July 24th, 2007

nanowrimo 2010

City of Villains

Recently Played Songs:
         With my journal entries, I'm going to be including, apropos or just random, an image from my hard drive. It just seems the thing to do. Perhaps it will enliven my journal. On the other hand it might just take longer to load.I keep trying out new features, but my readership, you dedicated few, never seems to change. I'm surprised at the number of people who read, at the number of people who comment, and at the number of people who only e-mail in response to entries without ever making a comment in the journal. I've never understood the workings of my own mind, much less that of my friends.

         My time is unoccupied by any activities of real meaning or interest. So I'll regale you with "Karl's Tales of the Meaningless and Uninteresting". <mental note>Got to copyright that !</mental note> Don't I always? You'll have to give me props for consistency.

         The Prius (we got the blue one!) will be in late this week or early next. I find myself unenthusiastic about the arrival. Although I do feel a strong sense of relief. I lack enthusiasm for the car payments that will soon be mine, as well. It will be good to have reliable transportation.

         I've been spending a lot of time on COV. I know I've mentioned City of Villains in the past, but some e-mailed questions indicate an explanation is in order. Firstly, COV is an MMORPG, a Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game. That means that roughly 300,000 people at a given time are online with you playing the same game. You create a character for the game (a "toon" sometimes) and you can run around doing villainous things and chatting with others while you do it.

         COV started as COH, City of Heroes. For me, it was a real big whoop-te-do. I have tried a few online games, but most are to difficult for me to see or just have little interest. My son, Joe, plays Star Wars Galaxies and Everquest, two of the biggest online games, but both of them are either too hard to see or just don't hold my interest. I would really enjoy playing such a game with people I know, but it is not working out that way.

         Anyway… It all started out as heroes and I enjoyed fighting crime in the big city (well the two cities of Atlas Park and Galaxy City... I never made it to Skyway City or Kings Row those hangouts for the more powerful heroes. For any of you familiar with the game that'll show you I never much got a hero above level six. Fighting crime or "bringing villains to justice", by the way, is euphemistic for "killing villains horribly and in large numbers". You bring villains to justice at the behest of characters who give you missions to perform, rousting gang members out of warehouses, rescuing captives held on a ship, defeating a specific villain in combat. Just your basic hero-y stuff. As you do so you get points to increase your level and by doing so add new powers and strengthen old ones. Well the hero modality wasn't for me. I quit. But! They then released City of Villains in which you create a villanous character and are sent on missions to rob banks, to roust out gang members in a warehouse, to kidnap for your own personal gain persons held hostage on a ship, to defeat specific other villains in combat. Oh yeah, no big difference. Well, I don't know why, but the idiom clicked this time and now I'm a loyal player.

         You create a character or toon with a variety of powers. They boil down to:

  1. Brutes who bash things
  2. Stalkers who sneak up on, then bash things
  3. Masterminds who have minions who run up to things and bash them
  4. Dominators who stand at a distance and bash things with their powers
  5. Corruptors who are pretty much dominators as far as I can tell but spend a lot of time weakening enemies or healing friends
         You also specify an origin which breaks down to:
  1. Mutation - you're a genetic mutant like Cyclops of the X-men
  2. Science - something scientific is responsible for your powers like Spiderman
  3. Technology - you use high-tech gear to give you powers like every rampaging villain in a suit of armor you've ever seen
  4. Magic - you have your powers as the result of magic like Mr. Mxyzptlk (and yes, that is spelled correctly)
  5. Natural - You just have these powers "naturally" like superman
         I really can't see that these make a big difference. Maybe I've never been high enough level for this to matter to me.

         'The Awful' AkusaiMy current villain is a Mutant, a dominator, has power over gravity and energy, and looks like this. His name is Daiki Maeda, but he goes by Akusai which, in Japanese, means (roughly) "Evil Genius". His origin is as follows:
         Rafu Shigekazu, the janitor at the Galaxy City Orphanage, named Daiki Maeda. Rafu taught Daiki Japanese Language and culture and was the boy's only friend.
         Those in conflict with Daiki suffered "seizures" where they would fall to the ground and struggle. This was Daiki's gravity control mutation showing itself. It was ignored as "ridiculous" by the orphanage staff.
         Daiki's mutant nature could no longer be denied when, around the age of puberty, his ability to manipulate energy became evident in a fight on the basketball court.
         After the incident, Daiki ran away from the orphanage. He kept in touch with Rafu only. Rafu's cruel death at the hands of Hellions caused Daiki to crusade against the gang. Studying, applying his knowledge by creating a suit of armor and a skull mask to hide his identity, Daiki plans and executes cruel schemes to bring the Hellions to oblivion.
         He took a name that means "evil genius". That is what Hellions call him. The public calls him "The Awful" Akusai.
         I try to write an origin story or even a full biography for each of my characters. Within the game, this is common, though far from universal. You are limited to one thousand characters for you in-game bography, and I am seldom satisfied with this limitation. I will eventually publish a page on my web site for my favorite Heroes and Villains, but I suspect that day is weeks or even months in the future.

         No freewriting today.