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Shifter Prime: Positron's Ally, Unleasher

Though I waffled a bit today, I ended up playing my Blaster, Shifter Prime, and making such progress with him that it left my other recent alts in the dust.

There it is in CoHDemo format, the last mission of Positron's Task Force. It's not very distinguishable from any other mission, but then it's not a very distinguished task force. About the only differentiating factor it introduces is mixed enemies on the same map and a few named ones. Why it is that Cryptic decided to introduce the idea of task force to their players with a long, drawn out, unbalanced, and not particularly interesting task force is beyond me. Perhaps Issue 9 will fix it.

Not that doing the task force wasn't rewarding. That it started out with less than half the team at level 14 was fairly worrisome as the minimum foe level in the Positron Task force is 15 and most of them were even higher. However, we had a very good group, with a 24+ month veteran doing the tanking and enough healing to keep us upright. It was a great configuration for me to do my stuff as a Blaster, and I went from level 12 or 13 to a bubble or two short of level 16. I've also the satisfaction of knowing that one of the toughest badges to earn in the game is now out of the way. In fact, two:

Behold, "Kraken", the rarest of the giant monsters in City of Heroes. It happened to be up during my task force's presence in Perez Park, and we beat it down for another one of the toughest badges to earn in the game: Unleasher.

I wish I could say that two tough to get badges and nearly level 16 was enough to get me to stick with a character. Yet, this isn't the first time I've done Positron, and I've thrown out far more badges and levels before. I'm discouraged enough with the progress I've discarded that I'm not even bothering to use a CoH badge site to rack up the exploration badges.

I did discover something redeeming about my Blaster's major perceived shortcomings, and that has to do with my group contribution. I felt that, as a Blaster, all I could really offer a group was doing damage. What I discovered to the contrary was this: There's something to be said for applying a lot of force where it is needed. Taking down threatening foes in a hurry is like a hold that never wears off. I've saved my fellow heroes a death more than once by throwing my cone knockback attack, scattering over a half dozen foes and in doing so buying the near-death hero the needed seconds they needed to survive. Maybe, just maybe, I have the finesse needed to make a Blaster work.

There's still some shortcomings left that threaten my commitment to this hero: I really can't endure retribution from a lot of foes, meaning I have to pick my fights carefully or get palsy with some tanks that are good at holding aggro. I have no status protection, rendering me helpless against holds and sleep attacks. Finally, like most heroes, I may have to invest three power slots in Stamina in order to function. Funny enough, all three of these shortcomings can be overcome with the right inspirations, but there's a certain limitation of supply that prevents that from being more than a stopgap measure. Ah well, the important thing is I'm having fun, and I think that I have today.


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