City of Heroes: Beginner’s Guide to the Mission Architect Pt. 1

Posted Mon, Apr 27, 2009 by Sardu

The Architect Entertainment Studio Manager will automatically be added as a Contact.

Getting started with the City of Heroes Mission Architect (MA) is as simple as following your compass to the newly added Architect Entertainment buildings peppered throughout Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. For freshly created characters, upon training up to level 5 (or at the first login after updating to Issue 14 for existing characters) you’ll be alerted that the Studio Manager of Architect Entertainment has invited you to attend a VIP tour of their swank new facilities. For the villainous among you, the building will be located in the urban paradise otherwise known as Mercy Island while the heroic souls out there will be directed to hop on a unicorn and ride the nearest rainbow over to Atlas Park.

Once you arrive and speak to the Studio Manager, he’ll send you on a quick tour of the facilities. While this quick intro isn’t necessary for you to be able to create or play Architect Entertainment (AE) missions, the NPCs you’re directed to speak with will share a wealth of information that you’ll probably find quite useful. For example, the first NPC on your tour will be the AE Greeter who shares a handy list of AE locations among other things.

Playing Stories in Mission Architect

Overview: In Mission Architect, you can play arcs created by both heroes and villains. While playing stories you’ll gain equivalent experience and rewards as you would outside of Architect Entertainment. The only real difference you’ll notice is that you’ll also collect tickets. You can redeem these tickets at a nearby Architect Ticket Vendor for rewards. The tickets themselves will appear in your Salvage inventory under the ‘Special’ tab, which allows you to collect them without it counting towards your normal Salvage spatial limits.

  • Tip: I’ve found that running through a few of the other player created missions in MA before diving into building arcs of your own can be pretty useful for helping to get a better idea of the scope of what’s possible, which I’ll expand on a bit more further along in the guide.

The Mission Browser: You can access a Mission Browser from any computer in the Main Studio or in Studio B, a special area of the facilities that has power dampening in effect, which allows players to use the MA toolset in a relatively peaceful environment. The Mission Browser is where you’ll see stories published by other heroes and villains. To make the selection process a bit easier, the database allows you to sort the published missions by Rating, Length and Date.

  • Tip: Coming up with an awesome title for your missions can be a bit tricky at first – you’ll want your title to grab people’s attention in as few words as possible, while still giving a general idea of what kind of story you’re trying to tell. Don’t be afraid to include any pertinent details either – as an example you’d be surprised how helpful it is to have your mission tagged as solo friendly right in the title, even if you do so in brackets at the end.

Search Options: Clicking the text that reads ‘Search Options’ will expand a small portion of the Mission Browser window. Here you will be able to filter your searches through a handful of options. Notice that as you filter your search, your filters will be displayed at the top of the window following the “Filtering by:” text.

You can search for missions by filtering for: Text Field, Rating, Length, Morality, Language as well as toggling the settings to only show arcs you haven’t played or those you haven’t yet voted on.

  • Tip: You can use more than a single Filter or Sort Option to help you hone in on exactly the type of mission you feel like playing. In the process, you’ll likely pick up on how important it is to make each of the above filter options as clear as possible when creating your own mission arcs.

Once you’ve selected a mission in the ‘Browse and Play’ tab of the Mission Browser, you’ll simply need to hit the “Play” button to jump into the action. A small window will appear to warn you that you’re about to enter ‘Architect Mode’; this essentially queues up your selected mission along with the specific contact you’ll need to speak with to get started. These NPCs will appear on the glowing green pads on the main studio floor of the AE facility, and serve the same functions as normal NPC contacts. Simply speak to them to read what wacky adventure they want you to embark upon, accept the mission and then dive into the swirling green portal to get started.

  • Tip: To help minimize the inevitable downtime of being defeated during a mission, the AE facility also has its very own infirmary. This is a welcome addition, as you’re bound to attempt an interesting sounding arc only to discover the hard way that it’s a bit above your skill level, requires more players to complete than you currently have in your part or simply has some stiff challenges.

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