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Welcome to the Hellshow - 45318


Officer Raymond tells you that he's seen Hellions going into a local sewer, can you check it out please? Granted, a typical sewer has more Hellions than Pocket D has catgirls, but Kyksie's weekend is free, so she moseys in and finds a custom group, the "Hellbound", all with unique powersets and costumes. Further clues take us to a hospital, caves, and a burning forest, where we kick "Legion" into submission. He's an EB but not too hard.


This is yet another middle-of-the-road arc: no flaws, but not really remarkable in any way. If it were part of the game it would fit right in with all the 20-35 content that no one ever plays, like Unity Plague and Tsoo Shenanigans.




The Getaways: Confidence Games - The Three Card Monte Missions - 45278


So there's a criminal group called the House of Suits who are themed after playing cards, and they're on the run from Interpol, and this dude Bonneteaux or something has killed the kings and trumped the jacks, or something. We go to a cargo ship where lots of girls in bikinis are sleeping on the floor, or maybe they're dead, I dunno. There's a custom group called Suits, with a LOT of members, a few dozen at least, maybe even 52, all with well done costumes resembling the dudes on cards. Then we head into a the Praetorian office complex, then a cave, where we pummel Bonnoto, who is an EB who is not too hard.

The Getaways is a fairly well written arc overall, but it has some problems. There's a few spelling errors, a bit of Objective Overload, and the second mission crams four tough bosses into the same room. The big problem is that I was never really sure what my role in all this is. Am I extracting the leaders? Am I working with Interpol? Am I eliminating the group so I can take their place? Maybe it would have been clearer if I had played it before downing those two martinis and smoking a doobie, I dunno.



The Lost Girls - 45254


One of the best parts of playing City of Heroes way back then was the huge amount of quality-of-life improvements it received. Practically every month, a new mini patch would bring a bunch of bugfixes, tweaks and additions. Sadly, one of the the more significant QoL additions never went live before the shutdown, but had to wait until I24 on Homecoming... bewbs on Skulls.




Then, just last month, the Homecoming devs took the next step, and added bewbs to a number of Arachnos troops. Plans for the next 'pages' of Issue 27 include bewbs for Family, Clockwork, and Devouring Earth. Now, our very own Cranebump has taken the next step, by using the AE to add chesticles to a long neglected group... the Lost.


Detective Frietag tells the player that the Lost are raiding a pharmaceutical firm, go punch them. They're kidnapping people, and are led by the 'underpeople', who are able to resist the mental effects of the Lost transformation, and are stealing... a menopause drug? We question a doctor, and Vanguard gets involved for some reason, which is never a good sign. Maybe Lady Gray wants some of the drug, since she's like 200 years old or something.


Anyway, we find out that Vanguard has (surprise) a black site, inhabited by the embewbed Lost. It's a custom group mixed in with regular Lost; the leader is an EB but not too hard. Then, the "Tiakah Tianitialli" hypnotize the PPD with their bewbs and force them to steal files, so we hop in and make with the punching once again.


This is another extremely well done arc with loads and loads of great writing and lots of attention to detail. As usual, my only gripe is that being reduced to 25 is mildly annoying, but at least it's not totally random, cuz, you know, the real Lost are that level.



The Book of Bond's - 44865


The contact is a mysterious shadowy figure, who gives you a dossier on the targets along with a suitcase of laundered money which is a quarter of the total pay and hopefully my mercenary code of honor will keep me from running off and spending it all on Pocky. A bit cliche, but I've heard worse. We go into a tunnel complex which is just totally packed with clues and details (Stheno eggs?) and rescue three guys.


Then, we bust into a warehouse and get them all utility belts, then defeat a parallel team that Mr. Bond also picked out, then go to his mansion for brunch, but he's dying of cancer so we have to clobber him, and now the boys are taking up his mantle as a hero, or maybe they aren't?


This is yet another very well written arc, with lost of clues and details. The guy was named "Ex libro", which may be a reference to Ex Libris, who worked for Cryptic/Paragon. The only thing is, I wasn't really sure how the player is supposed to feel at the end. Should we feel sad that Ex Libro is gone, or glad that he's passed on his legacy, or upset that his base is in the hands of three ex-criminals who will probably use it to smuggle in counterfeit Pocky? I'm not sure. Maybe in the future I should wait until after the arc is done to smoke up... naaaah.

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  • 1 month later

Insecurity Measures - 46658

The contact is "Dougie Hausser", the youngest cop on the PPD, who is written well, albeit annoyingly, although I suspect that was kinda the intent. Doogie tell us that the Red Caps' attempt on Salamanca has had some weird effects in IP, go check it out maybe? Kyksie decides to call in one of her acquaintances who has some experience with the occult.




In other news, this is becoming less of a 'review column' and more of a 'place for me to show off my roster of fucked-up misfits'.


Mary heads into a warehouse and finds Tsoo and Council working together... except they're not working together, they're being turned into 'vessels' or something. There are lots of decorative glowies here, which continues throughout the arc. Then, we discover that a cargo ship is going to crash into Lusca or something, so we head in, turn off the engines and fight some 'Spectral Tears'. They don't leave corpses behind, making it a difficult fight for a Warshade, but as the CoH veterans know, Warshades were designed for ERP, not fighting.


Then another office, where we rescue Cheng, and Juliana Nehring, who attacks us because we didn't like and follow, or something. Then we need to bring in Mr. Bocor, so we take a sub to the Rogue Isles and find him hiding in a sewer.


Once again, a very well written arc with great writing and decorations. I personally prefer self-contained arcs, so I probably won't be reviewing the 872 arcs to follow, but this looks like a great start.


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Altima Task Force - 45923


The contact is Altima, presumably one of the author's characters, who was an ordinary high school student until Dr. Quantum injected him with a serum that made him super, so he became a hero, choosing the name Altima because his father owned a Nissan Altima. No, I'm not making that last bit up. Really.


Anyway, Altima tells us that Dr. Quantum is doing some vague Bad Thing, go punch him please. He's referred to as 'Dr. Quantum' throughout the arc, not 'Doc'. It is the same person, right? I'm not sure. Anyway, Doc seems to have a lot of Secret Service guys on his side, and he's kidnapped Altima's friend Tyler, and also cloned you. Why is it that every single villain in the game has a cloning machine? Can you buy them at the Paragon City Wal-Mart? Quantum has also cloned himself, which could cause a problem if the clone decides to clone himself as well, just ask Homsar. Also we're accused of a crime or something.


We rescue Tyler, and clear our name by punching several dozen cops, which works a lot more reliably then it should. The waypoint for the hostage rescue is bugged, but the author compensates for this by putting clear instructions in the nav text.


Then we receive a message from Altima in the future where Doc (I can't call him Dr. Q, that's someone else altogether) has brainwashed Altima, so we go there and kick him, and Doc has a plan to use plutonium to assimilate the president and... uh.. something. We rescue the prez and them go punch Dr. several times. He's an EB who summons EB backup, which was no threat to the Incarnate I was using but would probably be very difficult for anyone under 50.


This is a decent enough arc; the plot is a bit hard to follow but at least there is one. The big problem is the spelling errors. There's a lot.


No Haven for Westin - 46333


The contact is Electrixie, who got her name when her brother tricked her into sticking a fork into an electric socket while standing in a tub of salt water. This time I am kidding. She actually got her powers from being caught in a radioactive thunderstorm during a Nemesis weapons test. Really.


She tells us that she's discovered that Westin Phipps is really not a nice person, so she wants the player to dispose of him... permanently. We go into a warehouse and punch some 'haven refugees', a custom group with 5-6 members. Then another warehouse where we find Amazon boxes containing his address, then another one where we finish Westin off. The popup states explicity that you literally kill him, which is ok because the arc is marked as vigilante, and a lot of vigilante content has the player actualy killing people.


Like, take a look at this one: https://archive.paragonwiki.com/wiki/Mission:Tip_-_The_Heeded_Warning. The player receives a warning from Positron that the Council are holding perfectly legal parade, and the player is not to interfere. So, what's a Vigilante to do? Why, of course, you infiltrate the nearest Council base and reprogram the Wolfpack robots to fire on the civilians watching the parade!! Yes, this is actual game content!


No Haven for Westin is another okay mission, with a nice custom group and plausible writing, dragged down by spelling errors. A lot of them.



Just Like Clockwork - 46711


No attempt at a story, just lots of Praetorian Clockwork to punch so you can level up. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before a patch gives players XP for yiffing in Pocket D, but until them this is as good an option as any.



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  • 4 weeks later

Heart of Words part 1 - 25906


It's 'heart of words', not 'worlds', which is what I thought at first.


Anyway, the contact is Professor Skeffington Lewis, who wears a purple top hat and is therefore an expert on magic. He tells us that psychically attuned people have been slipping into a coma the past few days, so we need to find the three parts of the Triforce or something like that. This leads us to the standard search pattern of an office, then a cave, then a lab, then a warehouse, and finally Oranbega, same as most task forces. The writing is very good, making reference to a number of points in CoH lore. There are plenty of EBs but none are too hard.


The Training Room - 47006


A farm made for the author's SG, where you fight mobs with weird names. Low on detail right now, but the author says it's still under construction.


In terms of raw XP, this is nowhere near as good as the established fire farms like Bloody Rainbow. However, I did get a Reactive Defenses recipe, which never happened to me in Bloody Rainbow. Way to go!



City of No Win Scenario - 47370


This is a single map filled with the "worst enemies in the game", and by 'worst' I mean 'most annoying', like Malta Sappers and Tsoo Sorcerers. There are absolutely no details or clues, making it a no win scenario for a player looking for something interesting.



Board the Mothership - 47119


Lady Gray has decided that it's time to board the Rikti mothership. We invade a Nemesis base, but it's a trap; Nemesis appears and rants about hidden cameras after Kyksie kicks him into submission. One of the minions dropped an Apocalypse recipe. Then, we head into the Rikti caverns and reverse the polarity or something. There's a boss whom we have have to avoid, not fight, a nice reference to one of the canon missions. Then, the player needs to lure out U'kon Grai, so we head out to the battlefield map and are joined by Faultline and a Vanguard mech.




Finally, we fight our way onto the Rikti mothership and defeat all four Riders, H'roDohz, and Hero One. Then, Lady Gray contacts us and tells up that the true objective of the mission is to recover three pairs of her panties, which were stolen from the Vanguard base during the last Rikti Panty Raid. At least, I assume that's what happens on that mission. In truth, I have no idea what the fourth mission contains, because U'Kon Grai spawned as a Giant Monster on the third. Even with my allies' aid, my Incarnate character still couldn't even begin to dent his life total. The author states in the sendoff that a soloist can advance the plot by waiting the 30 minute timer out, but this author has the attention span of Fusionette after three Drenched Donuts coffees.


Board the Mothership is a well written mission, although it makes some odd choices. Like, in the first mission in the Nemesis bases, after pummeling the boss, you find a slip of paper which tells you to check the desk, which has a combination to a safe, which has a blank book, which prompts you to search a bookshelf, but all the books are about boxers, so... you ought to check a stack of boxes?? Uhh ok. Oh by the way, if you were wondering what I meant about hidden cameras in the first paragraph... it's dramatic foreshadowing.


dun dun duuuuuun...

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