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What's the hardest part of making a MM set?


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So I've heard before that making a new Mastermind primary takes the dev team about three times as much effort as making any other power set.  I was just curious if the hard part was due to the animations/modeling, or something else.....since I've seen some pretty cool suggestions already for a "Duplication" based henchmen set, I was wondering if that would potentially alleviate the biggest hurdle, since all the animations could presumably be based off the player's own model (like Illusion Control can do now), and from there, it might be possible to "recycle" animations from other powers, like in @Tyrannical's other thread. 

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It's not clear to me the devs WANT to allow for Henchpets that are visually indistinguisshable from a player.  Maybe they're fine with it?  Illusion Control / Phantom Army / Mirror gives me hope. But I've not heard anything from them saying that they WANT to allow fully customizeable MM pets (though nothing writing it off as a bad idea, either....)

 

Pet Buffs, typically make very slight alterations to the costume.  There are slight differences between a completely unbuffed henchpet, a henchpet with the first buff not the second, a henchpet wtih the second buff but not the first, and a henchpet with both buffs. Does that HAVE to stay true for all future MM pets?  Not necessarily. But I;m sure they'd LIKE that to remain true, and I'm sure it's a big obstacle. If players can put in absolutely anything, what visible effects can your petbuffs reliably give?

 

Then there's the pet attacks themselves, and making sure the animations of the pet attacks FIT the pets. The Grave Knights attacks look so badass because it FITS the Grave Knight. It's not going to be so easy to assign an attack to something that might be female, male, or hugemale, might be 4 feet tall or 10 feet tall, might be thin and graceful and might look like a linebacker.  Might be humanoid, weretiger, or robotic. Might have a head? Might not.  etc.

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5 hours ago, MTeague said:

 

Then there's the pet attacks themselves, and making sure the animations of the pet attacks FIT the pets. The Grave Knights attacks look so badass because it FITS the Grave Knight. It's not going to be so easy to assign an attack to something that might be female, male, or hugemale, might be 4 feet tall or 10 feet tall, might be thin and graceful and might look like a linebacker.  Might be humanoid, weretiger, or robotic. Might have a head? Might not.  etc.

They already have that happen with existing player models though, so if we base the pet attacks on existing players attacks, wouldn't that solve it?

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Posted (edited)

I'm sure there's some kind of Mastermind-specific code that is no doubt real tricky to get around, since it manages AI behaviour, NPC models, and modified powers. It may just be that the HC team would rather focus efforts elsewhere, as it is a lot of work for what is essentially one powerset tied to a single archetype.

 

It may also fall down to a lack of available assets. Right now HC can't create completely new NPC models, animations, or power FX, so they're restricted to the material that already exists in game. Beast Mastery and Demon Summoning were the last Mastermind powersets to be implemented, and they each intoduced unique assets, and even Thugs introduced new powers and animations in the form of Dual Pistols/UZIs. The standard for new Mastermind powersets got set pretty high, and it may be that until HC meet those standards, Masterminds have been shelved in terms of future development.

 

Even if HC did want to make something new, it's a matter of finding a niche they can explore while being restricted to the assets we have on hand, and once conceptualized there's the matter of what powers they should be given, how to balance them according to other MM primaries, and what unique mechanics would set them apart from the rest. I've conceptualized a few things myself, but I'll admit it's hard finding a working idea, especially one that the greater community would enjoy.

 

Sadly, it's a real uphill battle without much payoff.

 

Edited by Tyrannical
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12 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

 

It may also fall down to a lack of available assets. Right now HC can't create completely new NPC models, animations, or power FX, so they're restricted to the material that already exists in game. Beast Mastery and Demon Summoning were the last Mastermind powersets to be introduced, and they each introduced unique assets for each, and even Thugs introduced new powers and animations in the form of Dual Pistols/UZIs. The standard for new Mastermind powersets got set pretty high, and it may be that until HC meet those standards, Masterminds have been shelved in terms of future development.

Yeah, that's why I was hoping a Duplication based set, at least, would be feasible; it wouldn't be adding new assets, just mimicking whatever the player model had.

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8 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

@Menelruin I did try my hand at something like that when Phantom Mirrors were first introduced. It was a little too high-concept for the EFPR thread, but I think it's probably feasible all the same.

 

 

Yep!  That's the thread I was thinking of!  The reason I would think it would be more feasible than other MM primary ideas is, in THEORY, every power would 1:  Use an already-player-generated model, to carry out 2:  An already-existing power animation!

Edited by Menelruin
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I think the only issue raised with a Duplication powerset is how do you make the henchmen distinguishable from one another?

 

Obviously the whole point of Mirrors is that they look identical to you, but that may not translate so well when you have three different tiers of henchmen that need to be easy to identify, as well as what upgrades they have received.

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38 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

I think the only issue raised with a Duplication powerset is how do you make the henchmen distinguishable from one another?

 

Obviously the whole point of Mirrors is that they look identical to you, but that may not translate so well when you have three different tiers of henchmen that need to be easy to identify, as well as what upgrades they have received.

Minor aura and/or translucency effects?

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13 minutes ago, Menelruin said:

Minor aura and/or translucency effects?

 

Those might work. Perhaps using the flickering aura Apparitions have might work, using the strange humanoid shapes they form.

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1 hour ago, Tyrannical said:

I think the only issue raised with a Duplication powerset is how do you make the henchmen distinguishable from one another?

 

Obviously the whole point of Mirrors is that they look identical to you, but that may not translate so well when you have three different tiers of henchmen that need to be easy to identify, as well as what upgrades they have received.

 

I don't see why this would be an issue. Just use the pet window for targeting. I never try to manually target or figure out what's going on with my pets by looking at them anyhow.

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1 minute ago, Judasace said:

 

I don't see why this would be an issue. Just use the pet window for targeting. I never try to manually target or figure out what's going on with my pets by looking at them anyhow.

 

I don't think it would be a huge issue, at least not for PvE. Though I believe making them visually distinct with auras/FX would help conceptualize the difference in nature for each henchmen.

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I've also wondered why it's apparently so hard to make mastermind powers. I mean some pets have unique models and stuff, but I think most people would still be happy with pets that are made with reused assets.

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1 hour ago, Beef Ninja said:

I've also wondered why it's apparently so hard to make mastermind powers. I mean some pets have unique models and stuff, but I think most people would still be happy with pets that are made with reused assets.

 

I don't think it was ever harder, just very time-consuming, especially back when the devs were making really new powersets and having to justify their budgets.  A normal set needs animations for nine powers, using the existing player models.  A MM set still needs nine powers + a model for every pet + multiple powers for each of those models + animations for pets being buffed, debuffed etc.  I guess these days people would be more accepting of a new set cobbled together from existing assets, but back on Live that wasn't really an option.

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Reunion player, ex-Defiant.

AE SFMA: Zombie Ninja Pirates! (#18051)

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I pretty regularly post hopes for MM minion customization. And heck, I don't need full character level customization. I'd be fine with "choose style A B or C". It would be very nice to do a girl-gang or valkyrie squad.

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I tired my hand at creating another Mastermind powerset idea, and I'll admit even in my own way of conceptualizing it took way longer than any of the other powersets I've put forward.

 

 

Nevertheless, here's an idea that exclusively uses existing in-game content, no new models or animations required!

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On 5/30/2021 at 4:03 PM, Tyrannical said:

I tired my hand at creating another Mastermind powerset idea, and I'll admit even in my own way of conceptualizing it took way longer than any of the other powersets I've put forward.

 

 

Nevertheless, here's an idea that exclusively uses existing in-game content, no new models or animations required!

I dunno that set seems a little too similar too thugs and mercs. What I meant by reusing assets was more about using already made powers/animations and making some guys with the costume creator instead of making something that would need all new animations like robotics and beast mastery.

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@Beef Ninja yeah, I agree actually, but mobsters/secret agents were some of the top requested MM powersets back on Live, and I figured they would sit somewhere between Thugs and Mercs.

 

The 'Fuedalism' and 'Elementals' powersets I put forward in the same thread were probably better concepts for new MM primaries.

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1 minute ago, Tyrannical said:

@Beef Ninja yeah, I agree actually, but mobsters/secret agents were some of the top requested MM powersets back on Live, and I figured they would sit somewhere between Thugs and Mercs.

 

The 'Fuedalism' and 'Elementals' powersets I put forward in the same thread were probably better concepts for new MM primaries.

If we could customize minions then we could make them ourselves! 😁

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This is the part where I jump in and say "Other CoH servers allow players to customize their MM pets!"

 

Or am I not allowed to mention that?     😁

If you'd rather be Lame-O the Wonder Clown instead of Homelander then you're playing the wrong game.

 

Thank you doesn't even come close to the gratitude I have for the Homecoming developers for resurrecting Paragon City.

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It should also be mentioned that, to the best of my knowledge, the only Power Sets made on Homecoming to date have been the Electrical Affinity Support Set and the Sonic Manipuation Set.  And hints have been dropped about something stone related on the horizon.

It seems the Homecoming Team is being particularly . . . deliberate in their introduction of new Power Sets, despite the wealth of fantastic suggestions and fan-made versions already out there.  Regrettably, that also suggests that a new Mastermind Primary will regrettably be a distant consideration.

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56 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

It should also be mentioned that, to the best of my knowledge, the only Power Sets made on Homecoming to date have been the Electrical Affinity Support Set and the Sonic Manipuation Set.  And hints have been dropped about something stone related on the horizon.

It seems the Homecoming Team is being particularly . . . deliberate in their introduction of new Power Sets, despite the wealth of fantastic suggestions and fan-made versions already out there.  Regrettably, that also suggests that a new Mastermind Primary will regrettably be a distant consideration.

True, but if the community can identify the biggest hurdles they face, then there's at least SOME hope we can help the Homecoming team overcome them ❤

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Excellent attitude to have, @Menelruin.  I commend the positivity.

I suppose there's also the "PvP factor" to account for.  It seems that the Homecoming Dev Team are largely more pro-PvP than any combination of the Legacy/Retail Devs ever were.  As balancing Sets is a more significant factor in the context of PvP, it may also account for their reluctance to deliver on adding new Set content.  Coupled with Masterminds largely being considered to be underperforming in the late-game meta, the Devs (particularly Captain Powerhouse) may want to focus on adjusting the entire Archetype before introducing new Sets to it.

 

Sadly, the answers to these questions have been largely obfuscated, so I'm mainly making educated guesses based on my limited information.

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16 hours ago, PeregrineFalcon said:

This is the part where I jump in and say "Other CoH servers allow players to customize their MM pets!"

 

Or am I not allowed to mention that?     😁

 

Except that those other servers also don't disable the extra costume pieces/vfx that get added when you modify the pets, so you build your thugs to look like cops...then they all get leather jackets and bandannas when you upgrade them. Or make your soldiers into aliens and then they all get army helmets. TBH other server's versions of pet customization that I've seen pretty much suck.

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