Zoso and Melmoth have hooked me up to join them on the US servers for City of Heroes. The timing has worked out really well. I picked up the boxed game cheaply and got it working under Crossover Games for Mac, ironing out the showstopping wrinkles, and now I am using a trial account to team up with my friends. This comes just as my free month's play from buying the game ends, which lets me cancel my unused subscription to the EU servers. To continue to play on the US server I'll need to buy the game again, which sounds like a waste of money, but as a month's subscription is $15 and the game is also $15 and comes with a month's free play time it works out not costing any more.
Despite the game being four years old there is renewed interest because of the latest update that has just been released, giving more options for character creation and new areas to explore. Something like that, I'm still a complete newbie and am happy to have a whole new world to explore. I have 'moved' my blaster hero Sue Purr to the Victory server, where she will have to start building up her crime-fighting reputation again, but my time is mostly spent being a super-villain in the underworld of City of Villains at the moment. Not knowing much about the villain archetypes myself, Melmoth suggested the Mastermind, saying they were 'similar to warlocks'. That was all I needed to hear, so I created Magnet Magnetson, a Mastermind in control of robots.
The game suggests that these villains are 'perhaps the most complex archetypes to play' because of their minions, but having been an epic warlock in World of Warcraft I have found them quite comfortable to jump in to. Of course, only having one robot to control to start with makes things easier, but I was giggling like a schoolgirl when I hit threat level six and summoning Fluffy, my first robot, caused a second, Snowflake, to turn up by its side. The second 'bot is still quite manageable, although I may have more trouble when I get several more as I increase in threat level.
The main problem with multiple 'bots is that they disappear whenever I cross zones, which means I have to summon them again. Except it's not the summoning that is the problem, as it's as simple as using a single power to get them back, it is that I then have to upgrade each one by using another power and then buff them with the shields that I fortuitously chose as a secondary power, all of which takes a bit of time and coordination. Having to do this each time I change zone gets a little boring, and this assumes that my power to summon 'bots isn't on cool-down, which could happen if I zone quickly. And if it's a little tedious for me then imagine what it's like for team-mates, who have to stand around sipping tea whilst I get Fluffy and Snowflake back up and combat-ready every time we enter a building.
Yes, I teamed up at last! Melmoth and Zoso and I ran around wherever super-villains run around, wreaking havoc and beating up the good guys. No rescuing people or foiling bank robberies for us, we were kidnappers and bank robbers! The number of mobs facing us as a team of three was a little overwhelming to start with, and the action was always hectic, but even with a couple of defeats we managed to succeed with all our nefarious deeds in the end.
I'm still experimenting with how best to fight with my 'bots, at the moment sticking with each one tanking different mobs whilst I keep another out of range with my knockback power that seems to recharge just as the mob manages to stand up again, although it may be better to have them concentrate fire on single targets. I'm sorry to say that I was concentrating too hard on keeping my 'bots active and making sure everyone was shielded from danger to notice too much what Melmoth and Zoso were doing in combat, but it was certainly hard to miss the area-of-effect immobilisations. City of Villains certainly is a frantic game, and awfully enjoyable because of it.