Introducing Time Travel in the Tutorial

Developing the charatcer creation process in Heroes and Villains

Introducing Time Travel in the Tutorial

Unread postby Greyhawk » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:31 am

Building on my earlier idea of separate tutorial openings for each origin, and incorporating the game world's knowledge of alternate Earths and Time Travel, I was thinking a tutorial sequence might open like this (this is all just random, naturally):

Player creates a character, choosing Magic as their origin
Primary Skill set is Ranged Fire Attack
Secondary Skill set is Healing/Buff/Debuff utility set
They receive one ranged fire attack and one AoE heal


The player finds their character in a temple. The walls are old, moss-covered stone, with worn tool marks still visible through the moss. The corners and edging feature interlocking Celtic knots, occasionally broken by stone torch holders carved in the shape of grinning gargoyles with hands and feet wrapped around the torches. An astute player notices the "feet" are simian hands. Obsidian eyes in the gargoyles reflect the burning torches.

A woman dressed in flowing robes of green silk covered in a pattern of interlocking bamboo stands in front of the player's new character. Grass grows at the woman's feet and a stream of bright green leaves follows the movements of her fan. Hands to her sides, the woman bows deeply, then stands, bringing her hands across her chest as she straightens. She taps the fan shut against her cheek and examines the player closely. She then opens the fan with a flick of her wrist, idling fanning as she speaks.

"Hello, PLAYER_NAME, I am Persephone, the high priestess of this temple. So you have passed your threshold and can wield the power of fire? A very great achievement, indeed. I wish we could accept you here at the temple for training, but alas, we have too many acolytes already. The resurgence of magic in recent years is quite overwhelming. It is as if the Mother herself is preparing us for some great cataclysm that none of our prophets can foresee."

The woman shrugs, idly closing her fan and letting her arms fall to her sides. She points at the player with her closed fan.

"You will be great. I can see that much already. But your path will be hard and will take you places you do not expect."

The woman points her fan to a door off to one side.

"That door will take you to Black Rose Park in the North Salem district of Titan City. You will meet a man there, a police detective with a penchant for magic. His name is Darren Underhill. If your dreams are heroic he is the one you who will start you on your path."

She points to a door on the other side.

"That door will take you to Memorial Park in the Westside district of Titan City. You will meet a woman there with a heart as black as a moonless night. Her name is Lilith Moonstone. If your dreams are self-serving she is the one you need to teach you the kind of power that corrupts everything it touches."

She then gestures to a door just behind her, the closest door to the player but requiring the player to walk around her.

"If cannot choose between the light and the dark, then perhaps this door would suit you better. It will take you to Helman Park in the Mount Pleasant district of Titan City. There you will meet a machine that looks and acts human, if only barely. The machine calls itself Michael. Micheal can teach the basics of almost anything, the downside being he is neither light nor dark. Like his dull metal skin, he is gray."

She smiles. Her smile is not warm, but secretive. She has not told you everything she knows and has no intention of doing so.

"Choose wisely."

The player chooses the door to Black Rose Park. The very first person they see is a worried looking man with his back to the player. His suit is dark blue, casual but businesslike, and his posture is oddly haggard, as if the weight of the entire world rests heavily on his broad shoulders. The player clicks on the man who turns to look at the player in surprise.

"Where did you come from?"

"Persephone sent me. They cannot accept me at the temple. There are too many acolytes."

He frowns. "So Persephone is now sending me her seconds, is she? I can feel the magic surging through you, but it is wild and untamed. It's going to take you a long time to master it. Are you sure you're up to it?"


"Well then, I suppose it is fortunate you arrived when you did."

He points up the street.

"About two blocks north of here a riot has broken out. A band of Marshmen has somehow found their way into town and is rampaging through a shopping district stealing food, clothes, anything else they can get their hands on. Some of them are superpowered, so watch yourself. Help the patrol officers on the scene by rounding up five or ten Marshmen. Try not to get yourself killed."

The player runs up the street and finds scattered Marshmen, some in pairs, some fighting with police officers, some harassing civilians, some breaking property. They defeat five of them, heal a couple of police officers and turn to head back to Darren Underhill when they are suddenly ambushed by ten or twelve Marshmen, one of whom immediately locks them down with a five second hold. Their life is falling, they fight back, they heal themselves, but they are clearly losing. When their life hits 30% a hero appears dressed in the same outfit but with the colors reversed. Observant players are shocked to notice the hero has the same face and body as their character. With a single high level fire burst, the newcomer defeats the entire ambush.

"No, your eyes are not deceiving you. I'm you and you're me. I had to come back here to defeat the leader of this little riot and retrieve a powerful magical icon he dug out of the swamp. Head on back to Darren, but don't tell him you saw me, okay? I was given strict instructions not to help, but when I saw the ambush I remembered the humiliation of failing at my first mission and I just couldn't let myself go through that again. As long as I'm here, take these. They will help make you stronger."

The newcomer gives the player two enhancements (or whatever the HaV equivalent is) then flies off to the north. The player returns to Darren Underhill.

"You're still alive? Good! Now hold on."

A light blue aura envelopes the player and disappears.

"Now you have a tracking spell on you that cannot be removed. If you are ever defeated it will alert the nearest medical facility and you'll be transported there for emergency care. Try not to rely on it, though. Sometimes it doesn't send you where you expect to go."

"Why didn't give that to me before you sent me up against the Marshmen?"

"I had to make sure you could hold your own. The medical establishments are kept busy enough tending to regular people. Having someone like us suddenly appear in the emergency room takes care away from the civilians we are supposed to be protecting. Don't be the hero that causes someone sick or injured to miss their surgery, okay? It's bad for the civilian and makes the rest of us look bad."

"Some people don't like heroes?"

"Some people hate everyone with superpowers. They think the only difference between the good guys and the bad guys is the bad guys get caught more often." He shrugs. "Sometimes I think they might be right."

"So what's next?"

He points to the south at a police car the player did not see before (because its presence was triggered by the arrival of their future self).

"Suzy over there will take you into town. Mystic Master will want to meet you. He handles the day to day tasking of inexperienced magic users. We'll meet up again after you've proven yourself a bit and mastered a few more spells."

The player runs over to Patrol Officer Suzy, clicks on her, and is taken to the main map.

Much later, at level 40 or so (assuming an upper limit of 50), the player is tasked with an individual mission requiring them to travel back in time and retrieve a magical travel icon from a Marshmen boss. As soon as they arrive on the instance map, they see themselves being ambushed and their first waypoint in the mission is rescue their low-level self.
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Re: Introducing Time Travel in the Tutorial

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:41 pm

Not bad. The only issue I have is that there is "again" some form of rioting/rampaging in the tutorial like there was in the original CoH tutorial. It's not a problem and I'm not against it, it's just . . . been done before.
I do like the setup and ending though. Does what is needed effectively.
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Re: Introducing Time Travel in the Tutorial

Unread postby Golden Girl » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:35 am

We have quite a few things being introduced in the tutorials - more than in CoH - and adding in time travel too might overload the amount of info that we're presenting the players with at that early stage.
An introduction to time travel would be more likely appear in the early post-tutorial story content instead.
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