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Epic Fortunata fun

May 30, 2008

For the past week since the release of Issue 12 I have spent a fair amount of time in City of Villains, mostly playing the new epic villain archetypes – widow and spider. Of those two I choose to focus on the widow path.
Everyone who has played City of Villains are familiar with the Arachnos troops and have fought them on numerous occasions. Choosing to play the epic villain archetypes will for many likely be a bit coloured by those experiences. The epic villain archetypes (VEATs) have a prerequisite that at least one of your villains has reached level 50 in the game before.

Life as a widow basically starts out as a blood widow, one of the earlier Arachnos troops encountered and somewhat nasty with their melee oriented attacks using claws. Being one of the regular Arachnos troops, how is that epic and in line with the other super-powered villainous types running around blasting things?

When you start out as “regular” supervillain Arachnos busts you out of prison because you are on their list of Destined Ones – special ones that are seen as very important evil-doers. As a regular trooper, what do you have to do? Cheat of course! You manage to put in a fake entry with your name on the Destined Ones list…

As a VEAT there are a number of contacts and story arcs that are only for those archetypes and which becomes available at various levels as one progress.

When one starts as a VEAT there is not a lot of choice in terms of powers or costumes – a few minor variations on the regular troop uniforms and a free colour choice. There is only one primary and secondary powerset to choose from initially and the origin is always Natural. As with the regular villains, one can pick up powers from the pool sets also later.

A significant change comes at level 24. At this point you are forced to respec your power choices and now have additional powersets to choose from, one primary and one secondary from each of the specialisation paths available. Both the original powersets and the 2 new powersets from the specialisation path are available, which means that one suddenly have a lot of different powers to choose from. For widows the specialisation choice is either Night Widow or Fortunata.

Night Widows are basically nastier melee-oriented widows; most people that have played villains to somewhat higher levels have encounted them and sometimes been killed by them – blinded and quickly slashed to death from an enemy you cannot see.
The Fortunatas use more psi-oriented ranged damage and crowd control capabilities, twisting the minds of their enemies. They appear in weak and stronger versions, although perhaps has not given players the same amount of frustration in encounters as the Night Widows.

It was not easy to choose path here, but in the end I choose the Fortunata path, since that has more crowd control and ranged damage options, which suits me better than the more melee-oriented path.

My current choice for the Fortunata has only a few attacks and is more focused on buffs and crowd control options – all the VEATs have some good team buffs, plus some personal buffs. I have pretty much all of them going.
The buffs provides some extra defense, tohit, accuracy and strength bonuses with provides an ok improvement compared to my normal squishy villains (e.g. the dominators). Where it really shines is in teams where other have similar team buffs going which stacks with each other. This has in particular been the case when many of those playing their VEATs team up together.

I have played a fair amount in large teams with a number of VEATs in them and those have been extraordinary in the ability to fight though the hordes of enemies encounted. This has also shown on the level progression. My fortunata is at level 32 now, which is after a bit more than a week calendar time and perhaps a bit more than a days playtime – which is far below time spent on any other character up to the low 30s.

I have had a lot of fun with the widow/Fortunata. There are definitely areas where I can see I can improve and change my power and enhancement slot selection, so there will be respec:s. Which I think is part of the fun – to try out, change and improve from own experience.

From seeing what other players have chosen it seems that the Crab Spider path is by far the most poplar VEAT choice, with the Night Widows a distant second. I don’t recall seeing any Bane Spider and I have only seen one other Fortunata when I have played.
And a large portion of the spider troops seem to have named their character “Operative “… I suppose that is a somewhat in-character choice of name.

Either way, the VEATs have been a lot of fun to play so far and I am glad that NCSoft finally put them in the game.

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Categories: City of Heroes
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