:+: MMORPG CoV AKA City of Villains Review :+:
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Why should you care about my opinion?
Why should you listen to me instead of some reviewer in a magazine, on a TV show, or from some other Web page when you're trying to look for a City of Villains review?
I tend to be honest with my opinion when I give a review on something. If I like something, I say so. If I don't like something, I say so. Secondly, I'm not being influenced by a sponsor to give a good review on a program like City of Villains. Thirdly, I'm not part of some corporation where I'm told by the boss to say one thing or another. Finally, I don't base my opinion on other people's opinions. I form my own based on my experiences. Doing a City of Villains review based on other people's opinions isn't very realistic. Would you think a review by somebody who just played the game for a few hours and dropped it, or formed their opinion on others' opinions of City of Villains would be very accurate? Or would you prefer to trust somebody like me, who plays the game for several hours a day?
What is CoV AKA City of Villains?
CoV AKA City of Villains is a MMORPG. See the MMO, MMOG, and MMORPG Reviews page for more information on the different types.
In essence, City of Villains is a RPG that you play on your computer with other people from around the world. Unfortunately, it can't be played as a stand-alone game because it needs to connect to their servers, and you're charged $15 US per month for that.
You can get the game City of Villains in the City of Heroes / City of Villains: Good Versus Evil Edition that they sell in some stores for around $30 US, and you still need to pay for the time you use on their servers. Fortunately, if you're like some of us who don't have a credit card, there's Play NC game time cards you can buy for about $15 US which are good for 30 days of play. I found out the hard way that despite the fact that the City of Villains game box that I bought a while back said on the outside of it "FIRST MONTH OF PLAY INCLUDED", if you didn't have a credit card, you had to make the trip back to the store to get a Game Time Card, or else you couldn't even connect with their servers to play. Only those who take the time in the store to read the whole box (it's written in a small box on the back of the box) learn that "A valid credit card or time card required to activate."
Note that the City of Heroes / City of Villains: Good Versus Evil Edition requires you to have a DVD drive on your computer. The store's Web site that I saw the game listed at said you need an 800 MHz Pentium III or AMD Athlon CPU, but, a 2GHz CPU would work much better. They also say you need 512 MB of RAM. I'd suggest 2 GB of RAM, or you're going to get very frustrated. Finally, they advise a NVIDIA GeForce 2 video card. I advise having at least a GeForce 6200, but something even higher would be better, if you can afford it. Shop around, ask the computer stores in your area, or shop on-line to find the best deal. If you buy one at a big name electronics store, you're probably going to get over-charged. If you have a computer that's closer to what they think you need to run the game on, the first thing you should do when you start the game is go to the Options and put it down on the minimum settings. The game won't look as good, but, you'll have a better framerate.
When you start City of Villains for the first time, you need to create a character. You get to decide their origin, which varies from things like Science, Technology, Magic, Natural, and Mutation. I tend to pick Mutation origin because it's easier to understand the purpose of the Enhancements that you get in the game and the fact that the Mutant Store is near the ferry when you first enter the zone (the third one that you go to as you level up in the game) that has the individual origin stores. But, more on that, later, on a CoV AKA City of Villains Tips page that I'll make.
Character slots: In City of Villains, you can have a total of 132 characters for just your monthly fee. To break it down for you, you get 12 character slots for each server with your basic monthly fee and there's 11 servers (US server names, in alphabetical order: Champion, Freedom, Guardian, Infinity, Justice, Liberty, Pinnacle, Protector, Triumph, Victory, Virtue), for a grand total of 132 character slots, and, you can buy more, if you still need them, up to a total of 396 character slots spread out over 11 servers. And, if you want to move a character to another server, you can.
After that, you pick out the type of character you want to be, which is called an Archtype, or simply called AT in the game. In City of Villains, you can choose between being a Brute, Corruptor, Domintator, Mastermind and Stalker. Most people who first start playing City of Villains should choose being a Brute, as it's less complicated because they're more of the 'up close and personal' kind of fighters with good defense and/or resistances to attacks. The Mastermind is probably the more difficult to play as you have a group of minions to keep under control, and you have to make certain they attack only the foes you want them to attack.
Game play is mostly missions that you get from the Contacts you're assigned in the game, but there are fans of street-sweeping, too, where you go out and defeat foes on the street for Experience Points (called XP in the game), and Infamy, which you use to buy Enhancements to boost your powers up.
Graphics in City of Villains are fairly good on the default start up graphics setting, but have a washed out look on structures, walls, and all that which reminded me a lot of one of the older 3D chat programs like Worlds.com AKA WorldsChat while the look of the avatars / bodies / toons of people in the game are slightly better. Increasing the graphics setting of the game will give you a better appearance, but, you'll sacrifice framerate, which you'll really notice when you're in an area with other characters, especially if you're fighting on a team.
Problems playing City of Villains:
Low frame rate, for one, if you're playing it on a computer near what they say the system requirements are. Many times, my framerate (when I was using a computer that was between the minimum system requirements and the recommeneded system requirements), was, at its best, about 20, and that's when I'm flying in the sky, with only the sky viewable. On missions with other people, it was between 10 FPS to 1 FPS. If I was on a full team of higher level characters, that framerate went down below 1 FPS.
Disconnections. Thankfully, this isn't happening as often as it used to, but when it does, it's a pain. When you're teaming, you have to remember who the leader of the team was to get a re-invite, and, hope that they, too, didn't get disconnected, or left the team while you were gone. Right before you get disconnected, you'll get a message that comes up on your program window that says 'lost connection to mapserver' which, sometimes, goes away, and you're back in the action, but other times, just stays on until you're shoved back to the log-in. There's also the 'rubber band' effect you get while moving around sometimes, where you jump, run, or teleport only to be taken back a ways from where you were supposed to be. Sometimes it got so bad, it took me several minutes to travel a hundred yards, and a lot of times, you need to travel more than a mile in a single zone to get somewhere. Thankfully, this too, has lessened somewhat.
City of Villains program crashes. Not as often as they used to. When this happens, I have to re-start the program, then wait a few minutes while it does the 'verifying image' thing, before I can log back in. While I'm not certain if it can be attributed solely to the memory leak that the program has or not, but one time I used Windows Task Manager to see how much memory it was using, and it was over 1 GB.
Warning: Throughout the Internet, you will find jerks. This is also true of the City of Villains MMORPG. For more information on them, and to see who to avoid teaming up with, check out the CoV / City of Villains Blacklist.
You wanted an honest City of Villains review? You just got one.
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