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First Glimpse of the Villain Epics

Adrian Bott
04.09.08
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Issue 12 Beta for CoX is currently in Friends and Family stage and closed to anyone else, but bugs do happen, and one forum poster has accidentally accessed the Villain Epic Archetypes.

He's generously taken plenty of screenshots and thus given us the first real taste of how the VEATs will work. NCSoft haven't objected to his sharing the information with us, but have reminded us that VEATs are still being worked on. So, please remember that this isn't final.


The power sets listed here are only the starting ones and do not include the 'branching' that will follow after a set level. Placate, for example, is available in the Night Widow branch, but not the Fortunata branch.

Branching allows Widows to follow either the Fortunata or Night Widow path, and Arachnos Soldiers to follow either the Crab Spider or Bane Spider path. Crab Spiders gain access to the Crab Spider backpack, with its impressive robotic arachnid arms.

Arachnos Widow: Widow Training

  • Poison Dart: Poison Dart does light lethal damage to your foe, then poisons them. The poison does toxic damage over time and reduces their regeneration rate. Damage: Light Recharge: Fast
  • Swipe: No information available; seems to be a simple melee attack.
  • Lunge: Lunge does moderate lethal damage to your foe, then poisons them. The poison does Toxic damage over time and slows their recovery rate and movement speed. Lunge may cause Critical damage if used following a 'Placate' ability. Damage: Moderate Recharge: Medium
  • Dart Burst: Poison Burst does light lethal damage to foes in a 30' arc, then poisons them. The poison does toxic damage over time and reduces their regeneration rate. Damage: Light Recharge: Medium
  • Follow Up: You perform a feint attack that deals moderate damage. After this attack hits, it gives you a large bonus to Accuracy and Damage for a brief time. Strike may cause Critical damage if used following a 'Placate' ability. Damage: Moderate Recharge: Slow
  • Spin: Spin does light Lethal damage to all foes within an 8' radius of you, then poisons them. The poison does Toxic damage over time and slows their recovery rate and movement speed. Strike may cause Critical damage if used following a 'Placate' ability. Damage: Moderate Recharge: Slow
  • Strike: Strike does moderate Lethal damage to your foe, then poisons them. The poison does Toxic damage over time and slows their recovery rate and movement speed. Strike may cause Critical damage if used following a 'Placate' ability. Damage: Moderate Recharge: Medium
  • Confront: Challenges a foe to attack you. Useful to pull a villain off an ally who finds himself in over his head. An Accuracy check is required to Taunt enemy players, but is not needed against critter targets. Recharge: Fast
Arachnos Widow: Teamwork
  • Combat training Defensive: You are more evasive to melee attacks.
  • Combat training Offensive: Your accuracy is improved.
  • Tactical training Maneuvers: A good leader knows how to protect his team. While active, this power increases the Defense of yourself and all nearby teammates to all attacks.
  • Tactical training Assault: While this power is active, you and your teammates deal more damage and are protected from Taunt and Placate.
  • Tactical training Leadership: While this power is active, your Accuracy and that of all your nearby teammates is increased. Your advanced Tactics can also protect you and your team from Confuse and Fear effects, as well as your Perception so you can detect stealthy foes.
  • Indomitable Will: When you toggle on this power, it grants protection from Sleep, Disorient, Fear, Immobilize, Confusions, Repel, Knockback and Hold effects. Indomitable Will also grants a moderate defense to Psionic based attacks. Recharge: Fast
  • Foresight: Widows who possess Foresight are resistant to Psionic damage, as well as Sleep, Hold, Immobilization, Disorient, Confuse and Fear effects. They have improved Defense as well, due to being able to see attacks slightly before they occur.
Arachnos Soldier: Arachnos Soldier
  • Single Shot: A quick single shot from the Arachnos Submachinegun. Extremely accurate. Damage: Minor Recharge: Fast
  • Pummel: You can smash your opponents with your fists. Damage: Minor Recharge: Fast
  • Burst: Quickly fires a burst of rounds at a single target at long range. Damage is average, but the fire rate is fast. Can also reduce the target's Defense. Damage: Moderate (DoT) Recharge: Fast
  • Wide Area web grenade: Launches a grenade at long range from under the barrel of your Assault Rifle. It explodes into a field of sticky webs which slow and can immobilize all foes within its radius. Recharge: Medium
  • Heavy Burst: Fires a Heavy Burst of rounds at a single target at long range. Can also reduce the target's Defense. Damage: High (DoT) Recharge: Medium
  • Bayonet: Your weapon includes a bayonet attachment which you can use to stab at your enemies for lethal damage. Damage: Moderate Recharge: Medium
  • Venom Genade: This poisonous grenade damages and weakens your foes. Damage: Moderate Recharge: Long
  • Frag Grenade: Launches a M30 grenade at long range from under the barrel of your Assault Rifle. The explosion from this grenade affects all within the blast and can knock them back.
Arachnos Soldier: Training and Gadgets
  • Wolf Spider Armor: Your Wolf Spider Armor provides good protection to Smashing, Lethal and Psionic damage types, as well as offering basic levels of protection to most status effects, including Confuse, Fear, Disorient, Hold, Sleep and Immobilize effects.
  • Combat training Defensive: You are more evasive to melee attacks.
  • Combat training Offensive: Your accuracy is improved.
  • Tactical training Maneuvers: A good leader knows how to protect his team. While active, this power increases the Defense of yourself and all nearby teammates to all attacks.
  • Tactical training Assault: While this power is active, you and your teammates deal more damage and are protected from Taunt and Placate.
  • Tactical training Leadership: While this power is active, your Accuracy and that of all your nearby teammates is increased. Your advanced Tactics can also protect you and your team from Confuse and Fear effects, as well as your Perception so you can detect stealthy foes.
  • Mental Training: Your mental training allows you to focus your will, allowing you to move faster than normal, as well as resist slow effects. This power is always on and will permanently increase your attack rate and movement speed.
  • Call Reinforcements: As a Crab Spider you have access to a small squadron of Arachnobot Disruptors. Two Disruptors that are one level less than you will show up when summoned. Recharge: Extremely Long
We have also learned the following from developer comments:

The VEATs do not have currently have an inherent power. Unlike the Kheldians, they will not have inherent Travel Powers.

Some of the secondary powers closely resemble similar powers from the Leadership pool. However, at present neither the Soldiers nor the Widows are locked out of ANY power pools, unlike the Kheldians who are locked out of the power pool corresponding to their inherent travel power. The VEATs can thus take Leadership powers as well as their Tactical Training powers, though this will be costly on Endurance.

Soldiers and Widows are obliged to take Arachnos Armor for their first costume slot. However, there is a choice of armor available and the pieces can be color-customized. Furthermore, the VEAT story arcs present them with a mission to unlock an extra costume slot sooner than any other character. This slot can potentially be unlocked as soon as level 10. So, anyone who chafes at being restricted in their choice of costume only has to put up with it for 10 levels, or sooner if they have any Halloween Salvage left.

Frankly, we're very impressed with what we've seen so far. With their team-buffing abilities (and the option to stack) these new Villain archetypes seem designed to be genuinely desirable to teams, and the prospect of all-new Villain story arc content is likely to be a shot in the arm for City of Villains. Not everyone is going to be tempted by the Arachnos backstory, and some players are worried they may feel like a super-powered lackey, but inspired epic archetype design like this is surely going to steamroller many objections. You can't argue with mez protection at level one, like the Arachnos Soldier gets.

The PvP community has been pleasantly surprised, too. Castle admits that Night Widows in particular are just a bit too good in PvP right now and will need to be adjusted down a bit; notwithstanding this, there's a real wave of excitement in the Villain and PvP quarters over these VEATs. We're looking forward to finding out how the branching system will work.

[Thanks, LestatWC!]

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