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Author Topic: I14 goes live  (Read 5001 times)
Glazius
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Posts: 755


on: April 08, 2009, 06:45:54 PM

Yep. Took a while for them to migrate all the servers over, but it's up and running.

Wonder how this experiment in user-created content is going to go.

(arc IDs 1874, 2180, and 5073 here)
PalmTrees
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Posts: 392


Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 10:13:26 AM

I really enjoyed the time I spent all of last night creating my own arc and playing others. After a few years in the game I burn out on the same old arcs and contacts fairly quickly leading me to run hot and cold with the game. But with all these new missions it's great walking in there and not knowing what to expect.

I hope the next MA upgrade is the ability to make your own maps. The missions might be new but the layouts of the warehouses, caves and labs is still the same old.

I've been running mishes with my 50 and spending my tickets on unlockables so I don't know how well the buy enhancements , salvage, etc. with tickets works for someone trying to level up using the MA. I've seen people on the forums planning just that so we'll see how they get along.
Valmorian
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Posts: 1163


Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 11:19:56 AM

Mission Architect really needs only a few more things to be awesome:
1. Custom maps you can create yourself.
2. Ability to restrict which powers out of a powerset you grant to your creations (if I want to create a mob with only a fire sword attack power, I should be able to do that).
3. Ability to use non-player models.
Furiously
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Reply #3 on: April 10, 2009, 07:34:20 PM

Can you work on a mission
With someone?

Glazius
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Posts: 755


Reply #4 on: April 11, 2009, 12:01:42 AM

Can you work on a mission
With someone?

...must be something here I'm not getting, but missions are stored on your local hard drive in your CoH directory. Missions, CustomCritter, and Custom_VillainGroup directories, or something like that.

So if you wanted to collaborate with someone on writing a mission you'd have to send them the files outside the game.

But yes, it would be possible.
Glazius
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Posts: 755


Reply #5 on: April 13, 2009, 10:53:48 PM

Here's a sort of after-action report of me creating an arc, cribbed from my QT3 notes.

The Bravuran Jobs (5073), an arc that uses pretty much everything the mission architect has to offer.

Spoiler alert.

Mission 1: unlockable map, Mercy Island factory. (misc outdoor map pack) Contains an Escort detail in the back of the map. (from the group I created, more on them in mission 3) Pretty standard CoV-era stuff. Get in, find the guards on the escort, take them all out, lead the escort to the exit. An ambush spawns at the front of the map, right when the escort is rescued, to make the trip back eventful. Since the escort fights on the way out it's possible they can die - hostage-type escorts can be set to "non-combat" so as not to get dinged on the way out. The escort is the only detail required for mission completion - every map needs at least one - so if she dies the mission fails. The arc still has to continue either way though, sp the fail text needs to account for that.

Mission 2: unlockable map, small Croatoa ritual grounds. (croatoa map pack) Contains an Ally in the "front" of the map, four optional Captives scattered throughout the map, an optional Boss somewhere, and three Destructible Objects scattered around, that don't appear until you rescue the Ally. Allies work like fighting escorts, except you don't need to lead them anywhere or keep them alive - the detail is considered complete when you rescue them. Captives are your standard hostage rescue - KO the guards and tap them on the shoulder, they'll run for the exit automatically. The Boss is from a stock group, the Legacy Chain, and all I've done for him is add a custom name and some text for him to say when he gets whittled down in health. He and the Ally both drop clues for you, that persist in your Clues tab until the arc is over. Destructible Objects are just what they sound like. I picked the model and the animation for the guards around it, and threw in some text for them. If it would have made sense I could have the object say things as it was whittled down, same as the boss.

Mission 3: standard tech map, chosen from a random assortment of "medium" length ones. Contains a mandatory Boss at the back of the map, three Defendable Objects, and three Captives. The new detail here, the Defendable Object, spawns with enemies threatening it but not attacking it - yet - until you attack them. Once you defeat the enemies surrounding it, the object is considered defend it. All Defendable Objects automatically spawn in an ambush when they're first activated, as well.

The real new thing here is my custom enemy group, the Bravuran Militia. I picked primary and secondary powersets for each of them from pretty much the entire set of powers in the game, (aside from Poison and Traps) had three levels of power to pick from for each primary/secondary, and decided whether they preferred melee or ranged combat. The custom group contains three minions (Assault Rifle/Cold Domination, Fire Assault/Thermal Radiation, Broadsword/Kinetics), three lieutenants (Electric Assault/Thermal Radiation, Dual Blades/Sonic Resonance, Broadsword/Shield Defense), and two bosses (Mercenaries/Ice Manipulation, Fire Assault/Storm Summoning). There would be a Super Strength/Shield Defense minion and a Mercenaries/Cold Domination lieutenant, but I ran out of space for the arc and had to cut something out. Every bit of text you write, detail you place, and custom critter you assign eats into the 100KB allotted to the arc. Custom critters take about 7KB apiece, more if they have a lot of extras like shoulderpads and belts and capes and auras and brooches and and and. You get the full costume creator, including unlockable parts, to make your custom enemies, though you need to sink some skeeball tickets into unlocking costume parts.

Mission 4: CoV-palette Office map, randomly chosen from "Medium" length. Contains two Allies (one in the front, one in the back), two Collection goals (finally!), and a Boss that spawns in the front of the map when the collection is complete. Collections are the glowing things you click on. They can be wall-mounted or floor-mounted, and chosen from a modest variety of models. Unlike most other mission details, Collections have to be there at the start of the map - they can't be linked to other objective completion and spawn in later. My Collection consists of several identical objects to find - it counts down in the quick help at the top of the arc. You can actually link a bunch of disparate objects to the same counter, as I did with the optional Captives in mission 2 and Defendable Objects in mission 3, by giving them the same "plural" text. There are two Collections on this map tied to the same counter - one is a large number of objects but not required, one is a single object and required. Mostly I did this so that there'd be something in the back room with the ally to click on, so that you get both allies before the boss fight.

Mission 5: Unlockable bank map (bank maps pack). One Collection to grab, one Boss to fight, spawned by the collection. The mission's populated by the Bravuran Militia, and the Boss is Elite Boss class, Energy Manipulation/Energy Aura, and intended to be a tough go as both are set to Hard. This mission is timed (15 minutes - you can pick a time ranging from 5 minutes to 4 hours) and fails when time runs out - you have to grab the object and take out the boss within 15 minutes to complete the mission, which on the little short bank maps is pretty reasonable.

I pick the map. I pick the enemy group, whether it's stock in-game or one I designed, or a hybrid group that's a mix of both. I pick the objectives, roughly (front, middle, back) where they go, how numerous the guards are around them, and what kind of crazy monkey dance any and all of the above are doing. Any enemy group can guard an objective or be the boss, not just the primary enemy. Maps are limited in how many of each type of objective can fit on them - the Croatoa map, for example, doesn't have any slots for Collection items, so the journal I wanted you to find as a clue is on the optional boss. I write all the text - the interaction messages for the Collections, the boss taunts, the descriptions on my custom enemies and optionally bosses, hostages, targetable objects, etc. And of course everything the contact says, and all the clues, and the souvenir you get at the end.

I can't create my own maps. I can't direct my own cutscenes. I can't decide that one enemy in my custom group should show up twice as often as another. The maps use their own internal spawn points - I can't have, say, a giant line of my custom group doing a parade drill, they show up how the map calls for them. I can't specifically have a boss ambush show up in response to anything, the ambushes all use rank-and-file enemies, but I can trigger a boss to spawn in to fight.

Had a nice enough time with what I can do, though.
Glazius
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Posts: 755


Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 04:11:35 AM

And a fast followup from Positron:

Quote
By midnight on day one, we had over 2600 arcs, and exactly 24 hours after launch we were already at 3800 arcs. We did some data mining of our own, and 3,800 surpasses the amount of content that we, the developers, have made for all of City of Heroes and City of Villains combined. In just one day our users did more than we could in almost five years.

They just keep coming.
Nebu
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Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 06:57:23 AM

I wonder how many arcs that would be when you filter off the shitty ones. 

I've run through a few that a friend has made the other night.  While it did include a few little twists, the missions just struck me as more-of-the-same.  CoH really needs some new tilesets. 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
chargerrich
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Posts: 342


Reply #8 on: April 21, 2009, 07:08:50 AM

I played COH/V for about a year off and on...never got past level 40 (combination of altoholism and the grind that bored me to tears). I still really like the idea of the game and if the grind were not so WAR Tier 4 ish I would probably play again.

Most developers are learning that a long grind just hurts the game in the long run (OK Blizzard learned this). Has COV gotten any better in this regard? Are they planning anything along those lines?
Nebu
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Reply #9 on: April 21, 2009, 07:11:31 AM

Getting to 50 is a LOT faster than it was at/near release.  There's really no point to get to 50 in the game anyway.  Yes, you can build the perfect template and spend millions of INF on it, but that's about it. 

The beauty of CoH is in the character creation system, the fast-paced combat, and the travel powers.  I really enjoy playing toons from level 1-30.  After that, I usually reroll.  I did take a hero and a villain to 50, but only to unlock the new class archetypes.  They weren't worth the effort...

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Signe
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Muse.


Reply #10 on: April 21, 2009, 07:19:09 AM

I've been playing since beta off and on - almost to 39 month veteran reward thingy - and I agree.  I don't have a maxed out character.  I don't mind not taking my characters to the "end game" because there's not really anything there that makes it all that worthwhile.  1 to 30 or so really is about all I do, too.  I come back a couple times a year now but I never stay very long.  It's good fun and worth the month or so I play during a year, however.

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
chargerrich
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Reply #11 on: April 21, 2009, 08:19:13 AM

Getting to 50 is a LOT faster than it was at/near release.  There's really no point to get to 50 in the game anyway.  Yes, you can build the perfect template and spend millions of INF on it, but that's about it. 

The beauty of CoH is in the character creation system, the fast-paced combat, and the travel powers.  I really enjoy playing toons from level 1-30.  After that, I usually reroll.  I did take a hero and a villain to 50, but only to unlock the new class archetypes.  They weren't worth the effort...


Could not agree more Nebu... The character creation system in COH/V is bar none, hands down the greatest of any online (and 99% of single player) game every made. Still puzzled with all the accolodes the system received, why more MMOs did not adapt a deeper character generation system. I know the whole super hero thing adds to this, but nonetheless games launched after COH/V could have taken advantage of a deeper system.

I literally can build characters for hours on end.

Thanks for the update. I may just resub now! Can you quantify the amount of /played it would take to level to 50 now?
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Reply #12 on: April 21, 2009, 08:43:38 AM

There's a claim that with the MA system you can get to lvl 50 in 8.5 hours.

However, I'm more likely to believe that (if you grind it out) you could get to 50 in 50 hours, maybe 100 at a slower pace.

Glazius
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Reply #13 on: April 21, 2009, 08:44:12 AM

I played COH/V for about a year off and on...never got past level 40 (combination of altoholism and the grind that bored me to tears). I still really like the idea of the game and if the grind were not so WAR Tier 4 ish I would probably play again.

Most developers are learning that a long grind just hurts the game in the long run (OK Blizzard learned this). Has COV gotten any better in this regard? Are they planning anything along those lines?

This happened slightly over a year ago:

Quote
XP smoothing

Rewards from 13-20 and 25-50 got severely increased, to the tune of at least 20% bonuses to all XP/inf, cresting to 50% at certain levels.

Lieutenants are worth 50% more than previously. Bosses are worth at least 100% more, maybe even higher.

Debt was reduced by 20% as well.

And then with the last issue to come out they introduced Patrol XP, which builds up while you log off, 10% of a level per day. It works as I think a 50% boost to earned XP while it's in effect, and proactively pays down debt. (also a slight buff to eg regen if you log in a hospital, tech salvage in a university, attack speed in a PVP zone, etc)

Alt around long enough and you'll never run out.

Though patrol XP and any of the other "day job" rewards that fire at mission complete don't seem to apply to architect missions. I guess half as a quiet incentive to go out into the big blue skybox and half because you can make MA missions that complete very fast indeed. (I played one arc which at one point spawned an extremely tough boss in a very small map packed with glowies that had a 1-second interaction time, and the idea was to click everything while dodging around his attacks.)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 08:47:46 AM by Glazius »
Glazius
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Reply #14 on: April 21, 2009, 09:03:19 AM

I've been playing since beta off and on - almost to 39 month veteran reward thingy - and I agree.  I don't have a maxed out character.  I don't mind not taking my characters to the "end game" because there's not really anything there that makes it all that worthwhile.  1 to 30 or so really is about all I do, too.  I come back a couple times a year now but I never stay very long.  It's good fun and worth the month or so I play during a year, however.

Welcome back again, Signe. Try my stuff! ...goes for anyone, really. I'll be glad to give you a little playback if and when you make some missions.

Quote from: chargerrich
Still puzzled with all the accolodes the system received, why more MMOs did not adapt a deeper character generation system. I know the whole super hero thing adds to this, but nonetheless games launched after COH/V could have taken advantage of a deeper system.

People like their gear to be a record of where they've been and what they've done. If you can make something you like straight out of the gate, that removes an incentive to gear up, maybe?

Also as far as powers go, CoH/V doesn't really do a lot with resistances/vulnerabilities to some damage type, so it's as alright to make a fire/fire/fire blaster (only fire damage) as it is to make, say, a mind/storm/ice controller (psychic, smashing, energy, and ice). It's also good with actually allowing crowd/positional control so those powers can show up in the mix and mean something. There isn't an endgame where the big bad has total resistance or big vulnerability, so you can specialize from word one and not run into problems.
chargerrich
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Posts: 342


Reply #15 on: April 21, 2009, 09:10:40 AM

Do you think no real and true end game in COH/V is why it never created a larger footprint?

I imagine some WoW type end game raiding might be fun with super heros!
Nebu
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Posts: 17044


Reply #16 on: April 21, 2009, 09:12:25 AM

No endgame and minimal loot has kept this game niche.  The combat is fun and fast and best, you feel like a hero almost immediately. 

I don't know any other explanation.  Everyone loves superheros. 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Signe
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Posts: 18742

Muse.


Reply #17 on: April 21, 2009, 09:18:31 AM

I saw you on last night, Glazius, and I was about to say hi but then my sister called and I forgot all about you until just now! 

So hi, then.

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Glazius
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Reply #18 on: April 21, 2009, 11:05:37 AM

Do you think no real and true end game in COH/V is why it never created a larger footprint?

I imagine some WoW type end game raiding might be fun with super heros!

See my earlier point about varied archetypes and capabilities. There are some things a given build will never be able to do, or at least never be able to do well. In the majority of the game this doesn't matter, but if you put in a raid boss with specific weaknesses or requirements you risk cutting certain characters out of the endgame entirely by virtue of the combo they chose at character creation.

And if you don't put in a raid boss with specific weaknesses or requirements, how's that much different from the rest of the game?

So what needs to happen is a "raid" with buttons that anyone can push, for lack of a better term.

And, well, there are several occasions where "end game"-type raids can happen. Heroes and villains can raid the Hamidon, or the Rikti mothership in the warzone - both of these are accessible in public zones and generally offer decent but not game-breaking rewards. Hamidon offers the hamidon enhancement, a 33% boost to various facets of a power, and the mothership offers a ton of Vanguard merits, which can be cashed in for a sweet costume, boosted salvage capacity, or various interesting temp powers.

"Trial"-type missions with unique wrinkles can also be found heroside or villainside -- while villains notionally only get their respec trials the capper to various task forces often works as a "trial" villainside.

Periodically there'll also be a "reverse raid", where enemies invade city zones in mass numbers, scaling as the opposing force, with badge credit and costume bits/temp powers for participation, especially as part of a force big enough to spawn huge challenges. This happens with Rikti periodically and zombies... well, it was supposed to be only around Halloween, but there are enough Halloween salvage pieces floating around for them to spawn all through the year, since cashing them in has a chance of triggering the invasion.

Only a modest amount of the playerbase participates in the public trials. Reverse raids are hit and miss. No clue how many people do instanced trials/taskforces, but it isn't a lot.

I think it has to do with one of the lures of CoH - you can pretty much always progress a character on your own terms. Why bother with setting aside a large time commitment and putting up with the hassle of coordination when you can plink away at your own pace?
Glazius
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Reply #19 on: April 22, 2009, 06:16:56 AM

I saw you on last night, Glazius, and I was about to say hi but then my sister called and I forgot all about you until just now! 

So hi, then.

Hi, Signe! "Batnet" still exists, but is anyone on it?
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Reply #20 on: April 22, 2009, 10:11:04 PM

I am.

All by myself.

Kageru
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Reply #21 on: April 23, 2009, 05:40:42 AM


Actually the loot system in CoH isn't bad now. You start getting loot early, can craft more loot that's an upgrade and building the perfect outfit takes an awful lot of effort. However because they're all enhancements of the core powers they don't break the game balance too much. At least I believe that to be the case, I've never got a character to high level either, that's my goal with this resub. That an exploring what the end-game actually ended up being.

Some of the power combo's are still intriguing.. and some of the new ones like pain domination, shields, dual swords are interesting as power sets and in their animations. It would be really nice to see a good sequel of this game with the good parts of the mechanics retained and some of the lessons learnt or wishlist items implemented.

Is a man not entitled to the hurf of his durf?
- Simond
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