Home > City of Heroes > Death Incarnate announced – Issue 22

Death Incarnate announced – Issue 22

January 12, 2012

Paragon Studios have announced some information about the next content update for City of Heroes, Issue 22: Death Incarnate.

A major feature of this content update is a revamp of the zone Dark Astoria. Instead of being a low/mid level hazard zone on the hero side of the game, it now becomes an incarnate zone (level 50+) for both villains and heroes. The zone has not been used much in its current incarnation and players have asked for something more to be done with the zones for years.

This also means that incarnate-specific content goes from being pretty much league-sized only to cate for smaller teams and solo also, which is also something people have asked for – a quite welcome change I believe. However, I do worry a bit that the zone might be a bit like Cimerora when it was introduced – a number of rather generic missions and a task force. Remains to be seen what kind of mission content will be there. My guess is that it may be something in between Cimerora and Rikti War Zone (the latter with significantly more content than Cimerora).

A new low level trial is also introduced, for level 15+. Also some new low level mission content, which seems to be aiming at the teen levels, given the zones that get them (Cap au Diable and Steel Canyon). Probably a lot of players with characters in that level range, so makes sense to add some more there, even though there are other level ranges that would benefit perhaps more from additional content.

The Team-up Teleporter will be fixed so that you can queue up for a trial even when you are in an instanced mission. This was not possible before, which kind of made the tool close to useless – unless there would be a very short waiting time, no-one would be idle waiting for a queued trial to happen, which you would be forced to do if you cannot jump into other instances while waiting. Remains to be seen how this will affect player behaviour. I think it will definitely benefit the low level trials, at least.

Another item which I am a bit excited about are the new Darkness-oriented powersets for Dominators and Controllers – Darkness Control, Dark Assault and Darkness Affinity. I will definitely make another dominator once the issue goes live!

There are also some changes to Gravity Control powerset.   What is mentioned in the overview is not all that has been discussed and considered before, if these are the only changes then it is a bit … tame.

The changes to Stalker though looks more interesting though and should increase the already high damage dealt even more – stalkers are mainly single target focused though, so it is understandable that there is a boost to sort of compensate for the lack of area oriented powers.

Overall I say there is an interesting mix of new content and features and I look forward to try it out!

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Categories: City of Heroes
  1. Remianen
    January 13, 2012 at 18:47 | #1

    The new low level trial was designed for that range to improve the game’s stickiness. As a f2p, if you don’t ‘hook’ people at the beginning, it’s all too easy to lose them. Other level ranges don’t have that particular problem. Sure, the 30s could use more focused content but by the time a player gets to that range, they’re already invested in the game. As things stand now, a person could get to 15+ within the first play session (running the sewer trial 2-3 times gets you to 12 easy) but the 30s take a bit longer (still).

    I would agree with you that there are ranges that could use more content (focused content like Croatoa, not that shared crap like RWZ that covers half the game’s levels, just about). But those early levels are SO vital for retention with f2p games (see Lineage II’s revamp that basically rockets you into the ‘core’ of the game) that anything they can do to improve that range is with an eye toward improving retention. It’s shrewd, in my view.

    • January 13, 2012 at 20:10 | #2

      You are absolutely right and from a business perspective that makes a lot of sense. There is a good amount of decent content in the 20-30 range already, so further improvements for the lower levels will make it more likely to get people up to the 30s where they have fairly developed characters.

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