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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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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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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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50s (Indom and Excel):  Bluefox (Rad/Beam Rifle Corr), King Pumpkin Spice 🎃 (Mercs/Nature MM), Stupid Like A Fox (Time/DP Def), Poltergeist Prince (Darkness Control/Empathy 'Troller), Capt Sam's Space Zoo (Beast/FF MM), Snake Charming (Mind Control/Poison Troller), The Midnight Bridge (Storm/Rad Blast 'Fender)

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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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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.


_____________________________

50s (Indom and Excel):  Bluefox (Rad/Beam Rifle Corr), King Pumpkin Spice 🎃 (Mercs/Nature MM), Stupid Like A Fox (Time/DP Def), Poltergeist Prince (Darkness Control/Empathy 'Troller), Capt Sam's Space Zoo (Beast/FF MM), Snake Charming (Mind Control/Poison Troller), The Midnight Bridge (Storm/Rad Blast 'Fender)

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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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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, 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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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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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.


_____________________________

50s (Indom and Excel):  Bluefox (Rad/Beam Rifle Corr), King Pumpkin Spice 🎃 (Mercs/Nature MM), Stupid Like A Fox (Time/DP Def), Poltergeist Prince (Darkness Control/Empathy 'Troller), Capt Sam's Space Zoo (Beast/FF MM), Snake Charming (Mind Control/Poison Troller), The Midnight Bridge (Storm/Rad Blast 'Fender)

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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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On 11/6/2019 at 11:32 AM, 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.

Where would I find them?  My old computer still works but I can't find those files.

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