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  1. I recently had some door missions take me to Kallisti Wharf. The level of difference in the quality of the textures and layouts is almost painful. The revamped Atlas Park is one of the only other zones that’s even close to that standard and it really makes a massive difference in how dated the game feels when you compare the issue 0 (c. 2004) assets of, say, Steel Canyon to the late 2012 assets in Kallisti Wharf. So I would start with Steel Canyon and Brickstown and just start swapping out the tired old building meshes with their too small windows for the ones from Kallisti Wharf (use the “hero side” ones from KW for Steel to make it feel hyper modern and the rundown and industrial ones from the “villain side” of KW for Brickstown). Steel Canyon particularly feels desperately generic and in need of such a facelift. Brickstown doesn’t need it near as much, but other than Kings Row (which is outleveled far too quickly). I’d also look at re-using some of the Praetoria building models as well in a general revamp. Praetoria is/was a parallel universe with similar figures and even warped versions of Primal organizations (ex. Both had a PPD) so having a parallel to the TPN (only it would the Total PARAGON Network in Primal) and other distinct buildings would make some degree of sense. Essentially, just spread some the gorgeously designed work out of the rarely visited zones and into the much more populated ones.
  2. Given the noted server-stress of pathing, I’d say you’d almost have to go the Rikti/Zombie invasion method of the mobs spawning at your present location (i.e. no pathing). It’s a bit of a limitation on mission design, but there’s already code for Rikti/Zombie invasions (and I think there was a super rare Devouring Earth version) as a start point and it would then be a matter of adapting that code to other groups and to an instanced environment. Also of note is that, in addition to teleporting in and breaking out of the ground, perhaps some of the other MM pet summoning animations could be applied to various groups. For example, I think one of the merc pets parachutes in... and that would be fantastic for a 5th Column style assault (I’m having flashbacks to the one G.I.Joe opening sequence where Cobra parachutes in to attack the Statue of Liberty). Allow me to also throw in another element to this mix. One of THE most tense (in a good way) missions for me is the Croatoa one where you have to keep less than 30 Fir Bolg from entering the Henge and a similar “must defeat the waves before X of them make to objective Y” mission goal would be another way to up the tension in such a mission, particularly if the size/level of the spawns increased as time progressed. It fall more under an arena type competition, but “time until X mobs reach objective Y” would be a great way to rank it as a competition and with no upper limit it becomes a matter of beating another best time rather than “you cleared this, no need to ever revisit it.”
  3. Also, my Thugs/Traps managed to skip the Epic Pools entirely... there were just so many good options in the primary and secondary sets plus needing medicine (since traps has no built-in heal) and leadership that I just flat-out ran out of room for epic pool powers (not to mention the theme of pretty much ordinary guys using tools scavenged from the guys they've fought; ex. the force field generator was scavenged and rebuilt from one they got from a defeated Sky Raider; didn't work well with any of the pool powers... maybe the mace if there'd been room for it, but there just wasn't).
  4. I must not play at the right times because I haven’t seen any with “Operative” at all. I generally roll up magic types who just use their given names, but I’ve started employing group names for my masterminds instead (i.e. my thugs MM’s name is “Jessie’s Crew” as it’s the whole gang I want the villains to be cursing in their word balloons).
  5. I enjoy having the ranged attacks on my scrappers. It really helps nail those runners with a sliver of health without having to run after them (the patron snipes like the one in Mu Mastery that turn into regular attacks but keep their 150’ range once combat starts are exceptional for this). On the other hand, Kheldians don’t get ancillary/patron pools at all and while I don’t particularly miss them, I kinda wish they’d be available if only to represent a character who was another type of hero before bonding with Kheldian. There’s also the question of what pool powers would even be appropriate for the Kheldians. They already have potent melee and ranged attacks, armor and can break mez with dwarf form. PBs have a heal other and some soft mezzes, WSs have some control already. Frankly, the epic “power” I’d want for my khelds would be a pool where each power in it granted you 3 extra enhancement slots, but that’s almost certainly beyond the scope of the game’s engine.
  6. You could always do your own personal moonbase too. Drop a 24x24 with an open roof and the space sky. Then find the whitest boulders you can and place them roughly circularly around the center point with clipping off. There’s your crater. Now build a contained tech-themed structure inside that and you’ve got your own villainous moonbase (I did pretty much the same thing, but Shadow Shard themed for my own base).
  7. My preference for updating the city would be to forget adding 2019 elements and instead run with updating things more of the general Praetorian super-tech. skip the flat-screens/laptops and go with lighted glass/holographic displays like you see in the Praetorian lab maps. Basically, let the game's already existing future-tech elements become the norm. So swap out the desks with CRT monitors on them for the tech terminals we see in the lab maps and have NPCs who normally hold clipboards use the MATablet emote instead. Maybe replace the automobile textures with something that looks a little more hi-tech (leave the meshes alone because who knows what changing the geometry would do, but as is demonstrated by texture replacements added to the data folder, changing the texture named (for example) "car1.tga" to a different "car1.tga" would hopefully not break anything.
  8. I agree that a no fx option is best. Until then I’ve found that using the light option with one of the darkest shades on the pallet greatly reduces the intrusiveness of the effects.
  9. Then go and make your pitch as a separate endeavor. No one is stopping anyone else from trying to make a deal with NCSoft. We don't know what the negotiations are actually covering (because that would be under a legit NDA until they're done). Wouldn't you have egg on your face if it ended up being an Open License for all active and future servers? But if you make it clear that other servers have no respect for NCSoft and consider them to be bad guys then you might get a self-fulfilling prophecy where only the people who approached NCSoft with respect get the only valid licensing and all the other servers go away in a storm of C&Ds against those who have disrespected their corporation.
  10. You don't sit down with people who have something you want and open with "you guys are evil." That goes double with honor-based cultures like that of South Korean business. Those with your attitude towards NCSoft would literally ruin this for everyone if they had a seat at the table. Frankly, the very fact that NCSoft hasn't dropped a hammer on every last server the moment they surfaced is evidence they are NOT the bad guys. Regardless of who or their reasons seven years ago, whoever is in charge of NCSoft NOW is, at a minimum, sympathetic to our situation if not actually supportive. That makes them the GOOD guys. The proper way to approach fellow good guys is with respect as we're essentially asking a boon of them; to allow servers running their IP to remain open. There's very little money in it and the benefits to NCSoft are primarily good will with the community and maintaining various trademarks so any agreement reached is literally a case of their magnanimous good will towards the community for which we should be eminently grateful.
  11. Calling something passive aggressive is just blabber for "I don't like what you're saying but can't actually refute the substance of it." I work in an IP related field and have a background in computer technology so yes, the others are actually doing it wrong. I can't tell you how many ventures I've seen go out of business because they focused on the flash without addressing the underlying systems needed to maintain it. You can have the best ideas in the world and if you don't have a solid foundation to build them on they'll be just another failure. And apparently it IS mutually exclusive at the moment because none of the others are moving to a 64-bit client and HC hasn't grabbed up any of their "easy fixes." They can share a bit, but from what I understand there are some rather fundamental differences to the i23, i24 and i25 systems that don't make it as easy as a straight cut and paste to cross implement features (particularly when going from a 32-bit to 64-bit architecture or visa versa). Also, you clearly aren't that versed in IP law. NCSoft actually CAN absolutely pick and choose exactly who they hit with a C&D at their whim. That is the entire point of IP law. They get to selectively choose who gets to use their IP (which in this case is not the additions you say they could remove to get around... its the base code of the game). They are entirely within their rights to tell one person they can't use it at all and the person next to them they can do whatever they want with it for any reason they decide. That they haven't is only by NCSoft's own good graces. The ONLY thing that can truly prevent that possibly though is an actual licensing deal with NCSoft which sets the terms for use and that's what the Homecoming team are trying to secure that the others aren't.
  12. It's not passive aggressive. Its my subjective evaluation of where things stand in relation to the various servers. I call their work hastily-implemented because working on new "cool toys" is fundamentally worthless when they're only going to be accessible on aging and obsolescent machines. Its akin to worrying about a car's paint job instead of the engine that hasn't even been looked at for the last 30k miles. Sure that paint job gets lots of compliments on how cool it looks, but when that neglected engine drops out of the frame the whole thing is destined for the scrap yard (or at best a museum... either way, not useful for its main purpose anymore) because their focus is on the "shiny" instead of what actually keeps the thing running. They're more concerned with additions to a virtually obsolete client (again, 32-bit clients are not supported by the latest MacOS and I can almost guarantee the same will be true whenever Win11 arrives) instead of doing the 'boring' but critically important structural work to make sure the game can still be run on a modern computer that the Homecoming devs have used their time to implement. I also read that blog entry by one of the Rebirth devs posted above and yeah... when you're making major changes to your live release patch two days before you plan to launch it and ultimately have to roll the whole thing back and tell your players to run a separate .bat file to get your version to run because of how screwed up the patch roll out was... yes, I feel safe saying that they're being hasty with their implementation. From what was outlined above, Homecoming is focused on cleaning up (or at least better understanding) some of the underlying spaghetti code so things like that are less likely to happen. Again, not a new shiny, but something that will make for a stronger system behind their new content down the line. The other servers also don't appear to give a damn about trying to provide assurance for their player-base that their whole server isn't one C&D away from vanishing in a puff of internet smoke. While there's not guarantee the negotiations between Homecoming and NCSoft will be successful, just the fact that they're engaged in a good faith effort instead of just crossing their fingers and hoping NCSoft doesn't drop a C&D on them lends a sense of stability to Homecoming that the other projects lack. How useful are all those new power sets and costume options the day after their servers shut down due to a C&D? Again... hasty implementation and putting the cart (new shinies) before the horse (the infrastructure needed to keep the whole thing running).
  13. Agreed, and I'll further add that the infrastructure focus, particularly the 64-bit client (given that many operating systems have dropped 32-bit support entirely in the past few years), is going to make the biggest difference going forward when compared to other servers running 32-bit only City of Heroes. All those hastily-implemented features on other servers are only worth something if your operating system can actually run an archaic 32-bit client (Apple, for example, dropped 32-bit support with macOS 10.15 "Catalina" earlier this year).
  14. Personally, of all the options I've heard, I think I like the "psuedopet that drops a long duration skittles in a PBAoE then dies" the best because it has the most potential to provide both scaleability and variety. In fact, thinking of it as inspirations is a pretty solid start point because they have four levels of power and each color provides a specific effect (switch health to absorb, and endurance to resist end/recover debuffs) so instead of just "advanced/not advanced" you could have "all foes get a long duration inspiration effect that is A) small, B) medium, C) large, D) ultimate" so even if you do get good enough to deal with one level, you can adjust it up to the next. Another tier of difficulty would be "number of inspirations" so if you chose two, then two of the inspiration effect granting pets would spawn per mob. Choose three and get three, etc. So now you have an additional difficulty option that's more akin to the original "Level Adjust/Group Size" in that its "inspiration size/number of inspirations." If added into notoriety options though I'd suggest it be called "Inspired Enemies."
  15. You know, I'd settle for just getting some spawn points and level 40-50 mobs added on the streets of Khallisti Wharf at first. Its too gorgeous a location to have NOTHING there except a few trainers. It doesn't even need to be new types of mobs; anything with a level 40-50 variant could be put on the streets there (ex. put PPD units on the streets of both sides that con blue to heroes and red to villains). It might also be a chance for some other enemy groups that didn't see much play from the i24 material outside of specific story arcs. For example, per the patch notes the Unified People's Army enemy group actually goes up to level 54 as do the Awakened and Praetorian Devouring Earth. So have the UPA planning terrorist attacks against Paragon City in Khallisti Wharf in retaliation for the death of their leader (with the covert help of Arachnos) while the level 40-54 PPD opposes them. Have one of the idiots in the UPA unleash the Praetorian Devouring Earth with the thinking of "lets see how they feel losing their world" and you've got a reason to put them there too. Likewise, in lieu of specific Incarnate-level content, it might be worth expanding on the "Post-Praetorian War" theme of the factions by integrating re-purposed Praetorian mobs into them. Arachnos already has their own version of the battle droids in their mobs and the Council has/had war walkers. So just take it a little further by adding in some of the other Praetorian units to the existing groups and recoloring them to match that faction's assets (ex. after the New Praetorians arcs, the Council rebuilds by equipping its troops with more IDF gear... mechanics-wise, take all the non-psychic IDF units and recolor the red to the council's dull green and take the white down to a medium grey., then add some Nictus mobs to it... viola upgraded Council forces). Anyway, that's my thinking on new content... fill in Kallisti Wharf piece by piece starting with street mobs so its not so dead and then maybe having new story arcs like those added with i26p3 set there going forward until you've got a Faultline sized story arc (about four contacts worth with three-ish missions each) going on there for each side. I'll also follow up by adding that while the Battalion may have been the original dev plans for the future, that doesn't have to be the future for Homecoming unless that's where the current devs also want to take it. There was significant Praetorian fatigue in 2012 because everything since Going Rogue had focused on it, but seven years is a long time to rest up and if using the existing assets is the easiest way to get new content going, then I'm fine with the Praetorian story being not quite done (i.e. continue the New Praetorian and Mr. G story arc fallout into level 40-50 content).
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