Ingress is Google’s alternative reality game. Two sides, the green Enlightened and the blue Resistance, battle it out for control of portals. I’ve written about why I feel Google is messing up the Resistance’s story, turning them into hypocrites but I and millions of others still love the game.
For the last year the level cap has been 16. The game launched with levels 1 to 8. To this day the largest weapons and most powerful resonators stop at level 8 – meaning you can use the most powerful tools when you hit level 8. However, with the aid of badges in addition to AP (xp) you can level up to 16. The additional levels give you a larger XM tank to draw on and that’s handy in a firefight.
The anniversary of the extra levels is a year ago this week. Depending on when players updated to version 1.50 the new levels 9 to 16 were added to the game on May 8th or May 9th 2014.
As we’re approaching May 8th 2015 what goes Google have up their sleeve? There are some suggestions that Google has new levels ready.
For a start, we’ve just had a new app update. App 1.76 was released this week. The key feature has been an “Entity Picker” which aids agents pick up keys and capsules from the ground but code for additional levels could easily have been released. It was a new app update that brought the first level cap boost.
In addition, the new levels 9 to 16 where hinted at for the start of the Interitus cycle. Google’s just began a new chapter with Persepolis.
Not only are we at the start of a new chapter but Ingress has been running a special event this week. Players have been getting 50% more XP (AP). Google’s released more badges too and badges are necessary to get beyond level 8.
The timing is right. The way Google has been acting also makes sense. Another clue comes from a Ninatic coder called Joe Philley. On Google+ Philley shared a write up of an agent who lost weight, found health and interest by picking up Ingress and reaching level 16. In the post the agent, Nogroz, asks;
Now at level 16 I am feeling a whole lot healthier since beginning Ingress but there is the same question I asked myself at level 8 …… “What now?
To which Philley comments;
I think you’ll love the next few months ….the GIB
So there we have it. We’re at the start of a new chapter in the game, it’s exactly a year since levels 9 through 16 were added to the game and Niantic staff (the Google division who run the game) are hinting at big news.
Are new levels coming?
The news will certainly divide players. Some will view the new levels as just more mountain to climb. Others will be excited by the possibility. I’d consider it good news and a much needed sign from Niantic that despite the forthcoming launch of their new game – End Game – that they’re still committed to Ingress.