COH dev "astounded" by user content

Over 20,000 fan-made missions already.

City of Heroes lead designer Matt Miller is "astounded" by the community response to recent update Issue 14: Architect, revealing that players made more Mission Arcs in one day than his team had in five years.

"We are simply astounded at the response we've gotten for it," writes Miller on the official website.

"I feel like everything we have worked on has really been worth it when I see that within 60 minutes we had 360 entire Mission Arcs (each containing up to 5 missions) available for other people to play. By midnight on day one we had over 2600 arcs, and exactly 24 hours after launch we were already at 3800 arcs.

"We did some data mining of our own," he adds, "and 3800 surpasses the amount of content that we, the developers, have made for all of City of Heroes and City of Villains combined. In just one day our users did more than we could in almost five years."

Miller says fans are reviewing each other's work on the forums, furthering the star-based scores implemented in the Mission Architect tools. Players have even produced in-game advertising on posters, comic covers and machinima, we're told.

"We never expected anything like that even in our wildest dreams when designing the feature, and I think that is totally cool," says Miller.

Miller reveals that one of the most exciting developments is that 70 per cent of the user-created Mission Arcs use custom enemies, which overcomes the problem of MMO players becoming bored with a stagnant set of baddies. No longer do inhabitants need to wait months for developers to refresh the experience.

After one week, Miller says the Mission Server had more than 20,000 playable user-created Mission Arcs. Of those, 6259 are heroic-themed, 2240 villainous-themed, 112 time travel-themed, 134 feature Statesmen and 794 feature the 5th Column.

Of that batch, 2860 have a five-star rating and only 582 have one star.

"All in all," adds Miller, "the actual launch of Issue 14 has exceeded any expectation we have set for it. We aimed very high with this Issue, but even the most Pollyanna dev on the team never expected the feature to take off this fast, with this amount of awesome buzz behind it.

"Players and the press have been calling this revolutionary, and I think we at Paragon Studios are just bringing our heads up to see exactly how revolutionary it actually is."

We'll have more coverage on the Mission Architect soon.

City of Heroes will also be one of the MMOs taking part in our very special Ten Level Test. This, as the name suggests, involves us playing the first ten levels of two MMOs before declaring which was the best experience.

City of Heroes faces Star Wars Galaxies.

So far EverQuest II and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and Lineage II and Final Fantasy XI have gone head-to-head.

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