News & Updates

08/29/2015 - Friday Update #143

This week, we’ve found the reason for the PvP flagging problem and fixed it – NPCs are now no longer affected by the player’s PvP status flag, and can target and hit them weather they’re flagged for PvP or not – but we’ve ran into another one, where players who aren’t flagged for PvP can still target and hit other players who are flagged for PvP, so this will obviously need to be fixed before we do any further work on the PvP flagging concept.

We’ve also done some design work on our base system, with the focus mostly on how best to implement it in a way that doesn’t end up with abandoned base cluttering up the database.
‘City of Heroes’ did this by restricting Supergroup creation to level 10, so that players had to have put in some time before unlocking bases, so that players who’d only gotten out of the tutorial and might not really play the game much more after that weren’t able to add to the database and fill it up with what would be permanently abandoned bases.

The problem with this is that it doesn’t allow supergroup creation right from the start, which goes against our goal of making the game as social as possible, which would include letting players set up a supergroup right away. While we could just allow supergroups to be formed right away, and still restrict base building to a later point, that does bring up the issue of what exactly the purpose of a supergroup without a base would be – would it just be a form of friends list with an additional group name about the members’ heads?

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team

08/22/2015 - Friday Update #142

This week, we’ve been doing some basic design work on the best way to implement the art for the character creation area, and what style to use – the general approach that we’re taking to character creation, especially the origin system, makes our design somewhat unusual among online games, and even offline ones too, so we have no clear template that we can follow that covers every stage of the character creation system.

The character creation system in ‘City of Heroes’ is of course still our main guide, but even its flexibility doesn’t cover all of the things that we’re building into our own character creation system, so we’re having to do quite a bit of trial and error design work to try and find the set up that presents what we’re trying to do in the most logical and intuitive way for the players.

We’ve also encountered an interesting – and unwelcome - side effect of the test PvP flag – it’s also affecting if NPCs can hit the player or not, depending on if the player is flagged for PvP or not. We’re not totally sure of what the reason behind this could be, but we have a few ideas, and will be investigating ways to fix it.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team

08/15/2015 - Friday Update #141

This week, we’ve done some basic design work on the best way to implement a reputation system – the reputation of characters plays quite an important role in comics, so it’s something that a comic book game should be looking to have in some form.
‘City of Heroes’ didn’t really have a reputation system, although it did use the concept of reputation as an explanation for a couple of its other systems – the first use was to partly got around the problem of money in comic book game when money isn’t really a key element in comics by presenting money as a form of your character’s reputation in shape of Influence/Infamy.
The second use was with progression levels being presented as your character’s Security Level or Threat Level, as an attempt to explain level gated content in terms of your character’s reputation with the authorities.

When it comes to implementing an actual reputation system, we obviously want to avoid the standard MMO approach to reputation, which is simply to make it a mindless grinding time sink, with the focus only really on numbers and stats, rather than the deeper story implications of your character’s reputation in the game world, which is the kind thing that we’re looking at for our system.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team

08/08/2015 - Friday Update #140

This week, we’ve been doing some coding work to test out the basic way that buffs and debuffs should work, both as permanent ones in the form of toggles, and as temporary ones on a timer.
Buffs/debuffs are an especially important element to test early on, as unlike other power types, such as instant effect ones that last a second or less, the fact that they either run permanently as toggles or are on timers means that the power requires constant checking verification to let the game know that it’s active, and how much longer it has to run, and the relevant effects to apply to those affected by it, which adds a lot more extra calculations for the engine to handle than an instant effect power.

The exact amount of checks and verifications can vary a lot, as the number of enemies being affected by buffs/debuffs has a wide range, and on top of that, the number of players on the team will also greatly affect it, so we need a system that can handle anything from one active toggle/timed buff or debuff, up to several dozen running together, while at the same time keeping the amount of checks and verifications at an acceptable level in regards to avoiding any performance problems that could result from the amount of data being handled at once, such as delays in the activation of a buff/debuff or the application of its effects.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team

07/31/2015 - Friday Update #139

This week, we’ve been adding more to the chat system – and as there are a lot of smaller additions, this week we’ll put them into a list form:

• Zone and world chat now work with the Tells function - /Tell [player name]; and with the reply [backspace] function.

• Add chat tab and delete chat tab functions are now working
• Custom chat tab names are now working, along with tab repositioning on the chat window.

• Time stamps are now working for all chat messages.

• A basic profanity filter is now up and running for all chat channels.

• Resizing and repositioning the chat window now permanently saves between play sessions.

• A functioning friends list is now part of the chat system, along with the ability to add and remove players from it.

We’ve also done some basic work on PvP flagging, so that players can set themselves to be available or unavailable for PvP. This is more of a test concept for now rather than a system, as the planned single server environment means that there’s no way that we will ever implement a PvP flagging system unless it can be made to be something that can’t be used for griefing other players, either verbally or visually.
But as the game will include PvP in some form, such as arena fights, it’s only sensible for us to explore the various ways that PvP could be handled, so that we can set the game up for it in a flexible way, rather than trying to force it into the game as an afterthought.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team