Author Topic: Heroic and Neutral Patron Pools  (Read 133 times)


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Heroic and Neutral Patron Pools
« on: March 18, 2020, 12:48:18 PM »
These are added to the game at a pace of about one with every new issue.  As with the villainous patrons, you must complete a story arc to prove your dedication and loyalty to that particular patron.
In addition to the content and new game features brought out with each issue, the organization behind each new patron becomes a minor theme of the release of each issue.  The models are cleaned up a bit, the occasional power tweaked and customization, some costume pieces from that organization’s style, and appropriate weapon customization is released.  It is called “patron merch”.
A bonus from this process expands Mastermind options.  This archetype is known to have the longest and most isolated primary set design and testing, primarily because of the henchmen.  But having existing NPCs and hierarchy means much of that sort of design work is more or less done.  Players can now unlock an account-wide badge with each patron arc completed.  This badge unlocks a Mastermind Patron Primary Set (MPPS) which includes henchmen and powers themed to that organization.  To be clear, the Patron Mastery Pool is only available to each character completing the arc while the MPPS is account-wide. 
Some like the sudden addition of new themed mastermind types and the opportunity to manage Coralax or Mu forces. The promise of Vanguard, Midnight Club, Menders, and more coming out in the future have the player base eagerly anticipating when their favorite organization might get released.  There is even demand for other villain patrons – such as The Circle, The Council, Ruularuu, and Nemesis.
Some hate it.  They see it as a formulaic retooling of existing content – there is nothing new in Vanguard NPCs and the MPPS is barely different than Mercenary.  They decry the fact that these new patron pools are premium content.  They claim it’s nothing but a money grab by a company on the brink.  The fact that this funds an entire team dedicated to improving the visual look and effects of the game’s enemy groups (some not altered in a decade) is generally blown off with a ‘they owe us that for free’ type of comment.
The first of these new patron pools is:

Longbow Mastery Pool
At level 35, a character can approach Ms. Liberty to begin the patron mission arc.  The story arc is not surprising, focusing on Longbow’s mission in the Rogue Isles.  It does have new missions on Striga Island and at the Faultline Dam neighborhood.  Upon earning the Longbow Mastery badge (completion), this pool is available.
Archetype   35   35   41   41   44
Tanker   Heavy Pistol   Sonic Grenade   M30 Grenade   Flamethrower   Summon Chaser
Blaster   Flamethrower   Tech Armor   Sonic Concussion   Summon Nullifier   EMP Grenade
Dominator   Sonic Grenade   Tech Armor   M30 Grenade   Repulsion Field   Summon Sergeant
Defender   Sonic Grenade   Tech Armor   EMP Grenade   Cloaking Device   Summon Sergeant
Mastermind   Flamethrower   Tech Armor   Sonic Grenade   Beanbag   EMP Grenade
Stalker   Burst   Missile Launcher   EMP Grenade   M30 Grenade   Summon Nullifier
Targeted Foe • Minor Ranged Damage (Smash), Disorient
Using the integrated grenade launcher of Longbow’s TBR-2 rifle, you fire a non-lethal beanbag that can seriously disorient a target. Deals little damage and takes a long time to reload, but renders most targets unable to attack for a good while.
Targeted Foe • Ranged Damage (Lethal), Debuff Defense
Both of Longbow’s tactical battle rifles (the mk1 or mk2) can fire a short burst, reducing your foe’s defenses momentarily.
Cloaking Device
Self • Buff Defense, Buff Stealth
The Cloaking Device allows you to use an LCD body coating to become partially invisible. While Cloaked you can only be seen at very close range. If you attack while cloaked, you will be discovered. Even then, you are hard to see and have a bonus to Defense. Unlike some stealth powers, the Cloaking Device has no movement penalty.
EMP Grenade
Targeted Foe • Ranged Hold, Slow Regen
Using the integrated grenade launcher of Longbow’s TBR-2 rifle, you fire a pulse grenade that disrupts a foe’s nervous system, preventing them from moving and reducing their regeneration rate.
Cone • Ranged Damage Over Time (Fire)
Longbow’s TIP-5 (tactical incendiary projector mk5) is a modern upgrade of a classic area denial weapon.  Its ability to sustain damage over a long period of time makes it excellent for use on bulletproof foes.
Heavy Pistol
Targeted Foe • Moderate Ranged Damage (Lethal)
Longbow prefers a sidearm with some stopping power.  The PAP-6 “Iron Hornet” delivers.
M30 Grenade
Targeted Area • Moderate Ranged Damage (Lethal/Smashing), Knockback
The M30 urban fragmentation grenade is fired from the TBR-2 rifle or the GL1 grenade launcher.  While it has a tight blast radius, it is very effective within that space.
Missile Launcher
Targeted Area • Long Ranged Damage (Lethal/Smashing), Knockback
This is the same SAM-1 “Dragontooth” missile fired by Longbow Chasers in handheld version.
Repulsion Field
Toggled PBAoE • Foe Repulsion
The Kovacs Kinetic Reverser creates a field surrounding you that deflects all kinetic energy away from you.  Or in plain English, nothing can move towards you.
Sonic Concussion
Targeted Area • Hold
The S60 “Whistler” grenade emits a painfully high pitched sound that can totally incapacitate a foe for a moment, but does no actual damage.
Sonic Grenade
Targeted Area • Debuff Resistance
The SB5 “Subwoofer” grenade emits subsonic pulses that weaken all nearby foe’s resistance.
Summon Chaser
Self • Summon Ally
The Longbow “Chaser” is a light attack craft patterned after the Sky Raider’s “Skiffs”.  Extremely lightweight and very maneuverable, it is armed with long range missiles, chain gun, and incendiary rockets.  It is the perfect long range support for those who prefer to be in the thick of things.
Summon Nullifier
Self • Summon Ally
Nullifier agents have a variety of weapons designed to suppress a foe’s super-powers long enough for teammates to take control.  Working as your partner, they can set-up a one-two unbeatable knockout combination.
Summon Sergeant
Self • Summon Ally
A Longbow Sergeant is a battle hardened ally with experience in facing super villains. Having one on your side can make all the difference.
Tech Armor
Self Auto • Buff Resistance (Lethal, Smashing, Energy, Fire)
Longbow’s “Tech” personal harness and armor is designed to secure all commonly issued weapons and gear while giving the wearer the best combination of protection and maneuverability.  It is very good against lethal damage, moderately good against smashing damage, and provides some protection against energy and thermal attacks.

The Mastermind Longbow Primary Set (Longbow MPPS)
This set is indeed similar to the Mercenaries set, which is somewhat appropriate for a paramilitary organization.
Targeted Foe • Ranged Damage (Lethal), Debuff Defense • Lvl 1
Both of Longbow’s tactical battle rifles (the mk1 or mk2) can fire a short burst, reducing your foe’s defenses momentarily.
Call Guardians
PBAoE • Summon Ally • Lvl 1
Calls forth one to three Longbow Guardian field operatives to assist in your mission.  Guardians are trained in hand-to-hand combat and are equipped with the PAP-6 “Iron Hornet” heavy pistol.  Your third Guardian is equipped with the TIP-5 flamethrower.
Ranged Foe • Major Ranged Damage (lethal) • Lvl 2
Fires a single Slug at a targeted foe. Firing a single Slug is slower than firing a Burst, but deals more damage, is longer range, and can knock down foes.
Equip Field Agents
Ranged Ally AoE • Upgrade Ally • Lvl 6
Requisition advanced gear and weapons for your tactical team.  Guardians will switch to rifles and flamethrowers will add sonic grenades, and Agents switch to the SSW-2 “Pirahna” mini-gun.
M30 Grenade
Targeted Area • Moderate Ranged Damage (Lethal/Smashing), Knockback • Lvl 8
The M30 urban fragmentation grenade is fired from the TBR-2 rifle or the GL1 grenade launcher.  While it has a tight blast radius, it is very effective within that space.
PBAoE • Summon Ally • Lvl 12
Calls forth one or two Longbow Agents to assist in your mission.  They are equipped with the FAW-1 “Stingray” submachinegun.
Ranged Minion • Upgrade Ally • Lvl 18
Target one of your henchmen, instructing him/her to distract the enemy, allowing the rest of the team to concentrate fire.
This henchman will make a taunt attack on your target, which debuffs their defense and then go into a defensive stance.  All your other henchmen will then attack your target until the taunt expires, your decoy or the target is defeated.  During this barrage, other agents also receive damage boosts due to the distraction created by the decoy.  This power can slot defense and taunt (on your decoy), defense debuff (on your target), and/or endurance and recharge (on yourself).
PBAoE • Summon Ally • Lvl 26
Calls forth one Longbow Officer to assist in your mission. 
Tech Upgrade
Ranged Ally AoE • Upgrade Ally • Lvl 32
The most dangerous missions require the most advanced gear and veteran agents.

The Villain Patron Power Sets
Alongside this first full release, MPPS are released for each of the existing villainous patrons.  Ghost Widow’s set includes widows, crossbows, and a ninja theme. Black Scorpion’s includes Arachnos soldiers, grenades, and is similar to Robotics. Scirocco’s includes the Mystics of Mu and has a Necromancy feel. Captain Mako’s includes Coralax henchmen; it is most similar to demon summoning with water jets replacing the whip. 
Of these, only the Coralax required more than minor reworking of the models and powers.

Organizations Mentioned for Future Releases
Vanguard, Menders, Midnight Squad, Paragon City Police Department, Hero Corps, Cage Consortium, Cimerorans, Gold Brickers, and Mooks.  Additionally, there has been a desire expressed to do the assorted Carnival factions in a single release, with the characters having to find the appropriate Vanessa DeVore.  Along with new models for lion tamers and falconers.  Similarly, a facelift for the factions of Ruularuu as well as the Shadow Shard Expeditionary Force.  Possibly Praetorian factions (Loyalist, Resistance, Clockwork, Syndicate, and Destroyers).
One of the Dev’s biggest concerns is keeping the MPPS fresh and interesting.  They point out that the original mastermind primary sets were intentionally created as ‘generic’ patterns.  In the case of Mercenaries, many organizations could fit the mold: MALTA, Sky Raiders, Longbow, Vanguard, The Council, Golf Brickers, and even Nemesis army.  Having the specific henchmen models does alter the visual look of the set, and each organization keys on different combat mechanics (Longbow focuses on defense debuff where Nemesis focuses on offensive boosts, etc).  But to the casual observer, they all look the same.  So a lot of groups rate pretty low (particularly when you remove titans and automatons as potential henchmen). 
At the same time, fashioning some ultra-mode models for the Skulls, Hellions, Trolls, Warriors, Outcast, Lost, Mooks, and Crey – despite the fact that they are all variations on Thugs – puts many of these higher on the list of future picks.  The bigger problem here is a lack of any obvious contact to initiate the Patron story arc.