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April 17th, 2006


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11:31 am - "That's a hell of a group you got there. What do you call it?"
Realizing that any launch issues had probably been well and duly ironed out, I went ahead and did the ol' Insert Coin with City of Villains, and spent an enjoyable Sunday running around the Rogue Isles (the Bad Guy version of Paragon City.)

I was impressed at how the newbie missions in Villains feel seamless as you level; the devs obviously took a page from World of Warcraft on that one to balance the mission/grind ratio. There's also a nice storyline running through the missions, and the amount of backstabbing and doublecrossing that my up-and-coming villian has already done is very amusing. I may discuss it later on the Villains filter (and if you ain't in and you want in, lemme know.) The rest of this may be a bit too gamey for those who don't play much games, so I'll just present a summary before I give a cut:

1. I make fun villians with names like Bowery Bill, Ma Barker and oh hey even The Randroid has made a comeback.

I'm big on baddies in business suits lately, and I can't figure out why. I made a Mastermind named Ma Barker who's got some sons in the Army, apparently. Masterminds in the game can control several pet NPCs, like robots or zombies or ninja. Ma Barker's got some sons in the military, I guess, and "Junior" dutifully followed her 'round to help her do her evil deeds. I'm going to keep from playing the character until the next patch comes through and re-roll her with Thugs to control instead of Soldiers, cause I think it suits the theme better. Masterminds eventually get to control three bad guys, so I guess their names will be Junior, Jake and Francis (and you get a cookie if you know why.)

Meanwhile, my main heavy is a brute named Bowery Bill. He's got a derby, and Edwardian facial hair, and wears a brown vest and workboots and likes to clobber the hell out of his enemies. Brutes are one of two melee classes in City of Villains, and they're pretty much Tankers from City of Heroes done right. Tankers are, well, tanks, able to sop up major amounts of damage. But they're not very well-suited to do lots of damage, and the archetype has been modified over time to actively prevent industrious players from building high-damage Tankers. (That's called a nerf, son.)

Brutes, meanwhile, can dish out a lot of damage and can sop up enough to keep going without too many rests -- provided, of course, you beef up your defensive skills. Additionally, Brutes also have a Rage meter to contend with. Each bit of damage you dole out increases your Rage, and the more Rage you have, the more damage each hit does. Rage, of course, decreases with time, so you get to work out a nifty strategy: Do you start with your lower attacks to build up a bit of Rage so your high-damage attacks get a little bonus, or do you start with your high-damage attacks and build up a bit more Rage so that your lower attacks benefit? I dunno, really, I just like mashing buttons and watching the Knockout Blow animation.

Knockout Blow is a high-damage attack that you can't do very often owing to its long recharge time, but it's so much fun to watch that I'm actively beefing it up with "MAKE FASTER RECHARGE PLS" enhancements so I can use it more often. It's not so much the damage that I enjoy as the animation -- Bowery Bill winds up a punch like Bluto winding up to sock Popeye one before he gets a crack at the spinach. Fist goes back, twirling as it goes, and Bowery Bill lifts a foot like a baseball pitcher, and then SOCKO!! he delivers a massive uppercut which sends the enemy flying.

GETS ME EVERY SINGLE TIME. You know how when you're using the computer and a kid is watching, and the kid keeps telling you to do the same thing -- "Hijack that taxi! Hijack a taxi! C'mon, hijack a taxi!" -- well, that's me playing City of Villains. Do a knockout blow! Do a knockout blow! C'mon, do a knockout blow!

Anyway.

2. Then it was time for secret headquarters and a group name.

Bowery Bill hit level 10 which meant he could go ahead and create a supergroup ("guild") and create a base ("sekrit HQ") so I had to take advantage of that and see the approach the game takes towards player-made housing ("time and money sinks"). Surprisingly enough, it's a lot of fun. Modular like the ol' XCOM base construction kit, but with lots of designs and props to buy and place around. Room design by XCOM, interior decoration by The Sims. I liked it, even if I can only have one room to work with (a second room will cost a lot of Prestige points, which one or two players alone won't be able to generate in any quick amount of time.)

The name of the Supergroup which Bowery Bill founded eluded me for a few moments. I had thought about The Nogoodniks, which I thought was a great name for a criminal group, and I ran it by helpful Lions, who was playing at the time.

"I could go with The Nogoodniks," I told Lions. "Or I could go with this alternate."

Lions' bemused chuckling told me which one I had to go with. So what do we call it?

The Aristocrats!

And hey, if you're playing on Virtue and want to be part of a bad guy organization, let me know. Global chat handle is "Mr Influence" without the period.)

(19 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:April 17th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)
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If'n I ain't on the filter, add me.
[User Picture]
From:clawdia
Date:April 17th, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)
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Hmm. I could break out my badness again to play with you, Spatch :)
[User Picture]
From:lexinatrix
Date:April 17th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
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I love hearing these stories. I'd like to be on the filter if I'm not already. Thanks!
[User Picture]
From:cursethedark
Date:April 17th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
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I'm on Virtue, but I've already got myself locked into a supergroup...the nefarious Doctor Delaware (that's me) leads Coercion (the Villains version of our CoH supergroup, Sanction.)

Still, look me up. My global chat handle is "Kritikal Mass".
From:lno
Date:April 17th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
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I think I recognize Jake and Francis from Goonies, so I'm assuming that Junior was the third thug if there was one. If there wasn't, I'm going to .. uh .. well, the actress also was on Throw Momma From The Train, I think, which I never saw, so if I have to, I'll hazard a guess that you're conflating goonishness from two movies with the common thread of the female "crime boss".
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 17th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
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Just Jake and Francis are Goonie names -- the third brother would've been Sloth, of course. But I can't make an NPC named Sloth.

The actress, by the way, was Anne Ramsey and she was total awesome. If I'd included her "Throw Momma From The Train" stuff, the third son would be named Owen.
From:lno
Date:April 17th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
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Damnit. So where'd Junior come from?
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 17th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)
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"Junior" was just the first name I used for one of Ma Barker's flunkies.

Hmm. Wonder if I should ditch her and grab Ma Fratelli now, and then just have Jake, Francis and Sloth...
From:lno
Date:April 17th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Now that's comedy.

And if I'm not on the Villains filter yet, I'd like to be. OR I WILL DESTROY YOUR PLANET LIKE A GRAPE
[User Picture]
From:dogofthefuture
Date:April 17th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
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If that doesn't work out for you, you could have thug sons named Walt, Larry, and Ignar.
From:zhym
Date:April 17th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
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Put me in the Villains filter, please.

I'm tempted to play, but my online life is still dominated by another game.

Warp drive active.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 17th, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
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Reverend Cosmos, Caldari cruiser pilot of (I forget what ungratefulninja named our corp) saying yo. But he hasn't been around in, uh, yonks or clicks or credits or whatever crazy units of time measurement we use in this FUTURISTIC SCI FI UNIVERSE
[User Picture]
From:joenotcharles
Date:April 17th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
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I would like to be on the Villians filter.
[User Picture]
From:markm
Date:April 18th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
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fltr 2 plz.
[User Picture]
From:phonemonkey
Date:April 18th, 2006 09:20 am (UTC)
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I'd like to be on the filter please.

I might not play, but I love your commentary.
[User Picture]
From:fleep513
Date:April 18th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
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FILLLLLLLLLLLLTER ME BABY and tell me if I need a new addiction like this one.
[User Picture]
From:neddiheht
Date:April 18th, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC)
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I'd love to be on the filter. I play, but mostly on infinity - both heroes and villians.

Masterminds rock, btw. We'll have the option for thugs soon.
[User Picture]
From:jotasbrane
Date:April 18th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
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Am I on the Villains filter? I should be on the Villains filter.
[User Picture]
From:cursethedark
Date:April 18th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
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Also...

Over time, you end up with six total minions for a mastermind. Three of the first variety (low-powered, from the summon minion power you get at the start), two of the second (from a power that becomes available at level 12), and one of the top tier (a power you can get at...I think, 24.)

I've got Doctor Delaware, a robots/traps MM, up to level 35. He's got "Dover", "Diamond", and "Blue Hen" classes of 'bots...the current ones are DOVR-84, DOVR-91, DOVR-92, DMND-15, DMND-17, and BLHN-5.

Might as well request to be put in the Villain filter.

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