- Favorite Zone: For rockin’ times, I must go with Perez Park. It was a horror when you got the “Defeat 10 Circle of Thorns in Perez Park” back in the day, but the Park is a great place for low-level group fun. Get four to eight friends together and rampage, hitting Blood Brothers and Skulls in the street or, at later levels, all the slime monsters in the lake. Great smashing fun, plus the occasional Giant Monster to play with.
- Favorite Origin: Race doesn’t mean much in CoH, does it? I used to make everyone a mutant, because there were the most mutant-origin enemies in game, so you had a better chance of getting free enhancements. Then they re-arranged those one fine day. Technology gets the nod: it gives you a damage bonus on the Nemesis Staff, and its level 1 bonus power has a chance to hold, which lets low-level Controllers start using Containment early.
- Favorite Archetype: Defender. On paper, I like Controllers more (full control + 80% of support beats full support + 80% of damage), but revealed preferences (3 level-capped Defenders) suggest that I am a Defender at heart. I thought I would like Corruptors more, but I seem to have a preference for playing blue-side, where there are more support powers in play.
- Favorite Feature: The costume designer. No one does it better. Good luck to Cryptic in topping it in their next games. Second place: scaling instances, which adjust the number of difficulty of opponents based on how many people you bring. The same mission is solo, small group, and full group content. Third place: sidekicks and exemplars, which let you play with your friends even if your levels are very different. Wow, CoH has a lot of great features that too many games have failed to copy, even though the game is more than four years old.
- Favorite Power: Fulcrum Shift. It is an area-effect damage debuff, and every enemy that is debuffed gives off an area-effect damage buff, and the caster gives off an area-affect double damage buff. If people are not spread out, it means that everyone is at the power cap. It stacks with itself, in case everyone is spread out. The debuff stacks, so if you have any other sort of damage debuff (and Kinetics comes with one), you can keep an archvillain at the damage floor.
- Favorite Task Force/Story Arc: “The MegaMech Cometh,” Ernesto Hess’s task force. A little of the logic was broken with the release of CoV, but its gameplay is top-tier. It caps a set of story arcs that led you across the zone, starting at the docks with the task force completing in the mouth of a volcano. It is usually around two hours, so a good evening’s activity that does not drag. It has some very fast missions, one-room big fights, and it actually has a reason why you do not start with the contact’s phone number. The Council is a fun villain group with variety in its members. You can see the end coming as you fight in the Council base, with windows facing inside the volcano where the final fight happens. And then you have the last scene, fighting your way up scaffolding inside a volcano to keep the pilot from entering a mech. Second place: Lady Grey, with the added bonus of being able to team with your villainous friends.
- Favorite Issue: I feel boring going with Issue 3, since I picked its Task Force as my favorite, but it had a lot of good stuff. Striga was the first themed zone that walked you through it via contacts; the TF is awesome; the story arc provides interesting temporary powers; oh wait, there is a second Task Force, one that starts with caves full of vampires and werewolves; we missed the Fifth Column, but the even that ushered them out was a lot of fun, as well as the first time enemies actually fought each other instead of pantomiming; Kheldian and epic power pools; and the short-lived Calvin Scott Task Force (3!), which was enjoyable. Some of the other Issues brought more important features, but I could not pick one that finished what was missing at release (adding levels 40-50 (twice!), giving heroes the villain content, maybe revamping zones).