Ingress Game Dynamics: are Home Portals fair game?

Don’t know what is Ingress? You should check my previous post on this topic.

I stumbled across an interesting survey on Google+ today, asking whether we should avoid destroying Home Portals from the opposite faction, hunt and destroy them all, or just ignore the whole thing and play as usual. What’s your take on this?

If you’ve played Ingress for a few weeks, you’re probably familiar with the concept of Home Portals: when someone is lucky enough to have a portal reachable from their home, it kind of becomes theirs: they’ll hack it as often as possible to grab as much gear as they can from this easy resource.

It’s usually easy to spot a Home Portal in game: it’s often fully deployed and has a Multi Hack mod, a Heat Sink mod, or both. If you come across such a portal, owned by the opposite faction, what do you do?

Let it live, you don’t want to make enemies

If you don’t touch that portal, the owner will continue to hack and get gear as if you were never there. It’s easy for you to ignore it and if that person was vengeful, you saved yourself a trip from that person on “your territory” to hunt your own Home Portal down. You’re not spending any of your XMP, the owner doesn’t spend any Power Cubes or resonators. Seems fair, right?

Play as usual. Have a few minutes to take that enemy portal down? Do it!

If you attack that portal, a few things can happen:

  • You will get some AP and move the game forward.
  • It might prove more difficult to actually capture it, especially if the person is home, recharging or redeploying as you attack. It might cost you a lot of XMP, unless you attack properly by destroying shields with Ultrastrikes before to be detected.
  • That portal will most likely be captured back really fast.
  • If the portal owner redeploys as you destroy, you might get even more AP as you keep destroying.
  • By attacking, you’re spending resources but you’re also forcing the owner to spend resources as well.
  • Whatever happens, the owner will also gain AP when deploying or capturing the portal back. They will also be able to rebuild links and gain a lot of AP; it’s their neighbourhood so it’s safe to assume they have keys for the portals around. For them, it’s only a loss of Heat Sink and Multi Hack mods.
  • If they’re not fair players, they may attack you back.

Hunt and take as many Home Portals as you can

Let’s face it, if you do so, you’ll quickly get a reputation, and I see no way this could end well for anyone. Making enemies just for the sake of it doesn’t help you in any way.

By now, you probably guessed that I prefer the second option. I think that’s the one that benefits everyone the most: you win AP, the other faction wins AP as well but loses precious mods. That seems like a logical solution to me.

It’s also the most interesting one.You may have experienced periods where portals you hack every day never get attacked by the other faction. It quickly becomes boring to just hack, and not being able to build anything because you deployed all you could deploy and created the fields you could. Ingress is a game of perpetual movement, and if things stop moving, you can’t play anymore.

What’s your take on that?

One reply on “Ingress Game Dynamics: are Home Portals fair game?”

Jenn Denlinger says:

I would play as usual. It’s already part of the game. Obviously if someone is playing at the third option I reserve the right to do the same to them. But Only to That specific player, and to make a point. Then let it go.