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Hard Core Member
1/04/13 2:50:58 AM#1
This is all for fun so contribute if you like.
Though the benefits of not having to play a secret identity were obvious from a gamer's point of view this left an unexplored facet of a character's life and a missed opportunity for varied gameplay.
Secret identities have long been a part of the superhero genre. Though not every superhero, or villain, has one those that do tend to have a special connection to their world at-large. The everyday business of Bruce Wayne's company, 'Wayne Enterprises', affects the local and global economy while the company itself offers resources that enable Batman to more easily fight crime and protect the citizens of Gotham City. Peter Parker and Clark Kent both work for news publishers, directly or indirectly as is often Peter Parker's case. The news offices allow them resources for information gathering that greatly benefit their superhero investigations while the publications themselves greatly influence the views of the populace.
Day Job logout points with their respective rewards, and player designed alternate costumes, would be the closest City of Heroes players would come to having a secret identity. Your character would never really go home to sleep, bathe, eat, relax or change into a clean costume. There were no regular jobs with regular hours that provided a regular paycheck handed out by a regular employer, not unless your character's bio included it. Your character's hero or villain persona was a fulltime life and career.
In the game your character would earn usable currency for defeating foes and completing missions. For the typical hero or villain this might not be the case. Understandably, a character's primary source of income would most likely come from a career of their everyday identity with exceptions for ocasional rewards or special jobs either in or out of their heroic or villainous persona. Understanding that a heroic or villainous character would likely have special knowledge, training or experience in paticular fields of science, technology, biology, fighting or magic we can assume that a character's everyday identity would likely have a career in such an area where their talents would benefit them financially, socially, in their skill development or in some other way that provided a supplemental benefit to their heroic or villainous identity such as information gathering or the acquisition of contacts.
When time or confrontation were not immediate factors to a hero or villain they could travel around in their normal identity without the watchful eyes of the authorities, or their enemies, upon them. Though foot travel is slow and public transportation such as taxis, buses and trains are not glamorous by any means they are inexpensive and allow a great deal of freedom without increasing maintenance needs on either a personal everyday or special vehicle.
The final benefits of an everyday identity are being able to conduct investigations and infiltrate locations and organizations in an inconspicuous manner. Organizations with considerable power or influence would likely be prepared for infiltration by police, secret agents or superpowered individuals. A skilled person in plainclothes making casual or likeminded inquiries would likely draw less attention and have a greater chance at getting inside successfully. Even if a plainclothes character was caught snooping around it's unlikely their discovery would raise a full alarm immediately, thus granting them time for possible escape or a chance to talk their way out of a dangerous confrontation and advance farther into the organization.
City of Heroes was special. It had a backstory and an environment where players didn't need to be concerned with secret identities. Perhaps adding this element to the sequel would add more depth and variety to the game.
That concludes my examination of secret identities. Feel free to discuss or make suggestions. If you like this thread but haven't read my original thread please look over "We lost our heroes before their time. Lets build a new City of Heroes" and add any topics I may have missed for possible future discussion.
"They'll come at your sideways. It's how they think, it's how they move. Sidle-up and smile. Hit you where you're weak. Sorta men they're like to send believes hard...kills and never asks why."