Posted Fri, Apr 17, 2009 by Savanja
No doubt the goal of every developer is to put a product or idea out to the community and get nothing but good feedback right back at them. In this goal, the City of Heroes Issue 14: Architect addition has been very much a success and the good folks at Paragon Studios have a few words to say regarding it's reception. This letter to the community from Lead Designer Matt Miller talks about what Issue 14 has meant to CoH and the players who are enjoying it.
Hey Heroes and Villains!
On behalf of the entire Paragon Studios/City of Heroes team, I wanted to take a few minutes to write this letter to express our excitement and appreciation for all that you have done for us. We’ve had a lot of exciting things brewing over here, and with each step and unveil we have received an amazing amount of positive feedback and activity which is exciting to see.
Issue 14: Architect has been live for over a week now, and I must say we are simply astounded at the response we've gotten for it. Not only have the current players of CoH and CoV taken a shine to the new feature, but we are seeing a lot of familiar faces return to Paragon City and the Rogue Isles to check out this new innovation in MMO's…user created content.
Like every system we design here, the Mission Architect system has been a labor of love that we have poured over every little decision on. I feel like everything we have worked on has really been worth it when I see that within 60 minutes, we had 360 entire Mission Arcs (each containing up to 5 missions) available for other people to play. By midnight on day one, we had over 2600 arcs, and exactly 24 hours after launch we were already at 3800 arcs. We did some data mining of our own, and 3,800 surpasses the amount of content that we, the developers, have made for all of City of Heroes and City of Villains combined. In just one day our users did more than we could in almost five years.
Users are now talking about which Mission Arcs are fun, and which ones are brutal. They have set up threads in our forums where they "Review" each others' work, giving critiques and criticisms on the arcs published by others. They have even gone so far as to make movie-style posters, comic-style covers, and in some cases machinima using the in-game models to promote their arcs. We never expected anything like that even in our wildest dreams when designing the feature, and I think that is totally cool.
70% of the arcs that are published use Custom Enemy groups. These are enemies created using our fantastic costume editor, coupled with a large sampling of the powersets that the game already uses. These unique enemies have proven to be extremely popular and sparked new life into the game. Players absolutely love fighting custom enemies for the simple fact that they no longer know what to expect. One of the biggest problems with MMOs is you eventually learn what all the critters you are fighting do, and the game can get pretty rote. Developers make new critters, but there can be months before you get new ones. Now players have the opportunity to be constantly making new enemies with new, interesting capabilities that can challenge and vex themselves and their friends, any time they want.
Looking at the Mission Server one week after launch, we currently have over 20,000 published arcs up and playable, of those there were 6259 "Heroic" themed arcs and 2240 "Villainous" themed ones, as well as 112 Time Travel arcs, 134 arcs that deal with Statesman in some way, and 794 arcs that have the 5th Column in them. When it comes to ratings, there were 2,860 arcs that are "5-stars" and 582 arcs rated as "1-star".
All in all, the actual launch of Issue 14 has exceeded any expectation we have set for it. We aimed very high with this Issue, but even the most Pollyanna dev on the team never expected the feature to take off this fast, with this amount of awesome buzz behind it. Players and the press have been calling this revolutionary, and I think we at Paragon Studios are just bringing our heads up to see exactly how revolutionary it actually is.
So, please accept our thanks for all the support and we hope you will continue to enjoy City of Heroes.
See you in the Architect!
Matt "Positron" Miller