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Everything posted by Yoru-hime

  1. That's why I loved Brother Hammond's arc. Even if it's a small-time scheme, I'M the villain. Everyone else is MY patsy and pawn. I'm the one walking away a winner, leaving everyone else holding the Idiot Ball. The souvenir for that arc makes me smile every time I see it. In the end, unless you're living in AE and writing your own story arcs, yes, agency is always going to be an illusion, but it's one that I feel makes the story of a villain much more satisfying than 49 levels of being someone else's goon.
  2. It's not that the writing is that bad, but writing for villains is that much harder than writing for heroes and the OG devs just weren't prepared for that. There are two key problems as I see it. First is lack of agency. No one tells Doctor Doom what to do, but almost every original mission redside has you serving as the muscle for someone else's endeavor. The contact-based mission distribution system naturally encouraged this, but the original CoV devs bought in whole-heartedly. The original devs seemed to have a singular vision of "villain" in their minds and I'd guess it was someone along the lines of the Sandman; a mean, greedy, stupid bully who just happens to have super-powers. The game quite regularly typecasts you as a crude thug and/or borderline maniac. Second, we are naturally much more picky about what we allow our villains to do before declaring it "out of character". That's not an issue with the players, but a difference in the way villains are defined. Think about it. Create a generic hero scenario. Bad guys robbing a bank. Now think of a hero that would notice but choose NOT to intervene. It's not easy without some adding some substantial plot twists to the scenario. That's what heroes are in our minds. Now reverse that and think of villains that wouldn't naturally rob a bank. Lex Luthor is already a financial titan. Magneto is focused on his mutant crusade, not gathering wealth. Darkseid could care less about the currency our puny civilization uses. Monstrous villains may not even comprehend the abstract concept of money. Again, you can do some plot twisting to put one of those character there and make it happen, but creating the list of uninterested villains is a lot easier. It takes a lot more mental gymnastics to get all the various story arcs to make sense for the villain you've imagined, not because of the writing, but because of the way that we think of villains. Heroes are reactive, their identity is tied to how they choose to respond to a situation. The devs are fairly safe in creating the situation, as long as they don't go too far putting words in the character's mouth. Villains are proactive, their identity is deeply tied to their motivation and what they choose to do to pursue it. Any part of the situation that the devs write can earn the "not MY character" condemnation by saying that their character would never choose to create or participate in such a scheme. Magneto going around committing Joker-esque random acts of chaos and destruction simply stops feeling much like Magneto after a while. I don't think it's impossible to write good redside arcs, but writing a redside arc that appeals regardless of character the way you can blueside just doesn't feel realistic. Our imaginations as players are just too broad.
  3. The one I was on earlier this week was code-named Brilliance.
  4. I think that what they're hinting at is creating two dummy accounts, leveling them high enough, then teaming them with an optimized main and speed-running Freakshow War. 55x3 = 165 per run with no diminishing returns. Dummies only have to show up for the last mission to collect rewards. If you're both lucky and good, it can be done in around half an hour, so that equals the 5-6 hours claimed. Unless the RNG gods really love you, though, I'd probably expect it to take about 8 hours for the 10 runs, plus the time to set up the dummies. Not quite sure what level the dummies would need to be, as this level of meta-gaming isn't really my cup of tea. The whole thing feels too much like work for my taste. As long as the population for the server is under 1500, it's allowed under CoC, but you're responsible for monitoring that yourself.
  5. What makes a good four-person team? A Grifter, a Hacker, a Hitter and a Thief. 🙂
  6. Outside of the iTrials, only a few contacts and TFs were implemented with Incarnate powers in mind. They give extra rewards, but are also tuned to Incarnate levels with tougher powers and higher base to-hit chances. Dark Astoria (sequence of six story arcs) Belladonna Vertano Number Six (Dr. Ortz) Each of these gives an Incarnate reward table for completion. Apex and Tin Mage TFs both require a filled Alpha slot (OK, you can do it without, you just won't be able to contribute). As noted above, though, anything you do after training to 50 will earn basic Incarnate rewards (XP, shards, threads).
  7. They're handing out 5 charges of "Experienced" to everyone as part of the Anniversary month. Even if you don't care about badges, you should log in on all your sub-50 characters for that.
  8. Persona 3: FES hit this note for me. It's kinda odd because it's far from my favorite game to play, even in that series. The characters aren't favorites individually and the AI makes the gameplay rough, but the game as a whole boldly explores death in a way that few others do. It's not mindless violence, kill shots and body counts, but the concept of death and the way humans react to that one inevitable certainty in life.
  9. There are just too many AoE focused sets. What is a rad defender supposed to do, simply stop using most of their primary? The moment that debuff anchor gets into melee range, Very Bad Things start happening, particularly if some of the mobs are still firing ranged attacks from outside the debuff zone. This would probably have to be a team-level option, so probably limited to Ouroboros and TFs, otherwise the potential for abuse goes way too high. Really, it would change the nature of the game from fighting against the enemy to fighting against our own abilities. I wouldn't really expect this option to be very popular once the novelty wore off.
  10. I like your thinking. Black Hole would still suck, but it'd be a good thing!
  11. Man... it's like no one even remembers Kelzits even exist. Everyone just plays Zarkon-side these days.
  12. The CoH community is divided into thousands of entities called "players", each of which possesses a completely independent, multi-faceted value structure. Studies have shown that within these so-called "players" are something called "moods" which can alter their priorities and behavior over a shockingly wide variance over time. Someone who craves the challenge of soloing a TF one day may, unbelievably, do something as completely mindless and free from challenge as fire farming the next. None of the other problems with CoH begin to compare to the raw chaos that these unpredictable, quixotic creatures have introduced since they showed up. Nerf players. Then nerf regen, just to be on the safe side.
  13. Multiple Rularuu eyeballs in a spawn can do Very Bad Things.
  14. Look at the older blue-side arcs as a way to change things up. A Stalker can blitz through many of these very fast on low difficulty. Some of the lower level ones offer pretty big rewards for the time and challenge. Smoke and Mirrors is the standard for fast merits, but 1500 merits earned 12 at a time will probably drive you mad. Freakshow War is considered another standby for merit grinding, but many of the lower level arcs have decent rewards and let you run a variety of content. Old Positron TF is an easy solo. I'm pretty sure Empyreans can be sold for merits, so Heather is an option as well, though if you're working on your incarnate powers you're possibly already bored of that particular arc.
  15. "Looking for DPS for Elite Lady Grey, TW only pst" I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek, but it's not just the social inertia of the playerbase that you're going to have to overcome to make something like this work. In a way, I see hardmode much like PvP; you can bolt it on, but it's not what CoH was really designed to do, so it probably won't work as well as you'd really want. CoH is a casual game and it's both built and balanced like one. If you try to turn the difficulty up to 11, or let's be honest, even 8, a lot of problems with the game that most people just ignore are going to start demanding real attention in a hurry and some of those problems run quite a bit deeper than the power set imbalances we're perpetually quarrelling about here on the forums. The badges, in particular, would create a lethal dilemma. Really, any sort of unique reward would, but badges would in particular. If you really try to make this to challenge elite well-synced teams, badgers who are using sub-optimal power sets for their dedicated badge characters will be left out and be incensed. On the other hand, if you're lax enough to make sure that anyone can get them even with a low-end powerset, the truly top end characters will declare your Elite Mode boring within a few days and be back here clamoring for a "real" hardmode. If this is something as easy as tacking on a few new options to the difficulty menu, then *shrug* why not, but in general, I don't really feel like we're getting so much new content that new work explicitly designed to be exclusionary should rate very high at all on the development priority list.
  16. As I understand it, it depends. If they're different IOs, they'll stack, but multiple copies of Achilles Heel, for instance, won't stack with itself.
  17. I don't think we need to collapse into total nihilism. The universe is delightfully flawed, which allows us to blame its poor design for any number of mistakes we might make along the way. 😄 Bringing up Incarnates as a counter-argument doesn't work. Destiny powers, in particular, are just absurd. They're designed to break the game and they do it well. There are many powers and some sets that would virtually cease to exist if we started down the "but when you stack with Incarnate powers" path. Barrier lets you do stupid things. Ageless lets you do stupid things. No other powers (and very little content) in the game are balanced with them in mind. We shouldn't arbitrarily start here. - An idea I had for crashing would be something along the lines of the old Vahzilok Wasting Disease, reducing your Max Endurance and Recovery by a percentage for two minutes as the buff wears off. You've been fighting at your absolute peak and you're feeling winded. It doesn't immediately crash your endurance or compromise your defenses below your original baseline (aka actively try to kill you), but it'd be enough of a nuisance to make you deal with it. It could be managed if you're aware and on top of things, but it certainly could drop your toggles and kill you if you just ignore it long enough. I'm not sure this is an actual improvement over the original idea, but it might be easier to implement. It keeps a bit of the original concept of "there's a price to pay for pushing yourself to this level" that you can't avoid or immediately disable while keeping the risk to a level that may be more tolerable to the playerbase.
  18. It's an odd situation we're in. Many of the defensive capstone powers are fatally flawed. The powersets around them, however, are generally not only fine without them, but most perform exceptionally well. Many defensive sets can already be built up into near-indestructible states even without the T9, some with relative ease. Even SO-only builds are safely able to manage content at well above base difficulty. So I feel compelled to ask: While functional T9s sound great, do we really want to push the bar on defensive set performance even higher than it already is? Are we willing to accept a downward revision of other powers in the sets to keep things generally level as the T9 is improved? I think most of our answers to the second question would be "No" and given the sub-forum, probably very caustic and angry "No"s at that, but I'm back and forth on the first. In principle, moving the T9 powers from a dysfunctional mechanic to a functional one is almost by definition a buff that the performance of the sets as a whole makes hard to justify. That said, I'd love to see these powers fixed because a bad T9 feels like a real disappointment after the effort of leveling a character to 32 or 38, and I think the ideas in the OP are a solid potential starting point for doing so.
  19. Leading the charge against the Psychic Clockwork King on my Dark/Dark Defender back in the early days of Live. I don't really want to call it tanking since I couldn't hold aggro, I just rendered the aggro completely irrelevant for a team that had been getting torn to bits before I answered the call for help. I strolled out of that mission feeling very, very super. Today, it's mostly my Stalker that gives me that feel when she walks up to an AV like the implacable force of nature that she is, challenges them to single combat and walks away with hardly a scratch.
  20. I basically use Body Mastery as a second fitness pool so I don't have to think about Endurance. Never really looked at Laser Beam Eyes as an option, but now that tidge mentioned it I might play with it in Mids a bit. It wouldn't get a spot in the regular attack rotation, but it might work as a set mule that's also a way to snipe down those annoying runners. Focused Accuracy is an Endurance hog that gives less base to-hit than Tactics at twice the cost and doesn't know how to share with teammates. It does offer some accuracy as well, but you usually shouldn't need that by the time it's available. The added perception might be useful in PvP, but I wouldn't know much about that. If you're looking at to-hit boosts, I'd take Tactics or find a spot for a Kismet proc long before I'd want to take FA.
  21. This is how I operate on teams. Let others be the AoE bludgeons. I'm the razor blade, picking out the problems and silencing them. Surgeons, Paragon Protectors, Eyeballs, DE Quartz. I keep the steamroller from getting stuck on irritating stuff. My DB/EA looks at pretty much anything less than an AV as the warm-up to a real fight.
  22. The final mission of the story arc against them HAS to include a climb up the old ITF Hill of Infinite Lag.
  23. It's not a matter of want but understanding market behavior. As the price goes up, new sellers are encouraged to enter the market, thereby providing negative pressure on the rising price and stopping it from going higher. As prices drop, some sellers consider it no longer worth the effort and withdraw from the market, reducing the supply and pressuring the price back upwards until it begins to hover around a balance point. The funny thing is that, judgmental tone aside, unless you spend a lot of time flipping, the self-interest that controls the market dictates that you probably SHOULD want higher prices. Most players produce far more salvage than they'll ever consume, so being able to sell that produce at a high price would easily offset the relatively few times that they have to buy at the elevated price. Of course, the Catch-22 is that that's also the very reason why the prices CAN'T stay at the high levels that seem to be making so many people here anxious. There are so many potential sellers out there just waiting to flood the market, undercut each other and crush out any meaningful rise in price the moment that price increase makes it feel "worth their time". In the case of CoH and white salvage, the disparity between the amount generated and what's actually used is simply massive. Even with many, many players choosing to trash or vendor it, the glut is so huge that the auction house price is basically just a nominal transfer fee. Unless you're looking at literally over half of the playerbase using this filter -and- refusing to stop no matter what, the idea that we'd ever get near the 10,000 hard cap feels really extreme. Remember that any player currently trashing or vendoring is already out of the supply pool, so a change in their behavior would have no effect on the market. Also keep in mind that pretty much any active player can choose to become a new supplier at any time with minimal effort or change in behavior. I notice that a lot of the horror stories about the bad old days tend to focus on Luck Charms and Circuit Boards and forget about how cheap Kinetic Weapons and Spirit Thorns always were. Remember that binning works independently to eliminate those localized price spikes in lower-level salvage. You can't short the supply of Masterwork Weapons when every Fortune and Silver dumped on the market is working against you.
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