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warlocc
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FAQ Feedback

Some months ago I was quietly, unceremoniously added to the MWM Public Relations Department. Prior to that point I was just another backer wondering where my money went to. Like others on the forums I offered criticisms and complaints, mostly regarding communication- I’ve left my forum name unchanged and posts unedited so people can go back and read them if they’d like.
Someone at MWM certainly was reading it though, and they said to me “Oh yeah? Let's see you try it.” (Not really, they're much more polite than that. That's what I would have said to me).

Since joining the team I noticed a number of issues where communication was concerned. There would be mixed messages on the forums and social media, a PR nightmare. Different devs would attempt to answer the same question with different answers. Internally there would be unwanted input between different departments. Reluctance to call out mistakes or flaws. Virtually no discipline. Discussions getting taken personally instead of constructively.

A lot of it explains why we, as backers, have had so much trouble getting the information we wanted. But I’ll circle back to that. Instead I want to point out that these problems all come from one root cause. This is an all volunteer group. These people aren’t doing it for money, they’re doing it because they have a passion for it. Of course they’re going to treat a lot of what they’re working on like a personal project or take comments personally- they’re working on it in their personal time, some of them handling multiple departments almost single handedly.

As a matter of fact, despite promoting me to be officially in charge of what we’re calling Live Response, we still see MWM devs posting mismatched info on the forums or jumping on the Facebook and Twitter accounts to try to handle things on their own. They’re so used to doing the work themselves and not having help, they’re having trouble putting it down. Further evidence of how passionate they are about this project.

That said, viewing things “from the inside” has surprised me, the amount of work getting done and progress being made. I was shocked to see how close City of Titans really is. As they adjust to having myself and others joining and helping out, we should see productivity increase even more.

With all that in mind, we move on to the real reason for this post. Improving communication. Internally, changes are being made already. More visibly, this week’s Update is in a FAQ format. We’ve spent a good chunk of time rounding up important, relevant, or frequently requested information for this update. I personally pushed to include a number of details that I think will go a long way to making people feel better about the status of the project.

I’m looking for responses to this post with other relevant, important questions in order to make for future Official Updates of the same nature as this week’s. What’s your ideal FAQ? What would you ask? What questions should have been answered that haven’t been yet? What’s hard to find as a newcomer to the site that should be easier?

I can’t guarantee every question posted will make it into an update or into the upcoming FAQ page, but I want that feedback regardless.

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*with mustache and glasses*

*with mustache and glasses*

Can I cast powers from shoulder rockets or magic wands or shoulder pets or.....?


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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

I’m looking for responses to this post with other relevant, important questions in order to make for future Official Updates of the same nature as this week’s. What’s your ideal FAQ? What would you ask? What questions should have been answered that haven’t been yet? What’s hard to find as a newcomer to the site that should be easier?

I can’t guarantee every question posted will make it into an update or into the upcoming FAQ page, but I want that feedback regardless.

All of the Background information in this PvP thread needs to be highlighted so people can more fully grasp what they are up against. In the majority of the games up to this point it is one side vs another. They are essentially seeded in one of two groups that the game system sets into opposition to allow the mechanics of the system to pit ourselves against other players. In CoT, the opposition is a social system that sets groups into opposition. I feel that this is a key piece of information that is not being talked about and it could be a vital selling point. It is not heroes vs villains. It is gray vs gray (the system does not label heroes or villains). It is the player who has to determine who is a friend and who is an enemy.

Tannim222 wrote:

Hero and Villain are labels players use. They are descriptive - not prescriptive and do not drive game play. The alignment system is based on a tri-axis of Law, Honor, and Violence. You can have a lawful, honorable, violent hero or a lawful, honorable, violent villain.
Players do not read alignments of other players. It is up to you - the player to decide the reasoning for how and why your character behaves, and how and why other characters are behaving the way they do.
Hence, alignment does not factor much for driving pvp - the motivations are up to the player to interpret for themselves.

A lot of the 3-axis alignment system is setup to frame how you view yourself and potentially how the NPCs view your character and all of that is internal to your own play experience (i.e. inwardly facing only). The only objective evaluation of your character from another player's viewpoint will be how you filter through the League lens. And the more I think about it, there needs to be a lot more information about how Leagues are managed (designations of other Leagues/STs as neutral so we don't end up with everyone in one giant League, management, lines of succession for when an account goes dark, etc).

"Just, well, update your kickstarter email addresses, okay? Make sure they're current?" - warcabbit

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I think a good update on the

I think a good update on the axis system would be a demonstration of the mission system, which is too WIP to show off I assume.


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Scott Jackson
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First, the compliments:

First, the compliments:

The update includes a definitive statement of what Issue 0 contains. This has been requested for a while, and I am happy to see it exist. While some have already noted that it seems aimed at newcomers to the forums, it could also be treated more favorably as re-establishing a clear foundation for the community and MWM, on what is still true about the project after these many months (years?) of uncertainty.
The team's willingness to give you a chance to improve the perceived communication shortfalls is a good thing. The community (me included) should also give you a fair shot at it.

Now for a cautious note and 100% constructively intended FAQ-question:

A significant volunteer project aimed at bringing CoH Issue24 (and beyond) to the public now exists. Thousands of players are experiencing City of Heroes for a second time, and the volunteer developers are working on it in an open source manner. Their stated intent is to ensure CoH's status as a permanently-playable game, improve player experience via QOL features and server-side optimization, and enable others to even add new content. Their development effort seems to be operated in a far more transparent way than this successor project; for example, goals and work-in-progress and various release timelines are openly discussed across multiple public Discord servers. Also worth noting is that the original successor "Plan Z" project, begun in 2012, once had public design documents...all maintained by volunteers within the project. Those documents contained the work and ideas of some of us who still post on the forums.

Will the MWM team adjust business and PR strategy to match the higher level of transparency that other volunteer teams can achieve?
- If so, in what ways will we see it in action, and when?
- If not, what benefits does/will the community get from the recent years' approach of mostly closed-development / non-public documents / private timelines? Alternately, if the MWM team intentionally chose or was forced to take this approach, why does it appear that the backers and wider community were not warned in advance of this inflection point or given a say in the matter?

warlocc
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Scott Jackson wrote:
Scott Jackson wrote:

First, the compliments:

The update includes a definitive statement of what Issue 0 contains. This has been requested for a while, and I am happy to see it exist. While some have already noted that it seems aimed at newcomers to the forums, it could also be treated more favorably as re-establishing a clear foundation for the community and MWM, on what is still true about the project after these many months (years?) of uncertainty.
The team's willingness to give you a chance to improve the perceived communication shortfalls is a good thing. The community (me included) should also give you a fair shot at it.

Now for a cautious note and 100% constructively intended FAQ-question:

A significant volunteer project aimed at bringing CoH Issue24 (and beyond) to the public now exists. Thousands of players are experiencing City of Heroes for a second time, and the volunteer developers are working on it in an open source manner. Their stated intent is to ensure CoH's status as a permanently-playable game, improve player experience via QOL features and server-side optimization, and enable others to even add new content. Their development effort seems to be operated in a far more transparent way than this successor project; for example, goals and work-in-progress and various release timelines are openly discussed across multiple public Discord servers. Also worth noting is that the original successor "Plan Z" project, begun in 2012, once had public design documents...all maintained by volunteers within the project. Those documents contained the work and ideas of some of us who still post on the forums.

Will the MWM team adjust business and PR strategy to match the higher level of transparency that other volunteer teams can achieve?
- If so, in what ways will we see it in action, and when?
- If not, what benefits does/will the community get from the recent years' approach of mostly closed-development / non-public documents / private timelines? Alternately, if the MWM team intentionally chose or was forced to take this approach, why does it appear that the backers and wider community were not warned in advance of this inflection point or given a say in the matter?

While there's still work to be done on improving PR even further, we (the PR department) do have a couple more projects to roll out. One that's been discussed is sprinkling in more updates like today's that will include much more direct answers than we're used to seeing, vetted through their respective departments to ensure accuracy of each answer. We've got someone working on some graphics to better visualize where certain departments and projects are, and what milestones have been completed and still need to be completed, we're likely to see that in a future update as well.

An easier to find and read FAQ page is being set up that will look much like today's update, and will evolve as things are completed and updated. Ideally, hopefully, I'll have direct access to update it in real time, but I don't have enough info on that yet.

As for the original "Plan Z" documents, I simply don't know. I'll have to ask, but I suspect they've all been phased out by official internal documents.

I have to caution you against comparing our project to the illegal CoH servers, though. They were able to take a stolen, completed project and throw it up on rented servers. Giving a clear, transparent timeline for that is much easier than building the game and the servers you're going to host it on. You can have your own private CoH server running in an hour if you want today. Often when we don't give a timeline the truth is we don't have a good timeline. It's not that we're keeping secrets.

But that's the point of this thread. If you think there's some other important information that backers should have that's not being provided, ask it here. If I can, I'll even answer it here before we put it into an official update or FAQ page.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

I have to caution you against comparing our project to the illegal CoH servers, though. They were able to take a stolen, completed project and throw it up on rented servers. Giving a clear, transparent timeline for that is much easier than building the game and the servers you're going to host it on. You can have your own private CoH server running in an hour if you want today. Often when we don't give a timeline the truth is we don't have a good timeline. It's not that we're keeping secrets.

Yeah I'd have to say it's a hell of a lot easier to dust off an old vinyl record and spin it up on a generic turntable than it is to produce an entirely new album. Let's not forget that the SCORE servers didn't just pop into existence a few weeks ago - they've effectively had them running for 6+ years now so of course they've had plenty of time to "transparently" release their goals and work-in-progress timelines. When you've had 95% of the work done for you you can afford to make everything else look nice and pretty.

Basically comparing the "progress" of the SCORE servers to MWM's efforts on CoT is an "apples to oranges" situation that really has very little relevance or credence. People like Scott Jackson ought to consider this from the point of view of how "transparent" the activities of the CoH Devs were prior to the original release of CoH. That would be a more appropriate comparison to make.

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

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

As for the original "Plan Z" documents, I simply don't know. I'll have to ask, but I suspect they've all been phased out by official internal documents.

I've investigated it and found out that a really detailed answer would have to be via a larger official update since there's some NDA related info there and I'm not sure just how much I can say. What I can say is that some of that original stuff went with the splinter group, some went with volunteers that left, some of it got replaced with new ideas, and registering MWM as a corporation came with some legal details and business practices that also affected it.

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Thank you for the response.

Thank you for the response. The projects and FAQ that you mention seem worthwhile and I'm sure folks will learn from them and help increase interest in all the work that has been put in to the game. Your first two paragraphs make a good FAQ answer, in case you anticipate a multi-month wait for the bigger components of those PR plans to be ready. I didn't see an estimated month for one or more of them, though that would help us know when it's reasonable to look for or ask about them again.

Those public Plan Z documents were almost certainly replaced by newer internal documents years ago...possibly several times due to unfortunate circumstances or turnover. Replacement is only natural, so my questions were meant to probe at the "internal only" shift - pointing out that the project was once open with the exception of lore spoilers, but by accident or intent, we (as a community) lost that. I don't think I'm the only one who regrets that loss. You're clearly hoping that the project and team and community will all benefit from your efforts to increase clear outward-facing information; volunteering to help with PR is a number of steps beyond my remaining 'commitment' (a.k.a. my occasional prodding forum posts). One of the original documents I mentioned remains accessible at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PzZsIMiaFwBqNixt6IJuXSFYbLc-b-gyBMjyji4vh2o/ though its details are much less important than the promise that once existed behind it... to share it publicly and never let the community become disconnected from the current status of the project.

Please allow me to clarify my comments that put CoH and CoT development in a similar light, but seem to have been completely misunderstood by two posters already. I agree that comparing CoT with CoH *rogue servers* is not appropriate, nor is it correct to compare them in terms of ease of development, and I did not/would not do so. I know the MWM team is rightly careful about exploring anything CoH-side, but to avoid misunderstandings I must share some extra detail:
My comment ignored the various server operation teams who may (as was said) "throw it up on rented servers" and thus have little if anything in common with MWM. Instead it was mostly about the transparency of renewed CoH development through the 'OuroDev' team, as proof that it's possible for a group of volunteer devs to share a great deal of their work publicly on a daily basis, and be praised by their community for it. Their development work is currently about fixing problems and expanding upon the CoH of the past with new superior tools such as patchers/account management/asset viewers and editors. Both the nature of their work and their distributed organizational structure share some common ground with the successor projects. As such, I felt it was worth noting their very open Discord discussions with the CoH community on bugs, milestones, next steps and more, as a strategy that could contain useful elements for MWM.

Please be assured that what I say next is not aimed at you; CoT is not the first or last volunteer project to have trouble estimating release dates and maintaining open documentation...but some projects make it a priority to provide their best attempt to the public, because the effort makes the volunteers and the community recognize valuable truths about the real status of a project and how to better plan or ask for help in the future. Perhaps the milestones PR update(s) will help push in that direction, and I think a significant number of us look forward to the day it rolls out.

I will not risk derailing your thread by further posts, as I think my FAQ feedback has been understood.

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Scott Jackson wrote:
Scott Jackson wrote:

Please allow me to clarify my comments that put CoH and CoT development in a similar light, but seem to have been completely misunderstood by two posters already.

I didn't "completely misunderstand" your strained attempt to compare the efforts of running a fully functional pirated game on rogue servers versus the efforts to create a completely new MMO game from the ground up. I actually categorically denied there was much similarity between the two things at all and your tacit goal to cast MWM in a "bad light" in the comparison was likely not incredibly helpful or appreciated by anyone.

Sure MWM can always improve on their overall "transparency" and I would never claim that the way MWM has handled every aspect of CoT's development has been perfect. Things can always be better. But I will continue to remain convinced that comparing what the SCORE folks are doing to what the MWM folks are doing is relatively pointless. Apples and oranges my friend...

Scott Jackson wrote:

Their development work is currently about fixing problems and expanding upon the CoH of the past with new superior tools such as patchers/account management/asset viewers and editors.

Working to improve existing functional software tends to be trivial compared to the development of brand new software.

Scott Jackson wrote:

Both the nature of their work and their distributed organizational structure share some common ground with the successor projects.

The only commonality is that these are both distributed volunteer efforts. The things these two volunteer groups are actually DOING could hardly NOT be more different from each other.

Scott Jackson wrote:

As such, I felt it was worth noting their very open Discord discussions with the CoH community on bugs, milestones, next steps and more, as a strategy that could contain useful elements for MWM.

Again when you're not actually engaged in fundamental software development then being free to apply 99.9% of your time and effort towards "community involvement" is trivial. The SCORE folks have been running pirated CoH servers for years - obviously their operation is going to be mature and well established. I will again grant you that MWM can always improve its community involvement but frankly MWM is already far more open than CoH's original Dev team was back in the 2002-2004 timeframe.

You need to stop comparing MWM to SCORE and start comparing them to CoH's ORIGINAL Devs instead.

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

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Yeah I'd have to say it's a hell of a lot easier to dust off an old vinyl record and spin it up on a generic turntable than it is to produce an entirely new album. Let's not forget that the SCORE servers didn't just pop into existence a few weeks ago - they've effectively had them running for 6+ years now so of course they've had plenty of time to "transparently" release their goals and work-in-progress timelines. When you've had 95% of the work done for you you can afford to make everything else look nice and pretty.

Excellent point!

Also, yeah it's easy to forget that reanimated CoH has been operating longer than CoT has been in development.


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I wouldn’t hold up a secret

I wouldn’t hold up a secret project that hid itself for years as a role model for transparency.

To get back on topic, I liked the new FAQ. I’d like to see future FAQs that are based on themes.

One for character customization options (stuff during creation, options you can earn/buy later).

One for the full powers system; primary, secondary, tertiary, masteries, enhancements, power sets, archetypes, etc.

One for the mission system and alignment system (I agree you pretty much have to talk about them together since they’re interdependent).

I think aesthetic decoupling deserves its own FAQ because it’s so unique and can be difficult to grasp for a newcomer.

I’d like to see these kinds of topics in the future (and I understand they aren’t all finalized yet so you probably can’t go them all yet).

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

I didn't "completely misunderstand"...
...SCORE...

I was not talking about SCORE.

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Missing Worlds Media, Inc.

Missing Worlds Media, Inc. was founded in December of 2012 with its incorporation finalizing in Missouri by December 31, 2012. The linked GDD was a proposal made by the original team as we were debating on possible ways to rescue or replace the game we loved. It was never part of the original company's formation. Please note the dates on the document are around October of 2012. One of the changes is that the project isn't open source until at least end-of-life at the earliest. The engine source is currently available from Epic Games though - and basically for free.

-----------

Senior Developer/Project Manager/Co-Founder,,, and then some.

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Scott Jackson wrote:
Scott Jackson wrote:
Lothic wrote:

I didn't "completely misunderstand"...
...SCORE...

I was not talking about SCORE.

SCORE is dead-center invovled in this:

Scott Jackson wrote:

A significant volunteer project aimed at bringing CoH Issue24 (and beyond) to the public now exists. Thousands of players are experiencing City of Heroes for a second time, and the volunteer developers are working on it in an open source manner.

You might have been talking about all of the public CoH efforts but SCORE continues to be the flagship of that effort.

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

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I should note that Scott was

I should note that Scott was one of those people who helped found Plan Z back in the old days and wrote that original GDD, if memory serves.

Scott, I know you left Plan Z possibly before I came aboard. If you want to come and document everything to your standards you're welcome to come back.
We are doing our best with our available abilities, time, and patience. I know you have the skills and aptitude to document properly - that old GDD was amazing.
We're documenting internally, but it really isn't in a format that's suitable for release (for example, code comments), but there's a distinct difference between that and something suitable for end users.

This is mostly why things went less public - when you're designing things, it's easy to be public - your output is the information. When you're working on them, your output no longer is something in a form suitable for public documentation, and possibly not in a format that's easy for the public to read - for example, we run Jira and we don't have a way for unauthenticated users to read it right now.

That's why we rebuilt PR - so we can have a group of people who are keeping touch and trying to communicate with y'all, rather than disturbing the artists of MWM with extra work that's less fun - I want this game made as much as you do, and that's how to use their limited time.

PR is there to give you the answers you want as best as we can.

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Atama wrote:
Atama wrote:

I wouldn’t hold up a secret project that hid itself for years as a role model for transparency.

To get back on topic, I liked the new FAQ. I’d like to see future FAQs that are based on themes.

One for character customization options (stuff during creation, options you can earn/buy later).

One for the full powers system; primary, secondary, tertiary, masteries, enhancements, power sets, archetypes, etc.

One for the mission system and alignment system (I agree you pretty much have to talk about them together since they’re interdependent).

I think aesthetic decoupling deserves its own FAQ because it’s so unique and can be difficult to grasp for a newcomer.

I’d like to see these kinds of topics in the future (and I understand they aren’t all finalized yet so you probably can’t go them all yet).

Passed to PR with a note 'do this'.

Project Lead

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warcabbit wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

We're documenting internally, but it really isn't in a format that's suitable for release (for example, code comments), but there's a distinct difference between that and something suitable for end users.

This is mostly why things went less public - when you're designing things, it's easy to be public - your output is the information. When you're working on them, your output no longer is something in a form suitable for public documentation, and possibly not in a format that's easy for the public to read - for example, we run Jira and we don't have a way for unauthenticated users to read it right now.

That's why we rebuilt PR - so we can have a group of people who are keeping touch and trying to communicate with y'all, rather than disturbing the artists of MWM with extra work that's less fun - I want this game made as much as you do, and that's how to use their limited time.

PR is there to give you the answers you want as best as we can.

Everyone always thinks they want to know all the details of how "the sausage" is being made but in reality it doesn't serve anyone's better interests.

I'll always be in favor of getting as much info about CoT as MWM is willing to release. But frankly I don't need to know "everything" about it and I'll probably be better off not knowing things that won't really affect me one way or the other.

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

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Again, if there's anything

Again, if there's anything you guys want to know about, we don't mind telling it, it's just a combination of 'large' and 'makes no sense' that's stopping us.
Imagine trying to document everything that happens in a movie production on a daily basis.
It's a lot easier to focus on a single topic at a time and give it a little context.

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(Will also send a direct

(Will also send a direct message)

I would absolutely be willing to help with documentation to tell the story of "CoT's long-term plan" as well as "here's what we have working now" and "here's what we're doing to reach Issue 0,1,...N"

Obviously I lack knowledge of the state of existing MWM tracking systems (Jira/other), but could do my best to suggest or build some free summary tools, and find a way to fit that alongside design docs to tell that story.

I imagine that would also involve supporting warlocc's efforts, which I would be happy to do. Maybe it's already in the works!

My perspective is that a project is always being "designed" or design-reviewed in some way, so that can be used to keep documents updated. It may be due to customer input, bug reports, internal debate, resource allocation decisions, newly-discovered limits or breakthroughs, or needing to explain a feature to a new volunteer. Each one provides a chance for a listener verify/update the design docs and then convey that to other interested people. The main thing is having some people who enjoy translating between code-detail and customer-detail, then picking the right level of customer-detail to share.

Most of what I did back then was dealing with the Titan Network forums, trying to catch and clarify and compile and resolve clashes between all the suggestions. Maintaining a couple of documents was, strangely enough, the "fun" part of that work...

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First of all, it's good to

First of all, it's good to have you in this position warlocc. If the current update and this thread are indicative of your work, I believe you will be highly appreciated round these parts.

As for stuff I'd like to know more about, at the top of my list is the concept of Hero-Villain and how (if at all) it relates to alignment. Over the years I've had direct dev answers to my questions that go against Tannim's quote above, saying that being a hero, villain, etc will very much be a thing that's more than just a label in our heads, so some absolute clarity on this would be nice. Also what effect one's position on the H-V spectrum (if there is one) has on aspects of gameplay. There has been occasional discussion of Hero or Villain areas in the game world, so if those are valid it must be more than just a label. I suppose this is a prime example of the very problem described in the OP. Obviously, it's perfectly possible that this aspect of the game has been in flux, but I'd like to know if it has been nailed down. And, if so, what is the final position?

If it's not still too soon to know, I'd also like to see a further update on the benefits subscriptions will provide (to the subscribers; it's obvious how they benefit MWM :-) ), especially if there has been any change. If memory serves, the only benefits will be extra Stars and possible early access to some content, but without knowing exactly what we will be able to buy with Stars the first part of the answer doesn't really answer the question.

Finally, while I do sincerely appreciate the info on what Issue 0.0 will contain, I wouldn't mind further clarity on the plans for Issues 0.1-0.x leading up to Issue 1.0. Is it still the plan to keep adding features to I0 until I1 is ready? If so, are there any features that will definitely not be released till I1? The 'we're saving this for actual launch' stuff.

Speaking of I0, one thing the update didn't make clear (but which many, including me, are assuming) is whether Second Chance participants will have access to it. Is that indeed the case?

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

First of all, it's good to have you in this position warlocc. If the current update and this thread are indicative of your work, I believe you will be highly appreciated round these parts.

As for stuff I'd like to know more about, at the top of my list is the concept of Hero-Villain and how (if at all) it relates to alignment. Over the years I've had direct dev answers to my questions that go against Tannim's quote above, saying that being a hero, villain, etc will very much be a thing that's more than just a label in our heads, so some absolute clarity on this would be nice. Also what effect one's position on the H-V spectrum (if there is one) has on aspects of gameplay. There has been occasional discussion of Hero or Villain areas in the game world, so if those are valid it must be more than just a label. I suppose this is a prime example of the very problem described in the OP. Obviously, it's perfectly possible that this aspect of the game has been in flux, but I'd like to know if it has been nailed down. And, if so, what is the final position?

If it's not still too soon to know, I'd also like to see a further update on the benefits subscriptions will provide (to the subscribers; it's obvious how they benefit MWM :-) ), especially if there has been any change. If memory serves, the only benefits will be extra Stars and possible early access to some content, but without knowing exactly what we will be able to buy with Stars the first part of the answer doesn't really answer the question.

Finally, while I do sincerely appreciate the info on what Issue 0.0 will contain, I wouldn't mind further clarity on the plans for Issues 0.1-0.x leading up to Issue 1.0. Is it still the plan to keep adding features to I0 until I1 is ready? If so, are there any features that will definitely not be released till I1? The 'we're saving this for actual launch' stuff.

Speaking of I0, one thing the update didn't make clear (but which many, including me, are assuming) is whether Second Chance participants will have access to it. Is that indeed the case?

Some of this I know is still in flux and probably will be for some time. The other stuff... We'd definitely have to check in with a couple different departments to be sure. I'll add it to the list.

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Hope you took in that

Hope you took in that compliment, Warlocc :p


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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

Hope you took in that compliment, Warlocc :p

I'm making a list of those too, for when the forum uprising happens and they come for me.

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My most wanted FAQ would be

My most wanted FAQ would be on Super Teams and Leagues. And possibly bases/ personal housing if it can be squeezed in. (For those who may not yet know Super Teams are the clans or guilds in CoT. Leagues are allied Super Teams.)
Some good questions might include:

How to form a Super Team and/or League with another Super Team?

What are the ranks and permission options in a Super Team? Permission options with Leagues?

What are the membership limits of Super Teams? Is it by character or account?

How many times can a given Super Team enter into a league with another Super Team?

How do Super Teams and Leagues affect PvP? (Yes many forum goers know quite a bit due to the "PvP phase" threads, but a FAQ should include newer folks as well.)

How are Super Teams funded? (We know they don't have a separate currency, but use the basic in game currency.) Are there options or is it just one model?

What are the fun parts of Super Teams and Leagues that I haven't asked about?

Having thought about it Bases and personal housing should be their own update. We know these might not make it at launch being a good reason. So just a favorite question. Will we have the option of making a base view able to the public?

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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

Hope you took in that compliment, Warlocc :p

Indeed -- that was the most important part of my post.

But thanks for reading the rest as well, warlocc.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

I think a good update on the axis system would be a demonstration of the mission system, which is too WIP to show off I assume.

I'm still unclear on this, and would certainly like to check my understanding that the axis alignment system has no actual in game effect at all. From the various posts on the subject it's been stated that:

No-one but the player themselves can see their alignment.
Alignment doesn't affect NPC reactions - that's what reputations are for.

It seems a bit weird to have put all the effort into designing an alignment system that doesn't do anything, but I managed to neatly argue with myself that costume design has no in game effect at all, but I doubt I'd find trouble finding a bunch of folks (me included) who think it was worth putting the effort in there.

It's not quite the same though, an exact analogy would be if you could only see your own costume and no-one else could.

Of course I may have completely misunderstood the intended implementation of alignment.

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Tranquil Flower wrote:
Tranquil Flower wrote:
DesViper wrote:

I think a good update on the axis system would be a demonstration of the mission system, which is too WIP to show off I assume.

I'm still unclear on this, and would certainly like to check my understanding that the axis alignment system has no actual in game effect at all.

TBH when you put it in these terms it is kind of hard to understand what alignment will be "used for" in game terms. It mostly sounds competely redundant to the NPC reputation mechanic.

I actually had no problem at all making the "leap of faith" that costume items should not affect powers/combat back in CoH. I understood the need to separate costume items from powers so that anyone could wear any costume without impact. But if alignment in CoT will have no affect on NPC reactions then why do we need it?

I suppose the simple question is what does the alignment system "do" for us in CoT?

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Impulse King wrote:
Impulse King wrote:

My most wanted FAQ would be on Super Teams and Leagues. And possibly bases/ personal housing if it can be squeezed in. (For those who may not yet know Super Teams are the clans or guilds in CoT. Leagues are allied Super Teams.)
Some good questions might include:

How to form a Super Team and/or League with another Super Team?

What are the ranks and permission options in a Super Team? Permission options with Leagues?

What are the membership limits of Super Teams? Is it by character or account?

How many times can a given Super Team enter into a league with another Super Team?

How do Super Teams and Leagues affect PvP? (Yes many forum goers know quite a bit due to the "PvP phase" threads, but a FAQ should include newer folks as well.)

How are Super Teams funded? (We know they don't have a separate currency, but use the basic in game currency.) Are there options or is it just one model?

What are the fun parts of Super Teams and Leagues that I haven't asked about?

Having thought about it Bases and personal housing should be their own update. We know these might not make it at launch being a good reason. So just a favorite question. Will we have the option of making a base view able to the public?

Hey those are some good questions! :)

Personal bases have definitely been mentioned, but it's been awhile.


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Tranquil Flower wrote:
Tranquil Flower wrote:
DesViper wrote:

I think a good update on the axis system would be a demonstration of the mission system, which is too WIP to show off I assume.

I'm still unclear on this, and would certainly like to check my understanding that the axis alignment system has no actual in game effect at all. From the various posts on the subject it's been stated that:

No-one but the player themselves can see their alignment.
Alignment doesn't affect NPC reactions - that's what reputations are for.

It seems a bit weird to have put all the effort into designing an alignment system that doesn't do anything, but I managed to neatly argue with myself that costume design has no in game effect at all, but I doubt I'd find trouble finding a bunch of folks (me included) who think it was worth putting the effort in there.

It's not quite the same though, an exact analogy would be if you could only see your own costume and no-one else could.

Of course I may have completely misunderstood the intended implementation of alignment.

Spit-balling, the alignment is your default reputation, if that makes sense. You get known to be an unlawful-violent-honorable person, the Black Rose might be interested in you, but TCPD wouldn't be a fan.


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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

Spit-balling, the alignment is your default reputation, if that makes sense. You get known to be an unlawful-violent-honorable person, the Black Rose might be interested in you, but TCPD wouldn't be a fan.

OK assuming what you just said is the case how does that differ from NPC reputations which is being talked about as a "separate" thing from the alignment system? Classically speaking an "alignment" system in a game like this basically provides a "default reputation" for your character so why is "NPC reputations" a separate thing needed for CoT? Still sounds like two game systems trying to do the same thing.

Ideally it sounds like a character's alignment in CoT should provide a "bias" that affects NPC reputations in certain ways. Basically the one thing "modifies" the other.

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

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Fallout: New Vegas (the best

Fallout: New Vegas (the best fallout) comes to mind: you had Karma, good-evil axis, and your various faction reputations, which mostly determine whether or not x group attacks you on sight. But here the karma system is more complicated. From memory, the Karma system didn't really affect much, so it's the same problem that turned out to be an overall good game *voice cracks* :p


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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

Fallout: New Vegas (the best fallout) comes to mind: you had Karma, good-evil axis, and your various faction reputations, which mostly determine whether or not x group attacks you on sight. But here the karma system is more complicated. From memory, the Karma system didn't really affect much, so it's the same problem that turned out to be an overall good game *voice cracks* :p

Here's the way I think you could have something called "character alignment" and "NPC reputation" in the same game and have the two things work together...

From past discussions with Renames on this topic we already know every character will maintain a NPC reputation value with every faction in the game that will be represented by a number ranging from 0.0 to 1.0. The actual number value isn't important but the idea is that every character is either super friendly with a faction (presumably a value close to 1.0) or super unfriendly (presumably a value closer to 0.0) .

So when a new character starts the game we can assume all those values are defaulted to 0.5 (because the NPCs factions don't know who you are and the assumption would be that 0.5 represents the "pure neutral" position). So now let's say this new character starts to do things which shifts his/her alignment toward Honorable and Non-Violent - basically you're playing them as a "hero".

Now if alignment is going to "mean" anything in this game it could provide a mathematical bias to those NPC reputation numbers so that "good" factions get a positive shift towards you and "evil" factions get a negative shift against you. In effect your alignment has "pre-biased" the way anyone thinks of you so that you get bonuses with like-minded factions and disadvantages when dealing with enemy factions. You could still theoretically have a great individual reputation with a faction that stands at odds with your general alignment leanings, but it would be harder to achieve that "cross-purpose" relationship.

That's really just about the only logical way alignment and NPC reputations could interact with each other that I can see.

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

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Here’s how I’d do it. This

Here’s how I’d do it. This is just me speculating on how it could work, I have no idea how it will work in the actual game.

I’d have NPC groups belong to one of 6 “alignments” each of which corresponds to a pole on one of the 3 axes.

Violent - Peaceful
Lawful - Criminal
Honorable - Pragmatic

(I came up with alternative names for things like “non-violent” and “dishonorable”.)

So then let’s make up 6 factions of NPCs, each representing one of the above alignments.

Police - Lawful
Mafia - Criminal
Fight Club - Violent
Aid Workers - Peaceful
Bamboo Monks - Honorable
Street Hustlers - Selfish

Your alignment is along one of three axes, with a positive/negative number value. Positive means leaning to the left, negative to the right. Let’s say your alignment from various actions looks like this:

Lawful - Criminal
55

Violent - Peaceful
-25

Honorable - Selfish
-10

So you’re very lawful, somewhat peaceful, and a bit selfish.

You have different base reputations for each faction based on missions you’ve run and other actions. Your base reputations look like the following:

Police: -10
Mafia: -30
Fight Club: 15
Aid Workers: 50
Bamboo Monks: 20
Street Hustlers: -25

You modify those values based on where you fall on the alignment they are associated with. For example, you’ve done something to annoy the Police so you are at -10 but you are so lawful that you add 55, giving a final value of 45. On the other hand, the Mafia favor criminality so that same 55 score is subtracted from them, and you were already at a -30 so you have a total -85. They would probably shoot you on site.

Here are the final values for all factions, factoring reputations and your alignments...

Police: 45
Mafia: -85
Fight Club: -10
Aid Workers: 75
Bamboo Monks: 10
Street Hustlers: -15

So the reaction of each faction is ultimately based on both your specific reputation with each one and your overall alignment and how they view that alignment. Again, this is just one way I could see it work.

I think it’s very close to how Lothic described it, if not exactly so, but with some examples with hypothetical numbers and factions.

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NotBad.jpg

NotBad.jpg

But I chuckled at "pragmatic" being the opposite of honorable ;)


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Atama wrote:
Atama wrote:

I think it’s very close to how Lothic described it, if not exactly so, but with some examples with hypothetical numbers and factions.

Yeah this was more or less what I was describing. You provided some concrete examples that hopefully made the point more clear.

Basically a character's alignment positions could logically apply a collective "modifier" to you basic NPC reputation with each faction.

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

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Ok, hopefully this will help

Ok, hopefully this will help clear things up a bit:

The label applied to your character’s alignment initially sets up how the “world” relates to your character.

From there, as you play, you will do things which affects your reputation with factions which further how they perceive you.

Choices made which affects your alignment will affect how you progress through the game because NPCs will also react based on choices you made. Sometimes a choice may affect your alignment as your reputation.

So you can have an npc you can say something like “it’s not that I don’t like you (you at least have some positive Faction rep with them), but I don’t trust you with any information. I heard you backstabbed so and so (you have dishonorable alignment).

I don’t want to get too much further into the weeds of game play. The above is purely an example to convey the range of possibilities. We can use any part of the alignment system and the reputation system as hooks.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Ok, hopefully this will help clear things up a bit:

The label applied to your character’s alignment initially sets up how the “world” relates to your character.

From there, as you play, you will do things which affects your reputation with factions which further how they perceive you.

Choices made which affects your alignment will affect how you progress through the game because NPCs will also react based on choices you made. Sometimes a choice may affect your alignment as your reputation.

So you can have an npc you can say something like “it’s not that I don’t like you (you at least have some positive Faction rep with them), but I don’t trust you with any information. I heard you backstabbed so and so (you have dishonorable alignment).

I don’t want to get too much further into the weeds of game play. The above is purely an example to convey the range of possibilities. We can use any part of the alignment system and the reputation system as hooks.

But at least this clarifies that alignment and reputation work hand-in-hand which I'm not sure had been precisely nailed down yet (at least publicly) . Alignment will in fact have some kind of "in-game" bias effect on reputation.

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

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In a way, the way that Atama

In a way, the way that Atama explains it is how I was thinking as well. Not so much a hard number thing but definitely a modifier of some sort.

You personal alignment will act as a modifier to your reputation in some way. The more lawful you are the greater the modifier to the reputation you have with lawful entities.

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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

NotBad.jpg

But I chuckled at "pragmatic" being the opposite of honorable ;)

Yeah I changed my mind later and renamed it to “Selfish” because it sounds less cynical and forgot to change it earlier in my post, oops. :(

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I thought dishonorable,

I thought dishonorable, Violent, Unlawful were fine and impartial :p


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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

I’m looking for responses to this post with other relevant, important questions in order to make for future Official Updates of the same nature as this week’s. What’s your ideal FAQ? What would you ask? What questions should have been answered that haven’t been yet? What’s hard to find as a newcomer to the site that should be easier?

Another thing that I think should be mentioned is that a character's arc will allow their Specialization to be changed at some point (after Issue 1) as a part of their progression/evolution. This could be a change of heart, a moral stance (ala Civil War) or whatever you the player envisions. I believe this is an important feature to highlight even though it will not be accessible at launch. If the possibility is known, the audience can dream up even more varied and interesting characters.

Also, the FAQ isn't necessarily aimed at us forum goers. Yes it will have some pertinent information that we all want (Issue #0, Second Chance, etc). But I think it needs to be geared towards a wider outside audience. For instance, few people understand what the "Issue #X" terminology means. Yeah, it is like comic books and this is a super powered game, so that makes some sense. Then go into What Issue #1 means (the live release of the game). Issue #2 would be the next big content release (or whatever), so that means new zones, new archetypes or specializations or whatever. The intermediate releases like Issue #1.1.4 would be bug fixes or whatever. Now Issue #0 is a scope limited release of X features to Y set of Kickstarter backers to test stuff. This sets up a framework for people understanding where the project is at currently and a vague understanding of where it is going. Not everyone will religiously follow every update, but if they pop in and take a look around and see that the team is working on Issue #0.3.9 they will know that some measure of development iteration has happened since the last time they paid attention.

"Just, well, update your kickstarter email addresses, okay? Make sure they're current?" - warcabbit

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Anything else people are

Anything else people are clamoring to hear more about?


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Hard to say. The big things

Hard to say. The big things (issue 0, Combat, animations, media of Titan City, etc) wont be shown until they are ready. Most questions at this point are "we'll know after testing ", which is fine, but we arent even to pre-alpha so it'll be a long time before we get those answers.

Is there anything that HAS been able to be tested and is basically done and ready to go? I cant imagine there is much but why not ask.

Compulsively clicking the refresh button until the next update.

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What about an update on the

What about an update on the launcher (how is he ? which setting will it have ? how will it works (like an updater before logging or an updater after login like FF XIV, the background picture, the security, a 2 ways authentification, what will be the first screen will se once logged in, etc), the IG store(what will it have to sell, how will it be organized ?) ; the login link with the website and the store (account stuff ^^). Enought to create an update but... too much for an already busy avel maybe ^^