A couple of expositiony things to start with. The following takes place in City of Heroes, which has been taking up my free time for the last six months or so, give or take the three months when I didn’t play it because I didn’t think I had time.

I’ve created a new character, Pixelin. Pixelin’s biography:

A picture of Pixelin

Pixelin used to work happily at Santa’s grotto up in the North Pole, but one day an accident with an Embiggening Ray made him too tall to work in HQ (Pixelin is almost five feet tall). He was given a decent severance package, and allowed to keep his powers (Psychokinetics, to lift presents, and Mind powers, to tell if you have been naughty or nice). Lacking anything better to do, he’s come to Paragon city to fight crime, leaving a small lump of coal with every criminal he arrests. In his spare time he bitches about how he can’t find decent suits his size.

In game, Pixelin is a Controller of Natural origin. (COH divides heroes into Archtypes (Blaster, Scrapper, Tanker, Defender, Controller) of different Origins (Natural, Mutant, Magic etc.). Tankers are huge with lots of health doing moderate amounts of damage per attack. The Incredible Hulk, for example, is a Tanker. Scrappers have not quite so much health, but do more damage and have a “Regenerative powers” option. Wolverine is a Scrapper. Controllers can be felled by a tree falling 100 metres away, but can cause their enemies to attack each other, fall asleep, lift heavy objects (Enemies, for example) high in the air and then drop them. Professor Xavier is a Controller. So is Pixelin).

At the moment, Pixelin is Level 8. (Max is 50, I cleared 1-6 in about two to three hours. Raynebow is about L17) and I wanted to do some missions to clear some debt (When you die, you get Debt. Thereafter every point of XP you gain goes half to the debt and half to the level bar. Debt Bad) (Oh, Missions. At any point you have two options, you can either wander around the city beating up things, or you can get missions from your contacts and go beat up specific things). I got a couple of blasters and a tanker, and we went to one of the Blaster’s missions in the sewers.

We went in. We were slaughtered to a man. We respawned and went back. We had a Plan. Our tanker and one blaster went AFK for a while (Food break, smoke break, something like that), leaving our other blaster and me. Other blaster leaps into the nearest group of enemies, draws them back to us (Other two are still AFK), almost dies and then leaps out of the mission before she can. Me, being a controller, isn’t quite so lucky. Whilst I get two of them fighting each other, the other five gang up on me. Tanker and Blaster, not having people behind them, aren’t so lucky. I run, but I just die tired. I quit out. Life’s too short to play with morons.

I’ll go back in as Raynebow in a bit. Higher level players tend to be a lot more clueful, and at least Rayne can defend himself.