October 15, 2011

Remembering City of Villains -- The Faction Oft Forgot.

I still have sometime before I get swallowed up for a day or two by Deus Ex: Missing Link DLC, so I figured I will sit back and talk about a few things conversely in City of Heroes. Namely game play and content and what should have happened. Of course, my view is objectivist, but I know it is a view that many others share or have shared in the past and I still feel as strongly as I did about them in the past as I do now.

Now the first thing I want to get out of the way is something I touched on quite a bit in my last review of City of Heroes, and that's the graphics. I don't care what anyone says, they look like shit, and Paragon should have been spending all that time at least upgrading and updating the poly count and textures. Seriously, those ancient models need to be replaced. I don't personally care if they don't add more costume locations or change the sliders much past what they can do now, but this entire system of keeping everything looking like it Deus Ex 1 is just piss poor design decisions, especially since so much time was devoted to adding new graphical features such as occlusion, real time shadows and reflections and water. Saying it would be impossible or it can't be done is just one big ass lying bullshit excuse, especially considering the new textures and costume bits and character models in the game, not to mention Mythic has proven that wrong already.

That being said, let's get to the heart of what is on my mind concerning City of Heroes, and actually it has to do realistically with City of Villains. Technically, City of Villains doesn't exist anymore, no matter what anyone says. It's currently occupying the afterthought sweepstakes spot behind City of Heroes. And despite any attempt to the contrary to say it, City of Villains actually gets as little recognition in any ads and updates as possible. Ironic considering the alignment system they aped hardcore during the Going Rogue hype train. But then again, like I said back then, I personally feel Paragon/NCSoft would get rid of City of Villains and just make them extended hero zones if they think they can get away with it.

At one time this side of the game use to actually receive some merit, but because things didn't start out like they planned, instead of actually trying to hype up that side of the game and improve upon it, they instead let it rot. Anything new that was added to City of Heroes the villain side was not allowed to actually partake in or, were just tag a long's in the overall story arc. This resulted in a lot of pissed off players and ironically the few times villains did receive anything the hero side of everything threw a basic temper tantrum saying how it was unfair, but considering how little villains actually received for the most part told us to deal with it or roll heroes.

However, that's the past and the current game is the current game but there is still a lot of things that Paragon should have done and fixed in the game as it stands today but evidently they refuse to. Namely the utter lack of game content villain side. Now, you will undoubtedly have the jackass mentality that states you can swap sides at your leisure but some people do not want to do that. It falls on the same coals as the argument to find another game from the dick heads over in Champions that are afraid of team style game play.

Many solutions have been presented and honestly, it astounds me that they still have ignored it even to this day. When the revamped Faultline zone was introduced into City of Heroes, Paragon miss-stepped so hard that they fell through the ground. This zone was perfect in setting up a competitive PvE environment and many people agreed with that, except for the asshats who felt that it would ruin their immersion which they could never honestly give one legitimate reason to actually back up on.

There were many ways to handle such things to give villains more content without having o invent new zones, it just boils down to the fact that the devs were lazy and rather listen to the minority instead of actually making the underdeveloped game side actually be competitive, content wise. Even to this day City of Villains has a glaring lack of content, and things like the Shadow Shard, the Warzones, and Faultline should have been opened up to them, but for whatever reason was decided they shouldn't.

It's one of those Greek style tragedies and of course Paragon probably trying to just sweep the entire affair under the rug. The fact they aped alignment shifting in Going Rogue seems to be their laughingly pathetic excuse to rectify the actual problem to.

In the end a lot should have been done. City of Heroes still suffers from the fact it caters too much to one faction and it shocks me when things are actually done in favor of villains. In fact, there is an actual bit of displeasure, from what I have been reading, that villains have actually been getting the benefit of the new story arc in the game. Rather impresses me. Even to the point that I've also heard that it's a boggle that some heroes even debate going villain side to get patron powers. But honestly, it really isn't even that much of a choice since going villain side is a temporary thing and can be rectified after only a few days.

There's a lot that needs to be changed in City of Heroes, honestly. But I doubt much will for a while, if at all. The games dated even if some people try to hold on like it's the best thing evar to happen.

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