Quite a while back, we introduced you to the concepts of Alignment and Reputation in City of Titans. If you would like to take a look at the original article, you can find it HERE:
In this update, we're going to take a deeper look into these systems, explain how they've changed since then, and show how they'll affect your experience in Titan City.
When you enter into the game, one of the first choices you will make for your character will be deciding how they are generally known throughout the city. This is called Renown. Each of the four options, Hero, Villain, Vigilante, or Scoundrel, will dictate how NPC's and factions in the city initially relate to your character, and will determine which starting mission paths are open to you. Only Hero and Villain paths are planned for launch, but the other two will be added later on. Since your choice will be the result of an action you take in the game, it will carry some meaning within the context of your character’s story.
Renown will have several different stages, with its own form of progression that will be separate from your character's actual level. This means that it will be possible to have a low level character that is extremely well known around the city, or a high level character that is relatively unknown.This will be an optional system,and we'll go through the different stages in detail at a later time but, let's take a brief look at how that progression will work.
As your Renown progresses, you will unlock new contacts, gain access to new content, and see different reactions from NPC's and Factions in the city. When you start off, your character is Unknown. This means that no one really knows about you, or your exploits in the city. After all, you are just starting out. At the highest stage, you are Famous. Your character is a common household name. Perhaps people whisper in fear less you catch wind of them talking about you, or maybe they exclaim at your latest exploits. A Famous Hero might attract civilians to stop and take a picture or tell others about some recent activity of your character. A Famous Villain may cause civilians to run or stop at a distance to scream for help.
Renown will also affect how you can group with other players for content. Characters must have a compatible Renown in order to group and complete content with one another. Heroes are freely able to form a group with Vigilantes, but not with Villains, for example.
Some of you may be thinking that Renown sounds awfully like a form of reputation. However, in City of Titans, Reputation is a different but connected idea. Renown is how you are known by the City as a whole. Reputation is how you're viewed on a faction-by-faction basis.
Your Reputation with a faction will have one of five different base reaction settings toward your character. These reactions (Friendly, Tolerant, Ignore, Dislike, and Hostile) are called Bias. Your Renown determines the initial setting of the faction's Bias toward your character but as you play through the game and earn achievements, a faction’s Bias may change. This change could be positive or negative depending on your actions.
If you gain achievements from helping one faction, that faction’s allies will begin to positively change their Bias toward your character. However, their enemies will react more negatively. For example: working closely with the Titan City Police Department will earn a more positive reaction from law enforcement and allied factions like the Fire Department, but criminal organizations will grow more hostile toward you.
You'll be able to see in the game how an achievement will affect your reputation. You'll also be notified in the game how an NPC reacts to you, or how they might react when you click on them for information.
When we combine all of these ideas together, we're able to create a web of interactions that make the game world come alive and feel less static. The TCPD may generally be Hostile to Villains and Friendly to Heroes, but we can also design specific NPCs within a faction that don’t fall into the general Bias of the faction.
Perhaps there is a crooked officer under the payroll of one of the city’s villain Factions. While the majority of the TCPD may be Hostile toward your character, if your character has earned a positive reputation with that same villain Faction, perhaps that particular TCPD NPC will be Tolerant of you, and may give you a mission, if your Renown is high enough.
The game world won't be purely black and white, it will be full of grey areas. One villain faction may end up being completely Friendly to your scoundrel character, but as a result, another villain faction has become Hostile. In the same way, your character isn’t purely black and white, the tri-axis Alignment of Law, Honor, and Violence will give each type of Renown its own nuance.
When you play through content, you will come to a point where a decision must be made. These Alignment decisions will have a range for how they can affect any one of the axes of your character’s Alignment. For example, you could end up being known as a Hero who is generally well liked by Law Enforcement but with a legacy of violent solutions. Or, you could be a villain who has broken every law, but always keeps their sworn word. We will do our best to provide a range of choices to match your personal view of your character, but even if every option isn’t available, this non-binary system gives you some wiggle room within the spectrum of each axis. Your character’s Alignment ends up being a reflection of the choices you selected throughout play and will have an impact on your character’s story.
Every action you take for your character matters. You get to determine how well known they are, which factions they’ll be involved with, and how your character's actions are perceived; all of which will affect the flow of the story. Every play through of the game has the potential to result in a different sequence of events, different types of content you experience, or different nuances based on your choices. Your character is unique and so too, is their story.
Thanks go out to game designer Tannim222 for the text, and to Jason 'PenitentRebel' Comerford for the banner image.
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