Architect Mechanics

City of Heroes has moved the mission editor to Issue 14 in 2009. Issue 13 will be adding all the content that was missing from Issue 12: they are finishing up Cimerora and the Midnight Squad. Because releasing incomplete content and getting to it 5 months later is acceptable on a four year old game with a direct competitor in development. *ahem* The delay on “create your own mission” is so that they can include “create your own villain” for it.

That aside, evolution in the genre:

The Leveling Pact: A new innovation to MMOs, this groundbreaking system allows you and a buddy to create new characters and have your XP be permanently in sync, whether both characters are online or not. You will always be the same level, even if your buddy plays ten times more often than you do! It’s sort of like “Extreme Sidekicking.”

Multi-Builds: Another innovation to City of Heroes, we are delivering the ability to have two different build-outs of each character, including which powers are selected and which Enhancements are slotted. This will now be possible for characters who want to take advantage of it. By visiting any Trainer you can switch the entire build of your character to an alternate one. You can use this separate build for whatever you like. If you wish to use different power selections for soloing and groups, you can do that. This even makes it possible to have different IO sets slotted for PVP and PVE. It’s up to you.

Multi-builds are straightforward and a great idea for all of us who do not want to be forced between PvE/PvP, healing/damage, solo/group, etc. Leveling pacts, however, are … interesting. They explain that you split xp, no matter which character earns it, and you are in that pact for life. I like it as a way to make sure you do not out-level your friend. Their initial plan is for two characters, and if it does not destroy things, more. Because it can be hard to arrange having everyone on at once.

: Zubon

Update: you can leave the leveling pact, but you cannot get another after level 5.

10 thoughts on “Architect Mechanics”

  1. I love the Sidekick system, such an innovative and forward-thinking feature, but it hasn’t been adopted much since it doesn’t fit within the vision most level-grinding games have.

    Both of these new features also strike me as smart, yet unlikely to be implemented fully elsewhere.

  2. I’m sure I’ve seen the Level Pact idea bandied about before, but can’t remember where – possibly it was a rumoured feature of Vanguard, way before launch? Guess it didn’t make it in. Strange that it’s CoX that’s going with it for real – of all the games I’ve played, it seems the one that needs such a pact the least, yet was probably always going the game that would be most likely to put something like it in.

    Love the Multi-builds; currently playing a Mind/Psi Dominator with lots of Leadership picks, which is fantastic in large groups, but painful to solo. Having a second set-up with more Psi than Mind and some other solo-based Pools would help enormously.

    Quite annoyed about Architect itself being pushed back – it’s the main reason I resubbed recently; so see how that’s going to work.

  3. Ha yes, a leveling pact, the perfect way to buy powerleveling without having to give out account information…

  4. The developers addresses Hexedian’s comment:

    Brian Clayton:
    Sure. I mean, it’s absolutely a concern. It’s a concern that we deal with today, without the system. Really, what we’re trying to do is build opportunities for our players to play the games in the way they want to. We’ll continue to enforce our policies, and do everything we can to mitigate powerleveling services and things like that. But more importantly, this is a feature that our customers have been asking for, and it’s a feature that we want to provide them with. Arguably, you could say we’re making it easier for some of these powerleveling services, but at the same time we’re probably improving the grouping experience for a substantial amount of our customers.

    Matt Miller:
    There’s actually less incentive now to use a powerleveling service, because now instead of paying someone to powerlevel my guy, I can actually have my friend play… and I’m not giving up my play time to some other service. I actually get to play whenever I want to on my character. And my friend gets to play whenever he wants to on his character, and we’re both leveling at the same rate.

    I don’t think their arguments actually work, because this does make a new, more convenient method of powerleveling easier. Once full groups are available for the service, you just PL the heck out of one character to do seven.

    But really, if you are missing the leveling game in City of Heroes, you are missing the game. The game has little endgame. And this only works if you want to skip to the end, otherwise you are permanently tied to whatever character you are in a pact with. Maybe powerleveling services will have a couples deal, I don’t know, but you must start by level 5 and it never ends, so it only works if you want to buy a 50. [new dev comment, see below]

  5. Evolution in the genre…The Leveling Pact:

    I LOVE it.
    I prefer to call it “Innovation in evolution of the genre”
    How brilliant, and a very smart system for couples who play or buddies in small groups.

    These guys impress me so much.

    Wish I liked Super Hero games though.

  6. I think its great. Kind of a no-brainer. Can’t understand why it hasn’t been done previously. Hopefully it makes it into Champions cuz there’s no way I’m going back to City of Heroes now that its so old :P.

  7. I am quite sure Vanguard at least intended to have something similar to the leveling pact – I have no idea if it actually made it into the game.

    Final Fantasy XI recently introduced “Level Sync”, but this seems more to be like Exemplar/malefactor or perhaps more like EQ2 mentoring but for a whole team. The team memberss effective level is reduced to that of a selected player in the team, if their real level is higher.

  8. Once full groups are available for the service, you just PL the heck out of one character to do seven.

    Not quite sure how likely that is to work. If you have to PL the heck out of one character at twice the amount of XP for the current pact system, it’s reasonable to assume that one character leveling at a time would need eight times the experience to level a full group worth of Pact.

    You can avoid having to give out account information, but each character that does so is going to cut down experience gain for the ‘set’ (if X minion is ‘worth’ 100 xp for a full group, a group with one LP being powerleveled is only going to get that LP 50 experience as opposed to the typical 100 for a conventional power leveling. Doubling the time required probably won’t double the costs, but it’ll add significantly to them.

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