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Alien Invasion Ends City Of Heroes Beta 82

Thanks to the City Of Heroes forums for its reports on the Rikti alien invasion which signaled the end of the PC MMO's Beta phase. Elsewhere, there's also a large gallery of screenshots from this major Beta-ending event involving "a major [alien] strike... against Paragon City", and starring the other-dimensional villains from Cryptic Studios' superhero-based MMO game, which officially launches on April 28th. The event coincided with the wiping of the Beta characters - hence high-level alien-inflicted carnage, with "75-100 [heroes] just lying dead in Atlas Park", as well as the original poster's delight that he "managed to organize a mass suicide jump... before the Beta ended. About 20 of us jumped off the tallest building... [but] we all just sat at 1 HP." Update: 04/23 18:55 GMT by S : A press release from NCSoft regarding their E3 line-up announces plans for first expansion pack, City Of Villains, which "will allow players to take on the role of villain in Paragon's modern metropolis."
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Alien Invasion Ends City Of Heroes Beta

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  • Oh god. (Score:4, Funny)

    by consolidatedbord ( 689996 ) <[moc.skcahsahi] [ta] [nodnarb]> on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:09PM (#8950926) Homepage Journal
    I for one, welcome our new alien overlords.
  • Too Bad... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:14PM (#8950984)
    Too bad the name reservation waffling pretty much ended up pissing off a good portion of the customer base twice.

    Also, the removal of certain colors from being used on your uniforms pretty much punishes the wrong people (some idiots were creating 'nude' uniforms, basically: instead of banning those people, they removed flesh tones from the possible uniform colors).

    The beta ending event didn't work across all zones, either, but heck, it is a beta.

    Still, despite all that, the beta was a blast and I can't wait for the game.
    • Re:Too Bad... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by johnkoer ( 163434 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .reoknhoj.> on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:43PM (#8951369) Homepage Journal
      I had fun in the beta, but I dunno if I am going to purchase the game. I got one character up to lvl 13 or 14 and I started to get bored with it. I was always getting the same boring kill missions (or missions that were way too hard for my level). It was taking me forever to level up and it really wasn't fun for me anymore. I guess its just not my type of game.
      • Re:Too Bad... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by dwaggie ( 106338 )
        I wish so many other people just realized that, instead of blaming devs. This game is created with a certain mentality in mind. Just because Person A was GREAT at EQ or DAoC or AshCall .. that doesn't mean anything in CoH, and they blame the devs for it. Ugh.

        Good on ya :)
      • Just in case you care, they're adding a "City of Villians" expansion not too long from now. Makes it an entirely different game.
  • Variant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Acidic_Diarrhea ( 641390 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:16PM (#8951015) Homepage Journal
    This sounds pretty cool and is a nice story device for the players. I hope this game does very well and takes off. I don't care for the gameplay style but I would love this game if it were released as a single player extravaganza with a changed combat system. Basically, I'd like GTA with capes.

    Back in the day, there was a Spider-Man game released for the Sega CD that hinted at this type of possibility. There were levels where you had to run left to right and defeat an end boss but along the way there were old ladies getting mugged on the street that you could save. The most recent Spider-Man video games have focused solely on guiding you from the start of the level to the end boss, with no time to just wander around the city. I'm thinking that if City of Heroes takes off, clones and variants may spring up and provide me with this type of gameplay - which I think a lot of people would enjoy, based on how well GTA sold and how well superhero movies have been doing lately.

    • Actually, there is indeed an old lady who's purse was stolen that you can choose to help in the new Spiderman game, among other "side quests." Not exactly COH material, but it's not just start of level to boss fight either.
    • Re:Variant (Score:5, Informative)

      by spezz ( 150943 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:46PM (#8951405)
      The new spider-man game is going to be like that. There's street level crime (literally, you don't just fall and die in the mysterious fog anymore) and you can take missions that progress the story, or just smack around thugs. I'd assume it comes out this summer after the movie, but if that's the sort of game you're looking for, keep an eye on the E3 coverage.

      • The first thing I did in that game was to try and climb down to the street.

        "WTF? I'm glad this is a rental."

        Hopefully with the sequel they removed the ridiculous ability to stick webs to the sky, too.

        • Hopefully with the sequel they removed the ridiculous ability to stick webs to the sky, too.

          The developers have said that webs won't stick to the air in the next game. This will make movement more interesting and realistic but potentially awkward.

    • Wait...you're not talking about the game that's reponsible for "Swingtime", are you?

      http://sardius.fefea.org/reviews/segacd/swingtim e. mp3
  • by hambonewilkins ( 739531 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:19PM (#8951050)
    Seriously. Imagine every addicted player sitting at their computer when suddenly whole races of people are killed off. Their own character, whom they've spent months developing, gone. At this point, the player stares in shock at the screen, but a glint of sunlight breaks in the room. He looks out the window, sees the "real world" and goes and builds up himself instead of a fake character.

    Guess it's too much to ask for. And yes, I realize this was just the way to end the beta.

    • by CompressedAir ( 682597 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:30PM (#8951195)
      Whatever. That just means the curtains were not pulled tight.
    • by curtisk ( 191737 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:59PM (#8951537) Homepage Journal
      ....but then think about the army of people that you are releasing into the real world all at once? That could be a scary sight and the enviornmental and social impact would be felt for years to come...unless of course most die off due to the inability to "macro" in the real world
    • Really, I think that the boundary between 'self' and a 'fake character' is nonexistent. The same person is playing both roles, and there is certainly a bleed-through of skills from one persona to another.

      But, if the game's just a click-fest, you're right: it's no better than gambling.
    • He looks out the window, sees the "real world" and goes and builds up himself instead of a fake character

      I can relate to this. The two guys I share a house with play computer games obsessively and are in terrible physical shape. I like to play games occasionally, but I go to the gym three times a week as well. I often have the strange experience of coming back from a gruelling workout at the gym to have a fat pasty housemate enthuse about how his character in Anarchy Online is now more powerful because

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 23, 2004 @04:07PM (#8953598)
        At these times I find myself wondering why he doesn't go and "build himself up" instead.

        Because the people who play this "gym" MMORG are even bigger dicks than Counterstrike players. Every time I go to the gym, all the high-level people are like "LOL, look at teh n00b". No one will tell me how many bench presses I need to do before I can level up, they just stare at me like I'm stupid or something. And good luck getting a party together to take on the higher-level weights. Half the appeal of MMORGs is the teamwork, but nobody in gym seems to understand that.

        Combine that with the tiny gameworld, lack of scenery, and other glaring faults, and it's easy to see that gym is no EverQuest. Maybe if there's a sequel or a patch, I'll look into it, but for now I think I'll spend my entertainment dollar elsewhere.

    • I know you were just giving a "whatif" scenario, but if I was paying a monthly fee for this game, and had spent a lot of time/money building up my character, I would be SERIOUSLY pissed, and would most likely just cancel my subscription to that particular MMORPG and find another one.

    • He looks out the window, sees the "real world" and goes and builds up himself instead of a fake character.

      And wasting countless hours discussing games (or anything for that matter) on slashdot is more productive than actually playing the game?
  • by Hot Soup LD ( 324328 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:21PM (#8951071) Homepage
    I was only able to participate for a half hour or so, but here's what I saw.

    As soon as I logged in, I went to Atlas Park (the hub/newbie zone of the game). I looked up and sure enough, hanging in the sky right above the giant statue of Atlas was a large ominous sawcer. Very Independance Day-esque. I flew up closer (I play a lvl 24 blaster with flight) to the alien ship, and noticed there were little green flicks and flashes coming down from parts the ship. The Ritki aliens were dropping to the surface.

    I flew down and saw what I did not expect. Hundreds of heroes banded together to form a line of scrimmage, using unprecidented organization to fight off one or two aliens at a time. The aliens were all 'conning' purple to me (meaning they were tougher than me, I suspect they were around level 30 apiece), so some aliens took many heroes to take down.

    The wave of heroes moved forward until we had resecured the capital building from the alien onslaught. We then huddled around Ms Liberty in a mass of flying, jumping primary colors, and defended against another wave of alien attackers.

    I probably hit the screenshot button more than the shoot button during this event.

    I'm running an Athlon 1700+ with a gig of ram. I have a GeForce4 Ti 4600 with 256 megs. It was slow and choppy during the real heavy parts (I was getting about a frame a second whenever someone did a 'mass heal' to a batch of 50 heroes), but still remained stable and playable. I was still able to put some hurt on the aliens.

    It was a very entertaining event, a successful stress test on the server (and the clients), and it definately made me eager to start playing an official character on Sunday.

    If you see Kid Gizmo in the mix, send me a tell!
    • It was a great event and actually high-lighted one of my favorite aspects of the game - no down-time. Being a newbie, I died about every 30 seconds but it took about that long to get back into action. I'm a big fan of this game. I only got to play it for a couple of days but it's got the finest low-level game of any MMORPG currently running. It will be interesting to see if the quality of the gaming experience continues as you progress.
    • by Alkaiser ( 114022 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @01:12PM (#8951707) Homepage
      I'm sorry, but I was in during the event too, and this wasn't that cool. I was in Steel Canyon, with my Level 9 Scrapper, Iron Chef.

      Heroes were getting obliterated by the dozen. On my Athlon 1900+ and my GeForce FX 5600 with 256MB I was getting 1 frame a second. Since I wasn't a long range blaster this made it impossible for me to actually engage in combat.

      I think I hit maybe, 6 of the hundreds of Rikti invaders. This isn't killed, mind you...I was doing around 11-17 points of damage to these guys while they were hitting me for upwards of 200. These guys were spawning in groups of 25-30, and I was able to target and touch 6. There's something wrong here.

      Unless they work these lag issues out (I mean...it's just me, but if I was a citizen in the midst of an alien attack I couldn't possibly defend myself from, I'd probably stay the hell indoors, and not be all hustling and bustling outside. I certainly wouldn't be out robbing people.

      To end it all, I was in Atlas Park as the big Rikti Spaceship loomed threateningly over City Hall, and then dramatically...disappearing.

      I was up on that 20 story building before the others organized the mass "suicide" jump hoping to see some cool explosion or something, but no...poof.

      The most entertaining moment of the evening was after it all ended people starting logging in and asking where all the aliens were.

      Aside from that it was just a bunch of lag for me and the other close ranged attackers. I considered just logging out because I couldn't do anything, and then just decided to stick around to see if there was some cool finish to it all, but there wasn't even that.

      It's been a pretty clean beta, with the exception of the last couple days where it's been hit by INSANE lag. I really like the game so far, but I'm being VERY cautious now.
      • by Delf ( 1807 ) * on Friday April 23, 2004 @01:52PM (#8952168)
        So, you joined a Beta Test, participated in an event that had Stress Test written all over it, and either you or they fell off the performance curve. Sounds like the developers got the data they were looking for. And given that everyone had the framerate issues, it sounds like that was a server issue, not client-limited. Which means they have a better shot at fixing it before they go live and the crowds descend. It's all good.

        You can't judge the game by late-beta performance when they're obviously stress testing. And the fact that they got around to stress testing before they went live is a good sign, it means they probably have their other bugs under control. Anyone who's been in on the last few MMOG launches can tell you what happens when launch day *is* the stress test, and they won't be saying nice things.

        If I'm being pissy/jealous it's because they once again scheduled a beta event for a time when us west-coasties were still at work or stuck in traffic trying to get home. Wah.
        • I'm on the West Coast, too. And I'm not judging the game on the latter parts of beta test. I'm just saying the before this event, everything was really smooth...and I had a very, very high opinion of the game, and high hopes for the final product.

          It's been knocked down a peg after the few slip ups over the last few days, and my post was mainly to say, "Eh, the Rikti Invasion was actually fairly lame if you weren't ranged."
      • by Gojira Shipi-Taro ( 465802 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @02:00PM (#8952258) Homepage
        I think I hit maybe, 6 of the hundreds of Rikti invaders. This isn't killed, mind you...I was doing around 11-17 points of damage to these guys while they were hitting me for upwards of 200. These guys were spawning in groups of 25-30, and I was able to target and touch 6. There's something wrong here.

        Here's what's wrong. You were in Steel Canyon at level 9. What did you expect? Normal mobs there should eat you for breakfast at that level. Of COURSE uber invaders will. THey're geared towards the levels that are SUPPOSED to be in that zone.

        Nevermind the other issues. Remember, this was a BETA TEST. not solely for the entertainment of the testers, but to find out HOW to do these invasions properly. I participated in many defenses in many zones, and in no two cases was the wave or waves of invaders handled the same way. I saw the "friendly/non-targetable/non-hostile" bug (in at least one case these appeared to be intentional decoys, however), and a few other problems. Better now than when the game is live...
        • by Alkaiser ( 114022 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @02:13PM (#8952393) Homepage
          The part with me not killing them wasn't the problem. I fully expected that. The only reason I was in Steel Canyon was because I was finishing a mission there from the day before.

          The part where I was able to target and touch *6* of the invaders was. I didn't care that I would die, but I wanted to PARTICIPATE. I was either blocked in by other heroes, or lagged so heavily, I couldn't locate a target before it was moved out of my melee range. As I say later in my post, I moved on to Atlas Park, where enemies were in my level range, and I still couldn't hit any of them due to the exact same problems in Steel Canyon.

          The purpose of the Beta Test and the purpose of the POSTING are two entirely different things. This was a reply to someone saying the event was really cool, and me saying, "No, it in fact, was not."

          I'm sure as a Beta Test this was very successful, and insightful for the Cryptic and NCSoft folks. You don't hear me saying, "Oh, I wouldn't recommend buying CoH based off of this occurance." However, as I've said twice before, if you were not ranged, the alien attack wasn't fun, it didn't have any sort of conclusion, and it was horribly lagged.
          • I actually did quite decently, and only lagged a couple of times in a couple of the completely full zones where we were all sitting in the same place hitting the 31 mobs marching through town.
          • Can't argue with your last point, I guess, as I was playing a ranged defender (level 10). I suppose also that my fascination with the testing process also colors my view of the "coolness" of the event, coupled with some lucky draws in my choices of zone instances to check for invaders...
          • I was playing a Tanker in GC1 on Pinnacle. There were about a hundred heroes swarming over the plaza and hospital as hundreds of Ritki poured out of 8 portals in the pools down the steps. Things occasionally got a little choppy (eg: area heal on 50+ people who are simultaneously under various effects and flinging powers every which way), but never so bad that I couldn't run up and mash mentalists or provoke commanders off lower level players.

            This is with 768MB ram, Radeon 9800 Pro and Barton 2600.

            The only
        • I didn't have a problem with lag. Also, with level 7 powers I was actually able to perform the occasional "knock-down" on the higher level invaders. After we banded together to kill their commander however, a group of aliens showed up that had obviously been dial up a bit. They proceeded to wipe us all out and then camp the hospital entrance. It was literally in the last hour before the servers were to be shut down so my guess is they were sort of the party clean up committee. They clearly were telling
  • Rikti Invasion (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Michael Belrose ( 773916 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:23PM (#8951100)
    I'd just like to point out that this event wasn't all peaches and cream. I've got a less than spectacular PC, and 100+ heroes within a 100 yard area is not a good thing. Lag and framerate issues made it impossible for me to even take part in the event, and I really hope Cryptic will do better in the future. What they could have done instead of having them all show up in the same place is just to temporarily replace the normal thug spawns with alien spawns, but I guess that would have made too much sense.
    • Re:Rikti Invasion (Score:2, Insightful)

      by schapman ( 703722 )
      not to flame.. but you are basically saying that you didn't get a good framerate as they were stress testing. the 100+ heroes in one area not doing good is YOUR machine.. not their fault... list some specs so we can see if it's reasonable. Do you expect them to drop the quality level of the whole game because your machine can't keep up. Some of us are willing to spend the extra to make our games look good, and run well... and I don't think we should be punished because of people who expect their old machine
      • 2.0 ghz, 512 megs SDRAM, ATI Radeon 9600. My computer's no slouch in the graphics department. However, I shouldn't be expected to be running a 3.2 ghz with a gig of DDR and a Radeon 9800 Pro to participate in an MMO event.
        • Re:Rikti Invasion (Score:2, Interesting)

          by schapman ( 703722 )
          well.. you said less than spectacular.. so I'm sorry if I sounded trollish, but yes... you should be able to hand an event w/ that box. Is there many detail settings in COH?? just wondering, as I'm eager to check it out
    • but then you would have missed out on the huge columns of them marching through town, which was really impressive for those of us who COULD still play the game...

      Like these [mandrake.net]. It was really cool, especialyl when they were killing trainers and task force people.

  • by Lord_Pain ( 165272 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:39PM (#8951319)
    Please let there be an OS X version soon! Oh please! Oh please!

    This just looks amazing! OMG! Who wouldn't want to be a Super Hero?!?

  • More from Gamespy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Recoil_42 ( 665710 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @12:42PM (#8951353) Homepage Journal
    Fargo from gamespy has also put up his (rather entertaining) account of the event:

    http://www.gamespy.com/articles/508/508603p1.html [gamespy.com]
  • another gallery (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mandrake ( 3939 ) <mandrake@mandrake.net> on Friday April 23, 2004 @02:18PM (#8952432) Homepage Journal
    I took a bunch of screenshots during the endgame also here [mandrake.net].

    My favorite is this one [mandrake.net] which shows how big the ships were compared to, say, really tall buildings.

    Great game, I'm going to enjoy playing it live, also.

  • by bbingham ( 145204 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @03:02PM (#8952891)
    We had less than 100 heroes total and most of us were upper 20's - 30's or sidekicked up to that level.

    We routed the invaders time and again with fairly minimal losses.

    A real-life person was controlling the commander. He had some special powers and was very difficult to bring down, but eventually we did.

    I was level 20, but sidekicked up to 34 so I did my fair share of damage to the ungodly invaders. Took a slew of shots of my team (3 beauties plus little old me). Good time had by all. Much less laggy than similar events I participated in back in the early days of Asheron's Call.

    I recommend COH to casual gamers who don't want to twist their real lives around to have fun playing a game. I was always able to play 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there and feel like I was making progress and having fun.

  • by josh glaser ( 748297 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @03:11PM (#8952967)
    They got to a) stress test the servers and b) kill of everybody's beta characters (in a way that made sense with the story and all) in one fell swoop. If that's the kind of game design CoH represents, well, I'm going to buy it soon. And City of Villains! They actually listen to the players!

    What would've been really cool is if all the heroes somehow beat all the aliens, like how some people in EQ beat an "unbeatable" dragon, etc.
    • City of Villains is exactly how I said they should handle the evil side. In fact, that's the exact name I said I'd use. Then every so often, they need to do a big colossal battle. If that's the case, I may be sticking around in this game a lot longer than I expected.
      • If City of Villains adds non-consual PVP, or will result in PvP players causing headaches for the rest of us via constant whining about balance that results in nerfs, it will mark the END of my involvement with CoH.

        Fortunately that's a way off yet.

        Auto Assault looks great though. That one I'd consider PvP in, as it practically begs for it (I can't remember Car Wars being anything BUT a PvP RPG).

        Auto Assault appears to be to Car Wars as CoH is to Champions... hmmm AutoDuel Champions anyone?
        • by Alkaiser ( 114022 ) on Friday April 23, 2004 @04:54PM (#8954184) Homepage
          Man, with the way they've handled everything else, aside from the end of Beta event, I'd be utterly shocked if they implemented it as stupidly as other MMOs have. They obviously pay attention to the customer base, so this in't going to be Nerf City.
          • You're probably right. I was speaking with the war wearieness of a PvE devotee who has seen game after game decimated by having the Devs listen to a small vocal minority, and ruining the PvE experience based on PvP complaints regarding "Balance" (particularly scarred by the first two years of Asheron's Call).

            DAoC was notable in this regard too. Problem was RvR was pretty much all the end-game there was for the first year, before the PvE server was started, so they HAD to work on class balance.

            One reason w
    • What would've been really cool is if all the heroes somehow beat all the aliens

      On some servers and areas, we did just that. Others were neglected by the heroes and fell, while a few more were neglected by the developers and didn't get invaded at all. The alien ships eventually just vanished. No special effects, just deleted. It was a little anti-climactic.
  • How much will the expansion cost?
  • To all the people who beta tested COH, do you think the combat system dicates a fast paced pvp battle or do you think it can achieve strategic paced pvp battle? After testing the game it feels like it might become a 15-20 sec battle on a 1 on 1 basis. I would like to see 2-3 minute battles myself.
  • Release The Dancing ZODS Of WAR! maniacal laughter

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.