It's weird to say it, but City of Heroes feels like it's still on the cusp of a storm. Going Rogue was a fine expansion, but it doesn't have the sense of breaking that built-up tension, that feeling of something major just over the horizon. Or perhaps it's just me, perched out on my metaphorical porch and loudly proclaiming that this next one is going to be the big one, as I puff on my metaphorical corn-cob pipe and look across the metaphorical skyline of rural Metaphorbraska.

OK, that one kind of got away from me there, but what I was trying to get at was that it's time for another question-and-answer session for City of Heroes and that I don't think I'm the only person feeling like Issue 19 might hold some great secret. We'll know soon enough, although right now it's time for Issue 20's super-secret beta, which even I don't know about just yet. I'm very curious. On to the questions!
Sam asked: "How will [the Fitness pool's becoming inherent] affect powersets like Willpower that already have health- and stamina-like powers?"

"... [I]t would be a really silly secret if they were hiding something everyone already knows about..."

It will not! Or more accurately, it will affect them in precisely the same way that Fitness already did: Some people will regenerate really quickly. And that's really a power in and of itself. Regeneration and Willpower both have a variant on Stamina that stacks with Stamina, and they both allow you even further boosts to your recovery. Stamina lets you fire away with powers much more quickly than normal; Stamina and Quick Recovery stacked and three-slotted with IOs let you turn on every toggle at all times just because you can, and your blue bar will never move.

Back in the day, Regeneration was a hideously overpowered set for scrappers because you could turn on Instant Recovery (which was then a toggle) and one or two other powers, then just go to town on everything without taking damage that wasn't healed away instantly. It's not as good now, but the ability to never run out of energy ever is still pretty awesome, even with baseline Stamina.

Gorgonosa asked: "Does the Issue 20 NDA actually mean anything? Haven't past issues had them?"

There are two schools of thought on the now-ubiquitous news of the early Issue 20 testing and the NDA. The first is that it's just endgame content, that the team wants to get extra time in with it, and so on. The second, however, is that if the devs are pushing a test ahead early, and if they want to make sure no one breaks a code of silence, there must be something really unbelievable in there. Like a new powerset that makes your computer dispense chocolate milk or something.

Personally, I hold with the second camp that something big is coming with 20. I've got only two reasons for this theory: the fact that it would be a really silly secret if they were hiding something everyone already knows about, and the fact that I really like big updates and big secrets. So my odds of being right on this one are slightly less than perfect. Nonetheless, I think we're going to be pretty surprised when the NDA drops (read: gets broken in five minutes).

Daemodand asked: "Limited to level 14 [for the reactivation weekend]? What're these shenanigans?"

You get to run around for the first major arcs of the storyline in the new starting areas -- which is good -- and then you have to pay money if you like it and want to see how the story ends. This is not dissimilar to the procedure movie producers use when cutting together trailers that show you some of the cool stuff that happens in the movie and then force you to go and see the movie in order to find out the ending. Would you have gone to see a Spider-Man movie whose trailer is just Toby Maguire in a suit saying, "In this movie, I develop spider powers and then fight the Green Goblin before he gets killed by his own hoverboard?"

This would be the part where you realize that you actually did pay money to go see a movie whose plot you already knew, but bear with me here.

Fourteen is the limit for all free trials, and really, if you've played CoH before -- which is true of anyone getting the reactivation freebie -- the two biggest new things are the new powersets and Praetoria. There's no mention of the new sets being level-limited, and there's some wisdom in making sure that one of the big new draws of the expansion isn't available completely for free from the word go.

Jacky asked: "Do the accolades for Praetorian characters do anything?"

They prove to the world that when everyone else just clicked that message saying "yeah, I can't return to this area, whatever" without a second thought, you said that you might have something left to do. And you did it. You wrung out every piece of content there was to be wrung. Your reward is... having wrung out every ounce of content from Praetoria.

It's unlikely that anything major will ever come from these accolades, as they are wholly inaccessible to any non-Praetorian character. While you can't go back at the moment, Paragon Studios has announced that players will be allowed to head back into Praetoria with Issue 19, or go over for the first time if they didn't start there. Still, the low-level exploration accolades -- which is all that exists in the city -- haven't given major benefits anywhere else. It is what it is.

That's all of our answers for this week, but we'll be back to this well in a month or so like always. Until then, you can leave future questions (and comments) in the comment field or mail them along to eliot@massively.com. Next week, we're going to take a look at what CoH could stand to steal from other games, a suggestion that was submitted by a reader ages ago and that I have sadly not been able to get to until now. (I am sorry!)

By day a mild-mannered reporter, Eliot Lefebvre unveils his secret identity in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles every Wednesday. Filled with all the news that's fit to analyze and all the muck that's fit to rake, this look at City of Heroes analyzes everything from the game's connection to its four-color roots to the latest changes in the game's mechanics.

This article was originally published on Massively.
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