I am finally getting around to running the Issue 10 story arcs. I had said before that Issue 10 did not interest me much: not much to do. Having played through everything now, I am willing to say that what is new is not a lot of fun.
I already said why the Rikti aren’t fun: they have perception and every kind of crowd control. Adding in Rikti Magi just brings more crowd control, with very high damage. At least they have monkeys. The Vanguard have a similar issue, only with more damage and less CC. They are not fun, just unreasonably overpowered. A boss has two-shot me in the time it took me to activate Freeze Ray (activation time: 1). How about a debuff that halves your endurance for 10 (?) minutes? The Longbow bosses used to set the standard for unreasonably overpowered, and conveniently the Vanguard missions will throw multiple Longbow bosses at you while solo.
The weakened allies still annoy me. I know the rules say, “Characters can accomplish superhuman physical feats, defeat enemies with one hand tied behind their back and use incredible abilities — until they join your party and you can control them. Then these wonderful powers all vanish, along with most of their hit points.” Still, thanks for the pet who does 35 damage as a level 51 “hero.” Oh, and rescuing allies still kills your stealth, so I cannot use Trip Mines on the enemy anymore. Great, a bonus that makes me weaker (and can aggro new friends). And then there are the bugged hostages (or ones placed so that they die instantly).
So what is cool? Dark Watcher’s story arc is excellent, absolutely great in both gameplay and story. The Rikti invasions are fun, although rarish now. The ship raid is interesting the first few times; setting the badge for 25 bombs (>12 hours of raids) was annoying. There are some very nice touches in the revamped Rikti War Zone, but it is unfortunate to lose half the zone because it is covered by pylons. Cooperative play is good. The new ideas used in the Lady Grey Task Force are good. Faultline and Fusionette, while mostly useless, are fun to have along for the ride.
Here is looking forward to Issue 11. Whatever closed beta NDA they have is leaking like a sieve, and everyone seems enthusiastic. The Ouroboros content sounds great.