I am logging in and playing every day, and I love it. I am just having a great time. City of Heroes is constant rock ’em sock ’em action. We crash through the enemies, set fire to things and send them flying across the room, then pause for no more than six seconds before rampaging on.
We almost always have a few people on Teamspeak, with our core group being very active lately. We might run a task force, or perhaps someone has something that s/he is working on today that we can join. I check the consignment house with my badge-whoring blaster who is working on the Fabricator badge: 7,921 crafts to go.
Next I get to decide what kind of fun I want today. I can solo, play in a small group, or join a large group. I spend a lot of time solo, and it is what I do between groups. Small groups are almost exclusively in-guild: whoever is on Teamspeak and wants the company. Large teams are normally pick-up groups, maybe with a guildmate or two, where we engage in a multi-hour project with a full team of eight.
Teams are always available. People are constantly advertising on PinnacleBadges for task forces, badge missions, and whatever else needs bodies. If I want to join a friend, there is almost always a sidekick or exemplar spot. I get a steady stream of offers to team up when I am soloing, and pleasantly no blind invitation pop-up windows in months.
I also get to decide how I want to have that fun. I have many characters, and they all play somewhat differently.
- I have been working my Katana/Super Reflexes Scrapper towards the level cap: high-level play, usually solo, with high damage and survivability. Her defenses keep her from getting hit often, she rarely visits the hospital, and she deals great damage to single targets in melee range.
- I also want to get my Illusion Control/Kinetics Controller to level 40, parking there to run task forces for rare recipes that cap at that level. He does less damage but still solos well. Instead of having high defenses, the enemies just don’t attack him much. He runs around invisibly, summons pets and decoys, and locks down enemies to be defeated at leisure. I prefer the pet and decoy damage to leisure. On teams, he is a great buffer, and he recently got Fulcrum Shift, which is my favorite power in the game.
- My Ice Blast/Devices Blaster is at the level cap, but I still play her frequently. She is my designated farmer for top-level inventions, which will greatly benefit the Scrapper in one more level. She deals ridiculous single-target damage at range, comes equipped with holds like the controller, she flies, and she runs at the movement cap. I take great joy in turning on her Cloaking Device, walking up to groups of enemies, planting a trip mine at their feet, then using Frost Breath as it detonates beneath them. There are always more badges to work on.
- I also have my Empathy/Electricity Blast Defender, my healer. This is not a solo character, but he is great in support. In the end-game, being a healer is not so important as being a buffer; conveniently, Empathy comes front-loaded with heals, followed by buffs in later levels. I can even buff my buffing ability, letting me unleash a boosted Fortitude that my guildmate refers to as “Okay, you’re invulnerable, go nuts.” He falls down a lot when he gets too close to the invulnerable, enemy-herding damage dealers on crack, but experience debt does not mean a lot at the level cap.
And those are just the ones I play lately. Maybe I will decide to play my tank or my weak-excuse-for-an-epic-class-wanna-be-tank-mage. Then I have the villains side that I have been neglecting for months, where I could pull out my higher-damage healer/buffer or my regenerating assassin. Ooh, I need to get back to my pet classes, so my robots can rain lasery death upon the heroes. Maybe we could hit another server tonight to play with our baby alts.
There is just so much to do, even if it is all the same thing: blowing up bad guys in missions. There are so many different bad guys to blow up and so many ways to blow them up, and the game is so fast-paced that I can do all of them. In the City of Altoholics, we all have a half-dozen characters that we use frequently, so we all get to cycle through the roles.
And then we have all of those roles in combinations! For very few things do we really try to put together some Platonic ideal of a team. Everyone plays whatever they want, and as long as we have something to fit key roles for the very hardest encounters, we run with it. I am frequently on teams with four of the same archetype, plus whatever else came along. It works brilliantly! Everyone brought AE damage: fabulous, the enemies will be dead instantly. Everyone brought buffers/debuffers: fabulous, we are gods and they are flies. Everyone brought Controllers: fabulous, we will turn the enemies to statues and feed them to our pets.
More damage, more explosions, bigger numbers, bodies flying: I am getting over-stimulated just thinking about it. Throw someone with Kinetics on the team so that we have Speed Boost and Fulcrum Shift: now we are moving even faster with a massive damage boost. If someone gets knocked out, rezzing and recovering takes 15 seconds, and we will do it mid-combat. There are even AE-rezes for near-wipes and self-rez “potions” for total wipes. In the City of Heroes, we do not believe in downtime, and there is no challenge so hard that we cannot overcome it by chugging a bar full of inspirations.
Van Hemlock has also been trying the mean streets of Paragon City.