Thoughts on Ingress game balance – part 2

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This is the second installment of a longer article about balancing issues in Ingress. You can find the first part here. I remind you that this is the result of a brainstorming by several players. I don’t claim that all the ideas here are mine, nor that all the contributors agree at 100% with all the ideas…

In the first part of this series, we discussed how the rules could be modified to make somewhat easier (or possible at all) for a dominated faction to recover control locally once the situation has become too unbalanced.

On the other hand, one may go one step forward and say that the game could avoid unbalanced situations altogether. This does not mean forbidding them of course. The aim could be to just make it more convenient for both teams to have a balanced situation, then if one of them still wants to try a complete takeover it should be allowed to do that, in particular if some safety mechanisms like the ones discussed in the previous post are implemented.

Making the coexistence of the two factions more convenient

Nobody playing the game seriously would accept that his/her foes are graciously allowing him/her to own a few portals. Portals must be fought for, and must be conquered. We know that in some cities there are informal agreements between factions that lead to a somewhat balanced situation. This is, however,  not enough. The game should be smart enough to make it convenient for any player to have a few enemy portals around.

Ingress Battle by Stephen Schneider

Ingress Battle by Stephen Schneider

The situation would greatly improve if the following ideas (or something similar) were implemented:

a) Building a portal close to another portal of the same color, without an enemy portal in between, could be made much harder (for example, much more xm required for deploy). This should work for the immediate proximity of a portal, and to some extent over a radius which is the size of a small city. The result is to make farm building much harder, in particular for a faction that is already in control of a city. The easiest farm to build would be the one which includes enemy portals.

b) Alternatively, destroying a cluster of portals belonging to one faction could be made easier. The actual mechanism could be for example much faster decay of portals when they are all close to each other without any enemy portal in between. In general, portals should weaken neighboring portals of the same faction and strengthen portals of the opposite faction. One can think of a mechanism in which portals of the same faction compete for resources, “feeding” from enemy portals, and if portals of a single faction are too dense, they just starve each other to death. Along the same lines, portals could deflect part of the damage towards enemy portals nearby, thus becoming more resilient to attacks. Or, similarly, xmp damage to enemy portals could be mitigated by friendly portals (i.e. if you attack a blue portal, green portals nearby can screen it from part of the effect, even if not taking explicit damage). This would make a single portal surrounded by enemy portals very strong and hard to takeover and a mono-faction portal farm easier to destroy. The strongest configuration for both factions would be a balanced mix of green and blue portals.  This encourages to keep a situation where the two factions share the portals. Indeed, a farm becomes stronger if it hosts enemy portals.

c) Similarly, the droprate of a friendly portal when hacked may depend on the neighboring portals: more enemy portals nearby would result in more items being dropped. The motivation here could be similar to the competition for resources mentioned above. This could work the other way around for hacking an enemy portal, i.e. the enemy portal gives you more stuff if there are no portals of your own team close by.

This is all for this installment. The next (and last of this series) will follow in a few days.

What do you think of coexistence between different portals? Is this really a good idea, or is it too risky?

 

Part 1: Easing recovery from unbalanced situations

Part 2: Making the coexistence of the two factions more convenient

Part 3: Limiting the impact of very active high-level players [coming soon]

About Author

Proud member of Enlightenment teams in Freiburg (DE), Geneva (CH), Rome (IT)

86 Comments

  1. I have read your first part. I have found there few (realy just few) good ideas, but many others were just stupid. I started to read this second part, but after reading about “creating farms with forcing of enemy portals beeing in between” Im not going to read more. If you want to play this game you have to be acitve player. In that case you will not have problem. If you think Its not enough, then find friend who will play with you, create community of agents of your faction!

    • gaspo. I started to read your comment, but after reading “just stupid” I am not going to read more. If you want to discuss with me you have to be polite. In that case I’m sure we can both profit from the discussion. If you don’t see what the problem is, then find a friend to explain it to you :)

      • I’m sorry, but I agree with gaspo, since the last article all you are trying to achieve with your proposed changes is either making the game easier for solo play or so that opposing factions would play nice to each other. This is supposed to be one faction against the other and it is supposed to be played in teams, not solo.
        It is just like saying, make the game easy for people who do not want/can not play the game. Sorry but that doesn’t make sense.

    • You don’t particularly understand game design. Any game, no, correction, EVERY game that falls into an unbalanced state suffers and eventually becomes unsustainable. Look at games like Chess and Go where there is as close to perfect balance between the two games as possible and have survived a millennia. Games that cannot autocorrect for the play of the players allows for an unbalanced state and that discourages new players from joining the weaker side, causes inexperienced players on the weak side to leave the game, and causes even the experienced players to have to choose between trying to correct the unbalanced state (with a superior enemy in numbers, equipment, and time) and every other activity they enjoy in their life.

      There are a large number of ways that Ingress can be made more balanced, several of which were mentioned in the first article. In the world of gaming there are three general types of games, those that rely on skill, those that rely on chance, and those which are a combination of the two. A game of skill must be perfectly balanced to allow the players to prove themselves and allow the player with the most skill to prevail.

      You wish for Ingress to be a game of skill, where once the superior player/faction is ahead they become harder to beat and their position becomes even stronger, which allows them to take and hold even more portals. This would work fine…if Ingress, like all other games of pure skill had a finite play period. If the portals world wide rest themselves on a predictable schedule the ending of the game itself would be the balancing tool because each new game would start back at square 1.

      If Ingress were a game of pure chance, factions would be assigned when you signed up using a random generator, and all payouts for all hacks would be random. You’d be just as likely to get a Jarvis Virus as a first levelResistance player as an 8th level Enlightened player. Portal strength would be unknown and the game would be about trying to play the odds. Knowing that the more you played the greater probability you had at getting what you need be it specific level equipment or finding portals that were weak enough to take down with little use of bursters. Most people would not play for long in such an environment because of its chaotic nature. It limits strategy and rewards dedication over everything.

      What Niantic opted for was a hybrid game, one where chance serves as a means to help allow players of various skill/experience/relative numbers to compete against each other. Right now the elements of chance are not enough to allow for what I call a shifting balance or perfectly imperfect balance to be established at the local, city, or regional level. Since this is where most players identify and interact with the game it is of paramount importance that something be done to create a more dynamic experience. Manipulation of the elements of chance as well as altering the rules to create a shifting balance are the most sensible means of doing it.

      One of the things I did not see mentioned here is that attacking a portal with a burster should damage your own faction’s portals. By removing this artificial protection it would allow for strategic means of attacking farms by converting a limited number of portals to the opposite faction and the vary proximity to the other portals acts a means of protection since to destroy and those portals would degrade your own strength using up more XM and more resonators to reestablish those portals that comprise your farm. Also if portal shields attacked players launching bursters indiscriminately it could further increase the cost to create and maintain large farms.

      • I’d say that a lot of the last two articles could be summarized as “Niantic, hire a skilled professional game designer already!” The specific recommendations vary in quality IMHO, but the underlying, glaring problem is that there is no obvious consideration being given to basic game design principles and techniques by Niantic. Quite frustrating.

    • I’m not going to call your ideas stupid but I strongly disagree with your ideas. All of them sorry, The second article is way out there. Just make a third faction or little tweaks. Don’t totally change a game I’m really enjoying playing. That new game doesn’t sound very fun sorry…

      Very active high level players should get to kick ass! Thats the whole point of leveling up. You get to be a pain in their high level butts killing their fields until you level up enough to stand a chance going toe to toe with them. Then you get to feel like a badass because you took the time to play the game and level up. Don’t change the game, it’s fun and just needs like tweaks. I would like a defence bonus if I’m at a portal and less lag being told when a portal is under attack so I can try to defend it. That would make the game more fun for me. Thats all

  2. Maybe the best way is to have a third faction. This would lead to corporation against any dominate faction.

    • Robert: I do like the idea. But I assume it mostly depends on how it is implemented in the game.
      I can easily imagine a scenario where two factions cooperate against the third one to dominate the city. This would make no difference wrt the rpesent situation I am afraid. Actually, it could make the game even more unbalanced.
      Unless one thinks of a *special* faction, with particular rules for battle, that effecticely push it to always side with the dominated faction. It should not be too difficult to do, I think.

      • I personally would have designed the game to be asymmetrical and I think it was a very large missed opportunity to make it a symmetrical game. That ship has sailed, but it does hold some level of relevance when considering adding a third faction.

        First assuming the third faction would be symmetrical, two factions cannot dominate a city together. They could keep a third faction down, but eventually they would come to a point where they are competing for the same resources and it wouldn’t take long for the dettante to end when a newer player starts attacking and breaks the cease fire, even inadvertently. This of course also leads to the wonderful opportunity to stab each other in the back as the third weaker faction makes an alliance with one of the controlling factions and with this new added force the secondary dominant faction finds themselves under a concerted attack. As long as there is a third force there is always an opportunity for shifting alliances. While there are only two there is little reason to allow for the second faction to hold any significant portals for long.

        Now if the third faction was asymmetrical the easiest way to handle that would be to make them either be responsible for submitting portals and being a neutral faction who can attack either factions portals but do not convert them forcing the Enlightened and Resistance to fight over them again, or an Anarch based faction that outright destroys portals (possibly only temporarily). This puts the Resistance and Enlightened in a position where they are also having to spend time scouting out new portals to submit or resubmit former portals, in addition to having to hold on to what they have from the other.

        There are of course other options for a third asymmetrical faction, but I put forward two very easy to grasp ideas that would have an immediate impact on the game, rather than some of my more subtle ideas.

  3. All multiplayer online games have this same problem, active players have the advantage. No game yet has really been able to solve this. I don’t think any of your ideas would help to be honest. You cannot please everyone, you have to decide who is important to you and balance for them. If you choose to balance for people who don’t have that much time to play then your most dedicated and active players will stop playing. I am in a small city of the type your article described in part 1. When I started playing it was dominated by the opposition with few friendly players. I levelled up, worked hard and now we are in control. Your suggestions would make that hard work pointless, and in my opinion, quite a boring game. The game is about domination, not cooperation between factions.

    The recent changes to XM have made a big difference, and though the change was much smaller than the sweeping changes you suggest, they have had quite an impact. Maintaining a lot of portals is now harder, so we choose the ones we care about and leave the rest. Now we only target high level enemy portals and ignore lower level ones. It’s become more strategic. You don’t need massive changes to balance the game, in fact, it’s usually just small changes that are required.

    • I agree with Michael. The game is ABOUT domination. The only reasonable suggestion so far is to get rid of, or, lessen the cost of hacking enemy portals. This would be a small change. The best way to reverse a domination by one faction would still be cooperation between active players of the same faction.

    • Hi Michael, tanks for your comment. I think you express very nicely what I consider the issue with Ingress: it is presently fairly gratifying for very active players (like me), and fairly frustrating for the rest. I don’t believe it was designed this way: most likely it is just the result of the tuning of the rules which is normal in a beta. On the other hand, since we are in a beta, I think it would not be bad to experiment a bit and try to make the game more interesting also for the occasional player. As you mention, the challenge is not to make it boring for the active players.

      Concerning portal control and domination, I strongly disagree that this is the goal of the game.

      The goal of the game is mind control, not portal control.

      Fields should be at the center of the action, not just firing xmps and deploying resonators. What I (personally, of course) don’t like of the rules as they are now, is that they effectively push the factions to compete for portal control, instead of mind control.

      This would not be a big issue, apart from the fact that this is a *suicidal* goal. You just cannot maintain a situation of total control for an indefinite time. Your players will level up more slowly than the dominated faction, new players will prefer to join the dominated faction (at least, the ones that like action and fighting). As we discussed in the comments to the previous article, some players agree that presently a faction flip takes two-three months to happen. There are ways to speed up the process (e.g. increasing the number of portals in the city), but my argument is that two months is sort of long, and since the flip is going to happen anyway, I don’t see any reason why it could not happen, say in 20 days. This is what the first part of the article was mainly about.

      This second part (which I expect to be the most controversial…) is all about removing the fake (imo) goal of portal domination.

      • I do like your idea about having your factions portals drop defensive items and your opponents drop offensive ones. That would be a large balancing factor in unbalanced situations.

        You have mentioned the goal of the game is to control as many mind units for your faction as possible. However with the current rate of key drop (8 hacks to 1 key as of 2013-05-29) creating links thus fields is completely impracticable as a strategy. Fields are torn down as fast as they are put up with no real way to restore them without more keys. This has lead to the strategy of just overtaking portals and not linking anything.

        I would be interested to hear how Keys come into play in your ideas.

        • Hi Snowman. Well, that’s an interesting point you make. The answer, unfortunately, is not particularly interesting: I had not thought about keys, yet.

          In a scenario where you have a team composed of a few tens of players, it should never be an issue to obtain enough keys of any given portal. I do understand, though, that for very isolated portals (or teams with a few players) this could be an issue. I think that having them being fairly rare (as they are now) is good. The drawback is what you mentioned in your comment. Off the top of my head, I think that having some sort of shared pool of keys would be nice: imagine if each portal knew how many keys it has delivered, how many are physically still in the same city, how many were traded and so on. Then one could devise a mechanism for which the portal makes sure (by dropping them) that players in its city always have at least 10 keys. I don’t think there is more one can do: the best solution to the problems of keys is to trade them with other players.
          What do *you* think, instead?

        • My suggestion would be to change the definition of a portal key.

          The story line goes that the enlightened want to better hear the messages coming from the portals. They are trying to do this by placing resonators to adjust the portals frequency to best hear the message. The resistance is trying to keep these messages from getting out in any form and so use resonators to change the frequency of a portal to completely block the signal. Neutral portals seem to be at some random frequency. So using the story line the key to the portal should be the current resonator frequency of the portal.

          There would be only one key to get because there is only one current portal frequency.

          The key would not delete after a link is made and can be used to make as many links back to that portal so long as your faction is in control of it. You would only need one key per portal to recharge and to link back to from anywhere.

          You would still have to hack a portal to get a key, but your faction has to control that portal to receive one.

          You can only hold on to one key for that portal at a time. However you could still drop a key so it can be traded.

          Once a portal is taken over by the other faction, your key to that portal would be invalid because they would have changed the portals frequency. This would delete the key from your inventory because the virtual link using that frequency would have been broken and require a new hack of the portal once taken back to receive a key.

          If you do not have a key to your faction’s portal every hack of that portal will get you a key. Dropping a key to hack and replace the key will work, but you will be unable to pick up the key you dropped.

          I think this will increase the activity of fields being created destroyed and reduce the hording of keys currently going on. Making the game more about capturing area and just portals.

          • Hi Snowman, I do like the general idea, but your proposal that the all previous keys are made invalid by hostile capture will probably make it impossible to plan very large fields. The phase of key collection and exchange can take months, and it is unlikely that a portal stays within control of the same faction for so long.

      • I concede that portal control is not required for total mind control. Your suggestions currently point to shared portal control which does little for mind control. I can see that you’re trying to make it easier for the “losing” faction to make a comeback in a shorter space of time, but at the moment portals can be strengthened by creating more links. For links you need portals and if you’re making fields for mind control then you need the strongest portals possible. At the moment, creating a large field is 1000x harder than taking it down. I’ve seen fields put up with weeks of planning, 100’s of miles driven to level up portals, exchange keys. And in the end the field is up for a few hours because anyone with a handful of L6 bursters can take down even a L8 portal.

        I agree that fields should be at the centre of the game. So perhaps you should aim your ideas first at solving that issue and then balancing what you have left over to ensure both teams have a fighting chance :)

        But thanks for having the courage to post your ideas and have them discussed by the wider playerbase.

        • everseeker on

          As I stated elsewhere in detail, I must reiterate…
          Took us a month of detailed planning, herding of cats type effort to get all the level 8 players in the right places, and all the lower level agents set up to blow out blocking portals
          and then, got to watch a yutz come by on a motorcycle, blowing up the portal, without slowing down…
          (If the person HAD slowed down, he would have been in trouble… Nugies and Pink bellys and such…)

          If you raise a high portal, link it long distance to other Level 8 portals, have 4 of the best shields available on it, and have 5 people, chock full o XM STANDING there (No, no time to recharge… looked like a multi-burst L8 XMP wave… poral blown away in <3 seconds)
          anyway, have a bunch of peeps standing there, there has got to be SOME way to proactivly DEFEND your portal
          (Other then ones involving M16's, sandbag berms, and people yelling "Wolverines" at all and sundry….)

    • “All multiplayer online games have this same problem, active players have the advantage.”
      This is not a problem that needs to be fixed, it is by design, if that is what you consider the problem you should be looking at a different type of game, one that involves skill. This is not a game based on your skills, it is a game based on your engagement with it and the more you play the better you should be.

      • Hi Defagium, while I understand your point of view, I definitely do not share it. This *is* a game of skill. And I am sorry for you if you never had a chance of playing it using your skills rather than your inventory.

      • That’s only partly true, if your skill is good strategy and quick adjusting your strategies, you have to spent less time and need less resources.

  4. Everseeker on

    Pretty much…
    1. pull up stakes, drop NO portals
    2. Farm enemy portals
    3. Blow em up at will, since they’re all going to be VERY weak (since our side dropped none)

  5. If you make a game where best-case-scenario involves 50% control, nobody will play. There are a few ideas here that could stand discussion, but most of this is patently bunk. Games that optimize for easy and fail safe stop being a challenge and hence stop being engaging. There are already some very effective balance mechanisms built in so that underdogs in a local area can come from behind with a little work. Most of the mechanisms you suggest “fix” details that aren’t broken.

  6. One side can not level up without the other side also leveling. The problems occur when the higher level players of one side quit. They mostly quit because they hit level 8 and there is nothing else for them to accomplish.

    Every problem you have describe could be solved by adding more levels and keeping higher level players engaged. Most higher level players understand the need for more players and go out of their way to level newbies. Add more levels and nothing else really needs to be done.

    • Hi Shadrock. I’m not completely sure how new levels would help people concentrating on mind control instead of portal control (which is what this part of the article is about).
      Apart from that, I am against adding new levels, for the good reason that there must always be a top level. I don’t see any difference if you call it “8” or “16” or “160”. What we need , imo, is not new levels, but new roles for those who have reached the top level. But ok, this is definitely off topic, sorry.

      • It’s not off topic. The topic is making the coexistence of two factions more convenient.

        You wrote a lot of solutions for the symptoms, but you never really got to the root cause of what is causing the problem in the first place. The reason why the two factions are out of balance is because higher level players of one side quit while those on the other side continue to play. It is nearly impossible to get to level 8 without someone to play against, so there HAS to be balance in the game at inception.

        Here is a though experiment. I hit level 8. In order to hit level 8, I have created (at minimum) one level 7 on the other side or two level 6s on the other side. The game is in balance. I decide to quit because I am level 8 and have nothing else to accomplish, but the level 6s or 7 continues to play. They will now dominate my area, because I have quit and they are strong enough to shut out the lower levels on my side (unless I help them).

        This is the root cause of the problem. People quitting throws the game out of balance. If they make higher levels, I would not have quit playing at level 8. I would remain an active player and the game would remain in balance. I would be around to help the lower levels and my faction would no longer be shut out.

        That’s an explanation of my point. This game leaves the people who are most active and exuberant about the game with absolutely no personal goals once you reach level 8. They quit and do something else and leave their faction in an out of balance state. Fix that and you fix the game.

        • Hi Shadrock. Thanks for the follow-up. I see your point now, even though I do not agree with it. I think, as I said, that there will always be a top level. So your solution will just postpone the problem, not solve it. We do need new roles for the top levels, I agree with you. I just think that more levels will not solve this issue. Focus on missions and MU instead of AP would be, imvho, much more effective.

          • You can’t switch the focus. The reality is that people have chosen to focus on AP, because it is something they can control and achieve. That’s human nature. There is no way to change that. You can only manage around it.

            Secondly, it does solve the problem because making higher levels is nothing more than a proxy for prolonging gameplay. Right now, you can hit level 8 in 2-3 weeks in my town. If they extend the gameplay to 2-3 months then it keeps you engaged longer. This means a few things:

            1. You make more friends that you are apt to stay engaged with.
            2. You probably recruit some lower levels to play with you which in turn helps your faction.
            3. You are in long enough that you have to level lower players and can’t leave your faction in a lurch.
            4. It will take much, much longer for one side to gain the permanent upper hand, because one or two active higher level players can keep the balance on a losing side.

            I don’t care if you disagree on the solution, but do you agree on the root cause? If not, what do you think is the root cause of all the problems? Patching the symptoms will only cause bad unintended consequences.

          • I partly agree with Shadrock, after you get to lv8 the game become pointless and the suggestions this author is giving would make the game even more pointless.
            If the focus should be MU’s then it should be easier to defend a portal, tell me what is the point of planning a field for a month if it wont stay up for 20 minutes and there is nothing you can do to defend it?

        • again, that is only a sympton. People quitting at level8 is caused by them beeing unable to handle a sandbox environment. and lets face it, ingress is a sandbox with 8 tutorial levels. Helping players to set their own goals in ingress is going to be an unsolvable problem, so lets just not even try to solve it, destroying the game in said futile attempt, but rather leave players who arent creative enough to play in a sandbox leave the game – they are no good to anyone anyhow.

    • I know it is well after this post but I am going to comment regardless, I’ve been playing this game for about 75 days and have reached level 8. Aside from smashing enemy portals and hacking for inventory, throwing links and creating fields what else is there?? This game with all its potential can get old and boring very quickly. The only upside I can see is the potential collaboration between team members and the “other faction” to create field art otherwise why bother, you know what they say about the definition of insanity… Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result so I say again why bother.

  7. I’m not sure about these ideas. Point a) i would agree, making a farm with many portals nearby will cost more xm is a good point, it makes it harder but not impossible.
    I don’t like point b) and c) because i think the game would become too balanced, it wouldn’t be really funny anymore when you can’t “own” some areas without taking so many disadvantages out of it. Maybe it even destroys the team spirit of your own faction … For example message could be : “Why this idiot captured a portal near our farm! Now our farm becomes weak -.-”

    In total ideas I would agree to and hope they become implemented are :
    – Higher xm costs to deploy resonators and shields in a dominated area
    – More defensive items out of own Portals, More offensive items out of enemy Portals
    – Only long links contribute to Portal defense
    – Increased AP for Hacking if there aren’t friendly Portals nearby (Additionally maybe only get increased AP for Hacking when you are below the Level of the enemy Portal you hack)

  8. Hi Caleb. I think you confuse portal control with mind control. The latter is the goal of the game. The former is (imo) just a fake goal, most likely an artifact of the gameplay induced by the present rules.
    Then of course you are free to decide your own goals and I respect your choices, don’t get me wrong :)
    If you are a big fan of portal control, most of this post is pointless to you. Nevertheless, I appreciate you reading it :)

  9. Joe Baker (FreakFly) on

    I think these 1-off portal proximity rules are a slippery slope. On one hand, I can surely see where the game needs more balance. But on the other hand, if this is supposed to be a “real life” scenario, these things wouldn’t matter in real battle. 1 portal (in the current scenario of the game plot) would not depend on other portals for power drain, droprate etc. However, that is an intriguing idea if portals were somehow loosely connected beyond our realm. Again, however, one would assume a portal of one faction would have a more positive influence on portals of the same faction. But this would lead to a more unbalanced situation. ie. bigger farms feeding off each other to produce more for the dominating faction, etc….

    One way that this may be able to be incorporated into gameplay is that portals don’t have the same power, but the power is distributed geographically, like a fabric in which the portals pull their power from. Each faction would have their own fabric of sorts geographically. This would make high density areas full of less powered portals, and low density areas have a few, higher power portals. This would also help get players to the remote portals because the remote portals would share their energy fabric with a lesser number of portals, making them more powerful. More powerful portals would have a better drop rate and defend themselves harder. Lesser powered (in dense areas) would drop less and be easier to destroy. Large farms would be discouraged in the game and replaced by a balanced number of portals to make the optimum farm. ie. enough portals to make farming worth it, while discouraging monstrous farms by decreasing the power of the farm with each additional portal. There is a tricky balance here to be sure, but something I think could solve many balance issues.

    And this way, if you have a single Green portal in a sea of blue, the blue portals will have a lower power, while the green will have a higher power, due to a geographic “energy fabric”

    This is all just brainstorming… What do you think?

    • Hi Joe Baker. I do love your idea. I wish I had thought of it myself :)
      May I suggest you to post it in the official support forum? There is a section dedicated to this kind of proposals. I am afraid ptherwise it will not have enough visibility here in the comments.

      The geographical distribution of the underlying energy could actually be made time-dependent, so that one has a very effecive handle to tune the oscillations of the dominance in time.

  10. @Shadrock: I guess what you say mostly depends on local conditions, that is why I don’t feel like agreeing with you. I never had so much fun playing ingress like I am having since I hit L8 a few months ago: planning large fields, traveling to know new players, training and helping new recruits, are all things that one cannot do if one is struggling to get as much AP as possible. I do find this more funny than the fire-deploy-link chain. But this is just my personal feeling, I am not offended if you think differently :)

    On a non-personal note, instead: AP is the only resource in the game for which you compete with your own team. For all the rest you compete with your foes, but you literally steal AP from your very teammates. This is why I think that if you want to build a stable team, you need to foresee a point in the game where the most powerful players don’t need AP anymore. You can’t have them compete with low levels for ever. If you really want new levels, they’d better depend on something different than AP, or teamplay will be, I am afraid, severely damaged.

    Concerning activity of high-levels, in many cases there is the opposite problem: they are far too active :D Indeed the next and last part of this article will be completely devoted to high-levels and how to reduce their impact on the game.

    I believe that an L8 should not play like an L1 who happens to have found some very powerful weapons. I would prefer the scenario in which the game really changes once you reach L8. Hence my insistence on new roles, rather than new levels. But again, YMMV depending on your local playing scenario and of course your personal taste.
    Thanks for the nice discussion!

    • Do an assessment of your local area and get real statistics on what is happening. That’s the only way to find out what the real problem is. Here is what we have in our city. Its pretty obvious who is winning when you look at these stats. If you get a rough count in the dominated cities you referenced, I’ll bet they look similar to these with the dominating faction having far more active high levels.

      Resistance:
      Total 8s: ~80 Agents
      Active 8s: 21 Agents

      Enlightened
      Total 8s: ~75 Agents
      Active 8s: 5 Agents

      We have no problems at all with AP competition, and we never have. Gaining AP for upgrading, it’s easy to make everyone happy. Also, People have real lives that mean they can’t play all the time.

      In addition, the high levels get out of the way of the really low levels because of the benefit of having more high level players. The more high level players, the more high level portals you can build because there are more high levels available to build the farms.

      We have some very, very active 8s, but they are not the issue. They are the leaders who run the groups, make plans and rally the troops because they really care. If you make changes to lessen their impact, they will quit and the game will die.

      • Again I’ll have to agree with Shadrock here, in my region there have never been competition for AP, what I see all the time is players L5 and L6 actually leaving stuff for the lower lvls, everyone knows that it is better to have more players on a somewhat lower lvl than to have 1 lv8 and everyone else lower than 5.
        And I would like to know why the author think high lv player should have a “reduced impact” on the game, I’m looking forward for the third part of this article even though I can say I agree with the first and second

        • There is no edit button, but I meant to say I don’t agree with the first and second parts

      • Hi Shadrock: don’t worry I sort of know the statistics in my home town :) The situation you reported is the one we had about 2 months ago. Then the (very slow) faction flip mechanism started: more new players join the dominated faction instead of the dominating one, a few high-levels of the dominating faction retire, overconfidence of the dominating faction brings them to underestimate the enemy.

        And I suspect also that they become aware that fighting for a goal that your foes do not share (i.e. portal dominance, which the dominated faction does not really care about in my case) is just pointless, because you are left playing alone.

        Now things are progressively changing and the situation is slowly getting more balanced. This is a scenario on the verge of a complete flip. And it will probably take, overall, about 3 months, like observed in other cities.

        Concerning player activity: first of all, by “active” I don’t mean team building/managing, or field building.
        A very active L8 is, in my definition here, one that, for example, destroys an enemy L5 farm, fully linked and fielded, and gets for him/herself all the AP, thus damaging his/her own team. Or one that, on the other opposite, decides to actively bully (in the ingress sense, of course, nothing physical) all low level players of the opposite team to make it impossible for them to level up without bodyguards.

        I am happy to hear that in your case you don’t have problems of AP availability.

  11. Before I ever met any other player, before I ever saw an intel map, I read about Ingress on Wikipedia and knew I wanted to take the side of the underdog. At that time, all I could tell was that the Enlightened was behind in the global contest for MU, and I figured I’d have a better shot at AP since there was a greater opportunity to get it. I have never complained about being over-dominated. Once I connected with my local community, I discovered that the Enlightened actually dominated the local contest for portal control. In a way, this was disappointing to me, because my ulterior objective was to be challenged with over-taking the dominant faction. How has that turned out? Well, the number of Resistance agents has increased in my area. Recruitment is down for the Enlightened. Game changes have made it harder to defend and easier to take control. Dominance is changing hands. My work is cut out for me again.

    Game balance?? I’ll tell you how it got lopsided. Over-complicated game rules and over-saturation of portals.

    First of all, where it used to be difficult for me to take over a high-level portal, now it’s just as hard to keep control from any aggressor, and I’m not OK with that. This is due to certain XM rule changes. When I was a low level agent I respected the L8’s that worked their butts off to earn the prestige of their new-found power. Nowadays, the only thing an L8 agent gets for hitting 1.2M AP is bragging rights and the privilege to torch off a L8 XMP, but at a very high XM cost, resulting in the L8 agent’s power being minimized by the game modifications that have compromised that former prestige, giving a leg-up to even a low level aggressor. Bottom line, it costs a high level agent a lot to use high level gear to take control of a portal, which even a low level agent can dismantle with too much ease. I say work your ass off like I did to earn your game status, don’t boohoo about the difficulty. It shouldn’t get any easier than simply leveraging your team.

    Secondly, in the “real world,” wouldn’t you think that an ingressor would move their portals around, rather than just constantly add more? This would certainly add an interesting element to the game. The point here is that new portal submissions need to be scrutinized, and new portals should go online based on the density of portals for a given area. I know of an alley way about 10m wide by 100m long that already had 7 portals, and recently portal #8 came online in this very narrow and short area. You can’t even anchor it to a 1MU field. Seriously? This is a necessary portal that adds to the local game strategy and/or global MU contest how? There simply needs to be a density threshold. If the estimated population of an area is X, then only Y number of portals should be allowed, rather than an infinite number that is based on an agent’s sense of entitlement to submit new portals and Niantic’s discretion to turn it on. And, going with the portal density threshold concept, if a new portal comes online, then perhaps an old portal should disappear to keep the balance. Speaking of sense of entitlement, I think that L6+ agents should only be allowed to submit new portals (and everyone still should be responsible for ensuring portal accuracy).

    The rest of the game’s balance will level itself out in a binary fashion. The more faction agents recruited and the stronger they become, the better the struggle will be to achieve dominance. If it looks like a one-sided city, to me it indicates the other side is just starting to (re)activate or is complacent. They’ll have their hands full in time.

    Don’t over complicate the game with too many rules and facttors. Don’t penalize high level agents. Let them have their prestige. Don’t unnecessarily reward low level agents. They need to grind it out to earn their prestige.

    • Agree 100% on portal density. There needs to be a formula for how many there can be and how closely they can be spaced. Its getting more and more ridiculous every day.

    • It is the same problem I saw in every MMO I ever played, lazy players complaining about game inbalance because they are lazy. I always said it should be harder to take down a portal not easier, the easier it is the more pointless and less fun the game become.

      • Defagium, I’ll just repeat for you the comment I made to gaspo at the beginning. I do enjoy discussing you you, even if we do not agree. However, I am not tolerating in this discussion offensive comments. And I do consider you accusing me of being lazy quite offensive, in particular since you definitely do not know me and I don’t think we have ever played together :)
        So please try to make the effort and assume that the fact that you do not share (or understand) an idea does not necessarily mean that the person you are discussing with is an idiot.

        • Could you point me to where I called you lazy please? I don’t remember ever referencing to anyone specifically. Also I never even use the word idiot in this site.

    • Jeff I like the idea about portal density, too. Why don’t you propose it in the official forums?
      However, if you think of how the portal submissions are (most likely) being used, you’ll quite easily understand why they do want to have more submissions about the same object, possibly with pictures taken from different angles.
      Have a look at the new gmap with its patchwork 3d pics :)
      So yes, I think you are right. No, I don’t think your suggestion will be implemented the way you suggest.

  12. This is so true. I really agree with what you wrote in all your comments, Shadrock! Your analysis shows where the real cause lies: Imbalance in players activity. And there is absolutely no need to fix this.

    Also i do know several players that submitted their own furniture & fixtures or normal buildings with the street name and number as a portal title just to have a portal they can hack from their couch. This is just plain stupid and one of the biggest problems the game has.

    Once a city has 5-10 times more portals than (active) players they get impossible to maintain (for both factions!). Also there are players (like the OP) that submit portals without even taking care of it. This leads to many neutral portals or portals where the players start just putting in one resonator to gain the 500 AP and then go to the next portal because its easier than fully deploying and linking portals. Maybe one should remove the additional 500 AP for deploying the first resonator. This would at least fix that issue. Or there should definately be a limit on how many portals can be created by a player. Another idea would be to remove portals where the player submitting it has not performed an action withing a certain period of time.

    Many comments here point out that the game doesn’t relly need more balancing in the game mechanics. It’s all about the players activity. Just as in real life someone working twice as hard should be rewarded for his efforts twice as much. There is absolutely no reason why a casual player should be as successful as the most passionate players. This will (as someone else already pointed out) make the most passionate players quit the game.

    • It is good to know that there are players who think like I do, most people just whine about everything because they want it to be easy. I say the game is already too easy.
      Seriously when I started I was prepared for it to take me 1 year to reach lv8 but I did it in less than 2 months, I wonder why people want to play a game if they don´t want to play it.

    • Hi Guschtel, 5-10 portals per active player are impossible to maintain? What kind of team are you playing with? :)

      If you consider the two factions, that makes 2-5 portals per player. Assuming that by “maintain” you mean keeping the xm level above 80%, that means that every player has to visit 1-2 portals *per day*. Or 2-4, in case you are referring to the total number of players, not per faction.

      Sorry. I don’t consider that as a saturated scenario. Add a factor 5 to that, and I may agree with you.

      Then of course, if your goal is to control ALL of the portals in a city, rather than the fraction of them you sensibly need for inventory, I understand why you would like to have as few portals as possible. In that case you ask every player to recharge 4-8 portals per day, which may indeed be an overkilling.
      But the problem then (imvho) is your goal, not the number of portals.

  13. I agree with the first part of the article, but I think this second part is bit too complex to inplement and to understand for players.
    Since I do agree to the fact that Ingress is about MU control, I suggest to implement a rule which change the AP gain in field building: Why not making AP gain proportional to field size (or MU controlled)?

    This would make disadvantageous to link all the portals in city, because you would block bigger fields to be built.
    In this way the dominating faction doesn’t care to control all portals, but only strategic ones. On the other side, dominated one have the opportunity to make fields as well….

    • Hi Lorenzo. I understand your point, but I am not completely convinced. Overall, I would be more in favor of a two phase “career path”. One only based on AP (like L1-L8 now), followed by one (from L8 on) completely based on MU. This way you keep the high-portal-density regions as a playground for the first 8 levels, and you move the high-level players away from them.

  14. everseeker on

    My 2 cents…

    This is NOT just a game about Doing XP… or AP… or MU, to “win”

    It is different things to different people, and different things to different levels of player.

    For low level players (1-4), it is all about getting AP, and getting the stuff needed to generate that AP (resonators, XMPs, portal Keys)

    For a Mid-level players(5-7), it is about building friendships, organizing meetups, working with High level players to take down big targets, working with lower level players to bring em up (and getting more AP…)

    For the high level players (8-?) it is, if played well, about management.
    At this level, the AP grind is done (sort of) and you can begin to look at the “bigger” picture… the ***MU*** Count.
    However, You are also going to be:
    * Planning “raids” on OppFor Farms
    * Laying out L8 Farms of your own
    * Assisting the mid-levels with their teambuilding efforts
    * Soothing nerves, sometimes even those of the OppFor… (G+ can get a bit heated at times, If the L8’s of both sides work together, the problems that result can be managed (Unless the problem is a L8…. then you DO have a problem)
    And, of course, the MU Schemes

    The problem with grand schemes… (ways to get more MU) is simple to describe:
    1. Planning time(concept/Mapping/Calculating Portal Levels/taking account of terrain: 1 week
    2. Driving to distant portals, or arranging Key Swaps to gather Keys: 2 days
    3. Getting enough L8 and support crew together to pull off the job: 2 days

    Day of execution:
    1. A trio of L8’s head for each of the corner points, takes portals, raise em to ~L3
    2. Mid-levels go to endpoints of blocker links, stand by
    3. When everyone checks in on TeamSpeak, the mid-levels drop the blockers, while the L8’s pump the end points to L7. Soon as that is done, begin attempts to link to the target… when blocking lines go down, the link will complete
    4. Soon (10 minutes?) the 3rd link will go up, the field will form, and you’ll “net” a cool 1/2 mil MU or more… who knows
    So, pretty much 2 weeks of effort, from conception, to laying out on maps, to execution

    wait for it

    And, within 15 minutes, along comes an OppFor player, Probably L6-L8, on a motorcycle, who will drop your entire field without even slowing down…
    And, if you were prepared, with duplicates, and you re-raise the field… (s)he will drive back, from a different direction, and repeat…

    • Hi everseeker. Thanks a lot, I really enjoyed reading your comment.
      I have always thought that “Soothing nerves” was crucial, and it’s nice to hear that I’m not alone :)

      Concerning the lifetime of a large field: it is not clear from your post if you think it is too long or too short. I personally think that a multi-million MU field should never last more than, say, 30 minutes if attacked, and a few hours if left alone. The reason is that a field (or a link) freezes the game for as long as it exists, so the very large ones should get out of the way asap.

      The fun of building a large field should be in organizing, meeting new players, then the few minutes of concitated action, the screenshot, the post on g+. Allowing it to last for days is bad for the game as a whole, imvho :)

  15. everseeker on

    Ah, but here’s the thing:
    If large fields can not remain for more then 15 minutes (even only moderatly large ones), then the MU count can’t ever be more then the “background count” of player activity… lots of people making nets of links in their cities, for 10-100 MU a pop…
    And, If THIS is to be discouraged (as the OP would have me believe is a Good thing), then how, exactly, would ANYONE be able to modify the MU count?… and, in the end, why would anyone CARE to?

  16. everseeker on

    Although this may be a weee bit off topic, the
    “Concerning the lifetime of a large field: it is not clear from your post if you think it is too long or too short. I personally think that a multi-million MU field should never last more than, say, 30 minutes if attacked, and a few hours if left alone.”
    comment got me to thinking.

    I do “get” your point on that, and DO think that a high MU field should not last too long, but I think it MUST take SOME effort on the part of the opposing force, not simply 1 twinklehead zipping by on a scooter, popping off 3-4 L7 XMPs (Guess why I keep using that example)

    This same thing goes for Level 8 “Farms”… If it takes 8 Level 8 players, working as a team, to raise a farm downtown, I think it’s a bit …. unfair… to see it drop before we can even farm it.
    and there we are, 8 level 8 players (and a flock of low levelers to assist/cheer us on/farm it themselves) powerless to resist 1 lone player, circling the block in a car, popping off multiple XMPs on each lap

    • Hi everseeker. Yes I see your points. In particular the fact that very short lived fields would make the global MU count meaningless is very relevant. Maybe one could think of some persistent “halo” of the large fields, which stays in place after the fields have been destroyed and decays in time. The halo would not disturb other links and/or fields, but would still contribute to MU. So you start a field with 1M MU. It counts as 1M MU until it is destroyed or decays. Then its MU count fades away and decreases to zero, with a rate that should be tuned during the beta to stabilize the global control figure.

      On the number of players needed to take down a portal, we have a quite interesting proposal in the next part of the article. I hope you’ll let me know then if you like it.

      • “On the number of players needed to take down a portal, we have a quite interesting proposal in the next part of the article. I hope you’ll let me know then if you like it.”

        I think there should be cooldown time for firing xmp’s. A big problem right now is that anyone can fire 10xmps eat a power cube and fire another 10xmps in under 30 seconds, by the time you get a notification it is already neutralized. Of course it would not solve evrything, but I think it would help.

  17. *Sigh* I’m afraid you really don’t understand this game (or any other game for that matter). Imagine someone wants to change the rules of checkers so you can’t put him in checkmate anymore…

  18. Even modifying rules is very important also it’s to patch failures on this beta as soon as possible… most of this rules will apply better and quickly without fake players.

    In my city there’s a player using fake gps and multiple accounts. Niantic doesn’t matter with that it seems. I sent a lot of reports of abuse as people of Chile Enlightened Comunity do (I live in Mendoza, Argentina) and nothing happens.

    As we know, rules were made to break as game programs too… First Niantic have to fix all the fake failures in it, check and answer every abuse report that every player send (I think it’ll be more profitable to create an area to receive this kind of abuse and check them asap) and then apply rules for all the player who are playing in the field and not in front of a desk.

  19. Hey Adrian, glad to know that there are players in Mendoza too, to which I am personally linked :)

    Concerning fake players, I agree that it is a problem, but I had the impression that lately things had improved considerably. It may be just something related to my local situation, though.

    In any case, the problem of unbalance is unlikely (imvho) to be influenced too much by cheaters. But maybe I am missing something, in which case feel free to share your thoughts.

  20. I’m not sure if you should change the rules too much just to make the game more balanced. I think you need some kind of internal consistency, something that makes sense and is consistent with the story. It’s pretty weak, anyway…

    a) Why should building a portal close to an enemy one should be easier?

    b) Why should portals only weaken neighboring portals of the same faction?

    c) There’s no reason why the droprate of a friendly portal should officially depend on the neighboring portals. However, nobody would notice if Niantic would silently inrease the drop rate for the dominated faction and decrease it for the dominating faction. (Btw: Niantic could give more inviting codes to the dominated faction so they can build a stronger community.)

    • Hi Stulli, thanks for your feedback. As you say, the story is presently quite flexible, and *a lot* of game changes are not really explained by it (which is, overall, fair). Think, for example, to the extra xm for xmp firing, or back when they reduced the range of the xmps. It’s like asking why in chess the horse moves in that fancy way. You can build a story to explain it, but the reason is that it simply makes the game more dynamic.

      Nevertheless, it had been pointed out to me several times that there are players who actually enjoy the storyline, so one should find some way to give it some coherence and consistency.

      I just think that, in the beta, the storyline should accomodate the rules, not the other way around (because, ultimately, this is a game, not a book).

      Concerning your objection (b), I share in part your concerns. Joe Baker has suggested a few comments ago an improvement that I find interesting and reasonably easy to explain.

  21. everseeker on

    As for “reality” vs game mechanics, I still fail to see why all resonators, reguardless of level, loose the same % of XM every day, yet recharging is verrry picky about the amount of XM capacity each resonator has
    should either:
    1. Portals loose Max XM/7 per day, pro rated among the resonators. Yes, this will burn out L1 resonators sitting among a flock of L7 resonators in a hot minute… But it will be in accord with the current recharging methodology
    2. Recharging fills portals the same way they’re drained, applying enough on each resonator to raise it up by the same %

    Can’t wait for Part 3……
    Will it have relevance, with the Virus’s winging everyone in the butts??????

    • Hi everseeker. Yes me too I am not completely convinced by the way the decay works. I think we were just given the simplest solution, not necessarily the best, nor the final one.

      I would really like high-level portal to be less stable. Not only with faster decay, but also inherently unstable. Imagine if a L8 portal had some (farily low) probability to explode and neutralize all portals within, say a 100m radius. And if the resulting xm disturbance could severely damage the inventory of all players within radius (regardless of their faction). Can you imagine the *thrill* any time you get close to an L8 farm?

      Or, I would like portal level to go down with portal energy. If the portal has 8 L8 resos, each with 1k xm, why should it be any different from a L1 portal? The total energy sounds (imvho) more convincing than the average reso level, to determine the portal level.

  22. First of all, fields require portals, own portals and as few opposing faction links (thus opposing faction portals) as possible. So mu domination comes by portal domination.

    Opposing portals side by side just kills the idea of the game.

    I actually like the new methods for balancing, though I suffer from the effects of it when attacking.

    There’s another way of creating balance between creation and destruction (since that is the thing that should be balanced, not the factions).
    Destroying resonators should happen by the same rules as deploying them. One player can deploy 1 r7? He should be able to destroy only one. Or 2 r5 or 4 r4. 3 players to build an l7 portal? 3 to destroy and conquer.
    Want to destroy and conquer an enemy l8 farm? Get 8 players together.
    Wanna play Rambo-style? Go, take out on r8, bringing the portal down to l7. 8 l8 players will go mad on you and will fight with you to regain control of the portals.

  23. This is silly. What the game needs are shorter quests, task, achievements to fulfil parallel to the world-domination idea (which will actually never happen).

    Temporary holding portals leads nowhere. At this point Ingress is a toy, not a game. And when (soon) I will reach L8 I will get bored.

  24. Adrian Pegaso on

    More than 60 days that I comment last time I didn’t see any difference at the game. Fakes everywhere and multiple accounts appears as they give 5 chances to recruit people for every player (or 2 for every new one). Rules are changing like The Hunger Games movie.
    For example: 2 days ago I was attacking a level 6 portal (2 shields and a turret). In the middle of attacking I received a mail that the new turrets deployed will be increased in a 30% of attacking. Lucky for me because my turret on THAT portal is now 30% stronger than the other one than the resistance player deployed. I insist, lucky for me but unfair.
    What’s the very really behind Ingress game? If Niantic like to enlarge their knowledge on world locations using this game… fine, nice work! But make better rules for the players that they are really on the streets or travelling around the cities and hard rules for the (fake and multiple) players that are playing from behind his desks or on his bed. Improve the “report an abuse contact form” reading every one of the reported cases, investigate and ask them quickly… I think most of the people that are reporting any kind of abuse like to read any answer (I sent a lot of that reports of abuse on early may with a lot of screen captures and nobody answer me anything… it’s just like when you call on a 0800 and hear “all our operators are busy at the moment… please hold on for a minute”.
    I don’t know if this is an interactive street game, a desktop computer and mobile game or simply a toy but I think Niantic developed and bring to us a beta game for personal purpoises and not for a whole world enjoy.

    Big hugs from Mendoza, Argentina
    (and sorry if my english it’s not quite clear)

  25. I agreed with some of the previous ideas however the ideas in this specific post seem to make it harder/more annoying for doing good. it is a big part of the game to take out whole areas so being forced to leave enemy portals alive within your area is against the game whole idea. Make it easier to come back, don’t make it harder for the winner. winning should feel positive not negative. make it easier for the losing team to organize and launch a counter strike but not penalizing the dominating team for being better organized/more active/smarter

  26. I like the suggestions in part 1. The suggestions here might be workable in theory, but are too counterintuitive for people picking up a mobile device and playing a game. It disregards things very natural to our experience, like network effects. This would be very confusing, especially for new players.

    I really like the idea of introducing a third faction, though! They would have to allow people to switch, I think, to reshuffle the deck and make sure the third faction is not for noobs, only.

  27. for Limiting the impact of very active high-level players , maybe, conquer portal owned by low level must gave them less AP than conquer portal owned by high-equal level. Or can loose some kind of honor points

  28. For the balancing among the faction
    The idea that controlling a field for a long long time is good, must be changed. Like a real Field, the ammount of MUxday or the number of drops may be decresde to 0 over the time, so the faction is pushed to leave and conquer other new fields

  29. Clinton James on

    My idea is to make the portals stronger in the night time hours. Somehow their shields could go into a higher mode between 10.30 and 6 Am to circumvent anybody attacking when people are normally asleep.

  30. I do not see any unbalanced situation for the time beeing. The only unbalanced thing is that you need to put huge effort in building up for instance a L8 farm, but you need only two or three “experienced” players to take the farm down in minutes.

    We had just recently the situation that we had organized a party of 8 high level players to establish a L8 farm with 44 L8 portals. It took us 3 hours to establish that farm.
    On the next day 3 high level players (L7 & L8) from the other faction destroyed this within 1.5 hours. And defensive action, remote recharge from home with WIFI connection by all players, could not save only one out of 352 deployed L8 resonators.

    If you do what the game is designed for then you will not see any unbalanced region. City yes…but you will as well recognize that the next city is controlled by the other faction.

  31. my region: area near zip code 55301
    My level: 4
    highest level in my town for enlightened: 5
    number of level 8 resistance players who took our town 3 days back: 4, all level 8.
    nearest level 8 for our faction in next town over (easy to find, only town in immediate area not heavily blue)

    I have to travel to new portals or weak enemy portals to have anything i am capable of attacking. while I do understand that is the nature of the game, the fact is that even with 4 of us lower levels working together in town, ONE level 8 from the other faction comes through and it’s laid to waste. when two came through at the same time, we lost the city, which has now reached a status of “everything is level 7, has 4 links minimum, and four shields per.”

    on to the commentary review: I keep reading 2 things so I will list them;
    1) I see a lot of level 8s on here saying “things ain’t broken.”
    without driving 14km to the city containing the nearest level 8, we can’t touch their portals. there are no low levels for their team in our area to match against us, so we are left facing l5 or higher portals with nothing but shields on them linked to the abyss and back.
    In short, these “very active” level 8s are a deterrent to the continued play of our low levels, as indicated by the OP.

    2) I see a lot of them complaining that portals are destroyed too easily.. although I tend to agree on that one. All 4 of us recharging at the same time couldn’t save one level 5 quad shielded portal due to nuke speed and lag.

    to resolve 1) The simple addition of a mechanic stating that when you take a portal, no resonator deployed on it can be more than 2 levels higher than the highest one placed by the former owners” would fix this. The obvious downside to this would be the guy nuking your L8 farm and deploying piles of lvl 1 resonators on it… so this solution only becomes feasible if issue 2 is also fixed. I would also suggest a “if your team recover it within 4 hours of it falling the cap remains what it was before” because this would encourage the L8s making the farm to contact their low levels and get them to go recapture it soon, even if the L8s are busy.

    as for #2.. simply give some enforce wait between attacks. I look forward to your suggestions in part 3.

    I have no issue with a few L8s being able to steamroll through town against us, that is as it should be.
    My issue is that afterwards we have to go 15 minutes or more by car to reach anywhere we can get better than hack a portal AP and stockpile for 2 weeks before attempting to take down a portal they forgot to recharge..

    *puts up lvl 2 portals in blue strongholds hoping smurfs won’t catch him*
    ~Mal

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Thoughts on Ingress game balance – part 2

by Andrea Di Simone time to read: 3 min
86