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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
System Req: PC Mac | Out of date info? Let us know!

City of Heroes Interviews: Freedom Interview with Brian Clayton

By Garrett Fuller on July 01, 2011

MMORPG.com:

Give us a rundown of Freedom. What steps did you take to get the game ready for the changes?

Brian Clayton:

We reorganized the studio into strike teams, improved our project management process, and empowered our teams. This more agile structure allowed us to better work on multiple initiatives in parallel, from developing three issues simultaneously to embracing insanely quick iteration times (such as releasing three of our best-selling booster packs in less than a year) to optimizing the heck out of our servers.

We’ve spent well over a year optimizing our software and beefing up our hardware to handle the new load, even adding a new server. We also made sweeping improvements to the way players access the game by enabling first-time player to be in the game in less than five minutes.

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MMORPG.com:

Can you give us some insight into the Paragon Rewards Program? What can players expect?

Brian Clayton:

The Paragon Rewards Program is a major expansion to our existing Veteran Rewards program. In the current Veteran Rewards program, players get receive new in-game items and services every three months. Players are rewarded for their time.

With the new Paragon Rewards Program, players are able to still unlock all of those existing items (including veteran badges), only now they can unlock even more items on a monthly basis. Players are also still rewarded for time while being given the choice to choose between rewards. In addition, the Paragon Rewards Program has some amazing new items. While many of which are exclusive to the program itself, both Free and VIP Players alike can benefit from it.

Stay tuned as we release more detailed information in the weeks to come!

MMORPG.com:

How can players spend their Paragon Points? What items and services will be available?

Brian Clayton:

Paragon Points can be spent at the new in-game store called the Paragon Market. Players can use Paragon Points to buy all sorts of great stuff like costumes, powers, server transfers, a slew of cool new consumable items and much more. For example, players will be able to purchase server transfers for 800 Paragon Points, or the Magic Costume Set for 400 Paragon Points. These prices are still being adjusted with feedback from our closed beta testers.

MMORPG.com:

Tell us about Issue 21: Convergence. There seems to be a lot coming up for veteran players.

Brian Clayton:

Issue 21: Convergence is dedicated to our fans that have supported us over the years. Our fantastic development team has been tirelessly creating the best content that Paragon Studios has ever made, to provide our fanbase with this great new content. Here’s an overview of the key features:

  • Two new costume sets—IDF and Defense. The IDF set is a high-tech, armored set, while the Defense set is a streamlined, form-fitting costume set.
  • A new Power Set called Time Manipulation. This will allow Controller, Corrupters and Masterminds to use time to create a variety of unique offensive and defensive effects.
  • An all new zone called First Ward, which will be one of the largest and most ambitious zones we’ve ever created for City of Heroes.
MMORPG.com:

What is the background of the First Ward zone?

Brian Clayton:

First Ward is a new zone in Praetoria for players who are level 20-25. This is where Emperor Cole, the ruler of Praetoria, first tried to establish his empire. But he ran into some major opposition along the way who ended up running him out of First Ward…..and they’re still there. First Ward is going to be a dangerous, exciting zone with some truly epic zone events that will make even veteran players stop in their tracks.

MMORPG.com:

When can players see the new content? Will there be a trial or Beta test?

Brian Clayton:

We actually kicked-off a very limited closed beta with the announcement on June 21. The response from our beta testers so far has been ecstatic, to say the least. Players have been blown away by the new tutorial and the new Atlas Park. And, that’s before they’ve even had the chance to try out the new Power Sets and missions. Our development team really hit this one out of the park!

MMORPG.com:

Speaking of Trials, can you give us some info on the Underground Incarnate Trial?

Brian Clayton:

Sure, the Underground Incarnate Trial is a new level 50 raid for up to 24 players. The Devouring Earth, one of the enemy groups that our players are familiar with, has been hiding under the streets of Praetoria. The players have finally discovered their secret lair, and are going to take a dangerous journey into the most exotic and mysterious realm players have ever seen in City of Heroes. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen in City of Heroes, or even in most MMO’s. And if players manage to survive to the end, they’re going to face off against a deadly new giant monster, the Avatar of Hamidon.

MMORPG.com:

How can players who join into the Freedom program get involved in the deeper levels of the game?

Brian Clayton:

On launch day players can dive quickly into the game, thanks to the new Quick Downloader and Freedom tutorial. New players will start out in co-op zone, the ruins of Galaxy City, which used to be one of the starting zones for Heroes. A devastating meteor strike has decimated the city, and our players were caught in the aftermath. So they need to fight to get out of Galaxy City alive. During this struggle, they’re going to determine for themselves if they’re going to be a Hero or Villain, as they make a moral choice that’ll affect the course of their game. And that’s just in the first 10 minutes of gameplay.

We have a completely redesigned new user experience where we’ll continue to guide the player on their journey and help them to learn more about the game and the City of Heroes world.

MMORPG.com:

What do you have planned for the coming months after Issue 21 and Freedom?

Brian Clayton:

We’ll be announcing more of those details over the coming months, but suffice to say, we’re very committed to providing more free Issue updates. We’re also going to be providing monthly content updates in the form of our new Signature Story Arcs, which will let players fight side-by-side with the signature Heroes and Villains of City of Heroes to permanently change the world they know. We’ll also be introducing new items in the store every month and continue to provide great seasonal in-game events.

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