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Hudson's Hideout

Ramblings of a MMO player and Miniature wargamer

Author: pvthudson01

Bill Roper, Champions Online and a new SuperGuild...we hope

Posted by pvthudson01 Tuesday March 31 2009 at 4:56PM
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Ten Ton Hammer has an exclusive interview up with Bill Roper where he talks about grouping and the mechanics he wants to shoot for.

Following that line of thought, I got to my last question regarding grouping and specifically their "open mission" mechanic.

"It absolutely is! We did what every good developer does, saw something and went 'We should use that in our game!" He continues by explaining: "That is always the key to look at other games and say 'How do we make this work? What worked in the past?' This is perfect for the super hero theme." Warhammer's Public Quests were a core part of their mechanics, but would Champions rely on them as much? It doesn't sound like it, "I don't think it's the core of where all our stuff is focused. "

This leads me on to the fact that my buddies and I will be starting a Champions Online Superteam.

We need input, comic talk, movie talk and role players that will post character origins.

The Superteam will be named after our first World of Warcraft guild, and consist of older players. TITANS will be the name.

The site will be located here:

Our primary goals are FUN, a laid back mature environment to play the game, and no drama. Since this game is not to be as loot driven as most MMO's I think that the drama will be low and the community aspect high. Here are our goals starting out:

1) No drama whatsoever. This includes arguing about grouping, easily offended people that may take something out of context, or people that may tend to incite issues behind the backs of leadership rather than coming to us and discussing.

2) Minimum age of 21, unless friend or family of a current member

3) Laid back atmosphere with people that will not level cap in a week and rush to end game

4) If the future demands it, laid back "raid" times and no loot arguments due to mature discussion on the forums. Right now we are looking way down the road to be a Sunday night, Monday night type of end game guild. However that is so far away I am not even worried about

5) Members that visit the forums and treat the Supergroup as a community and not just another bunch of gamers they talk to once or twice a week. YES we want the comic book nerds, the roleplayers and the imaginaitve folk that will post fun topics and engage in conversation

6) We want members focused on this game and that will be active, but no hard core active. In fact we encourage alts.

7) We want people that will hang out in game and have fun.

8) The members will vote on the look of the SG. We want open discussion on this.

9) We will use Ventrilo voice chat. (already have the server actually)

10) We will have message boards and a site that anyone can visit and discuss comic book things with as well as the game

Return to City of Heroes: the “Bad Guys”

Posted by pvthudson01 Monday March 23 2009 at 5:04PM
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Pics and more can be found here:

As I promised a couple of days ago, here is the complete team of villains I have made and will be playing on my return to City of Villains. Since I never really tried the “villain” side of City of Heroes, I guess I can honestly say I am not returning but starting fresh. Playing villains is a little odd to me, but I want to see the new content so I have to. I cannot get into playing a villain unless they have a valid reason to be a villain, and usually I prefer a hero that has fallen from grace.
Volt robs a bank

Most of my new characters have intricate backgrounds that I wrote up in my hand, not on paper unfortunately. Some of my villains are blatant rip offs, others incorporate current heroes in print literature into their powers. Playing a game like this it is hard to be original because you have decades of comics out there and someone is usually bound to have come up with your idea at one time or another. The best thing to do when this happens is ignore the cynics and play the way you want and write your character’s back story the way you want.

When I logged my heroes in the again after 2years, their original backstories were still printed on the in game ID cards, and it was a blast to go back and read what I wrote so long ago.

City of Heroes/Villains still does one thing well. The game is a straight up combat simulator. If you do not like to fight and run missions, then this game is not for you. You will be doing that. You will do this over and over but to me it doesn’t get old until I cannot find people to play with. That is the case in most MMO’s I have quit. Luckily, as I posted the other day, City of Heroes, much like EQ2, has methods to keep you and your friends close. I also like the game as a nice break from WoW due to the fact that it is not loot driven, and I can just do my thing.

Ok so all my villains are on the Victory server, all of them are waiting for anyone that wants to join me as a sidekick (or whatever the villain equivalent is) and most of them have lower case “L”’s bracketing their names. So for example The Finisher in game is l The Finisher l .

Ok I am only going to post screens of the ones I actually plan to put time in on.

First up, my current “main” villain, and quite by accident, the electrical stalker The Volt. The Volt is a science villain that uses his power gloves to manipulate the energy in the air around him as well as electrical current. At first I didn’t think I would play this guy too much but I really am starting to like him. He actually hit level 9 so fast that before I knew it I found myself just logging him in automatically. He has the hide ability as his second power set and is able to emerge from stealth with a nasty electrical shock attack that can sometimes one shot white con enemies. Along with this he uses Jacob’s Ladder which is a frontal electric attack to hit two enemies at once. This radiates foward from his gloves when he brings them close together. The Volt has been known to accidentally harm or kill many innocent bystanders due to the unpredictable nature of the equipment he wears.

Nest up the one that I like to play but sometimes find myself resisting because he is a tank and that is the Anti Patriot. You guessed it, this guy is the exact opposite of anything Supreme Soldier or even Captain America would stand for. In the CoH world, this villain is meant to be the enemy to my hero Supreme Soldier. He is a energy/shield brute (a villain tank basically) with a robotic arm that powers his strength. This guy is bad news and will do anything to topple governments the world over. That is what he gets paid to do. I avoid leveling him because I always fall into the trap of tanking in MMO’s and in this game it is a thankless job. I do love busting heads with this guy though and he has a swank outfit. No, he does not “throw” his shield. He just uses it to get in close then beat people to dust with that arm of his.

Next up we have the underworld’s answer to everything and that is The Finisher. Finisher is another stalker with a power set equal to Supreme Soldier. I just wanted the same type of character but on the villain side. He wears a special suit that allows him to blend with his environments and is a paid killer. He “finishes” the dirty jobs that everyone else is afraid to touch or get near. He is a martial arts expert and is lethal in hand to hand combat. His suit also enhances his speed through the use of stimulants and this tends to make him quick to subdue or kill his foes without a second thought.

No account would be complete without a character than can summon ninjas or robots. In my case, since I hate all that ninja garbage, I went with robots. Mechano is next and he is pretty much a mastermind archetype character that summons attack robots. Mechano is dying, and uses his science to keep himself alive. Since he is so weak and cannot get the funding he needs to continue his research, he has turned to a life of robbery and crime to get what he needs. To do this he put his genius to work in the form of massive attack mecha that he uses to terrorize the general populace. It is quite possible that Mechano has gone insane through the abuse of his life extending drugs but don’t tell him that.

Now I made a mutant last Sunday night finally. His name is Alabaster. White skinned of course, with deformed lizard like hands. He is a mind control mutant that causes pain through psionic attacks and domination of foes. He has to hide the lower part of his face and is rather used to sulking about in public and generally using his powers to get people to do things he wants.

I have one more character, but he is set aside as a “healer” and won’t be played unless someone I know wants to duo in game. That is all for now! I will continue exploring the game on the villain side when I have a chance and report back!

XBOX 360 still MEH to me

Posted by pvthudson01 Monday March 23 2009 at 5:01PM
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I was thinking of firing up the ole XBOX 360 because baseball season was starting, then I realized that most of the baseball games really stink. For example, the latest MLB2K9 got a 4.5 out of 10 on Gamespot. While Gamespot is not the best judge of character, that is REALLY low for a freaking baseball game, so I clicked around and found some other scores for it:

IGN: 6.8 out of 10. Way below par. For IGN to rate it less than 7, that is not good

Worthplaying: 5

1UP: a damn D+. Ouch

Why can’t people make decent baseball games? This has haunted me for years now. I think that baseball is just too complex to simulate effectively unless you simply play a “front end manager” game that focuses purely on stats. To try and weave stats and arcade play into a baseball game seems to be beyond what most creators can accomplish. Sure, it looks good but who cares? I don’t care if A-Rod is taking steroids in between innings or Ryan Howard is grabbing his crotch. The controls and the gameplay have to work. Also, it cannot be a slow loading mess with a lot of animated cut scene garbage in between pitches. UGH just play ball for the love of God.

I looked at some other recent XBOX360 games and honestly NONE of them are standing out. I own most of the good shooters on the PC where they are vastly superior, and I cannot stand most of the churned out Japanese RPG games (Star Ocean looks ok). Right now the game line up is looking very anemic.

I guess I could play some Madden 09, but I just don’t know if it worth digging it out and hooking it up for just that. To this date there hasn’t been one console game that has kept me glued to the TV like a PC game. MAYBE Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. Maybe. When it comes out. However, how close will that be to Champions Online? I think you know who wins in that case.

Return to City of Heroes: the Good Guys

Posted by pvthudson01 Tuesday March 17 2009 at 7:35AM
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I have been spending a lot of time in City of Heroes lately, mainly because I have been sick and needed a fast pick me up MMO without loot hassles and wanted to beat something up other than orcs. Now that our WoW guild has Naxxramas on farm status, some nights I have some free time to goof off.

Another thing added to my current obsession with this game is the upcoming mission editor due to be released in Issue 14 (or PATCH as us older MMO players like to call it). I won’t go into the details of the mission editor since that news has made its rounds around the internet already. Needless to say this editor could give players the chance to see a freedom in making content that many of us have not experienced since games like Neverwinter Nights or Ryzom.

While some other tend to make heroes that are silly or funny, I tend to make mine rather serious and all business. I don’t go with gaudy costumes or stupid names as a joke. As a comic book addict, that just doesn’t fly with me. I decided a couple of weeks ago to log in and start clearing out my City of Heroes account that I have had since it launched in 2004. That is correct. 2004 and I never level capped in this game. In fact, I still have my awesome Best Buy pre order prestige sprint effect when I run around, which leaves streaks behind me. I still get questions about that in game and some people are bummed out when they realize how long ago I got that and it is no longer available.

I wish I had stuck with this game longer that I did. I have talked about it at length in my blog over the past two years so I won’t get all emo about it again. Logging in my account, my original characters were still there and so were many many alternates it was time to delete and get rid of. Apparently now it is hip to blog about this game once more since the mission editor is coming out. Once comic fan “bandwagoners” get bored I am sure the discussion will die down. Some may refer to them as tourists perhaps? That seems to be a funny little word being thrown around lately.

When I first got the game, I was in the pre order beta and I scrambled on opening day to reserve the names of my characters on every single server I could. Those days are long gone now, and NC Soft did a good thing in taking those names back from people that never logged in. I love when companies nail squatters. I would like to see this in other games as well. If for example Blizzard would do a guild purge of any guilds with less than 10 players along these lines, then I would be a happy camper. This would keep guilds as a social unit and not a poor excuse to get a funny tag over your head like “Big Jugs Inc”.

So it was that many of my year old characters had lost their names. Cannonball, my tanker, was now Roughhouse. Red Dynamo had become the Crimson something or another, but making the cut were Supreme Soldier and Chester McBrock. This late in the games lifespan it almost IMPOSSIBLE to get an original name still, and I have had to resort to many tricks since coming back to get the names my heroes or villains deserved. My usual tactic is to place a lower case “L” in front and in back of the name to set it off, such as “l The Vortex l” or something like that. I have seen others use periods or capital “I” as well.

I decided to stick with my original servers of Infinity, Freedom and Victory to condense my account down. Freedom housed all my returning new characters, Infinity all my original 4 year old heroes, and Victory was to be designated my all villain server.

I started to sit back and make my favorite combos to see how the game played out a few years later, and most of the mains I play now are villains since that content is all new to me. I stayed off the Infinity server since those characters were higher level and I had no idea how to play them anymore. Instead I went to Freedom server (crowded) and remade some characters and tweaked them a bit. On Victory, my villain stable was quite impressive, although I just cannot get into the mindset of playing a villain I deleted over 13 characters, and focused my account down. I signed up for one month only using Paypal, and downloaded the client off the PlayNC website.

Here is what I came up with, and I am sure I will be making many many more alts as time goes on. Right now I still am not going to choose just one character until I know I can solo and enjoy playing it for at least 30 levels. This post is going to be so long I need to split it into two days. Consider it bonus content for my 15 readers! Here we go with the good guys, whom I have not been playing that much since I have been there and done that.

Powerball. This guy was my first returning character along with the Longbowman that I wrote about HERE on my blog. Simple combos really and the Longbowman was someone I made to test the new archery archetype as well as trench coats. Powerball was meant to replace Roughhouse, my 4 year old tanker and co founder of my old City of Heroes guild. I found archery to be kinda slow and boring so I don’t play the Longbowman too much anymore. Also, I am tired of bows, no matter what type of character they are on.

Next up we have Gale Force, my attempt at a Storm ripoff. She is a controller using storm powers. I don’t play her much since she takes forever to kill things and I have played one of these characters before and found them drab. At any rate, her name is of course Gale in “alternate reality” life so I made a clever play on words there.

Roughhouse is my natural tanker, and man is he boring to play. Tanking in CoH is a boring job, especially if you don’t cheese out and use one of the OP builds like every other boring tank on the server. Roughhouse is meant to be like a juggernaut. He hits things really hard and is hard to bring down. Unfortunately this makes him very boring to play since all he does is punch, punch, punch, punch and maybe kick. This guy is meant to be in groups and is a snoozefest to solo with. I do get some team invites for him out of the blue, but since I am returning I decline since I have no clue what I am doing anymore.

Supreme Soldier is a name that I have kept for almost 5 years now, and he has seen two other incarnations before I settled on my “vision”. Originally he was yet another Tanker, but this was not working out for me so I deleted him. Then I made him a katana wielding scrapper which was so ludicrously stupid I deleted him too. Now he is a martial artist ass kicker and along the vein of what I wanted. A Captain America type with no shield. His costume was always dead on though so I have enjoyed leveling this character more than my other old ones.

Next up is my fire/fire tanker Solar Force which many years ago was the equivalent of a Death Knight in World of Warcraft: flavor of the month and easy to level. His costume is pretty awesome and he did manage to keep his original name, so I do not have the heart to delete him. Who knows, I may use him again some day but I doubt it.

Finally my Iron Man clone, an energy/energy blaster named Blastwave. I love energy/energy blasters because you can play them like “blappers”. A blapper is a COH community term for blasters that actually go in and melee (blaster plus scrapper). Why is this cool? Because for some reason blasters that have energy as a second powerset have this awesome energy punch that knocks villains back. Why on GOD’s GREEN EARTH this is a BLASTER ability and not an energy tanker or scrapper ability I will never know. However, nothing is more fun than punching a villain that is too close to your blaster several yards back and then giving them a facefull of proton energy. Anyway, Blastwave has been renamed, remade and started over so many times because blasters just die, they die A LOT. Running a blaster solo is a tricky job and honestly I have not figured it out at high levels. I will stick with this incarnation though. I like his outfit and looks so I think I will level him on the side. His powers are tech and all contained in his gloves.

Well that is it for now. Sometime this week I will post my bad guys, who I am trying to get into playing despite the fact that it feels dirty and unclean. I couldn't get the pictures to insert into this post so you can view them here