Friday, August 24, 2012

oh pretty girls, you're too good for this

There are many places in Dark Astoria that are just disturbing--the prevalence of wandering undead; the presence of Mot pushing its way into the world, in protrusions of bone and fang and flesh; the corpses lying unburied on the city streets; the amount of crashed vehicles scattered about that have never been carted off.

The fact that the power's still on in the buildings that remain, but they radiate a green eldritch light, instead of normal incandescence.

(from the City of Heroes album; Moth Cemetary statue in Dark Astoria)

Still, there are sights like this--one of the mourning statues. She's very tall, taller than she looks in this image, but there is such an utter weariness to her, an abject suffering. Even her bouquet looks wilted, but I'm fairly sure that's just the textures used, and not the artistic intent.

(from the City of Heroes album; Moth Cemetary statue in Dark Astoria)

Still, the fact that the minimal light that strikes the street in Dark Astoria is dull and red; the fact that even the moon rising behind the War Walls looks dipped in blood; the fact that that sun never rises; all of these and more make Dark Astoria an eerie and unnerving place.

(from the City of Heroes album; MOAR EFFECTS!)

Remember what I said about multiple, overlapping effects? This is another aspect of it: with so many particle effects going off, they tend to render participants cut-outs limned in light.

This particular image is, in the main, no different from any other effects shots I have, I just liked the way the giant battle-axe seems the center of the action.

(from the City of Heroes album; light through the Eye of Thorns)

Sometimes, the simplest effects in a game can be the most powerful. Finding pyramidal structures underground, with golden glowing eyes...there's nothing complicated about it, but it does capture the attention.

(from the City of Heroes album; demons reading)

Moving through various underground caverns on this particular mission, all four of us stopped dead, staring at the outcropping one island over in the cavern we found ourselves in.

We had never seen this before. Any enemy mob has a chance to run through any of the standard animations in the game. Mostly, they default to things like looking stern, sneaking around, throwing air punches, fidgeting, or looking bored.

These guys? They were all reading. We almost felt sorry having to do them in; obviously, they were more interested in education, not destruction...

(from the City of Heroes album; the summoned Seer essences)

Oh, and while we're talking effects--part of the fun of being an Incarnate (what City of Heroes calls the endgame, which is level 50 and everything after) is that, once the Lore experience slot is unlocked, we can build our own pets (whether we had them or not). (Oh, and we're not talking literal pets, we're talking robots, psychics, floating giant eyes, storm elementals, and over a dozen others that may have started out human, but are now summoned shades bound to our will. "Pets" is simply what the game calls them.)

My main character, being as she's the Uber-Squishy (AKA, she's a Psi/Psi blaster), built two Seer essences as pets. To be frank, they rock--one of them beams psychic healing at me, the other beams psychic attacks at my enemies. Which they do while floating and wearing blindfolds--because Praetoria keeps their psychics blind.

More to come.

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