Archive for November 24, 2012

Quote of the Day

November 24, 2012 Comments off

In general, not everyone “gets” MMO mechanics and gaming mechanics in general. But something you only really fully appreciate if you play lots of other MMOs is the fact that honestly, our devs had almost *no idea* how to keep control of the game they developed, certainly initially, and to a significant extent even past that point. Our game engine and powers systems allow us to do so much relative to what other games allow you do to in large part because the game was originally written by people who literally had no idea how to limit performance and no idea how important it was to do so. Most MMOs have combat systems in which things are extremely predictable for the benefit of the developers. Attacks have very specific, impossible to alter DPS curves that cannot be mucked with except in proscribed ways. So the players know *exactly* how much damage they can put out when they use a bunch of attacks, and more importantly the *developers* also know that, so they can actually balance the game.

The notion of the attack sequence, the attack chain, “arcanatime”, and the optimal single target output? These things simply don’t exist in other games, because players don’t have the ability to switch slotting, change the order of their attacks, and *double* their output. They don’t have the ability to superbuff recharge and spam AoE. There’s no soft-cap to reach, and even if there is in theory, no level of effort gets you anywhere near it. Most of the time, you’re fighting over tenths of a percent improvement in performance, using tools everyone knows exactly the benefit of under all conditions.

The bane and boon of City of Heroes is that the devs tossed pistols and hand grenades into a room full of chimps and then charged admission. And we loved them for it.

And amazingly, against all conventional wisdom, it actually worked.

Arcanaville, City of Heroes forums. Original forum thread here.

Categories: City of Heroes, MMO Games

The final ding

November 24, 2012 2 comments

With only about one week left until City of Heroes gets killed by NCSoft, I reached my final goal that I set up for myself in the game. When I started to play the game for real about 6.5 years I created a number of characters, although most of these first did not stick with me. However, one that remained was my Plant Control/Thons dominator – Sarek.  This was also the first character that reached level 50,  after about 14 months.

Since that time I fell in love with the Dominator archetype; it is a hybrid that packs a really nice set of variety – melee and ranged combat, excellent crowd control, debuffs, pets and the supercharged mode of domination – makes crowd control even better and gives mez protection when active. Defense kind of sucks though, which is good I think, because it gives a weak spot of the gameplay that you need to watch out for   – and thus avoid gameplay to become boring. Given that must of the strong points of the archetype is in the crowd control it also requires you to be active to get the benefit – more fun than getting the benefit from some toggle power that just keeps running.

So with my first max level character being a Dominator, I decided about a month ago that my last max level character would be a Dominator as well – and Jotunheimer was created. He is an Ice Control/Dark Assault/Ice Mastery large Dominator and has been quite fun to play. On Thursday Jotunheimer reached that final ding and became my 10th Dominator to reach max level. (22nd character in total to max level).


With this goal reached I have currently nothing left that I feel that I have to do before the end – I played through all my stories I have written again in Mission Architect, taken at least one screenshot of all characters that I have on my main account. Unfortunately I cannot log on to all my characters – when I lost VIP access I lost some access to those and could only unlock 18 of them. That is not the end of the world, although it would have been nice to give each one a run and perhaps save a screenshot of all costumes – not just the one that shows on character select screen.

The character creation has also been one of the enjoyable parts of playing the game – and not just at start, but also adding new costumes to existing characters. There has been more than once that just changing the costume actually made the character more fun to play for me – more emotional attachment to a new custome and powerset design.

Also a great point has been the travel powers. I think my favourite travel power in the end is Super Jump. Not the most convenient one, but it never fails to provide a bit of a rollercoaster-like rush jumping around with great leaps around the world.

With no more goals the rest of the last 7 days will be just hanging around and enjoy the game as long as it is around. I am so going to miss this game.

Categories: City of Heroes