City of Heroes Freedom Interview with Matt "Positron" Miller at SDCC 2011 - Page 5

Posted Tue, Jul 26, 2011 by Sardu

Ten Ton Hammer: Do you have a release date for City of Heroes Freedom that you’re ready to announce yet?

Positron: We do have a release date locked in, but we’re not announcing it yet. Later this year is all we’re saying for now, but we are very excited about it. I think this is the most content of any single release we have ever put into this game.

We’re bordering on City of Villains and Going Rogue in terms of how much work people have done on this. It’s really kind of a reimagining of the franchise for this business model. That’s what I love about it. It’s basically new life breathed into this game – a game that thousands of players still love, and they’re still going to find what they love in that game.

Ten Ton Hammer: What does the future hold for those fans once Freedom and Issue 21 are live? Are you planning on doing more releases similar to Going Rogue in terms of size and scope as a full expansion release?

Positron: What we really want to do is more Issues in a year than we’ve ever done before, and on a more regular release schedule, and just have a certain consistency. With the launch of Freedom, consistency is going to be key. We want that store to have something new on it every week, or be running specials on something.

We’ve got monthly updates called signature stories that we’ll be able to add, so every month there’s going to be a new signature story available. And just cool updates, but remaining consistent with it is really our goal. VIP players will get the signature stories for free, and free players will be able to get them in the store.

CoH Freedom - Galaxy's End

Ten Ton Hammer: Will new Issues continue to be free content that’s added to the game for all players, or will those work the same as the signature story releases?

Positron: For Issue 21, the zone itself is going to be available for everyone. The contacts and the missions are going to be for VIP players only, but free players can purchase the contacts. So free players can still get in the zone and experience some of the content of the Issue, and that’s kind of the model we want going forward.

Again, it’s catered towards our VIP subscribers so that they’re getting everything they were getting before, and more. That was our goal: don’t take something away from our VIP subscribers just because we’re changing our business model.

Ten Ton Hammer: Any final words for our readers before we wrap things up?

Positron: We’re very excited about Freedom, and all of the new players it’s going to bring into the game, as well as our veteran players being rewarded for their time. We love the things like the Paragon Rewards Program. It’s rewarding our veteran players, it’s rewarding our returning players and even if they don’t want to pick their subscription back up, they’re going to find that their previous time is still going to count as credit in the game.

I think in those areas alone we really tried to understand this market, and really wanted to make sure that we are a leader in this market of a hybrid business model.

We’d like to thank Matt “Positron” Miller for the excellent interview and for taking the time to speak with us, as well as the fine folks from NCsoft!

Well for better or worse it looks like the game is going to reinvent itself after seven years. Not that it hasn't already done so with all the end game grinding recently added.

I've subscribed almost from the beginning. My husband from the beginning. I've tried free based games and while I enjoy them I find that you end up with a lot of teenie boppers running around "help me help me" and not able to pay. they want the people who pay to group with them and get them into the areas they cannot get to. Or help them level or any number of other things. What is NCSoft doing to prevent this from happening? I have not been able to play for a year yet have never put my sub on hold because I felt that if I wanted to keep my info, my characters, my friends, etc it was only fair. I'm dissabled and because of surgeries etc was not able to get to my computer. Now with a laptop things are a bit easier, however energy... The thing is if I'm going to play, I want my energy to go to playing, not listening to players whine for help, etc. If we can avoid that and bring in new blood, I'm all for it, thing is, the games out there now well they have a marketing stradegy, more visibility to people. My childre are all the time telling me of new MMOs and other things they are seeing advertised more regularly on TV. They both play CoH and love it, yet as with most children of this erra, seem able to hop from game to game without any issue. I am a person who sticks with 1 or 2 games. I agree with Positron it is a step up, and bringing in their forum posters was an awsome idea, The thing is the loudest voices are not always the ones who know what the masses are thinking. Remember you range in age groups and don't forget the many married couples who play this game together. My husband and I started on text driven games, I was even a god which ment I coded for the game among other things. The thing is you need to remember a lot of things with any change you do, I hope that with this one they will add for those things that are missed.

My best wishes to CoH and CoV that this is successful for them and for those of us who have been loyal from the beginning.

Most of the "help me help me" types hang out in Atlas Park and Cap au Diable and ask for AE Farms. To avoid them, all you have to do is spend time outside those zones or keep your broadcast turned off while in the zone. Nothing I've read indicates this will change except maybe a third zone will be added to the list if they start to hang out in the new zone that's being introduced. Also, the recent addition of the helper/help me titles on character creation funnels those sorts into a dedicated chat channel, appropriately enough called "help" and only people who want to help have to deal with them. So the game already has infrastructure setup for it.

Right now, they don't need help getting anywhere. Level restrictions have been pulled from all zones and even level 1 characters can go to the Shadow Shard and other end-game locations solo. I do it all the time to get the jet pack temp power as it is faster than levelling up for a travel power. So again, unlike other games, CoH already is protected against it. Really I'm more interested to see how the "gold farmers" will react. Will they start using free accounts to spam again? Will the new players be begging for money due to the massive inflation on the top items despite so many new ways to get top-end enhancements? Still there are built in limits on email and chat, and the team have been quick to ban spammers, so overall I'm not worried, I'm just watching. Plus as I recall there's limits on how much inf free characters can have and what enhancements they can use/sell.

Last, if you just want to play and not hear freebies asking for help, they did announce a VIP-only server. So you can just play without them.

All in all, I think you're covered. Not 100% sure until it ships, but at the very least, if you're paying, you can go to the VIP-only server and they can't follow.

Fascinating information! I cant believe Ive finally found the information Ive been searching for for so long. Thank you!

Their Kickstarter campaign reached its goal in under a week so we sat down with Project Lead, Chris Hare, to learn more about their story.
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