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City of Heroes / Villains Issue 13 and Issue 14: The Leveling Pact

by: Michael Hartman ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

The article continues as more specific details are shared about Issue 13: Power and Responsibility for City of Heroes / City of Villains. Specifically, the Leveling Pact is discussed here for gamers to see what they can expect.

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    Hub for City of Heroes Articles

    The hub for City of Heroes articles is now located here:

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    The Leveling Pact

    This is a very strange feature addition that came out of nowhere. Positron explains it thusly:

    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.”

    This feature is a classic example of a solution looking for a problem. Sidekicking (and to a lesser extent exemplaring) is one of the most brilliant design concepts to come out of City of Heroes. It is a feature that every single MMO should seek to implement in some form. But the sidekicking already works great. An "extreme" version was neither needed nor requested. One really has to wonder why the developers spend time working on such a complicated feature (and yes, when you read into the details it gets very complicated) when there are other neglected areas of the game in desperate need of a little TLC.

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    More Leveling Pact Specifics

    Some additional details from Pohsyb, the City of Heroes developer who appears to be behind this feature:

    Here is the gist of how this works, when players enter the leveling pact (level 5 and below) their experience is all flattened to whoever was the lowest. Any incoming experience to any member is effectively split by the member count of the pact (which we are limiting to 2 initially). From that point foward, all members will have the exact same experience and always be the exact same level. If player A logs out and lets player B do all the work, it will take player B twice as long.

    The reason I wanted this is because I've started other games with a group of friends, only to have our tight-knit party fall apart because of differing levels of commitment. I imagine I'm not the only person to create an alt for every combination of friends. Hopefully the 2 person pact won't have any serious problems and we will be able to expand it to full team size.

    This is another feature focussed on pushing people to repeat the same content by making new characters. It is also another feature that rewards people who are not even online. It would seem to make more sense to spend that time creating actual new content or things that make being online and playing the game fun enough to want to be online.