Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh no he didn't!

Okay...I'm a nerd, and proud of it. I enjoy Dungeons & Dragons, video games, and reading almost anything that has words strung together to make sentences. But when I encounter a nerd that is also STUPID, it ticks me off.

I was looking for a particular video on YouTube when I stumbled across a 20-minute review of City of Heroes. Said video was posted on 6 September 2010. I sat and watched it...and had to strongly disagree with a great deal of what he had to say. For starters, you might want to watch the video. Here it is. Note he says some things a bit...funny. Like pronouncing the CH in "archetype." "Monotonous" is pronounced "MOTnonmous." "Et cetera" is "eck cetera." "HasTen" is another favorite. And one of my newest pet peeves, (right, my beloved?), is his pronunciation of "eXspecially." Gah! (Oh...and just wait for the fun when he starts saying "PvP" and "PvE" a lot.

And now to start in on his complaints.

He starts on talking about running around too much to talk to various NPCs, claiming it can waste 10 to 20 minutes. Anyone who takes that long to reach anyone in the game took "crawl" as their travel power. (Travel power options include flight, super jump, super speed, and teleportation.) He goes on to suggest the trains should be linked to all zones. Well, for the most part, this is exactly what happened...but shortly after his video was made, so we can excuse him on that one.

His next complaint is about enhancements. These increase the capabilities of one's powers, making the character capable of greater accuracy, damage, and/or range. This guy states that it takes 30 minutes to re-enhance a character. I suppose that's possible...if you're also trying to write a novel, cook a meal, and watch television while buying and placing enhancements, all at the same time. Seriously, it's a five-minute task, and that's if you need to buy them at all.

You see, he states that enhancements become ineffective after so many levels. This WAS true, once upon a time. But since they implemented the invention system, it's just not true. Regular, ordinary invention origin (IO or IOs (plural)) enhancements are good no matter how much you level past them. Mind you, lower level IOs are weaker, but they're good forever. And his complaint about certain zones selling only certain level enhancements...? That's designed to encourage people being in level appropriate zones. A level 1 character trying to power-level (PL) in a level 50 zone shouldn't have the ease of shopping for what he wants in the latter zone.

Okay, he's right in that it certainly feels like players go through the same missions over and over again. And many of the arch-villains (AV or AVs (plural)) can be beaten by simply pounding on them. But it's not true of ALL AVs. Several AVs require a discussion of who is going to do what, because simply moving in and attacking nonstop is only going to get the team wiped out.

He's a very team oriented critic, so the idea that everyone can reach the defense cap in the game bothers him...but not those who enjoy running solo. Yes, it can mean a sacrifice to one's damage capabilities, but so what? We're playing the game as we'd want to. And that's one of the excellent aspects of City of Heroes. You can design characters the way YOU want them, making them incredibly powerful and reducing how difficult missions are, or not only establish yourself as somewhat weaker, but INCREASE your personal difficulty settings.

He skips this entirely. (I think I've already posted about this once before.) City of Heroes/Villains allows you to not only set your door missions so that you face opponents up to +4 levels above you, but you can tell the game that when you're all by yourself that you are to be considered a team of up to eight players, and it should throw EVERYTHING at you! You want a challenge? Well, now you have one!

His next complaint is what we know to be as "power pools." He talks about how things like Health and Stamina are required for character survivability. Not long after he made this video, the Fitness Pool was given to every player over level 1...just as he wanted. But he goes on to say that toggle powers shouldn't cost any endurance, which is a character's energy source. If the toggle-powers didn't cost any energy, then there's less reason for a player to worry about energy management. Such a thing is important to intelligent game-play.

When he says that the top tier power is really not all that great, I'm now wondering what game he's playing. There's only one instance where he's correct, and that's with the power set of Dual Pistols. It's neat to watch, but not that impressive. However, with almost every other set, it's usually an awesome attack that can wipe the floor with almost anyone you face. To say it's no better than a power that's three tiers lower is just wrong.

By the time he mentions the auction house, I'm already thinking that this particular geek is an embarrassment to geek-dom around the globe. He doesn't like the idea of being out-bid by players with more in-game money. Then...ummm...go earn more money, dude. Learn to work the market. As to his complaint that one could simply buy IO recipes, but that players only get 3 storage slots when they start...It's true, but then you can't even use IOs until level seven, and by then you have more storage, which will rapidly continues to increase in the next few levels. When you need the space, you'll have it.

My main character has close to 2,000,000,000 of in-game money, and I got much of it by manipulating the auction house. If I see an item selling for, ohhh...let's say 1,000,000 regularly, I don't sell it at that price. The item will go to the highest bidden regardless of what price I put on it. And the price you set...? The auction house takes 5% of that. So if I set the price at 1,000,000, they'll take 50,000 just for me placing it there. The minimum fee is 5 "dollars" regardless of price. So why bother? I can't tell you how many millions have rolled in when I've been selling items for a mere 10 "dollars." It's even better when I do that with a super-rare item, because I set it at a price of 10, and end up receiving 300,000,000. I've earned so much doing this that I've been able to spread the wealth with plenty of other players, including a few hundred million to Becky.

Oh...and his statement that even low-level stuff sold for over 100 million is just a flat-out lie. I've never seen whatever it is he's talking about. The concept of a price cap on items elminates the concept of a free market. Just because someone bought a low level item for 500,000,000 doesn't mean it should go at that price, or that it normally does. It just means someone with too much money REALLY wanted that item, and wanted to be sure to get it. Trust me, 500,000,000 will probably out-bid many people on many things.

Now he's off to the races on misinformation, stating that it takes three missions to out-level enhancements. Yes, he went back to that.

As far as I can tell, he has ONE legitimate complaint, and that's the lack of end-game content. And you know what? The developers of City of Heroes are working on that. Had he been paying any kind of attention to the news about the game, he would have known that.

He's also looking for some kind of miracle when it comes to PvP in a game that was never supposed to have it. That was an invention of the lead developer who is now long-since gone. In his absence, the current developers have been playing catch-up to fix what he ultimately broke.

Oh...his complaint about the graphics means one thing: he needs a better graphics card, and shouldn't be running this game. There's a reason why technical specs are on the box.

Argh! Really, as I watched through this review a second time so I could write about it, I wanted to reach through the screen and smack this idiot. It wasn't a game review; it was a 20-minute complaint video. Where he couldn't state fact, he inserted fiction. He knew nothing about the game outside of playing it. He tries to come off as something resembling professional, but then tries to use a prop to make a bad in-game joke. Thankfully, fewer than 5,000 people have seen this...whatever it actually is.

And if you ever find this, "RPG Fan-fiction," or whatever your name is, don't you EVER go trying to pee in my watering hole again!

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