“It’s been a long road, getting from there to here.
It’s been a long time, but my time is finally near”
— Russell Watson, Faith of the Heart
Back in November 2012, I was perusing the newly created Google+ when I started reading posts with the tagline “What is the Niantic Project?” When I found out it was an Augmented Reality Game, I was intrigued. I was also completely convinced that my wife would hate the entire thing, so I started playing on my own (after I got an invite code, back in December 2012). A couple weeks later, we were on our way home from shopping, and I saw my first ever Resistance portal on the scanner. I asked her to stop so I could take it down. She became intrigued, got her own invite code, and joined me playing a month later. A few months after that, we made level 8 together, on the same portal. Due to our scheduling needs, we wound up doing it a few hours apart, but we did it, together, as with so much else we’ve done with Ingress over the years.
We participated in the Cassandra anomaly series when it came to New York (this, by the way, was the first time a series of anomalies had been linked like this). My team put up the biggest field that had ever been seen in the area (and I’m still amazed at what we did). We participated in Interitus. We’ve had people in Australia and Russia running ops for me. We’ve worked with people in Washington, DC to move shards the first time they came out. We’ve talked with people, and worked with people, in so many places.
I bought a drone to get at difficult portals during a time when they couldn’t be gotten any other way. I got my ham license to be able to use first person video while flying that drone. We figured out how to use unrelenting Resistance attacks on us to speed level people, and helped (at last count) 15 people level up to 8 in our little corner of the world (sadly, between people moving away, having babies, and other real life issues, we only have three of us still active right now).
We’ve seen the evolution of the scanner, too. When it first came out, it was possible to get more than four hacks simply by hitting the back button and hitting hack again. The most I ever saw was someone getting an extra four hacks on a portal (total of 8) before getting the “portal burnt out” message. We’ve seen stack firing basically get removed (nothing quite like seeing 10+ bursters go off at the same time). We’ve seen the introduction of power cubes, of Jarvis and Ada viruses, of force amps, turrets, multi-hacks, and heat sinks. We’ve seen the addition of capsules, and MUFGs. We’ve seen portal keys go from “just another item on the hack list” to “make sure you don’t have one in your inventory if you want another one”. We’ve seen the introduction of glyphing, and the gradual changes/encouragements to make glyphing what people should be doing when farming (more gear, AP, and a badge). I’ve recycled more media than I can count.
We’ve seen the introduction of checkpoints and cycles, and the updates to scoring for regions. We’ve seen the way MU get calculated change to use checkpoints. We’ve seen the introductions of leaderboards and individual agent ranking.
We’ve seen more people come and go than I would have thought possible, on both teams. We’ve seen the good of the game, and we’ve seen the bad of the game (toxic personalities coming out on comms is not a good thing, and for a while I was one of them).
We’ve seen the globe spanning operations, and we’ve seen the tiny little operations.
We’ve seen communities build up, and friendships get made that will last a lifetime (for us, darthnugget fits that category perfectly. One of the most awesome people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet).
But most of all, we did it together.
And last night, we leveled up again, together. On the same portal. Within about 30 seconds of each other. We threw the final link, that made the final field, that got us both to level 16.
It has been one helluva ride, and one that I’m not going to get off anytime soon. Thank you, +Niantic Project
I don’t know what the future holds, but the past has a lot of fantastic memories.