CoH Architect: Making my first story

2009-05-04 22:16:30

Me and Otaku Offense, screenshot from testing my first Mission Architect story.

Today I made my first story arch in City of Heroes.  As recently as before Easter, only the developers from NCSoft could make stories for the game.  Now even I can do it, and trust me, this is not the kind of creativity I have a natural talent for. I really feel like a newbie at this, and fellow players would probably notice that newbieness if they played the story I have made.  Then again, give me one more day to finish it and it will look pretty good.

The tools are amazingly easy to use.  I did miss out on some details because I did not scroll far enough down, but  the program reminded me if it was important, and took me to the place where there was missing information.  Creating new enemies and allies is as easy as making a new character in the game proper, which is famously easy and fun and a main attraction of the game.  (Probably also a main reason why a large number of the players are women in real life, or at least on LiveJournal.)

It is also possible to build some randomness into the story arc, such as a randomly chosen abandoned warehouse among several different possible, or a randomly chosen boss to fight among several possible. On the other hand, you can put in a lot of detail such as things the allies and enemies say.

I made a story arc in which you are sent to help (computer controlled) heroes who got captured while doing a normal hero mission, fighting a house full of villains.  They are held capture inside the house, and once you have freed them, they will assist you with clearing out the baddies.  (Story-wise it is actually their mission and you are assisting them.) I made this story for people who have not made their heroes good at playing alone, but who for some reason may have problems getting a team.  Or for newbies who suck but will improve with time.

The first mission is to help a tanker (heroes who can take a lot of damage without getting defeated).  The creatively named Tankman Man has a bright red, white and blue uniform and a vacant grin on his face, but he can take almost unlimited amounts of attacks without buckling.  He is also excessively agrressive, running ahead and attacking anything in sight.  After the mission is over, he takes all the credit (but you still get your tickets so who cares). The mission is very low level, but this does not really matter much since you automatically get translated to the correct level.

The second mission is to help a kinetic defender, Otaku Offender. She is dressed like a Japanese schoolgirl (see picture) and has an impressive array of powers to power up her teammates.  (Or teammate, if you play alone.) She also has a few attacks, but will not hare off on her own, staying near you and assisting you instead. This mission is in the level 20-30 range, or around the middle of the career.  (50 is the highest level.)

I plan to have a third mission, on an even higher level, featuring a mastermind (villain archetype) doing a heroic mission.  But perhaps I will publish it with just the two missions first and see how it works in terms of rewards before I complete it.

Or perhaps I suddenly think of something else I would rather do, and wander off.

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