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Archive for September, 2011

Out of Star Wars Galaxies

September 30, 2011 4 comments

I have not been playing Star Wars Galaxies for perhaps a month now, partly due to that the people I was going to play with were doing other things. But I decided to log in to the game tonight. However, I was met by the message that I could not update the game and login until I had activated/purchased a subscription – which is not possible anymore.

Logging in to the SOE account I cannot see any option to activate SWG – in fact there was no information at all that I had an SWG account even – except in the payment history.

Last transaction was slightly before the middle of August, which would be paying the subscription to just a few days before the subscription cutoff date of September 15th. The credit card that I used to pay the subscription with was cancelled about a month ago – I had forgotten that I had used that one for SWG. I can understand that SOE won’t extend the subscription if the transaction fails, no problem there.

But I would have expected them to send a notice or some indication that the transaction actually failed – I have not seen anything like that from them. At least then I could have fixed the problem and pay them for the 4-5 days that was remaining to September 15th. This is my guess what happened anyway, but since there is no information in the account pages that is only a guess.

Categories: Star Wars Galaxies

Divided We Fall

September 28, 2011 Comments off

Earlier this month Paragon Studios posted the story piece Divided We Fall on the City of Heroes web site, essentially a a story background for some Praetorian invasion events that they were going to run. A couple of servers had this event run during the VIP Headstart, but now they also run the event on the rest of the servers as well.

Today Wednesday was the time for my main server, Defiant. A few minutes after the scheduled start time for the event it was announced that Praetorians attacked Atlas Park and Mercy Island (the starter zones), bringing with them a number of Hamidon seedlings (these big seed/eye-looking things). There are a few different types of seedlings, which has a few different effects – for some it is good to stay close together when they are defeated, others released toxic infections, which will spread to nearby players (thus better to keep the distance), other drain life of the players at times – if they are nearby.

Hamidon seedlings, and some War Walkers

A number of the gient combat robots (War Walkers) were also part fo the mix, as well as Olympian Guard elite soldiers and a number of the different signature superpowered Praetorians (Anti-Matter, Siege, Black Swan, Bobcat, Neuron, Battle Maiden, Nightstar). The combat stretched across the zone and the whole event lasted for close to two hours.

Bad seedlings

The enemies fought do not have absolute levels, so people at any level can jump in an fight together. Leagues were formed (a.k.a. raids in fantasy MMOs) and people in the area jumped in for the fight, high as low level. While the leagues do not form automatically like during invasions in Rift it is all quite inclusive and good spirited and everyone that wants gets invited.

I am not sure what the max size for a league is – I have been in 48-man leagues, but not sure if that is the max.

Fighting big bots is never wrong

That the invasions were put in the starter zones were likely a conscious decision to allow everyone regardless of level to be able to jump in without worrying much about the normal enemies in the zone.

When the two hours were reaching its end it was announced that there Praetorians were retreating and it was just to finish it with fighting of the remaining pockets of enemies. Then everyone was invited to go to Pocket D (the interdimensional night club/disco which is neutral space for both heroes and villains) and everyone present got the title Divided We Fall to their characters for participating in the event.

After-Invasion party in Pocket D

The invasion event continues on different servers each evening until October 11th, the Praetorian invasion schedule on the web site shows when the invasion is taking place on which servers for those interested. The Preatorians are nice enough to give a heads-up when they are going to invade! A gentleman’s invasion.

Categories: City of Heroes

City of Heroes: Freedom – now launched completely

September 27, 2011 2 comments

Today Paragon Studios finished they they slow build-up for their Freedom launch and now the gates are open for everyone. There is a new front to the website, some welcome info and a new trailer for the game. As an enthusiast for the game it is great to see that they finally reached this launch. Enjoy!

Categories: City of Heroes

City of Heroes Signature arcs

September 25, 2011 Comments off

One of the new content features that comes with City of Heroes: Freedom is what is called signature arcs. These are longer stories which are presented piece by piece, involving some of the game’s signature characters.

The first signature arc started this last week, with the first part out of 7. It is called “Who will die” and will eventually lead to the death of a signature character. These arcs have also been reported to have “better than average” rewards and as such will cost extra, unless you are a VIP player.

The price for a signature arc piece is 400 Paragon points. So it that worth the money?

After playing the first part this week I am inclined to say no. Not because it is bad – I actually liked it a lot. This first part consists of three missions, with a bit of twist to them – not just run in and beat up whatever you see. The missions are also slightly different on hero and villain sides – the overall story is the same, but told from different perspectives. Personally I thought the villain side version was a bit more fun to play, but both sides are good.

It does not take too long to play either – first time was perhaps 30 minutes and now when knowing what to expect it is shorter than that (only a limited amount of fighting is actually required). They are soloable, but not easy for all archetypes. The level range for this part is 10-20; if you are higher than 20 you will play it as a level 20 (power selections up to level 25 still available).

For the time put in, the rewards are indeed “better than average”. At the end of the three missions you get a choice of four options to pick one from:

  • One hero/villain merit
  • 4 x reward merit award   (in this case 4 x 5 = 20 reward merits)
  • One Astral Merit
  • 10 Incarnate Threads
These are quite good for the effort needed to be put in, but here comes also why I think it may not be worth it for at least some Premium players:
  1. Hero/villain merits are part of the alignment system and are used to buy rare and very rare invention recipes. Premium players do not have access to inventions, unless they have picked it up through Paragon Rewards as a long time player or rented access for 30 days. So there is extra time and money involved to get any use from that.
  2. Astral merits and Incarnate threads are reward currencies in the Incarnate system, which is VIP only. So no use for Premium players.
  3. The Reward merit award is the only one that can be used for other things than buying Invention stuff or is Incarnate related and thus the only one that would be of some use for most Premium players.

You can run the arc as often as you want, but there is a diminishing returns factor involved here for the rewards also. With one character that I ran it multiple times (once per day) I could pick the hero/villain merit twice, but at the third run it said I was not able to pick that for another 7 days (I could still pick another eligible reward).

Now this assumes that the rewards presented are the same for Premiums as for VIP players – I have not bought and tested this with a Premium account. But if it is the same then I think Premium players would need to think how valuable these reward merits are to them – one is essentially buying the ability to get a weekly extra supply of reward merits.

Three missions for 400 points is a bit expensive if one would go for just the content, even repeatable. Then the First Ward mission package is a better option, with about 40 missions (level 20-29, story arc not repeatable on a character).

Categories: City of Heroes

City of Heroes: Freedom launched – in stealth mode

September 23, 2011 5 comments

Paragon Studios seems to be taking a quite gradual approach to launching their new hybrid business model version of the game. About 1 1/2 week the VIP headstart with the new Issue 21 – Convergence. And now there is time for the premium players, i.e. everyone that at some point in the past have subscribed to the game.

However, as the announcement says, they do not activate all of the accounts at once.  However, since they also say that all free players will get into the game next week, I would assume that all premium player accounts will get in this weekend at some point, or possibly early next week.

So if you have ever played City of Heroes before and remember what your account may be you could start to get the update. There is a download link on that announement page, if you do not have the software installed.

So sneak in and join the rest of us :)

Categories: City of Heroes

City of Heroes Issue 21: Convergence

September 13, 2011 2 comments

The VIP Headstart for City of Heroes Issue 21 starts today (sort of, the servers are not quite available yet it seems at the time of writing) and with that comes an extensive patch note of the changes this issue brings with it. I will simply copy & paste the patch note post here for those that are interested – the source can be found here if you have forum access.

City of Heroes Freedom and Issue 21: Convergence

Freedom and the accompanying issue Convergence are the culmination of over a full year of research, planning, designing, development, testing, and debugging. Paragon Studios has re-imagined the MMO of City of Heroes into a hybrid business model. Players can pay a monthly subscription and get access to a ton of new content, new Power Sets, costume pieces, zones, abilities, and the like, or if they want, they can play the game at no charge, experiencing some of the best content that City of Heroes has had to offer over the past seven years.

With this patch comes a brand new Tutorial experience. In Freedom, you will be able to choose from all of the basic Archetypes from the start. You will actually make a moral choice during the tutorial and determine on which side of the law you will fall. Once you complete the tutorial, you’ll find yourself in an updated Atlas Park or Mercy Island, with an entirely new series of missions for you to level up with. If you didn’t learn enough in the tutorial to grasp the nuances of City of Heroes, you can experience the Ongoing Training Missions that give you more information on many of the game’s systems while weaving a fun tale for you to play through.

With Freedom, Paragon is adding the all-new Paragon Market. This completely replaces the existing store where you would buy in-game items with a slick new interface, and it’s accessible from within the game itself. The Paragon Market accepts Paragon Points as its currency, which can also be purchased right in-game, or VIP subscribers will find a monthly bonus to their Paragon Points total as part of their ongoing subscription. In Freedom, you don’t need to buy an entire costume pack to get just the few pieces you wanted to actually use to make your “perfect” character. You can buy each piece individually, from within the costume creator itself!

We’re also revamping the old Veteran’s Reward system as the brand new Paragon Reward Program. Now you have more flexibility about which reward you earn next, and you can even earn rewards in this system without a subscription, simply by purchasing points for use on the Paragon Market. Returning players will find that we are honoring their time invested, as they will have credit in the new program based on how long they played City of Heroes previously.

Of course, we wouldn’t be City of Heroes without having a new Issue. In Issue 21: Convergence, you’ll venture into the zone of First Ward to fight Emperor Cole’s DUST soldiers, take down the Seed of Hamidon, and uncover what happened to magic in Praetoria. This zone is for characters level 20 to 29, and can be accessed from either Praetoria or Primal Earth. You can also dig deep into the secrets hidden below the streets of Praetoria in the Underground Incarnate Trial.

Finally, we’re going to start rolling out weekly updates. These might be store-bought items or the brand new Signature Stories (monthly story arcs that come with the VIP subscription). Every week we’ll be adding something new to the game in some way. We’ve got a ton of surprises planned for you all in this area, just wait and see!

I really hope you enjoy City of Heroes Freedom and Issue 21: Convergence,

Matt “Positron” Miller
Lead Designer
City of Heroes

Paragon Market™

In the Paragon Market you will be able to purchase new in-game items and account services, manage your game account, and access the customer support knowledge base without leaving the game.

Shopping at the Paragon Market

You will access the Paragon Market by clicking on the store icon in the City of Heroes Character Creator or the regular in-game user interface. You pay for items and services in the Paragon Market using Paragon Points™.

The Paragon Market home page opens to New, Featured, and Bestsellers items. You can view more items by navigating the Category Menu on the left hand side of the item display.

Once you open an item you can either add the item to the shopping cart or place it in your Wish List.
Please note that the Paragon Market is a work in progress.

Managing Your Account at the Paragon Market

You will be able to manage your account at the Paragon Market by clicking on the My Account button on top bar of the Market. This feature allows you to perform all of the same account management functions you would perform under your Master Account at ncsoft.com. This includes managing your billing information and subscription and viewing and managing your account information.

Customer Support at the Paragon Market

  • You will be able to view a revamped City of Heroes Knowledge Base from the Paragon Market by clicking on the Support button located along the top bar of the Market. You will be able to search and view knowledge base articles.
  • VIP players will receive enhanced in-game support for the majority of gameplay issues.

Quick Downloader

Please NoteThe Quick Downloader will not be available until September 15th, 2011. Additionally, the Quick Downloader is currently only available on Windows.

When installing City of Heroes Freedom for the first time (that is, a fresh install rather than patching up an existing version), the NCsoft Launcher now allows the user to launch the game after a portion of the game has been downloaded. Instead of waiting for the full game to download (currently about 3.7GB), the player can launch the game after the first data “stage” is downloaded (about 700MB currently). The NCsoft Launcher then continues to download additional stages in the background. These stages are as follows:

  • Stage 1: Character creator and store
  • Stage 2: New player tutorial
  • Stage 3: Atlas Park / Mercy Island and associated content
  • Stage 4: All remaining content

If players attempt to access a zone before its data is available, they will be notified that they need to wait for that stage to complete downloading. So while this feature is very useful for new players who want to get quickly into the character creator and tutorial, veteran players may want to delay launching the game until the Launcher has completed the full download (as once the game is launched, the Launcher will throttle the download rate so as not to interfere with the game’s network communications).

While in game, an icon showing the current progress will appear if the Quick Downloader is active. Mouse over this icon to get more details regarding what content is available in each stage.

New VIP Server: Exalted

With the release of City of Heroes Freedom, we are also adding a new server: Exalted. This server will be available to VIP Players only, and you will be able to transfer your characters to and from it as with any other server. Should a VIP Player choose to become a Premium player, they will no longer be able to access their characters on Exalted. However, they will still be able to transfer their characters from the VIP server to any other server. The VIP server will be identical to other servers with the exception of being limited to VIP players.

EULA

The EULA has been updated. Please take a moment and read it.

MARTy

City of Heroes Freedom introduces a new system designed to catch and limit exploitive behavior. This system is known as MARTy (Metric Analyzing Reward Throttle). If your character earns rewards at an exploitive rate then they will find their rewards are shut off for a period of time. You can continue to play but cannot receive rewards until the cooldown for MARTy expires. In addition, a log of your reward activity is tagged for review by customer service and the development team. Bonus rewards from Day Jobs, XP boosts, double XP weekends, large teams, etc. are NOT factored into MARTy, just the raw original rewards are looked at. MARTy is designed to limit the worst offenders, and should have no impact on normal, or even aggressive, playstyles.

COMBINED

User Interface

  • Users can now change between full screen mode and windowed mode on the fly without restarting the game. In addition to setting this in the graphics options, alt-enter can be used as a shortcut to do this at any time.
  • Trainers will now also provide Tailor services.
  • Mouse Movement has been renamed Invert Mouse to be easier to understand to new players.
  • The default setting for Mouse Movement has been switched to “Inverted”. New characters will have this setting by default, existing characters will be unaffected.
  • Certifications and Vouchers have been renamed “Account Items” and “Character Items”, respectively, in the UI, based on usability feedback.

Galaxy City

  • Galaxy City has been destroyed by Shivan meteors! Paragon City Police have closed all routes leading into the city and all citizens have been evacuated.
  • Players who currently have a mission or contact in Galaxy City will have them removed and will be teleported to Atlas Park.
  • Contacts previously located in Galaxy City have been moved to Atlas Park. These contacts no longer give missions.
  • A portal in Ouroboros now leads to an Echo of Galaxy City as it was just before the Shivan attack. Temporal disturbances have disabled all contacts, trainers, and missions. However, plaques, badges, and villain groups remain present.

Freedom Tutorial

  • Players now begin as a neutral alignment when they first make a non-Praetorian character. All Archetypes unlocked on your account are available for character creation.
    • Hero and Villain Epic Archetypes will skip the tutorial.
  • Players will start their adventures in a new tutorial, which begins in the destroyed version of Galaxy City.
  • The story of the tutorial is told through a comic book loading screen. The comic book pages will persist after the game has loaded, and players will not enter the game until they choose to, giving them time to finish reading.
  • Players will buy the “Knowledgeable” badge for free from the Paragon Market during the tutorial. Players will not need to run the tutorial to earn this badge, and will be able to buy the “Knowledgeable” badge from the Paragon Market at any time on any character for free, as well.
  • Voiceover has been added to the Tutorial
    • Subtitles and Pop Help are included in the Tutorial to provide helpful information for players who do not hear the audio.

Atlas Park Makeover

  • Atlas Park has received a major facelift! Old skyscrapers have been replaced with more updated ones, city hall has received a major treatment, and the majority of the plazas have been updated. New music is present in each of the neighborhoods in Atlas.
  • Icon has set up a new shop in Atlas Park across from Atlas Plaza near the Hospital.
  • All new players who choose Hero alignment will receive Matthew Habashy as their contact.
  • There are 4 new contacts in total in Atlas, each with their own story arc:
    • Matthew Habashy – an agent for the FBSA who is determined to help Atlas Park recover in the wake of the Galaxy City disaster.
    • Sondra Costel – a nurse who wants to help the people of Hyperion Way stand against the increased activity of gangs in the area.
    • Officer Fields – a rookie cop who has been given a high profile murder case in the Promenade.
    • Aaron Thiery – a member of SERAPH who is investigating the possibility of Arachnos invasion in Atlas Park.

Mercy Island Mission Makeover

  • New players who choose Villain alignment will now start in Mercy Island instead of Darwin’s landing. Longbow has pushed forward across Mercy and has taken over Fort Darwin.
  • Villains will now have Operative Kuzmin as their first contact.
  • There are 4 new contacts in Mercy Island:
    • Operative Kuzmin – the newly appointed operative in charge of finding ‘Destined Ones’.
    • Fire Wire – a rogue out to make a name for himself by robbing the Mercy Bank.
    • Doctor Weber – an amoral contract scientist working to study the Infected.
    • Lt. Harris – a Longbow traitor who is looking to stop the group’s activities in Mercy.
  • Facemaker has set up a new shop within Mercy Island down the street from the starting plaza..
  • All neighborhoods in Mercy now have new music.

Combat Phasing

  • Missions in Atlas Park and Mercy Island utilize new combat phasing technology. Players can help change the world depending on their actions; if they have a mission to defeat Hellions in an area, after that mission is complete, that area can be replaced by PPD forces.
  • When a player is in a combat phase, they will only see players and entities who are also in the same phase.
  • When on a team, the player who is the current task owner will be the “Active Player”; all players on the team will be put into the active player’s phase. This works similar to sidekicking.
  • Players who have out-leveled the Atlas and Mercy Island missions can use flashback to go back and complete the missions and change the world. Note that the world will only be changed once players have fully completed an arc.

“Death from Below” Low-Level Sewer Trial

  • Players can use the Team Up Teleporter to play this new low-level sewer event.
  • Heroes and Villains will have their own distinct versions of the trial.
  • Heroes will be guided by Positron, while villains will have the assistance of Arbiter Sands.
  • Players who complete the low level sewer trial will be able to receive one of the following buffs, which will last for a week or until they hit level 22:
    • Boost in damage
    • Boost in accuracy
    • Boost in recovery
    • Boost in defense

Ongoing Training Missions

  • Through a series of missions, players are taught the higher-level features of our game in a very informal and easygoing series of storyarcs.
  • Players are introduced to a contact who has heard things about their adventures and is considering inviting them to join their elite group of super-powereds
  • These arcs are OPTIONAL and can be done at any time, though it’s recommended to start at the levels listed below for an optimal training experience
  • These missions are intended for training of Heroes and Villains; there is not a Praetorian version of these ongoing training missions
    The intent of these missions are to teach through fun, not to feel like the 4th wall has been broken
  • Heroes report to Twinshot who has teamed up with a ragtag collection of heroes:
    • Twinshot – Twinshot is a trained commando with a friendly demeanor and a mysterious past
    • Grym – Grym is a guardian from another realm; he is one of the grims that has been sent to watch over Paragon City
    • Proton – The last survivor of a future version of Earth, Proton has traveled to our time in an attempt to prevent the catastrophe that consumed his world
    • Dillo – Part of the Galactic Refugees, Dillo has been sent to Earth to warn them of the threat of the Shivans
    • Flambeaux – Sassy li’l thing, that Flambeaux
  • Villains receive a message from Dr. Graves about an opportunity to test their strength against a rogues’ gallery of rough characters:
    • Dr. Graves– A scientist who found a way to stop cellular death, Graves is a rather nice guy who needs to chop apart people to replace his limbs, which become damaged due to an illness
    • Crosscut – A serial killer who likes using blades. On anyone or anything. Anytime. Anywhere.
    • Dollface – A coy assassin with a penchant for drama.
    • Omnicore – A woman obsessed with creating the ultimate weapon, this tech-geek has given up her humanity to ensure her goal becomes realized
    • Zephyr – A nebulous being composed of smoke and cloud, Zephyr is a manifestation of the wind itself.
  • Players will learn the following throughout Level Ranges 5 – 19:
    • Contact introduction
    • Redirects
    • Cell-phone contacts
    • Consistent use of trainers
    • Using trams (aka Monorail / Ferry)
    • Notoriety settings
    • Kidnap and kill boss missions
    • Pet combat
    • Auction houses
    • Where to find clues that progress a mission
    • Ambush combat behavior
    • Mission maps
    • Dialogue trees
    • Supergroups
    • Lore characters
    • Enhancements
    • Introduction to Inventions
    • Sidekicks and Lackeys
    • Enemy Groups
    • Introduction to Alignment and Morality

Access to Cool Features

This is a revamp of how and when players access the cool features of our game. In an effort to make these features more accessible, we re-evaluated their availability:

  • Auras are now available on the Paragon Market (they were previously only available at Level 30 or via the Astral Merit vendor).
  • Capes are now available on the Paragon Market (they were previously only available at Level 20 or via the Astral Merit vendor).
  • Ouroboros is now accessible at Level 14 (previously only available at Level 25).
  • Epic and Patron Power Pools have been adjusted:
    • Tier 1 or 2 Powers are now available at level 35.
    • Tier 3 or 4 Powers are now available at level 41.
    • Tier 5 Powers are now available at level 44.
  • A Tailor has been added in Atlas Park and Mercy Island.
  • Trainers now allow players to edit their costumes as well.

Travel Power Pool Additions

  • The first three tiers of powers in all Travel Power Pools are now available at level 4.
  • Fourth tier powers in all Travel Power Pools are available at 14, but require players to have previously obtained two other lower tier powers within the same Pool.
  • The following Travel Power Pools received a new fifth tier power that becomes available at level 14.
    • Flight
      • Afterburner – Activating this power will give the user a significant boost in speed allowing the user to break the previous flight speed cap.
    • Leaping
      • Spring Attack – This is a small radius teleport attack that causes a good amount of damage.
    • Speed
      • Burnout – By sacrificing a large amount of Endurance for a short time, the user can instantly recharge all of their Primary and Secondary powers.
    • Teleportation
      • Long-Range Teleport – This power allows the user to teleport to nearly any zone appropriate to their alignment.

Power Pool Changes

  • The first and second tier powers in Fighting, Concealment, Leadership, Presence and Medicine are now available at level 4 instead of 6.
  • The fourth tier power in Fighting, Concealment, Leadership, Presence and Medicine is now available at level 14 instead of 20.

Contact Access Improvements

Striking visual improvements have been made to Contacts so that they are easier to find, visually (both in person and on the MiniMap). Access to available content has also been made easier via a Content Finder button.

Contact Icons

  • Contacts from whom players are eligible to receive a mission will now have an icon over their head.
  • Icon Key:
    • New Mission – A yellow rotating disc (with an arrow pointing down)
    • On A Mission – A gray stationary disc (with an arrow pointing down)
    • Ready for Turn In – A glinting green disc (with an arrow pointing down).
  • Icons have movement (except for “on mission”) to account for players who may be color blind and need another method to identify which state their contact is in.
  • The new icons are used on the MiniMap as well.
  • The Waypoint Indicator has been updated graphically and is easier to see. It is themed the same as the Contact icons.
  • MiniMap filters have been created for the different states of contacts. Some states default to ‘off’ to reduce clutter on the MiniMap.

Content Finder

  • The “Find Contact” button on the Contact tab opens a window with a suggested contact that is available to the player.
  • Contact information is provided by way of an image and a short description.
  • If the player has never talked to the contact previously, they can use the Teleport to Contact button to be brought to the contact. This functionality can only be used once per contact. If a player has already talked to the contact, they can instead use the Select Contact button to select the contact in their navigation UI, which should make it easier to find that contact.
  • Multiple contacts can be found through the Contact Finder. Newer contacts are listed before older contacts. Use the Previous and Next buttons to switch between contacts.
  • New contacts will be added to the Contact Finder as new content is added to the game in the future.

Character Creation

  • The character creator has been dramatically overhauled, and offers a new look and additional functionality.
  • Costumes – within the costume screen players can now preview all purchasable costume pieces, and buy them from the in-game Paragon Market during character creation.
  • Purchasable ATs
  • Playstyle – the Playstyle screen is designed to make AT selection easier for new players by acting as a filter dependant on the selected playstyle.
  • Origin – the Origin screen requires two choices to be made, Character Origin (Primal/Praetorian) and Power Origin (Science, etc.)
  • Powers – the Powers screen requires two choices to be made, Primary and Secondary.
  • Boils aura
    • “Head” and “Head and Arms” options have been added to this aura
  • Feathers Aura
    • “Light” and “Light – Combat” options have been added to this aura. These options feature fewer feathers falling while in an idle state.

Characters with Old Content Still Unfinished
With the makeover to Atlas Park and Mercy Island and the destruction of Galaxy City, some characters may still be on missions that have had their contacts changed so they don’t give missions anymore. Characters in this situation will need to do the following:

  • Characters with missions for Atlas Park and Mercy Island contacts can continue and finish them. The location of the contacts may have moved, so please check the minimap for their exact location.
  • If a character had Galaxy City contacts, they have been removed automatically. Missions that character was on have also been removed.
  • If a character was last logged out in Galaxy City they will be transported to Atlas Park immediately upon logging in.

Paragon Reward Program
This feature replaces and upgrades the existing Veteran Reward program and offers players choices for which rewards they would like to obtain.

  • Players can earn Reward Tokens for each month subscribed or by purchasing 1,200 Paragon Points in the Paragon Market.
  • Earning Reward Tokens will increase the player’s Reward Meter. Each time the meter increases they will earn a badge (previously associated with the Veteran Reward system).
  • Once the Reward Meter has filled enough to reach a Reward Level players will gain new permissions and benefits:
    • Free players will earn the ability to access more of the game’s features as they accrue Reward Points. Such features include certain purchasable Archetypes such as Masterminds, as well as a higher Influence cap, access to more chat channels, and many more important features.
    • VIP’s will earn account perks like increased inventory size and eventually a monthly stipend increase. By default a VIP player has all of the free player unlocked permissions regardless of their Reward Level.
  • Once a player has earned Reward Tokens they can spend them on Reward Slots.
  • Reward Slots grant the user fantastic rewards like powers, costumes, auras, base items, inspirations, XP boosts, tailor tokens, respecs, and much much more!
  • Each Reward Slot costs 1 Reward Token.
  • Reward Slots are broken down into Tiers 1 through 9.
  • Tiers 1 through 8 are one time purchase rewards available to both VIP and free players.
  • Tier 9 are repeatable purchase items that offer useful consumable items to both VIP and free players.
  • Tier 9 VIP is available only to VIP players and grants access to exclusive rewards.

Paragon Rewards – Celestial Armor

  • The Celestial Armor costume set is now available exclusively for Tier 9 VIP users.
  • This new costume set includes the following pieces:
    • Helmet
    • Helmet Detail
    • Full Mask
    • Chest Texture
    • Chest Detail
    • Shoulders
    • Belt
    • Gloves x2
    • Leggings
    • Boots x2
    • Back Details x3
    • Energy Wings
    • Axe
    • Mace
    • Rifle
    • Pistol
    • Sword
  • These pieces are spread over three different Reward Slots in the Tier 9 VIP section of the Paragon Rewards Program.
  • This costume set is only available for a limited time, and will eventually be replaced by other rewards.

VIP Status

  • All former subscriber benefits:
    • All existing mission content
    • The ability to Make & Moderate Chat Channels
    • An Invention License (Ability to use the Invention System)
    • An Auction House License (Ability to use the Auction House)
    • A Mission Architect License (Ability to use Mission Architect to create and play user-generated mission content)
    • The ability to create a Supergroup
    • The ability to edit Bases
    • Influence cap of 2 Billion
    • …and more
  • All VIP Players will now get all content from City of Heroes Going Rogue and all content dependent on Going Rogue for free, without purchasing the expansion
    • Ability to create Praetorian characters
    • Full access to Praetorian content
    • Going Rogue Alignment System
    • Incarnate System:
      • Incarnate Trials
      • Incarnate Powers
      • Future Incarnate content
    • Access to all power sets released before Issue 21 and City of Heroes Freedom
    • Access to all archetypes released before Issue 21 and City of Heroes Freedom

Circle of Thorns Makeover

  • All human-based characters in the Circle of Thorns have been updated with brand new costumes pieces.

Introducing “The Underground” Incarnate Trial

Storyline
Vanessa DeVore, leader of the Carnival of Light, has learned a secret about Emperor Cole which could change the world. It is a secret which the Emperor has gone to great lengths to keep hidden, and Vanessa’s knowledge of it has made her his next target for elimination. Seeking to stay alive, she has reached out to Statesman, who has sent his protégé, Desdemona, to work with the Incarnates as they try to save Vanessa and learn the secret she has uncovered.

Synopsis
The event takes place deep in the vast Underground beneath the surface of Praetoria. Players are tasked with making their way through the tunnels, initially confronting the IDF as they try to catch up with and rescue Vanessa. Throughout the trial, the players will be accompanied by Desdemona, who will help them at various points and will require their aid at others. As players progress deeper into the Underground, the nature of the threats they face becomes more ominous. The IDF is not alone in the depths of the Underground.

Some of the Unique Powers

  • Targets Acquired: The powerful War Walkers in the Underground are well prepared to face down any threat. They will periodically check the area nearest to them for any hostiles, then deploy one of three devastating effects on all those targeted. These effects, which include Lethal Force (massive damage), Crowd Dispersal (AoE fear) and Arrest Mode (AoE hold), can quickly turn the tide of battle in the War Walker’s favor.
  • Ember Shroud: When the IDF or Devouring Earth bring out the explosives, Desdemona is prepared to assist. Players who stand near her when confronted with explosives will find that they are shielded from their effects.
  • Threatening Aura: Because of her link to Vanessa DeVore, Desdemona is easily identifiable by the IDF and other foes as a target of priority. She will occasionally be perceived as a significant target, meaning that those fighting with her may need to intervene to protect her from time to time.
  • Cripple: One of the more dangerous powers of the Avatar of Hamidon, Cripple will start with the Avatar choosing a random nearby target. After a few seconds, the Avatar will fire a jet of ectoplasmic goo at the original location of the chosen target which rapidly drains endurance, slows recharge and negates recovery. This attack can be avoided by moving behind the Avatar after his charge up begins.
  • Grasp of Gaea: Another of the Avatar’s major powers, Grasp of Gaea will place a large field around a single target. After a few seconds, this power will erupt, causing damage which scales higher based on the number of players caught in the field when the eruption occurs. Additionally, this will heal the Avatar, also based on the number of players affected by the eruption.

Incarnate Trials

  • Keyes Island will now award 2 Empyrean Merits on the first daily completion rather than 1 Empyrean Merit. During the subsequent cooldown, it will award 2 Astral Merits rather than 1 Astral Merit. The Underground also follows this Merit schedule. BAF and Lambda Sector are unchanged.
  • Prometheus has additional dialogue options for those players who have completed The Underground, so be sure to visit him after you have earned its completion badge.

New Power Sets

New Power Set – Time Manipulation

  • Time Manipulation is a new Primary set for Defenders and a Secondary set for Controllers, Corruptors and Masterminds.
  • Time Manipulation is a power set that is available for free to VIP players and is purchasable for Free and Premium Players.

New Power – Beam Rifle

  • Beam Rifle is a power set that can be purchased from the Paragon market for 800 Paragon Points.
  • The weapon of choice is a high tech beam rifle capable of firing a wide variety of energy blasts at foes.
  • The Beam Rifle attacks will have greater effect while Disintegration is in effect on the target.
  • Beam Rifle focuses on dealing a great deal of single target damage, but has a few area of effect attacks as well.
  • This power set is available to Blasters, Corruptors, and Defenders.

Rocket Board

  • This power is purchasable from the Paragon Market and offers a sleek and stylish way to fly around Paragon City, the Rogue Isles or Praetoria. This flight power has great maneuverability and higher flight speed than Fly! All powers are disabled while traveling on the Rocket Board.

Energy Aura Revamp

Dampening Field

  • Increased Lethal and Smashing resistance from scale 1 to scale 1.25.
  • Added scale 1 Energy resistance.
  • Added minor resistance to endurance drain.

Entropy Shield (Brute & Scrapper)
This power has been redesigned to be a taunt aura that will enhance the user’s recharge for each target in melee up to 10 targets and will reduce the recharge of nearby foes.

  • Renamed to Entropic Aura
  • Added Taunt Aura
  • Now will boost the user’s recharge rate by a moderate amount for the first target in close range with the user and a small amount for up to 10 targets.
  • All foes affected by this power will have their recharge reduced slightly.

Entropy Shield (Stalker)
This power has been improved to remain competitive with Entropic Aura and also fit the Stalker play style better than a scaling melee buff.

  • Grants a moderate recharge bonus all the time, does not scale with foes in melee.
  • Grants a moderate amount of resistance to endurance drain.

Repulse (Stalker)
This power has been completely redesigned and renamed to Disrupt. Instead of knocking back foes, this power is now a minor disorient aura and can stun lesser foes in close range to the user.

  • Repulse has been renamed Disrupt.
  • Disrupt can stun weaker enemies while in melee.
  • Changed recharge time from 20 seconds to 8 seconds.
  • Repulse no longer accepts knockback enhancements and sets.
  • Repulse now accepts disorient enhancements and sets.

Energy Protection (Scrapper & Brute)

  • Increased Negative Energy resistance from scale 1 to 1.25
  • Added a minor resistance to slow effects.

Energy Protection (Stalker)

  • Renamed to Kinetic Dampening.
  • Increased Energy resistance from scale 1 to 1.5
  • Increased Toxic resistance from scale 1 to 1.25
  • Increased Negative Energy resistance from scale .75 to 1.25
  • Added scale 1 Lethal and Smashing resistance.
  • Added resistance to slows.

Energy Drain
This power has been redesigned to offer a form of sustainable survivability. Its healing effect has been removed and has been replaced by a scaling defense buff.

  • Removed the minor heal effect per target from this power.
  • Added in a scaling defense bonus per target hit
  • This power no longer allows healing enhancements and sets.
  • This power now accepts defense enhancements and sets.

Conserve Energy
This power has been replaced by Energize. This power is a copy of Electric Armor/Energize. It is intended to offer the user a measure of burst survivability.

  • Conserve Energy has been removed and replaced with Energize.
  • This power offers a moderate heal, and grants the user a moderate regeneration and endurance discount buff for 30 seconds.
  • This power now accepts healing enhancements and sets.

POWERS

Blasters

  • Devices – Gun Drone can no longer be interrupted while cast.
  • Its Defiance buff has been adjusted to match the new total cast time.

Tankers

  • Stone Armor – Stone Skin: Fixed a bug that caused this power to no longer accept Damage Resistance IO’s.
  • Martial Arts – Storm Kick: For Tankers only, this power provides a scale 1.0, un-enhanceable, non-stackable defense buff to all defense for 10 seconds.
  • Martial Arts – Eagle’s Claw: This power now provides a 33% damage buff for 3 seconds once the power’s animation completes allowing the user’s next attack or two to cause additional damage.

Controllers

  • Brawl now benefits from Containment When used by Controllers.
  • Earth Control – Stone Prison, Fossilize, Stone Cages and Salt Crystals now have full effects on flying creatures. Stalagmites can be cast on flying creatures, but it still requires the caster to be on the ground. This includes damage, crowd control effects, and debuff effects.
  • Plant Control – Entangle, Strangler, and Roots can now be used on airborne targets.

Corruptors

  • Corruptor/Poison/Envenom: Reduced this power’s endurance cost from 13 to 10.4. Its endurance cost was being calculated incorrectly.
  • Corruptor/Poison/Weaken: Reduced this power’s endurance cost from 13 to 10.4. Its endurance cost was being calculated incorrectly.

Stalkers

  • Placate: Many versions of this power had a typo in its long help, this has been corrected.

Masterminds

  • The VFX glow has been restored to the Crey custom pulse rifle (selectable by Masterminds with the Robotics powerset).
  • Necromancy – Life Drain: Reduced this power’s recharge from 15 to 8 seconds, reduced its Endurance cost from 12 to 8.53 and increased its damage from scale 1 to scale 1.64.

Dominators

  • Earth Assault: Stone Spears now deals damage to flying targets, in addition to its knockup. Note that the player must still be on the ground to use this power.
  • Tremor now deals damage to flying targets, in addition to its other secondary effects. Note that the player must still be on the ground to use this power.
  • Fissure now deals damage to flying targets, in addition to its other secondary effects. Note that the player must still be on the ground to use this power.
  • Earth Control: Stone Prison, Fossilize, Stone Cages and Salt Crystals now have full effects on flying creatures. This includes damage, crowd control effects, and debuff effects. Stalagmites can be cast on flying creatures, but it still requires the caster to be on the ground.
  • Plant Control: Entangle, Strangler, and Roots can now be used on airborne targets.

Hero Epic Archetypes

Peacebringers

  • Combat Flight now correctly provides defense to all types of attacks.
  • Luminous Blast
    • Build Up has been renamed “Inner Light”. It now grants a large damage and ToHit bonus for 10 seconds, and then a moderate damage and ToHit bonus for 20 seconds thereafter, for a total of 30 seconds of boosted damage.
    • Photon Seekers cooldown has been reduced from 300 seconds to 180 seconds.
  • Luminous Aura: Quantum Acceleration
    • Added a new power available at level 24: Quantum Acceleration.
    • Quantum Acceleration is similar to Afterburner.
    • This allows Peacebringers to select this power if they wish.
    • This power now provides a moderate amount of defense, improved flight control, and -fly protection, but has a 30 second cooldown once toggled off. This power can now accept Defense enhancements, IOs and Defense set IOs.
    • This power will not allow the user to fly unless the user has a flight power active.
    • This power’s long help now clarifies that this power’s flight protection is only granted while Combat Flight, Energy Flight, Quantum Flight or Group Energy Flight is active.
  • Light Form has been redesigned. Its cooldown has been lowered from 1000 seconds to 300 seconds, but its duration has been reduced to 90 seconds to match that of Eclipse. The recovery bonus from the power and the status protection from the power have been moderately reduced to compensate for the drastic increase in uptime now possible. Additionally, Light Form now persists when activating White Dwarf or Bright Nova.
  • White Dwarf now protects the player from status effects as soon as its animation begins, preventing the power from being interrupted.
  • Solar Flare and White Dwarf Flare are now generated by the Peacebringer’s hands instead of their feet, and can now be used while in midair.

Warshades

  • Umbral Aura: Shadow Slip
    • Added a new power available at level 24: Shadow Slip
    • Shadow Slip is similar to Long Range Teleportation.
    • This allows Warshades to select this power if they wish.
  • Black Dwarf now protects the player from status effects as soon as its animation begins, preventing the power from being interrupted.
  • Shadow Cloak – This power now provides defense to all types of damage, rather than just positional defense.

Cancelable Buffs

  • Most buff power effects which have no negative side effects can now be canceled off by a player from themselves or from their pets. There is a new option in the right-click context menu for buff icons labeled “Cancel” which will remove all of the effects and visuals from that buff when used. Players cannot cancel debuffs or buffs which have a negative effect such as a crash or delay built-in.
  • Canceling buffs which are stacked will result in the removal of the entire stack.
  • The effects of Toggle and Auto powers cannot be canceled off as those are constant effects while the Toggle or Auto power is running. They ordinarily are removed by turning off the power or leaving the radius of effect.

Real Numbers Improvements

  • Added Real Numbers support for powers which have more than one set of effects which affect all damage types or all defense types. This includes Destiny \ Barrier and Luminous Blast \ Inner Light.
  • Added Real Numbers support for Dual Pistols powers. Power effects should now be visible for all ammunition types and display information as to which is required for that effect, as well as the proper chance %’s when using that ammunition type. Average damage will be calculated using the Lethal type, as before.

Poison

  • Alkaloid: Increased this power’s healing moderately.
  • Envenom: This power now has an 8 foot radius. The targeted foe will suffer the full strength of the power’s debuff effect while nearby foes will suffer half the effect’s potency. Increased this power’s endurance cost slightly.
  • Weaken: This power now has an 8 foot radius. The targeted foe will suffer the full strength of the power’s debuff effect while nearby foes will suffer half the effect’s potency. Increased this power’s endurance cost slightly.
  • Poison Trap: Reduced this power’s interrupt time from 4 to 2 seconds. This power now deals minor damage over time, will hold foes instead of put them to sleep and will reduce the affected targets’ recovery while they’re within the poison gas. This power now accepts Hold enhancements and IO Sets and Damage enhancements and Melee AoE IO Sets and can no longer accept sleep enhancements and IO sets. Additionally, this power no longer has an interrupt time.
  • Venomous Gas (Controller/Corruptor): Now has a more appropriate activation animation.

General

  • Corrected an issue where certain powers would appear to fail or end prematurely if the target they were used on died during the activation time or shortly thereafter. These powers should now provide their full effects even if the primary target dies. This includes Ion Judgement, Transfusion, Chain Induction, and other chaining powers.
  • Regeneration/Resilience: Updated this power’s long and short help to reflect the additional resistance to all types of damage.

Power Set Proliferation

  • The following additions to Power Sets have been made:
    • Blaster: Dark Blast (primary), Dark Manipulation (secondary)
    • Controller: Poison (secondary)
    • Defender: Thermal Radiation (primary), Fire Blast (secondary)
    • Scrapper: War Mace (primary), Battle Axe (primary), Energy Aura (secondary)
    • Tanker: Super Reflexes (primary), Martial Arts (secondary)
    • Brute: Broadsword (primary), Katana (primary), Regeneration (secondary)
    • Corruptor: Psychic Blast (primary), Poison (secondary)
    • Mastermind: Sonic Resonance (secondary)
    • Stalker: Ice Armor (Secondary)

Mission Architect – New Maps

  • The following maps have been added to Mission Architect:
    • Nova Praetoria – CMF
    • Nova Praetoria – Magisterium
    • Nova Praetoria – South Aetna
    • Neutropolis – Anti-Matter’s reactor
    • Neutropolis – Neighborhood
    • Neutropolis – Neuron’s Tower
    • Outdoor – Burning Forest
    • St. Martial – Golden Giza
    • The Abyss

Mission Architect – Powers

  • Darkness Manipulation is now available as a secondary powerset in Mission Architect.

TASKS

  • Corrected an issue where stealthed players were losing escorts while going through doors which was causing strange pathing behavior. When a stealthed player escorts a civilian or non-combat target, they must remain closer than a non-stealthed player, but they should not lose the target automatically. The Negative Stealth debuff (which has not actually done anything for some time) has been removed from the game as a result of this fix.

PRAETORIA

FIRST WARD

  • First Ward is a new co-op, co-universe zone in Praetoria covering levels 20-29. A doorway entering this zone can be located in Underground Imperial City. Magic portals to the door can also be found in Talos Island and Cap au Diable. All players can enter First Ward, whether Primal or Praetorian before or after the Rift Enclosure. First Ward contains a wealth of environments and secrets, from the ruins of the Sunken City to the mystique of the Shadowed Paths.
  • The Ward is also home to new villain groups such as the Awakened, the Apparitions, the Talons of Vengeance, and the Carnivals of Light, War, and Vengeance. There are also additional villains in the Resistance and Praetorian military groups for the level range.
  • There are also four new Day Jobs to be uncovered within First Ward as well as new defeat, exploration and history badges for the zone.

FIRST WARD MISSION CONTENT

Note: First Ward’s mission content requires VIP status or purchase of the First Ward Zone Pack from the Paragon Market.

  • First Ward’s story arcs can first accessed by speaking to Mistress Eva in Talos Island, Carter Mordesen in Cap au Diable, or Doorman in the Imperial City Underground. Doorman becomes the initial contact for sending people into First Ward where they will be introduced to the situation in First Ward by Carnival of Light members; Jester and Meredith.
  • Once inside First Ward, players will be able to enjoy 8 new story arcs that tell the story of the wonders of the Ward and the danger which threatens not only First Ward, but perhaps all of Praetoria and Primal Earth as well. Contacts for these stories range from Mistress Nadia and Vanessa DeVore of the Carnival of Light, to a blind old medicine man and a self proclaimed dark lord. There are even a few old Praetorian acquaintances from Imperial City and Neutropolis here to help players on their way to unraveling the mysteries of First Ward. First Ward story arcs are also accessible for appropriate characters who are over level 29 via Ouroboros.
  • Additionally, 5 alignment oriented contacts will provide repeatable tasks to players who want to do right, wrong, loyal, and traitorous deeds in the city that Praetoria has forgotten. Though not hard to find, they also don’t advertise their wants and needs, so players will have to initiate contact with these individuals if they want to explore some of the other stories inside of First Ward. Look for the following individuals: Angela Hu, Mr. Caldoun, Vickers, Trina Furst, and Roadflare.

FIRST WARD Zone Event – Seed of Hamidon

A new Giant Monster threatens First Ward! The Seed of Hamidon periodically invades the Sunken City area, spawning Seedlings and blasting those who venture too near!

  • This is a Zone Event recommended for 8+ players.
  • Players must gather allies to defend First Ward by defeating Seedlings, then finish the fight by assaulting the Seed itself!
  • Defeating Seedlings will give players and all of their teammates/leaguemates 2 minutes of a temporary power called “Buoyant Membrane”. This group flight power allows all players to participate in the airborne sections of the event.
  • Charges of Buoyant Membrane can also be purchased from the Seed Hunter NPCs in the Survivor Compound and at the Chapel of Enduring Light.

Players who manage to defeat the Seed of Hamidon will receive Reward Merits, and a temporary power boosting their experience and influence gain for a limited time. There are also new badges for this event to be discovered in game.

POWERS

Praetorian Clockwork

  • Android Cleaner
    • Plasma Blast recharge time has been increased from 4 seconds to 6 seconds
    • Chraged Blast recharge time has been increased from 8 seconds to 12 seconds
  • Android Mender
    • Particle Blast, Particle Blast Barrage, and Particle Burst damage have been reduced.
  • Android Builder
    • Particle Blast damage has been reduced.
  • Android Dismantler
    • Particle Blast damage has been reduced.
    • Anti-Matter Beam damage has been reduced.

Syndicate

  • Syndicate Minions
    • Burst recharge time has been increased from 4 seconds to 6 seconds
  • Pistol Initiate
    • Pistol Whip recharge time has been increased from 3 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • Swordmaster
    • Sweeping Strike damage has been reduced.
    • Air Cutter damage has been reduced
Categories: City of Heroes

Pistols and Praetorians

September 12, 2011 Comments off

Recently I created a new character using the Dual Pistols powerset – again. This is the fourth attempt, I have tried it three times before in different constellations, but it did not really stick with me. Not necessarily just because of the powerset itself, but also the other powerset to combine it with and the archetype chosen. But I really want to like dual pistols, because I like the whole Gun-Fu over-the-top shooting style that it has.

Since I like damage dealer & support combos Corruptor is my preferred archetype here – more fun that Defenders for me. For this attempt I choose Kinetics as my secondary – everyones favourite support set, sort of. But for me it is almost a first, since I only used that one on a quite low level character before.

For the character itself I took some inspiration from Hit Girl (the movie version) and created Speedslinger Girl.

Speedslinger Girl

Speedslinger Girl

The defining feature of the Dual Pistols powerset – besides that it uses pistols and its animations – is that provides different types of debuffs to enemies depending on the ammunition time used. There are four different options:

  • Regular ammunition – lethal damage and provides chance for knockback effect
  • Incendiary ammunition – lethal+fire damage plus extra damage over time
  • Cryo ammunition – lethal + cold damage and slow effects
  • Chemical ammunition – lethal + toxic damage and damage reduction debuff

This is also a reason that I want this powerset to work, the idea of adapting the debuffs you do on the fly and that they are not tied to a specific power is an interesting concept, I think.

Read more…

Categories: City of Heroes
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