Ship of Heroes details the mechanics of its mission difficulty slider

    
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Ship of Heroes is continuing to pump out new updates for eager future players on its game forums. Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever most recently put up a post talking about something rather near and dear to the hearts of City of Heroes fans in particular: mission difficulty.

“We still plan to let characters set their difficulty level for most missions, so if you are level 20 you should be able to dial the level of the mission up or down and get level 21, or level 19 enemies to fight. And perhaps a few more levels as well,” he writes.

“We also intend to allow characters to affect (perhaps with a slider) the composition of enemy mobs. So you want more trash mobs? Fine by us. More lieutenants, bosses and maybe an Arch-Villain? Again fine by us. Enemies need to scale to the size of the hero team, so a mission that has a solo hero obviously needs to spawn fewer enemies and lower level enemies than the same mission being played by a team of 10 heroes. These factors do all interact, and we are planning this out right now, in detail. And some mission types begin at higher levels of difficulty than others. So any given mission can deliver a totally different player experience, depending upon how the player makes his selections and forms his team (or does not form a team).”

Look I’ll just be happy if I never have to deal with purple triangles ever again.

Source: Official forums, press release
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Magnus Itland

This is particularly useful for a game set on a spaceship, even if a humongous spaceship with room for several towns. Having mostly indoors missions will feel natural in this setting, so a combination of flexible mission setup and a steady supply of new mission maps should do wonders for the longevity of the game. Also helps when you have unbalanced pick-up groups.

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Noyjitat

I hope they don’t have any stupid caps on the number of npcs you can pull or severely low limits on how many npcs your aoes can damage. Should be slapped on the wrist because you’re good at making powerful characters or have perfectly built teams. If the difficulty slider isn’t difficult enough then add further difficulty levels to the slider. The only npcs that should truly be challenging are signature characters and the top members of that signature villain/heroes organization. Standard npcs should merely be ants to squash…. there’s just nothing fun about taking forever to kill trash mobs.

Above all please no :

Enhancement Diversification.
significantly nerf powers, abilities, or making combat overhauls after launch day or the day before launch without real lengthy testing.

I assume this is going to be a tab targeting game although I really hope it isn’t but if if is don’t drastically reduce defense stats. You could really get around most of your need to make the game harder if this wasn’t tab targeting and we actually had to dodge or move out of damage circle of death powers. Coh didn’t get anything like this until incarnates and the new rwz tfs were introduced and it was a welcomed change to have less tank and spank fights.

packagegrope
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packagegrope

i love the slider idea.

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TheDonDude

Mission difficulty slider. Yet another awesome CoH idea that the MMO genre completely failed to pick up on.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Weren’t they the first to do sidekicking?

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TheDonDude

Sidekicking, auto-scaling enemies to group mobs, costume designs, power customization, unique travel abilities, the Controller & Mastermind classes…

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IronSalamander8 .

Yeah when I first played and saw you could sidekick people I was all; ‘Why don’t other games do something like this?’ and then they added exemplar where you could scale down as well. When I started EQ my friends already playing were so far ahead I couldn’t play with them for months (barring them playing alts when not busy on mains), that was such a good idea.

packagegrope
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packagegrope

while it was called a controller in coh, it was essentially everquest’s enchanter. they do get full marks for the mastermind though.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I loved this in COH.

Full team of eight with a max difficulty slider and it was a chaotic blast!

I remember some folks would make missions in the Mission Creator and set the enemies so hard they couldn’t be beaten.

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IronSalamander8 .

8 masterminds on max difficulty was hilarious. A bit of a mess though:

“Whose zombie is blocking the door!”

Those were good times.

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MolleaFauss

And if you hadn’t a beast of a pc (for the times) you were lagging like hell. Especially if there were a couple /dark MM…

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Crowe

EVEN IF you had a beast of a PC. All those particle effects, pets, their effects, etc…. heck, if home fiber had been a real thing back then, it might have been different.

“Let’s do a Hamidon raid!”
“No capes, no auras.” (broadcast every 30 seconds or so from someone’s macros)

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IronSalamander8 .

Sounds a lot like the difficulty system they added to CoH. It’s cool to have such options and I prefer being able to make missions more complex and have more powerful/complex enemies instead of just going the lazy route “enemies have +x% more health”.