I do love MMOs, and of all the MMOs I have played, CoX has been one that I keep finding myself coming back to. I enjoy the fast combats, the costume creator, and the tons of permutations of characters made even more interesting with the addition of inventions. I love CoX.
But it certainly has its flaws.
Character balance is a huge one. There are definitely ATs and combinations that overperform and others that underperform. There is n doubt in my mind that scrappers, tankers and brutes have an advantage in the high level game due to their status protection. Likewise certain mastermind combinations are essentially tank-mages (say Bots/Force Field) that can tear through almost any content solo or on teams.
But I am not really posting to complain about overpowered classes. I don't really care. I enjoy the game for what it is and understand that I can customize my level of challenge and team/solo effectiveness by choosing one combination over the others. It isn't an imbalance; it's a feature!!!
Nope, this blog post is about a one-off comment a friend made while playing his mastermind. This was a mission team, jumping from a sewer mission, to a cave mission, back to a sewer mission... and this guy had to resummon every mission and had occassional issues with bots getting stuck or lost. So, eight missions in and we are standing by the door in yet another cave and this guy sighs and says,
"Masterminds, balanced by teduim"
Ok, that was a long buildup to that punchline, but that comment stuck with me. Could that really have been the intent? 'We'll make this powerful class that can do damage and tank and buff and debuff but it will be a pain to play..." Huh?
And I see the tedium elsewhere in the design. All of the shielding defender sets have 4 minute buff timers. Not horrible, but can get tedious on big, fast-moving teams. Kinetics has Speed Boost on a two-minute timer. Does it make any sense that on an 8-man team, my Kinetic just spams Speed Boost whenever the team isn't fighting? Does that really make me a better player? And is it really a balancing point for the awesomeness of Fulcrum Shift?
I am not sure I have a good point here aside from the fact that it would be nice if Speed Boost was on a longer timer and if mastermind pets would come through a door. What do you think?