Crafting in Ingress
I am not a very active community member, so maybe this is not an original thought, I am also a bit lazy so | did not bother rummaging the internet to find out if this has been opted before.
The simple idea is that you can create/craft higher level gear from lower lever gear. 10 L1 resonators make 1 L2. 10 L2 make 1 L3 and so on. Same for weapons and Shields. Badges could be burstersmith of powersmith (someone can think of a better name I am sure.