Monday, 20 November 2017

CoH Shutdown Vigil Started Early for Some

The 'official' date for the City of Heroes Shutdown Vigil is 30th November (see you there!) but that didn't stop some people unhappy at the loss of their favourite MMO holding a torch for the game over a week early on the steps of the Paragon City Hall in Paragon Chat.

20th November 2017
From left to right:
  1. Minutiae
  2. Plextorette
  3. Lycantropus
  4. Emerald Knight

26th November 2017
From left to right:

  • Back Row
    • Lady Thorne
    • Lycantropus
    • Summitor
  • Middle Row
    • Citizen Saint
    • Prologue Hero
  • Front Row
    • Fer

The MMORPG City of Heroes was shut down by NCSoft on 30th November 2012 in a move that surprised everybody, including the developers of the game - they had only a few months warning. Since then, the players have held a vigil every year on that fateful date for their favourite game.

And here's a screenshot on 30th November, more people logged in to celebrate their game and commiserate with each other over its loss...

Thursday, 16 November 2017

A run Down the City of Heroes Bobsleigh Track

Thanks to the talented people over the the Titan Network, we are still able to do some interesting things with the old CoH client. One of those things is a run down the winter event bobsleigh track. Here's my best run to date, I just can't get it below 54 seconds but I'll keep trying for that perfect run...

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

New Ship of Heroes Blog

I've created a new blog dedicated to Ship of Heroes. I decided to call it Heroes in Space, since it has heroes and they're in space (!). Anyway, any further SoH entries from me will be over there...

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Ship of Heroes - November 2017 Newsletter

Character/Costume Creation

Heroic Games released their latest newsletter, on 8th November 2017. You can read the original newsletter on their website, here's my shortened version :)

The developers have been hard at work fixing bugs and other issues identified during their recent costume creator alpha test. It was a resounding success, showing that the software worked well on every machine it was tested on and it was generally well received by the testers who created some awesome costumes and characters - remember these were made by people new to the tool, not the developers. That's pretty impressive at this early stage.

The devs are not sitting on their laurels though - there's still lots of work to do. Including additional hairstyles and a revamp of the exiting ones which are, apparently, not as easy to implement well in UE4 as you'd imagine. They'll be working on skin improvements, to add more variety, including aliens and 'extra dimensional origin heroes', whatever they may be. Also sliders for height and waist width and even new eye types and such things that we take for granted these days.

They've been working on some improvements to the process they use to create costumes which will result in them being able to provide a larger variety for players to choose from at launch. It's worth remembering, also, that they've going to great lengths to ensure that costume pieces can be successfully mixed and matched, allowing for great flexibility. There'll be no need to look like your neighbour while beating up those criminals and pesky aliens!

The tool will also be getting more camera angles and close-up options , making it easier to use and we have news of even more talented people joining the team in the near future.

Here's the latest full costume...

Latest Costume on Male Standard Model

Available in Colours to Suit all Tastes
Release of this costume is yet another milestone successfully hit, a record they are rightfully proud of and something that's quite encouraging for the fans of the game. In addition to that, Heroic Games are hoping to show some progress with some in-game NPC models and a new full costume for the female model before the end of the year.

Here's a reminder of the main milestones for 2017

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Paragon Chat Halloween Festival 2017

The festival, arranged by the HERC people over on Paragon Chat (that's the Hero Event Resource Committee), went really well.

For various reasons including real life, time zones (staying up till 3am - no thanks) and choosing a disco queen as a toon, I was only able to capture one screen shot. Fer, who spent nearly all her time there dancing instead of earning a crust, has been sacked as photojournalist but will stay on as the accounts dizzy dancer.

A night of music, sometimes creepy, sometimes exciting, provided by those talented DJ's over on The Cape Radio and a multitude of costume contests and player events, led to a good time being had by all.

Congratulations to the winners of the events and thanks to the HERC volunteers for setting it all up. And, of course, thanks to the Paragon Chat and Titan Network teams for making it all possible in the first place.

The image above shows a small dance party on the floating island in Croatoa. Behind the party, there were more people taking part in various competitions. We'd have loved to have shown you what went on there but... dizzy Fer.

Here are a few screenshots taken way after the event, just for those memories ;)


Ghost Ship docked at the floating island in Croatoa

The Ghost Ship

Yes, the images are dark and dreary but that's unavoidable - Croatoa is a dark, menacing place...

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Ship of Heroes - October Outlook

An official update for October 2017 was released on the game's forum. Here's a direct quote from the post.
We started our first, small scale Alpha test at the end of September, as scheduled. Currently about a dozen people (none of them are devs) have unrestricted access to the Character Creation Tool (CCT) for testing. We've already had a huge amount of feedback and more is coming in. We're planning to publish a newsletter on the results during October, so everyone can see what we've learned. Also, we'll be doing more of these Alpha tests in the future, so stay tuned. We will be looking for more volunteers.
So, that's another promised milestone reached. Heroic Games said, as reported in an earlier post, that they would give early access to the costume creator for some people to try out, and they have done so. I'm not one of them so can't comment on usage of the tool (though it'd probably be under NDA for people using it at this stage anyway) apart from saying that I like the look of what I've seen so far.

In other news

  • There are plans to release a video soon showing off the new "Lightning Blast" power set and, maybe, some more detail about progress on the "Dark Magic Blast" power set. Now that one sounds like my sort of thing!
  • They're upgrading to Unreal Engine 4.16, it has the benefit of being a stable release with more features. Their philosophy is to stay one version behind the latest release...
  • The team is growing! Two new people have been added. We await further details. That can only be a good sign that things are looking good for the future of Ship of Heroes.
  • A few comments about network tests starting soon and lots of behind the scenes upgrades and tools that are very necessary for the team and for the game but don't have glitzy images to show off.
If all this has you excited for a new superhero game, and I can't imagine why it wouldn't, you can find out more on the official Ship of Heroes web site.

Here's an exciting image to whet your appetite. This is the ship that our super heroes will live and work on as it glides through the galaxy going from planet to planet.

We will get to fight the bad guys not only on the ship but also on the places we visit. The scope for missions on planets of various kinds is breathtaking and I'm getting excited for this game.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Ship of Heroes Q&A, May 2017

The CEO and Lead Game Developer for Ship of Heroes answers questions from 'The Positive Gamer' about the new and upcoming super hero MMO!

Part 1

Part 2

Here's a couple of interesting little tidbits we learned from the videos: The already impresssive character creator is due to be upgraded soon with a couple of 'major changes' that a few lucky people will get to play with, maybe starting in August/September and they're looking to get escorted alpha runs starting about the end of the year (talked about at about 17.30 minutes in on part 1 video). It's very early days yet so those dates may well change.
NPC's are a little thin on the ground in these videos, the game engine has been upgraded and things are still being updated to suit the new requirements.

We have confirmation  that all characters will be able to fly from level 1 and that players can fly through gaps in buildings, etc. and land on ledges and such things. In the second video, we see the hero flying around in the city under the artificial sky and sun. We learned that the ship itself is 24 miles long and, at it's thinnest point, the hull is 24 feet thick.

The development team is growing and will continue to grow as we head towards release. The game itself will be subscription based, like the original CoH was in its better days.

To me, this is all looking quite exciting, the developers have achieved a lot in the short development time they've had so far, and I'm really looking forward to seeing this game go live. If you feel the same way, the development studio is now accepting donations.

Friday, 28 April 2017

ESO Housing, Grand Topal Hideaway

Nice Scenery!

I took a few screenshots of my wander around the latest purchasable 'house' in Elder Scrolls Online.

On arrival, the area looks huge.

Vast beaches left and right with wooden housing built onto the edge of an active volcano. I'm standing on a very gradually sloping beach looking inland in the screenshot above. Appearances can be deceiving though. Only the front section of the island is actually accessible - you're not getting the entire island for your money. You can swim around it but sheer rock faces and invisible walls prevent you getting to places you're not supposed to be.

The scenery is very nice though. Waterfalls, lots of places to jump from into water and those beaches! Anyone who wants multiple beach parties, or even one very big one, will find more than enough room!

The housing is strange. It's like Robinson Crusoe meets Tarzan with rope bridges strung up between wooden tree houses and platforms. It all works quite well and they provided short cuts for people in a hurry - it's possible to jump off the bridges onto platforms and rocks.

So, is it worth the asking price?

This one can't be bought with ingame gold. It's a (very) limited duration crown store only item costing 15000 crowns unfurnished and 18500 crowns furnished. For that you get a usable area which is somewhat larger than the Hundings Pallatial Hall which costs 6500/8100 crowns unfurnished/furnished. Whereas the hall is nice and compact and has a building with a couple of floors plus a small beach, the island area is spread out over a much larger area. The dwellings and other areas are scattered about and are, frankly, a pain to get to because they're only accessible via rope bridges.
On the other hand, it does look very nice in a secluded island sort of way and you get some lovely looking flat beaches whereas the hall's beach is tiny and on a slope. The housing area is cut off from the rest of the island by flowing lava. It is possible to swim past the lava but invisible walls and sheer cliffs prevent access to the rest of the island.

Personally I was a little disappointed with it. For that price I was expecting to be able to access the entire island rather than just a little area at the front where the beach and housing is located. Whether it's worth the money is a personal choice, obviously. I  bought the Hundings Pallatial Hall so I really don't need this island as well... especially considering the lack of utility housing offers at present. That will probably change though as the developers work on increasing the usefulness of housing (hopefully!).

For me it's too expensive for what you get; quite a lot of empty space (albeit beautiful) and a few little wooden buildings. Others might disagree, of course ;)

Note: If the images look a little vivid, it's because I accidentally ran unsharp mask and colour enhancement filters on them. They still serve to show the area quite well though so I decided to keep them.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Couple of Screenshots from Conan Exiles

I've been playing Conan Exiles, both on a local server just to get a feel for the game and on a private PvE server; people who know me know that I have zero patience for PvP ;)

Conan Exiles is a survival game developed by Funcom in which, on a PvE server, everything that isn't another player wants you dead. Everything from the environment to spiders and dragons, and the ever present hunger and thirst.

It's been fun. It's not perfect, there are lots of strange things going on and odd little (and not so little) bugs but the game is in early access on Steam so that's to be expected. The developers are getting on top of the bugs and updates are coming regularly.

For me, the fun is in building and... well, you can do some crazy things with the building tools in the game. I took a screenshot of someone elses tower... and yes, tower is the only word you can use to describe this thing, I think the person building it will need oxygen soon...

Back to more mundane things, the scenery in this game is amazing. At present it only has one 'biome', a desert, and it's not a place in which you'd want to get lost! There is water, if you know where to find it and plenty of food, as long as you like meat. Other biomes are coming, maybe later in early release or maybe we'll have to wait till after the 'proper' release of the game. Time will tell.

As I wander around trying to stay alive, I'll grab some more screenshots to post in later articles. People have built some amazing structures and they've been working on their defences for 'The Purge.' What's that I hear you ask?
Oh, you didn't? Well, I'll tell you anyway. The Purge is the name of an event (I believe it can be disabled on private servers) which is due to be introduced at some stage in which hordes of npc's will roam the area attacking any players and their structures that they come across. They will, basically, cleanse the area of unprotected/unused structures and generally give the players a hard time. It's not yet known how strong the npc's will be, that's something we'll just have to wait and see!

More later...

Friday, 7 April 2017

Ship of Heroes Kickstarter Cancelled

Sadly, the developers of the new mmo Ship of Heroes have had to cancel their kickstarter. Development continues with slightly lower goals and an alternative funding method planned. You can read more about it on their kickstarter update page.

The developers are now aiming for what they call a 'soft launch' with a smaller version of the game launching late 2018 which will be expanded as the players get involved with the game and subscribers arrive.

Discussion over the cancelled kickstarter is taking place on the sites forum.

Also a very informative and interesting youtube video from DM21 Gaming:

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Ship of Heroes - A Successor to City of Heroes?

There are a few superhero MMO's in development right now following the sad demise of City of Heroes. One that recently came to my attention is Ship of Heroes. It has been in development for some time with a team of ex-CoH players putting their own money into the project.

The game takes place inside a huge ship. Yes, you read that right...a ship! There are cities within the ship, the image is part of Apotheosis City, just one of the many in the ship. But it seems that someone left the ports open when it docked and dangerous alien life forms secured a foothold on the ship. There are also attacks from other alien life forms from outside, it seems that human expansion across the universe isn't always welcome - who'd have thought it!
Which, of course, is where our superheroes come in. The material used to power the ship has had a strange effect on some of the humans on board, resulting in them gaining super powers. Such 'heroes' can fly from the start, take on roles in defence of the ship and the human life it carries in both PvE and PvP. In addition to saving the day, heroes can also join the ship's crew or even hide from the authorities on the ship if they have a darker side.
As the ship travels through space, it will dock periodically at new worlds, other ships, space stations, etc.,  giving access to new missions, material, monsters and suchlike.

Here's a quote directly from the website: Ship of Heroes is going to balance ease of play with complexity and diversity of content.

A number of videos have been released giving us a taste of what's to come. One of which is the character creator. It's an impressive looking tool. Here's the video, definately worth a look. Each part of an outfit can be given individual colours and patterns and it's planned to have customisable colours for powers as well.

The game follows in the footsteps of the original City of Heroes archetypes, launching with Tanker, Scrapper, Defender and Blaster. Promised for the near future are Controllers and Commanders with the possibility of some others being added to the game later.

If you're interested in the game, and I can't imagine why you wouldn't be, it hits Kickstarter on 4th April 2017. Head on over to the Ship of Heroes website, sign up and be part of the startup of a brand new MMO :)

Unfortunately, the Kickstarter for Ship of Heroes has been cancelled. Development of the game, however continues unabated with donations being taken onsite.