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  1. Condemning Croatoa, #17552 The contact is Veluta Lunata, who used to be one on Ghost Widow's top lieutenants, but fell out of favor when she caught her in a janitor's closet with all three of Black Scorpion's technicians. It seems that Arachnos has had it's eye on Croatoa of late, and wants to drive the ghosts and other supernatural creatures away so they can exploit it, kinda like Scooby-Doo in reverse. Most people know that Kyksie started out as a crimefighter, but it's been over six months since she was let go from the Freedom Phalanx Power Hour, and with money running short, she decides that 'hero' and 'villain' are just words. The Fir Bolg and the Tuatha have been fighting each other forever, but are now in peace talks, so we need to defeat the Eochai. Kyksie first enters a museum and steals a proton accelerator or something, then goes onto a farm, gathers up some Lost Soul allies, and smashes Eochai into small piles of putrid debris. Now, we need to capture Katie Hannon's soul. Kyksie first ventures into the countryside to smash a cauldron and burn some witches, then into a cave to defeat Mary MacComber and capture Katie, with Veluta's help. Finally, it's time to sink Croatoa into the spirit world. Kyksie heads to Salamanca, smashes a mailbox and a taco stand that were really magical wards, then defeats Ashley McKnight and War Witch and some other dudes. Upon returning, Croatoa has sunk into the spirit world, making room for a new strip mall and Starbucks. Condemning Croatoa is another well done arc, with solid writing and no time-wasters. My only nitpick is that, like the previous arc by this author, some of the dialog is a bit odd. Ashley McKight says "How do you like my pals, bub?" at one point, and War Witch says "Ah'm pretty near invulnerable when ah'm blastin'", or something like that.
  2. The contact is Arthur Crowne, sort of businessman type, who tells me that one of his employees was recently kidnapped by a squad of winged monkeys and spirited off to the Wicked Witch's castle, or something like that. Kyksie normally doesn't handle private cases, but money is running short after being let go from the Freedom Phalanx Power Hour, so she accepts. At the warehouse, Kyksie encounters the Monkey Gang, a custom group with about a dozen members, with various powersets and bios. She then pummels Borrowed Tech, rescues the hostage, and also frees X-23, a young female dragon. She also finds a barrel of pink goo, which is exactly the same shade of pink as Kyksie's leggings. This is not a coincidence because nothing is ever a coincidence. Borrowed Tech was just a pawn, the real player was a baddie named Draco Black. We head to his office, which is guarded by mercs from another custom group. Again, there are about a dozen types, with bios and varied powersets, although thugs is the most common. One is named "Street Meat", which tells me the author has never read the Urban Dictionary. We pummel the boss and read his files. Draco Black is also there; Kyksie made with the pummeling, but he fled at low health, running into an elevator and vanishing. Draco Black is really a dragon, and so is Crowne, and Black is making lots of little dragons, so we need to stop him. Off to the cloning lab map, where Kyksie smashes the cloning tubes, which I can only guess are sold at the Paragon City Costco. There is yet another custom group here, dragons. Then Kyksie pummels Black, who is not too hard. All EBs here are still EBs even if 'solo archvillains' is turned on. We run into X-23 again, who helps us fight this time. Kyksie notices that, like her, X-23 is also not wearing panties. This is not a coincidence because nothing is ever a coincidence. Too Many Coincidences is a top notch arc, with a well done story, copious text, and lot of attention to detail. Everyone go play it now.
  3. Yeah I just checked Discord again, this GM 0533 does not exist.
  4. The contact is Orb Weaver Zane, who says that even though I don't know him, he knows all about me, prompting Kyksie to check her shower for cameras again. Zane tells me that a prototype robot has been stolen, and he needs someone "loyal to Arachnos but not of Arachnos" to find it, which narrows the pool down to me and the hotdog vendors in Cap. I head out to Siren's Call and defeat a Freak named "Bottomizer", which sounds a bit homoerotic. He doesn't know anything about the prototype, but hmmmm, why are there Sky Raiders here? Then, off to the Sky Raider offshore base, where I 'liberate' some technology, and find a robot who joins me once I find it's controller. I name it Herbie. Pieing together the clues, Zane deduces that the robots are being made by the Rogue Robots on Striga Isle, and sold to villain groups across Paragon and the Rogue Isles. Kyksie ventures off to the Striga map and finds a huge robot sales exposition, with representatives from the Council, Crey, the Family, and Up-n-Away Burgers buying battle robots. I'm soon joined by two battle drones and one assault bot; I name then George, Curley and Lenny. Zane needs to examine the robots, so I lead them back to the Arachnos Flyer. As we approach the handoff point, Curley pauses and looks up. "These people, they're not going to take me apart... right?" Kyksie is unable to meet his robotic gaze, turning away and trudging back to the transport. We need to find the prototype, so Kyksie heads to a warehouse, gathers a small army of robot allies whom I name after the Partridge Family, and pummels Col. Duray, then a 'volta'. Oddly, Danny and Suzanne turn hostile at that point but do not attack me. After that, Zane pieces together the clues and determines that Vandal is behind the robot army. I like arcs where the contact is more than "duhhhh, bad guys over there". Anyway, the player heads out to the base and encounters Hess, who is now a brain in a robot body, them clobbers "Vandal II", also a robotic brain. Lots and lots of non-required glowies provide background. Robolution is a very well done arc, with excellent writing, a plausible plot, and lots of attention to detail. My only real issue is that some of the dialog is... odd. For example, at one point Zane greets the player with "Goodness, $name. You really have uncovered something deliciously intriguing here!" And, when low on health, Col. Duray shouts "My oh my!" Of all the possible things that Duray might say during combat, "My oh my!" is not high on the list. I was almost expecting him to exclaim "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" upon defeat.
  5. OK so this is set in a Starbucks in space, at least I'm guessing, because it's a rocky asteroid with a weird tower thing with glowing runes, which I can only assume is the steamed milk dispenser or something. You click a glowie and then Karen pops out, actually a dozen, from a custom group, but as far as I can tell there's only one type. After beating them all, the next mission is the same map with the same premise, so I quit there. This arc is one gag spread out over four maps. Pass.
  6. This is a simple one mission arc, where a dude tells you some terrorists have taken over an office and he can't afford their ransom demands, which implies that you, the player, must work for cheap, maybe for ten bucks and a hot dog or something. Anyway, we go into an office and encounter "terrorists", a custom group with varied powersets but generic bios. The player needs to clear out the map, disarm four bombs, and rescue two hostages, which is kind of a lot. He should have at least given me a Coke to wash down the hot dog. There's nothing wrong with Office Attack, it's just very bland and low effort. No clues, no contact bio, very little mob chatter.
  7. True but Granite also makes you more invulnerable than anything else, hands down. It's a worthwhile trade. Maybe give a bit of a buff to the armors that can't be used with granite.
  8. Just remove the movement restrictions. Simple and easy.
  9. You could just make Equip and Upgrade passive powers that are already applied. They already did that on the "we're not 4chan, honest" server.
  10. The contents of the data are irrelevant: the fact that it exists is all that matters. In the US and many parts of Europe, companies are required to notify past and present customers if any of their data is compromised, or face a lawsuit. The state that the customer lives in determines which laws apply, forcing companies to wade through a patchwork of state laws. Up until now, the character data has only been in the hands of a shadowy group that no one can pin down, so NC can deny any knowledge of it. However, if the character data were to become public, NC would be forced to inform all their customers via email that they had been the victim of a data breach. Because NCSoft is an Asian company, a loss of face like this would force all the senior executives to commit seppuku or go on an honor quest or something. Even worse, if the main customer database has been thrown away (a reasonable possibility, since having it around would present a target to hackers) they would be unable to inform their ex-customers, leaving them open to lawsuits. Even though this data is completely worthless- no one cares how many LotGs Mistress Babyfurs had at shutdown or what color her panties were (ok maybe a few people care about that last one)- it could still lead to a huge and messy case. The ideal solution would be for the Secret Team to reach an agreement with NC where they "give" us the character data (which might include extras like bases and AE missions) but I really don't see that happening.
  11. "Get pass the firewall" instead of "past". A few others I can't remember.
  12. Tried this again yesterday. The first two arcs are the same; the third is the jungle map with the ziggurat in the center, where Chimera appears in the Maria Jenkins mission. Here, the player is tasked with destroying a sensor, which appears to be a stone spire. However, after slaughtering all mobs and smashing all the other spires, I was left with the "Active" one, which gave me 'Invalid Target' when I tried to zap it, and could not be damaged by AoEs or any other means. I tried it *twice*, with different characters, and the result was the same. At this point, it is obvious that the author does not playtest his arcs at all. I have zero interest in playing whatever comes next and neither should anyone else.
  13. Moonstar Ultimate is the author's latest mission, #18616. The mission is locked at level 51. The contact is "Celeste Moonstar", who tasks the player with gathering up the "Incarnates", who are not incarnates in the CoH sense, but members of a supergroup. Or maybe they are Incarnates, I dunno. Anyway, the player rescues a bunch of guys, some of whom are the author's characters. Every map contains a custom enemy group with varied powersets and costumes, although some have generic bios. So then we have to go Celeste's home planet where the head badguy is imprisoned in a computer, but he broke out. Then we go to a city street where lots of guys are fighting, may of whom are catgirls. Some are on your side and some not, resulting in a number of... wait for it... catfights. Then we go rescue the Space Police, then off to the Longbow Base map to liberate a Chaser loaded with catnip or something. I was on my third doobie by then so I might have gotten a few details wrong, but eh. There are a lot of EB/AVs, but none are too hard, and you usually have catgirl allies. If you enjoy hot catgirl-on-catgirl action, this is the AE for you. My only nitpick is a few spelling errors.
  14. The Live devs were planning something along those lines, to reduce the need to grind out Accolade badges. For example, if a character got the Slayer badge for 200 Vampires, then all other characters on that account would need 20% less vampires. If someone got the Task Force Commander Accolade, other characters on the account would need only 5 of the 6 Task Forces to get the accolade.
  15. I was the one who played the first arc. It was pretty well written, although it's hard to tell what the contact was saying. Also, the arc didn't run with the concept of a hero who is also the spokesman for a gum company. She could, say, capture a bank robber and shout her catchphrase 'Hope the charges STICK this time!" Ominous Horizons starts out the same way, although Double Mint is wearing a different costume. The Circle is up to something, so we go into the Shadow Shard and talk to Dr. Huxley. who tells us that she has discovered a new variety of Kora Fruit which is orange. Upon seeing the fruit, Double Mint forgets all about the Circle and begins planning a new flavor of gum, Orange Kora Blast, and assigns the player to go around Paragon City putting up billboards for it. At least I assume that's what she does, because I couldn't get to the final missions. The third mission sends the player to the Nemesis Shadow Shard map and tasks them with destroying a sensor, but I couldn't find it anywhere, and gave up after 15 minutes of scouring the map. I found the cave and rescued a nameless mystic, but no glowie. Please, people, don't use any of the Shadow Shard maps in AE, they're all poorly designed and hard to navigate. Anyway, Ominous Horizons probably concludes with the player battling a hundred foot tall Incarnate powered Gum Golem in the middle of Steel Canyon while a fleet of Rikti dropships fly overhead and Ride of the Valkyries plays, so I'll give it five stars for having such a badass ending.
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