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The City of Heroes Expansion & the Issues of User-Created Content 150

eldavojohn writes "Wired has a piece on the new City of Heroes content that is created by players — or rather the severe abuse of it. Namely, creating missions for the characters. The problem is that gamers game this system, even though Paragon City has tried to maintain a good risk/reward ratio for experience in these missions. Making the situation even worse is that people who architect highly-rated missions get architect awards, which are redeemable for prizes — almost ensuring experience farming missions. Eric Heimburg (lead engineer and producer of Asheron's Call and the upcoming Star Trek MMO) comments on this: 'It may seem sad that giving the players what they want is detrimental to the player's overall length of enjoyment of the game, but that's the truth. Once you reached that top of the hill, if there's nothing left to do or see, players are likely to move on. Length of enjoyment (equals) amount of money earned, so developers have a strong incentive to keep players from gaining power and levels too quickly.' Matt Miller (lead designer of CoH), addressed the community on this very topic. This is resulting in an unexplained ban/loss of experience if you are determined to be abusing the mission architect, causing an uproar in the community. Is user-generated content a dead end for an MMORPG?" Update: 05/20 20:27 GMT by T : Rather than lead engineer of Asheron's Call or the Star Trek MMO, a correction at Wired says rather that "Heimburg worked as Star Trek Online's systems designer at Perpetual Entertainment, prior to the game's transfer to Cryptic Studio."
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The City of Heroes Expansion & the Issues of User-Created Content

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  • by Kotoku ( 1531373 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @11:34PM (#28021441) Journal
    Create a mission they said!

    Everyone Wants User-Created Content They Said!

    Then you get banned. Bah!
  • by Captain Spam ( 66120 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @12:37AM (#28021809) Homepage

    There is a joke/story that Jick, one of the creators of The Kingdom of Loathing, likes to tell and refer to in his biweekly podcast. To roughly paraphrase:

    Someday, I'd like to make a game called "The Future". And all what this game would be is an empty space to start with. The users would then, for a fee, be able to upload the game's content. Everything, down to dungeon designs, graphics for monsters, items, weapons, game mechanics, everything would be user-created, because as we all know from all these game developer conferences I go to, "user-created content is The Future "!

    So we'd create this game and release it. All user-created content. And then in a matter of a couple weeks, we would have a few thousand drawings of cocks and balls making up the vast majority of the game's world. Cocks and balls as monsters, cocks and balls as items, cocks and balls as weapons, dungeons shaped like cocks and balls populated with cocks and balls that drop cocks and balls that you fight with cocks and balls. And that's all anyone would ever bother creating, because that's the only sort of person with time to do this, and anyone who's been on the internet knows this is what would happen, because user-created content, on the whole, sucks. And that's The Future!!

    That's the sort of thing I think back on and chuckle about to myself whenever I hear of a game world made of user-created content and how it's the future of gaming and how awesome it's going to be. Looks like Jick's not too far off the mark.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:15AM (#28023243)

    And what do you call a man with FOUR wooden heads?

    I don't know, but Edward Woodward would.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson