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The Warriors are boring - is that a problem?


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25 minutes ago, Draeth Darkstar said:


Also, as far as peoples' image of the Warriors being "all natural," that's not really accurate to what the lore has always said. Also from the original lore: "The Warriors’ martial skills are also seemingly enhanced by some exposure to magical energies. Nowhere is this enhancement clearer than among the bosses, although some suspect that the lieutenants and even some of the street soldiers have also benefited from a magical blessing. The Smasher Elite, Slasher Elite, and Hewer Elite are not only expert fighters, but are magically tough and resilient. Inexperienced heroes may be surprised the first time they land a powerful blow to see the Warrior laugh it off and strike back just as hard... Rumors suggest a man named Odysseus founded the Warriors after he stole a magical artifact from a defeated hero, or possibly did a favor for the Circle of Thorns, or even sold his soul to an Arachnos mystic. To date he has remained hidden, directing his soldiers from the highest levels."

 

The AE description states: "After making a deal with a demon prince, David Odysseus Hill formed one of the most powerful gang forces in Paragon City. In fact, he now leads the coalition of gangs known as Smuggler's Run. All of the Warriors gain power by drinking from an ancient mystical urn given to Odysseus by the demon. It is whispered around Paragon City that the urn is connected to the Well of the Furies. With his own highly trained fighting force adding the muscle provided by the Hellions and Outcasts, this group is a threat to take over all gang activity in Paragon City. "

 

Calling them a "purely Natural" group is very, very disingenuous.

All strong points. But I think you mean “inaccurate” where you’re using disingenuous. I don’t think people are intentionally misrepresenting the Warriors. They may just may not know all the Lore.

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4 minutes ago, cranebump said:

All strong points. But I think you mean “inaccurate” where you’re using disingenuous. I don’t think people are intentionally misrepresenting the Warriors. They may just may not know all the Lore.

That's fair. It wasn't intended to be critical.

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6 hours ago, Glacier Peak said:

I would dig having gender diversification with the Warrior enemy group. It's funny that I didn't even realize that their weren't any female enemies in the group until it was brought up in this thread, but now I'm thinking about what other groups are lacking in villainous diversity. That being said, I would hope it's not just a gimmick, but like @Piecemealalluded to, perhaps a strong willed woman leads an offshoot or splinter faction vying for mystic/magically imbued artifacts that can either tie in via story arc or be able to stand on their own in an appropriate zone like First Ward, or maybe even Cimerora.

 

Edit: I just wanted to add I love the work @Piecemeal did with the Vazhiloks, Freaks, and Freakloks. MORE OF THIS PLEASE!!!!

How about the Amazons , whole female Tribe of Warriors (going the Classic way like in Xena, not the DC Approach).

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1 hour ago, Soyuz said:

I hadn't known that and it's disappointing, actually. They basically are Hellions 2.0.

Yeah I agree, that is disappointing. I actually remember reading this lore at some point, but I must have rejected it and replaced it with my own headcanon because it was so boring.

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4 hours ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

Notice what's missing there? Gender. The Warriors are the exact type of dudebro cult that I have always thought to have intentionally been written as sexist. They're obsessed with the ancient Greeks, after all - an extremely misogynistic society. As much as I am completely, 100% for diversity of all types, I would hate to see it added in a retcon instead of a plot development. This is a perfect opportunity to make a point out of prejudice being a weakness.

I very strongly agree with this.

 

(I always think it's funny when people approach villains like, oh, sure, they murder, rape, rob and try to bring about the destruction of the earth, but they don't discriminate.  That would just be too awful!)

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5 minutes ago, Grouchybeast said:

I very strongly agree with this.

 

(I always think it's funny when people approach villains like, oh, sure, they murder, rape, rob and try to bring about the destruction of the earth, but they don't discriminate.  That would just be too awful!)

We also have the misandrist equivalent in the Knives of Artemis. Are they getting diversified too?

I would like to see female Warriors modeled on Atalanta, Hippolyta, or other awesome Greek heroines, however. There should be no discrimination within the Warriors. Against outsiders, sure.

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7 minutes ago, Take One said:

We also have the misandrist equivalent in the Knives of Artemis. Are they getting diversified too?

Probably not, unless you count getting taken over and destroyed by Mot as diversification.  I guess they diversified into snake tails and bird feet.

 

I always loved the Knives.  It's rumoured that they number no more that 100 individuals!  What, did the 100 I defeated on the first level of the map all get better and run upstairs to be the next 100?

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5 minutes ago, Grouchybeast said:

Probably not, unless you count getting taken over and destroyed by Mot as diversification.  I guess they diversified into snake tails and bird feet.

 

I always loved the Knives.  It's rumoured that they number no more that 100 individuals!  What, did the 100 I defeated on the first level of the map all get better and run upstairs to be the next 100?

There are other all-female groups. The witches of Croatoa. The aforementioned Furies. Even the Carnival of Shadows, since the Strongmen aren't alive. 

I'm not saying that all villain groups need to be sexist, but some of them might be... I mean, isn't it more satisfying to punch sexists than normal people? Most of us enjoy punching nazis after all.

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On the topic of representation in game, I think it's way past about time we actually had the female Soldiers and male Widows showing up in the ranks of the NPC Arachnos.  THAT one is fully supported by the Lore and gameplay.

 

For the Warriors  . . . yeah, they're dudebros.  I can see plenty of them being dull-witted enough to disagree with gender diversification.  Another reason for a schism, honestly.  

And thanks for bringing up the official Lore, @Draeth Darkstar.  It emphasizes why I proposed the schism in the first place.  Even if the Old Warriors and New Warriors don't have a full blown civil war, it's clear that there's a difference between what they preach and what they do.

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5 hours ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

If you decide to do this, please make a plot point out of it instead of it just suddenly being different.

 

From the original City of Heroes site description of the group (preserved here) "The Warriors are a fierce street gang in Paragon City. They operate primarily out of the Talos Island and Striga Isle zones. Their membership is wide and varied, and they don’t seem to discriminate based on ethnicity, race, or religion. The one common trait that all members share is the ability to fight and to fight well."

 

Notice what's missing there? Gender. The Warriors are the exact type of dudebro cult that I have always thought to have intentionally been written as sexist. They're obsessed with the ancient Greeks, after all - an extremely misogynistic society. As much as I am completely, 100% for diversity of all types, I would hate to see it added in a retcon instead of a plot development. This is a perfect opportunity to make a point out of prejudice being a weakness.

 

Also, as far as peoples' image of the Warriors being "all natural," that's not really accurate to what the lore has always said. Also from the original lore: "The Warriors’ martial skills are also seemingly enhanced by some exposure to magical energies. Nowhere is this enhancement clearer than among the bosses, although some suspect that the lieutenants and even some of the street soldiers have also benefited from a magical blessing. The Smasher Elite, Slasher Elite, and Hewer Elite are not only expert fighters, but are magically tough and resilient. Inexperienced heroes may be surprised the first time they land a powerful blow to see the Warrior laugh it off and strike back just as hard... Rumors suggest a man named Odysseus founded the Warriors after he stole a magical artifact from a defeated hero, or possibly did a favor for the Circle of Thorns, or even sold his soul to an Arachnos mystic. To date he has remained hidden, directing his soldiers from the highest levels."

 

The AE description states: "After making a deal with a demon prince, David Odysseus Hill formed one of the most powerful gang forces in Paragon City. In fact, he now leads the coalition of gangs known as Smuggler's Run. All of the Warriors gain power by drinking from an ancient mystical urn given to Odysseus by the demon. It is whispered around Paragon City that the urn is connected to the Well of the Furies. With his own highly trained fighting force adding the muscle provided by the Hellions and Outcasts, this group is a threat to take over all gang activity in Paragon City. "

 

Calling them a "purely Natural" group is very, very disingenuous inaccurate.

Well, thanks to AE, now I have ANOTHER wrench to fish out.

 

Edit: And I was never going to retcon. 😄

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I'm not a fan of that AE description for Odysseus either, btw. HOWEVER. I have a duty to preserve the legacy of this game, and *someone* at Paragon wrote that at some point, perhaps out of ignorance or perhaps out foreshadowing, either way, I have to honor it and write plot that either clarifies or debunks it. But I won't go in and retcon that description. Demon deals... one with Oranbega and one with Johnny Sonata is plenty. I don't want a hat trick on this one.

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Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


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5 hours ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

Greeks, after all - an extremely misogynistic society

Misogyny of a different flavor, perhaps. Rather than outright demeaning women, they just didn't care much about them or elevate them. In other words, they weren't thought about at all. To the ancient Greek, the man was the ideal form and women just existed in their shadow, not worth devoting brain space to. Though there is something to be said that even the Amazons, a group of warrior women that were said to be the equal of any man in combat, would often be depicted as still losing to men when directly challenged but that's about as far as their art goes to "put women in their place", as it were. Women just weren't on the minds of the ancient Greek most of the time.

 

It makes sense then, to me, that the Warriors, which are based on ancient Greek lore, wouldn't have women around. It's not that they think women are weak, though: it's that they don't think about women enough to see anything wrong with having none around. Your requirement of updating the lore for the Warriors to include women in their ranks would essentially be required, and on that I agree. Although, while writing this out, I decided that it would be better for the Warriors to remain male exclusive and instead have a "spurned" woman who wasn't admitted create a splinter-group of women-only Warriors... Amazons, if you will. Have them steal some of the water the Warriors drink, give them a bit more emphasis on using magical gear than the Warriors, whatever makes the most sense for what is essentially just a genderswapped version of the Warriors.

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Just to note about powers: weapons are considered natural, and Warriors use them.

 

Greeks used, well, Greek Fire. We have Arsonists and Demolitionists in the game. There are web projectiles already (grenades and arrows), could someone just throw a web directly? Probably with a shorter range.

 

Between fire bombs, webs, Caltrops, Leadership, and Presence (Taunt from a high-resistance mob that's otherwise not dangerous so you'd prefer to leave it for last can be very effective). Greeks used shields, that could be something to add to them, especially with Shield Charge. Or Spring Attack (as mentioned) for some of those who don't have shields. Battle shouts like the Cimerorians, or a battle standard that is planted like a DE emanator and gives Leadership buffs around it. Stealth and Perception abilities can also mess with character plans.

 

There are all sorts of inventive ways to make combat with them more interesting, without having to leave the area of powers that look Natural.

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@Draeth Darkstar Thank you for that deep dive.

 

I am running on feeling here (which is dangerous), but I feel like the AE description is basically blasting open what's supposed to be a huge reveal.

 

What I mean here is that I would imagine this is such a closely guarded secret that the low level soldiers don't know - even those who drank as part of their ceremony.  I can't imagine this upends the whole notion of training and being their best - but it certainly does tell you they aren't above using anything for an edge!

 

Taking it a step further, one thing I don't think is established (if anyone knows if this is exposed in-game, let me know the arc please!) Is who all knows about Ozzy's deal with a devil? I would assume he would hide this, since that truth would undermine his rule (instead of Protector of the Urn, he is That Demon's Bitch).

 

I again want to reiterate, I'm musing at this point.  There certainly are enough signs they focus on their own might first and care only for outside influences insofar as they make them, individually, stronger, so I still think we're on a good path.

 

Random other thought: a lot about this keeps making me think of the Luddites. A bunch of magic/normies eschewing advanced technology, right?  Sounds pretty similar, though how compatible they are for a merger is up to how you read them.

Luddites are the product of a kindly old man spirit whispering to a guy to destroy a power plant that's feeding off a demon inside mount Diable.  

If you read that as "the old man is the demon, and its interest is in not having its power stolen," then suddenly you have this (same?) Demon creating two orders of semi-magical anachronistic warriors, almost like the guy's got a brand.

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It really is a bizarre choice that somebody decided to drop that big reveal in the AE description. As far as I know, it's never referenced anywhere else, and I'm pretty sure the only appearance Odysseus makes in-game is his MKSF debut. I do think the way that one ends makes it pretty apparent that whoever wrote it (Probably Sean McCann? I think he was the one working on the redside revitalization) had plans to continue that story, but never got the chance because of the sunset. It does add a second tie to the Warriors into the Incarnate lore, so maybe what they were going for was to retcon them out of using magical enhancements and into pursuing Incarnate powers, but that's just speculation. It might be a more interesting way to take them than Better Hellions, at least?

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4 minutes ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

I'm pretty sure the only appearance Odysseus makes in-game is his MKSF debut

 

He also appears as an AV in the Night Ward arc of the Nameless Sorcerer named Pazzuzu.

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5 hours ago, Piecemeal said:

I'm not a fan of that AE description for Odysseus either, btw. HOWEVER. I have a duty to preserve the legacy of this game, and *someone* at Paragon wrote that at some point, perhaps out of ignorance or perhaps out foreshadowing, either way, I have to honor it and write plot that either clarifies or debunks it. But I won't go in and retcon that description. Demon deals... one with Oranbega and one with Johnny Sonata is plenty. I don't want a hat trick on this one.

Does an AE description have any definitive value, though?  The AE exists in-world (built by Dr Aeon's company,,,with Crey funding...), which presumably means the interface exists in-world, which means that the AE descriptions exist in-world, too.  The description for Odysseus was probably slapped together by some underpaid Aeon Corporation intern who wanted to leave early on a Friday and figured that no one would ever bother checking their work.  Lots of people get their powers from demons, right?  Sure, sounds fine.  They'd probably just done a week of work-shadowing at the PTS in Cap.

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1 hour ago, Grouchybeast said:

Does an AE description have any definitive value, though?  The AE exists in-world (built by Dr Aeon's company,,,with Crey funding...), which presumably means the interface exists in-world, which means that the AE descriptions exist in-world, too.  The description for Odysseus was probably slapped together by some underpaid Aeon Corporation intern who wanted to leave early on a Friday and figured that no one would ever bother checking their work.  Lots of people get their powers from demons, right?  Sure, sounds fine.  They'd probably just done a week of work-shadowing at the PTS in Cap.

Oh man, I hadn't thought of it that way! It makes me think that a story arc where a flustered intern (standing near the AE building) flags down a local "freelancer" (player character) in Cap Au Diable to perform some surveillance on some villain group's activities to satisfy the unreasonable demands of the intern's boss. Maybe a mission where if you click all the glowies without aggroing enemies/ triggering an ambush you'd get one set of end mission dialogue and if you just wade in and defeat everyone you'd get another.

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20 hours ago, DougGraves said:

But it is "Technology" not "Devices".  A broadsword, battle axe, and katana are definitely technology.  Unless you think humans naturally have broadswords somehow.

On that thought, if the toon is wearing a costume, then they are technology, because they don't naturally have costumes.

 

Reminds me of a friend who said ALL movies are Science Fiction, since they were filmed using science.

 

I think we may need to draw a line on where technology begins and natural ends.  When it comes down to it, if you aren't fist fighting naked, then you are using technology.  While this is silly, it's also true.   Does using a knife, gun, bow, or shuriken make you a Technology Origin, or does it have to be futuristic or uncommon.

I like what Take One said:

20 hours ago, Take One said:

To further delve into this: if the gun makes you super, you are tech origin. If you make the gun super, you are natural origin. If the gun shoots for you, you are tech origin. If you can pick up any gun and shoot better than anyone else, you are natural origin.

This makes a lot of sense to me.  It may not be the technology, but how it's applied to hero work.

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9 hours ago, Grouchybeast said:

I always loved the Knives.  It's rumoured that they number no more that 100 individuals!  What, did the 100 I defeated on the first level of the map all get better and run upstairs to be the next 100?

I always thought it would have been cool if when you defeated KoA they would play a teleport animation suggesting they’re being whisked off by their own mediocre system, maybe even include field hospital things that spawn in KoA missions that works as a minion spawner.

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According to the Wiki, while the warriors concentrate on martial skill and strengthening oneself naturally, they DO use magic to further this:

Quote

"The Warriors’ martial skills are also seemingly enhanced by some exposure to magical energies. Nowhere is this enhancement clearer than among the bosses, although some suspect that the lieutenants and even some of the street soldiers have also benefited from a magical blessing. The Smasher Elite, Slasher Elite, and Hewer Elite are not only expert fighters, but are magically tough and resilient"

They seem to be kinda like low-teir Physical Adepts from Shadowrun - using magic to supplement their natural skill and ability.

 

I also wouldn't be surprised if the leaders used magical weapons and armor - there are examples of this as well in the game (Stephanie Peebles Wedding Band, Gloves of Hephaestus, Fists of Vulcan, etc.). This wouldn't invalidate their natural origin as they still primarily rely on their natural combat skills. The reason they don't use them readily could be because they are aware that many artifacts come with a price (like the trinket they may or may not have given the Hellions).

 

In any case - it's a problem with many of the mid-tier mobs like the Warriors, Family, and Tsoo - there is not much content in the game featuring them or their lore and those levels seem to fly by so fast - they're easy to miss.

Edited by OmegaOne
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On 2/17/2021 at 2:15 PM, DougGraves said:

 

What powersets in the game would you accept as natural origin?  The only 2 I can think of are willpower and street justice for primaries and secondaries, with the fighting pool and leadership for pools.  Everything else is not something a human can do or uses technology.

 

To be fair, the devs themselves stated that Superman would be considered a Natural origin, as his natural Kryptonian physiology affords him his abilities. Aliens with inherent racial "super powers" are still natural origin, even if that means breathing fire or manipulating gravity.

 

That said, if we're talking strictly humans, then yeah, Street Justice and Willpower are the kind of quintessential street fighter combo. On the other hand, who says that Super Reflexes has to be particularly "super"? It's a defense based set that lets you dodge out of the way of damage, but if you get hit it still hurts like a bitch. That seems very natural origin to me. You could also use Invulnerability and just pass it off as being particularly tough, because let's be real, Willpower affords some damage resistance as well.

 

Then you can move on to weapon-based sets, like Dual Blades, Katana, Broadsword, Mace and even Titan Weapons really. The latter isn't particularly *practical*, but it could still be pulled off. Range-wise you've also got Archery and Dual Pistols, with Martial Mastery and Trick Arrow as workable secondaries. Assault Rifle and Beam Rifle could also work technically, though these and Trick Arrow veer a little into "technology", but at the end of the day, that's a bit of a mixed bag.

 

Really, the origins are a bit muddy and a little too restrictive when you really think about it. What would you classify an Alchemist as? Technically they're using science, but it's ooky-spooky science that uses arcane symbols and tries to transform something into something else using archaic methods, so maybe it's magic too? Does someone walking around in tactical gear using a bow and arrow with a bunch of weird gadget arrows really count as "technology" when the only real tech they're using is gimmicky shooty sticks? Seems like a natural origin to me, but the argument could be made for tech. There are instances in game of humans with psychic abilities being referred to as natural origin, as just a sort of given that all humans in super hero settings probably have some latent level of psychic capacity, and some are really good with it, but others are referred to as Mutants. Hell, back when Psyche was around she was used as the Mutant contact of the Origin of Power arc, and even she said she was a little on the fence about being labeled a mutant, because she doesn't consider herself one, nor other psychics. And what about mutants that use technology to enhance or augment their powers? Obviously they have mutant abilities, but they also require tech to be at hero level, so are they technically Tech origin because they require it, or Mutant because their mutation is needed for the tech to be viable?

 

In the end, you could make a strong case for most anything to be a "natural" power set, especially with the lore surrounding the Well and how it's connected to the entire human race, so while it's "mystical" in origin, it's technically a natural part of existence in the City of Heroes universe and every race has one, so really someone suddenly being able to shoot lightning out of their fingers is kind of a natural occurrence.

 

If you're looking at stuff that could stick for Warriors, then obviously the weapon power sets, street justice, super strength and Willpower, Reflexes and Invuln I think would be thematically appropriate. If we're trying to branch into a new subset that uses mystical artifacts/enchanted weapons to keep their edge in the new status quo, I'd give them a few enchanted weapons with elemental damage, maybe a few who could summon enchanted swords/staves like the Animus Arcana, and throw in staff fighting for a few of them as well, since no enemy groups use that as yet, and it would be the most appropriate place to stick a new melee weapon set onto an enemy group. It's easy enough to dip into a little mystical shit here and there for the sake of adding flavor. Even canon Warriors at high-level have some magical artifacts that enhance them so that starting to trickle down to the rank and file wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

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