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Techwright

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  1. The discussion about potential new grinding/rewards concepts here got me wondering... In theory only, what would a cooperative zone unlocking event look like in a CoH/V interpretation? For example, look to the Ahn'Qiraj zone unlocking challenge in World of Warcraft. In that game, there's a ton of grinding, and questing, if I recall correctly, for the server to fill up quotas to unlock a massive new zone, with several special rewards in the process. But grinding for cloth doesn't seem like a COH/V kind of thing. So just for kicks, how would the forumites envision such a thing working here? Would we need one zone (purple), or two? By two I'd think one unlocked by blueside and that's more heavily blueside but with redside opportunities, and vice-versa for red (this might stimulate redside play). Do we save up salvage, crafted enhancements, or a mix with maybe a few other things? what would an unlocked zone have and look like in COH/V? Looking for creative ideas. (Note, this is strictly speculative. I'd never ask this of the Homecoming team.)
  2. Gladiator? He's Shi'ar Imperial Guard by political alignment, though not Shi'ar by species. He's also known as Kallark.
  3. Time to dig out the thesaurus and find synonyms for "thesaurus". A teammate of Bionic Flea, perhaps? Well, if we're going to dissect the potential parts of a name, rather than pitch names, let me review my list: 1. The "Chocolate in the Peanut Butter" naming scheme: Ace Barnstormer - one of my OG characters. I was frustrated because I couldn't use "Ace", then frustrated because I couldn't use "Barnstormer", and I really wanted a character based on the biplane era. Rather than continue to seek a one word name, I found the solution was actually a cooler name than its parts. 2. Portmanteau - that's just a $5 word for taking 2 or more words and blending them to create a new one that rolls off the tongue. My light hero's name "Lumineon" is an example, using "luminous" and "neon", both references to light. Portmanteaus are actually more common than you'd imagine. Examples pulled from the web include "cosplay" (costume + roleplay), "prequel" (previous + sequel), and "sitcom" (situational + comedy) 3. Puns - I've a water sentinel, an aged hippy whose mindset is more tuned into the Summer of Love than the Year of the Pandemic. So of course I named him "Aged of Aquarius". I've had a lot of laughs from other "seasoned" players with that one, though it's kind of shocking how many players apparently are unaware of the song. Regardless, puns can work for names. "Panda-emic" anyone? 4. L33T-speak? Street-speak? I'm not quite sure how to title this one, but modern culture has produced some rather curious new words and texting methods in an effort to communicate faster in text. My fire/ice blaster needed something modern and different, so he took the name "Grill N Chill" (I should note that it was also heavily influence when seeing a sign at the Dairy Queen, though not truly identical) 5. Street signs, business signs, business names - see the end of point #4. Note, you'll probably want to modify the name slightly, or mix things up by using one of the previous points in combination with this. Mine's similar but definitely a bit different to DQ's sign. I've seen a few "iCharacter" type names around, a clear homage to Apple products, but different enough that they maintain their independence. Not just noble titles but titles in general. My "Cmdr Ray Gunn" uses an old-style abbreviation for "commander" since the full word made the name too long. (From what I'm told the abbreviation is still in use in some parts of the world.) I probably should have used "CDR", but Ray is supposed to be emulating a 1930s serial movie hero, so the older style just felt better.
  4. Quoted for truth. Grinding is a game killer, and that opinion has been widely documented in gaming forums spanning the globe. Now to be constructive, I personally would be more at ease with a reward for constructive effort, something that advances my character, rather than just mindless "go there, kill that" or "go there, collect that". One such example in game (or at least in the original game) was the blue-side awarding of epaulets for completing the 6 Freedom Phalanx task forces. That takes hours, teaming, and a lot of work, but it advances the character. Your character gains influence and experience, and storywise, just helped save the city 6 times over. And he/she/"small furry creature from Alpha Centauri" was not strapped to a corner of the city playing Whack-A-Troll whenever the game finally generated one where you'd already defeated dozens. The cape-issuing missions in the original game could be perceived this way as well, as was the Midnighter's Club access missions. I'd also suggest it should never be a single item, but rather a selection in a "store". If I'm playing a barbarian character, for example, chances are, I don't need a pair of epaulets. So why do some crazy grind just to get them? I won't, you see. But I would be willing to take on the Twelve Tasks of Hercules to gain access to a selection, where I can pick one item, like say a nice pair of bearskin bracers, while another guy picks high-tech gloves with LED filament lighting, and a third acquires a new alligator skin-type to benefit a reptilian character. We see something like this in the original game, but using a specifically earned "currency" doing specific missions and events, for Vanguard rewards at the Rikti War Zone. I'm also a fan of the "packet of rewards" idea, if I can coin a phrase. Going back to the Freedom Phalanx missions to explain. Completing all these in the original game gave these rewards: epaulets, a badge, the title of "Task Force Commander", and nicest of all, a permanent 5% increase to your characters maximum hit points. With this, I may never use the epaulets on my character, but I might be a "badger", happy to show off a new shiny by changing my title, and feel really good about having permanently boosted my hit points. So I'd feel good about this despite being unable to work with one of the four rewards given. And I never felt I was grinding (well except in Synapse and Citadel task forces, but poor task force design is a different matter). Not entirely accurate. Many of the badges, most notably the day job badges, have additional, useful effects that come in the earning of them, such as temporary boosts to health, power, or resistence, or a temporary power such a teleportation to the auction house (which in the original game was useful as an alternate fast transportation method). As previously mentioned, the Task Force Commander badge permanently boosts max hit points by 5%. I believe there are others, though I'm not going to go looking for them all at this moment. I do think an argument could be made for applying some sort of reward on more badges.
  5. Sable Drift is an awesome name! Poetic in sound, and it feels like a special ops code name. Quite a mouthful. I'm guessing you're a fan of the name "The Elongated Man"? Okay, I love doing name design. So just to clarify for my tired, aging brain: what are we shooting for here? Just creating a bunch of synonyms that folks can mix 'n match, or building lists of names to toss to the crowd, or waiting for someone to say "help" and give us their character concept?
  6. I was collecting comics and trading cards about that time. The 1990s were the speculative, collectable era in so many things (glaring a you, beanie babies), and comics were at the top of the list. As I dimly recall, the glut came from two publishing house realizations: there were a bunch of new, impressionable collectors out there (such as I), and Marvel's foil-enhanced covers (originally a rare treat) were selling well to these new collectors. The end result was a speculation disaster. The mainstream comic houses began focusing more on special artwork covers or special effects covers (or both), and less on solid story writing. Suddenly, you'd have large printings with multiple cover issues for the same story (collect them all!), and the newbie collectors would gobble them up thinking they'd be worth something someday. It was a cheap move on the part of the comic houses, and a serious rookie mistake on the part of us newbie collectors. When realization of what happened eventually set in (along with emptied wallets), collecting stopped, and the market more or less crashed. A similar thing was happening at the same time with trading cards of all kinds. I'd noticed that overnight small comic and card shops had sprung up everywhere (my roommates and I did one for a while at a flea market), and there seemed to be at least one card-and-comics trading show within 150 miles any given weekend. Now, my 1-million+ person, east coast region has about 10 comic shops in 100 miles, and most of those heavily supplement with other merchandise, like games. The 1990s saw a lot of indie comic publishers either begin or hit their stride, leading to more speculation, and emptier wallets. Image Studios started at this time. (Side note: I just spotted my copies of the first 4 issues of WildC.A.T.S. the other day. Not worth anything, sadly.) It's interesting that it was from those startups that I collected, not for speculation, but just for a good read. I was into Valiant Comics (many of the characters were reboots of Gold Key characters), and NOW Comics for it's interesting take on Green Hornet & Kato as a multi-generational teamup of Reids & Katos. That said, although there was a lot of trashy stories being put out, there were still some good ones, and there were iconic ones (not necessarily one and the same). KnightFall and The Death of Superman were among the biggest. I personally really got into the X-Men's Age of Apocalypse storyline.
  7. My first: Fluffy My last: Trixie
  8. I was just telling a relative that, in the 1980s, shoes used to be relatively cheaply priced (but better made). Sturdy materials, clean lines, but not flashy. Then one day, this crazy company released the first Air Jordans, charged an outrageous price and people went nuts clamoring for them. After that, other shoe companies decided they'd like a piece of that pie, lots of knock offs came out, also jacked to ridiculous prices, and overnight, a reasonably price shoe market start breaking people's piggy banks. All because of some shoes with some fancy endorsement. They didn't even self-lace!
  9. Why do science types always jump to the application and not consider the consequences? They think it's cool that you can make locks with it. What happens when someone rents a shed uses the lock, then dies or abandons it? The shed owners are going to have to maul their own property to remove the lock. Same with sports lockers. And if a bicycle does have to be impounded for some reason, the same with it. I'm wondering if lasers cut it, even if very slowly. If so, I wonder if it might have applications as a sharpened blade. We might have the basis for future heroic katanas right here.
  10. I have no team loyalty to anyone, but speaking as a native South Carolinian, whose boss used to play football for the USC Gamecocks, Cleveland will NOT want this particular name. The jokes get really stale, really fast. And a nearby tiger team will not have the good grace to know when they've carried on too long and stop issuing them (pointing to Detroit, but glaring at Clemson). On the plus side, the closer you get to the Tiger team, the more freely they pass around the fried chicken. So there's that... Oh, and unless you want people to start chucking shoes at the players, I'd pass on the name "spiders" as well.
  11. I'd be willing to have it as a temporary costume option, like what we get trick-or-treating. Instead of an NPC costume, we get a distortion.
  12. You sure her name is not Wednesday? wow.
  13. Yeah, pockets/pouches and straps seemed to be the costume element of choice in the 1990s when I was collecting. I would note two things: 1) new characters were still being created with capes, some of them prominent: Spawn, Spiderman 2099, Fabian Cortez and the Alcolytes, villain Phantasm (in an animated Batman movie. more of a cloak there). Lesser known characters like Malibu Comics' Prime also sported capes. Reduced cape creation, but not an all-out effort to abandon the item. 2) "New ways" often included using another costuming item as a pseudo-cape, and were drawn that way. Gambit's duster coat, Jubilee's overcoat, and that of NOW Comics' version of the Green Hornet are all examples of this. But so were shorter items like jackets worn by Rogue, Superboy, Static, etc. These sometimes had a flow drawn in them that resembled short capes. Then there are ponchos, like one that Cable sometimes wore pushed back over the shoulders, the hooded poncho of the X-Cutioner, or even the security poncho of David Dunn in the movie "Unbreakable". There were also the very curious streamer costume elements in the 1990's which flowed off characters like extremely skinny capes. Sometimes they were attached to the back, sometimes to places where they flowed down the back, cape-like. And lastly, there were sometimes when even a body or form might be drawn cape-like, usually from some fluid or shape changing creature. These were, admittedly, rarer, but I think the various Venom symbiotes were drawn this way at times. The point is, despite looking for new looks for characters, the artists seemed often drawn back to the elements of the cape, if not a true cape itself.
  14. Why do I suddenly have a craving for an orange creamsicle? I'd no idea you were going to bring up red as an unorthodox selection for an ice character, but that's exactly what I did in early June for this one, so here he is as example. I got the idea to not focus on the ice, per se, but on a product known for being ice cold. The white had nothing to do with ice and everything to do with product recognition. The "ice green" was chosen less for being about ice, and more for being similar to the green tint of the classic cola bottles. The result is something that I hoped would resemble (slightly) a real-world product known for being served ice-cold in America.
  15. This actually reminded me of a Marvel characters debate from about 30 years ago. I stopped collecting about 20 years ago, and I've not heard this usage since. It goes like this: Born with a mutation? Mutant. Mutation after birth? Mutate. So by those definitions, most of the X-men would be "mutants". Spiderman and Hulk would be "mutates", or as you assert here, science origin. (And don't get me started on what Marvel's Inhumans would be: born with an alien gene which was forced into the gene pool at some distant past, but requiring an alchemical process to activate. Hmm...)
  16. So true! I've created a couple of characters that way. Excellent point.
  17. Was waiting for the Blue Steel as "Chuck Norris" lines. I was not disappointed. Haven't seen those in three or four raccoons' ages.
  18. You mean the Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles? Because Teenage Natural Ninja Turtles and Teenage Science Ninja Turtles just don't have the same ring to them.
  19. I suspect the "clean lines" look is what sold the judges. I know from past discussions that some prefer there to be more than 2 colors in a costume, so in that sense I'm surprised, but I've pulled off a couple of 2-color costumes and still get stopped by gawkers. I think those also appeal due to "clean" lines. There's some great feedback on this thread. Were this still the "live" game, I'd be pointing out the thread to the costume developers saying something like "See? Take note: Less spandex, more leather, and up-to-date fashions."
  20. Yes, but does it have an immortal Scottish-accented, Spanish-named, Egyptian metallurgist as mentor? I suspect not. Sooo...
  21. Really enjoyed this discussion of the topic, Sir Myshkin, though all contributions so far have been good. (Nice looking costume, Troo, though I'm confused how that makes an answer to the OP. Still, great balance of white, gold, and pastels.) Happy to hear more views on the OP, and the bonus question is still out there: Does a shift in anyone's costuming tastes since COH premiered now affect how they judge others costuming choices during costume contests?
  22. No yellow/brown or yellow/blue spandex. No tight shorts worn over the rest of the costume. NO Capes! Have these and other costuming decisions brought to the big screen over the past 2 decades dramatically affected your choice of character costuming? I remember capes being a big thing early on in COH, especially since there was a mission to earn the right to wear them. Now I see fewer of them and more leather-type looks probably than classic spandex. Did X-Men movies and Edna Mode really get into our collective superhero costume psyche? Or have there been other influences, like say anime & manga, or even just real-life fashion changes? What drives people's superhero costuming tastes, and what, if anything has changed for your approach to costume design over the years? Bonus Question: Does any change in your thinking affect your decision making when viewing a costume contest?
  23. I've no idea what's involved for devs with inserting an arena into the landscape, but it seems to me that a low/medium accessible arena could only benefit that overpass wasteland of meh buildings known as Skyway City. And hey, looky there! You've got the road system to handle sports-day crowds.
  24. I'd heard several fans comment that the Ori storytelling just wasn't up to the Goa'uld level of stories. The problem, of course, is that they've eliminated all the System Lords. I've long thought the solution lies in taking a page from SG: Atlantis, specifically the Asgard. If you want Goa'uld, bring in an offshoot never seen before. Specifically, a group of Goa'uld who didn't care for Ra, packed up their bags and headed far, far away (back to that in a moment). Now they are returning, perhaps having learned of the vacuum created by the System Lords' demise, and true to their nature, have parasitically acquired technology to rival that of the Four Races. As to where they've been, somewhere beyond the normal Milky Way Stargate system. I was made aware a few years back that the Milky Way is not entirely on its own. Apparently there are dwarf galaxies intersecting or immediately adjacent, and that they're mostly red star galaxies. Red stars imply ancient worlds to sci-fi writers. I'd suggest that these wandering Goa'uld investigate one or more of these, and find their new tech and power there, either by conquest or finding long dead societies and retro-engineering their works. That raises the stakes for SG command who have Asgard tech, but now find the playing field at least leveled.
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