Friday, August 24, 2012

is this as hard as it gets?

I think I've brought up the War Walls that some folks find so unattractive in City of Heroes. There's this impression that War Walls are only found on blueside, and that's just not true--there's at least one that's off the shore of Grandville, which is a higher-level zone on redside.

But Dark Astoria, as usual, takes the concept and makes it creepier:

(from the City of Heroes album; the War Walls in DA)

See the skulls? At some point, I'll likely take a pic of Steel Canyon's War Walls, say, for comparison with a non-me-containing shot of Dark Astoria's walls...but in the meantime, the "traditional" Rikti-technology force walls around the city have been not that damn subtly changed. Just like the sewer water, the walls have gone red, and they're corrupted by moving skulls and screaming faces instead of simple lines of force.

This also does a great job at intimating just how total a grip Mot has--because he's so pervasive as an entity, he can make an alien race's technology craze across when he's near.

(from the City of Heroes album; under Paragon City)

This is the main Cathedral set, in Oranbega. Oranbega is more an Undercity, not a city on its own--it's accessible only via a series of storm drains and natural cave systems under Paragon City.

Populated largely by the Circle of Thorns and their minions, on my former system the graphics were on the dull side, to be fair. But this shot--the banners glow, the air seems charged and expectant with floating dust, and even the colors of the banners are brighter and more vibrant.

(from the City of Heroes album; Cimerora under attack)

I swear, this entire set reminded me so much of areas of Second Life. Here's the breakdown for what non-players are looking at, though:

Part of the Mot arc involves infestation of Cimerora, which is an alternate Rome containing many of the same signature heroes and villains--only in ancient times. Even with that, though, this was impressive--an entire field of broken ships and reaching tentacles. And the most amazing thing of all--rain.

Flash back to the first time seeing rain in Second Life--it was astounding, it was phenomenal. It was different. Well, as in SL, it doesn't rain in City of Heroes--save for this patch of infested sea.

(from the City of Heroes album; Cimerora under attack)

Of course, City of Heroes has one major disadvantage from Second Life--you can't swim in the oceans. In fact, about all you can do is tread water, and that's if you're lucky--most of the oceans you can simply walk in, because they're no more wading pools than anything.

Which makes sea-based activity--from submarine transports to this ocean scene with sinking ships--bizarre, to say the least.

Still. It looks impressive.

(from the City of Heroes album; Cimerora in the rain)

And the rain...I must have stood there on the prow of that ship for ten minutes, just watching the rain. It reminded me of the first time it rained in Rivula, back when the Enigma was still open.

Rain makes everything better.

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