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Alt-A-Holics Anonymous: City of Heroes

My alt-a-holicism (a state of starting several alternate characters) continues as surely as the sun rises the next day. Given that I'm on vacation with another 4 weeks off, I've little reason to care. After all, if I'm enjoying myself, what does it matter that I keep starting new characters? I would, one of these days, like to get to level 50 in City of Heroes just to prove I can, and also to unlock that Kheldian archetype. However, I reach a certain point where the leveling slows down and the resulting new toys that leveling brings become increasingly rare. Alting becomes inevitable, leaving me to glare at the developers and curse the grind.

For City of Heroes, there may be a solution: I just need to choose a hero that I find exciting enough that, once the new powers slow way down in delivery, I enjoy playing him him enough to keep going. I determined through trial and error a number of interesting aspects about what I like in a character. My latest trial with an Electricity/Devices Blaster went extremely well until I reached level 28 and realized that Trip Mine wasn't really my style and the remaining powers I'd be granted were pretty boring to me. This suggests there's a second part of the puzzle: I also need to have something to look forward to.

It's an interesting paradox:
  • To best enjoy a game, one should pay attention to the journey, not the destination.
  • To keep playing a grind, one should pay attention to the destination, not the journey.
City of Heroes is both a game and a grind. This differs from most MMORPGs which are just one or the other. Your average EverQuest clone is significantly lacking in game, and your average entertaining game is no grind. City of Heroes manages to be both the entertaining game and the grind.

If I want to reach level 50, I simply need to choose a power set that I'm perpetually excited to keep playing in order to unlock the next power. Simultaneously, I need to choose a power set I enjoy playing. If I can pull that off, I'm in the clear.


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