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Reader Comments (4)

Posted: Apr 6th 2009 8:11PM urgan said

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thanks for the interview, it was a good read

Posted: Apr 7th 2009 4:25AM J Brad Hicks said

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That is a good interview, thanks.

Mission Architect is HUGE, even with its current limitations, because it meshes with and expands City of Heroes' 2nd biggest advantage (after the costume creator), and that's replayability. As of right now, there is about five times as much content as one hero character can experience without outleveling it, without turning off XP 80% of the time or using the flashback system to do earlier content, also without XP; for villains, it's a bit closer to three times. So if you level one hero to 50, you might as well start another hero. Not only will the different character class play in a completely new way, but you don't need to or even necessarily want to repeat almost any of the same stories that you played through the first time. But once you get that 5th character through a range, especially the low level ranges? Once you get your third villain past level 20ish? You start seeing the same missions over, and over, and over. There are no surprises, no mysteries, no enemies whose powers you don't know.

On the test server right now, there's about five times as much content in the player created story arc list as there is in the official, canonical game. And contrary to what you might expect, if you skip the obviously shallow or sloppily written ones (the author-written descriptions generally give them away), there's still seven or eight times as much content as there is in the original game, and on average, the quality is actually higher. (An awful lot of the canonical content is /way/ overdue for updating or rewriting.)

And that matters, because not only do the five character classes per side not play anything like each other, but in some classes, like defenders and masterminds and corruptors, even the dozens of distinct sub-classes don't play like each other. It's why City of Heroes players are even more famous for alt-itis than players of any other games; you can easily have 36 characters on a server, no two of whom play anything alike. And that's where Mission Architect steps in and saves your bacon: there are now enough stories, and enough new villain fashions, that you don't have to play any one of those 36 characters through the same content.

Posted: Apr 7th 2009 4:27AM J Brad Hicks said

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(Gah. I should stop typing this late. Corrections: in the last sentence, "fashions" should be "factions." In the first sentence of the 2nd to last paragraph, "five times" should be "ten times.")

Posted: Apr 7th 2009 4:56PM (Unverified) said

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This is my first time posting here, but this article is so amazing that I had to post. You guys covered this extremely well and it is just such a revolutionary feature that I think a lot of MMO players will rethink about what MMOs could be.

I'm also really surprised that 1% of the content is going to be labeled as Dev's Choice! They're going to really need to hire a lot of people to be able to go through all of the player content.

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