City of Titans on endgame, alting, PvP, business models, lockboxes, and whales

The first and most-backed City of Heroes successor City of Titans has a couple of dev pieces out this month answering questions posed to Missing Worlds Media this past spring. The Q&A itself is relatively brief, letting players know that powerset interactive effects (like team combos) are not on the table, minions will be customizable, the team is working on ways to thwart gold spammers and bots, PvP has a Rock Paper Scissors design goal, and the game is alt-centric but “won’t be ignoring endgame content.”

“Not only will there be content released for the entire level range throughout its lifetime, but we’ve designed several systems, both content centric and others, to enhance the experience of alting,” says the studio.

Last week, MWM told fans that City of Titans model will be a hybrid of a sub and free-to-play system, with an up-front cost that comes with complete access to the game and VIP status for a three months. It’ll also come with an optional subscription and a stipend of currency, dubbed Stars, for spending in the cash shop.

“[Subscribers] also get earlier access to new material in the store, typically two months before the free to play can gain access to them,” says the team. “To be absolutely clear: no game content or features will be locked behind a paywall or require a subscription to access. All who buy the game will have equal access to content, features and systems.”

All that said, MWM has denounced gambleboxes/lockboxes and “whale hunting.”

“We recognize the reality of game addiction, and want to ensure this is difficult for our players to develop. We call our solution, our alternative to lockboxes, Whale Watching. Instead of lockboxes, we will include bonus random chances within booster packs – bundles of related unlocks sold together for a discount. So, for example, you might buy the Ninja Pack (just a random name for now), and you would gain the ninjitsu animation set, multiple props associated with the Ninja, Ninja costume set unlock, and a random extra piece from somewhere else in the game. So instead of buying a slim chance at rare exclusive loot, you get a chance to get a special cash shop item free along with your booster purchase.”

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24 Comments on "City of Titans on endgame, alting, PvP, business models, lockboxes, and whales"

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Doubleplusgood

Cash shops. Chances to get items. Ninja pack with ninja stuff as an example. So are we to assume powersets and costume pieces will be all locked behind booster packs? That it will require a large investment in cash and lots of luck to fully enjoy the game?

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

In-game elements, be they costume pieces or power themes, are earnable through play. Each piece will tell you how it can be earned, typically through an associated badge. And we are not going the “kill 10,000 monkeys” thing either. *and yes, I did earn that darned badge tyvm*

Reader
Doubleplusgood

Ok so all the power themes and costume pieces that are in the cash shop booster packs will also be earnable through in game activities? There will be not be any cash shop exclusive items?

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

That is the idea, yes. Even character slots can be unlocked through game play.

Reader
Doubleplusgood

That’s great to hear.
Will the game come with a limited basic selection of powers and costumes with the rest unlocked through game play and/or cash shop?

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

Powers are not an unlock. Power themes are. And yes, the basic selection will be limited, but we are aiming for it not to be too restrictive. The design goal is to allow the player a sense of progression as they go from the new hero/villain to the established figure.

Reader
Doubleplusgood

What is the difference between powers and power themes? is it a way to customize a powerset?

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

A way to customize the visuals of a power, yes. So, say you have Burn. A free theme for example would be a fire breathing animation. An unlockable theme would be a clockwork flamethrower.

Reader
Doubleplusgood

That sounds very interesting. Thanks for you all your answers.

Reader
mcsleaz

“So instead of buying a slim chance at rare exclusive loot, you get a chance to get a special cash shop item free along with your booster purchase.”

“You get a chance”

I fail to see the difference…………….

All they’ve done is change the name “Lockbox” to “Booster”, rofl.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

Not rare, not exclusive, and is thrown in alongside a regular purchase as a bonus.

Reader
mcsleaz

call it what you want, you still have to pay REAL money for a CHANCE, not a guarantee………….sounds like gambling to me

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

What they’re saying is that you get an extra item in the box that you can normally buy straight out from the Cash Shop anyway. So it’s not like the games that give you a chance to get exclusive wings or a pet or whatever that can only be got from this box and nowhere else and you have to buy hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of boxes to get them.

Whatever extra comes in this box, you can just go straight out buy for a minimal amount in the Cash Shop anyway. So you’re never buying the boxes as the way to get a certain special item that only comes in those boxes. That’s just an extra they throw in for you.

If you see something and want it you go and straight buy it, you’re not buying the boxes hoping to have a chance you will get it.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

No, you pay for a guarantee, of the pack you’ve purchased. There is no randomness there. What you’ve latched onto is that we’re throwing in a random bonus item onto that pack.

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

I get what you’re saying :D There are no exclusives that you can only get through a lock box. You are throwing in extras as gifts but you can go straight out buy them anyway. The operative word people seem to be glossing over is “exclusive”.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

What is odd to me is how people have not latched onto why the throw-in is important. While yes, we want to give people a surprise, the idea is to feed alts. “I bought the Clown pack, but got Disco shoes for free… that gives me an idea for a new character!”

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

Don’t invite some people plz.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

“We recognize the reality of game addiction, and want to ensure this is difficult for our players to develop.”

I call BS on this. “We don’t want your money, or loyal players.”

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

An addicted gamer is not a loyal gamer, in my experience.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

This all sounds good to me.

Looking forward to it and kinda wish I had kickstarted way back when.

Reader
Kane Hart

I hate the word lock boxes. Wish they were never invented for online gaming lol.

Reader
Utakata

In WoW there’s an elegant solution to that. That is, you can roll a class that can unlock them. (I have two of them!) To bad many other games never followed suit with that. /sigh

Tamanous
Reader
Tamanous

A lock box is supposed to be a drop in game that requires a key purchased through the cash shop to open. I don’t understand why they even call it a lock box.

If I was them I would stay far, far away from even mentioning the term lock box when discussing their cash shop. These dudes need some marketing lessons.

Reader
AvelWorldCreator

Unfortunately some terminology is unavoidable if you are trying to explain why you are NOT going to go a certain avenue. Instead of complaining how it shouldn’t be done try giving an example how you would approach explaining the same issues. I await your response. Missing Worlds Media is trying to be transparent about their decisions.

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