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Discuss: What We Heard About Flight

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Red Warlock
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Discuss: What We Heard About Flight

Read the original update here: https://cityoftitans.com/content/what-we-heard-about-flight

Feel free to comment on the update below.

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Lothic
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The things fixed/changed by

The things fixed/changed by this latest update are good but I actually wanted to provide a "meta-comment" about the way this update was presented.

I thought the amount of detail was very balanced and provided a great sense that "consistently solid" progress is being made. The outline of A) mentioning parsing feedback from the community B) listing the main points that got changed/fixed and C) providing a few "sneak peaks" of future progress was a good overall roadmap for what your typical futures updates should be looking like. Now if you can manage something like this update maybe say once a month that'd be great. Keep up the good work regardless!

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Red Warlock
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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

The things fixed/changed by this latest update are good but I actually wanted to provide a "meta-comment" about the way this update was presented.

I thought the amount of detail was very balanced and provided a great sense that "consistently solid" progress is being made. The outline of A) mentioning parsing feedback from the community B) listing the main points that got changed/fixed and C) providing a few "sneak peaks" of future progress was a good overall roadmap for what your typical futures updates should be looking like. Now if you can manage something like this update maybe say once a month that'd be great. Keep up the good work regardless!

Thanks Lothic - This is our ninth update since we changed our approach a bit and we've tried to do an update every two weeks. So far we've kept pretty close to that schedule and it's good to hear people feeling like the updates are working in terms of the amount and types of content we are sharing. Thanks for the feedback.

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Lothic
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Red Warlock wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:
Lothic wrote:

The things fixed/changed by this latest update are good but I actually wanted to provide a "meta-comment" about the way this update was presented.

I thought the amount of detail was very balanced and provided a great sense that "consistently solid" progress is being made. The outline of A) mentioning parsing feedback from the community B) listing the main points that got changed/fixed and C) providing a few "sneak peaks" of future progress was a good overall roadmap for what your typical futures updates should be looking like. Now if you can manage something like this update maybe say once a month that'd be great. Keep up the good work regardless!

Thanks Lothic - This is our ninth update since we changed our approach a bit and we've tried to do an update every two weeks. So far we've kept pretty close to that schedule and it's good to hear people feeling like the updates are working in terms of the amount and types of content we are sharing. Thanks for the feedback.

Sure. I think the main goal of these updates should be about generating a strong sense that tangible progress is being made. The exact "details" of the progress are almost secondary to that if that makes any sense.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Red Warlock wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:

we've tried to do an update every two weeks.

Every 2 weeks is an ideal tempo.
Every 3-4 weeks is an acceptable tempo.

Reflect on the nuance of how those two statements can be true at the same time.


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ok, so,

ok, so,
sometimes hitting the ground would stop fast flight and put me in hover and others it would stop me and put me into run.

i would prefer niether. sometimes i like to fly fast at ground level. i would prefer to have to manually switch to another mode of travel. be it another fast travel or hover or whatever
.
would be cool if, while flying fast, and i hit a building it stops me and does a little damage to the building or shakes it or something. if i hit a car while running fast or flying fast close to the ground, it could blow it up or flip over other cars and cause a pile up or the like

i would very much like dedicated up/down buttons for flying. i use an orbweaver with the thumb controls. i like to steer with these and use the dedicated keys for vertical movement.

unhooking mooselook/control from fast run would be essential for me. do not like the mouse control for it

the jump when in normal run is a little too high and too slow. not bad for the faster run. still hoping for a better animation for it

about all for the time i can put into right now. fun, overall. can't wait until i can beat up on that slicer

edit:ok. had to post again. got mys elf stuck inside one of the buildings. too fun

edit 2: was not sure if you prefered edits or new posts so i did this

so, when i jump and press the fast move button i fly. there will need to be a way to have it so that i can jump and and activate a specific travel power. if i have superspeed and fly, i may want to jump and land in superspeed

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Initial thoughts:

Initial thoughts:
* There are a couple of important, core keyboard controls missing: TURN left and right, up, down. Up while flying should be the same key as jump by default. Camera keybinds (in, out, up, down) would be ideal, but not necessary at this time.
* The fact your character changes physical orientation when using the move keys is a bit odd, and not expected MMO behavior. One normally expects the character to strafe left/right, and to back up, thus maintaining camera focus on the foreground.
* Fast flight is amazingly cool and awesome, but possibly _too_ fast for normal game play? I'd be a pinball in classic Steel Canyon, and would question why I would choose any other power for long distance travel.

Brutal honesty: a DCUO/Neverwinter Nights mouse-driven approach to directional control would be a fundamental deal breaker: my play style depends on both hands being on the keyboard.

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Seschat wrote:
Seschat wrote:

Fast flight is amazingly cool and awesome, but possibly _too_ fast for normal game play? I'd be a pinball in classic Steel Canyon, and would question why I would choose any other power for long distance travel.

I'll comment on this point. A Dev (either here or on Discord) already mentioned that the version of flight we're now seeing is a sort of "test prototype" of something that might be considered a "hyper/afterburner" style. Apparently the "standard flight" is going to be a bit slower and (arguably) more controllable from an inertia point of view.

Seschat wrote:

Brutal honesty: a DCUO/Neverwinter Nights mouse-driven approach to directional control would be a fundamental deal breaker: my play style depends on both hands being on the keyboard.

Yeah I prefer the mouse for directional control but I can understand your desire here. Hopefully they'll make it so that something like flight isn't hardwired to the use of a mouse.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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I like the mouse for general/

I like the mouse for general/'patrol' movement, but prefer Keyboard for anything needing precision. Like fighting. Being able to 'strafe', or side-step in combat means that my Tanker can turn the foe Away from the squishies.

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Seschat wrote:
Seschat wrote:

Brutal honesty: a DCUO/Neverwinter Nights mouse-driven approach to directional control would be a fundamental deal breaker: my play style depends on both hands being on the keyboard.

The important point being that different people use different UI control schemes (keyboard, mouse, controller, etc.). So long as everything can be controlled via different keybind combinations that can be defined by the players, this shouldn't be an issue.


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Right. I'm sure it has been

Right. This has been discussed exhaustively elsewhere. Just do a keyword search for "keybinds" for instance, and you will see dozens of threads and hundreds of posts since 2013.

When it comes to movement, there are a few that are standard in every MMORPG I've ever played, whether I use them or not (i'm looking at you turn right and turn left):

  • Move Forward
  • Move Back
  • Turn Left
  • Turn Right
  • Strafe Left
  • Strafe Right
  • Jump
  • Sprint (either a toggle or a hold to sprint)
  • Walk (almost always a toggle)
  • Mount/Dismount*

*What would normally be Mount/Dismount in other games would be the toggle for Travel Powers in CoT. With multiple travel powers, however, there are several different ways to skin that cat when it comes to control, keybinds and UI. I've attempted to put down no less than five separate control/UI schemes to incorporate how we would control which travel powers to activate at any one time. And that's not even knowing whether we will be able to use only one at a time or many. But rather than putting them all down here in excruciating detail, let it suffice to say MWM should provide players with more than one scheme option and they should be intuitive.

Also, since flight is a 3D experience, there will need to be a [descend] movement keybind added. I'm assuming, just like Seschat said, that [Jump] will double as [ascend] while flying. I'm also assuming that [Sprint] and [Walk] will double as [Fast Travel] and [Slow Travel/Combat Travel] toggles respectively.


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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

[Jump] will double as [ascend] while flying.

More broadly speaking, an [Up] / [Down] is the more generic way to describe this.
In most ground bound (and therefore, 2D) contexts, there is no point in creating a "down" movement since that either isn't happening (you're standing on the ground) or it is happening in an uncontrolled way (you're falling). However, once you add Wall Crawling into the mix where you're moving on vertical surfaces, being able to command Up/Down without needing to "reorient" your UI control scheme suddenly becomes quite relevant. When it comes to vertical Wall Crawling, you basically trade Forward/Backward on a horizontal plane for Up/Down on a vertical plane, but without training that can become both disorienting and confusing for Players REALLY FAST ... so it's best to keep Forward/Backward as "horizontal"(-ish) movement controls while simultaneously enabling Up/Down vertical movement controls, even if those vertical movement controls aren't always relevant for every single character.

It's kind of like having a pasta aisle at the supermarket.
Even if I hardly ever buy pasta myself, it's important to have it available for those who buy and use pasta more frequently than I do.
Eliminating the pasta aisle, in this analogy, becomes the gaming equivalent of premature optimization of the UI controls, simply because not everyone "needs" to use every single control option on every single character.

I don't know about anyone else, but when it comes to UI controls and keybinds, I vastly prefer to have a single "standard" keybind layout for a game that I use in common for ALL of my alts ... with additions and modifications to the "basic common core" of those keybinds for specialized classes (such as Kheldians and Masterminds) that get overlaid on top of that core keybind set. That way, when I switch to an alt I don't have to "relearn" everything about controlling my character(s) from scratch. Instead, I can build up a repository of muscle memory and proprioception that allows me to play the game with greater confidence, authority and more efficient control(s).

It usually takes a day (or few) to get all the keybinds set "just so" for a game, but after that ... it's all gravy.

Huckleberry wrote:

I'm also assuming that [Sprint] and [Walk] will double as [Fast Travel] and [Slow Travel/Combat Travel] toggles respectively.

Probably best to just broaden this out to all movement types as a common feature.

Slow / Normal / Fast Movement

Being able to dial up or dial down movement speeds like that becomes VERY VALUABLE when trying to make precision controlled movements, regardless of movement type.
I know that in City of Heroes, jumping distance could often times become a challenge, particularly in places like the Shadow Shard with its Geysers where you might need to precisely and accurately control your jumps and landings. Being able to magnify and minimize movement speeds under Player control can have all kinds of knock on effects.

For example ... Stealth.

I would have no problem with a game design element that specifies that Stealth powers work at:

  • Maximal effectiveness (buffed) when stationary (no movement control input from Player and no uncontrolled movement, such as falling)
  • Normal effectiveness (unmodified) when using Slow Movement and moving under Player control
  • Partial effectiveness (debuffed) when using Normal Movement and moving under Player control
  • Special effectiveness (see below) when using Fast Movement and moving under Player control

The Fast Movement exception would be the "blows past at high speed" exception, where the idea is that you're moving so fast you can't be recognized as you blow right on by (although there might be special effects such as a gust of wind or blowing leaves or whatever). The way the Fast Movement exception would work is essentially via a "mulligan" system on Perception checks.

The basic game design idea is that NPCs have pulsed autonomic Perception checks that happen at regular intervals. Something like every 1.5 seconds, the NPCs make a Perception check for hostiles within their aggro radius (ie. Perception range).
What the "special effectiveness" for Stealth while using Fast Movement does is change the requirement from needing to make 1 successful Perception check to aggro onto a PC to instead needing to make 2 Perception checks to aggro onto a PC (or 3-4 checks if the pulse timing for Perception checks is set at a more rapid tempo) ... while at the same time essentially debuffing the Perception modifier on the dice rolls for those Perception checks to basically nothing.

What you wind up with then is a game system in which if you're Fast Moving with Stealth activated, so long as you keep moving and don't stay within Perception range of hostile NPCs "too long" they won't be able to Perceive your PC and thus they will not aggro onto you ... but you have to keep moving ... and if you stick around too long, you'll be spotted and they'll aggro onto you anyway.

So compare and contrast how this idea works with how things worked in City of Heroes.

Superspeed had a Stealth buff when toggled on.
Didn't matter if you were moving or not ... if Superspeed was ON then you effectively got a Stealth buff.
Stealth, as a power or as an Enhancement Set IO, could be stacked on top of the Stealth buff from Superspeed, permitting behavior where you could be Superspeed standing stationary next to a hostile NPC and they couldn't aggro onto you unless you attacked them.

Now take the same situation using the game design I'm outlining here for City of Titans.

Superspeed has a (temporary) Perception nullifying effect while Fast Movement is toggled on AND while moving.
So if you stop moving, whether Superspeed is toggled on or not, whether Fast Movement is toggled on or not, the (temporary) Perception nullifying effect "drops" until you start Fast Movement again.
This Perception nullifying effect essentially raises the threshold number of successful Perception checks that NPCs need to make before they will aggro, but if you're Fast Moving past them and leaving them behind in your wake, so long as you don't "hang around" next to them they won't be able to Perceive you and therefore aggro onto you. In other words, if you want to remain "hidden" while Fast Moving with Superspeed the amount of time you can spend within the NPC's pulse checking Perception radius is limited ... while at the same time the duration in which you'll be within their Perception radius ought to be "quick enough" that they shouldn't realize you're even there before you've left the volume of their Perception (see: FAST Movement).

Spice things up with differential timing of the tempo for Perception checks ...

  • 0.50 seconds for Archvillain class NPCs
  • 0.75 seconds for Elite Boss NPCs
  • 1.00 second for Boss NPCs
  • 1.25 seconds for Lieutenant NPCs
  • 1.50 seconds for Minion NPCs
  • 1.75 seconds for Underling NPCs
  • 2.00 seconds for Giant Monster NPCs

... and you'll have a system in which you can "breeze past" NPCs using Fast Stealthy Movement, but you'll still want to be careful in HOW CLOSE you get to higher ranking NPCs ... because if you use up your "free mulligans" on Perception checks before exiting their Perception radius, your Fast Stealthy Movement will have "failed" relative to that NPC, who can then Aggro Shout to other NPCs around them so as to engage your PC in combat (because you were careless and got spotted).

Other potential knock on synergistic effects of having a Slow / Normal / Fast Movement system like this could be as a kind of buff/debuff modifier for powers that affect Movement, such as Slow and Immobilize effects.

One way you could rig this in game design terms is that when a Slow or Immobilize power hits, include a check to see if Slow, Normal or Fast is the current movement state of the affected $Target (so this applies to PCs and NPCs alike).

If the movement state is Slow Movement at the time the attack resolves, reduce the Slow and/or Immobilize effects reduce their duration and/or magnitude. The $Target was already Slowed by choice prior to the power effect hitting them, reducing the effectiveness of the Slow/Immobilize attack effect(s).

If the movement state is Normal Movement at the time the attack resolves, the Slow effect and/or Immobilize effects resolve normally without modification.

If the movement state is Fast Movement at the time the attack resolves, reduce the Slow and/or Immobilize effects increase their duration and/or magnitude. The $Target suffers a "greater shock" in performance loss due to the Slow/Immobilize attack effects hitting them and "throwing them off their stride" (so to speak).

With such a game design synergy system in place, it starts to become a tactical consideration of when to "switch gears" between Slow, Normal and Fast movement ... rather than just wanting to be "as fast as possible at all times" just because there's no reason NOT to be as fast as possible at all times.
Let's take an easy example ... Caltrops.

If you're already Slow Move by choice and get hit by Caltrops, you can keep moving (slowly, obviously), by carefully picking your way through them, but you'll be net faster doing so using Slow Movement than you would be using Normal Movement.
If you're already Fast Move by choice and get hit by Caltrops, the movement debuff gets multiplied/magnified to the point where you suffer an automatic Knockdown effect, halting your movement entirely.

Note that such a system is checking your Movement toggle state when the attack resolves ... so you have to be in a specific movement state BEFORE you get hit with an attack for that movement state to "count" for how that attack resolves.
This means that if you're in a Normal Movement state, get hit with an Immobilize attack and then switch to Slow Movement mode AFTER the attack resolves ... the movement state switch will have NO EFFECT on the first attack that hit you, but can help you with any subsequent follow on attacks that come in after the first one. So if an Immobilize lasts 20 seconds in Normal Movement mode, but only 10 seconds in Slow Movement mode ... if you're in Normal Movement mode and get hit by that Immobilize, it will last the full 20 seconds of duration even if you switch to Slow Movement mode after being Immobilized by it. Additional follow up Immobilize attacks will only have a 10 second duration when they hit you, after you've already switched to Slow Movement mode, but changing Movement Mode does not retroactively change debuff effects after they have been applied ... it only changes debuff effects from powers that haven't hit you yet.

This kind of synergy is exactly the kind of thing you want to build into games to encourage Player skill and involvement in play strategies that yields expansive, rather than parasitic design opportunities and choices.
By adding more dimensions and possibilities to HOW to engage in combat, you open up the space for additional playstyles on both the tactical and strategic levels, creating challenges to be overcome by cleverness, planning and knowledge that rewards SMART gameplay by Players ... which is ultimately what we all want to see happen.

And yes ... all of that came out of thinking about what you can do with Slow/Normal/Fast aside from just merely Walk/Sprint and Fast Flying.

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Some people think outside the box.
Some people reinvent the box.
And some of us use multiple boxes to BUILD THINGS greater than you'd ever have with only a single box ...


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

More broadly speaking, an [Up] / [Down] is the more generic way to describe this.
In most ground bound (and therefore, 2D) contexts, there is no point in creating a "down" movement since that either isn't happening (you're standing on the ground) or it is happening in an uncontrolled way (you're falling). However, once you add Wall Crawling into the mix where you're moving on vertical surfaces, being able to command Up/Down without needing to "reorient" your UI control scheme suddenly becomes quite relevant. When it comes to vertical Wall Crawling, you basically trade Forward/Backward on a horizontal plane for Up/Down on a vertical plane, but without training that can become both disorienting and confusing for Players REALLY FAST ... so it's best to keep Forward/Backward as "horizontal"(-ish) movement controls while simultaneously enabling Up/Down vertical movement controls, even if those vertical movement controls aren't always relevant for every single character.

I disagree, and I've detailed why in the thread up is relative. Like you, I think a standardized control scheme is best. But rather than re-orient the control scheme, I propose we re-orient the horizon instead so we can keep the same intuitive control scheme no matter what surface we are on. In fact, in this post you actually concur.

...

Redlynne wrote:

Other potential knock on synergistic effects of having a Slow / Normal / Fast Movement system like this could be as a kind of buff/debuff modifier for powers that affect Movement, such as Slow and Immobilize effects.
...

If the movement state is Slow Movement at the time the attack resolves, reduce the Slow and/or Immobilize effects reduce their duration and/or magnitude...

If the movement state is Normal Movement at the time the attack resolves, the Slow effect and/or Immobilize effects resolve normally without modification.

If the movement state is Fast Movement at the time the attack resolves, reduce the Slow and/or Immobilize effects increase their duration and/or magnitude...

With such a game design synergy system in place, it starts to become a tactical consideration of when to "switch gears" between Slow, Normal and Fast movement ... rather than just wanting to be "as fast as possible at all times" just because there's no reason NOT to be as fast as possible at all times.
Let's take an easy example ... Caltrops.

If you're already Slow Move by choice and get hit by Caltrops, you can keep moving (slowly, obviously), by carefully picking your way through them, but you'll be net faster doing so using Slow Movement than you would be using Normal Movement.
If you're already Fast Move by choice and get hit by Caltrops, the movement debuff gets multiplied/magnified to the point where you suffer an automatic Knockdown effect, halting your movement entirely.

I like this. I think it can be summed up a bit more concisely by incorporating the term "vulnerability."

When one is in fast movement, they are more vulnerable. When one is in slow movement, they are less vulnerable. I think this should apply to all external stimuli, not just controls. But regarding controls, I'd like to refresh everyone's collective memories: MWM gave us an entire update on control systems mechanics. I'm chuckling to myself as I imagine a speedster or fast-flyer getting hit with a disorient attack and careening off into who knows what when they discover their movement keybinds have all been rewired for three seconds.

So, using MWM's terms, fast movement requires more WILLPOWER and slow movement requires less WILLPOWER. In addition, activating fast movement should also lower our character's MOVEMENT and CONCENTRATION stats, while slow movement increases our character's MOVEMENT and CONCENTRATION stats. Since control effects are non-binary this will result in potentially greater control effects upon fast movers and less powerful control effects upon slow movers, just like you propose above.

In fact, from the most recent update we have:

Quote:

You can make a really decent flight power with improved speed and reduced cost and also reduce the Willpower rating which makes it harder for the travel power to be affected by a control.

so we know that this will be a thing. So I think it is in the realm of high possibility that just such a vulnerability scale could be included in the game already. And if not, I highly recommend that MWM does adopt it.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

In fact, in this post you actually concur.

In the explicit context of that post, I concurred that it made sense.
But if you alter the context of how the movement control UI is intended to function (up/down, forward/backward, left/right), there is room left over for menu option checkboxes on whether or not a Player wants "up" to be relative or not. Some will want that functionality, some will not.
It's kind of like move map iconography for fighter pilots. Some pilots prefer North at the top of the screen with the arrow for the plane in the center of the map turning around ... while other pilots prefer for the arrow icon of the plane in the center to remain fixed and have the map rotate, so "up" on the map is always the forward flight direction for the plane. The different schemes of presentation work "better" for different types of people, so it's best to support both UI options when you can at the software level.
Same deal here.
Some people will prefer a more "absolute" vs "relative" orientation for their movement controls, relative to the map vs relative to the PC avatar's orientation. Figuring out how to accommodate a variety of control scheme preferences, rather than prematurely optimizing for a single scheme only, ought to be the goal at this stage.

In other words, when a control scheme is devised, don't lock yourself out of being able to achieve the same results by different means.


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As far as I'm concerned, the

As far as I'm concerned, the format and content of updates are more important than sticking to any particular schedule. I think a 'late' good update is always better than an 'on-time' update that's just filler cuz there was an imagined deadline.

Thank you for letting me rebind the hover and fast flight keys and use the arrows for movement (at least for hover) -- makes more difference than I realised. I'll echo what folks above have said about expecting fwd-back-strafeleft-straferight to be the standard for key movement.

I did notice that Right Shift is not bindable. (Or maybe it is but it came up with a confirmation pop-up dialogue that I couldn't reach as it was hidden beneath the keyboard map display.) That's my standard fast movement key, given that I move with the arrow keys.

My wife, who is not a gamer, just saw fast flight and was impressed with the banking and the movie superhero landing.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

As far as I'm concerned, the format and content of updates are more important than sticking to any particular schedule. I think a 'late' good update is always better than an 'on-time' update that's just filler cuz there was an imagined deadline.

On the other hand it's probably better to hold MWM to -some- kind of periodic update schedule (even a loose one) just to force them into realizing they will have to be an organized "company" someday. If we let them think they can get away with putting out updates willy-nilly every few months or "whenever they feel like it" it's going to be another 15-20 years before this game is even remotely ready to launch.

Obviously if they need a few extra days here or there from time to time that's fine. But they ought to be striving to set achievable goals and tangible periodic results if they ever actually want to be taken seriously as game company.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

As far as I'm concerned, the format and content of updates are more important than sticking to any particular schedule. I think a 'late' good update is always better than an 'on-time' update that's just filler cuz there was an imagined deadline.

On the other hand it's probably better to hold MWM to -some- kind of periodic update schedule (even a loose one) just to force them into realizing they will have to be an organized "company" someday. If we let them think they can get away with putting out updates willy-nilly every few months or "whenever they feel like it" it's going to be another 15-20 years before this game is even remotely ready to launch.

Obviously if they need a few extra days here or there from time to time that's fine. But they ought to be striving to set achievable goals and tangible periodic results if they ever actually want to be taken seriously as game company.

Don't forget... It's hard to try to force a schedule on someone that's already following a schedule from their actual, paying job.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Don't forget... It's hard to try to force a schedule on someone that's already following a schedule from their actual, paying job.

Not a good take. It sends a very poor message and I recommend you delete it.

If your organization views a schedule as something that needs to be forced upon your people, then your organization lacks the necessary leadership to achieve its goals.

I won't say any more even though I have a lot more to say. I think this suffices. Delete it.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Don't forget... It's hard to try to force a schedule on someone that's already following a schedule from their actual, paying job.

Don't forget... The people involved are attempting to create a game and company that will ostensibly become their FUTURE actual, paying job.

I get that MWM and CoT is not "real" yet. I get that people need to make money today and MWM is not technically an "employer" of people at the moment. But if the people at MWM don't ever start acting/pretending like it's ever going to be the "real deal" they never will.

Your response here is merely a vague excuse for why this project may very well linger in limbo for several more decades.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Don't forget... It's hard to try to force a schedule on someone that's already following a schedule from their actual, paying job.

I absolutely get that Warlocc is a volunteer on this project and that some of the discussion being pressed on MWM is us other community members 'demanding' more/better progress 'immediately'. So that seems like we are trying to force a schedule on the project, which would interfere with work being done to keep food on the table IRL, as it were.

I'm sure that we all have experience with that uncomfortable necessity. However, time is another source of pressure and I'd like to be playing this game before I'm trapped in a home for the 'Old'.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

I absolutely get that Warlocc is a volunteer on this project and that some of the discussion being pressed on MWM is us other community members 'demanding' more/better progress 'immediately'. So that seems like we are trying to force a schedule on the project, which would interfere with work being done to keep food on the table IRL, as it were.

I'm sure that we all have experience with that uncomfortable necessity. However, time is another source of pressure and I'd like to be playing this game before I'm trapped in a home for the 'Old'.

I honestly don't even think what I'm asking for here is "too demanding" or represents an ultimatum for "immediate completion" of a playable game. In fact I'm likely one of the more patient followers of this project all things considered. The very fact that I'm one of the few "regular posters" still posting on this forum pretty much proves that.

I simply believe that after 8+ years of development MWM should be getting to a point where they can reliably produce significant periodic updates. Is that belief -really- too unreasonable to hold against a group of people who are aspiring to create a MMORPG?

To be fair there seems to be more developer "activity" going on here in the last year or so than in previous years. But we really need to be getting to the point where we're getting software patch updates every 2 to 4 weeks instead of once every several months.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Don't forget... It's hard to try to force a schedule on someone that's already following a schedule from their actual, paying job.

Not a good take. It sends a very poor message and I recommend you delete it.

If your organization views a schedule as something that needs to be forced upon your people, then your organization lacks the necessary leadership to achieve its goals.

I won't say any more even though I have a lot more to say. I think this suffices. Delete it.

Huckleberry is correct.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Don't forget... It's hard to try to force a schedule on someone that's already following a schedule from their actual, paying job.

Not a good take. It sends a very poor message and I recommend you delete it.

If your organization views a schedule as something that needs to be forced upon your people, then your organization lacks the necessary leadership to achieve its goals.

I won't say any more even though I have a lot more to say. I think this suffices. Delete it.

Let me clarify my position. I'm coming from this a little defensively.

Every time we publish an update, it goes out on Kickstarter, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Discord, and these forums. And I go through pretty much all of the replies. These forums are almost always great. Discord generally pretty good. But as soon as you get out on to the rest of the Internet, the comments start coming back differently. We get called scammers every update. We get told that we should just release the game now and stop wasting time. It's a nonstop stream of people that think we've somehow all retired on yachts with the Kickstarter money.

People really, really don't understand that the organization isn't getting paid. They don't understand that many of our devs get home from their day jobs and then stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning sometimes, suffering the wrath of their families, to work on this. I saw Iathor up until 4 AM one night, troubleshooting with a player to fix their patcher. So when people come along and suggest we need to start telling them to take time off from their jobs or get up in the middle of the night after working all day to attend meetings with us in order to talk about deadlines and whatnot- which has been suggested on these forums, very recently- I don't think it's a poor message to again send out that reminder that we're a volunteer studio and we're juggling it as best we can.

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In my opinion a regular

In my opinion a regular updater is a regular update. It "Updates" the stakeholders on the progress made. I think everyone who has donated money to the project deserves such a thing. If there is no progress made in a reporting period, then that is the update. There is not a single effort on the project that can not be expressed in some form of useful metric, so the excuse that "it is too hard to describe what we are doing" is useless. If your program management team can't figure out a metric to measure the progress of each of its volunteers then the program management team is failing.

From the looks of your last "who's who of MWM," it looks like you have broken down into several functional departments with a lead for each. It seems to me that a department level breakdown in progress would suffice.

And when it comes to public updates, those are the ones you can publish when you have something showy or when a department has really been advancing in leaps and strides and you want to give them recognition.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Hey everyone- important point

Hey everyone- important point, over the last several months we’ve been keeping a regular schedule of updates every two weeks, (even if we are only committing to monthly updates). So we are doing what’s being asked for in terms of keeping a schedule.

While there are some people who are noisy in other forums and we get some mixed messages about what people want for updates, we feel like the schedule we’ve been keeping for updates has been working and we plan to keep it.

And since I’ve been writing the updates over this period (and staying up until 3am building city streets last night, and sitting here taking a break at my day job to write this) - despite the fact we are volunteers with crazy schedules, I can personally guarantee we will continue with this update schedule as long as I’m here to write them.

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Red Warlock wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:

Hey everyone- important point, over the last several months we’ve been keeping a regular schedule of updates every two weeks, (even if we are only committing to monthly updates). So we are doing what’s being asked for in terms of keeping a schedule.

This is a good point. Thanks for the reminder. I still recommend deleting post #17 and the related posts that follow it.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:

Hey everyone- important point, over the last several months we’ve been keeping a regular schedule of updates every two weeks, (even if we are only committing to monthly updates). So we are doing what’s being asked for in terms of keeping a schedule.

This is a good point. Thanks for the reminder. I still recommend deleting post #17 and the related posts that follow it.

I think the discussion is valuable because it’s a reminder how much you all care about regular updates. I felt like a clarification is important. Warlocc was trying to share some context about our work as volunteers, but I’m the lead on updates, I wrote the last ten, and I’m keeping us on schedule to have them released every couple weeks (along with the monthly email going out).

I’m the lead on this for our game and I commit to you that we are going to keep it up.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Let me clarify my position. I'm coming from this a little defensively.

Aye, you are.
So let me see if I can supply some quantity of signal to noise for you to work with.

Up until now (meaning, as of the timestamp on this post) ... MWM has operated on a volunteer basis with a revenue stream essentially sourced from donations.
At some point in the future (not yet defined, as of the timestamp on this post) ... MWM will need to transition into being an employer of quality staff people, managing the game City of Titans, before, during and after publication release. The revenue generated from the game will need to provide the meal tickets for the employees so that they can quit their former jobs and devote their working hours to City of Titans exclusively and get paid for doing so in order to make MWM an employer of humans.

How you "get there from here" has been questioned (by Lothic, mainly).
It's something you've had the luxury of not needing to worry about previously, but as publication release draws closer MWM will be compelled (by economic realities, if nothing else!) to take such concerns seriously (because the alternative is failure and bankruptcy, thank you for playing).

The expectation is not one of an instantaneous transition from one operational state to another (all volunteers to all paid professionals), since that would be an unreasonable expectation.
Instead, the expectation is that since the transition is going to be an inevitable one that needs to happen if the game is to succeed in the larger gaming marketplace ... what, if anything(!), is being done to prepare to get onto the glide path for that transition to eventually occur?

So far, the answer has been ... not particularly helpful, let alone confidence inspiring.
Saying "we'll burn that bridge when we get to it" does not inspire confidence that you know where you are going, let alone how to get From Here To There™.

It's kind of like knowing you need to land an airplane without an autopilot.
It's going to have to happen sometime in the future, if you're not all that keen on crashing (and burning).

  • Do you know what the glide path is to make a safe landing?
  • Are you doing anything to maneuver towards that glide path now, in preparation for needing to use that glide path later?
  • Does the airplane need to fly in a particular direction (or flight pattern, if you prefer) so as to get onto that glide path eventually?

When the answers to those questions amount to "yes, no and no" in that order ... do NOT be surprised when your passengers along for the ride ask a follow up question about the current fuel state of the airplane (for what ought to be obvious reasons) after being airborne for a really long flight already. I mean, even if the airplane is using thermals to raise altitude and realize a longer flight range, the "fuel" that is being consumed by the airplane is neither infinite nor self-regenerating after it has been used.

Now I get that as far as this particular analogy goes, MWM is still in the process of "building the plane in midair" with a crew of volunteers ... but at some point, that crew is going to have to Land The Plane they've been building somewhere and transition over from a volunteer crew to a paid professional crew.

At which notion I get to point out that even if such a transition is loooooong way off from right now, it might be in everyone's best interests to set a course for getting onto a safe glide path for that eventual outcome so as to gradually (rather than suddenly) maneuver everyone over to being ready for that eventual transition.

Or to get back to the flying analogies ... there are 3 things in aviation that are completely useless to you, no matter what quantities of them you have at your disposal.

  • Altitude above you
  • Runway behind you
  • Fuel in the truck

It also helps to set course for a place where you know you can land (safely).

WE KNOW you aren't getting paid by MWM right now.
What we're unsure of is whether you will have a plan for how things might change once people DO need to start getting paid.

Do you have a "glide path" that you're maneuvering towards, so as to land safely, before you encounter a crisis along the way?
So far, the only answer we've gotten to that question is ... Answer hazy, try again later.

You'll excuse those of us who have been in team leadership roles who look at that response and find it ... lacking ... :(

The habits and patterns of thought that MWM creates for itself NOW will have reverberations into the future for how MWM operates as an economic entity looooong after the present day.
Best to sculpt the corporate culture while you can before firing it in the kiln, rather than during (or worse, after) a firing that causes it to "set" in a way that will be a lot harder to change later.

Even if you don't have all the puzzle pieces you will need to be working with RIGHT NAO, you can still work in such a way as to integrate those missing elements later in a relatively seamless fashion ... or you could wind up with a disaster.
A transition IS COMING ... whether you want it to or not ... so what groundwork is being done to prepare for that eventual transition NOW when you have the luxury of time to make such adjustments to workflow prior to Crunch Time?
If the answer is ... "nothing" ... then somebody has completely failed to anticipate the future, let alone prepare to move MWM into that future once it arrives.
And if the answer also contains "not now" ... the obvious follow up then becomes "okay, when?"

Inquiring minds want to know ... so as to sustain their faith and belief in the MWM team and the work that you have done (and are still doing, even now).

Hope that helps.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

…A transition IS COMING ... whether you want it to or not ... so what groundwork is being done to prepare for that eventual transition NOW…
And if the answer also contains "not now" ... the obvious follow up then becomes "okay, when?"

We have a business plan and work is being done currently to lay the groundwork for growing our business later. We aren’t talking about growing the business side of our operations yet because we believe we need to reach some milestones first before we can really talk about those things.

The update we did on ‘Next Steps for Building Titan City’ gives a good account of milestones we want to make significant progress on before we begin to talk about business planning for the future: https://cityoftitans.com/content/next-steps-building-city-titans

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

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quote=Huckleberry]
Huckleberry wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:

Hey everyone- important point, over the last several months we’ve been keeping a regular schedule of updates every two weeks, (even if we are only committing to monthly updates). So we are doing what’s being asked for in terms of keeping a schedule.

This is a good point. Thanks for the reminder. I still recommend deleting post #17 and the related posts that follow it.

I personally believe both successes and failures should be on display. Shows that we're still real people.

Red Warlock wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

…A transition IS COMING ... whether you want it to or not ... so what groundwork is being done to prepare for that eventual transition NOW…
And if the answer also contains "not now" ... the obvious follow up then becomes "okay, when?"

We have a business plan and work is being done currently to lay the groundwork for growing our business later. We aren’t talking about growing the business side of our operations yet because we believe we need to reach some milestones first before we can really talk about those things.

The update we did on ‘Next Steps for Building Titan City’ gives a good account of milestones we want to make significant progress on before we begin to talk about business planning for the future: https://cityoftitans.com/content/next-steps-building-city-titans

And Red is definitely more diplomatic than I am on this topic.

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For what my 2 cents are worth

For what my 2 cents are worth (arguably less than 2 cents), I commend the team for making the decision to give more frequent updates this year than in recent years and sticking to it. I think it has 'bettered' your image overall since more frequent updates, despite how trivial or small they may be, gives, if nothing else, the illusion of progress, which it is.

I don't want to understate the above point, I really do think it shows progress. And communication has been improved as well, which is really the only big complaint I have had with the CoT team.

The only thing I would ask the team is to be very deliberate about what they put in updates with regards to future updates. That is something that I am always very aware of; things that we were told to expect from past updates. For example, in the 'Next Steps' update on 4/15/2021 it said "We plan to have powers updates in the coming months, so keep an eye out for these updates as well." I think it's reasonable, based on your own update, to expect a more-than-trivial update on powers this year. If you know you are not to the point of being able to show something substantial about powers this year, then you need to seriously reconsider what you say in updates and how you say it. Another example from the 2020 Recap and look ahead from 1/5/2021 it says "Our Combat team is beginning the process of connecting our combat system to the basics included in the Unreal engine. Once we have those working at an acceptable level, then we’ll begin to test and make the improvements that will make it unique to City of Titans. We’ll show you more about this later in the year". I'm not asking for info on these specific things, they are just an example. There have been many times in the past years where I've asked about things mentioned in past updates that were never talked about again. Quick example is the new website, I think it was 2018 when it was mentioned in some update that you guys were excited to roll out the new and improved website, you even gave us screenshots of it...and then crickets. Never another word about it.

So please, keep a checklist of sorts of things that you say you are going to show or give us in updates because we do remember. It really does hurt at least my confidence in this team when they mention things in updates, especially big things like a new, improved website, but then they never speak to it again and hope we just forget. There may be justifiable reasons but we were never told those reasons...so how do you think that comes across to us?...it comes across as empty promises given to keep making us feel like more progress is being made than is actually being made, that exciting things are happening or about to happen when they really aren't, just to give us false hope in order to get more second chance backing. I'm not saying that is what is happening, I'm saying that's what it makes us feel like is happening.

Compulsively clicking the refresh button until the next update.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

…A transition IS COMING ... whether you want it to or not ... so what groundwork is being done to prepare for that eventual transition NOW…
And if the answer also contains "not now" ... the obvious follow up then becomes "okay, when?"

We have a business plan and work is being done currently to lay the groundwork for growing our business later. We aren’t talking about growing the business side of our operations yet because we believe we need to reach some milestones first before we can really talk about those things.

The update we did on ‘Next Steps for Building Titan City’ gives a good account of milestones we want to make significant progress on before we begin to talk about business planning for the future: https://cityoftitans.com/content/next-steps-building-city-titans

And Red is definitely more diplomatic than I am on this topic.

Which "Red" are you referring to?
There are two "Red" quotes there to choose from in close proximity.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Which "Red" are you referring to?
There are two "Red" quotes there to choose from in close proximity.

Red Warlock. His post was more diplomatic than my initial one.

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Dark Cleric wrote:
Dark Cleric wrote:

The only thing I would ask the team is to be very deliberate about what they put in updates with regards to future updates. That is something that I am always very aware of; things that we were told to expect from past updates. For example, in the 'Next Steps' update on 4/15/2021 it said "We plan to have powers updates in the coming months, so keep an eye out for these updates as well." I think it's reasonable, based on your own update, to expect a more-than-trivial update on powers this year. If you know you are not to the point of being able to show something substantial about powers this year, then you need to seriously reconsider what you say in updates and how you say it. Another example from the 2020 Recap and look ahead from 1/5/2021 it says "Our Combat team is beginning the process of connecting our combat system to the basics included in the Unreal engine. Once we have those working at an acceptable level, then we’ll begin to test and make the improvements that will make it unique to City of Titans. We’ll show you more about this later in the year". I'm not asking for info on these specific things, they are just an example. There have been many times in the past years where I've asked about things mentioned in past updates that were never talked about again. Quick example is the new website, I think it was 2018 when it was mentioned in some update that you guys were excited to roll out the new and improved website, you even gave us screenshots of it...and then crickets. Never another word about it.

So please, keep a checklist of sorts of things that you say you are going to show or give us in updates because we do remember. It really does hurt at least my confidence in this team when they mention things in updates, especially big things like a new, improved website, but then they never speak to it again and hope we just forget. There may be justifiable reasons but we were never told those reasons...so how do you think that comes across to us?...it comes across as empty promises given to keep making us feel like more progress is being made than is actually being made, that exciting things are happening or about to happen when they really aren't, just to give us false hope in order to get more second chance backing. I'm not saying that is what is happening, I'm saying that's what it makes us feel like is happening.

Very fair points. And we are keeping a tracking list of work being done on the projects we discussed in that “Next Steps” update. Here’s a quick rundown:

Titan City Neighborhoods – we’ve been a bit quiet on this front, but very busy behind the scenes. Our milestone we are trying to reach on this front is to make an Alexandria test area available as soon as we have a few technical issues resolved. We’ve made a LOT of progress, but still have some things to work out. Our team believes that we will be able to reach our milestone we are shooting for here in the coming months, barring some unexpected tech catastrophe.

Sounds of Titan City – We’ve shown extensive work on sound in our updates, and the next steps for sound really will involve player review in Alexandria to see if you all think we are on track with how we are applying it.

Travel Powers – we obviously reached a big milestone with flight. More work is happening with flight and other travel powers, but this is another area where we’ve already kept moving on our goals.

Chat and multiplayer - these are two features we haven’t talked about a lot yet this year, but they are definitely on our list of things we are planning to address in the coming months.

Powers – You mention “If you know you are not to the point of being able to show something substantial about powers this year, then you need to seriously reconsider what you say in updates and how you say it….” After lots of combat testing, we are finally to a place where animations can start to be shown. We anticipate that after the Alexandria test moves forward, there will be substantial progress on powers we can share. I’m not at liberty to say more than that, but all of us are looking forward to seeing the progress we anticipate on powers this year. I do not feel like we need to retract anything we said before about powers - in fact, I think we all are more optimistic that things are moving along very well on that front.

You also raised the topic of the improved website. Yes, we got bogged down and had a misfire on this one. We announced plans for a website upgrade back in January that would share expansive content about our Titan City neighborhoods. I drafted the neighborhood pages in Constant Contact format because it’s easy to create pages that way. But I didn’t realize when I made the pages that there was a concern in our leadership with forwarding players from our City of Titans webpage to independent pages on Constant Contact. And while it was easy to make 60-something pages on Constant Contact, making the pages from scrap on our website was going to be a big drag on time. So, instead of sharing the content on our website, we have shared the same information in the monthly emails we have sent out. This one for instance has all of the information we planned to add to the Old Bradford District neighborhood page: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/May-2021-Roundup---City-of-Titans.html?soid=1133313647119&aid=hs6h_2e29kE
We plan to send out a similar update on Downtown this month, as I’ve just finished the last mogul for Downtown and now we can share pics and descriptions of all of Downtown's Landmarks and moguls. As I finish work in the neighborhoods on Victory Beach, NRD, Aurora and others, we will send similar emails so people can check out the content there.

Also we plan to do a bigger upgrade for the website down the line, but I don't know if that's one of the projects that might make it into our projects we finish for the year.

So, there’s lots going on, but point well taken about keeping track of what we say and staying in touch with you about how things are coming along with the things we put out to you all. We are going to continue to do our best to keep you all appraised of the work that’s underway, and we hope to have all of us feeling like the game is in a very different place when we ring the bell in for 2022!

Environmental Artist, PR Editor

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

People really, really don't understand that the organization isn't getting paid. [...] I don't think it's a poor message to again send out that reminder that we're a volunteer studio and we're juggling it as best we can.

I really, really DO understand that the organization is currently not getting paid. What you don't seem to understand is that if you guys don't find a way to, at the very least, start "pretending" you're a real company you never will. Each year that ticks by without a playable game only bolsters my working theory about that.

Look... for what's it worth I realize that I'm confronting you with a nasty Catch-22 here: You guys can't really become a "real" company until you have a complete game ready to go but until you become a real company with actual "paid employees" the chances of you guys finishing a completed game by the end of century is statistically not guaranteed.

I wish I could offer you an easy solution to this dilemma. Heck, I wish I had a spare $50 million to give MWM to "solve" the problem. But I will tell you that at some point, sooner or later, the only way you guys are going to be able to make the final terrifying leap towards becoming a real company running a real MMORPG is to have at least a core group of MWM "volunteers" become "full time employees" regardless if they get paid for doing that or not.

The idea that you're all going to be able to coast along and remain "free-range volunteers" up until the very millisecond before you fire up the game servers is naive at best and self-deluded at worst. I get that you're effectively trying to spend "a huge amount of time" to make up for the fact that you can't pay anyone, but even your huge bucket of time is not bottomless. You guys can't seriously think that you'll be free to just take all the time you need and that things will be fine even if it takes several decades to finish CoT.

Again I can't offer you any workarounds for this. But I strongly suspect the longer you allow yourselves to remain in the safe "all-volunteer" mindset the harder it'll be for you to finally make the necessary transition towards becoming a real company. Every small business has to take that leap where the owners have to put all their chips in and take the risk of losing big-time. That was the bargain MWM collectively signed up for when you guys first asked for Kickstarter donations. You don't really have the luxury of complaining about this situation now since this is the exact situation you've been working towards for years now.

It may be harsh but sooner or later MWM is going to have to "put up or shut up" when it comes to becoming a "full time" company. At least give the playerbase some reassurance that you realize that's inevitable and that you're currently planning for how you're going to be making the necessary transitions.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Red Warlock wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:
Dark Cleric wrote:

The only thing I would ask the team is to be very deliberate about what they put in updates with regards to future updates. That is something that I am always very aware of; things that we were told to expect from past updates. For example, in the 'Next Steps' update on 4/15/2021 it said "We plan to have powers updates in the coming months, so keep an eye out for these updates as well." I think it's reasonable, based on your own update, to expect a more-than-trivial update on powers this year. If you know you are not to the point of being able to show something substantial about powers this year, then you need to seriously reconsider what you say in updates and how you say it. Another example from the 2020 Recap and look ahead from 1/5/2021 it says "Our Combat team is beginning the process of connecting our combat system to the basics included in the Unreal engine. Once we have those working at an acceptable level, then we’ll begin to test and make the improvements that will make it unique to City of Titans. We’ll show you more about this later in the year". I'm not asking for info on these specific things, they are just an example. There have been many times in the past years where I've asked about things mentioned in past updates that were never talked about again. Quick example is the new website, I think it was 2018 when it was mentioned in some update that you guys were excited to roll out the new and improved website, you even gave us screenshots of it...and then crickets. Never another word about it.

So please, keep a checklist of sorts of things that you say you are going to show or give us in updates because we do remember. It really does hurt at least my confidence in this team when they mention things in updates, especially big things like a new, improved website, but then they never speak to it again and hope we just forget. There may be justifiable reasons but we were never told those reasons...so how do you think that comes across to us?...it comes across as empty promises given to keep making us feel like more progress is being made than is actually being made, that exciting things are happening or about to happen when they really aren't, just to give us false hope in order to get more second chance backing. I'm not saying that is what is happening, I'm saying that's what it makes us feel like is happening.

Very fair points. And we are keeping a tracking list of work being done on the projects we discussed in that “Next Steps” update. Here’s a quick rundown:

Titan City Neighborhoods – we’ve been a bit quiet on this front, but very busy behind the scenes. Our milestone we are trying to reach on this front is to make an Alexandria test area available as soon as we have a few technical issues resolved. We’ve made a LOT of progress, but still have some things to work out. Our team believes that we will be able to reach our milestone we are shooting for here in the coming months, barring some unexpected tech catastrophe.

Sounds of Titan City – We’ve shown extensive work on sound in our updates, and the next steps for sound really will involve player review in Alexandria to see if you all think we are on track with how we are applying it.

Travel Powers – we obviously reached a big milestone with flight. More work is happening with flight and other travel powers, but this is another area where we’ve already kept moving on our goals.

Chat and multiplayer - these are two features we haven’t talked about a lot yet this year, but they are definitely on our list of things we are planning to address in the coming months.

Powers – You mention “If you know you are not to the point of being able to show something substantial about powers this year, then you need to seriously reconsider what you say in updates and how you say it….” After lots of combat testing, we are finally to a place where animations can start to be shown. We anticipate that after the Alexandria test moves forward, there will be substantial progress on powers we can share. I’m not at liberty to say more than that, but all of us are looking forward to seeing the progress we anticipate on powers this year. I do not feel like we need to retract anything we said before about powers - in fact, I think we all are more optimistic that things are moving along very well on that front.

You also raised the topic of the improved website. Yes, we got bogged down and had a misfire on this one. We announced plans for a website upgrade back in January that would share expansive content about our Titan City neighborhoods. I drafted the neighborhood pages in Constant Contact format because it’s easy to create pages that way. But I didn’t realize when I made the pages that there was a concern in our leadership with forwarding players from our City of Titans webpage to independent pages on Constant Contact. And while it was easy to make 60-something pages on Constant Contact, making the pages from scrap on our website was going to be a big drag on time. So, instead of sharing the content on our website, we have shared the same information in the monthly emails we have sent out. This one for instance has all of the information we planned to add to the Old Bradford District neighborhood page: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/May-2021-Roundup---City-of-Titans.html?soid=1133313647119&aid=hs6h_2e29kE
We plan to send out a similar update on Downtown this month, as I’ve just finished the last mogul for Downtown and now we can share pics and descriptions of all of Downtown's Landmarks and moguls. As I finish work in the neighborhoods on Victory Beach, NRD, Aurora and others, we will send similar emails so people can check out the content there.

Also we plan to do a bigger upgrade for the website down the line, but I don't know if that's one of the projects that might make it into our projects we finish for the year.

So, there’s lots going on, but point well taken about keeping track of what we say and staying in touch with you about how things are coming along with the things we put out to you all. We are going to continue to do our best to keep you all appraised of the work that’s underway, and we hope to have all of us feeling like the game is in a very different place when we ring the bell in for 2022!

Thank you for the response. Just a clarification...I wasn't asking for any of this specific information but I am glad you shared it. I was only wanting to share examples to convey the point. I've kind of done a 'reset' to forget about pre-2021 things and only brought up the new website, again, as an example. I think you guys have done great so far in 2021 and just wanted to give a reminder of things that we've been told we'd see this year (I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "over the next few months" and "in the coming months" is 2021 and not 2022, since they were said in January and April).

As far as the website, I was talking about a different website. I have no qualms with how you have done and are doing those neighborhood updates. Specifically, on 9/29/2018 on the "What We Do: Project Update" it mentioned a new website coming, "They’ve also been working on an updated website. Along with the Webmaster, they are in the process of designing new mockups and integrating it all together for a more professional look, more intuitive structure, and more informative content." Along with that, if you go look at that update, is a screenshot of the new website, which I though looked great, with the words "NEW WEBSITE" on it. EDIT: I'm not looking for explanations on this. It's old, in the past. I only used it as an example...really, I don't need an explanation or anything so you really don't need to respond on what happened with that website. It was just one of the things I was really looking forward to and the screenshot looked very promising.

Compulsively clicking the refresh button until the next update.

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Dark Cleric wrote:
Dark Cleric wrote:

I've kind of done a 'reset' to forget about pre-2021 things and only brought up the new website, again, as an example. I think you guys have done great so far in 2021 and just wanted to give a reminder of things that we've been told we'd see this year...

Thanks for clarifying - glad we have you on reset. We are too - it feels like a different team this year with all the energy and progress happening on many fronts!

We will keep you posted...

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Catching up a bit here...

Catching up a bit here...

I will note that keybinds to movement and camera are an evolving thing at this point, not set in stone. Personally, I use the square bracket keys for pitch Up/Down 3D movement in other games, so I want that rebinding ability too.

The current flight system is just out of test, and isn’t yet part of the integrated travel system, so it basically has a simple test control setup right now. I did some quick fixes in the current release to allow rebinding most of the commands, but fast flight is a little more complex to deal with, and I didn’t try to add new bindings to it.

Rebinding the camera pointing commands is possible, but not currently set up, and it’s complicated by the fact that those mouse movements are used for multiple things in game sometimes, and we probably need to separate those in the control bindings somehow. That’s something I will need to think about, since it’s a bit outside how Unreal’s key binding system normally is set up.

Not sure what’s going on with RShift binds, it should just work; I will have to look into that.

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I can't speak for everyone,

I can't speak for everyone, but the current control scheme for Fast Flight is okay with me, so long as regular speed flight gets keybinds for forward, back, up, down, strafe up, strafe down, left, right, and strafe left and right as well as the ability to look around. I think the mouse-only directional control inherent to Fast Flight we are experiencing right now helps us to feel the immersion of the experience of going really really fast.


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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

I think the mouse-only directional control inherent to Fast Flight we are experiencing right now helps us to feel the immersion of the experience of going really really fast.

Just like I used to tell people navigating around Paragon City ... Superspeed may be faster in a straight line than Flight, but Flight moves in straighter lines than Superspeed can.


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So I was messing around in

So I was messing around in the game for the first time in a while to see the new fast flight, and I'm not sure if this has been suggested anywhere but I think when the fast flight is toggled on, it should then allow you to control the flight with the mouse scroll wheel(changeable in key bindings if the player desires or doesn't have a scroll wheel). The speed should go from just faster than the normal flight all the way up to the fast flight. This way you can still go fast but have better control in a cityscape or go full speed out over the trees

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Kiyori Anoyui wrote:
Kiyori Anoyui wrote:

So I was messing around in the game for the first time in a while to see the new fast flight, and I'm not sure if this has been suggested anywhere but I think when the fast flight is toggled on, it should then allow you to control the flight with the mouse scroll wheel(changeable in key bindings if the player desires or doesn't have a scroll wheel). The speed should go from just faster than the normal flight all the way up to the fast flight. This way you can still go fast but have better control in a cityscape or go full speed out over the trees

So ... basically a throttle up/throttle down kind of thing?
I typically reserve the Q and A keys on my keyboard for that purpose (throttle up/throttle down) with the mouse wheel serving as an alternate 2nd binding for the same function.


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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

I personally believe both successes and failures should be on display. Shows that we're still real people.

Having read what has been quite the novel of posts, I feel that this pretty much sums up what everyone, especially Dark Cleric/Huckleberry were trying to say. That's fine that the new website "failed" (or one of the other examples), but put that on display. Although you say what is quoted above, it seems to always be a reactionary thing(oh no, people are complaining) rather than a proactive thing(here, let us fill you in). I would be fine with reading an update that says, "We had an issue and unfortunately the new website is on the backburner to deal with more important game related tasks, etc"

Along with Lothic, I am quite patient and am not upset by the time it has taken, but do hope that there is an end in sight. I am a new parent and would love to play this game with my kid when they are of age as CoH was a staple in my house growing up

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Kiyori Anoyui wrote:

So I was messing around in the game for the first time in a while to see the new fast flight, and I'm not sure if this has been suggested anywhere but I think when the fast flight is toggled on, it should then allow you to control the flight with the mouse scroll wheel(changeable in key bindings if the player desires or doesn't have a scroll wheel). The speed should go from just faster than the normal flight all the way up to the fast flight. This way you can still go fast but have better control in a cityscape or go full speed out over the trees

So ... basically a throttle up/throttle down kind of thing?
I typically reserve the Q and A keys on my keyboard for that purpose (throttle up/throttle down) with the mouse wheel serving as an alternate 2nd binding for the same function.

Well like I said, it can be assigned by the player, but yes throttling is exactly what I was talking about. I think it would add a lot of control and comfortability to the power. I know earlier someone stated it was just a test flight and may or may not be in the final game, but if it is then the ability to throttle the speed would be a great addition.

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Kiyori Anoyui wrote:
Kiyori Anoyui wrote:

but yes throttling is exactly what I was talking about. I think it would add a lot of control and comfortability to the power. I know earlier someone stated it was just a test flight and may or may not be in the final game, but if it is then the ability to throttle the speed would be a great addition.

Note that if Fast Flight has a throttle speed to it, at the game mechanical level you can "exact a price" for the extra fast movement speed. City of Heroes did this by increasing the endurance cost of the toggle and reducing the friction (leading to the "slide" to a stop behavior). I'm thinking that City of Titans would be better served by creating conditions where in Fast Flight the field of view for the camera narrows (so you lose lateral perception at high speed) and also that the ability to turn becomes increasingly restricted (say from 10º per time increment to 4º per time increment, for example) making Really Fast Flight™ more of a straight line movement type between point A and point B that sacrifices turn speed for forward speed.

Point being, you can use maximum Fast Flight in a straight line very effectively, but turning is best done by slowing down to make tighter turns. This kind of performance modification then has all kinds of tactical applications in what essentially amounts to "chase scenes" where the PC has to "run a maze" (or fly a maze in this case) where speed AND cornering ability can become an issue of being able to catch up to and arrest/capture a fleeing $Target.

Which of course brings to mind the whole "capes aid with aerodynamics" gag from early on in Supergirl when Winn was designing her costume.
Because hey, turn rates at high speeds can be important too ... {flies right into an earth berm}

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It would definitely make

It would definitely make sense to tie the flight speed to endurance, faster you go the more endurance is used up. I feel like this could work for super speed too, you don’t always want to go full speed. Super jump on the other hand is natively able to throttle, don’t want to go any higher, release the space bar

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Kiyori Anoyui wrote:
Kiyori Anoyui wrote:

Super jump on the other hand is natively able to throttle, don’t want to go any higher, release the space bar

It would be more realistic if super jump were a charged power instead. You don't actually jump until you release the space bar, kind of like how golfing games power up the swing. But despite this being a realistic solution, I think from a gameplay perspective it would be better to do it as you say. If I remember correctly CoX also did it the way you suggest as well. Charging up the jump beforehand is too unforgiving. Anyone who overshoots the cup repeatedly in a golfing game will know the frustration of which I speak. Giving players the ability to correct their jump once they are in the air will result in a far more enjoyable experience.

The counterpoint to this is the satisfaction players get who actually master the fine-tuning of their charged jumps. This is a very real and personal satisfaction and comes with a tangible endorphin rush. Unfortunately the frustration necessary to overcome the learning curve and achieve this level of mastery will probably be a deterrent to the majority of the player base.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.