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Month: January 2009

Double XP Weekend

Posted in Gaming

DXPDouble XP (DXP) weekend is coming this weekend, during which the City of Heroes and Villains servers see and massive boost in population with everyone scrambling to make the most of the bonus XP. As we always tend to prepare ourselves a little before these weekends I thought I’d write some notes on the subject.

1. Who to play

Firstly is the important choice of which character to play, if you have followed the instructions correctly you should have numerous characters littered across many levels (like me). There are a few factors that help me determine which toon deserves some bonus XP, in order of importance they are :

  • Difficult to solo – if you have a character whose main role is a healer, playing solo is frequently an awkward and fruitless task. DXP offers a nice environment to join bigger groups and gain more levels to unlock some much needed offensive powers.
  • Close to a milestone? – why not get that level 18 character to 20 allowing you to hopefully stamina or that maybe level that Arachnos solider over the tricky 20 to 24 levels?
  • Fun to play – Got that character that you enjoy levelling, well don’t spend all of DXP focused on your favourite they will still be as-much fun afterwards.

There are a few reason you may want to play your level 50 character: bigger groups to team with, badge hunting, earning influence/infamy or for Super-group Prestige (after the recent SG changes not too likely).

2. How much time to spend?

Many people will use DXP to level one character to 50, great idea if you only tend to work on one character at a time. However if you are like me you get bored stupid playing the same toon for long lengths of time, this is where you can set yourself a gaming plan.

For example, over this weekend my plan is to play the following characters:

  • Level 42 corruptor (ice/storm) – I’m hoping to get this character to at least level 45 over the weekend
  • Level 28 corruptor (sonic/pain) – This character is in a level pact so I’m not expecting miracles, hoping to reach 30 maybe 32, if the other person is on too.
  • Level 25 Crabspider – this toon hasn’t moved much in the last 4 months I’m hoping to unlock a few more powers to help with playing him
  • Level 1 ??? – I always tend to try and speed-level a new toon during DXP weekends, just to allow me to avoid the early level content, aiming for level 14 to get a travel power.

So there you have it not an overly exciting list I know, there maybe some alterations and additions before the weekend, but the bottom line is to have fun, remember it’s not a job.

3. Realworld

Yes it’s time to lock the doors, set mobiles to silent, phasers to stun and dust off the tea urn in preparation (no really we do have a tea urn).

It’s rather easy to get wrapped up DXP so remember to take regular breaks allowing for food, drink and maybe even some fresh air, it’s surprising how time flies and you fail to remember the simple things.

4. and relax

Don’t get too annoyed if you fail to reach your targets you planned for your characters. There is always regular play and more DXPs in the future.

A tip for those of you playing in PUGs add your team mates to your characters friend list, it frequently helps in the future when you are looking for teams around your level.

Well thats all from me, I hope you have an enjoyable Double XP weekend.

LE : Un-Optional Adverts

Posted in Gaming

Un-Optional Adverts : Where have all the adverts gone?
Originally posted on Limited Edition (Jan 19th, 2009)

wt_cox_advertsWhen I wrote a post regarding in-game adverts appearing in City of Heroes/Villains, I expected to see a steady stream of adverts appearing around Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. The adverts are optional so if graphics were a problem you could toggle them off (the default state), plus the integration appeared to be nicely handled so they didn’t look too out of place in the MMO.

I thought the advert campaigns were linked between the US and EU servers, but since the patch including the adverts I’ve only ever seen one advert on the EU English Server Union, this observation has been mirrored by fellow gamers in the EU game forums.

wt_cox_protestAfter some digging by Shuttler (Cheers), Dusty Monk informs us that on the US servers CoX has lots of in-game adverts running, so I guess that lack of advertiser interest isn’t the reason, so why the difference?

I believe the different advertising laws for different countries are a massive hurdle to overcome for game companies looking to add in-game adverts, this one singe issue may drive them to only advertise in certain regions.
A similar reason was given by SOE for the lack of adverts on Planetside when playing from outside the US, cunningly blocking players from seeing the advert via geo-location. Although I don’t believe this to be the case for the City Of Heroes EU servers after a US friend confirmed that they don’t see the adverts on the EU servers either.

Admittedly the EU servers have nowhere near the same populations as the US servers but still the opt-in advert system was promoted as a method for players to generate more revenue for City of Heroes future game development, shame that for reasons out of my control other European players and I can’t contribute.

In the possible dawn of the RMT era of MMO games I expect in-game adverts to become used more frequently used, but with the previously mentioned licensing laws to overcome, how effective they will be at generating revenue from a worldwide player-base remains to be seen.

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Posted in Gaming

CrayonI have to admit from the first try of the demo I was completely hooked. A very simple but effective game that will have you quite stumped at times.

The aim is simple get the ball to touch the star, sounds easy I know but as you climb the levels you have to learn and use different techniques to complete a level.

The map levels you finish the wider access you gain to other islands containing puzzles each set trickier than the previous.

LE : Number Crunching

Posted in Gaming

Number Crunching : Join me as I look into the ‘under the hood’ numbers in City of Heroes/Villains.

Originally posted on Limited Edition (Jan 16th, 2009)


I’ve wanted to write a post regarding the Combat Attribute system for sometime, I thought what better than making it my first post for the Limited Edition website.

During February of 2008, the detailed world of in-game “numbers” was unlocked to the players of City Heroes, at first I didn’t think it was all that important, I have reversed that opinion quite considerably in the last year and I shall show you why.

There were two related features that were introduced to help out players, I’ll discuss each and how you can use each advantageously.

Power Numbers

First up are the power numbers panels that allows a player to instantly see how a power is composed and if it is one they wish to select. The option to view Power Numbers were introduced at various locations in the game such as the character creation panes/ level up screen and enhancement screen. Before the introduction of this feature, players had to guesstimate from the powers description (or use a 3rd party tool) to determine the functionality of a power.

You can access the Power Numbers by looking for the “Show Detailed Info” button that will appear whenever you are looking at your powers in the enhancement screen. Additionally you can see the details on any power you own or used on you by just right clicking them.

Combat Attributes

The second feature was one that massively altered the way many people gamed, the appearance of the Combat attributes screen and monitor box allowed players to see all the information that had previously been hidden.

It’s worth noting that introduction and use of these tools also enable the resolution of niggling power/enhancement bugs that had gone unnoticed or untraceable beforehand.

You can access the main combat attribute window by clicking on the “Powers” button located just above the power trays, at the top of the new windows that appears you will see the text Combat Attributes that you will need to click.

There are 7 sections of different information but the top one labelled “base” is the one you’ll want to check-out to start with as it contains some of the most important attributes.

Stats Monitor

Each attribute shows the base values and any modifiers that enhancements provide to an attribute, you can hide these additional number if needed by right click anywhere inside the panel and choosing “Hide power sources”.

Depending on your characters archetype and your style of play there are numerous choices you will want to look at and monitor. You can track up-to ten different Attributes outside of the main window by right-click the one you want and selecting “Monitor”.

Suggested Attributes to monitor

Here are are some ideas of attributes you may wish to monitor on your characters.

  • Damage Bonus – Great to see how much extra damage you are dealing.
  • Last Hit chance – Shows the % chance of your last targeted power.
  • Endurance Consumption – A must for anybody using toggles
  • Experience to Next Level – how much Xp need to level

So if you are looking for a vital piece of information or you just want to have a nose around, check out the combat attributes and see the inner-workings of your character.

Fully Expanded example

Fully Expanded example

Branching out

Posted in About Me

Limited EditionAs you may have read I was recently asked by Shuttler over at Limited Edition to help contribute to his website, a rather scary prospect writing outside of the boundaries of my own websites. Thankfully I’m not the only new kid on the block at LE with the ever impressive Rockjaw also bolstering the ranks too.

So what’s it all about?
Well primarily I shall be posting about the City Of Heroes/Villains games, a topic as you may have guessed I rather enjoy writing about. I am hoping the new Comic/Hero focused games in development will get some coverage over the year too.

Rather than duplicating the posts on two websites I shall be creating small notifications for about each new post I make over on Limited Edition.

Wish me luck.