An Issue For Alts

I have played through all the new Issue 12 content you can with an existing hero. It is a long evening of play: a story arc to unlock the Midnighter’s Club, reading things in the Midnighter’s Club, a new task force, look at architecture on the new island, a few missions that are all about reading backstory, and a contact with endless template missions. The new gameplay is pretty much that task force. The new enemy group has fewer than a dozen enemies in it, so you mostly fight the same three minions, one lieutenant, and one boss until you hit an elite boss or three. The last mission includes “defeat 300” of these, so you will be on that map for a while. The guys in my supergroup want that Oracle costume for all their female characters.

This is a time for new characters. I have one more villain story arc to try, then the remaining new content is the villain epic archetype. There are some new powers to try, but most of Power Proliferation is porting existing powers to different archetypes. I can’t knock that, as we had a hoot rampaging with low-level characters using the proliferated powers, but it is a new way of hitting old content. Oh, and I should poke around the redecorated Hollows more, although we hit the zone on our new characters.

Issue 11 recycled old content via flashbacks. Issue 12 recycles old content via new characters. I am hoping that Issue 13 has more new content, although I am not expecting it until October. We are somewhat slower than the stated plan of three new issues per year, although I suppose we could count 11.5 as a significant update. It just feels like Turbine puts out this much content every month or two for its games.

: Zubon

11 thoughts on “An Issue For Alts”

  1. To be fair, Turbine has had a larger post-release development team (not to knock Turbine’s support of Lotro, which is pretty fantastic) but NCSoft has been slowly ramping up the development team of CoX, so hopefully things will pick up. Maybe. I think it was the introduction of the VEATS that caused Issue 12 to take so long.

    A more flattering comparison on quantity of content updates would be WoW – Blizzard has something like 100x the subscriber base of CoX and yet only puts out a paltry 2 content updates per year. In that context, CoH seems pretty good :p

  2. One minor note: After CoV launch, until I12, CoH had 15 employees working on it.

    No, not 15 programmers. I mean team head, manager, janitor and board moderator, as well as sysadmin, two art guys, one powers guy.. Someone figured out the whole list of people once. It was a bit scary.
    Issue 13 should be… _interesting_. “Fully armed and operational Death Star” interesting.

    I don’t know if they’ll have the ‘design your own Task Force’ in it, though. You saw that announcement, right?

  3. Both fair, but they are all on the same field. Your $15/month gets you CoX, WoW, or any other MMO. A four-year-old game with a skeleton crew makes it sound like the game has been all but abandoned. Too few people means you are not devoting much effort to the game, and “but I wasn’t trying very hard” is not a great excuse. Much luck to the expanded team. (I did see the post looking at everyone on the team.)

  4. You’re missing my point, such as it is. Everything from issue 9 or so, to 11.5 was with 15 people. VEATs were paid for by the wedding pack. And there was some decent stuff there. Not fantastic, but pretty decent.

    13 is going to be the first one with everyone on board and somewhat experienced. Given what we got in 9, 10, and 11, I’m a bit curious to see what 13 will result in.
    (I rather expect a box set by 15)
    Yeah, CoH got abandoned by the Marvel crew. Are you horribly surprised? They knew they were going to have to try to cannibalize it to get new players later, so might as well sabotage it now.

    And you missed the Midnight Squad as a new enemy group, by the way. They’re around to fight. Go check out by the Sharkhead Hospital, there’s a contact right there, just click on him if you’re over 20.

  5. I get the point. Fair but irrelevant. Doing “pretty decent” despite handicaps: good job, you’re still charging the same price in a very crowded marketplace. I am a consumer in this market: I don’t care what their problems are, I care about the product that is brought to market. If the game spent a year in Limbo, that was a year when Age of Conan was finishing its beta and Champions Online announced its existence. Bad business plan.

    We understand their problems. We appreciate the good work that they have done despite them. And then we go buy a different product that does not have those problems.

    I got to the Midnighters mission this afternoon (villain content, hence the first sentence of the original post). Well, two missions, since there are a couple of Midnighters earlier in the arc. If I can ever get a full team to flashback, we can see if those are more interesting than re-skinned CoT. I liked the Living Armor.

  6. Issue 9 – Inventions, Auction House (with different bidding system), Hamidon Raid changed to be less “pile on the big monster” and utilize different team roles

    Issue 10 – new Rikti War Zone (co-op raid included), 4 story arcs, 1 new TF

    Issue 11 – two new powersets, the long awaited Flashback system (aka Ouroboros), 4 short but unique story arc “TFs”, weapon customization, and some additional invention enhancements for sets like tohit, debuff, etc.

    Issue 12 – two new villain archetypes (with 4 new powersets), spinning off to a potential 6 types of characters with different playstyles, story arcs for those villain ATs, a couple of short story arcs from Midnighter Club and Cimerora, 1 new TF

    Somewhere in between Issues 11 and 12, we also had Issue 11.5 – Real Numbers (TM), a feature players had been requesting for a long time.

    All done with a fifteen man team, more or less. Personally, it boggles my mind that they got it done, and so well too. Does “content” just equal progress of story, or does it include all of the above?

    Now if you’re sick of the gameplay (Solo: kill 3 minions, repeat. Team: kill 17 clumped enemies, repeat,) that’s another kettle of fish altogether. I’m taking a break from CoX to play AoC because I’m tired of the basic gameplay.

    It’s a nasty leftover of the way their basic game engine works though, mob spawning dynamically changing based on the team numbers. Still, it looks like they’re working on it. The latest Imperious TF experiments with mob placements that aren’t so obviously a 17-man clump, and embraces lots of ambushes, etc.

  7. I’m not denying CoH has annoyances. It does. Lots of them are engine specific. But as I always say, CoH was a game that should have been impossible. First time studio, never before successful concept… (Freedom Force came out when CoH was in development)

    What I’m saying is that I’ve got a lot of hope for the future of CoH, considering what they were able to do with 15 people. And I think that it can compete against CoH 2.0 (Marvel/Champions Online) if they hold up to that promise. I know that LOTRO is currently pushing things rapidly. Will they keep it up? I don’t know. I hope they do.

    What I think is that CoH is going to speed up a bit, and I was showing the evidence why. Either single packages of much more content, or more packages of the same content. I’m also going to say I13? August/September, not October.

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