Last week, I took some time to revisit the style="font-style: italic;">City of Heroes
universe to give everyone a new " href="" target="_blank">first
impression" of the game and href="" target="_blank">what
the NCsoft NorCal developers have been up to. I knew things
had been
added and changed since I left, but trust me when I say this; if you
quit over a year ago, you have no idea how much the folks at NCsoft
have improved and expanded upon the title. The amount of information
I've been bombarded with this week is nothing short of mind blowing.

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style="font-style: italic;">Look, Ma. I can fly! style="font-style: italic;">

First and foremost, I'll officially state for the record that I still
think CoX
has the most diverse and interesting character creation
system of any game, in any genre, on the market today. There are an
incomprehensible number of possible combinations available when making
the hero or villain of your choice. As I said in my first article, I
spent over an hour creating my demoness and I could have spent another
hour tweaking everything so it was exactly the way I wanted her to look
and feel. At the same time, the system is intuitive and complete enough
that you could have a character created in a matter of minutes if you
so choose. To say the system is an unbridled masterpiece just doesn't
do it justice - it's that good.

To add to the customization masterpiece, you also unlock new costume
slots at levels 20, 30, and 40. You can unlock an additional slot
trading in Halloween salvage. On
top of that (through specific quests), you gain a cape at level 20,
aura choices at level 30, and
you can even craft wings for yourself later on in the game. By the time
reach level 50 (the current cap), you can have five completely
different looks for your avatar.

Not only can you have various looks in style="font-style: italic;">CoX, but with this
release of target="_blank">Issue
13 (essentially a free expansion pack), you can also
have two different power builds. You'll need to remain within your
primary and secondary powersets
you started out with, but you can freely choose new pool and ancillary
power sets at any trainer. Gone are the days of having to respec your
character just to have a different set of power combinations
available to you. This is a godsend to those that prefer one build for
their PvE play and another build for the days they just feel like going
on a target="_blank">PvP

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style="font-style: italic;">Massive spell effect goodness!

Being a lowly villain (and by that I mean low level), I decided to hook
up with a friend of mine in the game to check out the sidekick feature.
By becoming someone's lackey, you're raised (or lowered, if wanting to
be a malefactor), to one level below his or hers. This allows
you (and thus, me) to check out higher level content it would
normally take you days of playing to experience on your own. With a
accept from Stravana, my handy guide, I was ready to explore the world
a level 49 character!

There's one little caveat I forgot to mention. Even though my demoness
of destruction was now level 49, she still only had those powers
already available to her. When you get boosted in level, you don't gain
any new powers, new costume selections, et al, but it does give you the
opportunity to go play with your friends no matter what level they are
by boosting your health, power strength, etc.
I've always been a huge fan of mentoring systems that allow friends to
group, especially when those acquaintances have already been playing
the game much longer than you. There are few things worse than having
to start up a new alternate character to play with your low level buddy
when you've already fallen in love with your current incarnation.

So what's a newly boosted level 49 villain of mass destruction supposed
to do? I don't know about you, but the first thing I wanted to do was
cause some mayhem, and what better way to do that than in style="font-style: italic;">CoX's Mayhem
Missions? That's right. They actually named a set of missions "mayhem".
Pretty darned spiffy, if I say so myself.

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style="font-style: italic;">Everything is better with

These “mayhem” missions definitely live up to their
name too. As a villain, you've got fifteen minutes to break into the
bank and escape after being whisked away to your own instance. The
developers could have made you get to certain markers to add a little
time bonus to your mission, but aside from being boring that would also
qualify as lame. Fortunately for us, the way you extend your time limit
is exactly as it should be: you blow things up.

The Mayhem Mission instances take place on the pansy side of town ( href="" target="_blank">the
Heroes portion) and that just makes the act of raw
destruction sweeter
than your grandmother's homemade apple pie. Along with blowing things
up, there are also random unlockable side quests in each Mayhem Mission
you can
complete as well. Doing this greatly increases the amount of time you
have to finish your mission. After completing one of the side quests
and destroying more city property than Godzilla on a rampage, we had a
comfortable window of 25 minutes to get the loot and get out of Dodge.

There was plenty of experience points to be had by me in our ruthless
adventure (yes, I did set every civilian I saw on fire), but what's in
it for the character that was kind enough to drag you up in levels?
Since Stravana was 50, she didn't receive any experience, but she did
gain prestige points and if you want a base of your very own (and trust
me, you really do), then you'd better grab every prestige point you can
lay your grubby little hands on.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016