Jump to content

An Overly Long Post Talking About Character Power Levels (TM)


McSpazz
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello again! It's me! McSpazz! I got quite a few likes on my post regarding flaws, so I thought I'd do ANOTHER long post talking about power levels and the complexity of managing them in a roleplay setting. ESPECIALLY in City of Heroes. Keep in mind that this is going to have a lot of my own opinions mixed in, so if you don't agree, that's fine! Consider this the ramblings of a spazz. Because that's kind of what it is. This is going to be WAAAY longer than talking about flaws since it's a more detailed topic, so there will be chapters.

If you finish this, I will give you a digital cookie.

 

CHAPTER 1: WAT

 

First of all, let's get something out of the way. What do I mean by "power level"? I don't mean something that can be defined by numbers (*crushes visor*) or character level. When I talk about power level, I mean how capable a character is in relation to everybody else. While a character with no super powers what so ever might not be able to shoot lasers, their skills and intelligence might make them hold their own against even Rularuu. However, you aren't alone here. You aren't the hero of the story. We all are.

Which can be a problem when power level is concerned.

Power levels aren't just an indication of how strong your character is in relation to everyone else, but what they are capable of. If your power level is too high, nobody will want to involve you in stories because your character will keep making challenges trivial. Ironically, there is no such thing as too LOW of a power level since even a bottom level civilian can contribute to a story. If anything, making a character super weak, at worst, limits the ways your character can impact a story on a more personal level where as, in contrast, over hyping a character's power level begins to impact the enjoyment of everyone else. It's not enough for a character's power to not be outrageous. You also need to be considerate of others. That might involve adding something to the story to explain why you cannot utilize your full power. It could even mean not actively participating at all. If you're the only one having fun, you aren't embracing the spirit of the hobby.

 

CHAPTER 2: I Wasn't Even Supposed to BE Here Today!!!

Let's say for a moment that your character is a basic mutant. They have problems and conflicts you would expect of someone at that level of heroism. Suddenly Superman swoops in and starts fixing all of their problems and now that street level mutant basically has nothing to do unless they want to take on Superman's threats which are. Uh. Well. You know. Just a bit bigger than street level.

 

Notice that I am not speaking of power gaming right now. That is to say, I'm not talking about a character designed to "win". Don't get me wrong, I'll get to that, but I want to start with a less malicious way a character's power level can be detrimental to a roleplay.

 

Basically, when entering a roleplay, you should be cautious that what you are bringing to the table isn't so huge that it invalidates other characters. You could have a character that is totally fine and balanced for saving the world kind of tasks but would totally wreck a bunch of Skulls mucking about. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to make your character just as vulnerable to an invading force of Praetorians as they are to Skulls.

How do you do that? Take Batman for example. He's seen fighting everything from punks to world destroyers. What allows him to do this is that he employs necessary force and doesn't bring more to the fight than he has to...even if it means some random thug can land a punch on him. Which does make a lot of sense in the CoH setting. Registered heroes are, after all, basically extensions of law enforcement and necessary force is a pretty important subject within that field (no political debates! Shoo! We're not talking about that right now! >:U).

In contrast, if you look at the X-Men, many of their membership would most definitely not be able to stop a world destroyer...on their own. Even if an individual X-Men is basically street level themself, their cooperation with other heroes is what makes them viable to help. A great balance overall is to tier your character to being variably middle of the road with a few very potent abilities.

 

Chapter 3: Enhancements make my character go BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

 

One of the worst ways you can determine a character's power level in any respect is by how they perform mechanically in combat. This goes for just about any form of RP setting. Remember, the most important aspect of a character is what they bring to the roleplay. The concept that the only thing that matters is how fast you can down an enemy or how many hits your character can take is what matters when building an RP character is something that even extends to tabletop games where min-maxing is put before character development.

In an MMO setting, it's even less important. Or, at least, it should be. Remember, not everyone has the same amount of time to put into an MMO or, in some cases, the IRL money to invest. Time and money can make a huge artificial difference in how well a character performs. A player's skill can also make a character mechanically stronger than other characters, but it's unfair to use that as a reflection of reality because, say it with me: you are not your character. This is one of the reasons that people that absolutely insist on using PVP to resolve IC conflict are, more often than not, bad actors. It's easy to challenge someone to a PvP match to determine the outcome of a roleplay when you have practiced PvP, have built your character for PvP, and can often tell that the person you are challenging has neither of those things.

 

Simply put: mechanics are a very poor representation of a character's actual narrative potential. That isn't to say it's useless or should be ignored entirely. After all, if a character you claim is super durable and immune to most damage is also blaster and faceplants literally every other mob when you go out to fight crime, it's going to be a little hard to not laugh and take your character just that much less seriously. Even if the narrative should take precedence.

 

CHAPTER 4: NUH UH! MY ARMOR IS BULLET PROOF AND MAGIC PROOF AND ANTI-STUPID PROOF!!!

 

And we finally reach the ugly side of poor power level management. Power gaming. While it can be done accidentally, characters that are so powerful they can basically win all of the things forever are, more often than not, designed this way because the player always wants to be part of or the entirety of the solution. While it is possible to play with these concepts in a way that is actually well done, for the sake of argument, please presume that the person using these is not an honest actor.

 

Before I go into examples of how a character can be broken power level wise, I want to first point to my overly long post talking about character flaws (TM) as that is very important reading before moving forward. Flaws can actually help balance a character out that would be totally broken otherwise. The last section on when flaws aren't really flaws is what's especially relevant here as those are what most bad actors use to try and make it "okay" that their character is capable of doing everything forever.

 

Hey. Remember how my post on flaws had a list at the end? It's time for another list.

 

  1. Complete Immunity to Hot Dogs in the Hot Dog Dimension
    Immunity to anything is an EXTREMELY potent trait. Many tabletop games, for example, only hand out immunity to a threat in rare circumstances mechanically and the dungeon master often finds themselves pulling out their hair as a result. Generally speaking, the more narrow an immunity is, the better. For example, immunity to heat might not make you immune to the fact that fire sucks out the oxygen around them. Immunity to fire might somehow make you not suffocate, but, hey. At least lightning can still ruin your day! Unless you're immune to energy which suddenly starts covering the vast majority of threats you could encounter. If a character has a super broad immunity but some means of circumventing it that doesn't involve jumping through a million hoops, that would be one thing. But COMPLETE immunity (or a very very niche circumvention method), more often than not, can just frustrate other players. If you still insist on having complete immunity with no or very very few means of circumvention, directly tie a major flaw to that immunity so it's clear to everyone else that, while you might have this cool thing they can't beat you on, it comes at a high cost. If the flaw you use to justify the immunity is unrelated, no matter how severe, you're going to find yourself frequently reminding people that the flaw balances things out which...well, doesn't sound very good.
     
  2. Eyes and Ears Everywhere. INCLUDING THERE!!!
    You know what is the absolute worst thing for a mystery? Somebody that somehow knows it all. Your character doesn't have to have information on everything. If their concept is that they're an information broker, guess what? You STILL don't know everything! Have spies in every major organization? Worms in every major data server? At some point you stop being super knowledgeable of the world around you and start being an omnipresent god. Part of the fun of being a character that strives to know everything is having to actually LEARN that everything.
     
  3. And introducing...HACKERMAN!
    It's one thing to be good at a profession. It's another thing to be perfect at a profession. It's another thing entirely to be so good at a profession that anyone who knows even a small amount about the profession screams into the void in second hand agony. While I have most commonly seen this with hacker characters, this is mainly because my major was computer science and I'm far more aware of when people who obviously did no research into how computers work start having characters do impossible things with computers. Just because your character is good at something, doesn't mean they don't sometimes struggle with it or even fail. How am I supposed to take your character seriously when they say they hacked into a Malta server and have been living in it rent free after poking around on Windows command line for a few hours? I actually plan to make an entire post talking about how I often see hacker characters miss the mark, but the ultimate tragedy of all of this is that even a cursory understanding of the subject can actually not just make your character's achievement more believable, but also more impressive. Explaining the levels of social engineering that took place in order for you to get into the payroll page on the Malta's intranet as a backdoor into their membership listing is FAR more awesome than watching your character kick up their feet and just say, "Yeah. I'm that awesome."
     
  4. EVERYTHING IS IMPERVIUM! EVERYTHING! (AKA: The lore says it exists so I can use it!)
    This comes in two flavors. The first are characters that coat everything in Impervium and the second are characters that act like Impervium is no big deal. Basically, this method of power gaming either totally abuses something acknowledged to be a thing in lore (ie: Impervium), then ignores important details in order to make something more impressive. Going back to Impervium, an example might be building an entire fortress out of Impervium while ignoring how god damn expensive it would be to build that many walls with solid impervium. Another example, in contrast, might be a character ripping impervium in half like it was cardboard despite it being literally the strongest metal known to man in the lore. It doesn't matter if it makes sense, what matter is how awesome it makes them look. This can also extend to players writing their characters to not just know but be best buddies with canon characters who swoop in to provide the kind of support only a canon character can provide.
     
  5. SUPA MAN
    While I personally feel invulnerability to damage period is something best reserved for non-player characters, it is possible to play with the concept on a player character...but it really only works if you REALLY lean in on the psychological struggle of being indestructible yourself but not being able to extend it to those around you. I know I already talked about immunity to things, but I felt like invulnerability was kind of its own topic. Not being able to be damaged can seriously draw a lot of tension out of a situation since while everyone else is worried about death, you're totes fine and it's nothing to worry about. Yeah, yeah, I know invulnerability to damage is not just a trope in comics but can also be found in CoH itself. But, hey. Even Ajax was brought low. What makes you so special? I'll admit that this one is VERY much just a personal opinion and I have roleplayed with plenty of characters that were immune to damage. They just managed to not drain the tension out of every crisis. Speaking of...
     
  6. Yeah. I'm basically Jesus.
    When it comes to the dangers heroes face, the threat of bodily harm if not death is way up there. Not just for yourself, but those around you. That pesky specter of death looms over (most) of us at (almost) all times. That makes characters that can heal or patch people up very important. There are many ways a character can fill this role, but there is one particular means by which someone can roleplay a healer that can drain the tension out of a scene faster than almost anything: healing without consequence; or, as I like to call it, Jesus Healing. No matter the injury, no matter the ailment, no matter the disease, these characters have you covered. They'll have you fixed up in a few minutes and will suffer no real cost for conducting the patch job be it time, energy, or their own health. Yeah, it is true that this is how healing kind of appears to work in CoH, but remember: this is an MMORPG. Mechanics aren't aimed at making narrative sense, they're aimed at being fun. If you play a healer character, that's great! Just be sure to add a bit of risk and a bit of cost to what your character does. Everyone else will thank you for it.
     
  7. Oh, my character doesn't do that. I mean, yes, it's exactly the same, but no! They are different!
    This is a bit of a weird one, but still something to keep an eye out for. Let's say that you want to play a character that eats souls, but are annoyed that not everything has a soul or might have a soul but is probably different than a human soul. How might you overcome this? Why, create a totally new fictional concept that functions exactly the same way as a soul, is just as bad to lose as your soul, and can have additional vulnerabilities that you can exploit because you made it up! In short, this method of power gaming basically invents new vulnerabilities in everybody else and, more often than not, is exactly like/more powerful than/more potent than something that already exists and basically only exists exists because that pre-existing thing wasn't threatening/powerful enough. It can even be specifically designed so that, by its definition, literally everybody has it and they can just ignore the people who don't want to play ball.  Remember: You do not write for other characters. If you create a concept, the more intrusive it is, the more important it is that you include an exit clause for other players to take advantage of.
     
  8. Funny you mention that! I have just the solution to that as well! AND THAT! AND THAT!!
    This is most commonly found in people that display attention seeking behavior. It's pretty easy to spot, but only as a pattern of behavior. Most commonly found in characters that proclaim to be jacks of all trade or are experts in laughably vague fields, this usually shows itself when a character somehow always has a way of solving a problem. For example, a character who is an "expert in magic" always having some random spell to fix a problem. Or a character that has nanites that are capable of basically doing anything as the situation calls for it. While similar to #3, this is usually done in far broader strokes and treats concepts as professions (such as an "engineer" being capable of robotics, complex cybernetics, hacking, software, AI, advanced physics, etc). While this is a fantasy and a character can be a prodigy in multiple fields, this becomes a problem when this leads to them always having a solution right in their back pocket.
     
  9. Oh, I don't know how to fix it. But he does! Just...let me alt onto them.
    There's nothing wrong with alts. I have many of them! Many of you reading probably have more! But there is a way alts can be abused and it's kind of similar to the previous point. Sometimes, bad actors will try and get around making a character too powerful by making a bunch of alts, making them all distinct people, but end up treating these different characters as basically a hivemind. They all know each other, they all get along directly or through another one of their characters, and they are all willing to help one another on whatever problem might arise. While the characters might be fine individually, this method of roleplay means that any character weakness or gap in understanding can be filled by another. A slight against one of these characters will trickle down their whole roster.
     
  10. Yes, I know that this is overpowered. But I'm doing this so I don't have to put up with _______
    Well. At least it's honest! I've encountered this several times. The example I will give is that a super group I was friendly with had a defense system that was insane. I'm talking about multiple turrets that fired shells the size of coke cans at near super sonic speeds at intruders. I'm talking power suppression that was somehow smart enough to only affect members and also knew if they were duplicates. I'm talking top level stuff you'd expect to be defending the god damn president of the WORLD. And...it was protecting a small group out in Etoli. When challenged on how insane their security was, they initially tried to defend it, but eventually just stated that, yeah, it's insane. But we just don't want to deal with people that want to invade the base or something. Which, while valid, doesn't have to be solved like that! You could have modest security and then just...not accept roleplay where your base gets attacked. You can write around it. Purposefully making something overpowered to ensure something doesn't happen is lazy and, really doesn't look good, and, most importantly, can totally muck up story arcs that should be unrelated.
     
  11. On 2/21/2022 at 12:41 AM, chase said:

    LET ME PUT THAT ON MY CARD:

    You probably know the type-- the person that sees financially-struggling heroes and immediately starts throwing unlimited credit lines at everyone as if he was Oprah coming onstage, "YOU get a swiss bank account... and YOU get a swiss bank account... and you- YOU ALL GET SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS."  The ones that are honestly upset when you either won't accept it ("that's not realistic- everyone would take it!") or that the impact of the life-altering (and character-concept-altering) windfall isn't being carried out the next time you run into the character.  By their logic, if I was going to pretend to be poor again, I had better have come up with an RP story to explain how I lost all their funds, and then they just want to wire me more money again.... 

    Having a financier is good and can add an extra dimension to a supergroup's play-- when done with care and caution- and yes- someone at Bezos' wealth but trying to do good might just decide to bankroll an army of heroes so they never have to worry about rent or food or the cost of bullets again... but there's a better way than single-handedly trying to wipe away an aspect that other players have written into their characters for their storytelling.

    Adding onto Chase's fine post here is that this can expand to beyond hard cash. This can also be found in characters who provide potentially costly services pro bono and barely if not entirely unprompted to people they might have even just met earlier that afternoon. If a character is going to sink a lot of resources into something, be it cash, time, or materials, they should probably have a very good personal reason for doing so if they aren't being compensated and you should consider how deep of an impact it's going to have on their bank account.
     

  12. <Insert Ancient Aliens Meme Here>
    The source of your power belongs to some distant race of alien or was gifted to you by an eldritch being that cannot understand doesn't mean that you can start doing literally anything you want. The same rules of managing how powerful a character are to keep it fun for everyone applies regardless. If somebody asks how your nanites are capable of individually having more raw computational power than a super computer, just saying "ALIENS" is not actually answering the crux of the actual concern being put forward. Some sort of alien power being the source of your immense power simply explains the source of this power. Not why it makes sense or why it isn't overpowered.

 

Here's some supplementary reading from the comment section!

44 minutes ago, Crasical said:

 

After reading An Overly Long Post Talking About Lore, Canon, and Headcanon (TM), particularly Chapter 7. This is a Video Game, I decided to come back here to talk about the grinding gears between Chapters 3 and it's neighbors, and how you can get your sleeve caught in them if you're not careful. 

 

Prelude: Roleplaying with Strangers: I'm going to right off the bat say that a lot of this can be worked around if you have a supergroup or a small group of friends you consistently roleplay with. If you're not, though? You're going to be telling stories with randoms. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's a great way to meet people and have fun and the Everlasting community is pretty chill, but it means that not everyone is going to be up-to-date on how you've written around things. 

 

The gap between Chapter 2 and Chapter 3: Are you a friendly neighborhood Spiderman? A street level protector of Kings Row? Great! Turn off exp at level 25, you're done with leveling on that character! What, does that sound unreasonable? It is. Their roleplay power level shouldn't influence their game level. But Try it the other way: If what your character can achieve in game has *no* bearing on their roleplay power level, you can just make a character and leave them at level 1. I, personally, have a lot of trouble taking people who do this seriously.

 

So how do you solve this? I... unfortunately, don't have a really good answer for this one. Saying that your IC and mechanical power levels never touch is one, but it's weird and uncomfortable when your level 1 godling gets face-planted by a hellion with a sledgehammer, or your street-level-saves-cats hero obliterates a whole fireteam of highly-trained anti-metahuman soldiers (Take your pick from Council, Malta, and Nemesis). You can just declare the actual missions you do non-canon, and never do any mission RP with anyone, but it can be limiting if you ever want to do anything other than nightclub roleplay if you can't even do any AE missions. The simplest explanation may be to acknowledge that your character CAN punch above their weight class if they need to, but for whatever reason prefer not to; because it's dangerous, expensive, exhausting, or just unpleasant for them. Or just give up on City of Heroes as a game and just use it as a costume creator/slash-chatroom with lore.

 

The gap between Chapter 3 and Chapter 4: Let me call in my friend Bane Spider Ruben for this next bit:

 

 

Put it another way: You make a Super Fighting Robot. He's immune to bullets (made of metal), he's immune to psychic attacks, and he's immune to poisons, diseases, knockout gasses and the like, being a robot and all. The game is, repeatedly and at times emphatically, going to tell you "No he's not!". Stuff down your pride and listen to the game. Not just so people on your team don't ask awkward questions when you get tear-gassed and gunned down by Malta, but so that you're not stepping on the toes of the mind controller, poison defender, and dual pistols blaster. 

 

Nobody likes "I'm immune to your powers and I'm going to be a dick about it" guy. Even if they're not Double Cosmic and talking about how they're so far above your mortal concerns, and how could a mere human with a gun possilby touch them, or they're not rubbing it in everyone's faces, It's a game about superpowers. Let people have their superpowers and let them have some effect, you're not too cool for it and the game mechanics don't back you up on this.

 

Now, this one has two corollaries : 

 

Corollary A: But you can get real chonk in this game: I'm aware. And if someone came in and started lording their Veteran Level 1000 or how they can solo those 800-whatever AE arcs over me as proof of their divine transcendance and using the game to support my impotence against them, that'd suck. That hasn't happened to me, personally, though, so I think that the advice in general holds true. Be humble, say 'Yes' to what other roleplayers say they can do and what the game itself is telling you.

 

Corollary B: I hate being mind controlled: Y'know what fair enough, you've got me there. I don't think anyone should ever push you unwillingly into roleplay that you find uncomfortable. If you never-ever want to be mind control because the lack of agency is boring or triggering or the person doing the mind control is being weird, cool! Just try and communicate that.

 

Anyway, in summary, City of Heroes is just a game, but I think that WITH allowances for stuff that is 'just game mechanics', you still should use the game to inform your view of the in-game universe. I mean, you're playing it. 

 

 

This is part of a series of tutorials regarding roleplay! You can find the full list of tutorials here!

Edited by McSpazz
Added a quote post from @Crasical
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good writeup, although I do think some of the biggest offenders will take offense to some of the characterizations and thus ignore some of the constructive points here.   Although I haven't encountered it with the return of CoH, one of the more disruptive "powers" (due to my tendency to play dirt-broke characters)

LET ME PUT THAT ON MY CARD:

You probably know the type-- the person that sees financially-struggling heroes and immediately starts throwing unlimited credit lines at everyone as if he was Oprah coming onstage, "YOU get a swiss bank account... and YOU get a swiss bank account... and you- YOU ALL GET SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS."  The ones that are honestly upset when you either won't accept it ("that's not realistic- everyone would take it!") or that the impact of the life-altering (and character-concept-altering) windfall isn't being carried out the next time you run into the character.  By their logic, if I was going to pretend to be poor again, I had better have come up with an RP story to explain how I lost all their funds, and then they just want to wire me more money again.... 

Having a financier is good and can add an extra dimension to a supergroup's play-- when done with care and caution- and yes- someone at Bezos' wealth but trying to do good might just decide to bankroll an army of heroes so they never have to worry about rent or food or the cost of bullets again... but there's a better way than single-handedly trying to wipe away an aspect that other players have written into their characters for their storytelling.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, chase said:

Good writeup, although I do think some of the biggest offenders will take offense to some of the characterizations and thus ignore some of the constructive points here.   Although I haven't encountered it with the return of CoH, one of the more disruptive "powers" (due to my tendency to play dirt-broke characters)

An excellent point! To be honest, this wasn't exactly written for the worst offenders. If somebody is doing these things aggressively, they probably wouldn't respond well to constructive criticism. I do love your suggestion and will add it to the list (with credit of course)!

  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are pretty good guidelines.  I'm going to confess I've frequently been guilty of this one:

Quote

EVERYTHING IS IMPERVIUM! EVERYTHING! (AKA: The lore says it exists so I can use it!)
This comes in two flavors. The first are characters that coat everything in Impervium and the second are characters that act like Impervium is no big deal. Basically, this method of power gaming either totally abuses something acknowledged to be a thing in lore (ie: Impervium), then ignores important details in order to make something more impressive. Going back to Impervium, an example might be building an entire fortress out of Impervium while ignoring how god damn expensive it would be to build that many walls with solid impervium. Another example, in contrast, might be a character ripping impervium in half like it was cardboard despite it being literally the strongest metal known to man in the lore. It doesn't matter if it makes sense, what matter is how awesome it makes them look. This can also extend to players writing their characters to not just know but be best buddies with canon characters who swoop in to provide the kind of support only a canon character can provide.

 

Maybe not quite EVERYTHING, but I do frequently have characters that incorporate this metal into their gear.  I always loved the exotic metals (Adamantium, Vibranium, Uru, etc.) in the Marvel Universe, and the characters that use them are some of my favorites, so I often create characters inspired by them.  It may be that my affection for the trope gets the better of me, sometimes. 

 

I do think it's okay though, if you you're playing say- a normal human who fights with swords, or the like.  Explaining how you can slice robots and invulnerable super beings with your katana is easier/more believable if it's made of an Uber-Metal.  🤷‍♂️

  • Like 3
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

One of the worst ways you can determine a character's power level in any respect is by how they perform mechanically in combat.

 

Since returning to CoH I've only jumped back into the RP pool briefly, and found myself with a group that did this (and a few other things on the list), and the experience put me right off, unfortunately. There's no correct way to have fun, and I suppose I can understand the appeal of that sort of ultimate power fantasy, but it really wasn't my cup of tea. Everything from radio missions, to TFs that were meant to have big stakes, were treated IC as being walks in the park, because mechanically they were. Every other member was IO'd out the ears, and if their video game health bar didn't drop below 99%, then IC they were barely being tickled. Recluse? Chump. Mot? We'll have him sorted in a flash.

 

There was just no tension, no stakes, and they were clearly more interested in superhero-flavoured slice-of-life, than the Avengers style life-and-death storylines they seemingly presented themselves as. Which, again, is fine, I can't begrudge someone what makes them happy, I'm just salty because I got the complete wrong impression and invested a lot of time which ultimately didn't go anywhere.

 

If there's any takeaway to be had here, it's that it's important to know what you and your RP circle are about, and to be upfront about it!

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Cancrusher said:

These are pretty good guidelines.  I'm going to confess I've frequently been guilty of this one:

 

Maybe not quite EVERYTHING, but I do frequently have characters that incorporate this metal into their gear.  I always loved the exotic metals (Adamantium, Vibranium, Uru, etc.) in the Marvel Universe, and the characters that use them are some of my favorites, so I often create characters inspired by them.  It may be that my affection for the trope gets the better of me, sometimes. 

 

I do think it's okay though, if you you're playing say- a normal human who fights with swords, or the like.  Explaining how you can slice robots and invulnerable super beings with your katana is easier/more believable if it's made of an Uber-Metal.  🤷‍♂️

 

I do want to note that incorporating the metal is different than making gear out of Impervium. From the sounds of it, you actually aren't falling into this category. So long as you aren't abusing the concept. 🙂

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

And introducing...HACKERMAN!

 

Look, don't get me wrong. I actually enjoy doing some research for my characters to make them hew closer to factual accuracy. But to really portray my roster, I'd have to be an expert in:

 

Prison culture, drug addiction, christian theology, computer programming, Mexican luchador wrestling, foraging and wilderness survival, 'comic book mad science', New York geography, herbalism, roman history, modern arms and armor, volcanology, Gaelic mythology, traditional hand-drawn illustration and cartooning techniques, military culture, and the ability to speak Spanish, Tibetan, Italian, Japanese, and Hawaiian

 

It's a bottomless rabbit-hole, and since 'the greatest roleplayer ever to live' isn't a paying gig, you don't have time to research all those things, *ESPECIALLY* to the degree needed to get not break the immersion of an expert in the field, much less impress them with your immersive portrayal of Himalayan basket weaving techniques.

 

 

now gimme my cookie

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Crasical said:

 

Look, don't get me wrong. I actually enjoy doing some research for my characters to make them hew closer to factual accuracy. But to really portray my roster, I'd have to be an expert in:

 

Prison culture, drug addiction, christian theology, computer programming, Mexican luchador wrestling, foraging and wilderness survival, 'comic book mad science', New York geography, herbalism, roman history, modern arms and armor, volcanology, Gaelic mythology, traditional hand-drawn illustration and cartooning techniques, military culture, and the ability to speak Spanish, Tibetan, Italian, Japanese, and Hawaiian

 

It's a bottomless rabbit-hole, and since 'the greatest roleplayer ever to live' isn't a paying gig, you don't have time to research all those things, *ESPECIALLY* to the degree needed to get not break the immersion of an expert in the field, much less impress them with your immersive portrayal of Himalayan basket weaving techniques.

 

 

now gimme my cookie

*Gives cookie*

Don't get me wrong, I don't expect people to be experts in what they are roleplaying. You are correct that it would be unreasonable to expect someone to be an expert in order to roleplay a character. However, having a basic understanding OR being willing to research/google something you don't know if it comes up isn't just important for an expert's immersion but everyone else's as well. I detail this in how hacking works in the real world, but what's most important is that you have at least a baseline understanding of the most basic concepts so that you at least know what you don't know.

For example, let's say I had a surgeon and they had to perform surgery to remove a bullet. I don't need to be an expert in the field to know what might go into doing that. A baseline understanding of what goes into surgery might only go so far as how they prep for surgery and what organs often need a specialist (ie: brain surgery). From there, once your surgeon actually needs to perform a surgery, you might want to do a google search for how dangerous performing surgery on that part of the body might be, but you don't need to actually research how the surgery would be performed unless you wanted to make your portrayal of the scene extra spicy.

 

Let me use one of your examples to help illustrate this better. You don't need to know anything by heart regarding volcanology that might be taught in a classroom, but you should at least know what the science covers in broad terms and perhaps what a volcanologist would need to actually do their work. The rest you can solve with google.

The goal with not falling into "Hackerman" is not to be able to not break the immersion of an expert but to aim to get as close to an expert's suspension of disbelief as possible. As a software engineer myself, I don't expect for another player to also know how to program in assembler, but I do expect them to know what a computer language is.

And, do note, the best way to avoid Hackerman is actually to speak to someone knows about the subject or to read articles talking about it from a layman's perspective when you have the chance. Trust me, if someone were to come to me asking what goes into software development and what some common mistakes are, I'd be able to provide plenty of tips.

  • Like 2
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/20/2022 at 11:41 PM, chase said:



LET ME PUT THAT ON MY CARD:

You probably know the type-- the person that sees financially-struggling heroes and immediately starts throwing unlimited credit lines at everyone as if he was Oprah coming onstage, "YOU get a swiss bank account... and YOU get a swiss bank account... and you- YOU ALL GET SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS."  The ones that are honestly upset when you either won't accept it ("that's not realistic- everyone would take it!") or that the impact of the life-altering (and character-concept-altering) windfall isn't being carried out the next time you run into the character.  By their logic, if I was going to pretend to be poor again, I had better have come up with an RP story to explain how I lost all their funds, and then they just want to wire me more money again.... 

Having a financier is good and can add an extra dimension to a supergroup's play-- when done with care and caution- and yes- someone at Bezos' wealth but trying to do good might just decide to bankroll an army of heroes so they never have to worry about rent or food or the cost of bullets again... but there's a better way than single-handedly trying to wipe away an aspect that other players have written into their characters for their storytelling.

I always tend to ignore the influence = cash conundrum.  Yes I'm capped on influence with some characters with more in email to withdraw if needed, but the characters are mostly working class. People keep offering to 'buy them things' and with a few exceptions the character will just flat-out refuse. The lack of a real money currency in the game makes this one easier to ignore for me. But yep, it is a problem.  I don't know how many multi-billionaire Tony Starks we have running around, but it seems to be a lot.

  • Like 3
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

After reading An Overly Long Post Talking About Lore, Canon, and Headcanon (TM), particularly Chapter 7. This is a Video Game, I decided to come back here to talk about the grinding gears between Chapters 3 and it's neighbors, and how you can get your sleeve caught in them if you're not careful. 

 

Prelude: Roleplaying with Strangers: I'm going to right off the bat say that a lot of this can be worked around if you have a supergroup or a small group of friends you consistently roleplay with. If you're not, though? You're going to be telling stories with randoms. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's a great way to meet people and have fun and the Everlasting community is pretty chill, but it means that not everyone is going to be up-to-date on how you've written around things. 

 

The gap between Chapter 2 and Chapter 3: Are you a friendly neighborhood Spiderman? A street level protector of Kings Row? Great! Turn off exp at level 25, you're done with leveling on that character! What, does that sound unreasonable? It is. Their roleplay power level shouldn't influence their game level. But Try it the other way: If what your character can achieve in game has *no* bearing on their roleplay power level, you can just make a character and leave them at level 1. I, personally, have a lot of trouble taking people who do this seriously.

 

So how do you solve this? I... unfortunately, don't have a really good answer for this one. Saying that your IC and mechanical power levels never touch is one, but it's weird and uncomfortable when your level 1 godling gets face-planted by a hellion with a sledgehammer, or your street-level-saves-cats hero obliterates a whole fireteam of highly-trained anti-metahuman soldiers (Take your pick from Council, Malta, and Nemesis). You can just declare the actual missions you do non-canon, and never do any mission RP with anyone, but it can be limiting if you ever want to do anything other than nightclub roleplay if you can't even do any AE missions. The simplest explanation may be to acknowledge that your character CAN punch above their weight class if they need to, but for whatever reason prefer not to; because it's dangerous, expensive, exhausting, or just unpleasant for them. Or just give up on City of Heroes as a game and just use it as a costume creator/slash-chatroom with lore.

 

The gap between Chapter 3 and Chapter 4: Let me call in my friend Bane Spider Ruben for this next bit:

 

Quote
  • (Optional) I won't be needing that. I don't have what you'd call a 'normal' brain.

Ruben folds his arms, and his tone becomes somewhat disparaging.

Oh, is that so? You're completely immune to psychic influence? If I called in a Fortunata right now, she wouldn't be able to cause you any harm?

Ruben sighs beneath his helmet.

Look, I think you're underestimating the definition of 'mind' here. It's not a question of biology, it's a question of perception. If you're sentient enough to stand here, talk to me, and make your own decisions, then it's a sure bet that you have enough of a mind to be susceptible to psychic influence. That means psionic attacks, but it also means psychic persuasion and mind control.

There are ways to mitigate those dangers, however, and that's what I'm offering you. If you want to go undercover, you're going to need a Psychic Damper. Understand?

 

Put it another way: You make a Super Fighting Robot. He's immune to bullets (made of metal), he's immune to psychic attacks, and he's immune to poisons, diseases, knockout gasses and the like, being a robot and all. The game is, repeatedly and at times emphatically, going to tell you "No he's not!". Stuff down your pride and listen to the game. Not just so people on your team don't ask awkward questions when you get tear-gassed and gunned down by Malta, but so that you're not stepping on the toes of the mind controller, poison defender, and dual pistols blaster. 

 

Nobody likes "I'm immune to your powers and I'm going to be a dick about it" guy. Even if they're not Double Cosmic and talking about how they're so far above your mortal concerns, and how could a mere human with a gun possilby touch them, or they're not rubbing it in everyone's faces, It's a game about superpowers. Let people have their superpowers and let them have some effect, you're not too cool for it and the game mechanics don't back you up on this.

 

Now, this one has two corollaries : 

 

Corollary A: But you can get real chonk in this game: I'm aware. And if someone came in and started lording their Veteran Level 1000 or how they can solo those 800-whatever AE arcs over me as proof of their divine transcendance and using the game to support my impotence against them, that'd suck. That hasn't happened to me, personally, though, so I think that the advice in general holds true. Be humble, say 'Yes' to what other roleplayers say they can do and what the game itself is telling you.

 

Corollary B: I hate being mind controlled: Y'know what fair enough, you've got me there. I don't think anyone should ever push you unwillingly into roleplay that you find uncomfortable. If you never-ever want to be mind control because the lack of agency is boring or triggering or the person doing the mind control is being weird, cool! Just try and communicate that.

 

Anyway, in summary, City of Heroes is just a game, but I think that WITH allowances for stuff that is 'just game mechanics', you still should use the game to inform your view of the in-game universe. I mean, you're playing it. 

 

  • Like 4

Tanking is only half the battle. The other half...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later
On 2/20/2022 at 10:41 PM, McSpazz said:


 

  1. Funny you mention that! I have just the solution to that as well! AND THAT! AND THAT!!
    This is most commonly found in people that display attention seeking behavior. It's pretty easy to spot, but only as a pattern of behavior. Most commonly found in characters that proclaim to be jacks of all trade or are experts in laughably vague fields, this usually shows itself when a character somehow always has a way of solving a problem. For example, a character who is an "expert in magic" always having some random spell to fix a problem. Or a character that has nanites that are capable of basically doing anything as the situation calls for it. While similar to #3, this is usually done in far broader strokes and treats concepts as professions (such as an "engineer" being capable of robotics, complex cybernetics, hacking, software, AI, advanced physics, etc). While this is a fantasy and a character can be a prodigy in multiple fields, this becomes a problem when this leads to them always having a solution right in their back pocket.



Might be a Bit bias on this one as I mostly play a mage But to me magic probably could solve Everything if it was real, I mean it's magic BUT again if its an RP then how you get to that spot is what matters. What your power are out of control and you want magic to fix it sure. There is a spell we will need to Break into the COT to get the book, Great we got the book now ne need to go all over and get the material for it. good you got all that, now we need to wait till the full moon and cast the enchantment on this amulet. Got that done Great now keep the amulet and your power will be under control, make sure the Circle does not know you have it OR any villain its worth a lot people will try and steal it and we will have to do all this again.

I disagree with most your points up there the Issue is not the Rpers its how they do the RP 

One of the worst ways you can determine a character's power level in any respect is by how they perform mechanically in combat.

How else should I see your power level? if you can just tell me why bother with the mmo? just RP online in Text. Are you Superman well then why are you spending 90% of your time on the ground vs skulls. If you want to play the game but also be "weak" you get more then one build. all my toons have 3 builds Solo/Team/RP you can swap between them with a push of a button, some of my toons RP build are not even past lvl 30 But they still have a lvl 50 still full io set and incarnates because I like there build. I'm not going to say you have to have a full build to be able to RP but if you want to RP as a Demi god and be lvl 1 in pocket D some how I have to look at this and know in a moment you could end the universe with a thought you need to put in more effort then the Link to your 500 page back story in your info.

I do agree there is little for the "batman" to do is most mish in COH I would like them to have more one guy fights off the mob of ambush while the other one does there computer skills to stop the robots as the turn on but nothing can be done there unless you make your own AE (and I do try to make more interesting things in my AE mish for everything like a clue you would only get if your magical etc) But at the end of the day each player wanted to be a different hero and sure when the rik'ti war hits superman flys up and attacks the ship and batman stays on the ground and teams up with the lower level heros giving them orders and protecting the Civs. nothing wrong with that that is what they wanted to RP as.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, kito said:

How else should I see your power level? if you can just tell me why bother with the mmo? just RP online in Text. Are you Superman well then why are you spending 90% of your time on the ground vs skulls. If you want to play the game but also be "weak" you get more then one build. all my toons have 3 builds Solo/Team/RP you can swap between them with a push of a button, some of my toons RP build are not even past lvl 30 But they still have a lvl 50 still full io set and incarnates because I like there build. I'm not going to say you have to have a full build to be able to RP but if you want to RP as a Demi god and be lvl 1 in pocket D some how I have to look at this and know in a moment you could end the universe with a thought you need to put in more effort then the Link to your 500 page back story in your info.

 

I think there's a balance to be struck here, especially in the current game environment.

If we just follow how the game works now, how easy things are to get, and the general power creep from late LIVE... if you RP strict mechanics, every character becomes a god.  The only way to not become a god who can utterly decimate anything the universal lore says should be a threat is to start gimping yourself mechanically, and as someone who used to do that, I can tell you.  It does not feel good, especially if you're rolling with people who do not do it as well.

 

At the same time, playing City of Dynasty Warriors against a mook army and trying to RP stakes can be tough as well.  (To Devs: I would absolutely love a notoriety setting that isn't just pure +levels, but something akin to Oroboros' challenge mode with buffing enemies stats/abilities directly for all content; but I can only imagine the nightmare there.)

 

We can move it from Game Mechanics to something more concrete on achievements and make it all based on your badges, but that's a whole new can of worms too.

 

It's because of that generally I use game mechanics as more of a guide of how the RP went.  My character took 0 damage that encounter against Recluse because they're IO'd out to the brim, but RPly my character had a decent slug out and probably caught a blade or three.  That two second stun was much longer in RP.

 

... of course the other question is "What stops someone rolling in at level 1."  ...and honestly, and I say this with full respect, but unless that character is an RP Alt of a level 50 or some such I generally won't go past surface-level RP with them.  Not that I don't respect their RP, or that they can't do that because it doesn't match mechanics or anything... but a character at level 1 feels like a concept.  A sketch.  It's someone taking a rental for a drive to see if they like it.  You don't have to grind out to level 50, but give the character some gameplay love, to show that they're more then just a shower thought being taken for a test run.  I just really want to know that they'll still exist tomorrow.

Edited by overlordoutpost
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, kito said:

How else should I see your power level? if you can just tell me why bother with the mmo? just RP online in Text. Are you Superman well then why are you spending 90% of your time on the ground vs skulls. If you want to play the game but also be "weak" you get more then one build. all my toons have 3 builds Solo/Team/RP you can swap between them with a push of a button, some of my toons RP build are not even past lvl 30 But they still have a lvl 50 still full io set and incarnates because I like there build. I'm not going to say you have to have a full build to be able to RP but if you want to RP as a Demi god and be lvl 1 in pocket D some how I have to look at this and know in a moment you could end the universe with a thought you need to put in more effort then the Link to your 500 page back story in your info.

 

Not a bad question! To be very frank, roleplay is greater than the sum of where it is played.
 

8 hours ago, kito said:

if you can just tell me why bother with the mmo? just RP online in Text.

 

This here is the cornerstone of my disagreement as to your complaint. Here's the fact of the matter, Kito.

 

You are just RPing online in text.

 

In MMO roleplay, you have no true control over the world. You only have control over your own character and what others allow you to control. You have no universal mechanic that the devs have offered from on high for the roleplayers to play around with. The only difference between a forum based freeform text roleplay and MMO roleplay is the medium. The game's mechanics only apply if you demand that they do.

 

Part of the appeal of MMO roleplay is that it's a visual medium. Having an RP take place in some kind of environment can heavily simplify how much a person needs to write out. You don't need to describe the world as heavily. Even in situations where you are playing theater of the mind and playing in a totally empty room, simply having character models that can emote and visibly move from one location to another can dramatically speed up actions. This is the reason why (from my experience) people that started roleplay in MMO's struggle to write as detailed of a post as someone coming from a forum background where as someone from a forum background can end up finding themselves slowing everyone else down in a more rapid posting environment like an MMO.

 

And, you know, having a video game attached to your medium so you can do something other than recreate Second Life is a big bonus too.

 

But there's one other consideration you should keep in mind as to my thought process here.

 

8 hours ago, kito said:

Are you Superman well then why are you spending 90% of your time on the ground vs skulls. If you want to play the game but also be "weak" you get more then one build.

8 hours ago, kito said:

I do agree there is little for the "batman" to do is most mish in COH I would like them to have more one guy fights off the mob of ambush while the other one does there computer skills to stop the robots as the turn on but nothing can be done there unless you make your own AE

 

You, my friend, are limiting yourself for no other reason than the game exists. The very limitations of the medium are making you forget that roleplay is a narrative experience.

 

I have been in several tabletop games and one thing that stood out to me is how a difference in philosophy changed what the game was really about. For example, in one of my first D&D groups, the people leading the game were very mechanic driven and were all about min-maxing. In fact, most of the content they put out actively rewarded emphasizing in combat utility over out of combat utility. The end result was that while there was definitely storytelling and roleplay happening, it was more like the game was on a fixed rail with a little bit of wiggle room. It didn't matter that I found a cool spell that let me ask a literal room what had happened in it because there was never a situation where we had to utilize roleplay in a way that could change our course of action. Roleplay was the filler for the actual content. Meanwhile, in a more recent Shadowrun game I was in, there was a far greater emphasis on roleplay. In fact, over the many months the game ran, we were only in at most five situations where we had to concern ourselves with combat. Our decisions mattered, what we told the DM we wanted to do was what we were doing, and the roleplay actively determined what we did and the consequences there of. Our rolls and stats mattered, sure, but our decisions mattered far more.

 

Don't get me wrong. Mechanics did matter to a degree. If I roleplayed a character as having a horrible score with intelligence but still acting as if they were totes super smart, I'd kind of be shooting myself in the foot. But what made the second far more enjoyable to me as a roleplayer was that I was helping create a narrative and not simply working around a pre-assembled game. I was spending more time considering what my team's next action should be over which skill I should pick up to better improve our ability to operate in combat.

 

But, as I said earlier, there is no universal rulebook on how to roleplay in an MMO. There's no D&D styled player handbook for this. If anything, taken as it is, an MMO without active roleplaying is far closer to the first tabletop group I mentioned. You are formulating a character around the mechanics you are given and not the narrative of the game world itself. It's like Overlord said...

 

5 hours ago, overlordoutpost said:

I think there's a balance to be struck here, especially in the current game environment.

If we just follow how the game works now, how easy things are to get, and the general power creep from late LIVE... if you RP strict mechanics, every character becomes a god.  The only way to not become a god who can utterly decimate anything the universal lore says should be a threat is to start gimping yourself mechanically, and as someone who used to do that, I can tell you.  It does not feel good, especially if you're rolling with people who do not do it as well.

 

At the same time, playing City of Dynasty Warriors against a mook army and trying to RP stakes can be tough as well.

 

It's true that someone roleplaying a character in a way that is COMPLETELY opposed to how the character actually mechanically operates can destroy everyone's suspension of disbelief. It's like I said earlier with acting as if a character with a low INT score was smart but constantly not having that pan out over the span of the game. But as Overlord said, if we treat mechanics as being important in constructing the narrative too strictly, you end up with...well, basically all of the problems listed above.

But wait! There's more!

 

Even if we totally ignore the issues of power creep, how well slotted you are (which can also be restricted to how much time you have IRL to play), all of it...you also end up with another issue. I bring this up in another write-up I did (I forget which), but another big reason mechanics can be a huge source of confusion is actually because it can actually make the game lore itself extremely confusing.

 

Just to start out with, your character level isn't your power level. It's your security or threat level. It's a representation of the level of threat you are known to be able to handle. If we look at character level as an explanation of power level instead of simply a way pencil pushers push you into a different box, a lot of things within the game start making far less sense. Why is your superman character having to fight just as hard against a bunch of civilians driven insane by psychic waves and are wielding primarily improvised weapons as they might against Rularuu's minions? If Snakes are a low threat that are only physically dangerous enough for people below level 10 to worry about, why does the group also exist in an almost identical manner as a level 50 group? Why are the Council a threat from mid level all the way to end game? Hell, you fight Longbow from level 1 to level 50 red side and the only thing that changes are that the bosses get swapped around. There's no difference between a Longbow soldier wielding an assault rifle at level 1 and level 50 in the game's actual narrative. The only thing that changes is the game mechanically has to make them higher level because it is a game.

 

And then you get to factors like powerset revamps or introductions. Is my sonic character less of a singer now that there is a powerset built around singing? Did a regen character become ICly less powerful when regen was nerfed back in the day? Is the water powerset simply water or is it acceptable to recolor it red to make it blood? You yourself brought up multiple builds for the same character. Why is the level 20 build of a character weaker than the level 50 version of that character? All of these questions are going to be considered not from a mechanical perspective but from a narrative perspective.

 

You aren't going to go from Wolverine to Wolverine-Lite ICly just because the devs decided your powerset was too strong. You aren't going to push up your glasses and actually somebody because they are trying to show a power as being something that it isn't mechanically. An argument over if a character's energy shield would deflect a bullet or not because the forcefield powerset works off of defense and the energy aura set works off of resistance is more than likely just going to make everyone angry and kind of misses the overall intention of having the shield to begin with.

 

Basically, to try and sum up this long as hell ramble, the core of my argument against using mechanics is that we ignore game elements that are not conducive to a good narrative/roleplay experience all of the time.

 

Why would we start doing that with power levels?

  • Thanks 2
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, kito said:

Might be a Bit bias on this one as I mostly play a mage But to me magic probably could solve Everything if it was real, I mean it's magic BUT again if its an RP then how you get to that spot is what matters. What your power are out of control and you want magic to fix it sure. There is a spell we will need to Break into the COT to get the book, Great we got the book now ne need to go all over and get the material for it. good you got all that, now we need to wait till the full moon and cast the enchantment on this amulet. Got that done Great now keep the amulet and your power will be under control, make sure the Circle does not know you have it OR any villain its worth a lot people will try and steal it and we will have to do all this again.

 

And sorry for the double post, but I did forget to address this.

 

Even if I were to grant that magic can theoretically fix anything, I think even to you it would be a stretch to say that a magic character could know all of the magic that would be required to fix all solutions. Even then, your own solution to this metaphorical problem had a major caveat. 

 

9 hours ago, kito said:

good you got all that, now we need to wait till the full moon and cast the enchantment on this amulet. Got that done Great now keep the amulet and your power will be under control, make sure the Circle does not know you have it OR any villain its worth a lot people will try and steal it and we will have to do all this again.

 

Not only does the magic require a potentially disadvantageous timeframe to cast, but they now have a major complication they need to consider. It's not even a solution as much as it is a patch for an ongoing problem. When I say "they always have a solution", I don't just mean that they are always capable but ALSO that it just outright fixes the problem. It would be like if someone's character had super space cancer and then another character just proclaimed that they can fix it. It's not just that the character had a fix for a super rare and unusual problem that has never been a subject of any prior RP or conversation (in this example), but the fact that their character has presented they have the perfect solution means that it wouldn't make sense for that character to turn it down because the player doesn't think it's as fun of a story. They're forced to try and find some reason this perfect solution doesn't work at which point the person that displays this kind of behavior steps in not long after to immediately be the solution yet again.

Edited by McSpazz
  • Thanks 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, McSpazz said:

An argument over if a character's energy shield would deflect a bullet or not because the forcefield powerset works off of defense and the energy aura set works off of resistance is more than likely just going to make everyone angry and kind of misses the overall intention of having the shield to begin with.

Uhh, ACKSHUALLY... Energy Aura also works off of Defense, my dude. Your point still stands, though.

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, McSpazz said:

Not only does the magic require a potentially disadvantageous timeframe to cast, but they now have a major complication they need to consider. It's not even a solution as much as it is a patch for an ongoing problem. When I say "they always have a solution", I don't just mean that they are always capable but ALSO that it just outright fixes the problem. It would be like if someone's character had super space cancer and then another character just proclaimed that they can fix it. It's not just that the character had a fix for a super rare and unusual problem that has never been a subject of any prior RP or conversation (in this example), but the fact that their character has presented they have the perfect solution means that it wouldn't make sense for that character to turn it down because the player doesn't think it's as fun of a story. They're forced to try and find some reason this perfect solution doesn't work at which point the person that displays this kind of behavior steps in not long after to immediately be the solution yet again.

I understood your point in my Made up Example it was how you could still use magic to "fix" the problem and not have it more or less be a instant perma fix and have RP to build on. But again If your a high lvl magic caster you could Fix some issues on the spot forever Like Super Cancer, Again it's magic IMO it can do anything, if COH magic was better defined it would have issues but its not.
The approache I often take as a Caster who can "fix anything" when rping with people is often just ask them have they looked into magic it can prob fix anything, if they say they don't want that I drop it and RP more the way they want to fix W/E problem they have. Its there toon and there RP I'm just along for the ride. IF they had no idea and just wanted anyone to fix it and leap at the magic option I talk with them OOC on what they want and work to there Goal. That just IMO how you RP with people, I mean sure you could use Super Science alien stuff etc, my McGuffin is Magic. But it does not change again that in COH magic can prob Fix or Break anything as far as the setting. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, McSpazz said:

This here is the cornerstone of my disagreement as to your complaint. Here's the fact of the matter, Kito.

 

You are just RPing online in text.

 

In MMO roleplay, you have no true control over the world. You only have control over your own character and what others allow you to control. You have no universal mechanic that the devs have offered from on high for the roleplayers to play around with. The only difference between a forum based freeform text roleplay and MMO roleplay is the medium. The game's mechanics only apply if you demand that they do.

 


I just don't agree with this, just a difference of opinion I guess. 

 

22 hours ago, kito said:

I do agree there is little for the "batman" to do is most mish in COH I would like them to have more one guy fights off the mob of ambush while the other one does there computer skills to stop the robots as the turn on but nothing can be done there unless you make your own AE (and I do try to make more interesting things in my AE mish for everything like a clue you would only get if your magical etc) 


This was just more of the point It would be nice if there was more to do in Mish then just Hit things. most TF I think could add extra side objectives to this stuff kind of like In ITF how you can Hack the turrets and turn them into allies.

 

not that you cant RP something because its not a mechanic in the game Just it would be nice IF there was more things to do in big mish then just hit things till they fall.

 

19 hours ago, overlordoutpost said:

 

I think there's a balance to be struck here, especially in the current game environment.

If we just follow how the game works now, how easy things are to get, and the general power creep from late LIVE... if you RP strict mechanics, every character becomes a god.  The only way to not become a god who can utterly decimate anything the universal lore says should be a threat is to start gimping yourself mechanically, and as someone who used to do that, I can tell you.  It does not feel good, especially if you're rolling with people who do not do it as well.

 

At the same time, playing City of Dynasty Warriors against a mook army and trying to RP stakes can be tough as well.  (To Devs: I would absolutely love a notoriety setting that isn't just pure +levels, but something akin to Oroboros' challenge mode with buffing enemies stats/abilities directly for all content; but I can only imagine the nightmare there.)

 

We can move it from Game Mechanics to something more concrete on achievements and make it all based on your badges, but that's a whole new can of worms too.

 

It's because of that generally I use game mechanics as more of a guide of how the RP went.  My character took 0 damage that encounter against Recluse because they're IO'd out to the brim, but RPly my character had a decent slug out and probably caught a blade or three.  That two second stun was much longer in RP.

 

... of course the other question is "What stops someone rolling in at level 1."  ...and honestly, and I say this with full respect, but unless that character is an RP Alt of a level 50 or some such I generally won't go past surface-level RP with them.  Not that I don't respect their RP, or that they can't do that because it doesn't match mechanics or anything... but a character at level 1 feels like a concept.  A sketch.  It's someone taking a rental for a drive to see if they like it.  You don't have to grind out to level 50, but give the character some gameplay love, to show that they're more then just a shower thought being taken for a test run.  I just really want to know that they'll still exist tomorrow.

 

Like I Said you Get 3 builds I agree gimping yourself for the sake of a In game mish will suck and most the time is pointless, Unless your in a RP Sg you like and Everyone has more or less built to be a "team" mine was less about I wont see you as superman if your not lvl 50 max build (unless you want to keep up PVP for W/E reason and I have to loose cuz your Superman) I just Break the RP in 2 parts In world RP and In base Rp.

In World RP you need to be playable it might affect the Idea to your hero's Story like a petless MM because you want a whip. Its fine to do that and I wont be mad at people if they want to be there hero But you get 3 builds make you Petless MM one of the 3 for fun don't jump into a Master TF run and say ITS MY RP. might as well say its what my Character would do. like D&D and most game  you need to be able to Function at your in game job. But like you Said its Easy to be strong in this game, if you don't have the time or Inf to build into a demi god (and somehow you dont know a player willing to just give you INF or earn it in some way because you have to do it all yourself with your 20 min limited time to play) you can still do -1 mish and beat everything. But if you have limited time you are prob only Rping the outher way.

I base RP the pen and paper stuff Sure you can be a lvl 2 demi god you just got here and are not going to "lvl" up as you don't care about human Security level. All fine you want to be a arrogant Jack ass in pocket D for 6 hours on how your the best and w/e Sure its your RP, (or the other way a lvl 50 "normal" human) But then to Challenge Everyone to fights or mind control people and they have to do what you say, Sure i'll go along with it but in my mind you need to beat me in PVP or something ( i do not build for pvp)
I'm fine with letting people "be who they want" until they try to affect my Toon into w/e there doing, then IMO I can opt out or we can use in game mechanic to Decide how the RP will go ( you can also just type it all out but I prefer to use what's in the game or why play the game I can do that in discord or form RP) 

I do not find the RP mix well together. but you can use both, after a mish it was not uncommon for the SG to go back to base heal up (one of the players was a DR) if you fell in the mish you might have a broken bone or W/E if you heal super fast you might not need them or have inv you might Decide you can always fall and never be hurt or you did not even "fall" just you where thrown thew a wall and had to hold it up until a hero could assist you or you fond people and had to get them out of danger. how you Decide what a in game mechanic works for you is fine for me but there part of the game and should not just be ignored because its not what you want to happen.

  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In answer to the Cosmically Overpowered besting every challenge simply because they can use their abilities as Alexander the Great cut the Gordian Knot with his sword, there's a specific trope:  "Nice Job Breaking It Hero".  This is the "simple solution" that more often than not results in a Bigger Problem.  The villain WANTED someone to come along and just push the damn button, or blow up the computer, or (insert random destructive action here). 

 

Which means that if you know Hero X is predisposed to just throwing their powers around to solve problems, you as the narrator need to set things up so that finesse is required, not a god-mode flex and we're done shooting for the day.  

 

It's too bad that you can't write an AE arc where doing something like blowing up a destructible object FAILS the mission... because then I'd seed the map with a few destructible copies of the "click on me to accomplish something" object, so that Figuring Out Which Doohickey To Work With becomes the object of the mission.  No, don't press THAT button, it launches and then detonates the world-cracking missile.  That Would Be Bad.

  • Thanks 1
  • Thumbs Up 2

AE ARC's (So Far!)

--------------------

15252 Child of the Tsoo - [SFMA] Ninjas, sorcerers, and human trafficking (Origin Story - Stick Figure/Storm Lotus)

50769 Hunt of the Eclipse - [SFMA] Finding something that was lost to Arachnos for nearly 20 years (Origin Story - Daisy Chain)

53149 Spells as a Service - [SFMA] When a young hacker makes a connection between magic and mathematics and encodes it into a computer program, chaos breaks loose!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have enjoyed this  lots of memories from live some good some bad some done by me some happening to me over all it helped get me a handle on my writing style. So I will say one thing about wealthy characters and sg's. I have played several characters who were Scrooge Mc Duck wealthy 2 were heroes one was a villain, one helped finance the sg (( Watchtower-Batman, Avengers-Tony Stark)) the other was ala Gringots-Harry Potter very old money he used his money to control things he thought he had to do opening himself up to blackmail and to buy peoples silence. Not ass smart as he thought he was. It was RP for him to throw money around but the hero was a very broken person, and the best was my Villain who simply was a villain to be evil not because he needed money but because he had it. Can it be abused YES. But it also can be a fun twist if used to move the storyline /plot along. 

  • Like 2

Evil only wins if good people do nothing. Don't just talk the talk, Walk the talk. 

FBSA Home Page

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/15/2022 at 5:17 AM, kito said:

In World RP you need to be playable it might affect the Idea to your hero's Story like a petless MM because you want a whip. Its fine to do that and I wont be mad at people if they want to be there hero But you get 3 builds make you Petless MM one of the 3 for fun don't jump into a Master TF run and say ITS MY RP. might as well say its what my Character would do. like D&D and most game  you need to be able to Function at your in game job. But like you Said its Easy to be strong in this game, if you don't have the time or Inf to build into a demi god (and somehow you dont know a player willing to just give you INF or earn it in some way because you have to do it all yourself with your 20 min limited time to play) you can still do -1 mish and beat everything. But if you have limited time you are prob only Rping the outher way.

I base RP the pen and paper stuff Sure you can be a lvl 2 demi god you just got here and are not going to "lvl" up as you don't care about human Security level. All fine you want to be a arrogant Jack ass in pocket D for 6 hours on how your the best and w/e Sure its your RP, (or the other way a lvl 50 "normal" human) But then to Challenge Everyone to fights or mind control people and they have to do what you say, Sure i'll go along with it but in my mind you need to beat me in PVP or something ( i do not build for pvp)
I'm fine with letting people "be who they want" until they try to affect my Toon into w/e there doing, then IMO I can opt out or we can use in game mechanic to Decide how the RP will go ( you can also just type it all out but I prefer to use what's in the game or why play the game I can do that in discord or form RP) 

I do not find the RP mix well together. but you can use both, after a mish it was not uncommon for the SG to go back to base heal up (one of the players was a DR) if you fell in the mish you might have a broken bone or W/E if you heal super fast you might not need them or have inv you might Decide you can always fall and never be hurt or you did not even "fall" just you where thrown thew a wall and had to hold it up until a hero could assist you or you fond people and had to get them out of danger. how you Decide what a in game mechanic works for you is fine for me but there part of the game and should not just be ignored because its not what you want to happen.

 

Firstly, I want to be clear that I am aiming my advice not JUST to City of Heroes roleplay but MMO roleplay as a whole. While my examples are often based in City of Heroes, I want what I provide to be useful in more than just one setting.

Second, I think you might be missing some of the points I was trying to make in my previous reply. I agree that bringing a character not built for a Master TF run to a Master TF run is irresponsible, but that really has nothing to do with what we're talking about here. You are correct that a character needs to be able to perform their tasks when running the in game content. If you want to be a valuable member of your team when running game content, your character should be mechanically able to run it.

But we aren't talking about running in game content. There are things that would be entirely feasible for a character to have or to do in the CoH universe but are not something you can actually back-up with in game mechanics. Do rich characters need to have a ton of Inf in order to roleplaying being rich? Does someone who's character has an amazing hideout need to be an amazing basebuilder and actually build the hideout? If someone is a fire/fire blaster and they write that their character is highly resistant to fire need to be able to run a firefarm to justify the trait? Is a level 50 fully built staff/willpower brute who's concept is literally "I'm a janitor" stronger than your character because they can beat you in PvP?

I would argue no on all counts. You are ENTIRELY correct that you have every right to opt out of any situation you don't like, but we are once again falling back to our ultimate disagreement as to how much roleplaying in an MMO differs from a freeform forum based roleplay. In my opinion, the game's mechanics help inform a roleplay and are a tool to be used. There is nothing about the actual mechanics of the game that make utilizing every aspect of them an absolute requirement.

 

 

11 hours ago, American Valor said:

So I will say one thing about wealthy characters and sg's.

 

Just wanted to clarify that wealthy characters are not necessarily a bad thing. Like much of what was listed, how you utilize a concept is often what separates it from a cool idea or a head ache. From the sounds if it, you had a really cool thing going for you! 🙂

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, McSpazz said:

 

Firstly, I want to be clear that I am aiming my advice not JUST to City of Heroes roleplay but MMO roleplay as a whole. While my examples are often based in City of Heroes, I want what I provide to be useful in more than just one setting.

Second, I think you might be missing some of the points I was trying to make in my previous reply. I agree that bringing a character not built for a Master TF run to a Master TF run is irresponsible, but that really has nothing to do with what we're talking about here. You are correct that a character needs to be able to perform their tasks when running the in game content. If you want to be a valuable member of your team when running game content, your character should be mechanically able to run it.

But we aren't talking about running in game content. There are things that would be entirely feasible for a character to have or to do in the CoH universe but are not something you can actually back-up with in game mechanics. Do rich characters need to have a ton of Inf in order to roleplaying being rich? Does someone who's character has an amazing hideout need to be an amazing basebuilder and actually build the hideout? If someone is a fire/fire blaster and they write that their character is highly resistant to fire need to be able to run a firefarm to justify the trait? Is a level 50 fully built staff/willpower brute who's concept is literally "I'm a janitor" stronger than your character because they can beat you in PvP?

I would argue no on all counts. You are ENTIRELY correct that you have every right to opt out of any situation you don't like, but we are once again falling back to our ultimate disagreement as to how much roleplaying in an MMO differs from a freeform forum based roleplay. In my opinion, the game's mechanics help inform a roleplay and are a tool to be used. There is nothing about the actual mechanics of the game that make utilizing every aspect of them an absolute requirement.

 

 

 

Just wanted to clarify that wealthy characters are not necessarily a bad thing. Like much of what was listed, how you utilize a concept is often what separates it from a cool idea or a head ache. From the sounds if it, you had a really cool thing going for you! 🙂


that Because it is not an answer to you but to Overlordoutpost My answer to you was I just don't agree with this, just a difference of opinion I guess. 

But to address each point.

First: Every MMO is different there is no one way that works best for them how you RP in COH will often be different in say WOW. The people community and overall game mechanics change everything on General RP in mmos.

Second: This was just a point on What I called In world RP, it had nothing to do with the in base Rp was just explaining to Overlordoutpost how I divide the 2 RP and how you can take a lvl 2 in pocket D seriously but should not let your "RP Ides" kill important in game mechanics if your planning to play in the world. 

But we aren't talking about running in game content./   I was
There are things that would be entirely feasible for a character to have or to do in the CoH universe but are not something you can actually back-up with in game mechanics. / True but that is why when your playing "In base RP"  you more or less ignore game mechanics for the most part, Witch is what I more or less said.

Do rich characters need to have a ton of Inf in order to roleplaying being rich? ( no? inf is not $ its inf the game made INF the currency so your toon could be Rich with $ and make like crazy advanced teck and not have to be in game rich to justify it.


Does someone who's character has an amazing hideout need to be an amazing basebuilder and actually build the hideout? ( no but it would be cool,)
If someone is a fire/fire blaster and they write that their character is highly resistant to fire need to be able to run a firefarm to justify the trait? ( depends? for IN WORLD RP yes they should be good Vs fire as there power will give them al ot of defense for it. IN BASE no they can do w/e they want nothing matters in Base is 90% just Text base)

Is a level 50 fully built staff/willpower brute who's concept is literally "I'm a janitor" stronger than your character because they can beat you in PvP? ( could be? "weak" people beat "strong" ones all the time in Comic books the point of the In base PVP was not to prove who is stronger but to help make the story. you could just to Text base RP of ya im hulk I must auto win Because hulk is strongest there is, if you want to do that your free to, I argue why play the mmo then, use the mechanics to the games like you would a GM do a pvp fight Or dice or w/e you want and see who wins then Rp abound the the result you did not know you where going to have over just RP what you wanted to happen because HULK STRONG. COH PVP can turn off all enhancements make you both w/e lvl you want etc you can make the fight as fair or unfair as you want.

I would argue no on all counts. You are ENTIRELY correct that you have every right to opt out of any situation you don't like, but we are once again falling back to our ultimate disagreement as to how much roleplaying in an MMO differs from a freeform forum based roleplay. In my opinion, the game's mechanics help inform a roleplay and are a tool to be used. There is nothing about the actual mechanics of the game that make utilizing every aspect of them an absolute requirement. 

 I have no idea what your talking about here. my point of ( Sure i'll go along with it but in my mind you need to beat me in PVP or something ( i do not build for pvp) I'm fine with letting people "be who they want" until they try to affect my Toon into w/e there doing, then IMO I can opt out or we can use in game mechanic to Decide how the RP will go ) Is just how I deal with god-modding in COH if you want to affect my Toon in some way then I turn to in game mechanics to see how it goes, They might win and mind control me etc or they might loose and we RP what happens that way ( most god-modders will not risk loosing and just opt out) but again how I RP is as long as its all text I'll RP along as soon as your trying to affect me or i'm trying to affect you in some way you use what you have in game to come to the Decision over just Well my toon is power level over 9000 black ball beats it all you have to loose stuff.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Y'all are making this WAY too complex for me.

 

I like to keep it simple.

 

Every powerset is a basic 'Thing You Can Do' and as you get better at it, you can do that thing differently.   Let's say for example, you're an Elec/Elec Blaster.

 

You start out with one offensive ability, zapping something with Charged Bolts or a Lightning Bolt, and one control ability, usually Electric Fence which is an immobilize.

 

Other than Brawl and maybe some Prestige toys, that's all you know how to do.  It's not a matter of how much power you put behind it, because in the right company (sidekicked to a 50) you can really put the hurt on something... but you still only can zap, and immobilize.   

 

As you level up in the game, you learn how to do more things with your abilities AND you also get the chance to fine tune them (enhancement slots).  Again, we're not talking about levels of power, but levels of control and imagination.  You're still just slinging electrical effects around however.  As Power Pools and Epic/Patron Pools open up, you do gain other abilities, but again, they're pretty limited.  Jumping pool doesn't let you heal people, and Leadership can't get you across town faster. 

 

So how does this relate to roleplay? 

 

I tend to treat other players the same way we treat "level-less" mobs (like giant monsters, and add spawns like all the Clockwork building the Paladin).  To them, it doesn't matter what level you are, they'll match you in that regard.  What does matter is, how many variations on a theme can someone play with their limited selection of super abilities?  And then to play on that a little further, do they focus more on status effects (defender or dominator) or simply breaking stuff and laying opponents flat (blaster, corruptor)?  You can go into motivations, ethical limits (if any), and so on.  But as long as you have the focus of "A Level 50 Is More Powerful" you're severely limiting yourself to the RP you can engage... because that mechanic becomes a stumbling block for the necessary 'suspension of disbelief' that any fantasy, sci-fi, superhero, horror, or even slice-of-life RP requires.

 

And yes, Incarnates are a problem, because as part of the lore, the Incarnate has taken on aspects of the Well of the Furies.  They ARE becoming cosmically powerful.  BUT, the Lore also has a warning label - dive into the deep end too fast, and you lose track of who YOU are, what YOUR goals and motivations are, and become simply another agent for the Well.  So. as you level up those Incarnates, slot more potent variations of the ones you've chosen, don't lose track of how you got there, and who you were (and hopefully who you are) when you started.

Edited by MistressOhm
  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Up 2

AE ARC's (So Far!)

--------------------

15252 Child of the Tsoo - [SFMA] Ninjas, sorcerers, and human trafficking (Origin Story - Stick Figure/Storm Lotus)

50769 Hunt of the Eclipse - [SFMA] Finding something that was lost to Arachnos for nearly 20 years (Origin Story - Daisy Chain)

53149 Spells as a Service - [SFMA] When a young hacker makes a connection between magic and mathematics and encodes it into a computer program, chaos breaks loose!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...