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Eric: On the other side of the City of Heroes equation...

...there are possibilities. For example, there's a system I actually proposed for the integration of City of Heroes and City of Villains -- an integration that doesn't actually involve Player verses Player. An integration that would happily have me owning and playing both games for years to come.

So let me repeat it here, to make my negative a positive suggestion, because... it would be so freaking cool!

From my City of Heroes board post on the subject...

...which is gone. It apparently expired. Though there's older stuff on that board.

Well, dang! I guess I recreate it here.

Here's the proposal, in a nutshell:

Players who own and subscribe to both City of Heroes and City of Villains can link one of their heroes to one of their villains. They design them both, of course, but designate the other as a Nemesis. Now, so long as the hero and villain are within three levels of each other... they actually appear in missions for the other. The hero has his villain run through stock missions based on the villain's origin type, the villain has the hero showing up in attacks. The battle cry the player designated gets used, if the character has minions they're used in the attacks. The Nemesis -- obviously run by the computer -- is appropriately leveled to be a Boss automatically.

In other words, it's still Player versus Environment, it's still automated... but the content is specific and unique to the individual character. When he teams, eventually, then other Supergroup members (leveled accordingly) might appear as Lieutenants. The same engine that allows Phantom Armies and other pets to wield the powers of others could be repurposed for your enemies -- and the need to keep within three levels to keep getting the missions would prevent players from dogging it with their characters.

Think of an ambush -- you leave a bank as a villain, and your own character and the characters from his Supergroup round the corner and attack! You're a hero, having gathered the Jewel of Hera (again), only to have your own villain character crest the hill and attack to steal it. Obviously, defeating the computer run nemesis wouldn't cause debt -- it wouldn't affect the other character at all...

...except in motivation! Damn you, Captain Napalm! This time... I WILL KILL YOU!

It would be intensely cool -- it'd be an enemy you could face through your entire career. It wouldn't need PvP and it wouldn't replace PvP (if they wanted to make a PvP "Archfoe" system for the folks into it, that'd be cool too.) And it could be done with largely repurposed code, level design and the like.

The folks at Cryptic really are good at this stuff. They could make a Nemesis system like this work. They really could.

(And, if they decided one day to put in a Secret Identity system, I'd be good with that too. I'm just saying.)

Anyway -- I've been doing some reading, and it looks like City of Villains will have one archetype that specifically commands legions of minions. So... it's clear I'll at least try it.

But I seriously hope Issue 5 has some goodness for we the altaholic casual players, still.

Seriously. You design your hero, you design their arch nemesis. Tell me that wouldn't be cool.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at June 2, 2005 10:43 PM


Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at June 3, 2005 12:27 AM

That *would* be cool. But I'm still trying to figure out how to make Curveball work in-game. No time to design a nemesis for him as well!

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at June 3, 2005 12:34 AM


Are you denying the dark evil of the Mastermind General Manager, with his evil Brute, the turgid Backstop? Can our hero survive?

(Out of curiosity, what's Curveball's archetype/power choices? It's a great name.)

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at June 3, 2005 12:52 AM

Well I'd been playing him as a FF/Psi defender, but I scrapped that. Curveball is a long-time favorite character of mine. In his true incarnation he's basically a "luck hero" -- lucky things happen to him, and he can hex his foes. He was a lot of fun to play in various Champions campaigns.

I'm not sure what the right combo is for him in CoH. AT-wise, he'd fit as either a Controller or a Defender. Powerset wise, Kinetics could work, but it was recently pointed out to me that Radiation would work better because of all the buffs and debuffs (simulating good and bad luck). None of the defender offensive sets really work, though, so I'm looking at Controller choices...

Comment from: Phil Kahn posted at June 3, 2005 2:12 AM

That would get me to play again. It seriously would.

I've been thinking about playing again though. We'll have to see how money for me pans out this summer.

Wouldn't that be fun, Eric? Forming a Supergroup, "The League of Extraordinary Critics?"

While I played, I was UberPhil. A Mutant Defender with Radiation Emission and Radiation Blast. I got to level 17 before I started to not have the time to play.

The backstory in brief was "Phil discovered his Radioactive powers when he was 14, as he has poisoned his enitre family with the radiation he emitted from his own body. Guilt stricken, he cast himself out of the city until he learned to control his powers. He returned with a vow to use his powers to save lives and fight crime as The Incomprable UberPhil!"

Yeah, I went for the X-Men angle. What can I say?

Oh here's a pic of him I took when I created him: http://www.biscuitpress.com/hoojiecrew/dump/UberPhil.jpg

Allright, I'll stop now. You just inspired so much damned nostalgia there.

Comment from: theusual posted at June 3, 2005 2:32 AM

I just started playing CoH a few months ago and I've been losing the desire to play for a few weeks. I'm a casual player who doesn't play for too long at a time, so I mostly solo (bad idea since half my alts are blasters...). I think it's a combination of not being on teams (except for the generally bad pick-up teams I end up in) and lack of time to devote to leveling up, but there's just something lacking for me.

That would all go out the window if I could create my own nemesis, though. I'd probably never stop playing if I could do that. Great idea, Eric.

Comment from: Plaid Phantom posted at June 3, 2005 3:48 AM

Tell me that wouldn't be cool.

That wouldn't...be...Gah!

Okay, yeah, that would be cool.

At least I tried.

Comment from: Forsaken_One posted at June 3, 2005 6:07 AM

It'd be good as an extra feature but I'd really love it if City of Villians was a seperate game, not an add on. Save those of us who tried CoH and weren't interested in the "hero" aspect of it some money.

Comment from: BZArcher posted at June 3, 2005 7:10 AM

Damn, that would be cool. Post it on the boards again!

Comment from: Karacan posted at June 3, 2005 8:56 AM

Hmmm... one issue I have with that, is the motivation thing.

After all, you're trying to defeat your own, beloved character - a part of your own. I don't know about the Boss-AI in City Of Heroes (I never played due to lack of trial, though I have been tempted to) but when one of my characters in, say, EverQuest, would face another one of mine, I'd probably would cry myself to sleep for *weeks* because of how the AI handled the Nemesis' abilities. Or rather, not handle them.

It's one thing to create a cool character. It's another thing to see it "p4wn3d" because of lack of ability.

I remain sceptic.

And since I'm holding out for Dungeons & Dragons Online, I won't get into CoH unless DDO disappoints me fast enough...

Comment from: Joshua posted at June 3, 2005 10:35 AM

Forsaken, CoV is going to be a stand-alone game, with villain PvE. The PvP stuff is going to be an option if you have both games.

I'm iffy on CoV myself, until I find out whether the villainy is over-the-top cartoonish supervillainy (I could totally dig being Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana), or just murderous rampages (mission: kill X police or civilians).

And Eric, your idea is indeed cool. Did you try PMing it to Statesman or Lord Recluse?

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at June 3, 2005 10:51 AM

Joshua -- in interviews, they've said that they're shooting for "Grand Evil," a la Sivana, not Imagesque Brutality. But, people are people, after all.

All I know is, if I can play Doctor Unorthodox, crafting his race of Atomic Supermen, with which he will show the world the folly of their ways -- well, despite my not being huge on Villains in the first place, I'll play it. Oh, but I'll play it.

Comment from: Canis posted at June 3, 2005 11:26 AM

Actually, Karacan, I think the "fluctuations" in character ability are entirely appropriate to the genre. Super heroes and villains are always only as capable as the plot requires. And whichever character you're currently controlling is the one that requires victory for plot reasons, so...

Comment from: Tangent posted at June 3, 2005 2:43 PM

You know, Eric, if they had the system you suggest, I would actually buy the game and start playing it. Assuming, of course, it'll run on a 700 MHz machine. If not... *sob* I'm so behind the times...

Robert A. Howard


Comment from: Wednesday posted at June 3, 2005 3:36 PM

CoH runs on an Athlon 800. Granted, an Athlon 800 with a fairly tricked-out ATI card and some obscene amount of memory for an Athlon 800, but it does, in fact, run.

She said.

Gritting her teeth.

Look. Steam. From the ears. Out. Coming out. From the ears. Steam.

Comment from: Darth Paradox posted at June 3, 2005 5:24 PM

Yeah, the graphics card was the limiting factor for me. My computer's almost five years old, but its processor could handle it. My graphics card is three years old, and couldn't.

Comment from: Sean Conner posted at June 3, 2005 5:54 PM

Captain Napalm? Talk about your obscure references (and yes, I do have people ask where I got the “Captain Napalm” from, and I'll assume you got it from the same place I did).

Comment from: Brian posted at June 3, 2005 7:06 PM

Captain Napalm is obscure. His Thermonuclear League of Liberty even moreso.

(I'm not dumb -- I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.)


Comment from: Prodigal posted at June 3, 2005 9:42 PM

I just wish they'd make the Sonic powers available finally.

Comment from: KJToo posted at June 3, 2005 10:11 PM

Yes, Mr. Burns, that would truly be cool. I imagine supergroups (or even random teams) fighting through a dynamic series of three or four missions to ultimately face off against not just a single hero's nemesis, but the the combined forces of two or three of the group members' nemeses (all controlled by the computer, of course).

How do my teammates fare against my nemesis? How do I fare against theirs? What sort of dynamic works best against my nemesis?

Imagine your supergroup periodically facing off against a sort of Brotherhood of Villains. A computer-controlled group whose membership evolves each time you encounter them. They learn your weak links and how to exploit them. After a few battles they figure out just which of your team members is the most dangerous, and the next time you face the BoV they triple-team your badass tanker and send him to the nearest medical center in the first two minutes of the battle. You've either got to adjust your own tactics or you'll be kissing pavement, too.

Yeah, that's a little pie-in-the-sky, but how many kinds of cool would it be?

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