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City of Heroes / Villains: Issue 13 Mission Architect Delay

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

Positron, the lead developer of City of Heroes, recently explained in an official post that Issue 13 would be split into "Issue 13: Power and Responsibility" for fall 2008 and "Issue 14: Architect" for 2009.

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    Where to Find City of Heroes Articles

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

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    Why Has Issue 13 Been Delayed?

    For those of you out there who love City of Heroes and City of Villains, and you are eagerly awaiting the new Mission Architect feature, there is now another delay in this release. Positron's official explanation for the delay is:

    It became apparent that you guys really want this feature, but in order to fully realize your dreams of writing your own missions you need creative control in one more key area: The ability to create “customized” characters to fight with or against in your missions. Adding custom characters has always been on our Mission Architect feature list, but we had considered it a “stretch goal.” That is, we could launch the system without this feature because our confidence was high that the rest of the system was incredibly robust.

    But after listening to you guys, we realize that this feature simply must be in at launch. You have convinced us that it is an integral part of the Mission Architect, and we have reworked schedules and timelines to accomplish this.

    This is, to put it kindly, public relations BS. This is a niche request at best which has only been lightly discussed on the official forums, and is rarely brought up on various player run discussion forums. Is it a nice feature? Possibly. Is it so great that the entire Architect feature should be delayed 9 to 18 months? Not by a long shot. (NOTE: The first version of this release estimated Winter 2009 for Issue 14, but it was later changed to 1st Quarter 2009. Who knows when it will actually release.) In fact, most of the existing missions where you have characters fighting along with you are a joke. Players commonly joke about how useless Fusionette and other "helpers" are. And there is nothing worse than a dumb NPC that gets itself killed causing a mission to fail.

    I have discussed some of the less than honest PR tactics of NCSoft / City of Heroes in the past, but this makes those tactics look forthcoming. To blame such an ENORMOUS delay on a single, minor feature is either completely dishonest or evidence of an enormous disconnect between the developers and their own customers. Most likely it is a combination of both.

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    But We Did It All For You!

    The most insulting part of the release is the numerous, over the top "we are doing it for you guys" type comments. Examples include:

    • "you guys really want this feature"
    • "in order to fully realize your dreams"
    • "after listening to you guys"
    • "You have convinced us"

    It badly ventures into the "methinks thou dost protest too much" territory.