city of titans

Official Site: City of Titans
Studio: Missing Worlds Media
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Superhero Themepark
Business Model: N/A
Platform: PC

City of Titans vows ‘no lockboxes’ for its business model

You might have missed the riots in the streets over lockboxes these past few months, but we assure you, the controversy is very real. One game where this won’t be a problem? City of Titans.

The team opened up about its business model this week, explaining how it will make money as an indie superhero MMORPG. Despite needing revenue as badly as any other small game, City of Titans promised not to include lockboxes as part of its business plan. For the record, the game is adopting a buy-to-play model with a cash shop and optional subscription.

“We’ve put a great deal of thought into how to finance profitably but ethically,” the team said.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO would you recommend to Marvel Heroes refugees?

So Marvel Heroes has about six weeks to live thanks to the impending shutdown of the game following Disney’s decision to drop Gazillion as a business partner. That’s going to leave some superhero MMO players once again without a home, and though the game’s current Steam numbers can’t hold a candle to the number of players affected by the City of Heroes closure five years ago, we’re left with the same situation – and a similar roster of games vying for refugees.

The big superhero MMORPGs are still DC Universe Online and Champions Online, the former of which is certainly better supported with content, the latter of which may have more of that Marvel feel. There’s also three strong crowdfunding superhero MMOs still trying to fill the CoH vacuum: Ship of Heroes, City of Titans, and Valiance Online. Which MMO would you recommend to Marvel Heroes refugees? Would it be another superhero MMO, another superhero game or ARPG altogether, or something else? If you’re a former MH player, where are you getting your fix?

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s procedural cities, Camelot Unchained’s beta tester rewards (October 28, 2017)

Ever wanted to walk around on Coruscant? Star Citizen may be granting your wish, or at least a solid approximation. During this weekend’s CitizenCon, Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts demoed a slice of the persistent universe mechanics, showing off detailed cityscapes and procedural generation at work on planetary surfaces. It’s truly stunning for sure, especially in conjunction with Roberts’ announcement that the studio will be switching to a “date-driven content release schedule,” and it’s taken the backer community’s mind off of the 3.0 alpha (still in Evocati testing) and Squadron 42 (more news promised in December) as people pour more money into the game (163M and counting now).

Meanwhile, Camelot Unchained delivered a new chunk of its beta doc with its “plans for making the rest of Alpha and then Beta 1 a much more fun and rewarding activity than it has been to date.” Specifically, CSE is implementing what it’s calling “The Dragon Circle,” a proper testing framework featuring focused tests and weekend siege events that will reward beta participants with everything from “temporary cosmetic items to permanent items, tier upgrades, and even cash rewards.”

In other MMO crowdfunding news, City of Titans showed off its animation blending, Valiance Online teased its latest update, Richard Garriott threw shade on EA’s historical business practices, and Pantheon surprised MMO players with it hefty price on pre-alpha testing.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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City of Titans shows off animation blending in action

We can’t really show you animation blending in the header because we tend not to use animated pictures in our headers due to resource load, consistency, and the desire to motivate Schlag in the comments. But the latest development update from City of Titans is all about just that, showing off a neat feature of the game’s Unreal 4 engine that allows animations to blend into one another automatically. It’s still being refined, but the various bits of animation where it works sure do look impressive.

If you’re still unclear on the core concept, animation blending is all about making a set of movements flow into one another naturally, so your character punches, uppercuts, and shoulder tackles rather than having each animation start from the same “neutral” pose. In other words, it makes character motions look like they’re deliberate activities instead of a grand mal seizure. You can see where it works and doesn’t on the official site.

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City of Titans outlines power set design for the game

As a spiritual successor to City of Heroes, there’s an obvious line through City of Titans when it comes to powers. That does not, however, mean that the game is just copying the CoH design process and calling it a day. No, CoT is designing its powers based on layers, starting with the set’s basic playstyle, then its focused style, mechanical identity, and speed.

The trick, of course, is that doing so allows quick pipelines for new sets and expansion; if the numbers are all tweaked, it’s fairly quick to go from a slow ranged area combo set to a slow ranged area damage-over-time set. Furthermore, by allowing every archetype access to a tertiary power set, you get access to another set of abilities to play off of your existing abilities. The full post outlines the 25 sets planned for the initial launch by name (if not in details), so check it out if you want a breakdown of the creative process and how the game will be implementing its superhuman abilities.

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Citadel Forged With Fire = Harry Potter + IKEA

Blue Isle is decorating the heck out of Citadel: Forged With Fire with this week’s patch. “Before this update, many players gave the feedback that their homes felt a little empty,” says the studio. “We’re adding a selection of basic furniture props to the game to finally breath some life into your empty dining halls and cavernous lounges!” Tables! Chairs! Tables with tablecloths! Chairs with fancy leather and studs! That cot I saw at IKEA the other day, only with straw! Wine barrels!

OK, so there’s more to the patch than a bad keg party, including new building reagents and a taming rebalance.

“Historically, Pacify times were calculated in a linear fashion: The higher the creature’s level, the longer it would take to Pacify them. With our next update we’ll be adding a little more variability to the experience. Tame times will be calculated based on a number of factors including the level of the player’s weapon, the level of the creature, debuffs that may be applied to the creature, and the creature’s current HP. That Infernal Dragon taking too long to tame? Bring down its health, stun it with Gaslight, and pull out your strongest weapon! We hope that these new variables will make the taming of creatures a much less tedious and much more engaging experience.”

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Leaderboard: Which of the City of Heroes spiritual successors are you looking forward to?

A few years ago, we counted basically three City of Heroes successor games, all made by indie studios. In 2017, we still have three core titles on the way — it’s just a slightly different three. In light of that, MOP reader Pepperzine proposed today’s Leaderboard: Which of the five City of Heroes spiritual successors are you looking forward to the most?

To the pollmobile!

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Make My MMO: The Thargoids should win Elite Dangerous (September 30, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Elite has finally begun to sound “dangerous” indeed. After just a few days of owning players, the alien race that “returned” to the game’s universe in its long-awaited 2.4 update has finally begun suffering casualties at the hands of players. In fact, it appears the first player to down one of the Thargoids’ ships was none other than the player who caused the massive drama over last spring’s Salomé event. This is because time is a flat circle and karma is literally dead. It’s not entirely clear that the Thargoids are really the bad guys here, but when has that ever stopped us before?

On Massively OP, we chatted with Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs, who explained just how the game’s social systems will differ from what MMORPG players are used to.

Star Citizen also continued inching along the path toward alpha 3.0, reducing its bug count last week by two.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria began its final alpha, Shroud of the Avatar patched up to R46, Albion Online released Joseph, Valiance Online posted its latest roadmap, OrbusVR discussed its artificing skill, City of Titans posted the finale to one of its lore series, and Pantheon gave players a look at how its art is coming along via stream (thanks, Reht!), plus Brad McQuaid explored his vision for the Holodeck future of the MMO.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Make My MMO: Everybody poops in Star Citizen (September 9, 2017)

Remember a few weeks ago when Star Citizen confirmed survival mechanics like eating and sleeping? Welp, add pooping to the list. This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen’s Around the Verse focused on the game’s stamina system, which touches on the character’s needs and risks and notifications about them, including “getting drunk, needing to go to the toilet, all the little things that can affect the player temporarily, and then we can expand this to go even to stuff like long-term diseases, depressurization sickness, radiation sickness – all these things that won’t be something the player can get rid of instantly.”

Meanwhile, the three City of Heroes spiritual successors teamed up for a panel at PAX, Shroud of the Avatar honored a player’s father, Dual Universe hit 10K backers, Dogma: Eternal Night implemented combat, and Chronicles of Elyria demoed jousting, plus so many goodies from PAX! Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Betawatch: Worlds Adrift takes criticism and updates free tools (September 8, 2017)

Nobody likes being criticized, ever. But it’s a reality of life, and so Worlds Adrift has been taking the feedback from players about the game’s PvP scene in stride. The team behind the game has also updated the free island creator tool, so if you feel like engaging in a round of player vs. interface and player vs. the multi-layered complexity of realizing player ideals in a three-dimensional design space, go nuts.

You want some more beta news? Well, we got a little bit of that, it turns out.

And, of course, there’s a list down below of titles in testing, many of which were not affected by the double punch of a holiday and a convention back-to-back. Go ahead and check out the list, and feel free to leave your comments on betas you’re currently playing down below. Or let us know if something jumped status, that’s cool too.

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Massively Overthinking: The best and worst MMOs of 2017’s PAX West

PAX West 2017 has come and gone, and though MJ is still feverishly working on her last few articles, we wanted to pause a moment to reflect on everything we’ve seen and read and recapped so far. So for today’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to tackle three topics from an MMO player’s perspective: the biggest surprise of the show, the most disappointing bit, and the games that grabbed them and won’t let go.

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City of Titans plans 2017 pre-alpha, crowdfund to ‘take things to the next level’

City of Titans studio Missing Worlds Media has just posted a recap of its presentation at last week’s PAX West and a status update on the game.

“For City of Titans, our remaining goals for this year (2017) are to deliver the pre-Alpha for testing, and that we would be finally delivering the Second Chance promised back during our Kickstarter,” the studio’s Nathaniel “Doctor Tyche” Downes reports. “The pre-Alpha release has taken us longer than other games due to our compartmentalized approach to development. It works for us in that we have fewer roadblocks due to our distributed nature of development, but the drawback is that as we integrate, we will find new bugs and challenges to overcome. That’s what testing is for, and once delivered, our progress will continue apace.”

The “second chance,” he says, will allow folks who didn’t Kickstart the City of Heroes-inspired MMORPG years ago an opportunity to do just that, as well as to take another crack at the original Kickstarter rewards. Some of them, anyway.

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PAX West 2017: Ship of Heroes on exploration, community, and recapturing the magic of City of Heroes

Sometimes MMORPG players might get the feeling that game companies will let just about anything slide in order to keep the most revenue streaming in, but that’s not the case with one particular hopeful City of Heroes successor: Ship of Heroes. Studio Heroic Games is predicating the game on a positive atmosphere, which starts from the ground up.

At this year’s PAX West, I sat down with CEO Casey McGeever to talk about the game: where it’s coming from, where it is now, and where it’s going. We discussed funding, rivalries, community, and the wild backstory about the massive ship that heroes will be living on. After that, I attended the CoH successor panel to hear about the three largest superhero MMORPG games currently in development. Let’s suit up and dig in.

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