It's been mentioned in other threads but I feel it deserves its own.
Please don't hate redside?
I know the alignment system will be very different but I assume there will still be a way to discern who is a "villain" and who is not, or which flavour of villain he happens to be.
A big mistake of CoH (specifically CoV) was not adding to Redside content at all. It was in great dearth: blueside had 19 more zones (7 more "city" zones, which excludes hazard and trial spaces), 10 more TFs (excluding co-op ones), and the entire shadow shard.
Furthermore, all the villain zones accept maybe Grandville (which, to give credit, was pretty awesome) felt the same, dingy skid rows where crime is ubiquitous and the sky is grey. To quote another "you just felt like a cog in the machine", and think about it, what do you call a person destroying evil in the bad part of town? A hero. Thumping thugs and monsters and cleaning the streets is the work of a hero, not a villain. More on that below.
I know that there will not be a great divide for blueside and redside, which almost makes this portion irrelevant, but it's been mentioned that there will be areas which only villains will be accepted and only heroes will be accepted. Which makes sense to a degree.
If we have such zones, please make them equally enjoyable for heroes and villains. The Shadow Shard is 100x better than The Abyss, and the Hollows is 10000x better than Monster Island (how many have actually even gone to those zones?). The heroes can have their specific zones, and they should be awesome, but villains should have the similarly awesome zones too.
Please don't hate redside.
Can we have villainous villains?
It can be difficult catering to "villainous" villains since they're motivations may vary far more widely than heroic ones, which may include, for the better of man, to protect the innocent, revenge, or "to fight the bad guys using their rules" (Punisher). Villains can vary from world domination to "watch[ing] the world burn" to ruling a smaller area to, again, revenge, to getting rich to for the "better" of man (Mad scientist anyone), etc.
But either way, please allow villains to have their own motivations, goals, and schemes to some degree, even if only at higher levels.
CoV made a huge mistake here. You had two choices, to work for Arachnos, or to "freelance", and to be frank, they weren't very different, and you could switch back at any time. No matter what you chose, the paths converged at the end to chose a patron (also a huge blunder) and you're ultimate goal is, to defeat Lord Recluse. Now, that is an honourable goal, and a formidable one, he's no pushover, and it's a great show of power. But, what did it change? Arachnos was no weaker, Lord Recluse was still supreme dictator over the Isles, and you still either worked for Arachnos, or did whatever jobs some other contact had.
You weren't a villain, you were a mercenary!
Please don't make the same mistake. Please allow a system were villains can be more than a cog in the machine, a mercenary, or a street cleaning hero.
What I'd suggest:
>Give a few story lines for villains to follow; take "tips" to a new level and allow villains to craft their own missions to a small extent.
>Allow a variety of ultimate goals. Defeating Doctor Tyche should not be the pinnacle of villainy. I'd narrow it down to these three for launch:
--Obtain Anthem's sword: now, idk how the lore works on this and if only certain people can wear the sword and armour, but work with me here. The point is, defeat a signature character (can be hero or villain), and obtain something which alters the feel of the game afterward. Using the example given, you trudge through a story arc that ends in a finale of team vs The Paragons or team (or solo) vs Anthem. After this, you gain a significant power. Maybe it could be a special attack ("Anthem of Victory" or whathaveyou), or an intro to an Incarnate-System-Like power system (which at launch, could just be one, simple, mega-attack).
This fills the goal of a power seeker, or a revenge seeker.
--Creation or Optimization of Lair: If the personal base system is implemented at launch, and if not, whenever it does, your personal base could be upgraded to a personal sector of town or island to rule over. This would be resource-intensive, but could be very awesome. You play the final mission of overtaking a villain's stronghold, or TCPD's precinct, and take it for yourself. This again fills the goals of a power seeker.
Analog to CoH, you could defeat Lord Recluse and take grandville (which would be a separate zone then the original), defeat the council for Striga Isle, defeat the Cage Consortium for Sharkhead, etc.
--Meltdown of the Titan City Reactor: Or other catastrophe, maybe an Agents of Revolution doomsday device could suffice. This fills the goals of a "watch the world burn" type, simply senseless destruction of a huge portion of the city to spread chaos and malice. This could be a huge zone event, or an instanced mission, or an instanced mission that causes a zone event. The trouble here is making the villain feel as though he's completed the end game after it's done. A alternate "Progress Park Ruins" doesn't serve much utility.
>Allow Choices of Faction: if a new villain is required to join a faction as in CoV ("freelancing" was an option, but I always felt like an Arachnos Employee), allow several choices, not just the premier villain faction (if there is one):
--Edentech: This one could be a choice for heroes or villains of science. It's implied that they want a better future, but with any fictional biotech company, there's always the possibility of unethical or downright evil experiments happening. This allows for alignment choices: if a hero is assigned to a task he feels wrong about, he can refuse and gain Honour points (and maybe Lawful points), whereas a villain may revel in it.
--IFRIT: International Fire Response/Ignition Team: A group of mercenaries that, again, a hero or villain could join. Fairly self-explanatory. Could lead to the destruction goal mentioned above.
--Tarot: A villain group of mages that a villainous mage could join. They could be a source of training and other power-ups (whatever they may be). In the end, one could overtake their leader, and take the stronghold for themselves (see "optimization of lair") or take a legendary weapon from him (see "Obtain...").
--The Black Rose: Another mercenary group, but strictly villainous. Chaser may be a way to gain powers (source of good temp powers). Again, could lead to Optimization of Lair goal.
>Allow Villainous Options in Co-Op Zones: The term "Co-Op" zone may be irrelevant given the nature of The City, but if certain [Hazard Zones] require a level and both Heroes and Villains fight to end one enemy, then this is relevant. I found it difficult the feel villainous in the Rikti War Zone and Cimerora, so please allow villainous plots a chance to thrive in such environments.
I know this has gotten long, but please, allow villains to be villains in CoT, not just mercenaries or employees of [Arachnos], but scheming villains with their own motivations and goals, and please, don't hate redside.
My Non-Canon Toons
Avatar by MikeNovember