Good morning! When we announced Issue 13: Architect a couple weeks back, we were overwhelmed by the positive response. Much of the feedback was centered around the Mission Architect system which allows players to create their own missions and story arcs. We have been actively following forum threads and private messages about the feature, and have even discussed it with players in person at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle.
It became apparent that you guys really want this feature, but in order to fully realize your dreams of writing your own missions you need creative control in one more key area: The ability to create “customized” characters to fight with or against in your missions. Adding custom characters has always been on our Mission Architect feature list, but we had considered it a “stretch goal.” That is, we could launch the system without this feature because our confidence was high that the rest of the system was incredibly robust.
But after listening to you guys, we realize that this feature simply must be in at launch. You have convinced us that it is an integral part of the Mission Architect, and we have reworked schedules and timelines to accomplish this. Rather than push the launch of Issue 13 out completely for one (albeit really cool and very complex) feature, the Mission Architect is going to see a slight delay. What is not going to be delayed is the rest of Issue 13. To that end, the previously announced feature set for Issue 13, together with new features that we are announcing today, will become Issue 13 and Issue 14.
Issue 14 will take on the name “Architect” and contain the Mission Architect feature along with other features we’ll announce at a later date. We are planning Issue 14: Architect to be released Winter of 2009. Issue 13 is now called “Issue 13: Power and Responsibility” and be launched in the Fall of 2008.
Issue 13: Power and Responsibility
Issue 13: Power and Responsibility will contain the bulk of features we’ve announced previously, including:
In addition, we have some other new exciting features to reveal that will be included in Issue 13: Power and Responsibility. These include:
Over the coming weeks we’ll be providing more details about the above points, but let me give you an overview of some of them now.
The Leveling Pact: A new innovation to MMOs, this groundbreaking system allows you and a buddy to create new characters and have your XP be permanently in sync, whether both characters are online or not. You will always be the same level, even if your buddy plays ten times more often than you do! It’s sort of like “Extreme Sidekicking.”
Multi-Builds: Another innovation to City of Heroes, we are delivering the ability to have two different build-outs of each character, including which powers are selected and which Enhancements are slotted. This will now be possible for characters who want to take advantage of it. By visiting any Trainer you can switch the entire build of your character to an alternate one. You can use this separate build for whatever you like. If you wish to use different power selections for soloing and groups, you can do that. This even makes it possible to have different IO sets slotted for PVP and PVE. It’s up to you.
PvE and PvP Powers Rebalancing: Floyd “Castle” Grubb and the powers designers have been hard at work in finding ways to strike a better balance between the many powers in the game. The scope of what they are doing is too broad to go into details here, but we’re very excited and we’ll share more information soon. Suffice it to say that we know that you don’t want your PvE powers adjusted because of how they play in PvP, so we’re taking a new tact in power balancing with Issue 13.
Issue 13 was so big we had to turn it into two releases, Issue 13: Power and Responsibility and Issue 14: Architect. Issue 13 will be going into beta soon and launching this Fall. It will include most of the previously announced features of Issue 13, and then some. Issue 14: Architect will include the full-featured Mission Architect and is scheduled to launch to the live servers in Q1, 2009. I am really looking forward to getting Issue 13 into your hands as soon as possible, and starting off a kick-ass 2009 with the release of Mission Architect.