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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 1:37PM (Unverified) said

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Anytime I hear about a game that supposedly has a "Pet" class, Mastermind from CoV sets the gold standard IMHO. No other MMO I've played has anything close, usually just some class with a single summon. Compared to Mastermind that's just a joke.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 1:54PM Stormwalker said

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A Mastermind was the first character I made when City of Villains went live in 2005. Nothing so fun as sending your army of zombies forward to barf on your enemies. ^^

MMs will always have a special place in my heart, even if I'm currently steamrolling things with my Brute.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 2:33PM Samuraiko said

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I've got a Mercs/TA MM with enough debuff and damage to pretty much crucify anything stupid enough to get in front of her. My Spec Ops pets have Sniper attacks ("look, pull power!"), and teammates don't usually complain once they see Glue Arrow > Flash Arrow > Oil Slick Arrow > Sonic Resonance Arrow fired in rapid succession (and then for kicks, I use my Mu Mastery set to light the Oil Slick). Now our enemies are held, blinded, on fire, defense debuffed, plus the various procs on my attacks?

Mob? What mob?

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 2:35PM GMax said

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My thing is if you're able to slow down the enemy they become easy pickings (or easier anyway). I have a thug/trick arrow mastermind that I almost never teamed played to 50 because of that fact. Only a few times did I call for help on missions, Sea Witch comes immediately to mind along with Foreshadow. She doesn't have any of the dual pistol offensive powers choosing only to support her boys while they do the heavy lifting. So done right trick arrow can be a great choice at least with thugs as for the other types I haven't tried yet.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 3:06PM Shazzie said

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Thugs/Traps. Necro/Storm. Bots/Dark. DS/Therm.
Yeah, I have a little bit of love for the Mastermind. And I'm *not* a pet class fancier, typically! I'm torn between the MM and the Brute being my favorite class. I started with CoH, but it was the CoV archetypes that I truly fell in love with.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 3:25PM Gryphmon said

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Mastermind would work as a Hero Class. Just call it the "Natural Born Leader" class and it would be fine. Just consider it in the tradition of all the superhero teams like the Avengers, the X-Men, etc. that have had leaders. Besides, with Going Rogue, you can start as a Hero Mastermind at level 20. They should just expand the class over to Heroes at level 1 and be done with it.

My first and favorite Mastermind class is Mercenaries/Traps. And I think your primary objection misses the point:

"You need good positioning and limited movement for most of these effects to work just right, and you aren't assured of any of those."

This is actually what makes the powerset fun. It allows you to play the game in a much more strategic way than with other sets, or even other archetypes. With the other sets its pretty much click on "attack" and hope your pets stay alive. With Mercs/Traps you can say, pull that Elite Boss around a corner into a field of landmines, gas traps and a surprise cross-fire of bullets. Fun, fun, fun.

Also, the secondary effect of all Mercenary attacks is debuff, which coupled with the powerful debuffs and holds of gas trap and acid mortar make for extremely effective dps.

I would also argue that Robotics are the pure ranged set for Master minds"s. Mercenaries have too much melee for that designation, and I believe Robots have more base inherent range.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 7:01PM (Unverified) said

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I have to disagree, or at least clarify a few things you said. Granted I haven't played for awhile so if anything's changed feel free to let me know, but I used to be a super avid mastermind player, as did my friend.

Mercenaries - These guys are most definitely not heavy on the damage. In fact, especially when I was playing, I don't know if they got a buff since then, they are regarded as by far the weakest set for damage, since they don't deal impressive amounts of damage to begin with, and their damage is the most resisted type in the game to boot. Also, their LT unit, the spec ops, actually makes the set more controllery oriented. They have multiple aoe mez grenades, and with proper micromanagement (i.e., unsummoning and resummong, which is easy to do with binds, and only applying an upgrade on them when you need that tier of grenade), you can have an aoe death mez up for pretty much every spawn. But even without, they don't contribute much to damage and contribute a lot to controlling the spawns, making them a somewhat tactical set. The LT class in general is a very large part of the dps in any set, so taking them out of the damage roll makes it play way different. And of course the medic also doesn't really contribute to damage making it even less dps.

Poison - Way wrong. The debuffs are by far the best in the game bar none. The only thing dark miasma really has on poison is that the debuffs in poison are single target, versus DM which is aoe. But poison is bar-none the best at taking down a single target. Poison also has much more debuffs than DM. DM pretty much only excels at two things, tohit debuffs, and damage debuffs. Poison throws the kitchen sink at them, including killing regen for AV fights and the such.

Traps - Time Bomb I'd addon to say it's only really good on sets that explode instantly. Traps used to be overpowered because of poison gas trap, and how it'd pop out a cloud for each enemy in the explosion radius. Also the choking animation is actually just a forced animation and has a tendency to work on AVs. But it's generally lackluster since the change.

Pain Domination. I'd like to point out one important thing about PD that makes it incredibly good on masterminds. The damage you take from share pain is actually absorbed by bodyguard, and I believe you actually get enough regen from the set to counter the -regen from share pain, and you end up being able to practically spam share pain all day.

Robotics also does insane amounts of damage in the right circumstance. Namely, with the level 32 upgrade, if you can get enemies clustered, the Incendiary missiles do retarded amounts of damage really fast. Same for thugs, the arsonist is key to gameplay in the late game.

Necromancy, you don't have the ability to raise things you've killed. You raise your pets out of thin air, don't need any bodys, and the spirit you can raise comes from the dead bodies of your own minions. Which btw I believe works nicely with time bomb, since it's both instant and gives you a soul extraction.

I'm not as experienced with ninjas, as they're a bit too fragile with me, but with smoke flash, ninjas are probably the highest dps out of all the sets, if you can get everything in melee range. Only problem is that it's really expensive to maintain.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 10:23PM UnSub said

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I didn't read it above, so I apologise if this has already been said: Masterminds were developed as the villain equivalent to Heroside Tankers (although it is the pets that are taking the beating, not the player character).

Posted: Mar 31st 2011 4:21AM Rodj Blake said

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@UnSub

Bodyguard mode (where your pets take a portion of the damage aimed at you) wasn't available for Masterminds at launch, so they were originally pretty rubbish at tanking.
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Posted: Mar 31st 2011 10:52AM Stormwalker said

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I found MMs have a hard time in PvP, too. Unlike the mobs, who aren't smart enough to do so, enemy players will just focus on the MM himself and ignore the pets. Even with bodyguard mode on, the MM tends to go down pretty quickly.

Posted: Mar 31st 2011 6:50PM Patrick Mackey said

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@Stormwalker This is generally not true. MMs are the most durable PVP players unless enemies have incredibly huge amounts of AoE DPS or the MM is a moron and leaves bodyguard. I PvPed for years on my masterminds and was notorious for being unkillable. Getting focused by enemy players is generally awesome but a self heal is mandatory (either Necro's life drain, the medicine pool, or the radiant heals from Thermal or Pain).

In 1v1 particularly, MMs are monsters.
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Posted: Mar 31st 2011 2:16PM Zamuel said

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Ninjas have their quirks but one interesting thing about Smoke Flash is that the crits they gain from it are unresistable. I think this may actually be the only source of unresistable damage directly available to players.

Posted: Mar 31st 2011 7:08PM (Unverified) said

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@Stormwalker Masterminds are actually bordering on overpowered at pvp. I've pvped with many builds, but by far my strongest build was my Necro/Storm mastermind. I literally never lost a fight with this build, before or after the I13 patch. It didn't matter if I was fighting against stalkers, tanks, blasters, aoe masters, or single target specialists, that build won against them all (including other masterminds as it was specifically designed to be anti-mastermind). There were actually multiple times I took on multiple opponents at once and came out on top. The funny thing is people told me my build wouldn't work because storm was too end heavy, but I never heard that anymore.

Dealing with aoe fire. Bodyguard mode extends 60 feet. First off I was a necro/storm so my pets actually had a huge amount of fire and cold resistance which was a lot of the aoe damage I could run into, and my build had a huge amount of tohit debuffs which would often kill any chance at aoeing me down anyways. But even without that, bodyguard mode extends out about 60 feet which is a HUGE distance and bigger than any aoe. All you have to do is stay out of aoe range of your pets, and they either have to waste their attacks hitting you, or they focus on your pets only which greatly reduces their damage and is generally just a bad idea because you can just resummon and the whole time the pets are wasting them while you're debuffing, healing, whatever. Some builds (pain dom, probably thermal) can just sit and take the aoe fire and heal it off too. I also use taunt on my MMs. It's hard to focus on pets when I'm using challenge on my target. I actually used it more to get people off my teammates, but if I really wanted to protect my pets, hopping out of aoe range of my pets but still in bodyguard range and taunting was an okay strat.

Any MM that wants to pvp though should go into the forums and look at the bind guides. I would often do things like keep my grave knights and zombies in defensive follow while telling my lich to attack. Or keep only my zombies in bodyguard and tell my gks and lich to attack.

Posted: Mar 31st 2011 10:51PM Valdamar said

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>> "If there's a drawback, it's the simple fact that the defensive bent of the robots makes you a little less crushingly powerful in the damage department."

They've nerfed Robotics? Because my second ever level 50 in CoV was a Robotics/Dark Mastermind back in issue 7 and at the time (i.e. before Thugs and Demons existed as powersets) Robotics had the best damage of any MM primary - especially after the L32 buff gave all the bots amazing area damage potential. Sure, the robots are very solid defensively (immune to psi damage, good resists plus the defence bubbles the Protector Bots cast) - only Necro pets were tougher back in I7.

Mercenaries used to have really weak ranged damage compared to robots (mainly because it was lethal damage and thus more readily resisted than the energy damage of the robots), Ninjas were so squishy they tended to die before putting out enough damage, and Necro pets were solid all-rounders but not as good on damage as Robots - only when Thugs came along was there a set that really challenged Robots as the best pet set, and I think the verdict at that time was that Thugs were better before the L32 buff power, but both sets were fairly close in damage after that and the Robots were still more survivable. I have no idea how good/bad Demons are as I haven't played CoH much since they were added. Tbh I could play it again now I have a new PC that's probably capable of running Going Rogue, but RIFT has hold of me atm and won't let go.

Tbh Robotics/Dark was so good it made the whole game a cakewalk and my MM hardly ever died - it became so easy that I got bored of playing him around L40 and while I did push on to L50 I never really wanted to play another MM again and I deleted my lower level Merc/Traps and Ninja/TA MMs that same day.

I always meant to play another MM after they improved the control we had over the difficulty settings, so that a single player could face missions set for 2-8 players if they wanted to, but I never got around to it - there were always more Blaster, Brute, Dominator, Controller or Corruptor builds I wanted to play far more than another Mastermind.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2011 12:39AM wjowski said

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Shitty AI and Paragon's refusal to fine-tune pet control makes these guys all but unplayable unless you feeling like screwing around with scripts and keybonds.

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