Posts Tagged ‘City-of-Heroes’

City of Anti-Heroes: Surprise COH Expansion

By Alec Meer on May 12th, 2009.

Presumably as part of a major fight back against its own upcoming spiritual sequel Champions Online, NCSoft’s venerable superfolk MMO City of Heroes/Villains (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – still the most fun I’ve ever had in an MMO, even if it’s a rare day that I venture back into it now) has announced a big-ass new expansion, Going Rogue. One that purports to fills in that morally grey gap between hero and villain. I always thought that was ‘politician’ or ‘gym teacher’, but seems as though it’s a little more complicated than that.
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Play With The City Of Heroes Mission Architect

By Jim Rossignol on March 19th, 2009.


This has been a long time coming, but the City Of Heroes (& Villains!) mission architect is now in open beta, for testing before it launches into the full game along with Issue 14. (Test server details here.) It’s looking brilliant, with players about to control everything from “environments, mission objectives, and enemies, to written fiction and character dialogue”. And these aren’t just single instanced missions, we’ll be able to deliver mission arcs with multiple stages. NCSoft report that players can create wide ranging adventures, so they “story can have up to five chapters or missions and each mission can hold up to a maximum of 25 achievable goals.” Apparently the player scenarios will be launched from an in-game browser, and ranked by a player rating system. The best missions will enter a Hall of Fame decided upon by the devs. Apparently players will receive “in-game benefits” for making content that is rated highly by the community.

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Behind The Scenes On City of Heroes

By Alec Meer on November 1st, 2008.

Following on from our recent Hinterland diary, we now yield RPS’ floor to another agreeably garrulous developer. This time it’s NCSoft’s Bruce Harlick, who’s Senior Game Designer on City of Heroes/Villains. Below, he writes about the process of designing lore and missions for the splendid superheroic MMO, the drawing board stories behind the upcoming Issue 13 update and a ghost named Sybil. Off you go, Bruce.

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Mac Gaming Since 1874

By Alec Meer on October 30th, 2008.

So, gaming on Apple machines. Clearly Paganism of the most heinous order, but as it’s nearly Halloween let’s deign to acknowledge it. Anyone do it? Happy stories/horror stories? Despite owning a (hilariously battered) Mac myself, it’s not something I’ve ever especially considered. I was fairly surprised to walk into a computing store in Canada last year and see ranks and ranks of slightly old or slightly silly Mac games there, so I know there is stuff available, but personally I’d stuck to oldies – I’ve got Mac copies of the first two Fallouts – and, er, casualies. Woo Peggle, etc. That, I’d surmised, was pretty much the outer limit of it, at least unless I had one of those hilariously costly high-end Mac desktops that people with tiny beards and expensive spectacles buy. Two Macish stories which suggested the more mainstream Apple systems are rather game-blessed of late caught my passive eye today, though.
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Midnight Strikes: City of Heroes Issue 12

By Kieron Gillen on May 21st, 2008.

Alec can do this. It's amazing. He just walks into the pub and goes GLOW!!!!! and we have to cover our eyes.

I’ve been meaning to post that the twelfth expansion (“Issue”) for City of Heroes was about to go live for a while now. In fact, so long, that it has gone live, and anyone can actually play it. It’s called Midnight Hour and introduces a new organisation (“The Midnight Squad – aka The Midnighters, which the Authority may want a word about, so we’ll move swiftly on before someone gets their brains punched right out). To celebrate, beneath the cut we have its promo videos, our first impressions from our City-of-heroes insider and a completely gratuitous Wilson Pickett song.
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Scripty of Heroes

By Alec Meer on April 29th, 2008.

Strongest one there is

(Sorry for the hideous pun – I’m still badly jetlagged).

News reaches us, via Eurogamer, that RPS’ favourite MMO (Jim’s Eve obsession being obscured by a shallow veil of democracy), City of Heroes, is due for an intruiging new update. Always a game that’s struggled to offer long-term appeal for its less devout players, it’s had a few goes at adding a bit more meat to its big bones – but somehow crafting, auctioneering, veterans’ rewards and even PvP haven’t quite mustered the variety it badly needs. Perhaps, though, its newly-announced upcoming feature will. Read the rest of this entry »

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Heroes and Villains

By Alec Meer on April 15th, 2008.

48 inches of concentrated heroism

A quick note on two two new word-pustules I’ve affixed to the internet’s mottled hide. First, Eurogamer’s new MMO channel is foolish enough to let me celebrate my beloved City of Heroes character, The Entomologist, for 2000 words. In theory I’m talking about how COH’s character editor and class structure offers a degree of self-expression no other MMO can touch, but mostly I’m jaffing off about my 4ft tall, power-jumping energy blaster. I also rope in comments from Jim and Kieron about why their COH characters warm their heart-cockles, and say things like this:

“Alright, so your Level 70 WoW Night Elf means a lot to you. He represents all your time in the game, a visual and statistical incarnation of all your achievements. His armour is his battlescars, a sign for other players to respect or fear him. But he isn’t you. He’s just a template someone else made. The Entomologist is me. I made him. From his appearance to his powers to his nebulous personality and back to a thousand new appearance tweaks later on, Ento is my proudest MMO achievement.”

Meantime, PC Gamer throws up an Aliens vs Predator retrospective I wrote some time back, this one focusing on the game’s dismemberment physics and the timeless nature of the Alien as a foe.

“That’s why playing as the Marine, which on paper seems to be defaulting to a stereotypical FPS experience, is the smart thing to do in AvP. The blip of the motion tracker, the trustiness of the Pulse Rifle, it’s like genetic memory, an experience utterly familiar and all the more effective for it.”

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City Of Heroes Moves Home

By John Walker on November 7th, 2007.

City of Heroes/Villains is moving house. The super superhero MMO IP has been fully bought up by NCsoft, who formerly shared ownership with the games’ developer Cryptic. But unusually for a publisher buying a game from its developer, this doesn’t seem like it’s bad news at all.

ANDOV!

According to Cryptic, NCsoft have offered everyone on the CoH/V team a job, and indeed a few of the top dogs have accepted. So lead designer Matt Miller, lead engineer Aaron Brady and lead artist Ken Morse have all made the transition.

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The Making Of: City of Heroes

By Kieron Gillen on October 26th, 2007.

[I was rooting around my hard-drive, trying to find the Freedom Force post-mortem which I swear to God I wrote, and I hit on something else similarly spandex-clad. The interview was done with Jack Emmert towards the end of 2004, so bear that in mind for some of the comments made.]

The Class of '04

City of Heroes was the surprise Massively-Multiplayer game hit of the year. Yes, World of Warcraft dominated… but the surprise wasn’t that it was a success, but the sheer scale of it. For a game to come from a team no-one had heard of, about a topic that had oft seemed commercially unviable, and to quietly revolutionise the genre with a stripped-down action-RPG… well, that’s a twist ending. No-one saw this one coming, True Believer.

We take a few minutes to secure an audience with the public face of City of Heroes, at publisher NCSoft’s recent European launch. He’s the Statesman, the defender of truth, justice and reasonable ping. But no-one’s seen him in the same room at the time with mild-mannered Lead Designer Jack Emmert. Could these two figures be connected?

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Uprecident-o-news: Invaders… from Space.

By Kieron Gillen on August 8th, 2007.

Something else that happened when I was away which I think’s worth mentioning: City of Heroes hit double-figures in its updates, with Issue 10 going live. This time the Rikti, the perennial Big Bads of the series are back. And this time, they’re shinier. Shiny-shiney-shine.

Rikki-icki-icki-oo.

It kicked off with a world-wide invasion event, with the aliens in question causing trouble, as well as setting up new Rikti-centred zones and task forces – which, cutely, allow high-level (35+) heroes and villains to team up and fight the greater foe. Which is about as superhero comic-book perfect as wearing spandex, gleeful homoeroticism having your arch-enemy cut up your girlfriend and store them in the fridge. In other words, compared to Issue 9 which introduced the new invention system, it’s a lot more about Biffing people in the face.

But that’s not what particularly has got me thinking about it. While a Civ4 relapse has been eating into my gaming time, I haven’t played it yet, but apparently in the world event stuff – that is, the Rikti appearing all over the place to fuck shit up – the Rikti are “levelless”. Only their class (whether they’re a lieutenant, elite or boss or whatever) determines how difficult they are to hit and kill. In other words, without sidekicking (City of Heroes’ feature where a player is artificially raised to a higher hero’s level so they can play together) a Level 5 and a level 50 character could stand side-by-side against the same foe and FIGHT.

While there’s obviously enormous difficulties facing a developer to actually design a whole MMO like this, I can’t but help think it could lead to an interesting – and accessible – game. High level heroes are better – due to them having much more selection of powers, etc – which if properly balanced could keep people interested in stomping up the treadmill… but the game-limitation of meaningful interactions between players would be gone.

Yes – as I said, enormous difficulties in making it work, but – as far as I can make out – the reason we’ll never see it in a classical MMO is that spreading the content for a specific game across as much time as possible (i.e. As much as a playerbase will stand) means people will keep playing and paying for longer.

Which is no good reason at all, for us.

And, as an aside, the game which actually comes close to doing this is the non-monthly fee Guild Wars.

Wednesday is Cynical Day here at Rock-Paper-Shotgun
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