Thursday, August 23, 2012

longest night I've ever known

(from the City of Heroes album)

Now, I'd explain this one better, but I'm really not sure how, because this particular billboard is seen throughout the game, in various iterations.

In Praetoria, it's propaganda to watch for the Resistance, and to be good little programmed Loyalist drones. In the Rogue Isles, it's more an indication that Arachnos may be watching--somehow--and will test our convictions. In Paragon City, it may be a reference to the Rikti, who frequently send in shock troops in (usually aborted) attempts at land grabs.

The latter, for this one, is likeliest true, considering that Crey Industries set up much of Astoria in the first place, and work closely with Peregrine Island's Portal Industries. The problem with that theory is that now it's Dark Astoria, home of Mot and his minions.

Now, this sign has a different--and a much darker--meaning. They could be anyone...even our role models. Because in the end game, one by one heroes and villains both lose to Mot, and turn.

(from the City of Heroes album)

It's taken me a little bit to figure out why group fight scenes are so dizzying and dazzling. In City of Heroes, each individual player can pick the colors of their effects, and there are two effects assigned to each one. Even if I'm fighting with nine other people who have all chosen blue and white as their powerset effects, that's still my chosen colors, plus each particle effect as selected by those nine others. They multiply, bloom, and radiate, depending upon the powers themselves.

If we add to that the fact that any ten random people on the server will not choose the same two colors, this is what we get: a wildly coruscating, dizzying blend of particles and light beams, in a thousand blended shades. Okay, there are times where the spiffy new graphics card and the flat-screen monitor have drawbacks.

(from the City of Heroes album)

There are moments in the Mot story arc that contain things that happen nowhere else in the game. In a sense, this is by design, because if our games don't have specific content for the end game, content we can't access anywhere else, then why are we going to level to 50 and not just walk away?

But much of that content, given the nature of the Dark Astoria arcs, is profoundly disturbing. Membraneous veined winglike structures that stretch across sewers. The sewer water itself replaced with gelid blood, not swampy water. Bits of Mot thrusting through streets, through fields...the very air in Dark Astoria charged and deeply red.

It's also one of the few places in the game where heroes and villains mingle. Aside from Pocket D--which is simply hero and villain players mingling--in the final Dark Astoria arcs, signature heroes and villains help us out (depending entirely on our choices).

This image features the Dream Doctor, the villain Scirocco (who has the coolest male hair in the game, hands down, and it's annoyingly NOT available for male characters), and Celerin, the metal speedstress (Celerin being another player, not a signature hero)...all standing in a pool of blood in the Mot-tainted sewers under Dark Astoria.

(from the City of Heroes album)

Completely random in-mission shot. In the game, the circles of light beneath the chest spin and hold the chest up, with the chest itself ever so slightly bobbing up and down.

(from the City of Heroes album)

A mystical wall...thing...from the same mission. I'm sure it does something in terms of story, but I have no idea what that would be. The violet streams of lightning crackled and spat, and were very, very animated in...doing whatever it is they do, other than look cool.

(from the City of Heroes album)

And on this one, I just thought the glow effect looked cool. This is another shot of Dark Astoria...I'd say Dark Astoria at night, but that really has no meaning. It's always this dark in Dark Astoria now.

More to come.

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