Monday, April 26, 2010

Xi's Guide to Not Sucking in City of Heroes Pt. 1

So I got to thinking, the other day. Just because I'm not playing WoW anymore doesn't mean I'm necessarily forced into refraining from belittling my fellow player for the sake of comedy and higher learning. I've still got other MMO's that could use my touch, and I'm more than willing to show people how to play.

So, without further ado...

Whenever you start playing a game, no matter who you are, you start as a scrub. You've probably spent your pre-hero days flipping burgers or staying on your friend's couch so you won't get arrested for vagrancy. Or maybe you were involved in the mob, and as a low level henchman struggled to make ends meet because your coke-snorting girlfriend keeps stealing all your money. Or maybe you're apart of some villain reform program, and you're only a hero because you don't want a permanent record. No matter what your background is, you can be successful in Paragon City with a few really easy to remember tips. The first of which is covered by this part of the guide: Dress for Success!

These guys are doing it wrong.

I remember hearing this argument on the World of Warcraft forums back in the day. The cooler your character looks (or the cooler your character has the potential to look), the more often you are to play that character. Having to go a few months in a lame armor set because the Blizzard designers think pink is cool (sucks to a be a paladin in t5) is a major drag on player morale. Why can't I look cool too?

Well, you can. In City of Heroes, your "equipment" or enhancements don't affect the way you dress. Instead, you get a full hold on how your character looks from the character create screen. Your hero, your costume. Will you wear tights or a trench coat? Will you wear a hat or a mask? Maybe you'll want all of the above! We can't let ourselves get too carried away, though. Naturally, there are a few combinations that work better than others.

This obviously isn't one of them.

After years of on and off CoX gameplay, I've figured out what works and doesn't work. For me. Your mileage may vary. Remember, the following examples are to make sure you don't look like a Starburst factory exploded and you were the only survivor.

First and foremost, tights are not gay. You can't go wrong with a sharp looking set of tights and a cape. Tradition isn't tradition because a bunch of girly guys didn't wanna nut up and wear a leotard.

I look sharp in these!

Miss Starfall(Me!) and Pyre Strike(Lexi!) at a doubles' costume contest.

Something else to notice in the screenshots above (This post is SS-heavy, sue me) is that I use a lot of two tones. This is a great way to flesh out a costume. Find a pattern that works, and two colors that compliment each other, and you've got a timeless look. Throw a little of a third color for flare or trimming (gold works really well), and the villains will run like bitches when they see you coming.

Something to remember when going two-tone, it's more important that the two colors work well together than anything else. Your favorite colors could be cherry red and lime green, but your costume will make eyeballs bleed if you try to fly around in that. As another example, red and black is a popular choice, but it's hard for a lot of people to pull off because they use clashing shades of the colors together. Bright red and black = bad. Crimson + black = good!


My last bit of advice for anybody struggling with a costume design would be to ape a friend's. Maybe not plagiarize, but see if it's okay to build a character around your friend's character concept. Their well known toon could easily have a clone or an evil cyborg-turned-henchman or an alternate dimension self that allows for some nice costumed pairs.

The Flag Siblings: Kickin' Ass and Takin' Names!

And there you have it. While looking good isn't everything in the world of fighting crime, it's half the battle. Fuck knowledge. With spandex this tight, there won't be any blood going to your brain any time soon!

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