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Paragon Studios
MMORPG | Genre:Super-Hero | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 04/27/04)  | Pub:NCSoft
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download,Retail | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:n/a
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City of Heroes Interviews: Going Rogue Launch Day Interview

By Garrett Fuller on August 17, 2010

MMORPG.com:

What is the biggest fundamental change with Going Rogue that players will experience?

Melissa Bianco:

Great question and it even partly answers itself. You can now change your alignment with our new Going Rogue system so Heroes can fall from grace into the churning pit of villainy and Villains can crawl out of that very same pit towards redemption as a Hero. I think players are going to really like this new feature because now their one character has the ability to see every part of the game. But because it’s not a mandatory feature, those Heroes or Villains who are true to their alignments can stay as they are and even be rewarded for it. So either way, it’s a big step for us and for the players. Very exciting!

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Matt Miller:

The game is veering away from the “Black and White, Good vs. Evil” gameplay that has been at its core since City of Villains was released. With Praetoria and the Going Rogue systems, things are very much more “Shades of Gray” in terms of morality and choices.

Jesse Caceres:

Matt hit the nail on the head. The biggest fundamental change with the launch of Going Rogue is that players will be able to switch their alignments from Hero to Villain, and Villain to Hero. Since the launch of City of Heroes and the launch of City of Villains, players have always wanted to cross the line between good and evil, and the Going Rogue expansion finally delivers that feature to our players.

David Nakayama:

Echoing what Melissa, Matt and Jesse have said, I think players will feel as if they’re personally taking part in an epic story where their decisions have major, real-world consequences. In GR, more than ever, Art and Design have worked really hard to tell a compelling overarching story that has dramatic weight and feels real.

And on the art side, just take a look and Praetoria, and what we were able to do with the new Ultra Mode graphics engine upgrade. It’s a completely redesigned experience at every level.

MMORPG.com:

Of all the achivements in Going Rogue which are you most proud of?

Matt Miller:

I love the “espionage” missions you can undertake in Praetoria, where you are undercover within an organization, get a mission from them and then call your handler and get an optional objective to do within the mission. Reminds me a lot of the TV show Alias, and I’ve never seen an MMO do anything like it before.

Melissa Bianco:

As a former World Designer, this’ll be an obvious answer. I’m most proud of Praetoria and all the zones that encompass it. It’s visually stunning, compelling from a lore and story perspective, innovative in its graphically upgraded assets, and I have been a strong part of it since I first sat down to create a (admittedly shoddy) sketch of how the initial landscape would fit together.

The Art team, Code Team, and all aspects of the Design Team (World, Powers, Missions, etc.) worked their hineys off for Praetoria and it shows what we, both as a studio and as a game, can do. We can kick some serious arsery is what we can do. If it’s not apparent, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done. I think we have changed the way people think of City of Heroes, because ten minutes in Praetoria will convince you that being a six-year-old game is a badge of honour, especially, when you can reinvent yourself and still have all that content to draw upon.

Jesse Caceres:

I’m extremely proud of the Going Rogue system itself. While players have expressed huge interest in changing their Heroes to Villains, or Villains to Heroes, we wanted to give players an ‘experience’ and not make the change a simple, unimportant switch. Players who want to embark on the road to redemption or who want to have their hero fall from grace have to embark on a moral journey where they must make hard decisions that changes their alignment. We wanted the experience to be memorable, and one that players would embrace. We feel that we achieved this goal with the Going Rogue expansion.

David Nakayama:

The art, of course! The world of Praetoria really comes to life thanks to a major graphical upgrade that includes ambient occlusion, real-time shadows, and reflectivity on characters and environments, among other features. Our crack Environment team’s been able to put all that extra horsepower to use, to the point where experiencing the new zones in Praetoria often feels like you’re playing an entirely new game. On top of that, I think players will enjoy all the little touches, like the Loyalist’s propaganda billboards and the Resistance graffiti, which really help to sell the story.

MMORPG.com:

How do you think players will react to the Moral Alignment System? Do you expect more “bad guy” style play to emerge?

Matt Miller:

: I think players will find themselves walking the line between good and evil, and really play whatever style play strikes their fancy at the given moment. With the Tip missions you receive as part of the Going Rogue system, you have a moral choice on how you want to play them out. You can really “go with your gut” with those and have a very immersive game play experience choosing actions that you would choose if it was a real-life situation.

Melissa Bianco:

: I think that players will react to the Moral Alignment System in all sorts of ways. I wouldn’t even dream of pinning them down to just one play style. There will be those who put weeks of time into creating a back story for their character to fall from the pinnacle of Hero into the mired world of Villainy. There will be those who do the exact opposite. There will probably be badgers who want to simply make the switch for the badges they can earn and then there are those who want to see what it’s like to play content in a unique archetype experience. And then there are those who may just not be interested at all. Those are the extremes. I fully expect to see a bunch of everything in the middle.

Jesse Caceres:

We will be monitoring the movement of players who move from Paragon City and the Rogue Isles post launch. We do anticipate that there will be many characters who will make the leap to the opposite alignment. At the end of the day, we’re an online role-playing game, and the Going Rogue Alignment System will allow players to role-play their characters in the alignment that they deem fit for their character. We anticipate that there will be many heroes who will become Vigilantes and become ‘dark’ heroes.

David Nakayama:

I expect that players will want to try all the different alignment choices, to see how the other half lives, so to speak. It opens up a lot of new gameplay possibilities, that’s for sure. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of new Vigilantes and Rogues at first, since that’s an entirely new way to play the game.

MMORPG.com:

City of Heroes has stood the test of time as an MMO, what does Going Rogue give to your hardcore audience?

Matt Miller:

We’ve done a lot to address some of the concerns our hardcore players had with GR. The Markets, Good and Evil, have been merged into one unified one, as well as Influence/Infamy (as well as the Praetorian Information) are one unified currency, so there’s no penalty for going to the other side.

Melissa Bianco:

First and foremost, Going Rogue, gives the hardcore audience a commitment to content. We’ve given them an entirely fresh play experience with the Praetorian zones so they are in those zones discovering with everyone else. That’s pretty exciting coming from a game as mature as we are. It also gives our hardcore players more tools to make their character’s experiences unique.

Jesse Caceres:

With the launch of the Going Rogue expansion, players will now be able to take their custom heroes and villains and switch alignments! Our hardcore audience will be drawn to Going Rogue because there are many rewards now available to their characters that were impossible or very difficult to obtain. Our hardcore players will be able to get more badges (which unlock Accolades that grant character stat buffs or temporary powers), and if they choose to re-affirm their alignment, they will be to obtain Hero and Villain merits. With Hero and Villain merits, those characters will be able to purchase purple-level recipes which will make their characters even more powerful!

City of Heroes has a robust, award-winning character creation system, a very powerful Mission Architect System (where players can craft their own stories and custom enemy groups), and now will have the Going Rogue System. Paragon is proud to be an innovate leader in the MMORPG space by once again giving players more options and freedom to play in a super powered universe in the way that ‘Players’ want to play!

David Nakayama:

A ton of new content! 7 new costume sets, 4 new power sets, 4 new zones, the GR system, lots of new badges, and so much more.

MMORPG.com:

What is next for City of Heroes in the coming months?

Matt Miller:

You’ll have to wait until PAX Prime for our announcement of some of the contents of the next Issue.

Melissa Bianco:

We’ve created a beautiful world that is Praetoria and I want to support that. We’ve also promised more content, so it’s been a personal goal of mine to keep that momentum flowing, we’re simultaneously working on short-term and long-term Issues so that we can continue to support features we introduce. We have Boosters and Super Boosters coming out and, of course, Matt Miller’s baby – End Game. So just because this Expansion is out the door, we haven’t slowed down, we’re still as busy as ever.

David Nakayama:

We’re already hard at work on our next big initiatives, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. :)

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