Suggestion - Reduce the level of gear obtained from hacking opposing portals.
Maybe I'm playing the game wrong, but over time my reason for playing Ingress has become all about the grind. I love the idea of hacking portals to power myself up and get more gear. To that end, I found myself in a quandary about taking down high level enemy portals.
If there's a high level enemy portal, aka, a portal that is 6 or higher, I might not want to attack it. If I take the portal down, then all I can do is put up a level 5 or lower portal in its place. This reduces the level of gear that I can get from the portal. However, if I hack the portal, then I can get gear that's higher than level 5. Granted, I can get loot that's up to level 7 from a level 5 portal, but my chances of getting that better gear increases if the portal is level 6 or higher, no matter which side the portal belongs to.
In addition, I found out that it may be beneficial to create high level enemy portals for the sole purpose of farming them. If I'm alone in an area full of many enemy agents, then I can create a high level portal, flip it to the other side, then farm that portal repeatedly. The only thing the opposition can do to stop my farm is to not recharge the portal. They could also try to use it for a large field. But, if I chose to keep that portal up, then they can do nothing to stop my farm.
I suppose the enemy could put turrets and force amps on it. But, I find that doesn't stop me. I have a ton of power cubes, and chances are hacking the enemy portal will give me even MORE power cubes. So I don't worry about that. I can also reduce this chance of counterattack mods by putting multihacks and heat sinks on the portal before flipping it, reducing the amount of mods the enemy can put on the portal to 2.
But, chances are they'll look at that high level portal and and maintain it, giving me even more farm. This essentially makes these flipped enemy portals a never-ending supply of high level gear that the enemy can do nothing about.
It is true that opposing portals may zap you and give reduced payouts. But, if you're good at glyph hacking, the reduced payouts are not an issue.
So, I suggest another penalty for farming enemy portals. I suggest that subsequent hacks on enemy portals will give reduced level payouts. My suggestion is that every subsequent hack on an enemy portal will reduce the level of those payouts by 1. This continues until the portal is either burnt out or the payouts from the portal are level 1.
So, say I have a level 8 enemy portal.
- The first hack gives level 8 portal payouts
- The second hack gives level 7 portal payouts
- The third hack gives level 6 portal payouts
- The fourth hack gives level 5 portal payouts
This count resets every day. This way agents can get high level gear from an enemy portal, but will get diminishing returns for hacking the same enemy portal multiple times per day. This gives an additional incentive for agents to take down high level enemy portals. Even in the case of level 8 portals, an enemy agent can only get level 5+ portal payouts for the first 3 hacks of each day. And, if the portal is level 7 or 6, it may be more beneficial to hack it once or twice then take it out rather than leave it alone.
I realize this may be part of the strategy of the game. It guides players into making high level portals off the beaten path. If my suggestion is implemented, then it may take some of the strategy out of the game.
But, I still contend that if one sees a high level enemy portal supporting a massive field, they may chose to leave the portal alone because of all that sweet gear they can get from it. This is especially true of portals that are difficult to create, such as level 8 portals. I'm not sure if the game was designed with that in mind.