Valiance Online asks its fans what’s the most important part of a superheroic MMO

    
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Boys and girls in cars, dogs and cats on lawns - from up here I can see them all.

What makes for a great superheroic MMO? What are the most important aspects of the game to consider? The developers behind Valiance Online obviously have several answers of their own, but a question on the game’s official forums turns that question back over to the community. What do you think is the most important part of making this game great?

The responses are already varied and in-depth; the argument is being made, for example, that a big part of it is understanding the fantasy of being a superhero and the importance of letting individual heroes tackle strong villains alone. There’s also a lot of discussion of how challenging content should be and the amount of content in the game, along with discussion of which MMOs succeed at providing all of the right elements (a list that doesn’t start and stop with City of Heroes, incidentally) and which ones do not. If you’re curious about what has been said or just want to add your own thoughts, the thread is right here.

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dixa
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dixa

The most important part of a superhero mmo is buy the COH license and servers and turn them back on.

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Cyanpill

For whatever reason, NCsoft refuses to let go.

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Dread Quixadhal

Having the character “feel” heroic. Anyone who played City of Heroes will tell you, their travel powers were perfectly implemented. It’s not that they were super powerful, but they felt incredibly natural and smooth in use. Combat abilities were also fluid and captured the style of the archetype, be it a blaster shooting some death ray, a super strong guy slamming the ground, or a kinetic guy bouncing people away.

I loved “super jump” as a travel power, and when coupled with the ability to cling to window ledges, you could get just about anywhere in the game in a way that felt natural.

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Utakata

A costume creator that has so many frilly bit options that it would put Pretty Cure to shame. <3

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mcsleaz

The ability to play a Super Villain is most important to me.

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Witches

Maps that aren’t 95% flat.

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Armsbend

Easy – getting your video game made.

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Dug From The Earth

There is no one thing. A super hero mmo relies on multiple things.

Character creation – all the options to make a hero exactly how you want
Combat – flow and mechanics
Powers – How you get/advance them, how they look, even things like movement.

All of these things equally contribute to making the game feel “super hero” like. If one of these elements falls short, then the superheroic mmo falls short.

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Koshelkin

The Costume designer. <.< Oh, and cool powers.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Being able to make an actual superhero rather than a fantasy MMO trinity class in tights.

ceder
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ceder

Except the archetypal roles that even many comic book based heroes are based on also fit said trinity in some fashion or otherwise. I would say that at its core super hero mmo’s have a challenge because unlike most comics or shows of them, having 10,000+ “super heroes” running around in 1 city/map sort of reverses the “fantasy” so to speak. If the majority of people are super then its not really “super”.

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Melissa McDonald

that you, Syndrome? :)

ceder
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ceder

The Incredibles would be another good example of trinity roles in not a small way too. Good point.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Eh I disagree. Most popular heroes I can think of simply don’t fit into the normal MMO paradigm, or even most of the mixed versions CoH had.

The idea of a tank(er) for example doesn’t really fit. Superman, Wonder Woman, Hulk, Thing, Colossus, Juggernaut. These are folks who’d be considered tanks in a superhero MMO, except the ability to dish out a ton of damage is also one of their core concepts. Tanks have always been portrayed as the guys who are there to take hits but will always be doing less than others – at least less than everyone but the healers. That sort of concept is strictly a video game thing.

Similarly, the split between a blaster and a striker. Thor, Captain Marvel, most Lanterns for example, don’t fit into either a ranged or melee dps combat roles. Thor would also easily fit into a tank role because of his durability. Iron Man and War Machine have some varied weapons between them, but again stride the line between two or three of those roles. Silver Surfer? The guy’s a tanker, a blaster, and a supporter :) Technically even his fighting level is high enough to be considered a real striker.

ceder
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ceder

Damage dealing, damage soaking and support(trinity) -roles-. Just like in current(or past) super hero mmos to date, when you take any comic book character individually(solo) they end up, to greater or lesser degrees, putting those roles in a mix. CoH/CoV was certainly no different(soloing for door missions for example vs teaming up).

However, have them team up with others and roles start to become more assigned. Avengers, Fantastic Four, Justice League, in broad stroking examples.

From an mmo sense, (and there’s always that lovely debate on this) grouping is seen as the desired paradigm with soloing given importance but not at the same level as grouping. With 6 “Solo” story style Supermans or Thors then it becomes disinteresting for a group(this would be where players would debate OP/too easy versus challenge. Any attempts to governor their abilities to then create a challenge is more or less affixing them to roles in lesser or greater degrees akin to that labeled within the trinity. Thus the evidence that such is inescapable becomes compelling.

So whether by designed intention(most of the time) or a solution to issues that could cause players to quickly lose interest, sense of challenge at the start or later, etc, the Roles then become the back to front way to rein in the comic book’s near limitless shark jumping and necessity to garner sales in their own right. Their readership/viewership retention mechanics therefore are a bit different.

I get your angst for roles and thinking “there has to be something better”, though. Unfortunately this is the reality of what happens when the commercial and the fanciful with a game have to strike up a crossroads demon bargain called balance.

ceder
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ceder

What they’re asking pretty much reminds me of this video: https://youtu.be/Wac3aGn5twc