So before I begin my series on MMO mechanics, first I need to get some recent City of Heroes news out of the way. Consider this a mid-summer Urbanite Update if you will.
Paragon Chat has been announced as a new and exciting tool for communicating with the greater City of Heroes community. Paragon Chat is basically the Sims in Paragon City. It’s a custom XMPP chat server set up to work with the City of Heroes client. You’ll need the I24 Beta client in order for it to work right and my instructions for getting that are still valid and can be found at this link here. You’ll also need an account on the Titan Network if you don’t have one already. Paragon Chat is supposed to launch some time this week, but that’s looking iffy at the moment.
So, I know what you’re thinking. A chat client. Why is this a big deal? The short answer is, it’s not. Aside from some base nostalgia that the client will surely generate, being able to walk around Paragon City and I mean walk, travel powers are coming in a later patch, it’s basically just Icon with a chat client added to it. However, there’s more to this than a first glance may show.
There’s talk of building bases again and enabling that functionality in the future as well as enabling all powers to animate on your character when you use them. The FAQ is found here. While that still doesn’t sound like much, let me assure you, people are already working on chat bots that can function as combat simulators. The technical details run deep, quickly, but while this may seem like just a chat client, it’s actually a huge leap forward towards getting full emulation. Best of all, there are no real legal constraints with this as there would be if someone broke down and hacked the server code. It probably still won’t be this year, but sometime in the future, we’ll have a functional version of the game in some capacity. It won’t be the same as the original game, but it’s only a matter of time.
Speaking of time, the latest City of Titans update was very hopeful and honest. Frank discussions of past difficulties were revealed and there was good news too. A functional client/server architecture is up and running, which means a game, in some form, exists. Content generation can now begin in earnest. Beta has slipped to 2016 but let’s be honest. Nobody thought that they were going to hit their original dates anyway.
I’ve been down on the City of Titans folks in the past lately, mostly due to my own personal reasons for wanting them to cater to my needs first, but I’m still very glad to see that progress is happening. If for nothing else, I desperately want to see a crowd-funded volunteer MMO launch successfully. The less industry interaction, the better. I have a variety of reasons why I want to see it be successful and, we can get into them down in the comments section later. But for now, we wait as we always have and hope for the best.
Regulars to the site will surely note the change in WordPress themes. It would seem that my old theme was too old to work with the current version of WordPress and thus all my issues with comments. It is unlikely that this current theme will stay but it allows for comments to work so it’s in for now. Yes comments should be working again, so play nice. Stick around next week when I get deep into the guts of MMO economies, discussing what they do, why they exist, and how to make them work. It’s the first in a series of MMO mechanics I’m going to discuss. Hope to see you there.