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Canberra, all covered in slime

johnboy 11 January 2014 45

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Last week I let pestiness post a call to arms for Canberrans to join her faction in Google’s game Ingress.

Thus intrigued I fired up the copy of Ingress on my phone that I’d flunked out of training with a year ago.

The software has upgraded a few times since then, which I suspect is why it worked better.

Sadly though, last year I’d joined The Resistance which means I now have the joy of getting my arse handed to me by a whole bunch of new Englightened users who have strikingly similar screen names to a bunch of RiotACTers.

The social aspects have yet to materialise here in the Resistance. No-one has approved my application for the Google+ circle and most of my interation has been my phone beeping to tell me my resonators are being obliterated.

But I’m merely a humble level 4.

It is great fun however, and it does keep making one want to get outdoors (albeit staring at your phone).

Now that I know what to look for Anzac Parade this morning was verminous with Ingress players.

The emphasis on local art, memorials and landmarks might have some unintended consequences as administrators mistake the surge of attention.

It goes particularly well with riding a bike. This in turn leads one to cycle one handed, with earphones in, staring at a phone screen.

I’m pretty sure the Big Book of Clever Things To Do does not devote a page to this.

The nice thing about being utterly overwhelmed by the slime in this part of Canberra is one can still collect XM Bursters (think bombs) from Enlightened Portals and then set them off in the middle of Civic when the enemy resonators are thick on the augmented reality ground.

Kaboom! A phone screen so full of damage numbers it looks like it’s going to bleed red.

It’s worth noting the game is creepy as hell. Going 16 hours without logging in gets a note of concern on login from the controller “It’s been 16 hours, I was worried about you”.

It feels at times unpleasantly real, which is probably part of the appeal.

If Google was some sinister entity set on world conquest this might well be part of it.

On the other hand the dogs love the long walks and it gets me out of the house.

If a hellish domestic situation hasn’t yet driven one to seeking out anonymous sex at public toilets; Ingress might well be a useful halfway house.

And if you are joining up then think about it, surely Canberra needs a bit more Resistance?


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Canberra, all covered in slime
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wildturkeycanoe 10:17 pm 23 Jan 14

For someone who has a bit of an idea [not much] about how this game works, answer me this-
Should a player from either side encounter players from the other side at one of these “portals” or such, and the player or players from the other side have less than good intentions [ie. they have some serious issues separating reality from science-fiction], how does one protect oneself in the real world from being abused, injured or having their phone destroyed because they are partaking in a virtual game that is now taking place in real time in the real world?
Like Angry Birds and Candy Crush, some folks spend an awful lot of money on this stuff in order to win, as evidenced by the comments here. Eventually, if not already, some idiots will form gangs and try to catch out these enemies by watching and pouncing on anyone using an android phone in the vicinity of an important stronghold.
Call it a game, just like Modern Warfare, but freaks will use it as justification for their unstable behavior.
If you doubt me, I just heard first hand from a participant being threatened with a baseball bat, not for playing the game but for being a random vagrant hanging outside someone’s house suspiciously. Also, verbal abuse has been carried out at “gathering points”, so don’t think this is just a fun app but rather a potentially hazardous experience.
My advice as a bystander is to approach this game’s interactiveness with caution.

    johnboy 10:38 pm 23 Jan 14

    In the rare or unlikely event of encountering aggravation one applies to have the transgressor banned from the game.

    Generally in-game you interact with the oppo more so feelings range mostly from pity to grudging admiration, to pity based on the poor bugger is better than you just because they have no life.

    But the threat of expulsion from the game generally ensures pained civility.

Mordd 11:42 pm 17 Jan 14

tommy said :

Grail said :

Mordd said :

Also I plan to write a intro field guide in a few weeks time, something like “my first 2/3 weeks in ingress – new player guide” and post it here which will hopefully answer a lot of the questions i’ve had myself and you guys have about the practicalities of gameplay, including things like “how much data/battery does it up” etc.. etc.. There are good online guides but it takes a lot of reading to get answers to some basic new player questions, so hopefully I might be able to condense some of that into a single source from the perspective of a brand new player. Hold me to it!

Gawd… three posts in a row. What am I doing?

Rather than planning you could just do 🙂 Just post something here: the links to the getting started guides that you like the most would be a great start. You don’t have to get it perfect first go. Then start writing the 2-weeks guide as a blog or something, before you forget because those two weeks were actually a year ago and you can’t remember a thing!

Once you’ve skimmed the manual, this reddit post summarised what you should do:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Ingress/comments/1ui3yr/what_i_wish_i_knew_when_i_started_aka_a_level_by/

I missed this reply earlier, that seems like a good collection of tips there, I will try and follow the advice from that as I start at level 1 myself and that looks like a good resource to include in Part 2 of the guide which will cover more actual practical gameplay aspects. Thanks for sharing!

Agent_Q 7:36 pm 17 Jan 14

Gungahlin Al said :

There are apps available that summarise portal numbers and ownership across an area. This app typically shows that the smurfs occupy around two thirds of the portals.

As of right now, from the 864 portals of Level 4 and above, 532 are blue/smurf, and 332 are green/frogs. Importantly, there are 0 green Level 8s to 24 blue, and 42 green Level 7s to 153 blue.

You seem to be an experienced Enlightened player, so I should not need to tell you that the use of that app is a breach of the Terms of Service for Ingress, otherwise known as “cheating”. Google have instantly banned people from the game for using that app, and those players have irretrievably lost their player accounts. While I have been aware of Resistance players using that app in the past, I am no longer aware of a Resistance agent using it, nor is it promoted in our team.

Despite playing clean, the Resistance continues to hold its own in the capital. Copying the Intel map logs to an Excel spreadsheet shows that the Resistance has less than HALF the number of active Enlightened players in Canberra now; and yet we do, often, hold more than half of the portals in Canberra. Whether this is due to working harder, or simply having more intelligent strategies, Resistance Canberra is proud of its many successes; and if we can somehow claw back some equality in player numbers against the slime zerg, the game will be undoubtedly more challenging and enjoyable for all.

Mordd 4:00 pm 17 Jan 14

Grail said :

Mordd said :

P.S. If anyone has a $50-60 old android phone they are looking to sell, PM me with details, cheers.

Ditto!

JB HiFi have the Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo for $125. http://www.jbhifi.com.au/phones/samsung/galaxy-pocket-neo-white-sku-447077/

As I cover in the guide I just wrote, you want a min. 480 x 800 screen res on the mobile for decent gameplay, anything smaller than is described as extremely frustrating to use from what i have read. The pocket neo is only 240×320 which is quite tiny, so I wouldn’t recommend anyone consider that for Ingress.

Solidarity 3:42 pm 17 Jan 14

Grail said :

Oh look, there’s Kogan’s new Angora 3G Android JellyBean tablet on presale at $199 with free shipping (for when it’s released in March): http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/agora-hd-mini-3g-tablet/

Just grab a second hand Nexus 7, it will be better.

Mordd 3:25 pm 17 Jan 14

Ok done, I have submitted an article as a new player guide for Ingress, as long as JB approves it, it should appear later today, hope people like it.

Grail 1:56 pm 17 Jan 14

Oh look, there’s Kogan’s new Angora 3G Android JellyBean tablet on presale at $199 with free shipping (for when it’s released in March): http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/agora-hd-mini-3g-tablet/

Mordd 1:26 pm 17 Jan 14

Grail said :

Mordd said :

Also I plan to write a intro field guide in a few weeks time, something like “my first 2/3 weeks in ingress – new player guide” and post it here which will hopefully answer a lot of the questions i’ve had myself and you guys have about the practicalities of gameplay, including things like “how much data/battery does it up” etc.. etc.. There are good online guides but it takes a lot of reading to get answers to some basic new player questions, so hopefully I might be able to condense some of that into a single source from the perspective of a brand new player. Hold me to it!

Gawd… three posts in a row. What am I doing?

Rather than planning you could just do 🙂 Just post something here: the links to the getting started guides that you like the most would be a great start. You don’t have to get it perfect first go. Then start writing the 2-weeks guide as a blog or something, before you forget because those two weeks were actually a year ago and you can’t remember a thing!

Point taken, it would probably work better as multi-part thing anyway, the draft I currently have is already ballooning with the tricky balancing act of inc. enough information and not being too long. I’ll see about getting something up today to get it started.

tommy 1:25 pm 17 Jan 14

Grail said :

Mordd said :

Also I plan to write a intro field guide in a few weeks time, something like “my first 2/3 weeks in ingress – new player guide” and post it here which will hopefully answer a lot of the questions i’ve had myself and you guys have about the practicalities of gameplay, including things like “how much data/battery does it up” etc.. etc.. There are good online guides but it takes a lot of reading to get answers to some basic new player questions, so hopefully I might be able to condense some of that into a single source from the perspective of a brand new player. Hold me to it!

Gawd… three posts in a row. What am I doing?

Rather than planning you could just do 🙂 Just post something here: the links to the getting started guides that you like the most would be a great start. You don’t have to get it perfect first go. Then start writing the 2-weeks guide as a blog or something, before you forget because those two weeks were actually a year ago and you can’t remember a thing!

Once you’ve skimmed the manual, this reddit post summarised what you should do:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Ingress/comments/1ui3yr/what_i_wish_i_knew_when_i_started_aka_a_level_by/

Grail 1:05 pm 17 Jan 14

Mordd said :

Also I plan to write a intro field guide in a few weeks time, something like “my first 2/3 weeks in ingress – new player guide” and post it here which will hopefully answer a lot of the questions i’ve had myself and you guys have about the practicalities of gameplay, including things like “how much data/battery does it up” etc.. etc.. There are good online guides but it takes a lot of reading to get answers to some basic new player questions, so hopefully I might be able to condense some of that into a single source from the perspective of a brand new player. Hold me to it!

Gawd… three posts in a row. What am I doing?

Rather than planning you could just do 🙂 Just post something here: the links to the getting started guides that you like the most would be a great start. You don’t have to get it perfect first go. Then start writing the 2-weeks guide as a blog or something, before you forget because those two weeks were actually a year ago and you can’t remember a thing!

Grail 1:03 pm 17 Jan 14

Gungahlin Al said :

It does use a fair bit. I bumped my 1Gb plan to 3Gb and that covers some fairly serious play.

Wow! I use like 200MB on a heavy month. So far for me, as an iPhone user, the cost of playing Ingress is going to be:

$125-$500 for an Android phone
$60 for external battery (optional)
$30/month for extra data

Could this replace horse racing as rich-folk sports? 🙂

Gungahlin Al said :

It also kills your battery. Like all GPS apps, the battery cooks and drops quickly. Many of us are buying those $60 Kogan power banks with 11,000 mAh that keep you smashing smurf blue all day long.

Sounds like poor power management at the hardware level, or software that is continually polling the 3G network and GPS when it doesn’t need to.

Grail 12:49 pm 17 Jan 14

Mordd said :

P.S. If anyone has a $50-60 old android phone they are looking to sell, PM me with details, cheers.

Ditto!

JB HiFi have the Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo for $125. http://www.jbhifi.com.au/phones/samsung/galaxy-pocket-neo-white-sku-447077/

Gungahlin Al 12:46 pm 15 Jan 14

Grail said :

Varthrax said :

@ everyone else – do not use apps like Ingrios. There are apps like this which appear to be legit but are not. Any interaction through them may result in a permanant ban. Wait for the iOS version.

So the iOS version is coming … when?

Also, how much data does Ingress use when you are out in the field fighting for the good guys?

It does use a fair bit. I bumped my 1Gb plan to 3Gb and that covers some fairly serious play.

It also kills your battery. Like all GPS apps, the battery cooks and drops quickly. Many of us are buying those $60 Kogan power banks with 11,000 mAh that keep you smashing smurf blue all day long.

Mordd 9:53 pm 14 Jan 14

Grail said :

Varthrax said :

@ everyone else – do not use apps like Ingrios. There are apps like this which appear to be legit but are not. Any interaction through them may result in a permanant ban. Wait for the iOS version.

So the iOS version is coming … when?

Also, how much data does Ingress use when you are out in the field fighting for the good guys?

I have a daily google alert setup to email me now with any mention of “ingress ios” in a news article posted, so as soon as the official app comes out I (or im sure another player) will make sure an article gets posted here notifying you all.

Also I plan to write a intro field guide in a few weeks time, something like “my first 2/3 weeks in ingress – new player guide” and post it here which will hopefully answer a lot of the questions i’ve had myself and you guys have about the practicalities of gameplay, including things like “how much data/battery does it up” etc.. etc.. There are good online guides but it takes a lot of reading to get answers to some basic new player questions, so hopefully I might be able to condense some of that into a single source from the perspective of a brand new player. Hold me to it!

P.S. If anyone has a $50-60 old android phone they are looking to sell, PM me with details, cheers.

Cantabile 1:56 pm 14 Jan 14

I’ve just finished reading Halting State and then these posts come along… I’m in! Colour me green, this housewife is off to hack the planet*

*local shops

Grail 1:48 pm 14 Jan 14

Varthrax said :

@ everyone else – do not use apps like Ingrios. There are apps like this which appear to be legit but are not. Any interaction through them may result in a permanant ban. Wait for the iOS version.

So the iOS version is coming … when?

Also, how much data does Ingress use when you are out in the field fighting for the good guys?

Varthrax 11:11 am 14 Jan 14

@ Gungahlin Al – Nice try on providing some statistics to try and back your false claims about the Enlightened being under the pump. Like any stats of this nature, they were captured a point in time after a very well coordinated day of operations by the Resistance – something necessary to restore balance in the glorious Capital and something that was only short lived.

@ everyone else – do not use apps like Ingrios. There are apps like this which appear to be legit but are not. Any interaction through them may result in a permanant ban. Wait for the iOS version.

@ those who worry about ‘big brother’ – go ahead and worry but please don’t try and throw a negative light on the game. It’s fun, the people who play are really decent people for the most part (yes, even the Enlightened) and we’re not out there to ruin anyone’s lives. Educate people, sure, but don’t discourage them.

I have noticed a lot of new players on both sides joining the game in the last fortnight. I believe that part of that is thanks to The RiotACT.

See you on the battlefield.

Mordd 10:15 pm 13 Jan 14

1. I would be VERY WARY of the “ingrios” app, the official ingress site states quite clearly that connecting using 3rd party apps or services is a big, big no-no and can result in perma-ban from the game.

“If you violated the Ingress Terms of Service, including Section 2. Use of the Products – Permissions and Restrictions, you will be sent a termination confirmation. For those who may have not read the section closely, this includes, but is not limited to, falsifying your location [b]and/or accessing Ingress clients or backends in an unauthorized manner including through the use of third party software.[/b]”

Best thing to do is wait for the official Ingress iOS app to come out, or grab a $50 android handset fro ebay if you really can’t wait like to me get playing.

I look forward to seeing you on comms JB once I get my android phone this week, viva la revolution!!

tommy 7:00 pm 13 Jan 14

Forums say the ios app connects to the world Android uses.

otherwise have to wait for Google to release the official version for ios this year

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