Tag Archives: Resistance

Ingress – Drama

Last Saturday morning, I was training at Bukit Timah Hill with a few friends from Ingress for the Goruck event and there was some drama from the Resistance.

Our team met at 7am and walked to the starting point of the hill, with each person carrying a load of around 9kg. While we waited at the foot of the hill for our last member, I was happily hacked and blasted away at the Resistance’s web of links. It was so satifying to destroy two of their portals which each had a SoftBank Ultra Link, supporting about 23 links in total, I think.

Anyway, about an hour plus into our training, I got called out in the Ingress Comm section by the owner of the portals I destroyed.

01

Like, whaaaat??? That’s kinda mean-spirited, rude and obviously a butt-hurt reaction to me poking a hole in his link web. I showed my fellow Enlightened Ruckers and they all had similar reactions. This was just after we finished the three sets of going up and down the steep part of the hill, climbing all the way to the summit via the stairs on the third run. We were just about to start our physical training, so I put away my phone after I showed them.

After the training, I decided to punch more holes in the Resistance web out of spite, then tagged bluwarrior back in the comms.

02 Drama

Yeah okay, I’m a childish, petty person. But he started it! *throws a tantrum*

My response about training for two hours was pretty funny, if I do say so myself. But I wasn’t satisfied. I was riled up, pumped with leftover adrenaline and itching for a fight. So I poked the bear. And this was his response.

03 Drama

Like I said, Pokemon Go came out, so we all lost interest in Ingress. Just FYI, Bukit Timah hill has a ton of Eevee and Clefairies. Nearby, Beauty World has Pikachu, Vulpix and Ryhorn, though they’re still fairly rare. You’re welcome.

Back to the main story. Okay, I admit, I don’t personally know who bluwarrior is or what he looks like, but the opportunity to return fire was too good to pass up. To be honest, I don’t know who PathToNowhere is either, but I’m glad a fellow Enlightened Agent came to my defense, which just goes to show how supportive we Enlightened as a community are, unlike the unfriendly – almost militarian – Resistance. Guys, come on, haven’t we had enough of Singapore’s crap army system?

Side note: PathToNowhere seems to be a portmanteau of two cards from Magic: the Gathering (MTG), named Path to Exile and Journey to Nowhere. Both cards are white and do similar things: They exile a creature. Of course, it’s entirely possible that the handle PathToNowhere holds it’s own significance to its user, but it’s a curious little coincidence.

04 Drama

I MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE. I FORGOT TO SCREENSHOT BLUWARRIOR’S REPLY. But I remember it went something like this:

bluwarrior: “You want to challenge a guy three times your age?”

And our replies:

05 Drama

I don’t know how old the other two are, but I’m 23, so I tripled it to 69. Heh, 69 XD

Sadly, he didn’t respond, so that was the end of my fun. But for my last jibe, I took over his church with a JARVIS Virus.

Disclaimer to the Resistance: This burn post is targeted at bluwarrior. I’m sure there many of you nice agents out there. He just isn’t one of you. Sorry for any smack talk, we are opposing teams after all XD

Here’s proof that we made it to the summit.

08 Drama

-Jace

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Ingress – CBD Mission Series

Hey guys, here’s another mission series I did: the CBD Mission Series created by Resistance player Sharkzy!

01 CBD Complete Mission

Mission Series notes:
– Consists of 24 missions, all hacking and about one passphrase per mission
– All mission waypoints can be completed in any order
– Missions are arranged in alphabetical order, so just follow the mission titles starting with CBD Adventure and CBD Bank, all the way to CBD Zone (there’s no mission K or X)
– It’s a really long walk. You’ll go from Fullerton Hotel -> Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) -> Merlion Park -> down Fullerton road -> follow the river bank to Bayfront side -> up to the ArtScience Museum -> across the Helix Bridge -> and then around the Singapore Flyer.
– If you, like us, parked near the start point, it’s a 25-30min walk back once you’ve completed the series.
– We took nearly three hours to complete the mission series, not including the walk back to the car

SPOILER ALERT: Answers to all passphrase waypoints will be shown below. Turn back now if you don’t want to know.

Dad parked on Phillip St, because we drove around and couldn’t find any other parking spots. That itself was actually a good distance from the first mission. We started at 11.30pm and finished only at about 2.15am. By the time we walked back to the car, it was 2.45am and we ended up sleeping at about 3.30am.

Sigh.
The things we do for Ingress…

Anyway, the first two missions were all hacking missions. Do take note that you may have some trouble getting two of the portals in CBD Bank, because they’re actually inside Fullerton hotel. If you can’t wait and drift about, then here’s the solution: go into Fullerton hotel (to enjoy the aircon for a bit), then sign into Wireless at Fullerton wifi and set your GPS to high accuracy. It’s free and you’ll be able to get the last two portals.

CBD Caper had the first passphrase.
02 CBD Caper Passphrase

03 CBD Caper Answer

Also note that, at the time we did this, missions D to J had some construction work going on, so it was quite difficult to manoeuvre around the site to get the missions. Please do be careful and be hyper aware of your surroundings, especially if you go at night like we did.

CBD Deed
04 CBD Deed Passphrase

05 CBD Deed Answer

CBD Feat
06 CBD Feat Passphrase

07 CBD Feat Answer

CBD Gamble
08 CBD Gamble Passphrase

09 CBD Gamble Answer

CBD Jeopardy has one Visit Waypoint and this is around Merlion Park. Remember that there’s no Mission K, so just move on to CBD Limit. The next few missions were all hacking waypoints, but this part has the most walking. You’ve got to walk down and around the river bank to get to Bayfront area. Along the way, I managed to get my Platinum Translator Medal!

10 Translator Medal

And here’s a shot of two lines of the mission complete! Halfway though.
11 Two Lines Complete

Once you get to Bayfront, CBD Peril starts the passphrase thing up again.

CBD Peril
12 CBD Peril Passphrase

13 CBD Peril Answer

CBD Romp
14 CBD Romp Passphrase

15 CBD Romp Answer

CBD Stunt
16 CBD Stunt Passphrase

17 CBD Stunt Answer

Okay this mission was quite interesting. It starts at the ArtScience Museum, then takes you over the Helix Bridge. There aren’t any portals on the bridge itself, so put away your device for a bit and enjoy the walk over. When you reach the other side, there’s a whole cluster of portals, which will be very tempting to blast and hack and capture.

DO NOT HACK THEM YET. Focus on completing the missions, because I stupidly hacked them and had to wait for them to cooldown before I could hack for CBD Trial. Interestingly, the passphrase provides a clue if you make this mistake. Not a lot of people realize that if you deploy a Heat Sink (regardless of rarity), it completely resets the burnout counter on a portal. When I first found out about this several months ago, I used to deploy a rare Multi-Hack on my home portal, hack it 12 times over an hour or so, then deploy a common Heat Sink immediately after the 12th hack to hack it again.

So don’t cast aside common Heat Sinks. Stock them up when you do missions, just in case you make the mistake of hacking a non-mission portal that turns out to be a waypoint for the next mission.

Also, I leveled up to Level 14!
18 Level 14

And we’re three quarters of the way through now.
19 Three Lines Complete

CBD Undertaking has two passphrases (I hope you paid attention when I said to enjoy the walk over the Helix Bridge)
20 CBD Undertaking Passphrase 1

21 CBD Undertaking Answer 1

The answer for this can actually be found on the plaques in the area. Go treasure hunt a bit, if you don’t want to see the answer here.
22 CBD Undertaking Passphrase 2

23 CBD Undertaking Answer 2

CBD Venture (Math involved!) I kinda guessed the answer to this one and just chose 1.2M to start. I got lucky XD
24 CBD Venture Passphrase

25 CBD Venture Answer

There’s no Mission X, so move on to CBD Walk. The last few missions takes you around Singapore Flyer and back to the portal cluster. And that’s the end of that.

26 CBD Mission Complete

-Jace

Ingress – CNY Mini-Series and Mystic @Haw Par Villa Mission Series

Back again with a new mission series less than a month after the last one. The way I use my mobile data only lets me do one major mission series a month, which suits me well XD

Anyway, I made new friends! After finally fixing all the broken links as a result from my blog split, a couple of happy Enlightened players contacted me and one of them (Andrew | floodplug) invited me to his group to do this mission series last Saturday.

I’m very honoured to receive all this recognition and appreciation. 🙂

Before the actual mission notes, here’s a short part on the “CNY mission mini-series” my dad and I did to create a separator (Dad likes a line of six missions to separate the large pictures).

01 CNY Series

Mini-series mission notes:
– All missions are made up of four hacking waypoints in any order
– All missions are clustered in the Tampines Central Park, so it takes less than half an hour to hack everything
– You might want to prepare some multi-hacks and heat sinks, because all the portals in the are make it very tempting to farm and very confusing at the same time. Sometimes I forgot which portal I already hacked
– I suggest you only hack the portals on the missions first, then once you’re done you can go bananas

Okay it’s not actually a proper mission series. Each mission gives a picture of a Chinese character on a red background. Since I can’t read Chinese, I have no idea what each character means. Apparently there were supposed to be eight missions, so perhaps they were meant to be two sets of four-character idiom-type things. Only seven were approved, so pick any six Chinese character missions to create your separator.

02 CNY Row Complete

Now that that’s out of the way, I can dive into the Mystic @Haw Par Villa (hereafter referred to as HPV) mission series notes and report. Created by Resistance player Halette, here’s what the entire mission series looks like. It’s a Kirin! A flying dragon horse thing that’s on fire. SO MUCH BADASS! Halette might have chosen the wrong side, but she chose a really awesome picture.

03 HPV Kirin

Mission Series notes:
– Consists of 24 missions, and mostly hacking and capture/upgrade waypoints
– All mission waypoints can be completed in any order
– Mission series starts at Exit A of Haw Par Villa MRT station and ends at a Korean restaurant just across road from the starting point.
– The last two missions contain passphrase waypoints, so details on the questions and answers will be shown later.
– Even with the passphrase waypoints, we completed the whole mission series in about an hour
– I recommend you go in the morning (9am, like what we did), or in the late afternoon (5-6pm). You can’t do it at night because HPV has opening hours of 9am-7pm daily. Free entry, but I think you’ll get kicked out by the wardens if you stay beyond the opening hours. Besides, HPV contains depictions of Hell, so going in after dark would be super creepy.

04 HPV Opening Hours

SPOILER ALERT: Answers to all passphrase waypoints will be shown below. Turn back now if you don’t want to know.

So Andrew had invited to me to join him and a few other players for this mission series. I met him first at NUH Burger King for breakfast and we talked for a quite a bit. I found out he loves puns so now I have a new best friend XD

After breakfast, we headed down one stop to Haw Par Villa station and met Jwei (jwei_jwei), an Enlightened agent from the West. Two other Enlightened players Derek (ShagGamer) and Jeremy (Skulldaeron) were supposed to join us at 9am, but they were late, so the three of us set off first to claim all the unique caps we could. 😛

We had a good time racing each other to capture portals and complete the mission, as well as explore Haw Par Villa. I haven’t been there since… Hmmm I do remember going once before, but I was very young. Can’t remember if it was on a school trip or one of those family and friends outings Mum used to organize.

As I mentioned in the mission notes above, the first 22 missions consisted only of hacking and capture/upgrade portal waypoints. The last two missions had some passphrase waypoints, so here are the questions and answers.

05 Mission #23

06 Passphrase #1

07 Answer #1

08 Passphrase #2

09 Answer #2

10 Passphrase #3

11 Answer #3

12 Mission #24

13 Passphrase #1

14 Answer #1

15 Passphrase #2

16 Answer #2

17 Passphrase #3

18 Answer #3

19 Passphrase #4

20 Answer #4

And when I finished it…
21 Mission Complete

At about mission #5, there was a section of HPV that was roped off and we thought we’d have to climb over to ropes to get to the next waypoint. I was like, we’re going to hell for this – oh wait, we’re already here!

We had quite a few hilarious moments, like when Andrew said “Ingress: taking you to interesting places only for you to stare at your phone”. Then after the mission when we went to have lunch/brunch at Vivo, all of us were staring at our mobiles hacking whatever portals we happened to drift over and I said “Ingress: Making people be anti-social together!”

I finally met Derek while he was on mission #7 and I was doing #18, so note the overlap of waypoints. I also met Jeremy only after we finished the whole mission. We took a group picture together with the Haw Par Villa sign.

22 Group Pic (Original)
Left to right: Me, Derek, Jwei, Jeremy and Andrew

I sent the original to the Telegram group, and I got “scolded” because the picture wasn’t sharp. I said I was a writer, not a photographer, so John (FortMax) edited it for me.

23 Group Pic (Edited)

-Jace

Ingress – Gardens by the Bay Mission Series

After more than two months since our last mission series, we finally completed another one: Gardens by the Bay by Sharkzy!

01 GBTB Complete Pic

We did this series with two new Ingress friends: husband and wife couple Ann and Jen Hwa. They’re almost our neighbours, we only live a few blocks apart.

Mission Series notes:
– All 24 missions are in Gardens by the Bay area, and waypoints can be completed in any order
– The order to complete the missions is to follow the alphabet of the missions. Start with “Assemble in GBTB”, followed by “Balance in GBTB” and so on, until you hit “Yearn in GBTB”
– The letters “X” and “Z” aren’t used in these missions, so don’t look for them
– I recommend you start from Bayfront MRT and walk in. We parked below and so when we came up, we had to backtrack quite a bit before we completed the first mission.
– The whole series takes about three hours to complete on foot. We took three and a half hours (7.30pm to 11pm) because we stopped halfway for prata
– Most of the missions consists of hacking waypoints and an average one passphrase waypoint per mission. Two exceptions: the “Kiss in GBTB” mission contains TWO passphrases, while the last mission (“Yearn in GBTB”) only has hacking waypoints.
– All the passphrase waypoints are questions related to the layout of the Ingress tabs and in game actions. Very easy to figure out.
– When you reach a passphrase waypoint, DO NOT HACK IT FIRST. Some of the missions overlap portals, so do prep Multi-Hacks and Heat Sinks in case you make mistakes

As we drove in, I managed to snag a picture of the GBTB sign. I thought it wouldn’t come out nicely since we were moving, but it came out well.

02 GBTB Entrance Sign

I came loaded with water and my charger pack and I was so efficient that I managed to complete two Carousell deals at Raffles MRT before we started. Go me. Anyway, we took a group shot before we started.

Most of the missions were uneventful, so I’ll just post the screenshots. Since there was no order to the waypoints, I soon realised that it was futile to take the mission map screenshots. Instead, I took screenshots of the passphrase questions and answers.

SPOILER ALERT: THIS IS A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THIS MISSION SERIES. ALL ANSWERS TO THE PASSPHRASE QUESTIONS WILL BE PROVIDED.

Assemble in GBTB
04 Passphrase A1

05 Passphrase A2

Balance in GBTB
06 Passphrase B1

07 Passphrase B2

Cultivate in GBTB
08 Passphrase C1

09 Passphrase C2

Discover in GBTB
10 Passphrase D1

11 Passphrase D2

Exercise in GBTB
12 Passphrase E1

13 Passphrase E2

Fashion in GBTB
14 Passphrase F1

15 Passphrase F2

First Row Complete
16 GBTB One Row of Six

Glitter in GBTB
17 Passphrase G1

18 Passphrase G2

Hibernate in GBTB
19 Passphrase H1

20 Passphrase H2

Illuminate in GBTB
21 Passphrase I1

22 Passphrase I2

Joy in GBTB
23 Passphrase J1

24 Passphrase J2

Kiss in GBTB
Take note that in this mission, there are TWO (2) passphrases and that the last passphrase portal is the first portal of the next mission so DON’T HACK IT FIRST.

25 Passphrase K (Double passphrase)

26 Passphrase K1

27 Passphrase K2

28 Passphrase K3

29 Passphrase K4

Learn in GBTB
30 Passphrase L1

31 Passphrase L2

Two Rows Complete
32 GBTB Two Rows of Six

Move in GBTB
33 Passphrase M1

34 Passphrase M2

Navigate in GBTB
35 Passphrase N1

36 Passphrase N2

Orchestrate in GBTB
38 Passphrase O2

37 Passphrase O1

Photograph in GBTB
39 Passphrase P1

40 Passphrase P2

Quest in GBTB
42 Passphrase Q2

41 Passphrase Q1

Revitalise in GBTB
43 Passphrase R1

44 Passphrase R2

Third Row Complete
45 GBTB Three Rows of Six

Sleep in GBTB
46 Passphrase S1

47 Passphrase S2

Transform in GBTB
48 Passphrase T1

49 Passphrase T2

After this mission, we decided to have a break. There was a 24 hour hawker centre that reminded me of the one at East Coast Park. We had prata and decided to take a group picture while we ate.

I didn’t take a very good photo…

50 Group Pic (Prata Break)

Unite in GBTB
51 Passphrase U1

52 Passphrase U2

Visualize in GBTB
53 Passphrase V1

54 Passphrase V2

Wanderlust in GBTB
55 Passphrase W1

56 Passphrase W2

Whole GBTB Picture Complete!
57 GBTB Four Rows of Six

After we finished, we took another group picture. Man, were we tired!
58 Group Pic (After)

-Jace

Ingress Part Three – An Update

This is a my reflection on the updates of the game since I last talked about it. It will assume you know what Ingress is and how it works. If you’re unfamiliar with Ingress, click here to read my summary on the game. Click here instead if you want to see my thoughts in the previous post.

So Ingress has had several updates since I last wrote about it. Between then and now, I’ve reached Level Eight (the current max level at the time) and my interest in the game dwindled. Also, because of my packed schedule, I couldn’t play much. I preferred to hang out with my friends or stay at home and blog, rather than go out and play Ingress.

After reaching Level Eight, the game was about creating and maintaining Control Fields. I saw this as a passive objective so I didn’t really like it. I prefer active objectives, goals that you move toward to, not maintenance work.

Anyway, back to Ingress. I haven’t been keeping up with the story, but my dad has, and he’s been telling me about the progress. They’ve had several updates that improved the user interface and added more features. One of these features was the addition of Levels Nine to Sixteen. Don’t know what the extra levels will bring, but perhaps better weapons or resonators or mods. Maybe even new items.

So far, we’ve got nothing exclusive to the higher levels yet. The extra levels are just statuses for now, with no practical applications. But it was the addition of these extra levels that sparked my interest again. Now I have a new objective: leveling up.

There were more updates though:

Glyph Hacking
By long pressing the Hack button, a glyph game will appear. It’s basically a memory game; memorizing the glyphs that appear on your screen and then recreating them in order within a time limit. The higher the level of the portal, the more glyphs you have to remember and replicate. Glyph hacking gives you extra items.

Capsules
Capsules are containers that you can use to store up to 100 inventory items in. The items in the capsule still count toward your inventory total and the capsule counts itself as one item. But there are two advantages. First, it lets you transfer items to another player pretty easily. My dad and I have been transferring items back and forth without capsules and it’s quite tedious.

Secondly, the capsule disables or “hides” your items. This means that you can store your extra keys or a particular inside the capsule, then when you hack the portal, it will see that you don’t have a key and will give you one. Previously, players had to drop keys, hack the portal and then pick up the keys again. This is okay if you have up to four keys, but it gets more and more annoying when you have to drop ten keys.

As of now, capsules can only be gotten with passcodes that are discovered in the discussion board or the in-game media. I’ve got no capsules, so now I regret recycling all my media.

Ultra-Strikes
As far as I understand it, these weapons are more precise variations of the standard XMP. They have higher damage but a smaller radius and they span the current eight levels, just like regular XMPs. If you stand on top of a resonator, a good Ultra-Strike can take it out in one hit. This is excellent for hitting high level farms without getting hit by other portals due to the residual radius damage inflicted by the normal XMPs. It’s also good for finishing off the last resonator or two of a portal and you don’t want to waste a Level Seven or Eight XMP on it.

I’ve got a L2 and a L6 Ultra-Strike, but I haven’t used them yet.

Looks like I’m back in the game! 😀

-Jace

Ingress Part Two – A Reflection

This is a reflection of the game from my point of view. It will assume you know what Ingress is and how it works. If you’re unfamiliar with Ingress, click here to read my summary on the game.

I’m really hooked on this game ever since my best friend introduced it to me and I got my very first Android mobile. After the initial learning curve, the game is pretty easy to understand. At first, I thought it was just going to be pretty repetitive; hacking, destroying, claiming, fortifying. But it turned out to be so much more.

Just last Friday, I learnt two new strategies to up my game, a new term (“farms”), and met two Resistance members who came to say hi to us. It feels like the makers of Ingress incorporated a bit of the Hash Brown Theory. I like that.

But even without this, I like the game a lot and I want to share the basic advantages or byproducts of the game. First of all, it’s augmented reality. I really like the thought of escaping to another world for a while, having a different set of exciting problems to deal with instead of everyday mundane ones. The game also requires you to physically move about. That’s actually a pretty great motivation to exercise. This is one of the few virtual games that actually make you move (like Wii games). I think it’s great that I could just set up a jogging path that takes me past as many portals as possible and if I want to hit more portals, I have to run further.

Another thing that’s awesome is that the portals are mostly pieces of art, murals and sculptures and statues and other fascinating things to look at. The game turns into a field trip combined with a treasure hunt. Pretty fun thing to do alone or together with a friend or group of friends. Your friends don’t even have to play the game, you could just play it yourself and point out the cool stuff to them as you walk past. The game doesn’t even take up that much concentration unless you’re focused on taking down a portal, so you can walk and talk without missing a beat.

Speaking about playing it with your friends, I feel that this might possibly be a fun date idea, whether or not your date plays the game. You both get a walk, spend quality time together and get to know the area a bit more. Spots like these start to accumulate in your mind like fun facts and it’s pretty cool to show people around the place. Heck, the portals can be used as meeting places! The portals become landmarks for you and the friends you’ve shown them to, which is pretty handy if you’re exploring a new area together. Even on your own, this game does slowly increase your map sense, which is a huge boon for me. I wasn’t too great at mental maps unless I frequented an area everyday. But now I have small mental maps of Bugis, Jurong East and Yishun, all places that I seldom go to.

Great game.

-Jace

Ingress Part One – An Overview

This is a summary of the game from my point of view. Some parts may be inaccurate because that was how I perceived it. This post is in no way comprehensive of Ingress. Click here to read my thoughts on the game instead.

One of the minor reasons I got a new smartphone was because of the apps I could download and use. I actually made a list of all the apps I wanted by getting ideas from friends and a Vsauce segment called App All Knight.

One of these apps I got is this augmented-reality game called Ingress, which my best friend plays on his mobile.

The game is based in real time and space, meaning that you view a different world through your mobile device (called a Scanner) and you have to physically move around the real world to interact with the in-game objects. The game uses your device’s GPS to track your location, so you actually have to be in range of the objects to do anything at all.

These in-game objects are usually Portals. The story behind the game is that a new type of matter, called Exotic Matter or XM, has been found to be leaking into this world, mostly through the Portals. XM is believed to be able to affect human thoughts and emotions. Scientist have discovered a way to harvest XM and use it as an energy source to power electrical devices, like the Scanner. In the game, XM is scattered all around in splotches and when you move within range, the scanner absorbs the splotches of XM to recharge itself.

As with anything new, people are arguing over what they should do about XM. We humans have been split into two main factions: the Resistance and the Enlightened.

Because XM can influence human thoughts, the Resistance believe that XM is toxic, dangerous and the entities that have bled XM into our world (if any) are hostile. They believe that we should plug up the portals and set up defenses to protect humanity from XM and it’s creators/masters.

As you might imagine, the Enlightened take the opposite view. They want to learn about XM and use it to create new technology and improve everyone’s lives. If any entities are on the other side of the portals, then the Enlightened believe that we should welcome them, not unlike hosts welcoming guests to a party. They believe that a lot can be learnt from the entities and that we could share our knowledge with them too.

It’s a classic power battle between “change is good” and “change is bad”.

So what is a Portal? Portals are anything that showcase creativity, such as works of art, magnificent buildings and structures, or even unusual formations by nature. Those places have so much XM gathered that creativity and inspiration are at their peak. Hence, people put sculptures and works of art there and nature forms pretty and weird things.

These Portals are, by default, unclaimed, but both factions have to ability to claim Portals and fortify them. The Resistance is represented in Blue and the Enlightened in Green. Claiming a portal involves first destroying any opposing fortifications that portal may have, which are called Resonators. Resonators store XM and have different levels; the higher the level, the higher the storage capacity of XM. When all Resonators are destroyed, the Portal becomes unclaimed. To claim it, a user simply deploys a Resonator of his/her own. The Portal will be aligned to his/her faction and the Portal will be owned by the person who claimed it. Resonators are like batteries, they store the power needed to align a Portal and the energy slowly depletes over time. A user may recharge the Resonators by being in range. This uses up XM though.

The other type of fortification are called Mods, short for Modifications. These Mods include (but aren’t limited to) Portal Shields (which reduce incoming damage), Heat Sinks (which reduce the cooldown time between portal hacks), Multi-Hacks (which allow more hacks before the portal becomes overheated), Force Amps and Turrets (which improve the Portal’s counter-attack on enemies) and Link Amps (which expand a range a Portal can link to another Portal).

Hacking is the main activity of Ingress. To hack a Portal, the user must be within a 40m radius of the Portal, then press the Hack button. There is no physical skill involved when hacking and any portal may be hacked by any user. Hacking portals usually provides the user with items (Resonators, Weapons, Mods and Portal Keys) and this is the main way to increase one’s inventory. Hacking a portal of your own faction has a higher chance of giving you more or better items, while hacking an unclaimed or enemy portal will give you less or mediocre items. Hacking an enemy portal also grants you 100AP but it may counter attack and drain some of your XM. Regardless, all portals should be hacked when you get the chance to.

There is a five minute cooldown period between hacks, so Heat Sinks are useful if you have a nearby Portal you wish to hack multiple times in a short span of time. However, there is also a limit of four hacks a single user may perform on a single portal in a given four-hour cycle. Multi-Hack Mods increase this number, depending on the rarity of the Mod itself.

Portals will sometimes drop Portal Keys. These keys are needed to link two Portals together. Of course, there are several prerequisites before a link can be made, such as both portals must be within range of each other, both portals must have the same faction alignment as the user, and there must be no other links in between the portals. You only need one Key to link the Portals, but the Key is consumed once you use it. You may hack the Portal again to gain another Key and use that to link another portal as well. Portals have no limits to the number of outgoing links they can have at any one time, but can only hold a maximum of eight incoming links. Portal Keys also allow the user to recharge Portals remotely, although the distance does reduce the effectiveness a little.

Successfully creating three links between three Portals will form a triangle and the whole area within that triangle will become the colour of the faction. This is known as a Control Field, which has captured Mind Units (MUs). MUs are the only measurement of the control of different factions. It doesn’t matter how many Portals a faction has captured, it just matters how many MUs they have.

To destroy a Portal, players use weapons called Bursters. They have different levels as well, with higher levels doing more damage and having a further damage radius. Players can obtain Bursters that have a higher level than the player himself/herself but the Burster is unusable until the player reaches that level. Bursters explode and deal damage in an area, hitting all enemy Resonators in the radius. They drain the XM energy in the Resonators and when a Resonator has no energy, it is destroyed and cannot be recharged. The further away a Resonator is from the Burster’s point of origin, the less damage it will take. Shield Mods and links also reduce the amount of damage the Resonators receive.

The aim of the game is for one faction to annihilate the other by covering the entire world in Control Field, essentially gaining 100% of MUs (yes this is international). Of course, this will never happen, with the back and forth war between the factions.

Players can’t die in the game. The closest thing to “death” would be having no more XM energy in their Scanner and thus their Scanner would be disabled until it absorbs more XM. The Scanner can also be recharged by recycling items or by consuming Power Cubes (which give 1000XM multiplied by the Cube’s level).

Hacking enemy Portals, destroying Resonators and links, claiming Portals, applying Mods, creating Links and Control Fields all reward the player with Action Points (AP). AP is used to level up. Currently there are only eight levels, but it takes quite a while to get there purely because of the sheer amount of AP required.

-Jace