Friday, 27 May 2016

Ingress, I've hung up my scanner

For about 3 years I've been playing a virtual reality game called Ingress, basically you have to travel to places and by travel I meant physically go there, capture portals and link 3 together as a triangle, everything under that triangle is then under control of your team, there are two teams, the resistance and enlightened, the enlightened want to work with aliens to accelerate humans, the resistance want it to continue as normal. The game is run by Niantic, an offshoot of Google and is free, except for some of the stuff in the store and the vast amount of petrol you use travelling to portals.

It was great, you got to find things that you didn't know about and added to a day out, what eventually happens is you go out to find portals, capture them and ignore everything else and this wasn't helped when they introduced a badge called the "Sojourner Badge". This is like an Ingress addict badge, it forces you to hack a portal every 24 hours and if you don't you go right back to the start of the hacking streak. I missed one day on holiday last year and has to start again and eventually got my black or onyx badge, I felt nothing.

And very recently, Niantic have introduced a cheat detect routine in their software that has managed to get legitimate players banned while known cheats and spoofers are allowed to carry on.

Then there's the portal issues, there are quite a few fake or obsolete portals out there, you report them and Niantic say there is no evidence to support the removal. One local portal was a church until 2 years ago, it's now a block of flats, no evidence. There are obvious fake portals and so much more and it's stopped being fun to play. I do blame the Sojourner badge, it made me hack every 24 hours and it then became something I had to do as opposed to something I wanted to do.

I've gone for a name change from Agent37168, my old Geek Squad badge number to Th3MajorTom and that has not helped.

So, it's time to hang up the scanner for now, I've uninstalled the software and sent my account deletion email, it will take some time to come through and I may change my mind but at the moment I've had enough.

Thanks to Niantic for taking the fun out of the game.