Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More Tales from the City (I Haz Jetpack!)

It seems that gas is over Four Bucks a Gallon down in California. Found this out in passing on someone else's blog. Didn't find out about it from the newspapers or TV, where they probably sent it to same dark place that they put news about the War in Iraq or the Writer's Strike.

But that really doesn't matter, because I Haz Jetpack!

OK, more City of Heroes stuff. When I was "let go" by CoH (the program upgraded to the point that my year-old machine could not handle it, leaving me with pictures of people's shadows on the screen), they had just added a CB Radio feature. Which is interesting from a storytelling point of view.

In CoH, most of the story is driven through missions, which consist of "Go talk to Contact X". You fight your way across the city (fighting purse-snatchers and zombie vivisectionists) to get to Contact X, and he gives you a couple missions, usually of the "Go beat up Y Vivisectionists" or "Go into this warehouse and beat up what's there"). After two or three missions, the contact/mission-giver gives you a new contact, and you continue the process.

So the CB Radio is a wrinkle on this - instead you have the mission-giver with you. You click it to find out what's happening, which is usually of the "Go into this warehouse and beat up what's there" variety. But after about three of these, there is a "special timed mission" that pops up (which I had not heard of, and my co-workers who understood were out to lunch). So I accept it, and then proceeded to muddle through something new.

First off, I went to the place I was supposed to go, but did not realize I had to click on the local police van in order to start the mission. Then I had to "protect the bank" which means I had to find the bank on the map. As I approached, the bank was being robbed (more vivisectionists - guys with skull masks in lab smocks that create zombies), and the first supervillain I've seen.

Now this is important - most of the "bosses" so far have been just another military guy or gang leader or robot. This was a chance to fight other spandex. I was unprepared and got killed, but had the "awaken" tchotchie that allows me to rez (resurrect) in place. So I get back and defeat the bad guy before he escapes the bank.

And then I am given fifteen minutes to run around the instanced area just beating up hoodlums for bonus points (and on occasion, extra time). At one point the phrase "key found" sprung up, which meant nothing to me, as did the various trucks, crates and cardboard boxes which I could not interact it. The timer gave the mission a little more intensity, but I had no clear idea what I was doing or if I was doing it right (and yeah, I DO read the text - that's part of the job).

But when I got out, I had a jetpack for about two hours of game time, which is sweet.

A jetpack is good at low levels because some of the better class of bad guy are on the top of buildings, and lacking flight, you have to run all the way up fire escapes to get there. And sometimes you get there and there is no one there. Jetpacks make checking out rooftops fun.

They also a good combat thing is that you get agro on a bunch of rooftop robots (get agro = get close enough to them that they attack you), then land on the street. Robots follow you, jumping off the tall building and taking damage as they fall. You are now fighting half-damaged robots, making the fight shorter. Stupid robots.

So right now I am spending all my time jetting around with my new temporary toy, and have to figure out how to get another one when the battery wears out. In the meantime, I Haz Jetpack!

More later,