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Archive for July 16, 2009

Power Spectrum announcement

July 16, 2009 1 comment

Paragon Studios have provided soem more information on what the next content update for City of Heroes/Villains will contain – Issue 16: Power Spectrum.

The characer creator seem to be getting an update with a few changes, including the ability to determine the colours of the powers used. So energy blasts may not be blue:ish anymore, fire may look differently, as well as ice, psi etc. Each power can have its own primary and secondary colour.

I think it will be a safe bet that we will see a lot of pink stuff, perhaps combined with signal green and any other annoying or unorthodox combination people can think of. Scare enemies into submission by horrible colour combinations. But some will probably also use to make great colour combinations.

The power profileration also continues, so each of the archetypes seem to get some more of the other archetypes’ powersets.  Only one new powerset for dominators, which mean I won’t feel obligated to make a new one just yet.

It is also interesting to see that they will allow more tweaking of the difficulty settings for the missions – up to now mission mobs scale according to group size and difficulty level set. This will be welcome by people who have found the game to be too easy nowadays, with all the invention sets etc in place to improve characters – plus of course good team compositions.

Nice changes overall, but some people are not going to be happy if there are no new zones or perhaps revamps of old content (some of the older content would need that).

Myself, I am more bothered with that they call it a “free content update”. It is not free, far from it. I pay 65 Euro every 6 months for this game, plus extra costs for booster packs etc. Let’s be honest here instead of some kind of marketing spin.

Categories: City of Heroes

Jumping to conclusions

July 16, 2009 5 comments

So it has happened again – an MMO developer representative (in this case Jack Emmert) mentions the MT-word in the game forum and suddendly there are loads of pages with people jumping to conclusions what that will mean.

To quote Jack’s post in the Champions Online forum:

I know everyone has questions about microtransactions – what are they, how much are they, etc. I’m sorry we didn’t post something earlier; we’re really heads down in development right now. We’re going to release a WHOLE lot of information in the very near future about not just about microtransactions, but pricing in general. That said, here’s some basic principles about microtransactions to at least answer some of your concerns:

1) Microtransactions enable us to have a larger development team
2) Microtransactions are mostly aesthetic (costume pieces, pets, etc.)
3) If a microtransaction does have any sort of in game effect, then it can be also be earned in game.

I promise we’ll read this thread, note any questions, and answer them more in depth soon. Heck, I’ll try to answer the easy ones today/tomorrow/this week.

The resulting comments include all kinds of  assumptions, including the usual that people do not want to play a game where players can buy the über items or that there will be many many hours of grinding to obtain items that could be bought in the store.  It really does not matter what the comapny actually writes, as soon as the MT-word is included people just start jumping all over the place. When I checked there were more than 40 pages of comments to Jack’s post.

There was also one post which I found a bit amusing that demanded proof that the money from the microtransactions would go back into development. As if people have proof of that when they pay subscriptions, when they really do not have a clue how much of the subscription fee is actually paying for new development. Do you know how much of the money of your favourite subscription-based MMO goes back into development? Or any MMO for that matter? With public companies like NCSoft one can see how much of the total goes back to costs of development and operation, but not for specific MMOs. Others are generally not disclosing that type of information.

MMO companies that choose to use the subscription model are quite limited. They cannot set a subscription fee they would like to have if they want the safety of being able to recover the costs of developing the game in a certain timeframe and with a certain number of subscribers. The market pretty much dictates what the subscription fee must be, if there is one at all. With more MMO competition already established in the market for years what each new game has to compete with the expectations what should be there out of the gate has not really been lowered.

But if the so compaqny much as hint that they want to spread out those costs so that not everyone pays the same amount regardless of whether they are interested in all features/items or not, people lash out.

Personally I would prefer that companies have some freedom to set their own prices on their products, especially since it is not about providing a very fixed feature set to the consumers.  Subscriptions fees will stay as they are unless the market leaders decide to change it, so there is not much freedom there for new games.

At some point in the future perhaps people will not lash out as soon as the see the MT-word, but there will always be new things to jump to conclusions about.

Categories: Champions Online