NCSoft has unveiled some more info about the next issue of City of Heroes/Villains, Issue 14 – Mission Architect.
While they do not allow to create custom maps, I am pretty excited about the options that will be provided. Not everything is new if you have followed news about Mission Architect before:
- Create your own custom villains and villain groups, selecting outfits and powers. This is a great features and will allow to create entirely new stories without staying the boundaries of existing groups and their stories. Although, City of Heroes/Villains probably have more different villain groups than most other MMOs to start with.
- Every one can have up to 3 published mission arcs. Each arc can contain up to 5 missions and and each mission can have up to 25 mission objectives that can be chained. Unpublished missions (i.e. work in progress) I have not seen a specific limit set for. And since you can invite friends and others to test your unpublished missions, the 3 published arc limit may not be bad.
- Regular xp and infmany/influence will be received from these missions and instead of enhancement/salvage/inspiration drops one will receive tickets that can be used to cash in for desired rewards. That sounds pretty much like the merit reward system that was introduced in Issue 13. This means that people can spend their whole superhero/supervillain career doing user-created missions if they want. As one that has mainly been playing on the red-side of the game (i.e. villain side) and being somewhat familiar with most the regular content there, I do look forward to other content with my favourite villains.
- Mission arcs can be rated 1-5 stars by the players and if an arc gets 1000+ votes at 5-star rating, the arc will go into the Hall of Fame. There is also a Developer’s Choice selection, where the arc will be introduced through the regular mission systems (although rewards will still be tickets). There will also be a third option for arc elevation, although that is still under wraps.
- Mission arcs will be globally available, across all servers and regions. This makes sense, it will need the global exposure to be successful IMHO. Unfortunately this will still only be the mission selection that is global, not that players can play with each other globally. Although I still hope that will be introduced at some point..
- Mission maps are not custom created, but selectable from a predefined set (hundreds) of mission maps. Technically I can see that might possibly be an issue, but perhaps in a future update.
- The FAQ does not mention spawning ambushes, so I suspect that will still not be part of the festures available. Too bad, but could also be overused.
- Not sure how much it will be possible to control some if the NPC actions. One example would be one of the missions from Sister Arliss, where one escorts a fortunata that gets into disguise as one of the sisters around the oracle in Cimerora. I would love if that kind of mechanics could be done, but remains to be seen.
- I am not quite sure how I like the ranking system yet. Where will new and unranked games be placed? In the bottom end where games with lots of low ratings, or somewhere in the middle, or will the be some separation based on number of votes?
I am really looking forward to this issue though, partly to play around with creating my own missions, but also to try out and play mission arcs created by others. While the core mechanics will be the same as before, this really has the potential to bring forward some quite fun and interesting content to the game. And even if some of the content will be crap or so-and-so, that can still be more interesting than playing through some of the regular content for the Xth time (where X may be in double digits…).