It wasn’t that long ago that I noted the time required to download 1 gigabyte of data over a slow (34.6 – 37.4 kbs) dial up connection. That gigabyte of data was the City of Heroes test server, and I downloaded it so I could participate in the City of Villains beta.
The City of Villains client was a second, even larger download. The 1.6 gigabyte update converted the City of Heroes test server to the CoV beta client. This made for roughly ten days of almost non-stop downloading. I was able to fire up City of Villains for the first time Friday evening, just in time for the developer to open the floodgates and allow anyone and his brother in for the weekend. The server was slammed; public areas were incredibly laggy (even for folks with broadband connections). Still, I was able to create three villains over the weekend: Retikion, Thunderhead and The Skink. They are all bad, bad men, ((The Skink is technically not a “man” (or a woman, for that matter), but rather the result of an attempt to recreate plant-like photosynthesis in reptiles utilizing an experimental (and illegal) DNA manipulation technique. Of course, that’s neither here nor there.)) consorting with criminals, engaging in illicit activities and probably suffering from severe halitosis. ((As a result of the aforementioned experiments, The Skink doesn’t actually have a mouth. Hence, The Skink does not have halitosis. Retikion, on the other hand, does have a mouth. Unfortunately, dental hygiene is low on his list of priorities (building a thriving criminal enterprise is #1 on that list), so not only does Retikion have halitosis, he also has advanced gum disease.))
Last night, I returned to more heroic pursuits, teaming up with Miscellaneous G™, Slowhand and five complete strangers in an attempt to rescue the kidnapped son of one Lt. David Wincott. Despite a thoroughly valiant effort, we were ultimately thwarted by a misbehaving server. With five minutes remaining in the mission, the team was making a final push past legions of animated rock creatures and dark mystics when the unthinkable happened: the server vomited the entire team back to the login prompt. Though we were all able to log back in immediately, our heroes had been transported out of the main mission area and watched helplessly as the mission timer ticked down to zero. Failure. Young Sam Wincott would have to suffer at the hands of the Circle of Thorns until another group of stalwart heroes rescues him from their clutches.
Tonight, I took Dr. Garabiton out on patrol. The Gravitas Mark IV battlesuit ((The Gravitas Mark IV battlesuit features a variety of “comfort options,” including an integrated 60GB iPod and Bose noise-canceling headphones with state-of-the-art automatic CoMPVoC technology.)) had been collecting dust in a secret storage closet recently while its creator, theoretical physicist Patrick Nguyen, explored other interests. Sadly, his romantic endeavors ended rather disastrously last night, so he decided that he needed to blow off some steam. After re-calibrating the Mark IV’s graviton manipulator arrays, Patrick donned the yellow and blue armor and took to the streets as Dr. Garabiton.
Fortunately for Patrick, there is no shortage of illegal activity in Paragon City, and he soon found himself hip-deep in criminals. Though he has never met Maxwell “Cardelion” Barstow, tonight Patrick learned the lesson that Max knows so very well: beating up bad guys is great therapy. When you’re angry at the world (or even just at Susan Kendrick), there’s nothing more cathartic than kicking the crap out of someone who truly deserves it.
After letting Dr. Garabiton work out some of his frustrations, I decided to call it a night and shut down City of Heroes. Instead of simply closing, however, the CoH updater began downloading “Issue 6,” a new upgrade that will fix bugs and add content to the game.
The patch file for Issue 6 is a whopping 1.6 gigabytes.