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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Endgame

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48 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/30/13
Posts: 17

4/04/13 12:17:01 AM#41

hmm if you're asking other people about their motivation for leveling, i think we got ourselves a problem xD


that's the developers job :D


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/17/09
Posts: 2

4/04/13 6:26:44 AM#42
I'll show my age and say I grew up with pen and paper RPGs. I really believe the best developers are the ones that still get into the old school of gaming, because they know how to create and tell stories, drop clues, and look for ways to give you those "gotcha" moments. A good theme park is one where you never truly find the end of the park. City of Heroes was good for that. Their "bible" went beyond existing game play and players knew it. That's what makes a good theme park, as you play through you can tell there's more to the story than the Developers are letting onto. (Just what did that boss mean when he said... right before dying.)  It makes you want to keep playing, just to see the next story line.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/08
Posts: 293

Love Gives You Courage
Being Loved Gives You Strength

4/04/13 3:00:41 PM#43
Matt Miller I was a longtime city of heroes player,
Is there any chance we will see CoH alive again I. The future?? Why won't they sell the rights cheaper, CoH was my MMO Home, me my brother and my cousin have tried tons of MMOs since the servers went down, but there will never be a game closer to our hearts than City of Heroes

Mystery Bounty


Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/13
Posts: 1

4/07/13 10:45:26 AM#44
"Zharre writes:

While I absolutely LOVE a good RPG, I have to say that I am absolutely sick and tired of being The Hero(ine) from day one level one in an MMO. So very, very sick and tired of it. Do I like becoming The Heroine? Hell yes. But I like to develop INTO that, because I deserve it, I've done all the myriad things that becoming The Heroine requires, amongst NPCs and other PCs, and not be crowned that simply because I logged in after I completed character creation."


Zharre hit th nail on the head for me with her post.  Why do all MMO's force you into the "you're the best darn Hero!"  or "You're the most evil Villain!" immediately after logging in?  I want an MMO that my character grows into.  When I do PnP gaming I don't make my players Gods immediately.  I am betting that you don't either Matt.

Personally I like a game that has a few bad guys that I can't kick their tails in when I go in the mission.  What I want at that point is a way to bypass the mission and get better so that I can go in and kick their tail at some point in the future.  That doesn't mean that I want ti die trying however.  Back when I was playing CoH a good example was the original first Antimatter mission.  You went in to beat him and he teleported away.  A few missions later after you  had usually leveled, you met up with him again and gave him what for.  Not to say that this mechanic is the correct one to use, but maybe the antagonist beats you senseless and you wake up later.  or maybe he just walks past you out the door.  Anyway that it happens it makes your character feel that they are not up to the job just yet.


On to your question about Sandbox or Theme Park.  I don't see why it has to be ether/or.  I thought that AE was a great idea, that could have been eve better if some of the missions been moved out of that setting into the "real" world.  There were some fantastic writers who didn't get the exposure that their work should have.  While there would have been howling about "my story wasn't picked", I feel that for the game overall letting some of the players write content and giving them access to a story arc system would have been a fantastic step forward for MMO's.


So do I like sandboxing?  In some cases yes, but don't box me in so much that I cannot make bad choices for my character or have options for content that I dislike. 


Do I want a total Theme Park?  Not really, but the Theme Park concept is a great diversion from normal content development and the strictures thereof.


Both have postives and negatives.  There isn't really any reason that we can't have both.


Ura Hero.



Novice Member

Joined: 11/16/12
Posts: 4

4/07/13 7:16:10 PM#45

I wish i could get to C2E2 to talk to you Matt but it's not in the cards right now.


Anyway to your question.

I thought CoH/CoV kind of brought the two styles together to some extent. There was plenty of story content there to be followed if you chose to use your contacts, or you could just hit the streets and defend the citizens, thus making your own stories as you went along. Then the Polics Scanner came along and while that could be considered a contact I used it as a basis for a character that was more or a less a police robot.

Since CoH shutdown I have been searching for another game to play and can't say I have found one that suits me. I play Wizard 101 simply because it has more options than other games and is more fun. It is not anywhere close to being a sandbox type game, but i believe you could advance your character just street fighting [so to speak].

I guess I'm looking for something that brings the two together in some fashion like I think CoH did by the time it shutdown.



Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/10
Posts: 492

"Yes...... that's a Duck Staff of D00M!!!"

4/07/13 7:24:16 PM#46
no matter which way you go, people will never be must play what you enjoy, not the masses.

....Being Banned from MMORPG's forums since 2010, for Trolling the Trolls!!!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/24/12
Posts: 2

4/08/13 2:00:53 AM#47

Heya Posi (if I can still call you that),

As usual with things you do, you got me thinking. So let me start with this:

There’s always a new skill to learn, so you are forever improving your character. I would be really interested to see if that system could attract a more mainstream audience attracted to a fantasy MMO. I know a lot of EVE’s engagement comes through the fact that it’s the ultimate sandbox. Developers set up the rules of the world and the players make the stories. I see this idea having some potential, and would watch the development of such a game closely.

In a lot of ways this also described the first iteration of Star Wars Galaxies, and it was a big part of the appeal and passion for me (and most of the friends I know who played). While the skill system ended up being about earning and spending the max possible points, the ways to combine those points was widely varied. Sure there were cookie cutter builds for the people that wanted to be the most combat effective, but for everyone else, you could mix and match effectiveness with flavor and utility and get really interesting characters. But to address this:

I mean I tried it when all my friends were playing, but I was so unguided that I felt like just another cog in a great machine. I didn’t feel like the hero

Sure if you wanted to swg could feel like jobs in space, but there were a lot of routes to being the hero as well. At least, if you were your own personal GM, you could easily feel like hopping in your starship and fighting for the Rebellion was a big hero moment. You're right though that EVE (from my limited experience) didn't tend to give players that option.

Your game was great in the number of different ways players could advance and feel like they were doing things, even if for the bulk of the lifespan of your game the tech wasn't there to let players feel like they were changing the world around them. I saw where you were headed with it, and I was looking forward to more.

SWG letting players change the world was indeed too open ended though. Player housing and towns were great, but player churn meant too many abandoned buildings spread across what had once been pristine adventuring and exploring areas.

CoH was an interesting midpoint between sandboxy and playing on rails. I guess as a sandbox fan, I'd say it only broke down in terms of having a smooth and painless way to "feel domestic" The concept of your crafting system was great, but the UI variations between personal storage, Auction house, banks, and base storage, as well as windows that only rarely remembered your preferences made it a chore. Costume design was a joy, but having no easy way to design costumes and still socialize frustrated a lot of people. Base design too was fun, but you had to jump through hoops to be able to socialize, and getting things done took a LOT of time.

CoH made up for a lot of that with the simple genius of the Sidekick Exemplar system. I'm still waiting for some other game to shamelessly rip that idea off whole cloth, because it solved so many problems, when it was done right. It felt genuinely good to level down and help someone, or level up with higher friends even when your lowbie couldnt contribute as much. If the ability to go back and do older missions had been a little more seamless (Ouroboros time travel was thematically fun and appropriate, but again, a tedious UI). Mission Architech was also overall another win for player control. It would have been more of a paragon (heh sorry) to the entire gaming world if not for social elements that were somewhat beyond a developer's control. Maybe if the cheating potential hadn't be quite as high in the early days, and maybe if the ability to sift grain from chaff had been a little more reliable, a larger social network would have built up around the system and our player community would have grown it a little more wisely. You guys broke ground on it though.

I guess what I'm saying is, there are ways to balance between the EVE experience and the riding on rails living someone else's cutscene gaming experience. Your game balanced on some, missed on others. Others missed on things you hit out of the park.

I still miss City of Heroes every day. I'm eagerly awaiting new games that take the lessons you guys taught us and deliver something even close to as much sustainable fun.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/30/10
Posts: 89

4/19/13 3:55:15 PM#48

Hey Matt,


Welcome to MMORPG, I saw they hired you but I got busy and missed your posts. I'm hoping to read through all of them today because I'm having a slow day.

About the Endgame Topic, It was interesting to hear your comments.  Here's my reply:


"For me the attraction to any endgame has always been friends...Because of this, I implemented an extremely social endgame for City of Heroes, the Incarnate system."


The minds of the developers and the minds of players are very different.


When I was playing COH during the incarnate trials, I found the trials brought out the worst in people. The trials were reasonable short (good move!) and so I hoped this would allow people to be flexible. Instead, I would see people trying to get that "perfect" team or become obssessed with their authority and boot people during trials for various reasons. Few people did open trials which I felt should have been used more in the spirit of the game.


As a player, my social needs was to play with other reasonable people (well-mannered, tolerant, supportive, etc.) for a good experience. I didn't feel the need to play with "My Friends." To me, this was a place I could go to and just be accepted. I'd played all the maps, had lots of badges, plenty of XP...the game was a release for me. The level 1-30 content was the underestimated gem of the game!


With that said, I had hardcore weekends where I played the game whole weekends. I could do this because I was single. I never had people with me the whole time so I had rolling teams. Some could only play an hour or so, some could play a half-day, etc. I worked with whatever came my way to enjoy myself. I played with young, old, females, male, even some who spoke different languages. I even allowed people who were in the hard levels(35-48) stay on to just collect XP even though they had other things to do.


With that said, I have not yet found an MMO that has replicated the arrangement of COH. Examples, SWTOR, the players are mostly hardcore/nasty and the game requires lots of bandwidth(100kbps) and a high level of dexterity because so much of the game is manual (drops, equipment repairs, etc.) for a reasonable experience but more bandwidth gives an advantage in this game. STO, is a soloist game...I don't care what anyone says. Space combat kills me!! ZZZZZZZZZZ! The ground missions in STO are so bad that one time I used a fire extinquisher to do combat! I heard that Eve is good but I won't return to the button mashing to move your ship in constant circular patterns. COH mopped up all of these games by keeping the core gaming principles in mind ( Easy to learn/play, automate as much as you can, and "better together" play). COH was the only MMO where I preferred team to solo...


"Exploration, on the other hand, is trickier. It’s the hardest to incentivize and reward, because of the internet....Yes, it was incredibly satisfying to figure out how to get to a holocron in Star Wars: The Old Republic without using a guide, but eventually players who wanted their character to have maxed out stats would resort to one of a dozen online walkthroughs or videos on how to get every holocron in the game, and the magic was gone. Although there are some holocrons that I swear I have no idea how anyone would have ever figured out how to get them, but kudos go to the brave explorers who first uncovered them and their secrets."


This comment surprised me. Players have only so much time online. I think you got this right with Leader/Player slider difficulty in COH. I was interested in exploring but I knew I might be coming back to the zone later so I wasn't trying to waste an afternoon by myself...


  • I want to fight enemies that are -1 to my level.
  • I want to fight enemies that are +0 to my level.
  • I want to fight enemies that are +1 to my level.
  • I want to fight enemies that are +2 to my level.
  • I want to fight enemies that are +3 to my level.
  • I want to fight enemies that are +4 to my level.
"Which appeals to you more as a player, Sandbox or Theme Park and why? Is there an element of the other that you don’t mind? Is there an element of the other that drives you away?"
It depends... when your new to a game, you want to see the skill of the developer team. I'll never forget my experiences learning COH, Half-Life 2+, ST: Elite Force, and ST: Elite Force 2...great and unforgettable moments in my life. But after I learned the environment, I wanted a chance to contribute. STO is leading in this area now with the Forge. They have decided they can't keep doing everything and are allowing the players to create content while they structurally repair the game(creating more factions and increasing game playability).  COH had the AE but it became abused! it could have been so much more...
"Costumes and Emotes are usually the worst selling microtransactions in any given game’s cash shop, when they sit side-by-side with power items that have an actual improvement on your character’s combat effectiveness."
My final comment. The COH Costume creator made me come back to the game. When my friend introduced me to the game, I almost quit because I hated spending so much time tuning my character's looks. But when I saw other characters and how cool they could look, I revisited, learned and bought the packs to give me the most options. I do not every regret spending the money on the costume kits. This was the price to pay to be a part of COH...the game was on a different level. This game was for the creative types! 
In contrast, SWTOR, has a costume tool that is decent, not remarkable can tell the level of the characters by their clothes...which is uncool! STO's tool is so bad, I hate looking at my character when I play. They have plenty of outfits but they give so few options to really make your characters UNIQUE! COH knocked this out of the park....$9.99 wasn't so bad quarterly or whenever to make a statement about your character.
This reinforced the fun. I got beatdown some times but I looked good!  


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