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Role Playing (Games)

City of Heroes Purchased By NCsoft 127

Rock, Paper, Shotgun comments on the big news from late last night: NCsoft has announced that it has purchased City of Heroes/Villains from Cryptic Studios, the Massive game's original developer. Everyone on the team has been offered a new position with the newly formed NCsoft NorCal studio, and many of them have accepted. As far as the players are concerned, NCsoft only intends for them to see freebies as a result of this deal: "Now back to you, the players. You are the lifeblood of our game. In celebration of our new studio and our exciting plans, and in order to thank you for the fantastic community that you have built, we are pleased to announce the following: All players with City of Heroes retail accounts will now have access to City of Villains, and all City of Villains retail accounts will now have access to City of Heroes. Players that didn't previously have access to "the other side" will find that they do now. Just log in to check it out! After the launch of Issue 11: A Stitch in Time this Fall, we are removing Debt from all characters and giving you a fresh start ... Also after the launch of Issue 11, all Supergroups will receive an additional 20,000 Prestige per Supergroup member."
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City of Heroes Purchased By NCsoft

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  • Re:No Free Lunch (Score:4, Informative)

    by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @12:35PM (#21268361)
    Debt doesn't work like that in CoH. It's essentially negative experience points that accrue when a player is defeated - having it halves the rate of experience gain until it is paid off. It isn't like debt in the sense we usually think of it, where you get something in exchange for a future obligation; the player gets nothing for their debt in CoH.

  • by MaXimillion ( 856525 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @12:36PM (#21268387)
    To be exact, all but one member of the dev team are moving to NCSoft
  • by MaXimillion ( 856525 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @12:39PM (#21268417)

    Chalk this up to stupidity but I always assumed it was NCSoft for both because of adverts from NCSoft portraying the two together.
    City of Heroes and Villains were both developed by cryptic and published by NCSoft. NCSoft now bought all the right to both games, and will continue to develop them.
  • by MaXimillion ( 856525 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @12:41PM (#21268473)

    it's because you can play Wow on ALL platforms due to them supporting openGL and not DirectX.
    Considering Co(H/V) is an OpenGL game as well, I find it unlikely that that's the reason.
  • Re:No Free Lunch (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @12:46PM (#21268529)
    It has been a long time since I played COH so I might have the details wrong, but I remember that debt wasn't monetary, but rather experience realted. Death (getting teleported to the hospital) resulted in an experience point debt that could put you in the hole on your way to the next level. You could work it off directly, but it also encouraged you to go on lower level missions and sidekick/mentor newer players to work it off faster.

    So there isn't much abuse possible, it's more a "wipe the slate clean" deal.
  • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @12:55PM (#21268705) Journal
    Debt was already capped, so you're not getting that much. Plus for everyone who was at level 50, debt had no effect whatsoever, so, you know, why bother?

    And running an xp debt on purpose is a bad idea anyway.

    1. It means running up a lot of death, which means a lot of running back to your corpse instead of doing quests and killing NPCs. Plus, it's demoralizing for most people. It's associated with a failure, no matter how minor.

    2. Until NCSoft forgives it, you'll get half xp, as the other half goes to paying back the debt.

    Planning to faceplant lots just so NCSoft will forgive it, umm, sounds like just about the dumbest thing one could do. You could just finish the quest the old fashioned way in that time, and get more xp in the process.
  • by Masao-Kun ( 1791 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @02:22PM (#21270055)
    True, but the content was significantly different. Maybe not quite as much as various games using the Half Life engine or somesuch, but close enough.

    However, they're officially merging the two games into one soon, according to this announcement: []. Then there's the expansions and sequels referred to in this announcement: []

    Both were written by Cryptic and published by NCSoft, and IP was owned 50/50 by each on both games. Now it's 100% NCSoft owned, and a lot of the Cryptic folks who worked on them moved over to NCSoft. This is a massive win for the franchise, IMO, as it means there's no more conflict of interest with Cryptic working with Marvel on their MMO (even if they said there wasn't any conflict).
  • by Adlopa ( 686151 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @02:29PM (#21270173)
    It's been a while since I played and I can't really be bothered to go into the nitty gritty, but essentially, they changed the way that enhancements affect a character's powers.

    Unlike WoW, the only real 'drops' in CoX are enhancements - tokens that you can drop into the six slots that can be created (one at a time, at level-up time) in every power in order to improve its effectiveness. Enhancements do things like boost attack damage and accuracy, increase the rate at which powers recharge, reduce the amount of energy ('Stamina', IIRC) they use, and so on. This verisimilitude of enhancements, slots and powers is one of the games strengths, IMO.

    Pre-nerf, enhancements were straight multipliers -- one damage meant an attack did Damage x N, two meant Damage x 2N, and so on, all the way to six. You could mix enhancements, of course -- four damage and two accuracy in an attack, for example -- but it was personal preference.

    As with any MMORPG, this lead to ideal 'builds' and certain tricks were possible. For example, six recharge enhancements in the 'Hasten' power (which itself increased the recharge time of certain powers) created 'Permahasten' -- the Hasten power that normally had a down-time between uses would instead be permanently active.

    The change alluded to by the previous poster was Enhanced Diversification (ED), which was introduced under the guise of creating more varied characters by de-emphasising ideal 'builds'. How so? With ED, if you 'slotted' up to three enhancements of the same type in a power, you still got the standard multiplier effect, but more use than three and the gains were drastically reduced. So, it was pointless to six-slot enhancements of the same time -- 'enhanced diversity'. This meant the end of Permahasten and other (what were arguably) exploits.

    The big complaint was that this wasn't a device to improve gameplay, but a massive nerf and it upset lots of players. It doesn't really seem like that big a deal now, but then there are only about 50 people playing in the UK*.

    *Source: Out of my ass.
  • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @03:00PM (#21270659) Journal
    You're forgetting something about perma-Hasten. (And before I get started: this is coming from someone who never used it, just to be different from the cookie-cutter builds.)

    Perma-hasten wasn't an exploit. It was the officially allowed possibility, with Cryptic's blessing.

    As the game was launched, you could make Hasten permanent with IIRC 2 SOs. Or maybe 3? I can't really remember. At any rate, you could not only make it "perma", you could have it stack with itself most the time.

    Statesman seemed to be genuinely surprised that this was possible. Like many other powers (remember the City Of Blasters smoke grenades for example?) noone at Cryptic had done the maths. What happened with which powers on SOs, was a genuine surprise to them.

    So as a sort of compromise, Statesman accepted that, yeah, perma-Hasten is a useful thing and will remain available, but it's only fair to need 6 slots for that. So the maths were changed to produce just that result. Officially, and with Cryptic's blessing. It was _not_ an exploit, any way you want to slice it.

    Which just made the sudden U-turn in ED more baffling. They painted some things as evil exploits, that previously they treated as just normal tweaks allowed by the game.
  • Can you read? (Score:3, Informative)

    by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) * on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @03:47PM (#21271395) Homepage Journal

    Dude, I've run CoH on Linux using Cedega. There are no "glitches," it runs perfectly well. Like I said, it's officially supported by Cedega, just like World of Warcraft. The only thing that I would consider a glitch is that some of the higher-end graphics rendering functions, such as depth-of-field effects and such, don't work because the video driver that Cedega reports to the app claims to not have those capabilities (even if the card does).

    The game not only works, it is actually a lot faster running on Cedega on Linux than on Windows. The time to zone is cut by two or three seconds at least, sometimes a lot more.

    And because you obviously missed it the first time, I'll put it in bold letters this time: City of Heroes uses OpenGL to render its graphics. I don't know how much clearer I can make it.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky