Color Matters

In City of Heroes, before Enhancement Diversification, I could two-shot groups of yellow minions easily. Now I can two-shot groups of green minions easily. I can wipe out grays by the score and use knockback to send them further than a football field.

Ignoring leveling speed, it really should not make any difference whether you are beating up a green minion or an orange one. It is the same Freak Slammer. The level difference only affects the numbers over his head. Many games make you strong enough to fight only one even-level monster, but you could fight two or three lower level enemies at time. It is the same goblin, just with a different number.

We could just as easily define the levels in the opposite way. Just change the numbers above the enemies’ heads so that the level listed is 3 higher, but do not change their stats. Suddenly you are soloing oranges instead of blues. You can take on small groups of blues now! You might be able to take a purple!

In terms of the gameplay, it doesn’t matter. Same goblin. You are hitting the same buttons. It is easy to set it up so that you get the same experience, same loot, same play experience except for the colorful flavor text floating above the goblin’s head.

It really shouldn’t matter. But it does, doesn’t it?

You feel weak when you can only fight one thing of your level. If you can take out oranges instead of greens, you feel powerful. If you can take out groups, you feel powerful, as long as those groups are not defined as being trivially weak (although sometimes even then).

Why do we care whether the goblin’s name is in orange or blue or gray or purple? It’s the same goblin.

Why do we rush to level 10 or 50 or 100? It is still the same goblin, with a different texture. The numbers are just bigger. Would we really be happier starting at level 100 and working towards level 1000, fighting 2,000,000 hp enemies with our swords that deal 245,000 damage?

But it does matter, doesn’t it?

: Zubon

3 thoughts on “Color Matters”

  1. It’s all in the players’ perception really. True, I can fight one something of my level at a time, and gain the most from it as far as experience goes. It’s harder, and surviving it has it’s rewards (in-game or just personal).

    However, wasting six trivial somethings in the blink of an eye has it’s own intrinsic values. It’s fun. You immediately exhert your will on (albeit limitted in scope) upon the game, and see results. While the odds this will help you progress in the game are less, I think the faster-pace adds something. You do it just for the sake of fun.

    Power-levelling, min/max players normally wont waste time in that fashion. But the way I see… kill what makes ya happiest. =)

  2. The divisions between minion, lt, boss, and supervillian, combined with the typical encounter being against a group that mixes all of these types, is one of the central geniuses of CoH. I always loathed EQ’s focus on pulling and fighting a single monster at a time and the lack of variation within logically connected creatures. Even WoW, which does much better on this front, lacks CoH’s simple replacement of one tougher mob with three or four weaker ones. With this simple change, CoH keeps its players feeling strong and formidable even as levels advance.

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