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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Managing Player-Created Content In City of Heroes 43

Superhero MMO City of Heroes recently went live with its 14th expansion (release notes), one of the main features of which is the Mission Architect, a system to allow players to create their own quest content and then submit it to be implemented into the game. Now, Joe Morrissey of the City of Heroes team has written an article about how they plan to manage the content that players create. "You have to decide how draconian you want to be. The more hardcore you are, the fewer people who will see inappropriate content, but you expose yourself to potential grief voting. Grief voting is when a player flags perfectly acceptable content as inappropriate just because it's fun. If it only takes a single vote to eliminate content from the game, clicking that button is going to be the game for a lot of players. You don't want perfectly good content getting pulled because someone's a jerk."
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Managing Player-Created Content In City of Heroes

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  • Meta-Moderation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cjfs ( 1253208 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:36AM (#27609117) Homepage Journal

    Grief voting is when a player flags perfectly acceptable content as inappropriate just because it's fun. If it only takes a single vote to eliminate content from the game, clicking that button is going to be the game for a lot of players. You don't want perfectly good content getting pulled because someone's a jerk.

    Sounds like they could use some meta-moderating.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @07:07AM (#27609257)

    The biggest problem isn't language or subject inappropriate content, it's farming missions.

    The devs of CoX are fucking idiots, to be blunt: they've repeatedly shown an inability to predict what simple game and chaos theory tells anyone with a lick of common sense what will happen when you create an exploitable system: it will be exploited.

    The system was pushed live with so many opportunities to minimize risk and maximize reward that overnight it's become a better method to power level than anything prior in the game.

    What's hilarious about the CoX devs is when there's what they deem an "exploit", their reaction is slow, and inevitably the worst possible response one could possibly imagine. One that winds up not only not solving the intended problem, but pissing off people who are just trying to enjoy the game.

    For an example, do some reading in the forums about the hot mess that is the CoX PvP system. They pulled some SOE SWG type fuckery on that, and instead of the zones and arenas becoming more populated as was intended, all the zones became a ghost town, and the PVP community on Test almost all cancelled their accounts.

    What the CoX devs fail to grasp is that people will do what they enjoy with their game, and if you make it too hard for them, they'll cancel their accounts.

    Some people like to powerlevel through the game. Yes, some of them will get bored once they realize there's no endgame, but the majority of people who prefer this pace will stay if you keep giving them new opportunities to advance their power.

    They got the Invention system sort of right, but it exacerbated the farming issue severalfold.

    Anyway, it'll be hilarious and sad to see what they do as a response to the Mission Architect exploitation for XP/rewards.

    I used to love the game. I still enjoy playing with my friends sometimes, but if the devs keep alienating everyone, there'll be nobody left.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @08:11AM (#27609901)

    >I used to love the game. I still enjoy playing
    >with my friends sometimes, but if the devs keep
    >alienating everyone, there'll be nobody left.

    You're complaining about alienating people over a "fix" that you have constructed in your mind about an exploit that may or may not be a problem while handily ignoring the fact that this has been - by far - the most popular issue EVER.

    It's funny that you mention PvP. See, the hot mess that was PvP was the fact that it was DEAD. "All PvPers left, cancelled, QQ" whatever. All twenty of them? The devs did the only thing they could do, they scratched the previous system completely and started from the ground up. Because the "old" PvP was just THAT bad. It was totally, completely utterly fucked up. And the PvPers on test behaved like a bunch of spoiled 12 year old brats throwing tantrums and holding their breath threatening to hold it even more - between screams - instead of being constructive at all.

    "Farming missions" are not a problem, son. The Architect is loaded with good arcs and stories and callenges and whatnot. Choke full, full to the brim with them. It's so easy to find good stuff it's laughable that you think farming is a problem. Must be the glasses you're wearing to look at it. The only "fucking idiot" here is you, who hasn't realized just how good this issue has been to the game, and are just focusing on the existance of farms. Considering what the Architect has given to the game, the farming missions are naught but a minor nuisance, a minuscule price to pay for such a fantastic result.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @08:33AM (#27610257)

    Well, if a clever creator hides his "inappropriate" content (whatever this may be) somehow, one out of a thousand reviewers might only find it, but now ponder what will happen if that one reviewer blows it out of proportion on a blog, "look what CoH deems appropriate for young children".

    I leave the rest to your imagination.

  • by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @10:30AM (#27612503)

    What's the point of worrying about power leveling CoX?

    CoX isn't WoW. In WoW, the game begins at 80 when you start raiding.

    In CoX, the game begins at, well, level 1. There's no big raid-or-die endgame. So what if someone gets to 50 before you? Unless they're playing a DC MA mission they won't be getting anything but tickets and xp and I'm pretty sure the farming maps aren't going to get a DC. You're missing a lot of opportunities for the rare random stuff to drop.

  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:28AM (#27613825)

    Op is so full of fail and retard that he's not worth listening to.

    First, the game devs have been working to put the experience gain curve completely into the control of the player's hands. They're not really concerned about how fast you level. First, there's the 'Patrol Experience' feature, which was introduced with the last issue. It works about like 'Rested' experience in other games. There are other boosters that increase experience gain. There is also a voluntary switch that users can toggle on and off to eliminate EXP gain.

    The devs are concerned about keeping the game challenging. They are eliminating objects that don't fight back from the architect system and have implemented a special game currency that's dropped based on how much effort you put into fighting an enemy.

    Yep. They're skee-ball tickets you trade for drop rewards at the vendor outside the mission. You get more of them based on how much work you do inside the mission... so 'easy farming' is a contradiction.

    They are concerned about copyright violations. If you make a mission about fighting the Incredible Hulk and Spiderman, you can bet that your mission will be banned nigh-instantly. They're also concerned about inappropriate content. The architect interface features a real-time word checker that will warn you for inserting vulgarity or profanity into your missions.

    As for the PVP issue, yes, it was recently revamped in terms of how powers worked. Unlike the infamous 'New Game Experience' in SWG, no powers were removed. Several were added, and made available for PVE players as well. Powers were revamped slightly in how they worked, making 'one shotting' and other kinds of grief play not work. The only people upset about this are the core of PVPers who got their jollies by making life difficult for everyone else. The other PVPers and even a good number of PVEers are reather happy with it.

    Another change they made was to add PVP-only drops. If you defeat another player, you have a chance of getting a GOOD drop from them. It doesn't take anything of theirs away and encourages more people to play PVP, particularly in Arena matches. Again, this makes the griefers unhappy because they don't get invited to the matches.

    PVP in CoH was pretty much dead. Now it's burgeoning. I personally don't care for it, but all my friends are doing it.

    So in other words, OP is full of shit. Go read the CoH boards for a better view on what's going on.

  • by FnordX ( 115944 ) <fnord&cyberspace,org> on Friday April 17, 2009 @02:04PM (#27617191)

    However, if you do that, then there is no desire to play the player-created content, and the entire thing becomes a ghost town.

    There's always a way to exploit a mission, or a map, or whatever to run yourself up in levels from 1 to 50 in a matter of two or three days, but then what? You have a L50 character with no other badges, no enhancements, no money, etc.

    The rate of return from tickets to enhancements is about the same as you would get outside of the MA tool, but you don't get any influence/infamy, the currency of the game.

    So, sure, go ahead, grind away and get to 50 real quick. The devs can't really stop you from doing that, and, if that's all you want out of the game, you're not going to be around very long anyway. Hell, you might as well just go play Progress Quest.

Happiness is twin floppies.