City of Heroes Meta’s Verse: WAR
Paragon City is once again at war with beings from another dimension. First it was the Rikti and now this time the invaders look more like us. A lot more like us. Praetoria is a world run by Emperor Marcus Cole. Anyone familiar with popular science fiction will recognize Praetoria immediately. The world is our opposite.
At some point in time our world became different from their world. All the same people are there, they’re just a little different; The Primal Earth are dark and sinister in Praetoria, Emperor Cole (whose Primal Earth counterpart we know as Statesman) wants to rule our Earth and he’s sent in his forces to take it. Heroes can take on these invading forces in two task forces organized by Tin Mage Mark II, the second model of a magically inclined robot who died during the Rikti War and also by Apex, a hero who once fought alongside War Witch and even at one point shared an apartment with her.
Tin Mage Task Force
The first mission has you board a helicopter from the Rikti Warzone to Nerva Archipelago in the City of Villains. It’s there you come up against Emperor Cole’s clockwork army. While anyone who has played in Praetoria is familiar with the smaller day to day clockwork who keep the city clean and running… these are much bigger. Clearly meant for only one thing, destruction. Unfortunately Malta, a group seasoned players know well can also be found here.
Once you defeat eight of Cole’s very large War walkers you’re sent inside to defeat Director 11, a man who seems to love nothing more than to run away and drag you through mines that are laid out for you to trip. Once you complete this task and return to Tin Mage he sends you through several locations in Paragon City where the invasion is in full force.
The final location is at Portal Corp where heroes go to travel from the dimension we are so familiar with to other, more foreign dimensions. It is there you are told you have to go through the portal to Praetoria. Once there you take on two Praetorians which the Primal Earth equivalent are major heroes in Paragon City. It is here where this part of the story ends.
Apex Task Force
Where Tin Mage deals with the threat to the Rogue Isles and moving the battle to Praetoria, Apex deals with the threat to Paragon City. You start once again like the last, defeating groups of invading clockwork. Then sent into the sewers where you take on by far the ugliest things I have ever seen. A mix of Hydra tentacles and Rikti pylons synthesized together to create an extremely deadly foe. If you’re skills are up to the test you’ll make it through the sewers and end up in front of the large Paragon Police Department building in Kings row. It is there you face wave after wave of Cole’s War walkers. Just when you think the threat is gone you receive word that Steel Canyon is under attack. Upon arriving in Steel Canyon you are attacked by floating swords which you have to fight off. The final battle which coincidently is against Battle Maiden is by far the hardest fight I have ever been involved in during my entire hero career.
These task forces were released with Issue 19 and while you aren’t strictly required to have completed the incarnate introduction arc and have something slotted in the Alpha Slot it is highly suggested. All of the mobs are set to level fifty-four, four levels above the level cap. And without the Alpha Slot you experience a temporary level decrease in terms of what you’re capable of doing. You don’t have to do them in any particular order as these are not two stories that need to be completed consecutively.
In terms of timeline, you get the feeling that both are meant to be happening simultaneously. Of course you can’t be in two places at once so it’s impossible to run both at the same time. After reading the introductory text of both I decided that Tin Mage seemed like a better place to start and so far it is my favourite of the two.
A first for the City of world is the way the Master of badges are handled. Previously Master badges were given out if you managed to complete the task force having no deaths and having started out wanting to do a Master of run. With these task forces its all about earning badges. Defeating enemies in certain ways, avoiding mines that are laid down which are easier to activate than actually avoid. After completing both of these task forces I was left in awe. Yes, they’re both the shortest task forces so far but they are both nonstop epic awesome. At the end the rewards aren’t exactly the greatest but they make up for that in story and in action.
The complaints I’ve heard about the two of them have been very few and mostly from people who are looking to get the most bang for their buck. The people who only want to do high reward task forces. Don’t let them stop you from giving them a try. Yes, they’re hard. Yes, you have to use tactics. Yes, you’ll have fun.
Meta’s Verse is written by Meticulous Meta who lives in Atlas Park with her dog Snuflé