider : How useful are you to the war effort if you are injured, arrested, or dead ?  Not useful at all.   So don’t break the law, and don’t get hurt.

Meetups are fun

Peruse this blog to find out how much fun a big field is.    Meetups are similar.   Anomalies are a crazy fun thing to do as well (so I am told.   Have to do one someday).    Get out there and meet your fellow agents, safely, and make new friends.

My best Ingress memories involve the big fields, and you can’t do those without other players.   Whether making my own, or helping others create theirs, Big Ass Fields are just a ton of fun and worth all the hassles.    Sitting down with a few beers with fellow agents and debriefing is fun too.   Don’t miss out on this part of the game.


I have also learned the best way to get the correct information on the internet, is to post the incorrect information.   Is the above wrong ?   Leave your comments !

The New Portal Submission System


Word broke today about the new way to submit Ingress portals.   It’s about bloody time !    For about a year nothing has been happening with submissions, and precious little activity on deletions.

Here’s how it works:

  • In the initial closed beta rollout, the new hub will work in San Francisco and Tokyo.
  • The tool will initially only be invite-only, only open to Ingress players who’ve reached L16 — the highest level in the game. Getting there requires a helluva lot of time and dedication, but also suggests you know what a portal should be like.
  • Players will ultimately be able to give feedback on potential portals in two places: the area they play most, and one other location of their choice of which they have local knowledge — be it their childhood hometown or a place they visit often.
  • Players give feedback on multiple factors — the photo, the portal’s name, whether or not it’s a duplicate, etc. It’s not a straight-up yes/no vote.
  • They’ll be starting with Niantic’s existing backlog first
  • Behind the scenes, the hub weighs each player’s feedback based on how good they seem to be at ranking portals
  • Once a portal gets enough positive feedback and an algorithm gives it the green light, the portal goes live in-game. If it’s working correctly, there’s no human intervention required on Niantic’s side.

Apparently you get an email from Niantic to start the process; those agents who have recently been in San Francisco are getting them, even though they’re from So Cal.   Then you select your “Hometown”.   Once you pick it, it can never be changed.   You also get to pick one other “area of interest” which can be changed ONCE PER YEAR.   Finally, it will also give you portals in your current area.

Just from reading about it, it’s tough to be sure it will work, or be fair.    Hangouts chatter is positive.

now this is more fun than the game

these aholes tricked me into doing their jobs

I can’t wait.   The game has gotten too divorced from reality in some spots.

Giant Marilyn Monroe statue in Palm Springs was moved in 2014, yet when I visited in Summer of 2016 the portal was still there.   The location looked exactly like Google Maps, a dirt lot.

One very close portal to my workplace, the Working Man Mural, is both a duplicate of another portal, and located one block out of the way.   I have tried the complain tool many times and yet this guy just stays there.

And there are tons of other examples, everywhere.   Keeping it reality based helps immerse you in the gameworld.    Dangerous and inappropriate portals should get removed, like the one at a preschool that Santa Clarita used to have.   I think the owner finally must have complained after Pokemon Go came out.

And with the development activity across California, new things that should be portals continue to come online.

I think they did a pretty darn good job with the portals in the game.    Some are pretty bad; but the vast majority are good choices, varied, and interesting.   Hopefully the community can continue to keep that good quality, but you never know.

The obvious concern is that agents will game the system.    Make sure portals that are convenient for one side get approved, with inconvenient ones denied.    It’s a real danger, because this is certainly a game about warfare, and any war game continues even at the meta level.    Trolling and joking too – check out one portal in the submission queue :

oh man

who does this stuff

Invisible Plaque
Something interesting is hidden here   

I’m hopeful though.   But now I want to know, when will the community ban system for “That guy is a disgusting cheater!” come out ?