News from the City of Heroes

This has been a pretty busy time on City of Heroes. Issue 14: Architect just came out a few weeks ago, the 5th Anniversary celebration is starting today and running through May, and also today, they put up the first announcement about Issue 15: Anniversary.

The next issue looks nice, especially for those of us that have been missing beating up the 5th Column. They are back in a big way, with a separate Strike Force and Task Force for the Villains and Heroes in the game. New costumes, new faces, new emotes, and some needed updates to the Mission Architect UI. And the best news is, it should be coming fairly quickly. With a name like Anniversary, unless they want to push it back to November, they will want it out as soon as possible so it is at least close to the 5th Anniversary.

Mission Architect Stories

The Mission Architect is surprisingly addictive. At least for me. I was not expecting to do much with it, maybe mess with it to do an origin arc for a character or 2, but that was all. Instead, while testing it during the beta, I was looking at the maps and the villain groups and got inspired. That resulted in the Future Skulls arc, ID 4727, which eventually lost the map that inspired me, but otherwise came out pretty good. Probably not Hall of Fame or Dev’s Choice, but a fairly solid story.

But that story seemed to need a followup, and I came up with a slightly different explanation for running from mission to mission. It was different enough that the first person to run it had a problem following it, and gave me some very good feedback. That resulted in Simple Times, ID 70801, being 5 missions, with more writing, but again, what seems to be a solid story from the feedback and ratings it has received.

The problem was, the ending of Simple Times finished that story, but was an obvious set up for another. This was deliberate, because I have an end for the whole thing, but I ran into a problem coming up with the start of the arc. Then I got some detailed feedback on Simple Times, which caused me to add some information to that arc, and gave me the hook to start up the next arc. So I once again find myself spending hours at the Mission Architect, putting together missions, testing maps, and trying to make sure everything makes sense when it is done.

Mission Architect Resources

One thing I hear a lot, especially in the game from people that do not spend time on the forums, is how hard it is to find good missions to run. Well there are many places to do just that, this is the Internet after all.

  • COH Forums: Mission Architect: Stories & Lore – The section of the official game forums that is devoted to promoting and reviewing arcs created on the Mission Architect. Many threads where people share reviews and advice about what they think is good and bad.
  • City of Heroes Mission Review – A fan run site, with a nice setup for players to review and rate arcs submitted by the arc writers. If you are a writer, put yours up and review one. This isn’t required, but more reviews make the site more useful, so more people are likely to show up and use it.
  • Mission Search – Another mission review site, ran by fans. It has a very nice Advanced Search set up for finding missions. I recommend putting your arc up on both of these sites for people to find and review. Assuming of course you think it will get a good score.
  • City of Heroes Architecture – Another fan run site, this one is set up for posting articles about the MA and player written reviews of arcs. Not very busy so far, but if you are a writer, it is a place to submit articles or reviews.
  • – This is a place to share your custom creations, whether from single mobs to groups to entire arcs. It is not very busy, which is too bad. It has some real potential, since there is so much creative energy making new enemies and allies in the Mission Architect. Unless I get a Dev’s Choice or Hall of Fame award, my Future Skulls group can only appear in 3 missions. Sharing them with the community would mean they could be used many times.
  • City of Heroes Mission Planner – If you want to work on your arc while offline, Leandro is making that possible. The Planner is not finished, but already has some nice functionality.
  • Paragon Wiki>Mission Architect Tags – For arc writers and players, these tags are a very nice way to search. They are player created, so there is no real standard, but they cover most things that can be done by the MA.

So there is a quick look at the resources available if you are interested in the Mission Architect, whether as an arc writer or player. There is already more content available in the MA than the developers were able to creat in 5 years, with more coming all the time, so there should be enough to keep even the most hardcore player busy for a while.

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