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Observations upon return to CoH


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I wanted to share a few thoughts I had on Homecoming.  As a quick history, I’m a big COH fan from long back.  I played back from Beta, was a huge participant in the forums back in the day… heck, I was so involved I once even won one of the contests they had.  (I made the “freak and ye shall find” movie that wound up on City of Villains)

So I’m a fan… this isn’t a gripe post.  I spent years trying to find CoH, hoping there would be fan servers after the shut down, and when I found it again about a month ago, I immediately jumped in and have enjoyed it as much as I ever have.  Wish I had heard about it sooner.

But there have been some changes, and they have altered the game significantly.  The first part is the community itself.  People have changed drastically.  Abbreviations are more commonly used now in gamer parlance, and these are NOT newbie friendly.  Every time I see yet another broadcast for “Posi1 TF LF3M” or “SBB”… I think of the damage these do to newbies.  One of the things I always liked about CoH was the community – it was so newbie friendly, so welcoming and someone could jump in and find comrades almost instantly.  Not so much now.  Now you’re more likely to be turned away from a group because you’re not the right level and they didn’t bother say that on the broadcast… or wind up joining a task force only to find out that the heroes aren’t actually playing the game, they’re trying to skip past all the content and you’re stuck standing at the door.

 

There was some of this in the past of course… truth be told it was the reason I never cared for CoV as much as CoH.  The community was worse.  I remember people… farming.  Seems crazy to farm a game when you can play through content instead, but in CoV they’d farm missions.  Start one, go through most of it… everyone leave, reset the mission and repeat.  I learned quickly they were not newbie friendly.  But now that is kind of everywhere. 

The people still playing the game are still there of course, it’s only about half the populace who seems to be trying to game the system instead of play the game.  Perhaps that is inevitable due to how people play games these days.

And the second part… which I think feeds the first are all the “quality of life” improvements.  I recognize these weren’t generally done by the homecoming team, they were a lot of changes when CoH went free to play…  Being able to level incredibly fast… and then for no drawback double that rate.  Travel powers at level 4 instead of 14.   Being able to teleport from one zone to another without ever really seeing any of them through supergroup portals or Ouroboros at level 1.  Being able to pick up an additional 3 powers right at level one.  These things make the game easier.  Faster.  But meanwhile… the journey is somewhat lost.  I have fond memories of exploring King’s Row… trying to get to the rooftops to take out Circle of Thorns rituals – but no new player would ever do that.  They’d just fly up. 

 

The game was SO clever.  A new player would likely never see the details as they’re skipping past them.  They might never know there are fire escapes to climb up… or that you can stand on window ledges and jump to the top of almost any building in the Row.  Or that when fighting Vahlizok.. you can kill the doctors and then run away and the zombies themselves become mindless and stop chasing you (and won’t team up either, they’ll only defend themselves without the doctors around).  They’ll probably miss that stuff if for no other reason the leveling is so fast they’re only fighting Vahlizok for an hour and then moving to the next villain group.

 

I’m writing this to try to get other people’s observations.  Have you noticed the same things?   Have you noticed positive aspects of these changes?  Obviously if the game were the way it was back in Beta then few people would play it now, as games and the expectations thereof have changed drastically, I’m certainly not pitching for that… or anything else.  Just wondering if others had similar experiences when exploring homecoming, what else they found, and what they’ve done to mitigate the drawbacks.

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I recognize your concerns, and do believe some of your comments are spot-on.  However, in the effort to create a balanced viewpoint, may I point out that there were some significant negatives that have been erased, or at least dampened as well.  One that springs to mind is endurance drain.  Original players were left with their characters gasping for endurance for 20 to 22 levels before they finally got the opportunity to iron that out.  It made the first 20 to 22 levels not fun.  Another QoL change is that Rikti Invasions no longer occur in Atlas Park.  It was wearying as a new player trying to get your character enhanced, trained, and leveling again when everything was a slide show.  I'm sure other things would spring to mind if I thought on it for a while. 

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Yeah, things probably skew a bit towards being too convenient/easy, but mind you, the way things WERE, were ways to keep people playing and paying. Since this is a non-profit venture, there's literally no reason for any of that stuff. Give people what they want and let them play!

 

That said, I do get nostalgic for having to earn things. It was an ACCOMPLISHMENT when you put on your first cape. It was AMAZING when you got yourself decked out in that shiny Vanguard armor. But not so much for the 30th time in a row.

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I have noticed many of these things you mentioned, DrZeus.  I don't see the changes positively or negatively.  The positive for me is I can play CoH and it's relatively similar to what I remember.  That's fine by me.  Bigger picture I suppose.

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DrZeus, I very much appreciate the articulation of your comments.  Some I'm nodding,"Yeah, yeah," at, others are "Eh - I get the point," others I would dispute somewhat, though not disagree with entirely.  Like yourself, I was a CoH player from year one - August '04 - and saw a number of the changes go through that, in large part, I supported.  One thing I do agree with you on is the trend toward abbreviation, though it could be explained, if not excused, largely on the basis of "We're dealing, in the vast majority, with players who did CoH for probably close to half a decade, if not more.  If they don't understand the reference, they can request a translation."  I don't know if the Homecoming team actually has their strategy set on bringing in new players; if so, a "common abbreviations guide" should be offered on this site for quick reference.

 

Having travel powers available at single-digit levels isn't a major problem, from my viewpoint - although I have pushed myself to wait until at least 12 before getting the core abilities for such (I'd like to duplicate the pre-shutdown experience as much as reasonably possible).  Like yourself, I do find the privilege of actually exploring Paragon City's characteristic-heavy zones to be of great value; gives some major appreciation for the time, thought and effort the Devs put into it Back In The Day, and makes it feel like an actual city rather than just Village X.

 

Re the End reduction on powers in general: Well, although I see your argument, it's something that has allowed my Storm Summoner/Electric Blast Defender to get to 16 on his own - although there has been some major patience and tactical considerations involved in such - without loading up on End inspirations as opposed to the always-helpful Defs/Accs (yeah, getting exhausted after a solid minute or so of scrapping is a real-life consequence...but this ain't real life).  Otherwise, personally I've felt that the game has maintained its essential beneficial qualities, and whatever's negative can be overcome, generally, with the proper assistance.  Otherwise, DrZeus, all welcomes back to Paragon City, and hoping to run into you or one of your alts in the not-too-distant future.  All best with the game.

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1 hour ago, DrZeus said:

Abbreviations are more commonly used now in gamer parlance, and these are NOT newbie friendly.  Every time I see yet another broadcast for “Posi1 TF LF3M” or “SBB”… I think of the damage these do to newbies.

 

Abbreviations don't do damage.  There is a dedicated help channel that any new player can use to find out what the abbreviations mean. They can even ask in LFG and nobody will care and someone will help.  It's just like real life, we abbreviate things like ID, CV, OK?

 

1 hour ago, DrZeus said:

or wind up joining a task force only to find out that the heroes aren’t actually playing the game, they’re trying to skip past all the content and you’re stuck standing at the door

 

This is also playing the game. You don't get to define what playing the game means. People who are new to the game can also leave any team at any time for any reason. All players are encouraged to enjoy the game and content however they like, short of malicious use.

 

1 hour ago, DrZeus said:

I remember people… farming.  Seems crazy to farm a game when you can play through content instead, but in CoV they’d farm missions.  Start one, go through most of it… everyone leave, reset the mission and repeat.  I learned quickly they were not newbie friendly.  But now that is kind of everywhere.

 

It's newbie friendly.  There is a dedicated help channel and any player can ask any team they join how the team is going to function and someone will help. Farming is one way players enjoy the game. It's good that people enjoy the game however they decide to.

 

1 hour ago, DrZeus said:

I have fond memories of exploring King’s Row… trying to get to the rooftops to take out Circle of Thorns rituals – but no new player would ever do that.  They’d just fly up.

 

I don't believe no player explores the game when they are new. There are types of players that play games specifically to explore.  Let those players enjoy the game that way, and also let the players that don't fit into that type play the way they enjoy. There is no difference between the player that decides to explore and the player that decides to experience the game in another way. There is no "correct" way here.

 

1 hour ago, DrZeus said:

They’ll probably miss that stuff if for no other reason the leveling is so fast they’re only fighting Vahlizok for an hour and then moving to the next villain group.

 

And they can go back and experience anything they want if they leveled too fast, or create another character and do it in a different way since they have essentially infinite character slots to play with. No correct way to play the game other than however you like.

 

Nothing big as far as the experience of playing goes has been removed from the game.  Any new player can experience the game however they decide is the most fun, nobody is telling them they must do anything in a particular way OR ELSE.  Don't like speedruns?  Don't join them.  Don't like to have a travel power at level 4?  Take it at level 49.  Don't like to level fast?  Don't take the XP boost.

 

It's your game now, play it how you like and try to recognize that your way of having fun is probably not the same as everyone or anyone else's way. Nobody is "missing out" on your way of having fun, they are busy having fun playing the game the way they like. If you'd like to share your way of having fun, invite people to play in your team that way, and show them, rather than wistfully longing for the days of yore (although if that's your way of having fun, I support it, wist away!). There's nothing stopping you from being a leader in the playstyle of your choice.

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First of all, welcome back my good Dr.! I loved this game and still enjoy it but definitely don't play it as much these days. Actually, I play very few games but this is one I will visit once in a while. A lot of the content is the same as back when. Lots of great adds, QoL improvements, power adds etc but not many missions have been added.

 

I think the world has changed a lot since the game shut down. Abbreviations seem to be used in many games and in life in general so I don't hold that against the players on CoX.

 

I don't see too many big concerns but I will say, when I joined the game in 2008, players zoomed through content then too. It isn't unique to now. Actually, this happened a ton back when to the point where I'd ask to slow down to read the content/story. On that note, I really think having lengthy text in this game is not a great idea. You really can't read it. 

 

Anyway, welcome back and see you in the City!

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1 hour ago, DrZeus said:

I wanted to share a few thoughts I had on Homecoming.  As a quick history, I’m a big COH fan from long back.  I played back from Beta, was a huge participant in the forums back in the day… heck, I was so involved I once even won one of the contests they had.  (I made the “freak and ye shall find” movie that wound up on City of Villains)

So I’m a fan… this isn’t a gripe post.  I spent years trying to find CoH, hoping there would be fan servers after the shut down, and when I found it again about a month ago, I immediately jumped in and have enjoyed it as much as I ever have.  Wish I had heard about it sooner.

But there have been some changes, and they have altered the game significantly.  The first part is the community itself.  People have changed drastically.  Abbreviations are more commonly used now in gamer parlance, and these are NOT newbie friendly.  Every time I see yet another broadcast for “Posi1 TF LF3M” or “SBB”… I think of the damage these do to newbies.  One of the things I always liked about CoH was the community – it was so newbie friendly, so welcoming and someone could jump in and find comrades almost instantly.  Not so much now.  Now you’re more likely to be turned away from a group because you’re not the right level and they didn’t bother say that on the broadcast… or wind up joining a task force only to find out that the heroes aren’t actually playing the game, they’re trying to skip past all the content and you’re stuck standing at the door.

There was some of this in the past of course… truth be told it was the reason I never cared for CoV as much as CoH.  The community was worse.  I remember people… farming.  Seems crazy to farm a game when you can play through content instead, but in CoV they’d farm missions.  Start one, go through most of it… everyone leave, reset the mission and repeat.  I learned quickly they were not newbie friendly.  But now that is kind of everywhere. 

The people still playing the game are still there of course, it’s only about half the populace who seems to be trying to game the system instead of play the game.  Perhaps that is inevitable due to how people play games these days.

And the second part… which I think feeds the first are all the “quality of life” improvements.  I recognize these weren’t generally done by the homecoming team, they were a lot of changes when CoH went free to play…  Being able to level incredibly fast… and then for no drawback double that rate.  Travel powers at level 4 instead of 14.   Being able to teleport from one zone to another without ever really seeing any of them through supergroup portals or Ouroboros at level 1.  Being able to pick up an additional 3 powers right at level one.  These things make the game easier.  Faster.  But meanwhile… the journey is somewhat lost.  I have fond memories of exploring King’s Row… trying to get to the rooftops to take out Circle of Thorns rituals – but no new player would ever do that.  They’d just fly up. 

The game was SO clever.  A new player would likely never see the details as they’re skipping past them.  They might never know there are fire escapes to climb up… or that you can stand on window ledges and jump to the top of almost any building in the Row.  Or that when fighting Vahlizok.. you can kill the doctors and then run away and the zombies themselves become mindless and stop chasing you (and won’t team up either, they’ll only defend themselves without the doctors around).  They’ll probably miss that stuff if for no other reason the leveling is so fast they’re only fighting Vahlizok for an hour and then moving to the next villain group.

I’m writing this to try to get other people’s observations.  Have you noticed the same things?   Have you noticed positive aspects of these changes?  Obviously if the game were the way it was back in Beta then few people would play it now, as games and the expectations thereof have changed drastically, I’m certainly not pitching for that… or anything else.  Just wondering if others had similar experiences when exploring homecoming, what else they found, and what they’ve done to mitigate the drawbacks.

These are fair observations of an evolving game and community, especially since you say you've been attached to the game for so long back on legacy. Luckily, for everyone here on Homecoming, they can play how they want. Slower or faster, as you referenced. The Ouroboros still exists, Single Origin enhancements as well. In fact, there are dedicated groups that play under intentional constraints to enjoy the game the way they want. Other folks will play faster, perhaps seeking a specific niche of content or experience. Nobody is forced in to a play style and the negative/toxic side of MMO financial backends are absent here, meaning players aren't grinding for hours, months, years to collect things or enjoy content. 

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5 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

These are fair observations of an evolving game and community, especially since you say you've been attached to the game for so long back on legacy. Luckily, for everyone here on Homecoming, they can play how they want. Slower or faster, as you referenced. The Ouroboros still exists, Single Origin enhancements as well. In fact, there are dedicated groups that play under intentional constraints to enjoy the game the way they want. Other folks will play faster, perhaps seeking a specific niche of content or experience. Nobody is forced in to a play style and the negative/toxic side of MMO financial backends are absent here, meaning players aren't grinding for hours, months, years to collect things or enjoy content. 

Good points. However, I will say that grinding for items isn't a bad idea especially in MMOs. Now, NO, I do NOT want to grind for things that have been unlocked (capes, Vangaurd gear etc). I'd be OK doing a bit of grinding for NEW items and so on. It is part of the psychology of the MMO world that does have its place.

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I still have my old game logs, and out of curiosity I did a few searches.  Most of the acronyms used now were also in use back on the Live servers, so I don't think that's changed  very much,  Which ones you see has probably changed, e.g. SBB was a late and seasonal addition, but there were plenty of IFT LFM posted back on live.  Likewise with levels -- people didn't always specify TF levels in the past either.

 

Speeding TFs isn't a new thing, either.  That became really popular when merits were introduced and there was suddenly a significant reward for fast times.   But also, it's fun.   Back on live one of my absolute favourite things to do was speed run ITFs.  Never got bored of that.

 

CoV being the farm-heavy side isn't something I recognise at all.  I'm sure people did farm there, especially before the market merge and side-switching, but not any more than blueside as I remember (although I only started playing with I13, so that might also be a factor). Or maybe it was server dependent?  IIRC there were classic farms like the Demon farm blueside, and Atlas was the go-to zone for AE farms.

 

CoX has always been a super flexible game that lets people play in so many different ways.  New players are still going to be able to explore the world, solo, team, learn what parts of the game they enjoy and what they don't.  If there's a problem with CoX, it's that people are too friendly.  Newbies get showered with inf and offers of help and free farms, so they can miss the exploratory experience to some extent.  I remember when I had to trudge back and forth to Wentworths just to sell my drops, barefoot through the snow, uphill both ways...

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Posted (edited)

I think that a lot of us are returning players who had a pretty deep understanding of the game before.  I won't lie, my focus when I first got back to Paragon last summer, after crying tears of joy at the Atlas Plaza zone music, was to get my main back to 50, getting my enhancements all set up, and unlocking my incarnate slots.  I was a competent player who didn't need to relearn how to play *that* character, and when I accomplished that, I went back and did all the story arcs through Oroborous.  And then I switched alignments and did all of them redside too.  I had a blast earning 1500 badges, going through content, and exploring, primarily solo  It also made all those expensive ass IO's easy to get because I got so many merits from the story arcs and exploration accolade badges..

 

Maybe others are on a similar path.  Get back what they lost at sunset in a group, and then enjoy the slow ride down memory lane through flashbacks.  You can never tell I guess, and at least the city is good enough to support a variety of playstyles, with none of them being "wrong."

Edited by Aracknight
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4 hours ago, DrZeus said:

I’m writing this to try to get other people’s observations.  Have you noticed the same things?   Have you noticed positive aspects of these changes?  Obviously if the game were the way it was back in Beta then few people would play it now, as games and the expectations thereof have changed drastically, I’m certainly not pitching for that… or anything else.  Just wondering if others had similar experiences when exploring homecoming, what else they found, and what they’ve done to mitigate the drawbacks.

 

One of the nifty "side effects" of the NCSoft shut-down, and the ensuring private servers that we have today, is that there is now a variety of choices to choose from.  Homecoming is but one of several options out there.  Currently the most popular option, sure, but there are others.

 

Search around, and you'll likely find a private server where the devs agree with your "old-school" vision of CoH.   (Likewise, there are also other private servers where the devs consider the changes made so far in "Homecoming" to be somewhat conservative, and have made even more changes.)

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Citizen Razor, thank you for passing that along; I was unaware that there were any servers for CoH aside from this one.  While I'm pretty darn content with what we've got on Homecoming, it's nice to know that there are "alternative universes" out there, each with their own point where elements shift in terms of value and effect on the world they're in.

 

Regarding a total "old-school" CoH version...eh, I'm pretty much okay with what we've got here.  End use is much more conservative and exhaustion much less common than it was previously?  I'll deal with that, especially since it gives less "solo-friendly" Archetypes and builds the chance make it on their own without chopping mission-levels down.  Contacts, and "stores" of all types now deal with all variety and origin-type of enhancements on an equal basis?  Was kind of nice to have origin-exclusive shops for those in the 12-plus category, but the change is something I consider just a few steps removed from cosmetic.  All contacts can now buy and sell salvage, recipes and enhancements?  Again, a bit strange, but it doesn't detract from the game for me.  SG bases now cost absolute zero to build, furnish and equip?  Again, takes a little bit away from SG-loyalty and identification (the original Black Talon, on Virtue, was offered a spot in an SG the moment he finished the tutorial and made it to Atlas plaza; the SG rep informed me that the SG would pay for all enhances, always, as long as I played in SG mode.  I agreed immediately and was a loyal, if bottom-of-the-totem-pole, member until the NCSoft shutdown), but it certainly takes away from the SG leaders putting pressure on the members to "Go. Hunt. Kill Skuls" in order to pay for that new teleporter or med-bay.

 

I'll stick with Homecoming for the foreseeable future, and changes the Devs here want to make (if any), will be tolerated with a smile and a shrug until we've got a full accounting of the effects.  Best, though, to all other CoH iterations and servers and the populations that choose those particular venues.

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Interesting points.  On abbreviations; yes it takes a while to learn our lingo. The answer to this goes along with the QOL. Errrr quality of life improvements.  We have a few new channels.  I have NEVER see a question like “what is DFB” posted in LFG or Help that isnt met with 3-4 responses.  Some of them as long winded as my forum replies

 

speed changes to the game.  We are faaaaaar down the hill on that.  Do you really want to go back to no inherent fitness and no travel power until 14 with a prep pick from a travel pool to unlock?   
 

yes TT and MT errr team and mission TP errr teleport make the game fast

 

solution: go s l o w e r.
 

 I regularly solo the entire redside.  Stopping experience to do every single mission.  I believe my next go will be with a Stalker.  And soon.  Still considering options though. 

 

i am involved in two weekly teams one redside one blue that are doing a slow crawl through levels. We plan to start a Goldside crawl when these 50 in about two months and lump the red/blue into an incarnate crawl

 

This game allows you to play how you want.  There is a group out there that simulates early CoH by restricting a lot of options on their players and requiring things like not taking a travel power until 14.  
 

Or you can take a new toon, 50 it in a couple hours in a farm. Drop a couple hundred emp merits and a bag of i/os on it and have a fully kitted out 50 ready to join a Really Hard Way Magisterium Trial.  I did that this weekend.  
 

options. In the words of Tony Soprano “Never think you don’t got options”

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12 hours ago, Citizen Razor said:

 

One of the nifty "side effects" of the NCSoft shut-down, and the ensuring private servers that we have today, is that there is now a variety of choices to choose from.  Homecoming is but one of several options out there.  Currently the most popular option, sure, but there are others.

 

Search around, and you'll likely find a private server where the devs agree with your "old-school" vision of CoH.   (Likewise, there are also other private servers where the devs consider the changes made so far in "Homecoming" to be somewhat conservative, and have made even more changes.)

 

Keep in mind, I'm not suggesting they're doing it wrong.  I like not having tons of endurance management problems at early levels.    A stamina power for all is a good solution to the fact that almost everyone would take that optional power and burn through an ancillary pool to do so.  Clearly this game has changed but then again so has the player base.  Ever try to play an old NES game?  They kinda suck.  We just have different expectations of games now.  Sure, I have nostalgia for those old days of spending a whole weekend renting a game like Astyanax, and enjoying the hell out of it.  But it would be harder to enjoy those same things these days.  We've changed too.

I'm still undecided as to whether or not early travel powers are good or bad... sure, I like the convenience, as does everyone, but I also like exploring which you just don't do as much with travel powers.  There's a reason other MMO's don't typically have them at early levels either.  It lets you feel you're in a big impressive world.  I can say that I think the ability to teleport from one zone to another with base portals available to all is a bit over the top.

 

And of course... no one is completely pleased with every aspect of any game.  But it's often best to be in the game with the most people so that you can group easily.  Besides, I've got big respect for those who made Homecoming happen.

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Nothing is forcing you to use the quick travel zone teleporter... You're perfectly free to ignore it completely. You don't even have to put it on a power tray. 

 

Me? I love the silly thing. *BAMF*ing around the City or the Isles is fun, and it certainly makes getting your friends or your PUG-team together much less of a grump-inducing wait-fest than it was in the old days. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather be punching robots, blasting animate mushrooms and covering fascist goons in inky black tentacles than standing around waiting for Comrade X to get back from the far end of Crey's Folly and Surfer Girl to figure out which train line she needed to take to get from South Steel to Talos to catch the ferry to Peregrine. 

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19 hours ago, DrZeus said:

Abbreviations are more commonly used now in gamer parlance, and these are NOT newbie friendly.

. . . . .

And the second part… which I think feeds the first are all the “quality of life” improvements.

You win some, you lose some.

The proliferation of abbreviations may not be newb-friendly, but the quality of life improvements are absolutely a godsend to newbs.

Remember trying to get to mission doors on the other side of The Hollows at level 9?

Remember sucking wind for 20 levels because you didn't have Stamina?

 

As for leveling faster, I really don't see that as a problem.  It's an option.  I normally run Double XP until a character is high enough to do the Positron TF, then delete the power and never buy another.  BUT - I am currently working on a joke character that has a (deliberately) horrible build.  I plan to take him all the way to 50 without power leveling so I'm running double XP on him.

I used to hail from Infinity.  Mainly on Everlasting, now.

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3 hours ago, DrZeus said:

 

Keep in mind, I'm not suggesting they're doing it wrong.  I like not having tons of endurance management problems at early levels.    A stamina power for all is a good solution to the fact that almost everyone would take that optional power and burn through an ancillary pool to do so.  Clearly this game has changed but then again so has the player base.  Ever try to play an old NES game?  They kinda suck.  We just have different expectations of games now.  Sure, I have nostalgia for those old days of spending a whole weekend renting a game like Astyanax, and enjoying the hell out of it.  But it would be harder to enjoy those same things these days.  We've changed too.

I'm still undecided as to whether or not early travel powers are good or bad... sure, I like the convenience, as does everyone, but I also like exploring which you just don't do as much with travel powers.  There's a reason other MMO's don't typically have them at early levels either.  It lets you feel you're in a big impressive world.  I can say that I think the ability to teleport from one zone to another with base portals available to all is a bit over the top.

 

And of course... no one is completely pleased with every aspect of any game.  But it's often best to be in the game with the most people so that you can group easily.  Besides, I've got big respect for those who made Homecoming happen.

I am guessing you haven't noticed the tips from street sweeping yet? No longer must we download vidiotmaps to fully explore a zone. We can get tips of a sort, and get a destination to get a badge. Granted, you won't see everything to see in zone, but while our player base as a whole may move faster during missions and task forces - many of us see that as a positive. 
This version of CoH is not about the content. It's about the people you interact with while doing that content. Some make you laugh, some make you want to kill someone. But it's that interaction that sets the game apart. Except for new players, most of us have seen everything the game has to offer many times over. So why would we take our time? What would be the point when you already know the story? Tank/Brute goes in, takes alpha, other teammates fire away, next mob. That's not really a game any more - that's just repetition. So, we may as well go through it as fast as we can. Not all of us, of course, and not all the time, either.  But when the mood strikes, have at it. Measure it. See if you can improve upon the last effort. Heck - analyze the powers and abilities of the npcs and change your build to be optimal for that purpose! 

Imagine that! We get three builds now and if we like, we can tailor our build specifically for a given task to get through it as easily and quickly as possible. Why? So we have more time to do more stuff! Why should Synapse take 2 hours when you can do it in 37 minutes? You still have the defeat alls that must be completed. It's not like anything has changed in Skyway or Steel Canyon or Boomtown. They look the same as they always have! So, once you've seen them - what are you really missing by using the tools at your disposal? Nothing! You've saved time! And time is our most precious resource. We can accumulate wealth, but we cannot accumulate time! 

Now if you're a new player - you likely can't afford to do these things, so most certainly you'll be exploring these neighborhoods and cities whether you wanted to or not! 
I see nothing but positive changes so far. (other than travel suppression - but that's a hold over from live) 

I do understand the nostalgic feeling. When I feel that way, I make a challenge character and embrace the suck of life with travel power at 14, no cape, and don't slot stamina until 14, either, since it's inherent. I pick some powers that never get used to compensate for the Swift & Hurdle requirements before Stamina (and health).  It's no longer City of Heroes, but City of Options. Options are good! 

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I want to reply, but every time I post in one of these threads, it gets locked.  So nope.  You guys can do this without me.

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Some 50ss: Burner Account (Fire/FF Ctrl) | Dr. Unconventional (Ill/Dark Ctrl) | Lawn Boy (Plant/Nat Ctrl) | Magma Lad (Fire/Kin Ctrl) | Metcalf (Grav/Kin Ctrl) | IcyBM (Ice/Trap Ctrl) | Jim With The Weather (Ice/Storm Ctrl) | Dr. Jonas (Mind/Poison Ctrl) | Coldwire (Elec/Cold Ctrl) | Pyrotoxin (Fire/Poison Ctrl) | Nature Jack (Earth/Poison Ctrl) | Voltswagen (Dark/EA Ctrl) | Time Vampire (Grav/Time Ctrl) | Tootboy (Fire/FF Ctrl) | Polarrhoid (Ice/TA Ctrl) | LoLEnEn (En/En Blast) | Draw (Rad/Rad Def) | Destroyo (Bots/Trap MM) | Con Carne (Rad/Bio Brute) | Senor Smoke (Rad/Fire Brute) | Something Else (TW/Bio Scrap) | Thermador (Rad/Fire Brute) | Electrovox (EA/Son Def) Danzigawatt (Demons/EA MM) | Costumed Adventurer (Fire/EA Ctrl) | Obscured Face Guy (Dark/Storm Ctrl) | Ohm Gott (EA/Dark Def) | Full Recharge (Fire/Storm Ctrl) Spacegrass (Fire/Nat Ctrl) Embarrassing Wetness (Water/EA Corr) Weather Permitting (Ill/Storm Ctrl) Herr Fryer (Fire/Traps Ctrl) Rainiac (Grav/Storm Ctrl) Stokes (Fire/TA Ctrl) Dismembrandt (DB/Bio Scrap) Multidudes (Ill/Traps Ctrl) Meshuggenaut (Inv/RM tank) Miss October (Fire/Dark Ctrl) Spastic Colonial (Elec/Dark Ctrl) Heroic Pyromaniac (Fire/En Blast) Gigantic Robot (TW/Fire Brute| and there's more where THAT came from

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Also, Welcome home!

Disclaimer: Not a medical doctor. Do not take medical advice from Doctor Ditko. Also, not a physicist. Do not take advice on consensus reality from Doctor Ditko. But games? He used to pay his bills with games. (He's recovering well, thanks for asking!)

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Few things:

1.  Welcome back.  We all had that "I'm not crying! You're crying!" moment when we heard the boot up music.  Just the fact that we can once again enjoy running (or flying, jumping, teleporting) around the city is glorious in an of itself and if there were zero changes from shutdown we'd still enjoy it.

2.  The changes made have removed the intentional barriers placed on a profit driven MMO.  However, none of those changes are required to play the game.  As others have said, you can go from 1 to 50 without ever using the fast travel TP or the double XP boost or any of the other P2W goodies available.  Your choice.  Myself, I'm glad those things exist.  I don't have endless hours to spend slogging from one side of the city to the other just because the crazy contact decided I need to go face-to-face with some random because they don't have a cell phone or some such.  I can go from 1 to 50 and never stop outside of the AE building until my character is fully built and ready to dominate.  Perfect for me.

3.  While newbies are probably to be found I think the vast majority have already come and gone.  I don't think I've found a truly new person in quite some time.  And by new I mean someone that did NOT play CoX back in the day.  That being said, the current state of play is such that most of us have run this content hundreds if not thousands of times by now.  I don't need to stop and smell the roses.  The nostalgia has worn off.  I only log in because my friends still do.

 

So while I certainly understand the sentiment, OP, I think we are definitely in a much better place overall then we were just 2 years ago.

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2 hours ago, iBot said:

 

3.  While newbies are probably to be found I think the vast majority have already come and gone.  I don't think I've found a truly new person in quite some time. 

 

There are still actual newbies out there... My nephews and their mom have only been playing for a few months. Watching them play and learn their way around the game and its systems is one of the reasons I feel like I have to keep reminding people here that the forums really aren't a flawless reflection of the game.

 

Sure... it's all easy-peasy old-hat to *US*. Most of us are vets who know exactly what we're doing, because we've done it a few hundred times before. But out in the non-forum-regular game? Things are different. 

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Taker of screenshots. Player of creepy Oranbegans and Rularuu bird-things.

Kai's Diary: The Scrapbook of a Sorcerer's Apprentice

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28 minutes ago, Coyotedancer said:

There are still actual newbies out there... My nephews and their mom have only been playing for a few months. Watching them play and learn their way around the game and its systems is one of the reasons I feel like I have to keep reminding people here that the forums really aren't a flawless reflection of the game.

This has been my experience also.  The newbies are in a lot of instances players who have a relative that played the game originally.  Second generation if you will.  So they already have some help to begin with.  It has also been my experience that there are plenty in game that help out those people when questions are asked.  And for the most part they have help from someone who played.  Hell, even returning vets will ask sometimes "Now how the hell to I get to dark astoria again?"  They quickly learn and join in.  So I don't really think there is a need to devote development resources to "improving the newbie experience."

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I'm always happy to find people rediscovering CoH/Homecoming.  That being said, it also irks me when people essentially come across as "people should play the game in my prescribed way".  Couch it in whatever flowery terms you want, but as soon as you say "people shouldn't play in X way, (assuming we're not talking about those that "roleplay" as racists/etc), then you've lost me.  Play the game however you want, (again assuming you aren't breaking the ToS/community guidelines), let others do the same, and feel free to try and convince others why playing in your preferred manner is better...

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19 hours ago, Ukase said:

 most of us have seen everything the game has to offer many times over. So why would we take our time? What would be the point when you already know the story? Tank/Brute goes in, takes alpha, other teammates fire away, next mob. That's not really a game any more - that's just repetition. So, we may as well go through it as fast as we can. 

I think this is the mentality I'm talking about.  You've played the game... so you play it in a way that hinders new players.  Of course, as long as you're solo, that's fine.  The problem comes when you attempt to group with this attitude.

 

A wise poster above said " it also irks me when people essentially come across as "people should play the game in my prescribed way".  That's essentially what this does as soon as you group.    Seriously... do what you want by yourself, but once you're in a group there are a variety of playstyles.  And a lot of people try to say that there is only one way to play the game.  I've seen people ask others not to use knockback.  And get really upset about it.  Speedrunning in a group is similar.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure these speedrunners would not bother ever group at all in their speedruns if they weren't obligated to.  Getting a group together just slows them down.  But a lot of this content requires groups, leaving them to bring others into bypassing the game.

 

As you can tell from my replies, I haven't put positive or negative valence on a lot of these observations and changes.  There are advantages and disadvantages of each really.  But this particular one... the willingness to try to game the system while in a group... I've never seen good valence in any game, and it is done in a lot of games these days.

 

Perhaps a solution would be to have the P2W vendor have a setting you can get where you just get a million merits all at once.  I mean, if content is to be bypassed anyway, just let people do it directly.  Don't force people to play the game... or even pretend to.  Just let them get their max level uber characters right from the get go, like they do with bases.  Press a button, get the resources, and do what you like.

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