GameStreet – City of Heroes/Villains News
Well it’s that time again, when fans descend upon San Diego and suck it dry of the valuable resources that nerds, geeks, and gamers alike so desperately need.
Comic Con International, the proverbial Mecca of all things comic, sc-fi, and pop culture related entertainment, boasts some impressive vendors. One of which, you all might know: NCSoft.
NCSoft’s booth was once again a hit, with several computers for both City of Heroes and Aion, a large screen displaying trailers for upcoming content, and a City of Heroes booth babe. A great amount of the creative minds behind the City of Heroes franchise graced the floor to speak with fans and tell newcomers all about the game, and why now is the best time to get in on the action.
Those computers dedicated to CoH had access to the beta content of Going Rogue, the long awaited expansion scheduled to hit stores on August 17, 2010. Veteran players and convention goers alike were privy to never before seen zones, costume pieces, power sets, and the Ultra Mode graphics system at its finest.
If that wasn’t enough to slake your thirst for City of Heroes at Comic Con 2010, the development team had their very own panel where they gave some details about the expansion, and opened themselves up to a Q and A session with fans.
Now, like many die hard players of the franchise, these descriptions aren’t enough to give you the information you want about Going Rogue. So, like a good 5 year veteran player, I will deliver the goods.
First, let’s start with character creation. Around seven new costume sets will be available to players upon their purchase of the expansion, each of which is tied to the new Praetorian zones. If a player chooses to start the game as a Praetorian, they have access to all ten primary power sets at the start of the game, the reasoning behind this is that Praetorian inhabitants are neither heroes nor villains at the get go, it is up to them to the player to decide if they will use their powers for good or ill.
Four new powersets. Boom. Duel pistols, demon summoning, electric control, and kinetic melee. Pistols and demon summoning were both available to players who pre-ordered, but the two hidden power sets are JUST as fun.
A feature that has created a lot of buzz is the new morality system. Heroes will be able to go from vigilante to villain. From villain, player will be able to move from rogue back to hero. If you really wanted to, you could go full circle, and back again, just for giggles and badges. The benefit to going through these morality shifts are impressive. If a hero chooses to be a vigilante, they will have access to both Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. If a villain goes rogue, they are able to go to the Rogue Isles and Paragon City. Pretty cool right? It doesn’t stop there. For those who wish to remain die-hard heroes or ruinous villains through and through, they will have access to special heroes-only/villains-only zones, and access to special purple IOs limited only to those heroes and villains. Something for everyone.
Another new feature that is being added to mission game play are the subterfuge and sabotage missions for Praetorians. Whilst on a mission for your contact in Praetoria, you are able to contact one of your previous contacts to see if they want you to do a secondary mission that will decide your characters morality, say arming a bomb or switching some data or planting a camera. This adds new depth to missions and character development as you begin to make decisions and choices that actually show your true colors.
Now let’s talk about Preatoria itself. It’s stunning, it’s expansive, it’s free from war walls, and it’s all new. David Nakayama, the Art Lead for the project, was able to sit down with me for a few minutes to talk about the task of creating an alternate Paragon City from the ground up.
“The zones themselves are almost an external characterization of certain signature characters in the universe,” Nakayama stated. Nova Preatoria is a reflection of the tyrant Emperor Cole, dressed in his immaculate white suit. The buildings are very much a part of the characters as they are their own characters, it seems. Another example he gave was that of Neuron’s sector of Praetoria, gilded with electric blue and adorned with tech. No more El Super Mexicano posters, they’ve been replaced with propaganda billboards telling us to point out neighbors who are Resistance members, or asking us to join the PPD in defense of Nova Preatoria. The Underground of Praetoria even has its own feel and theme as it houses the Resistance, citizens who attempt to defy Emperor Cole.
With all this talk of Praetoria, I have to mention the factions that inhabit this gleaming metropolis. Of course, there are the Loyalists and the Resistence. However, within each faction are two sub-factions, each with their own ideals and agendas that they will push on the player, giving more depth and drama to this seemingly flawed utopia.
WELL! That’s a lot isn’t it? The Brand Manager at Paragon Studios, took a break to talk to me about how they were trying to market a package so full of goodies. While it is an expansion of an existing game, Going Rogue can be seen almost as a stand-alone game in and of itself, which is something he hopes will draw new players to it. This works well because new players who start out as Praetorians will have access to ALL the power sets, even the new ones, so they will find out which ones suit their style of play, and then jump into Paragon City and the Isles.
I hope that was enough for all you fans out there. Check out the Dev Diaries on the City of Heroes and Going Rogue websites to see footage from Praetoria. I don’t know about you, but I can’t WAIT till August 17th!