serinde: (what has this flag become?)
[personal profile] serinde
As I type this on the aged repurposed-from-work MacBook at the country estate, I have another window which is an OS X Screen Sharing session back to gfefx, on my desk at home; on which is running my last ever session of City of Heroes. And I can't even as who should say play, because between the screen resolution mismatches and the lossage over the connection and the fact that the Mac client is a mess inside a WINE wrapper anyways, if I tried to actually enter a combat the entire thing would probably go foom. So I'm standing on the steps of Atlas Park holding a torch instead of going to bed, whence [ profile] sweh has already retired, charitably not saying anything about my insanity. Why?

CoH has been a major part of my world for the last eight years. A bit less in the last couple, true; but before that time, I was online nearly every day. I started playing in September 2004, while [ profile] audiovile was noodling with World of Warcraft; soon I got him into it, and then [ profile] elibalin, then [personal profile] xlerb, then others. Some of our D&D group joined; then some of Steve's co-workers; occasionally Dave or Johan or [personal profile] ideological_cuddle. We settled on Sunday nights as our regular supergroup nights, and on other evenings Steve and I would go out as a duo, or Eli and I as the Team Supreme, or random other pick-up groups.

I had love and time and thought invested in all my characters. My first character, Lady Spark (because Sparkler was taken)--an electricity blaster based on my Marvel Super Heroes character in high school--which I soloed with; then Midnight Angel, empathy/dark blast defender who would just wander the Hollows healing people in trouble. When teaming with [ profile] dariodevil, I'd play Mistress Dusk, martial arts/super reflexes scrapper. Then team play started and I had Lifeforce Lass, my emp/psychic defender, my first Level 50, who was an unfortunate combination of irritating environmentalism and LSH comics; then Battle Glory, my tank--oh how I loved to play an Invuln tank; I couldn't play another tank after her--; then Isceald the Norse ice/storm controller and Tenth Circle the fire blaster. Eli and Steve and I had a three-team on a different server, where I was Acid Alex, the punk rock katana scrapper, or on villain side, Kraneia, the demented dryad (i.e., plant dominator). Or the random team we started on yet another server; I wanted to try a Kheldian, and I wanted a toon with a shoulder panda, so I had Mitzy Shadowfreaker, the ditzy cheerleader who was simultaneously possessed by a demon and a Nictus. Naturally, too, I tried a couple power combos to make Lurking Girl, my first and best avatar, from the Legion of Net.Heroes... (Closest I got was a kinetics/psychic defender, but still not quite right.)

So many memories--

* The story of Po!.
* The first supergroup, the League of Liberty, which we only afterwards realized came out as "LOL". And even worse was when Nick accidentally set the SG colors to red-and-white, and at that time you couldn't change 'em, so they were forever the Candy Stripers.
* The second group, Heroes Ex Miscellanea (bonus points if you see where we got *that* from), and all the crazy versions of the base Eli created.
* The side supergroup that Steve created, all of the members of which were bums that hung around under the Atlas Park bridge (!).
* Our new language. Before we had a Roger Wilco and then Teamspeak server, we had to type for communications; this is hard when your fingers are also controlling your characters. So the typos were fast and furious: ]atrio!, ;ppl pit, indfopu, wisdome, jpd for bibb;es, PIE66666666dssssswwwwww, it's e ., and of course the directionals: abozve, behidand, and so on. What was even better was, even after we switched to vox comms, we still spoke those words. This led to hilarity whenever a n00b joined our merry band.
* The very first time we tried the Positron task force. Level 10-16, it said. We lined up our level 10s and marched in--and died within 30 seconds eight times running. Thus was born the "Dear Positron, eat a dick" meme.
* The second time we tried Positron TF. Now we are level 15 and think we are quite the cheese. Now this is before travel powers were handed out like candy bars, kids, so it is a long fucking TF because you are walking everywhere; and we had a misunderstanding--we thought that if you quit the game you would quit the task force. So we grinded that thing from 8pm until 4am, including the part around 2am where Dario fell asleep with his head on the keyboard, thus sending Doctor Reality the grav/kin controller leaping forward into a mass of enemies and dying horribly, along with the rest of us as we charged forward in his wake.
* The first time we did Ernesto Hess/the Nazi Volcano Task Force. At the end of it, the volcano starts to erupt, and you must flee to the exit within 30 seconds or blow up with it. Johan said "I've done this before! Follow me!" and led a broom closet far away from the door. We spent 25 seconds trying to exit the broom closet before all dying horribly.
* At the end of a session, hovering above Atlas Park and snarking on some of the really poor costume or name or background description choices. Occasionally standing behind a particularly wretched example with a protest sign.
* The use of the "drumdance" emote as a silent evocation of "brb, bio"; which then got ported to "kitchendance" and "laundrydance".
* "The X is contained generously within" and "Happy Robot X Time Is Now", memes ported from Eli's bubble defender Buburu-San, a slightly demented protection robot whose background description was in Engrish. (All of Eli's character backgrounds are a complete scream. One was done as a Livejournal post.)
* Team Task Force, the first team we actually planned out. It was called the "C" team, not because it was average or worst, but because it was third; but it kicked so much ass compared to the previous team, the "B" team (though the latter had our first level 50s, IIRC), which was not the best power combo ever.
* Team Freezy Pop, which was mostly ice or cold related characters. One ice power is nice, but once you start stacking them on opponents, it gets really entertaining. Their regen rate slows to glacial (HAW HAW HAW).
* Illinois Nazis, our generic term for all Council/5th Column. Everyone loves pounding on Nazis. (Council also known as "space clowns" or "space mimes".)
* Ham! Somehow this became the term for Vazhilok Abominations.
* We were not nice to the Lost, either. Headman Gunmen became "Mr. TV-On-Head". Aberrant Rectors = "Rectums", Aberrant Eremites = "Sodomites".
* NOT THE BEEEEEEEES! Early on, the Swarms produced by Devouring Earth were actually really awful and slowed you to a fare-thee-well. This, combined with Eddie Izzard and then the remake of Wicker Man, caused bees to be the worst thing that could happen to you EVER.
* Nemesis Warhulks were affectionately known as "espresso makers".
* That time when Dario was running from Point A to Point B, and right before he got to Point B I kept teleporting him back to Point A. I did this for about ten minutes. I nearly wee'd myself laughing.
* That time Eli put a repulsion power on Nick's scrapper, so every time he went to kick an enemy, it went flying out of his fight range. Nick was so unbelievably pissed.
* That time I was running through Perez Park, and I ended up trailing so many Skulls and Hellions it looked like that scene with the mines in Galaxy Quest, but somehow they were just enough behind me that I wasn't taking damage. Steve, who was stealthed a little ways behind me, was laughing himself sick and I had no idea what he was on about.
* That time my niece and nephew were visiting and we let them play. A (age 7 or so) picked up on it, and immediately began pummeling Hellions; K (age 5) delighted in the character creation screens, and eventually came up with a confection in pink and orange dubbed "Hello Katy" who ran around Atlas Park happily jumping in and out of fountains. This frustrated A immensely. "NO! You're PLAYING IT WRONG!!"
* The half-dozen PvP comics relating to CoH. Especially the Hover one. hee.
* Steve's tank on the "B" team (Johnny Concrete, loosely based on the guy from Mortal Kombat) yelling "Pay attention to me! I'm famous!" when he used Taunt. Also, he has a shoulder panda.
* Fun with pets. First with Eli's "B" team dark defender, Ligeia Bathory, whose Dark Servant was dubbed "Bucky" and who kept stumbling into aggro; then my ice 'troller's Jack Frost, called "Jackie Boy", and so on.
* Taking the Death Train back from the sewer or the Hollows, because it was faster than walking.
* The old days of the Hollows Taxi-Bot service. Such awesome guys.

There's so many more, and I'll probably think of them in the morning.

Four minutes to go.

Here comes the Nothing.
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