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!