Krusaders Adventures - Arc 475115




Arc Name: Krusaders Adventures
Arc ID: 475115
Creator Global/Forum Name: @Todogut/Todogut
Level Range: 1-54
Mission Count: 5
Morality: Heroic
Keywords: Solo Friendly, Custom Characters, Kid Friendly.
Villain Groups: Winter Horde, Snakes, Hydra, Tuatha de Dannon, 5th Column, Custom
Difficulty level: Normal with Elite Boss/Arch-Villain
Synopsis: Adventure with members of the Krusaders supergroup. Help them uncover a devious plot by an insidious mastermind. (Inspired by 1960s Justice League of America comics, the kind written by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Mike Sekowsky.)



Review as part of the CoHMR Aggregator project.


Running this on a low-20s BS/Shield scrapper, +0/x2 with bosses on.


Man, not even out of the initial briefing and already the alerts are going off.

Snowmen in Skyway. Spring an ally, mow down a destructo... hoo boy.

I ran this mission twice and fortunately both objectives appeared on the top layer of elevated highway. I know they've been going through outdoor maps and removing problem objectives, though I can't say that this one had that same treatment. Run it a few times and make sure that that artifact always shows up on top, if you haven't done so already.

Getting vertical in this map is a nightmare. Getting vertical and trying to hold onto an ally is nearly impossible.


Another emergency requires my urgent attention! It's a snake pit.

You should be aware that, natively, the Snakes aren't actually smooth from 1-54. They're listed that way rather than breaking them down into younger snakes and Elder Snakes. As far as I can recall there's a gulf between about 34 and 46. Checking behavior it looks like the old pattern is gone, so level 40 characters don't fight level 46 Elder Snakes -- but what does spawn are level 34 simple snakes, which are grey and boring.

Anyway, a couple of chained rescues, and another stone object that seemed to be summoning these things.


And now there's a bunch of creatures crawling out of the ocean.

Slime creatures! On this... giant sprawling oil platform.

At least the turrets are off, meaning there's way less of a pain to navigate around. In fact the mission's pretty blank aside from the required objectives and a couple of patrols, which is much less busy than I remember this map or its derivatives being.

What is with stones being monster magnets today?


And now the doom deer have struck.

...but this is the wrong sort of cave. Their caverns are actually the giant troll-tunnel sort. I realize that's not very exciting, but this Sharkhead coral cave has a lot of dead space and some rather specific set-pieces.

One branch has only my ally, and nothing else. The other one has the person I'm trying to rescue some distance before the end room. She wants me to lead her out through these twisting caves, which is a wonderful exercise. But fortunately it's over.

...The 5th Column were behind this for some reason? Working with the doom deer, for some reason?


Oh, so apparently the 5th are making monster magnets. ...SEVEN allies in this next map? The hell am I up against?

Well, it's the big map with the giant open briefing room. Certainly a good place to be up against something big.

And the end boss is right on top the catwalks, in the claustrophobic overlook. Not where you expect them to go when you choose this map, is it? ...and apparently he's got a rivalry going with Sir Supergroup Member Not Appearing In This Mission.


Storyline - ***. So the 5th Column has monster magnets now. They can whip up a distraction for any operation they'd care to run at a minor cost in supplies and manpower.

...oh, wait, no, it was just something a supervillain whipped up to use as a trap. He didn't even manage to draw in his big nemesis with it.

I realize that the sorts of stories you're calling back to often have plot devices so disposable they barely hold up the whole way through, and copying it is a point for faithfulness. But a disposable plot device isn't really a good thing (and copying it isn't a good thing either) because stories aren't hermetically sealed off from the world where they happen.

A monster magnet is a useful thing for a villain group to have, but it isn't hard to come up with a rationale why the 5th can't keep it. It's a special creation of the supervillain, which he traded for the use of a base, or perhaps it's far too expensive for anything but the personal satisfaction of revenge. Making it an actual thing instead of a throwaway plot point makes the first four missions feel like they actually meant something more than a bunch of monster fights that took up the first twenty minutes of the episode before the writers realized they had to wrap it all in three.

Design - ***. Mission Architect is full of non-obvious heartbreakers and you managed to hit one pretty much every mission.

The Skyway highway map. In its canon incarnation it's basically the road as dungeon, kind of like what Valor Bridge was once upon a time. In MA it turns out that there are a lot of spots on the road below or on the ground below where important things can happen, and while that wasn't my experience in the couple of times I attempted that mission it's definitely happened on that map.

Snakes. The map is absolutely fine but the Snakes aren't actually as full-ranged as their level ranges seem to indicate, which can lead to problems. More on this later.

The oil platform. It's not bristling with turrets, and the skies aren't full of Longbow, and it seems rather empty. Chained objectives have the usual problem with chains on an outdoor map in that there's no guarantee the chain won't show up somewhere you've been already, and on outdoor maps where the chains show up in enclosed places, like the hangar halfway up the oil platform, a casual drift around pounding tab may not pay off.

The sea caves. Canon puts a lot of fancy bits in them, from Calystix to sentient waterspouts to a giant eye, but early on the tunnel branches into two, and down one of these branches there are absolutely no random spawns, but objectives can still be placed there, making for a lot of mandatory dead air.

The 5th Column base with the giant hangar and glassed-off balcony. In its Ouroboros appearance, Requiem's in the latter with a giant pile of troops and reinforcements in the former, but again in MA there are no random spawns or even placed spawns, leaving a final fight in either the antechamber or the tiny command center up several flights of catwalks that's barely even visible from the entrance.

This isn't to say you should necessarily change out any of these maps, aside from the sea caves which are more trouble than they're worth even for enemies that might belong there. But what you should do is put a more narrow level range on this arc, to make sure the Snake encounters are appropriate at least.

A level range can also tacitly set the scale of the arc: street, cosmic, or global. I'd put this into 25-30, both to present a good range for the Snakes and to reflect the idea of this as a global-level story, which is about what you're tangling with at that range: a story with wide-ranging implications but not far beyond the scope of mortals to understand.

Gameplay - ****. Stock enemies, nothing too difficult, and I believe a single custom who gets pretty well swarmed by guests in a finale more about SFX than grueling challenge. The downside is that the design and occasional use of chaining creates a decent interval where you're covering dead space looking for whatever just spawned, and that's never fun.

Detail - ****. This isn't a story that puts a lot of special attention into the details, but it isn't a story that needs a lot of special attention in the details. Everything's fleshed out well enough to stand up to a casual examination.

Overall - ***. It's a faithful recreation of the storytelling style of the early JLA books and the JSA stories before them: compartmentalized stories with a very loose thread between them, where each story and the ensuing pile-on may well have been authored by different people, and had wildly different settings because many times the authors couldn't come up with ways for heroes to play to their strengths while working together.

But these missions were all written by the same person, and the issue of variant power levels or spheres of activity doesn't really exist in CoH, or at least it's a lot easier to handwave away. So there really isn't a good reason for them to feel so disconnected from each other and the world. And a lot of the maps you chose, while distinct and visually impressive, have issues when they're being used for Mission Architect.

Up with the overworld! Up with exploration! | Want a review of your arc?

My arcs: Dream Paper (ID: 1874) | Bricked Electronics (ID: 2180) | The Bravuran Jobs (ID: 5073) | Backwards Day (ID: 329000) | Operation Fair Trade (ID: 391172)