August 12, 2020

Umbra Recap

The Umbra XM Anomaly happened on Saturday, October 12. If you didn’t watch the live anomaly broadcast from our friends at The Portal Hunter Club, this recap is for you.

If you want a brief-reminder of the rules, jump to the bottom.

The day opened in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. The Resistance took an early lead in the capture battle during the second measurement. Enlightened came back with an impressive score in the third measurement, but still falling slightly behind the Resistance. Those scores would hold throughout the entire Anomaly. The Enlightened also managed a strong link path score in the third measurement, which was slightly exceeded during the eighth measurement. The Resistance struggled with this challenge, putting up their best effort in the fifth measurement, but falling well short of the Enlightened score.  The Resistance won Unique Hacks, with 78.93 to the Enlightened’s 70.44. Enlightened were the first to unlock the Master Code, to win the 10 points for deciphering and cement their victory.  Of note this is one of two sites where a change in the victor of the decoding challenge would have changed the overall outcome.

Shrimp-on-the-barbie-nomaly Results

Capture Battle: ENL: 16.95 | RES: 18.05
Decoder: ENL: 10.00 | RES: 0.00
Longest Path: ENL: 32.73 | RES: 7.27
Unique Portal Hacks: ENL: 0.00 | RES: 15.00 

Overall: ENL: 59.68 | RES: 40.32

Next up was Taoyuan, Taiwan. The Enlightened took and held a commanding lead in both the capture battle and longest link path battles early. They also managed to unlock the Master Code just 90 minutes into the anomaly, which would be the second-fastest all day. Resistance won Unique Portal Hacks, but the difference in the other challenges was too great, and Enlightened finished with a commanding lead.

Shrimp-fried-rice-nomaly Results 

Capture Battle: ENL: 28.75 | RES: 6.25
Decoder: ENL: 10.00 | RES: 0.00
Longest Path: ENL: 32.42 | RES: 7.58
Unique Portal Hacks: ENL: 0.00 | RES: 15.00

Overall: ENL: 71.18 | RES: 28.82

The came Sabah, Malaysia. Here, Enlightened swept the challenges. Notably, the Resistance were unable to score any points in the Longest Path challenge.

Chili-prawn-nomaly Results 

Capture Battle: ENL: 26.15 | RES: 8.85
Decoder: ENL: 10.00 | RES: 0.00
Longest Path: ENL: 40.00 | RES: 0.00
Unique Portal Hacks: ENL: 15.00 | RES: 0.00 

Overall: ENL: 91.15 | RES: 8.85

With Asia finished, attention turned toward Europe. All three of the European anomalies occurred at exactly the same time, which led to significant complaints of scanner delays and errors, with some agents unable to log in at all. Nevertheless, the battles began.

In Antwerp, Belgium, the Enlightened continued their winning streak from Asia, although Resistance managed their first win on the deciphering challenge here.

Moules-frites-nomaly Results 

Capture Battle: ENL: 24.93 | RES: 10.07
Decoder: ENL: 0.00 | RES: 10.00
Longest Path: ENL: 32.60 | RES: 7.40
Unique Portal Hacks: ENL: 15.00 | RES: 0.00 

Overall: ENL: 72.53 | RES: 27.47

In Dresden, Germany, the Resistance finally found they had the upper hand on the capture and longest path challenges, achieving a decisive lead early and holding it throughout. The Enlightened would win both unique hacks and decoding, but it would not be enough for them.

Döner-kebab-nomaly Results 

Capture Battle: ENL: 8.75 | RES: 26.25
Decoder: ENL: 10.00 | RES: 0.00
Longest Path: ENL: 6.91 | RES: 33.09
Unique Portal Hacks: ENL: 15.00 | RES: 0.00 

Overall: ENL: 40.66 | RES: 59.34

In Gothenburg, Sweden, it took Resistance slightly longer to get the upper hand on the capture battle, but once they did, they held it throughout. The Resistance nearly shut out the Enlightened on the longest link path, allowing the Enlightened only one short link all day. Though the Enlightened took both unique hacks and decoding, again the Resistance were able to prevail.

Swedish-meatball-nomaly Results 

Capture Battle: ENL: 16.70 | RES: 18.30
Decoder: ENL: 10.00 | RES: 0.00
Longest Path: ENL: 0.38 | RES: 39.62
Unique Portal Hacks: ENL: 15.00 | RES: 0.00

Overall: ENL: 42.09 | RES: 57.91

And then it was time to turn to the Americas.  Brooklyn, NY, USA went first.  Here, the Enlightened held a strong lead in the capture battle all day, and a somewhat smaller but still decisive lead in the longest path challenge. Brooklyn had the closest unique portal hacks score all day, but the Enlightened were able to take this challenge as well. Completing the sweep of challenges, the Enlightened also unlocked the master code first in Brooklyn.

Pizza-nomaly  Results 

Capture Battle: ENL: 27.56 | RES: 7.44
Decoder: ENL: 10.00 | RES: 0.00
Longest Path: ENL: 25.81 | RES: 14.19
Unique Portal Hacks: ENL: 15.00 | RES: 0.00 

Overall: ENL: 78.37 | RES: 21.63

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Next up was Guadalajara, Mexico. About the time when this anomaly started is when North American agents started to empathize with Europe, as the severs started to get slower. Nevertheless, the battles continued.

Guadalajara had the closest ground battle of any of the sites. Resistance and Enlightened were exactly tied for the capture battle. The Resistance claimed a 5.36 point lead for the longest link path.  The Enlightened took the unique hacks 60.59-52.49, and took those 15 points. As with Newcastle, this site could have been decided by the deciphering challenge, but here neither faction managed to unlock the master code in time, which allowed the Enlightened to claim their 6th victory of the day.

Taco-nomaly Results 

Capture Battle: ENL: 17.50 | RES: 17.50
Decoder: ENL: 0.00 | RES: 0.00
Longest Path: ENL: 17.32 | RES: 22.68
Unique Portal Hacks: ENL: 15.00 | RES: 0.00 

Overall: ENL: 49.82 | RES: 40.18

Finally it was down to just Sacramento, California, USA.  The Enlightened had the anomaly zone under control the entire time, leading both the capture battle and the longest path challenge for the duration. The Resistance claimed a solid victory in the unique portal hacks challenge, and once again neither side was able to unlock the master code. Thus endeth the day, with the Enlightened claiming 7 sites and the Resistance claiming 2.

Gluten-free-organic-non-GMO-vegan-avocado-nomaly Results 

Capture Battle: ENL: 24.78 | RES: 10.22
Decoder: ENL: 0.00 | RES: 0.00
Longest Path: ENL: 38.00 | RES: 2.00
Unique Portal Hacks: ENL: 0.00 | RES: 15.00 

Overall: ENL: 62.78 | RES: 27.22

Full, detailed scoring available here.

Rules Overview:

This anomaly consisted of 4 separate challenges:

  1. Capture Battle – agents on both factions competed to control portals at 9 separate measurement windows. Specially-marked volatile portals were worth 5 points each, while all other portals within the anomaly zone were worth 1 point each. At the end of the anomaly, each faction’s highest score among the 9 measurement windows were compared, and the 35 points were allocated proportionally.
  2. Longest Link Path – each faction had a number of designated start portals in each of the 9 measurement windows, from which it needed to construct the longest possible sequence of up to 8 links, using only anomaly zone portals. Each link distance was multiplied by the number of links from the start portal, so the second link was worth 2x its length, the third was worth 3x its length, and so on. Again each faction’s highest score among the 9 measurement windows were compared, and the 40 points were allocated proportionally. 
  3. Unique Portal Hacks – agents were directed to hack as many unique portals within the anomaly zone during the measurement window as possible. After the top and bottom 15% of hacks were thrown out, the average from the factions were compared. The 15 points were allocated to the winning faction, winner-take-all.
  4. Deciphering Challenge – this was a new challenge in which all registered on-site and off-site agents were sent a list of codes to break. After each faction successfully unlocked 75% of the codes, they obtained a new “master cipher” to complete. The first faction to unlock the master cipher obtained 10 points.

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