Statesman's Task Force

Statesman's Task Force

By Lead Designer Matt "Positron" Miller


For those people unfamiliar with the City of Heroes universe, Task Forces (called Strike Forces for villains) are special sequences of missions, sort of like mega-issues of a comic book, which require dedicated teams of up to eight heroes (or villains) to confront challenging tasks and experience pivotal moments within the lore of our fictional universe. Of course these also yield great XP and great rewards.

The Lord Recluse Strike Force, which made it into Issue 7, was our way of getting Hamidon-level Enhancements into the hands of the Villains for City of Villains. We needed something that was difficult, and Hamidon-level difficult, but we didn't want to just regurgitate Hamidon… we wanted something cool. We wanted something where you fought the signature Heroes of the City of Heroes franchise.

We accomplished that goal, but in the end some of the Archetypes felt left out, since they didn't have the build to contribute to the huge Archvillain fights that the Lord Recluse Strike Force was built around (we took our learnings forward from this).

Fighting the signature characters was cool, but it was also something that was exclusively in the hands of the Villains. We really wanted something where the Heroes could have a chance at taking down the signature characters from the Rogue Isles. We wanted Heroes to see some of the cool things we did for the Villains since not every player is into playing "the dark side".

About the Mission

The mission starts out with Statesman telling you that Arachnos is up to something, something big. They are building something in Grandville of unknown power and use, but it is obvious that it's more than a simple broadcast antenna that Lord Recluse claims it to be. Your orders are simple. Get to the factory near Grandville and shut it down.

Here we had a chance to have some "mayhem mission" type action, with your team of Heroes causing havoc in the WebFac, destroying vital pieces to the array in Grandville. This was something that players asked for when we introduced Safeguard missions. They wanted to go to the Rogue Isle and bust stuff up. Now they get to bust stuff up, but with a purpose.

I don't want to spoil too many of the surprises, suffice it to say that players will be encountering, and engaging, many of the more powerful NPCs that Arachnos has to offer. Dr. Aeon plays a key role (several, actually), as does the Arachnos Flier. We also chose some prime locations for the mission maps, a lot of stuff that your average City of Heroes player wouldn't normally get to see.

Oh, and the final battle isn't simply "smash your most powerful attacks until Lord Recluse goes down". We wanted there to be a reason to have Archetypes other than Blasters and Defenders on your team. Controllers will find themselves greatly desired in the final battle if the team wants to have any chance of winning. Our goal was to make sure that all the Archetypes had something to do that could mean the difference between success and defeat.

"Being a Hero" is the driving force behind Statesman's Task Force. Every mission leads up to the ultimate confrontation where, upon success, players will be able to stand in Atlas Park and proudly display to all onlookers that they have Saved the World. Isn't that what being a hero is all about?