Battlerock X: Journal Entry 20081224

It’s Christmas Eve here in Paragon City. I’m in the Ski Chalet in Pocket D trying to compose my thoughts on the recent events.

I wish I could bring Brittany here to see this. We always talked about wanting to spend a second honeymoon at a ski resort. She hasn’t stepped a foot into Paragon City after the memorial service, back when she thought that I had died. I really don’t blame her either.

Circumstances (*) forced me to let my daughter Joan know that I was still alive. That became something of a mixed blessing for me, because now I have her in Omega 2 along with a few others. She’s become quite a formidable adventurer, and I am, of course, proud of her progress. She also was able to let her mother know that I was still alive but that I could not see her yet. At least not until I can resolve what happened during those missing five years and find out who is responsible for putting the metal plate on my face and what kind of signal it is transmitting.

My work with the Midnight Squad was able to pierce through some of the mystery surrounding my disappearance. Montague Castanella revealed that his people had been searching for me ever since the end of the 2002 invasion when they couldn’t account for my whereabouts. They somehow knew who made it through the Rikti portal and who were killed at the portal site, and I was neither.

Lady Jane from the Dawn Patrol gave me more information about the plate itself, and what kind of signals it is sending. She said that the plate was “enchanted”, which means there was a low-level magic spell placed on it to prevent my body rejecting it. The side-effects of this spell have an effect not only for me, but also those in the immediate proximity. Nobody knew who I was… even those that had worked with me for years, including members of the Freedom Phalanx. The spell dissipates over time, though, which explains why I’m now suddenly getting my memories back, and why people who once knew me are now remembering who I am. That probably also explains why my own daughter could not recognize me even after patrolling the city for a year and a half.

I have taken the fight to the Rikti and I took on the Rikti officer that took credit for the destruction of Baumton. Unfortunately he managed to escape from justice thanks to his Lost friends. I certainly will not stop trying to hunt him down so he can pay for the deaths of all of the people from that day.

In the meantime, the quest continues. The spell on my face plate is gone now, thanks to Azuria, which means that more people are starting to recognize me again. That will only make what I do that much harder, but I suppose it can’t be helped. It was going to happen sooner or later.

Hopefully this time next year I can find a way to bring my wife and daughter here and enjoy the holidays as a family. In the meantime, I wish them and everyone else the best for this season.

(*) As told in the forthcoming story “Putting Together the Pieces”.

(Pictured above: Colonel John Helix Battlerock, a.k.a. "Battlerock X", relaxing in the Ski Lodge)


A "Massive" Award

City of Heroes recently received an award from Massively.com for the Most Improved Game in 2008.

The website devoted to all news of Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games determined that the continued improvements of the City of Heroes game which came out from both "Issue 12: Midnight Hour" and "Issue 13: Power and Responsibility" made it stand out above all of the others.

Unfortunately they still gave Warcraft the title of "Best MMO".

Click here for their massive CoH gallery.


Happy Winter 2008!

It's Winter Time in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles!

As with previous years, the holidays have come to the City of Heroes (and Villains too) in a big way.

First, all active heroes (and bad guys too) will get the following presents:

* The special Frostbitten badge recognizing that they have gone active in the Holiday season

* Access to a new costume piece, specifically fuzzy earmuffs.

* The Holiday Spirit temporary power. This will give you 48 hours of 25% debt protection. That's important if you're constantly getting your butt kicked.

* A Holiday Cheer present. This is a mystery gift that you can give to anyone, even a complete stranger. What's inside it?  Who knows? It could be a temporary power. It could be a costume piece. It could be a sack full of currency. Either way, you can't use it yourself, so be generous and someone may decide to return the favor.

(By the way, if you still have either the Holiday Spirit or the Holiday Cheer in your inventory from last year, you won't be getting a second one. Sorry, only one of each per season.)

You'll also get a desperate call from Father Time. Once again Baby New Year is in trouble and he needs you to go rescue him, lest time itself collapses.

(That's him on the left. Okay, he's an ugly baby, but he was actually worse in previous years. Used to smoke cigars and chase women around asking them to change his diaper. He's grown up a little since then.)

This will not be an easy task.  You'll be facing winter monsters and red caps, and it's usually best do to this as a group effort. Helping out Father Time will give you access to even more seasonal goodies.  This can include costume pieces or temporary powers.

With the return of Father Time comes the return of the Ski Chalet.  The Chalet is located next to Pocket D in the Shadow Shard dimension. Just go to the upper levels of the red side of Pocket D and look for the decorated trees.

The Ski Chalet is more than just for missions, though. As the name implies, you can also ski down the slopes and take part in timed ski trials. Finish fast enough and you can score a Bronze, Silver, or Gold badge. (Note: that's SKI, not fly, leap, or teleport.)

Strange devices have also been spotted all over Paragon City (and the Rogue Isles as well).  Brightly covered presents are appearing in the streets and rooftops, holding mysterious gifts. 

Some gifts are nice, including candy canes or temporary powers. Others, however, unleash winter beasts that will rampage the land until you stop them.

Get enough candy canes and you can redeem them for additional presents including exclusive halos for naughty and nice grown-up children.

By the way, you can also change the color of the halos to match your costume.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  Well don't sit there in your Day Job, because this season only lasts from December 15th 2008 to January 4th 2009, and then you'll have to wait until the December.

Oh, one more thing... you know that floating truck just outside of Pocket D? If you have a flight, super-jump, or teleport power you'll be able to reach it from the ski chalet! What will you find? You'll just have to find out!

Have fun and Happy Holidays!


News Flash: Wentworth Merchant Services Down!

Wentworth Consignment officials are reporting that there is a problem with their online market system and have taken it down.

Attention! (December 8, 2008)

We’ve identified an issue with the Consignment House global services. Those services will be offline for emergency maintenance as we address the issue.

During this time, any items placed within the Consignment for storage, items for sale and any influence / infamy bids will be unavailable.
According to sources in the Rogue Isles, a similar problem is plaguing the Black Market system.

Stay tuned to the Chronicles for further updates!

: The Merchant Services system has been repaired and is online again.


Issue 13 is Online!

The latest update to City of Heroes/City of Villains is now active and online.

"What's Past is Prologue" by Samuraiko. Download the full version on her website.

"Issue 13: Power and Responsibility" adds several new features to the game including:

* Shields: As previously reported, heroes and villains can heft a might shield into battle. You can pick and choose which kind of shield you want from a limited selection. These shields have both offensive and defensive abilities and will augment your skills to a degree that you never thought possible. This is only for tanker and scrapper heroes, and for brute villains as well.

* Pain Domination: As previously reported, villains now have their answer to "empathy", and it is called PAIN! Pain domination gives aid to your fellow villains but also hurts those you're facing. This is only for controller and mastermind villains.

* Day Jobs: What does your character do when they're not saving the day or trying to rule the world? Day Jobs gives your character that purpose. When you "log out", your character is working their day job. It's a little complicated, but depending on where you go to log out depends on what kind of job they're working. The longer they stay offline, the more rewards they gain. After 30 days (either collectively or consecutively) in that job gets you a badge and additional features. Working certain job combinations will get you even more titles with even more features, including temporary powers. See the Paragon Wiki entry for the list and how it all works.

* Multiple Builds: This is another tricky new feature, but this will allow you to create a whole new "you" with different settings while keeping your old ones intact. By visiting your nearest trainer, you can change your build, so you can have one setup for normal activity, and one for the arena or hazard zones. See the Paragon Wiki entry for details.

* Leveling Pact: They call this the "extreme sidekicking", but perhaps a better description is "Gaming Marriage". If you and a friend (or a "friend" if you know what I mean) are just starting out (security level 5 or under) and you want to stay at the same pace you can join in a leveling pact. This will allow the two of you to share experience points and stay on the same level, no matter how often either person plays. This offer lasts only until you reach level 6 and then all bets are off. And if you decide to "divorce" yourself from the other person after that, it's permanent.

* Merit System: A new way to get those hard-to-find goodies is through the merit reward system. Every time you finish a story arc or a task force or take down a giant you earn merits, which you can then apply to get special enhancements, salvage, badges, etc. It's similar to the Candy Canes in Winter Event or the Vanguard Merits over in the War Zone.

* Base Changes: Rent and prices have been changed. Base salvage is no more. You can now manufacture the neccessary items directly using availible inventory salvage without converting them over. Certain rooms have been re-priced to be a little more affordable (but not by much).

* Force of Justice Badge: And here you thought that Safeguard missions were only good for the travel powers! Take part in the various side-missions, and if you complete all of them you get the special Force of Justice Badge. Okay there's nothing special that goes with it, it's just for bragging rights. But seriously... how cool is it to have "Force of Justice" title under your name?

* Costume Changes: There's been an ongoing bug with your outfit and the supergroup mode whereby every time you switch costumes you have to change your color scheme again and again. No more. Now you can edit your colors both in normal and supergroup mode at the tailor.

* Pocket D changes: there's a dimensional anchor at Pocket D now, which means you can access your base there and teleport into Pocket D as well. Also, if you are a VIP member, there is a tailor in the Tiki Lounge. (You must either purchase the Good vs Evil version of the game or the in-game upgrade to have the VIP pass.)

* Port Oakes changes: Port Oakes not only gets its own black market, but it also gets a row of "abandoned labs" so the bad guys can do some off-the-record inventions. (Another row of labs are located at St. Martial)

And that's not everything either! There are a lot of changes now and some more in store when Issue 14 comes out in a few months.

And to think... the Winter Event is just a few days away too!


Reverend Neo-Con: Palin Visit Cost RI

Reverend Neo-Con Says GOP Visit Cost Race

Normally a visit from a presidential candidate or their running mate would help voter support. But one neo-conservative said that a recent visit by the GOP Vice-Presidential candidate may have cost their party the White House.

Neo-conservative commentator F. Sean Rush, otherwise known on the airwaves as the Reverend Neo-Con, said that a recent appearance by Alaska’s Governor and GOP running mate Sarah Palin in the Rogue Isles actually served as a detriment to supporters.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Governor Palin’s visit cost the GOP a victory in Rhode Island,” said the controversial talk show host. “She didn’t have to be in the Rogue Isles. She should have instead been in Paragon City helping to secure the vote for her party.”

Governor Palin was spotted in Cap Au Diable just three days prior to elections, and while campaign officials refused to publicly disclose why she was in the Rogue Isles, sources close to the campaign said that Palin was trying to appeal to the untold hundreds of US citizens exiled to the island to encourage them to either return to the United States to vote, or to vote through absentee ballot.

Reverend Neo-Con, a self-exiled US citizen, says that Palin’s visit came too late to help her party.

“You don’t show up just a week before the election and tell my fellow exiles that they need to make arrangements for absentee ballots or to find some why to go back to the United States to vote. This is something that you do in September, like the Democrats did, or early October. Not a week before the election.”

The reverend referred to the visit to Paragon City by Senator Barack Obama on September 8th as an example of how to handle an unscheduled event. The Democratic presidential candidate spent much of his time in Atlas Park handing out free health power to everyone in attendance as part of support for universal health care, resulting in a five-percent increase in voter support for the city according to polls.

Derek Amberson, a strategist for Enhanced Logistics for Insight and Tactical Excellence (ELITE) in Galaxy City, says that the kind of coordination needed to bring exiled voters over from the Rogue Isles would take weeks if not months.

“The system that has been set up by criminal operations like Arachnos to bring people over to Paragon City can only handle a small group of people. We’re talking eight or ten at most, not counting support staff. To bring in any more could be seen and treated as a foreign invasion, and that’s not the kind of confrontation that the Rogue Isles can afford to make; and certainly not just to get people over so they can vote.”

Amberson added that those voters that are in exile, such as Reverend Neo-Con, would not want to return to the United States just to vote.

“Bear in mind that many of the people living in exile in the Rogue Isles are there for a reason. Some of them have been indicted or are facing indictment for various crimes. Others are convicted felons that have escaped prison, and as such cannot vote even if they wanted to. I don’t see them risking everything just to vote in an election, especially since they already risked everything just to get out of the country.”

Rhode Island voters overwhelmingly supported President-Elect Obama on Election Day over Senator John McCain by a margin of over thirty percent. Paragon City officials believe that support was even stronger for the president-elect following reports of Governor Palin’s visit to the Rogue Isles.


Darkness Falls....

Halloween has come early to Paragon City and the Rogue Isles... literally.

Great Halloween Event of 2008 is upon us, and come hero or villain, things will get scary!

The first thing that you'll notice is that things will be dark and stay dark for a long time. This is the work of some powerful magic, and it is the only way that the creatures of the night can operate.

Second... trick-or-treat is back! Knock on a door and you will either get a trick or a treat. Tricks come in the form of several monsters that will come out to beat the crap out of you. Defeat them and you still get some good treats. The most popular treats are the temporary costumes, and you'll have plenty of opportunity to sport those for a few days.

Of course the most valuable treat will involve four seemingly worthless trinkets... toy costume pieces. Find all four unique pieces and then find a certain witch and she will give you a special costume slot so you can come up with a different outfit.

But that isn't all... there are new badges to find, and TWO super-monsters to combat. Yes, Jack-in-Irons won't be the only super-monster to worry about. In fact, defeat one, and you'll have TWO to worry about in a few minutes.

And if you thought that the Rikti were fun, just wait... Paragon City and the Rogue Isles will also be inundated with ZOMBIES. Zombies will strike just like the Rikti did, in select zones for a limited period of time. Fight them off when you can and if you last the battle, you could get some new badges, and quite possibly unlock a special pumpkin head helmet. (Great time to put that extra costume slot to use, huh?)

Check out the Paragon Wiki article for full details... and you better hurry, because this event will be history after November 2nd.


Issue 13 preview availible!

NCSoft has released a new video about the two new powersets for "Issue 13: Power and Responsibility".

Click here to download the video in high definition.

The first is Pain Domination, and this one is just for the bad guys. Now you can do more than just disorient or sedate or terrify the good guys... now you can inflict PAIN on them without worrying about getting your hands dirty!

This was something that gamers were asking about, because if good guys could heal (and they do... often), then they wanted bad guys to have something truly evil in return.

The second power is one of the most requested power around... SHIELDS! Now you can complete your Spartan look by hefting a mighty shield to battle! This will be available for Tankers and Scrappers for the "blue side" and for brutes on the "red side". And really good news is that there will be plenty of shields to choose from. Click on the image below to see more.

Of course, the issue of shields is something that has been around ever since Blue Steel was hanging around King's Row, hefting his shield... and the matter resurfaced with the release of Issue 12 where you had Roman centurions hefting shields. Now it's no longer a matter of discussion.

(Just don't expect to replicate a certain Red-and-White ringed shield with a huge star in the middle of it. The folks at NC Soft are still a little jumpy when they hear the words "Marvel" and "attorney".)

That's just a taste of the big changes that are to come with the release of Issue 13: Power and Responsibility, which should be out in the next few months. Stay tuned with the Chronicles for more when it becomes available!


Just a reminder... Rikti Incursion this weekend!

Just a reminder: the Vanguard believe that the Rikti will be engaging in yet another incursion into our world within the next few days.

Always keep in mind the following:

  • Warnings will be issued via your system channel, giving you ample time to prepare for the attack should one approach your area.

  • You will be given two warnings. The first will give you five minutes warning. The second warning will alert you that the Rikti have invaded. This alert will be followed by air raid sirens.

  • Be sure to check the skies when an invasion is imminent in your area as it will turn a sickly brownish color as the Rikti mothership approaches. Paragon City residents will also notice that the War Walls will power down.

  • If you do not wish to fight, then your best bet would be to seek shelter inside a building or under overpasses and parking garages. All civilians, including those deemed hostile, will be doing the same.

  • If you choose to fight, it is always suggested to do so as part of a team. Teamwork allows you to share the benefits of every Rikti enemy defeated.

  • Be sure to load up on as many endurance inspirations as possible before combat. While healers can heal your wounds in combat, they cannot restore the endurance that is spent in combat, and you will get tired fast using your powers for the fight.

  • Under UN General Orders, all hospitals are required to provide immediate medical assistance free of charge for any hero or villain involved in combat with the Rikti in that area. You will still have to work off any outstanding hospital debt, but you will not incur new debt during a Rikti incursion in that area.

  • Rikti bomb ships are heavily shielded and are not only impossible to bring down but can go through the protective shields of the War Walls in Paragon City. If you venture too close to one of the bomb ships, you will be attacked. This includes building ledges and high overpasses.

  • The Rikti use dimensional portals to drop not only bombs, but also teleport Rikti soldiers, automated drones, and scavenging Rikti monkeys.

  • Not all Rikti bombs detonate on impact. Some bombs are on a delayed timer that go off when they impact on the ground.

  • If you are near one such bomb, watch the color of the device. If the indicator light shows red, RUN AWAY as fast as you can! DO NOT attempt to disarm a bomb unless you are powerful enough to do so.

  • Vanguard will sound the all-clear once the Rikti mothership has cleared the area, but you will notice it first when the sky changes color back to normal. Those in Paragon City will also see the War Walls power up to full strength again.

Cyborg Super-Booster Packs Available!

For years cybernetic beings have been among us, either as modified humans or modified creatures. But their uniqueness has often been either bulky exoskeletons, cold mechanical limbs, or else hidden underneath a layer of skin. There’s no real merging of flesh and technology… either it’s visible and ugly, or it’s hidden.

Thanks to recent advances, though, the merging of tech and flesh to create a true cybernetic harmony is possible.

For a minor upgrade cost, all Paragon City heroes can upgrade to include cybernetic parts and abilities, including three special cybernetic emotes, four special combat auras (for those qualified for auras), and a unique power of self-destruct. Obviously this is a weapon of last-resort, but when engaged you also get to take out anyone within forty feet of you. (Don’t worry, there’s nothing that medical science can’t fix at either your local hospital or supergroup base.)

It should be pointed out that just like many other good things, the villains in the Rogue Isles have also managed to acquire this upgrade as well.

The upgrade cost is nominal when you consider that once the upgrade is made it can apply to ALL heroes (and villains) immediately… although the auras and cybernetic parts will require a trip to the nearest tailor.

So if you have a thing for the “Governator” look, click on the image below and upgrade your access.



Double XP Event Brings Heavy Recruitment

Double XP Event Brings Heavy Recruitment

ATLAS PARK, PARAGON CITY, RI – (BRXC) The forthcoming mystical event whereby rewards for heroes doubles has caused an unusual push for new recruits into superhero organizations, causing some recruiters to be more aggressive than normal.

“I really don’t understand how they could try to recruit me,” said Captain Catastrophe, a low-level scrapper who is known around the city as someone who cannot be trusted in teams. “I mean, I have this huge stinking X on my Hero ID that says ‘Do not recruit for a team under any circumstances’ and yet I’m sitting here in Atlas Park and I’m getting, like, five supergroup recruiters in the past thirty minutes. It’s really whacked.”

Catastrophe’s negative history with teams is so bad that even he has lost count of the number of times he has failed to bring down the villain Frostfire. “I really don’t want to dwell on it,” he said. “It’s really not cool.”

And yet he was fighting off supergroup requests by people who simply saw his name and saw his costume.

“It’s sort of, like, mad sick cool, and all, but then after a while it gets to be a drag.”

Ms. Liberty, a member of the Vindicators as well as leader of the Longbow division of Freedom Corps, says that she has never seen recruitment this aggressive before.

“Not too long ago, Paragon City officials issued bonus prestige credits for all supergroups based on the number of members in their organization. We thought that the recruitment at that time was intense. But for whatever reason, it’s even worse now.”

The mystical event, dubbed by many as the “Double XP Weekend”, happens when the planet is swept with a wave of mystical energy. It was believed that this energy comes from attempts by mystical beings to summon the lost city of Oranbega. The energy has no effect on living creatures or on most technology, however any kind of trans-dimensional technology is energized and magnified by this event. For trans-dimensional items such as the Hero ID cards, this event doubles all forms of rewards allocated. Therefore any kind of personal achievement or reward, or even a group reward is doubled for that period of time.

At first city officials were perplexed on how to handle this infrequent event. Some pondered a method of deducting the additional reward, or else to assess a tax for that weekend that would offset the additional costs. But a passionate call from the heroes convinced city officials to leave things as they are, since the additional rewards are coming with no costs the city.

It is believed that the citizens and operatives of the Rogue Isles experience the same event, especially since their Villain ID system was based on stolen Hero ID technology.

Meantime, superhero recruiters are advised to use caution when looking for new members.

“Most recruiters don’t have a clue as to the people they try to bring in,” said Ms. Liberty. “They see a cool name, they see a cool costume, or they just see someone without a supergroup tag, and they think that person is just eager to join with someone. They don’t know that person, and a thirty-second chat with them before laying in with the pitch won’t do. Sometimes that person doesn’t want to be a member of a group. Maybe they’re not as active as the group’s leader would like them to be. Maybe they had some bad experiences with another group. Maybe they’re waiting for a friend of theirs to recruit them. Or maybe they’re the kind of person that strips a group blind of everything they can get and then quit so they can sell it all at Wentworth’s. That’s happened a few times too.”

As for Captain Catastrophe, after turning down a few aggressive recruiters, he was recommended to join a new supergroup called the Noble Champions. But his admission was not without some limitations.

“The leader of that group says that I have to work on, like, my team skills and such,” he said. “But it’s, like, hey, if they can help me get past Frostfire, then I definitely owe them big-time!”


Here are some tips on how to deal with an active supergroup recruiting drive.

For Recruiters:

No Blind Recruiting! Why should people accept a supergroup invitation by someone who is a complete stranger to them? Blind recruitment is one of the most annoying tactics in either Paragon City or the Rogue Isles, second only to RMT advertisers.

Get To Know Your Recruits! Go on a few missions with them. Find out who they are and what they’re like in action. Are they good team players? Engage in some discussion with them so you know what kind of person you’re dealing with. Maybe this is someone that you don’t want in your group. You’ll never know if you don’t talk with them first.

ASK FIRST! Don’t just toss out a supergroup invitation and expect people to jump at the chance to blindly join your group. Ask first if they’re looking to join a group, and then plug the advantages of your group. If they’re interested, THEN you can send the invitation, and you’ll have a better chance of having it accepted.

Keep The Broadcast Channel Ads Low. Sending out an all-purpose broadcast message to plug your team is cheap and easy… but if you send out too many of them, you could be declared a spammer. Send out only one ad every fifteen-to-thirty minutes and keep your message to a minimum.

No Means NO! If the person declines your offer, don’t try to put any more pressure on them. Be polite, be cordial, and don’t take it personally. At the very least ask if you can list them as a friend. Always keep the door open for them to come back and take you up on your offer at a later time.

For the Recruited:

Be Polite! This may be the fortieth recruiter you’re having to fend off today, but that doesn’t mean that you should treat him like an RMT spammer. Maybe they don’t know that you’ve been taking more hits from recruiters than from sniper fire in the Hollows. Maybe this is his first recruitment drive and he doesn’t know any better.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask. If you’ve never been in a group before and you’re getting hit with a blind invitation, feel free to send a private message to the person asking them about the group. Who are they? Why should you join them?

Find Out The Requirements Of The Group! Some groups require that you stay active on a regular basis. If your superhero life is such that you can’t be as active as you’d like to, this might result in you getting kicked out abruptly. There might also be a dress code required, that you constantly wear their colors or wear a certain kind of uniform while you’re in group mode. Most groups also require that you stay in the group mindset until you achieve a certain security level. Bear in mind that once you reach security level 25, your own rewards start taking second place to the group rewards. Most of these things are not normally conveyed in a generic broadcast message or even in a recruiter’s speech. It’s good to know all of these things BEFORE you say YES to the offer.

Don’t Be Afraid To Say No. Let’s suppose you’re running a safeguard mission with some folks, you’re doing okay, and suddenly the leader of the team sends you a group invitation. Should you feel obligated to join them? No. But it would also be helpful if you politely told them why, that way you wouldn’t appear to be ungrateful for being on the team.

Use Your Tools Against Annoying Recruiters. If you’re up against someone who won’t take no for an answer, don’t lose your cool. Instead use the tools that all heroes in Paragon City (and the villains in the Rogue Isles) have in their arsenal. Use the “Ignore” and “Global Ignore” communication options to shut off the annoying citizen. If they continue to harass you through emails, you can also petition them to the officials, who can then take punitive steps to stop the harassment.

Number One Movie Ignored by Biggest Fans

Number One Movie Blockbuster Ignored by Biggest Fans

ATLAS PARK, PARAGON CITY, RI – (BRXC) The City of Crime may be the number one place to be for most of the world this weekend, but surprisingly it is not the case for one metropolitan city known for their superheroes.

The City Knight”, the sequel to the ever-popular movie “MidKnight Begins”, set box office records on its Friday Midnight debut in most places around the United States… except for Paragon City.

Box office sales for the movie in Paragon City have been surprisingly anemic on Friday, with most of the movie’s biggest potential draw spending the time fighting real-world crime and stopping real-world dangers.

Paragon City officials blame the lack of box office draw on an infrequent mystical event called by some as the “Double XP Weekend”, where personal and group rewards for superhero activities are doubled for that period of time.

“It’s really a bad series of coincidences” said Susan Davies, in charge of the Enhanced Logistics for Insight and Tactical Excellence. “Most of this city’s heroes are huge fans of MidKnight. They’ve grown up with the comic books, they enjoyed the animated series, and many of them will even say that they began their careers to be just like MidKnight. If the debut was done on any other weekend, every single theatre in this city would be packed to the brim with superheroes!”

Ironically, much of the filming of the movie, which has the natural-based scrapper fighting his arch-nemesis HelliJester, was done in Galaxy City and Steel Canyon through coordination with ELITE. Davies is even listed in the film’s credits as “Location Coordinator”.

Davies said that city officials petitioned distributor Barner Boys to move the debut either one week ahead or back, but Barner executives balked at the idea, saying that their release date was set months ago.

“We can’t change the XP weekend,” Davies said. “That’s like trying to stop the planet from rotating. Well actually we have a few heroes that can do that, but you get the general idea.”

Barner officials are currently mulling over the idea of an exclusive premiere party for the superheroes to be held the following weekend with a special appearance by most of the cast.

Meantime, Lord Recluse has banned the film from being shown in the Rogue Isles, accusing it of being “Pro-Statesman propaganda”. Recluse had previously banned the showing of the film’s predecessor for the same reason.


Battlerock X: Journal Entry 20080505

My investigation of what happened during those missing five years of my life progresses ever-so-slowly.

I recently found my old black-ops uniform. The term is sort of redundant, because if you’re in black-ops, then you’re really not supposed to exist, much less have a uniform saying you’re in black-ops. But if I needed a quick military transport to, say, Germany, I couldn’t show up at a military base and pull rank in civilian attire. I needed to wear something that said I was on the same side and not have to deal with too many questions. So I got my old dark camouflage gear again. It felt good put it on.

I found the location of the original Omega Team base. Supposedly you could be allowed to wear a cape afterwards, but I didn’t care about that. I wasn’t there to get a cape. I was there so I could know where the base was so I could go there again. The Lost were ransacking it, defiling the memories of my friends and comrades. I had to chase them out, for their sake and my own. I had to really fight the urge to kill them.

At the far back of the base was our time capsule. It had personal messages and mementos that we wanted preserved. It was sealed by a mystical lock, and even though the Lost were trying to smash the chamber open, the magic still held. Even though I knew how to unlock the capsule, I didn’t want to open it.

Just touching the chamber brought back those memories of my last days before the battle. I know precisely what I put in that capsule. It was a picture of me and my wife and daughter, along with a letter telling them how much I loved them and that they would have to be strong for my sake. I remember what some of the other heroes put in there as well. Letters, pictures, a lock of hair, a few wedding rings and bracelets. A few wills were put in, not to mention one insurance policy. I even remember the hero who put it in there. We joked and said that if they honored it; he would have the richest goldfish on the planet.

I wanted to visit Ajax in the hospital. I just wanted him to know that I was still alive. But before I could make it to the hospital I was intercepted by a member of the Midnight Squad. I don’t remember too much about them, except for the fact that they were the first ones decimated by the Rikti. They certainly knew me, though. They said that they were watching me and that I also had “dark eyes” watching me. They said they couldn’t tell me anything more than that, but warned me that I needed to be careful about where I go and what I see. I wished they told me something that I didn’t already know. Damned Midnighters. It’s a little hard to ignore the fact that there’s a metal plate on my face that I can’t get off that is transmitting some unknown signal.

He did give me an address, though… a place where to find Montague Castanella. I remember him briefly from my pre-Rikti life. He helped provide some intelligence for a black-op mission. Hopefully he can help me piece together the missing five years of my life, or at least what is behind this face plate.


Exciting Changes Ahead

Changes are afoot in Paragon City!

Recent discoveries have unearthed a hidden organization called the Midnight Squad. This clandestine group consisting of mages, scholars, and mystics believe that they hold the key to stopping the Rikti threat once and for all. But in order to do so, both heroes and villains will have to travel via Ouroboros to the days of the Roman Empire. There they will unlock new powers, new costumes, and face a new evil, including the great mastermind of time itself!

In addition, Longbow intelligence has discovered the expansion of Arachnos into two new ELITE groups of villains. The Wolf Spiders and Blood Widows have originally been closed groups, but Lord Recluse has ordered their ranks opened. The new members of these groups will have access to unique powers and exclusive costumes. Arachnos scientists have also found a way to expand on the abilities of current villain groups so they will better mimic their Paragon City counterparts. Paragon City officials have been able to reverse-engineer this process and should soon allow all heroes to do the same, giving them access to whole new power sets.

Finally, Paragon City officials are able to report that changes in the area known as The Hollows are FINALLY beginning to bear fruit! The area is undergoing a reorganization which will allow for more areas to become hospitable since the great Hollowing tragedy of 2000. The efforts of heroes like Battlerock X to help clean up the streets and shut down criminal masterminds like Frostfire have worked, and the number of gang members should be on the decline in the near future. Paragon City Police have also redoubled their manpower and have finally been joined by Longbow agents. They will no longer cower when faced up against gang members. Unfortunately the changes to the area have also meant that new groups are moving into the area. The Hellions, Skulls, and the Lost have all staked out certain districts. The Hydra, Corlax, Vahzilok, and even Devouring Earth have also been rumored to make a presence there. The Legacy Chain have also agreed to aid in the areas covered by the Circle of Thorns, pitting magic against magic.

To help coordinate the changes to the area, Paragon City will be sending Meg Mason in as a new mission contact. She will be located at the water tower where all supergroup teleport beacons are found. This will be a new secure area that will ensure that heroes teleporting into the Hollows will not be attacked by criminal gangs.

All-in-all there are some exciting changes that will soon take place in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. If you haven't joined, then NOW IS THE TIME!


The Rikti Are Coming Back!

Although their second invasion has been thwarted last June, the Rikti have apparently not given up their efforts to conquer and destroy Earth!

The UN-sponsored Vanguard organization has reported that the Rikti are preparing a series of invasion runs to wear down our resolve and deplete our resources.

The Lady Gray of Vanguard has announced the following tentative schedule for invasion attacks:

• March 7th through the 13th
• April 18th through April 24th
• June 13th through June 19th
• August 1st through August 7th
• Sept 26th through Oct 2nd
• November 14th through November 20th

During those months, Rikti raids will be frequent both in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. Warnings will be issued via your system channel, giving you ample time to prepare for the attack should one approach your area. Also be sure to check the skies when an invasion is imminent in your area as it will turn a sickly brownish color as the Rikti mothership approaches. If you do not wish to fight, then your best bet would be to seek shelter inside a building or under overpasses and parking garages. All civilians, including those deemed hostile, will be doing the same.

All hospitals have been notified of the tentative timetable and under UN General Orders are required to provide immediate medical assistance free of charge for any hero or villain involved in combat with the Rikti in that area.

Rikti bomb ships are heavily shielded and are not only impossible to bring down but can go through the protective shields of the War Walls in Paragon City. If you venture too close to one of the bomb ships, you will be attacked. A third of all casualties from Rikti attacks come from being in weapon's range of those vessels.

The Rikti use dimensional portals to drop not only bombs, but also Rikti soldiers, automated drones, and scavenging Rikti monkeys.

Not all Rikti bombs detonate on impact. Some bombs are on a delayed timer that go off when they impact on the ground. If you are near one such bomb, watch the color of the device. If the indicator light shows red, RUN AWAY as fast as you can! DO NOT attempt to disarm a bomb unless you are powerful enough to do so.

Battlerock X, a veteran of the first Rikti invasion of 2002 as well as the second, says that the Rikti will continue to fail in their efforts, and that the best way to defeat them is through teamwork.

"We faced them six years ago as teams and we survived. We faced them last year as teams and we survived. We will continue to survive and fight on as long as we do so as teams. They are not more powerful than us. They are not better than us. They are simply thugs that are in need of a serious comeuppance, and together we will deliver it to them."


Announcement: The City of Commercials contest!

This message comes from a friend over at w00t Studios, from a modest little idea originally dreamed up and hyped up by Battlerock X (who also came up with most of the rules).

THE PLAYER EVENT RESOURCE COMMITTEE in association with w00t Studios
Proudly Presents:


Here are the rules:

1. All entries must be a 25-45 second commercial promoting the City of Heroes or City of Villains franchise. Max
video size is 10 MB and can be in any format for quality sake.

2. All entries must be posted on www.w00tstudios.net for consideration. Entrants will need a user account to post videos. Only one entry per person please.

3. Any medium can be used (ex.: live action, gameplay, cartoon). Participants are encouraged to use as much original content as possible. Entries can incorporate certain elements of previous videos released by NCsoft or other players, but cannot consist solely of such reproduced footage.

4. Entries cannot use obvious rip-offs of copyright-protected characters (in other words, no Superman look-a-likes, no Wolverine clones, no Hulk clones, etc). This rule does not apply to the use of established "City of" characters (i.e. Statesman, Lord Recluse, etc).

5. All entries submitted via www.w00tstudios.net , need to be linked back to the City of ___ Forums, in the Multi-Media~City of Heroes/Villains forum, in the post marked City of Commercial Contest Entries. Entries will be separated into Hero and Villain categories.

6. The contest entries will be accepted from February 17, 2008 through March 16, 2008. Public judging will run from March 17-22, 2008. Finalists will be judge from March 23-28, 2008. Winner will be announced March 29, 2008.

Prizes will be given to the top 5 entries for both Hero and Villains:

Grand Prize:

1 Statesman Statue and 1 Wootie Owl(for heroes)
1 Lord Recluse Statue and 1 Wootie Owl(for villains)


1 T-shirt (not all sizes available)
1 Battle Poster (signed by any dev that Ex/LH can get their hands on)
1 Wootie Owl

Honorable Mention

1 Bumper Sticker/Comic Book pack

The gauntlet has been thrown, will you pick it up and run with it?

Common Q/A:

Q: I have no clue how to make a video-- HELP!
A: The Feb. 8th edition of the City Scoop had a nice write-up on how to make a video. Also you can find player guides linked in the Multi-Media forums.

Q: What time does the judging start/end and what zone does the judging operate on?
A: All times are Midnight ET

Q: Uh, what do you mean by public judging?
A: There will be a poll set up onwww.w00tstudios.netfor you, the general public to judge all the entries received. We will take the top 15 favorites (hero and villain) from there and judge them in the finals.

Q: Who will be judging the finalists?
A: No less then 4 PERC members will be judging the finals.

Q: What will the finalists be judged on?
A: We will be judging on 4 aspects. Originality, Professionalism, Creativity, and Commercialism. This is a COMMERCIAL contest, not a music video contest. Make sure that you sell, sell, sell!

Q: If I win, how will I get my prize?
A: If you win, be prepared for a member of PERC to contact you for your shipping address. I promise not to stalk you.

Q: Will I need to register for this contest?
A: The only registration that you will need to complete is for the CoH forums and www.w00tstudios.net.

Q: I have 2 commercials one for heroes and one for villains, can I enter both?
A: No, pick your favorite and post it--- share the other in the multi-media forum!

Q: Rose you are awesome, can I get a date?
A: I will think about it.... but I don't like catgurls.

Q: How will you contact the winners?
A: A PM will be sent to the CO__ forum name of the winning entry. At that time, be prepared to supply your shipping address.

Q: Why do I need to link my video after it's been uploaded on w00t's website?
A: We need a way to contact you.

Q: Boy, this is a lot of questions and answers to type out... are your hands tired?
A: Yes, I am going to stop presuming now, and let you come up with your own questions... if you need to- feel free to contact any member of PERC and they will get back to you with an answer, or post! We like to answer posts!


You are invited...

After years of coy banter and close encounters, Paragon City heroes Manticore and Sister Psyche will finally tie the knot on February 14th, 2008. (More details about the wedding are here.)

Their relationship was made official in the City of Heroes comic book's final issue, when Manticore fired a proposal-arrow to Sister Psyche and she eagerly said yes. Since then, the social circles had eagerly anticipated the wedding announcement.

Paragon Pundit, the Chronicle's newest reporter, interviewed several current and some former Paragon City residents about their reaction to the news.

Battlerock X (First Rikti War survivor, Omega Team): I don't remember much after the first invasion, but I do have some memories of those two before the war. Manitcore was always cocky and a bit of a horndog, but somehow he wasn't that way around Sister Psyche. Likewise, she wouldn't react the same way around him as she would if anyone else cast a stray thought about her outfit or her demeanor. If I wasn't already married, I probably would have given a few private thoughts of my own. Anyway, I'm glad those two are getting married.

J-Star (Guardians of Might): It's about time those two got hitched! I wonder if I'll get an invitation?

Herald Prime (Former physics professor): This news is meaningless. The discovery of THE PRIME is more important.

Lexie Lothora (former CEO of LexieTech, currently in Rogue Isles): It would be best if I said nothing.

Jen Glamour (former model, currently in Rogue Isles): It's not fair! Not her! Not that witch! Not after what she did to me to ruin my life! Her and J-Star! They ruined my life! She better make sure that ceremony is someplace safe!

T'Vrg (visiting mixed-species cyborg): I have researched these things called "weddings" and I have concluded that they are a waste of time.

Toxic Primadonna (former pop-star, currently in Rogue Isles): You know, I got married once. It was in Las Vegas, and I was SO DRUNK that I didn't even realize that I was doing it! By the way, where's MY invitation?

ReverendNeoCon (former talk show host, currently in exile in Rogue Isles): It's about time that those two did the right thing and got married! They've only been living in sin all this time, violating the laws of God and society. It's about time that they stopped denying the pull of the institution and succumbed to its mighty splendor. I would otherwise be welcome to officiate their union, however I am told that the liberalistas are looking for me and have plans to take me down if I show up there.



Yes, the Paragon Pundit (a.k.a. "He who Chronicles") is planning on being there as well.


New Reporter: Paragon Pundit

The Chronicles are pleased to announce the hiring of veteran blogger Paragon Pundit.

The Paragon Pundit is a relatively low-level scrapper on the Champion Server who pretty much stayed on the sidelines until the release of Issue 11, which gave him the opportunity to go from being a bystander to an actual participant.

The Paragon Pundit’s chief weapons are his blades. He wields both a powerful broadsword and a smaller elfin sword. Although he doesn’t possess superhuman abilities, he does have incredible force of will which allows him to hold his own against the street thugs and other criminals that plague Paragon City.

The Paragon Pundit will be bringing his unique commentary to the Chronicles as well as the occasional interviews with other noted personalities both in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles.


Frostfire Apocalypse

Frostfire Apocalypse

Frostfire… damn.

It’s barely 10am and I’ve already been drawn into another Frostfire mission.

I suppose I have only myself to blame for this. I’ve been out of it for several years, forced by the damage that I suffered during the First Rikti Invasion to revert back to square one. Having to re-learn all of my skills, go through all of the hassles to get back the past that I was missing… but I’m still in the lower levels, and because of that, I still get missions in the Hollows… and Frostfire.

Frostfire… damn.

There’s a part of me that wishes I remembered my old black ops days with Uncle Sam. The “old” me probably would have had no problem making sure that Frostfire was only dealt with once. But then again, those were different times, and I’m certainly not the same person that I once was.

I don’t hate Frostfire, per se, but I certainly hate the mission, especially after you have to go through it over and over again with a different collection of fresh-faced heroes each time. The team-members will change, but the game stays the same. It doesn’t help when every contact you meet forces you into the Hollows, and the rookies foolishly feel that they must complete every mission there before moving on. And EVERYONE faces Frostfire at some point in Paragon City. If you’re on a team, then you’ve either faced Frostfire, or you’re going to. It’s just the way things are.

It’s a multi-floor mission, with members having to pass certain obstacles each time before being allowed to move on to the next level. Each time you have to face dozens of Outcast gang members with various mutant powers. Sometimes defeating them is the obstacle itself.

On the first floor, you have to destroy a mystical altar. Nobody knows why the Outcasts need it, but they do. I’m told it gives the Outcasts that guard it extra health. You’d think that something that potent would be a lot closer to Frostfire, wouldn’t you? Sloppy. You blow that up, and you can move further. But be careful when you do. If you’re too close to it when it blows up, you get knocked on your butt and disoriented for a bit. Not good if there are still any punks in play. It’s best to let your ranged-powered members hit it from a distance. It’s gravy if you can blow it up with some of the punks right there.

Moving up, you have to go through several groups of Outcasts. They seem to be around every corner. Some are right there as you get off the elevators, so you can’t take the ones that are closer to the threshold.

New people make big mistakes here. They think they can mow on through to the B3* himself, but it doesn’t work like that. They gotta be careful and they gotta work as a team to get through it all. They get everyone killed quickly if they can’t pool their resources and use all the skills they have as a team.

This is probably the biggest of reasons why folks like me hate Frostfire missions. It’s because this is the first real team task for many heroes. They don’t know what to expect and they don’t want to rely on the advice of the veterans who have been through this over and over again. They think that numbers make the day, or that loading up on ranged heroes and scrappers and tankers would somehow do it. They’re impatient and inexperienced. They just want to get through the mission and get it done with.

The worst parts of this mission before you get to the B3 are the ones where the gangs are waiting for you around the corner or from above. The ones on the overhead balconies are the ones that really get you. They just drop on down, or else they’ll fry you from a distance.

The ice doesn’t help either. You’re always sliding on it. Frostfire loves to freeze the rooms up, so everyone is sliding around. One room looks like a ski slope with all of the ice slides in there.

Oh, by the way, if you have any Kheldians on your team, you should know there is always one quantum gunner, and you know how Kheldians and quantum weapons don’t really mix. And you thought this was going to be a cakewalk!

Finally there’s the B3 himself… Frostfire.

Frostfire’s usually at the other end of the room, but if you barge in there, he’ll know it and he’ll come after you. And he won’t come alone either! Frostfire has some of his most powerful stooges in there with him watching his back. You gotta get as many of them out of the room as you can before tipping him off.

Even when you start whittling down his forces, this B3 still has a neat little trick up his sleeve. Frostfire lives up to his name in that he controls both fire AND ice, and not only will he freeze you solid and then fry you where you stand, he can also summon his little fire drones and his ice-cubed friend Jack Frost. So Frostfire still has plenty of backup, even when he’s by himself.

The mission officially “ends” when you take down the B3, but I seriously suggest you don’t rush out first. There are usually some stragglers who stick around in the far corners of the room. This is a great chance for you to mop up the area and get some extra experience. If you’re running the team, make sure everyone stays in play until they all hear “Clear”. Then you can all exit the room.

Maybe someday we can get the orders to take down Frostfire once and for all. Until that day happens, though, we just gotta get through those missions and not turn them into fiascoes that piss everyone off.

(* Editor’s note: “B3” is old Paragon City code for “Big Bad Boss”, or in this case Frostfire.)


It's Time to Start...

Here's a really fun video featuring a little blue rock-man and a whole cast of characters, including some very familiar cameos...

Appearing in the video: The Vanguard, The Council, The Longbow Division of Freedom Corps, The Circle of Thorns, The Tsoo, The Clockwork, The Carnival of Shadows, The Rikti, DJ Zero, Statesman, Lord Recluse, Ms. Liberty, Positron, and the legendary unstoppable Kraken!