Play With The City Of Heroes Mission Architect

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.


  1. Kieron Gillen says:

    A mate of mine who writes comics has done a quick mission actually. It’s: 3469 if you want to play.


  2. JonFitt says:

    Depending on the quality of the community that could be really good.

  3. Bobsy says:

    Well, as with Spore, all that really matters is the upper end of the quality curve. Doesn’t matter if 99% is shit, it’s only the 1% at the top that people are going to play.

  4. Stew says:

    Been playing with this since closed beta, but I haven’t had time recently to check out some fixes and create stuff myself.

  5. BooleanBob says:

    So excited about this! It’s a feature that I honestly don’t see DC:U or Champions Online being able to trump. I’ve definitely got all the reason I need now to finally get my Mastermind to 50.

  6. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    @BooleanBob You do realise that Champions Online is made by Cryptic, who make CoH? That means if this is a success it’ll probably find it’s way into that game, too.

  7. BooleanBob says:

    Well, that’d be true, except that Cryptic handed over the keys to NCsoft a long time ago. For the very reason that they wanted to make a new game (probably Marvel Online at the time) and couldn’t keep up with work on CoH/V at the same time. One of the lead devs stayed on with the new operators, but this new content (as well a few of the prior expansions) is all NCsoft’s handiwork.

    Not to say that either competitor won’t take ‘inspiration’ from this initiative if it proves successful, of course. I’d be surprised if someone in the MMO scene didn’t. Do we know any successful studios in the MMO field with a history of/reputation for derivative works? *coughs*

    *wonders if that was possibly too subtle*

    *coughs again*

  8. Legionary says:

    Fact attack: the current team that develop City of Heroes are the same team that developed it under Cryptic, bar some who left whilst Cryptic still developed the game. They all moved with the game to NC NorCal, a brand new studio set up by NCSoft to continue the development of City of Heroes.

    Surprising fact attack: NCSoft bought City of Heroes because Cryptic were mistreating it by taking resources away from it and redirecting them at their other project (MUO). For almost a year, there were just FIFTEEN developers on Cryptic’s City of Heroes team, during which time they released three updates which added major features to the game.

  9. Weylund says:

    Not to knock those guys, but fifteen developers on a single project is not a “just X!?” number by any stretch of the imagination. You’re lucky to get a dozen real developers on anything that doesn’t have a >$20M budget to it. For an excellent example, the entire Combat Mission series was the work of one (count ’em, one) developer. Combat Mission is not a huge game, but it is certainly more than one-fifteenth of the coding complexity of CoH.

    I may actually reinstall City of Heroes to use this new stuff, though. Which will get my friends off my back about coming back to the damned thing. Yay?

  10. Torgen says:

    It seems that the CoX franchise attracts a more creative player in general, so I expect we’ll see some top-notch stuff floating to the top of the rankings. Of course we’ll see all sorts of dreck as well.

    The only fly in the ointment personally (besides the fact that there’s no way I could possibly design the custom villain groups exactly how I’d like) is that my guild leader has preemptively admonished me about blatantly nicking known IPs (intellectual properties.)

    There goes the plans for the X-Com homage, the Girl Genius homage, the Schlock Mercenary homage, the…

  11. Cooper42 says:

    This is fantastic. Surely this is one of the best ways to maintain an MMO beyond its prime?

  12. Matt Kemp says:

    Do you have the ability to create walking wang-based missions? I’m afraid it’s not user-generated content if you can’t.

  13. Rhygadon says:

    I’m pretty optimistic about this one. I was in the closed beta, and it’s looking quite good already. The incentives are still a bit wonky: some of the normal rewards are withheld for Architect missions (except ones elevated to Dev’s Choice / Hall of Fame status), to avoid problems with people making easy farming maps, but I do wonder whether there will be enough incentive for people to try out unplayed maps.
    If this works out, though, it could soon come to be one of those features that makes competitors without it seem pale and archaic …

  14. BooleanBob says:

    Legionary’s FACT ATTACK is super effective!

    Thanks for the info, man. I suspected it was something like you described but.. eh, research. Easier just to post a semi- (or rather demi-semi-) accurate surmisal off the cuff.

  15. malkav11 says:

    Frankly, I’d probably play mostly the top-rated stuff anyway. If I can’t be bothered to try out untested mods, I’m not going to do it with MMO missions either.

  16. Rei Onryou says:

    In (un)related news, Rooster Teeth (of Red vs Blue fame) are doing a series on CoH/CoV at the moment based around the mission architect. It stars Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies fame and is pretty funny.

    Go see!

    Touch my awesome button!

  17. Arathain says:

    Dead excited about this. The Architect looks a lot more flexible than I was expecting, and the community has a lot of fantastic creative talent. I have an idea or two myself…

    Another draw- one of the complaints often heard about CoH is that, with the right build, and particularly with the right team, the content can become trivially easy. It looks like players will be able to make some really tough challenges. This really has some good stuff for more than just the players who like to read all the mission text.

  18. Griffinheart says:

    CoH does call to me with this editor, but I’m going to wait until the dust settles from the Champions/DC/possible Marvel MMOs to decide if I want to play one.

  19. Adam T says:

    Oh man, they’re getting perilously close to executing my original idea for CoV: that of a Dwarf Fortress / SimGang sort of interface to the CoH world.

    Further investigation may be warranted.

  20. DeathSentry says:

    I’ve been playing the open beta now and last week they made an update to allow you to set the level of difficulty for your custom enemies/allies (standard/hard/extreme) which reflects how many/all powers in the power suites you select. One thing also that I wasn’t aware of until I started creating missions was that its a total mix/match powers, so you can select a power set from the blaster group and then one from the tanker group or controller, its pretty amazing.