I lost a race to Platinum Scout Controller. Here’s what I learned.
I’ve been playing ingress since September 2018, so just over 4 years now. For me, Ingress has always been a sandbox game for us to play how we want to, with badges just at various arbitrary milestones.
I play in a way that bring me joy, whether that’s microfielding, BAFing, Missions, Field Engines, OPR / Wayfarer or just visiting new places.
At the stage I am, 300mil+ AP, it can be hard to motivate myself to grind for a badge, so I’ve challenged other agents to a race to a certain badge, however I don’t have the best track record.
I raced @RobLovesTheSESH to Onyx Recon. I lost, the forfeit was to recurse to the other faction. That was a fun 15 days as a frog.
I raced @dd1989 to Platinum Purifier, Platinum Hacker and Onyx Scout… losing all three of them too. Thankfully with no forfeit.
I recently raced dd1989 to Platinum Scout Controller, but - and there’s a pattern emerging here, I lost.
This is a wee sitrep of the competition, my thoughts and what I’ve learned from it.
Scout Controller is a weird metric. It is unique portals that agents have become scout controller of.
Becoming scout controller requires agents to out-scan the current controller, except if the current controller last uploaded a scan within 30 days, only one scan is needed. The game doesn’t state how many scans are needed to become scout controller, only how many community scans have been uploaded within the cell cycle.
We also only get a finite number of scans, 50 per day, capped at 400. Scans require good light to work, to combat this, I invested in a torch.
From a mathematical point of view, I was at a significant disadvantage. I was behind on the stat AND because of scanning to trigger Battle Beacons for the Epiphany Dawn Phase 2. I had fewer scans available.
We are also based in the same region of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. So we were literally against each other in both the stat and having to claim controller.
Although a simple idea, there was a lot to consider to optimise our efforts.
We wanted as many scans as possible to net us scout controller, ideally not having to scan a portal twice to become controller.
Targeting as many volatile portals as possible. These have a square ornament that nets +3 uniques instead of +1.
So the meta was simple, right? Get to as many big clusters as possible that haven’t been scanned within 30 days, successfully upload one scan and become controller. Easy.
Well. This is where I underestimated dd1989 and how competitive he really is. As well as using the limited data to his advantage. If I noticed on Comms / Intel that he had capped portals. I could make a mental note that the area had been scanned within 30 days, so to find another area, if scans had been uploaded within the same cell cycle, that gave the game away, but if not, I had no idea, so I had to upload many additional scans on portals that had been claimed within the month.
I was of the view that I would not want to stay off the radar and not cap portals / show up on comms as I would want to work on my Builder / Liberator / Pioneer, but this was a tactical advantage to the enemy as he had information of me that I didn’t have of him.
So who thought this would be a simple fun challenge of just scanning for the sake of scanning? Wrong.
So now, after losing with dignity and being a good sport. I gave dd1989 a VR load out card I saved from one of the physical kits and congratulated his dedication to seeing me lose.
This was fun, and certainly got me out and about a lot more than if we hadn’t done the challenge.
Do I regret the challenge? Nope.
Have I learned that Ingress races are a terrible idea and should probably give up after now losing five in a row? Of course not.
Hope you enjoyed the read. The whole thing was a bit silly, but made one of the most boring and tedious parts of the game just a wee bit more interesting.
And that's why current implementation of Scout Controller scoring system discourages working on it. Not knowing how many scouts you need to do to claim the points, specially from Intel to plan a trip, it's a terrible downside. I end up not scanning zones that probably I won't visit again because somebody did scan them in the last days.
My proposal, already shared in other threads, is simple: Remove the battle on Scout Controller, making the scans count towards the medal on your first scan of a portal. Scout Controller status would be removed too, less calculations for the servers. Maybe the badge could be renamed too, Scout Explorer/Pathfinder or something like that.
I have an another suggestion: base the scout controller not on most scans within the last 30 days, but in the current septicycle. You can see if any scans were uploaded during the current cycle, and thus you know how many scans would be needed to claim scout controller.