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City of Heroes: Going Rogue. The Ringstinger Cometh…

November 25th, 2010 by

The paper swirled on the streets with a mind of it’s own. A lesser man would possibly declare it the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen, concrete proof of God in the eloquent way the eddies gently caressed the paper. To The Ringstinger it was trash, litter that needed sweeping from the streets and burnt to cinders. A week ago he was plain old Rusty, nice guy, kind to pets. It seemed strange how one man could change in such a short time. Luckily there was a comic book summary illustrating the story thus far…

The aforementioned trash, beautiful though it may have been, wasn’t given the time it fully deserved to trace it’s majestic path. Instead it met it’s demise at the hands of a vacuum-tubed sanitation robot. Sure the robots kept the streets clean but something far worse writhed it’s way under the gleaming pavements. Nova Pretoria was a strange place, all the evidence of civilisation were apparent, the tall buildings, a cop on every street corner and those obedient robots keeping everything just so. However one would be far pushed to spot any signs of life, the streets were empty apart from the odd group of protesters. The reason for civil distress? An oppressive totalitarian police force surveyed the streets from their high ivory tower and even higher moral standpoint. How could The Ringstinger impart his will onto such a bizarre world?

No sooner had RS (I can’t be arsed writing Rinstinger every time now!) walked out of the abandoned industrial district did he come across a distressed officer. The scene behind him was chaotic, a band of once friendly sanitation robots had malfunctioned and were now attempting to “cleanse” the world of all life, namely anyone who happened to walk past. Aha! The perfect job for a newbie hero. After idly listening to the officer’s requests it was time for action! Being new to this game RS had few abilities at his disposal, simple bashes and swipes at the errant bots. Still, having been designed for cleaning, the bots were no match. RS wondered why the cop didn’t have a crack himself, don’t they have guns?! For payment he received something much more valuable than money, information. The disgruntled officer could see this hero was wet behind the ears and suggested he visit a colleague who coaches would-be heroes. Onward!

Look at them, all smug. If they had genitals I'd kick em!

It seemed there would be a lot of faffing in this hero lark. The Ringstinger thought he could just hang around and save the odd cat from a tree and just get the respect he clearly deserved. Instead he needed to learn, first of which was some new moves. As he continued to fight he felt as if his level was increasing… somehow (work with me here, people!). He couldn’t be absolutely sure though so every time he felt he had somehow improved his standing of numerical ability… (fine, he levelled up ok!?), he would gain a skill point, something he could invest in his continuing improvement. Although he clearly could not learn certain moves until he hit a certain level, those he could learn could have additional points ploughed into them, making their effect more potent. It was a strange and refreshing concept, The Ringstinger had heard of other strange parallel realms where a person’s skills were directly linked to their level. For some strange reason it also reminded him of a something called Star Trek Online, even though he hadn’t known anyone who had trekked with the stars.

Still, The Ringstinger felt better in himself knowing that he would improve in time and become more powerful. His next important task would lead him into the turbulent underbelly of Nova Pretoria, where an “evil” gang of rebels threatened the very fabric of this controlling society. His mission was to confront these straggly-haired hippies and put an end to their local leader. The sewers clearly hadn’t seen a sanitation bot for some time, if the RS hadn’t been a potent source of methane himself, he could imagine retching in this foul place. The inhabitants of this fragrant place were in abundance, wimpy freedom fighters with nothing better to do than challenge the status quo. The Ringstinger was glad he was a physical-based Brawler, this way he could really “connect” with these fine people, heh heh. The cramped faecal-flecked tunnels gave way into a large chamber. On a mental note RS wondered why sewer designers had commissioned such a spacious and ornate room, it was never going to be a local amenity. More interesting was the person standing at the far end of the chamber. This man wasn’t quite as dishevelled as his peace-loving counterparts, he must be the local leader of the freedom fighters. The silent tension was broken with a cracking sound. The flexing of RS’s powerful knuckles seemed to illicit a nervous reaction in the man, some leader huh?

Sewers... An underated holiday destination.

Let me tell you a bit more about The Ringstinger. When he was plain old Rusty he was a pushover, always keen to do other’s bidding. He knew in his heart he was a follower and not a leader, reasoning that this was fine as everyone can’t be a leader. The addition of a mutated curry and Lycra leggings hadn’t changed him entirely though, he still had a notion of what was right and wrong. His initial loyalty was to order, the people in charge. He couldn’t believe the people in power could be wrong, because they couldn’t, that would be wrong, people wouldn’t stand for it. As The Ringstinger’s shadow enveloped the scrawny man, he was given an alternative to opening a family-sized can of whoop-ass. Instead of subduing this man, how about just saying you couldn’t find him. They would understand, I’m only a noobie after all. How about secretly working with the rebels whilst under the guise of a helping The Man? A fiendish smile flicked across the Ringstinger’s mouth, let’s go rogue…

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