City of Heroes: Beginners Guide to the Mission Architect Pt. 1
The Architect Entertainment Studio Manager will automatically be added as a Contact.
Architect Entertainment Studio Manager will automatically be added as a
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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.
Stories in Mission Architect
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Architect Entertainment locations can be found throughout Paragon City
and the Rogue Isles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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…
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
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.
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.
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.
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