NCSoft/Paragon Studios has announced a second expansion for City of Heroes. Entitled “Going Rogue“, the expansion will examine the gray areas between good and evil and allow characters to change their morality through special missions. Through the morality system hero characters will be able to access areas formerly only available to villains, and vice versa.
The timing of this announcement seems a bit odd, considering that the CoH player base is in turmoil at the moment over the newly released Architect System in the game. To summarize what happened, a system was released in the game that allows players to create their own missions (quests) and release them to the public. When the system hit the live servers players attacked it like a fat kid attacks a cake and proceeded to create hordes of missions that exploited various bugs to create a power leveler’s farming paradise. The normal game basically came to a stand still and the only thing available to do was run bugged farming missions with names such as “Meow Mixxx 9.0!”.
I was personally playing CoH at the time and had to cancel my account over the whole thing. It neatly demonstrated that today’s multiplayer gamer will actively exploit any flaw in any game system to get ahead in any way possible. I mean, the game went from a laid back casual friendly atmosphere to an EXTREME HARDCORE FARMING BUILDS ONLY! grind fest literally overnight. It felt like I had logged on to a completely different game.
So, what makes the timing of the press release funny to me is that it is an obvious attempt to sweep their little blunder under the rug and show their players the next shiny new thing that they get to keep paying their money for. A Lead Designer from Paragon Studios event admits that there is “(admittedly) very little information we’ve released at this time” regarding the details of the actual expansion.
I’m glad that the developers learned from their mistakes here and are doing the right thing by banning exploiting players. I hope that other MMO developers are keeping an eye on this, because if they give an inch in their system their players will have no problem taking a mile from them.
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