Pic of the day: Hero or villain, who will you be? From next weekend, you will have the choice. But I have already made mine.
No villain I
The time draws near when City of Villains is released, the evil clone of my favorite game City of Heroes. Of course it isn't just a mirror image of CoH, it is a twisted mirror image... OK, it is actually more than that. There are new archetypes, only one of which is reasonably similar to one of the old ones. (Corrupter ~ Defender.) There is no Tanker archetype, the one who can resist a lot of damage and keep standing. The corresponding Brute archetype is instead doing massive damage rather than taking it. And there is a new pet owner archetype, the Mastermind, who can have several named pets (henchmen, so far I've seen robots and zombies). This seems like the only class I'd be interested in playing of the bunch. It adds a new tactical – and possibly strategic – layer to the game. At first sight similar to the Bonedancer in Dark Age of Camelot, the Mastermind seems to have options to develop each of his pets in a particular direction.
I don't know all the details, however, because I refused to beta-test the game. Despite several invites from NCSoft, I just couldn't bring myself to play as a villain. That is just not the kind of man I am.
I have played games for a long time, and I find that I suck at villainy. In Master of Magic, I tend to go for white magic and / or paladins, and when I tried black magic it just didn't sit right with me. (Still in the game, obviously.) In DAoC, I couldn't get myself to play the sneak classes with backstab and poison. I always detested them on a visceral level, from the depths of my subconscious. Even in the single- player Daggerfall, typical thief and assassin classes did not appeal to me, and despite the game's freedom to make your own destiny, I always played a good guy. Chaotic good, that's my default personality, whether in any game or in real life. It is just the kind of man I am.
I understand that a couple upgrades from now, which should be around half a year, it will be possible for heroes and villains to change sides. (This happens from time to time in comics, especially Marvel comics.) It is still a way off, though, and details are sketchy. At that time, if I am still around, I will probably be playing together with former villains and get more of an impression of how their powersets work, more than I can get from reading. But it is still doubtful that I will be able to stomach playing a villain, even for the time it takes until you are able to go rogue and head for the other side.
As I've said before in non-game context: Some people are good because it is natural for them, some are good to get reward or avoid punishment, but some of us are good because we know firsthand the evil inside. If you think evil is fun, then you haven't felt the consuming desire to destroy as much as possible, kill as many as you can before you die. I have, and it's not something to make me have fun and relax. Your mileage may vary, in which case I think you may want to take a closer look at City of Villains, out by the start of NaNoWriMo... er, November.
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.