City of Heroes #12: Midnight Hour

Oh dear, the wife is right (for once), I maybe do spend too much time playing World of Warcraft. I was pretty certain that the latest issue for City of Heroes was 10.

Ah well…

Anyway, before I start I have to say that City of Heroes popped my MMORPG cherry, taught me lots of n00b lessons and paved my way into MMOs of the future. It was a great way to start, the visuals were stunning, the user interface was simple and easy to use and you had the ultimate n00b tool: arrows showing you where to go next.

Going back to playing the game gave me mixed feelings. Cryptic made an excellent job of making you feel like a hero where you could take on loadsa bad dudes and live to tell the tale. The only bad side to this was that it reminded me how easy the game was. After doing a few missions as well it also felt as if I had never been away because so little has changed.

So for those of you who don’t know the basic story, here is is in a nutshell – Rikti attack earth, big heroes come out looking for little heroes to protect. Villains come along to annoy the heroes.

This all changes in issue 12.

Issue 12 is arguably one of the best releases that City of ‘Whatever’ has released. With tonnes of new content, new story arc, task force, powers for each class, the option to buy more character slots (trust me – with no substantial end game content, you’re going to need these), interface and options improvements and of course a new zone.

New zone with TF

For the first time (I think) in MMO history NCSoft have decided to create an area where the opposing factions can team up and work together. You can complete a few new missions in order to gain access to the new zone – Cimerora (pronounce that however you want). The good thing about the new zone is that it’s like… an extreme makeover. You end up back in ancient Rome. Once there you can run a couple of missions but more to the point you can run a new task force. This one is designed for levels 35-50 (50 being the cap for anyone who hasn’t played the game) and it give you an opportunity to smack the butts of Romans (ok, LOTS of Romans), kheldians, cyclops, minotaurs and arch villains. Having the ability to build your task force of villains and heroes makes for endless opportunities of group composition.

Villainous epic archetype

After the feeble attempt at the epic class for heroes NCSoft have managed to hit the nail on the head this time around. The choice you have is Arachnos Soldier and Arachnos Widow. If you choose the soldier you have to expect a fair amount of team play, but if you go for the Arachnos Widow a.k.a. IWIN Widow then you’re heading for easy street; but as mentioned before, the ‘City of’ line does have some easy paths to take.

The interesting thing about the new classes is that they are no longer linear. Once you reach level 24 you have to make a decision on what path to take. I won’t spoil it by telling you much more, but I am sure you will enjoy the choice.

The question is will they be more popular than the current core archetypes in the game?

These are the two main areas where there have been improvements made. With the new powers added there is always some new spice thrown into the game; especially on the PvP side. One of the new small features added to the game is where you can calculate how good or overpowered a new power wil be once you reach level 50. This allows some pretty serious tweaking if theory crafting and min max calculations float your boat.







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