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Precursor of Grief

Some people say that money is the root of all evil, and there I disagree. Money is merely a means of conveyance - a root goes to the source. The source is simple greed.

City of Heroes, now approaching its third year anniversary, is a game that has little to be greedy over. There are three ranks of enhancements and everybody can get their hands on them in time, choosing piecemeal which is most important to them at the time. The enhancements are purchased with influence points, and the influence points run in a great surplus at higher levels. What's left the bicker over is "Hami-Os" - special two-origin enhancements that can only be gained from completing the super-mega-raid in the game. That, and who gets to have all the fun with building the super group's base. Still, there's not much to be greedy over.

Issue 9: Breakthrough is going to change that a bit. It adds rare, must-have (but not everybody can) enhancements and the rare components used to build them. It also adds auction houses where everyone can blow their horded influence points to purchase them.

I'm anxious what the result is going to be. How is an online society that has previously gone without true scarcity going to react when, 3 years later, a ton of scarcity is introduced?

I'm expecting blood.

Issue 9 is set to release "very soon", and with the school quarter ending I've got a front seat to the resulting train wreck. Cryptic employed some damn good game designers, but I think they underestimate just how powerful these kinds of incentives are. If only they knew, arenas and PvP zones would be a lot more popular.

On the upshot, I may have solved my alt-a-holicism woes for awhile. It's a simple set of parameters:
  1. I require a good amount of damage because sometimes I solo and I don't have the patience to take a half dozen rounds to down a boss.
  2. I like to have enough of a variety of moves to be able to experiment with new tactics.
  3. I don't mind being held, because that's what Break Free inspirations are for.
Parameter 1 eliminates everything except for Blasters, Scrappers, and Kheldians.
Parameter 2 eliminates the Scrappers and the vast majority of Blaster sets.
Parameter 3 allows me to play a Blaster.

So, given that I've not yet unlocked my Kheldian, definitely a Blaster. Preferably something with heavy tactical sophistication.

All that's left is to find that winning combination, and to those ends I've done a lot of experimenting over the weekend. I think I've got it narrowed down pretty well now. Surprisingly, /devices made it to the top of my list of secondary powers. The complete lack of melee attacks and the targeting drone (which frees up a lot of slots) introduces variety that the other sets can't match. If I can mix that with a staminaless build and that should meet my Parameter 2 needs just fine. Right now, I'm debating which primary set carries the most tactical sophistication. If a clear and decisive winner appears there, that should have my alt-a-holcism locked up but good.
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