The History of Ingress [Part 3]
Welcome back to the 3rd article in our series about the history of Ingress. In Part 2, we discussed the large game changes and a few of the 3rd party tools/applications that grew in popularity during that time. We ended with version 1.28.2, so let’s get right into it reviewing what happened then.
- Link Amp
- Heat Sink
- Force Amp
These items have evolved with us over time, which we will see in their respective timelines.
Next up we have the launch of Ingress 1.30.2, which was another great visual change. We got a new Portal Hack animation and view. Prior to this version, the left image was the output from a hack.
It blocked the screen and made hacking multiple portals difficult. The new output allowed one to continue to see the scanner while hacking. Additionally the ability to sort portal keys was added, which was a greatly appreciated feature for those holding onto hundreds of keys.
Technically speaking. 1.30.2 was the first version to start sending scanner info back to Ingress. This included basic information like phone, android version and brand.
Version 1.31.1 snuck out with an item carousel and started coloring the output of hacks. Codewise this version held information about a new weapon, which we didn’t learn about until the next version.
The Anomalies Start & Ultra Strikes
Minotaur was the first anomaly with multiple sites. This was a change among gameplay because agents had an event to work towards. This meant teamwork and trust began developing on both sides to in an attempt to win these events. Additionally, these events affected the storyline and had little fun surprises that changed the game. Days prior to the anomaly, Ultra Strikes made an appearance.
This was a strange release, because only a few Droid devices were capable of hacking them. This led to the start of build.prop modifying and people learning how easy it was to modify their Android devices. Around the same time Turrets received an update on their hit bonus value. It went from 0.2% to 30%. This was also when people learned how to “refresh” inventories. Anytime shields or items had an update, agents had to hack these items to receive new values or simply drop and pick up their items again to trigger new values. During the shield changes, it became quite the hassle to drop hundreds of shields one by one and pick them up. Remember, we didn’t have bulk anything back then.
Mods Be Hidin’ No More
Prior to the 1.33.0 update, you could not identify mods on enemy portals from the scanner. This update allowed agents to view all mods on enemy portals.
While we are talking about mods, I don’t have the exact timelines but mods in general have changed. The list below are all the changes I remember over my time.
- Remove mods deployed by yourself (Upgrade)
- Max mods deployable to 1
- Max mods deployable to 2
- Max mods deployable to 4.
After some collaboration with the team. We believe the order of max mods deployed went 4, 1, 2, 4, 2.
Profiles and Passcodes
Version 1.34.0 launched and moved the Passcode redemption to its own tab. In the code, mentions of “Profile” were everywhere. It seems the Player Profile that you have become so used to was being developed.
Sure enough, 1.35.1 brought Agent Profiles with badges! Day zero badges were.
- Seer (Submit Portals)
- Builder (Deploy Resonators)
- Connector (Link Portals)
- Explorer (Visit unique portals)
- Mind Controller (Create Fields)
- Hacker (Hack Portals)
- Purifier (Destroy Portals)
- Guardian (Hold a portal for certain amount of time)
In addition to badges, there were also some small statistics.
This added a bit of bragging, competition and more to the game. You could check accounts and easily see the level and status of an agent. Not more than 2 weeks later a new version (1.36.0) hit scanners. This brought a variety of changes from agent avatars, the COMM “alert” tab, redesigned AP/Level bar and added descriptions for items. Prior to this update, items in your inventory were just a title and a picture. Now they included a description helping newer agents learn what they did.
Anomalies are back & No More Activation Codes!
Around October of 2013, 13 Magnus anomalies began and would spread into December of that year. This was the first of many anomalies spread across many months. Anomaly season was here and agent population was booming. Agents were recruiting others since activation codes were no longer required. Both sides began constructing plans, ideas and more in order to win these anomalies. During the hectic times of anomalies, Android version (1.37.2) came out. Tiny feature tweaks were plentiful with: remote portal view, hidden profile stats and comm shortcuts for viewing stats and sending messages.
1.38.0 came out a few weeks later with the “NOW” tab added to Stats. This was an interesting tab because agents couldn’t figure out how the calculations were being formed. Once again, Brandon Badger came to the rescue with an explanation. Internally, this version had tons of code changes in regards to a new XMP layout and more.
1.39.1 came out with an item counter! Agents could now easily see how many items towards the 2,000 limit they were. This was functionality that was added 3rd party wise nearly 10 versions ago. Agents cheered as proper inventory management became easier to do.
Additionally, holding down the fire button during attacks for 20% boost was added. This was likely in response to the ability to “stack” XMPs and release them at once. This method of firing allowed one to fire so many XMPs at once that recharging or defending became useless. Finally, this apk was loaded with Jarvis shards starting the first iteration of Shard play. Other major tweaks included the cooldown for flip cards, as anomalies just became a nightmare of flip card after flip card. Finally the Very Rare Link Amp joined us, but it could not be hacked. It was only obtainable via passcodes or other non-hacking methods.
The first non tiered badge joined us around December of 2013 for agents that were L5 or higher.
This came with the number “1337” which is a funny nerd reference. I believe the true reason is that all badges prior to this required a numerical value. This of course changed and was fixed as anomaly badges, character badges and special badges were added.
At this point the end of 13 Magnus was approaching and already news of the next series (Recursion) was beginning. Part 4 will begin with the release of version 1.41.0.