Around November 2012 I heard about a new game, one where you have to go out into the world around you. Real-life, you might have heard about it. January 2nd, 2013, I received an activation email and created my game account. The game was still in it’s early beta stage, and back then I was living in a state capital in Germany, right in the middle of the city - but I had to drive 10 minutes to reach the next portal.
The portal denseness around the world changed quite a lot since these first days, and I was playing Ingress almost every day - with the exception of a few vacation days in Washington, where we have been far away from any kind of network connection. But I’ve never been a very dedicated player. Commuting to Berlin gave me a chance to reach Level 8 quite quickly. Later on we moved to Berlin, and the new level system with 16 levels became quite a challenge for me - one where I used the Ingress-iversary in 2016 to finally commit the last remaining 5M AP in one week.
During this whole time I met many new friends, explored thousands of new places, did the not-so-occasional detour to hack or capture a portal, walked, hiked, ran or cycled endless kilometers, got fit again, participated in a number of field events, attended anomalies and mission days, orchestrated adventure tours for 50-60 Resistance agents, and in general had a lot of fun. We also controlled our green home zone at will, the local smurf broke at some point and only played in other parts of Berlin.
Where there is light, there is also darkness. Not only did I find an unknown recharger for a Green Portal. I learned about a number players (in both factions) who seem to believe that the Ingress TOS are more like a recommendation than the rule. Playing multiple accounts is a Gentlemen's agreement, and Niantic doesn’t seem to care, even when presented with proof. At least two players in my immediate vicinity play multiple accounts, sometimes with visible actions on the Intel map. I met a (luckily very small) number of a**hole players, people who only care about themselves and show this with their actions inside and outside the game. And then there is the occasional spoofer, who takes down portals for the “Couchsurfing Badge” from his own couch, instead of going out there. Sure, Niantic did block the account afterwards, but only when presented with overwhelming proof, and does not much to prevent further spoofing. Niantic is doing not doing much about harassment in the Comm, even when provided with repeated evidence. And it also looks like that Niantic itself is knee-deep into a scandal about their own employees abusing the game database. It s*cks if the game master is cheating, that takes the fun away from the game.
Besides Level 16 I had a number of additional personal goals in the game, and I reached the last one back in August this year. All what was left was creating travel adventures for Res (I really like when I capture a portal while being somewhere, and a Res agent spends half a day going there 149 days later), and the fact that an Anomaly is coming to Berlin later this year. That fun was destroyed last week, when Res failed to take down one of my portals. Earlier this year I decided to stop playing every day after the Anomaly is over.
All in-game notifications are turned off by now. For my remaining portals I asked someone to recharge them. I might take a look at the announced Ingress v2, might join Mission Days (I like exploring other places), or a Big Field Action, but until then I will focus on other things in my life.