Niantic posted the upcoming release notes for the Ingress Prime scanner, version 2.13.
Besides the usual bug fixes, the update will include the following changes that will affect gameplay
WHAT’S NEW IN 2.13? Items: Reduced Transmuter hackability. Items: Increased maximum damage for low level XMPs. Items: Quantum Capsules will no longer duplicate Very Rare items. Items: Increased the probability that an Aegis Shield will be destroyed when struck by a critical hit.
The Ingress community thus far isn’t responding very well to the upcoming changes, as seen from Reddit because they are convinced that Niantic is going to backtrack somehow and profit from selling VR items in the store. Putting the controversy aside, let’s analyse briefly how this will impact gameplay.
Reduced Transmuter hackability This means ITO+ and ITO- transmuters are going to be even more difficult to hack.
Increased maximum damage for low level XMPs Currently XMP Bursters from level 1-4 aren’t particular useful for attacking, so this change is welcomed.
Quantum Capsules will no longer duplicate Very Rare items The list of VR items affected are: VRS Aegis VRMH VRHS ITO+ ITO- VRLA SBUL LPC Jarvis ADA
Most veteran players have several Quantum capsules growing VR stuff. Already the interest payout for growing VR items had been nerfed in Feb 2016. This upcoming change is going to make the capsules less useful as it will be easier to obtain a VR item via hacking than growing them. VRLA are not obtainable via normal hacking and players have managed to get around this by growing them. This will effectively put a stop to all that.
Increased the probability that an Aegis Shield will be destroyed when struck by a critical hit Aegis shields have a stickiness of 800,000 and this makes it very difficult for the shields to be destroyed without using Ultra Strikes. So with this change, they are going to be easier to take down.
To conclude, these changes are geared towards balancing gameplay and thus making it easier for newcomers to play in Ingress.