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Task Forces and Tribulations

Sunday and Monday were another couple good days for City of Heroes and the Psi-Caster.

---Sunday alone with the ghoulies---

Sunday was relatively slowgoing because I was soloing again, but I managed to get another level all by lonesome (level 26). The most interesting thing that happened that day was my chasing around the giant florescent green menace of Talos Island, the Ghost Ship. Having some long dead sailors drive their intangible ocean fishing trawler down the streets of the city would be harmless enough, but they've a nasty habit of throwing junk overboard. By junk, I mean lots of pissed off sailor spirits looking to tear apart anything in their path with negative energy blasting powers. Individually and in teams, the heroes of Paragon cleaned the resulting ghost refuse, and I earned the appropriately named "ectoplasmic" badge aftre putting enough of the good sailors to rest.

---Massive progress monday---

Psi-Caster made far more progress on Monday because I actually took the time to group. I ended up in not just any group, but once again one headed by that accidental exile from the Rogue Isles, Saros (see a couple blog entries ago for his story). Together with Saros, Flagoon (a Controller friend of his and mine who got me into the group), and a bevy of various other players, we completed not one but two task forces. They went very fast, each one only taking about two hours, tops. Quite remarkable considering your average task force takes in the neighborhood of four to six hours.

The first task force was granted by Citadel, who spends his days standing right off the Talos Island tram ramp. I often enjoy the plots in task forces, but this one was rediculously simple: "The Council is building robots, stop them." That was the theme all the way up until the end, where it's determined that Vandal (some Council high commander type) needs to be captured. Done.

Part of the reason why the Citadel task force went so quickly was a common City of Heroes tactic known as "stealthing". If the mission objective doesn't require taking out each and every foe, somebody with invisibility sneaks around most of the intervening foes and (if neccessary) uses "recall friend" to bring the rest of the party where the neccessary fighting is. Superman would not be impressed. Sure, it saves some time, but frankly I'd rather battle my way there... at least while I'm still making experience points from the mobs. Ah well, at least there's a fairly hefty mission completion bonus, so I probably only missed out on about 25% of the experience the TF offered.

The second task force, popularly known as the "Hess" task force of Talos Island, was much more fun. For starters, the gutless wonder who was so in love with the idea of stealthing had left the group. However, the really cool thing about it was the scenario itself that included scripted events and this cool little encounter that awaits you at the end: a massive zenith mech!

I gained a level from the Hess task force as well. If you've been keeping track, that was level 26 on Sunday, and two levels on Monday, so Psi-Caster is now level 28.

Yet, even after all that, I found myself attracted to return to my Scrapper. Hello, again, Alt-A-Holicism, you bitch. Per usual, my originality muscles had a lot to do with my rejection of my superheroic identity: the group was rife with adequate Controllers in the team membership... over half the members, in fact. No team needs that many Controllers. To make matters worse, I don't think Saros (a Brute) really needed any of us around, he was sucking up and spitting out the aggro just fine. My contributation was practically nil.

So, as the day drew to a close, I played a bit of Nanites, my level 21 Spines/Dark Armor Scrapper. He needs to get the Terra Volta respec done ASAP, because he needs "Combat Jumping" to prevent himself from being immobilized and "Acrobatics" to prevent himself from being knocked around. Lacking built in immunity to those is the Dark Armor curse, and I ignored that on the way up. A travel power would be nice too - right now he's getting around Paragon City the old fashioned way: very slowly.

Yet, even this somewhat screwed up character was pretty effective. I teamed up with a Controller just a level under me and ripped his missions to shreds while his primary contribution was just holding things still (useful for Tsoo Sorcerors, mostly). I had forgotten the raw power that Scrappers possess, being able to take down an even-level boss mob in a few good strikes that would take my Controller about a dozen or so attacks with a pet summon helping to do. Sometimes, it seems that, for the majority of the time, City of Heroes doesn't need what Controllers offer. I know Saros could have done today's task forces just fine without me.

Maybe I'll stick with Psi-Caster until 32 (a mere 4 levels away) and play with the Phantasm before I decide for myself which of the two characters I would like to take to 50. That sounds like a pretty good course of action, but I'm still unconvinced. Even if it turns out Phantasm's damage is bad, Controllers are fairly cool in that they have such a wide range of varied abilities.

Another event of significance that happened on Monday: my supergroup is in the process of merging with a bigger, better supergroup. Both of my heroes have already made the transition to the new group. That's a good thing, because my old supergroup was probably not going to get very far with a theme of "lets form groups entirely out of Controllers!" I can see how those groups would function (extremely safely) but I imagine their damage output would be pretty pathetic.


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