Serenity in City of Heroes. Â Crimson Star Fighter enjoys the beautiful wilderness landscape. Â (Never mind the group of shambling zombies at the foot of the hill behind him, and the Nazi werewolves you can’t see in front of him.)
Yesterday and today I played City of Heroes for some hours. Â This game is the hobby that has suffered the most from my adventures into brainwave entrainment this spring. Â Sims 2 has continued much like before, except that I have switched to a Sim neighborhood that requires less attention. Â CoH, however, has gotten very little me time, despite the awesome new free expansion I wrote about.
Perhaps the real reason is different: Â The peaceful everyday life of my Sims goes better with the serenity of meditation than the excitement, danger and violence simulated by the superhero game. As I grow older, it is natural to wonder why setting bullies on fire remains one of my greatest joys.
In any case, I have spent some hours in CoH again. Â My return to the game was partly caused by reading that the prices of invention salvage were ridiculously high. Â People have been leveling so quickly in the new Architect missions, they were desperate to get enhancements suitable for their higher level. Â I rushed to meet the increased demand with my supply, but the prices soon started to drop. Clearly others have thought the same way. I also saw (and was invited to) several teams doing classic missions (not user-made), so the death of the classic content is clearly exaggerated.
This is not to say that Â AE (the Architect building) is not packed, especially in the most populated servers, especially in the evening and night American time, and especially in Atlas Park (the most popular newbie zone). Â A good number of the people there are probably new players drawn in by the new feature, or people who have been away from the game for a while. Â The broadcast channel is full of people looking for AE teams at those times and places, mostly farm teams but some specifically non-farm. Â By farming we don’t mean raising livestock and pulling weeds, but rather doing missions repeatedly for profit (experience points, influence and tickets) rather than for their story content. Â This is a long-standing practice in all massive online roleplaying games, but has become even more profitable with some of the user-made missions.
One nice little feature of the new AE mission system was one I discovered by accident when my game crashed. (I was lazy and tried to play with Vista. Â Needless to say I rebooted to Linux after the first and only crash of the night.) I was feeling pretty bad about the crash because I had failed to memorize or write down the name of my team leader so I could call him in-game when I reconnected. Â But to my delight, I came back into the game and was still a member of the team! Â This also happens in task forces, long rows of missions that are performed by a fixed team that may sometimes stay together for days, logging off and meeting again. Â But in task forces, you cannot invite new members once the chain of missions has started. Â In Architect missions you can. Â (Incidentally, this also makes it easier to kick parasites off the team, since you can replace them easily with more motivated players. I saw this in practice as well, although I was not the target of that.)