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#ingress  Cooldown active

Tonite there was a game update, multihack is no longer possible.

Multihack was a method in which you went to the portal screen, hit the "Hack" button, pressed ok, waited for the portal screen to reappear, hit "Hack", pressed ok, and so on.

The game was lagging a lot, so you could run 3 to 10 hack attempts in parallel, all of which would eventually yield items at the same time. It was not unusual for a single cooldown period to yield a dozens of items when the game lag was high.

Tonite things changed:

1. Multi hack will cancel all previously active hack attempts. It will also immediately trigger cooldown. The yield is now 0 and you are in 300s cooldown.

2. The lag is gone.

3. Portal keys are not given or are rare. This is intentional and not a bug

4. Shields now work as advertised.

5. XMP strangeness is gone. To hit a resonator, position yourself directly on top of the resonator.

6. Items you had dropped on the map have been purged and are now gone.

7. The item drop duplication bug is gone.

In general, this swings some of the game mechanics in favor of casual players, which is good for Google and for the game. Existing inventory will eventually be spent and things will level our again. Leveling will be a lot slower, items are scarcer than before.

The one thing that stands out is "3 - portal keys are now rare". The casual gamers I asked about this think it sucks and adds a lot of hard grind to the game.

Quotes from casuals that feel like casualties because of this change: "Think what will happen if you drive out to a remote portal and hack it 4 times in 15 minutes before the long cooldown becomes active, and it yields no key at all", "I was playing a large portal fields yesterday night, because I finally had a babysitter, and the update hit right in my session. Suddenly no keys any more and all I could do was taking down blue portals, green them and then no longer link them. This is boring.", "This is boring, only destruction, no building. I will no longer play until this is changed back.", "Just leveled. I think I will retire until it makes sense to play again".

Inventory due to multihacking is still a problem, and is being addressed by Super Ops, cf http://www.nianticproject.com/?id=sc119b

"It seems players have been accumulating too many XM constructs.
The density of XM objects is perturbing the basic functions of the scanner."

It also appears that methods are being discussed to rebalance the game. Possible methods:

A. Bring down item counts forcibly, purge inventory.
"I could alter scanner behavior or purge excess inventories of XM objects"

B. Limit carry capacity, purge excess inventory.
"Alternatively we could limit the the number of XM objects that can be accumulated, to avoid the formation of localized anomalies."

C. Ask people to voluntarily distribute or otherwise limit their inventory.
"We could tell agents to voluntarily purge their inventories."

Also confirmation for the bad key change not being a bug:

D. The portal key thing is not a bug
"The portal key objects have become more difficult to synthesize. 
they are appearing less frequently."

The document also speaks about changes in XM distribution and further changes that are afoot. Read it yourself and guess.

This affects game mechanics a lot. In the future, cooperation is becoming much more important. Single players will hardly be able to sustain themselves after Level 5.

As multihack is over, farming becomes much more important. To farm you need a garden, a group of portals of the appropriate level to sustain you. High level portals need XM to recharge, probably a lot more XM than a single person can bring in without investing a large amount of time.

Again, the key change breaks structures here: In order to recharge remotely, you need a key. Keys are now rare. Also, recharging remotely, pouring XM into a garden, does not give you AP, hence 'watering' a garden is not an attractive operation in the game. I expect further changes to the game mechanics here.

Other roles besides watering the garden with XM are harvesting items ( farming )  from it and distributing it among the group, protecting ( guarding or general defense play ) the garden by pouring XM into it under attack (there is insufficient warning against attacks at the moment to be able to play this properly, we need items that can warm against the presence of enemy players close by, and we need items that notify a group of players protecting a garden reliably and quickly in case of an attack), and building structures such as fields. Also, attack play, attacking enemy gardens, fields, links and portals.

All in all, in order to be long term attractive and still be able to fascinate casual gamers, further changes are necessary and the portal key change needs to be reverted fast, or otherwise be mitigated. Yet still, the changes of tonight are a good thing and a great step forward, but one - the portal key change.
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105 comments
 
One rather close knit group of players is currently evening out item counts by sharing them among the group in order to anticipate coming item purges or other cleanup actions.

In general, the change favors coop playing a lot, and establishes trade and build of structures. This is of course not casual gaming at all, but is actually still a good change, and is a change independent of making the game accessible to casual gamers, and compatible with it.
 
as long as it takes ages to ban players that are spoofing their gps signal, the game is borked anyways. at least here in Leipzig I have seen a player for weeks spoofing through town. Taking down his portals gets ever harder as he advances fast in levels and gear.
 
Oh, forgot that: Fake GPS became a lot harder with the update, too. At least that is what some people have been reporting to me.
DarkG
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FAKE GPS funktioniert nur in eingeschränktem Umfang... sprich innerhalb von theoretisch 500m um die per GSM erfasste Position...
War schon sonderbar das einige Spieler seit den diesbezüglichen Änderungen in der App nicht mehr aufgetaucht sind... :)
Die Frage bzgl. dem Inventar ist ja, wo ist die Grenze, was ist "zuviel" und was its "normal"... (20, 50 oder 100XMPs?)
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+DarkG Es gibt kein "Zuviel", wenn es real erarbeitet ist. Jemand, der sich viele, viele, viele Stunde/Tage/Wochen bei Wind und Wetter draußen rumtreibt und Portale abgrast, wird eben regulär eine Menge Equipment haben. Dass Multihack nicht mehr tut, ist kein Verlust. Auch wenn es die Zeit zum aufmunitionieren verkürzt haben mag. Die Frage, wie realistisch es ist, dass jemand fünfstellige Itemzahlen hat, stellt sich mir eher. Da kann man dann mal gegenrechnen, wieviele Hacks das sein müssten und wie lange das gedauert hätte ...
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I expirienced the lack of Keys 2 days ago. Having only time in the evening (when the kids are sleeping) I find it very hard to gain keys. And you need them to link == level up. Waiting in cold winter weather for 4 minutes cool down is not that much fun.

Besides that. I welcome the other changes. E.g. the fixed xmp bug..
DarkG
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Oh.. nagut... hätte nicht gedacht das es leute gibt die gegenstände im 4odr 5stelligen bereich angehäuft haben...
Das is natürlich extrem...
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Also einige hundert kann man erreichen, ohne Multihack.
Aber 5 stellig?!? - Wenn viele Portale an einem ort sind, kann man locker ohne viel zu bewegen jedes hacken und dann hat man schon 8 Hacks à 2-3 Items pro 5 min.
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Die Items die ich vor einer Woche abgelegt habe liegen aber immer noch rum. (Das selbe berichten meine Verbündeten) 
Also stimmt nicht ganz alles was hier berichtet wird.

Seit wann ist das mit den Keys? Gestern Abend bis 23:00 gabs damit kein Problem.
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i hope they will employ ap gratification for portal maintenance. this would help casual players a lot.
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+Rolf Glaettli Das Update ist gestern zwischen Mitternacht und 2am reingekommen. Um die Zeit hat es auch meine rumliegenden Keys gelöscht.

Dafür bekommt man inzwischen, falls man überhaupt noch Keys bekommt, diese auch dann, wenn man schon einen gleichen Key von dem Portal hat.

Alles in allem ist das mit den neuen Key-Regeln jedoch extrem frustig und spaßbefreit.
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DarkG
 
naja.. ihr redet hier von 1000 items insgesamt..ich dachte eher an 1000 stück von einem Gegenstand...
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+Dominique Bugmann Nun, an manchen Tag es schwierig das Zeug loszuwerden. Wenn die ganz Gegend von deiner Faction kontrolliert wird, kannst Du nur noch Items anhäufen.  Wer will schon L1 XMP verwenden wenn auch ein paar hundert L5 oder L6 verfügbar sind?
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LOL, ihr lebt echt im Paradies! 1000 von EINEM Gegenstand?
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Ja die L1 XMP hab ich in Basel in den Rhein geworfen.. Aber sie wurden noch nicht weg geschwemmt.. hmm
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+Rolf Glaettli Ich hab meine gestern während einer Zugfahrt verstreut. Ich hoffe es stirbt keiner bei dem Versuch die wieder aufzuheben.
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mein key war heute morgen noch da den ich vor ein paar tagen abgelegt habe.
Aber kann es sein, dass die Menge an Keys pro Portal nun begrenzt ist? Es einfach deshalb kaum welche gibt, weil schon so viele im Umlauf sind?
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Wenn die Keys limitiert sind dann müsste es aber wenigstens so sein, dass man sie nicht verliert wenn man ein Portal verlinkt.
Aber wie soll ein neuer Spieler denn nun noch punkten? Durch immer wieder 100 AP für den Hack fremder Portale?
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+Andreas Thienemann Mehrere, von Leuten, die es ausprobiert haben. Ich selber bin grad nicht so mobil, neue Schuhe und ingress sind keine gute Kombination. 
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+Rolf Glaettli Ich denke, das Spiel wird bei selteneren Keys weniger building und mehr attack. Ich denke nicht, daß das unbedingt eine gute Änderung ist. 
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Die Änderung ist suboptimal. Wenn die weniger Keys wollen, sollten die einfach die maximale Zahl an Keys, die man halten kann (levelabhängig) begrenzen.
Dann muss man ggf. Keys droppen/löschen und immer mal wieder zu Portalen hingehen und deren Key holen.

Ich habe gestern zum ersten Mal gespielt und habe irgendwann entnervt aufgehört, weil ich plötzlich keine Keys mehr bekommen habe und ein halbes Dutzend Links / Felder nicht aufbauen konnte. Nach 45 Minuten im Kreis laufen und immer wieder die gleichen Portals hacken ohne einen Key zu bekommen ist Kacke!
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Now I can't even obtain a portal key after 6 hacks...
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Schilde funktionieren ausgezeichnet, und die Tatsache, daß man nun kaum noch Items und Schlüssel bekommt sorgt für richtig spannende, kurzweilige Spiele. Zwei Stunden 20 Portale beackert und 2 Schlüssel bekommen, 3L2 XMP und 1L3 Resonator. Ansonsten nur ein bißchen L1-Kleinkram.
Hammse mal wieder jut hinbekommen. /Sarkasmus
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The portal key change is really bad for those casual players who have to drive to every portal.  Not everyone lives in a major city with hundreds of portals within walking distance.  with the high price of gas all over the world, this game will eventually shrink to only be dominated by those in large cities.  Please add some sort of algorithm that takes into account proximity of portals to one another to determine portal key drops.  I can see that amount of MUs dropping dramatically this weekend as people are not aware of this change.  and yes I experienced this change first hand when hacking multiple portals about 15, yielded just one portal key...waste of 2hrs of driving and gas
 
I still hold that portal keys should be more like ssh keys in the REAL WORLD. If you have a key to an ssh server, you can log in as many times as you want. They are good until a server admin changes the key server-side. With portals, I think that once you have a portal key, you should be able to link back to that portal as many times as you want. Simply creating a link would not destroy the portal key. This way, you wouldn't have to return to a portal as frequently (if at all) and could also recharge it later forever. So, if they are going to make the keys more scarce and harder to obtain, it would make perfect sense to allow them to behave in this fashion.
 
Further: if my above consideration actually was put into place, perhaps the server admin changing the keys would be akin to an enemy destroying all 8 resonators. So, when a portal goes back to neutral (after a successful attack), all previous keys to it become invalid and are remotely destroyed or taken out of the carrier's inventory.
 
In a drive necessary state, there is no way I want to go 4-6 hours for a remote key just to burn it permanently on ONE link that any player could destroy from the most of the triangles common portal. 114 sq miles of mostly desert is impossible to play in, much less to cover without hours of driving or some stability to keys or having closer range portals or even active agents in these VERY remote communities.
 
Or you do away with the keys, and having items in the portal (resonator, shield) functions for you as if you had a key to the portal - remote recharge and link to that portal would be possible.

The actual keys could continue to function as is, but become far less important. They are only important if you ALSO want to work with the portal despite the fact that you have no items in it. In that case, the current respawn rate for keys is actually ok.
 
In meinen Augen macht Google mit dem Update nicht alles richtig und ich finde den kleinen Shitstorm, der in den Foren und anderen Kanälen derzeit herrscht absolut verständlich. Dass man die Keys so rar gemacht hat ist absoluter Mist. Man wird sich nun viel weniger mit Leuten treffen, um Keys auszutauschen. 
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If you see the possibility of a link or even a field and after 45 minutes of running around and hacking you still cannot achieve sh*t, that is really demotivational. It's what happened to me yesterday on my first day in +Ingress. After my first few hours of fun the system suddenly changed and currently it sucks. I would have driven to cologn today, to get some western portal key for potential long distance links. Under the current success rates, I simply won't.
The key thing is just bad on so many levels...
 
When keys weren't rare it wasn't too bad, really. But the only way to really level is by making a lot of fields, for which you need keys which you really can't get anymore in reasonable time.
What I really don't get is: this is obvious. What were they thinking?
 
For sure they were thinking there are too many active player and it´s time for a cut :D
 
This is going to force players to think over their links instead of creating links just because they can.  In my area, there are links that get in the way of larger CF's.   With this change, the mass boost of AP from creating fields will be rare.  Seems to be the main source of AP going forward is to attack....
 
+Vulgar Disp I don't think so. When you have a lot of linkable portals, you can actually make a decision which ones to link. When can't get the keys you want, you'll link the portals you can get keys from, which will not always result in the best possible links.
TL;DR: rare keys make links random.
 
You do not get more AP from bigger fields all that bigger fields do is impact overall MU counts.
 
On the plus side, you can now get a portal key for a portal when you already have one in your inventory.
 
I agree with the faction specific key idea. Link the portal key to the  faction that is currently in control of the portal, if the portal degrades to neutral or is taken over by the opposing faction invalidate/destroy the keys held by the previous faction. If you have a valid key for a portal you can link it, recharge it, etc. and the key stays.

I spent 2 hours last night trying to link one field together with no result due to a complete lack of any key drops. This is over ~10 miles of driving and 10+ hacks of different portals trying to obtain keys. I'm not going to want to keep doing this much longer if there is 0 reward possible in the play time I have available.

There should also be better incentive for reporting new portals... AP rewards if your submission is accepted or something. Maybe pop the portal into the game tagged as owned by the submitter fully populated with Lv1 resonators.
 
+Vulgar Disp If your key drops are very rare there are no link options to think over. Once in 40 times or so you may get a key. You can pick which single portal you can link from, but you can't execute your locally optimized graph.

My plan last night was to tie together parts of Long Beach CA efficiently, which involved drive-bys in the dark in dodgy areas. Those turned into multiple fails, and in fact the whole trip failed. No keys in abt 30 hacks, so no AP and no fields.

Very demotivating.
 
I can see that Google is trying to get us to do something differently and presumably still have fun with it. Perhaps today's puzzle is figuring out what they think we should be doing on our runs.
 
+Tuco Boffin  Well, many of us still have a ton of keys from before this happened so we have to be very careful with what links we create now but yes in the future the link options are going to very limited.   

I got lucky last night and created 7 CF's with keys I already had one hand.  I noticed within about 10 mins of my trip something had changed as the game was moving a lot faster than usual.  
 
And if anyone is really looking for the "Shapers", look no further than google.  The shapers in this game use their abilities to get people to do work for them for their ultimate gain.  The "shapers" in real life are using all of us to beta test a game so they can map the world and use our data for whatever else sounds profitable..  
 
+Vulgar Disp Exactly, and now they're driving people out. I just have to read my local map, people are pissed.
 
+David Röll  One of the only level 8 players in my state is talking about leaving the game now.   I don't think the masses have quite figured it out yet here.  It's only a little after noon here so most of our players haven't gone out yet to see first hand whats happened.
 
+Vulgar Disp I've been around for a while. I'm relatively high leveled myself.
I see newly joined people who quit because "this game is a waste of time".
I'll stick around and see if they change things, but I'm certainly not going to play until they do. I've spent two hours today and all I was able to do is one link. I've wasted a load of XMP to take down two portals, I'm pretty much out of good stuff to use.
 
And with this information i am done with ingress or at least for now unless this changes.  I live in a rural area and these changes will make rural playing difficult if not impossible as most portals are not within walking distance (and before anyone says "send portal requests", well i did that when i first got in the game, its been over a month with no approval).  Team work is not an option right now either with the limited beta and invites.  All of these changes should work ok for largely populated areas with a lot of portals and more players.
 
+David Röll  Have you noticed any changes with the XMP mechanics?  The OP stated that the XMP bursts were back to how they were originally.  

We just started a few new players in my area that we worked for codes for.  I really hope they keep with the game.  I think many of us that have been playing for a little while (most of us are lvl 4-6) will share the spare keys we have to help out.
 
I have lots of portals and lots of time, but with the current success rate, i.e., close to nothing, I will simply wait for the next patch and play StarCraft for now instead.
Just had to opt for a tiny field because the loss of keys prevented me from creating a much nicer field. No loss of AP, but still a lot less gratifying. 
 
+Vulgar Disp Yeah, looks like they are. Problem is, shields really work now. So once a portal is high level and has shields, you need a lot of XMP to clean it up.
But if you can't get enough XMP by hacking, you have no chance.
 
+David Röll Ok, thank you very much for the info.  The vast majority of my portals have the very rare shields dropped on them since I had so many.  For being so rare, I seemed to be getting more of them then the others.
 
+Vulgar Disp Which is exactly the problem. Every freaking higher level portal has shields!
What do you think: how many L4 xmps do you need to take out a L1-L2 portal?
 
I am really excited to hear that you are focusing on making them game more fun for casual players!  I was really enthusiastic about playing when I first got my invite, but there are a few people in my city of the opposing faction who habitually go through and demolish anything we set up within hours of it being there, which greatly diminished my interest.  I really like that you're looking out for us!!

I agree that the limit of keys will actually hamper that effort.  Maybe don't make linking portals consume a key, use faction specific keys, do away with keys all together, or another idea would be to increase the drop in efficiency you get when recharging at a distance so players who hold portals under attack can't recharge them as easily?  
 
Personally I loved the former "XMP bug". It made destroying portals at least a little bit difficult for those high leveled players.
To destroy a portal I actually had to walk around it to make those blasters have a reasonable effect. It also gave me a chance to recharge and protect my portal a bit (though very limited still).

It takes sooo much time to walk around and build things up - even if portals are not far away from each other. Seeing these portals go down with almost no effort from the other side frustrates me the most - and now also rebuilding fields gets almost impossible.

I don't know if I'm a 'casual' gamer with 1h / day - but #ingress  you definitely lost me today due to frustration of this very unbalanced build/destroy principle that started again today.
 
+Chris Orlando I can only read what you've written as "I am really excited to hear that you are focusing on making the game more fun for casual players who live in a downtown district with tons of portals nearby."

I live in Suburban North Denver, and am a casual player.
Please scroll up and read my fairly detailed opinion of the effects that these changes will have on the casual non-core-urban player.

The drop rates for items WITH multihacking made suburban/ex-urban/small town playing tolerable, but not actually good. Now that multihacking has been removed, and with a lowered key drop rate on top of that, suburban/ex-urban/small town play will lose completely and utterly to a myriad of leisure activities (Internet, Xbox, reading, hell, even sleeping) that are suddenly a much more gratifying way to spend your time than playing Ingress.
 
+Greg Miernicki I have so many keys to portals that have changed hands back and forth.  I also picked up one and had a duplicate.  I have noticed the lack of keys as well and figure that if you can't get them easily in rural areas it's going to be not worth going to get them.
 
+Chris Orlando I think you're going to have to get used to your stuff getting blown up. Everyone does, it's part of the game and becoming detached from your portals is a rite of passage IMO. Casual or not, all players experience this. Find another interest in the game. There are many ways to approach the game that make it rewarding, such as thinking about the resource mechanics and how to best optimize your play time and your factions strategy. Play cooperatively. Be social, Think about how to level up and get more capabilities, etc. Hope this helps. 
 
Unfortunately, it appears that these more recent changes are going to make things more difficult for new players to level up, and make the game more difficult than it already was for rural/suburban players.

First, new players primary way to level up was by creating fields. If they aren't getting keys, they aren't creating fields. I understand the intention is to limit the rate at which people are becoming level 7 and 8, but it also hits new players hard.

This key restriction REALLY hits rural and suburban players. There is almost NO motivation to drive 30 minutes or more to get to a portal if you may not even get one key during your four hack attempts. This means for players that have to drive 30 minutes or more to get downtown, or for players who have few portals around, there is almost no motivation to play.

Additionally, as you note, a "garden" or "portal farm" is almost necessary now to get higher level or more items. These DO NOT EXIST outside of the city. Again, hurting rural and suburban players.
 
Did you guys even play lately? Try taking down opponent portals and see what happens....

Voilá, there are your keys! Just came back from my evening shift, that consisted of 2 phases. Phase one: Reload, Recharge and building session - 30 Portals - nearly 40 hacks - NO keys.
Afterwards Phase two - attack Opponent Central Portals to make as much AP as possible by collapsing several fields and connections at once. Did only THREE of those and got 13 keys!

They changed the game mechanics to: if you want to build something, you have to take the keys from the enemy first. Perhaps this makes a lot of sense in urban regions with a LOT of Portals per square mile, but I am asking myself how long there will be people playing this in rural areas....

In the cities though, this might really become more action packed and fun... capture the keys, capture the portals for those keys - then build...and be prepared to see the opposite action within less time then before....

Also this probably forces us all to play more local, until long distance key exchange within factions is well established... Couriers anyone?
 
+David Primmer I've leveled up to 4 by now and nothing has changed, but what's really telling is that it's not just me. There are quite a few high levelers in my area as well, and the same thing happens to them. I understand that having your stuff blown up on a regular basis is part of the game, especially at the beginning, but when two or three people control our entire city and any progress any of us make is routinely wiped out within hours, I don't really think that's an ideal situation.

Obviously there needs to be SOMETHING better about being a higher level, and I'm not saying that the game should be changed to bring someone that's a lvl 1 onto a completely even playing field with a lvl 8, but I am saying that game should be set up so as to maximize inclusion. Both low and high levelers/both casual and serious gamers should all be able to participate and make satisfying progress. Obviously high levelers and serious gamers will make more progress, but they shouldn't completely dominate and overwhelm the entire playing field to the point that the rest of us might as well not be there. That applies to the opposing faction as well. I see very few names on resonators other than those two or three dominating players. Others in that faction get to see the city turn their color, but they don't get to participate in it very much. That's a shame.

I do still enjoy the game and continue playing even though it's next to impossible to get anywhere right now. I can accept that my fields aren't going to last as long as I'd like. I love Ingress - I just think there are a few things that could be changed to help make sure everyone has a good time. I don't know if the ideas I've talked about above are the best way to accomplish that, but I'm glad to see google working along that line of reasoning.
 
+Chris Orlando Someone blowing up your portals is a gift. It's that simple. They're enabling you to level up. That is one of the fundamental truths of the game. You get 2x the AP from building as you do destroying.

The reward balance of build versus destroy is constantly debated but in your situation you are clearly benefiting. If you were in an area where those same players were in your faction, you'd probably be locked out of the AP and not be L4 right now. Yes, you'd have a lot of friendly glowing portals to stare at, but what would you do then?

The game rewards those who spend their time (and sometimes gas) freely. So yes it's biased against casual players, since most of the rewards of the game are the result of spending time playing it. It's also biased against holding territory. Both of these appear intentional, since without churn, the game space becomes stale and people will stop playing.

I'm confident when more players are added the imbalance you see in your area will even out. I don't think the game is broken just because your area has some dominating players. Players come and go.
 
+David Primmer You forgot, that to build new fields with the new mechanics (no more keys through hacking your own portals), you now are FORCED to destroy enemy portals to obtain keys you can then use to build new fields. AND you get most new keys destroying enemy portals that are highly connected.... That changes everything....
 
+Jorge Steffen I didn't forget. And that's why I disagree that the new mechanics are casual-friendly. Just the opposite -- they're regressive  How do you AP-grind to get enough XMPs to get portal keys? You used to do it with lots of fields and multihack.

My issue with Chris was that he seems to be saying that the changes will be positive to someone in his situation of being dominated by very active players. There's no change they can put in that will reverse that, unless they let you buy items with money. I was trying to explain how a free game will always reward players with free time.
 
+David Primmer I see your point - I really do.  I think some of your objections might be the result of misunderstanding.  As I have already stated, I don't think game is "broken" either.  I enjoy it and play regularly.  I'm just saying I think a few tweaks could make it even more enjoyable.   

First of all, I do NOT mean to suggest that the specific changes already made are good for people in my situation.  If you read my comments, I actually objected to several of the changes because I agree with you that they will have the opposite effect of what I'm talking about.  I was saying that in a general sense I was glad to see some evidence that they were at least thinking about people in situations like mine. I completely agree with what you just said about the necessity of using tons of XMP to take down portals just to get keys making it a great deal harder for people in my situation. 

I'm also not saying that people who invest more time shouldn't be rewarded for doing so.  That would be ridiculous.  I'm just saying that in my opinion it would be more fun for everyone if they worked to make sure everyone still had the chance to do SOMETHING even if it's very little compared to what the more serious players do.  That's just my opinion, and I suspect we're going to have to agree to disagree on that.

I do disagree when you say, "It's that simple." Three reasons:
1) When the people who I'm talking about tear my stuff down they upgrade and fortify it to the point that I don't have a prayer of taking it down so I can build again without saving up for a week or two.
2) The object of the game is to gain territory. What's the point of gaining endless AP if you can't do that? I'm not saying I don't want people to ever destroy my portals. Obviously that would defeat the purpose of the game. I'm just saying I feel like it would be more fun if more people had a fighting chance.
3) I'm not just talking about MY portals. I'm talking about my entire faction in my city (including serious high-level players), AND the other faction who don't get to play much because a few people dominate obsessively.
 
+David Primmer I never purposely multihacked... only twice by missclicking and never paid attention to that... building fields was my main strategy until tonight... and only destroyed enemy fields and portals in retaliation.... now it will change to some balanced form of taking down enemy portals to get enough keys for portals I want to build something with....
 
+Chris Orlando Regarding #2, if you don't get levels, how do you propose to prevent someone from taking your measly portals? Even if the object is to gain territory, adding players to your faction in your area and leveling them is the only relevant strategy. 

I think you'd still be discouraged even if the power curve wasn't as steep in the game. 

You may have gps cheaters in your area. You should keep an eye on the comm log.
 
+David Primmer At what point did I object to adding players and leveling up???  What I'm talking about is making sure there are opportunities to do JUST THAT.

If people are obsessively maxing out every portal in town, people like me don't get the chance to destroy things very often and therefore DON'T get to level up very often, and this would be even more true for new players.  I DON'T object to people destroying my portals.  OBVIOUSLY that moves the game along.  I'm advocating for game tweaks that would provide more opportunities to do the destroying and reconstruction of portals that you are talking about!  
I do also think that it would be more fun if it were easier for lower levelers and casual players to hold on to territory for at least a day or maybe two - not as much territory and not as long as higher levelers and serious players, but SOMETHING.  You may disagree with me on that, but I fail to see what makes your view any more valid than mine.

Also, as I have said repeatedly, I am not discouraged - I am still playing and enjoying it.  I'm just saying I think that evening things out could make things a little more enjoyable for everyone.

Once again, you said above that your problem with what I'm saying is that you seem to think I'm saying that the changes they've already made will benefit people in my situation. If you'll read what I originally wrote, I actually objected to the changes they've already made.  I was excited about the fact that they are TALKING about things that will help people in my situation.

I really think you've misunderstanding my point, and maybe that's my fault for not making it clearer.  We do disagree on a couple points, but I think they're just differences of opinion.
 
+Chris Orlando I am glad you're excited the developers are talking. But if you think about the way game the game is offered, I don't think you can be surprised. If the goal of the devs is to crowdsource more location information and POIs (this is my guess not sure what yours is) you must assume they want to get more people playing the game. I've been watching the game develop and playing it for 6 months and it gets better, more balanced and engaging all the time.

You also seem to coming back, over and over, to the claim that the only  important reward for casual players would be having a portal they created last a few days. But you seem to have kept playing even though you couldn't get this satisfaction. So you must have seen something else.

Some L2 players spend all day knocking a couple L6 resonators off a portal. Given the power curve, this is a 'win' for them. If they don't take and hold a L6 portal, they don't have to be discouraged. If 4 get together, they can take down a L6 portal.

You've made quite a few statements that I tried to counter because they seem to be based in this same idea, that you want your portals to last or the game is not fun. Perpetuating this idea, when the game is not going to change this way is more harmful than just letting noobs know about the deeper strategy and other features of the game. That's what I keep trying to point out.

I'm also not trying to pick on you. You sound like a reasonable guy. I point it out in case others are reading this and felt the same way as you, because "portal-attachment-syndrom" is something that most players need to be counseled to get over. ;-)
 
oh crap, now we have to find new loop holes and adapt new strategies 
 
+David Primmer I think we're finally getting close to understanding one another.  Here's the big problem I see with what you just said: you are talking in very absolute terms and seem to be assuming that I am as well.   

We actually agree on a great deal:
YES - I do see more in the game than just taking/holding portals.  
YES - There is more to the game than JUST hanging on to portals.
YES - It does not eliminate all of the fun of the game if you can't hold on to territory for very long.  
YES - Adding more players makes the game more exciting.
YES - Having your portals destroyed on a regular basis promotes healthy growth of one's AP collection.
YES - The game is extremely fun the way it is.

I would, however, go on to add the following.  For me, there are two things that make the game fun:
1)  The excitement generated by the constant competition with opponents, cooperation with allies, and strategies associated with both.
2)  That supremely satisfying feeling you get when you set up a new field and score a few MU for your faction.

I am in emphatic agreement with you that if we didn't have #1 then #2 would quickly become both impossible and pointless.  

Here's the nuance I'm trying to get at.  Again, I have two main points:
1)  I feel that there comes a point when the extreme dominance that I see in my city actually does more to PREVENT the kind of competition and opportunities to employ strategy that you are talking about than it does to promote such.    
2)  Part of what will attract more players (and I admit that it's only PART of it) is that feeling of satisfaction that you get when making some progress for your team.  If that progress is almost immediately wiped off the map and replaced by enemy portals fortified to the point where it is EXTREMELY difficult for you to retake anything, then that satisfaction is diminished and the ability to attract more players is diminished along with it.    

Now, perhaps you will disagree with that second point.  I can understand that.  But I think we both feel strongly about making opportunities for new players to get involved and for players of all levels to compete and level up.  What I am saying is that I think with a few tweaks and some slight adjustments to the way the balance of power tends to happen we could ENHANCE exactly what you're advocating.

I appreciate that you're not picking on me.  If I express any frustration it's that I don't feel that I'm successfully conveying my point and not that I'm offended by your views.

I do want to say, however, that I'm not sure it's entirely fair to say things like "the game isn't going to change this way and talking about it does more harm than good."  I realize you've been playing a lot longer than I have, but the game is constantly evolving.  The discussions and updates we've seen over the last couple days are proof of that.  I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way - I have talked with many others who agree.  I also see the game shifting at least slightly in the direction I'm hoping to see it go in some of the additional changes that are being discussed.  For example, limiting the size of stockpiles that people can carry around with them might prevent some of those dominators in my city from being constantly able to wipe out anything and everything they please at any moment.  
 
Taking all day to knock a resonator off a portal is grinding and not engaging. Not to mention the the AP is minimal.
 
Hey Since nobody has keys, Can any of you guys harvest my corn in Farmville?
 
+Chris Orlando had mentioned the frustration of building portals and having them destroyed immediately by a higher level player.  I am certain you are not in my area, but yes, this happens.  Its part of the team work strategy.  In our area there are a few high level Resistance and Enlightened players.  We all strategize within our own faction.  And in our area on the resistance side, we openly communicate with the low level players, We find out where they are having problem and we will come in, destroy the opposing faction portal, and either build it up to a high level so they can obtain items, or leave it empty so they can build.  If we build the portal(s) we would leave them open and drop the keys for the person requesting help so they could build the fields. Thus helping them level up...
It was also mentioned that destroying enemy portals will give you keys.  While this may be true also, i have ran in to a lot of issues lately where i would drive to a portal and hack, wait 5 minutes, hack again, wait another 5, hack.. repeat this until the portal is burnt out and never successfully gain a single item.  I would always hear "hacking unsuccessful" with the display message, "Hack acquired no items".  So now if i can't acquire any XMP then how am i supposed to attack and gain portal keys?  I am effectively dead in the water here.
 
Get a team going... when I play now, I never play alone (unless I'm farming a portal at work). I always travel / attack / form links and fields with at least one other person. Its more fun this way!
 
It will probably be much easier to get a team going when they start allowing us to recruit our friends.
 
Today was bitter. Played ~6hrs. Hacked > 15 portals, 2-3 times each. Not a single key
 
Aww... I really fear the "purge inventory" thing... 
I did not even know about multi-hacking (until reading this)... Always waited for the pop-up screen with the hack's result (was curious too see what I get each time)... and now, i have lots of items... Stocking them for player needing them, when necessary. 
I'm a sort of a "StoreKeeper" for my Resistance fellows.. and quite like the role to give them Burster to attacck together, or Resonator to build  (especially after destroying! lol)
Hope that eventual purge won't be a severe damage... I'd feel sooo sad about not being able to maintain my role in my group. :/
 
Got two keys today. Probably just lucky ;)
All in all. Game is a little less satisfying but still fun enough for me to run around two hours in pouring rain.
At least that way I get some exercise :D
 
+Randall Turner leveling is a huge incentive at the beginning. how do you propose to replace that?
Also: do you really want the chance to exist, that a total new player by chance gets a L8 XMP Buster und nukes half a city's portals?
 
Ok, I can  kind of see the points being made here. As a casual player myself, It's been very difficult for me to level. Mostly, because I've not had good luck with burster drops. I can see making it more difficult to get keys, and i can also see needing to burst down portals to have a higher chance of getting new keys. In order to help balance out us lower level players, how about a sliding scale on the burster drops? The lower the level you are, the more bursters of your level you get? With enough bursters, even a low level player can take down a higher level portal. It'll take a lot longer, and cost more XM, but it give us lover levels a fighting chance against the more aggressive and higher level players.
 
+Volker Kamin Despite the extended conversation I had above about wanting a more level playing field, I don't think doing away with levels all together is the best way to do that.  I think the challenge of leveling up and the excitement when it happens are a big part of what keep me playing.  I also agree strongly with +David Primmer (though he might be surprised to hear me say so) that learning alternate strategies that allow one to level up despite the presence of local big-guns whom you can't hope to match is part of the experience of the game and makes you a more effective player once you do achieve a higher level.  I am in favor of a slightly more even playing field, but I think that abandoning the level system would be a massive mistake.
 
+Randall Turner  Not to know how to do the basics (hack portals, place resonators, use XMP, etc.), but I do think that the strategies that one can employ do take more time to master.  In fact, making players play more before they get access to more powerful items also helps in the DEVELOPMENT of NEW strategies.  This may be especially relevant to strategies involving cooperation with teammates.  

Also, to be honest, I don't think your question is a fair one.  How long it takes a player to learn the game is not the only thing to take into consideration.  I'm not saying your arguments don't have merit, but I am saying that there's a lot more to think about.
 
Im tired of hacking enemy portals and not getting any items. A stingy game is no fun. Why drive for two hours for a few hundred AP?
 
+Randall Turner You're actually describing the exact scenario I've talked about above.  It's the kind of thing I see in my city, which is why I'm hoping they're going to make changes that will level the playing field a bit.  That being said, I haven't seen the scenario we're talking about taken to the extremes you're describing.  Much of my city is controlled by a few high level players, and that's been frustrating, but I have still been able to find opportunities to destroy, build, and level up.  I really don't think we're looking at a situation where the high level players are capable of bringing everything to a complete standstill.
 
+Randall Turner +Chris Orlando 
The missing piece is the belief that Niantic would allow that situation to happen unchecked.
They do have the ability to manipulate Field and Resonator decay dynamically.
They have a 'target behavior' for the playerbase, and they are listening to feedback, and they have manipulated playerbase behavior once by dramatically increasing the decay rate, and once by manipulating the key drop rate.

If Niantic gets sufficient feedback from players that the New Player Experience is a very bad thing (for the reasons listed), it would be trivial for them to turn this ship on a dime and implement up to (and including) 100% Decay per 24h.
VERY few portals would withstand that sort of assault, and it would all be written into the fabric of the story as some sort of Epiphany Night, Part Deux...
Brian L
 
I keep wondering "Why?".  Fixing bugs and reducing "cheats" are good things.  But why reduce the number of keys?  Having keys and making links are necessary for creating fields.  And we're told that creating fields and controlling Mind Units are the essential mission of the game.  And, creating links and fields are some of the most highly rewarded action in the game.  That's really going to undermine leveling up and stagnate the status quo.  I think the building/constructive part of the game is as much fun and as satisfying as the destructive part of the game.  This is going to tilt the game toward already high-level players, which I think is the wrong direction.
Brian L
 
+Randall Turner How about the "level" of a portal is determined by the number of people who hack it?  Friendly hacks increase the level, hostile hacks reduce it.  You could cap portal strength at, say, 12 or 15 points.  A portal decays, say, 2 points per day.  To defeat a portal over time, you only need to have more hostile hacks than friendly hacks.  This levels out the power of each player and encourages coordination among players.  This way, any one player could defeat any portable within 24 hours unless it's reinforced by friendly hacks.  This would also give friendlies time to react attacks and to "call in reinforcements", making the battles much more real-time instead of flip-green one day and flip-blue the next day.
Brian L
 
In the current game, a suggested improvement would be to allow the player to control level of portals displayed regardless of zoom, instead of tying the portal level to the zoom.  That way, a low level player itching for a fight can search for unclaimed and low level ports in a large radius.  For low level players in areas dominated by high-level players, simply finding a portal they can attack is a challenge.

Early on, I had to drive 30-45 minutes just to get to a portal that I could defeat.  All of the nearby portals were dominated by higher-level players and were unassailable by a plebe.  I'll never know if there were closer ones since the discovery of unclaimed and low level portals is so haphazard.