News: City of Heroes user content surpasses dev's in 24 hours

Snipehunter's picture

News: City of Heroes user content surpasses dev's in 24 hours - 'Mission Architect' system generates 3,800 game scenarios in first day [GamesIndustry.biz news]

Wow. Great statistic. That's like saying, "It takes an hour of work to build a bicycle and 24 hours of work to build a car. Since we can produce more bicycles in a day than cars, bicycles are clearly better than cars."

Some bicycles are better than cars, in ways, but are bicycles better than cars? Not really. I would like to think that if they were, there would be a lot fewer cars on the highway, when I go to work.

Surely that's true for this content, right? How much of that "content" was simply people trying it out for the first time? How much of it was "throw away" work? How much of it was just really not that good no matter how you look at it?

If quantity of content is really how we want to measure success, then didn't rogue and nethack win this contest, decades ago? It's a different game every time you play, right? That means an infinite amount of content, right?

Surely, what we want to focus on is quality, isn't it?

More content is great! I want a mountain of content, but if that mountain is Bandini Mountain, then things are still pretty crappy, aren't they?

To be clear: I haven't seen MA yet. I am actually quite stoked that they pulled this off and people are liking it - it's pretty big and worthy of praise. In fact, I'm downloading the client again while I type this, just to see it. It's the reporting of the quantity of content generated so quickly, as if it means anything at all, that has me irritated.

Shouldn't we call people on BS statistics like this?

- Snipehunter

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Ombwah's picture

Man dares to go where only cows have gone before.

Hm. Can that game possibly offer more than I remember? There was a sad lack of breadth. Still, the fightin' was fun, if a little too easy as a flying blaster.

But seriously, I have yet to get hands on with it, so I'll reserve comment on quality of content produced, but I bet it's hard to go wrong within the constraints given, and my number one complaint about that game was how quickly I, as a player, had exploited all of my play options at any time. Which is to say, CoX is pretty much just combat, so I can imagine that there aren't a lot of knobs to allow access to; there weren't many apparent to me when I played last.

Maybe I'll give it another shot? I dunno.

im eager to hear your

im eager to hear your opinion of the new CoH/V expansion snipe, please post it when you've given it a look see

Snipehunter's picture

Ma is pretty fun, though there are no surprises

I spent all day playing with Mission Architect, yesterday. It's a lot of fun, though I have to admit I was a little disappointed that it wasn't more in-depth. It's essentially a mad-libs mission creator, which is exactly what I expected, but the level of control isn't all that great.

I mean, you can build any mission you've already seen in the game, which is cool -- but you're limited to the sets/levels as the game itself. I was sort of hoping that, considering they have the base builder already, you'd be able to make your own custom levels.

I'm also not a fan of the 100k limit to your mission file - though that limit does allow for a lot.

Last night, for fun, I created an arc called Plato Station, featuring Auto Assault's army of Justice, or something like it anyway. Smiling I had created a minion for each of AA's factions and classes, 3 lts (one for each race), 4 bosses and 1 custom ally. When I tried to integrate them into a four mission arc I had written, I was 30% over-budget. Problem is, when I played through with fewer guys, the maps all felt very "self-similar" -- I needed that kind of variety to make the moment to moment combat more fun. In the end, I had to give up some mission variety (deleting some objectives and their data) *and* some of the minions and bosses to get the arc to fit in the limit. The resulting arc is still fun (really hard though, which is another complaint - I don't have a lot of knobs to tune balance), but not nearly as great as I had originally planned.

All in all - it's fun and I could see myself spending a lot of time with it, but considering it's constraints, I don't see it making CoH my new favorite MMO any time soon. It really is just more of the same, and a little watered down at that. There will be no Frostfyre's in MA content - just more of the same with new names. In other words, lots of Bandini, not a lot of gems.

Still, the reward structure (tickets) is a great idea and allowing you to make your own enemies does help the content feel new and fresh, despite the limits. They've done a great job and it's worthy of praise. I'd definitely recommend checking it out to anyone that was curious.

Here are some pictures:
Mission Architect - Angelica Diaz: My erstwhile companion in the arc I created - Angelica DiazMission Architect - Angelica Diaz: My erstwhile companion in the arc I created - Angelica Diaz

Mission Architect - Human deserter: Those pesky army of justice guys... always ruining my day.Mission Architect - Human deserter: Those pesky army of justice guys... always ruining my day.

Mission Architect - Mutant and Biomek: Mutants are easy in MA, but Biomeks not so much.Mission Architect - Mutant and Biomek: Mutants are easy in MA, but Biomeks not so much.