[City of Villains] Easily the best part of returning to City of Heroes/Villains has been our supergroup’s Tuesday night strike force. This has become a regular event for the past couple of months, and I have seen almost all of the City of Villains strike forces. We will probably pick up the strays in the coming weeks, and maybe we will hit some City of Heroes task forces.
Playing with friends is always the best way to go, and the regular patterns are comfortable. Our 7pm strike force will never start before 7:30pm. A few of us will pick up temporary powers in Bloody Bay or Warburg to unleash on the archvillain at the end. Bert will rush headlong to his demise and pout when the healers save him. Someone will sing Stacy Ferguson’s lines from “My Humps” over Teamspeak (always a male player). A sidekick/mentor pair will get too far apart just as the sidekick engages a large group of purple enemies; it was my week to be that sidekick.
City of Heroes/Villains allows you to sidekick or exemplar to get around level differences. As Raph explains, levels are a system for dividing people and spreading them out, then we add a new system to ignore levels and bring people back together. Given standard MMO levels, though, this is a Good Thing. Task and strike forces auto-exemplar higher level players, so that everyone participates at the right level range. This means that the 20-25 strike force is really a 20+ strike force; bring whichever character you want to play, and it will not disrupt things.
Another nice thing is that you really can bring whoever you want, and things will go well. No class role is required, although some will be more helpful than others for some situations. For example, when fighting the archvillain, you probably want someone who can heal and someone who can tank, but that is rather easy to fill, and “tank” can be interpreted broadly.
As often as I rail against problems in the game, we really do have a good time. The gameplay is fast and largely intuitive. The game effectively brings people together and encourages cooperation. Using external voice chat also helps that along.
Soon, soon we shall conquer Paragon City…