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VEAT Video Analysis - a villain's perspective


We, the Chosen Ones within the ranks of Arachnos, have managed to smuggle out a copy of a debriefing video Longbow is providing to "heroes". Realistically, it wasn't that difficult: the briefing was held by heroes, and they apparently didn't realize that an open meeting room in the Rikti War Zone -- an area where heroes and villains both share space, hello? -- is likely not the best place to discuss "secret" information. I had the somewhat dubious pleasure of dropping into shadow to listen to Major Tasker advise the cannon fodder horde of strong and valiant warriors that he was "here to brief you on the capabilities of your sworn enemies, the soldiers of Arachnos." As he notes, "we expect large numbers of new Wolf Spiders and Blood Widows in the coming weeks." Doesn't it make your skin tingle with antici ... pation?

I suppose to be fair to Longbow -- although who really wants to be? -- the intel they were able to gather is reasonably solid. I've been able to verify the whispers I heard ... whispers that said Chosen Ones who reach a high enough Threat Level are able to induct new members into the fold as either Wolf Spiders or Blood Widows. Luckily for us, Lord Recluse has been satisfied enough with the Chosen Ones that the Spider class is no longer limited to males, and the Widow class is now open to them. Fraternization's not a problem, from what I understand: just be aware that the rumors of Widows eating their mates isn't limited solely to the animal kingdom.

Gallery: City of Villains VEAT Gallery: Issue 12 | 51 Photos

Wolf Spiders, once inducted, are given an Arachnos submachine gun, and they'll receive progressive training in its single-shot, short burst and long burst modes. As well, they're provided with Arachnos web grenades. Ah, the fright heroes feel when they're bound to the ground and held for pummeling: how delicious. Once Wolf Spiders have proven themselves in battle, they'll have access to a more comprehensive arsenal of frag and venom grenades, as well as some basic training in how best to support their comrades in arms. Once they reach Threat Level 24, though, they'll have the opportunity to chose a career path more suited to their natures. After all, while an Arachnos agent's arms are as far-reaching as a heroic Kheldian's, you'll find them far better suited to grasping opportunities.

If they choose the Bane Spider route, they'll be able to access the Arachnos Mace. Considering the work Black Scorpion has put into its design, the combination of lethal melee attacks and tremendously powerful energy beams is devastating to our enemies. As it should be, of course. Once Bane Spiders reach a high enough Threat Level, they'll also be granted a comm unit that will allow them to summon two Arachnobot Disruptors for assistance, should they ever find themselves in a situation where they need help. If they are in that situation, though, they'd best hope it's through the mechanations of their enemies, and not their own incompetence: Lord Recluse doesn't tolerate fools. If nothing else, though, they at least have the ability to hide from their enemies, striking from the shadows. While they don't have the same training in that attack as do Stalkers, at least it's one more tool in their arsenal of terror.

For Crab Spiders, their strength comes from the backpack designed to honor Lord Recluse's might. Aside from their own phenomenal fighting abilities, they'll be able to utilize the Melee strength of an additional four arms, providing them with an overwhelming attack. If the melee capabilities aren't enough, Crabs also have access to Channel Gun, Longfang, and Suppression modes on their packs. It's hardly surprising that they're some of the most feared warriors walking around the Rogue Isles, and that's even without access to the Omega Maneuver. I will say, I'm surprised any Longbow managed to escape its effects in order to show its results, but the memories of the abject horror on the faces of the heroes in the briefing will keep me pleasantly amused for a good long time.

Blood Widows are martial arts specialists, and -- as they advance -- they're provided with an array of unpleasantly poisoned darts. Well, unpleasant for heroes, of course. Or their enemies. Or old school chums who haven't kept in touch. You know, I think I'll stand behind this wall for a moment: their darts are unpleasant to anyone other than themselves. On the martial arts side, they become difficult to hit, yet they have no difficulty finding pain-inducing targets on their enemies' bodies. Much like the Spiders, Widows have two different career options open to them once they reach Threat Level 24.

If they choose to walk the path of the Night Widow, they will find their mind expanded in ways they never before dreamt of. Their martial arts studies will proceed apace, but they'll also be trained in devastating mental blasts. Tying that in with their own ability to fade into the woodwork, viciously gutting any enemy who happens to walk by, and you see why they're one of the more feared classes Arachnos trains. The combination has proven remarkably effective in the past, and I see no reason why it will be less so moving forward. In their own way, the Night Widows are as horrifying a combatant as the Bane or Crab Spiders, with the caveat that their weapons can never be taken from them.

And finally, the class that frightens most of Arachnos, with the obvious exception of Lord Recluse: the Fortunata. By choosing a path of pure mind, they no longer receive the training they'd had in the martial arts, but their mind is enhanced a thousand-fold. Telekinetic blasts, psionic lances and psychic wails are a few of the powers they can use to decimate their enemies, and they can't be fooled. When they can read your mind as readily as you can read an Arachnos recruiting poster, they'll know if you're being honest with them or not. And realistically, do you want to face off against an enemy who can make you do their bidding, forcing you to attack your closest allies?

So yes, Chosen Ones: strengthen yourselves for the upcoming battles, and prepare to induct your allies into the cause. Help them train in the ways of the Spiders and the Widows, and you can earn infamy and dishonor for generations to come. Place your name in the history books while you can, my comrades. We're approaching the Midnight Hour even as we speak.

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