Gav's Blog

Broken bottles, broken plates, broken switches, broken gates

Getting started with Ingress

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So, at the weekend I was very generously given an Ingress invite thanks to Australian geocacher CraigRat! Double props to CraigRat as he is ‘Enlightened’ and I was going to be playing ‘Resistance’. Anyway, I thought I would share a little bit about my early strategy given Christchurch is a veritable black hole of portals and activity.

Ingress portals are based around interesting spots such as sculptures, monuments, historical buildings and the like.¬†As many of you will know, Christchurch has had a few earthquakes, we lost a lot of buildings and monuments. We’ve only got four portals in town currently, where as Wellington has at least 20. I’ve already submitted about 25-30 more, but it will probably take a few weeks more for those to show up in game. As it turns out, three of the four Christchurch portals are in Cathedral Square and are not accessible – although you can get within 40m of one of them so you can at least hack it. So, this has resulted in very little activity.

What to do? What to do.

The ChristChurch Cathedral portal

When there isn’t much going on, I think the main things to do are:

  • Level up – the greater your level, the more powerful portals and bursters you can use.
  • Stock up – farm as many portals as you can to build up and inventory.

I’ll start with the easy one first. Which one you do depends on which faction currently claims portals. Ideally, you’ll have a mixture of friendly and enemy portals so you can do both.

Now, these strategies don’t apply globally, this is very much based on a limited number of portals and players.

Stock up

This one is pretty easy, can be good for your health, and you can do with both friendly and enemy portals. Hack, hack, and hack again. Every time you hack a portal, there is a good chance you’ll get more items such as resonators, bursters and shields that you can add to your inventory. It is like playing a science fiction Farmville in the the real world :)

I’ve got two friendly portals about 500m walk apart. I’ll head into town, and start at one, and walk backwards and forwards between the portals until each portal has been hacked four times – the most you can do in a four hour period. So in an hour I walk 4km or so, and collect a few handfuls of bursters and resonators, and the odd portal shield.

Hacking enemy portals has an added benefit, as your hacks will also gain you Action Points (AP) – 100AP for hacking a Level 1 enemy portal, for example. So, hacking enemy portals is a fairly quite way to gain both items and AP, especially if there are a few enemy portals close together.

Level up

This is quite a bit harder for us, as we, the Resistance, hold both accessible portals in Christchurch, so until the Enlightened come along and take a portal over, there is no way for us to gain any AP. The first thing to do with leveling up, is to get two players in a faction up to L2, so that you can create a Level 2 portal that will provide higher level items than a Level 1 portal.

What not to do

Unless your faction controls a strategically significant portal, it makes little sense to recharge a portal – particularly a low level portal such as Level 1 or Level 2. You get no AP for it. It is better to let the resonators discharge naturally in 10 days, and, because of the relative abundance of low-level resonators, you can afford to do this.

Don’t keep hogging portals. There are sometimes strategic benefits to be gained from having a portal’s resonators discharge, let it become neutral or weak enough to be taken out with a few bursters, and let the opposition hold it. Then you get a chance to hack repeatedly (+100AP each), destroy the eight resonators (+600AP), and eventually install a friendly portal with eight resonators (+1500AP).

With limited players and portals, the best thing for everyone is constant churn – farm your portals, let them discharge, let the opposition take them over for a bit. Rinse and repeat. It’s the only way that either side will level up, and collect items for battling.

Until there are moar portals of course ;)

Written by Gavin Treadgold

December 12th, 2012 at 12:34 am