Wednesday 27th August/... Lead Designer of NCsoft Europe’s popular City of Heroes and Villains, Matt Miller, discusses many of the features that players can expect to enjoy in the forthcoming expansion, Issue 13: Architect.
I wanted to be the first to let you all know that the primary Feature list for Issue 13: Architect is now live! That said, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk to you about some of the new features in more depth. First off is the issue name, Architect. I liked the correlation that the name has between some of the improvements we are making to bases (in the way new things are purchased for them) and to our Mission Architect feature. Players can now be architects of their own story arcs that other players can play. When I first mentioned this system in the 4th Anniversary post, I had no idea how wildly popular that single concept would be. The thread that followed that post had a plethora of ideas of how such a system could, and should work from a player’s perspective.
With virtually no information to go on, some people very much underestimated what would be possible with the Mission Architect. Some got it spot on, and some people wanted features that were simply impossible to get into the system at launch. Even so, we are very proud of the system as it stands. Players can make their own story arcs using a customised version of the tool used by our mission writers, in some cases rivalling our own internal tools in ease-of-use. I am really looking forward to playing the stories you all create with this amazing tool!
I should probably take this moment to talk about what the Mission Architect is not meant for. It is not meant for “easy levelling”, “badging” or “farming”. Those are things that we specifically wanted the Mission Architect NOT to do. This may be a disappointment to some, I know. The goal was to give creative minds an outlet to tell the stories they have in their heads. We didn’t want the system clogged with Farm missions, so actually finding someone’s story that they lovingly crafted became more a chore than it was worth.
To that end, the Rewards in the Mission Architect are something we, ahem, discussed with raised voices time and time again. How much was too much? How little was too little? What limits needed to be put into place to stop farming? Should we even have such limits? Etc. In the end, we made a system that we believe is best suited for what the Mission Architect was made for, and made sure it cannot be abused. Time and testing will tell if that is really the case though. Like the Invention System, there will be many iterations on the Mission Architect to make sure we get it right before it goes to the Live servers.
Next I want to talk about Day Jobs. This started out as a kind of “secret identity” system, but we wanted to save the term Secret Identity for a system that fit that name better. Day Jobs works well because it is “what your character is doing when not being a Hero or a Villain”. It’s their “day job”. A character who logs out in the Hospital is assumed to be working in a medicinal capacity, and they will receive a themed bonus when they log back in, that sort of thing. We even made it possible to have your character’s Day Job to be “On Patrol” or “Committing Crimes”, just in case you couldn’t envision your character having a “normal life” while you were not actively playing them.
There are plenty of other features in Issue 13: Architect as well, like the new powersets, including the much requested “Villainous Version of Empathy” called Pain Domination. We’re also adding some great new missions to Issue 12’s Roman Zone “Cimerora,” as well as a brand new reward system that will hopefully see the end of “necessary” Task Force farming trying to get that one specific Recipe you have been dying to get. The Issue 13 Feature List explains more about that. We’ll be announcing more specifics of each of these features between now and the beta testing for Issue 13.
Finally, I want to tell you about two “Booster Packs” that will be available in a month or so. Many players have requested the ability to buy the 30 day temporary jetpack that comes with the new City of Heroes Game Cards. Once the retailer exclusive period ends next month, we are making the same jetpack available for purchase for £2.99/€4.49. We are also excited to launch our Super Booster I: Cyborg Pack for £5.99/€8.99. This pack has an awesome set of costume pieces, emotes, auras and a power. We’ll be sharing all of the details shortly.
So thank you players for the enthusiastic support! I can’t wait to get these new features into your hands and to answer your questions about Issue 13 over the coming months and at Hero-Con in October.
About NCsoft Europe
NCsoft Europe (NCE) is headquartered in Brighton, United Kingdom and is wholly-owned subsidiary of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation, the world's leading developer and publisher of online games. NCsoft operates publishing offices within North America, Japan, Taiwan, China and Thailand and has development studios in Seattle, Austin, California (North America) and Seoul (Korea). NCE recently announced the formation of the first European development studio, based within the UK.
NCE began operations on 1st September 2004 and serves as a central hub for all NCsoft sales, marketing and distribution operations in Europe, via its European distribution network. The company has successfully launched multiple online titles and continues to support its franchises, which include Lineage® II (November 2004), City of Heroes (4th February 2005), Guild Wars® (28th April 2005), City of Villains (31st October 2005), Guild Wars Factions™ (28th April 2006), Guild Wars Nightfall™ (27th October 2006), Guild Wars: Eye of the North™ (31st August 2007) and Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa™ (2nd November 2007). More information about NCsoft Europe can be found at http://eu.plaync.com.
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