Author Topic: Welcome to Rebirth Issue #1 and State of the Game - Spring 2021  (Read 1020 times)

retched

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Evening and good morning. Welcome to the first State of the Game of City of Heroes: Rebirth!

I want to take the time to thank everyone who has helped with coding and especially those of you who have been playing on our PTS shard "Almost Tested". It is with the work of the volunteer coders and you the players that we were able to create Rebirth Issue #1: Guardians Rising. We've rested over the last two weeks and now we're starting the trek towards Rebirth Issue #2: [REDACTED]. (For those that get lost with the terminology: Issues are big major game changes. Editions are smaller patches.)

During our publishing push towards issue one, the Rebirth Dev team grew significantly. I’d like to take a moment to welcome Super Hero, Yikes, Zytonis, Thagdal, and NogardAirwing to the team and a hearty welcome back to Plutocracy who has returned from sabbatical. They join our very active dev team, led by erpmario: Farm Tank, El Bee, Xerephus, Profit, SilverAgeFan, Gothic Alpha, Nekrovile, Last Sanctum, Daigotsu, Jumpstar, and myself retched. Also, a special thank you to our mod team, our GMs, and all of our dedicated community members who do so much to make Rebirth the wonderful place it is to play. (Like GM Loriean who has been king on making sure that we get all of your bug reports and spelling errors over to the appropriate internal dev boards for adjusting.)

Looking forward to Rebirth Issue 2, I’d like to describe our efforts across four key components of the gaming experience: Gameplay, Gameworld, Powers and Archetypes, and Cosmetics.

Let’s start off with Gameplay:

I do a lot of daily reading of community comments. Whether it be here on Rebirth’s Discord, Rebirth’s Forum, the COH and COV subreddits on Reddit, or other community Discords. And one of the major complaints that I hear about is how "hard the grind is for Rebirth." As a matter of fact, that was one of the major talking points in several of our internal discussions.

So let’s talk about what exactly is happening behind the scenes. First, the basic gameplay loop as it stands now is: You complete a length activity, you get rewarded with Reward Merits, then you get some shiny. (IOs mainly.) The chief complaint that myself and the Rebirth team have been reading is that the grind for goods is, plainly put, god awful.

We realize that our player’s time is valuable and shouldn’t be wasted on a punishingly slow grind. So we’re looking at a few things to help alleviate that pain while still maintaining an enjoyable sense of progression, investment, achievement, and excitement. Dev and active community member El Bee is leading a major grind and economy overhaul with the help of many developers, including Hat Ghost, Farm Tank, and Profit:

  • Adjusting vendor prices. One sure way to get high-end enhancements is to save up different in-game currencies and purchase them. Right now, the prices of everything vendor-wise was balanced around a for-profit gaming model at $14.99 a month until the game’s eventual sunset. Naturally, this meant Paragon Studios set reward merit (RM) prices exceptionally high, and diminished rewards earned by repeating tasks too quickly, as a way to broaden what activities players pursued rather than have them farm one particular activity. (An uncommon IO would cost about 50 RMs for example instead of making a certain IO available from a particular activity.) As part of our pass in the Game Grind Rework phase, we’re pulling down the cost of these items by about 50%. Additionally, Purple and PVP IOs are some of the rarest and most sought after items on our server—we’re going to go ahead and allow players to buy them using RMs. Lastly, we’re throwing some of the rewards into the Astrals and Empyreans vendors and even Hero/Villain merits. You can see the planned work down below.

    IO Reward Type Reward Merits Cost Astral Merit Cost Empyrean Merit Cost Alignment Merit Cost
    Uncommon Normal 50
    30
    N/A N/A N/A
    Uncommon Special 75
    60
    N/A - 16
    N/A - 12
    N/A 1
    Rare Normal 125-165
    75
    16
    12
    N/A 1
    Rare Special 200-220
    125
    32
    24
    N/A 2
    Purple Normal N/A
    400
    N/A
    128
    40
    30
    20
    8
    Purple Special N/A
    400
    N/A
    128
    40
    30
    20
    8
    PVPIO Normal N/A
    400
    N/A
    128
    50-60
    30
    25
    8
    PVPIO Special N/A
    400
    N/A
    128
    60-70
    30
    30-35
    8

    Explaining the table above:
    • "Normal" is an IO piece that boosts no more than three attributes. (eg. Bonesnap: Acc/Dmg, Gladiator: Dam/End/Rech). A "Special" is an IO piece that modifies more than three stats or has a chance to proc a special effect. (eg. Blistering Cold: Acc/Dmg/End/Rech, Performance Shifter: Chance for +End).
    • Not all Uncommon Specials are available via Astral Merit vendors. This update will not change which ones will be available but will adjust the price of those that ARE available.
    • Where there is a full range of values, eg. 200-250, means that all recipes were available at that range. The value listed below that means all recipes will be available at the same price.
    • Where there is no change noted, you will see no strikethrough. But where there IS a change, there will be a strike through value to represent what is currently price and underneath will be the proposed change.
    • Some of these changes are currently live on the PTS.


  • Reduce base prestige costs: So, this is another stickler for people. Right now, the base prestige amounts are currently based on the size of the plots rather than per item. We made the change back to plot-based rent as part of our long-term plan for bases. But prices for upgrading your plots are still far too high. We’re looking at adjusting both the costs AND the exchange rate of Inf from the vendor at City Hall/Grandville/etc. This adjustment helps pave the way for some much more exciting plans we have for player designed spaces in our game!
  • Purple and PvP IO Drops: What’s one of the big things you do on your 50’s? You grind for purples, right? Currently, only level 47 and up mobs drop these recipes. As part of this big grind rebalance, we want every player taking an average paced route to 50 to have the chance to earn 1 to 3 purple recipes naturally. Also, we want players to feel motivated to join lowbies in lower-level content and not feel like they are missing out on valuable purple farming time. With this change, any Lieutenant or Boss level mob that might drop a vanilla IO recipe will also have a small chance to drop a Purple, starting from level 7 on up. You can slot them (on a character that is Level 50), sell them, or swap them to your latest character. That’s up to you. We just want to get a few more purple recipes out into the wild. The same goes for PvP recipes which we have some very specific plans for we’ll be detailing soon.
  • Alignment System Changes: We noticed quite a lot of complaints about the number of missions required before receiving a tip that allows you to adjust the alignment. We hear you and we agree. We still believe in the narrative-driven mechanic of the alignment system that Paragon designed--we just think it takes a little too long. The plan will be (during RI2) to reduce the tip system from 10 to 5 as well as cut the cooldown between changing phases.)
  • Additionally, using Inf to AE Tickets is also being looked at into an option. This is pretty much self explanatory.
We’re always looking at improving the back-end of the game, sometimes with small changes, other times with necessary overhauls. Every dev cycle gives us better insight into how to better optimize performance and eliminate bugs, including ones that have persisted since Live. We have some major projects we are currently considering for Issue 3 and we’ll reveal more as our plans solidify! 


(You can click on any image on this thread to expand it.)

Part of what makes a classic MMO like Rebirth special is a vibrant Gameworld, filled with cool, varied locations and complex, interwoven stories. We here at Rebirth have big dreams for the distant future including new arcs, new mission maps, and even new game zones. We also have deep respect for the lore shaped by the many hands and voices that have worked on this game since its inception all the way back in 1999. We intend to respect that lore while still moving towards projects that give you new places to visit, characters to meet, and stories to play through.

But it’s going to take some baby steps to get to that new content. Some of these steps are there to help our dev team get a better handle on the relevant systems. Other projects are structural renovations that are intended to facilitate a better, more fluid game and lay a foundation for an exciting future!
  • Ouroboros Revamp: Rebirth dev Xerephus will be leading up some big changes to Ouroboros. Currently, villains and heroes visit virtually identical versions of the same zone, just with different stories. In game, Ouro is a zone outside of time. A place by existing game canon, both the villainous and heroic visit at some point in their career. After careful consideration, we’ve decided this minizone should be a cross alignment hub, where characters of all alignments can cross paths, interact, and even roleplay if you’d like. The stories a character can access will still be alignment dependent, but the players you might encounter now represent the entire population of the shard. As an added bonus, this means Ouro will now be a reliable transit hub for both Rogues and Vigilantes, regardless of what side they are currently playing on.
  • Solo TF/SF Options: Sometimes it’s a quiet morning on the Rebirth and you’re not finding that full team you were after. Maybe you want to put your character to the test. Or maybe you’re just a determined soloist. Fear not! One future renovation, led by developer Plutocracy, which we hope to rollout within the next few issues are solo-friendly versions of common legacy Task Forces and Strike Forces. These versions will be made available strictly from the Ouro crystals, will include all the content and rewards (including badges!) you are familiar with except for modifications to multi glowies and team size requirements. Meanwhile, the gameworld contacts with their team size requirements will remain unchanged. The merged Ouroboros zone should make this a viable alternative not just for solo TFs but also for small team runs, no more need for fill characters!
  • Legacy Contact Touch Up: Story team member Jumpstar will be working this summer to make a clear catalogue of all in game contacts, clean up the contact introduction process, especially amongst some of the oldest blueside content. This will serve as a foundation for revisiting the classic origin-based adventure paths. These paths are filled with stories deeply rooted in the game lore, often flowing one into the next at each five level bracket. Unfortunately, a few of these paths were never fully finished. Longterm, Jumpstar would like to see those gaps filled here on Rebirth along with a robust pass modernizing some of the arcs with newer mission technology utilized in later Paragon content.
  • Striga Ambiance Touch Up: Striga, that wartorn island of horrors! But why is your sky so pleasant? Art team SilverAgeFan will be spending a time during the Issue 2 dev cycle creating a new custom skybox and night day cycle tailored to Striga Island. Expect colors and lighting more fitting to horror and war comic genres that inspired the zone. By Ri2, we want Striga to be a place you take your characters to for great screenshots!
  • Level 10 Costume Slot Missions: We’re working to bring you new in game missions. And we’re not ashamed to start small and get it right. We also know there are currently 4 permanently locked costume slots on Rebirth Live. We want to get one of those costume slots back in your hands. But not for free, you cheeky monkies! We’re going to make you defeat 15 Hellions for it! Or was that Contaminated? You’re going to need to check in with your Atlas Park tailor or the Facemaker in Mercy for this one. Or you could just check in with Jumpstar or SAF who are teaming up on this small but fun Gameworld improvement.
Beyond these outlined projects for the near future, you can see by our Gameworld roadmap we have a number of initiatives plotted out to keep bringing you access to more content, always building up towards that big prize of new content that continues to tell stories befitting this multiverse we have all come to love.


Issue 1 brought the new Guardian archetype to Rebirth. Looking at Issue 2 and beyond, we have a lot of exciting new things in the works for you all. Here are the more immediate highlights we can reveal at this time:

  • Guardian ATOs: We know you all love attuned Archetype Origin enhancements found in game. And you’ve all been askin when these are coming out. Ri2. Two full sets with unique procs are well underway. You’re going to be able to get them from all the same sources you’ve come to expect in game including the Super Packs and specific vendors.
  • New Powersets: Super Hero is hard at work to bring you two new guardian secondaries. Tactical Training gives us an option for natural themed combat-trained characters. And Sonic Composition builds on the established mechanics of existing sonic sets throughout the game. Meanwhile, Hat Ghost is polishing up Sonic Aura, a defensive set intended for scrappers, brutes, and stalkers. And Xerephus is leading the effort on Marksman, a sniper themed set for our first fully original ranged powerset.
  • Tanker Touch Up: Developers Farm Tank, Profit, El Bee, and Hat Ghost are teaming up for an exciting set of meaningful but measured revisions on the classic tank AT. This includes an aggro cap increase for tanks over the maximum 17 that all ATs currently experience in game. They are also taking a close look at how bruising, the tanker inherent power works. They are examining if it is applicable to have it be applied from more than the first power and use case scenarios
  • Alternate Teleportation FX: We’ve set a modest project to create an alternate set of smokey FX for the entire TP pool. This project is going to help us figure out best practices for several future powers projects that will demand much more collaboration between the Powers and Art Teams. Super Hero and Xerephus will be consulting SilverAgeFan and Zytonis to get the job done. And the results will give you all more options when designing your next ‘porter.
  • Winter Super Pack Completion: You all love ATOs. You all love the Summer Os. You all love the Winter Os. We do too. But we don’t love the Winter Super Pack! Why? Because it isn’t finished. Paragon shut down before they could complete this pack! The card graphics are missing! The enhancements all use placeholder graphics! And the stupid candy canes are so tangled in the spaghetti that they only award 1 when they should award 5. So, I, retched, have made it my personal mission to get this damn pack fixed and finished, ready for bug free distribution by Ri3 at the latest!
  • More and Better Character Animations: We have a new art team member, Zytonis, who joined us specifically as an animator. They are currently working with Super Hero and Plutocracy on some top-secret projects. Along the way, Zytonis along with SAF will be working during our Ri3 cycle to bring you all more options for character customization. And Xerephus will be joining this effort, taking a focused look at redraw in current animations and helping to eliminate or minimize it wherever possible.
  • Dual Blades rework: Hat Ghost, our resident balance expert, will be taking a close look at the Dual Blades combo system. This is the oldest and most rigid combo system in the game. Our goal is to make it less unforgiving and cumbersome while keeping the unique flavor of the set intact.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the new Cosmetics options coming your way thanks to our newly expanded art team.
  • Asymmetric Chests and Hips: This is the big one. We know fans of the game have been asking for this feature since live. We weren’t sure it could be done. But about 3 weeks before we launched Ri1, we got SilverAgeFan to start looking into the feasibility of pulling this off. When early experiments showed it would be tough but not impossible, we decided to go for it. The entire system is about half finished as I write this. As soon as we can, we want to get this up to the test server as a core system so all of you can help us test it and make sure all your favorite costume options are there working as intended.
  • New pants and chest options: SAF was adamant if we were going to do this new system, we should include a couple genre staples that CoH fans have wanted for years. So this revamp of chests and hips includes a set of classic golden age style jodhpurs for all three models. And female characters now have the option of a more modest look with the single panel tights.
  • Glowing and animated body skins: This is one of those requests I’ve seen over and over. And we’ve heard you. Once the new asymmetric torso system is on test, SAF will be moving into working on a set of awesome glowing and animated skins. I hear there are really cool things coming, so you can now make your favorite Sun-God character and I hear there might even be a new diamond skin or animated chameleon skin, complete with changing colors, coming your way.
  • Skin sets based on new cape patterns: I’ve seen the screenshots from the costume contests. You’re all loving those new Issue 1 capes. Several of those capes are getting full body patterns for you all to mix and match.
  • More Diversification: If you’ve played with the new Issue 1 costume options, you might have discovered glove diversification that we added. It’s a surprisingly deep system that allows for literally hundreds of new costume combinations. You can now put gloves on your rock man or glowing bracers on your armored princess. These sorts of options are getting expanded first to chests and hips with Ri2. And then to other parts of the body in future publishes
  • Upper Body Details: Yikes brings to the team not only their talent but a pile of costume items they’ve been working on for over a year now. Several of these, like the crop top hoodie for female characters don’t quite fit into any existing category. But they go well over tights. We’ve also got the underarm wings designed by SAF coming your way. All of these are going to be available in a new category on certain upper bodies, such as tights and the new single panel tights. Future issues I’m sure will fill out this new option of Upper Body Details with even more new costume parts for your favorite character concepts!
  • And so much more! I could go on all night about all the crazy ideas our art team is up to, including a library of earring options from SAF, expanded weapon customization Xerephus has been working on, dual auras, increased asymmetry, and a few top-secret projects in the early R&D phases… but you get the idea! We’ve got a lot of things cooking. If you love making costumes for City of Heroes, Rebirth is a great place to be!

Here is a preview of some of Yikes and SilverAgeFan work to come.


Asymmetry in preview.

And here's a whole gallery from Yikes in regards to scarves,

Whew! So as you can see, our dev team is working hard to bring you a lot with Rebirth Issue 2! And this is in addition to all the other offerings of seasonal events; the rolling speed-run season; Sunday Night Fights PvP; GM run costume contests, monster mashes, and scavenger hunts; special boosted XP playtimes; and any events YOU our players might organize and run! I hope you’re as excited about this next year as I am!

As always, if you have any questions comments or concerns, feel free to visit the Discord and post in #suggestions-and-feedback or post up here on the forums. DMs are also open too.

Your Rebirth Head Admin,

retched

retched

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Re: Welcome to Rebirth Issue #1 and State of the Game - Spring 2021
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2021, 02:16:24 pm »
For anyone wanting to discuss the "State of the Game" post on the forum, please hold the discussion here:

https://forum.cityofheroesrebirth.com/index.php/topic,91.0.html