Log inProcess Categories
Process Pictures
Fix Pics

Suggestions for Improvement

Last Modified: July 28, 2010

Preface

You know, it's really amazing how many of my suggestions have been implemented over the last year or two since I originally wrote this article. I'm not saying what I wrote had anything to do with it, but it appears that the Devs are certainly striving to make the game more fun and interesting all the time and I think that's awesome. So the last thing I'll say is…

WEATHER! GIVE. ME. WEATHER!
Anyway, read on, though keep in mind some of these suggestions haven't been updated in the last year or two:

Suggestions

Haven't you ever had "superhero syndrome?" Superhero syndrome is the effect of wanting great power, great wealth, or great happiness without having to work for it. One day you're Normal Boringstein and the next you're leaping over buildings and punching holes through the worthless jerks that used to taunt you.

Everyone wants to be a super hero. City of Heroes gives you the ability to enter a world where you are that hero. You can save innocent people, lay waste to the forces of evil, and grow ever stronger day after day. You will see and do things no normal citizen ever would.

That's why I love this game so much and why I'd love to see them make the kinds of changes I know would draw more people and keep the ones that are already there longer.

Let's be very clear about this: CoH/V is an excellent game that has a very reasonable price and offers many free upgrades. They do a lot of things right such as keeping characters on the servers indefinitely (so someone like me can quit and come back later).

However, there are some things that they could do that would really make the game rule. Here is a consolidated list of my suggestions for improvement to coh.

Characters

With the extensive character creator, you bring to life almost any character you can think of. You can spend hours planning out the characters look, their color scheme, their costume, their power combinations, their story and of course; their name.

Some of my many heroes and a villain or two.
Some of my many heroes and a villain or two.

As you play through the game, you watch your character mature in the hero you made them to be. Unique in all respects from any that came before and any that will come after… Well, not quite.

Power Customization

As I said, building a one-of-a-kind hero is one of the great pleasures of the game. Not only should your selection of powers impress, but the look and execution of those powers. As many different combinations of powersets as there are, I still see people that look and act the exact same. How different can you really make your D3 from mine?

Each power should have several different execution styles. For example, maybe a crane kick could have stlightly different animations. Each variation would have a different effect. For example, option one would be a longer animation that does more damage. Option two is very fast and has a higher chance to disorient, but does little damage. Option three is the normal way it is now.

And again,they've done this. They've already started adding alternate animations and it's just as cool as I imagined! If they have at least 2 or 3 alternates for most powers, it will be as much as I could have asked for.

By varying the look and the effect of powers, heroes would be more unique even in the same at and powersets.

Permenant "Temporary" powers

Well… I used to recommend that we have a way to get various temp powers that we could keep, but since I said that, they've done it. I don't think anything I said had anything to do with it, but they've done it and bravo!

Character options

Not only should my character be unique in powers, but in look. No matter how hard I work to make my character unique, I still sometimes see another hero with a very similar style. Some very minor changes would make a big difference.

  • More hair styles
  • Ability to modify hairstyles – maybe I really like it, but want it to be less full or a little longer/shorter
  • Ability to combine faces with different expressions
  • Choice of Eye color

"Real" Exploration

Is there anything as exciting as discovery? How many famous stories revolve around finding that hidden treasure, secret room, magic item? Didn't you ever look into a tunnel and imagine that there was another world at the other end?

Unfortunately, CoH/V doesn't have many secret places and even those don't benefit you much. Badges are nice, but they're mapped out online and eventually become commonplace too. I want to see some places that are out of the way and have some cool stuff hiding in them. The Wolf's throat in Striga is close to what I'm talking about in that it's hard to find and has some cool scenery in it. However, nothing really special or interesting happens wherever you go in the council base.

Hidden places

Why can't I wander through an abandoned building? Can't there be garages or sheds with slightly open doors that I can enter and hide in? Think of that cool spot that Flux is hiding in at the Hallows. There should be secret caves, hidden spots between (or in) buildings, and under bridges. Most importantly, these hidden places should require no zoning (like when you enter a mission).

My motivation for this is simple. Whenever I ride the train and see the empty sheds and cool tunnelways, I think of how cool it would be if CoH/V had terrain like that. I see a dark alley that dead ends and think of the secret nook that would be there in the game. I fly up through the center of one of the buildings in King's Row and am dissapointed to see that nothing special is there.

The only thing close to "secret places" that they have now are the places that no one goes like the crypt in Dark Astoria. Not only should there be secret places, there should be a reason to go there (which brings me to my next point).

Hidden treasure

As you wander the city, perhaps you take a side alley that you normally wouldn't pay any attention to. As you pass by a broken vending machine, you notice a soft pulsing sound. While it doesn't actually glow and the noise is much fainter than in missions, you've found a city map glowie.

The places these things are found is always random and can be almost anything in the whole zone, including certain enemies (creating a bonus for killing that particular thing).

These secret glowies can be under rocks, on the underside of a bridge, in the water, or whatever. The prize you get could vary from an enhancement, to influence, a special badge, a special costume option, a "temp pool" power, or nothing more complex than starting a special kind of mission. Not only would this make the maps more fun, but people wouldn't ignore zones like they do now. It's almost sad that my map through Crey's Folly is over 60% black (and likely to stay that way, there's just nothing to see in the dark corners of the zone).

At the higher levels, it's easy to travel through a zone taking the same path every time and ignoring everything around you. There's just no reason to spend any time or effort looking around.

Hidden enemies

Think of the troll raves in Skyway. It spawns the "supa" that are somewhat rare and a lot more interesting than the normal enemies in the zone. This is a step in the right direction. How about one of the things they can put in the secret places I talked about was special enemies or enemy clusters.

For example, maybe a infestation of Swarms even in Galaxy City? What if you discovered a hydra lurking in a dark alley of King's Row? What if every now and then you could find a City of Villains enemy lurking in the corners of Paragon City? Each of these secret enemies could be worth extra experience or such. This would also encourage exploration.

Enemy Characteristics

Enemies get a little dull after a while too. It's not that CoH/V is lacking for variety in enemy types, but they have the same powers as you and do the same animations too. I think that enemies should have some powers that players don't or at least should be able to perform them differently.

Powers

This would also tie in with my previous example of power customizations and hidden treasure. Maybe the type of power execution used by enemies in the game was locked unless you managed to find a special glowie that unlocked it. This way, people who had explored more and took the time to "smell the roses" would be more likely to have special hard-to-get customizations. Even then, it would be hard or nearly impossible to have ALL of the customizations that enemies use so there would still be some variety to the way enemies use the powers compared to players.

Enemy Actions

Once again, the Devs have been actively working this one so I withdraw my recommendation. Granted, I think that it could go a little further to promote variety of actions, but with Issue 14 and players being put in the driver's seat for missions, this could get very, very interesting.

Zones

Cryptic tends to add new zones to CoH/V with each new issue, but I think what we need is more content in the zones we have. For example, Eden is a very cool zone, but all I've ever done is fly to various missions pretty much ignoring most of the zone. Boomtown is similar.

Random Events

This is actually something they do fairly well (ex. the various holiday events), but it can be done better. For example, what if there was a small outbreak of low level Shivans in Steel or whatever? There are a lot of zones and as a high-level player, you get used to the fairly common enemies there which makes it boring.

Sure the Ghost Ship will go through Talos now and then (a very good random event), but even that becomes a little dull when it's the only thing that ever happens there. How about story changing events like a Freakshow invasion (like the massive amount of clocks that spawn in King's Row now and then, but this would go on for hours instead of minutes)? It should also burns down some of the neighborhood. For realism, the buildings could stay burned for a few days before being "rebuilt".

The way it works now, an event starts and people broadcast it and form teams then tackle it (Giant Monsters for example), which is fine, but how many times can you see Lusca before the novelty wears off? The key is to have more events that are smaller, but more frequent.

How about a car chase? Random police battles where you actually see police run TOWARDS a problem? How about a hostage event? How about a "nest" of enemies where you find a few low level enemies on the outer edges with a high concentration deeper in (think large mob meeting, gang hideout, fortified base of operations etc). There are many possibilities.

[+] Contacts and Missions

Well, they pretty much implemented this stuff already

Hidden Treasures and Secret places

Like I said before, this would make the game more interesting and also give people reasons to look around in zones that normally people ignore.

Realism

Mission realism

How about an office building with actual windows? Or an open lobby that goes up several floors like in I Robot? I want to go up floors with the same elevator like in FF7, not find 10 elevators that all go up only one floor. Why can't the mission start in the sewers below the building or in the dark basement where all the pipes and electrical are and work its way up to the ritzy offices at the top (or vice-versa)?

Mix it up a little. How about a cave that goes to a high-tech lab buried deep in the ground (like the Ernesto Hess TF or the mission in Croatoa that goes from a sewer to a cave? This is good, we need more of it. Perhaps you start in one building at the top, fight your way down, through a sewer grate, and back up into a warehouse where the gang's hideout is?

Zone Realism

Can I just say, the Green and Yellow Metro lines should meet at ONE station like they would in real life. How about a traffic jam now and then? Maybe a monster could appear and start throwing cars. How about breaking those design barriers and connecting two tall building by arches or walkways? How about a fire plug getting smashed and spraying water all over the street for a while?

Tags and Categories

Categories: Gameplay, Guides

Leave a Reply

Comment Preview

Dark/Dark/Dark (D3) Defender

A D3 is a Defender that uses only dark powers for primary, secondary, and epic powersets. Jordan Yen (my main character both in game and in the comic) is one (see her in-depth guide here).

Devs

Developers. The game designers.