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City of Heroes (Prima's Official Strategy Guide) Paperback – May 4, 2004

3.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Prima Games; First Edition edition (May 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761545166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761545163
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Indy Reviewer VINE VOICE on May 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Prima's relationship with game companies often allows them great access to the innards of game development during alpha and beta testing, which usually leads to some useful insights in their guides. Unfortunately, that's not the case here. While the combat section of this guide is fairly well detailed, the meat of the game is in character development where this book fails with poor research and outright errors.
The good news is that there's good use to this book if you're wandering around Paragon City, the City of Heroes base. Creature factions are very well described, with useful tidbits on how to fight them. For instance, two melee fighters shouldn't simultaneously attack a Circle of Thorn (COT) mage as the mage will self destruct, likely killing both fighters. It's hard to tell this simply by playing the game. Geography and combat tricks are also well described.
Unfortunately, the character development section has some problems. First, its readily apparent that many of Prima's testers gave only a cursory look at several skill sets. As an example, in only a couple hours of gameplay its readily apparently that the most powerful illusion controller attack is Deceive, which takes over the target for 30 seconds. In the guide, its mentioned only in passing. Second and more disturbingly, there are a number of errors in the skill guides. For instance, Siphon Speed under the Defender/Controller Kinetics power set claims to give you the ability to fly. It doesn't, and if you waste how many days to get to level 10 for it you will be very disappointed. Given that this skill never even had that during beta testing it's clear there was very poor editing involved. Finally, some of the technical details are also just outright wrong.
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Format: Paperback
It's always hard for a publisher to create a guide for an ever-developing MMO like City of Heroes. However once again Prima has decided to make a quick buck by releasing a guide that was outdated a day after the game's launch.

The majority of the information is from the beta days of CoH, and there are plenty of typos and misinformation strewn throughout. For newbies, the Zone maps are fine, as are the character generation guides.

However none of the information is very "deep". It provide basic stats for an enemy, which is usually incorrect in some fashion or another. The guide lists arch villians but doesn't give you any idea where or how to find them. It tells you how to start Task Forces or certain Quests but gives you no help on solving them.

Most of the text for the mobs and areas is lifted straight from the game itself, with little commentary from the editors. There are no handy cross referenced charts for mobs. There isn't even an index.

Character generation strategies are strictly for newbies. According to this guide, pretty much every character ability is fantastic and works great with every character. For those who play healer or ranged archetypes, it's obviously a poor idea to dump slots and skills into close combat abilities - yet this guide makes it sound like a good idea.

There's some interesting information on how the Trial Zones work (which haven't even gone live yet and will most likely be changed from what's written here when they do go live). No mention is made of the Tailor stores or anything that happened in the game after the Beta. Fortunately the game world hasn't changed much 2 months after the guide's release.

Overall this is yet another 2 star Prima Guide.
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Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Poorly constructed guide. On the one hand, it has all the basics you might expect; character development details, zone details, and enemy details. They also include some useful tips and a whole chapter on why copying trademark characters is bad taste (hey its they're book, there allowed the occasional tangent).
However it was way too obvious that each power, as well as some of the enemies, was researched by different authors. You may be reading about one power for an archetype that is described well, turn the page to the next power and find it poorly described. In addition they have obvious errors in the book. For example they mention a supergroup vault, which COH designers have told me directly doesn't exist.
All in all, this is book was obviously slapped together much like a frat kids research paper. Shameful for a proffesional game guide company.
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Format: Paperback
This book is not entirely unhelpful, but I would not recommend buying it without looking at it first.

There is some good information here, such as:

- Guides (though incomplete) to the city's various zones

- Expanded information about powers, archetypes, and origins

- Some scant but helpful information on tactics and gameplay

The problem I have is that there was so much more that could have been included. For example:

- Location of the various "stores"

- More advice on character creation and power choice

- Information about the villiains that would be, I dunno, maybe helpful? (tactics rather than tables of stats and origin info)

I also believe that the readers would have been better served by delaying the guide a month or two so that the many modifications to the game after launch could have been included. Instead, the guide was rushed out and still includes some erroneous information about gameplay and even some incorrect terminology (many aspects of gameplay and the names of some powers changed at launch due to suggestions by beta players).

In short, you might get some good information here, but you should try to get a look at the book to make sure it will be useful to you before you shell out the money. Here's hoping that Prima will put out a second edition of this guide.
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