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  1. The problem there is two-fold; First, unlike the Patron Pools there is no set themes available to every AT; Tankers have Ice, Scrappers do not. Scrappers have ninja weapons, Blasters have a rifle. Second, the Ancillary pools don’t map well to any existing major character. Blue-side Blast Furnace (after he goes hero) and Flambeaux (before she goes villain) are the only two I can think of who even have fire powers. Do we REALLY want Flambeaux as our patron just to get Blaze Mastery? We do not.
  2. I made it to level 40 as a Praetorian by going directly to First Ward and then Night Ward. I had to a number of the First Ward repeatable missions and I probably could have dinged 50 if I’d used an SG base pillar to run all the arcs, but ultimately I left Praetoria at 40. I jumped straight into the Portal Corps Praetorian arcs and then the “New Praetorians” arcs. Those combined with double XP got my Praetorian to 50 where I ran the Last Bastion incarnate arc. It takes a little planning, but you CAN actually do Praetorian content all the way from 1-50 and only need to be Blue-side for the last 10 levels. You can’t do it Red-Side unfortunately since it only has the Mr. G arcs (added contemporaneously with the New Praetorians arcs) connecting to Praetoria while Blue-side has the revamped Portal Corps arcs to fill in the needed XP gaps.
  3. If it helps on the incarnate front, my all natural archer’s fluff around the incarnate stuff is that they built incarnate stuff into their tech. Their uniform is reinforced with Incarnate Threads for added protection; Threads were also woven into their bow string and polyfiber bow to give it increased strength and their arrows are tipped with Incarnate Shards for better penetration. Ionic Judgement isn’t even them... they’re calling in a strike from a Vanguard orbital ion cannon. The character invented all their tactical arrow loads; incarnate is just a very advanced form of technology to them; akin to Tony’s ARC reactor or Vision; they’ve learned to adapt into their tech.
  4. I should have explained more clearly. ”Redeem Scirocco” would be the Blue-Side arc to access the Patron Pools. Still have to do an arc to get Mu Mastery for your concept, but you aren’t playing a villain to do it. “Kill other villains and take their stuff” with Manticore as the contact would be a new Red-Side arc to access Patron Pools without becoming Recluse’s lackey. We’ve needed some new story content and the Vigilante and Rogue arcs were both appreciated and well done. So my suggestion is that these would be two good 35+ arcs to add because the payout/reward (Patron Powers without being a Recluse Lackey) is already in game. And because the rewards ARE the draw, I don’t think you’d need to add anything that can’t already be done for the actual missions in the arcs. No new programming needed, no new art or assets needed, just whatever amount of work goes into writing and scripting a 4-5 mission story arc. Heck, reduce the writing load by make a contest of who can write the best arc for it in AE and credit the winner as the arc’s writer (one award for Redeem Scirocco and one for Monsters Fighting Monster).
  5. The problem is they (particularly Mu) are SO generic there’s no reason to justify them being patron specific. Scrappers, Stalkers, Brutes and Tanks don’t have a generic Lightning epic option and I’m reasonably certain the reason is “Because Mu Mastery.” So if you build a heroic Elec/Elec Scrapper and want to cap them off at 35+ with being able to throw lighning the ONLY way to do that is break character, use Null the Gull, run a villain arc, and then hit Null again to go back. Meanwhile a dark/dark, fire/fire or ninja themed hero could just snag dark, fire or weapon and stay entirely in character. There is NOTHING about Mu Mastery that says, this and only this elemental energy should be available only to one-tims villains (except the Summon... which no one wanting it for their hero would take anyway). THAT is exactly the sort of thing that makes me resent Red-Side. Its something really generic needlessly gated to being a villain that keeps an alternative for Blue-only characters from being developed. IMHO; the next actual content arc that needs to be added is a pair of level 35 arcs “Get Scirocco out of Arachnos” (a simplefied version of the original devs plans where you play as yourself... with the final mission allowing you to steal power from Recluse’s lieutenants) and “Monsters to Fight Monsters” (an arc where Manticore recruits you to a team that hunts and kills villains to take their stuff... including patron powers). Then either do my idea of linking the summon to completion of the original villain arc(s) or put a mutually exclusive sixth power choice that lets you summon a Legacy Chain (instead of Mu), a Midnighter (instead of Widow), Longbow (instead of spider-bot) or ??? (Coralax are probably sufficiently neutral they could be summoned by either side). Basically pick one or the other, but like the Widow Build-up options, you can’t have both.
  6. My biggest complaint about the Patron Powers is that Mu Mastery is basically an excuse to not bother giving Scrappers a proper “Charge Mastery” type pool. You could build a heroic Electric/Electric scrapper, but if you want his epic powers to be using lightning at range you have to hit Null, run a villain arc, and Null back. Seriously... fire, darkness, laser eyes and shuriken does not actually supply much in the way of options if you want a consistent theme for your scrapper. That you have to jump through hoops just to get lightning is kinda lame. Mace Mastery in general I think suffers in that most of the ATs have some other sort of weapon/munitions option that ISN’T explicitly tied to a common Arachnos weapon. Also, are you really telling me that you can’t just take an Arachnos Mace off one of the thousands of Arachnos mooks you’ve pummeled before level 35? Likewise, Soul Mastery is conceptually similar to Darkness, just with slightly fancier graphics. Leviathan Mastery has similar issues to Mace in that it is such a specific theme that it’s only going to serve a very limited pallet of characters. The overall result is just sort of “blah.” It worked okay before faction swapping and proliferation of the epic pools across the ATs (i.e. when they were the ONLY option for Redside), but that ship has sailed. So to sum it up; - Mechanically there’s nothing about them that makes them any better than a thematic ancillary pool. - Other than its pet, Mu Mastery has no business at all being locked behind side-specific Patron arcs... so says every elec/elec build that doesn’t have an elec ancillary because Mu Mastery exists. - Mace and Leviathan are almost too lore specific in their FX, which limits their usefulness to either those with a very narrow theme or those who don’t care about thematic cohesion in the first place. Now a suggestion; The only real thing that sets the Patron sets apart from the Ancillaries is their pets. So turn all the patron pools into generic ancillary sets EXCEPT the pet. The Pet becomes a power akin to the prestige sprints (i.e. both permanent and slottable) that is awarded for completing an appropriate Patron Arc. Meanwhile, Mu minus the pet becomes a generic Lightning Mastery set. Soul becomes generic and gets alternate animation options from the generic Darkness sets. Mace becomes a generic high-tech weapon set with alternate skins. For example, the Scrapper/Stalker set features all ranged energy blasts and a web grenade effect... so allow that set to choose any of the skins available for Beam Rifle; opening up a lot more ways it could be used. I’m honestly not familiar enough with Leviathan to know what a generic would look like; maybe allow some of the water blaster effects to be swapped in in place of spectral sharks and the like? This keeps a real tangible reward for those who run the patron arcs (and a pet from the patron’s faction is much more power/theme agnostic... you don’t need to summon up souls of the dead to be authorized to call for backup from a fortunata) while those who want certain sets for thematic reasons unrelated to Arachnos can select the parts they’d actually want.
  7. For me, the problem with WASD is that the forward and back keys aren’t lined up like the arrow keys are. I tried, but that misalignment made it basically unusable for my brain. This goes double when you’re using an ergonomic keyboard (I do a lot of typing and it’s a carpal tunnel saver). Being able to slide my finger smoothly from forward to reverse by feel is the only way I can play a game. If I can’t remap my movement to the arrow keys, I just don’t play that game. Likewise, I’ve never seen the appeal of clicking your powers with a mouse when you can hotkey them and never have worry that you’ll accidentally fall outside the power’s bounding box when you click.
  8. For me, this setup dates back to DOOM, the old Dark Forces FPS and Mechwarrior 2; arrow keys for movement, number row for weapon selection, space for jump/up, x for crouch/down. The main reason why I mention Mechwarrior 2 though is that because of how it’s jump jets worked (they were fully directional vs. later versions and used the inverted “T” on the that block of six keys to handle jump jet steering just like the arrows controlled ground steering) I got into the habit of binding commands to those keys because they’re easy to reach while still steering with the arrows (that CoH also pauses your movement when you use powers makes it even less of a hassle). To this day Insert up there is always “Target Nearest Enemy” and Delete, Home, End, PgUp and PgDn are my core attacks.
  9. I was just about to post that this is what I do. I appreciate having the basic sprint NOT have any extra FX because sometimes you just want to run quicker; Surge is my goto for the Stealth IO since it’s just adding some extra FX to what’s already there and the glow associated with movement makes it easier to see where you’re at in some crowded scrums. But then, I’m someone who had to delete and re-roll my Devices blaster over their sustain also making you almost unseeable (which was not reflected by the power customization bar at creation at all... “Blue aura, but you can still see yourself? Okay, I can live with a blue aura.”). I like looking at the characters I painstakingly design... not at some empty space they occupy because of stealth effects.
  10. I feel like the Rogue Isles would have worked better as a Gotham to Paragon City's Metropolis; a US city awash in crime where everyone in power is on the take and no Batman has arrived on the scene yet. It could be insane for some, but not all... it wouldn't be for Captain America, for example. No one would accuse him of insanity for doing so, even if the odds were long... because motivation is key. Regardless of their actual ability, the end the hero is trying to achieve is the continuation of things like running water, prepared food and being able to binge Avatar the Last Airbender on Netflix. If they're capable enough to live through the effort their life and that of those in the path of the giant robot get to continue to enjoy good things that if the robot was left to run rampant you and others probably would not. Likewise, even if you know you can't beat it, but are willing to risk your life to give others the chance to get out of the robot's path while you distract it, then you're not crazy, unless you consider every law enforcement and rescue services officer to be crazy for risking their lives to protect others. By contrast, regardless of whether a villain is capable of conquering the world to rule it with an iron fist or intending to cause the world to burn, you are objectively making your life more difficult. You are either desiring your life to become an over-complicated mess where you'll never know another moment without rampant paranoia or desiring to live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where the few remaining people are fighting over the last Twinkie and roll of toilet paper. In short, being a hero (if you're capable of it) is generally in your long term interests... being a villain (if you're capable of it) with the conquest or burn the world motivations is against your own long term best interests. The only sane villain path is "acquire large quantities of money by whatever means you're willing to pursue and then spend it on things you want; hookers, drugs, politicians, a movie about how awesome you are, an endless supply of Twinkies, your ailing mother's medical bills..." because that is the only villain path where you're not automatically making your life harder in the long run (you still might if you piss off enough people getting that money, but its not automatic). Too many Redside missions involve you doing stuff just "for the evulz" and while it can be fun for a mission or three; long term it just starts to get one-note because your villain isn't building towards anything... even conquering the world; they're just committing random acts of violence for the sake of causing violence. Its Saturday Morning Cartoon level villainy like Cobra Commander or Megatron who are being evil just to be evil so the heroes can stop them from their evil.
  11. Taking over the world and/or watching it burn is for the clinically insane. In the first case, why put up with all the bureaucracy and scheming underlings that ruling the world would entail when you can just buy-off various politicians to pass/enforce whatever policies you want and not have to deal with either paperwork or all those plucky heroes/rebels and other would be conquerors putting targets on your back? Hell, if you buy off the right politicians and media groups you could get anti-superhero laws passed and make it look like it happened because of popular support of the masses have turned against them and you can then sic the police on them if they try to interfere with whatever you're up to. In the latter case, unless you're one of those complete nihilists who wants to off themselves after killing the world, isn't it better to have all sorts of pretty and interesting places (not to mention food and nice clothes and gas for your luxury cars, planes and yachts... if this Covid thing has taught anything its the importance of infrastructure to civilization) to see as you enjoy your stolen loot and legal loopholes that allow you to indulge in all your vices without fear of prosecution? Seriously... does your supervillain want to live in a world without toilet paper? Cause if you burn the world down that's what you're going to be doing. See... that's the fundamental problem with most of the CoV content; it presumes you're mentally ill instead of a criminal genius. :D ETA: What I would MOST like to see Red-side is the canonization of what the Live Dev running Lord Recluse said during the "Going Rogue" invasion event... "Protect the Shrimp-Industry! Do you really think we can sustain an economy off an endless cycle of bank thefts?"
  12. This has ALWAYS been my hangup playing red-side and why my Red characters basically turn hero around level 35 or so (Hardcase the demon hunter being about the last contact I regularly deal with). I have zero interest in playing complete monsters. There's a reason most stories with villain protagonists generally center on their dealing with someone even worse (ex. John Wick) or on a heist where skill and deception is the primary method of the criminals (ex. Ocean's 11) rather than just busting in, shooting everything that moves, and then taking the money. Too much of CoVs content is written as if you're the antagonist of a hero protagonist (i.e. plant these toxin canisters that will poison innocent people in exchange for money) instead of how comics that actually use a villain as the protagonist are written (ex. trying to get back at someone who's wronged you, taking down a corrupt business by robbing them blind, etc.). Too many include "eliminate all witnesses" kill-alls despite stalkers and stealth being a thing that could let you get in and out without being seen at all like a proper cat-burglar. Way more options to rob from the rich and corrupt and give to... whoever you choose... particularly at level 35+ would go a long way towards making Red-side playable for me. As it is I've got one rogue at level 42 who hasn't gone hero yet solely because I've introduced a friend to the game and they wanted to play red-side; but I spend almost all the time on that toon when I'm not on with them running radio missions, blue-side rogue to hero missions followed by red-side rogue missions to hold my alignment, First/Night Ward and RWZ content because actual level 40+ red-side content is generally repugnant.
  13. No... Blame (and nerf) Regen. It’s always a solid call. Seriously though; it probably has something to do with the costume files not being designed to hold more than two weapon models so with Dual Pistols counting as those two whatever your third is just doesn’t render and keeps defaulting when you go into the costume editor. If it’s a hard coding issue that makes keeping a third weapon model from being possible, I’d like to suggest adding an alternate animation to tactical arrow and munitions mastery (and any other weapon using secondary/ancillary) where the attacks are animated as grenades instead of arrows/rifle launched. The Ninja blaster secondary should probably also get an optional animation for the attacks that use a sword as well, just in case it gets combined with dual pistols as well.
  14. The problem is, not every group has EBs and bosses/EBs alone melt just as quickly to groups as weaker mobs. The fundamental problem at the top end is that there is a MASSIVE disparity in power between; - a fresh 50 toon with SOs and no incarnate powers. -and- - a one with full purple-set IO slotting and all the incarnate slots fitted with tier 4s. Where exactly do you set the balance on that? A 50 with SO’s and all incarnates at T4 will steamroll anything set for a fresh 50, but will get curb-stomped by content that would challenge one that also had full purple IOs on top of the full incarnate powers. The main problem with the endgame right now is there’s too much disparity in the level of power there to get much consensus on the difficulty of content... and adding more incarnate powers would just INCREASE that disparity even further. Honestly, before we even look at new incarnate powers, we need to figure how to make the current ones (and top-tier IO slotting) play well with others. What’s needed isn’t JUST one tier of difficulty increase for incarnates; we actually need several to cover that range in a manner that would probably require being able to add attributes to existing mobs beyond just their level; things like buffs to to-hit, defense, damage, resist and mez protection. The biggest issue at the high end is the way everything gets taken to extremes; You have to be accurate enough to hit the guy with 55% defense without just being auto-hit to the guy with <30% defense and, at the same time, deal enough damage to matter to a target with 90% resistance without one-shotting someone with <25% resistance... ...and to top it off you can have someone with both 90% resist and 55% defense on the same team as someone with both <30% resist and defense. What will threaten the first will one-shot the second... what will threaten the second won’t even scratch the first. I don’t even pretend to have an answer to that. Short of literally disabling set -bonuses and/or incarnate powers there’s no good way to bring the top and bottom ranges into line... and people who put the work into those things want to be able to use them. The ONLY thing I could think of that might work (and be utterly HATED by a lot of people, probably even myself if I were honest... I like my 5 LotG and 5 Thunderstrike sets as much as the next guy) would be to; A) put a hard cap on the degree to which set bonuses can be stacked (ex. say +25% defense from sets no matter how you slot to get there). B) limit the use of incarnate powers outside of the content specifically created for them (ex. can only use the Alpha plus one other slot at a time outside of incarnate content with say, a five minute timer on swapping which incarnate power you’re using). Like I said... that’d be hated and screamed about, but without something like that, all adding new incarnate powers would do is just make the end game balance issues even worse (conversely Alpha+1 would allow any number of incarnate powers to be added since they’d be balanced around using only one at a time).
  15. I really wish it had been a standard PBAOE; PBAOE’s really help during MSRs and Rikti invasions where tab targeting gets difficult. A PBAOE will auto target the first target it hits so you can then wail on that target. As it stands I have to typically park my StJ scrapper for such events and go with one with a proper PBAOE.
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