A View from Atlas Park: Playing Catch Up

It’s been a while between updates, I know. Between buying a new PC that refused to work properly, spending about a week interstate on business, getting sick with the flu and a whole host of small other things that make up real life, I just haven’t had the opportunity to write a full column… and I’m not going to start right now. I’ve missed too many things to really write a full column on any one thing, so instead I’ve decided to cover some of the major events quickly. Hopefully I’ll have the time from this point forward to write more regularly, but for now, it’s down to bullet points:

  • CuppaJo’s leaving: Of recent note is the exit of CuppaJo, she of the CoH/V community relations, coffee addiction and forum banstick, to another NCsoft game, Tabula Rasa. A lot of people were sad to see Cuppa go, since she has been a part of the community for a long time and has been (from what I’ve seen) fair and even-tempered in her work of herding cats keeping the forums a civil and ordered place. My contact with CuppaJo was very minimal so I’ve nothing really to add here – here’s hoping Cricket (CuppaJo’s replacement) isn’t overly daunted by the outpouring of affection her predecessor got or the size of the shoes she has to fill.

  • CoH/V Good and Evil Edition: This is just common sense – releasing CoH and CoV in the same box with some new trinkets. New players can get the best of both “City of …” worlds, CoH/V still appears on the shelves at your local games store instead of the discount bin and old players (myself included) can splash out for yet another activation code so that we can get the new badge, costume pieces and prestige powers (plus whatever else comes as part of the pack). *sigh* And so Cryptic and NCsoft end up with yet more of my hard earned dollars…

  • Mission dropping: The latest patch on Test allows for characters to drop one mission per week and still obtain the reward as though they’d successfully completed it (some conditions apply). As expected, this wasn’t seen as good enough by a number of vocal players on the forums – a number of these objectors wanted a system that meant you could drop missions more regularly, even if it meant you didn’t get a mission reward. A handful of “worst” missions kept being brought up as reasons for why players should be able to drop missions more often.

    Ultimately though, the “once a week” system will work fine for the majority of players when they encounter the odd bugged mission (or, as is much more common, the odd mission where they can’t find that last minion to finish a “kill all”). That’s the key thing – the majority of players will be well served by this system. Sure, it isn’t perfect and players will still have to contact customer support for a whole bunch of reasons, but I haven’t really seen any arguments I agree with that allowing once-a-week-mission dropping isn’t enough to help players get over most mission bugs; rather, most of the arguments for a different dropping system seem to surround missions that players don’t want to do (of which most of these least desireables can now be skipped under this system as well). Not wanting to do something isn’t the greatest argument for change – it just makes people look self-interested, which doesn’t help win people to your side – and for the most part you can avoid doing the missions I’ve seen people complain about. Regardless, I look forward to the mission dropping system arriving on Live.

  • Issue 8: Interest in Issue 8 (“To Protect and Serve”) has started to increase as more information on it becomes available. Faultline is getting a makeover, Heroes will be getting Safegard missions (the equivalent of Mayhem missions for villains), there will be new costume options and badges, wings will be arriving for players and a whole heap more besides. At this point I8 is expected to land October / November and I (like lots of players I expect) am waiting for further confirmation on exactly what it will contain. Some new powersets? Veteran rewards? Villain epic ATs? The start of the promised CoH/V ongoing story? Hopefully, all that and more…

  • [li]

    Halloween Event: But before I8, Paragon City and the Rogue Isles will be having a Halloween event of some sort. The details are a bit hazy, but it appears the reward for completing special Halloween tasks will be unlocking a fifth costume slot. The original Halloween event is my favourite CoH/V event to date, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Halloween 2006 offers.

I also should mention Cryptic’s new “give the players what they want (within reason)” mantra towards providing content for CoH/V. It’s interesting that it was laid out there in such an open way – what it really means only time can tell, but it certainly offers players up a lot of hope that they will get to see their suggestions brought to life in-game.

That’s it for now – I’m hopeful the next week or so will see more concrete (well, from the mouths of devs) information about what I8 is going to contain. Here’s hoping Dual Pistols for Blasters is the first thing they announce!

– UnSub [@UnknownSubject] unsub@warcry.com 18 September 2006

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