Posted Tue, Apr 19, 2011 by Ethec
“The Sky is Falling” is a mid-level task force for heroes 20-40 responding to the repercussions of the Praetorian Invasion of Primal Earth. Players will have to combat the combined forces of the Praetorian IDF and the Sky Raiders as they investigate a floating fortress in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, trail the IDF through Talos Island, and dig their way out of the rubble of Skyway City. Heroes will fight several arch-villains allied with the Praetorians, from deranged Seers who attack with endless waves of explosive Failed Experiments to Sky Raiders equipped with airstrikes from above.
Villains should enjoy the hook behind “the Fire and the Flames” which revolves around a complicated scheme to blackmail a powerful sorcerer and cajole, bluff, threaten, and/or beat your way into a stealing a bit of the Flames of Prometheus from Positron of the Freedom Phalanx. You’ll face down members of the Freedom Phalanx, the Midnight Squad, the Circle of Thorns and the Warriors as both hero and villain fall prey to your master plan.
The new Task Force and Strike Force are geared for mid-level (20-40) characters and require at least four able bodied heroes or villains.
With Emperor Cole powering up the Archvillains, what can players do to help protect the world? How will they stop Emperor Cole?
Fighting back the Emperor’s lieutenants in the Incarnate Trials is definitely a good start. As the (ostensibly friendly) Prometheus indicates, the trick to challenging the god-like Cole is to draw the attention of the Well of the Furies away from Cole and onto yourself. By proving yourself in combat against the most powerful foes the Tyrant can throw at you, power (in the form of the Incarnate powers) will flow to you, and away from him. The Well favors the strong – and it better be your character instead of the Emperor...
The Siege and Nightstar fight scales to match the number of players heading in to the Trial, so anywhere between 12 and 24. As for how many need to be on each, that’s a matter of tactics. You could have half on one and half of the other, or you could be brave and try to bring them close together enough to AOE them both (but then you could risk Sequestration)... and you better have someone cleaning up the Victorias and 9CUs or you’re likely to be overwhelmed and fail the trial that way...
The arch-villain encounters in Issue 20 all have new tricks to throw some things you haven’t necessarily seen before in the City of Heroes your way. Marauder can wipe out the strongest tank with his Nova Fist if you’re not careful, Siege’s 9CU pets hit harder and more accurately the longer you let them stay operational... the bag of tricks we’ve given the bosses is greatly expanded in Issue 20 and will only keep getting more and more interesting as we grow the game.
Generally we’ve been focused on making the content in the game more fun to play through and quicker to run through in one go as ways to make it easier to team up. That’s no exception with the Sky is Falling and the Fire & the Flames – both are rapid fire intense experiences without a lot of padding or downtime in between. The Apex and Tin Mage TFs in Issue 19 and the Positron revamp in Issue 17 are also good examples of what we want the TF experience to be in City of Heroes: something exciting and challenging – not a slog.
Also, I think the Weekly Strike Targets have been a nice incentive to bring people online each week to run Task Forces and Strike Forces. And in the future I’d like us to get the Team-Up Teleporter applied to more content beyond the Incarnate Trials... but that’s in the future.
Our thanks to Senior Designer Tim Sweeney and the Paragon Studios crew for this look inside Issue 20: Incarnates, which was released in early April.