The City Scoop! ~ Front Page~ June 8th, 2007




The City Scoop

June 8th, 2007

Vol.1 Issue.4

The Abyss and Monster Isle

This past weekend saw an influx of players head to
the test server for the PvPEC's first major event. The night started off with a
small hitch as the test server was shut down for an hour while a new patch was
introduced. Despite the delay much fun was had by all.

It all starte din Pocket D as special guest Ex
Libris and Darkhouse made thier apperance. They handed out special titles to
almost everyone in attendance. Some of the title handed out where:

FOTM yeah Baby!

Party Animal

Owner of the PWN Shop

Ph34r m3H

In addtion DJ Jester and DJ Mindscythe were there
for WooT radio to provide some good music and up to the minute updates for the
event. Though right before the party ended a very special guest made her
apperance. What she would do was unknown at the time.

Once things wound down most everyone headed to
Siren's Call to engage in a massive battle. The fighting was intense as the
heroes and the villains. Weird crys of "HAX" were heard when people tried to
fight Darkhouse as he just would not die, even with 20 heroes on him. Ghost
widow made herself known a few times in the fight as well. Though a squad had
to be formed to protect and keep Exlibris alive, she still has the bruises from
that fight.

On saturday two Lethal Lottery tournie were held at
different times. A mid level one was held at 3 pm and a high level one was held
at 10 pm. The fighting was hard and fast for this. Winners of the mid level
tournie were Lightsyde and -Dude. Winners of the High level tournie were
Inferno Complex1, Darkest' Night, Melita1, Angelic Vision, Crystalina3, Captian
Ugly. Sunday had a showcase of some of the best PvP groups in the arena.

Here's to hoping that the next event is just as fun
as this one.


This is the third in a series of point-counterpoint
articles, which will review commonly requested player suggestions, and review
the pros and cons of those suggestions.

This week’s subject – Buffs


There are certain advantages associated with
increasing the ease of use when it comes to buffs. Making buffs last longer
would reduce the micromanagement associated with buff sets, allowing players to
focus on other things. Changing the way buffs are applied (like making single
target buffs multi targeted) would also reduce the micromanagement. This would
make these sets more interesting for players who find placing buffs on
teammates to be less fun than using other critter targeted powers. This might
increase the frequency with which such sets are selected, or how often they are
played. If modifying existing powers would not work out, perhaps new power sets
could be developed around the idea of a more user friendly buffing concept.


But there are also certain disadvantages associated
with increasing the ease of use when it comes to buffs. The balance of the game
would be in question. Part of the reason for the large effect of buffs is the
limited application time. If buff times were increased, buff amounts might have
to be reduced to compensate. Reapplying buffs is part of the tactical challenge
of the game associated with buffing sets. AoE powers tend to be weaker than
single target powers. Further, while buffs are beneficial, they are not always
necessary on all teammates at all times. Lastly, longer duration buffs might
encourage the buff selling and botting of buffing sets that might have a
negative impact on overall game play.

If you find buffing to be a distraction in your
game play, try buffing less often, either by selecting team members most in
need of the buff, or only during combats of significant difficulty. You can
also select the AoE buffs in such sets and use those more frequently. Finally,
if buffing is not interesting to you, consider selecting an AT or power sets
that do not include as many buffing powers.

Boudicia's Leather Weather Report

This week in Paragon City has seen the creeping
return of summertime! Clear skies, warm southern breezes and warm temperatures
in the 80's prevailed all week nearly everywhere! Two exceptions were Dark
Astoria, experiencing the 1000th day of heavy fog, a new record! Also, Croatoa
still has some cloudiness and temps hovering in the cool 50's.

Satellite imaging confirms The Rogue Isles are
still cloaked in thick smog, preventing any natural weather, but sources on the
ground report high humidity and very warm temperatures reaching the 90's during
the night.

Next week we'll see big changes on both sides of
the fence! A storm is brewing for Atlas Park and we may see flash flooding up
to the Atlas statue itself! Talos Island will be experiencing a sudden, intense
drought, so stock up on bottled water now!

The Rogue Islands will finally feel some relief
from the smog, with Lord Recluse rumored to be going "green"! Expect some
lowering of temperatures and some muc- needed winds blowing the clouds away.

That's all for now folks, and remember, you dont
need a weatherman to know which way the winds blow!

It has probably been said that the sneakiest most lowdown kind
of people around make the best explorers, because the way their minds work
leads them naturally to things normal folks would never think to look for.
Well, if it hasn't been said by anyone, it's been said by me. That's why they
tapped me to write about the ins and outs of the newest areas for the Destined
Ones to bash around in, the Abyss and Monster Isle. Before I begin, I just want
to make it clear exactly how much I hate riding around in these little
mini-subs. You have any idea what someone over seven feet tall needs to do to
get in one of those things? Call it a sign of
my dedication
to you folks.

Monster Isle

The fact that you get to look at Paragon in the distance just
goes to show you the Heroes are a bunch of unobservant buffoons. It does my
black heart bad to know that such a juicy target is ripe for the plucking
someday. I have a confession to make though. I was sneaking in there for months
now, on a special job. Ever wonder how Joe Young gets those battling monkeys
for the Monkey Fight Club? Well someone had to cull out the strong ones. He
used Family connections to sneak me in there. You'd be surprised
how easy it is
to get them to turn on each other. I still have scars
though, from before I got the hang of things.

the main reason Destined Ones are allowed to sneak in is the Devouring Earth
Monsters. They're in endless supply, and since the discovery of Essence of
Earth and its usefulness against Hamidon, it's an important spot. Any
fair-sized team of rogues will have no trouble taking them down. I have two
pieces of advice for people who want to monster hunt. They like to hang out in
pairs, so get some practice at pulling one away to fight them one at a time.
Second, take it from a Plant Control Dominator,
this is not a tree

If you're so inclined, there's even a nice secluded spot to
relax. Don't worry about the "native"; he's harmless. Just nod and smile a lot
when he starts in talking about his best pal the ball.

The Abyss

Most assuredly the strangest Rogue Isle we've seen yet, it
almost makes me doubt Lord Recluse's policy of any science is good science,
even Mad Science. The place is shrouded in mystery, since no one seems willing
to talk about just who
DE Gen
was and what they were doing. Marshal Brass told me as far as he
knew it wasn't a front for Dr Aeon, and none of the mad scientists I've dealt
with directly are talking either. Not even Vernon von Grun, the guy who
actually knows a thing or two about the Devouring Earth. We all know people
have been pulling Hamidon samples out of the main body ever since he first
manifested. Normally nothing happens, they either remain inert or die. This
time, someone found something or tried something, and it went seriously awry.

spent a lot of time in that hole in the ground now, and I won't even begin to
claim I understand the place. The ecosystem at both Hamidon sites has become a
lot more complex than it used to be. Most of the things the Heroes used to do
to beat back the Hamidon just plain don't work. There have been a lot of
attempted attacks by different groups, and only a few successes. The good news
is, we don't have to listen to any more complainers that were trying to say
things are unfair, or that the Goo wasn't beatable. Firstly, no one in the
Rogue Isles should even use the word fair, considering who we are. Secondly,
there are a ton of ways that it's simpler and more direct for the Villains. I'm
not going to waste my time on tactics here, because the fact that every
successful group has done it differently shows there's more than one way to
skin a cat... or giant amoeboid as the case may be.

Dare I say it? I find the place, and fighting the Hamidon, a lot
of fun. I know none of the Cool Kid villains will admit to having fun, but
really it is. Even the working together with others part. It's a big
complicated wheeling mass of things to do all at once, and if any part fails
we're all taking a trip to the med bay. But when you're in there, you think to
yourself, "look at them all following and working hard. That's a sure sign that
even the biggest meanest Destined One will fall into line at some point. Now I
just have to assure that I'm the one they're all falling in behind." Funniest
part is, I know they're all thinking it too.

This Issue:


Protea's Market Watch

While salvage values continue to drop in the middle price
ranges, high-priced salvage shows a surprising resilience. Heroes are still
lined up around the block for the likes of Numina's Convalescence and Luck of
the Gambler, and analysts predict this will support high valuations on rare
arcane salvage for some time to come.

The black market shows similar trends, although the vastly
reduced pricing has led to speculation that Recluse may have found some way to
reproduce certain highly-desired items. Child labor? Substitute materials? What
exactly is Recluse up to in the Fab, anyway? Our spies in the Rogue Isles have
been reluctant to delve too deeply, particularly following certain recent...
incidents there.

Highest cost salvage for each market as of the morning of 6/7:

RHA Prophecy
Pangean Soil
Essence of the Furies
Magical Conspiracy
Deific Weapon

Black Market
RHA Pangean Soil
RHA Prophecy
2,490,000 -26%
Hamidon Goo
RHA Deific Weapon
Essence of the Furies

View the full report

- Protea

Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask's orgins are quite simple. At one time the drama
on Pinnacle was reaching a boiling point. Being well known there for being
(somewhat) neutral and for events that I ran, I decided to do something about
it. That being Behind the Mask. I started it up as a reminder that we are all
real people behind the mask. I felt that if we got to learn just a bit about
each other, maybe just maybe we could get along a bit better. It was a very
popular feature on the server but it fell by the wayside during i9 beta
testing. I tired to start it up again but other things kept me from it. Though
thanks to the City Scoop, I am able to bring it back. I hope you enjoy reading
one of my "classic" interviews I did while I work on improving the current


Classic Interviews:

DJ Mindscythe

Lady Dee

State of the Archetype


Hello one and all, and welcome to the State of Tankers address.
I’m here to tell you that the state of Tankers is: well actually it’s pretty
darned good right now. This isn’t saying that everything is perfect, but we’re
going to take a bit of an in-depth look at the Tanker AT and explore where it’s
doing well, and where it could use some improvements.

We’ll start off with the good. Over the past few issues, some of
the Tanker primaries that were seen as lagging behind have gotten some
improvements. Ice Armor and Stone Armor (pre-Granite), being mainly defense
based, got a boon in the changes to the enemy ToHit formulas, making them a bit
tougher to take down. Fire Armor recently had a change to Healing Flames which
has made the set much tougher. Stone Armor is still doing as well as ever in
the Tanker world, and post level 32 is still one of the toughest tanking sets
out there.

With the release of Inventions, Tankers have found much to like.
Not only are our secondaries able to use a lot of the sets, our primaries can
too. Fire Armor no longer has to choose Acrobatics for Knockback protection,
and can instead slot a few KB resist enhancements into their shields. Tankers
can also shore up their other holes, like Psionic Resistance with various sets.
On top of that, most Tanker builds are flexible enough within the Inventions
system to be able to build for the bonuses that you want, which is always a
good thing.

However, like I mentioned earlier, not everything is great in
the world of Tankers. Invulnerability Tankers could probably use a few small
boosts to their passives to put them on par with the other primary sets.
Invulnerability’s graphics were also recently changed, and while some like it,
there is a significant portion of players who are not fans of the toned down
graphics. That being said, there were also a lot of people that complained
about the glowing nature of the old graphics. So it was probably lose/lose for
the Devs.

We’re still the kings of aggro, and can survive more incoming damage than any
other AT at base levels. Recently, there has been some issues with our Gauntlet
inherent. Currently, it is has been bugged, and the AoE (area of effect)
component hasn't been working correctly. However, this problem is
currently fixed on the Training Room Test Server
and we can look
forward to this fix getting out to the Live servers soon. Once this is done, it
will be much easier for the team Tanker to get and maintain aggro without the
use of Taunt or taunt-auras.

In terms of balance, though, the Tanker secondaries are more the
problem spot. Several Tanker melee sets are commonly seen as underperforming,
namely /Mace and /Ice. From conversations with Dev and Community staff, it
seems as if they are
aware of these problems
, and will be looking into them not too far down
the road.

Another common problem I see on the Tanker boards is that we’re
not needed on a team; that if the team is good, a tanker becomes useless. Far
from being a bad thing, I view this as a good thing. I’ve been on good teams
that haven’t needed a Blaster, or a Defender, etc. So not being ‘needed’ on a
good team is probably just where we want to be. It means we’re right about
where we should be, because it happens to all other ATs as well. On more
chaotic teams, we can usually still be found as the point man, leading the
charge into the fray and making sure our teammates are well protected.

Another thing that we’ve got going for us is that it looks like
we may be getting another primary/secondary or two. Tankers have had just four
primary powersets to choose from from game release. The news that a new set or
two might be coming down the pipeline fairly soon has definitely done a lot to
boost the morale of the Tanker community.

We’re Tankers. We’re going to take the hits so you don’t have
to. We’re going to put ourselves in harm's way for the greater good. We’re
going to insult that giant robot’s mother, for you, the squishy. And when all
is said and done, we’re going to discuss our exploits over a nice, tasty BBQ.
So, as I mentioned, we’re doing pretty well right now, and look to improve in
the future.




Back to front


Julian Day 2454260.29


With Sun transiting the First House, you should
experience all the benefits of this most powerful cosmic force. Endurance is
high and your creative juices are flowing, ready to be applied to the work at


Sun conjunct Mercury enhances your creative
thinking today. You may have new and promising ideas in work or business. Today
is THE day to start new ventures.


Saturn transiting the First House tends to slow you
down, making you realistic about your abilities and expectations for success.
Your nature will most likely be very stoical now, as you take a serious
attitude to just about all aspects of your life.


Sun square Moon creates conflicts between you and
loved ones who may have different ideas about what you should be doing.
Bottling up problems is not healthy but it makes a great nova!


Neptune conjunct Uranus presages a strange period
in your life in which you may be seduced by radical ideas or alternate
realities. Follow the beat of a new drummer only if your heart agrees it is the
right thing to do and you aren’t in Orenbega at the time.


Pluto sextile Uranus invigorates your mind, giving
you a new insight into talents that possibly have lain dormant for years. Group
activities, especially if they help others, can be most rewarding.


Sun opposite Pluto tends to disrupt your relations
with those in authority and increases the possibility of conflicts with
strangers. On the positive side though, this transit may portend the successful
culmination of an ambitious project.

Dear Athy

Dear Athy,

Settle a bet. My Super Group leader says Rikti used to be normal
humans. I say he's wrong. I think he's confusing the Rikti for the Lost, who
were once human, but were experimented on by the Rikti.

Who's right? There's an Invention Enhancement riding on it.



---Dearest, since I can’t see your Omega Level clearance badge,
I’ll simply have to say, you should pay the man his enhancement.

Dear Athy,

I am a superspeeder. In fact, I am considered the fastest man in
Paragon City. Recently I have moved to the Rogue Isles, and found it very
difficult to get anywhere. I have asked the Black Scorpian to help, but he can
only grant me fly for a few seconds at best. Should I move back to Skyway, or
find a jetpack?


World's Fastest Man (on the ground)

---The Isles? Oh my! Some areas over there are just not
SS-friendly. A jet pack or a jump pack would definitely be the must-have
accessory for any speedster, here in the City or out in the Isles. Even if you
rarely need one, it’s easier to not need what you’ve got than to need what you
don’t have.

Dear Athy,

After a few hours' worth of fighting Crey, I have found that
their really horrible chemical stench lingers for days. Water doesn't seem to
get rid of it, and I avoid using my fire then for fear of setting the chemicals
on fire and blowing myself up. No soaps seem to work, either.

Can you recommend anything?


---Never fear, I’ve made a few calls including one to Crey Ind
(a simple inquiry regarding a minor belch of spew from one of their factories )
and according to Crey Representative Tina, Crey Cola should do the trick. For
some reason, this answer didn’t sit well with yours truly so I made few more

According to a chemist who wishes to remain anonymous, mixing the chemicals in
Crey Cola with one of the main ingredients in their some of their weapons
produces a toxic cloud that would level half the City! He remarked that the
chemical composition of Crey’s weapons formula looked like it would be
susceptible to simple talcum powder, however I was unable to gain any further
insight from him as the phone line went dead.

Athy is a tad concerned. Since he was so adamant about not revealing his
identity, I’ve had a bit of a problem checking on him and can not raise him on
the phone. I’ll be listening to the police scanner for a bit.

Dear Athy,

I was new to Paragon City when I was approached by a gentleman
who invited me to join his super group. I took him up on his offer and told him
that I would do everything I could to improve our base. I haven't seen hide nor
hair of the leader of the group in several days and I fear for his safety. Did
he become the victim of one of the many evil organizations that plague the
city? I have lost sleep wondering about his condition. There is another problem
with this situation. Our leader is the only one who can modify our base, which
is in dire need of improvement. I do not know what I should do. Any advice you
can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Troubled Knight

---Have you listened to the police scanner? Perhaps if he’s
fallen into more trouble than one hero can handle there’d be a broadcast from
the PPD.

Regarding the base though, if he’s truly MIA so to speak, the base system
should override his permissions in a short time frame allowing another to step
up to the proverbial design plate.

Dear Athy,

What does a guy have to do to impress some chicks in this city?

-Hot Stuff

---Get a rooster themed costume.

Dear Lady Athyna,

A fellow hero, whom I am generally proud to call my sidekick and
frind, seems to be risking neglecting his duties for the sake of impressing
girls. I do not wish to seem rude or unreasonable, but perhaps there is a way I
can make sure he concentrates on heroic duties first, then his personal life?

-Concerned Swordsman

---Ah, the wants and desires of my younger days… oh but how a
set of piercing blue eyes and tight spandex would set the heart a-twitter. Oh
how many times I’d miss my target if a certain someone flashed that smile…
Relax dear. After a particularly humiliating battle, I realized that I needed
to focus on my accuracy more than on those abs. It shouldn’t too long before
your sidekick discovers this for himself. If not, perhaps a well meaning note
attached to some bit of those lovely enhancements will give your friend a clue.

Dear Athy,

I recently took in a "Lackey" like I regularly do, but this one
is clingy and is stalking me now. He has these really weird goggles on too, and
it's all really starting to freak me out. Normally I would just kill the fool,
but I'm afraid things might be worse if he came back as a ghost. How the heck
am I supposed to get this guy to stop following me without decapitating his
head and convincing Veluta Lunata to let me borrow her Ghost Slaying Rifle?

---Have you tried the direct approach and explained to him that
his behaviour is unwelcome? That would be my first suggestion. If that fails,
perhaps he needs a ton of bricks to fall on him. If you’re out of bricks, try a


Julian Day 2454260.29


Venus transiting the First House makes you
well-disposed towards friends and VG mates. Teaming with others is most
rewarding at this time. You can be helping them as much as their presence is
helping you.


Jupiter conjunct Pluto fills you with an ambition
for prominence. You are willing to work very hard and do most anything to
achieve success. With this competitive attitude, you will probably achieve your


Jupiter in the First House marks a time when you
feel "lady luck" smiling on you. Make sure both your expectations and abilities
are realistic before diving into something you may not be able to get out of
without harm or embarrassment.


Mercury conjunct Jupiter confers enthusiasm and
quick mindedness. Your comprehension of issues is broadened today and your
inner peace makes you tolerant of dissenting views.


Pluto transiting the First House is a transit where
your moods may fluctuate as much as the Black Market. This is not a good time
to make any concrete decisions about a relationship or business deal.

Jenna Seidel's Rogue Islands Repast

Greeting Villains, Vigilantes, Heroes and other general pains in
the neck. After reading the latest edition of “The City Scoop”, I decided that
being a food critic wasn't that hard. Besides, the more tourism to the Islands,
the better for everyone involved.

I grabbed the gang and we all headed out to Brass Knuckles
favorite dive, Lucky Spot BBQ. The six of us had a quiet meal together, with
great service. This could be because when five crazy-eyed thugs and one
no-nonsense chick walk into a place, we normally clear it out. The food is
char-grilled, chicken, pork and beef, with some burgers. If you don't eat meat,
you are SOL at “The Spot”.

had a chance to sit down with Lucky Spot's owner, Deacon Jackson and his wife,
Effie. It was hard at first to convince them that we were just there to eat,
Archie demands on taking his TNT with him everywhere. After calming them down,
Deacon told me that he and Effie moved to the Islands during the “problems” of
the 1960's in the American South. “Even with heroes, it wasn't a place for
certain folks to be.” Lucky for us, they brought their recipes with them.

Greg had the pulled pork sandwich, Carolina style, the cole slaw
on the sandwich, with potato salad. The BBQ sauce is fresh and home made,
sweet, tangy and a bit of spice. The pork was juicy and tender and the cole
slaw is a cool, creamy contrast to the hot pork. He liked the cole slaw so much
that he demanded the recipe and I added it.

Hodges went with a more local flavor, the grilled jerk chicken
with plantain fries and pineapple chutney. Pineapple chutney, as far as we can
tell, is pineapple cooked in brown sugar and spices. The chicken was a little
spicy for me, but I was lucky I didn't pull back a bloody stump when I asked
Hodges for a bite. The plantain fries tasted just like sweet french fries to
me, but Deacon told us that it looks like a banana, but you have to cook it
before you can eat it.

Archie, being a pyro and into anything hot, had the “Firehouse”
brisket with a side of beans. The “Firehouse” is a special sauce that is
available with any BBQ dish, it's the hottest thing that Deacon serves, made
with a lot of Louisiana hot sauce. It burned my eyes when it was brought to our
table. Archie said that it was one of the best meals he had ever eaten and
didn't even have to add his own hot sauce. The beans “didn't have enough
flavor” for Archie, but they tasted just fine to the rest of us. I think that's
'cause we have taste buds left.

Pancho ordered the “Smokehouse Combo”. Half a rack of ribs and
smoked sausage, with fries and slaw. So much for originality, if you ask me.
The sausage recipe is another one that came form the American south, but this
time with Effie and she said that she would rather lose a finger than give up
it up. It was good enough I didn't press it, besides she's a nice lady. War, my
other Enforcer, ordered a combo, too. He had the “BBQ Combo”, half a rack of
ribs, half a BBQ-ed chicken, again with fries and slaw. I really shouldn't
complain too much about their eating choices, they are good at what they do.

Brass had exactly what he came for, a rack and a half of ribs.
Lucky Spot doesn't actually have this as a menu item, but Brass likes the extra
sides he gets when he orders both. The man packed away a pound of meat. Deacon
told us that he hot smokes the ribs personally, letting them smoke over 48
hours with real hickory wood smoke. Then he sets the ribs in a cooler for
another day, just sitting in the dry rub. He'll baste them 2 or 3 times while
he BBQs them over low heat. And I will tell you the meat falls right off the

I didn't order anything, I ate off the guys plates.

Though we didn't have to pay, and got another customer in our
“Security” business, Lucky Spot BBQ only accepts cash.

Lucky Spot Cole Slaw

    1 head of green cabbage
    2 carrots peeled and shredded
    1/2 tablespoon of pepper
    1-1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise or salad dressing
    1 5 oz can of crushed pineapple
    1 tablespoon of sugar or sugar substitute
    juice of half a lemon[/list]

    Shred cabbage into a large bowl and add carrots and pepper. In a
    small bowl mix remainder of ingredients. Add dressing to cabbage and mix well,
    refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving, best if chilled overnight.

Grand Dad Kelley's BBQ Beans

    5-7 strips of bacon
    1 medium onion large chop
    1 clove of garlic or 1 tablespoon of garlic salt
    4 10 oz cans of pork-n-beans
    1 cup BBQ sauce
    1 cup ketchup
    1/4 cup of brown sugar
    1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon of Louisiana Hot sauce (Tabasco
    1 tablespoon of prepared mustard[/list]

    Slice bacon and fry up in a large skillet. When bacon is crispy,
    drain some fat and saute onions and garlic. Add beans, sugar and sauces. Add
    1/2 cup of water and let simmer for about an hour. Beans can be served right
    away, but are best if refrigerated overnight and reheated. Reheat beans to a
    temperature of 160 deg. F. before serving, Effie says so.

Advice From the X

Greetings boys, girls, and beings of indeterminate gender! One again I have
been called upon to give you another dose of Advice from the X! Today’s
question arrived via a brick through the second floor windows of the City

"Dear LiquidX,

I's recently gained sum... "employment opportunities" in da Rogue Isle's, an
I's keeps hearin 'bout sumthin called a "re-spec". Can youse fills me in on
dis, and hows I's cans get me sum of dis?


Jimmy Two-bits"

Dear Jimmy Two-bits,

A "Respec" is short hand for "Power Respecification". Essentially, a "Respec"
means that a Hero or Villain has somehow changed their powers, often losing
powers they had while gaining new ones (or even just affecting the ability for
the person to enhance their abilities with various enhancements). Now, it
should be noted that a "Respec" is different then a "Re-roll", in that a person
who has "Respec"-ed will not have vastly different powers, and will still be
classified under the same Archetype. (For example, an Assault Rifle Blaster
won't suddenly be carrying around a Mace and tanking.)

Now, there are a couple of different ways that a Hero or Villain can gain the
ability to Respec. In Paragon City, the most common way for a Hero is when they
defend the Terra Volta reactor. Often, the radiation from the reactor can
affect (Or even grant) mutations, amplify or alter powers that have been
granted due to exposure to other forms of radiation and cosmic particles,
super-charge electronics and other technological gizmos, and do strange things
to magical artifacts.

Now, for Villains, they instead gain the ability to "Respec" by staging
assaults against the Thorn Tree. The Thorn Tree is a Demonic plant used by the
Circle of Thorns in order to siphon energy from a fortress of Mu. By breaching
the Tree and stealing the Nexus of Thorns, Villains can use the gathered energy
to "Respec". Interestingly enough, it should be noted that for both groups,
they can only "Respec" a total of three times through these methods. No one's
really sure why this is, either.

Now, another way to "Respec" for both Heroes and Villains is as rewards,
granted by the Paragon City Government and Arachnos, respectively. Because of
the difficulties involved (and often high costs), these are only granted to
people who distinguish themselves. Paragon City, for example, grants Respecs to
Heroes who have continued to serve for months (And years). Meanwhile, Arachnos
grants them to lucky Villains who have proven their power by avoiding being
tossed back into the 'Zig. Rumor also has it that Villains who take on a Patron
are also granted a gift of a free "Respec", along with whatever powers and
techniques they learn.

Finally, the last form of "Respec" is a mystery as both Heroes AND Villains
have sometimes discovered the ability to "Respec" for no apparent reasons.
There are hundreds of theories as to why this is, too. Some claim it's thanks
to hyper-intelligent beings from beyond our dimension. Others claim it's due to
mysterious and cryptic gods who created the universe and the multitude of
dimensions billions of years ago. Some people believe it's the result of crazy
genetic experiments by Crey. And some blame a Wizard, or the mythical
"Statesboy-Prime". Whatever the reason, it happens.

And there you have it. All you ever wanted to know about "Respecs", but didn't
want to ask! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go before someone expects me
to clean up all this glass. Toodles!

There Is Help!

As a citizen of Paragon City, you really can't enter any public
building with out seeing a flier or poster proclaiming the next meeting of
Alt-aholics Anonymous. But what is Alt-aholism and why is it so prevalent in
our fair city? To answer this question I went to Paragon City Behavioral Health
Associates, located in Chiron Medical Plaza, in Atlas Park and asked Dr. Nora
Conners. “Alt-aholism is a disease of the mind and ego, “ states this leading
authority on super behavior. “We normally see it [Alt-aholism] in people who
are new to this city and, frankly, to our way of doing things. Though this
illness can strike any super, from any background, at any level.” Dr. Conners
explained that Alt-aholism is the compulsive need to create alternative
personas, or Alts for short. “The creation of Alts can be healthy, ” states Dr.
Conners, ”even necessary.” An example would be, when a Villain group sets out
to ruin the reputation of said Hero and this person must adopt a new person to
clear their name. “The healthy hero can give up this 'Alt', when the time
comes.” The current belief in the mental and behavioral health communities is
that it stems from a relentless quest for perfection. This can become a serious
problem when the creation and registration of false personas take priority over
the actual heroing and crime-fighting processes. “Some of the worst cases [of
Alt-aholism] we have seen generally revolve around eleven 'Alts', sometimes
both heroes and villains, with a persona known as a 'Main'. All in all, its
very similar to the mundane mental illness called Multiple Personality
Disorder. The difference being that Alt-aholism is an addiction and not, as we
know it, a biological disorder.” It is warned that Alt-aholism should not be
confused with the phenomenon known as “re-rolling”, where a hero starts over,
in the ranks of his or her Hero Regulatory Agency, registering powers and,
sometimes, crime fighting styles.

As with other addictions, there is no know cure for Alt-aholism.
However, there are support groups, like Alt-aholics Anonymous, Alt-Anon, and
Altateen, which help in recovery and allowing the hero to focus on one persona
at a time. Much like the groups that focus on more mundane problems, such as
drug addiction and alcoholism, Alt-aholics Anonymous works on a series of
”Steps”. Following these steps is called ”Working the program”. As the first
step is always “Admitting you have a problem” Alt-aholics Anonymous has worked
up a few questions to ask yourself.

1) Have you every promised yourself that you would concentrate
on one persona for a week, only to lose interest with in a few days?

2) Have you every switched from one archetype to another in hopes of
maintaining interest?

3) Do you envy heroes and villains who can maintain a single persona to
Security/Threat level 50?

4) Have you ever backed out of a Supergroup raid to attend a Alt's Supergroup

5) Have you ever told yourself that you could stop creating Alt's at anytime,
only to create another?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might
want to visit a local meeting. All meetings are anonymous, and all visitors are
encouraged not to attend in costume. To find your local meeting call
1-866-555-ALTS (2587) 24-7.



Arts and Entertainment

Back to front

The Week in Art

This week in art we had a lot of entries for
Graver's birthday and the winners were announced as well! Also we had alot of
commissioned pieces come down the pipe and a few suprise pieces from old
posters. As requested I am going to go through them for ya and list my top
five of the week! For a look at all the art from the week be sure to drop by
the Fanart Section and have a look! We don't bite....hard!

Train by Rocinate
- Find more of Rocinate's work at his
Deviant art site.

Janie Gunn
by Sorah Suhng
- Check out more of Sorah's art at

Mad maiden
Absinthium WIP by Scarfgirl
- More of Scarfgirl's art can be found

Obsidi_Anne does a piece for their main character of the same name
First art piece posted

Rowrsie by
- More artwork by Thally can be found
on their deviant art page.

There's my picks! Keep the great art coming guys
and gals!

Featured Artist

David Nakayama

This week as the end of the comic book approaches I had a
chance to sit down with one of the artists involved in the Top Cow series.
David does the pencil work for the series and has done so since issue #1.
Here's what he had to say:

So David thanks for taking this time to sit down with me.
The news over the forum is that the Top Cow comics and the comic in general is
coming to a close after merely 20 issues and I wanted to get your thoughts
on that.

pleasure, Thor’s. Believe me, I’m really sorry to see the comic go too, and I
would’ve loved to continue working on it, but then again, we did get 20 full
issues, which is pretty impressive considering the expense and difficulty of
putting together a comic.

Looking back, I’m amazed that we got mainstream creators like
Mark Waid and Dan Jurgens to work on the book (not to mention homegrown talents
like Sean Fish and Troy Hickman), and for the most part, I’m really proud of
the art quality throughout the series. Heck, when you think about it, this kind
of free premium is EXTREMELY rare among MMOs, so when all’s said and done, I
see the comic as a really cool and unique bonus for the CoH community, and I’m
glad we got to do it for as long as we did.

When sitting down to draw for the coh comic what kind of
tools do you use?

I use a .03 mechanical pencil with HB lead and a variety of
erasers. Nothin’ too fancy, I guess! I also use a ton of printed screenshots
from the game, just to keep the costumes and landmarks looking as accurate as

In your opinion what were the key differences with the Top
Cow series and the Blue King comics for CoH?

To be honest, I’ve only read a couple Blue King issues, so I
might not be the best person to answer this one. But I’d guess that the biggest
difference would have to be the cast of characters. Our series follows the
signature heroes, which brings a very different flavor to the book. Also, I
think we did more multi-part stories, at least in the first year. Obviously,
each book had its own storytelling and visual style, and that’s a huge
difference as well.

Describe how you're able to express yourself artistically
through comic book art.

I’ve always liked figure drawing, and that’s pretty much what
comics are about, so it’s a good fit. To me, working out poses, anatomy, and
expression on the page is kind of like solving a puzzle, and it’s rewarding to
get better at it over time.

What would your fantasy job be?

Comics, of course! And I’d love to do more concept art for games
and/or movies as well.

What gets ya pumped up about your future projects?

Well, my new title (called Marvel Adventures: Hulk) premieres in
July, and the anticipation’s just about killing me right now. I put a lot of
extra energy into the work, so I’m dying to see what people think. Plus, it’ll
be the first time I’ve had a full-length comic published by Marvel, which is
pretty exciting considering how long I’ve been a Marvel fan. Anyway, I hope you
guys’ll check out the Hulk book in July, and if you’re at the Chicago or San
Diego conventions this summer, I’ll be signing and sketching at the NCSoft and
Marvel booths, so definitely look me up. I’m always happy to draw a portrait of
your CoH character if you bring me a screenshot.

Thanks for that time David and good luck on the release of
the Hulk series for Marvel. We'll see ya at the conventions!

Featured Collector


Here's a new feature for the fanart section made strictly
for the collectors on the fanart forums. You see in the world of comic art
theres the artists who create the pieces and those of us that love getting art
done of our favorite characters. Juggertha is a rare breed as he is both and in
this first feature I took some time to sit down with the big guy and ask
him some questions about his ever-increasing gallery:

So Juggertha! As an artist you have the unique role that
you've taken on as a collector as well. Recently gathering up art from some
great artists of your main character. What is it like being on both ends of the

"In a word... healthy. It's good to see it from both sides of
the fence. I think that getting art work done for me really helps me understand
how the people requesting art from me feel. That whole 'is this guy the style I
want?' - 'How long is this gonna' take?' - 'Am I going to hear from him again?'
I really feel it's helped me to become a better artist."

Who's the one artist you can't wait to get a picture done

"Ah, are we talking 'Dream Artist' here? If so, then it's got to
me Todd McFarlane. I met him once when I was a kid, and have always been in
love with his lines (if not his story telling)."

What do you get out of collecting art?

"ART ... no seriously, I get pictures of my character. Sure, a
part of me says that it fulfills parts of this game's fantasy, but the truth is
for me, it's just a sheer appreciation for the pictures themselves. I love
comic art, and always have. Collecting it is what I do."

Do you have a favorite piece among those you have in your

"So now the tough questions start eh? You want me to whittle
down my gallery and choose only one? If I was to choose one out of my
collection it'd probably have to be this civil war piece by Jeffrey 'Chamba'
Cruz. I think that he really captured the lurking (yet hulking) danger that
I've always pictured Juggertha to have."

When it comes to Juggertha, does art imitate life?

"Hahaha, my wife would love this question. For some reason, she
always thinks that my online characters look like me. Whether it be a
Trandoshan, a Dwarf, or some big bulbous Hero, she figures they all look like
me - or that I start to look like them (after hours of game play). So, let me
set the record straight, the closest I get to Juggertha is a receeding
hairline. "

What was your inspiration to start up a collection of your
main character?

"Would it be butt-kissin' if I said you? Honestly, seeing
yourself and a few others on this board gathering up such cool pieces really
made me want to start up as well. I think that a big reason people come to this
game is to have the character stuck in their head brought to 'life'. I think
that these art collections are a continuation on that theme."

What pieces do you have coming up and from who?

"I just had a few finished up from Tien-Wei and Lak Lim, but as
for 'up-and-coming'... I'm thinking about getting something done up by Marcio
Takara. He's got that great cartoony style."

Any other galleries out there that you keep an eye on when
looking for artists?

"Not as much as you might think. Sure I check out yours,
Buckeye's and Rowr's, but for the most part I just hunt through people's
'favorites' lists and look for styles I like. So, here's my not so subtle hint
for people on DA to give out faves if ya like something."

In closing, any advice for people thinking about starting up
a collection?

"If you're considering taking the step into Art Collectoring you
should be aware of something - it's addictive! Sure, it might seem harmless at
first, just over the counter water colors or something. But you'll soon find
yourself in some dark alley hoping to score a trading card or a 3D render. Be
careful, and don't say I didn't warn you.

"Do everything in moderation boys and girls and it'll all turn
out ok."

Cool thanks again for those great comments brother!! That
does it for this week in art! Next week we'll have some more great interviews
and art for ya! Take care all!



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