Railing deaths aren't always good

16th June 2008 – 1.47 pm

One of the problems in City of Villains about being a Mastermind in charge of robots, instead of just my own actions, is that a certain amount of finessing and care is required in ordering the robots what to do. There generally isn't a problem until a mistake is made, but there are occasions when the situation gets unintentionally out of hand.

I was again running missions against Arachnos troops, for some reason having apparently taken a path to fight my own kind some time ago, and found myself in a base where I was to find Dr Aeon, or Egon, or maybe both. I was having trouble keeping up with the clues in-between blasting the daylights out of anything that moved. This particular base was multi-levelled, but as it was a cave system there were metal staircases connecting floors and not the rather more civilised lift systems used in buildings.

The staircases offered excellent opportunities for railing deaths, particularly when my abilities as well as those of my robot pals include chances of knockback. The problems start when a knockback effect causes a railing fall without death. Having given my robots the 'kill' command and with the target a floor or two below them my loyal 'bots pursue the wounded target, leaping down after him with their super-leap ability. Unfortunately, the target is not the only body on the lower levels, as there are more mobs loitering down there.

Quite why someone would get shot by a robot, fall two stories, then run back up past his colleagues without raising the alarm is not really my concern. In fact, it suits me just fine. But my robots get spotted by everyone as they jump past, and I soon find myself with three or four groups of mobs alerted to my presence that I need to defeat because someone took a spill over a railing. With a bit of concern for the literal mind of the 'bots, as well as some presence of mind for the state of the fight, I can keep my robots close to me and not rushing headlong in to more trouble than we can manage.

It is certainly much more of a risk in a multi-levelled environment than a flat landscape, although consecutive knockbacks can push a foe far enough away to find him next to some of his buddies who are then alerted to my appearance too. If I can, I try to get myself on the other side of the foes from my robots and use my own knockback effect to play a game of ping-pong, with the enemy as the ball.

The mission I was on let me test out my new configuration of robots, with the battle drones now being a fulling complement of three 'bots but two levels weaker than me. It seems that the strength-in-numbers strategy for the Mastermind is still the case, which shouldn't be a surprise even if my minions are now a little weaker overall. The boss I encountered in the mission was tough, and turned up to the fight when one of his underlings was violenty thrown past him unexpectedly, so I had to improvise a little at the start. I ended up losing one battle drone quite early, which I resummoned, upgraded and shielded, then my protector 'bot went to silicon heaven, so I resummoned Buttercup, and then another battle drone spilt his oil everywhere, and again I got him back.

As the cool-down on the resummoning is a minute or so, although with separate summoning powers for the battle drone and protector 'bot, that gives a good impression of how drawn out the fight was with the boss. I also had to use over half of my inspirations to keep myself and my 'bots going, but I prevailed eventually. It was a tough fight with a fair bit of attrition, and certainly challenging. It was made this way in part by my increased notoriety and I think I prefer it to be as challenging as it was instead of perhaps not presenting much danger were I not quite as notorious.

By the end of my villainous weekend, which culminated in my ignoring a journalist's plea to let them stay on the air and I instead destroyed all their generators as my contact instructed, I reached threat level 19.

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