Issue 7 has been on test for a while now, and the boards with the Test Server information on that are going just a wee bit crazy. I myself built and copied over some characters to take a look at the new content, but mostly I’ve been reading. For the most part, I’m looking very much forward to Issue 7 – but not everyone is.

First off, I did take a gander at the new powersets that will be gracing the Villains. They look quite good, over all. From reports they seem to work as well as any other set. After I7 hits the live servers, I would expect there to be a rash of new villains bearing these new powers, so if you were considering doing the same, you may want to give it some breathing space. After all, who wants to be one of a hundred electric/electric Brutes running around Mercy?

The new additions to the bases are quite nice, but still have some issues. Fortunetly, from what I’ve seen, the Developers have been listening to what the players are saying. In many ways these items were supposed to be useful to everyone, and easily obtainable for those in a smaller sized Supergroup, since not everyone can be in even a ten-plus player group. Reading through the boards on this was a really serious pain. What you’ll see a lot of is someone complaining about item A, then someone else rebuts to the complaint about item A, then there is more complaining about all of it, then you manage to find the information you are looking for, then there is a post by a Developer advising of a change, then people complaining about that as well. Not that everyone just complains all the time. Either way, the last major change I saw on base items, Storage, was that they where removing the control and power requirements and upping the price. At the very least, it prompted me to make a post myself thanking the Dev’s for this little change. Might take longer for my SG to purchase other items, but these will at least be immediately useful to us.

The other base item was the Empowerment Station. I really, really liked this idea when I first heard about it. You can hook one of these up and have the option of tossing some excess salvage in and getting buffs! Hey, whats not to like, right? Well, that was before I actually read the boards about it. Over all, it’s not a terrible idea, but this time I didn’t see this as being incredibly useful. To anyone. I imagined that the buffs would be a temporary power, click on it when you need it, it lasts for X amount of time and maybe once you start it you can’t turn it off. So you can pay a visit to your base, say, before a big Task Force, get yourself the one’s you think you’d need (only one of each, now, don’t be greedy!), and then use it as needed. Uhm – no. Instead, you go, you spend salvage (originally quite costly, but now somewhat less so) and you are immediately buffed for fifteen minutes. To me, not so useful, most of the time. Sure, if the entire group gets wiped out by an Archvillain or something, then yeah, you can stop back at base, buff up and try again. Oh well, it was a very cool idea, and maybe I’ll be wrong about how useful they are. Wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong!

They’ve been playing with the graphics on this as well. Sprucing up the general graphics, but the big change is the active-something-or-other. You don’t need the terms if you can see the effects, and can you see those effects! First is the movable items in the game. When your enemies shoot at you, the bullets stick around, leaves fall off trees, I’ve even hard random items come out of trash heaps. Cool! Rather more cool in a ‘I”m a complete geek’ way is that some powers can have an effect on these items, like Whirlwind picking up leaves and bullets and junk and tossing it around with the enemy, or Superspeed occasionally dragging a small trail of stuff. There is a powerset that really gets a nice graphics boost from this, and thats Gravity Control. I pulled my gravity villain over to test to try it out, and it was a blast. The items you toss at people stick around, and all of the mobile items in the area will be moved, even if just a tiny bit, towards anything under the effects of a gravity power. It was rather amusing to see the enemy hovering in the air with all the bullet shells sort of drifting around him, or trailing him in the air. Fortunetly some of this stuff just ‘falls through the ground’ when outside, otherwise the servers would be very bloated in no time. Besides me, I’m sure there are going to be many people having fun with this. Heck, one of my SG members with a gravity Controller figures it might actually get him interested in playing with the character again.

I did try to make an attempt to get in to Recluses Victory, copying my highest (level thirty three) character over to test, but was unable to enter as being too low a level. Wow, been a while since I heard that from anyone! Needless, the new PvP zone seems to be similar to a hazard zone in this regard. You can’t get in until level forty, which is too bad, because I’ve heard some very cool things about the zone, and the videos that were put up are almost drool worthy. At least it’s another reason to get to level forty!

Don’t forget the Mayhem Missions. I did manage to get on a team for one of these on test, just before the server was rebooted. I’m not sure what they will be like to do solo, but in a team it was a blast! Insane! People and things running everywhere, items blowing up, civilians in the way (more than usual) and people ending up in prison because they died! If you get a change to do one of these, I recommend it. Now we just need a version of this and the newspaper for the Heroes side, and I will be VERY happy!

There’s a ton of other stuff to write about, but over all, I would recommend reading the boards about what is going on. The players outline bugs and problems, even small issues, and the Dev’s read it and try to fix it. If nothing else, it re-brightens the shine of I7, and also makes it obvious that yes, it will hit the live servers, just as soon as they finish ironing out the wrinkles. Or you could copy someone over to test and give it a try for yourself, see all the new shinnies that are going to be coming our way. And, at the least, it might be a week or so after I7 comes live before we hear people talking about I8 – actually, I lie. I’ve already seen people talking about I8. It’s a strange, strange world, and when we get what we are waiting for, it will only get stranger. -@Mialiah (mialiah@warcry.com)

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