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Plexius
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Immersion

One feature I would have loved to have seen in CoX's Mission Architect was the ability to set story arcs in the outside world instead of being confined to the AE simulation area. I'd like to propose a few ideas to allow player-created content to feel more like an actual part of the game in CoT.

...

Allow players to assign content to contacts throughout the game.

Rather than only being able to choose a contact that merely replaces a holographic model, allow players to instead choose an actual contact in the game to offer their story arc. In other words, players would have to visit the actual contact wherever they can be found in the game to initiate the mission. This would allow player-created content to feel more like part of the game rather than just an isolated simulation given from a glorified kiosk.

Allow contacts to suggest player-created content.

I think it would make player-created content feel more natural and approachable if contacts offered it to players as part of their usual mission offers. In my opinion, the ideal implementation would allow every contact to have a standardized "menu" that allows players to access and search for all player-created content the contact is assigned. Contacts could also suggest specific story arcs based on ratings, popularity, or developers' choice.

This has the added benefit of encouraging exploration by allowing players to stumble across contacts in places they wouldn't expect to find one. In addition, if players could flag their missions such that they were hidden from a central mission repository, then players could plant "hidden gems" in out-of-the-way places that intrepid players would have to discover for themselves.

Allow non-contact NPC's to serve as contacts for player-created content.

This would allow players to create content for certain creative purposes that the devs would not have foreseen. Maybe that bum that always hangs out in the alleyway across from the hot dog joint actually needs a hand. Maybe John Shopkeeper needs help with some business-related perils. Maybe that inconspicuous clerk in city hall needs a hero to confide in.

Whatever the case, this has the potential to make the whole city feel more alive when players realize that almost anyone they come across might offer them an interesting job. This would encourage players to slow down and interact more deeply with their surroundings, especially knowing that NPC's could offer new content at any given time.

Allow players to choose specific entry points for their missions.

This would provide a higher level of immersion for player-created missions. For instance, if a mission were to take place in a power plant, then the author could choose the front door of the game's main power plant as the mission entry point. Of course, an option to choose a random entry point in a specific zone would also be useful if the particular entry point isn't important to the story being told.

...

It's my opinion that these suggestions would make player-created content feel less like a compartmentalized activity and more like traditional MMO content.

What do you think?

P.S.: I apologize if some of this has been brought up already. I was feeling inspired and just started pounding keys to float my ideas out there.

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I think this has been

I think this has been discussed before, but not to any definite conclusion that I remember.

If it's doable, I think it'd be great! Both innovative and taking CoH's spirit forward to the next logical step.

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We have indeed discussed many

We have indeed discussed many of those options for use user generated content. Using an existing contact, check. Locations to place your own special contact, check. Allow non-npcs to be a contact...not as easy as it seems. Contacts need to be carefully placed for accessibility issues, however since players can design their own contact with hopefully the ability to assign different emotes, like sitandbeg you can recreate that homeless person and place hi at a contact location. Choosing existing mission doors as access for a mission, check. Entering a phase for use of an out door map, check.

Basically we plan to make the tools we use to create content the basis for the system players can use to create content.


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Heh.

Heh.

In City of Heroes, there were characters who never left the AE building.

Imagine if in City of Titans the PCs had to leave the building in order to do UGC.

In fact, I'd even go so far as to argue that you could even divide up the rewards that way. Don't leave the building? Nerfed Rewards. Left the building? Better Rewards. That way you better integrate UGC with the rest of the game.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Allow non-npcs to be a contact...not as easy as it seems. Contacts need to be carefully placed for accessibility issues...

I understand if players could inadvertently make certain contacts inaccessible, but to be clear, my suggestion is to allow NPC's who aren't contacts for dev-created content to act as contacts for player-created content. All of the NPC's I had in mind would be NPC's that the devs will have placed, but instead of just being in the game for flavor or as a trainer or shopkeeper, they would also be able to offer player-created content.

It's good to know that many of these suggestions are already under consideration. I can't speak for everyone, but I would certainly be more apt to try player-created content if it were more integrated with the game like I've described.

Tannim222 wrote:

Locations to place your own special contact, check.

This sounds like an interesting idea, but two issues immediately jump to mind. First, if every player is allowed to place their own contact, then I would worry that the game could become overcrowded with a bunch of one-off contacts This is why I suggest using existing NPC's as contacts vs. allowing players to flood the city with their own NPC's.

The other issue is if only one contact is allowed per designated location, then would players be competing for space? If that's the case, then I imagine that could become a point of contention between players.

This is just my opinion, but I would rather see the devs place a good variety of NPC's throughout the game for flavor and other normal purposes, then let the players use those NPC's as contacts for their own content. This would give the devs control over their creative vision of each zone in terms of population while still allowing players to inject their own content into the environment.

Redlynne wrote:

Imagine if in City of Titans the PCs had to leave the building in order to do UGC.

I think this could definitely have the potential to cut back on the "AE babies" phenomenon that became rampant in CoH. It wouldn't stop players from farming the content they wanted to farm, but it would definitely force them to get a taste of the world and see more of the game.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Allow non-npcs to be a contact...not as easy as it seems. Contacts need to be carefully placed for accessibility issues

What if there were certain designated spots that the non-npc had to go to and stand to act as a contact?

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Plexius wrote:
Plexius wrote:

Tannim222 wrote:
Allow non-npcs to be a contact...not as easy as it seems. Contacts need to be carefully placed for accessibility issues...
I understand if players could inadvertently make certain contacts inaccessible, but to be clear, my suggestion is to allow NPC's who aren't contacts for dev-created content to act as contacts for player-created content. All of the NPC's I had in mind would be NPC's that the devs will have placed, but instead of just being in the game for flavor or as a trainer or shopkeeper, they would also be able to offer player-created content.
It's good to know that many of these suggestions are already under consideration. I can't speak for everyone, but I would certainly be more apt to try player-created content if it were more integrated with the game like I've described.

I'll make a note ffor identifying potential non-contact NPCs to be capable of being used for UCG contacts. Though I'd imagine if we had to go through the trouble of making an NPC be used as a contact, well, we would use it as a contact.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Locations to place your own special contact, check.
This sounds like an interesting idea, but two issues immediately jump to mind. First, if every player is allowed to place their own contact, then I would worry that the game could become overcrowded with a bunch of one-off contacts This is why I suggest using existing NPC's as contacts vs. allowing players to flood the city with their own NPC's.
The other issue is if only one contact is allowed per designated location, then would players be competing for space? If that's the case, then I imagine that could become a point of contention between players.
This is just my opinion, but I would rather see the devs place a good variety of NPC's throughout the game for flavor and other normal purposes, then let the players use those NPC's as contacts for their own content. This would give the devs control over their creative vision of each zone in terms of population while still allowing players to inject their own content into the environment.

The idea here for UCG world-placed contacts would not always be persistant. A player selects the UCG they want to play, if it uses a special contact made by that player, the selecter would then see that contact. Not ideal so far as always having a persistant world, because of the problems such as world pace and over crowding and such, but it allows players to create their own contacts and place them in the world while not also messing with anyone else's version of the world.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The idea here for UCG world-placed contacts would not always be persistant. A player selects the UCG they want to play, if it uses a special contact made by that player, the selecter would then see that contact. Not ideal so far as always having a persistant world, because of the problems such as world pace and over crowding and such, but it allows players to create their own contacts and place them in the world while not also messing with anyone else's version of the world.

I didn't realize that a custom contact would only appear to those playing that contact's missions. That might just be the ideal way to handle it. I like it. I like it a lot.

All of the things you've posted about in this thread sound really great. Thanks for your input!

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I'm really not a big fan of

I'm really not a big fan of penalizing people for doing things differently than other people would like them to do. So penalizing somebody for not leaving the AE building just because you don't like people not leaving the building doesn't sit well with me at all. If it's at all possible I'd like to get away from that kind of thinking all together.

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I never had a problem with AE

I never had a problem with AE babies. They were around but they didn't bother me. And, as long as they didn't bother me, why should I bother disaproving of them?

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Plexius wrote:
Plexius wrote:

All of the things you've posted about in this thread sound really great. Thanks for your input!

Thanks, but not all those ideas were mine. I'm only the one fortunate enough to reiterate them, so I can't take credit.

With regards to separate reward metrics, if we can avoid having to do so, we will.


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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

I never had a problem with AE babies. They were around but they didn't bother me. And, as long as they didn't bother me, why should I bother disaproving of them?

I'm not one to judge others for how they choose to spend their time, but I personally think it's a little disappointing for new and uneducated players to spend their entire superpowered career sitting in one building from 1 to 50 and have no concept of the other 99% of the game. Whether of not that affects the rest of the player base is debatable.

For the record, I'm not advocating for any kind of punishment for those players. If anything, I'd rather see incentives that entice them to explore the city.

Anyways, this is probably more related to powerleveling in general and isn't really on topic for this thread. There are likely some existing discussions to be found about it elsewhere.

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I've suggested this before in

I've suggested this before in other threads but I believe player made content should Always be made by players in a setting that's outside the game (Like the character creator) and the content they create should then be accessible in the game. That makes everything much more real to the characters.

The very idea of having a place characters go, in the game, to create content, just screams Virtual Reality and makes immersion impossible. That's part of why so many AE adventures were just farms. Why would they be anything else, if your character can't see AE missions as anything other than training exercises? Or worse video games?

That's right characters that spent all of their time in AE weren't fighting crime and saving people, they were playing video games, while the city around them crumbled. They weren't super heroes they were cosplayers.

If we make the content our selves while outside the game and it's real to our characters, then we have more incentive to make cool stories.

I've also said on other threads: This feature of the game should be a priority to complete as early as possible because player made content can fill in a New game, where the actual developers just haven't had time to create enough content.

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TheMightyPaladin wrote:
TheMightyPaladin wrote:

I've suggested this before in other threads but I believe player made content should Always be made by players in a setting that's outside the game (Like the character creator) and the content they create should then be accessible in the game. That makes everything much more real to the characters.
The very idea of having a place characters in the game go to create content just screams virtual reality and makes immersion impossible. That's part of why so many AE adventures were just farms. Why would they be anything else if your character can't see AE missions as anything other than training exercises?
If we make the content our selves while outside the game and it's real to our characters, then we have more incentive to make cool stories.
I've also said on other threads: This feature of the game should be a priority to complete as erly as possible because player made content can fill in a New game, where the actual developers just haven't had time to create enough content.

Agreed on the first point. On the second, if it's a choice between more developer-made content at launch or enabling character-made content at launch, I'll go with more developer-made content. Fortunately, they're using the tools they'll put into the Mission Architect to make that developer-made content, so I don't expect it will be too long after launch before they release it.

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One of the things that Star

One of the things that Star Trek Online did (for a while anyway) for its UGC was to recycle the Mission Doors idea from City of Heroes (since this is Cryptic Studios we're talking about here). Essentially what would happen is that for UGC missions, when you'd get the mission you'd be directed to a Mission Door elsewhere in order to enter the Mission Instance. In STO, you'd be getting these missions at the respective Academy (Klingon or Starfleet) and then be directed towards a Door in a different zone (usually First City or Earth Space Dock). It was one of those "get out of the building" kinds of moves, sort of like having the AE studio in Atlas Park directing people to go to a Mission Door in Galaxy City to start the instance. It was just something to help with immersion.


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TheMightyPaladin wrote:
TheMightyPaladin wrote:

The very idea of having a place characters go, in the game, to create content, just screams Virtual Reality and makes immersion impossible. That's part of why so many AE adventures were just farms. Why would they be anything else, if your character can't see AE missions as anything other than training exercises? Or worse video games?

To be fair, in the actual game lore of CoH, AE was a virtual reality system. So, thinking about it in that way is exactly how your character should have been thinking about the missions. so, it wasn't immersion breaking in and of itself.

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syntaxerror37 wrote:
syntaxerror37 wrote:

To be fair, in the actual game lore of CoH, AE was a virtual reality system. So, thinking about it in that way is exactly how your character should have been thinking about the missions. so, it wasn't immersion breaking in and of itself.

That's true but the point is that that was a Terrible way to do things, and I'm really hoping it will never be done that way again

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TheMightyPaladin wrote:
TheMightyPaladin wrote:

syntaxerror37 wrote:
To be fair, in the actual game lore of CoH, AE was a virtual reality system. So, thinking about it in that way is exactly how your character should have been thinking about the missions. so, it wasn't immersion breaking in and of itself.

That's true but the point is that that was a Terrible way to do things, and I'm really hoping it will never be done that way again

Can't completely agree. Sure, it'd be nice for there to be missions that were not ICly VR, but it also makes perfect sense for there to be a VR simulator that heroes would train in. X-Men Danger Room anyone?

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Ohhh when i read Immersion i

Ohhh when i read Immersion i immediately though of Tech News.. and how Oculus Rift (VR Eye Wear) might be the norm in 8 to 10 years, for consoles as well (some years after) too.

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Mendicant wrote:
Mendicant wrote:

Can't completely agree. Sure, it'd be nice for there to be missions that were not ICly VR, but it also makes perfect sense for there to be a VR simulator that heroes would train in. X-Men Danger Room anyone?

Maybe but if its just supposed to be a simulator, even in the game, then people who complain about player made missions being farms, can bit my butt. There is no in game reason for it to be anything other than a farm, and putting in a story seems silly

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Mendicant wrote:
Mendicant wrote:

TheMightyPaladin wrote:
syntaxerror37 wrote:
To be fair, in the actual game lore of CoH, AE was a virtual reality system. So, thinking about it in that way is exactly how your character should have been thinking about the missions. so, it wasn't immersion breaking in and of itself.

That's true but the point is that that was a Terrible way to do things, and I'm really hoping it will never be done that way again

Can't completely agree. Sure, it'd be nice for there to be missions that were not ICly VR, but it also makes perfect sense for there to be a VR simulator that heroes would train in. X-Men Danger Room anyone?

I agree with TheMightyPaladin, and to clarify, I believe the argument is against having your characters create content through a virtual reality system in favor of having the player create content in a context outside of the game world. The way I understand it, the intention is to ensure that characters don't see all player-created content as a mere simulation. That's exactly why I created this thread!

For the record, this wouldn't preclude the possibility of "Danger Room" missions, but it would enable greater immersion in that characters wouldn't be creating the content---players would. It's an important distinction to make. After all, it is player-created content, not character-created content.

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Agreed, Plexius. I want both.

Agreed, Plexius. I want both. I want simulations that were ICly created by Dr Gadget to test his team and the 'real world' missions that are created by the player but are actual IC events to the characters.

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Mendicant wrote:
Mendicant wrote:

Agreed, Plexius. I want both. I want simulations that were ICly created by Dr Gadget to test his team and the 'real world' missions that are created by the player but are actual IC events to the characters.

Point taken. That's a fair opinion, and I can understand reasons for wanting both. Either way, I'm not gonna sweat it too much. I think the debate almost becomes a matter of semantics at some point.

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TheMightyPaladin wrote:
TheMightyPaladin wrote:

The very idea of having a place characters go, in the game, to create content, just screams Virtual Reality and makes immersion impossible. That's part of why so many AE adventures were just farms. Why would they be anything else, if your character can't see AE missions as anything other than training exercises? Or worse video games?

"Why would there be anything else?"

The reason people made farms was that people wanted to make farms and were disinclined to take a few minutes to tack even the simplist story on it. Always seemed lazy to me, but that's not my place to judge.

I don't get how you can argue that if this was just all ‘video games' to the characters, that none of them, ever, would care at ALL about the storyline, EVER. The fact that you're posting in a thread titled "Immersion" kind of reinforces the idea that people care about the story in a game. Obviously YOU and many people here have a vested interest in story in City of Titans, a video game.

There's no reason to believe our heroes couldn't feel similar.

This doesn't argue against the existence of ‘pure training missions,' IE farms. Those would still exist.

But the point EASILY justifies and explains the existence and expectations a 'virtual reality game' would have a story.. and that our heroes would want a good story.

AE often seemed to contain a wink and a nod that said, "Maybe this isn't all as virtual as it seems."

The thing I don't get is, if you don't want created missions done as virtual training missions, exactly how do you want it done as? If we use in-world missions, aren't player missions going to inevitably and repeatedly contain conflicting information? EG, two hero missions citing the defeat of a certain villain under different circumstances? Or presenting conflicting information on an historical event in Titan City's history?

And while it'd be easy to ignore conflicts in lore, is that really that different than ignoring the whole AE premise when it was convenient? It seems like in order to argue against the AE, you HAVE TO take the premise EVERY SINGLE mission there fell under the fairly broad concept of the mission creator; ‘creating video game style training missions.' But if you apply that same scrutiny to any other option, you run into the same issues.

Make them main world stories? Probable (almost inevitable) plot conflict.

You could say you're just running to another world or alternate dimension, but then you're just messing with another reality, if that's all you do. You're not doing anything to be a hero in OUR world. Which reminds me...

Quote:

That's right characters that spent all of their time in AE weren't fighting crime and saving people, they were playing video games, while the city around them crumbled. They weren't super heroes they were cosplayers.

Or they're training in a safe environment before risking their lives. Either way… So? It isn't like they'll get acknowledge as the hero of the city or savior of the world from AE style missions.

Either way, I'm kind of left thinking, "Good for them, I guess? So what?"

Not everyone who gets super powers is going to dedicate themselves to fighting or causing crime, after all.

It'd be immersion breaking to assume they would.

Edit: To illustrate the point..

TheMightyPaladin wrote:

Maybe but if its just supposed to be a simulator, even in the game, then people who complain about player made missions being farms, can bit my butt. There is no in game reason for it to be anything other than a farm, and putting in a story seems silly

The way I see that argument.. so by that logic...?

TheMightyPaladin wrote:

City of Titans is just a game, so people who complain about how the mission creator lore works, can bit my butt. There is no reason for a video game to be anything other than a farm, so doing anything that involves a story at all is silly.

That seems like what you would expect our heroes to say in-world?

Longtime City of Heroes player, longtime writer. :)

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First of all you have

First of all you have deliberately misinterpreted what I said by claiming that I applied this to all missions. I didn't say there wouldn't or shouldn't be stories. I said there's no in game reason for there to be a story. Maybe our characters have an urge to express themselves artistically but that's not something the game developers even suggested, and I seriously doubt anyone went into the AE thinking "What kind of story would this character want to tell?" Especially since the number of missions we were allowed to make on an account was considerably lower than the number of characters we might have. No, we made the kind of missions we as players wanted.

My point was that the game gave a strong in game reason to make missions without stories but then a lot of people complained when players did it, and some missions were deleted by the devs for not having a story.

You asked a good question though: how do we handle conflicting details of stories if all player made content is real?.

The answer is up to the devs but as a player I never got into the COH universe and always imagined my characters were in a different universe that I liked better. A universe where my heroes were the main characters not Statesman or any of his bunch. I wasn't interested in the COH lore (apart from the villain's stories) because it distracted me from the game the way I wanted to play it. I suspect a lot of other players might feel the same way. That means few players will notice or care if there are inconsistencies. And if a particular villain was beaten more than once in different ways, that's hardly a conflict as long as he wasn't actually killed (maybe not even then).

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My SG used the AE's ability

My SG used the AE's ability to create missions both as training simulations (VR programs created by the characters to train and test themselves) and as 'real world' missions (one of us would create the mission and then a team would run through it, usually as a part of an ongoing RP plot). We had no problem at all distinguishing between the two or maintaining immersion.
Even our training simulations tended to have some sort of narrative, if only to set the stage for the characters' responses. A training mission where there are hostages to rescue is approached differently than one where it's a straight-up brawl, after all.

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I like the idea of giving an

I like the idea of giving an out-of-the-building start point for created missions or having a mission group visible contact.

Has anyone considered adding in a "Haywire" function to certain created missions? I mean... I swear the danger room is on the fritz every day where the phoenix isn't coming back to life (or holodeck for the more Trek inclined).

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The idea here for UCG world-placed contacts would not always be persistant. A player selects the UCG they want to play, if it uses a special contact made by that player, the selecter would then see that contact. Not ideal so far as always having a persistant world, because of the problems such as world pace and over crowding and such, but it allows players to create their own contacts and place them in the world while not also messing with anyone else's version of the world.

Hmm. An interesting and somewhat complicated scenario, but I understand some of the problems you're trying to avoid. Perhaps a special area could be designated where UGC contacts appear/disappear as needed? This could both improve access and help prevent overloading the zone with NPC objects. Perhaps the interior of a certain office building, a particular park, or a special section in Phoenix plaza?

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Edit:
Thinking a bit more...perhaps the location where the UGC is created and the location where UGC is accessed would be completely different? So there would be a Mission Architect-like place where players gathered to create missions, but other than testing by mission creators, the access would a terminal located outside? Maybe one in each district of the city? And nearby in a park or plaza would be where the UGC contacts appeared as needed?

Are you saying something along those lines is being considered? If so, I really like this idea.

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I initially decided not to

I initially decided not to reply to this because I found the accusation that I was “deliberately misinterpreting” what you were saying to be, frankly, offensive and a bit rude. Hint: It’s the part where you claim it’s deliberate.

It’s also confusing. Your initial suggestion that they be created outside the game is also confusing. I don’t see how that would make it more “real” to the player unless it’s part of the game lore. If that only applies to SOME missions, how do we determine which it applies to?

You also made a point I’d like to twist around a little.

You state you “always imagined my characters were in a different universe that I liked better. A universe where my heroes were the main characters, not Statesman or any of his bunch. I wasn't interested in the COH lore (apart from the villain's stories) because it distracted me from the game the way I wanted to play it. I suspect a lot of other players might feel the same way.”

That could be applied to AE, too. You can ignore it being “virtual reality” easier than you could ignore Statesman being in the world (and the main hero, as you put it). You could easily decide that the MA version is “based on real events,” maybe even real events involving your hero. You could also call it a door to another reality. That was kind of hinted it vaguely in City of Heroes.

It isn’t that I think your idea is worse than the MA setup. It’s that I think in the end, you still have to address the exact same issues as you do with the VR setup.

Either way, it simply requires the player internally overwriting the parts of fiction they don’t like with their own version.

So the ideal choice might be to keep the AE system but allow other ways of getting content in a game as well.

Edit: Alternate worlds might be a better alternative answer than virtual reality. I like having both though.

Longtime City of Heroes player, longtime writer. :)

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Making the content while

Making the content while outside the game (like in the character creator) makes it more real because it's real to the characters in the game.
If you make the missions with your character in the game then it's a virtual reality to the character and less interesting to play.

It's a lot easier to ignore Statesman (Who I almost never saw) than it is to ignore the AE that I interacted with to play the missions.

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TheMightyPaladin wrote:
TheMightyPaladin wrote:

Making the content while outside the game (like in the character creator) makes it more real because it's real to the characters in the game.
If you make the missions with your character in the game then it's a virtual reality to the character and less interesting to play.
It's a lot easier to ignore Statesman (Who I almost never saw) than it is to ignore the AE that I interacted with to play the missions.

Is it? Just threat the AE missions like a portal to another world.. disguised as a "game." Been done several times before in fiction (but less in real life).

I'd have to see you spell out how your vision of created missions happening out of game to comment further. I suppose you could just choose to play the main game or created missions, but that doesn't seem like it would make the missions more "real." It'd just feel like created missions were a bonus game mode then.

How would you see those working?

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It wouldn't work for my

It wouldn't work for my characters.
I don't make the kind of characters who have adventures in other worlds.
That's more my daughter's kind of thing.
I used to do it, but that was a long time ago.
I think it's the kind of thing you outgrow.
Like Narnia, and Never Never Land.

Funny thing, one of my AE missions was based on Narnia (at my daughter's request).
Mr Tumnus was your contact and he asked you to come to Narnia to join Aslan and help fight the white witch.
She had an army of Dwarves, wolves, bears and bad trees.
When you first found Aslan he was dead but he revived and joined you, when you finished the fight near him.

I did another mission set in a vision where you joined with St. John of the Cross (a spiritual guide, and narrator) to battle the seven deadly sins and Satan.
Your contact was a pile of bones labeled the relics of St. John of the Cross.

So The Idea of AE as a doorway to another world was something I did but it's not something that works for most of the adventures I want to make or play.

I didn't say The missions should be happening out of the game
I said the mission creator should be out of the game, like the character creator.
Then when I pick a character and log in he can play a mission that's real for him.
in the world he's in.
Mind you there's nothing wrong with setting player made missions in a different world if that's what you want to do
but I wouldn't want to Have To do that.
I really feel the same way about the virtual reality. If you want to play Tron you should be able to
but the characters I make have missions in a the world they live in, a world that's real to them.

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I think this is going to be

I think this is going to be one of those things where, "You can please ALL of the people SOME of the time, SOME of the people ALL of the time, but you can't please ALL of the people ALL of the time." Somebody is going to not like how this is done regardless of how it gets done. That's just the way it goes.

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TheMightyPaladin wrote:
TheMightyPaladin wrote:

I didn't say The missions should be happening out of the game
I said the mission creator should be out of the game, like the character creator.
Then when I pick a character and log in he can play a mission that's real for him.
in the world he's in.

How does that make the missions anymore "real to him" than AE if the missions still aren't real IE a part of the official cannon/ in world story?

Longtime City of Heroes player, longtime writer. :)

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Once again I have no interest

Once again I have no interest whatsoever in the "official cannon/ in world story".
And it really doesn't matter to me what they do with it, because I'm not likely to even notice.
But if my character, goes to a a place like AE and creates the mission and enters a virtual reality to do the mission, it's not real to him.
If I make the mission outside the game, then log in and play it as my character then the mission I made for him is a real part of his life.

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AmbiDreamer wrote:
AmbiDreamer wrote:

TheMightyPaladin wrote:
I didn't say The missions should be happening out of the game
I said the mission creator should be out of the game, like the character creator.
Then when I pick a character and log in he can play a mission that's real for him.
in the world he's in.
How does that make the missions anymore "real to him" than AE if the missions still aren't real IE a part of the official cannon/ in world story?

I'll reiterate a point I made in an above post of mine.

Plexius wrote:

...it would enable greater immersion in that characters wouldn't be creating the content---players would. It's an important distinction to make. After all, it is player-created content, not character-created content.

In other words, if your characters are creating content for themselves or other characters to experience, there's almost no way to explain it in-universe aside from treating it as a simulation. On the other hand, when players create content in a context outside of the game world, your characters have no concept of anyone having created that content from their perspective---it's real to them.

Whether or not player-created content is consistent with official canon is besides the point. The core of the matter is the difference between characters creating content for each other (as simulations) versus characters experiencing player-created content the same as they would dev-created content (having no concept of that content's "creator").

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yeah That

yeah That

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Although I am not the least

Although I am not the least bit bothered by the meta aspect of logging in as a character, crafting a mission, and then playing it; there is a lot to be said for being able to log directly into the mission creator. Perhaps I don't want to be bothered (or tempted) by team requests or getting pulled into conversations with my SG. If I am planing on spending a couple of hours hammering out my latest epic, why be in the game proper at all? Also down the line I could see a stand alone mission editor for tablets and possibly smart phones, another advantage of being able to create content outside of the game.

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oOStaticOo wrote:
oOStaticOo wrote:

I think this is going to be one of those things where, "You can please ALL of the people SOME of the time, SOME of the people ALL of the time, but you can't please ALL of the people ALL of the time." Somebody is going to not like how this is done regardless of how it gets done. That's just the way it goes.

This is a good point. If I could go back and do it all again, I would do it similarly to the movie The Butterfly Effect. Every possible way I have read on this thread to make it work just doesn't work for everyone. I would go back and tell AE I hate it and never want to see it again.

The only way everyone would be content would be if it was never invented at all. But here we are with all the farmy distaste in our mouths from years gone by.

I myself partook in the farming madness I'm sad to say mainly because everything was EXTREMELY expensive and it took you a 10th of the time if not less to make the money than in game mish to mish.
(**With saying this I also want to state that I played CoH since 2004 and had a TON of badges and was very much interested in the lore, just so we are clear =3 )

The only way it existing in game whether it be outside or inside a building would not impact people as much is if you give incentive's to do the lore instead. If Superman played a videogame(virtual training) he wouldn't get paid or rewarded for it other than combat and misc. knowledge, but I'm sure when he saved the city from destruction he didn't get paid chump change.

If you want people to enjoy "real life" over virtual reality(in-game) then you have to make them feel like they are receiving adequate compensation for their acts.

Just use the work of Sigmund Freud, if you want a behavior to continue or stop you have to give them a reason to do so.

This doesn't mean that the option has to disappear but there was a reason why so many people chose AE missions over real(lore) ones

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oOStaticOo wrote:
oOStaticOo wrote:

I think this is going to be one of those things where, "You can please ALL of the people SOME of the time, SOME of the people ALL of the time, but you can't please ALL of the people ALL of the time." Somebody is going to not like how this is done regardless of how it gets done. That's just the way it goes.

I think it's more like: "You can please ALL of the people SOME of the time, SOME of the people ALL of the time, but you can't please The Mighty Paladin unless you design it according to his narrow scope of what he wants and then let him play it all by himself without the inconvenient intrusion of other players."

Heh. Yep, I said that. I try to be polite and sympathetic on these forums most times, but I mean, really? We should have to consider whether our immersion would be irretrievably broken if our CHARACTER can't justify a game mechanic to THEMSELVES?

Even my schizophrenia doesn't go that far.

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MIne doesn't either.

MIne doesn't either.

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Mine might. I dunno. Let me

Mine might. I dunno. Let me ask the others.

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Mine does

Mine does

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And so does ours

And so does ours

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WarBird wrote:
WarBird wrote:

MIne doesn't either.

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Plexius wrote:
Plexius wrote:

your characters have no concept of anyone having created that content from their perspective---it's real to them.

I don't get that. How can it be real if it's completely unconnected to the game itself? Unless you purposefully choose to ignore the fact it's unconnected to the game itself and therefore, not real.

The same way you can easily ignore the idea that "your characters are creating content for themselves or other characters to experience" by.. well, ignoring it.

I don't see how you can state something unconnected to the main story can "feel real" but act as if it's totally impossible to treat the mission creation kiosks as something you're browsing.

And here's the thing. You don't even have to ignore them. Here's how I'd see it.

"Your characters are creating SOME OF the content, but in true science fiction fashion, sometimes what seems like virtual reality ends up being a portal to another world."

Even if you take it as virtual reality, aren't super heroes allowed to do something in their time off?

Longtime City of Heroes player, longtime writer. :)

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Ambi, I'm sorry but I'm not

Ambi, I'm sorry but I'm not sure why you keep asking, when it's very clear that you're just not even trying to see our point of view.
And the matter is closed anyway, because the Devs have already assured us that player made content will be seamlessly integrated into the game so there won't be any AE type mission creation kiosks in the game.

I'm done with this thread

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AmbiDreamer wrote:
AmbiDreamer wrote:

Plexius wrote:
your characters have no concept of anyone having created that content from their perspective---it's real to them.

I don't get that. How can it be real if it's completely unconnected to the game itself? Unless you purposefully choose to ignore the fact it's unconnected to the game itself and therefore, not real.

I'm confused by your wording here. Are you referring to the mission creator itself or the content that players would create with the mission creator? I was referring to the latter in the sentence that you quoted. I meant it in the same sense that characters have no concept of a player controlling their actions nor any concept of a creator who creates the situations and activities they engage in, from an in-universe perspective.

And when I refer to an in-universe perspective, I mean from the perspective of a character living in the City of Titans universe. The whole concept I'm trying to communicate is largely philosophical/metaphysical/ontological.

To be clear, I meant to say that the mission creator would exist outside of the game world, but the content it produces would exist in the game world. In other words, the missions would be real---at least as "real" as the content that the devs create---but the mission creator would exist as a tool for players and not characters.

Does that help, or am I misunderstanding what you wrote?

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It's one thing to disagree

It's one thing to disagree with my positions. It's very trolly of you to continue to act as if I'm making my opinion up by constantly implying I'm "purposefully misunderstanding your point" or that I "refuse to try to see your point, neither of which I did.

As if you've made any effort to see my point here?!

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AmbiDreamer wrote:
AmbiDreamer wrote:

It's one thing to disagree with my positions. It's very trolly of you to continue to act as if I'm making my opinion up by constantly implying I'm "purposefully misunderstanding your point" or that I "refuse to try to see your point, neither of which I did.

That hurts. It's not my intention to be a troll in this discussion, nor did I ever mean to imply that you are being deliberately contrary. I simply thought that perhaps I didn't illustrate my point well enough and thus attempted to clarify what I'm trying to communicate. It seemed like the right thing to do since your previous reply directly addressed what I wrote.

I'm sorry if I offended you.

AmbiDreamer wrote:

As if you've made any effort to see my point here?!

The point you've made, as I understand it, is that there will always be some aspects of player-created content that players will have to gloss over in order to maintain immersion---whether it be a conflict between a player's own lore and the game's official canon, or the presence of an in-game mission kiosk for player-created content. You've argued that ignoring the mission creator is no different than ignoring other perceived inconsistencies or things one chooses not to accept. In other words, as you succinctly stated, "it simply requires the player internally overwriting the parts of fiction they don’t like with their own version."

If that's a good summary, then I don't entirely disagree, but by all means, correct me if I'm wrong. I'll say that I do agree that there will always be details to ignore and justifications to be made in order to accept any player-created content as part of one's own view of the game, but my reasoning is that the more closely player-created content resembles dev-created content, and the more integrated it is with the larger game world versus being isolated as a second-class activity, the more immersive it will be.

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I think AmbiDreamer was

I think AmbiDreamer was replying to TheMightyPaladin's last post on this thread. The "Reply to #" seems to be broken still, as it always names the immediately previous post even while pointing to the one being replied to.

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Correct; I was responding to

Correct; I was responding to TMP, not you, Plex. Apologies if there was a bit of confusion there.

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AmbiDreamer wrote:
AmbiDreamer wrote:

Correct; I was responding to TMP, not you, Plex. Apologies if there was a bit of confusion there.

Thanks, AmbiDreamer, and I'm sorry for jumping the gun like I did. It was totally my misunderstanding.

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Do what I do and blame NCSoft

Do what I do and blame NCSoft. :)

Maybe I can clarify my position just a little.

I have to conceive I see the logic in having the mission creator at the start screen, though, but to me, it still leaves the question of, is it canon or not? If it is, you have to ignore the conflicts with it and the in-game 'real' content. If it isn't, you have to ignore.. well.. that. Of course, you can easily ignore that. But I've been arguing the same thing applies, at almost the same level, for the world of AE.

The solution might be to treat it like any second hand material. If there is a conflict between it and dev-developed canon, go with the devs. (But that still demands willfully ignoring part of the fanon.)

I think the easiest way to ignore AE's virtual reality is to accept (and focus on) the fact that how it works clearly isn't (wasn't?) well understood in-world and use this example. AE comes with, let's say, 20 missions. The hero playing doesn't know this. They run into a 'twenty first' mission, maybe realizing something is strange, but not realizing, until they're already into the world, that just maybe they've been teleported to another reality instead of a virtual reality.

Had they gone this route, I could see Titans playing up the idea more successfully than City of Heroes had.

Scenario 2: The mission is based on your actual exploits, like a flashback and, using video game logic, you only get the rewards of this highlight of yours after the player (who the hero is unaware of) replies that past exploit of yours in the AE system. After all, the 'game' has no way of knowing what happened in the flashback until you play it. (Marvel Ultimate Alliance had a similar system for mini missions as I recall.)

I hope there is some sort of AE/ Danger Room system in play here, honestly. There are times when I can see the logic in playing through it. Heck, in a world with a 'super' history. I could see constructing AE missions as a part of history lessons for new heroes. Why read about a world war II faction when you could fight virtual copies of them?

Longtime City of Heroes player, longtime writer. :)

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AmbiDreamer wrote:
AmbiDreamer wrote:

I have to conceive I see the logic in having the mission creator at the start screen, though, but to me, it still leaves the question of, is it canon or not? If it is, you have to ignore the conflicts with it and the in-game 'real' content. If it isn't, you have to ignore.. well.. that. Of course, you can easily ignore that. But I've been arguing the same thing applies, at almost the same level, for the world of AE.

I agree with you here. Players will always choose to ignore something, and this applies equally to everything, whether it be conflicts with official canon or an AE world or anything else. I'd personally find it easier to ignore fanon/canon inconsistencies than a giant portal to a virtual world, but that's 100% my opinion. And that's not to say that I'm totally against virtual/alternate worlds at all; I'll explain further down.

AmbiDreamer wrote:

The solution might be to treat it like any second hand material. If there is a conflict between it and dev-developed canon, go with the devs. (But that still demands willfully ignoring part of the fanon.)

My thoughts exactly. Unless every piece of player-created content is vetted for consistency before release (totally unreasonable), this situation will always exist. The other alternative is to sandbox all player-created content as being part of some virtual/alternate world, but I'm arguing against treating all player content as such.

This isn't necessarily a bad situation, and I don't think it's something that official canon nor the game's implementation should even try to address. Players should retain the individual choice of what to accept as their own headcanon. With good storytelling, the player community will likely come to a consensus on popular fanon, and MWM can always give player-created content their canonical blessing, but lore is ultimately something that each player should be free to interpret for themselves.

All in my own opinion, of course.

AmbiDreamer wrote:

I hope there is some sort of AE/ Danger Room system in play here, honestly. There are times when I can see the logic in playing through it. Heck, in a world with a 'super' history. I could see constructing AE missions as a part of history lessons for new heroes. Why read about a world war II faction when you could fight virtual copies of them?

I hope that a Danger Room will exist, too. It would create avenues of storytelling that wouldn't be possible without it. And your idea of using it for history lessons is brilliant! There really are so many possibilities to explore with this concept that we'd be at a loss without it.

I just hope it's not the only way to experience player-created content, especially for stories that take place in the city itself. I'd like to see a Danger Room exist as a setting for player-created content but not act as the sole means of creating or accessing player-created content. Let it exist as a tool for players but not as a lens through which all player-created content must be viewed.

Ultimately, I think our views can and should coexist.

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Plexius wrote:
Plexius wrote:

Ultimately, I think our views can and should coexist.

I agree and not just for the person playing. As you've mentioned, there's stories that work better with a specific premise, so the more premise we're able to work in, and support, well, the better.

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Hmmm...,

Hmmm...,

- What's my take on AE? Originally I didn't mind it...even used it as if it were a 'training room' per se for a few of my alts just to see how well certain powers/ATs worked. Later on it got a little annoying...especially with the 'Looking For Farm' spam. That annoyed me on two different levels...first, the ridiculousness of shouting over the zone about looking for a farm group, especially during an inferno caused by those annoying Hellions. Which was more important?...apparently the farm. :/ Second, the lack of overall understanding and knowledge of the opposition in real game missions, or how to resolve problems in group that's unrelated to farming. Some AE farmers were simply just that...they wouldn't help out in zone events, they wouldn't join raids or even help out with end game story arc content. That would just spam LFF requests and/or invites...that ruined AE for me. A fix could be eliminate rewards (...not experience, rewards...) so while engaging in AE player created content can still be utilized to help characters gain experience/abilities - it wouldn't be a sufficient source of influence, or have it so the creator of said AE has to pay influence in order to allow others to gain influence for said AE mish. Make it a one-shot payment per mission so once it's complete...the AE mish operates like any other AE mish (...gain exp, not influence...). It'd make donating influence more interesting...'Sure, I'll help you out - all you have to do is run through this training program'.

- Just some random thoughts... ^_^