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The goal of some (or most?) Ingress players is to reach level 8. Honestly I am confused why.

What do you get or do when you hit level 8? Do you get a new role? What's new versus playing in lower levels?

What I have noticed is that some (or most?) L8 players drastically stop playing, the same way when one stops playing a video game title once he reaches the highest level and "beats" the game. Are you allowed to "start over" in Ingress?

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6 Answers

They wait until new part of gameplay from Niantic :

  • missions (not only reserved to the tutorial part)
  • achievements and badges (à-la-stackexchange ;) ) (edit 28/08/2013 : in progress :) )
  • new items
  • new levels (9 to 16)
  • new strategies due to Regional Scores at 5 hourly checkpoints
  • ...

source

Apart this teasing, for the moment when reaching the level 8, you gain the ability to use the mass destruction weapon that are L8 XMP Bursters (2700 damage around 168 meters) ! No portal can resist to this (a full shielded L8 portal can be destroyed with 4 XMP L8). But the levelling up driving force is dead, you'll have to find new motivations.

To have such powerful items as L8 XMP, you'll have to build powerful portals (at least L6/L7), and to build such powerful portals, you'll need many powerful teammates: you need to be 4 L6 to make a L6 portal, you need to be 6 L7/L8 to build a L7 portal and 8 L8 to build a L8 portal.

So, one good way to use this power is to help your teammates to level up. For example, a L8 player can destroy portals (or take them down to 1% power), while lower levels finish the job and rebuild the portals to gain AP.

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you need to be 4 L6 to make a L6 portal Or two L7. Or an L8 and an L6. you need to be 6 L7/L8 to build a L7 portal. Three L8s is enough. –  Mark Byers Jan 3 at 12:34
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The hardest thing to do in the game right now, which takes cooperation from 8 people, is making L8 portals. These are the only reliable source of L8 resonators, outside of zip code bounties and rare drops from L6 or L7 portals.

Once you reach L8, it becomes more of a mentoring game where you try to help your side level up effectively - after all, a single person can't do much and you need teamwork to fight off assaults from the other faction.

As you can realize, both of the above are social aspects and not really desirable by the 'lone wolf' type of player, those tend to stop once they reach L8 (though its likely they will return once more levels are introduced).

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Once you lost your sense of living, i.e. collecting AP for L8, you indeed have to search for new objectives.

If you are playing in a larger town with an active community, cooperative missions like raids on neighbouring towns, very large fields, artwork on the intel map or L8 farms can be a lot of fun if you are the social player type.

One noteworthy objective we saw in my hometown was to colour the town WHITE, which requires yet different alliances.

Chasing these new objectives becomes a lot easier if you have access to the most powerful of weapons, also being L8 separates you from the 'ordinary foot soldier'

"It is a ticket to another world" (Lucas Arts, Monkey Island II)

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Do you know if you're allowed to start over in Ingress by resetting your level? –  Sadly Not Apr 5 '13 at 22:36
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To take it from a different angle, level 8 portals can be seen globally from the most zoomed out view of the ingress.com/intel map. If you have friends who are level 8 you might want to get to level 8 yourself so that you can form the needed 8 person team to make such a portal.

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So the most reliable source of L8 resonators and XMP bursters is not actually an L8 portal (which requires 8 L8 players working collaboratively to create)

The most reliable source of these items is actually the caps of "hint" water bottles.

Each "Hint" has a code inside the cap which unlocks goodies inside the game.

Typically it delivers (minimum) 2 resonators and 2 XMP bursters at the level you are at.

So if you are L8 you get 2 resonators and 2 bursters everytime you drink a "hint"

Also Jamba Juice has ingress codes at each location. These also offer "power ups"

But once you use the code from one Jamba Juice you cannot use it again, while the Hint codes are provided with each bottle.

So you can farm quite a few L8 resources by drinking a little bit of flavored water...

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I wouldn't call this "the most reliable resource". Sure, you get a code for each bottle, but you'll have to spend money - and quite a lot if you're trying to build an arsenal - for a free game. Basically the Hint bottles are the microtransactions of Ingress... –  Kappei Apr 11 '13 at 5:34
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So basically, the game is over once you reach a high enough level. It's impossible to actually "hold" territory, so no team will ever win. It's actually a trojan horse to get you to voluntarily tell the world where you are while pretending that there is a game underneath.

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