Monday, July 30, 2007

Wait, there was a weekend in there?

City of Heroes just released Issue 10, the latest patch/enhancement for the MMORPG. It's a blast. The former Rikti Crash Site has now also become the Rikti War Zone thanks to the nasty aliens deciding to invade us for reasons known only to those who have gone through the entirely new story arcs. I haven't finished them yet. The Rikti have also been visually upgraded as well, to include clothing. So now we all come to the realization that we've been fighting alien nudists all this time, and it's made a few heroes shudder. However, that attitude won't stop the invasion and now villains have a chance to get into the act as well. The Rikti War Zone is a hero-villain cooperation zone where heroes and villains can fight side-by-side in homage to the old comics trope of teaming up the likes of the Fantastic Four with Doctor Doom to save the world from one threat or another. And yes, there's still PVP zones so you can get back to doublecrossing each other like it ought to be.

The rest of the game world hasn't been left unaffected, either. Any team that successfully concludes the Lady Grey Task Force against the Rikti will trigger a zone invasion whereby a fleet of dropships will send hundreds of bombs to the ground and blast everything left and right. Shortly thereafter, hordes of Rikti will show up and attack everything in sight. The only major problem I've had with this is that if you get hundreds of heroes all firing off their powers while the aliens are firing off their powers, your computer and graphics card will start to lag behind. I had a case of powers not firing off until up to 2 minutes after pressing the keys. That was on the first day, and things have dropped down to a three to five-second delay. Also, there's no need to worry about zone-dpendent creatures, either. What will target "red" (fight at three levels higher than you) on a Level 1 hero will now target red on a Level 50 hero as well. The damage will scale so that you can team up with any mix of levels and powers. That part is a lot of fun.

Finally, we have a new raid option: the Rikti Mothership. Put together a team, conglomerate into a huge mass of teams, and set out to destroy the shield generators the surround the mothership. Once that's done, your teams have to scramble to set enough bombs to damage the Mothership so that it can't repair itself, return to its homeworld and bring back another army. Keeping it damaged will allow Vanguard, a shadowy multi-national anti-alien combat team, enough time to examine the mothership and find its major weaknesses. The ship is also swarming with the Rikti's elite troops and these guys are tough even for Level 50 heroes to fight. The average villain level is 53, so these guys are dangerous to everyone. If you get all the bombs set, you then have to deal with the Master of Weapons U'con G'rai, a Rikti general. He's a bit tough, much like how Siberian winters are a bit cold.

I have enjoyed this latest upgrade as much as when City of Villains came out. There's all kinds of great stuff to do. I'd love to see a few decision-tree-based "mysteries" included some time for the detectives among us, too. You'd have to figure out how to randomize the "who" in the whodunit, though.

With this, the police radio/newspaper, task forces/strike forces, and trials, you can breathe new life into old heroes and experience all kinds of new content with your newer ones as well. I'm keeping my subscription current.

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