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Reader Comments (39)

Posted: Apr 19th 2009 2:51AM (Unverified) said

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Why all the hate over letting the players make missions?

You still have all the developer created content plus they're going to add more. You can still play the entire game and never enter AE. The devs keep talking about these story lines they've got planned but players got so excited over the architect concept and their list of demands about what they wanted in the system got so long they dropped everything for the past 5 months to work on this. Now that inventions and architect is done next couple of updates are gonna be heavy on story and content, they're hinting at another alien invasion, new aliens not the Rikti.

And in the meantime you can turn your imagination loose and custom create your own missions... if WoW hasn't destroyed your imagination. There are a few refinements needed to the system, most obviously the ability to custom create mission maps.

The one thing I've noticed is most player made missions are way harder than anything the devs ever dreamed up, and much more interesting definitely where you want to be if your looking for a challenge. And yes it is possible to level all the way to 50 using just player missions and yes there are farming missions that can be played over and over for max xp. But getting to 50 is relatively easy these days anyway. The hard part is getting the invention enhancements you want and those do not drop in in player missions. Your best bet is still to do the task force arcs and collect merits for recipes. Anyway in COH if your goal is to hit 50 and nothing else your gonna get bored with the game if your gonna farm the whole thing and no one will miss you when you quit anyway. The journey to 50 is the interesting part once you get there you start another character.

If you want to try a player created story might i suggest "The Invasion of The Martian Monkeys". Silly sounding name but colorful and interesting!

Posted: Apr 19th 2009 3:18AM Anticrawl said

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Since players are basically doing the job that their fee should be covering players creating decent missions should get a free month or two per mission they create.

Posted: Apr 19th 2009 8:02AM SgtBaker said

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A lot of you folks seem to have very professional (or I dare say capitalistic) view of things - so.. let's see.. what if the people who are creating missions do it, *gasp* not for the money/free playtime/fame/whatever personal gain everyone here seems to be after, but for the fact that a) they think it's fun and b) they love their game?

Why does it always have to be about money/personal gain? It's a game for petes sake, use your imagination and have some fun.

And for all the "Blizzard-devs-kick-homegrown-mission-creaters-arse-fanboys" - yeah right, and how many of you really raid without any (may I add, user created) addons?

Just a bit surprised about the negative comments..
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Posted: Apr 19th 2009 9:22AM Tom in VA said

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SgtBaker, I have to agree. Why all the grumping and nay-saying? A couple of posters here have even folded their virtual arms and pronounced the mission architect a "fail". DOH! I think not.

The mission architect system sounds wonderful and is tempting me away from LotRO to try CoH. My biggest problem with CoH is basically that I do not like the fundamental world/concept of the game. (I was never big into "superheroes".)

But if there was something similar for Guild Wars or Tabula Rasa (alas, poor TR!), I would be ecstatic.

An early-on single-player game that I greatly enjoyed was Dungeon Siege. This game came with a game toolkit so that players could create their own modules and make them available on the internet. These player-created games often *surpassed* the original game in terms of fun and creativity.

If I were an MMO developer, I'd make a "mission architect" toolkit available and then offer players who create the best modules a premium of some kind for creating a truly outstanding mission -- say, 6 months of subscription-free play or something like that.

This system has breathed new life into an older game. You better believe other MMO developers are going to be looking at this very closely.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2009 1:35PM Anticrawl said

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You two are reading things between the lines that aren't there. I'm simply stating there should be a reward system for players who created superb missions, and an obvious reward would be a month of free play time. You've already paid for the game on the front end, helping build and evolve the game should result in a wave of the monthly fee for a period of time. It only makes sense, what with the purpose of a monthly fee to expand the MMO further.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2009 8:24AM UnSub said

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Having fooled around with the Mission Architect (MA), it opens up the door to create some really good things for players plus a lot of really mediocre (or worse) stuff.

For those complaining about players building their own content: you don't have to. It's not official lore, which is still left in the realm of the devs. CoH/V already requires more from its players in terms of costume creation compared to, say, WoW where the armour sets are pretty fixed in appearance. Suddenly having access to a system where you can create your own missions plus have access to more missions that you could ever run through is fantastic.

The next step has to be custom maps. Has to be. Repetitive maps (7000+ available or not, the common ones are seen a lot) are CoH/V's greatest weakness.

Posted: Apr 19th 2009 9:27AM Tom in VA said

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I do have a question about these player-created missions.

Are they soloable or group content or a mixture of both? (I really dislike being dependent on [the sometimes tedious process of] group finding to play certain content in MMOs).

Posted: Apr 19th 2009 12:51PM J Brad Hicks said

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Whether or not Mission Architect missions are soloable is up to the designer or not. For one thing, they give the designer an awful lot of control over the powers available to the enemies. You can make enemies that are no difficult than the ones in the regular game, where any character of any class should be able to solo normal spawns, or you can design groups that can effortlessly wipe an 8 person team -- but if you do the latter without warning people, expect your mission to be 1-starred or 0-starred and to disappear from the ratings list into the sludge heap.

They also give you control over the effective level of the minibosses that you add. Here's how it works, simplified: If the miniboss is a minion, it'll stay a minion regardless: a speedbump who's just there to recite dialog and die. If it's a lieutenant, it'll stay a lieutenant regardless, and be the same difficulty as any normal spawn of one lieutenant and one to two minions.

If it's a boss or above, then it's up to the person playing your mission to set the difficulty. Solo on the lowest difficulty setting, it'll scale down to a lieutenant and a minion, same as any other spawn, just infinitessimally harder because it may have a slightly wider variety of powers. Or they can raise their difficulty, or take in a team, in which case it'll scale up to the level where only a modestly skilled or modestly patient player can solo it, because it's designed to be a simple challenge for two people. The next bump up from boss is an elite boss; at lowest difficulty, it resolves down to a boss, but if the player has their difficulty raised or they take in a team, it's supposed to be a fair challenge for 3 to 4 people. The next bump up from that is a signature hero or an arch villain. On lowest difficulty and solo, it'll scale down to an elite boss, and it can still be soloed, but only by a player who really knows what they're doing; raise the difficulty or take in a team and it's meant to be a fair challenge for 6 to 8 people.

So unless the person designing the mission chooses intentionally tough-to-solo power combinations, any highly skilled player should be able to solo any Mission Architect content, although some of it (even if reasonable power choices are made) will ONLY be soloable by above-average players, and those are meant to be end-bosses that you feel really good about defeating.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2009 9:48AM Drexel said

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If I remember correctly the amount of enemies and their difficulty in a mission scaled somewhat to the size of your group. This remained true through almost all the missions with the exception of a few specific story-arc end bosses like Dr.Vahzilok (chain zombie puke damage with no resists for teh fail!) etc.

Posted: Apr 19th 2009 10:27AM (Unverified) said

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Complaining about the Mission Architect is like complaining about WoW's customizable UI. Both give players a creative outlet which you can choose to use or not. Bitching about it just makes you look foolish and petty.

Posted: Apr 19th 2009 3:14PM (Unverified) said

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People who are hating on the mission architect are probably the same people who are baffled that LittleBigPlanet is an award winning game. People like to make stuff and play with it.

You'd think people never grew up with Legos. You mean I have to MAKE the car before I can play with it?
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Posted: Apr 19th 2009 7:18PM wjowski said

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The people that're actually posting on this thread are complaining about Paragon Studios still charging a monthly fee despite players now creating the majority of the game's content.

I don't know what those imaginary posters in your head have against the MA feature itself, though.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2009 8:18PM johnnic1235 said

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As a *personal* roleplaying tool, this looks great.

As a source of new content, it appears just okay; the amount of good is far outweighed by the mediocre or outright bad.

As a source of aggravation, the potential also appears high. Joke and farming missions about. Worst of all, the ratings system was poorly designed, and the wheat has little chance of being separated from the chaff.

Rewards - badges in this case - should NEVER have been linked to the publishing end of MA. Attracting a given number of stars to your arcs should never be a goal. People are already abusing the ratings system. Bad, bad, bad.

Depending on what type of gamer you are, a "fail" label can be legit. Bartle "achievers" are bound to be both frustrated by MA and a source of frustration for other users.

Posted: Apr 20th 2009 10:36AM Heraclea said

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I suspect City of Heroes tends to attract creative types. The ability to create a series of costumes that are wholly independent of your gear, and largely independent of your character type; and to give your character a backstory visible in game that can be either immersed in or wholly independent of the game's lore, are the things that have made this MMO hold my interest where others have fallen by the wayside.

The first two weeks seem to have released a floodgate. My most recent mission got a number somewhere in the 86,000s. Of course not all remain live, but there's a whole lot.

The rating system is somewhat flawed. I am short of ideas to make it better, especially since the most interesting content is likely to draw the strongest opinions either way. So I ignore the ratings and write what I want to write. It is worth noting that the MMO genre in general, and a game with a 4 1/2 year history especially, is a sitting pool of clich├ęs waiting to be parodied. This seems to be a fairly strong impulse in some of the missions I enjoyed most.

Posted: Apr 20th 2009 5:54PM (Unverified) said

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Or you know there is over 100k subscribers to CoH. If only 1% of those create one mission that is10K missions yearly (and this is far less than what CoH is seeing). I'm sure that is far more then the hard working developers over at Blizzard has created in it's 4 year history as well.



Posted: Apr 20th 2009 7:15PM Purkit said

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I recently returned to CoH, one reason was to see what the architect system was all about. As people have pointed out many of the missions are fairly bad, but you expect that when you give joe public the tools to make their own stories. However there are many really great missions and in time those will float to the surface.

As someone that left the game within a few month of it going live I can say its a refreshing addition to CoH that was always fun but lacks depth and content when I originally played it.

Posted: Apr 21st 2009 10:54AM (Unverified) said

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ya know.... all the paper&pencil rpgs came with developer scenarios, most kept releasing more of them over time...

yet, the most fun scenarios we ever played were the "user generated" ones, that we made for "free", sometimes we even shared the really good ones with other people

geez people, been there, done that, it CAN work, and running a framework that allows it to happen is def worth a monthly fee

Posted: Apr 23rd 2009 12:44AM Jeromai said

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Not sure if you'll ever read this, but the mouselook and all is customizable. It's under Menu=>Options=>Controls.

If I recall correctly, the default is Mouse Movement: Normal, which is distinctly not normal for players of any other MMOs. Switching it to Inverted, will get the camera mouselook working much more normally.

There are a couple other options to play with, such as click-to-move or having the camera follow you or be left free look, etc. All keys can be remapped to whatever's comfortable for you.

I think the only stuff that is hardcoded is left-click to interact, right-click on things for an info menu, and middle mouse button for swiveling the camera to look at your character, instead of right mouse button to swivel in many MMOs.

Posted: Apr 23rd 2009 12:45AM Jeromai said

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That was meant to reply to SgtBaker, except I obviously fail at this comment form.
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