I did the original banner that this replaces and this is similarly challenging, in length and scope. It’s as beautiful in the end too, naturally. :)
I think this version is somewhat more flowing. You may want to use the tram or U between missions for the first few, but once across the Donau you’re following a fairly well-paced path that curves reasonably through Vienna’s pleasant suburbs.
The length and the inevitable road crossings, cobbles and tram-lines, etc. Make me suspect this wouldn’t be fun for some disabled folk or wheel-chair users. Mobility scooters could probably manage in most places.
I took a few days as I’m not fit and focussed (oh, uniques!) but those who are probably could dash through it in a day or two.
There are a few bits, especially in parks, that you might need a bit of drift or some extra walking if you’re doing it overnight. But mostly it seemed to be 24/7. I did it during daylight just so I could see Vienna properly and resupply as needed. (Prost!)
So AIUI this only exists because the London ENL broke the mission-setting rules and password-protected a banner so that only they could do it. Not good. It had good artwork so this one initially riffed off that. But they complained and had it taken down. Then they complained about the replacement artwork. Cos they’re good sports like that in London, evidently.
Anyway, this is the same route, only backward and slightly better. So I shudder to think how awful the original is. :)
This is a long one and has lots of backtracking, criss-crossing busy roads at utterly random points and parks etc which close in the evening. Some very residential areas too where one doesn’t necessarily feel welcome as an interloper.
Still, uniques, kms, mission badgers. And there are some nice pubs along the way to soften the blow.
So, the theme is to pass by all the European embassies or consulates, and I think it achieves that pretty well. A few non-European embassies were in the mix too.
They're spread all around some of the nicer parts of London, which is nice. But sometimes they're on private, even guarded roads, and the route also takes in parts of Holland Park. Hence I'm not sure it would be do-able overnight - at least not without some police interactions, detours and lucky drift.
The pacing is very uneven, and in the middle there is a lot of road-crossing, and back-tracking, which slows you down and has a demoralizing effect.
The first and last lines are about 1/3 of the distance each, and get pretty sparse and spread out in places.
The first line strikes out from just south of Oxford Street, through St James', behind Whitehall, and then into a long sweep toward Victoria.
The middle two lines are frenetic, zig-zagging, backtracking and looping over your path all around Grosvenor Square, crossing and recrossing the big roads, before dashing north west through South Ken toward Holland Park.
The final line is another long sweep from the north of Holland Park toward Fitzrovia.
I think for a fit person walking at a good pace the estimated time is about right. It took me longer, but I stopped frequently. A bike might work well for some sections, but I imagine it would be a burden in others.
I don't think a wheelchair user or a much slower walker than me would enjoy it at all. Unless it's all about the challenge.
Simple, quite quick and a good picture, but covers the same portals and too many waypoints twice. Such a waste of possible uniques. Very busy areas with busy roads to cross. Wouldn’t try it on a bike and wheelchair users might be very annoyed.
A bit hilly, with some steps and narrow roads and crossing some big roads, but mostly well thought out.
Wheelchair users and cyclists might not like it, lots of curbs and some steps which aren’t easily worked around.
Heavy use of waypoints reduces its value for unique hunters.
Passphrases are all the current mission number on the portal hacked last in the prior mission, which helps with finding and checking the next mission in sequence as Madrid has a lot of missions and banners!
This is such a disappointment when it could've been so good. Far too much looping past the same portals and waypoints over and over, in amongst the bad GPS, bad mobile data, raucous bars and damnable cobblestones.
Technically 24/7 but I wouldn't want to do some parts like the early one through a stretch of wasteland with no lights, dodgy people and rough ground. It's lovely on a warm summer afternoon though, so, yeah, do that bit in daylight.
The setters are clearly sadists btw, though some of the bigger inter-mission gaps are aligned with U-Bahn, Tram or bus routes, so that's a mercy. Makes it a right pain to find the missions in the mission list..
Clearly it's almost essential to use IngressMosaik for the order of the missions as the mission names have no pattern and make little sense even as poetry. The kievbanners version is more usefully integrated with ÖBB Scotty and Qando Wien though. Sadly they've got the order of 3-6 wrong which still looks fine, but makes you go further than you need. Maybe one day Wien will open its data up so Google and CityMapper can do the job better.. til then I recommend Scotty.
Don't be afraid of the passphrases, one set even made me laugh. Be mindful of the captures. And you may not need to stray off the path toward the end for extra uniques, though by all means make sure you catch 'em all.
If you're cycling, go for it. If you're on foot, get a several day travel ticket, so you can hop on and off the various public transport especially at the beginning and really upto mission 32. Then you're walking almost non-stop with one optional 4-stop bus ride about 47/48.
I'm sure it'd be feasible for someone super fit and focussed with empty inventory and a travel pass to do it in a day. I'm not and it took me several days. The last half went quicker than the first half, by far.
A mostly straightforward route-march from next to the Whittington Hospital in Archway to the Moorfields Eye Hospital near Old Street and an interesting image for the old scanner.
There are several detours through residential back-streets and into parks and playgrounds. The route cuts through a churchyard or two in Islington which seem to close in the evenings, so overall it's probably not 24/7 unless you take very circuitous routes and get good drift.
I broke my attempt over a few days, but if you're fit it could definitely be done in a day.
The one, solitary pasphrase is a light bit of trivia, apropos to the banner, and easily looked up.
On a delightful sunny day with blue skies, this is a lovely mission.. as long as you take your own supplies, as the queues in the two parks for refreshments and loos can be epic. Bear in mind that Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are separate parks, and can shut at different times from each other.
It's all hack-in-any-order, even though the portals are mostly listed sensibly, so refer to the portal order in the mission to get a guide on what portals to do first and last each time, if it's not obvious. Also keep an eye out that you don't miss any portals or waypoints from being too close for the scanner to bother keep showing the reticle.
If you don't stop, the IngressMosaik time estimate for doing it on foot is pretty accurate. Technically a lot of the paths and grass are No-Cycling areas in both parks, so you run the gauntlet if you try it. I suspect it would be a major PITA to try to do the banner by wheelchair or with other mobility constraints as part of the joy is in cutting corners across the lovely grassy bits, and the obvious route relies on some dirt-track shortcuts between official paths in a couple of places.
Short and sweet, even for someone slow and footsore, like me. Gotta be lucky with the cap/upgrades, I didn't need to virus anything but then it was the day after a Mission Day. Lots of crossing the big roads though, which slows you down and hurts your momentum.
A lovely picture and a mostly good route through parts of central Rome. Some GPS and cell signal problems, many cobbles, a few piazzas with events on and far too many tourists, but no showstoppers. Some backtracking, which always irritates.
Regarding the passphrases: they're used to keep the mission order and ensure the next mission is near the top of the list for our convenience. About the only good use for them that I've ever seen. :)
Cute badges, and a simple route. Hilly in places with some enormous flights of uneven, slippery steps and many road crossings and cobbles. It's tolerable on foot but would be next to impossible for wheelchair users and annoying for cyclists.
The Reverse Pony Manoeuvre: as the banner is a collection rather than a single image, and they're all hack-in-any-order, it can be done backward from the Colliseum to Termini station, if that suits your itinerary better. :)
I hated this banner so very much. It's evil. I'm amazed it was set, and I'm amazed so many people (a) finished it, and (b) claim to like it. It was awful.
It's appallingly laid out. It claimed to be bikeable but then sends you against the traffic direction or on pavements over half the time.
I've never had to needlessly backtrack so often on any other banner anywhere ever. It sucks the enthusiasm out of you every time it sends you 50m down one road, then backwards, then forwards, then backwards. For once I actually wished the missions were set to hack-in-any-order but no, they're not so you don't get to take the obvious shortcuts or easy route.
Truly a tour-de-force in pissing players off.
I wish, in hindsight, that I'd done one of the other Aegis Nova banners in Rotterdam instead, cos the picture's ok, but nothing great.
I saw that it was flagged as 'not-on-foot, bike-only' somewhere, and walked it anyway. Oh good grief, I saw why quite quickly.
However, there are actually sections I don't think would be bikeable anyway, there are bridges, wharves, cobbles and narrow paths and you have to go the wrong way against traffic a few times, and after the halfway point it gets much more pedestrian friendly.
It certainly takes in parts of the city you might not otherwise visit, as a tourist, which is interesting, though some areas were a bit bleak and/or residential and the locals didn't look especially friendly.
A lovely Smurfly banner, but a long, sometimes irritating slog through a traffic-fume-soaked section of central London, getting progressively harder and ending with a crucifying set of crippling missions around Paddington.
Not 24/7 accessible because of the portals in the courtyard of the British Library, and possibly some others.
Horrible GPS drift may make capturing portals you're right on top of surprisingly hard near the tall modern buildings around Euston and Warren Street. Crossing the 6-lane main roads over and over, and backtracking repeatedly and occasionally hacking the same portal more than once is irritating but then..
The Paddington Basin missions 50-56, should be super-easy. However, because gates that would allow ready access between portals are nearly always shut, you end up repeatedly walking hundreds of meters back and forth to get to portals that are only just barely out of scanner range of each other.. on cobbles and rough paths, over bridges and floating pontoons, and at least once hacking the same portal 2 or 3 times. It's ok to cry and curse the author at these points.
Still, as you emerge through the badlands of Portobello and Notting Hill, there's a certain sense of achievement. And it sure is pretty.
A bit of a tour-de-force in banners with a great route through interesting parts of central London commemorating the Abaddon anomaly. You didn't have to be there to put this in your scanner. :)
Bear in mind the Wellington barracks portals, missions 29 and 30, are not open all the time. They may even be closed to the public completely in the winter. Some people can still hack them from the street with luck and good GPS drift, but if your phone knows where it is at all times then please check the museum website to ensure it would be open on the day you want to do those missions or you might get stuck with half a banner!
Pretty things are sometimes so deceptive. This is pure Endarkenment propaganda, seductively well-written, attractive to look at and utterly wrong.
Definitely not 24/7 accessible because of the section along the river beside the Tower of London, just west of Tower Bridge which closes mid-evening.
There are a few sections with cobbles, stairs, foot-bridges, the Tower Bridge itself, very many tourists and some heights. I don't think it would be easy to do by bike, or unaided in wheelchairs or mobility scooters or by people with other difficulties with those things.
The portals are actually listed in a good order for navigating the course, but each mission's set to 'hack in any order'. You're left to work out your own route and the scanner keeps hiding the reticles for nearby portals that you need. If you 'Navigate to' each portal in sequence it might save you a few unwanted detours or missed portals along the way.
It's a pleasant wander for a few hours, not overly taxing and looks nice on the scanner.. just don't believe a word of it. :)
As zimitry says, you'll probably swear a bunch doing this one. :)
Edit (2016-08-25): Apparently the problematic portal in mission 32 has been removed from the list. So it shouldn't be a problem anymore. At the time of writing this comment (2016-08-14), mission #32 requires assistance to reach a portal that probably shouldn't be there anymore, Dawson Hall. It's on private property, not generally accessible to the public and you'd need supernatural amounts of GPS drift to get to it from any of the nearest public roads or paths. At this point maybe 4-5 of us have been very lucky and found people willing to let us in briefly to get the hack done, and I believe zimitry's already submitted an amendment to the mission, which is sitting in the queue for review at Niantic.
Also as zimitry says there are a few missions that take you through public parks or churchyards that definitely do close in the evenings, and there a couple of parts in housing estates that might be a little dodgy too late in the day.
It's a properly long slog. I believe that the first player through the whole thing estimated it took him ~18 hours of play, not counting travel time to/from home. I'd estimate that it took me ~30-35 hours spread over 2 weekends, with all the necessary breaks for rest, refreshment, etc.. Company definitely helps!
It's arguable whether it's bikeable, or wheelchairable - much will be, but there are some stairs to climb and some rough roads to tackle so assistance or long detours might be required.
About halfway through most of the missions switch from sequential to hack-in-any-order. Several times finishing one mission situates you in the middle of the next. You really have to check the map and plan your own route or you find yourself walking 2-3x further than you strictly need to. The scanner also has a bad habit of not showing the targeting-reticles of some of the mission portals when you're in hacking-range of several of them at the same time, so it's easy to accidentally skip portals you need, if you're not watching out for that.
Niggles aside, it's a tour-de-force of missioneering - lots of UPVs, a fair chance at UPCs (take and hack bursters as you walk!), it's a good long walk through bits of London you might never otherwise see and it's a fine banner for the scanner.
A pleasant pair of banners (thanks NIA) with mostly well-paced missions around some touristy spots in London. A few bits of backtracking, crossing main roads, and toward the end a few locations that aren't open in the evening/night-time like the areas around St Pauls, and the Tower of London. Some horrible GPS drift on both Android and iOS devices in the narrow streets and tall buildings around the City of London can be irritating.
Biking it would be painful or even lethal, I suspect, unless you've got a folding bike. Likewise wheelchair users would find some parts challenging.
WARNING: This highly desirable banner is also very, very difficult.
Truly, it is EPIC. (I was the 12th person to complete it, and I'm still recovering a month later. :)
If you use the Underground itself to do the missions, it can also be quite expensive, tiring and very time-consuming.
For most people it probably takes three whole weekends on your own or in a team of two or three. Larger teams would probably take longer unless they're willing to break up and reform as required. There is a lot of inevitable backtracking for the agents who miss the hack/waypoint at each location. The wifi and cell signals and GPS/cell/WiFi locations at each site are extremely variable for both iOS and Android phones. Fortunately the hacks/way-points can be done in any order within each mission. However, this means you might miss the clue for the next mission start-point which comes up fleetingly when you achieve the 'last' hack of each mission.
If you don't already have a Travelcard on your Oyster card then it's probably best to buy zone 1-6 paper travelcards for each day. With Pay-as-you-go, Oyster card will double-charge you for the whole day if you don't exit from a station on the network frequently enough! Keep paper tickets away from your phone/magnets etc. and don't be surprised if some of the machines don't like them any more.
If you have a motorbike, it might actually be quicker to do many of the missions on that.
Either way, you end up crossing Greater London repeatedly. The total distance traveled is roughly twice the length of all the Underground lines put together (~800km) not counting your journeys to/from home/hotel. Only one current Underground station is omitted, AFAIK, Kensington Olympia. At any given time several lines will be partially shut for maintenance on weekends, and several stations are closed for refurbishments, so be prepared to walk/bus/taxi/cycle/etc. when required. The order that lines are stations are tackled in doesn't always make the most logical sense, and some cross-over stations are duplicated I think, but not all, especially toward the end.
There is a list of the mission start and end points which you can copy to a note on your phone, as they're quite spread out:
# Mission Begins - Mission Ends
1 Baker Street - Harrow on the Hill
2 West Harrow - Uxbridge
3 North Harrow - Watford
4 Moor Park - Amersham&Chesham
5 Kings' Cross - Walthamstow
6 Woodford - Epping
7 Wanstead - Roding Valley
8 Woodford - Mile End
9 Mile End - Barking
10 Barking - Upminster
11 Mile End - Tottenham Court Road
12 Goodge Street - Archway
13 Highgate - High Barnet
14 Camden Town - Edgware
15 Stanmore - Baker Street
16 Marylebone - Harrow and Wealdstone
17 Edgware Road - St James's Park
18 Westminster - Canning Town
19 Stepney Green - Embankment
20 Elephant & Castle - Aldgate
21 Angel - Morden
22 Brixton - Shepherd's Bush
23 White City - West Ruislip
24 South Harrow - Acton Town
25 Chiswick Park - West Kensington
26 Earl's Court - Wimbledon
27 “The other Hammersmith Station” - Royal Oak
28 South Kensington - King's Cross
29 King's Cross - Cockfosters
30 Acton Town - Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport