A more stable City of Heroes Mac

14th May 2008 – 6.44 am

The tweaks I made to the video settings in City of Heroes have led to a massive improvement in stability when running the game using Crossover Games. Instead of spending half my time waiting for the game to reload I am blasting villains in Paragon City. I still get the occasional crash, but so far I've been able to play for at least half-an-hour at a time, and even up to an hour, and I exited the game last night normally. A crash here and there isn't too much of a problem, particularly considering the contiguous game time I get in-between crashes. It's a little frustrating when the game crashes just after I kill the boss-man in an instanced mission and reloading finds him and some minions to be still alive, but that just means more XP. I made another tweak to the settings too. As I was getting crashes when managing enhancements it didn't seem likely to be a purely graphics-based problem, so I decided to change the audio setting from 'performance' to 'compatibility' to see if that helps.

As cool as Pam O'Frost is, I've been playing Sue Purr since I improved the stability of the installation. Pam's abilities to chill and slow targets to reduce their attack speed and accuracy are neat, and being a villain is kind of fun, but Sue Purr's knockback powers make for more synergistic combat. Targets are not just slowed but actively prevented from attacking when knocked-back, and all the powers Sue has work together really well. The recharge times on the two frostbolts work well together, the frost wave that can affect multiple targets is great to take out minions, and when someone gets too close I have my energy punch to damage the mob as well as knock him away from me.

I also found out that the long-range sniper shot attack has an advantage over just being long-range and high-damage. Because it has a much longer range than my other attacks, if I use it from the full distance away to attack a mob any other mobs in the same pack don't aggro. Only the mob I hit with the sniper attack starts coming for me, and I am able to shoot him with normal ranged attacks when he gets closer. Combined with the large damage from the sniper shot the mob rarely gets to attack me before he is defeated. I can then repeat for each mob in the pack. I think this relies on the sniper shot hitting the target though, with a miss pulling the group, and I only really tried this in an instance.

Sue Purr is now 9.5 and gaining XP quickly. I would like to write that I am getting the hang of everything, but as it generally takes me about fifty levels before I know what I am doing I'll just note instead that I'm having a blast. I have a vague idea of what's going on, I think I have the hang of enhancements, and inspirations are less mysterious. I have a full inventory of salvage and my last mission snagged me a recipe. I think I need to be tenth level before I can make use of it though. I really didn't pay enough attention to the tutorial, thinking I could just wing it, and it's lucky I created a villain and decided to read the tutorial text the second time through. I may even brave joining a team soon.

  1. 4 Responses to “A more stable City of Heroes Mac”

  2. I may even brave joining a team soon.

    A word of warning, then. I may be stating the obvious here, what with you having been the rather awesome tank in all of our WoW adventures, but knock-back in CoH makes melee classes go "HULK SMASH", and not in a useful or constructive way. Using it correctly, to knock enemies away from yourself and other squishy archetypes back towards the melee characters, will make you the darling of the knock-back teaming circuit.

    As I said, apologies if this is obvious, but I still meet people who blast every mob away from my melee character and think that it's all a jolly good laugh (and I'm sure that I've done it to others in the past).

    By Melmoth on May 14, 2008

  3. Yes, it's something to be aware of, thank you, and easy to overlook when playing mostly solo. Unfortunately, it seems that every attack I can currently perform, except for my puny mutation putty of minor skin irritation, has at least some chance of causing knockback.

    I'm not sure how to deal with that. Maybe it means I deal with a mob of my own, or work as secondary crowd control, or if I should be more aware when I next get to choose a new power to get something more team-friendly just in case.

    I have no idea how teams work in CoH, and after my disastrous introductions to team-play in WoW after playing solo I will keen to note the differences in required playing styles between solo and teams.

    By pjharvey on May 14, 2008

  4. Maybe it means I deal with a mob of my own, or work as secondary crowd control

    A bit of both, I'd say. You're still DPS, so it'd be unfair for you to not be able to enjoy blasting away. Perhaps the best advice I would offer is to avoid the mass AoE, PBAOE etc. powers which send every single mob on the map flying in all seven dimensions of space, time and hilarity. Picking on a single mob and knocking them about the map never seems to be a problem, as far as I've worked out.

    I have no idea how teams work in CoH

    The easiest way to describe it is controlled chaos. When you first experience it, it'll look just like pure chaos, and hence where the temptation to use knock-back AoE with wild abandon kicks in. I know that's how I felt, at least. If you use your experience from WoW you'll quickly see how the thing is controlled. There are still tanks, and healers and such, it's just that the lines are more blurred than in WoW.

    I'm glad to see that you're playing solo first, for the sake of your sanity really: coming straight into the game from WoW and joining a team would probably be a bit of a shock. I think we probably made Van Hemlock cry just a little bit with our crazy "destroy everything at warp factor one!" tactics, but as far as I'm concerned that's just the CoH way!

    I'm glad to see that you're enjoying the game; I hope you get into some good teams, because that takes it to a whole new level of awesome.

    By Melmoth on May 14, 2008

  5. Thanks for the advice.

    Running around as a blaster might be giving me a feel of destroying everything at warp factor one, as the abilities refresh pretty quickly and I have powers and bodies flying all over the place. The rapid replenishment of powers also allows for almost no downtime between fights, which is just how I like it.

    By pjharvey on May 15, 2008

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