The 2008 State of the Game
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The New Year is always a time for reflecting upon the year past, as well as setting goals and outlining plans for the year to come. In looking back, we feel that 2007 was a banner year for City of Heroes. Three major free expansions, among the 21 total game updates over 12 months, made for exciting times! We added a completely new game system with Inventions, bringing "loot" and strengthening our economy, invited players to fight off an alien invasion and travel through time, among other things! Click the links below for highlights:
Additionally, in 2007 we expanded our services by offering Character Renames and Transfers. We are looking to add more such conveniences to facilitate a great gaming experience.
Then, in November of '07 we announced the exciting news of the consolidation of the City of Heroes franchise under the NCsoft banner and formation of the NCsoft NorCal studio to support it: A New Age Dawns. As Brian Clayton, Executive Producer and NCsoft NorCal Studio Manager, alluded to in his Dev Blog, there are some big plans in the works for the game and the franchise. While we're not quite ready to reveal the details of those plans, we do have several other short term initiatives to share:
The City Vault
We gave a sneak peak of the new "City Vault" feature at the recent San Jose Meet 'n Greet. The City Vault is coming soon to the City of Heroes website and will showcase the millions of interesting Heroes and Villains found in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. It will allow you to search for characters by a number of different criteria, and then view those characters, including images of different costumes, powers, badges, friends, stats by zone and other fun information! As we have previously announced, you can manage what information will be displayed through the City Vault for your characters via several in game options.
We will have more details about the City Vault Beta soon.
Double XP Weekend and Server Hardware Improvements
We have another Double XP Weekend coming! Currently we are targeting February for this event. It will be the same format as we have run previously: a weekend long fest of double rewards of experience gain, influence or infamy, and prestige! Double XP is always popular and usually drives our online numbers to record heights.
To better address performance issues that tend to arise under such conditions, we are investing in server hardware upgrades. Technology is always marching forward and we are making this investment back into the game to take advantage of the latest tech and help create the best gaming experience possible for our players.
Our plans are to have all of the new hardware online before the coming Double XP Weekend. We will post more details of the server upgrade schedule, along with the dates of the actual Double XP weekend soon, so keep your eye on the City of Heroes website!
Valentine's Day Event
Also coming in February, we have an expanded Valentine's Day Event! We're adding a few new twists to the previous event and also have a very special surprise to go along with this romantic holiday. More details will be coming soon!
Smoothing the XP Curve
One thing that we constantly examine is the rate of advancement in the game. In a future version, we intend to smooth out the leveling curve by changing how much experience is given out for defeating opponents. The intent is to smooth out the "bumps" where players typically get stuck leveling up their characters. Keep an eye on coming patch notes for specifics.
As a general quality of life improvement we will be adding new functionality in a coming version of the game to display the "real" numbers behind your characters and their powers. This includes a user configurable display of important characteristics such as movement rate, regeneration rate, resistances and many more! Additionally, you will be able to see how those statistics are affected in real time by buffs and/or debuffs affecting your character.
We have a great vehicle in the City of Heroes Fanzine to showcase art and fiction from the many talented members of our game's community. We are gearing up to work on the next issue and if you want to submit something for consideration, visit the fan submission page. Act now, as Feb. 11th is the deadline for submissions to the next issue.
While we're not announcing the specifics of what will be included in the next free expansion, Issue #12, we do want to reiterate that we will continue to add great new free additions to the game in 2008. The team is working hard to ensure our next free expansion will be an exciting, feature-filled addition to the game.
Overall, it is exciting time for the City of Heroes franchise. We are looking forward to bringing the above items to you in the short term, and much more in the medium and long term! As always, thanks for your continued patronage and support.
- The City of Heroes Development Team