Ingress in the Scanner: Goodbye Guardian

Today, Ingress announced that the Guardian Medal was being retired - and I am glad.


Of all the medals, this one has been behind most of the angst and stress I have seen in fellow players,  and I am glad to see it go, because of this. It has also been the main means I have seen players use to taunt their opposition, and not in a game-friendly way.

Of all the medals, this one has also puzzled me the most, just from the point of view that, if no player can truly 'own' or 'lay claim' to a portal, why was there a reward for doing so for a long period of time?

And, of all the medals, this one did not really require skill or teamwork to achieve (although I would argue that teamwork plays a great part in longevity, and smart selection occasionally helped, while remembering to recharge was an essential skill, too). However, those three points aside, what this medal mostly required was persistence in seeding portals, and a lot of dumb luck.

For example, given the high-level of portal hunting in the Canberra region, I was extremely lucky to achieve any level in mine, and I only managed it because I seeded one while on holiday interstate and was lucky enough to have fellow team members who just happened to come along afterwards, and who were generous enough to bolster it with stronger resonators and shields.Without these players, and its relatively remote location, that portal would not have lasted as long, however, it was chance I seeded it where I did, and sheer luck those players came along when they did, and were inclined to help - and for that I am very grateful.

It was also luck that a player from the opposing team didn't come along and take it out sooner. Cheats, data scraping, and active hunting aside, the portal could have been taken at any time by an opposing green with enough blasters, who came along at a moment when I wasn't focussed on the game - and there were a lot of those.

So, I'm happy that new players (of either side) won't see this medal (in the same way that they, like me, won't see the Seer medal), because it means that they will also not experience the stress of waiting for the days to pass without 'their' portal changing colour, and nor will they feel like they are being bullied, hunted, picked on, or deliberately (and spitefully) denied a chance at achieving it.

Now, would I feel the same, if I hadn't achieved onyx? In the end, yes, although I would still have been disappointed, in the same way I am disappointed I can't improve my Ace Trainer medal in PokemonGo, even though I love the new Gym system.

So, it's goodbye to the Guardian, but hopefully hello to a better game. I can't wait to see what Niantic come up with next.

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