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nightroarer

Is it possible to retrieve a mission published on live from the database?

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Undoubtedly a question for the dev team and most likely will result in a "no" answer, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

 

I published a mission on the live servers titled "Granny Granite and the Senior Moment Gang." I have my old custom critters/custom villain groups folders, but cannot locate the missions folder or my old design sheets. Would the old published AE missions be stored in the data the Homecoming team has, and if so, can they retrieve and/or release them by request from the original author?

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On 10/16/2019 at 4:12 PM, nightroarer said:

Undoubtedly a question for the dev team and most likely will result in a "no" answer, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

 

I published a mission on the live servers titled "Granny Granite and the Senior Moment Gang." I have my old custom critters/custom villain groups folders, but cannot locate the missions folder or my old design sheets. Would the old published AE missions be stored in the data the Homecoming team has, and if so, can they retrieve and/or release them by request from the original author?

They wouldn't have access to anything that was created on live... If that were a possibility we should also have access to our old characters.

 

Plus AE missions were stored LOCALLY on your own computer not in the servers. Other players who some how managed to not delete their files or replace their computers in 8 years have been able to simply transfer the files from the old CoH folders to the Homecoming folders and then just publish from there. But if you don't have your original files you'll have to recreate everything from scratch.

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1 hour ago, RialVestro said:

They wouldn't have access to anything that was created on live... If that were a possibility we should also have access to our old characters.

 

Plus AE missions were stored LOCALLY on your own computer not in the servers. Other players who some how managed to not delete their files or replace their computers in 8 years have been able to simply transfer the files from the old CoH folders to the Homecoming folders and then just publish from there. But if you don't have your original files you'll have to recreate everything from scratch.

Yeah, that's what I figured. I didn't know if publishing it on the servers would create a server copy or not.

 

I've been scouring my saved files and apparently did not save the mission folder. Ugh and other comments.

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1 hour ago, nightroarer said:

Yeah, that's what I figured. I didn't know if publishing it on the servers would create a server copy or not.

 

I've been scouring my saved files and apparently did not save the mission folder. Ugh and other comments.

Imagine how I feel.

 

I had a story going across SIX story arcs. 30 missions in total that all worked together to tell one cohesive story. They were even clearly numbered in parts so players couldn't mistakenly play events out of order.

 

I left the game before the servers actually went down because the same day the game became free my computer suffered the Blue Screen of Death. So all of those files are GONE!

 

And if you're wandering how I managed to get 6 story arcs... three of them were published on my account and the other three were published on my dad's account.

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2 hours ago, RialVestro said:

Imagine how I feel.

 

I had a story going across SIX story arcs. 30 missions in total that all worked together to tell one cohesive story. They were even clearly numbered in parts so players couldn't mistakenly play events out of order.

 

I left the game before the servers actually went down because the same day the game became free my computer suffered the Blue Screen of Death. So all of those files are GONE!

 

And if you're wandering how I managed to get 6 story arcs... three of them were published on my account and the other three were published on my dad's account.

Ouch!

 

If I get back into creating AE arcs again, I too will have six available. Three on my account and three on my wife's account.

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15 hours ago, RialVestro said:

They wouldn't have access to anything that was created on live... If that were a possibility we should also have access to our old characters.

 

Plus AE missions were stored LOCALLY on your own computer not in the servers. Other players who some how managed to not delete their files or replace their computers in 8 years have been able to simply transfer the files from the old CoH folders to the Homecoming folders and then just publish from there. But if you don't have your original files you'll have to recreate everything from scratch.

IIRC, when the code was leaked, it included all our old characters and those of the players it was given to.  We don't have access to our old character snow though because trying to figure out and/or prove that you really ARE "dr4g0n 213" would be tough and might open a can of worms if someone who wasn't that dude got ahold of that account.  So theoretically those AE files may still exist out there.  Kind of doubt the new devs wanna dig through them for you, as that also hits the "are you REALLY dr4g0n 213?" problem again

 

And I believe that AE missions are stored locally until you publish them, which is uploading them to the servers.  I mean, how would someone play my new mission if my computer was turned off?

 

IIRC anyway.


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7 hours ago, Clave Dark 5 said:

IIRC, when the code was leaked, it included all our old characters and those of the players it was given to.  We don't have access to our old character snow though because trying to figure out and/or prove that you really ARE "dr4g0n 213" would be tough and might open a can of worms if someone who wasn't that dude got ahold of that account.  So theoretically those AE files may still exist out there.  Kind of doubt the new devs wanna dig through them for you, as that also hits the "are you REALLY dr4g0n 213?" problem again

 

And I believe that AE missions are stored locally until you publish them, which is uploading them to the servers.  I mean, how would someone play my new mission if my computer was turned off?

 

IIRC anyway.

Good point. Although for me it would be very easy to prove I actually am the owner of those characters considering I'm still using the same Global name from my old account, it's not a common name, and there are videos on my YouTube channel with the Gothic Sword that date back to when the live servers were still active so if they did have data on my original account and characters it'd be pretty difficult for anyone else to ever pretend to be me when I actually have evidence to prove that's my account and those are my characters.

 

Plus keep in mind these are totally different servers. There's no Freedom here, if you actually know your old account information that won't do you any good... other than being able to log into your NCSoft account which is still a thing because other NCSoft games can be added to that account. It wasn't just for City of Heroes/Villains. That kinda tells me they don't have access to any other that player data because if they did they should be able to reactivate the original servers that those characters were stored on. Or at least a copy of those servers. The data for everyone on Freedom, Justice, Champion, Virtue, ect. is tied to those servers. If the data for all of that was leaked then why haven't any of those servers been copied? Why is it only the game code on all new servers? We don't even have as many servers as we did before so it's not like they just changed the names, they're not back ups of anything that would have player created content with it, it's just the game's base code.

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7 hours ago, RialVestro said:

Plus keep in mind these are totally different servers. There's no Freedom here, if you actually know your old account information that won't do you any good... other than being able to log into your NCSoft account which is still a thing because other NCSoft games can be added to that account. It wasn't just for City of Heroes/Villains. That kinda tells me they don't have access to any other that player data because if they did they should be able to reactivate the original servers that those characters were stored on. Or at least a copy of those servers. The data for everyone on Freedom, Justice, Champion, Virtue, ect. is tied to those servers. If the data for all of that was leaked then why haven't any of those servers been copied? Why is it only the game code on all new servers? We don't even have as many servers as we did before so it's not like they just changed the names, they're not back ups of anything that would have player created content with it, it's just the game's base code.

While I don't have any official response to this (and am not a dev so standard grains of salt apply), a large part of Homecoming is the idea that these devs don't want to risk rocking this boat (we are, after all, on borrowed time until someone can gain control of the Co* IP). Utilizing characters from the live servers was a sticking point early on and got a hard no from NCSoft, so I do believe that someone (maybe the Homecoming devs maybe not) has access to all of our live content, but Homecoming doesn't want to touch any of it lest they get the dreaded cease and desist order, Personally, I've gotten an invite to a private server that supposedly has my old characters on them, but I declined so I don't know how true the offer was.

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I think if NCSoft was going to give a cease and desist order they would of done it already since apparently the Homecoming team is already in contact with them.

 

Personally I have a theory that the game's code was "leaked" intentionally to prove to the folks at NCSoft that there was still a player base for this game. Similar to how that test footage for Deadpool was "leaked" onto YouTube just to prove that the movie would have an audience. He's never admitted it but I really think Ryan Reynolds himself posted that test footage on YouTube because no one wanted to see that movie get made more than him.

 

I imagine someone within NCSoft went rogue... no pun intended... and leaked the code on purpose to show the higher ups that this game still has a fan base and kinda force them to bring it back. 

 

Please take this with a grain of salt because I have absolutely no proof for any of this. It's just a theory... mostly because I can't think of any other way that the code could have "leaked" after 8 years other than someone within NCSoft intentionally releasing the code. Is there anyone who use to work there up to the point when the servers went down that doesn't work there anymore? That might be a likely suspect for someone who would of had access that information. Though it could also be someone who still works for NCSoft as long as they figured out how to release the code without anyone knowing they did it.

 

Whatever the case may be... whoever "leaked" that code I hope they get a promotion to lead developer.

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13 hours ago, RialVestro said:

That kinda tells me they don't have access to any other that player data because if they did they should be able to reactivate the original servers that those characters were stored on. Or at least a copy of those servers.

I don't have time to go looking for it, but the story I got from the beginning of the drama was that they'd leaked out the server code including all character info.  Which annoyed NCSoft as well as some fans who found out the players at the end of the leak were still getting to play their original characters while we all languished, un-hero'ed for 7 years.  So it was just just the game code.


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52 minutes ago, RialVestro said:

Personally I have a theory that the game's code was "leaked" intentionally to prove to the folks at NCSoft that there was still a player base for this game. Similar to how that test footage for Deadpool was "leaked" onto YouTube just to prove that the movie would have an audience. He's never admitted it but I really think Ryan Reynolds himself posted that test footage on YouTube because no one wanted to see that movie get made more than him.

Before it was revealed publicly that the City of Heroes code was accessible, there had been a rogue server running secretly for years with an NDA for the players and everything. Someone on this secret server eventually decided the knowledge should be made public, broke the NDA, and here we are. Outside of a few minor rumblings when the public servers threatened to do something NCSoft specifically didn't like (giving access to live characters for example), the company has been basically silent - neither giving permission nor handing out cease and desist orders. Yes Homecoming (and others) are trying to get the IP to end the limbo in our favor, but I doubt NCSoft is interested in restarting the game at this point. It was barely a money maker when it was live and there was no interest in South Korea, their primary player base.

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On 11/7/2019 at 8:07 AM, Clave Dark 5 said:

And I believe that AE missions are stored locally until you publish them, which is uploading them to the servers.  I mean, how would someone play my new mission if my computer was turned off?

The local copies of AE files are kept after publishing.  I never deleted my old CoH folder, and my AE mission files were all still there.  I just copied them over to the Homecoming directory and they were available to publish to AE.


Reunion player, ex-Defiant.

AE SFMA: Zombie Ninja Pirates! (#18051)

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17 hours ago, BretC said:

It was barely a money maker when it was live and there was no interest in South Korea, their primary player base.

Barely a money maker?

 

As much as I hate to admit this because I freaking hate that game... World of Warcraft was our only real competition. There are multiple games like this out on the market... even oddly enough one that was made by the SAME STUDIO!

 

Remember Cryptic Studios originally developed City of Heroes with Statesman as the lead developer at the time. They sold their half of the rights to NCSoft at which point Positron took over as the lead developer. And I'm using their character names here because I find it kinda funny how the story in game eventually copied real life. Except in game Statesman died but still Positron ended up taking over his position in both cases.

 

Anyway... what was the first thing Cryptic Studios did after selling of City of Heroes? They made a knock off version of the exact same game, Champions Online. Even that didn't do as well as City of Heroes did... even after City of Heroes shut down and a lot of players moved over to Campions Online hoping to get a similar experience it still didn't do as well as City of Heroes did.

 

I myself jumped from one MMO to another during that gap trying to find a game as good as City of Heroes and never stuck with one for more than the free trial. In a lot of cases I stopped playing before the free trial even ran out cause they were boring as hell.

 

City of Heroes was one of the top selling games at the time. It really should be the number one best selling game. I can't comprehend how the hell World of Warcraft manages to outsell us other than maybe it's been around longer because the game isn't even good. That was one of the games I tried... and I tried it multiple times actually because other people kept telling me how great it was but I got bored after 10 minutes every time I tried to play.

 

My personal issues with WoW vs. CoH…

 

1. Custom characters simply don't exist. You can change the faces a little bit and that's pretty much the extent of it. I enter the game and every player I run into all look exactly like me. This is a common problem I had in a LOT of MMOs I tried. In City of Heroes... I kinda had this issue with Stone armor back in the day because it use to completely cover the character. That's not a problem anymore. I also had this issue with the Kheldian forms which is a little less of an issue now with power customization. And the Arachnos archetypes being forced to wear the uniform for their first costume slot. I know they can change that with their other costume slots but still I remade my Arachnos characters about 20 times changing their costume colors until I could play the game without running into someone who looked exactly like me. Even with those few limitations on those specific archetypes and power sets City of Heroes/Villains still has more options than any other game I've ever played. It took me a while to customize certain characters to my liking but I managed it. WoW, you can literally only change the character's face. This is partly due to the cloths in the game having an actual function for defense and damage resistance but they couldn't at least have different styles with the same stats? I mean I kinda got the impression that even if I could customize the look of my character to not look like every other player that I would have to sacrifice stats to do it since most players would naturally want the best items in the game and going for what looks good to me vs. what's practical would probably hinder my character... a lot. The first things you see in these games is the character creator and the main appeal of these types of games is getting to create your own character so I don't understand how a game with the worst character creator ever manages to be the top selling MMO above the game with the best character creator ever.

 

2. Variety of missions... City of Heroes has multiple different mission types including hunting, defeat all, blinkie, rescue/kidnap (hero/villain), defeat a boss, various mixes of all these things... plus with AE you can create your own missions. No other game lets you do that. WoW only has ONE type of mission... Hunting... which is arguably one of the WORST types of missions. It's the only mission in City of Heroes that didn't have a way point to tell you where to go, they just tell you defeat X number of these enemies and you have to figure out where to even find them. That's the entire game on WoW, there are no door missions. Another thing that makes these types of missions so bad is kill stealing. That's not a problem when you're on a mission map because only you and members of your team have access to that map. But an open world hunting mission means everyone has access to that map and likely they need to hunt the same enemies you do. It's freaking annoying. I would rather have to lead a stupid NPC who gets lost if you move more than 2 feet away from them to a door than deal with hunting missions all the time. This is a huge part of why I got bored so fast. I kept doing one mission after another and I was like if I was playing City of Heroes right now I'd have gotten a real mission by now. Why even get quests if they're all going to hunts anyway. If that's all you're doing anyway you can street sweep without ever speaking to a contact.

 

3. Speaking of Contacts... WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY? I was lucky in that I had my cousin and other people who already knew the game to show me where to go because the game doesn't have waypoints. If I was a new player who didn't know anyone I would of quit WoW even faster because NOTHING is explained to you about how the game even works. City of Heroes is really easy for new players to get into because way points in the game tell you where to go most of the time. In fact of all the MMOs I tried WoW was the only game that didn't have a single way point anywhere. Without my cousin helping me out I would of just quit immediately. I couldn't even find my first contact without his help. He basically took the place of the way point for me because the game didn't have one.

 

4. Worse than not having way points is not having a freaking map! I mean there is a map if you want to call it that but it's totally useless. The point of a map is to tell you were things are in the world and help you find your way. City of Heroes did that from day one and the maps even got better as time progressed adding points that didn't use to be there. Like Pocket D use to be a secret club... You either stumbled into it by accident or weren't sure if it even really existed. Now it's just on the map and everyone knows about it. WoW's "map" has ZERO information on it. It's basically the equivalent of the world map in City of Heroes. I never use the world map because same problem, it doesn't tell me anything. The only map I actually use is the zone map and that's what WoW is seriously lacking.

 

5. UI... Honestly City of Heroes has the cleanest looking UI I have ever seen. There's a specific trey for powers, a specific trey for inspirations. You can easily move and rearrange everything to your liking. It's very easy to see when a power is recharging. In WoW I can't see shit. Everything looks the same, powers and inspirations are all mixed together. Even the recharge animation is almost impossible to make out. That last part might just be because I'm color blind. In CoH when a power is recharging it seems to shrink and turn grey till it comes back and is ready to be used again. WoW the powers look exactly the same. There's like a little clock hand thing that appears over the power but this also happens while the power is in use so it happens twice, once for the animation of the power itself and again for the power recharging. And this is so hard to make out when you're color blind that I'm just hitting buttons randomly till something happens. I have no clue what I'm even clicking on because everything looks the same. Not a problem in City of Heroes.

 

Oh and the targeting is a lot easier to see too. CoH puts that square box around the entire character and if you some how can't see that, press F and you'll go directly to that target. WoW puts a circle on the ground around the target's feet which is harder to see and there's no follow so a lot of the time I have no freaking clue who I'm even fighting. They can be standing directly in front of me and I'll still have no clue who I'm even targeting. I've died multiple times in WoW simply because I didn't know who my target was. I'd target an enemy in a mob, walk toward where I thought I was targeting, start hitting powers only for NOTHING to work because my target some how wasn't in range. 

 

All of these things combined just made WoW boring, repetitive, and irritating to play and I just could not understand how anyone got into that when so many basic game mechanics seemed broken and game breaking compared to City of Heroes.

 

I even played an MMO with a better alignment system than City of Heroes has. Every mission was designed with system in place that would push you more to good or evil and it was done so much more fluidly than in City of Heroes. It's not a simple click this option in a window and BAM you're a Vigilante now. Like as an example, you're given a mission to rescue an NPC. There's no window that pops up asking if you want to save him or kill him. You can either just lead him out like you would do in a rescue mission on CoH or... the NPC is actually a targetable attackable NPC just like all the enemies so at any time you can decide to kill him by actually attacking him the same way you would any other enemy in the game. There's a progress bar not only for XP but also for your alignment. It starts neutral and goes more blue or red depending on your choices during missions. If you do what you were suppose to do or if you do something against what the mission objective was. It's actually more in like with what I thought Going Rogue would be when it was first announced... despite that and ironically even being a STAR WARS game that MMO still wasn't as good as CoH cause the alignment system was really the only good thing about that game. The archetypes were really unbalanced. Like one of them was literally just entertainer. One of the missions I got was just to stand on a stage and dance for ten minutes. Pretty much everyone was either a Jedi/Sith (Same archetype you're alignment determines what side you're on.) or a Bounty Hunter because those were the only archetypes that really did anything.

 

Star Wars arguably has a much bigger fan base as a whole but as far as just the MMO games go... they actually tend to under perform for what they should be. City of Heroes easily beat that. WoW was our only real competition... as much as I don't understand WHY WoW is so bloody popular. It doesn't seem like they've really done anything to improve the game play, it's still the same crap that they had when it first came out. They release new races and enemies and keep raising the level cap with every update but they don't do anything to improve the game for new players. They've got something like 80 last I heard, levels of content but that content is just non stop hunting... you know the same exact thing you did at level 1. Our level cap has always been 50 and some how we still manage to have more content without ever once raising the level cap. Our idea of more content involves actually adding content not just raising the level cap and being more of the exact same thing.

 

On top of that... people were also spending real money on expansion packs for City of Heroes that arguably should have been free. I'm not talking about City of Villains and Going Rogue, those were actually worth the price. I'm talking about those costume packs that included just one new costume set, a couple emotes, and maybe some sort of power. I never had access to that stuff till Homecoming because I refused to pay for something that should of just been a free update. A lot of people did pay for that stuff though even though it was a total rip off. A lot of people continued to pay for the game even after it went free because certain parts of the game like Incarnate content still required a monthly subscription. I logged onto Lord Imperial once after I left before the servers shut down and noticed a lot of the powers I had already unlocked had been greyed out because I wasn't a subscriber I didn't have access to certain powers. Had to pay to get those powers active again. They also for some reason decided that Masterminds should be locked behind a pay wall and since a lot of my characters were Masterminds I couldn't even log onto those characters.

 

I think I heard that over a billion players had been logged on the last day of live... considering the entirely population of the planet is around 7 billion that's at least 1/7 of the total population of the planet and with being the second best selling game, only being beat out by that POS WoW... how do you figure it was barely a money maker?

 

Also... South Korea? You know when City of Heroes first launched it was only available in the U.S. and Canada right. So what makes you think that South Korea is their primary player base when the game wasn't even available in that region till about 2-3 years after the game first launched? Maybe it wasn't a big money maker in South Korea but the game had already made millions of dollars before it ever released in South Korea. They were expanding the market to other countries and it did pretty well in most of the world. Their Primary player base would still be right here in the U.S. though because that's where it started not in some country that as you claim never even showed interest. That's an oximoron statement by the way because primary player base suggests that most of their player base is from that area which can't be true if that same area also never had any interest in the game. Only one of those things can be true, either that's the primary player base or they never had any interest, it can't be both.

 

All that being said... I got the impression from reading the announcement and from the fact that there's a bunch of unfinished content they were still working on that the Developers at NCSoft never really wanted to shut the servers down but rather someone higher up in the company made the decision because they wanted to focus on new titles rather than updating and maintaining a 12ish at the time year old property. Usually decisions like that are just about what's been around for a really long time that I can get rid of to make room for something new rather than this isn't making any money so I don't want to keep putting money into it if it's not turning a prophet. That's usually why any hugely popular successful franchise ends is just because someone wants to do something new instead of continuing to milk that cow. Though it seems the most successful businesses like Disney are that way because they never stop milking that cash cow. All the companies that are struggling seem to be doing so because they cancel their biggest money making properties solely based on age. Approximately 10 years seems to be a cut off point because these people seem to think that's about the time fans will lose interest and look for something else even though fans will continue to complain about the cancelation long after the fact.... hence the need to prove to someone within the company that City of Heroes still has a massive fan base. I mean they could shut us down but at some point other people are just going to create more private servers because no one wants to see this game die.

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I didn't mean to push any buttons when I said that, so sorry for the raised blood pressure.

 

Anywhoo. Most of my info came from Death of a Game: City of Heroes, which does a reasonable analysis of why CoH was shut down. Income is covered in a graphic that shows exactly how much CoH was making for NCSoft at the time of sunset (it wasn't much). It covers a couple of other topics such as the importance of a Korean player base (and how City of Hero's failure in Korea had an impact), the shelf life of the game when it was first pitched to NCSoft, and the state of NCSoft MMOs at the time of CoH's sunset. Overall it's a pretty balanced look at the state of the game when it shut down and makes it clear that NCSoft made a decision they had thought through. The link is below.

 

 

None of this goes into the rumored events surrounding the closure of the game, including possible code leaks to Cryptic, so it's possible there were even more factors that went into the final decision we'll never know about.

 

Comparing anything to WoW is a bit of a fool's errand imo. They're very different games and obviously a lot more people preferred whatever WoW gave compared to CoH (I was not one of them). The fact is, it was more successful. Comparing them doesn't change that fact.

 

Edit: I forgot to add that, yes, there was a lot of content the devs were working on at the game's sunset, but NCSoft is fairly notorious for shutting down their games with little to no notice to the players or even the game's developers. Auto Assault, Dungeon Runners, and Tabula Rasa all received similar treatment in that regard.

 

And I'm not sure you can really say that NCSoft doesn't continue to milk their cows long after their expiration date since both Lineage and Guild Wars are still active.

Edited by BretC

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6 hours ago, BretC said:

I forgot to add that, yes, there was a lot of content the devs were working on at the game's sunset, but NCSoft is fairly notorious for shutting down their games with little to no notice to the players or even the game's developers. Auto Assault, Dungeon Runners, and Tabula Rasa all received similar treatment in that regard.

 

And I'm not sure you can really say that NCSoft doesn't continue to milk their cows long after their expiration date since both Lineage and Guild Wars are still active.

These two statements seem to contradict each other. Considering what you said in the first part I wouldn't be surprised if Lineage and Guild Wars shut down at some point in the future as well. It just hasn't happened YET. Though Lineage I think started around the same time or shortly before the shut down of CoH. I don't think it's really a cash cow though, I haven't really heard anything about it since the launch when they offered me a free trial. Guild Wars seems to be pretty popular though I didn't realize NCSoft even made that one, I thought it was one of those stupid phone games.

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6 hours ago, RialVestro said:

These two statements seem to contradict each other. Considering what you said in the first part I wouldn't be surprised if Lineage and Guild Wars shut down at some point in the future as well. It just hasn't happened YET. Though Lineage I think started around the same time or shortly before the shut down of CoH. I don't think it's really a cash cow though, I haven't really heard anything about it since the launch when they offered me a free trial. Guild Wars seems to be pretty popular though I didn't realize NCSoft even made that one, I thought it was one of those stupid phone games.

The first part was to point out the method NCSoft used to announce the closure of their games. Namely that the developers would continue to develop and push the game mere days before it was announced that the servers were shutting down (as is what happened with Tabula Rasa). It's not a surprise that Paragon Studios was blindsided when NCSoft pulled the plug.

 

Lineage was released in 1998 and Guild Wars in 2005. City of Heroes in 2004. At the time of CoH's sunset, Lineage was NCSoft's biggest money maker, followed by AION and Lineage II. Guild Wars was making slightly less money than City of Heroes, but its development cycle was basically over - the last expansion was released in 2007 and Guild Wars 2 was around the corner  - meaning there was very little overhead to keep the game running. On the other hand, City of Heroes had to support an entire studio all on its own.

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20 minutes ago, BretC said:

The first part was to point out the method NCSoft used to announce the closure of their games. Namely that the developers would continue to develop and push the game mere days before it was announced that the servers were shutting down (as is what happened with Tabula Rasa). It's not a surprise that Paragon Studios was blindsided when NCSoft pulled the plug.

 

Lineage was released in 1998 and Guild Wars in 2005. City of Heroes in 2004. At the time of CoH's sunset, Lineage was NCSoft's biggest money maker, followed by AION and Lineage II. Guild Wars was making slightly less money than City of Heroes, but its development cycle was basically over - the last expansion was released in 2007 and Guild Wars 2 was around the corner  - meaning there was very little overhead to keep the game running. On the other hand, City of Heroes had to support an entire studio all on its own.

Oh, it was Lineage II I was thinking of. Guess I got confused because I never even heard of the first one and forgot it was a sequel that was released around that time.

 

Anyway... the fact that City of Heroes was able to support an entire Studio all on it's own kinda shows that money was never the issue.

 

Also clearly someone doesn't understand the impact of updates. Lineage II and Guild Wars 2 being sequels really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. From a Business stand point it kinda does and back in the day before the Internet was used for video games releasing a sequel was the only way to create new content for a game. Now days though with online gaming Developers can just continuously update the original game completely eliminating the need for constant sequels. I think the only reasons business still make sequels is because selling a brand new game means more money for them. But Expansion packs accomplish the exact same thing while updating the original game. City of Villains and Going Rogue were essentially our "Sequels"

 

From a purely gaming stand point it really makes no sense for one game to end only for a sequel of that game to be released as a replacement to the original when it's possible through updates to just add to that original game. The only reason players stop playing a game is because there's no new content left to play through but with constant updates there's never a true moment when you have no content left to play. That's part of what makes MMOs so appealing and long lasting compared to other games. Even after 7+ years I still haven't experienced everything this game has to offer. If regular updates kept happening and there was no shut down hypothetically City of Heroes could last well over 30 years with players from the original Beta still being able to experience all new content for the first time.

 

This doesn't seem to work for the business end of things since the majority of their income comes from selling brand new games. I think if City of Heroes had more than 2 Expansion Packs which give the business people what they want to keep a game running, then maybe it could have lasted longer. That might be why WoW does so well despite being an older and seemingly inferior game because they do release quite a lot of Expansion packs marketed as all new games when really they're just paid updates to the original WoW. Most of City of Heroes updates with the exception of City of Villains and Going Rogue was released as free updates.

 

 

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I don't really know Lineage or Lineage II, so I can't speak to why they developed a sequel. However, Guild Wars 2 was developed largely because Arenanet found they couldn't effectively do what they wanted with the Guild Wars engine and resources, meaning there are other reasons to create sequels beyond simply giving up on one game and moving onto the next (in fact, Positron is on record for pitching City of Heroes 2, but NCSoft didn't bite). As for updates and expansions, it all comes down to "money goes in, more money comes out". Each game approaches this equation differently depending on how much money the producers are willing to give them and how much return on that investment the company sees at the other end. WoW was basically printing money at various points in its lifespan, so in turn Blizzard was willing to pump lots of money into the game's updates and expansions. City of Heroes did not make nearly as much, so their expansions were comparatively smaller. Looking at this debate as anything other than a numbers game of finances is just plain silly.

 

At the end of the day, no matter how well a game seems to play or how well developed the world is or how many fans there are, if the game isn't making money it's not going to survive. City of Heroes wasn't making the money NCSoft wanted to see and so it didn't survive.

 

5 hours ago, RialVestro said:

Anyway... the fact that City of Heroes was able to support an entire Studio all on it's own kinda shows that money was never the issue.

City of Heroes wasn't able to support an entire Studio all on its own. That's why it shut down.

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2 hours ago, BretC said:

I don't really know Lineage or Lineage II, so I can't speak to why they developed a sequel. However, Guild Wars 2 was developed largely because Arenanet found they couldn't effectively do what they wanted with the Guild Wars engine and resources, meaning there are other reasons to create sequels beyond simply giving up on one game and moving onto the next (in fact, Positron is on record for pitching City of Heroes 2, but NCSoft didn't bite). As for updates and expansions, it all comes down to "money goes in, more money comes out". Each game approaches this equation differently depending on how much money the producers are willing to give them and how much return on that investment the company sees at the other end. WoW was basically printing money at various points in its lifespan, so in turn Blizzard was willing to pump lots of money into the game's updates and expansions. City of Heroes did not make nearly as much, so their expansions were comparatively smaller. Looking at this debate as anything other than a numbers game of finances is just plain silly.

 

At the end of the day, no matter how well a game seems to play or how well developed the world is or how many fans there are, if the game isn't making money it's not going to survive. City of Heroes wasn't making the money NCSoft wanted to see and so it didn't survive.

 

City of Heroes wasn't able to support an entire Studio all on its own. That's why it shut down.

Then how was Paragon Studios even formed in the first place? It's kind of impossible for a single game to have it's own studio if it's not making bank. Even WoW doesn't have it's own studio it's just one of several games from Blizzard. Paragon Studios on the other hand wouldn't exist without City of Heroes. You almost never see an entire studio with only a single video game title to it's name because it's generally impossible for a single title to support a business on it's own.

 

Typically when this happens it's a small start up company that doesn't last very long. However in the case of Paragon Studios it's an offshoot of a much larger company that does have other titles. The Developers at Paragon Studios aren't independent like most other small start ups that have this issue, they are NCSoft employees. In other cases it's usually the company that came first and tried to launch with their single game that they thought would be so popular that they wouldn't need other games... or they planned other games later down the line but they didn't make enough on the first to make more. In this case it's the game that came first, it had already been around a couple years before Paragon Studios formed. Hence why I say that studio would not exist in the first place if it wasn't making money. At some point NCSoft felt it was making enough money to warrant having an entire studio just for that one title... and then later changed their minds... or there was a change in management that went... Why the heck do we have a whole studio for this one game?

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Paragon Studios was formed because NCSoft bought City of Heroes from Cryptic (or more accurately, Cryptic sold the IP to NCSoft). In that sense, Paragon Studios is basically the "Not Cryptic" Studios with a slightly more relevant name. The developers (who were Cryptic employees that left to become NCSoft employees), code, and IP were already present when Paragon Studios took over, so financial investment would have been comparatively light upfront. In fact, based on the video I posted, the split may have hastened the game's demise since the new studio was in a more expensive location.

 

I'm sure at the time NCSoft felt that buying the IP was worth it, but we're not talking about when the studio was formed, we're talking about when it was shut down. By then City of Heroes couldn't support a studio and Paragon Studios was closed when the game was.

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I remember several very well done missions in AE in live that no longer exist.

If I could host some of them, even very clearly labeled as "Not mine, I can take no credit, posted purely for homage", I would.

 

Someday, I may get wild and crazy and see if I can reconstruct a couple of them as Tribute to the original author/mission. But heck, I in the Base Editor, I can barely manage to get below my SG base and start creating the beginning shell of an island, or above where I'd like to someday have an Airship or Starcruiser.  I doubt my Mission-Builder-Fu will be strong enough to create good looking mission maps with all the tiny details that add up to so much. 

Edited by MTeague

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I found mission building to be pretty easy, if still a time-suck (choose a map, no not that one, maybe this one, no, no, no, no, OK this one.  Now go check to see if they foes spawn like you were planning no...).  But I liked to make use of all the chances for talking NPCs and the current AE, just like on the old days live by the time it shut down, is still broken for that.


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23 hours ago, MTeague said:

I remember several very well done missions in AE in live that no longer exist.

If I could host some of them, even very clearly labeled as "Not mine, I can take no credit, posted purely for homage", I would.

 

Someday, I may get wild and crazy and see if I can reconstruct a couple of them as Tribute to the original author/mission. But heck, I in the Base Editor, I can barely manage to get below my SG base and start creating the beginning shell of an island, or above where I'd like to someday have an Airship or Starcruiser.  I doubt my Mission-Builder-Fu will be strong enough to create good looking mission maps with all the tiny details that add up to so much. 

There's no map-creation in AE, it uses existing missions maps from the game.  So you just need to figure out which maps were used in the old AE missions you enjoyed.

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Reunion player, ex-Defiant.

AE SFMA: Zombie Ninja Pirates! (#18051)

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5 hours ago, Grouchybeast said:

There's no map-creation in AE, it uses existing missions maps from the game.  So you just need to figure out which maps were used in the old AE missions you enjoyed.

Ah!  Good.  That makes it.... far less intimidating.

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