As noted in the week summary, I ran Positron with a total of six folks this weekend. Here’s a few notes:
* Length & Content: Positron’s TF is often listed as one of those early-on “this takes forever” task forces. Well… maybe. Yeah, it’s 16 missions. Yes, a lot of the ‘core 6’ TF’s are closer to 12…
But come on. Four of the ‘missions’ are Fed-ex runs with only one ambush between the lot of em. Another mission is a three-point patrol that takes about five minutes, tops.
That leaves eleven actual missions, and of those 11, SIX of them can be largely bypassed with a sneaky character with recall friend. It’s honestly one of my favorite TF’s: You need only three people to get the thing going, the storyline is actually really great, captures the feeling of Paragon City really well, and is at times very funny, and the lack of an Arch Villian at the end (seen by some as a downside), just makes the whole thing more user-friendly to me.
* Difficulty: I recommend keeping the size of the group at five or under: once you get to six, the size of groups in the missions can get pretty damn diffulcult to manage. Our group this weekend had six, and we hit a couple points where Intuition (Illusion Controller) had to spend quite a bit of time Deceiving the group to thin stuff out to a bearable level before we could proceed with anything decent odds.
Of course, on top of that, the first two missions (ESPECIALLY the SECOND ONE) are ball-busters designed to test your resolve, and they’ve made the second one even harder with the change to missions in I5 (more on that in a sec), and the last four missions are all defeat-alls… so it’s rough at times. I think that’s good.
First one: This TF is now max-level-15, not 16. As soon as you ding up to 16, you switch to auto-exemp mode and stay at 15, the same as what happens in all of the TFs now. People thought it was a bug in Posi, cuz the level limit on Posi used to be 16, but that’s not the case.
I only noticed one actual mission change, Issue Five stuff incorporated into the second mission of the TF. Now, the second mission is already a horrowshow — a FEMA office building overrun (and I mean OVERRUN) with Circle of Thorns… mostly the damn ghosts that screw with your to-hits… Oy. It’s nasty. Even Hype and Syn had a few problems with this one, and I don’t say that often.
You have to get through the mission, hit the boss, and find the two hostages. It’s theoretically (and practically) stealthable, in that you can just hit the boss, his cadre, and two sets of Hostage guards. There are FLOORS AND FLOORS of baddies, so stealth is even to be recommended. In any case, skip as much as you can (even an invis person with no Recall Friend can still scout and tell you what can be skipped).
Anyway… the new feature? Yeah… well…
They changed things so you have to escort the two hostages TO THE FRONT DOOR.
Past all the guys you skipped. Yeah.
In our case, what worked was giving Epitaph some Luck Inspirations, hulking him up with buffs and shields, flipping on his Negative Energy Resistance powers, and just making an end-run for the exit, hostage in tow. He got smacked pretty hard, but he made it both times – hostages dont’ LIKE to run screaming past (or through) mobs of baddies, but if you stay close to them, they’ll stick it out. Your mileage may vary.
* Conclusion: I like this TF. I respect this TF. The missions are varied with lots of different ways to beat them, they use lots of different maps, and the mix of three factions keeps things from getting boring.
Compare that to the often-praised Synapse TF, with 17 missions that are almost 100% defeat-all, with nothing but clockwork, usually in warehouses. Yawwwwwwn. If it weren’t for Babbage and the Clockwork King… meh.
And, below the cut, a spoiler-riffic checklist of the tasks in the Task Force
1. Defeat Epidural and Guards (Door: Sewer – Vahzilok — Stealthable)
2. Defeat Rollister and His Cadre, escort two Hostages to the Door (Door: Office – Circle of Thorns — Stealthable)
3. Defeat All Clockwork in Office (Door: Office – Clockwork)
4. Stop Chief Mage and His Guards (Door: Cave – Circle of Thorns — Stealthable)
5. Deliver Book to Azuria (Errand — anyone can do it)
6. Stop Dr. Morben and His Minions (Door: Office – Vahzilok — Stealthable)
7. Stop Robot Boss and His Guards (Door: Warehouse – Clockwork — Stealthable)
8. See Paula Dempsey in Kings Row (Errand — — anyone can do it)
(You get the ‘call’ button about here)
9. See Azuria in Atlas Park (Errand — anyone can do it)
10. Return to Positron (Errand — you have a call button, but you have to go there)
11. Stop Zombie Boss and His Guards (Door: Office – Vahzilok — Stealthable)
12. Patrol Perez Park (Patrol)
13. Defeat All Villains in Office (Door: Office ? Clockwork & Vahzilok)
14. Defeat All Mystics in Base (Door: Cave ? Circle of Thorns & Clockwork)
15. Defeat All Villains in Sewer (Door: Sewer ? Vahzilok & Circle of Thorns)
16. Defeat All Villains in Substation (Door: Lab ? All 3 Types)