There’s very few games that allow you to be the bad guy, let alone an MMO! NCsoft is back again with a stand alone sequel to their popular City of Heroes game, and we are here to determine whether it’s worth the monthly fee!
Techgage: Ahh, so this may be one of the few times when people could rightfully complain about a game having too much content! Ok, when I was playing the game, I was earning lots of cash. I quickly realized though, that I didn’t really have anything to buy with it. Is there a real economy in this game?
Friggin’ Taser: CoH/CoV are designed to a fault to avoid the trappings of a “Player-based” economy. There is a really well defined in-game economy based mainly around buying enhancements to enhance your powers. Essentially, everything a player would ever need to enhance themselves is available for a price via the game’s Quartermasters. The early days of City of Heroes featured people attempting to make a player-based economy, but all it really amounted to was higher level players fleecing lower level players for in-game influence.
Techgage: Do you find that the lack of an economy takes away from any of the gameplay though?
Friggin’ Taser: Not at all. It actually leads to a pretty comic book-y set-up. A normal player probably won’t be rolling in enough influence/infamy to fully stock himself with brand new enhancements until level 30, around the time when really start to come into your own as a hero/villain. Before then, there are times where you might be in a bind for that new enhancement you just have to have, so you still have that aspect to work towards.
Techgage: On the topic of character enhancements, what are your views on character progression? Do you find that it takes a while to get where you want to be, and does it give you a real sense of accomplishment once you get there?
Friggin’ Taser: City of Villains handles character progression pretty well. The first 10 levels are pretty dedicated to you repaying Arachnos for breaking you out of jail by being their lackey. Around level 10, you start to become your own villain, reeking havoc across Cap au Diable’s Aeon City, which screams Metropolis. At level 10, you are on the level of a Toad or a Turner D Century, a villain but not an unstoppable one. Then you progression through down and dirty mafia levels in your 20s. The 30s are actually a strange mix. There’s two zones for this level: Saint Martial gives you the dark and gritty villain missions, stuff a Bullseye-like character would do. Nerva gives you the more standard supervillain stuff along with a slew of Heroes to defeat.
Techgage: I am one of the oddballs who loves MMO games, but also loves the ability to solo. That being said, is this a game that a lone player could jump in and play, or is soloability just not an option here?
Friggin’ Taser: I think the devs are making great strides in making sure solo players always have the option to fight on solo. Not everything in CoH/CoV can be solo’d, but with newspaper missions and PvP zone missions, there’s at least a never ending well of missions that should be cake for the solo villain.
Techgage: Well that being said, my earlier levels in the game seemed a tad boring due to the fact that the quests were identical. Do quests in general get more interesting as time goes by?
Friggin’ Taser: They sure do. By around level 6, you start getting full story arcs dealing with multiple villain and hero groups.
Techgage: After being a player with both CoH and CoV for so long, is there anything in the game you’d change if you had the power?
Friggin’ Taser: If I were in control of City of Heroes/City of Villains, I’d add a few pet idea zones of my own (Specifically a winter themed zone for heroes). But the main thing I’d bring to the table would be a personal nemesis system. Something where, at the beginning of the game, you run into a character on the other side of the tracks. And, throughout the game, you continue to bump into and fight each other. Something similar is in Pokemon, but I think CoH/CoV was made for it. Supposedly this is in the works, but there’s no telling when it’ll hit the game.
Thanks a bunch to Friggin’ Taser for a great interview, I had a blast chatting to you about the game. Shout out to his supergroup Carl and Sons on the Pinnacle server!