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City of Heroes Purchased By NCsoft

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the wait-wait-no-need-to-fly-off dept.

Role Playing (Games) 127

Rock, Paper, Shotgun comments on the big news from late last night: NCsoft has announced that it has purchased City of Heroes/Villains from Cryptic Studios, the Massive game's original developer. Everyone on the team has been offered a new position with the newly formed NCsoft NorCal studio, and many of them have accepted. As far as the players are concerned, NCsoft only intends for them to see freebies as a result of this deal: "Now back to you, the players. You are the lifeblood of our game. In celebration of our new studio and our exciting plans, and in order to thank you for the fantastic community that you have built, we are pleased to announce the following: All players with City of Heroes retail accounts will now have access to City of Villains, and all City of Villains retail accounts will now have access to City of Heroes. Players that didn't previously have access to "the other side" will find that they do now. Just log in to check it out! After the launch of Issue 11: A Stitch in Time this Fall, we are removing Debt from all characters and giving you a fresh start ... Also after the launch of Issue 11, all Supergroups will receive an additional 20,000 Prestige per Supergroup member."

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127 comments

This game is still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268113)

The best parts of both games was making your character, once you got past that it quickly turns into go into building kill 100 blue shirted guys, level, go into another building kill 100 purple shirted guys and level....

Re:This game is still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268789)

Damn, I wish leveling in CoH was that easy.

Re:This game is still around? (2, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268799)

As opposed to go into dungeon, kill 100 rats, level, go into another dungeon, kill 100 larger rats and level... all so you can get to level 1000 in order to go into the Dungeon Of Fat Loot with 50 other people to kill the Uber Rat Of Doom?

This is a MMOG we're talking about here :).

Huh, what do ya know (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268149)

Chalk this up to stupidity but I always assumed it was NCSoft for both because of adverts from NCSoft portraying the two together.

I've had a CoV account a while back and stopped playing... I may have to start again if all this is more than a rumor.

Re:Huh, what do ya know (1)

shinma (106792) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268371)

Since one of the two links from the summary is an official statement, I'm guessing this is more than a rumor.

Re:Huh, what do ya know (2, Informative)

MaXimillion (856525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268417)

Chalk this up to stupidity but I always assumed it was NCSoft for both because of adverts from NCSoft portraying the two together.
City of Heroes and Villains were both developed by cryptic and published by NCSoft. NCSoft now bought all the right to both games, and will continue to develop them.

Actually, it's the same game (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269797)

Actually, it's even funnier. COH and COV are the same game. Whether you have "both" installed, or only one of them, you run the exact same executable, use the exact same resource files, and connect to the exact same servers, and your stuff is saved in the exact same database.

The only difference between COH, COV or both, was your account. If the account says you only paid for COV, then their server will only let you play on the COV side. But, again, you already had both.

And yeah, "both" were published by NCSoft.

Re:Actually, it's the same game (3, Informative)

Masao-Kun (1791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270055)

True, but the content was significantly different. Maybe not quite as much as various games using the Half Life engine or somesuch, but close enough.

However, they're officially merging the two games into one soon, according to this announcement: http://www.cityofheroes.com/press/a_new_age.html [cityofheroes.com]. Then there's the expansions and sequels referred to in this announcement: http://www.plaync.com/us/news/2007/11/ncsoft_announce_23.html [plaync.com]

Both were written by Cryptic and published by NCSoft, and IP was owned 50/50 by each on both games. Now it's 100% NCSoft owned, and a lot of the Cryptic folks who worked on them moved over to NCSoft. This is a massive win for the franchise, IMO, as it means there's no more conflict of interest with Cryptic working with Marvel on their MMO (even if they said there wasn't any conflict).

No Free Lunch (1)

huckamania (533052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268215)

I have no experience with either, but allowing access to both cities is a great move. Forgiving debts, giving away points, etc not so much. Smart players will exploit this and just run up debts. Dumb players won't, either because of misplaced ethics or because they don't know how to read.

Maybe it's not the same, but in the games I play online, I hate to see this kind of virtual pandering.

Re:No Free Lunch (3, Informative)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268361)

Debt doesn't work like that in CoH. It's essentially negative experience points that accrue when a player is defeated - having it halves the rate of experience gain until it is paid off. It isn't like debt in the sense we usually think of it, where you get something in exchange for a future obligation; the player gets nothing for their debt in CoH.

Re:No Free Lunch (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268437)

The only positive effect of debt that I know of is that paying it off can get you certain badges, but I'd think that forgiven debt wouldn't count toward those.

Re:No Free Lunch (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270469)

It had better, since people do purposely accrue debt in order to pay it back and get the badges (in fact, said badges can lead to a special power in combination with others). If not, then it would actually be a penalty to those players, forcing them to take extra time to die a bunch of times again.

Oh, and there's a debt penalty cap, so there's a limit to how much benefit could be realized (per character) from this relief.

Re:No Free Lunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21270539)

Debt = more $ earned per level as well, since you level slower.

Re:No Free Lunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268423)

It's talking about experience debt, i.e., death penalties. No player in his right mind would voluntarily get killed a bunch of times just to take advantage of the amnesty.

Re:No Free Lunch (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269047)

Well, I might. Not that debt is a big deal anyway, but if I knew all my debt was going to be erased tommorow, I might have fun and mess around a little more (Yeah, I can fight that hundred foot giant robot ALL BY MYSELF. OWWWW, that left a mark).

Re:No Free Lunch (1)

KamuZ (127113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269737)

There are badges in the game associated with debt, many people at level 50 "kill" themselves to earn and clear it as it doesn't affect you anymore. Still, i doubt the debt clearing in Issue 11 will count towards them.

Re:No Free Lunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268477)

They're talking experience debt, accrued upon death and worked off incrementally as you gain experience normally.

Which is a Good Thing to get rid of, and probably pretty hard to plan exploitation around.

Re:No Free Lunch (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268529)

It has been a long time since I played COH so I might have the details wrong, but I remember that debt wasn't monetary, but rather experience realted. Death (getting teleported to the hospital) resulted in an experience point debt that could put you in the hole on your way to the next level. You could work it off directly, but it also encouraged you to go on lower level missions and sidekick/mentor newer players to work it off faster.

So there isn't much abuse possible, it's more a "wipe the slate clean" deal.

Interesting (1)

huckamania (533052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268829)

I would never have thought that is what they were talking about. Thanks everyone.

Still, not sure how that would really help anyone. Bad players will likely still be bad players.

Debt was already capped (2, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268705)

Debt was already capped, so you're not getting that much. Plus for everyone who was at level 50, debt had no effect whatsoever, so, you know, why bother?

And running an xp debt on purpose is a bad idea anyway.

1. It means running up a lot of death, which means a lot of running back to your corpse instead of doing quests and killing NPCs. Plus, it's demoralizing for most people. It's associated with a failure, no matter how minor.

2. Until NCSoft forgives it, you'll get half xp, as the other half goes to paying back the debt.

Planning to faceplant lots just so NCSoft will forgive it, umm, sounds like just about the dumbest thing one could do. You could just finish the quest the old fashioned way in that time, and get more xp in the process.

Re:Debt was already capped (1)

GammaKitsune (826576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268987)

Actually, there is no running back to your corpse in City of Heroes. When you return the the hospital, you don't even leave a corpse, and all of your possessions are carried with you.

Yes, yes, you get the idea (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269129)

Yes, yes, I know nitpicking at the details is a national sport on Slashdot, but take a pause and think about it a bit. You get to run back to the mission, if you want to continue it, and to roughly where you were when you faceplanted. Because, you know, you have to continue from there. Same thing, whether there's a corpse on the ground or not.

Re:Yes, yes, you get the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269169)

the answer, at least villain-side, could be that one of the debt badges (2nd or 3rd - 1.2 million debt or something obscene) goes toward a +hp accolade. So if the debt forgiving went towards that badge on a high level toon, that would make a pretty big dent towards the badge (~300-500k debt maybe?). Not that it's terribly painful to work off anyways, but there ya go

Te debt badges don't work that way (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269595)

the answer, at least villain-side, could be that one of the debt badges (2nd or 3rd - 1.2 million debt or something obscene) goes toward a +hp accolade. So if the debt forgiving went towards that badge on a high level toon, that would make a pretty big dent towards the badge (~300-500k debt maybe?). Not that it's terribly painful to work off anyways, but there ya go


Heh. The debt badges don't work that way. They don't count debt incurred, they count debt repaid. So if you were after that badge, heh, being forgiven of 300-500k xp in one fell swoop is going to just move you a bit further away from the badge. Now you'll have to go faceplant a few times to get that badge back.

So, hmm, nope, I still don't see that as too abusable.

Re:Yes, yes, you get the idea (1)

MaXimillion (856525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269307)

Especially at low levels, it's often efficient to die, using the hospital teleport as a shortcut if it's at the direction where you were headed anyways. So certainly no need to return where you died always.

Re:Yes, yes, you get the idea (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269545)

Until level 10 there is no debt at all, and below 20 or so, debt is a silly joke. Doubly so between levels 10 and 13, which is where people do it the most. (Because at 14, as you know, they get a travel power.) That's why people do that: because it doesn't matter at that level. The first couple of groups in a solo mission will clear that hospital teleport debt.

So now look at the GGP post or so, claiming that people will abuse that debt forgiving. What's the worst that can happen there? That a couple of frustrated newbies will be forgiven of 100xp debt because they hospital-ported from the Hollows?

Well, good, because God knows that the Hollows can be a kick in the nuts when you get a mission at the opposite corner, you're level 12 and your Zero G pack just ran out of fuel. (Though admittedly it was an even bigger pain in the nuts before they introduced the safeguard missions and those temporary travel powers.) You know, whop-de-do, such a game-breaking exploit it will be that someone might actually have fun instead of running through purple trolls and COT.

Or, what, will the level 49's start doing that too now, just to exploit the debt forgiving? Never mind that anything that can kill a level 49 is in PI, and it takes less time to even run with Sprint+Swift to the hospital than to go looking for a group that can kill you, and wait for them to finish the job.

Basically that's all I'm saying: I don't see how that's abusable.

Re:Debt was already capped (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269003)

Unless they changed something in the last year, CoH and CoV didn't have corpse-running. When you died you had a choice.
  • Wait around for someone to rez you
  • Click the popup to be revived at the nearest hospital

Re:Debt was already capped (3, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269037)

When I was more obsessive about not out-leveling story arcs and hidden contacts, I would regularly run a character into groups of tough mobs and politely wait for them to hand my ass to me. Fortunately, that particular stunt is going to become unnecessary when the Flashback system goes live.

I can see some people running up debt on their idle 50's, in order to get a sliver further into the various XP debt badges, but overall this seems to be nothing more than a nice (if kind of empty) gesture.

I'm definitely turning 'ignore Supergroup invites' on for my unaffiliated characters, though. Random pubbie invites were common enough before; the prospect of signing bonuses is going to whip them into a frenzy.

Re:No Free Lunch (0, Troll)

Bud Dickman (1131973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268833)

"Forgiving debts, giving away points, etc not so much. Smart players will exploit this and just run up debts."
Why would these "smart players" purposefully let themselves be defeated over and over again? What benefit do you see in running up debt? Please answer - I'm curious as to whether you will admit you didn't know what you were talking about regarding this game or if you'll make up some rationalization. I CAN'T WAIT!

Re:No Free Lunch (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269739)

In City of Heroes/Villains, you get badges for accomplishments. One accomplishment is running up debt. Some people let themselves be defeated so that they are in a continual state of xp debt, just so they can acquire all the badges.

It's strange behavior, but then it's an unusual game that caters to people who like thinking outside the kryptonite box. :)

Free Lunch (that was part of the plan) (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270205)

On the official forums, the moderators have stated that they're going to tell exactly when the debt eradication will happen, as in a time and date. They have explicitly said that one of the purposes of doing so is specifically so day/night/whatever before, people can do something they're not really used to being able to do because it's a PITA to work off the debt: go out and go nuts.

Want to take on the hardest über-mission that people normally don't work on because they know that they'll spend the next few hours wallowing their way out of debt? Go for it, because tomorrow, you get a free pass.

Also, as has been pointed out, it's not like you can rack up a week's worth of debt in the game. Most of the time, it's paid off within an hour or so at most. Sometimes, I've had it worked completely off by the end of the very mission in which I accrued it. I can't think of a way this can be exploited; at worst, you might be able to save yourself a few hour's effort.

Re:No Free Lunch (1)

sanjacguy (908392) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271507)

I have no experience with either, but allowing access to both cities is a great move. Forgiving debts, giving away points, etc not so much. Smart players will exploit this and just run up debts. Dumb players won't, either because of misplaced ethics or because they don't know how to read. Maybe it's not the same, but in the games I play online, I hate to see this kind of virtual pandering.

Taking a different tack here - the entire point of COH and COV is ethics - it's a superhero universe. You can have great, fantastic ethical issues that come up - for example Watchmen (spoilers) deals with a superhero who fakes an alien invasion of New York City, kills about a third of the state, but actually brings about world peace. The other main characters have to make a choice, to cover up and keep world peace, or to reveal the truth and have the people who died die for naught. While you don't get that BIG a problem in COH, you also have "Stop the mugger!" content, with fairly black and white choices (help someone or not).

I realize I may be crazy, but I was a beta tester with COH, and it holds a near and dear place in my heart. I raid in WoW for the same reason I play COH - Give me a windmill and I will tilt at it. Yeah, I'd be the level 40 killing (arresting) level 5 muggers. If you're going to fight crime, are you really going to let some 90 year old get robbed?

Cause face it, after seeing Superman Returns, who didn't want to be Superman.

Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (0)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268257)

Bought my mac in January and dumped this game and moved to WoW. Theres a reason why WoW has a couple million players and these guys don't... it's because you can play Wow on ALL platforms due to them supporting openGL and not DirectX. More game developers should start learning that open game development especially now that VISTA has bombed is in their best interest; other OS sales numbers are not going down and we are just going to dump your game when we switch.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Aeonite (263338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268411)

The reason everyone plays WOW and not COH/COV is critical mass. People play WOW because people play WOW. I stopped playing COV because no one else was playing and it was impossible to find anyone to group with.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268717)

I found tons to group with. Had a lvl 50 hero and lvl 50 villain. Don't know your problem. As for critical mass, by your logic everyone in the world should be Islamic since thats the most popular religion. Critical mass explains mob mentallity, not the reason why people purchase a product; thats called a monopoly... like iPods and Microsoft. And last that I heard of, WoW was NOT a monopoly.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269395)

According to Wikipedia your statistics are somewhat off. Christianity is the most popular religion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_religion/ [wikipedia.org]

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271191)

Yeah, Christianity isn't a religion... it's a TYPE of religion or a religious GROUPING. Like saying Trucks are the most commonly driven vehicle and the second most common is the Honda Accord. Comparing a specific make and model to a grouping is incorrect logic.

Even a moron understands that.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270285)

Did you only play at 3:00am on a low-population server or something? Whenever I'm around, there are plenty of other people. Hell, half of the complaints on the official forums are people griping about all of the broadcast clutter and blind invites.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271239)

But a big part of the reason behind that critical mass is that Blizzard has chosen to make WoW available to twenty million people that Cryptic has mysteriously chosen to ignore.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (2, Informative)

MaXimillion (856525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268473)

it's because you can play Wow on ALL platforms due to them supporting openGL and not DirectX.
Considering Co(H/V) is an OpenGL game as well, I find it unlikely that that's the reason.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Aedrin (1175509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269001)

Chalk that one up to another Linux Fanboy who doesn't understand simple concepts. Vista bombed? Right.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269241)

If you consider actual sales, it is bombing.
I'm talking people purposefully buying it, not getting it with a new computer whether they like it or not, or getting a free copy from their school or any of a myriad number of ways that MS has artificially inflated the sales figures on Vista.
I can not back this up with numbers, as number are very hard to get on this subject; the only things available are fuzzy percentages.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Aedrin (1175509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269309)

I bought it. Just because most people are on the anti-microsoft bandwagon doesn't mean there is any value to their statements.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270125)

I pretty much value my statements.
I'm curious, which version did you buy? was there any primary underlying reason? I have heard a couple of reasons I can't argue with, like better integrated tablet PC support and a requirement for robust DRM (long story).

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Aedrin (1175509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270355)

Home Premium. And it was all based on one single article that I read a while ago, detailing the architecture plans/updates to Vista. I've lost the link however so I can't give many more details. I had also used some Beta/RC versions and I'd grown towards the OS enough that I chose it over Linux. It might help that I'm not an average user, but a developer and I play no games on the PC. So performance issues are less important to me.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271343)

I know several people here at work in Bellevue WA (right across from Redmond) who weren't happy with VISTA and I told them they could request XP installed from their OEM, they instantly brightened up and started asking how. LOL.

I had to send links to articles to about 5 different people talking about how they could return their Dells and get XP installed and they said they were planning on doing it that weekend.

Another guy I knew had the 90% bandwidth throttling problem and couldn't figure out what was going on and when I asked if he was streaming media at the same time as surfing the internet he said yeah and I explained the issue. He got so mad and said 'why would they do that? Thats so stupid!'

They lost touch with the consumer and now they are paying the price.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269261)

Yeah, I just switched to running a new iMac (having been a PC/Windows user since my 286 back in 1989 or so), and I am sure not looking back. However, while I wish that more games supported the Mac natively (and I expect they will as the platform has some real growth now it seems), it doesn't mean you can't play the old games. Bootcamp and a copy of WinXP SP2 ensure that when I want a gaming fix, I can get it pretty easily, then its back to the MacOSX side for serious computer use.

MacOSX is such a superior computing experience, I honestly wish I had switched years ago.

I really wish someone would break Microsoft's stranglehold on gaming, but until then I can continue to dualboot as required.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269621)

I stopped playing CoH for the same reason. I got tired of keeping a second "gaming" Windows PC up to date with reasonable parts and software, and just starting using my home Mac full-time. Any game popular enough to matter gets ported anyway these days. That CoH isn't ported says more about CoH than it does about the Mac, IMHO.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270661)

Actually, it says more about the fact that there aren't enough Macs to make it worthwhile for [most] MMOGs to maintain two separate versions of their software...and Boot Camp gives them further disincentive.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271127)

Twenty million recent macs in use leaves plenty of market for a playerbase larger than nearly any game ever sees.

Boot Camp, however, changes pretty much nothing. Most people who choose macs are very much choosing to not use Windows. Giving them a new way to run the exact OS they don't want to run does not appeal to very many of them.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271695)

How many of your "twenty million" are interested in City of Heroes/Villains? How many would buy the game and then maintain a subscription? How much would it cost to develop and maintain the OSX client? What would be even more interesting: How many of your "twenty million" are Mac Minis with minimal gaming capability, and how many are truly new Mac users as opposed to Mac users who buy every upgrade?

I simply don't believe that large publishers (and NCSoft has become a large publisher) ignore the Mac userbase. I believe that they are well aware of the numbers and would create an OSX client if it was in their fiscal interest to do so. One of the biggest games of all time is Half-Life 2, which is already on multiple platforms. Yet, Source/Steam is still not available for OSX. Is that because Valve is stupid or could it be because that while they know they could sell the game to OSX users they've decided the advantages of creating a native OSX version of their software would provide minimal returns?

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272005)

How many of your "twenty million" are interested in City of Heroes/Villains? How many would buy the game and then maintain a subscription? How much would it cost to develop and maintain the OSX client? What would be even more interesting: How many of your "twenty million" are Mac Minis with minimal gaming capability, and how many are truly new Mac users as opposed to Mac users who buy every upgrade?

Perhaps a slightly lower percentage of those mac users are interested in games as a whole, but there are also fewer games competing for their attention. I don't think hard numbers exist, but my feeling is that the latter more than offsets the former, and the availability per-platform-user for a given game manufacturer is actually higher for mac users than Windows users.

Twenty million is around the number of macs in use now that are newer than City of Heroes itself; the total number of macs currently in use is a bit higher. It seems reasonable to assume that any machine that was brand new when the game was released would be able to run it acceptably.

I simply don't believe that large publishers (and NCSoft has become a large publisher) ignore the Mac userbase. I believe that they are well aware of the numbers and would create an OSX client if it was in their fiscal interest to do so. One of the biggest games of all time is Half-Life 2, which is already on multiple platforms. Yet, Source/Steam is still not available for OSX. Is that because Valve is stupid or could it be because that while they know they could sell the game to OSX users they've decided the advantages of creating a native OSX version of their software would provide minimal returns?

My suspicion is that their developers have a very strong bent toward one set of technologies. An authoritarian decree from management that one embrace a different set of technologies is incredibly hard to enforce if the actual geeks-at-keyboards have religion that runs contrary to it.

I'm certainly not suggesting a vast conspiracy, but I think that the behaviours of businesses can often be less rational than you imply. "This is the right decision because it's the decision people make" has a dangerously circular aspect to it.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272265)

Actually, it says more about the fact that there aren't enough Macs to make it worthwhile for [most] MMOGs to maintain two separate versions of their software...and Boot Camp gives them further disincentive.

There are plenty of Macs to make the market profitable for game developers, if the game is a success to start with. There are really several types of games:

  • Games that the developers know are going to be successful and which plan for the Mac port immediately (think WoW) - these are usually released on both platforms simultaneously or with a slight delay for the Mac version.
  • Games where the developer is owned by MS and develops exclusively with DirectX - some of these get ported after some delay when MS gets greedy.
  • Games where the developer is unsure if the game will be profitable - the more successful ones are usually ported, unless the code base is too messy and tied to DirectX. This happens sometimes with a studio's first big hit and they plan better for the next one. The less successful ones are not profitable for Windows or barely profitable and are usually not worth the effort to port.

As for BootCamp, it does not really impact the market. So few people use it that it does not really figure into things. Heck most people can't even install Windows on a regular PC. The market for Mac computers is 8% of the US market these days, almost all of which is in home use instead of business, and which sells to the higher end buyers with disposable income. They also have fewer titles to choose from. A guestimate projection for a mainstream game would be you could expect to sell 1/5 as many copies on the Mac as you do for the PC version. Do you suppose the cost of porting a game to the Mac or developing it with reusable code in the first place (which you'll want to do anyway to make future games easier) is more than 1/5 the cost of developing a game from scratch?

As a final note, compatibility with the Mac is also a significant selling point for PC games. I know of more than one instance where a dozen friends all bought a Mac compatible game instead of the competition because they wanted to play together and one or more of them had a Mac (especially when that one is the cute co-ed studying graphic design).

Captial F, capital U, capital D. (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270493)

you can play Wow on ALL platforms

Where is that WoW native Linux client? Oh yeah, there isn't one.

due to them supporting openGL and not DirectX

City of Heroes is built on OpenGL also, go figure. However, the graphics aren't the only thing to a game client does, and the non-graphics part of City of Heroes is built for Windows only. This wasn't a malicious decision, it was a practical one. NCsoft isn't as big as Blizzard, it never has been. Hopefully, as demand for the game grows, they'll be able to go back and capture some of the Mac and Linux markets as well. I'm pushing on NCsoft for this to happen, hopefully we'll get their ear.

now that VISTA has bombed

For the record, NCsoft does not support City of Heroes on Vista. They say they are working on it, I'm sure they'll get around to it eventually, and by all reports, it mostly works fine on Vista, but it's not like NCsoft are a bunch of Microsoft sycophants.

Going back to the ALL platforms thing again, maybe you overlooked that City of Heroes/Villains is an officially supported [cedega.com] Cedega application? You know, just like World of Warcraft?

Captial D U M B (-1, Troll)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271243)

It's called Cedega and Wine and they have been on Linux forever and have been running WoW for a LOOOOOOONG time. and it runs GREAT! I can run COH too but it has glitches due to trying to emulate DirectX vs openGL being supported.

Can you read? (2, Informative)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271395)

Dude, I've run CoH on Linux using Cedega. There are no "glitches," it runs perfectly well. Like I said, it's officially supported by Cedega, just like World of Warcraft. The only thing that I would consider a glitch is that some of the higher-end graphics rendering functions, such as depth-of-field effects and such, don't work because the video driver that Cedega reports to the app claims to not have those capabilities (even if the card does).

The game not only works, it is actually a lot faster running on Cedega on Linux than on Windows. The time to zone is cut by two or three seconds at least, sometimes a lot more.

And because you obviously missed it the first time, I'll put it in bold letters this time: City of Heroes uses OpenGL to render its graphics. I don't know how much clearer I can make it.

Re:Can you read? (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271683)

For those who don't experience glitches, all I can say is read the Cedega forums because there are 100 people who do experience glitches for every 1 person who experiences none.

and yes, it DOES run faster on Linux... most games do have a faster framerate but alot of Windows people will argue that for hours without even attempting to find out if you are right or not.

And now that I think about it, I dod remember that there was an opengl option but there was some sort of reason that emmert gave such as that it relied upon directX or some other MS technology and thats why it COULDN'T port. It's not that they won't... it's that they CAN'T

Then again, I may be confusing this with the Neverwinter Nights 2 flamewar awhile back so don't hold me to that.

Re:Can you read? (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21272135)

read the Cedega forums because there are 100 people who do experience glitches for every 1 person who experiences none.

That's because they are for the most part support forums. I mean, take a look at any software's forum, and you'll get the same ratio.

there was some sort of reason that emmert gave such as that it relied upon directX or some other MS technology and thats why it COULDN'T port. It's not that they won't... it's that they CAN'T

I'd like to see some sort of documentation on that. I mean, other than graphics, what is DirectX used for? Sound? That is generally a heck of a lot easier to port than video. (And all in-game sounds are in OGG format, in case anyone's remotely interested.) Networking? As far as I can tell, CoH/V doesn't use any of DirectX's specialized networking services, but relies on plain ol' Windows networking. What else is there?

It's more stuff like the launcher/updater application that depends on Windows. The launcher's data window actually is an embedded IE control. Stupid stuff like that. Stuff that they could port if they wanted to, but just haven't taken the time to, probably because they don't feel there's a huge demand for it. Like I said, I'm trying to change that perception and convince them that it is worthwhile.

As for Jack, I've never hated him or anything, but if he did say that, it wouldn't be the first time I've disagreed with him on something. (He once dissed the though of user-generated content, which I think would have a HUGE positive impact on the game.) Hopefully the new development team will rethink things.

In the meantime, though, I highly encourage playing it on Cedega, it is a worthwhile experience. About the only bad thing about it is that some of the community-developed utilities (*ahem* HeroStats) don't work on Cedega/Linux.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21270499)

Lol no.

Millions of players due to OpenGL... hahahah
Vista bombing??... hahahah

Crazy OSS fanatics.

Re:Who cares? I switched and dumped them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21272247)

That's laughable - if by 'WoW on ALL platforms' you actually mean '95% XP, 2% Vista, 2% Mac and 1% Other', I'm still at a loss for WoW's reliance on OpenGL for dominance.

It's a fun game, easily approachable to a large market segment by design, and enjoys a very supportive, very large existing customer base to retain and attract new players - OpenGL has vanishing little to do with that.

"and many of them have accepted" (2, Informative)

MaXimillion (856525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268387)

To be exact, all but one member of the dev team are moving to NCSoft

Re:"and many of them have accepted" (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268925)

This is why I'm not terribly concerned about NCSoft buying CoX outright. With almost the same dev team there, it's probably going to stick with the same general vision that it's been operating under so far, and NCSoft hopefully won't be inclined to mess around with it too much. If only one of them were sticking around (even if it was Prime Mover Positron), I'd be much more worried about the future of a game I've been playing on and off since launch.

As an avid player... (3, Insightful)

GammaKitsune (826576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268471)

I've got to say that I'm kind of worried. One of the best things about CoH is that the developers seem to focus a lot on what the players want. There have been several instances of major changes being brought to the game simply on player request, and it's greatly appreciated. I'll be kind of upset if NCSoft abandons this policy in favor of their plan to "aggressively develop and expand the franchise."

Re:As an avid player... (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268801)

I think you're worried for nothing. NCSoft makes GuildWars under the ArenaNet name and they definitely DO listen to the players and the internet in general. The game is filled with references to popular internet sites and phenomena and each new version has things that people have been asking for. I don't see why they'd nix this policy when they make sure liberal use of it themselves.

That's not even mentioning that the majority of the dev team will remain the same, and it's only an ownership change.

Re:As an avid player... (1)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271327)

ArenaNet is an independent studio, like Cryptic was. NCSoft doesn't have much direct influence on anything as far as maintenance and game updates go.

However, since NCSoft is hiring as many of the Cryptic guys as possible, it's plausible that they'll still have the freedom to take customer feedback and maintain the game. It's less likely, though, since they'll be more directly influenced by publisher upper management now.

WTF are you talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269061)

They forced through a HUGE MASSIVE nerf to EVERYONE that completely ruined the game, despite massive protests and tons of players quitting. And they had the nerve to try to pretend it was for "diversification" only to later admit it was just a nerf. That is not listening to players. Statesman always did whatever he wanted and the players could go fuck themselves.

Re:WTF are you talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269149)

They forced through a HUGE MASSIVE nerf to EVERYONE that completely ruined the game, despite massive protests and tons of players quitting. And they had the nerve to try to pretend it was for "diversification" only to later admit it was just a nerf. That is not listening to players. Statesman always did whatever he wanted and the players could go fuck themselves.


{{citation needed}}

That's a pretty strong statement. Care to let those of us who don't actually play the game know what you're talking about?

Re:WTF are you talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269227)

It was called issue #4. Then issue #5. Then issue #6 hit us with the nerf bat for the third time in a row in the name of Jack's "casual players". Then thousands of players finally gave up and quit because they didn't feel 'super' anymore after they heavily flattened the power curve, completely changed how some power sets work, etc.

If you didn't play the game how can you aggressively comment on those who have?

Re:WTF are you talking about? (2, Informative)

Adlopa (686151) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270173)

It's been a while since I played and I can't really be bothered to go into the nitty gritty, but essentially, they changed the way that enhancements affect a character's powers.

Unlike WoW, the only real 'drops' in CoX are enhancements - tokens that you can drop into the six slots that can be created (one at a time, at level-up time) in every power in order to improve its effectiveness. Enhancements do things like boost attack damage and accuracy, increase the rate at which powers recharge, reduce the amount of energy ('Stamina', IIRC) they use, and so on. This verisimilitude of enhancements, slots and powers is one of the games strengths, IMO.

Pre-nerf, enhancements were straight multipliers -- one damage meant an attack did Damage x N, two meant Damage x 2N, and so on, all the way to six. You could mix enhancements, of course -- four damage and two accuracy in an attack, for example -- but it was personal preference.

As with any MMORPG, this lead to ideal 'builds' and certain tricks were possible. For example, six recharge enhancements in the 'Hasten' power (which itself increased the recharge time of certain powers) created 'Permahasten' -- the Hasten power that normally had a down-time between uses would instead be permanently active.

The change alluded to by the previous poster was Enhanced Diversification (ED), which was introduced under the guise of creating more varied characters by de-emphasising ideal 'builds'. How so? With ED, if you 'slotted' up to three enhancements of the same type in a power, you still got the standard multiplier effect, but more use than three and the gains were drastically reduced. So, it was pointless to six-slot enhancements of the same time -- 'enhanced diversity'. This meant the end of Permahasten and other (what were arguably) exploits.

The big complaint was that this wasn't a device to improve gameplay, but a massive nerf and it upset lots of players. It doesn't really seem like that big a deal now, but then there are only about 50 people playing in the UK*.

*Source: Out of my ass.

You're forgetting something (2, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270659)

You're forgetting something about perma-Hasten. (And before I get started: this is coming from someone who never used it, just to be different from the cookie-cutter builds.)

Perma-hasten wasn't an exploit. It was the officially allowed possibility, with Cryptic's blessing.

As the game was launched, you could make Hasten permanent with IIRC 2 SOs. Or maybe 3? I can't really remember. At any rate, you could not only make it "perma", you could have it stack with itself most the time.

Statesman seemed to be genuinely surprised that this was possible. Like many other powers (remember the City Of Blasters smoke grenades for example?) noone at Cryptic had done the maths. What happened with which powers on SOs, was a genuine surprise to them.

So as a sort of compromise, Statesman accepted that, yeah, perma-Hasten is a useful thing and will remain available, but it's only fair to need 6 slots for that. So the maths were changed to produce just that result. Officially, and with Cryptic's blessing. It was _not_ an exploit, any way you want to slice it.

Which just made the sudden U-turn in ED more baffling. They painted some things as evil exploits, that previously they treated as just normal tweaks allowed by the game.

ah, citation needed stupidity (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270353)

1. Google for the so called "ED" or "Enhancement Diversification".

In a nutshell, the game already been nerfed twice in a row, especially the tanks and a smaller nerf to regen. (Regens had been nerfed in each patch since I1, so we were already used to that.)

And by "nerf" I don't mean the small tweaks you see on WoW. CoH under Statesman had never discovered fine tweaks. The COH kind of balance tweaks were the kind where one class went from God Mode to nobody, and another class was buffed into being God Mode. The game for example started as City Of Blasters (as a devices blaster could make themselves just 5% short of invulnerable to any enemy) and had become City Of Fire Tankers by I4. (Fire tankers were the "squishiest" kind of tank, as damage mitigation went, but even they could solo a mission instanced for 8 people.) That's the kind of massive balance changes that happened in COH.

The last two ones had been rather severe, and this time noone was buffed, it was rather all nerf and no carrot. Still it was accepted among (A) promises from Statesman that this is absolutely the last big change to the game, and (B) people grudgingly realizing that the balance _had_ been crap. So, anyway, the promise from Cryptic was that this is the last big change, the game is finally working as intended, everyone can relax, respec their chars to deal with it, and enjoy the game. Fine.

Then out of nowhere came the "ED". It's hard to explain it to a non-COH-player without explaining all the game system, but let's just say that _everyone_, every single class, lost up to 1/3 of all they could previously do. Fire blasters suddenly did 2/3 of their previous damage, healers could heal 2/3 as well as before, tanks had their armour class reduced to 2/3, etc. It was across the board. Every single power that you could previously enhance to 300% of base value, now went only up to 196% or so of base.

Due to game mechanics as well, for some the effects were more dramatic than it would seem. For example for a tank, going from 80% damage mitigation to 60% damage mitigation means taking twice the damage. The maths isn't exactly linear there.

In some cases, because of former synergies, the losses were even bigger. E.g., a healer that previously relied on permanent hasten, now also had lost that reduction in time between heals, because, well, with the new changes hasten no longer could be made permanent.

Because the change was so uniformly applied across the board, with no regards to who actually needed it, and who was already at the pain limit, some classes lost a lot more than others. E.g., every single class that was based on defense instead of damage reduction, suddenly became useless. Ice tanks and SR scrappers could even be killed by minions. Again, because game maths worked against those. Cryptic took almost a year IIRC to fix defense after that fuck-up.

And best of all was the justification for it. Statesman got that idea from playing a Gameboy game. No, seriously. It wasn't based on some analysis of what actually happens in the game and what players want, it was Statesman playing with his GBA and thinking, "gee, I like it more when fights take longer." Hence, let's nerf everyone to make them take more time to kill an enemy.

Don't get me wrong, it was possible to adapt to the game after the ED. But it did leave a bitter aftertaste in many people's mouths anyway. And for some it was the straw that broke the camel's back.

2. Well, I don't know how to say it nicely, so I might as well not even try: keep the "{{citation needed}}" trolling where it belongs, on Wikipedia.

Now I'm not telling you to believe everything blindly, quite the contrary. But I'm saying to do your own fucking googling. It's not writing a reference for posterity, it's just a fucking message in a thread that will scroll off the main page in a day. Give it a week and noone will even remember that it ever existed. So if you think anyone will spend half a day researching and cross-referencing the bibliography -- by which time, the thread will already be at most visible in that small list on the right -- then I suspect that either you haven't put much thought into it, or some brain damage may be involved.

Re:WTF are you talking about? (1)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270709)

I see a few attempts at explaining were tried, but without giving you a full understanding.

The giant nerf spoken of was called Enhancement Diversification. While it's common to state that this was a hard cap of 3 enhancements per power, it's far more subtle than that. What they did was add in a bell curve of diminishing returns for enhancements, with it starting to be noticeable around 75%. So, say you slot in 2 33% enhancements, you get the full 66%. Slot in a third, you get 93%. But, slot in 3 25% enhancements you get 74%. You can slot in more, but with diminishing returns each time. In and of itself, it hurt a lot of people.

But, now with Invention Origin enhancements, you now get buffs that more than compensate. So I am in agreement with others, that the two should have been introduced together, but still, they're here now. What IO's do is that if you slot sets in, that is enhancements designed around each other (same name) give extra bonuses that are independent of the individual power's bonus. So, say you slot 4 powers each with a set that gives a bonus of 10% to damage, you'd have a 40% damage bonus on-top-of your normal attack enhancements. Pretty slick design if I do say so myself. It does promote more diversity as well, as bonuses can be achieved through millions of combos. It also downgrades the flavor of the month builds that previously dominated the game.

That's in the past. (2, Interesting)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269671)

The 'Crisis of Infinite Nerfs' was years ago. I was upset too -- quit the game for two years. Came back this summer after I heard that 1.) The nerfs were mitigated with the new invention system (which apparently was always the plan, they just didn't think to release the two at the same time), and 2.) Statesman was no longer with the game.

That's right -- Statesman no longer worked with City of Heroes/Villains, and he was no longer driving the game toward the Lineage PvP template that he admired so much. Positron was lead developer, and he prefers PvE games and more importantly *heroes*. The devs have spent the last year or two asking the players for what they want and then implementing those requests. The game is much, much improved and well-cared-for now than it was when the global nerfs descended years ago.

And with the latest news, it looks like it's going to remain in good hands. You might want to swing by and give the hero biz another try, see how you like it now.

Look a little closer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269819)

Yeah, statesman is long gone. But it doesn't matter. Now in order to attempt to compensate for the horrible nerfing, they added new, more powerful enhancements, to try to get it back to some semblance of where it used to be. Only now you have even more tiny inventories you have to worry about filling up, going back to sell crap, etc. And you have to worry about finding/buying the right crap to make the stupid things. This is all annoying crap that was left out in CoH, and that was what made it so good. I don't want to collect shit, and craft shit, and standard MMOG nonsense. I just want to be a superhero, and go kick bad guys asses. The later patches may have made things slightly less shitty than the peak of shittiness, but they are nowhere even close to bringing the game back to where it used to be, much less moving forward and improving it.

Re:Look a little closer. (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269925)

Eh, you've got a good point. It's *not* the same game as it was. Heroes can be made almost as powerful as they used to be, but it takes more effort and some loot. But it's not the same.

I don't play my old characters anymore, because of how they were affected by the nerfs. I made new characters, who feel very powerful under the new rules. I think they've made a lot of progress and improvements on the game, but you're right that for some people, some actions in the past will never be forgotten nor forgiven.

Re:Look a little closer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21270105)

If they had just left the game mechanics alone, right from the start, and instead used the "issues" to introduce CONTENT then the game would have been perfect. Messing with the rules of the game constantly just pisses people off, some faster than others. But everyone likes new content, and that's where they've really failed the worst.

Re:Look a little closer. (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271443)

Well, they did introduce new content -- City of Villains. The fact that people who enjoyed playing Heroes might not want to play villains was apparently lost on Mr. Emmert. It is not lost on the new management, who has been creating nothing but hero content ever since (Faultline, the Hive, and the RWZ have all been revamped to high praise.)

I'm mildly curious at the motivation (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269105)

I mean, was it just that NCSoft offered unrefuseably large piles of cash?

I met & interviewed Jack Emmert at E3 the year before CoH released - if there's anyone who was developing a game as a labor of love, it was him. He was almost a caricature of the Simpsons' comic book guy, but it was in a charming way because he was so genuine. I agree with his characterization of comic books as 'modern day mythology' and while I can't quite yet personally consider them quite 'literature', there are some fantastic stories being told.

It was such a product of his particular personality and desire, I'm curious what it would have taken to get him to relinquish creative control.

Re:I'm mildly curious at the motivation (1)

MaXimillion (856525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269349)

He hasn't been involved with CoH on personal level for quite a while, having left the position of lead designer and moved to general supervision of all Cryptic titles.

I'd assume he's more interested about MUO, or some unnannouced title nowdays.

Re:I'm mildly curious at the motivation (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269527)

Jack Emmert, and the rest of Cryptic, has been working on Marvel Universe Online for awhile now. Cryptic found themselves in a situation many developers would kill to be in -- they owned too many game franchises that competed with each other.

From this deal, Cryptic gets cash and the ability to do MUO with no conflict of interest. Win-win.

NCSoft gets a very loyal playerbase, a larger share of the CoX revenue stream, and a critically acclaimed game franchise. Win-win.

The players get to keep the same devs, and are being promised many things that they used to say were impossible, such as the holy grail of MMORPGs, the 'one server' environment. Win...we'll see.

I'm usually one of the first to cry DOOOOOM when things go sour in a game I love, but this looks almost entirely positive so far. There'll be some chaos during the transition, but I'm liking what I'm hearing from all sides. A year from now we'll know for sure, and CoX will either be dying or well on its way to having the most catered-to, fanatically devoted players and developers ever.

Re:I'm mildly curious at the motivation (1)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270597)

The players... are being promised many things that they used to say were impossible, such as the holy grail of MMORPGs, the 'one server' environment.
Point of order: The players have never been promised this. They've made asides to the effect of "It'd be cool if we could do this", but they've never confirmed that it's coming or even planned.

Best Designed Game Evah! (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269363)

I really hope this helps expand the audience for this game in some manner. It deserves more exposure in my opinion. I have always thought of this as one of the best designed games I have ever seen. Cryptic just seemed to do everything right for the most part. The game has always represented top quality design and development for me.

Sure, its a niche market, its not for everyone, and its got a narrow focus. I admit its limits. But in my opinion no other MMORPG out there (past or present) can hold a candle to COH/COV for the quality of the group combat experience. I am part of a group of folks who regularly revisit the game for months at a time, and its usually because we are unable to find the same addictive high quality group combat experience in other games. The next great hope is Pirates of the Burning Sea, which has some great potential,

I'm surprised anyone cares anymore. (1)

unsigned integer (721338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269601)

My "supergroup" and I left CoH a long time ago. Why?

Because we no longer felt heroic. We had run every taskforce (Including the first from that portal realm - 11 HOUR MARATHON), done everything - we knew the game, constantly created new characters ... AND we were still having a blast!

The characters we had planned out ... from level 1 to 50 were all suddenly useless. All the planning and effort to tweak builds, respec builds and come out with something of 'heroic' proportions were deemed 'too powerful' and the system was changed to what we were told was "How the devs originally wanted it" .... only a year and a half after the initial release. We didn't even get a thanks for beta testing for them (oh, and paying for it too).

Suddenly, we were no longer in the "City of Heroes" - we were in the "City of Mediocrity" as the devs continued to tune down the classes so no one could feel like an epic hero anymore.

Which really defeats the purpose of the game.

Re:I'm surprised anyone cares anymore. (1)

arthurh3535 (447288) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269841)

I actually felt more heroic after the 'great nerf bat' of GDN and ED, but that was because it was no longer a simple curb-stomp-fest.

Heroes are meant to be challenged, not unassailable gods with perfect morals.

Re:I'm surprised anyone cares anymore. (1)

garylian (870843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270453)

Using the terms "nerf bat" and "ED" in the same sentence... It's Viagra/Cialis/Levitra time!

Bzzt, wrong (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271077)

Bzzt, wrong. Look at some of the early comics, and super-heroes were just that: unassailable gods with perfect morals.

Superman, for example, started with no vulnerability whatsoever. The whole "kryptonite" thing was invented as a tongue-in-cheek explanation when they had to skip an episode or two for the radio version later, for example because the actor was on vacation. And even there it wasn't actually used _in_ any story line. Superman didn't have to battle anyone wielding kryptonite at that point.

Mind you, if you're going to say that that's not (necessarily) much fun in a game, we can even aggree quickly.

But that's a limitation of video games, not a limitation of super-heroes. Literary or comic book characters can be as god-like as the author wants, and still be fun and popular.

Heck, you don't even have to look only at superhero comics. Take Terry Prattchett's Diskworld books, for example. Cohen the barbarian is, for example, so good at dodging that in Interesting Times he even dodges a cannonball from a gun that got teleported right in front of him and fired. Rincewind is comically incompetent except he always ends up on top, even if by sheer luck and without fully realizing what he's done. The witches are just short of god-like in their own right, and can pretty much get what they want even from Death himself. Wossname the monk learned from yetis how to "save and reload" IRL, so he just comes back after being beheaded. Etc, etc, etc. Almost every single major character in those books has some kind of super-power that makes him completely invincible and unstoppable, even by the whole freakin' army of China (or the DW equivalent of it.)

Does that make the books any less fun to read? Nope.

Think action movies. Rambo can stand tall with a machinegun in front of a whole tank division, or get in a pissing... err... shooting contest with a gunship and come out on top. Jedi in SW movies are just about gods that can only kill each other. But they're way out of the league of mortal soldiers or drones, even when those are in brigade-sized formations and with AT-AT and air support. Etc.

And you know what? I dare say that that's actually good character design. People want to be told a nice story where the hero overcomes everything, and everything ends with a happy ending.

Not many people want to be told a tale where the hero thought he could fly circles around the Death Star, but the laws of firepower always beat the rules of literature. Or not many want to be told the story of the guy who thought he could jump in front of the enemy company with a pistol, and was riddled with bullets before he even finished the clip. Those are depressing stories of failure. They're not fun.

We want to be told stories where one determined guy changes the world for the better, and nothing whatsoever can stay in his way. Not one where he fails in the first 15 minutes.

But, again, I can see how that doesn't translate into a fun video game. We just have to accept that it's simply different media, with different rules.

Re:I'm surprised anyone cares anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269979)

I was an experienced player, I did pretty much everything just as you had said, and I have to say that Enhancement Diversity is the best thing that had ever happened to CoH. In fact, I don't even understand why people complained so much... Probably because they were too busy looking at the OMG NUMBERS and not realizing that, hey, the game still plays exactly the fucking same as it did before. The better builds of the game stayed that way, with some tweaking, and it was only dumb, broken things like fire tanks that really got hit hard, and rightfully so. The stronger support builds weren't even affected much at all except by the Hasten nerf, and may well be stronger than they were before due to the silliness of many of the new inventions you can get.

Or are you going to argue that there's a great deal 'epic' about going around herding up hundreds of Freakshow at a time? Or the hilariously tedious and boring Hamidon raids? I am wagering that you simply got tired of what the game had to offer you, and the changes they did made you realize that.

(Also, 11 hours on that TF? That's incredibly slow. It may be painfully long and repetitive but it took no more than 6 for me, and it can definitely be done in 4 if you really want to do it that fast. And yes, that's with the difficulty slider cranked.)

Re:I'm surprised anyone cares anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21270875)

ED never really effected me. From the begining I tried to stay away from stamina, and perma hasten. (Except my Radiation chars) I wanted to get all powers on my chars. So I slotted my powers accordingly. Turns out how I slot my powers became the norm post ED.

Re:I'm surprised anyone cares anymore. (1)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270777)

Pity you've missed the best parts of the game. I find ED expanded the definition of a Hero, not diminished it. What is heroic to you, sitting there for hours nose to nose with the Kronos Titan without it making a scratch, or hammering it while coming within an inch of your life yet coming out on top!

I am Blaster, as I go through the valley of debt I shall know no fear!

Waaaaah, we didn't have a god mode! (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270845)

I was extremely happy when the system was changed (commonly referred to as "Enhancement Diversification" among the players). Before that happened, the Tank archetypes were invincible. It was common practice to create what were known as "burn" tankers, which were tanks that could absorb an infinite amount of damage without consequence and that would deal out massive amounts of damage with their auras. Other variations on powersets provided similar characteristics.

If you were on a team with a burn tank, your job was to stand back and watch. If you interfered, your team would get angry with you and might even kick you from the team. So that's what most missions were, one or two tanks rounding up and dispatching hundreds of enemies at a time, and six or seven other team members standing around watching. On several teams I joined, the other players wouldn't even bother leaving the mission entrance area. Why bother if you're just going to stand around and watch anyway?

It was power-levelpalozza, and it was extremely tedious and boring.

Nowadays, the developers have gone to great lengths to ensure that every member of the team, no matter what archetype, can contribute. That is a Good Thing(TM).

Unless, of course, you enjoy playing games in "god mode," in which it kind of sucks that there exists the prospect that you might (gasp!) actually get defeated once in a while!

The risk is what makes the game fun and worthwhile. Even Superman is vulnerable to Kryptonite. I guess that makes him no longer the "Man of Steel," but the "Man of Mediocrity." Still, if he were literally invulnerable to everything, as so-called "heroes" were before enhancement diversification, it wouldn't be fun reading four pages of "...aaaaaand he thumps them on the head, so now they're in jail" in every single issue.

Re:Waaaaah, we didn't have a god mode! (1)

jayveekay (735967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271117)

Good gameplay requires that the player be presented with interesting choices. If a tank character can kill a hundred mobs at a time with no risk by just doing the same routine over and over, then that's not interesting. I can understand why the developers would want to fix that. What I can't understand is why professional game designers would create such a system in the first place. Since they create the rules, it's hard to fathom how they would be unable to see how their game system would work out once players min/max their characters. Unless, the game designers just threw the game together without thinking ahead...

Re:Waaaaah, we didn't have a god mode! (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271539)

You're right, that was my main problem. The developers harped on the concept of risk versus reward for a long time, and a small element of the player base (such as the poster I replied to) hated it. They only want the reward, not the risk.

As the poster himself pointed out:

the system was changed to what we were told was "How the devs originally wanted it"

The developers weren't clueless, they knew from the outset that it was an issue. However, I understand that they wanted to get the game out even if it wasn't 100% perfect, especially since it was something they could fix later.

I think they underestimated the capacity of people to min/max like that though, and it only got raised way up on the radar after some data mining showed what was going on and after people on the forums copped attitudes about how important tanks were and how everyone else were basically spectators.

When they changed it so that no player was invulnerable and restored some balance to the game, there was a huge outcry about it. There were some people, like the poster I replied to, who just didn't want to play a game that they weren't guaranteed to win every time. Don't be fooled, though. These players wouldn't have stuck around much longer even if the developers gave them everything they wanted. A lot of people were just your normal contingent of DOOOOOM!-sayers, and years later, they're still around crying "DOOOOOM!"--and still enjoying the game. Some people were frustrated because they had invested a lot of time into figuring out the exact equations to min/max their characters, and they had to basically start over in their calculations.

But in spite of the huge outcry, most people really didn't care that much about the change. Honestly, it didn't affect the majority of players much at all. And there were some, like me, who said, "Wow, that's actually a really good idea. Yes, our characters aren't gods any more, but in the long run, it will make the game more fun."

I won't lie, as you can see, some people really did leave. But since Enhancement Diversification rolled out, City of Heroes has steadily increased its subscriber base ever since, and frankly, I say good riddance to the people who would destroy the game's longetivity just so that they could keep their "I Win" button.

My impressions. (4, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270759)

I played City of Heroes for a couple of years, from a few months after initial launch up until shortly after the launch of City of Villains. I experimented with a few alternate characters but I had reached level 45 with my main; 5 levels below the level 50 cap.

I got into the game on the recommendation of my brother and another friend of ours. I played Everquest years earlier for a few months, shortly after the first expansion. The demanding nature of that game, including the reliance on grouping burned me out quickly. What attracted me to CoH was the ability to solo and lack of reliance on gear. It was kind of like a socialist MMO.

What really hooked me was the pace of combat. The game gets really exciting during a fight; I don't think there's been another MMO yet that matches the pace of that game. It's as close to direct, active control as I've seen thus far. Apparently a new powerset is being introduced which even allows for combos.

Additionally, a lone hero could face a group of upwards of 5 foes and emerge victorious, depending on the class. It was fun to jump into the midst of some villains and beat the hell out of them all. So in that regard, it was a very satisfying game.

The pace of leveling was fairly quick but, like all other MMOs it still had considerable grind. And that's really where things broke down. There was nothing else to do but fight. Every single thing in the game revolve around beating up badguys. There were conditions for some missions, like clicking on glowing items, but even then it required getting past hordes of villains. Story was presented in dialog boxes; at the time there were no cutscenes. Alternative skills, comparable to blacksmithing in fantasy MMOs were finally introduced a few months ago. This was after years of promising they were coming soon.

Apparently the skill system was completely redesigned at least 3 times over because it was deemed to not be fun enough. I haven't played what was finally implemented but from what I've read I'm not impressed. It looks like it's merely an adaptation of the supergroup base item building feature.

The character customization is excellent, and probably still surpasses what's available in most other MMOs. Beyond that, however, there's only one way to improve a character. And that's through enhancements which is comparable to stats for other games. Basically, enemies "drop" these enhancements which are then applied to a character's powers. So a player can boost damage, or the power's secondary debuff effect. That was all well and good until the developers decided they didn't want people focusing on a single aspect of any given power. So, every power has 5 slots, if I remember correctly, but using more than two slots for the same boost was essentially a waste. This was supposed to encourage enhancement diversity but I think it resulted in standard ideal templates for specific powers.

There was also the incessant complaining by those who had chosen classes that were less effective solo who felt it was unfair that other classes could solo so effective. Nevermind the fact that the best solo builds weren't always well-suited for groups. So a lot of work went into addressing that with mixed results and to, I feel, the general detriment of the game.

Another problem I came to find with the game was the excessive reliance on templates for environmental design. Basically, upon entering a zone the first time a player had a good sense for how the rest of the zone looked. And many of those features were reused in most other zones. So where other MMOs have a varied and dynamic landscape City of Hero's was a bit contrived. It was tiring running through the same laboratory with a random, nonsensical layout for the 5th time in a few hours. Despite that, the art style was great. It was a lot of fun traveling amongst those skyscrapers. The game simply could have benefited from more variety.

One thing that was good about CoH/CoV was how Cryptic has maintained a close relationship with the players. They've never disclosed the math behind the stats, but in general they've kept the players very well informed about what is going on. I have the impression, however, that the game has been a bit stagnant. The time between updates has grown considerably and there hasn't been a lot that's truly significant since I left a few years ago.

NCSoft may allow for greater resources to help build out the game. However, I'm a bit skeptical that this will be a good thing. I haven't been impressed with NCSoft's own games. I'm concerned that instead of improving the game where it needs it they're going to fundamentally change the game. They could completely ruin the game in the same way as Star Wars Galaxies.

CoH and CoV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21270925)

I still play CoH mainly because you can play with friends even if some of you or them are below thier effective level dueto Sidekicking. My one biggest complaints about CoH is the fact that they should introduce new powers set more frequently than they have and switch out missions/arcs every now and then.

I saw this last night (1)

fawzma (1099863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271795)

So glad I don't play this anymore. A part of me was pissed that I bought both versions, now they are just giving the other side away for free. I'd play again if they gave everyone a free month if they already owned COV and COH.
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