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The Lunch Break Blog

For those of us who would rather be leveling right now.

Author: cmagoun

Remind Me Why I Rolled on Freedom? (Or One PUG's Story)

Posted by cmagoun Saturday August 16 2008 at 8:54AM
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Generally, I run with a group of what I call "post-modern" CoX players (I'll talk about them some in a future post). They are good friends and great players, forming uber farming teams and rolling through pretty much everything they come across. It's great XP ... but sometimes boring. See, these guys have been playing pretty much straight through since beta. I've been offline about half that time and so every time I reopen my account, there is something I've missed. Of course, these guys have mostly seen it all, or don't care to see it all and so while I can farm to 50 with these guys all day... I might never see most of the game.

To experience the rest of the game, I created a new character on the heavily populated Freedom server and decided that I would level to 50 in pick-up groups with only the occassional interlude of soloing. Thus a new Plant/Storm controller, Song of Land and Sky, was born. Yes, I know, the name is fruity... but I sort of like it... and do you have any idea how hard it is to get a reasonable name on Freedom???

So, after a few solo runs and a few more pick up groups (have I ever told you how much I truly love the Hollows?), I have leveled Song to 16. Late last night, I am tooling around, trying to figure out what to do, or if in fact, I should just head to bed, when I get that fateful tell:

"Can you heal? We need another healer."

I sadly replied that I did not in fact, heal, but instead brought confusion and holds to the table. I figured this would kill the conversation, but surprisingly I got another tell:

"That might work. We are fighting CoT." And along came the invite.

Now, I should have been wary. I generally feel that most teams in CoX don't need any healers and this guy indicated that they needed another healer. Not one... another. With that single word, I created an entire scenario in my mind; a scenario of scrappers charging into a horde of purples, of wanton fire blasters firing Rain of Aggro... I mean Fire, of team wipes.

Sign me up!!!! I accepted, greeted the team and headed straight to the mission door.

Once in, we were faced with a gaggle of level 19 purple CoT. The first few battles went... ok. Slow, but steady and we didn't get into too much trouble. However, the first room we came to, the tank charged in and three Ruin Mages (and sundry minions) started pounding him... He dropped like a stone. I missed my Seeds of Confusion... which would not have handled the bosses anyway... and managed to buy my team an entire 0.3 seconds to flee as they eviscerated me and chuckled over my corpse. Within seconds, everyone was at the hospital heading back to the mission.

You know it is going to be a long night when you find yourself thinking how convenient it is that the hospital is less than 300 yards from the door.

Now, the tank is talking about finding another healer and though I usually try to stay off the soapbox, I felt the need to point out that healing wouldn't have helped much in that room. No healer of our level would have kept up with that onslaught.

We decided to pull.

Pulling goes OK for a few minutes and then people start getting antsy. Inevitably, "corner" pulling degrades into "hallway" pulling, degrades into "at the door of the room" pulling, degrades into "I will go with you pulling". So, our dark defender was essentially following the tank into the room, forgetting he had his targetted heal on auto...

At least this hospital serves Jello!!!

We head back and surprisingly, we've learned our lesson. The non-pullers stay back somewhat and we have a couple good pulls and start slogging through the room pull by pull. Hey, debt's gone... time to make more!

This one is totally my fault. We have mostly cleared the first room. There is maybe a group left and we have charged it. I am spamming confuse and holds and the occassional attack (I have serious energy issues at this stage). It is tough, but we are doing well. Suddenly, I see a flash of red in the corner of my screen. It seems we have an add or perhaps a runner. I WILL TAKE CARE OF HIM!!!!

So I dash after him... and am instantly gutted by the dozen or so of his buddies sitting just around the corner. I pull the adds, die, and then the baddies roll up the rest of the team.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get bloodstains out of Lycra?

Ok, lesson learned... no need to be the hero... or at least use some stealth when dashing willy-nilly around corners.

A few more battles and we have our collective stuff together. We cap a couple more groups and head into the next hallway. I am following the tank closely when we walk through a doorway and back out again, pursued by a convention of angry CoT. Strangely enough, this doesn't cause another team wipe. We pull the CoT through the door and the controllers manage to get the fight under control. As the enemy comes through, they are held, confused, debuffed and subsequently slaughtered. The doorway is clear... we are still standing...

And that's when the dozen or so Unbound Nictus start pouring through...

Not a Kheldian in sight, but somehow, we spawn a Crystal. And while we were valiantly fighting the CoT, what we didn't see is that there were two crystals spawning their little black clouds of death the entire time. There are at least a dozen of them and they make quick work of our unprepared team.

Back to the hospital... again... and again... and

See, those crystals had built up quite a head of steam and had filled the antechamber with nictus. We had to zip through that mess to get to the crystals and engage them. All the while, more nictus are spawning. It made quite the gauntlet to run. Finally, we bust through, attack the crystals and...

BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh right, forgot about the blowy uppy thing when you kill one of the crystals... and presumably our blaster has never seen it because she is dead and spouting a whole load of WTF!!! on the team chat.

But now the final door is in sight. Victory is ours with just one more room. Click the door and there are no less than 3 bosses sitting right there, all in a tight clump, staring at us and daring us to cross the threshold.

It is at this time that my own boss... my wife gently reminded me that it was 1:00 am in the morning and the baby was awake and perhaps I should tend to him. And so I had to leave my team in the lurch... I wonder if they ever got that other healer?

Now, it might sound like I had a miserable time. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I had a great time. The mission was hard. The players were fun and did a nice job given the circumstances. I was laughing the whole time. This is why I still play CoX and why I rolled on Freedom!!

moptopRPG writes:

Liberty all the man....LIBERTY!

Sat Aug 16 2008 9:47PM Report
Reborn17 writes:

First of all, welcome back, I had been including some of your posts in my game design document, but haven't seen a post of yours since last summer. Don't be surprised if one day you receive a check. Second, that type of scenario is how I decide who ends up on my global friendlist, guys who are willing to go hard or go home. Debt is meaningless when your playing +4 -+6 team's avg lvl, but a well built squad can get thru almost anything in that range easily after 32. Its really the only way I can play and have fun in coh, invince is just too easy if the entire team is about the same lvl, need that +3 or 4 member to get the tougher mishes, otherwise the game's a snoozefest. Also helps weed out those who fear debt more than dishonor, at those lvl disparities debt is gone usually before u get rezzed anyway. Without challenge, there is no display of skill and no threat of danger to make the game exciting. Its the only way to go imo, in fact when someone joins and says "purples!" I find myself wondering,"What else would they be?". Hats off to you and to all who stuck thru, especially with 2 crystals (never seen that before). If I ever return to the game, I'mma shoot you an invite to my global.Peace...

Sat Aug 16 2008 11:18PM Report
cmagoun writes:

Reborn17,

Thanks for the welcome... I took a bit of a break from MMOs for a while (just nothing new under the sun really), but CoX is one that keeps pulling me back.

It was a fun team and a good time. By the end, I was laughing pretty much non-stop and I was disappointed I could not stay to see it through. Hopefully, I will have a few more of these adventures to relate in the near future.

As for the game design document... my first name is spelled C-H-R-I-S :). Seriously, I am glad you enjoy the design posts and find some value to them. If you ever want to chat about game design, drop me a PM, or fire a comment to this blog. With CoX going strong and Warhammer coming out soon... and Champs Online and DC Heroes Online sometime after that, I doubt I will be disappearing anytime soon.

Mon Aug 18 2008 11:05AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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