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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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City Of Heroes Issue 13 Examined
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Boomtown has posted a review of the features offered in the latest City of Heroes update, Issue 13. The latest additions to the game include customizable shields, the pain domination power for villains, changes to PvP, and the introduction of day jobs for heroes.

First of all you can now create shield based toons and villains have finally received a empathy-like powerset, Pain domination, which despite not being quite as sinister and adult-themed as the name implies, still fills a gap. The shield set comes with tons of customizable shields and after the initial rush of Captain America look-a-likes (which were banned faster than you can say "Avengers Assemble!") the creativity of the players is amazing. You rarely see the same shield twice.

The Shield set itself is interesting but not quite as team-based as feared, skilled players can push it to the same limits as the other scrapper sets. It includes some very interesting buffs depending on whether youíre close to enemies and/or allies and especially brutes and scrappers benefit a lot from its offensive capabilities. Tank wise it doesnít feel strong enough to compete with the Stone or Willpower sets.

The Pain Domination set is a very nice asset for villain teams providing the first empathy like healing abilities on the villain side without ruining the concept of "villains are too evil to heal each other" too much. The powers show that the developer has learned many tricks in the past four years, as it has included small buffs and penalties that force the player to use that gray mass between the ears. Visually the set is very nicely done and gives the player a distinct look. Itís a very team based class, though, and if youíre an aggressive solo player, you can find much more powerful sets in the game. But the same can be said about empaths.

Issue 13 introduced the biggest change ever to Player Versus Player action with powers working very differently from standard PVE gameplay. Since I am not a PVPer myself, I cannot rate that part of the new Issue, but it doesnít seem to have reached the developer's goal, namely to increase the number of players enjoying the PVP part of the game. Thatís just my own subjective impression, though, I donít have specific numbers to base that impression on.

The final major change has been the introduction of day jobs. NCsoft taps into the lore surrounding super heroes that they have a secret identity, normal jobs and normal human problems. In the game you can now choose to log off at a vast number of places that provide you with a day job Ė for example in shops, in the universities or in the train stations. Each day job provides you with a small bonus such as faster travel speed or a mission XP increase. On top of that you now get a 50 % XP bonus while you are logged off, much like "rested XP" in certain other games.
For the full review click over to the link below.

Boomtown: City Of Heroes Issue 13
City of Heroes
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