May 15th, 2004

Tom Lehrer is Smug

CITY! OF! HEROOOOOOOES!

This hopefully fufills the requirement from someone (and you know who you are) that I "do something fun" with their contribution. (Thank you very much -- and when are you getting a PC so you can play, too? )

City of Heroes is the superhero MMORPG that still has that new novel sheen of "Oh boy! This is great!" to it and in the past few nights (notice: "past few nights" -- I've done this much with only like 5 hours a night) I've been super busy making, well, super heroes. The hero creation system is half the fun of the game, as it's like Hero Machine on 3D steroids, with the added bonus of being able to play with your hero once you're done customizing him or her. The gameplay is simplistic, the groups so far have been all big cluster rushes with some semblance of strategy, and while there are quite a few rude killstealing heroes in the area and a disproportionate number of whiners in the official boards (every day I feel more and more beholden to Verant for killing off whineplay on the EQ boards) I'm still having a lot of fun. I play with the Something Awful goons on the Victory server (as Mr. Influence) or on my own in Victory or Triumph, whenever one gets too laggy for me.

So I'm a total alt junkie. The more "alternate" characters I have, the better. Sometimes it's just for the personal satisfaction of knowing that not only did you come up with an extremely clever character name, but you also got it before anyone else did (I take name conflicts very personally at times, it's weird.)

The Breath Brigade in my previous entry was particularly inspirational, and they'd be a great team for adventuring, too -- Sgt. Peppermint is the blaster, and stays back to fire large damaging shots at the enemies, The Altoid is the tanker so he rushes in and takes the brunt of the damage while getting smacked around, and Listerina is the support role, so she heals and can slow enemies down and stuff. Too bad all 3 characters are on my account and on the same server, so they wouldn't be able to play together (or even form the Breath Brigade supergroup, as you need to be online at the same time as the groupleader to be invited to the group. Shame!)

Of course, I've also done a lot of work with other superheroes, too, such as the kickboxing nun Mother Superior, the metallic objectivist Randroid, and the Tiki Freak, who looks like something you'd decorate a fishtank with. I even got to add an old comic book character of mine from the Western Mass. Avengers, the comic me and Noah Smith did in the early 90s. Originally No Homework Man was just this dude who beat the snot out of teachers (I created him in 9th grade when I was particularly disenchanted with the state of public education -- if I'd created him today, you can bet they'd have dragged me off to a psychiatrist and some anger management counselor.) I reworked him slightly to give him a backstory with motive (laid-off science teacher, disheartened by corruption in the school committee -- come on, is there any other issue in the country today that's more pressing? -- and a super suit that shoots energy bolts for some reason) and he works pretty well.

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