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Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 8:31PM GreenArmadillo said

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"The Incarnate system is available only to VIP players with level 50 characters."

Does this mean it's a subscriber-only feature in what now claims to be a free to play game? These sound pretty gameplay affecting for a veteran/subscriber perk.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 8:45PM Brianna Royce said

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@GreenArmadillo Yep. Only VIPs have access to the Incarnate stuff (at least as it stands now). In a lot of ways, it's a blessing, at least if you were someone who actually liked that CoH was more about the journey than the destination. On the other hand... you don't really need Incarnate abilities to participate in anything but Incarnate trials for level 50 characters. The rest of the game's content is designed to be perfectly doable with standard powersets and enhancements.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 8:51PM ShivanSwordsman said

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@GreenArmadillo

They are. They're super powerful attacks, buffs, and ally summons that are separate from the Mastermind skillset, which focuses on minions. This is literally the end-game, the big thing you focus to get to... and it's sub only, just like Age of Conan's end game. CoH is just an overhyped trial. I realized this too late, after buying the last boxed copy of Going Rogue to get the power sets/items inside it.

Don't make my mistake, stay the heck away from this grindfest. It's a sour experience, with an elitist veteran force lording over you telling you how much of a leech you are if you aren't subbing, even though they have to pay for new power sets anyway. Yeah, $15, and you either wait 2 months to get the points to unlock them, or you pay $10 to unlock them now. And the costume parts. Etc etc.

It's only balanced for $, just like Champions Online.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 9:07PM Sam not Spam said

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@GreenArmadillo
COH's devs have said repeatedly that COH did not move to Free to Play, but rather included the option for non-subscription play (Free and Premium), with subscriptions still being the preferred way to play. That's why subscribers get the 400pp/month stipend, free access to the Signature Story Arcs, Praetoria, all AT's, etc., plus the Incarnate System.

As for the Incarnate stuff - the highest level stuff is a major grind, but the Common Incarnate abilities? Not quite as much. Its there for those that want it, and honestly? Yeah, its a grind, but unlike repeating the same content over and over hoping to get a lucky drop you're working your way towards a specific goal of your choosing. I found this far preferable to relying on the mercy of a random number generator for a specific drop!
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 9:19PM Sam not Spam said

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@ShivanSwordsman
The end-game system still pretty new too, with the solo option to come. We've been going years without a dedicated end-game system. Up until GR hit, its been "roll an alt," go exemplaring with your friends, min/max via the IO system, etc. If COH is a basically a trial until the end game, its been a trial since it launched to the day i19 hit (the issue after GR).

Add in the Incarnate abilities are only usable at level 50 (and some only in Incarnate content), making them of no benefit at any other level (or time), they're hardly as useful as other things in the game. Heck, the reason Tin Mage and Apex require the Alpha Slot plus ability is because people have characters that were already MORE powerful than "typical" characters with it!

Sorry if you've been harassed by elitist jerks on live - there's a lot of us who are quite happy to have so many players, new and returning ones, playing COH right now. Sadly, the jerks make more noise and are easier to notice than the non-jerks.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 9:51PM JuliusSeizure said

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@Sam not Spam

Just wanted to say that as a new player my experience has been much more in line with how you've explained things, not Shivan's.

Also want to point out that new power sets are only useful if you want to roll a brand new character with that specific set. If you don't have any inspiration to do so, you get to save your points for something else.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 10:02PM Jeromai said

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@Sam not Spam

Me, I'll resub only when a viable solo and/or small group Incarnate path is finally in the game.

I've been lurking on the CoH boards and can't stand the overall player toxicity level nosedive the feel of the community (elitism divides people, and it is obvious just browsing how deep the split goes) and the incessant deletions of any thread that takes a turn for the slightest bit negative (Bill Z Bubba, anyone?).

None of the future direction seems thought through properly. Now the complaint is the divide between Incarnated characters and normal level 50s with IOs (or SOs) is so obvious that you have people ostensibly in a team, but running off to solo entire rooms because they are so buffed out with Incarnate power to the gills.

(Also was a problem with IOs, which I disapproved of re: loot from the very beginning, but it's just becoming helluva lot more obvious an issue now.)

Whatever happened to teaming synergy? The enjoyable accidents of CoH game design are rapidly unraveling from the added systems - Incarnate trials on squishies are not as fun because the mez resistant tank/brute/scrappers have to be challenged.

Normal content is way underpowered for Incarnates, but if you make it challenging for them, you leave behind those who choose not to partake in the system, thanks to the heavy handed forced grouping and discernable manipulation of rewards to "encourage" people to visit certain areas like rats. If one leaves it as is, the Incarnates wander off by themselves anyway because they are bored.

Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. The only encouragement to team up is the lack of options to do anything else. Not fun.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 10:08PM Utakata said

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@ShivanSwordsman

"Don't make my mistake, stay the heck away from this grindfest. It's a sour experience, with an elitist veteran force lording over you telling you how much of a leech you are if you aren't subbing, even though they have to pay for new power sets anyway."

I am having a difficult time conceiving such a beast could exist in CoH without damage meters such as Recount. Since Recount (or any other mod) are simply not allowed in CoX, how is it possible to fuel an ego that's primary sourse is measuring others' performances? If this is true, this is most disturbing news I've heard from CoX, since Positron was banhammering players for their over zealous use of the Mission Architect during its release that was assumed to be working as intended. :(
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 10:17PM Brianna Royce said

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@Utakata I think he means elitism in the sense of VIPs vs. free players rather than gearscore/dps-meter-fueled elitism. Personally, I've seen both, but not more than in other MMOs. There were *always* elitists who had billions of inf in IOs on their toons sneering down at everyone sporting common IOs or (gasp) the SOs the game was designed for. And there are always pay players who think free players are scum, in any freemium game. It's just really easy to ignore both types of snobs and have fun in the game, just like it's easy to ignore CoH's new power-creep endgame if you don't like it. Sam not spam is dead-on imo.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 10:29PM Utakata said

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@Brianna Royce

Aftyer read your and Jeromai's replies...I could cry knowing that CoX has become like that. I thought the Incarnate system was to give players something interesting to do with their max levels....I had no idea how badly it's skewed their self worth, potentailly destroying once a great community. This is thoroughly depressing. :(
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 10:41PM Sam not Spam said

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@Jeromai
At the same time, normal content is under-powered for many teams too, especially with buff/debuff and control players on the team. The AI is semi-brain dead compared to other games as well. There's been a long-time call for more challenging content, a dedicated "end game" has been missing for years, etc. The Incarnate System is meant to fill in player's request, both on the officials and on exit surveys, make the game more competitive with its increased competition, etc. The fact that the Incarnate System is useless for levels 1-49 is no accident, so its segmented off from the rest of the game like PVP, bases, task forces, Inventions, the difficulty/Notoriety system, Hamidon, etc., and providing a different gameplay experience than the typical "wail on it til it dies."

Its optional, and there for those that want it. Its broadening the game for those that want it, and ignorable if you don't. Honestly, when I play my 50's, I'm generally not playing level at level 50, so my experiences may not mirror yours. Of course, I stopped pugging years ago, and don't have /local or /broadcast in my chat window since I play on Freedumb :p

And, honestly, official forums of virtually any game are generally horribly toxic :(

Hmm... that ought be a column/article one day...
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 10:44PM Armaros said

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@Utakata

The Incarnate system didn't create people that thought of the game that way. It just a high visual system that brings it out to the forefront.

The mentality has been there since the beginning, it just has evolved since the beginning.

It first was who was using the 'good' powersets and ATs, which evolved into marketers vs non-marketers and min-max IOers vs non heavy IOers, and that finally evolved into the Incarnates vs Non-incarnates.

All of the people that try to perpetuate these divisions are still a minor part of the population. The majority of players still use SOs or at least just common IOs, don't use the market heavily, and many long standing players still dong have level 50s.

Like all communities, don't let the vocal few take away your personal fun.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 10:50PM Sam not Spam said

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@Utakata
It all gets down to who you're listening to. Vocal jerks are generally the loudest, most willing to shove their views on you, etc. Certainly, when I started in i4 I was told I was "slotting wrong" on the officials because I wasn't slotting 1ac/5dam or 6end redux or whatever. I was stupid because I wasn't getting 6-slotted stamina and 6-slotted health, didn't pick Hasten, etc. Nevermind all the "right" advice was making us players grossly overpowered for the PVE content. ED changed that, thankfully, as did the other nerfs, so the game could actually be fun and challenging versus who had the easiest cakewalk.

The IO system really brought a lot of fun and creativity into the game, allowing for a lot more interesting builds, more flexibility, being able to design for specific things (I build for exemplaring!), or just a means to have a nice, simple build (Common IO's), getting off the SO upgrade treadmill. But, again, vocal idiots are vocal idiots. The people I run with chat on custom chat channels, team, /sg, coalition, tells, etc., not in /broadcast or /local. The nice folks are generally a lot quieter, chatting away somewhere other than public channels, and due to the game being so instanced, missing the jerkiness.
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Posted: Nov 10th 2011 1:39AM Utakata said

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@Armaros & Sam not Spam

Well thanks for sharing that with me. I should of known better. But thankfully from what you both said they're not out in force as they are in WoW, unless your looking for them. So at least my fears have been rest assured. :)

...on a side note, I haven't got a single that has a single IO. Then again, I haven't got a toon past 36 in all the years I've played. Likely to do with I don't want to jump on the IO band wagon that takes over from SO's effectiveness at 37, because it would bankrupt me. And as the mobs get meatier by level exponentially, so I 'll be fairly ineffective past that level anyways just with SO's. I kinda wish 36 was max level. :(
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Posted: Nov 10th 2011 4:33AM Jeromai said

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@Sam not Spam

"The Incarnate system is useless for levels 1-49"

Are you sure? Paragonwiki states that Incarnate powers work from 45 and up. That seems to me plenty of leeway for Incarnates to gloriously break normal teaming in the 45-50 level range.

I don't have an issue with a call for a more challenging endgame. I have an issue with how thoughtlessly it has been implemented with the present Incarnate system. The design dismisses soloers/small team preferences as if they were negligible and unimportant.

The design doesn't do the rest who don't mind the Trial structure any justice either, by offering them so many reward tiers with so little content (2 trials, now 4 and ever so slowly growing), which perpetuates grinding a repetitive activity for the sake of the end goal. Burnout for those who aren't fans of the structure is inevitable.

The designers tried to heavyhandedly shove the playerbase into playing the two least-favored Trials, not by adjusting the level of difficulty of the Trials, no, but by removing rewards from the popular ones. (Until the explosive outrage on the forums made them back track.) That's lazy design, in my book.

And the design fails to take into account what players are going to do with the smorgasbord of phenomenal cosmic Incarnate power when they're not playing the 4 (or 5 or whatever) Incarnate trials.

The rest of CoH is okay. No arguments there. Or at least 1-20 is, if you don't follow the trend of people Death From Below pleveling themselves - there are at least still options to solo, team, street sweep, do missions, whatever. 20-45 is the same old CoH, no problems. But pointing to those and saying they are fine, does not give them carte blanche to fubar level 45-50 and up with a bad Incarnate system.

I'm going to point to Guild Wars and Rift as tolerable examples of how an endgame system can be designed and implemented. Options. Viable for all kinds of playstyles. Rift still has a raid-first primacy model inspired off WoW, but there's still avenues for soloers/small teamers to do interesting things a la the Chronicles, and still get similar rewards, at a slower rate. Which is fair enough.
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Posted: Nov 10th 2011 12:34PM Sam not Spam said

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@Jeromai
Ah, you're right, sorry. But, still, the Incarnate abilities are only usable for a small percentage of the game.

The new Sewer Trial is merely formalizing what a lot of people were using the sewers and AE for to begin with, for better or worse. Given how alt-heavy COH is, you'll see everything (particularly low levels) soon enough.

Soloing and teaming are still pretty bread and butter, but why would anyone street sweep except for those few remaining, awful, hunting missions?
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Posted: Nov 10th 2011 10:07PM Jeromai said

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@Sam not Spam

Preferences. Options. It's not good to take them away and channel people to one path.

For the record, I happen to like street sweeping. :) It lets one immerse into a world, and pretend to be heroic or villainous accordingly by interacting with the scripted NPC encounters.

The level designers put a lot of work and heart into the open world maps, eg. Striga Isle was one of the first that was very well done, and it is a shame to see all that effort and easter eggs go to waste.

The encounters vary by size and are more interesting than the regular spawns found in missions. This allows for tactics such as sniping, fly-by bombing, pulling, use of scenery/corners, as well as the favorites of wade in and beat small groups up, or if one's character is built well enough, AoE carpet bombing an entire hazard zone spawn (I got uber kicks out of Dark Astoria with a fire blaster once upon a time, and it was fairly profitable with the magic salvage drops too.)

I think the hunting missions were annoying because they focused one too strongly on only finding one specific type of mob. Kill 10 clockwork, or CoT, and they are nowhere to be found. Or Vahzilok in Faultline once (only came out at night.) Very frustratingly hair-pulling when you focus on the end result and goal instead of the process.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 10:43PM mattwo said

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Be nice if we could BUY the incarnate system. And I don't mean on a limited time basis like inventions either (which is stupid btw)

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 11:05PM Sam not Spam said

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@mattwo
Understandable, but I strongly suspect the reason we'll never see the Incarnate system for sale is to encourage you to go VIP. Same reason why access to the market, IO's, etc., is also on a 30-day basis (unless you're a high-enough tier Premium player, in which case its a carrot to spend more money).

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Posted: Nov 10th 2011 10:36AM mattwo said

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@Sam not Spam I'm not sure what you mean by "high enough tier" I am premuium level with almost all of the /paragon reward/ teirs. But I will never get the IOs back it seems.
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