Possible improvement to constantly rethrown fields to inaccessible portals.
There have been many threads on the forums here over and over again about permafields that block access to part or all of an area for play. While there's a case for people not expending enough effort to take these down from the accessible anchor and throw blockers, the common refrain is that once taken down, they go straight back up. And since no-one, even the field thrower, can access the ironclad anchor, they just go straight back up using that inaccessible portal.
Quantum capsules provide the thrower with essentially unlimited keys. Once enough have been duplicated, the rate of duplication can far outstrip the willingness of players to destroy the field, and over time, that willingness decreases.
However, as was mentioned by @ofer2 in another post, one of the goals of the coming year is to increase player retention and new player buy-in. One of the most damaging aspects of these big fields is the inability to continue playing 'at full pace' under them. Sure you can destroy and capture portals, but fielding is impossible by the very nature of the game. New players, when confronted with "You can either stop playing, or climb a mountain / tresspass at a nuclear power plant", they stop playing. It's a most unreasonable expectation that a brand new player need compete with long experienced players well equipped and overflowing with hard to access keys.
Many solutions have been proposed, which mostly boil down to two options. The first set is automatically removing large fields, whether by aggressive decay, or simple time limits. The second set is allowing fields to be created underneath the existing fields, thus negating the problem. Both of these methods have serious implications for the rest of the game outside these isolated regions with large fields. The vast majority of the portal network is grey at this point due to lack of Ingress players and PoGo increasing the POI count, so things that decay portals or fields faster would make it more difficult to have an active and visible game play for new agents, and allowing fielding under a field has big implications for both MU calculations (do the fields count or not to the region score) and the desirability of large field play (why build a big field when your opponent can win with far easier little ones). Big field operations, and also their coordinated takedowns or preventions, also comprise a large part of the 'player lore' of the game. Old players reminiscing about the time they blocked a country wide field because of a day spent throwing blockers and crashing lanes, with new players listening with rapt attention and wanting to "be part of the epic fun".
So large changes are hard, because of the long series of unintended consequences, and wide ramifications. However, in a recent thread @KonnTower (I think) posted an interesting idea which 'sounds' ineffective, but on consideration is quite a good 'minor course correction'.
Quantum Capsules no longer duplicate keys.
Now before the knee-**** "Don't take my stuff!" comes out, the situation before MUFGs needs to be remembered, and later changes taken into account.
- Before MUFGs, key farming required visible mods or regular trips, to get sufficient keys for a big operation. Having 50 keys to a portal was a lot. And unless you wanted to go many many times, you had to use multi-hacks and heat sinks. This meant your activities were visible on the map to people who looked. It also meant your portal was either weakly defended, and even if not capturable, could be killed from 168m away, or you had to take an obvious step of using a flipcard then killing the portal to rebuild it defendable, again showing up on the map.
- Keys to hard to reach portals were a logistics challenge. Not just getting them from person to person, but in high enough quantities to make a difference. Instead of moving one key from person to person, and then leaving it to 'cook' at the destination, you had to actually shift 50 keys, or 200 then split them as they moved from place to place.
- Hard to reach and far away keys were precious. They meant something. Having one key was great. Having 10 keys to a portal in Antarctica was epic. The keys were tracked by Trello boards almost as closely as VRLA were. Someone went to a new portal or finally got access to a tempting portal, and the first question was "How many keys did you get?" So using those keys was an actual decision. Something that you had to weigh up the cost versus the gain. Was it worth burning a precious irreplaceable key on a YOLO? Or should you hold onto to those keys for the day you can organize a field with them?
Now with Quantums spitting out keys day in day out, most of those parts of the game have gone the same way as the link plan for a farm area. It doesn't matter if you YOLO because you have more where that came from and in a day you'll already have replaced the key. A 1000 link star can be built off an impossible to reach portal and take months to unpick, so frustrated people opt to spoof instead.
And the worst effect, is that people can rethrow the same painful field over and over with very little effort, stymying any of the opposition's attempts to get out from under it.
With the removal of Quantum's cooking keys, over time, it'll revert back to keys in quantity being actually valuable. Anchors will be chosen not just because of their inaccessibility, but because of their accessibility to obtain sufficient keys for whatever is being done. Managing those keys will become relevant again.
And most significantly, people who got one key, once, from a portal, will not be able to use that portal indefinitely to field over others. They'll start using portals that they can farm keys from. And since those portals can be accessed, they'll be taken down more easily too. It might even lead to less frustration at inaccessible portals, and reduce the number of people who turn to spoofing.\
I know plenty of people are going to read the bold text and spam the Dislike button, but think about the idea before doing so. Ingress needs to rebuild its player base, and there's legitimate argument that unlimited keys to inaccessible portals has a noticeable impact on that task. Many of the things gained from sponsored items over the years since the first AXA, have been great in isolation, but detrimental to the game in the long run, and key duplication, I'd contend, is one of those.