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Digitally Courting Boredom

There's not been too many updates lately. I'm afraid that being simultaneously subscribed to City of Heroes and EverQuest 2 has resulted in a deadlock where I realize that I'm done with either. I could say I'm simply bored with them, but when you're a dedicated computer gamer, you begin to realize the fundamental reasons behind the boredom. Oh well, I can least spin a few yarns while I'm complaining about it.

With EverQuest 2, I've simply exhausted the activities the game has to offer... which is remarkable because it is a truly massive amount. Yet, I have spent most of my time by myself, and there's no quicker way to exhaust the activities in a massively multiplayer game than playing solo. Most recently, I shifted my focus to finding groups, and discovered that they can be found with a little effort. I had hoped to find salvation from the monotony there. Unfortunately, what I discovered was worse.
Had Bruxx blinked, he might have missed it. A moment ago, this room was lined with dozens of animated skeletons and earthern golems, battle hardened creations of the undead magic user, Varsoon. Any one of those creatures would have been a challenge for Bruxx to fight alone.

However, the Shadow Knight leading Bruxx's party had simply dove in and ran around the room, getting all of the foes' attention, and pulled them all in one gigantic mess of gnashing appendages. Thus occupied, they were quickly eliminated by the Necromancer's dark magic, the Fury's supporting nature spells, and the combined close-quarters fighting finesse of the Monk and Bruxx.

Now the other members of party were laughing and boasting about who had done the most damage. All except Bruxx, who furrowed his whiskers in disapproval. "If this is adventure," Bruxx thought, "then the custodians that sweep the streets of Qeynos must be famed heroes indeed."
That's pretty much how it went. A couple of skilled players mentoring down to the level of the rest of the party trivialized all the content of the Ruins of Varsoon. The party was about level 32, and the foes we fought were often equal or slightly higher. We scooped up entire rooms of maybe 3 to 5 encounters at a time. Yet, we didn't seem to have any trouble, only one death when the Shadow Knight was chain-stunned and unable to heal himself.

Thankfully, my connection failed as we were zoning to confront Varsoon himself, as I think it'd have broken my heart to see a major villain treated like common trash. I feel sorry for the content designers in EverQuest 2. They put a lot of work into creating this incredibly detailed world, only for it to be balanced like this: trivial; meaningless. There is no artistic justice in the world.

In City of Heroes, I go from the role of being the player who is disgruntled about how trivialized the content has become to being the Veteran who has the skills to make it happen. However, the balance is a little better, and the damage is minimized somewhat. After all, City of Heroes was a game balanced around the idea of being a comic book superhero.
"Babbage," they called it, a great mechanical creation of the Clockwork King. A monstrosity of spinning gears, shaped into humanoid form, unstoppable. It rumbled towards the heroes, three stories tall, and the last line of defense between them and its creator. Shifter Prime, a man in a sharp-looking black business suit and fedora, watched the monster come as his costumed and super-powered teammates surged forward to meet it.

The mutant with her control over rock struck Babbage with a giant stone hammer and warded off its blows with her molten lava skin. The technology-enabled twins arrayed their protective force fields, threw clouds of nanites to heal wounds, and projected blue bolts of force at the mighty robot. The swordsman with the regenerating body was executing a series of fluid movements with his katana, its blade sharp enough to scar the metal surface of the behemoth.

It was not enough. Shifter Prime was a Kheldian, a symbiotic fusion of alien and man, and knew that it would take all the power of both his halves to have a chance at winning this fight. He spotted a nearby group of hostile gang members and, expelling a purply ring of nictus energy around them, siphoned strength from them. His firepower now more than doubled, Shifter Prime vanished into a purple cloud, and emerged transformed into one of the stored host memories of the Kheldian symbiote within. Having assumed the shimmering dark shape of floating, many tentacled alien, he was now a master of negative energy projection. With an idle flick of his tail, the weakened gang members fell to a fan of nictus energy bolts, ready for teleport to the Ziggurat prison. Shifter Prime was now ready.

Shifter Prime turned and started assisting his team members, assaulting Babbage with great gouts of energy from his mouth and tail. The behemoth staggered, but regained its gigantic footing. It was still not enough. The call went out to all available heroes of Paragon City, and over a dozen arrived, one by one, as quickly as they could. Even more strange energies flashed, weapons twirled, super powered fists crushed, and powerful barriers were erected. The air surrounding Babbage became a maelstrom of super powered euphoria.

Even its haphazard tactical withdraw over city streets and building rooftops was not enough to prevent Babbage from finally being overwhelmed. It shook the ground as it fell, returning to the scrap metal it once was. Thanks for assistance were issued, but many of the heroes were already on their way to other adventures: heroism in Paragon City was never done. As for Shifter Prime and his team, they gathered their strength and looked onward. They were reaching the end of a long road and, soon, the Clockwork King would be brought to justice.
There was once a point where you could grab entire maps and mow them down in City of Heroes. A simple adjustment limiting the number of foes that could be affected by powers, and those days are over. Even a single Giant Monster, such as Babbage, is designed to require a concert effort between several players to bring down thanks (in part) to an obscene hitpoint regeneration rate. City of Heroes has always been a king of gameplay balance and unique mechanics amongst games in its class.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. It seems my trouble with City of Heroes is that I've played it out, having sampled every type of hero or villain and witnessed every kind of power firsthand. Sure, I could stick around and get level 50 in every archetype, but would that really be time well spent? Even though I haven't done everything within the game, I've pretty much consumed all the novelty there was to offer.

Lately, I've spent more time browsing their forums than I have playing either Everquest 2 or City of Heroes. If there existed a way I could enjoy either game, I'd have found it by now. Currently, both of my subscriptions are set to expire. Soon, I'll be out of this deadlock altogether, and perhaps that's for the best.

Frankly, spending my time dwelling on games I've already sunk hundreds of hours into might be downright unhealthy. Variety is the spice of life. So, when I can, I've been looking for other things to play. It's difficult to find something better when coming from a couple of real gems like EverQuest 2 and City of Heroes. However, my search has not been entirely fruitless...
The hulking demon looked down at the well-armed man standing on the ruined streets of London and snorted. "Halt, mortal. Have you forgotten our pact? You shall not break the non-disclosure agreement."

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