Of City of Heroes, Livestreams, and Singing

This past Wednesday night, nearly the entire Massively Overpowered staff gathered together to play City of Heroes on the Homecoming rogue servers whilst being livestreamed by our own MJ Guthrie. I’ve been meaning to give CoH a try — having never played back in the day — for a while, and it seemed like a good team-building exercise, so I opted to swallow my stage fright and join in.

The Massively Overpowered staff in City of HeroesI rolled a blaster, mainly because Bree told me it wasn’t a good choice for a newbie. I focused on pistols as my main power set and went with a Victorian-inspired outfit — I was thinking Helen Magnus.

It was a fun evening. I only died once. It wasn’t a good way to learn about the game, though, as we mostly just zerged through things.

To that end, I’ve now made a villain alt to play solo. She’s an Elf, because of course she is. I went brute as my archetype, initially with savage melee and regeneration as my power sets. However, I didn’t like the aesthetics of savage, so I used the ability to import and export costumes to quickly reroll with psionic powers instead, which seem to fit a bit better.

I’m still very early in the game, so my impressions are very basic, but so far I’m enjoying it. I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll sink a lot of time into in the long term, but I see the appeal.

I tell you, that character creator could consume my life. I never thought I’d say this, but it might have too many options. It’s overwhelming. Each character took me at least an hour to create because I just got lost in all the options.

My Elfy brute in City of HeroesWith the wealth of costume and build options, I can see why so many CoH refugees ended up in The Secret World. In a cosmic irony, we may now find ourselves in a world where TSW refugees flee to CoH.

I am impressed with how incredibly well the graphics have held up. They’re clearly not state of the art, but this is still a very nice-looking game, in a cartoony sort of way. I especially like how moody the villain starting area is. I think I heard something about the Homecoming team tweaking the graphics, so that might have something to do with it.

The combat is also better than I expected. I’d heard a lot of people say it was very slow and old school, but it’s actually not that bad. It’s very much “whack-a-mole with cooldowns,” as I tend to call these things, but there’s very little downtime in my rotations, and the lack of auto-attack is welcome. It’s a long way from great, but it’s tolerable.

On the downside, so far there doesn’t seem to be much of a story, and you all know how important that is to me. If anything kills my interest in CoH, it will likely be that.

So it’s early days, but at least for now, I see more City of Heroes in my future. If nothing else we’ll probably be doing more streams over at MOP. Surprisingly I had almost no nerves at all. I guess being surrounded by familiar people (and not reading Twitch chat) helps.

My steampunk blaster in City of HeroesTechnically, this wasn’t my first time being on a livestream. I was on a number of Moiren’s TSW streams back in the day. I just wasn’t on voice chat then.

Speaking of Moiren, she’s been trying to hit world first level 200 in Twitch Sings. Now, I’ll admit I don’t really follow Twitch Sings, so I don’t really know what that means, but I’ve never known her to be unrealistic in her goals, so I don’t think she’d be trying if there wasn’t a decent chance she’d succeed. Maybe head on over to her channel to cheer her on as she pushes on to 200.

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Superior Realities Sixth Anniversary: Reflections

Six years have now past since the first post appeared on Superior Realities. Time flies when you’re yelling at Blizzard, I suppose.

The Greatest City in the WorldIn some ways it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but in others it feels like a lifetime. I was still writing Dispatches from the Romulan War when this blog started, for crying out loud.

When the blog started, I lived in Toronto, then I moved to the country for a few years, then I moved back to the city. Seems like rather a lot of effort just to move from the west end to the east end.

I still miss Parkdale. My new neighbourhood is nice, too, but that’s the problem. It’s too nice. I’ve been here for going on two years now, and I’m still waiting to get the bum’s rush. I don’t fit in here.

I try to visit Parkdale as often as possible. I feel like I belong there. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where I’m not the weirdest person around.

When I lived in Toronto the first time, I lived with my father and a couple cats. Now that I’ve returned, I live alone with many books but no cats.

When the blog began, freelance writing was still some new and exciting adventure I was embarking upon. Now it’s just old hat.

Looks pretty in the picture, but it's really a miserable placeI’ve written… three novels since this blog started. I think. Three or four. Of course only one of them (Human Again) has seen the light of day so far. I’ve also written who knows how many short stories in that time.

Six years ago, I had hair. I should really update that profile picture at some point. Male pattern baldness can suck it, by the way.

When the site launched, I was a huge Metric fan, and now I’m a huge Metric fan who’s shaken Emily’s hand (best day ever). I’m also now a huge Chvrches fan, but I haven’t shaken Lauren’s hand.

When Superior Realities began, I was still in the process of re-entering the gaming world. Of course I’d been playing WoW for a while by then and had also played StarCraft II and maybe one or two other things, but I was still a bit out of the loop on the industry as a whole.

Since then I’ve broadened my horizons considerably. I eventually got around to most if not all of the games I missed out on during my teen years and embraced many modern classics, as well as a few more obscure titles. I hated Bioware for a while, then I kind of liked them, then I loved them, then I think I hated them again for a bit, and now I’m just generally confused.

They had real winters up there. That's somethingI’ve blogged through four WoW expansions, the rise and fall of my passion for Guild Wars 2, and my totally unexpected dive into Star Wars: The Old Republic. I fell in love with The Secret World, and now I’ve had to cope with its inglorious collapse. In general I’ve created enough MMO characters to form an entire battalion, and like half of them are named Maigraith.

I’ve mourned the cancellations of Defiance and Sanctuary, and I’ve fallen in love with Continuum, Dark Matter, and iZombie. I’ve reviewed some very good movies, and also Immortals.

It has been suggested I should take this opportunity to examine whether I’ve achieved my goals for the blog, to which I can only say… maybe? I guess?

Honestly I’m kind of losing sight of what the point was originally supposed to be. Nowadays blogging is just part of my routine; it’s not something I think a lot about. Just an excuse to run my mouth (figuratively speaking) without anyone trying to change the subject on me like they usually do.

I’m mostly happy with the traffic I get, though of course it’d always be nice to get more, and I do get a decent amount of attention within the greater community, so that’s nice.

Best day ever

Shake your head, it’s empty…

I will confess that I wish I got more comments, though. Figure pretty much every blogger wishes they got more comments, and compared to the handful of blogs I follow, I seem to get less comments than most. Not sure why this is, but I imagine it’s some combination of my terrible opinions, my long-winded endurance test of a writing style, and my cantankerous personality.

Of course, reflecting on the past also invariably leads one to pondering the future. For the most part, I suppose it will continue to be steady as she goes for Superior Realities for the immediate future.

I’m always mulling ideas for new types of content, but I dismiss almost all of them.

There’s often the temptation to expand beyond my relatively narrow sci-fi/fantasy/video game focus (the lack of Simpsons content on this blog saddens me sometimes), but at the same time I think there’s something to be said for keeping a clear vision for the site. I like the idea that my readers know what they’re getting: angry nerd rants and Elves.

I’ve thought about doing a series on various songs that I use for inspiration when writing fiction, but most people’s ears start bleeding when confronted with my musical taste.

I could also probably get a lot more posts out of the head canon and backstories for my video game characters, but my previous posts on that subject have the dubious distinction of being the least popular posts I’ve ever done by every available metric, so I probably won’t bother with that.

To winter I belongI tried my hand at video content recently, and there’s some temptation to do more of that, but it’s another thing that didn’t get much reaction. Plus I’m not sure I can bring anything to the table that the legions of YouTubers out there aren’t already covering, and I definitely have a voice for text (which is like a face for the radio, kind of).

I’m also often tempted to post more of my fiction and thoughts related to it on the blog, but again, such posts never seem to generate much interest, so I’m kind of gravitating away from that at this point.

Seriously, if you ever feel like doing me a favour, go read some of my stories and leave feedback. I don’t mind criticism as long as it’s constructive. I’m particularly interested in opinions on The Wounding and Lady of the Dawn, as that setting is very important to me, but In Her Sister’s Pose is probably the best thing I’ve written as far as short fiction goes.

Anyway, if any of these ideas sound like they’d interest you, or if you there’s something else you’d like to me to do with the blog, let me know, but otherwise it’s probably going to be status quo for the time being. There is many a Warcraft rant yet to be written.

In closing, I would like to thank my readers for sticking with me all this time. Be seeing you, sweetlings.

In the half-light.