Tuesday, May 12

Paragon Studios does it again

'It' being finding another way to rehash already existing content and art assets with minimal effort and some dodgy storytelling.

I love City of Heroes /City of VIllains, don't get me wrong. But...

I have to hand it to them, Paragon Studios are masters at rehashing content & assets and having their players work for them or failing that running after the carrot of rare dropping enhancement sets. The only true 'new' content that they created themselves, after Mythic Studio's hemorrhaged City of Villains, was some bland year-and-a-half-too-late Troy / 300 bandwagon jump thing. And now comes this announced expansion:

City of Heroes goes Rogue.
For the official announcement, go here.
Meaning with this "expansion" Heroes will be able to go slumming on the Rogue Isles and the Villains can clean up their act and visit Paragon City, only they can't do mayhem missions then, only goody two-shoes heroics. So what their incentive will be is anyone's guess.

I know that being able to visit the "other side" is one of the most requested features on the player forums, the other being taking down the blue forceshields which show the ends of the instanced "zones". I guess the visiting option was the least unfeasible of the two. But to me asking to be able to visit the Rogue Isles with your Hero means you're bored playing the same old, same old on your hero. But don't you feel the same with your Villain? How long is slumming on the Rogue isles doing the same old same old Rogue missions only with your Hero going to stay interesting?

Keep in mind the separate powersets have already beld over into each other. So all this is going to give you is the your brightly coloured hero running around using not-so-different-anymore powersets in the same old, same old missions. Since costume pieces have always been shared between villains & Rogues this actually adds nothing. Issue 14's Mission Architect system was way more revigorating, innovative and worthy of an actual Expansion in than this lowering of the virtual iron curtain.

Heck, pooring the Architect stuff (the making of missions) into an expansion mold might have kept out some of the crud makers and farming mission builders/users. Not to mention an expansion's budget might have included the means to have an actually working moderation system and maybe even a comparative voting system. I.e. the one system known to work when you're trying to get that 2% of User Created Content that's not crap.

They really, really need to add more than just "visiting rights" in this expansion to make it interesting (read, have them keep subscribers in the face of fresh air Champions Online).
But then again, I might be totally mistaken. They do mention something about "Alternate Reality", but that sounds more like segregation of those with- and those without Going Rogue.

Rock paper Shotgun have a more hopeful article regarding the announcement


  1. Although I think you make it sound as if it is almost crime against humanity to still play/enjoy COW (city of whatever), I do agree this is not at all something I was looking forward to. But the community seems to be pretty excited. Even the left over Ampers are thrilled. Personally I have no desire for any of my heroes or villains to switch sides. It will probably making roleplaying harder since most players will go for FotMs.

    But... although they are pretty nifty in reusing what they have, it is still by far the MMORPG with the most frequent updates that does manage to bring in new content time after time. I actually think the current dev team is doing an amazing job keeping quite a large community happy even with CO and DCUO around the corner.
    I haven't had a change to try out any of the mission architect content yet, and the next update is already on the horizon. I think that is pretty impressive. My COV buddies had tried out some of the player story arcs, and they said there are some really great designed arcs out there. My problem is that it is becoming a bit like cable television. There is so much choice, your friends will not have watched the same stuff as yourself anymore.

  2. Hi hi hi.
    Sorry, it's not a crime against humanity, as such, to like and play CoX.
    My acerbic tone is my usual reaction to the usally overly enthusiastic, silly, happy-happy-joy-joy reactions of the general CoX-forum fanboi crowd who think the world of every little rehash.

    As it stands, Most SOE games get the same amount of free content updates as CoX does, but with expansion packs every 6-9 months as well as additional bonus packs which contain more bang for your buck than those boosterpacks.
    WAR also has had more content updates and an upcoming expansion within the first 9 months than CoX has had after the same period post-launch. Heck, even Anarchy Online...

    So, while there's plenty of MMO's to think of which do a lot worse on additional content updates, "Free" or premium, CoX isn't exactly at the top either. Except in the aforementioned fanbois :-)

    I do find your insight into the Architect missions intruiging, especially as this is the path that both Hero's Journey and SWTOR are trying to go. Individual story means others will not have followed the exact same content you have either. The synergy of shared experiences (not nessecarily shared at the same time) may be lost in the process.