Ingress: Playing without Instructions Until Level 8

Today, I reached Level 8 in Ingress.

As a person who started playing Pokémon Go before Ingress, I recall two things upon first opening up Ingress:

1. Wow, you choose a faction from the very beginning.
2. Huh, they really don’t give you much of a set of instructions.

Or at least, I thought they didn’t. They definitely don’t put them into your face. It wasn’t until I leveled up a few times that I realized there was a ‘Training’ tab in the Agent menu. And by that time, what I decided to do was that I’ll try to go through the first 8 levels (I picked 8 because I noticed that each time I leveled up I seemed to gain a piece of an octagon of the symbol in the upper left, so I figured Level 8 was special for some reason.) without consulting any help material, and to try to figure out how the game should work myself.

But hey, today, I leveled up to Level 8, and here after gaining 1233364 AP (which I ended up concluding was the game’s terminology for experience points), I decide to allow myself to look at the files under ‘Training’, and…okay, they’re too boring. I guess I won’t be looking at them even now.

But I will allow myself to look at item descriptions for all the items. Now I know what they do, and I feel I’ll allow myself to use the rare items now. Well, the one’s that aren’t ‘Turret’ and ‘Force AMP’. For those two, I decided I kind-of knew what they were, so I just started using them. It turns out what they actually are are not too far from what I guessed.

What I pretty much did was I figured that because I chose to join the Resistance faction, and Resistance was evidently the blue team, I was doing things right if I was turning things blue.

I started out with just occasionally hacking portals. I figured that couldn’t possibly be that problematic of a thing to do. But it didn’t cause things to turn blue. But I noticed that when I tried to hack a green portal, it would seem to attack me, which ended up causing me to conclude what the health bar was, and given that the game awarded me what I’d later find out was experience when I did that, it was probably the right thing to do (at least, it would get me closer to the level at which I’ll allow myself to see the instructions).

Then, I realized there were some portals I could go to where the Deploy Resonator option was available. So I did that, and then I found that sometimes it caused more things to turn blue. Then I realized that sometimes when I did that over and over again the word ‘Link’ popped up in the diagram to the lower left, upon which I noticed what was displayed was the types of resonators applied, and that proceeding after hitting ‘Link’ often turned a lot of stuff blue. I ended up concluding that a triangle of links caused the field within to become the color of the links. (I originally guessed it was probably a minimal triangle, that is, a triangle without portals inside, but eventually I realized there could not only exist triangles with portals inside but even triangles with enemy-aligned portals inside.) What possibly was the hardest thing for me to figure out without the instructions was under what conditions one could create a link. That one really took me a while. But I eventually decided that it must have to do with the keys since I couldn’t figure out anything else the keys could be for.

It was also around this stage that I figured I’d like to know how my life bar regenerates. I’d like to hack enemy portals and it seems creating links also drains my life for some reason. I eventually realized that when I walk around, white dots in the surroundings would come towards me after staying in a location a short while, and when that happened my life bar goes up, so I figured that XM (which I figured is what that was when the letters showed up briefly after the convergence of the particles) powered one’s life bar. (It wasn’t until far into Level 7 that I realized what Power Cubes were for.) I eventually also realized that when one’s life bar was full, white particles won’t go to the player even if there are some close enough, confirming this association.

Eventually, I started using the Mods panel and recharging Resonators (wow, the latter really uses up life; I barely did that until I figured out how to use Power Cubes). I only ever deployed Portal Shields, Force AMPs, and Turrets, that first because I was pretty sure I knew what they were the the second two because I was fairly sure and I had enough that I felt fine potentially wasting some of them.

Eventually, I helped make MIT very blue. Specifically, this blue:


I was quite proud of it. The Enlightened swiftly made a comeback a few days later. Oh well, that’s how it goes. (Yes, SIPB is green in this screenshot.)

All this time, I’ve been looking for a way to attack enemy portals. I originally thought that’s what hacking them would do, but life levels of associated resonators didn’t seem to go down upon hacking. I knew there had to be some sort of attacking possible, because portals do change alignment or fall from them. Eventually, after I reached Level 7, I looked through my inventory and decided XMP bursts and ultra strikes sounded most like offensive items, and then realized hitting them involved reading their descriptions. I eventually ended up deciding reading descriptions counts as getting instructions after I noticed this on Power Cubes, and decided to prevent myself from looking at items until Level 8. After using a few ultra strikes, I realized it was the locations of the resonators, and not of the portals themselves, that one should get near to use offensive items.

I wondered what the difference between Dropping and Recycling an item was, so I tried it with items I had too many of (most notably, Level 1 XMP burst), and found that I could also recycle items to get XM for my life bar. That was a great go to solution for being low on life until I discovered Power Cubes.

But here I am, Level 8, and too lazy to go through the Training briefings. If there’s something I haven’t caught in there, I guess I’ve missed it. Oops! But uh, now that I’m Level 8, I’ve went and found out what Heat Sinks and Multi-Hacks are, and I think they’re pretty cool and I might use some soon.

I’ve found that Ingress is a substantially more sophisticated game than Pokémon Go (despite at least someone I’ve talked to disagreeing with me), substantially less buggy, and plentifully more interesting of a game.

Some current stats:

163 Unique Portals Visited
61km Walked*
1716 Resonators Deployed
314 Links Created
87 Control Fields Created
1414 MUs Captured
268386 XM Recharged
401 Enemy Resonators Destroyed
83 Enemy Portals Neutralized
46 Enemy Links Destroyed
18 Enemy Control Fields Destroyed

*I’ve only had 61km logged so far because I mostly played Ingress via switching over briefly at a Pokéstop while playing Pokémon Go.


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