The History of Ingress [Part 6]
Welcome back the last part of our multi part series documenting the entire history of Ingress. If you need to read Part 5, 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 5 with the Devra Virus & Lightman shards, so let’s hop into it with the release of version 1.76.0.
Version 1.76.0 brought the “entity picker”. This allowed people to find items next to a portal. Prior to this, an item dropped right on top of a portal was near impossible to pick up as you had to balance the perfect touch between the portal and item.
Shards, Shards, Shards
Persepolis series was underway and with it was a global battle over 41 shards. Since this was another shard centered anomaly some creative maps were developed that showed how each shard jumped on its journey to a target portal. The screenshot below is of an interactive map with a timeline thanks to Thrakazog.
New items in the mix
Version 1.77.0 dropped and started the sad process of removing portal submissions. Additionally languages were added (Instead of just English and Japanese). The next versions of 1.78.0 and 1.79.0 both brought a new item!
The MUFG Capsule joined us, bringing the ability to “duplicate” items. In months to come the abundance of very rare gear and AXA shields would increase. The more items you had in the capsule, the quicker they would duplicate.
Secondly we got the Softbank Ultra Link. This Linkamp provided additional range and shielding and was hackable unlike the very rare Linkamp which could be only obtained via passcodes and promotions. Version 1.79.0 additionally removed all the Artifacts except for Lightman from the application. This meant the Recursion, Shonin and Helios shards were removed.
Why did you pick ____ faction? & Android Wear
After 1.80.0 couldn’t live up to the level of surprises that the prior versions had, we released a post with the psychology behind picking your faction. This was our most commented and talked about post. This sparked a lot of discussions which led us directly to the release of 1.81.0 which was July 14, 2015 for perspective in our timeline.
This version brought what 10 versions prior hinted at. Android Ingress Wear was live.
While interesting, it simply couldn’t compare to a phone scanner. I found myself trying it out while walking on campus so I could balance a conversation with friends while periodically clicking HACK on my watch. I’m sure some people enjoyed it, but it became more of a novelty item to me versus utilizing it on a frequent basis.
Niantic goes Independent
During the entire Alphabet / Google news, Niantic went independent and this led to some interesting core game changes. Due to this change, it was almost 2 months before we got another Ingress version. Our blogs were used to 2 week intervals, but when 1.83.1 was finally released it dropped bombs in terms of changes.
- Key Capsules were added.
- 5 per player
- 100 keys per locker
- Only can hold keys
- Keys in locker don’t count towards inventory
- Capsule Item Filtering
- Abaddon Artifacts, and yes 100 of them.
- Portal Frackers were added.
- Doubled hack output of a portal for 10 minutes or 150 hacks.
- So if you hacked 1 AXA, you got 2.
- The Store was added.
- Placeholder “MYSTERIOUS_ITEM” was added to prevent the method we had previously used to discovered new items before an official release.
People claimed a store was the end of days, but we soon found out that the store would only provide Key Lockers, Portal Frackers and Beacons. Version 1.85.1 was released which added Portal Beacons and finalized the store. A week later (Nov 2, 2015) the store would go public to everyone.
The transition to an independent company started to make more sense when news of PokemonGo with funding by Nintendo was released. The platform Ingress built was going to be used for a popular franchise. Niantic was now juggling Ingress, EndGame and PokemonGo.
New Ingress Stuff Roundup
There was a store with 3 new types of items. The sandbox of Ingress had changed majorly. Frackers became a tool for flash farming in addition to being used at anomalies to drain energy from portals. Around this time we also learned that the SMS verification, which earned an agent the “Verified” badge, had stopped working. Without an official announcement, the community believed this was a Google feature that Niantic lost access to after going independent.
Ingress Store – Physical
Among all the new in game changes, Niantic launched its own store online – http://shop.ingress.com. This was the start of paid kits at anomalies. At anomalies prior you would get a little envelope containing a gear card, anomaly medal and sometimes more for free. Now there were tiers of Free, Common, Rare and Very Rare packs. These contained anomaly codes, patches, stickers, character cards, pins, gear and much more.
Year 3 of Ingress had arrived and with it came another vanity medal. This was another tiered medal known as Vanguard. The level of badge that you received was dependent on your agent level at the time.
Analytics, Glyph Control, Redo Glyph & Bulk Capsule Load
We skipped a few teardowns as the versions were basically bug fixes. We then had the release of 1.89.0 and 1.90.1 and 1.91.0 and 1.92.1. Each version had its own little feature enhancement.
- Upsight was enhanced Analytics to provide information on how agents play the game. This was the first time we had an official statement provided to us at Fev Games. That was later released in the 1.95.1 teardown which covered Upsight in more details.
- Glyph Control was the ability to do Glyphs before hacking to affect the hack output.
- MORE = Chance at hacking a key
- LESS = No key during hack
- Redo Glyph as the ability to click a “REDO” button if you messed up a glyph. The timer would still go down, but you could re-enter that glyph to try to get a perfect.
- Bulk Capsule Load is exactly how it sounds, agents could bulk/unload a capsule.
Lawson Power Cubes
Our sponsored item list grew from AXA, Softbank and MUFG to gain Lawson Power Cubes. First spotted in 1.94.0, these items would have stored energy based on agent level. They would replenish XM on demand until diminished. This changed anomalies once again as instead of carrying 60 L8 power cubes you could carry 10 Lawson cubes.
Elite Medal (Cancelled) & Stat Tracer
An interesting idea presented itself during the launch of the Obsidian anomaly series. Leaked details showed an “Elite” option of the Anomaly medal that would be given to the top 1331 agents worldwide. This spawned a massive outrage as it encouraged lone wolf behavior to pad stats vs team work. The elite version of the Obsidian medal was quickly reverted, but the stat tracer stayed behind. A couple weeks after the ending of Obsidian those who signed up for the Stat Tracer received an email.
This was a cool change as leaderboards and comparisons for such statistics that even Agent Stats couldn’t track was added.
2016 – Yearly Medals
At one time, a goal of mine was to obtain all medals possible in Ingress. This meant I had to attend an anomaly at every series and that was doable. Unfortunately character cards were invented which could only be obtained at a certain geographic anomaly sites. This put a damper on my drive to obtain all medals, then the 2016 version of characters launched. A pattern was developing in which all character medals would have a 2015 and 2016 version (and possibly 2017).
This was probably an attempt to boost sales as you were less inclined to buy the packs at the next anomaly if the card was the same as last year.
Version 1.95.1 enhanced the analytic tracking from prior versions and 1.96.0 was nothing more than a bug fix release. 1.97.1 was an interesting release as portal submissions were coming back, but geographically isolated instead of globally. Second to last, 1.99.1 was released with more cleanup and some branding added for Niantic. This ends us with version 1.100.0 that brought some increase in base damage from portal “zaps” which paired with an updated turret could cause some serious loss of XM during an attack.
Ingress is approaching year 4 as we are on the 2nd half of year 3. PokemonGo hype and beta continues while another Niantic project known as EndGame seems dead. This series attempted to cover everything from the game and community over the past 3 years. After some comments on the previous parts, it appears I missed some things. Once some time opens up, I’ll update the series so it always can be looked back on. Hope you enjoyed it and thanks for reading!