City of Heroes


This is just a random collection of observations, essays, and general stupidity about my experiences in City of Heroes.

Blizz Ard and Rits on copier
On Being a Hero
1. Names
Heroes are supposed to be kind and help people. Having names with words like "killer", "destroyer", or "slayer" in them can confuse citizens. Granted, if it is something like "Killer of Evil", it makes a bit more sense, but it still doesn't sound like the kind of person who would rescue a kitten stuck in a tree. And for goodness sake, put a little thought into your names... if you are a controller with mental powers, for example, don't take a hero name such as "Mental Controller."
2. Costumes
Costumes are a wonderful way to express your creativity and make you stand out. They can also be a way to make ordinary citizens run away screaming, thinking that an invasion force from the Rogue Isles has arrived. Spikes, skulls, and rotting flesh tend to invoke images of evil, even if that is not the case. If you are a mutant or if you come from a dimension of demons or the like, then you will have an extra challenge in keeping people from running away from you. The good folks at Icon should be able to offer some advice to keep you from looking like a zombie citizen slayer.
3. Attitude
Heroes help people. Being a rude sniveling little jerk is not part of the deal. Too many times I have seen people asking questions only to receive snide responses in return, such as telling a new hero that the trainer is located next to a giant monster. "Please" and "thank you" are also wonderful phrases to learn, even if you aren't a hero. Suggesting various orifices where an autograph-seeker can put his or her pen is also an inappropriate response for a hero. Stop to have your picture taken with or by a citizen when you can. It may seem bothersome to you, but it could be the memory of a lifetime for them.

Learn to connect with the citizens of Paragon City and remember that they are the reason for your job, not an interuption of it. Take a run through the streets once an a while and help that little old lady get her purse back. It will make you both happy, and you also get the bonus of crushing some thugs that gave you fits when you were a new hero.
4. Catch-phrases and puns
This is a controversial topic, but I thought I'd mention it because it's one of my favorites. I've always thought that a hero should have a catch-phrase (usually in the form of a battle cry), or be able to conjure up a witty comment even in the heat of battle. What better way to drain the tension than observing, for example, that an angry Longbow member would be a Crossbow, while you are fighting some powerful arch-villain? It can also have the added effect of distracting said villain and providing an opening for a teammate to get in a good punch. Just be aware that not everyone takes kindly to puns... I have the rock-induced bruises to prove it.
5. Sidekicks
Teaching is a wonderful way to help shape the next generation of heroes. Be on your best behavior, for these impressionable young minds will soak up your teachings like a sponge. This is a great responsibility, so do not take it lightly. Resist the temptation to have your sidekick fetch you a tall double-espresso mocha latte with steamed skim milk and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese every morning. Washing your car, scratching your back, and clipping your toenails is also considered inappropriate behavior to expect of your sidekick.
6. Earn your keep
A begging hero is one of the most pathetic things you can see. Don't beg people for influence or items. There are plenty of missions where you can earn these things, and you get the satisfaction of keeping the city safe at the same time. If you are just in this for the influence or to have the most toys, then you should just hang up your cape now and go away. There's nothing wrong with helping friends and others who are genuinely in need, but random heroes who beg me for money are usually told that I left it in a mission, and they can go in there to retrieve it if they want it.
7. Enjoy the journey
So many heroes these days just want to get to security level 50 as quickly as possible. Forget the powerleveling and take your time to enjoy the journey. Talk to the citizens, read the history plaques in the city, explore the various parts of Paragon City, and understand the missions you are undertaking. Paragon City has a rich culture and history, with each section contributing its own unique part of the story. Taking your time also has the added bonus of allowing you to understand your powers and how best to use them in various situations.
Blizz Ard getting picture taken

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Ode to Malta

Oh, Malta, oh, Malta, how I hate thee so
Fighting you makes my blood pressure grow.
With your men in black and their sapper guns
To your stupid grenades with their ten hour stuns.

Gunglingers that shoot to kill
Fighting you against my will.
When I die, it's all your fault-a
Have I mentioned that I hate Malta?

If you give up your criminal ways
I will be happy and dance for days.
I still complain and I still fret
Even though I get badges for debt.

Mission Architect Tips

By now most, if not all of you, have experienced the Mission Architect. Though I still harbor this nagging feeling that Aeon Corporation secretely encased some malicious scheme into the code base (mind control, perhaps?), it has proven to be quite enjoyable. I've played some very creative missions, rich with plot, characters, and exciting battles. Unfortunately, most of the random missions I play are a far cry from that. Bearing that in mind, I'd like to offer some tips for those aspiring authors out there.

1. Ninjas
No, No, NO, NOOO!!!! Did I mention no? We need more ninjas in missions about as much as we need to see Britney Spears and Paris Hilton get a reality show together. Now, I don't have anything against ninjas, per se, they are quite fascinating and deadly warriors. The trouble is that they've come to represent a quick, cheap enemy to use in a mission. Please spend a little more time making your enemies. Even one of the stock enemy groups would work fine.
2. Plot
Stories are good. They don't have to be anything fancy, but give me a reason why I should spend time playing your mission. I have no problem if it's silly, just so long as it has some consistency. Don't tell me that I'm going to fight grand battles against some intriguing enemy, only to find out that it's some farm mission with unrelated characters doing nothing in particular but standing around punching their fists.
3. Farming
I'm not a fan of the farming missions, but I also realize that some people like them. All I ask is that you at least have the courtesy to say it's a farming mission in the description. Don't waste my time describing some great adventure when in truth it's just a map full of bosses and 66 objects to destroy.
4. Character profiles
Make them. Please! Nothing is more disappointing than seeing a very well-designed character with a profile that reads, "Lieutenants are more powerful than minions..." *sigh* You don't have to write a novel about each character, but at least say something about them.
5. Maps
While the street map with the carnie tents is interesting, please be aware that there are many other maps from which to choose.
6. Testing
This may seem like an obvious statement, but you should test your missions before you publish them. I'm not going to mark someone down for the occasional typo (there's probably a few on this page), but it's very distracting when simple things in a mission don't work. Sometimes a mission cannot be completed because of a bugged map or something out of your control, but I get very disappointed when I can't finish because someone didn't take the time to check that everything worked. As an additional inticement for testing... you can get badges for it!

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Base Ownership

It doesn't matter how much prestige a supergroup has, because apparently, all our base are belong to someone else.

All your base are belong to us!

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Badges I'd like to see
You're not sure who is more confuzzled, Fusionette, for continuing to get captured, or you, for rescuing her 100 times.
You've spent over 200 hours trying to stack items in the Supergroup base editor.
You have shown what a ripoff the markets have become by spending a total of 100,000,000 influence/infamy more than what things were really worth.
You gained 30 levels' worth of experience from the Mission Architect. Go and see the rest of the city!
Your badge obsession has resulted in 1,000 badges! See if you can fit them all on one sash.
You have used the portal in Ouroboros 1,000 times... but have you actually done any of the missions there?
Fashion snob
You have changed your costume 200 times. Full-length mirrors FTW!
You have completed 500 Malta missions, making you a true glutton for punishment.
You have been hit by 10,000 rocks. Don't worry, there no permanent is damage green frisbee onion shoes.
You have been huggled 1,000 times. It's good to be loved.
You have spent over 1,000 hours AFK.
You have completed all the Shadow Shard Task Forces. You have petitioned the Paragon Transit Authority to build some light rails there.
You've heard DJ Zero's song 500 times and still don't know what he's saying.

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Eochai is real!

Run for your lives! Save the cookies!

Eochai is real!

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Sister Psyche at her best

From the City of Heroes comics #4.

Sister Psyche

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Snowbeasts are real!

Hide the cookies and run for your lives!

Snow beast

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