Alpha Strike content revealed
A few days ago the content for the next update of City of Heroes was unveiled – Issue 19. Named Alpha Strike, a significant part of the update is aimed at max level characters.
The first part of that is the Alpha slot, which is the first step in a number of new pieces that are going to be introduced as a new progression system as well as content for characters at max level. To gain the alpha slot and become an Incarnate one has to go through a number of tasks.
This does all sound promising. I think Paragon Studios is in a better position than most other MMOs when it comes to introducing new elder game content without trivializing or changing the existing content.
Among the content in Issue 19 for the Incarnates are two new task forces. These seem to continue the storyline that was revealed when playing through the Praetorian level 1-20 content, which also sound quite promising.
This also means that in order to become and Incarnate and unlock the Alpha slot, one need to have the Going Rogue expansion.
Another significant change is that the Fitness power pool becomes inherent. With a few exceptions, most character builds contains 3 powers from the Fitness pool – Swift/Hurdle, Health and Stamina. This is simply to get health regeneration and power recovery at decent levels. Since Stamina today can be obtained ealiest at level 20, the 1-19 level are often called the pre-Stamina levels. This is something a number of people try to get through as quickly as possible, since it sometimes can be a bit frustrating to run out of steam in the early levels.
But now better regeneration and recovery will be available from the start. This will allow a smoother/nicer early levels and also opens for 3 additional power choices. A very good move!
For Praetoria there are also three zone events added, one for each zone. The older part of the game already have some zone events and it is quite nice to see that more of those are added to Praetoria as well. One interesting aspect here is that it seems to will be possible to choose a side to support in the event, which certainly fits in witht the general theme of the Praetorian zones.
They also add more tip and morality missions, which is also really nice to see. A lot of these missions have had a very good quality for being just single missions and it is certainly welcome that they expand upon these.
Mission Architect receives a couple of the new Praetorian maps as well as the new enemy groups from Praetoria. This is certainly welcome and I would love to do some story arcs with a Praetorian theme. But I would really have loved to see that all or some of the new dialog and choice mechanics were introduced into Mission Architect as well. But I suspect that may require a bit of work, so it is probably a bit too soon for that.
There are also a number fo nice-to-have features included
- Some powers have alternate animations that can be chosen, including from where they originate on the body
- Ferry (Rogue Isles) and train (Paragon City) lines are merged into one nwetwork, so it is possible to travel from one regular zone to another directly
- Two new auras – snow and fireflies
- Non-Praetorian characters can travel into Praetoria.
Since is has been rumored that the issue after this one, Issue 20, would be a “big” issue the expectations for Issue 19 has perhaps not been very high. But the contents revealed here looks better than expected I would say and I am looking forward to see this issue go live later.