The City Scoop! ~ Front Page~ June 1st, 2007




The City Scoop

June 1st, 2007

Vol.1 Issue.3

Dark Astoria

"May you live in interesting times." I never really thought much on that saying that my master said to one of her students when she banished him from her dojo. It seems like such a minor curse, almost an after thought. Turns out life in Paragon is always interesting these days. First the rebuilding of Overbrooke and learning Archnos had set up a base there and the recent unpleasentness of caputring Lord Recluse and his escape no less then a day later.

Now it seems like more and more unusal things have been happening in the city. While I thought the war in what is called "Recluse's Victory" had been settled, I was wrong. Seems like something or someone is trying to tip the scales again. Though in which side's favor I do not know, yet. I now must gather my allies and learn the cause of this. This is going to be an interesting summer.....

Thus the stage is set for the upcoming "Good vs Evil Revolutions: Uprising" event to be held on the test server, brought to you by you, the players in the form of the PvP Event Committe (PvPEC for short). This is the first of three major player driven events the PvPEC will be sponsoring this summer.

Part One: Uprising
Friday June 1
Pocket D 9pm est/6pm pst
Get together and party to start things off. Special appearances by Lighthouse and Ex Libris who will not only be on hand to hand out Yellow titles but will also be there to give out and receive beat downs!

Siren's Call 10pm est/7pm pst
Massive brawl in the zone with special guests Light house and Ex Libris to encourage your side.

Saturday June 2
Pocket D 3pm est/12 noon pst
Lethal Lottery Tournament lvls 22-26 (exemping/malfactoring allowed)
A fun tournie where each round you have a new team. Will be 4x4 or 8x8 depending on turnout Prizes will be handed out.

Pocket D 10pm est/7pm pst
Lethal Lottery Tournament lvls 40+
Same thing as before only this time a higher level tournament.

Sunday June 3
Pocket D 8pm est/5 pm pst

Ever wondered how the best of the best play? Ever been completely decimated by a group and want to see them get theirs in return? This is your chance, as the best PvP SG's in the game get together to showcase their talent. This event is designed to show off the capabilities of PvP in the arena as the best in the game pwn each other for your viewing pleasure! Make sure to bring your own popcorn, because you won't want to miss a single match of this Showcase!

To participate in these event you need to copy your character to the test server. This is the link to the copy tool to get your character onto the test server. To learn how to get onto the test server follow this link .

Hunting in the Darkness

"When the Freedom Phalanx became an officially recognized Super Group in 1953, the hero Vambrace made a pledge. 'Dark Astoria will be restored to its natural state,' he said. 'The Freedom Phalanx is commited to saving every part of Paragon City, even those that may seem lost. " -Quote on one of the historical plaques in Dark Astoria

This neighborhood of Paragon City is probably one of the saddest. It's been over half a century, and all even the mightiest of heroes has been able to do is watch and guard, making sure the evil infesting this neighborhood does not spread. Little is known about it even today, which is probably the main reason it's proven so hard to save. The place has a distinctly spooky vibe even for a nocturnal creature like me. Most heroes want to get in, get their jobs done, and get out as quickly as they can. I'm writing this to pass on some of the knowledge I've gained in my time there, to make it easier for everyone else.

Dark Astoria is limited to Heroes security level 21 and above. It's loaded with the denizens of the Banished Pantheon, but there are also agents of the Tsoo, and Circle of Thorns there. The most I've ever been able to discern of their purpose has been to steal various artifacts that may or may not be in the hands of the Banished Pantheon. You're going to see a lot of weird things while you're here, including the shades of many of the people who lived here.

Many heroes avoid the street patrols against specific foes, but for a long time I thrived on them. However one of the hardest I ever took was to track down the Circle of Thorns in Dark Astoria. They tend to avoid the streets most of the time, and are on the roofs of some buildings in the northwest corner of the zone.

A more common reason people come to this zone is that they hear rumors that there are Banished Pantheon Mask Spirits here. Normally they only come out at night in the brighter reaches of Talos Island. The gloom of Dark Astoria means they're able to roam freely here anytime, but that doesn't make them common. There are a few spots in amongst the offices near the middle of the zone, but mainly they limit themselves to the small park in the southeast area.

I always find it amusing to help people with this next problem. They come looking for the markers, but they have an inferior map to guide them, or they don't have the kind of instincts that come naturally to us lemurs. That section of Moth Cemetery is riddled with catacombs. So when they think they are in the right place they are not. In truth, the marker is in a cave directly below the spot where they're looking. This is a common mistake. Silly humans...

The last thing that tends to trip people up is looking for big old Adamastor.The Pantheon love to revive him, and heroes love to come and bash him down. I went looking, but my Scoop photographer didn't want to come along after I told him the story of how long it took me to get the zombie puke out of my fur the last time. So, we'll have to rely on this file photo.

These are some of the common things that tend to trip up young heroes in this area of town. I know I didn't cover everything, but if I did, none of you would ever learn on your own. I'm just trying to save folks a bit of time and toil, and maybe a trip or two to the hospital.

This Issue:

Behind the Mask

Point / Counterpoint

This is the second 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 – Endurance Management


Endurance is one of the key factors in determining the pacing of the game. For an action oriented game like Co*, having to wait for endurance to recover is often a boring time sink. Making players wait around while they recover endurance can disrupts the flow of the game.

There are numerous ways in which the devs could modify the way we handle endurance that would significantly reduce the time spent waiting for endurance to recover. The devs could provide players with an inherent form of stamina, just like rest and brawl, or just up the recovery rate. They could also increase the amount of endurance we have, either at a certain level, or each level, like +1 end per level. The could also add new badges that lead to accolades that provide endurance pools, like some already do, or increased recovery rate. Another idea would be to add more temporary powers, like those from Mayhem and Safeguard missions, ones which would increase recovery or overall endurance. Many of the mechanisms for doing these things already exist, so adding to them would be easier than making up something entirely new. By increasing the speed of the game by making endurance easier to manage, the devs can capitalize on the action centric nature of the combat system, allowing players that enjoy fast paced action to maintain a high level of speed throughout a mission.


But there are also certain reasons why endurance is the way it is. The most important is probably because the devs wanted endurance to be a tactical feature of the combat system. The game system is currently balanced around the existing endurance limits and recovery rates. Changing them could require a further set of balancing changes to critters. It is also possible to think of Endurance more as a percentage of available endurance, something that rises as we level, but is countered by increasing power costs.

Further, there are existing methods of endurance management that players can do that do not require any game changes. Power and Toggle management can be used in combat situations to decrease endurance usage, either by using the more cost effect attacks to defeat opponents, or turning off toggles of little or no value during the fight. Powers can be selected, like stamina, which increase personal or team recovery. Players can also make more frequent use of recovery powers, like Rest. Invention sets can provide increased recovery. Doing missions or collecting badges which lead to existing recovery buffs is also possible. It is also possible to manage powers through enhancements, adding more endurance reduction enhancements into powers, in particular, replacing recharge reduction enhancements. If all else fails, players can take on easier critters, which will increase the drops/level while increasing hr/level.

It is also possible to modify the way players can gain endurance modification, without necessarily modifying the game balance. Adding new power pools that provide a recovery buff that does not stack with stamina, or moving some of the recovery in stamina to other powers in the fitness pool. The devs could also provide another global endurance reduction, like the one that came with the launch of enhancement diversification. There are numerous ideas on how endurance could be modified.

In all, here is a list of all the robust ideas that have come up regarding endurance. Each has Pros and Cons:

1. Inherent stamina, either granted at a certain level, or at level 1 as represented by an increase in base recovery
PROS: Relieve players of the requirement to get the fitness pool in order to maintain game play speed, opening new power selections.
CONS: Fundamentally alters the nature of endurance management, could require other game balance changes to compensate.

2. Increased endurance pool, either a step increase at certain levels, a gradual increase, such as +1 endurance per level, or a new power.
PROS: Allows for an increase use of progressively greater number of powers available to characters.
CONS: Fundamentally alters the nature of endurance management, could require other game balance changes to compensate.

3. Add additional pools that end in stamina, or rework existing pools to allow stamina.
PROS: Allows great freedom in build selection while still maintaining the current game balance.
CONS: Existing pool changes may cause existing build difficulties for coding. Changing pools may require further pool balancing. Finding a different but equal pool to fitness may prove problematic.

4. Change global endurance costs, or modify specific AT costs.
PROS: Global change has already happened, so the code already exists. Can pinpoint specific AT needs rather then change the entire system.
CONS: Could require further balance changes, stamina likely reduced in effectiveness.

5. Modify the existing fitness pool, making part of the enhanced recovery of stamina available in other powers in the pool.
PROS: Requires minimal work to change, does not modify game experience for anyone not taking the fitness pool.
CONS: Does not provide alternative methods from existing conditions.

6. Add a new accolades and set bonuses that increases endurance recovery.
PROS: Requires minimal work to change, inspires proactive player action.
CONS: Likely small increase similar to other accolades may not address endurance concerns, may require farming of certain critters to obtain.

7. Add new temporary powers that can buff recovery, either click powers (timer or use limit), or inherent buffs.
PROS: Inspires proactive player action, temporary powers already obtainable via safeguard/mayhem missions, so the code already exists.
CONS: Stacking with stamina could require other game balance changes to compensate, may require farming of certain missions to obtain.

Hopefully this article will get you thinking about your own endurance usage, and perhaps provide you some insight into a means of addressing your own endurance concerns. Endurance is an issue which the devs have commented on in the past, so it is one they will definitely be keeping an eye on.

State of the Archetype: Dominator

Dominators have come a long way since they were first unleashed on the Rogue Isles. A multitude of improvements have all but eradicated the cries of "Gimp!" and recently even cries of "Nerf!" have been appearing. For those who don't know, since CoV's release, Domination has been improved to build faster, especially in PvP, recharge sooner, and provide mez protection including a break free effect. All of this without taking away the lightning-reflexes, total-awareness, fast-decision style that can make Dominators an obsession. There were also a lot of helpful changes in power patch that came post Issue8. Many niggling problems with different Assault sets were fixed.

The latest good news for Dominators is the new Hamidon raid, where the ability to stack large amounts of hold magnitutde is critical to a successful raid. Of course the invention system and the existing RSF has significantly reduced the interest in Hamidon raiding, but Dominators will definitely be wanted when it happens. A solid contingent of Doms is essential to making villain raids go smoothly.

Inventions have brought something special to Dominators, the quest for the holy grail of Perma-Domination: if you can slot enough IO sets with recharge bonuses Domination can be reactivated before it expires. This has huge potential in PvE and PvP. It's also created an undertone of worry in the community, because many fear it's too good to be true, or at least remain true for long...

Naturally Dominators still have their problems, and foremost of those are the Purple Triangles of Doom (PToD), that special mez protection that Arch Villains and Heroes (including their lesser Elite Boss variants) get that makes them mostly immune to a Dominator's control powers for two thirds of the time. Three or four Dominators can cut through the PToD, but one or two don't bring much more than mediocre damage against a solo AV. What happened to those ambushes in the Respec Trial anyway? There's nothing like an ambush to make a Dominator feel useful in an AV fight. This brings us to the Lord Recluse Strike Force, which seems like it was designed to make most Dominators feel useless. Excluding, of course, a good Mind Control Dominator who can, with a little help, contribute spectacularly by keeping the entire Freedom Phalanx permanently asleep. Overall though, it takes things like Vengeance stacking, Shivans and Nukes so Dominators can "contribute" equally. (Or more than equally with Power Boosted Vengeance.) That is probably less a flaw with Dominators and more a problem with the LRSF though.

While not hailed as the champions of PvP, Dominators are now holding their own. The increased Domination gain in PvP has made all the difference here, because when it's active Dominators are a force to be reckoned with. Forum threads complaining about Dominators being overpowered are a good sign that balance is being approached. I guess some people are upset that it now takes skill, and not just a Break Free to best a Dominator at PvP. IOs will play a role in PvP, but thankfully they grant mez resistance, not mez protection (like the Monument of Iron), which reduces mez durations, and doesn't negate it all together. Unfortunately there is still a disparity in that defensive characters can stack a lot more mez resistance set bonuses than control characters can stack mez duration bonuses.

Finally, there are of course a plethora of specific issues, here are some notable ones: Dominator AoE Control powers have lower max target caps than those of Controllers; some powers have poor visual effects; Jack Frost and Flytrap have cruddy AI; Psionic Dart has an excessive endurance cost; the AoE holds have poor utility; Hot Feet, Arctic Air and Telekinesis all have excessive endurance costs; Gravity Control lacks useful AoE control before Wormhole; the death sentence that is the AoE immobs; PPP AoE attacks have superior counterparts in the secondaries; and the debatated claim that Energy Assault's damage output is too low.

Overall though, it's a good time to be a Dominator. The word is out, and while there are still a few people who don't know or understand, enough do so that a Dom is welcomed on most teams. It takes a special brand of insanity to play a Dominator, often you're one missed Hold from being a smear on the floor. For most of us though, that's where the fun lays.

Editor's Note: This is the first in an ongoing summer series of Guest Columns. Alternating weeks will showcase a Villain then Hero Archetype. If you have any nominations for forum posters you would like to see write for an Archetype, send them in a Forum PM to Lemur_Lad.



Scoop, June 1st, page 2

Behind the Mask

Back to front page

Arachnos Countess and Arachnos Commander

First off I know you proposed in game and that you (countess) thought it was just a RP thing. How surprised were you when he proposed in real life to you?

Countess: shocked. I thought he was kidding. he got down on one knee, at the beach, in Massachusetts in January... it was beautiful and cold
Commander: I'm good like that

Well how did you two find each other? Was it in game or in real life first?

Commander: Real
Countess: real life
Commander: I'll let you talk, you always do
Countess: shut up

Well do you two talk in game or thru a voice chat program?

Countess: Well, we don't see each other much right now. I'm back in Memphis taking care of my mom. I'm waiting for him to get off his lazy [censored] and get moving to tennessee
Countess: lol, on the phone
Commander: Yeah, I'm going to be moving down there, hopefully by winter
Commander: yeah, thank god for free long distance

Also I noticed your VG does some amazing contests. Do you have anything planned in game to celebrate the upcomming happiness?

Commander: Well, nothing planned yet. But we should be doing something for it.
Commander: I wanted to do something that could get everyone involved, not just the group.
Countess: I want a small wedding
Commander: hehe

Finally do you two roleplay lover's spats in game to confuse people?

Commander: all the fricken time, and it's not roleplaying
Countess: shut up

Arachnos Commander

Virtue Server

What is your home server and why did you end up picking it as your home server?

Virtue has been my home since I started in September 2004. I had some friends that played there. They were big roleplayers, so I fit right in.

Where do you live?


What else do you like to do in your free time besides play CoX?

I do some web design and writing when I have free time.

What are your favorite movies?

Comedy, Horror, Action… some chick flicks (I can admit it.) Resident Evil 1 & 2 are ones that I have no problem watching over and over. I used to manage a video store so I’ve become pretty jaded towards movies.

What are your favorite books and authors?

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, the Regulators by Stephan King, and the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

What TV shows do you like to watch?

Heroes, Law & Order (all of ‘em), and most of the Food Network.

Do you have any pets?

A Chihuahua named Taco and a cat named Buttercup (I didn’t give her that name, btw.)

How did you get drawn to this game?

An old friend of mine, Shannon, introduced me to City of Heroes. I created my first character, a tank, named Kerse. When I first started playing CoH, I had also begun training to be a pro-wrestler (yep, the fake stuff you see on TV.) After getting dropped on my head too many times, and putting a dent in my shin bone, I realized that CoH could let me fulfill my dreams of wearing spandex without having to get injured in the process. ? When CoV made it’s debut, I gave up on being a good guy and have been a villain, exclusively.

What is your favorite aspect of the game?

I love all of the content. The game definitely has a feel all its own. My favorites things in game are the mission maps that have been changed to fit the character storyline. Like the warehouse that was converted into the Carnival of Shadows lair and the Crey Lab that was destroyed by the CoT boss. Good stuff.

Who is your namesake character and what are they?

Right now, the character I still play is the Arachnos Commander. I created him as an homage to the Cobra Commander of G.I. Joe fame, however if the Arachnos Commander took on the Cobra Commander, I’d definitely say that Cobra would fall easily.

Which of all the archtypes and powersets would you say is your favorite?

Mastermind is definitely my favorite. It’s the first archetype that I got to lvl50. Poison and Mercenaries are what I chose and it hasn’t done me wrong, yet.

Your least favorites?

The epic archetypes on the villainside… oh, wait. There aren’t any yet.

What would you say is your greatest strength in the game?

The other players, definitely. If it weren’t for everyone else and their creations, there game play would suffer. Everyone adds something unique to the game.

Your greatest weakness in the game?

PvP. I’d love to get into PvP with the Commander, but being a Mastermind doesn’t give him any advantages. The Mercenaries are great, but having to control them leaves me open to get ganked… which always happens.

What zone is your favorite?

Truthfully, Atlas. I’m a villain, through and through, but hearing that triumphant music when you’re near Paragon City Hall gives me chills.

What is your favorite storyline in the game?

Ghost Widow’s Patron storyline, that and Operation Scrooge by Operative Gruber.

What one feature would you like to see added to the game?

Only one feature? Well, I would love to be able to see more villain zones. Even if they destroyed all of the hero zones and threw them in as villain zones, I’d be happy.

What advice do you have for any new players to the game?

Stick with it. The game does get repetitive, but it’s well worth it dinging in at level 50. Also, find a good group to team with. Make friends with lots of people, because having someone to watch your back never hurts.

Any closing comments?

The developers are the true heroes of the game, and I don’t just mean their characters. This small group of people was able to give thousands upon thousands of people an experience that no one will ever get in real life. Next time you want to complain about what didn’t happen and what powers you didn’t get, don’t forget… you’re reaping the rewards of all of the devs work.

Arachnos Countess

Virtue Server

What is your home server and why did you end up picking it as your home server?

Virtue; that’s where my fiancé plays.

Where do you live?


What else do you like to do in your free time besides play CoX?

Work. That’s all I have time for

What are your favorite movies?

Horror movies. The more blood and gore the better

What are your favorite books and authors?

Anything by Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, and Stephen King

What TV shows do you like to watch?

CSI, Are you Being Served, Benny Hill

Do you have any pets?

10 (6 cats, 3 dogs and 1 bird)

How did you get drawn to this game?

My fiancé played it and he talked me into signing up.

What is your favorite aspect of the game?

Interacting with so many different people. The ideas they come up with for characters are amazing.

Who is your namesake character and what are they?

The Arachnos Countess. She’s a thermal corruptor.

Which of all the archtypes and powersets would you say is your favorite?

Stalker and super strength/invul. Brute

Your least favorites?

Defender. Damn them all to hell!

What would you say is your greatest strength in the game?

Playing with a good team.

Your greatest weakness in the game?

I heal most of the time, so I don’t see much frontline action. I’m usually in the back healing and rezzing.

What zone is your favorite?

Pocket D

What is your favorite storyline in the game?

I love all of the holiday missions, especially the Halloween events.

What one feature would you like to see added to the game?

Hero to villain and villain to hero switch

What advice do you have for any new players to the game?

As much as I love you guys, constantly spamming the broadcast window demanding “PL Meh Plz” just isn’t cool

Turbo Ski

Infinity Server

What is your home server and why did you end up picking it as your home server?

Infinity is where I make my home, but I also have characters on Liberty, Virtue, and Justice. My brother and I started playing the game together and he chose the server because some of his friends were there. It just sorta stuck for me even after he quit the game for good.

Where do you live?

I’ve always lived in and around Houston, TX. My family and I would always take trips annually to Colorado to snow ski.

What else do you like to do in your free time besides play CoX?

I have a variety of geeky activities, but my most recent involve art collecting and trying to improve my art skills. I also enjoy seeing a variety of movies and anime. My friends and I often like to play Risk 2010 A.D., Magic the Gathering, Silverage Sentinels, Munchkin, and Smash Brothers Melee whenever we get together.

What are your favorite movies?

I’m crazy about horror movies! The Evil Dead trilogy, Psycho, It, The Thing, and the Shining are among my favorites, although I have far too many in my dvd collection to name.

What TV shows do you like to watch?

The Colbert Report, Rome, and Dexter are the only things I regularly watch. Everything else I wait until it comes to dvd.

Do you have any pets?


How did you get drawn to this game?

My brother told me about it and suggested we play it together.

What is your favorite aspect of the game?

I have to pick? The ability to easily play for only 30 minutes or for 8 hours and still get the same amount of satisfaction out of it.

Who is your namesake character and what are they?

Turbo-Ski, my Ice/Cold Corruptor. Sarix the Devourer (DM/Fire brute) and Project Reaver (NRG/SR stalker) are also my “signature” characters.

Which of all the archetypes and powersets would you say is your favorite?

It’s a tie between Ice/Cold Corruptors and TA/A defenders for me. I enjoy almost all the support sets the most in this game.

Your least favorites?

I honestly don’t like playing an Empathy user, despite my only level 50 hero being a Fire/Empathy Controller (Shadow Blaze). I find constantly buffing and healing in between attacks/controls to be boring compared to debuffs and more control.

Do you prefer heroside or villainside?

Villain side, because it feels more expansive without the war walls, story arcs are more interesting to me, and ATs are quite interesting to play.

What would you say is your greatest strength in the game?

I can live on a slither of HP for a VERY long time (on squishies) and remain active in combat. I also follow directions well.

Your greatest weakness in the game?

Unless I’m in “The Mood”, then I’m a horrible team leader and I generally don’t start my own teams.

What zone is your favorite?

I must be weird because I actually LIKE Grandville and I’m a superspeeder!

What advice do you have for any new players to the game?

Read guides, ask questions, actively try to understand each AT and their playstyles, learn the importance of positioning yourself in combat, and constantly look for new ways to use your powers.

What is your favorite storyline in the game?

Viridian’s is by far my favorite, but I like the entire Praetorian story arc as well. A Scythe temp power or a dark fireball temp power (like Succbi have). Also a flower bouquet emote would be cool too.

Any closing comments?

This game has the most awesome community! I’m constantly finding both experienced and new players who are always ready to lend a helping hand. Also if anyone ever needs helpful advice in finding artists, then send me a PM and I will happily point you in the right direction.


Virtue Server

What is your home server and why did you end up picking it as your home server?

Virtue. Few reasons I actually chose Virtue honestly. First I am an RPer, I like to get into my character(s) and act them out. Generally if I can never get a feel for my character they get deleted, no matter what level they reach. Having done some research, and as Virtue was the unofficial RP server, it kind of clicked with me. Also, part of me thought on it since I am an old time Ultima Online player as well.

Where do you live?


What else do you like to do in your free time besides play CoX?

Writing stories and dreaming and attempting to draw are in my blood, so when I am not playing CoX, I am typically doing something like that. Of course, I am also an amateur 3d modeller, and been focussing more and more on doing that kind of work lately.

What are your favorite movies?

Unsurprisingly enough, my favorite all time movie is the Howling, the first one. I have quite a few others I like, such as Pirates of the Caribean (all three), Shrek, Hudson Hawk, and a few others that slip my mind at the moment.

What are your favorite books and authors?

Anything written by Christie Golden that I have read usually is very good and well written. Most of the works that I have of her's are in the now cancelled Ravenloft novella series. I think my all time favorite novel is a Ravenlloft book called I, Strahd.

What TV shows do you like to watch?

I don't regularly watch TV. If I do sometimes I catch something on Cartoon Network, otherwise I will watch the History Channel, gives me some ideas every now and then for a story hehe.

Do you have any pets?

Nope. If I had a choice of a pet, it would be a wolf though.

How did you get drawn to this game?

That's a bit of a tale actually. Originally, I was in the CoH beta, but at the time Heroes did not interest me. I kept my eye on heroes as updates went through but still, nothing sparked my interest with Heroes. Then I heard about Villains. At the time Villains came out, however, I wasn't in a position to start playing, but eventually I was able to get started, and I have been hooked ever since.

What is your favorite aspect of the game?

The flexibility in creating your character. That's what primarily keeps me in villains, you really have alot of freedom and choice for creating and customizing the character you create. Not saying Heroes doesn't, however, Villains feels and plays more free form granting, in my mind, greater flexibility.

Who is your namesake character and what are they?

Silver Spar, a level 50 werewolf, or mutation brute, take your pick She was originally a stalker, but the AT didn't fit what I had in mind, and re-rolled her as a brute, and been playing her like that ever since.

Which of all the archtypes and powersets would you say is your favorite?

Honestly, I love playing my brute, as my namesake character, but then again I don't have the strongest inclination to make alts either. However, my second favorite AT would probably be the mastermind, but I guess that's because I like to tank and protect my teammates as best I can. As far as my favorite power, I tend to play anything mixed with dark in it somewhere, whether dark armor, dark miasma, melee or even necro. Hehe, dunno why dark just seems to appeal to me the most.

Your least favorites?

Least favorite I don't really have, least played, I would say is a dominator, but mostly because the domination spark and most of the dominator powers give me a really bad headache.

What would you say is your greatest strength in the game?

Personally, I try to involve everyone and build community and friendship together. I typically run Strike Forces and I am starting to build up some courage for events and the like. I try to include everyone I can for anything I do, as I don't want anyone to feel like I am neglecting them. I try to help out anyone who asks, will even malefactor down if need be. Just something I try to do, be there for my friends and try to make new ones and build stronger community over all.

Your greatest weakness in the game?

Guess that can be any number of things, though I guess the major one is being dumb enough to talk at all hehe. Honestly, the list is probably longer than I even thought about, probably boiling down to I tend to rub people the wrong way I guess. Usually have a bad habit of not thinking before I speak and I end up saying something that just ticks someone off, when I really don't try to. Also I have to say I am very defensive of my beliefs and will stick to them. That seems to create some problems to hehe.

What zone is your favorite?

Hero side, Croatoa.
Villain side, it's a toss up between St. Martial, Monster Island, and The Abyss. Each of those three zones has something I really like about them. For instance I actually enjoy listening to the music in Jackpot when I am running through there, while Monster Island I enjoy the area as a new RP spot, and having a clear sky or just to relax. The Abyss I enjoy because it's very interesting in design and scope, not to mention the whole Jurassic Park thing it has going on.

What is your favorite storyline in the game?

Alot of mixes here. Narrowing it down, however, I would say von Grunn, TV, and Viridian. von Grunn because he is an absolute nutter, TV because the story is just hilarious to read, and Viridian because I like the epic scope and challenge his story arc gives. A Strike Force that's not a Strike Force, as it were.

What one feature would you like to see added to the game?

If I had to choose just one, I think it would be the villain EATs I would want to see. But I have alot I would put equal to that.

What advice do you have for any new players to the game?

Take your time, don't try to rush to the end. Though reaching the big five-o might seem what you have to do, you will have alot more fun taking your time and ignoring the fact that your experience bar even exists. Try to enjoy the company you get with others.



Scoop, June 1st, page 3


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Market Watch

The market continues to sizzle, with rare mid- to high-level arcane salvage commanding prices in the millions. Common low-level arcane is still in high demand, as well; heroes are well-advised to step up and scavenge their foes for any items, no matter how small, that can be used in the battle against evil.

Meanwhile, our spies in the Rogue Isles report similar trends - perhaps a backlash against the weaponry being devised by the blue. Pricing on the underground markets appears to be considerably lower, and while some of our caped crusaders feel relief that villainous funds pose no threat to the blue, others worry that these underpriced items are being unfairly directed away from virtuous service.

Read the full report.

- Protea


Sun is in Gemini, Moon in Sagittarius.

Controller – Continue to collect the goodies. Don’t talk too much about it. Do well by being smart about what you buy and sell.
Defender – Conditions are very good for love. You should be pretty lucky in other games of chance as well, but not for money. Take care.
Scrapper – The odds of getting into an argument are pretty high. Knowing that, it’s wise to avoid obnoxious associates.
Blaster – It’s harder to express yourself in clear and concise terms. You’ll have a tendency to get confused. Postponed public speaking, if possible. If not, just speak from your heart.
Tanker – You’re learning very quickly, but some of the concepts are still way over your head. Keep asking questions, you don’t have all the answers yet.
Peacebringer – The first priority is to finish up a lot of old stuff. You really don’t have to be reminded. You know what it is.
Warshade – Stick to the schedule. You’re making points and getting a lot done. There are higher beings admiring your work.
Brute – The infamy’s still coming in, so what are you to do? Make an investment you’ve been considering. If you’ve done your research, your luck is pretty good.
Mastermind – The amount of work you’ve been facing is practically overwhelming. Instead of going crazy, figure a way to mechanize.
Corruptor – You’re raking in the infamy at an alarming rate. But, can you keep it? That’s the $64,000.00 question.
Dominator – Let your friends know what you need, and what you’re worried about. One of them is about to have an idea you can ‘borrow’.
Stalker – Confer with the family and make a decision. Once you decide on your course of action, you will find a way.

Horoscopes provided by Lady Athyna

Dear Athy


My SuperGroup recently fell apart. Now my closest friends are steadily departing the world and I feel bereft and alone. Some even went to that place that doesn't particularly WoW me... What should I do?

Lonely Heart

Poor dear. Did your group of fast friends have any groups they’d coalitioned with? Perhaps there’s even a group of similarly heroes on permanent LFG… Also, there are the younger heroes, those only recently finding a home in our city. There’s someone for everyone and a group for everyone, there’s also plenty of heroes who would love a new friend.

Paragon does seem to have a way of being a fond memory for those who’ve gone on to very different adventures. Wherever you’re adventures lead you, don’t remove those friends from your little black book, they may one day return.

Dear Athy;

I knew the day that I first discovered my ability to transform into a huge beast that my destiny was to guard and protect the people of Paragon City. What I didn't know is that it takes a lot of time! Between sleeping and crime-fighting, there isn't much time left in the day to earn a living. I've lost three jobs because people needed rescuing on my shift. Now I'm just a part-time burger flipper and I barely make ends meet.

Last week, the Red Beast company heard about how I saved a school full of kids from a gentically engineered lizard, and they offered me an endorsement contract! I really need the money if I'm going to be a defender of the city. My super group mates are calling me a sellout who wants to hook the kids who look up to me on caffeine! It does worry me some, but a guy's gotta eat, right? It's not like it's cigarettes or 'Dyne. What should I do?

Hungry in the Hollows

I have to ask, what are you spending your money on? Most apartment managers are more than happy to have a hero or two renting, so much so that they frequently give deep discounts for rent and amenities. In a city with so many super powered folks joining some gang or other everyday, an apartment with a residing hero is preferable.

A little planning and you might find an apartment with a restaurant or two downstairs. Let the influence you’ve acquired through your good deeds help with those bills.

Dear Athy,

I'm depressed. For years now, when people would see me, you could hear the groans. The only times friends dropped by to see me they threated me like a punching bag. I've tried to move around, but it hasn't helped. Still they pick on me. I want friends, too. What can I do?

L. in Independence Port

Are you sure these so called friends are true friends? Perhaps you should raise your standards about whom you count as a friend.
PS – Athy has to know, have you ever run into any exceptionally tall heroes? Particularly close to the Talos wall?

Dear Athy,

I am a very unorganized person. I keep misplacing things constantly. Thankfully, some wonderful heroes have returned these things to me when they've found them.

I have a lot on my mind, but I can't help but think that this is getting to be a very serious problem - one which could cause some to get hurt. I feel a bit guilty, so would ask your advice - what can I do to get more organized and feel more secure?

Az in A.P.

Az in AP may wish for a PDA?

Dear Athy...

I have found myself dreaming about a certain person more and more each day... Every day SOMETHING reminds me of her... She is an individual I know very well, but has yet to notice me. What would be the best way for me to show my love for her?

W. Ilyu Mary & Mii'Ath E.

If this person hasn’t noticed your charming wit, perhaps she’s not the one for you. I’ve noticed, whenever we stop looking at one person, a wonderful friend we’ve known forever and a day becomes The One.

Dear Athy,

I come from a big... uh... family, if you know what I mean. I like the guys I hang with. We get along great. We like to stand around Independence Port talking. But lately I've gotten my butt kicked by these "heroes" who swoop in and clobber us law-abiding citizens, all in the name of Justice! They think we're criminals or something! It's ridiculous! Don't I have the right to stand on a public street and talk to my friends?

Indignant in Independence Port

If any of your friends draw their weapons first, I’m sorry, you need new friends. If you and your friends are truly doing nothing, you need a better lawyer.

Dear Athy,

I'm in a pickle and I hope you can help. My wife is convinced I'm cheating on her, but I'm not. Sure I go out at night, but it's not to date other women, it's to save this city from the ravages of Evil! You see, I have a secret. I'm a registered Hero and I have to keep my identity safe or her life will be in danger. I tell her I'm out bowling, but she called the alley the other night and I wasn't there. Of course I wasn't there, Athy! I was in a Talos Island warehouse, hip deep in Freakshow! How can I keep her safe and save my marriage?

Faithful in Founder's

You know, there’s one thing that’ll damage a marriage faster being kidnapped and held for ransom, the loss of trust. Also, not all heroes have super powers. Perhaps a class in self defense will be the best way that she can protect herself when you aren’t there.
Relax though. You don’t have to carry the burden of protecting the city and your wife, but if you can trust her with your secret, her support in you will help to carry that burden for you.

Advice From the X

Greetings once again boys, girls, and lifeforms of indeterminate gender! It's the king of advice, the sultan of tips, the master of facts, LiquidX! And once again, I'm here to give you your dose of answers to those questions that nag at your very soul (Or soul-like substitute for some of you villains out there.) in another round of Advice from the X!

"Dear LiquidX,
I often get lots of help from the local heroes, and they always use these weird terms like "Npc", "Mob", "Aggro", and "Re-rolling". What do those mean?

Sally Mayfield"

Dear Sally,
Those terms are shorthand that originated with the Hero community several years back. "NPC" means "Non Participating Combatant". This is used to refer to just about anyone who is not directly involved in a battle, and therefore not a threat. For example, if you were being mugged by some Freakshow, in this situation you would be an "NPC". You are not directly involved in the battle, and thus not a threat. Now, the term "Mob" is used as a shorthand to refer to enemy combatants. This came about because most villains tend to congregate in packs, or in other words, a Mob. In the long run, it just because easier to refer to all enemies as a "Mob". So, in the previous example, the Freakshow would be the "Mob".

Now the next term, "Aggro", is slang for "Aggravation". This is because some Heroes (Usually those registered as Tankers or Scrappers) will taunt or otherwise infuriate the enemy in order to draw them away from their intended targets. For example, using the previous Freakshow example, a group of Heroes might have their Tanker "Aggro" the Freakshow (drawing their attention using taunts or other methods) to distract them from their Blasters or Controllers. Finally, "Re-Rolling" is slang used to describe a Hero who has started over, usually with some form of new powers. For example, a former Tanker who has been mutated by some freakish experiment causing him to develop fire powers would be refered to as having "Re-rolled". No one is really sure where this one came from, but rumors have it that it originated when the Hero "The Gambler" took a look at Apex (Now carrying War Witch's old sword) and commented "Looks like someone has Re-rolled the dice of Fate, eh?".

Fun fact: These terms have also become widely used in the Rogue Islands. This is partly due to the large influx of former Heroes that have taken up the villainous lifestyle.



Scoop, June 1st, page 4

Arts and Entertainment

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The Week in Art

Hi everyone! TA here!! This is a new section of the Scoop dedicated to the creative minds over on the Fanart forums. Here we'll list all the pieces being posted by the many artists along with the WIP's (work in progress) as well. Each week I'll choose an artist to feature and have a sit down with them so you get a feel about what their thoughts are in the creative process.

The artists and fans of art would like welcome back Jomaro Kindred to the Fanart boards after an abscence of some length due to an injury. Glad you're feeling better brother, welcome back!

Who's drawing what? Here we'll delve into the many pieces of art being posted and bring you links, where possible, to those pieces. The intention is to show you the broad spectrum of art that is displayed daily by our own members of this great community.

First off we have an alternative piece by Juggertha of a popular hero.

MCG_Warface has picked up a pencil after holding a costume contest on Protector. The winners recieved this first piece ever drawn by him. Costume contest winners.

Psichlopse brought us Private Nurse from Protector.

Vyktra brought us Vyktra the Warshade.

Lady_Judgement presents Snowman Frost, Turbo-ski's Inner Suffering and Sarix Morrison

BlackJackDavy2 is back at it after a long break with a piece for Mardun of his signature character.

The_SlaveDawg brings us a WIP of his character Guss Justice

Crestent did a giftart piece for Lady_Judgement of his main character

Finally Brandon McKinney has posted a new piece called Pagan Priest Comic Cover trying his hand at digital painting once again.

We have a couple contests going on currently listed below:

Juggy's Coloring Contest!

Contest For Graver! by Starchasm

Featured Artist

Our featured artist this week is Scarfgirl from the Virtue server. I had a chance to sit down and talk to her about a couple pieces she's done and here's the result:

So Scarfgirl thanks for taking the time for an interview for the first installment of the featured artist here on the Scoop. To start off what would be two of the pieces of art you've done that you are most proud of?

I'd say Pratoreon Scarfgirl and Lady Thug

Was there something in particular that you liked in these two pieces? Maybe something you learned in doing them?

Well the real reason I started drawing was to somehow represent mine and my friends characters without having to beg others

The Praetorian Dragonberry was an evil version of my Main character on Virtue ,a Spines/Invulnerability scrapper and I was incrediabley happy with how she came out .I think I draw dragonberry whenever I can't come up with something else . she appears all throughout my sketchpads

Lady Thug was a gift for my best friend and roommate of her character , which I promised her I would do when she hit Security Level 50 .Besides how can you not love a teeny tiny martial arts scrapper who runs around in a lady bug themed costume not because it ties into her secret origin but because she just really really like Lady Bugs

How would you describe your artistic style?

Very loose and cartoony and constantly evolving as I learn new things , and there seems to be a never ending supply of new things to learn

How does your style set you apart from other artists?

Acck im going in the wrong direction then ! Im constantly trying to be more like all the great artists I admire from the City of Heroes art and screenshot forums.

Folks like Graver , Brandon McKinney, Shia , Gill Bates and Celtic Bolt to name a few are folks that really make thier pieces sing and if I can study what their doing and walk away with only an ounce of their diluted awesomeness i'll be quite happy.

Whats the one piece of art you've drawn that you've learned from?

When my parents first saw me doodleing lots of Superhero art they wanted pictures for themselves for the holidays and I quickly discovered that drawing musclebound heroes and scantily clad amazons does not really get you prepared for drawing folks from real life.

Im still very proud of the portraits I eventually did for them and the practice studying real life proportions and facial structures was well worth it in my oponion.

What kind of music do you like to draw to?

Im usually listening to one of Virtues two radio stations when im drawing either C.A.P.E. Radio or Radio FTW , as they play such a huge variety of different musical styles.

When im drawing at the park and just have my I-pod for company im usually jamming with alot of late 70's Early 80's Rock Music as well as a few Bluegrass tunes.

Do you have any Quirky things you have to do to inspire you to be creative?

Well im not sure if its quirky but one of my fave snacks while doodleing is Dry Ramen noodles , covered in crunchy style peanut butter , litely coated in powdered sugar and dipped in a bowl of mountain dew between bites.

Its like a lil slice of crunchy gooey heaven and helps keep me wild eyed or is that wide eyed when im working late on art .

Alot of my art seems to happen during sugar binges or when partaking of my favorite strawberry flavored drink

Anything occur for you ingame as an inspiration to draw?

Well I should tell you about the folks I caught in the arena doing mature RP but I think I'll say all the fun people that I have met in game or on the Forums seem to be my biggest inspiration .

I don't think I would find half as much fun in drawing if not for the odd friends I have met in City of Heroes .

Do you have a favorite object that you like to draw?

My current favorite thing to draw aside from Statesman/ Chimera romance comics would be chibi or super deformed versions of my friends from the Virtue Server

Last question. If you were to give one piece of advice to any beginner artist what would that be?

Thats easy! practice from life as much as possiable , while its not as exciting as say drawing Thong Lass and her anti gravity chest or Uber pecs guy it does pay off in over all strengthing of your work .

Granted I think you'll hear this old chestnut echoed by alot of the artists that they interview in the future but its a really good nugget of wisdom and goes hand in hand with practice practice practice.

Thanks very much for that time Scarfgirl.

Super Secret Diner

In this installment of the Super Secret Diner report takes us to one of the most familiar names in Paragon City, Rhode Island and, well, the US. I am talking about El Super Mexicano, of course. Who can forget ESM's owner's, retired Mexican hero, El Jefe, marketing campaign with Pandora's Box? Changing out the signage was a nice touch Boss-man.

The first thing that hits you as you come through the front door is the aroma of fresh salsa and fresher chips. The ESM family makes their tortilla chips fresh all day. This is a good thing, a reliable source stated just one store of this prevalent chain goes through about 2 tons of corn tortillas per year. Other than chips there are plenty of things to pick from. Appetizers, soups and salads, tacos and tostadas, enchiladas, burritos and chimichangas, and many other Mexican delights for the senses. As the menu is not just geared to hero types, who can need massive amounts of food to keep us going, all menu items come in four sizes. El Poco, good for children and people looking to manage their weight, El Medio, lunch sized portions for the average person, El Grande which some would call dinner sized portions and El Super, sized right for sharing with friends and family or for one of our brethren.

The prerequisite nachos and quesadillas were on the menu as well as a traditional favorite from the state of Sonora and the desert region that shares its name. I was quite surprised to to see this amazingly simple dish brought to my table on a pizza tin, and almost disappointed to see that it was nothing more than a flour tortilla covered in cheeses. This dish is deliciously simple and understated, it is a must for everyone. Next, from the array of soups and salads, I had to have help. Too many choices on the menu can be just as daunting as not enough. All the traditional favorites are there, munudo (pig tripe and hominy soup), albondigas (chicken meat-balls in broth), guacamole, taco and fajita salads. As I am not a big fan of eating intestines, I went with the guacamole salad. I was served a delightfully fresh salad with a dip/dressing of mashed avocados, onions, tomatoes and a secret blend of herbs and spices. For the main course I went with a combination plate that offered a little taste of everything on the menu. Combo number five features a cheese enchilada, a shredded beef taco, a chicken burrito a beef tamale, with beans and rice. I found the enchilada sauce a little bitter for my taste, which, by proxy, made both the enchilada and the tamale my least favorite items. The waitress suggested that a little sour cream goes a long way on these items if they are too bitter. The meat in both the taco and the burrito were amazing, well seasoned, moist and tender, perfect with the crispy corn taco and the soft, buttery flour tortilla with the burrito. As a choice with this combination, and all the tacos and burritos, you can have a soft or fried taco shell and your burrito plain, toasted or deep fried. I just recently learned that a deep fried burrito is called a chimichanga.

When I received the check, here again I was pleasantly surprised to find that even my bill was not outrageous. I was also glad to find out that our friends at El Super Mexicano take, not only cash, checks and credit cards but influence, enhancements, inspirations and salvage as well. Not every costume has places for a wallet and ID.

El Super Mexicano's Shredded Beef for Tacos, burritos and enchiladas

This is actually the recipe Estrella Negra, the wife of El Jefe, and co owner of El Super Mexicano, serves at home. This recipe serves 4 people.

    [*]4 cans of canned roast beef[*]1 medium onion cut in a large dice[*]1 tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil[*]1 clove of garlic minced[*]1 tablespoon of dried oregano[*]1 teaspoon of cumin powder[*]1 teaspoon of dried cilantro flakes[*]salt to taste[/list]

    In a large steep sided skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Turn down the heat to medium and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent and soft. Add the herbs and spices and stir until the oregano and cilantro begin to rehydrate. Add the rinsed canned beef, breaking apart the chunks. Add one can full of water and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until most of the water is evaporated. Serve hot in tacos, burritos, tostadas, salads or on nachos.

    El Super Mexicano's Frijoles (Beans)

    Estrella Negra uses this recipe at home, and a modified version at all of the ESM restaurants.

      [*]1 pound bag of pinto beans[*]fresh cold water to cover[*]salt to taste[/list]

      Place rinsed beans in a slow cooker or crock pot, cover with water and simmer over night on low heat. Serve hot, covered with cheese, with any meal.