The Ingress Jedi
How to be untouchable By DannoReg
What if I told you that you already have the tools required to be untouchable in ingress? It may seem a bold statement, but it’s true.
Regardless of who you are, your level, faction, your footprint, you will (or already have) run into someone who disagrees with your actions in the field. And despite your action being fair play by ingress scanners (i.e. the use of a virus), eventually someone will have something to say about it. They might be mad, serving you an array of negativity in comms. They might retaliate by fielding over your home as a show of force. Many of these types of agents are relentless in their desire to see you break. They will try to use your scanner against you. They will try to engage your emotional state to direct your gameplay. These actions know no bounds, regardless of TOS, and you can’t stop them. Quite often, no matter your response, the fact that you responded at all fuels the fire, and it burns you both. It’s a sad reality with very few solutions. But despite all the negativity you may be subject to, you can become instantly untouchable by making a small shift… in YOUR mindset.
THE TRUE SCANNER
What do you see when you look at your scanner? Do you see the face of your enemy? Or the product of their actions? The haters would love the former to be true. But it’s not. What you see is portal status. Ever changing, but true. True, it was an agent that flipped a portal, deployed mods, or initiated any other type of change to the playing field. But the bottom line is, it happened outside your control. As people, we are predisposed to assign our own reason for that action based on what that change was and who made it. This may lead to IRL confrontation because, why should you allow Agent X to continue engaging you and your portals in such a negative way? Here’s why:
DISREGARD THE INTENTION
Consider for a moment how a single person ARG works. The programming of the game is built in a way that challenges your skills, prevents your objectives, and constantly works against you in ways that you could not even imagine when you started started the game. You’re fighting an AI; Un-loving, all knowing, with the sole purpose of disabling your progress. It speaks with its actions, giving you an opportunity to test your skills in varying settings. And in this light, I suggest that Ingress is no different. When a portal gets flipped and fields go up, I don’t see my enemies working against me (even if it is out of retribution). I see the AI Working against my progress in the game. Without the agent, the intention doesn’t exist. All that is left is the newly changed playing field, and the opportunity to react in a way that benefits personal stats and the faction’s MU count.
You vs the AI
Here’s the good news. Every action in the game can produce an opportunity for you. I welcome action against my game, because in my mind I think of every action as a random AI providing me an opportunity. It modifies my terrain, and I use the new terrain to build on my objectives. When I battle, I don’t see the agent on the other end of the scanner. I see an AI that has been specifically programmed to prevent me from levelling by any means necessary. And that AI has LOTS of tools available to it.
Sometimes the AI tries to distract you by engaging your emotions with nasty comments in comm. It’s frustrating, and hits like a brick nearly every time. The AI has been programmed to know exactly what to say to trigger an agent. But your friends at Niantic have given you a tool to battle back. Block that $#!t! You may feel defensive, or even threatened now, but blocking now ensures that in the future that nasty AI will have no way to distract you again. It forces the AI to re-engage you on the scanner where they belong.
Aggressive AI’s love this one. It’s their way of showing you that they want to have power over you. But the results are short term. Inevitably that portal will get wiped out, or upgraded. It still produces gear. It still supports fields. It may be a real lemon when you first see it, but it’s a perfect opportunity to make lemonade. If the AI gives you a L1 portal with full mod slots, you still have an opportunity for 40 deploys, 8+ links, and the satisfaction that the AI didn’t get you down. Lemonade.
The AI likes to stick it to ya by filling your mod slots with link amps. While this can be frustrating, It’s not the end of the world. It’s another temporary jab that hasn’t really done any long-term damage. When I see this, I consider it a sign that the AI is still watching and keeping me on my toes. What a great reminder to stay on your game! Take it as a compliment, your skills are high enough that the AI feels it necessary to focus on you.
The AI creeps into communities too. It tries to influence other agents to take social actions against you. It tries to vilify you to other agents, usually with screenshots, lack of context, and harsh opinions. Don’t give in. The AI cannot prevent you from maximizing your stats. And any agent that is so blinded by the AI’s control will not be able to see the merit of your gameplay. And the bottom line is, you don’t need those short minded agents on your side. As long as you stay honorable in your goals and actions, act within the game framework, and abide by the TOS, the AI cannot affect your progress with this method.
Face it. The AI is programmed to hunt your guardian. You will lose at least 2 or 3 (or 20 or 30) guardians before you reach onyx, if you ever do. But don’t let that stop you from trying. This is a badge of persistence. And the AI is as persistent as you. The best kind of win in this goal is the one in which you lost several guardians in stride before finally reaching the top. An agent whose guardian is hunted is playing on hard mode. The pride you feel when you finally get there can only be undermined by your own reactions to the failures which happened before. Don’t let that happen. Be a guardian champion by knowing the AI is really, REALLY good at this game. Don’t give it the satisfaction of knowing it ruined your day. Rebuild, and move on, and soak up the glory that one day your persistence will pay off. It’s worth the pride you will earn in the end.
These are just a few examples of how you can switch your mindset to gaming against an AI instead of dishonorable agents with a bone to pick. The trick is to not engage back, and run straight for the opportunity it presents. It’s a method that can be applied universally across the field. The AI is there to destroy you. But it can never EVER stop you from levelling your game.
Yes, in reality Ingress is a social game. And being such, it is nearly impossible to escape the emotions and reactions of other agents. But I’ve found that by removing the human intention behind each change on the scanner, I’m able to head straight to a tactical decision about that action. And in doing so, I’m able to avoid all the human distractions that many of us suffer in the game.
It’s been said so many times… this is just a game. But in light of what I’ve learned through rising up the ranks, I would like to add one more thing to that.
This is a game of persistence. And you are the only agent that matters. Treat the AI and yourself with honor, and your success is guaranteed.
One last note, you will know when this shift in mindset has reached its peak. That moment comes when you are able to battle shoulder to shoulder with an agent and maintain a positive conversation about something non-ingress related. I like to think that is a trademark of an Ingress Jedi.
Stay positive out there Agents. The only way to win Ingress is to reach honor in the game. And in that pursuit, you can be untouchable.