City of Heroes:
Trick or Treat

By Shamus Posted Sunday Oct 19, 2008

Filed under: Game Reviews 44 comments

IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN CHARLIE BROWN! Fullmetal Jackie joined in this battle  after I got done taking pictures, and we managed to fight it to a standstill for about five minutes until some more heroes showed up.  We couldn’t actually make headway until we had some large-scale teamwork going.
IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN CHARLIE BROWN! Fullmetal Jackie joined in this battle after I got done taking pictures, and we managed to fight it to a standstill for about five minutes until some more heroes showed up. We couldn’t actually make headway until we had some large-scale teamwork going.
Saturday night. It’s getting late. The clock has just ticked past midnight. I’ve been leveling my new character (scrapper White Legend – the most fearsomely unoriginal Kung-Fu master ever!) for about six hours and it’s time to close the game, check the comments on my website, and head for bed.

As we exit the last mission a zombie crawls out of the ground and attacks us. Everyone suddenly gets excited. Oh boy! It’s the Halloween event! Zombie attacks! Giant monsters! Trick-or-Treating!

Giant Monsters are about thirty feet tall. They take about twenty or so heroes to bring down.

Zombie attacks move from one zone of the game to the next. Sort of fun at first, although as the attack drags on it gets kind of laggy. There are badges and awards to earn for fighting them, though.

Trick or Treat is both absurd and brilliant. You run around the city and click on any doors you find. Sometimes you’ll get a Treat – a special costume that lets you dress up as one of the NPCs in the game, or a unique item. But most of the time you just get tricked, and monsters pour out of the door. Zombies, witches, vampires, werewolves, and pumpkin head guys. Again, there are awards and badges to earn for fighting these things.

Three hours later I’ve collected dozens of costumes and many bits of unique salvage, which I use to unlock an extra costume slot. The rest of the salvage is worth a fortune on the auction house. I go from having 50k influence to having just over a million. Not bad for level 19. I’ve unlocked about a half dozen badges (less than half of them) and I’ve played myself into some sort of delirious, confused, carpal-tunnel-infused dream state.

Happy Halloween.


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44 thoughts on “City of Heroes:
Trick or Treat

  1. I wonder what the comparable event in “City of Villains” is like?

  2. Kel'Thuzad says:

    That sounded like a lot of fun.

    I think i’m going to have to stop reading for a while if I want to continue not paying for City of Heroes/Villains.

  3. GreyDuck says:

    Steven: It’s the same event. Really, CoH and CoV are one game now.

  4. Rick Tacular says:

    You’re going to love the ski slopes during the Christmas Event. =)

  5. Palette says:

    Shamus, this is why after 4 years of continuous playing, I’m still not bored with City of Heroes. :D

  6. Jabor says:

    Why do you tempt me, Shamus?

    Damnit, it’s crunch time for exam season! I don’t have time to get hooked on an MMO!

  7. It’s Halloween already? I’ve really got to start keeping better track of time.

  8. craig says:

    Yeah, WoW is getting into Halloween as well. You can save towns from being set on fire, collect masks, and other etc. But it can be difficult to find everything to do, and you can only trick or treat once an hour, which kinda sucks. Still was a good time, and gave me a good amount of free xp for my 20-something character I had left behind.

  9. General Ghoul says:

    Screen shots, we need more screen shots (said in the zombie voice from Day of the Dead zombie who wanted more paramedics).

  10. illiterate says:

    fullmetal jackie shouldn’t be sporting that cape. it’s a safety hazard it is.

  11. Adeon says:

    I was amazed by how much the Halloween salvage was going for on the auction house. My only problem with the event is the people who spend their time running from door to door releasing hordes or zombies and other nasty stuff. I got killed at least twice due to someone releasing a group of monsters from a door near where I was fighting a different group.

    Remember: Be responsible kill or neuter your zombies.

  12. Rick Tacular says:

    “fullmetal jackie shouldn’t be sporting that cape. it’s a safety hazard it is.”

    Yeah, don’t you remember what happened to Thunderhead??

  13. Chris Arndt says:

    Oh the thirty-foot tall monsters sound like so much fun to fight!!!

  14. DKellis says:

    If anyone is wondering what the scale of the giant monsters are, ParagonWiki has a size chart. That little green thing at the far left is an average height player character (male).

    I haven’t played a lot of this year’s Halloween Event, but in the course of maybe six hours of play I’ve probably managed to hear every quotable line from every movie remotely involving zombies. Yes, I know, that is your boomstick.

  15. Ran Kailie says:

    No its MY boomstick!

    Best fun I’ve had so far was a Zombie Apocalypse while in Dark Astoria in one of the graveyards with three Assault Rifle/Devices Blasters.

    Nothing like setting up those trip mines for the zombies to crawl up into then hitting them with ignite and a flamethrower.

    Ah, I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

  16. SolkaTruesilver says:

    And that, children, is why MMORPGs are such a time sink…

    Because of a random even, you went from 6 hours to 9 hours of game time. :)

  17. Zaxares says:

    Do you need that number to MMOholics Anonymous yet, Shamus? :D

    Glad to hear you’re having fun! The Guild Wars Halloween event will be starting this weekend too. Chances are it’ll mostly be a repeat of the previous years, but hey, it’s always a good opportunity to make some extra moolah from selling all the event stuff I don’t want.

  18. Slyboots says:

    Hm, A lot of these posts have really given me a desire to play CoH but being UK based kinda sucks since this is a US site aint it?

    That and the free-trial does not seem to be working :P A lot of “Oh sorry, all free codes have been used, try again later” for the last 3 weeks or so..

    Anyone know when these “renew”?

  19. Bizarre says:

    Slyboots, CoH has its own European servers.

  20. MechaCrash says:

    I think “they have their own servers” may be the problem. You can play on the US servers if you want to, but you have to be sure you buy the right serial code. If you buy the wrong one, then customer support can fix you up.

  21. karln says:

    While we’re on the subject of UK players (and EU generally) I’ll just remind everyone that I have characters on Defiant and Union in the EU, and if you don’t mind the risk that I will sometimes be tired and grumpy and therefore monosyllabic at you, you could find me in-game and try for a Twenty-sided team. Alexis has already global-friended me; the rest of you can try me at @Marshlight (definitely works on Defiant, AFAIK should work on Union too). I shall be careful not to thoughtlessly dismiss global friend requests from now on :)

    We could go pumpkin-head-hunting or something.

  22. Old_Geek says:

    I was in the Hollows when the zombie attack started. I’m only a level 7 with my first character, so the massive team that quickly assembled was new to me. I was kind of disappointed when it just seemed to end. I didn’t know it just moved to a new area. The entire thing lasted less than half an hour for me.

  23. Alexis says:

    Last night was Robot Rampage 4 on Defiant. A player organised event featuring 8 Kronos Titans and two Paladins. We cooled down with Lusca and Eochai. It was pretty cool.

    Although totally disorganised really… I don’t think people even attacked the same target. It’s very newbie-friendly having everything AOE based, but the game isn’t hugely challenging.

    I have a tip re: inf. You have a little seed money now. Go buy L46+ rare recipes on the AH, for 2k. Vendor for 9-10k. Profit! I made 1.8mil yesterday… it’s not exactly exciting but it’s nice to feel financially independent. People have been ever so generous but I don’t like to rely on that. I did it on Talos Island, the shop isn’t too far from the AH.

    And with that money, trick yourself out with IOs, go forth and pwn face :D

  24. Slyboots says:

    Oh no, I’ve made myself misunderstood :)

    I know there are different servers for US/UK servers but Im wondering about the 14 day free Trial for Europe servers, I’ve tried several times but it never gives out free codes (all codes have been assigned, try again later) Anyone had any luck with that at all?

  25. wintermute says:

    “fullmetal jackie shouldn't be sporting that cape. it's a safety hazard it is.”
    Yeah, don't you remember what happened to Thunderhead??

    Pah. Kids today. When I was young, we learned that lesson from Dollar Bill…

  26. Eric Rossing says:

    Well, these articles were enough to get me to pony up for a month of CoX again(most of my characters say “last played 509 days ago, a couple got time during the last free weekend).

    Over the weekend, I was able to remember why I stopped playing, and why I played as long as I did (over 3 years).

    My highest character is a 45 scrapper. Over about 8-10 hours of bashing on radio doors and a couple contact missions, I managed to go up a full 0.2 levels! This would be why I got tired of playing. Am I doing it wrong, or is it just that slow to level? Combined with the once-every-3 new power, the time-vs-reward really sucks at this stage. The only reason I can think of to keep at it is to get to 50 so I can get access to the prestige characters.

    I also started a new character, a psionic/psionic blaster (I forget the exact power set name, but it’s something like that). I had a lot of fun blasting the crazies in the tutorial zone before I had to go to bed. I’m going to keep on with this character a while.

  27. krellen says:

    Levelling slows down a lot at level 45. But your big problem, Eric, is doing radio missions. They’re short, quick, and not intended to be good places to level on (they lead in to the safeguard missions and most people don’t want to out-level them too early). If you get a contact and follow a story-arc you’ll probably do better; the mission-complete rewards will be larger, there will (usually) be more foes to defeat, and you’ll get a big bonus (usually the same as completing 2-4 missions) from ending the story arc as well.

  28. Alexis says:

    My levelling tip: get superspeed and run through missions. The baddies won’t see you unless you stop for a long time. And yeah, do story arcs, they’re more fun anyway! You’ll have to solo the odd +2 elite boss mind >:D

  29. Falco Rusticula says:

    I’ve been running around Elwynn Forest in WoW, and one of the main Halloween events there is the Headless Horseman. He runs around thirty feet up and periodically stets fire to Goldshire. I’ve lost track of how many times that place’s been alight by now. You have to grab buckets of water and hurl them onto the fires to stop them. Fifty people can put it out in less than a minute (though grabbing buckets and not people gets tricky), but with twenty in the village you run around hurling buckets onto the smithy for about five.

    You can also get broomsticks, and trick-or-treat the innkeepers, who may give you candy (some of which grants nifty bonuses). Oh, and there are now costume-granting wands.

  30. Kevin says:

    Happy Getting-Close-to-Halloween, Shamus!

  31. KMJX says:

    Hmm I’m playing from Switzerland, but am invading the US servers (Will Heal For a Name on Liberty, the Green Wanderer on Virtue, for now)
    That probably has to do with the fact that I tend to dislike local translations and chose English(US) as my main language when making the account.

    Played for roughly two weeks now, and liking the change of pace from DOFUS.

    Leveling just happens, crazy groups can be both fun and infuriating, and most important, the game gives a very casual-player-friendly impression, meaning I don’t have to grind and farm for stuff if I can live with only being OK instead of Uber, as opposed to that other game I play.

    Funny enough, I didn’t get caught in my usual ALTitis, was happy with my healer from th get go, and only chose to make a new char to see another server and because I really want to get the respec done for WHFaN who got to his 30s quite quickly.

    CoH has it’s downsides and flaws, and I bet we will be hearing about them soon from Shamus.

    I can see myself playing this game from time to time, but not over long periods of time at once. I’ll guess about 1-2 months before taking a break

  32. Nilus says:

    Yeah me and my team emerged from a mission at about 11 on Saturday all ready to call it quits, only to be swarmed by Zombies. Next thing I know its 4 in the morning and I am spamming doors for one stupid unique item I need to get my costume slot. Was fun :)

  33. Old_Geek says:

    Take pity on a poor noob.

    What is spamming doors?

  34. Sam says:

    I’m about one more CoH post away from just going out and buying the game. It’s making the MMO itch come back in a big way. Really big. Playing two MMOs at the same time big.

  35. Eric Rossing says:

    krellen & Alexis: I’ll try some contact-missions too and see how it goes. I like the radio missions because most contact missions send me boucing (Superleap) across half the city from one warehouse to another, where radio missions are all in one zone.

    Old_Geek:”Spamming doors” in CoH’s Halloween event means continually clicking on a door in the game to run the Trick/Treat chance to try to get the rare Treat you’re looking for.

  36. Aulayan says:

    This morning, I wake up early, having not played at all in the weekend. I didn’t wake up to play, I just didn’t know what time it was until I logged in.

    3.5 hours later, I gained two levels, and all the Trick of Treating badges. (The zombie apocalypse and giant monster badges were gained later that day).

    …My head felt funny after that and I went back to sleep.

  37. DKellis says:

    @Eric Rossing: How quickly (or slowly) do you finish a radio mission on average?

    On my high-level 40+ characters, if I smack down every baddie along the way on Rugged (the middle difficulty), each completed radio mission gives me a bit over one-fifth of an experience bar (on Heroic, the lowest difficulty, I can get just about one-fifth of an experience bar). I can finish a radio mission (still doing the “defeat everyone” method) in about ten minutes, if it’s a difficult enemy group (Malta, Carnies), and five if it’s easy (Council). I don’t consider myself a particularly skilled player: I may have played the game a long time, but I panic under pressure.

    This means that if I don’t bother with the Safeguard missions or visiting the Market, I can get one experience bar per hour (factoring in travel time) on radio missions, which is 0.1 levels per hour. In fact, I often just play for an hour in the Rikti War Zone (or recently, Cimerora) just running the neverending timed missions, getting an experience bar or more at a time. (The RWZ missions take me about seven minutes tops. I’m good against Rikti.)

    So yeah, I’m surprised that 8-10 hours only nets two bars of experience, even at 45.

    Incidentally, I realized that I haven’t mentioned my CoH/V details yet: global name DKellis, available largely on Virtue and Infinity (the latter villainside). I solo pretty much exclusively, since I play for half an hour at a time these days. Also, living in Singapore, so most of the time I only see Australians around.

  38. Plasma says:

    The main reason halloween salvage is so expensive is that it’s usable all year ’round, but only obtainable during half of one month. So there’s been a whole year for supply to sink and demand to climb (people make new characters). Real prices just haven’t caught up with new supply yet, through a combination of old bids still active, people putting up new salvage at high asking prices because they know they can get that much, and people bidding high because they don’t realize the bottom will fall out of the prices eventually and/or they want it now.

    And the prices should drop eventually. Already they’ve gone from hundreds of thousands per piece to about 50,000. Last Halloween I remember them getting down below ten thousand by the end of the event.

  39. Rick Tacular says:

    I gotta say, you’ve picked a good time (or a bad time, if you don’t want to get addicted to it) to try CoH. As you’re experiencing now, Halloween. In December is the Winter Holiday Events (skiing, rescuing Baby New Year, etc.) and then Valentine’s Events (you have to do it with a Villain if you’re a hero and vise-verse). Each have badges and costume rewards and stuff. Good luck prying yourself away (of course, the cookie-cutter missions and whatever other negatives will help you with that, but I digress).

  40. ryanlb says:

    Convinced by your posts, I finally tried my first MMO. Last week my cousin and I downloaded the City of Heroes trial, which took 2.5 hours. We didn’t get to play it that night.

    Last night I got around to trying, and found that my trial period is half over, because the two week trial period starts the moment you sign up a PlayNC Account.

    THAT IS LAME! At least let us start up the game the first time, geez. I spent around an hour creating a character, and of course, even though I already had the name picked out I forgot to check it, and the variation isn’t as clever sounding as was the original, but I’m not surprised the original was taken.

    I really wanted my flame powered girl to be known as ‘Hot Chick’ :(

    After I got my character all created and made it through the tutorial it was much past time to go to bed, but I couldn’t figure out how to exit, where’s the menu? I know I’m not the most brilliant person, but I’ve played enough games I feel I should have been able to find the freaking menu. Luckily, something or other crashed and I had to kill the process to escape.

    I’ve got ideas for another character or several, and I’m sorely tempted to buy the game and subscribe just so I play with the character creation screen.

    One final question, is it possible to increase the resolution?

  41. Hank says:

    There is a menu buttun just above the health-meter thingie in the upper right corner of the screen. This is were you find the logout button as well as the options menu. Hope that helps ryanlb.

  42. ryanlb says:

    Thanks it does, I found it last night. My cousin and I played for a while last night, got up to level 5, it was a lot of fun.

    I wish I had the money to continue to play this once my trial runs out, but honestly $15 a month is a pretty hefty chunk of my goof off money. And then there’s the time issue; I wasn’t supposed to spend 4.5 hours playing CoV last night, but I did.

  43. Stuart says:

    aww man… looks like I’m missing some really cool content in my current windowless state.

  44. Katerinae says:

    Eric Rossing, you can gain ‘significantly’ more xp per hour than that ;) There are several ways to make it happen fast.

    The simplest way, would be to join a 6 man team, and set the missions difficulty to ‘unyielding’. Ideally this team should have a tank & healer or a couple of controllers (for damage mitigation) and the rest should be a mixed bag of damage dealers. If you get on a fast moving team, you can get a full level in less than 8 hours. remember, freakshow are your friends ;) Also, the contact arcs at the portal corp in Peregrine Island are very close together and fast paced xp.

    Alternatively, you could do it stalker-style: Set to invincible, go solo, avoid any mission which says ‘rescue’ or ‘defeat all’, stealth through to the final battle room, kill everything there, click the glowie, click exit, zooommm to the next mission.

    Or, you could do the midnighter’s arc in steel canyon, complete that so you can get into the cimorera zone, and once there, broadcast that you’re looking for an ‘ITF’ task force. Its FULL of bosses, and that means lots of xp. You’ll get 25 merits for completing it. Plus, you’ll run into some old familiar enemies ;) It takes about 3 hours, and I’d be surprised if you couldn’t level in that task force. My 50 makes about 3 million in influence running it, not counting salvage, etc. Really ‘any’ level appropriate task force, with a competent team which moves through it quickly, will be great xp. But its hard to top “heroes & villains fighting together to defeat nazi vampires who are secretly building giant robots through a time portal in ancient greece, with some mysterious keldian assistance, as part of a plot for world domination”.

    Also, bear in mind that if you’re on a team, as long as your within 5 levels of the highest character on the team, you’ll be getting xp, potentially a LOT of xp if you’re a few levels below the mission owner’s level. Just look to play with 50’s, and if you can do well on the team un-sidekicked, great. if you’re not contributing much, then SK up to 49 and you’ll still be getting great xp.

    Really in CoX xp comes faster & easier than in WoW. And there is greater potential for ‘power leveling’ if you are so inclined. Personally, i’d rather grind through it the hard way, there’s nothing so unsatisfying as a free lunch. If you are tired of the cookie cutter missions though, do some research, there’s a LOT of game content to explore which will give a much more varied and interesting gaming experience in CoX. Task forces, rikti raids, contact arcs, hammidon, holliday event stuff, giant monsters (of which there are many, and not just on the holidays). And when you think you’ve got everything mastered and nothing is challenging anymore, try statesman’s task force and get beat silly by lord recluse himself.

    ryanlb, you’ve probably found it by now, but in the menu; options; graphics & audio – you can change your resolution to pretty much anything. You can also customize interface colors, shape, sizes, layout, etc.

    Stuart, if you’ve got a mac, then you’ve got no reason to miss out. as of issue 13 (released early december) city of heroes is macintosh compatible. You even get some free in-game content for mac users ;)

    Anyways, my global is Katerinae, on the server Virtue (the unofficial RP server). RPing in an RPGame is fairly fun, just put your ‘out of character’ comments in brackets :)

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