The Malicious Magnet Magnetson

29th May 2008 – 7.21 am

I cranked up Magnet Magnetson's notoriety in City of Villains from Villainous to Malicious, the next level up, making missions a little more difficult to complete. It's not that I have anything to prove or am trying to be hard-core, but I was running through missions a bit too easily. When people used to joke about warlocks in World of Warcraft being too powerful in the raid chat I quipped 'I once went AFK in Blackwing Lair with my demon on aggressive, and when I came back the instance was cleared'. At the lowest and default notoriety setting I could accept any interruption to my game-playing—answering the telephone, front door, call of nature—confident that Magnet was in no danger, even without an auto-attack. With my robots on their aggressive setting they would fire on any mobs close by, taking the aggro off me, and defeat them easily.

Seeing as how no one calls me on the telephone, I get no visitors, and I am grown-up enough to hold it in, my interruptions are generally limited to my kitty climbing on to the desk wanting to find out how I am getting on in the game, and helping out with any jumping I need to do. I think he enjoys City of Villains more than World of Warcraft, although maybe he'd prefer I played a spellcaster than rogue in the latter. But even with the occasional unplanned jumping spree I am free to crank up the difficulty a notch. Running through each mission and blasting the living snot out of everything in sight has its attraction, but doing the same thing whilst also being in a little danger of being defeated is rather more appealing. With my increased notoriety I feel completing the missions successfully is now more dependent on my being sat in front of the keyboard, and isn't as assured with a spacebar-focussed kitty taking my place.

Changing my notoriety certainly has had the desired effect. I am no longer waltzing through each mission with gay abandon, instead conning each group of mobs to help take them down efficiently before I engage them rather than wading in and sorting out the kill-order dynamically. I was even defeated, my first solo defeat! It was an ambush, with four minions and a lieutenant hiding behind a sewer doorway, obscured so they couldn't be seen or conned in advance. They were Circle of Thorns, with some of their members being more resistant to my knockback attack. I was hit quite hard, all three 'bots were reduced to scrap and I couldn't escape. A quick trip to the hospital saw me fit again, and I returned to defeat that group on a second pass.

But I didn't mind being defeated, it makes the game more interesting to know that I have control over my destiny and I am not walking a predetermined path. Indeed, the game crashed and I had to run the instanced mission again. The second time I encountered that ambush, and it remained an ambush as I still couldn't target or con the mobs before enountering them, I prevailed on the first attempt, although the slightly different combination of mob-types probably helped.

The relative power of the Mastermind archetype was revealed to me again during a mission. The final boss had a mesmerising, or 'mez', effect, and I was put to sleep a couple of times during the combat. It's possible that damage would have woken me up, but I didn't find out as the boss was too busy dealing with my robots. That's another consequence of having myself and some henchman instead of just running solo. I've been incapacitated, as have my 'bots on occasion, yet there are still more robots to continue the fight. Slept, webbed, destroyed, at the moment it just removes or hinders a quarter of my abilities not my entire arsenal, and the fight continues.

I am maliciously completing missions and having fun!

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