News & Updates

12/16/2017 - Friday Update #263


This week, we’ve been doing some more design work on the concept of superspeed, and how best to implement it in a multiplayer game.

The single biggest issue is the multiplayer aspect, as every player action has to by synchronized at all times, especially the rate at which the actions are performed - so while a single player game – or a solo-only mission within an MMO – could use a reasonably simple system of slowing down NPC actions and environmental VFX while speeding up the player’s actions to create a pretty good sense of a character using superspeed, this isn’t really a solution in a multiplayer game,

For example, by slowing down NPCs and other moving objects by 50%, a player with superspeed would appear to be moving through a slow-motion world, which would be a good simulation of the a speedster in action as long as they were alone – but when other players are present, they would hardly be likely to appreciate their characters also moving at 50% less than normal speed just to maintain the effect for the player with super speed.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


12/09/2017 - Friday Update #262


This week, we’ve been doing some more design work on the best way to solve the problem of out-leveled street mobs that was present in ‘City of Heroes’, especially the way that the game mechanics created a clear contradiction to the narrative of a character’s career – specifically, the more powerful that a character became, the less likely it was the street mobs were to pay them any attention.

On the one hand, it was a method of showing players their character’s progress, but on the other hand, it also undermined that sense of progression by reducing the reaction of the world to the player, which goes against one of our main aims of keeping the world engaging throughout a player’s career.

But at the same time, this also brings up an issue of rewards and balance – if an offers only a token threat, the reward for defeating them would also need to be token – but if it’s too low, it would lead to the same situation as in CoH where players simply ignored street mobs after a certain point, even though it goes completely against the kind of actions that would be expected from a superhero.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


12/01/2017 - Friday Update #261


This week, we’ve been continuing with our design work for our hero NPCs, still focusing on making changes to the way that the signature heroes were handled in ‘City of Heroes’, looking at ways to add in a variety of options for a much greater amount of interaction between them and the players, if players choose to use it.

This will help to not only flesh out the characters more and make them seem less like mission and level up terminals but also show them to be at the same level as the players, and not superior or distant from them.
The greater number of more interactive NPCs is also required on technical grounds because of the game’s much more intricate storytelling system, with its branching dialogue trees and multiple path mission structure compared to what was used in CoH.

And from an in-game perspective, having much more active NPC heroes removes one of the flaws from the signature heroes in CoH which undermined their heroism – the lore in CoH presented them as the survivors of the Rikti invasion, but then had them go into semi-retirement straight after the war, letting a new generation of heroes – the players - take their place in the fight against crime, making it seem like the most experience heroes were stepping back at the very time the city needed them the most – which was made worse by the way that the game presented all of the players as being rookie heroes.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


12/01/2017 - Art Update 11/30/2017


To mark the anniversary of the closure of 'City of Heroes', we have a small art update featuring the in game models of a few more of our NPCs, starting with the veteran street hero Watchdog, a member of the Paragons supergroup:

Watchdog.jpg



The villain Gorth, the leader of the Lost World Reptoids, the twisted hybrids of humans and dinosaurs created by Lord Sorcero’s blend of science and dark magic:

Gorth.jpg



The heroine Sigrune, also known as Shield Maiden, a Valkyrie and a member of the Legion supergroup:

Shield Maiden.jpg


11/24/2017 - Friday Update #260


This week, we’ve been continuing with our design work for our hero NPCs, still focusing on correcting some of the issues that came up in ‘City of Heroes’ in regards to how they handled their signature heroes.

Apart from their inconsistent power levels, another big problem with the signature heroes in CoH was how relatively few of them there were – the intention was obviously to make sure that the players were – correctly – the center of attention – but the rarity of the signature heroes made them seem special and apart from the players, rather than just being on the same level as them.

This wasn’t helped by the lack of interaction between them and the players - which was again meant to make sure that the players were the focus, but had the effect of enhancing the feeling of exclusivity around the signature heroes, especially when the signature hero teams had a fixed number of members, with players never able to join them until late in the game’s life.

Our solution to this problem is to have a much larger cast of NPC heroes, but with a power level that doesn’t exceed anything that a player can reach, and for the various major NPC teams such as the Legion, the Paragons and the Nightwatch to have a flexible number of members, so that if players have characters that they would like to have join them, they can, without the lore contradicting it.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team