City of Heroes

Superhero Powers Periodic Table

Thank you very much William Bittner for sharing the periodic table of Superhero Powers picture.

As a fan of and player of City of Heroes and Champions Online I spend a fair bit of time building superheros.  I have a lot of fun putting together various sets and combination of superhero powers.

If you were a Superhero what elements make up you?

(via Geekologie)

Champions Online: Pre-order Dilemma

champions-online-coverChampions Online is a month away from it's release and now comes the difficult decision which vendor to get the game from? The bonus items that come with the game can be very convenient for running a character especially at the earlier levels.  For instance I love the little jump pack that I got with my copy of City of Heroes.  Very helpful for moving over obstacles at the earlier levels before I get good travel powers.

I like that Champions is giving options over which bonus items a player wants to start with.  What I don't like is that I have to worry which vendor I purchase the game from.  Why make life more complicated then it already is?

  • Amazon.com:  three exclusive apparel options: harlequin headpiece, black knight helmet, grenade chest strap.  Five in-game micro-transaction dollars.  Get your Amazon copy of Champions Online here.
  • Gamestop:  Access to the Early Start weekend.  The Insectoid Airfoil costume piece and Experimental Anti-Graviton Generator flight travel power.
  • Wal-Mart:  an exclusive zone map.  Iron-on decal.  Ten in-game micro-transaction dollars
  • Best Buy:  Access to the Early Start weekend.  Lil' Champ pet.  A  functional damage resistance item. 

Though there are some differences between the packs they aren't as different when looked at closer.  The main choice is whether you want to play on the early start weekend or not?

Cryptic is good with their execution of micro-transactions.  For instance in City of Heroes with micro-transactions a player can purchase the bonus items that came with special purchased versions of the game or extra character slots (though each player gets a ton of slots per server) or character transfers, ect.

This means that I would not be surprised if players could not purchase the pet, damage resistance item, Experimental Anti-Graviton Generator, or special costume pieces.

(via Fidgit)

City of Heroes Goes Rogue with New Expansion Pack | NCsoft

I am excited to share the news that City of Heroes is going Rogue!

In the Going Rogue expansion, hero and villain characters will become immersed in the new parallel universe known as Praetoria, which is governed by Tyrant™, the evil incarnation of the game's main protagonist, Statesman™. As gamers search for Tyrant and the rest of his Praetorian guard, implacable foes and fierce resistance will arise to face them from all sides, causing heroes and villains alike to question their loyalties.

City of Heroes Going Rogue will introduce a new alignment system that helps players explore the shades of gray that lie between good and evil. For the first time, hero characters can become villains and vice versa, enabling hero archetypes to cross over to the Rogue Isles™ and villain archetypes to experience Paragon City™. Clearly marked missions, in addition to behaviors and decisions made by the player, will move a hero's or villain's moral compass, which could eventually change the hero's or villain's alignment. Going Rogue will also introduce two primary new fictional characters representative of this alignment shift in the game's lore: Maelstrom, a pistol-wielding hero gone rogue, and Desdemona, a demon-summoning villain who has been redeemed (NCsoft).

I can't wait to play a mastermind in Paragon City.  There are a lot of things we don't know:

  • When the expansion will be released
  • How much it will cost
  • How the are implementing the alignment system
  • Will there be 2 Paragon Cities and 2 Rogue Islands.
  • Will a rogue hero or villain at 50 unlock their respective epic classes or will they count toward their alignment?
  • Will rogues be locked in the parallel world or will they be able to cross over?

I hope to have annswers to those questions soon, but it sounds interesting.

Eben Brooks: The Ballad of Barry Allen

Eben Brooks delivers again with this great track and video.  There is something oddly funny about the story of Barry Allen (The Flash) told like this.

I especially appreciate the images for City of Heroes in the video.  I am an avid player, and I love the way he used the images to add drama to the video.

If you know of any other good Superhero or City of Heroes vids, leave them in the comments.  I would love to see them.

City of Heroes - I'm a Hero. I'm a Villain - Sidekick

This City of Heroes video is just too funny, but side kicks are one of the things that makes City of Heroes work so well.  It allows a low level character to run around with higher level character who by making the side kick one level lower than their mentor so long as they stay close to your mentor.  A brilliant idea every MMO should have.

City of Heroes: Captain Dynamic and the Mission Architect!

City of Heroes has started getting us excited about Issue 14, the Mission Architect which will allow players to create missions and storylines of their own and earn rewards based on the participation of other players.

You can read the early details here.  I cannot wait to play around with the Mission Architect.  I already have a bunch of ideas.

Felicia Day schools Jimmy Fallon on WoW

Felicia should get a check from Blizzard for all of the publicity she gives them for World of Warcraft.  Hell, if she ran an official The Guild Guild, I would probably buy the game and at least check it out.

Felicia’s reactions to Fallon are hilarious as she teaches him how to play WoW.

It did make me happy that I play City of Heroes when Fallon does the bit about his n00b travails.  I have heard that story from a lot of people, and had the same experience ages ago on Ultima Online.

If this is a fair example of the new Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, I might like the new show.

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Headlines for October 20th

Here are some quick headlines for October 20th:

The Rise of Wild Phoenix

screenshot_2008-09-03-02-34-19 screenshot_2008-07-22-23-52-06

Last night, I hit level 50 on City of Heroes with Wild Phoenix as did Brian’s Black Cniht.

Two things hit me really hard when I hit the top level:

  1. I did not get the same sense of accomplishment I have from other games.
  2. My love for the Character made me start wondering about the current state of intellectual property laws.

Sense of Accomplishment

While I love City of Heroes, my attachment is more to the character than too the game.  The amount of detail I was allowed to build into my toon connected me to the imagery and back story I associated with the character separate from the storyline and setting of the game.

At first, I thought this was a byproduct of the games setting.  It is not based on any of the major comic series that I was in love with an wanted to explore.  I never really fell in love with the setting.

What City of Heroes offers is an elaborate character that is continually customizable.  When I reached 50, I did not run around testing my toon, I quit the game to create another character…  I am not sure if this is a weakness or strength in the game and only time will tell.

Intellectual Property…

Now the writer in me is faced by with a dilemma.  I have fallen in love with character, and am tempted to write about him, but then the question arose: Who Owns the Intellectual Property?

I understand that they would own the exact image of the toon, because they own that IP, but what about the general appearance.  Since I chose the colors and general motif so as long as I do not copy the toon, then I should be ok.

What about the powers?  I chose the power sets, and in any story, they would not be limited to the set available in the game, but their would be similarities.  This is the point that I think is blurriest.

Cryptic would have no rights over the back story I created for the character, it does not tie into their story at all.

I am going to continue by obsession with the character, and may work on it as my NaNo project this year.  It just gave me pause and made me think.  I am curious if you think I am overly paranoid or if there is actually an issue here.

The Rise of Wild Phoenix

screenshot_2008-09-03-02-34-19 screenshot_2008-07-22-23-52-06

Last night, I hit level 50 on City of Heroes with Wild Phoenix as did Brian’s Black Cniht.

Two things hit me really hard when I hit the top level:

  1. I did not get the same sense of accomplishment I have from other games.
  2. My love for the Character made me start wondering about the current state of intellectual property laws.

Sense of Accomplishment

While I love City of Heroes, my attachment is more to the character than too the game.  The amount of detail I was allowed to build into my toon connected me to the imagery and back story I associated with the character separate from the storyline and setting of the game.

At first, I thought this was a byproduct of the games setting.  It is not based on any of the major comic series that I was in love with an wanted to explore.  I never really fell in love with the setting.

What City of Heroes offers is an elaborate character that is continually customizable.  When I reached 50, I did not run around testing my toon, I quit the game to create another character…  I am not sure if this is a weakness or strength in the game and only time will tell.

Intellectual Property…

Now the writer in me is faced by with a dilemma.  I have fallen in love with character, and am tempted to write about him, but then the question arose: Who Owns the Intellectual Property?

I understand that they would own the exact image of the toon, because they own that IP, but what about the general appearance.  Since I chose the colors and general motif so as long as I do not copy the toon, then I should be ok.

What about the powers?  I chose the power sets, and in any story, they would not be limited to the set available in the game, but their would be similarities.  This is the point that I think is blurriest.

Cryptic would have no rights over the back story I created for the character, it does not tie into their story at all.

I am going to continue by obsession with the character, and may work on it as my NaNo project this year.  It just gave me pause and made me think.  I am curious if you think I am overly paranoid or if there is actually an issue here.

P:SI #218 "Harry Potter and the Phantom Of The Diary"

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Star Trek Online Details Revealed

startrekonline We have finally seen Star Trek Online, and while they shared a lot of good information, I don’t think they showed nearly enough gameplay footage. Before we get into the details, I have to say that I am encouraged by the amount of knowledge Cryptic showed about setting and types of stories that are told in the Star Trek series, but the arrogance of the team and the fact that they brought up the nerfing of characters in their first release of gameplay footage worries me.  Grant it, the comments where made in jest, but I am uncomfortable with any developer talking about who to blame for messing up a game while that game is still in development.  I can only hope they will stay true to the vision they laid out and not sacrifice the setting and the story in a vain grasp for popular appeal.

Game Development

Developers Must Watch Series

Cryptic made it mandatory for all of the developers to watch at least one entire series of Star Trek.  They are mining the series and the books to provide detail to the setting as well as inspiration to guide gameplay systems.

Built on the Champions Engine

Star Trek Online is being built on the Champions Online (available in April) game engine.  As soon as they got the license, they began building content and in-game systems.  Once Champions Online comes out we will have a better idea whether this is a blessing or a curse.

Game Takes place Post Star Trek Nemesis

Star Trek Online will take place after the events of Star Trek Nemesis.  Relations with the Klingons are breaking down, and the Federation is in a state of turmoil.  The developers are using the books and series for setting information, especially for information regarding the state of the galaxy after the film.  The films and series are considered hard canon, while the books are considered soft canon.

Windows Only on Release

Cryptic will not have a Linux or Mac version on first release , but left the window open for future version.  They are planning to release the game in less than three years.

Graphics and Requirements

The animations in the game are going to be hand drawn rather than relying on motion capture.  Having played City of Heroes/City of Villains, I am encourage by this.  Any company that can make superheroes look and act naturally in the setting should not have much trouble with aliens and starships.

The game will be playable on as may  computers as possible so, like World of Warcraft, it will be playable on laptops as well as towers without requiring an expensive overhaul of your gaming system.

Gameplay

startrekonline_planet Character and Ship

Every player will be the captain of their own ship.

Play as one of the classic races or create your own with what was described as a City of Heroes style character designer which will give the player many customizable features.

Captains will have a specialty: science, tactical, navigation, diplomacy, or medical.

Gameplay will be squad based.  Each captain will recruit NPC staff they will bring with them on away missions with their own skills and talents.  They will effect away missions, and possibly even the ships stats.  Control over the away teams will be more like City of Villains than City of Heroes where the captain will be able to issue orders and have them carried out.  Players will be able to recruit staff from the races they encounter.

Star Trek Online will not be a level based MMO.  The abilities will be determined by the crew and new ships will be earned as a character gains renown.

The exteriors and interiors of Ships will be customizable.  Within the parameters of the ships class, each vessel will be customizable.   Even the bridge, engineering sections, medical, and holodecks.  I wish they would have said more about the holodecks.

Missions and Tours of Duty

Star Fleet or the Klingon High Council will issued players tours of duty.  In the way this was described, it sounds like you might also receive random distress calls as well as making first contact with randomly generated races.

The Borg or the Tholians will randomly invade. I presume this will be handled like a Rikti in City of Heroes.

Cryptic is planning several style of mission for varied gameplay:

  • Combat
  • Exploration
  • Science
  • Diplomatic

I hope they do not make these noncombat missions into nothing more than running  around clicking on things.  The possibilities are endless if they take advantage of them.

Groups and Guilds

Players can team up in task forces to work on missions together.  They can also band together into fleets.  Fleets are required to have:

  • Star Bases
  • Ship Yards
  • Resource Gathering.

Player v Player

Star Trek Online will not be a PVP centric game.  At launch, PVP will be between the Klingons and the Federation.

Servers

Cryptic hopes have the game take place on a single server so everyone will play in the same world.

I hope to get into the beta, and I wonder if we should start recruiting for the fleet now.

In-Game Ads in City of Heroes

ingameads_02_after_sm Hmmm, how should I take this?

Double Fusion will provide the technology and sales force to bring brands into the popular online role-playing game which takes place in a modern urban setting, an ideal environment for unobtrusive in-game advertising (Double Fusion).

Well, there are billboards in the game already with fake ads for companies in Paragon City, so they are not adding them in... at least for now, the program is opt-in... and well this will keep me from having to pay more to play the game...

I am really mixed on this. My business side loves this idea. I would love to advertise my books, blog and podcasts to the players of City of Heroes. My player side is ambiguous because I barely notice the fake ads in the game now, so I am not sure that the ads will bother me at all.

If only this were the path to lower fees, but it is not. The goal is to add revenue so they can double their dev team. I am not at all sure that this is a good idea because I don't know how many players will notice the ads, and if they are made noticeable it will detract from the experience of the game.

Ads will probably not make it into the game until June-July.

(via City of Heroes Community Site)

City of Heroes, More Issue 12

thumb_2As chapter 12 approaches, City of Heroes is trying really heard to convert me from a casual fan to a crazed fanboy. The giggle factor on the new features such as the visual sounds which will make the game play even more like a comic book and the improvements to the character creation system that will show clear in game stats for all of the powers and the ability to browse costumes by type, which could be fun... It all looks really cool, but I will have to see it to make a final judgement.

(via City of Heroes Community Site Visual Sounds & Improved Character Creator)

Headlines for 2008-03-14

Games

  • The new gameplay is needed, and I cannot wait to join the Midnight Squad and unlock the new Roman uniforms. Just when I was not sure if I was going to continue with the game, they find a way to pull be back in. Good jobs guys.

    (tags: cityofheroes mmo)

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  • (tags: harrypotter)