The forum users at the Ship of Heroes forum are an inquisitive folk, and we got together for a Question and Answer discussion on Discord. It was a lively group, and there were no softballs. This group was well versed in what was known about the game, and already knew the answers to the softball-type questions.
Q - What ideas for more unusual Augments is there? eg. 10% chance to add an immobilize to a power, or have a shadow clone repeat the move, or crazy stuff like that.
A - They won’t have this at release, but the dev team does like the idea. They just need time to see how the existing enhancement system works in-game. The possibility of making either enemies or allies intangible for a short time was also discussed.
Q - Will there be ongoing story lines that run from the start to the level cap? How important is a developing and ongoing story?
A - Definitely - story is one of things they consider very important.
I personally loved this question, which Consultant expanded on quite a bit. In City of Heroes Crey Industries was seen as a benevolent organization, helping heroes with their goals and quests. But as you leveled up, you got to see that Crey were not the Knights in Shining Armor corporation they seemed to be. This story developed from low levels all the way to the level cap. There are several storylines that will develop slowly and have some big surprises later. I cannot wait to see what is in store on the Justice along these lines!
Q - What form will day-jobs take?
A - They're basically a second source of missions. They'll all be themed around the job you pick, and will reveal back-story into the day-to-day functioning of the F.H.S. Justice. For example, if you pick engineering, you'll end up helping the ship's technicians with rooting out Prometheans as they have all sorts of back-doors built in to the ship (since their founder is the guy who built the ship in the first place), and learn more about that history and how the ship works. You will probably be able to change day-jobs, but doing so will likely sidekick you back down to the required level for the early missions.
Another thing that was mentioned later was that day jobs will have an effect on what you can craft. So getting more than one day job isn’t a bad idea! But you’ll need to work through a day-job to a stopping point before you can switch to a new one.
Q - How many villain groups are planned for release? How many do you have concrete ideas for currently?
A - 5-7, and 4, respectively. Yes, the ideas thread of villain groups will be mined for ideas to make up the difference, and there will probably be badges or other credit if your ideas are used. Go get suggesting.
Consultant said that they really wanted at least 6 distinct villain groups at release, although they could make do with five. Most if not all of these villain groups will be seen from low level to very high level.
On the forums the dev team solicited ideas for villain groups. They had some ideas, but were looking for what the future players could think of. I contributed several ideas in that thread, as did several others. We also received confirmation that the next villain group to be released would be mercenaries, along with the Lore to place them in the Ship of Heroes universe.
Q - Many of my friends are very unhappy with the name ‘Unobtainium’ for the ship fuel. This was expressed strongly on one Facebook page. Are you going to change it?
A - We are not going to change it at this time.
The people that are unhappy about the name are typically not on the game forums. The name ‘Unobtainium’ is used by chemists and nuclear physicists as a placeholder for an element, mineral or compound that has been predicted, but not yet proven as existing. I have a science background, and while I am not utterly enamored by the name, I see no problem with it. In a website poll it was the favorite name of all that were offered.
Q - For melee fighting characters, we have seen guns but would there be swords and other weapons at launch.
A - Swords have been shown in past videos, and he mentioned that they want to have a Spear set at release. Consultant also discussed he would like to see staff options in the future.
The discussion about melee weapons was pretty extensive. Consultant and his team don’t like extended hit boxes for weapons like short swords, where the weapon gets no more than 6 feet (2 meters) in front of you, but can hit a target that is 15 feet (5 meters) away! So they plan on having weapons have different aspects, and all melee weapons will have some form of ranged strike capability, such as a blaster bolt from the end of the spear. It is possible that short swords won’t have the melee range of a staff or spear, but will have much quicker activation and recycle on abilities to make up for that.
And yes, even though it was not shown in the CCT video, there will be a Super Strength powerset!
Q - What is a current projection for the list of power sets to be available at alpha testing?
A - Currently we have a total of six power sets with a plan for eight to be available at that phase of testing. One of the powers escapes my memory but we do have Fire, The Street Sweeper, Twin Blades, Energy Fists and Lightning Blast. We are working on a Dark Magic Blast set and have plans for an Ice Blast set. We are focusing on a number of the Devastator's sets first since they are more animation and FX intensive than the melee sets and we believe in tackling the harder tasks first.
Q - As it has been stated that the estimated time for PVP's release is roughly a year or so from launch. As balance is an important issue regarding PVP are the power sets being designed with that in regards or is their balance going to be more of an afterthought?
A - First, the balance for powers in PVP is definitely not an afterthought. We have a design document on that already written up. One thing I can tell you is a number of things we won't be doing. We will not be segregating PVP and PVE augments. We do not like the idea that you have to lose a thousand times before you can win one match. Another thing is that along with allowing 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 and 5v5 is that we will be putting the rules in the players hands. You will be allowed to changes the rules of the game. Like, say for example you bring a couple of friends over into the arena but you all decide to host a game where energy is unlimited. We like to give players that freedom.
THIS is something to get excited about! While most people will play this game for the PvE, when PvP releases (probably sometime in late 2020) I’ll look forward to this aspect! Did anyone play the AXEMAN mod on the Original Quake PvP servers? It made the basic attack, the axe, hit for 5X damage, making it the best weapon on those servers. I played on those all the time!
I can already see in global chat; “Starting a 5v5 with unlimited energy and zero G! PST for invite.” You can bet your sweet bippy I would be in on that!
I like the idea of the same augments for PvE and PvP. One thing that is very annoying about DCUO is that you have PvP gear and PvE gear, and they use separate defense mechanics. So if you take your uber leet PvE guy with tier 7 armor into a PvP server, don’t be surprised if you get two shotted by a guy with Tier 1-2 blue PvP gear.
PowerAce asked about different builds for the bosses such as a higher-level boss might have unexpected random abilities such as those from some of the powersets and the answer was yes they wish to give some uncertainty about the boss abilities especially when the difficultly slider is higher. So you might get a boss with a surprise ability. All villain groups will have their own builds and abilities that will be unique from other groups and players, although a lot of powers used by villain groups will be the same ones as players use, just like in all superhero games (CoH, CO and DCUO) Power Ace’s second question was around how many different costume choices are currently in the CCT. The answer was we have a lot of street clothes with other types of things to be added. I was really wondering about helmets as far as variety and or pieces we can add to them to make them unique. There are a ton of options when you figure in the variety of color schemes.
The dev team has costumes for the four signature heroes (with some alternative pieces) and one or two others ready. Combined with the civilian apparel there are a lot of combinations available.
Then came my question.
Q - In the PAX west presentation you said that the level cap would be at 20-30 to start. So there is a chance that the level cap will be higher than 20?
A - Yes. A level cap of 20 was not written in stone, but we guarantee that the cap will be at least 20. If things work out we may raise it to 25 or 30 at release. But don’t count on anything higher than 20 just yet! There will still only be one zone, Apotheosis City, even if the cap is higher than 20. The team has assured me that we could have content all the way to 50 in AC.
There were a lot of other questions, these were just the highlights. Do you have a few questions for the SoH dev team? Go register on their forums at www.shipofheroes.com/forum/ and ask your questions. They are not shy about answering. Sometimes the answer is no, but a lot of times the answer is that they love your idea and will very much consider it, maybe not at release, but in a future patch.
Over and over they dev team has said they are making this game for US, the players. They want something based on City of Heroes, but better. Join in the fun and watch this project literally come together in front of your eyes!