Trollers to the max
This week I reached the leveling goals I had set up when I learned about that NCSoft was shutting down Paragon Studios and City of Heroes – to get two of the controllers I were leveling at the time to max level 50 before the game shuts down. Thus these became the 20th and 21st character I leveled to max level in the game.
On Wednesday my gravity/dark controller, Vortexer, hit the magic limit. This was a character I started after the gravity control revamp in Issue 22 and it was a really fun ride! Gravity and Dark was a nice combination, plus gravity in general is quite fun to play with all the ragdoll physics and general tossing around in place. When I tried out SWTOR a couple of months ago I was a bit disappointed in the force powers in the game, especially on Jedi side. Those powers felt rather mediocre in terms of gameplay fun in comparison to what gravity control in City of Heroes provide. One would not be able to equip a laser sword though at the same time, so it would not be a complete Jedi replacement.
Lift and Propel were the two main damage powers, with Lift being a mix of damamge dealer and ghetto crowd control powers, with its tossing of enemies. Propel is also nice for its ability to throw stuff at the enemy, and knocking down those enemies near the impact area. Wormhole is an amazing and fun non-aggro AoE teleport+stun, an excellent power to pull a couple of enemies with – just teleport them to any spot nearby and watch them walk around disoriented while you hit them. Unless you of course have dropped them off a high cliff or something similar, then they smash into the ground below as well… always good fun!
Singularity is perhaps one of my favourite pets in the game and is a nice controller pet and a decent damage dealer. Combine that with Dark Servant and there is plenty of control power to toss around. The heals and debuffs from the Dark powerset fits in quite nicely also, a quite nice combination. In short, I really like playing this character.
My other controller Nashira is a quite different beast; with Plant Control and Trick Arrow as powersets she does not really have any damage powers at all and is almost strictly focused on debuffing through TA, with crowd control from Plant to support that. The damage powers used here were some of the extra veteran powers mainly, other than that she relied on being able to confuse enemies to defeat each other, debuffing them to make it quicker. The Fly Trap pet helped a bit with the damage part also and could possibly be considered damage dealer in that tag team.
Suffice to say is that Nashira was not the best soloer and that was not the intention either. She was strictly set up for team support. To that extent it worked out ok, but not excellent I would say. Some of the debuff powers essentially required targetting a ground area – this was not always easy to see and place in the middle of a battle. Also, with the very focus on debuff + crowd control the gameplay was perhaps not always that exciting – place and apply debuff and/or crowd control powers – and keep repeating that. Not that much tactics to make it more interesting and fun. Still, I enjoyed playing Nashira most of the time, although the times where I might pick her up to play more with would be fairly situational. Which is a polite way of saying – enough at 50, let’s focus on other characters.
An old-fashioned Time’s Arrow task force
A couple of days I joined of for a run of the Time’s Arrow task force, or the Imperious Task Force (ITF) as most people call it. This turned out to be kind of a special run. Not because the run was extremely successful, but because it ended up being quite a bit of work to complete. In recent years with high level characters becoming more and more powerful, including incarnate powers, running the ITF has become more of a run for people to get rewards quickly – some people can speed through it and complete it in not too many minutes.
Back in the old days when this task force was first introduced, it was a bit of a challenge back then to figure it out and complete it – it could take 2-4 hours. Today it is completed in much less time. The run we did in a way returned a bit to the more old-fashioned times, most of the 8-man team were characters in the 30s to 40s, with the team leader being 50. This was a run that was intended to take the time to get XP and not rush through. The three first missions was completed without too much trouble, with two wipes – one on the first mission and one on the third mission. It was when the final battle with Romulus took place that the main challenge.
One team member had dropped out and left the team and the team stuggled with Romulus – damage output and debuffs were not good enough to defeat him with the healing Nictus essence around – we kept lowering his health a bit, only to see it healed back up again after a while. Another player dropped off and we were down to 6 players. Through a a number of tactical discussions and various attempts we managed to adapt – this brought back memories from the early days of playing this task force. With a lot of work we managed to complete the task force in the end, after about 3 1/2 hours. Because of these challenges and that it forced us adapt and change approach to it, I think we learned and re-learned/remembered a few things about the encounters. Despite ending quite late in the evening, it was a task force that felt more satisfying to complete than many other task forces in recent times and certainly one I will remember.
These are the kind of moments that will be part of my memory of this game.