The History of Ingress [Part 5]
Welcome back to the second to last post of our multi part series documenting the entire history of Ingress. If you need to read Part 4, head back here and catch up. This post is a culmination of personal experiences mixed with combined research from everyone at Fev Games. We left off at Part 4 with the launch of new levels and release of Ingress 1.52.0, so lets get into it.
My first teardown on Decode Ingress launched. It was relatively lackluster for a launch on a new site. Only some backend API changes and the support for the Google+ profile link. The interesting part was the launch of Levels 8 through 16. Agents all over the world skipped various levels as their scanners updated to their new level. My phone jumped a measly Level 8 to 10, but it brought me back to grinding for badges and stats.
Rumors flew everywhere about the changes higher level agents obtained, but we all knew from studying the application that only the XM Tank and Recharge range would change between levels. These levels did not carry new weapons or resonators, which made sense as the game was built on sets of 8. 8 resonators to fill a portal, 8 levels, 8 agents for L8 portal, etc.
The elusive Ultra Strike that some forgot about became available to all. At this point shields also increased in strength, so the Ultra Strikes became the “shield poppers”.
A crazy change happened in which the decay rate accelerated to 34% a day, instead of the regular 15%. This was an alarming 3 days to decay a portal. The only solution was to hold 700 million MU globally. This meant teamwork between the factions which lead to the hashtag #teal. Huge fields were layered between green and blue in order to pad the MU stat to end this virus.
Outside of the lore, the true reason for the virus was probably the looming iOS release. Portals that decayed quicker and more often allowed new agents to get involved more easily.
Helios or “Hello iOS”
During the Helios anomalies. Ingress finally hit the Apple App Store and brought support to a new platform. Along with this release came a new medal that required you to recruit 3 agents and take a picture with their phones.
I of course, being obsessed with medals had to take part. A large influx of agents joined as the game was available on iPhones.
Intel Map Updates
Guardian hunting (The act of killing an agent’s owned portal very close to the target 150 days date) had become very common. There was nothing wrong with identifying a portal via your own research and killing it, but things became quite nefarious when systems logged the capture date of portals and sent bots to kill them at mere days or hours before the medal was obtained.
This was because both the Ingress application and Intel map had the capture date of a portal. This was partially resolved when that information and more was removed from these API calls. No longer could scripts or agents know the age of a portal on demand.
Version 1.53.1 came out with more hints towards Google+ integration, new tutorial and a general code cleanup. Version 1.54.0 came out not more than two weeks later with a plethora of changes.
- Android Sharing (Share Profile, Medal, Level, Cell) – Not yet live
- News of the Day – Not yet live
- Multi Recycle
Missions or Training?
The tab for training used to be called “Missions” and during the release of 1.55.0 I noticed it was renamed to “Training”. This meant the word “Missions” had another agenda. I started researching and noticed something big. An entire new feature known as Missions had begun development. The two features discovered in 1.53.1 (Share and News of the Day) went live with 1.54.0.
The next few versions of Ingress (1.56.0, 1.57.1 and 1.58.2) came with large development towards Missions with some UI tweaks to recharging and portal view. At this point the codebase of missions was complete enough to render some screens of Missions. These appeared to be player generated missions with a medal designed by the creator.
Version 1.59.1 dropped and brought ornaments, bulk recharge and continued mission development.
Ornaments brought indicators to anomalies to easily identify portals in the area in addition to volatiles. Prior to ornaments agents would have to cross reference the screenshots released by Ingress to understand the bounds that each cluster of an anomaly held.
Version 1.60.0 & 1.61.2 came out and missions were still under development. The community far and wide knew about them at this point. The only discussion was around “when”.
Blogging in a new home
A few versions passed (1.62.0, 1.63.0, 1.64.0) and there was no teardown. I hit my breaking point with some issues at the site I blogged at and was ready to return home to my personal blog. Others left though and it seemed selfish for me to return to my own blog as there was no new place to write. This is when Fev Games was created. We were a group of agents since the beginning investigating every change in the game and we were back together blogging.
Ingress 1.65.0 came with a bang and I couldn’t have been happier. This version hinted at a new item known as the AXA Shield, Android Wear support was started and there was a tiny hint of in app purchases. This was the bang our brand new site needed. The community was incredibly helpful and I was hooked again as an agent in the game as well as a decoder of the application.
Since we were building a new site and left the previous we had missed the launch of Missions and a few new medals.
Ingress 1.66.0 dropped and finalized the AXA Shield. We got
- Oliver Lynton-Wolfe Medal – Character medal
- Trekker – Walking
- Engineer – Deploying Mods
- Spec Ops – Doing Missions
Another anomaly series came to an end and APK updates (1.68.0, 1.69.0) were nothing more than development of the Android Wearable feature. A new medal (Translator) was released which gave points on 100% correct glyph hacks.
Version 1.71.1 provided some interesting changes
- Boost Recharge
- Shonin Shards
- Tweaked mission UI
We then got the Illuminator medal and Sojourner medal. We had gotten 6 new game medals in the course of a few months, as well as new character and anomaly medals. Profiles were becoming quite packed with some agents having up to 6 rows of medals.
Version 1.72.0 released with a tiny map for missions, 1.73.1 came out with the start of language translations, and 1.74.0 released with a new tab called “Community”. This tab simply linked to various Google+ groups for each respective faction.
Version 1.75.0 dropped with the Stein Lightman shards. These shards (Not to be confused with the current Flash Shards at individual anomalies) were a global event in which agents would work towards getting shards transferred via links to faction target portals.
During the hectic nature of anomalies and shards a new event presented itself known as Mission Day. This was the first event located in Linz, Austria in which doing some missions earned you a badge for your profile. We will end Part 5 here and start fresh with the release of version 1.76.0 on the last part of our series.