City of Heroes: Beginners Guide to the Mission Architect Pt. 1
The Architect Entertainment Studio Manager will automatically be added as a Contact. Getting started with the City of...
The Architect Entertainment Studio Manager will automatically be added as a Contact.
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.
Numerous Architect Entertainment locations can be found throughout Paragon City and the Rogue Isles.
The Star System: As you play through stories created by others, you’ll get the chance to rate the story from 1-5 stars. If you rate the content well, the creator will gain Architect Tickets which are useful for unlocking even more mission customization options.
Comments: You can also leave a comment to the creator of the story you’re on, telling what you liked or giving some feedback on areas you would like to see them improve upon in future iterations of the same mission arc or with any future arcs the same player might choose to publish.
- Tip: While you can only publish 3 arcs to the AE database at any given time, you can create as many missions as you’d like allowing you to swap out new missions for old ones etc. This also allows you to tweak a previously published arc and adjust things based on some of the feedback you may obtain through user comments.
Hall of Fame: Arcs that become very popular among the community will earn the “Hall of Fame” rank. Hall of Fame stories get permanently stored on the Arc Server and free up one of the three story slots for the person who created it.
Developer’s Choice: Dev Choice stories are stories that the developers hand pick as the best of the best. As with Hall of Fame stories, Dev Choice stories also get permanently stored on the Arc Server, freeing up one of the three story slots for the creator in the process.
- Tip: While you may be tempted to create missions for the sole purpose of an easy way to farm tickets, it’s likely that Hall of Fame and Dev Choice stories will be selected more for their creativity and awesome use of the toolset.
Flagging Inappropriate Stories
Flagging Content: Stories that have inappropriate content can be flagged for AE’s Customer Service team to investigate. You can flag content by hitting the ‘Architect Options’ button in your compass window. At the bottom of the window you’ll find a big red button that says ‘Report for Content’. Hitting this button will open up another window allowing you to give more detail regarding the story.
Reporting options include Inappropriate Content, Copyright Infringement and Broken or Bugged Missions. Once one of these options is selected, players are asked to provide some details about the mission. If the same mission gets flagged repeatedly for inappropriate content there is a chance the story will get pulled from the server to be investigated further. The mission creator will be informed of this upon their next login, and will be able to read any complaints left about the story in question.
- Tip: Rather than getting too detailed on the steps taken against repeat offenders, I’d simply mention here that inappropriate content can eventually lead to a warning from customer service, or potentially even getting banned from Paragon City and the Rogue Isles entirely. So long as you’re creating content that’s appropriate though, the system is extremely rewarding for all involved parties. Speaking of rewards…
Creator Rewards: Those who make stories for Mission Architect will receive Tickets based off of player approval. The higher a story is rated the more tickets the player will gain.
Player Rewards: Those who choose to play others stories in ME will earn equivalent experience and rewards as if they were adventuring outside of this simulated environment. The key difference is that players will gain Tickets instead of random drops. These tickets can be redeemed at a local ticket vendor for Enhancements, Inspirations, Salvage, Recipes and more.
- Tip: When you complete a mission, you gain bonus tickets equal to the amount of tickets you collected throughout the course of your mission. This bonus will increase for each mission in a given Story Arc.
Badges: While playing in ME you can earn Architect specific badges. There are a number of badges for playing in both Test mode as well as playing Published content. However, the only other badges besides Architect badges that can be earned while in Architect are the badges that are granted for earning a certain amount of badges.