WF: How-dee Pard-ner!

Synopsis:  VIPERS IN SNAKE GULCH, PART ONE!  The Snake Gulch amusement park is a wonder of robotics, replicating the Old West with robotic “actors”.  So why have they started shooting everyone and everything?  And does the archvillain Mechanon have a role to play?  Willforge plans to find out!

I’m going to come out and say it.  I love Snake Gulch in Champions Online.

Before we got all the big action movies on the big screen, Westerns were the blockbuster movies of the day.  Well, it sure seemed like it when I was a kid-they were on television all the time, and there were Western TV shows on a lot too.  I saw a good chunk of them at the feet of my grandfather when our family would come up for the holidays.  And of course, the big pretend-games played were “Cowboys and Indians”.

So, even though I’m not as big a fan of Westerns nowadays-science fiction, fantasy, and super-heroes seem to have taken their place in my heart-I still have a soft spot for the genre.  If a decent Wild West MMO were to roll around, I’d be awfully tempted to purchase and play.  It probably won’t ever happen-there’s too much real-world issues involved with that era of time that gives people a second glance at it these days.  So Snake Gulch in the Southwestern Desert region of CO is as close as I’ll get.

I’ve done a good portion of the Snake Gulch arc over the weekend-complicated somewhat by the “High Noon” event going on, where upper-level robots were fighting, and a huge “Cosmic” level Mechanon Liberator robot was hanging around.  A word about Cosmics:  they aren’t for single characters to handle.  (I know, I know-there are probably some uber-geared folks who can do just that.  Pound for pound, though, I’m willing to bet most folks wind up as greasy stains.)  If I looked at the Liberator’s level, instead of a number, I get a blackened skull.  That means sooner-than-instant death for characters like Willforge.  Need I say that there was a mission I had which involved a pair of towers, one of which was RIGHT BY THE ROBOT!?  Fortunately, like many open missions in the game, the event had a set time to finish, and a timed “intermission” before starting again, giving me the opportunity to take those towers down.

Willforge managed to climb himself to level 20, and in doing so, opened up that second specialization tier.  I did some research on the CO forums, and decided that taking out bad guys faster would be helpful, so I took the Vindicator specialization, which supposedly helps with ranged offense.  Since all my offense is ranged offense, this seemed like a good choice.  We’ll see if that works; I have enough repecs (called Retcons in CO) that if I need to completely revamp the character a couple times, I can.  That said, I’ve rarely done so with other characters; I tend to live and die with my choices, regardless if they’re smart or not.

An amusing side note to close this post:  since I’ve spoken of Cosmics, I should add that I’ve run into Grond, the four-armed huge Cosmic rage monster, as I’ve traveled around the Desert.  Grond does that-hops into an area, fights everything that aggros him-and lots of things aggro him-and eventually gets bored and leaves.  Because I oddly enjoy poking the bear at times, I took a shot at Grond.  The fight didn’t last nearly as long as I’ve had with other characters, who at least had some damage resistance/avoidance to help.  One hit and Willforge is back at the respawn point.  I know in my heart I shouldn’t poke the bear-but if the devs are going to put these guys in game, even if I don’t have a legion of heroes supporting, why ignore them?  Besides, I still get a bit irritated when Grond snarks about rival MMOs.  Shots at CoH annoyed me even before it became speaking ill of the dead….

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