Shamus Plays

Shamus Plays: Champions Online, Part 1

Shamus Young | 14 Jul 2010 09:00
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So, we're countering the babies-first invasion tactics of the aliens with mandatory friendly-fire against our own troops. Here is an idea for you geniuses: Point your weapons at the bugs and shoot. If they die, the guns work. If not, grab a brick. Once you've got a fight going within brick-throwing distance, it's time to stop with the R&D and make do with what you've got.

Barring that, why shoot me? Just shoot some cars or rubble or something if you want to see the gun go zap so bad. It's all going to be written off anyway. It's not like I own any of this stuff.

This whole thing is obviously a bad idea and a waste of everyone's time. I'm beginning to suspect that Socrates might be a little buggy. But if I refuse to get shot in the face, people might think I'm a coward, and the whiff of cowardice is deadly for a hero. Companies will pull their endorsement agreements in a flash if the public gets the impression you're a jelly-spine. From a public relations standpoint, being called a chicken is worse than being caught in a hotel with heroin* and a couple of underage hookers**.

* I would like to re-iterate my very strong and focus-group approved anti-drug stance.
** While I have no official position on this sort of thing, it's probably not a good idea. Try to keep this sort of behavior to one at a time.

So I take a couple of blasts in the face. As I walk away, I make a point of NOT telling the officer he's doing a good job. That should sting a bit, and maybe next time he's repelling an invasion he won't ask passing allies for permission to shoot them. Knave.

Socrates sends me to see the mayor. This sounds impressive, but the mayor is in a tent ten feet away and being ignored by every single person in his employ. There's not much mayoring that needs done at the moment. Maybe he can publicly condemn the aliens via a public address (shouting) or a strongly worded letter (although I bet he doesn't even have a pen) but other than that he's making even less of an impact than Officer Greeter. Unless he's got guns or kung-fu he's just in the way. I suggest he go over and visit the friendly firing squad and make himself useful, but NPC's never react when I say things out loud to my computer.


Here is our befuddled and not-particularly-useful mayor. Usually the question mark is there to tell the player, "I have quest stuff for you," but in this case it's there to express, "Uhbuh-what?"

The mayor asks me to walk to the other side of the barricade and recover the city disaster plans, as he seems to have left them in a building I have now dubbed, "Space-roach Central."

"Sir, the good people of this city took the time to author disaster plans. Your only job was to have those plans. I don't want to seem rude, but... is the deputy mayor available?"

In any case, I'm betting that if we did have the plans here, somewhere near the top of page one it would say: DO NOT TEST WEAPONS BY SHOOTING EACH OTHER. I agree to get the plans, in the hopes he can at least put a stop to that.

I jog over and grab the documents. They're in a pile of rubble and guarded by about a half dozen loitering bug men. These guys aren't really invading, but sort of hangin' out. I am glad to see that despite their fantastic array of space guns and future toys, the aliens have faces which are susceptible to punching.

Nearby is a woman wanting to be escorted back to the safe zone, but there is a line of heroes waiting to do so. They're all elbowing and jockying for position to be the next lucky hero to march her back to the mayor's camp site command center before she appears back in the hot zone and needs to be re-rescued. I opt to not rescue her at this time.

I would like to point out that chivalry is not dead, it just hates waiting in line.

The mayor is grateful for the documents, and sends me down the street to meet with the chief of police.

Right. We're off to see the chief of police.

Next time: Are you DEAF? I just said we're off to see the chief of police.

Shamus Young is the guy behind Reset Button, Twenty Sided, DM of the Rings, and Stolen Pixels.

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