A Star is Born:
Let’s Play Champions Online Pt. 6

By Shamus
on Oct 27, 2009
Filed under:
Shamus Plays

If you remember from last time, I’m here to rescue survivors from this crash.
If you remember from last time, I’m here to rescue survivors from this crash.

My job is to free people from debris. If you can survive a plane crash, end up trapped by massive bits of former airplane, and sit in the snow for hours on end while being menaced by ice demons, then you are obviously a superhero. I shouldn’t be rescuing them, I should be helping them design costumes for themselves. (My advice: You can’t go wrong with some sort of star-based iconography.)

What’s interesting about this quest is that the goal isn’t what the quest log says it is. The quest log says to free people from the airplane debris. But if I lift up a chunk of plane and the person trapped underneath runs off, I don’t actually get credit for freeing them until I destroy the debris I’m holding. So the real goal of the quest is to destroy debris. You can, in fact, hurl objects at a bit of passenger-trapping debris until it’s destroyed and then dash off, leaving the passenger alone and injured in the frozen wastes and surrounded by ice demons. Doesn’t matter. As long as they aren’t pinned, my job is done.

Ah! There is my goal! A piece of debris to destroy. I only get credit for ones on top of survivors, though.
Ah! There is my goal! A piece of debris to destroy. I only get credit for ones on top of survivors, though.

As I fly around, bashing debris and pummeling ice demons, I occasionally pass civilians who are injured and helpless in the snow. Guys like this one:

staronchest_gurney.jpg

He makes eye contact. Oh geeze.

Look, I’m sorry buddy. I just can’t help you. Well, I mean… I could. There’s a gurney right over there. You’d be way better off if you were on that thing. And some medical gear. You’d have a much better chance if I could hand you that. And a box of supplies. Man, there could even be a blanket in there. Heck, it would be effortless for me to shuttle you back to base. I could do that with one hand, actually. But Cryptic entertainment didn’t put any buttons on the interface for doing any of those things. If you’re not trapped under debris or attacked by ice demons, I can’t help you.

What do I suggest? I don’t know. Maybe yell a bit. The demons are bound to notice you sooner or later.

Would it be okay if I covered you with snow? No offense, but watching you die is really making me feel like less of a superhero.

If it helps at all, I guess you should know that THIS IS NO ORDINARY STORM!

Really Cryptic… Are you familiar with the concept behind superheroes? Why would you plonk down people and deny us the ability to help them, when their need is so dire and so easily fulfilled? You wouldn’t even need superpowers to save this guy’s life. You’d need hands.

I fulfill my debris-smashing quota, as well as my demon-suckerpunching quota. Now back to base.

The fact that you’re rooted in place and have an icon over your head tells me you’re the local NPC vending machine. I mean shopkeeper. Or whatever. Look, I’m having just as much trouble mapping MMO conventions to comic book archetypes as you are.
The fact that you’re rooted in place and have an icon over your head tells me you’re the local NPC vending machine. I mean shopkeeper. Or whatever. Look, I’m having just as much trouble mapping MMO conventions to comic book archetypes as you are.

Back at base, I meet someone who wants me to craft…

Ah, the crafting system. Objects in the game fall into one of three categories: Armaments, Science Stuff, and Mystical doodads. The three crafting branches. Each branch can bestow bonuses to various stats, although you’ll probably need to consult the wiki if you want to have any idea which branch is right for your character build.

As you travel the world you’ll need to collect caches of crafting materials. (After defeating the low-XP mooks guarding them.) You’ll also need to save all the items related to your field of crafting, and disassemble them for components and skill-ups at a crafting table. (Although you’ll need to make trips to the bank to store the stuff when you hit a skill cap. Sometimes you’ll need to hoard objects and binge on crafting once you’ve leveled up enough to begin raising your crafting skill again.) You’ll need to drop some money on blueprints and conversion recipes so you can turn lesser components into greater ones.

If you manage to do all this extra fighting, sacrifice the money you’d make selling objects outright, pay for blueprints, give over half your inventory to crafting materials, make numerous trips to the crafting tables and the bank, and if you manage to pick the right branch of specialization, then you will, in rare cases, be able to craft items that are ever so slightly better than the common drops and quest rewards you’d be stuck with if you weren’t crafting. I leveled a character to 30, and in all her career she used exactly one crafted item, sometime in her early / mid 20’s. It gave her about 5 extra points of dexterity compared to the alternatives. This seemed like a pretty good deal until I checked the character info sheet and saw those 5 points made her less than 2% more likely to score a critical and give her less than 1% chance bonus to dodge.

So… was it worth those hours spent fussing with the crafting system in order to be ~1% more effective in combat for a couple of levels?

No. No it was not.

To be fair, the crafting system also gives you access to bags to expand your storage space. On the other hand, you wouldn’t need nearly as much space if you weren’t crafting. You can also craft healing items, although unless you’re really pushing against foes way above your level or something has gone wrong with your character build, you shouldn’t need those.

As with Hellgate: London, the entire crafting system is a lot of busywork for no meaningful benefit.

…a cold shield to protect me from the extreme cold I’ll be facing ahead during a particular boss fight.

Fine. Done.

I also have to save a few more people from a different plane crash on the other side of the base. These people have been frozen in blocks of ice, and I must use some doohickey to thaw them out, after which they jog away. Occasionally in the direction of safety.

Han? Is that you?
Han? Is that you?

Again, I can’t help but admire the tremendous badassery of the average civilian. David Blaine attempted a trick where he was frozen in a block of ice and it kicked his ass. And note that he was doing the easy version of the trick where you don’t have to survive a plane crash first.

Now that we’re done saving civilians, it’s time we got down to putting a stop to the Snowpocalypse. This means pummeling some more ice demons…

Here I am, fighting the forces of evil. The name over his head indicates that this is an “Ice Demon” and that he’s affiliated with the “Ice Demon” faction.  In a minute he will leave the Ice Demon faction and join the proud fraternity of “stuff which used to have a face until it came into contact with my fist”.
Here I am, fighting the forces of evil. The name over his head indicates that this is an “Ice Demon” and that he’s affiliated with the “Ice Demon” faction. In a minute he will leave the Ice Demon faction and join the proud fraternity of “stuff which used to have a face until it came into contact with my fist”.

….so that we can gather the little voodoo knicknacks they carry and summon their boss…

Here is a little move I like to call, “Pow! And then I take all your stuff.”
Here is a little move I like to call, “Pow! And then I take all your stuff.”

…and give him a beat down so I can take his inter-dimensional scroll, and take that back to…

For the last time, I ALREADY KNOW that THIS IS NO ORDINARY STORM.
For the last time, I ALREADY KNOW that THIS IS NO ORDINARY STORM.

…Ravenspeaker. Great. I would feel better if the person leading us against the axis of snow owned pants, but he seems to know what he’s talking about. Apparently the scroll I acquired will let someone enter the portal and face the demon-god kigga-something-or-other. Ravenspeaker is using his hoodoo powers to hold the storm at bay, so he can’t go through. So the job falls to me.

I jump through the portal. I have to activate that item I crafted to keep from freezing my tuckus off.

It seems I have entered a world of weird…

Floating asteroid-esque things. That’s… odd.
Floating asteroid-esque things. That’s… odd.

Unusual.
Unusual.

Looks like we’re not in Canada anymore, Dorothy.
Looks like we’re not in Canada anymore, Dorothy.

I have to fight some zombies. I’ve been occasionally encountering zombies since I arrived in Canada.

Note to game designers: Zombies are mindless undead.  I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of cannibals.
Note to game designers: Zombies are mindless undead. I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of cannibals.

These are no doubt most talkative undead in history. Their banter is infantile and un-funny, but I guess it’s hard to come up with witty material when your brains have rotted out.

Which I guess is a big problem at Cryptic Entertainment.

Zing!

On the upside, not one of them tells me how bad or out-of-the-ordinary the weather is.

Anyway, there’s a dude in a suit trying to awaken the demon-god Kigawhatsit and make it TOTALLY SNOW, LIKE SUPER-MUCH all over our base in the frozen wastes of Canada.

Just to be clear: By “cataclysm” you mean “inclement weather”, right?
Just to be clear: By “cataclysm” you mean “inclement weather”, right?

This guy has pants! How come our leader doesn’t have pants?

He’s doing some sort of ceremony to awaken Kigawhozit, who looks like a fifty foot astral projection.

I figure if I hit Mr. Pants enough he’ll probably stop. I do. He does. Yay good guys!

Your dark suit would be more menacing if you weren’t using pink energy blades.  And if your face didn’t have a crater in the shape of MY FIST!
Your dark suit would be more menacing if you weren’t using pink energy blades. And if your face didn’t have a crater in the shape of MY FIST!

This is the first real boss fight in the game. Tutorial boss Black Talon is a pushover, but this guy can give you a beating if you’re a little low in level or your character build is flawed. He’s actually using the powers I chose for SoC back in part 1, back before I did the retcon and turned him into a brawler.

I’m glad I made that change. You can re-color them so that they’re no longer pink (which doesn’t explain why this guy hasn’t done so) but after seeing these powers in action, I’m thinking they’re a little too slick and a little too flashy for ol’ Star on Chest.

Boss defeated, I return to the land of Canada. Looks like the storm has ended…

staronchest_after_storm.jpg

THIS IS NO ORDINARY PARTLY CLOUDY DAY!

Next time: Canada, the undiscovered country!

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20201050 comments. It's getting crowded in here.

From the Archives:

  1. pffh says:

    Damn you Shamus, you’ve convinced me to get this game. I fear the day you realise you could make great money in advertisement.

  2. Joshua says:

    Personally, this is my favorite series of your Champions Online reviews.

    Grammar Check:
    “These are no doubt most talkative undead in history.” I think you need a “the” between “doubt” and “most”.

  3. Hawkehunt says:

    “These are no doubt most talkative undead in history.”

    There seems to be a word missing there; possibly ‘the.’

    Also:

    “In a minute he will leave the Ice Demon faction and join the proud fraternity of “stuff which used to have a face until it came into contact with my fist”.”

    …is made of win and should be on a T-shirt.

  4. Zed-F says:

    I’ve found the crafting to be pretty useful from time to time. Certainly you don’t *need* to do crafting to find useful gear, but whether it’s equipping a new toon that hasn’t had a chance to find anything decent yet, or whether it’s finding the right stats for a given equipment slot when lady luck just isn’t smiling on you, crafting can be useful.

    Also note — you can actually make pretty decent money crafting stuff and selling it back to vendors. You just need to be pretty high level (at least in your mid-20s) to be able to do it effectively.

  5. Randy Johnson says:

    Pffh, I would warn you that a couple of us that have been playing pretty seriously are on our way out of the game. The content is really this bizarre the entire game, which sucks because the combat is the greatest MMO combat in the history of MMOs. Its hard to have fun when all the quests that make sense are broken and you are stuck fighting talking undead, canadian velociraptors, undead cowobys, robot cowboys, frog men, ant aliens, floating brains, and other unrelated enemies. Its not like CoH were you spend msot of your time saving a city, in this you might as well be playing a fantasy game, because thats its setting.

  6. BlckDv says:

    I’ve found that I enjoy crafting once I get up into the 20’s, and get to start crafting the “customizable” items where you get to select what bonuses to apply.

    I’ll cheerfully admit I have never gone to the Auction House or whatever it is called, so I may be able to purchase custom gear cheap, but I do enjoy making it myself.

    I also love crafting all the costume unlock gear. Commodore 64 NEEDED that Flintlock pistol. Even if a Power Armor Hero with one Munitions power is… odd.

    With the exception of bugged quests; my only real complaint so far is the sudden and odd “You must party” bottleneck at level 28-30. I’d soloed that far with Doylo just fine, and then out of nowhere the storyline conclusions for the Millennium City and Canada quest lines are “Party 5” missions. I can grudgingly cope with two and three manning things; but 5 man PUGs destroy my enjoyment of MMOs faster than forgetting I had a cactus in my chair.

    I have sadly skipped them and gone to Monster Island with plans to go back at level 31 or 32 and do them solo, but I feel annoyed to be doing monster island before I kick Telios out of Canada.

    I don’t really care about the lack of end game content, as playing an endless parade of new PCs through level 20ish has been more fun than end game raids in WoW ever were for me, diff’rent strokes and all that.

    • Bryan says:

      I hate forced grouping. You have singlehandedly convinced me to not play this game. Everything Shamus said had the opposite efffect, but the one thing you said-forced grouping- instantly destroyed that for me.

  7. asterismW says:

    I’m loving your CO posts, my favorites being Let’s Play and the Stolen Pixels comics (which by the sound of things may be over-ish. Sad). I keep imagining Star On Chest in the world of Mr. Incredible, which makes for all sorts of entertainment.

  8. Artillery_MKV says:

    @Randy: The setting is actually in keeping with the Champions Universe as originally conceived for the P&P RPG. It’s faintly goofy, but has serious elements, too.

    I expect we’ll see a lot more serious toned content as we move forward (Issue 2, Issue 3, etc.). I also expect the ‘broken’ quests will be fixed in short order.

    I’m REALLY enjoying this game, but this version is what the Beta should have been, but market forces drive harder than QA will allow.

    Right now we have too many corny jokes and references, but we’ll see a lot more ‘serious’ stuff moving on.

    One of my favorite things in the game: getting missions from random passers by. Sure, it’s a patch for a lack in certain experience levels, it still feels REALLY heroic to me.

  9. GEBIV says:

    I don’t know how receptive the designers are to suggestion or criticism from players… but how hard would it be to add a “Pick Up NPC” command for the players? And then, once you’ve picked them up, have the gurney/safe zone/whatever flag as a destination. Give the player a little exp, say the same as you get for killing random mobs, and a chance at a small reward.

    I mean, you are supposed to be a super hero after all…

  10. bbot says:

    Borderlands came out yesterday (Four word review: Diablo crossed with L4D) and it’s got a bunch of MMO tropes that I only half-get through inference, having never played a MMO. You buy guns and healing items from actual vending machines, for one. All the quests are of the form “go fetch this” or “go kill that”, for two.

    Speaking of which, insert complaint about wasting time with Champions Online, instead of other, better games. Like TF2! Yes, you should definitely post about TF2 some more.

  11. Simulated Knave says:

    A horde is a large group of people, usually men, usually angry and on little horses.

    A hoard is a collection of objects and valuables.

    You wanted the second, but used the first.

  12. TSED says:

    Man, really, Shamus?

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a character without at least 2-3 items that were crafted on at any one time. Maybe my luck just sucks.

    Which is completely plausible. I’ve yet to get an item from a PQ that I actually want to equip, Battle of Ironclad’s empty slots not withstanding.

  13. Dev Null says:

    Here’s a thing; the crafting system in pretty much every game ever (pause for the Fanboy Chorus to fail to recognise exaggeration and correct me with their favorite counter-example) has been a mostly-useless time sink. Certainly the multiplayer games I’ve played.

    Because it has to be. Because they make it free.

    If you had to buy crafting skills with whatever points you use to make SoC fly, or… Punch Stuff Harder… then you could make it have a game-useful ability, but unless you make it cost something then it has to be fairly useless to preserve game balance with the other players. Of course you could just try to balance the usefulness of all the crafts, so everyone gets n equal crafts and ends up even, but crafting is inevitably designed to be a tedious OCD-trap in its implementation, and you don’t want to piss off the people who just don’t want to bother by disadvantaging them too much. Plus, balancing things is hard.

    This story also made me think about the loot in a superhero game. What is it? I mean, SoC doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who wants a bigger, shinier assault rifle, nor really necessarily has any use for money other than publicists and hairstyling. So why does he care about loot at all?

  14. lynn says:

    Nothing to add except that I LOVE reading the adventures of Star on Chest. Keep ’em coming, Shamus, you have a real gift for story-telling.

  15. pnf says:

    In City of Heroes, in the starter zones, there are scores of civilians being menaced by gang members and robots and pseudo-zombies. Traveling through those zones, which you do at times even at high level, you are bombarded with cries for help. At high level, you get no xp for defeating these foes, and even if you scoured the zone with nukes that are capable of one-shotting whole groups of low level bad guys, by the time you got back to where you started, a fresh batch of bad guys would be menacing fresh civilians who are issuing fresh cries for help. It’s really annoying for somebody who wants to get into being a hero.

    Some people at Cryptic are incapable of learning from their mistakes.

  16. DKellis says:

    The vast majority of the game’s random NPC chatter is like the examples for the zombies.

    It’s like playing a D&D campaign with a DM who actively embraces all the Monty Python jokes and pop culture references and tries to make the world like that. It’s funny at first, and if you’re expecting a campaign like that it’s great, but for people like me it gets a little repetitive.

    @15 pnf: The zone designers actually explained why there are so many gangsters menacing civilians in the starter zones: originally, they tried having the criminals hiding in alleyways and dark secluded places and such.

    Alpha (or possibly pre-alpha) testers complained that the zones felt empty and unpopulated, as well as having trouble finding critters to defeat for XP, especially if another hero had wandered through the area earlier.

    So now Altas Park and Galaxy City are full of crime, usually in broad daylight.

  17. Viktor says:

    Am I the only one hose first impression of Mr Demon Summoner was “Jazz hands!” ?

  18. foolsage says:

    The Champions Online crafting has definitely been a disappointment to me. Some of the higher-level consumables are nifty (e.g. summoning zombies and golems to fight for you), and the crafted bags are useful, but otherwise the crafting system has failed miserably for me.

    The biggest two problems I see there are 1) crafts aren’t sufficiently differentiated, meaning (other than very minor stat differences) every crafter, regardless of crafting school and specialization, makes essentially the same stuff, and 2) the stuff we can make sucks. I have a lvl 40 who crafted the whole way from 1-40, keeping crafting maxed out the whole time, and that char never ONCE equipped anything she crafted. Not once.

    If the items were of some real value (especially given the time and effort needed to make them), and if every crafter didn’t make the same stuff, then there’d be the basis for an economy there. People could craft and sell stuff, and make lots of money to spend on… um… yeah, well, they’d have the money anyhow, and that’s something I guess. Right now though there’s really not much point to this.

  19. krellen says:

    @Dev Null:
    Let me help!

    Crafting in City of Heroes is optional, and the game is balanced assuming you won’t, but you can make character capable of pretty awesome things if you do it.

    Or you can be a Master Mind, and do that with regular purchased enhancements. Which sort of makes your point as well as countering it.

  20. Heron says:

    @BlckDv: I’m in full agreement. Those mandatory 5-man quests were what made me stop playing Silhouette and start over as Cold Shoulder.

    As for crafting… I made some decent custom Mystic items, and I quite enjoy Science’s Temporary ForceFields. Healing items don’t work fast enough for me, though.

    My biggest complaint is that heroes with life-sucking powers (e.g. Darkness) are vastly superior to heroes without life-sucking powers (e.g. Ice). Sihouette can go toe-to-toe with Leech without issue, because the life he leeches from her, she can just take back. Cold Shoulder, on the other hand, has to carry around large stacks of healing items and force fields just to hold his own against those kinds of bosses. (Gadroon invasion commander, I’m looking at you. His hard-to-break hold plus charged one-hit kill is ridiculously overpowered.)

  21. BarGamer says:

    You forgot to mention that someone with the spare power to tear trees out of the ground and levitate innocent bears that far away should also be able to Force-spin his blades so fast, you’d die before you realized you were inside of his Slushie machine, miles away from the actual villain. Also, shuriken made of magically-strong-and-sharp snowflakes are the next obvious step.

    After that, pants for Ravenspeaker.

  22. Scotticus says:

    I have really enjoyed these, Shamus! Thanks for doing them.

    BTW, has it been mentioned that Champions On-Line is doing some kind of free promotion this weekend? I don’t know if its open to everybody or just some lucky few.

    I intend to get my free gaming on and do my best to re-create some of my favorite characters from the Champions pen-and-paper game. Vector shall run again!

  23. J1nxter says:

    I play CO on a regular basis. These stories are soooo awesome, they hit on everything i have wondered about myself. Please please please keep up the good work.

  24. Ferrous Buller says:

    You can, in fact, hurl objects at a bit of passenger-trapping debris until it’s destroyed and then dash off, leaving the passenger alone and injured in the frozen wastes and surrounded by ice demons.

    Silver lining: at least you didn’t get stuck with annoying escort missions. And considering how hard it is to hold a conversation with an NPC without ripping out city fixtures, I’m guessing there’s no way you’d be able to carry an injured civilian to a gurney without accidentally hurling at least half of them to their snowy doom.

  25. RichVR says:

    “Each branch can bestow bonuses to various stats, although you’ll probably need to consult the wiki if you want to have any idea which branch is right for your character build.”

    Or you can click on the various buttons in the crafter dialog box and get full explanations there.

  26. Mayhem says:

    I’ve seen similar bizarre civilian behavior in COH. You have to rescue someone from a villain-infested base, and as soon as you get them to the door, the missions ends and they run back into the base before despawning. Or others that you save en-route in a mish run towards groups of other villains.

    Sometimes I’d just like a “knock civilian unconscious and carry them” power.

  27. MrNiceGuy says:

    OMG! Star on chest has made a LIVE appearance:

    http://economicedge.blogspot.com/

    (Scroll down to the picture)

  28. TSED says:

    @Heron

    Really? You need healing items? I occasionally pop them but it’s usually for stupid things like “aggro’d 2 villains, 2 master villains, and a whole lot of henchies.” That’s with ice, might, munitions, etc. Have you ever tried, I don’t know, the block button? As far as I can tell, when some one’s struggling with the game it’s because they haven’t really picked up that whole ‘block’ playstyle. Instead of losing 180ish hp per tick of lifedrain, you lose 30ish. Instead of losing 400 from some big charged power, you lose 80.

    To make crafting’s case: I was stupid with one character and took the wrong craft skill (arms instead of science; I had a total brain fart when I did this). Because of this, at level 22 she was STILL wearing a secondary attack from the TUTORIAL. The tutorial, for pete’s sake!

    • WJS says:

      I think there’s an issue with the tutorial regarding blocking; it tells you how to block twice, and both times it tells you to block when an enemy charges up a big attack, with the charge symbol and all. It doesn’t tell you about maintained attacks, which don’t have the charge symbol but do similar damage over several seconds.

  29. Innsmouth says:

    Soooooo what I’m seeing is that Offinsive Indian Stereotype Man sent you to Xen to fight a homosexual vampire and stop him from summoning what amounts to Storm but with less variety? About right?

  30. Blackbird71 says:

    @Dev Null (13)
    Obligatory example of a game opposite of your point

    Well, I’m not really trying to counter your argument, because I agree that this is definitely a problem with the crafting in most games. I offer this more as an example that it can be done correctly (although it’s usually not).

    In it’s original incarnation, Star Wars: Galaxies had a very in-depth crafting system. In order to learn crafting skills, you had to spend the same points that you would use to spend on combat or other skills, so it came at a cost. If you wanted to be primarily combat based, but be able to craft a few things, you could just splash a few points into a crafting profession. If you wanted to be a master crafter (of just one item category), it would use up about 2/5ths of your available points (the same as mastering any other profession).

    To top it off, in almost all circumstances, the player crafted goods were better than looted equipment. This made for an engaging player-driven economy that really made industry a part of the game. Some players were dedicated crafters with no combat skills whatsoever. The best crafters would develop a reputation, and players would travel from all over to get a custom order from them. It was actually one of the aspects I really enjoyed about that game, and I was never a serious crafter. It just added to the experience.

  31. Sam says:

    I’m going to try my hardest to ignore the story while I’m playing for free this weekend. Though it is almost TOO hilarious to ignore…

    I think Star on Chest is currently my favorite superhero.

  32. Dix says:

    Pretty sure SoC is punching the boss dude in a place not normally associated with the face in that screenshot there.

  33. MuonDecay says:

    Is there a way you can conceal the full view of these quite long posts when viewing the main blog page? I think you used to do that with some of your larger posts here.

    I do read them, but partially hiding them makes it easier to read through the main page.

  34. TMC_Sherpa says:

    21 comments after Dev Null and no one mentions almost everything in EVE is player made? Why back in my day…..

  35. Brandon says:

    That’s no ordinary… rabbit!

  36. toasty says:

    When you stop playing Champions Online then you MUST start another Let’s Play! I love this thing.

  37. Blackbird71 says:

    @TMC_Sherpa (34)

    Yes, but at least in my experience, EVE is the poster child for making a game into having to work for your fun: hours upon hours of making in-game money to buy and outfit a ship that gets blown up in the first few minutes of a fight. Either that or the hours of boredom of waiting for your corportation (guild) to get organized and actually do something, and when they do, nothing actaully happens. Been there, uninstalled that.

  38. RudeMorgue says:

    Wait til SoC gets to Millennium City and has to micromanage rescuing fire-seeking civilians with a fire extinguisher.

    “No, by all means, don’t leave the building via the exit I’ve already extinguished! Use the burning route!”

  39. Haviland says:

    Ah, crafting…

    Star Wars Galaxies (before the dark times, before the NGE) had it pretty much good. A friend of mine still has buildings in existence on the server we played on because he paid up so much building maintenance fees in advance.

    As Blackbird72 says, you could be a “leet” crafter if you struck lucky with your resources. Of course, the law of unintended consequences meant that, once in a while, a crafter could end up making someting that was so “uber” it was waaaaaayyyy more powerul than any drop in the game. Never mind purple, it was ultra-violent. And I loved that – making foods that sold for millions, others in the guild making armour that was pretty much inpenetrable.

    Not in amounts to skew the game, but enough to make it fun.

    It’ll never happen again.

  40. I AM THE SNOWPOCALYPSE!!!

    Ahem. Just a quick note: horde = group of people, verb, to gather together a group of people. Hoard = pile of stuff, verb, to gather together a pile of stuff.

    Very similar words, one means people, one means stuff. You meant stuff.

  41. Heron says:

    @TSED: Yes, I use block, but it feels very sluggish, and half the time I’ll hit it a good two seconds early and still not make it – or I’ll hold it until two seconds after the other guy has fired (and I see some damage dealt), but when I let go and start a counter-attack, *then* the other guy’s charged attack hits. I don’t get it.

    My complaint from playing yesterday? If I’m level 22, and a quest is marked level 21, I should not have trouble completing it. The paintball/ammo quests in the Hunter-Patriot base were insane this time around (I had no difficulty with them as Silhouette with life drain, but Cold Shoulder died every two or three minutes). I’d attack an isolated group of soldiers, but then somehow one or two other groups would decide to come running over to help. That didn’t happen with Silhouette.

    Blah. I’m just ranting now :( I’m about ready to switch to another character. I want to try someone whose motto is “Have you tried punching it?” but melee powers are so inferior to ranged powers in this game that I’m reluctant to spend time on it.

  42. Rey dTutto says:

    42
    I don’t play MMO’s, but I do find the situations you mention humerous, and almost any video-game has these wonderful moments of “clarity”.

    If they’s release a -non multiplayer version, i’d play it.

  43. Pffh says:

    @Heron.
    Really? I’m having a blast with the might powers and have been burning through bad guys much faster then I was with gadget, munition or electricity powers

    Anyway if anyone wants to level together I’m pffh in CO as well and I’m level 13 at the moment.

  44. Mr_Wizard says:

    Hey Shamus, I don’t know if you know this, or if it has been mentioned before, but Bill Roper, the Design Director for Champions Online, was also one of the leaders in Flagship Studios as they worked on Hellgate: London. The poor writing in both games might be a result of his influence.

  45. Miral says:

    @Heron:
    Similarly: really? I’ve only played CO in beta (stubbornly resisting actually paying money for it — I just don’t have the time to make it worth it), so I didn’t get much beyond level 13-15, but I had tons more fun with my martial-arts based character than my ranged one (don’t recall exactly which powerset that was now). My martial-arts character could regularly decimate a room full of opponents two or three levels higher, while the ranged one was in deep trouble if faced with more than two or three opponents of the same level.

    I think there was only one mission where I really wanted a ranged power for my martial-arts character, and that was mostly just because I was trying to solo a Team:2 mission and wanted to aggro only one of the two ridiculously-overpowered foes and draw them away.

  46. luagha says:

    As far as crafting goes, I must say that when you are playing a demon brick character punchie-style, it can be quite amusing at times to breathe a cone of fire that kills five minions at once. As long as the crafting lets me do that from time to time, I’m happy.

  47. Sekundaari says:

    Speaking of ending not-ordinary storms: I have been re-reading LotR lately, and I don’t think I’ve ever reacted so strongly to Gimli telling “It was no ordinary storm” after the snowstorm on Caradhras. It’s almost like the DMotR effect.

  48. Patty says:

    Hey man I was just watching Kim Possible , and you know what was happening? The evil scientist was trying to take over Canada via a weather machine, and a (you guessed it) STORM!
    Maybe Canadians have an inherent allergy to manipulated weather patterns? It seems to be the leading cause of malevolent activity up there.

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