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CoX Issue 12: Midnight Hour enters Open Beta!

Adrian Bott

As of yesterday, all City of Heroes players can access the twelfth expansion, Midnight Hour, on the Test Server. For an issue that was originally touted as a fairly small one, it's extremely impressive. The main features are, of course, the Villain Epic Archetypes, Powerset Proliferation and the new Cimerora and Midnighters Club content, but the Quality of Life changes have left many players open-mouthed. These are literally what the players have been asking for. Several of them appear to have come directly from the Suggestions and Ideas forum. The patch notes are now available to read.

We're especially impressed by the 'Inspiration upon levelling up' concept, which will even bring you back to life if you should happen to level up while defeated, and by the Zone Event Alerts channel. From now on, if Lusca surfaces in Independence Port or the Arachnos Flyer leaves its roost in Grandville, players who have added these channels will know about it. Every zone event is covered, with one exception; the reclusive lake monster, Sally.

Read on for a few more off-the-cuff impressions.

We're also getting the hard numbers for individual powers at long last, and with a degree of detail and finesse that many might not have expected. Any power can be studied as it would function at any level, by means of a simple slider. You can now check out powers thoroughly before you choose them, as well as finding out exactly by how much any slotted enhancement would improve your powers.

The chat system has a stack of improvements, such as the ability to click on a player's name and perform a multitude of functions, such as inviting them to a team or even leaving notes on them for your own reference, along with a star rating! Players can also click and drag items, power icons and suchlike into the chat window, which creates a link that other players can click on to read the information. In the case of powers, the link also provides detailed information if desired, so you can (for example) drag the Psychic Wail icon into a chat window, and another player can read all the numbers on it, from levels 1 through to 50.

The user interface has had a drastic refit, too. Up to 10 power trays can now be in use, and these can be reshaped according to preference, making life much easier for Kheldians and other classes that have more powers than they know what to do with.

The low-level game sees some love. As well as the revamp of the Hollows, which makes the zone less deadly for soloists, new characters will find themselves missing a lot less. A new bonus to ToHit has been introduced, starting new characters off with a base ToHit of 95% instead of 70%, and slowly wearing off as new levels are gained. This should do away with the 'whiff whiff whiff' syndrome of the early levels, which was the very antithesis of fun.

Inspirations can be combined. Three of one sort of Inspiration can be combined to make one of another sort. This sounds like a fairly low-key improvement, until you realize that you're hardly ever going to hear 'got a wakie?' again. If you have three of anything, you can make an Awaken Inspiration, even if you're dead.

We'll be looking at the other aspects of Issue 12 in greater depth soon. For now, we have beta testing to do!

Face down the forces of evil! Give good a quick jab to the jaw! Massively has all the CoX Issue 12 news you can handle. Make sure to check it out!

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