Daily Archives: August 28, 2007

He came to steal your socks.

He stayed to save your world.

The Thief of Socks, my latest character in City of Heroes.

An Illusion/Kinetics controller, he plays very differently from the other controller characters that I’ve played, in the fact that he sacrifices control abilities for greater damage and utility.

I’d been put off of Illusion as a power-set in the past mainly because of the pets factor: I’ve never been a great fan of pet classes, partly because pet classes seem to have a stigma of ‘easy mode’ attached to them, but primarily because it’s like taking your own pick-up group with you wherever you go. Pet AI in most MMOs falls into one of two categories:

a) You have to tell them what to do, in excruciatingly painful detail:

“Go forward two paces. Ok, left a bit, left a bit more. Too far! Right a bit. Ok attack! No! Attack the enemy not our group warrior, damnit! Ok, why have you stopped attacking? Oh, the mob is dead. And you’re not attacking the other mob that’s standing right next to you because? Because I haven’t told you to. Right. I dismiss you, you stupid pet. <pulls another poké ball from his pocket> Hyperactive Bouncing Pick-up Group Mage, I choose you!”

b) You can’t tell them what to do, so it’s excruciatingly painful in a different way:

“Go forward two paces… No, no! Forward. Two paces. That’s not forward. Or two paces. Where are you going? Hey, we’re not attacking that group of mobs, we’re attacking these ones over here. Please! Come back. Are those cigarettes? Are you taking a cigarette break? I’m being violated by large green monsters here, don’t you care? I am your MASTER and you WILL obey me otherwi… Hello? Hello? Oh, they’ve buggered off.”

However, sometimes it’s good to get out of the comfort zone and try something new, and although the Illusion power-set has an abundance of pets compared to other controller classes, the other powers in the set (invisibility and deception through illusion) tied in well with the theme of a miniature magical entity who comes in the night and steals odd socks from your airing cupboard, so I thought I’d give it a go. The Kinetics power-set has a host of useful team and self buffs which I thought would be handy to bring to a group, especially since I was going to be lacking the traditional control powers that people would expect of, well, a controller.

So far he’s been a lot of fun to play and I’ve been able to mix and match solo and group play without any trouble. However, at his next even level he gains a new power and it will be time to grab his first pets, who are firmly ensconced in category b from above.

They’ll be my very own pick-up group of sinners to summon at will to cause me intense psychological trauma. What in the Inferno am I thinking? I’ll let you know how it goes, but if you don’t hear from me in some time it may be that I’m off chasing around Paragon City trying to find where they’re having their secret cigarette breaks, laughing over a cup of coffee about their stupid ‘master’ and his delusions of authority.