Multiple Choice

The invention system on CoH gives me:
a) A way to improve my non-50 characters beyond the glacially slow leveling process.
b) A way to improve my 50s, at all, and in very neat and interesting ways (5% chance to heal 15% of my health every time I fire an energy blast? Psychic damage added to my holds? Yes please!)
c) Something useful and cool for my level 50’s to work on — dangerously like actual end-game content.
d) The ability to save and maybe even make money on these improvements through a little research, diligence, and personal effort, by making the stuff myself and selling off the good stuff I don’t need. (CoH develops its own Loot and Crafting system which, like the rest of the game, is a comic-book-simplified/streamlined version of that found on other MMOs — unfortunately with a much crappier interface.)
e) A slight headache.
f) All of the above.
Prompted by a few good drops Slip and Markov got last weekend during our TF run, I hopped onto CoH yesterday and poked around the Auction House for the first time. Got some new inventions. Picked up the ingredients for same. Made them. Slotted them. Found myself poorer, but quite pleased.
Logged in Hyperthermian. Repeat (though foolishly buying stuff made by other folks instead of stuff I made myself).
Logged in Hangtime… repeat… Bear Claws… Strategist… Pummelcite…
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Wiped out the bank accounts on a couple of them, but generally improved most of them and spotted a few REALLY WANT TO HAVES for each one. Good stuff. Actually made the utterly static level 50’s interesting to me again, and opened a world of fun for the mid-20 to mid-30 toons. Still need to check out Kethos, I think, though he’s not quite in the sweet-spot range (32 and up) where inventions are better than the stuff you can just buy from the store.
Anyway. Was finishing up Pummelcite (which involved a quick respec to move his slots around juuust a touch to really max the HELL out of Granite armor and take full advantage of his main attack powers) when I got a tell inviting him to a level 35 group-up.
Pumm’s level 34, and I really wanted to get him to 35 in time for Issue 10, so that he can run that new content and spend some quality time with the other folks who’ll be logging back in to run the TF — dude doesn’t even have the ATLAS MEDALLION, for pete’s sake.
Anyway. Joined the group. I wasn’t too optimistic of my leveling chances — he was BARELY 34, and solo leveling takes an age in CoH — more than any other MMO, they really reward you for group, and grouping BIG.
Lordy, does it ever. The group ran between 6 to 8 players for 2.5 hours. Pumm was the only tank, there were three defenders, and everything still dropped so fast I could barely establish aggro before everything dropped. Yowsa.
More importantly, I dinged level 35 and THEN some in the short time playing, picking up a new Area Effect attack (Tremor) and a couple fun inventions enhancements I could actually use.
Most importantly, it was fun. I miss playing the big guy — the amount of punishment he can absorb while in Granite Armor is positively unbelievable. I wanted a guy who could tank anything for a group of eight, at the cost of some soloability, and by god I’ve got it — he’s incredible.
Anyway. I also spotted Statesman standing around in Independence Port. Something about a Task Force? We should do that.

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