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Author Topic: NCSoft buys City of Heroes  (Read 2711 times)
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« on: November 07, 2007, 03:53:02 AM »

But wait, you say, didn't NCSoft already own City of Heroes? Apparently not:

Quote
NCsoft Announces New Studio in North California; Takes Full Ownership of Successful City of Heroes Property
 

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 6, 2007—NCsoft® Corp, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, today announced the formation of a new development studio in Mountain View, California. The announcement comes as the company begins a renewed push to further develop the City of Heroes® property, which is now 100 percent owned by NCsoft. Previous to today, ownership of the intellectual property (IP) was split between NCsoft and Cryptic Studios, the original developer of the project.

The new studio will be built around key members of the City of Heroes team from NCsoft and Cryptic Studios including the art, programming and design team leads.

“We’re happy to announce that NCsoft has acquired full ownership of the City of Heroes IP,” said Brian Clayton, NCsoft executive producer and manager of the new studio. “Our plans are clear. We are now in a position to make a major reinvestment in the City of Heroes product line. With our existing Cryptic and NCsoft team as the core, we will be able to run our current service without any interruption to our players, expand our studio to deliver triple-A content, and take City of Heroes to new heights.”

NCsoft will soon be announcing formal plans for the City of Heroes IP, which will include expansions and sequels to the popular comic-book inspired massively multiplayer online (MMO) game.

Matt Miller, Lead Designer on the City of Heroes project and formerly with Cryptic Studios said, “We’re thrilled to be bringing the CoH franchise to the next level. And we couldn’t be more pleased to be working completely under the NCsoft banner. We feel that City of Heroes’ best days are in front of it.”

For more information about City of Heroes, go to http://www.cityofheroes.com.

About NCsoft Corporation
NCsoft North America is headquartered in Austin, Texas and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation. NCsoft, with its own development and publishing offices in Texas and California, also works with other NCsoft subsidiaries and third party developers throughout North America to develop and publish innovative online entertainment software products. The company has successfully launched multiple online titles in the last three years and continues to support its franchises, which include Lineage®/Lineage II, City of Heroes/City of Villains®, Guild Wars®/Guild Wars Factions®/Guild Wars Nightfall®/Guild Wars: Eye of the North™, Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa® and Dungeon Runners™. More information about NCsoft can be found at http://www.plaync.com.

So...what does this mean to you? This:

Quote
Now back to you, the players. You are the lifeblood of our game. In celebration of our new studio and our exciting plans, and in order to thank you for the fantastic community that you have built, we are pleased to announce the following.

Full Access to City of Heroes and City of Villains®
All players with City of Heroes retail* accounts will now have access to City of Villains, and all City of Villains retail* accounts will now have access to City of Heroes. Players that didn't previously have access to "the other side" will find that they do now. Just log in to check it out!

Debt Wipe
After the launch of Issue 11: A Stitch in Time this Fall, we are removing Debt from all characters and giving you a fresh start. Actual date will be announced shortly. Have fun in the mean time.

20,000 Prestige
Also after the launch of Issue 11, all Supergroups will receive an additional 20,000 Prestige per Supergroup member, meaning SGs could acquire up to 3 million Prestige based upon their Supergroup membership roster! Actual date will be announced shortly.

In the near future we will begin to share more information about our development plans. With this major reinvestment and effort ahead of us, we will take City of Heroes to new heights!

Sincerely,

The City of Heroes Team

Personally, the bonus Prestige for all Supergroups is a good thing - time to get in a bunch of alts just for the money! I want an awesome base! biggrin
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 08:04:38 PM »

Interesting stuff. I was a 3 1/2 year COH/COX subscriber who recently quit. I'm seeing this as partly the realization Cryptic's going to focus on Marvel Universe as time goes on and it maybe doesn't make much sense for them to keep working on this too (so it makes sense for NCSoft to acquire the actual property and titles if they're committed to the series' future). I'll be curious though if this shift prohibits Cryptic from using any sort of COX technology for Marvel Universe (even a variation of the costume creator for example).

I got increasingly disgruntled at what poor shape the last few updates shipped in (i.e., waaaaaaay more buggy than earlier updates, often updates lauched with huge "known issues" lists on the splash screen), and some bizarre lapses like when they botched the global chat friends lists and realize they had no program in place to back those up. So if they are reinvesting, I hope that's something that improves.

Blackjack was the name of my favorite scrapper (Martial Arts/Regen), who was at level 44 when I quit.  icon_cool

Also, obviously long time fans are concerned, and the dev and community (moderators) digests there are worth checking if you're interested in how all this is going to go down (devs are probably not allowed to comment on this much specifically just yet):

City of Heroes official forums Dev Digest tracker:
http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=312062&an=0&page=0&gonew=1#UNREAD

COH Community Digest tracker [moderator posts - lots and lots on this subject]
http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=7401350&an=0&page=0&gonew=1#UNREAD
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 08:22:54 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2007, 08:22:35 PM »

From the moderator's [Ex Libris] posts there, here's a few tidbits (I used to be a COH news junkie and I would scour for this sort of thing but I am way out of practice smile):

Quote
Fan Q: What do the parties have to game from this?
-NCsoft acquires two award winning titles to add to their list of supported games. Also NCsoft is poised to open a new studio in Northern California in a very strategic location where recruitment of experienced talent is located.
-Cryptic Studios is able to fully focus on their current project. [Marvel Universe Online]
-The players should be seeing more resources and development for the title they love and support.

Q: Who from the current dev team will keep working on the game as part of NCSoft's new studio?
Everyone from the current team signed on with NCsoft, this includes.

Sexy Jay [costume designer]
Ghost Widow
War Witch [levels and missions designer]
BAB's [seems to work on weapons and power sets]
Castle [designer]
Positron [lead designer, Statesman has focused on MUO for about the last year I think]
all the programmers and other design staff that are not currently under signature names.

CuppaJo is working on Tabula Rasa and that is a project that she has been on for over a year and is very dedicated and excited about. Not to say she didn't love COH/COV but she made the choice to move to that project and I don't foresee that changing in the near future, especially since they just launched last week.

Q: Who's staying at Cryptic?
With one exception [I'm not sure who that is, I don't think they're refering to Emmert/Statesman], everyone who was presented with an offer to stay on the City of Heroes team under the NCsoft banner has accepted and is looking forward to working hard on the future of the franchise!

Q: i)Will we have a game to play over the next year or so?
ii)Does this move signal faster release of issues?
iii)Will there be a new 'Statesman'?
iv)Will City of Villains see new content added to it?
v)Will sub fees increase?


) The game will remain online and constant for the next year with our regular publishing schedule intact. We are in negotiations now about hardware upgrades for the servers, so there may be some down time associated with that, but it should be minor and we will be in communication with the community when that transpires.

ii) We hope this signifies faster iteration, with more people, more resources, and less communication sticking points all arrows point to yes.

iii) Statesman as the signature character will be determined, if I had my druthers it would be something the Community Team would acquire rights to, one can dream right?

iv) City of Heroes and City of Villains will be seeing new content. Both are award winning titles, and both deserve some attention, with additional resources we hope to be bringing the community wish lists to fruition.

v) Subscription fees will be determined by NCsoft, NCsoft has been researching every possible business model possible and will not make any decision affecting the community without clearly determining the bonus/backlash. [I'd like to think, if anything, they'd consider reducing the monthly fee-Blackjack]

I'll add to this, the official forums seem to be running slow today there. I really do like that their devs and moderators all participate on their boards, even when an update has been bug-ugly or some thing like Enhancement Diversity caused a lot of frustration. Apparently they're adding staff (advertising for 19 new positions), and since only one current dev team member turned down the offer to continue working on it, I guess that's about 18 net new folks.

Maybe by early next summer I might want to re-visit the game. smile
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 08:38:57 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 09:10:49 PM »

Glad to hear this game is doing well.  Even though I only played it for a short time, I still have fond memories of it (Super Jump is the best way to travel, ever, in any game).
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2007, 09:46:48 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on November 07, 2007, 09:10:49 PM

Glad to hear this game is doing well.  Even though I only played it for a short time, I still have fond memories of it (Super Jump is the best way to travel, ever, in any game).

Until you land in a pile of mobs that turn your way and beat you to a bloody pulp. biggrin

But yeah, SJ rules. But I'm more of a Fly person myself, simply due to Air Superiority.
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 10:52:18 PM »

I initially didn't like Super Speed, and then all my last few heroes used it. Aside from a couple of painful areas (that could usually be traversed with the bonus jetpack temps given out at some special events), I became too impatient to use anything else. smile

People have often put COX down for not achieving WoW-like numbers but I think they've been quite happy with its 100,000-200,000 level subscribership over the years. In a genre full of horrific launches, fast burnouts and cancellations, there's something to be said for having achieved a relatively stable and solid playerbase since April 2004. Even if I got tired of waiting for a mission more interesting than clicking on glowies and "escort the idiot NPC."  icon_biggrin If Auto Assault could've achieved even half of COH's numbers (AA's numbers were something like 15,000-20,000 depending on whose estimates you read), it probably could've avoided cancellation, imho.
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2007, 05:24:04 PM »

I'm personally very happy with this move.  I think it's great that the people who write the checks and the people who make the game are all under one roof.

I believe I read somewhere that the 20,000 bonus prestige per Supergroup member is being applied AFTER Issue 11 comes out (probably post Thanksgiving), which is doubly awesome since I11 will expand the upper limit of SGs from 75 members to 150.
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2007, 07:52:44 PM »

Quote from: drake113 on November 08, 2007, 05:24:04 PM

I believe I read somewhere that the 20,000 bonus prestige per Supergroup member is being applied AFTER Issue 11 comes out (probably post Thanksgiving), which is doubly awesome since I11 will expand the upper limit of SGs from 75 members to 150.

You are correct. If you have 150 people in your SG, that'll be 3 MILLION Prestige. That'll be MORE than enough to fully stock out a SG base and then some.

Bases are fun to play around with, even though what you can do with them is (unfortunately) limited. I just need more money, and it's hard to come by with only a 3 player SG (yes, we all have a bunch of alts in the SG for the initial boost).
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2007, 08:55:18 PM »

Couple of the devs posted in more detail (they are excited about continuing to work on the game with hopefully more resources). I assume NCSOft just wanted them to wait a day until they got the word out and the community reps answered some player questions.

Back Alley Brawler (dev)
http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=general&Number=9575970&bodyprev=#Post9575970
Quote from: Back Alley Brawler
All of those things that we've had to push back or write off as taking too many resources to get done in the limited time frames and limited manpower. All of the bugs or QoL issues that have been lingering for what seems like forever because the programmers were too busy fixing the major bugs. All of those really big pie in the sky ideas that we've dreamed about for so long and couldn't do because there was no one who could implement them...that's all back on the table.

The sky is literally the limit. It's been really tough having to make decisions on what would be the 'best bang for the buck' and I'm really looking forward to having the recourses so that won't be such a deciding factor moving forward.
War Witch (designer Melissa, who has worked on the game since about 2002)
http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=general&Number=9572764&bodyprev=#Post9572764

Also, a NCSoft Europe official said something (gamebiz interview) about there probably being a new "City of" game, along with continued updates/expansions for the existing games.

None of this is enough to bring me back to the game right now (just got too much else to play!) but I have a soft spot for the game, and hope springs eternal. smile

Apparently one thing they are really keen on is hiring more engineers to specifically work on lingering SG base issues. Hopefully the result of everything will be like "Extreme Makeover: City of Heroes Edition"
« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 09:30:38 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2007, 09:44:32 PM »

And here I thought the first CoX 'expansion' was going to be Marvel Online. I'm SO glad that I was wrong on this.

Heroes rules! And I can't wait to see what the devs get working in the future.
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2007, 10:28:53 AM »

I loved my time in CoH. I never did play CoV........The WoW monster came on the scene. But shoot, I might just go back and rekindle the flame.

Paul
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2007, 12:04:20 PM »

It looks like Sean Fish aka Manticore is returning as well.

I've always liked the community managers, CuppaJoe was sorely missed when she left for Tabula, and how they are very active with the forum members. I wish that the actual members of the team posted more though. Hopefully this will also mean that they listen to the community more. I can remember the debacle of Enhancement Diversification that was Statesmans last big push. The community was dead set against it (I can't even remember how many pages that thread had. Well over 500 I believe), but it didn't matter because this was his game. Huge reason why myself and others left. So again I hope that this is a good sign as things were certainly looking up when Positron got control of the franchise.

And you really should try CoV, much better game. Robotic/Traps Mastermind was the most fun I've ever had despite the fact that you had to respawn and upgrade them everytime you exited or entered an instance or area.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 12:06:35 PM by Andrew Wonser » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2007, 12:41:49 PM »

I probably lost a third of my global friends list buds over the Enhancement Diversity stuff. Although they're probably committed to PVP, I felt like introducing PVP introduced an utter Pandora's Box of balancing issues (as much as they tried to say they wouldn't let PVP issues bleed into PVE effects, that kept cropping up).

I mainly gave up recently because I had too much non MMO stuff to play (I'll probably unplug from LOTORO soon too, haven't hardly played at all in months), and because, well, clicking glowies, escort missions and the like had just lost their appeal. If they can revamp a lot of areas as well as they did ... uh.... oh dang I can't remember the zone's name I've been away so long. The Hazard Zone that got revamped a few updates ago.  icon_confused
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2007, 02:38:28 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Wonser on November 10, 2007, 12:04:20 PM

It looks like Sean Fish aka Manticore is returning as well.

Very, very cool. biggrin

And short of a few months, I've been with CoX from the beginning (after having a few friends drag me into the game stating just how cool it was). Got my 33 month Veteran reward last month or so. So I've seen a lot with the game.

ED was a good thing in my mind. Without it, Heroes were just too powerful. Damaged ruled over all, and if you didn't slot 1 Accuracy and 5 Damage into your main powers, you were gimping yourself. Now there's actually a need for the other enhancements, and it makes the Invention Sets completely worth slotting in.

Why have I stuck with CoX for so long? I guess I was always rooting for the little guy. They never hit the giant sales figures that the 10 ton gorilla that WoW was, but the game was so different, and so much fun, I never wanted to see it fail.

Arclight - now you should have both CoH and CoV to play on your account. Time to sign back up and give it a shot. smile
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2007, 08:48:52 PM »

Official site has some fun links recapping the recent Cox-focused Player-Developer meet 'n greet in California:
http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=info&Number=9771403&bodyprev=#Post9771403

You can get some glimpses of CoX devs in the flesh (and there's a lot of flesh, Positron esp. is not a diet commercial-looking fella, but hey, they probably have to spend 18 hours a day in front of a computer, right?  icon_biggrin), esp. in the Massively.com piece:
http://www.massively.com/2007/12/05/additional-notes-on-the-ncsoft-qanda/

Sounds like they are finally going to create a Web page database system where each character will have a page. They said you'll be able to hide things like Statistics, Powers, Badges, and Friends from the character page, but most of your other info will be available for few and searchable. The options have actually been in the options menu for years (I recall 2-3 settings labeled "show on public Web page," etc.), but perhaps the NCSoft acquisition will finally give them the manpower/resources to implement it.

There are several photos of this new Web page data system (tabbed). Here's one:
http://www.massively.com/gallery/cox-meet-and-greet-q-and-a-session/518033/
Again, it seems like you can "turn off" certain tabs if you don't want other players prying too far into how you set up your enhancements and such (probably more of a concern for PvP players).

They have some funny captions. This one in particular points out an NCSoft marketing rep giving "Castle" (a CoX designer and frequent forum poster) the evil eye when he seems to give too much detail answering a fan's question:
http://www.massively.com/gallery/cox-meet-and-greet-q-and-a-session/518032/

Also of interest, this photo seemed to show 4 new/different servers than what is currently available:
http://www.massively.com/gallery/cox-meet-and-greet-q-and-a-session/518037/

And I just sent Scott Kurtz (PVPOnline comic) an e-mail cause his increasingly famous "Joss Whedon is my Master Now" T-Shirt has a cameo at the meet 'n greet:
http://www.massively.com/gallery/cox-meet-and-greet-q-and-a-session/518038/
I can't quite tell who the guy is though -- he has a blue ID tag so I assume he's one of the CoX devs.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 09:03:30 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2007, 01:16:33 AM »

Was speaking today with a friend that was at the meet-n-greet.
Sounds like there are some cool things in store.
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2008, 03:46:39 PM »

I'm going to re-up to this later today to test out the changes since I last played (which was a long long time ago).

If any of you want to do the Invite a Friend Back, let me know.
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« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2008, 05:15:28 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on February 20, 2008, 03:46:39 PM

I'm going to re-up to this later today to test out the changes since I last played (which was a long long time ago).

If any of you want to do the Invite a Friend Back, let me know.

I haven't played this game since launch! Would be interesting to try this out again.
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2012, 02:58:22 PM »

I was leafing through NCSoft's job listings (per my now ex-BLizzard tech support bud, who's presumably job hunting).

The Mountain View, Calif. office is tasked with "building on City of Heroes," and has a lot of job listings related to a "next-gen MMO":
http://us.ncsoft.com/en/jobs/nc-norcal.html
*Not a lot of specific hints there, though the listings usually mention "Avid MMO player, especially of City of Heroes." The game's 8 years old (older in terms of when it was under development) so it seems overdue for a followup even if it's named something else. Though I guess WoW is only a year younger at this point.
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2012, 05:30:45 PM »

There were plans for a CoH2 several years ago. Eight years on, no other game I know of can match the character customization and the combat is still the best as far as I'm concerned. While some of the later zones were much better than the initial ones, CoH needs a massive overhaul on the storytelling front and with regard to questing.

I actually put in job apps to work on CoH a couple of times (before I moved to Seattle). I Paragon were up here with NCsoft.
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