Selling Powers

Returning to last week’s big theme of item shops, City of Heroes shipped Super Booster IV: Martial Arts last week (discussion thread). In addition to emotes and costume pieces, it includes a power (like the other Boosters):

Ninja Run power:
Dash through the city with the agility of a ninja! The Ninja Run power is a travel power enabled through the purchase of Super Booster IV: Martial Arts and is available for use at level 4. Use Ninja Run to strike fear in the hearts of your enemies as you increase your run speed and leaping abilities, and the best part? It doesn’t use one of your power selections!

The previous powers were different. The first was a self-destruct: amusing, but of limited use, especially when it sends you to the hospital (no rez). The second gave you an other-only buff: rather useful, but not something that made you more powerful. It is hard to get angry about paying for the ability to help others, but let’s not doubt that nerd rage is out there. The third did not have a power as such. This time, though, it is a power, and a desirable one, and they are advertising it as such. Travel skills are not exactly game-breaking, and this one is slower than the others, but you get it earlier and (as they say) with no power slot consumed, meaning that you can use that slot for something else. Because there is no prerequisite power (you can pay for that another way: subscribe for 5 years to be able to pick travel powers at level 6), that frees up another slot if you were only taking Combat Jumping to get Super Leap. The most important effect is not selling a permanent, slightly sub-par travel power; it is effectively selling an extra power slot or two for all your characters.

Come to think of it, that is a heck of a deal for $10, especially since it applies to all your characters. Other games are selling you a mount or decorative pet for $10. Here, they will top that and give it to every character you have.

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “Selling Powers”

  1. How on earth is that not game breaking?

    In pvp you run when you’re losing and chase when you’re winning.

    In solo pve kiting and running when you’re in trouble are core parts of the gameplay.

    Even in mass pvp where peer regard is everything who wants to be the slow kid who gets to stuff last and everyone has to wait for you?

    1. “How on earth is that not game breaking?”

      It’s not game breaking because the endurance cost is prohibitively high to use in combat (while offering none of the useful benefits of a ‘real’ travel power in combat) and if you’re relying on it as your primary out of combat movement power then you’re probably going to be the slow kid who gets to stuff last and everybody else has to wait for you.

      It’s basically eye candy, with just enough utility that you can use it in concept builds. Game breaking? Not in the slightest.

    2. The effects of a “travel power” such as Ninja Run are suppressed for a bit of time after you damage something (in PvE) or give OR take damage (in PvP).

      This has been in the game for a while. Some people are still sore about it. But you can’t kite/chase/flee with ANY travel power, and Ninja Run is no exception.

  2. This is exactly the problem with in-game item shops. Just like media companies separating advertising from editorial, MMO’s need a separation from the suits and their say on in-game item shops leaving it to the designers. Otherwise were just going to see more of these money grab offers giving whatever will pull in another $10 regardless of how it impacts and imbalances the game.

  3. Minor notes: It burns end, something like .46 points a second. Manageable, but heavy.
    It is exclusive with any other travel power except sprint (automatic power) and hover (fly at a fast walk). It turns off when you turn it on.
    And Combat Jump is something people take, not just for the altitude, but because it resists immobilize and grants an amount of defense. It’s something PvPers take even if they don’t go superjump. The traditional combo involves it and superspeed, really, and ninja run doesn’t combine.

    There is, however, precedent for this in CoH: The Good versus Evil edition of the game came with a really snazzy jump pack. Trust me, it was worth every penny of the tenbucks. And after that, the Mac edition came with a power that teleported you directly to a mission entrance.

    Now, I leveled a character to 49 without a travel power, I’ve done pretty much everything. This is nifty, but not game-breaking. It’ll let people take a travel power later, but they’re going to really want one by the time they’re 30.

  4. I think I will try that one with my Arachnos Soldier – he has no travel power whatsoever at 31, but has buffs which makes him run somewhat fast even with the regular run power, although not as fast as with super speed.

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