Saist (saist) wrote,

The -R- Files

I originally wrote this for Blogger... however... the content is fairly... well. I complain a lot. So I'm shoving it here since I don't really feel good about this post.

Ouch. I've been horrible about updating this blog with any sort of content. I have a couple of new guides cooking, one of which is a follow-up to the wireless guide. will also shortly be pointing to However, since MepisLovers is being moved to a new server... no hard links for now

Anyways, I kinda wanted to talk about City of Heroes again. I'm sitting on about 21 pictures from a task force I was on, that I'd love to post... but I'm not sure it would be right. I've used and this blog in the past to out particular trolls, so there's little precedent for me holding back on blasting somebody. For example, Panther Pink Ink Man, a controller illusionist / empath that I associated with on a recent Statesman's Task Force. This particular avatar has his controller's powers set for what's known as PvP-Spec.

For those who have even read a portion of this blog, it's obvious that I'm biased against PvP in games like CoH. PvP and PvE play calls for two completely different setups on powers, and from a development point, providing players with completely different classes to play makes the basics of a game impossible to balance. I've even possibly coined the term inherent imbalance to describe games like City of Heroes. Some people have taken this to mean that I'm anti-pvp. Yeah right, I gave UT3 a 9/10, and I bang on F.E.A.R. Combat so often I'm half surprised I'm not getting ad royalties from Monolith.

Back to Panther. There are certain powers in each players set that are regarded as requirements. For example, Tanks must always have their primary toggle armors and their anti-mez power. For example, a Fire Tank without Plasma Shield, or an Ice Tank without Wet Ice are builds just asking for trouble. These powers provide protection against sleep, hold, and other status effects. It is my opinion that Increase Density is one of the class defining powers for kinetics. For Empaths, required class defining powers are the Recovery Aura, the Regeneration Aura, and the Revive power. The RA's as they are called massively increase the amount of health and endurance that players recover, and the revive is self explanatory.

Panther, however, lacked all 3 powers. In fact, he didn't heal at all. Okay, no big deal, I've met several empaths, both defenders and controllers, who couldn't keep up with healing the team. Panther took it to a whole other level.

For those who haven't done the Statesman Task Force it is a series of challenges with several high level arch-villains. The first mission alone starts with a level 51 arch-villain. The lowest level arch-villain encountered is the often level 50 Circle of Thorns Thorn Tree, which is the arch-villain used to anchor the Re-specification Task Forces on the villain side.
The Thorn Tree itself is at the end of a long tunnel, and the desired procedure is for a player to stealth the tunnel, then teleport the rest of the team to the tree. This takes less time than having to fight through the tunnels. Upon entering the Thorn Tree's room, players find that the tree is surrounded by several high level mobs of Circle of Thorns enemies, as well as regenerating vines. On a full team players have to destroy 88 of these vines. Until the vines are destroyed, the Thorn Tree itself cannot be affected by players, although it can affect players with high damage attacks.

Ergo, the typical procedure in the Thorn Tree mission is to kill the Circle of Thorns enemies surrounding the tree, assault the vines, then take the tree in order to minimize the amount of possible damage. On most teams the players stick together as the Circle of Thorns enemies are cleared.

Not Panther. Almost as soon as the team started clearing the Circle of Thorns enemies surrounding the tree, Panther left the group and went back into the tunnel and starting trying to lure enemies in the tunnel out to attack the vines. His reason? So he could start on the vines and have some down before we started our assault. Doesn't sound that bad does it? Well, the reason the team leader had grabbed Panther is that Panther was an empath, and we were sort of counting on heals... that weren't coming. So, not only did we have to contend with the enemies around the tree, we had to contend with the enemies Panther was luring, without Panthers heals and buffs... which he didn't have.

The point of attacking the Thorn Tree in the story is that players need a special debuff from the Thorn Tree in order to take down the next major arch-villain, Dr. Aeon. Because Dr. Aeon can spawn multiple elite boss copies of himself, in addition to delivering heavy damage on his own, the task of delivering the thorn tree's special debuff is given to the teams tank. As our teams stone tank went to get the debuff power, held in a glowing object, Panther darted in, and grabbed it instead. His reason? Because he was "cool like that."

Okay. Recap. Our empath isn't healing. He isn't buffing our team. In fact, all he's done to this point is aggravate high level enemies and generally make our Task Force tougher than it already is. He's now also grabbed the debuff power for the next mission in place of the tank whose taking the damage.

We enter Dr. Aeon's hunt mission next. Again, for those who have not done a Statesman's Task Force, Dr. Aeon himself is preceded by 4 level 52 arch-villains. Panther proceeded to ask if he can go PvP in RV while we fight the arch-villains. Let me repeat that. Our healer wants to go participate in Player versus Player content in another map, on another character, while the Task Force team tries to defeat 4 high level arch-villains, with little more than O2 boost for direct heals.

That was the breaking point where the team lead and I went off on Panther Pink Ink Man. For the rest of the mission we got some decent heals, and amazingly, Panther did deliver the debuff to Dr. Aeon.

Then came the next map where there are 4 level 54 arch-villains, and Panther... disappeared... to go participate in Player versus Player content. Of course, that meant that we failed the task force. We simply didn't have enough heals to support the damage.

The point of this is not that Panther Pink Ink Man's actions support my extreme distaste of those who participate in Player versus Player content in City of Heroes. His power-set choices were next to useless on a team, and as a team, we were repeatedly dinged by Panther's lack of ability to play as a empath. I can easily justify removing the PvP zones and converting them to Co-operation zones like Rikti WarZone or Pocket D based on the personalities of those who believe that PvP in inherently imbalanced games is somehow a good thing. That isn't really the point.

That's just the setup for the -R- files.

The point of this is that I have little problem relating stories about idiot players. I'm sure I've had my moments as a blaster where somebody turned around the next day and told everybody about that bloody idjit that aggroed the whole room, or the idiot tank that kept dying. I've screwed up my own share of task forces, and if there was a badge set for causing debt on other players... I'd probably have it. I'm sure that a lot of people have played with less than desirable players over the course of many MMO's.

So... what happens when the player whose being a little dumb is a minor? What happens when I know for a fact that they have to be under 10 because during the chat they revealed they had to put on "jammers" for bed.

In most cases, I wouldn't hesitate to broadcast the name of a player who has only had the game for 5 days, hasn't done any missions, has only hunted until they hit level 10, then went on a task force to get to 15, then went on another task force... that they started... then quit that task force because it was longer than they expected and they absolutely had to get their cape that night, asked if there was any task force they could repeat that would get them all the way to 50 because they wanted to get to 50 in under 10 days, and don't care about the story content because they want to play a "WarShade for the forms." Then after they quit the task-force they can be seen in broadcast chat demanding to know why completing the tailor's mission did not unlock their cape.

I know some people are going to read that, then re-read that again, and then think something to effect of "no way". Yes. I actually ran into a player who wants to play one of the most difficult classes in the game... after having less than a months play time.

As the player went from one hilarious comment to another, I replayed the conversation into coalition chat to the near astonishment of coalie members, some of whom requested the screenshots so they could see it for themselves. So I took screenshots. 21 of them.

Thing is, I know the player is a minor. I have little doubt of that. I have little doubt that in less than a months time he'll probably be gone after he finds that playing a persistent MMO like City of Heroes requires more attention and time than he's probably going to be able to give it... and that rushing through the game's content to play one of the hardest class of archtypes is going to be painful as nobody will want to team with that avatar.

As much as I would love to post the pictures, it doesn't seem like the right thing to do. Everybody has their bad days, or bad games.
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