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A Mild-Mannered Reporter: Community dancing

Eliot Lefebvre

It's really hard for me to log in to City of Heroes recently, I have to admit. I know there are so many nifty things coming with the next patch that really, I just want to wait for Issue 19. I've got a baby Praetorian brute that will benefit from baseline Fitness to insane degrees, and it's really hard for me to convince myself that I should spend another minute leveling on a character without Stamina like an animal. Of course, I also have really been enjoying the game lately, so it's a difficult balance between the two opposing forces.

That certainly hasn't kept me from enjoying the discussion about City of Heroes going down of late, nor has it stopped me from logging in to take part in our livestream event for the game. Click on past the break to see this week's highlighted discussion, and in case you missed the stream, I took the liberty of embedding it right there at the end of the column. If you were already watching, well, you get another chance to listen to my dulcet tones after reading. Aren't you lucky?

Never never never do a thing about the weather

To summarize recent events in brief: Melissa Bianco, also known as "War Witch" and "the woman in charge of CoH," made a statement in an interview that amounted to saying that there was no point in doing a weather system without also creating something cool related to weather. As one could expect, chaos ensues.

I want weather. I really like weather effects in games, because they do wonders for verisimilitude and bringing the world to life. That being said, from the development point of view... well, yeah, just adding in a cosmetic feature like weather might seem like an awful lot of buck for very little bang. Players, being the fickle bastards that we are, generally prefer new content and new powersets to the occasional raindrop on our heads.

I'm not a fan of putting something low on the priority list because there's nothing cool to be done with it. But World of Warcraft has used this excuse for everything from player housing to cosmetic gear. Considering how well the Paragon Studios team does at giving us cool stuff without a lot of practical application, I'll take weather as a necessary sacrifice.

Looking back... what would you change?

There has been a huge number of changes to the game over its history, but this thread won my heart from the third post. Yes, leave the 5th Column alone. I absolutely love the 5th Column, and only my endless desire for a group made up of indisputably Soviet adversaries gives me any other potential group to love more. The Council is everything that the 5th Column isn't, and one of those things is "uncool."

Moving along from my love letter to beating up fascists, there are some interesting ideas in here, some of which take into account that there are technologies available now that were not available six years ago, and some that don't. I'm surprised this thread didn't crop up closer to the game's actual anniversary, but hey, timing can be a funny thing that way.

If it's not broken, don't fix it

If you're howling over the site redesign... well, this still isn't for you.

See, as lovely as baseline Fitness is, some of us don't actually know what to do with our three extra power selections. We already know exactly where we want our slots to go, since more often than not we have plenty of spots to go around and don't have to make any difficult decisions between which of two powers gets another enhancement. Really, is there so much that you can put in three more selections?

Some players are taking it as a chance to pick up a situational ability or two, the sort of thing that barely needs any slotting because it's just not that important most of the time. Others are taking it as the opportunity to actually spread out a little, to have fewer slots in some powers and a wider overall spread of abilities. It's a complicated balance, one that becomes very tricky with only so many slots to place where you need them. While I'm happy to pick up baseline Fitness for all of my characters, I have to admit that I'm not always sure what to use my extra powers for, either.

"I felt a sense of power holding that gun... the way God must feel when He's holding a gun."

When you become an Incarnate, you become a god. The game is pretty firm on this point, from the mythology -- you might be pretty low on the overall pantheon, but you're still a deity. Which poses some interesting questions for characters who wield weapons that haven't been upgraded in any way. Would most gods became harmless if you just disarmed them?

Of course, as many people point out in the thread, the difference is all in how you choose to play it. Maybe your character has passed the limits of human reflexes when godhood arrives. Maybe the weapons themselves become the equivalent of Mjolnir, greater than any mortal weapon within your hands. It's an interesting question to consider.

That's the community roundup for this week, a bit more scattered but still good. As always, you can send feedback to or just leave something in the comment field. Next week I'm going to take a look at all the Architect arcs that I've had submitted to me, but more are still welcome, so feel free to drop more in the bucket.

And now, your moment of Zen.

Watch live streaming video from massivelytv at

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.

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