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City Of Heroes Mission Architect Examined


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Posted 30 March 2009 - 05:59 AM

Trembling Hand has posted a new examination of the Mission Architect feature from the Issue 14 update for City of Heroes. The new addition gives players the opportunity to construct their own missions and share them with others in the game.

City of Heroes is not a difficult game. First off, it's instanced. So as soon as you step in the mission door, it's scaled to your level. No getting missions to beat a boss several levels above you that you have to sit on until you can handle it. In addition, not only can you adjust the difficulty for any mission, and drop it low enough that it's trivial to solo, but even on the highest level difficulty with a full 8-person team - which causes the greatest number of mobs to spawn - most teams simply steamroller through missions. It's satisfying, to a point. The game is about being a superhero/villain after all. But there's not much challenge to it.

Well, there is now. Just about every custom mission I've played (and made) includes at least one elite boss - super-tough enemies that only appear irregularly in most CoH content. Plus, there's trick up the critter creator's sleeve that makes even custom minions a renewed challenge.

This is because pre-baked enemies in CoH have a cap on the potency of their abilities, and this cap was tuned to prevent them from being overpowered for soloists and small teams. However, the custom critters use the far more liberal player damage cap, which makes even minions pack a serious punch. Apparently the devs didn't want custom critters being too easy, thus encouraging people to create trivial farming maps. But when making them harder, they overcompensated. But the end result is spectacular - and they're planning to leave it such.

Players are already busy creating their own enemy factions, populated by mobs with complementary abilities that make for a diverse - and thought-provoking - challenge. Once you learn the ins and outs of the existing CoH mobs, you know exactly how to confront them, and pound them into the ground. But every time you fire up an Architect mission, you have no idea what devious villains confront you. It's brilliant.
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