After seeing Melmoth's Brute wreak havoc at the weekend in City of Villains, mostly by running through the carnage in his wake simply trying to keep up with him, I was in awe. The destructive power and speed with which the mobs were flattened was mind-blowing. I reasoned that what was going on would probably make sense if I had been introduced to the archetype and playing-style gradually, but seeing it for the first time at this level was like being shown the lobby scene from The Matrix without any context. There was a lot of noise and flashing lights, bodies were flying everywhere, but don't ask me for details of any specific event. The urge to find out just what occurred was so strong that I had only one option: I created my own Brute.
The first obstacle to overcome was the character creation process. The sheer wealth of options available in the costume creator makes it flexible, there is no doubt, but without having in-depth knowledge of the available options and how they work together it is difficult to plan a detailed costume. It's made more difficult when you are lacking a character concept. I fiddled with a few options, before finding that I could create a face that closely resembles that of a gnome in World of Warcraft, and that handily fitted with my initial choice of a short, huge body. Picking out a smart suit with the idea of it being incongruous with most villains gave me the serendipitous push of inspiration that I needed to find a complete concept.
I present The Micro-manager!
He's short, balding, and will look over your shoulder telling you exactly where to click with your mouse. Now that's a supervillain to hate.
I break The Micro-manager out of gaol and get dropped in to the Rogue Isles. I quickly get to work trying to get to the bottom of why the TPS reports don't have the new cover sheet attached. I gain some quick levels, picking up a couple of new powers, which have satisfying fiery effects and explosions, and test the capabilities of the Brute. Smashing my way through not-so-innocent bystanders, who hadn't filed a status update for ten whole minutes, I see a bunch of eight mobs loitering nearby. Normally I wouldn't meddle with so many mobs by myself, but they are no doubt hanging around the water cooler talking about last night's popular TV show. This has to be stopped before the whole company is brought to a standstill!
I run in to the middle of them, startling them with my managerial prowess, and my fiery fists of memo-writing pound them in to submission. Each victim that falls before me is only lowering productivity and that makes me more furious! I hit harder and harder until they are all ready to pick up their P45. Seeing a Longbow lieutenant nearby, apparently taking a crafty fag break, I race up to him with all my pent-up rage, and I two-shot him in to coming in on Saturday. I then head back to my office to send out a few hundred e-mails with return-receipts turned on.
This was a powerful introduction to the Brute archetype, although it is my experience that the early levels of games tend to make the player feel invulnerable whatever the class. If I can find the time, I'm looking forward to playing The Micro-manager more. I hope the experience really will turn out to be like The Matrix and not 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the onset of flashing lights and bright colours only makes things more confusing, and I end up in bed aged and wondering what the hell has happened to me.