Let's talk about drones!
Ingress has turned from a serious game into a casual project in which there is no integrity. Let's look at each game mechanic individually and how it can be improved. And yes, sorry for my English, it's not my native language.
Drones that go beyond the concept of "walk with your feet and do everything yourself, interacting through a scanner." Let's take a closer look at this gameplay element, which turned out to be useless for the vast majority of agents after the end of the covid epidemic. Here is Drone. He can fly from portal to portal and hack one portal. All items that the drone receives, in some incomprehensible way, fall into our inventory. At the same time, it is not mentioned anywhere that the drone has a teleport for instantaneous movement of things. The plot of the drone is not described at all, and it has no modifications. Many agents believe (like me, too) that a drone moving separately from an agent is a violation of the main principle of the game.
Now imagine that the drone is an agent's multi-tool that helps him perform various tasks. For example, a drone cannot fly by itself, without an agent. It should be so. But the drone can act as a companion helping to protect the portal, reduce the impact on the agent when attacking an enemy portal, the drone can have its own inventory, which will be an extension of the player's main inventory. Or instead of an inventory, it will be possible to install in drone, another slot for a modifier, which will be activated when the drone is launched at a specific portal. There are many possibilities. Lots of strategies and tactics! Drone exogenous technology blueprints can be obtained by hacking portals or in the store. Drone module blueprints can be made for example common for +100 inventory, +150 inventory for rare, +170 for epic, 200 for legendary... and you can combine different modules: A little bit of inventory + 3 slots for modifiers + a small auxiliary attack module. And you can make a fully attacking version of the drone that will give +50 to the player’s attack, or, for example, a drone for hacking + 15% to the chance to get very rare items ... Well, of course, drone customization can be done visually. And you can make not 1 drone, but up to 3, for example, multi-purpose drones that will strengthen the agent by constantly flying behind him. Each agent will then become unique. One has enhanced weapons, the other has enhanced modifiers, the third has an expanded inventory, and the fourth can drop not 1 key, but as many as 3!
Let's say that drones can be modified on the fly - by adding or removing modules. I would introduce reloading, or pairing with a new configuration of modules, for example, 1-2 hours, or even a day, so that agents think strategically and do not redo configurations for each individual portal. If there is an agent upgrade and levels, then why not introduce a level system for drones and their modifiers?
Believe me, this system only diversifies the drawing of triangles, but does not violate it in any way. And the old players will be satisfied, and the new generation will have at least some kind of upgrade to the already rather boring monotonous business.