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  1. Defiance is pretty damn good right now. The only thing I'd even POSSIBLY consider would be adding the t3 blast to the list of powers that can be executed while status'd. Even then I'm not 100% of that.
  2. A lot of the 'Classic' games on GoG run via Dosbox, which is an open source DOS emulator with features like frame limiting, etc...: https://www.dosbox.com/ It's definitely worth checking out the project if you like those older, DOS-era games.
  3. As someone who has written a lot of computer code to transform data types, the idea of translating the xml generated by Mission Architect into csv generated by MS Excel is not really that intimidating. You need the following: a reasonably complete description of the comma separated value structure of a mission file and a library to extract information from the XML file based on tag names and data id (there are lots of these, many of VERY high quality). Translating XML to serial data like CSV and vice-versa is an 'old' problem, relatively speaking, and there have been a LOT of tools written to facilitate it. However, my understanding is that a tool like this already existed as part of Paragon's arsenal of mission-creation software, and that the AE editor was built in tandem with a 'Dev' editor with the same kind of features, but with dev-level control, and that the newer mission writers at Paragon were using it to create missions rather than a spreadsheet editor. Maybe we didn't get that tool as part of what the SCORE developers received. If we have any documentation at all as to how csv missions are structured, this is something that wouldn't take a serious amount of time, even starting from no existing code.
  4. In Penny Yin's TF, one of the freaks in the cooridoor leading to the reactor room says " [19:07] [NPC] Enforcer Smasher: You can control the chaos, Task Force Aftershock!" Should that be 'You can't control...'?
  5. One of the things that made me think that the star rating system was useless and tagging was the only way to deal with searching was seeing my first '3 stars. Not a farm.' type review back when MA first dropped. It was followed shortly by the 'I don't give anyone five stars' review in terms of 'Yeah, 'stars' ain't gonna work for this at all''.
  6. Computers are a couple orders of magnitude more capable than they were in 2004. Since the 2012 shutdown, EVERYTHING has generally done down in price and up in capacity, with the possible exception of single-CPU core power. Even then, we're making the cores themselves smaller and packing far more of them into a single 'CPU'. 2012 data centers have wet dreams about 2020 co-hosting packages. 2004 data centers think it's a sick joke to think that an entire rack of servers can be squeezed into 1U or less.
  7. And I, personally, find those to be weird. Stealth just isn't part of 'brute' to me at all. Energy aura has always felt to me like it was designed for stalkers, as far back as i6 drop. The addition of stealth to a brute just doesn't make thematic sense to me. Energy Cloak has always made me think 'What the heck's this stealth power doing bolted on to a defense set?' Likewise, Dark Armor has always seemed like a scrapper resist set to me, despite leveling a Dark/SS tank to 50 back in the day. The stealth always felt 'tacked on' and I often wished I could turn it off without losing the other benefits of the power. Ideally, IMO, a non-stealth MA defense set would take the form of something like Jujutsu dodging and throwing or Kempo Ukewaze blocking. Like I mentioned in my post, you could copy/paste several of the powers and call it done with almost no development effort. If you're feeling adventurous, you could tweak 'Blinding Powder''s effect into something like 'Choking Powder'.
  8. re: Ninjutsu on Brutes The whole POINT of Ninjutsu is to be stealthy or undetected so you can be a spy, an assassin, or a guerilla soldier. I can sort of maybe see stealthy scrappers and tanks, but it's tenuous. Brutes, on the other hand, are all about shock and awe. You go in as loudly and as violently as possible, and do as much damage as quickly and brutally as you can. Bruce Banner as the Hulk is the archetypical Brute. Juggernaut. Doomsday. Those kinda guys. Could there be a martial-arts defense set for brutes? Absolutely. It just wouldn't be Ninjutsu or Ninpo, even if you c/p'd some of the powers and certainly wouldn't offer any kind of stealth.
  9. SFMA - Story-focused Mission Architect. This is a tag that non-farm mission authors added and still add to their arcs to differentiate them from farms. Simply searching for the SFMA tag breaks through the crust of farms into the liquid core of quality Mission Architect content. When you create a new, story-focused arc, add SFMA to it. Likewise, encourage farmers to add the 'FARM' tag to their arcs to make them more easily findable. Farming exists. It's a thing. It's a human adaptation to the environment, so in any environment humans wind up in, game or RL, there will be those who want to farm it. In this case, intelligently using the tools given to us allows us to avoid a 'Tragedy of the Commons' situation where the interface is so clogged with farms it becomes unusable for anyone else.
  10. I verified this while participating in a Nemesis invasion today. The other AOE stealth power in the team was a stormy with Steamy Mist. I was a Darkness/Darkness controller. If I let Shadow Fall or Fade either one overlap with the Steamy Mist, Nemesis enemies quit spawning. As soon as I deactivated Shadow Fall or Fade expired, they started spawning again. There was speculation that AOE stealth in particular messes with invasion's player count for the 'spawn groups' mechanic, however we were not able to verify that.
  11. Untying Incarnate progress from iTrials is something I'd wish they'd done on the Live servers. I hated everything shifting to a 'now we must raid' paradigm. However, the power creep is real and detrimental. With the advent of 24/7 afk farming and endless passive experience, that means the game is absolutely full to brimming with level 50s who have no idea how to play their characters, yet are so powerful that all they need to do is spam their incarnate powers to survive anything outside 54x8 content. These are also, by consequence, the same people who simply cannot function exemplared in events like all the wonderful zombie invasions we've been having this last week. Case in point: I joined an 'Deadly Apocalypse' Halloween banner event team in Talos on Excelsior yesterday that managed to take down the banners and gm that followed. I figured that, as a 24ish fire blaster, my damage might help those who didn't already have the badges along. I then followed a small part of that league to Boomtown to tackle a zombie invasion. There was simply no point in me being there. The 50s spammed their Judgements and Lore pets, wiping out the zombies before the under-50s could land even a few ticks of damage. Even the EB 'Nightmare' zombies went down frequently in less than five seconds after they spawned. The same is true of the Rikti invasions and seemed to be true of the Nemesis invasions several weeks ago. Like others have said, the ship may have sailed. There's already a huge amount of 'damage' done. However, I can't help but wonder if making it somehow impossible to earn passive exp or even disallowing Veteran exp to be earned in AE wouldn't alleviate it a bit. (Queue *all* the farmers screeching in outrage at the suggestion.)
  12. From the mission 'Get sample from the Clockwork' given by Maggie Green. The 'Box of Parts' is actually a pile rather than a box.
  13. tl;dr: Add all zones to Ouro and remove the level restriction on the portal. Nerf enterbasefrompasscode so that it only works next to base portals. When I first started playing on Homecoming, one of the very first things I was shown on Excelsior by another helpful player was the p2w vendor and a macro for accessing the 'Cosmic Transport Platform', a universal Supergroup Base. "Do we not have regular SG bases any more?" "No, you still can have one, and all the items are free. There's no more prestige or anything like that. This is for players who don't belong to SGs or who don't feel like decorating bases." And, yes, it is broken, and probably should be eliminated as an exploit, especially when it removes the effort of 'Master' badges or is used as an ejector seat in PVP. However, it's not nearly as badly broken as many think, especially when you look at all the factors that affect zone-to-zone travel. Let's look at our current intra-zone travel methods: Trams, Ferries, and TUNNEL - Free, No teleport, instant travel to connecting zones. Ouroboros Portal - Free, 5m rech teleport, connects to Atlas, Talos, IP, FF, PI / Cap au Diable, Sharkhead Isle, Nerva Archipelago, St. Martial, Grandville, and Echo zones. Pocket D VIP Pass - Free or via p2w Purchase, 30m rech teleport, connects to KR, Talos, FF, Faultline / Port Oakes/ Sharkshead / St. Martial Base Transporter - 1m p2w purchase, 30m rech, instant travel to all zones if you've set up teleporters Mission Transporter - 1M p2w purchase, 30m rech, Direct-to-mission TP Team Transporter - 10M p2w purchase, 30m rech, Direct-to-mission TP The enterbasefrompasscode macro is by comparison, free, no recharge, instant travel to all zones When we compare the various transport methods, we see that there's a fairly mild curve to their use. The various long-recharge portals are differentiated in *when* you can acquire them, as measured by a player's wealth, rather than how often you can use them. The only times when enterbasefrompasscode is truly superior to the Oroborous Portal is when you want to travel to one of the few zones NOT on the connecting list, when you're finishing missions faster than 5m apiece, or, and this is the big one, you're under level 14 and can't use the Ouroboros portal. The first condition is going to cover teams that are doing missions or taskforce content that has them crossing zones frequently. On Live, before the advent of Team Teleporter, it was not uncommon for players on the same taskforce, say Citadel, Manticore, or Numina, to race each other, trying to figure out who knew their connections the best and who timed their powers to be used the best. The second condition applies to speed-runners. I think we can fairly safely assume that teams of dedicated speed-runners are going to shell out for the Mission Transporter and Team Transporter powers. An 8-person team, if they're careful and coordinate their power use, can transport from mission to mission a little less than every 4 minutes. The last condition targets players who are traveling between lowbie zones and doing the first few taskforces. If the game were not 16+ years old, and almost all the current playerbase is returning from the long sleep, I'd be tempted to say, 'well, new players *should* run from zone to zone so that they learn the way things connect.' In reality, I think that the player who doesn't know how everything connects is such a rare and special animal that they are, maybe, a little overwhelmed by how helpful the CoH community can be. Any question they have is almost immediately answered. There are three or four players willing to drop what they're doing and shepherd them along for the first few hours of gameplay. (Congratulations, City of Heroes! We've become so friendly, we've crossed the line between warm and creepy! That's not a bad accomplishment in my book!) So, anyway, with this comparison, the only real reasons that a person would feel *forced* to use the enterbasefrompasscode command is that they need something that: a.) provides reliable travel for characters at low levels or with low funds b) provides all the amenities of a LARGE supergroup base c) provides reliable travel to the handful of zones Ouroboros does not connect to. All these 'forced' conditions can be relieved by making a few tweaks to the Ouroboros zone, the Ouroboros portal, and Ouroboros portal power: First, change the Ouroboros zone so that it connects to all zones rather than a select handful. Second, change the Ouroboros portal so that it accepts all comers, regardless of levels. If a level 1 clicks on it, he'll be teleported to Ouroboros, regardless. Finally, and completely optionally, if you want to preserve the 'level limit' feel, only have the Ouroboros portal power activate if a player is level 14 or over. This way, if a team of all level 8s is together with no other travel options, then it may be in their best interest to hoof it to the tram. Otherwise, a single higher-level member of the team can summon a portal and grant them all access. Ouro was always intended to be available to all players, spreading virally. That level limit, initially 20, and now 14 doesn't really do anything to stop the 'spread', so to speak. All players can still eventually get the power with little effort. In my opinion, we're at the point that level limit should probably just be eliminated all together, especially since Ouro can be used to access Echo: Galaxy and Echo: Atlas, which are ideal places for low-level players to get in some quiet street-sweeping. Now that the 'forcing' conditions are relieved, the travel is happening after a 5 minute cooldown, we can set about making changes to enterbasefrompasscode to make it less of an exploit. I've seen a suggestion before that it would work only when next to a base portal... allowing bases to work as sort of extended coalition bases. That 'Cosmic Transport Platform' and other public transport bases will still be useful and used. Just, most people will want to use Ouroboros instead. If the changes are made to Ouroboros, this is really the only change that needs to happen to enterbasefrompasscode.
  14. These were small patches to the CityofHeroes exes, apparently. I saw them update myself.
  15. One of the things you DON'T want to do is make soloing any harder than it already is for team-oriented characters. Any kind of scaling HPs or defenses needs to be done with that in mind. You additionally don't want to discourage teaming at all, so creating any 'team-based nerfs' needs to be done extremely carefully. With that in mind, I think that the *right* way to address this problem is to add more content to the game in the form of new NPC enemies. We've seen a little bit of this work already in the form of Super Stunners bosses for Freaks. For those not familiar with them, Super Stunners discourage melee attacks in favor of ranged attacks by having a 'dark consumption' fueled rez. When defeated they drain all players within a short range, fueling their HP regeneration upon rez. The ideal way to defeat them is entirely from outside their drain range. That, of course, is almost impossible on most teams, meaning that you end up with a 'lingering' boss that has to be defeated a second time-- not that severe a penalty, but one that does slow down 'faceroll' teams-- like those who try to speed through Penny Yin's TF on higher difficulty, only to have strings of rezzed Freaks and Super-stunners causing serious problems from 'behind'. This same *style* of NPC could be added to most enemy groups. And by 'style', I don't necessarily mean an enemy that rezzes. Consider adding an enemy to each or even just most villain groups that breaks the mold when it comes to 'AoEs wiping out everything but bosses'. This could be in the form of enemies that have great AOE defense, but lousy ST defense. It could also be done with enemies that convert certain damage types to heals. For example, consider a hellion boss that converts a percentage of fire damage, one of the few AOE damage types available at low levels, to health. If you didn't want to single out just the fire AOEs at low levels, you could also add an 'Alternator Knight/Duke/Prince' enemy to the Clockwork roster that converts a percentage of energy damage to health. Another good example of enemies with anti-AOE features is the Praetorian Ghoul enemy group. Their 'heal others on death' ability makes them extremely dangerous to try to AOE down in larger groups. (Unfortunately, nobody groups against them since Praetorian content is so underutilized.) The general goal when adding new NPC types should be for most groups of 11 or more NPC enemies to leave a larger sprinkling of 'Didn't catch the AOEs' enemies behind that are, for whatever reason, easier for ST-types to take down. I think that adding new NPCs rather than adjusting existing NPCs removes the intense initial reaction from Players. (Holy crap! They buffed the @#$# out of Hellions!) The groups have only been changed slightly, affect solo players minimally, unless those solo players are playing at increased team sizes in normal missions, and serves to slow teams down to deal with lingering threats.
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