Meta’s Verse: Statesman Task Force
By Meticulous Meta, OnRPG Paragon Reporter
I’ve always enjoyed the Statesman Task Force. I don’t do it very often though. Unless it is the weekly strike target it can be difficult to find enough people to fill a team to do it. Back in February I wrote about my feels about Statesman being killed off. Since then I’ve done the Statesman task force once and read the first City of Heroes book. My thoughts are very much still on Statesman and with his removal from the game very soon I have been finding myself seeking out his content to do one last time. The biggest by far is the Statesman task force. And though the actual task force won’t be removed it is being changed slightly and given to Statesman’s Granddaughter, Ms. Liberty. The changes won’t be massive, only removing Statesman from the story and fixing things up so they still make sense. But for someone like me who loves Statesman and is sorry to see him go it is a sad goodbye. But before we say our goodbyes Paragon Studios has made the STF the weekly strike target for this week. I like to think this is his big send off.
What makes the Statesman Task Force so enjoyable? Well, to start with it isn’t easy. For the longest time it was the most difficult thing in City of Heroes. This was before Incarnate trials which some could argue are still easier than the STF. And it excludes the Hamidon fight. All of which require more than the standard team size of eight people. The end fight has you and your teammates going up against Lord Recluse and the four he keeps at his side.
It has humor. The dialog from the villains you face is not only fantastic at setting the scene, it is also funny and in some cases possibly a bit…not PG 13 lets say. The first cutscene we are given is of the arrival of Arbiter Sands who says the following:
“I go to Grandville for some decent coffee and this is what happens?
Well, adopt, adapt, and improve, I suppose. At least it will give me a chance to re-organize things after we clean up.
Though no doubt I’ll have to annihilate the persons responsible first. How bothersome”
Arbiter Sand has always been somewhat of a joke in the City of Heroes universe. And his loyalty to Arachnos is pretty clear with dialog like this:
“Well, I think I’ve had just about enough of this.”
“For Arachnos, etcetera, For Lord Recluse, etcetera, etcetera.”
My favorite though comes in the next mission when you are sent to capture Dr. Aeon, the brains behind the plot you are foiling. Now for some reason a lot of people find him annoying. But to me humor is a really a big part of comic book culture, and therefore a big part of the City of Heroes culture. One needs only to look to community members like Ascendant to see this. So why is it that people have an issue with dialog like this:
You ‘Stupor-powered’ fools have fallen into my brilliant trap! Allow me to explain:
That portal didn’t send you to a secret base, instead it sent you into the future, where my Web device has allowed Lord Recluse to conquer the world!
But don’t worry, fools! I’ve made arrangements to have you captured by some of Arachnos’s operatives here in the future. Like Regent Korol, Magus, Mu’Drakhan, Shadow Spider, And Viridian,
Each has part of the code needed to open this door:
And set this portal to send you back to the present:
So just sit tight and wait to be taken prisoner.
And whatever you do, don’t even think about fighting them!
There’s no way you could win, so don’t even try it!
I can’t believe I just told them how to escape like that!
Okay, just erase this recording and we’ll start again.
Bane Spider Executioner:
Bane Spider Executioner:
Uh… You said you wanted to transmit this, uh, live…
AAAAH! Shut it off! Shut it off!
Classic material like this really makes the Statesman task force stand out. But ultimately what makes the STF so good is finally facing the ultimate bad guys in the City of Heroes world. And not just facing one of them, but facing them all. Everything pre level 50 has been building to this single, ultimate plot. Telling stories in MMOs can be difficult with the plots getting lost and twisted to fit a group of people’s roleplaying desire. But the Statesman task force has a little bit of something for everyone. And to me it is still the ultimate fight, that which everything else has been building up to.
Sure, these days there is life beyond 50. But it is part of a different narrative. The STF finishes (for now) the threat that is Arachnos and Lord Recluse, allowing the next story to come along. And that is the story of Praetoria and incarnates. The story we are in now, the story that is slowly being wrapped up. The STF might seem not as important these days because there are new, bigger plots going on in Praetoria, but I think it still holds a place. It tells a part of the story that gets you from being just another hero in a city full of heroes to being one of THE heroes, better than the Freedom Phalanx. So when you’re leveling up your hero don’t forget to do the Statesman Task Force, or as it will be called soon the Ms Liberty Task Force. Do it this week and get some awesome bonuses to XP.