New Party Pack

Normally I'm pretty excited about new add-ons for City of Heroes/Villains/Going Rogue.

Normally I am... but not this time.

Okay, here's the skinny... NCSoft/Paragon Studios/the people behind City of Heroes/Villains/Going Rogue have released a special add-on pack called the PARTY PACK.

Here's the trailer.

Now with previous add-ons, there are a few additional features such as costume pieces, emotes, special weapons or objects, transformation sequences, and then that little "extra" feature that really makes it worth the purchase.

But... what you see in the trailer is really what you get with this add-on. Eight emotion (emote) commands; three involving dancing, three dealing with sports, one that involves opening an exploding gift box (which is the same as the holiday gifts you get), and one where you're doing air guitar. THAT'S IT!

No additional costumes, no extra items... just eight emotes that can keep you busy.

Not too much of a quality of life improvement there, guys.

Oh, and by sports, I don't mean your characters actually PLAY the sports in question. Sure you can dribble the basketball, but you're not PLAYING basketball. You can kick the soccer ball, but you're not PLAYING soccer. You're chalking the pool cue, but you're not PLAYING pool, even if you're in front of the pool table.

And then there's the price... $7.99. When normal booster packs with even MORE stuff to use costs $9.99, charging $7.99 is just way too much. $3.99 maybe. Or better still they should have just included it in Issue 18 that was just released to coincide with Going Rogue, or held off until Issue 19.

In fact it would have been BETTER to include it in Issue 18 because as a standalone upgrade without Going Rogue, it was pretty weak.

In short, folks, I really can't say that you should get this feature. It's just not worth the price they want for eight idle emotes. If you have the money to spend and if you REALLY NEED those emotes, then maybe. But it's not really an earth-shattering gimme feature like other add-ons.

Sorry NCSoft/Paragon Studios, but you dropped the ball on this one.


Okay, I have to say it...


I don't just mean dislike... I mean HATE, with all of the passion and fury that the word is connected to.

I DREAD getting a mission that requires me to go into a cave. As soon as I see that cavern entrance or mineshaft door, I have to cringe because that means going into a hell that I would just as soon eliminate.

Now bear in mind there are all sorts of different underground missions to deal with. There are snake holes, there are caverns that lead into Rikti bases, there are sewers, and there are the various caverns of Oranbega. There are even SNOW caves during the holidays. But even those don't compare to the overall frustration of a regular straightforward mineshaft CAVE mission.

So why do I hate them? I have five ways right off-the-bat.


I can understand the reason for Oranbega caverns... Paragon City is supposed to be built on top of the remains of this very ancient city. But why come up with all sort of mineshaft caves on top of that? At least Sharkhead Isle has a reason for all those mineshafts. They have an actual MINE. Why waste our time with mineshafts in Perez Park, Steel Canyon, Atlas Park, Galaxy City, and anyplace that are clearly CITY settings?

4. They're the WORST places for gang activity!

Who was the genius who came up with the idea that street gangs would be having a turf war in a mineshaft? You don't have turf wars or make drug deals or weapon deals in caves. You make them in alleyways and abandoned warehouses, and you battle in the STREETS so everyone knows there's a power play going on! If the Trolls can go on a rave in the middle of Skyway City, then the Skulls and Hellions should be able to have shoot-outs in the middle of the street as well.

3. They're structurally UNSOUND!

Okay, it's bad enough that Paragon City has Oranbega and the Rikti AND the Minions of Igneous AND the Trolls AND Devouring Earth... but do they really have to have even MORE mineshaft caves on top of all of that? What is keeping the rest of Paragon City from sinking into the ground? Fairy dust?

Forget the Trolls, I think what REALLY hollowed out Eastgate were the geniuses with a cave fetish.

2. They're easy to get STUCK in!

With all of the crevices and corners in a standard mineshaft cave, it's hard to maneuver around in, even IF you have flight, and that's BEFORE they throw in crystalline formations and little pockets of nowhere that you have to backtrack to get out of.

And finally...

1. They are the WORST PLACES EVER for a rescue or "defeat all" mission!

Whoever came up with the idea that you should have a "defeat all" mission in a mineshaft cave needs to be keel-hauled repeatedly and then have salt poured over their wounds. There is nothing more frustrating than having to go through an ENTIRE mineshaft cave, complete with dead-ends, pitfalls, rock platforms, to find that ONE bad guy that is hiding in a corner just so you can complete your mission.

And while a rescue mission would be okay if your objective was to just REACH that person, having to then LEAD that person back out is made even more problematic when you're in a mineshaft cave, where you have a hard enough time getting TO that person, never mind getting them back out. At least a snake cave or a Rikti cavern or even some Oranbega caverns are all on the same level. Oh, and guess what happens if the person you're leading out is stuck in a corner? Yeah, you have to try to backtrack to find them.

I know some of the newer missions have more realistic goals, such as "eliminate five baddies" and then completing the main objective instead of the burdensome "eliminate all". That's a start, but a better way to make these missions tolerable would be to simply get rid of at least half (and I'd even say ninety percent) of the mineshaft cave entrances. This is supposed to be "City of Heroes" and "City of Villains"... not "City of Lara Croft" or "City of Mineshafts".

Let's leave the caves for something that would be really NEED one! I, for one, am SICK TO DEATH of them!