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Paragon Studios
MMORPG | Genre:Super-Hero | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 04/27/04)  | Pub:NCSoft
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City of Heroes: Issue 13 Changes Interview

Today, we learned that Issue 13: Architect had been re-named Issue 13: Power and Responsibility due to the fact that the much anticipated Mission Architect system had to be pushed back to Issue 14 and has been replaced by a number of new features. In this interview, Brian Clayton (Executive Producer) and Matt Miller (Lead Designer) answer a few of our questions.

MMORPG.com:

Are you at all concerned that making an announcement of this magnitude this late in the game is going to turn off some players in this time when developer transparency is so important to players?

Brian Clayton:

I expect that adding more features to Issue 13 and releasing it earlier than anticipated will be well received by our player base. With Issue 14’s focus now on our Mission Architect system, we’re able to introduce a more full-featured experience and better accommodate player feedback for this ground-breaking mechanic.

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MMORPG.com:

Were you concerned that releasing the Mission Architect feature without the ability to create custom baddies would put people off of the system?

Brian Clayton:

No. However, unparalleled character customization is a hallmark of the City of Heroes franchise and after the great response we got from our community, we decided that it was worth the extra time to allow our players this level of character customization within the Mission Architect system. Really, it will only make this feature more compelling.

MMORPG.com:

Are you concerned that even with the added functionality that the Architect system won’t live up to some players’ expectations?


Brian Clayton:

I believe the majority of our players will be thrilled with Mission Architect v1.0. I think it’s OK for “some players” to want more, as our team definitely has a long-term plan to grow this system and exceed expectations.

MMORPG.com:

You mention the PvE and PvP Power Rebalancing. I’m curious as to whether this means that players will have to get used to different rules for specific powers depending on whether I’m in PvE or PvP?

Matt Miller:

Our powers team is only rebalancing the most “over-powered” powers and these balance changes only take effect in PvP enabled zones. These changes will not affect the PvE gameplay experience in any way.

MMORPG.com:

Are you concerned that offering players multiple builds of the same character will break the immersive feeling (or the “reality”) of the game.

Matt Miller:

Absolutely not. In comic books characters have different powers all the time from one writer to the next. Off the top of my head I can think of several characters who have had powers in one issue that they seemingly “forgot” about a couple years later when it could have saved their bacon. Tech and Magic Origin characters also have the easiest time explaining different “load-outs” or spell preparations.

MMORPG.com:

With two separate builds, will you have to outfit both builds separately with Enhancements? Won’t this end up increasing your costs?

Matt Miller:

Yes & Yes. This feature has been heavily requested by our player base and we’re excited to be the first MMO to make this feature available. That said if you are worried about your Inf. being drained by this, the system, like many others we have added, is completely optional. If you have never found yourself asking for a different, situational build then you don’t need to worry about this feature at all.

MMORPG.com:

Will I still be able to make small changes via re-spec or will I have to use my second build to accomplish this?

Matt Miller:

Re-specs function as they always have, you just choose which build you are applying it to.

MMORPG.com:

In terms of the Leveling Pact, does this mean that if I’m playing and my friend isn’t, that his character will level up with mine?

Matt Miller:

Levelling Pacts are the next major evolution in side-kicking within City of Heroes. Essentially, every point of XP is equally shared between participants regardless of online status. This enables online friends to keep their XP in synch no matter their gaming schedules.

MMORPG.com:

Doesn’t this create a system ripe for abuse from Power Leveling services and the like?

Matt Miller:

By putting this ability directly in the hands of our players, we believe it will diminish the desire for players to use external power-levelling services. You don’t need to hand over your account info to a complete stranger, and you can also play your character whenever YOU want to, while at the same time staying equal in level to a friend who is playing more often than you are.


MMORPG.com:

Is there anything that these questions didn’t touch on that you would like to mention?

Matt Miller:

Yeah, I’d like to mention the reasoning behind the name for Issue 13: Power and Responsibility. First off, it’s a great comic-book line, and one of Stan Lee’s most famous pieces of dialog “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Second, we are putting a lot of power into the players’ hands, with new powersets, Merit rewards, and the Levelling Pact, and then there is the new Day Jobs, which speaks to your character’s offline “responsibilities”.’

Then of course there is the cold hard fact that we at NC NorCal have a responsibility to the players to get the new systems that we have worked so long and hard on into City of Heroes. These babies are ready to go, and it would be irresponsible of us to hold them off until early 2009 just for the Mission Architect.

 

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