City of Heroes' Archon Helios has posted on the game's officail forums from the heart of SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) with the following revealed updates for City of Heroes.
Archon here in San Diego after coming home and relaxing from preview night of Comic-Con. Out of everything there, I spent most of my time playing and trying out the new Freedom version of the game. I enjoyed it so much I couldn't help but share what I've found and collect more data as Comic-con goes on.
First we'll start with what everyone is most interested in. The new powerS. That's right, plural. I didn't try out Time Manipulation, but I did play with the other two sets, Beam Gun and Street Justice.
Beam Gun is a single target focused power set that acts as a primary for Blasters and Corrupters and secondary for Defenders. The damage numbers look low, but the set relies on a special debuff that makes Beam Gun powers deal significantly more damage, somewhat similarly to Sonic Attacks. Expect more details on exact powers in a future post. Beam Guns are primarily Energy damage.
Street Justice is a combo-centric melee power set for all the melee archetypes(Brute, Scrapper, Stalker, Tanker). All the powers have their own secondary effect as opposed to other sets like Dark Melee that focuses on to-hit de-buffs. Most of the set's powers and combo points that make your Finisher powers stronger. This isn't the same as dual blades in that it's not going toward a buff, but almost like a Rogue in WoW. Street Justice is mostlySmashing and Lethal damage and the attacks are punches and a couple kicks with some lighting effects.
The next important part of Freedom is the freedom to make any non-epic archetype either a hero or villain. This is a choice at level one and allows players to by-pass Going Rogue, making the expansion a tool to switch sides and an interesting story mode.
The choice to be on either side comes from the new tutorial that is for all archetypes. Galaxy City is under extreme Shivan attack. Both Arachnos and Long Bow are on the scene trying to drive them back. A new super powered person trying to save your earth from invaders, you fight your way past the Shivan till you find a hero nearly dead on the ground. You are given the choice to save(hero) or leave(villain) the man on your way to the center of the Shivan invasion. Inside you fight waves of Shivan much like the events in Praetoria until a giant Shivan pops up. Fight him till he crawls away and you can now move on to the newly renovated Atlas Park and Mercy Island.
Yes, I said NEWLY RENOVATED. I don't have a lot of details because I spent more time going through the tutorial with different characters, but new graphics, some NPC replacement, and a lowbie trial are to be expected. Yes, they turned the Sewers into a trial. It takes about 45 minutes, but you get 4-5 levels out of it. Not quite the lvl 1 to 8 grinding it used to be, but that's what we get.
With a new business model comes a new way to spend our money. City of Heroes will have an in game shop where all the current booster pack costumes and possibly other content will be obtainable. Part of the new tutorial actually teaches you how to use it by having you "purchase" a free medal from the shop.
The final stop on this post will be the biggest. A new character creation interface. I'll divide this into page by page sections so it's more organized, but before we touch on those I must say the look of the interface is much fresher and more appealing.
1st- You select either Going Rogue or Freedom and your character's origin. Unless you select an origin you will not be able to access the other pages. If you select an epic-archetype and the wrong origin, the game will send you back to this page with the correct origin now selected for you.
2nd- I call this the Filter for New Players. Basically, you select options such as Ranged Damage, Melee Damage, Support, Summons, Control, etc. and on the next page only archetypes that fall under that group will be shown. If you don't select a filter here all the archetypes will appear on the next page.
3rd- Archetype selection. I love what to this. If you remember clicking Blasterand seeing Health: Low, Damage: High and thinking that's pretty vague then you'll be happy for this. On the screen there are about 6 different specs that I don't currently remember and each is rated 1-10. I'm going to make sure to examine this element well.
4th- Power Selection. I dislike what they did here only because I keep forgetting to choose a secondary. Basically, it's 1 page with 2 built in tabs. You have to choose your primary and then click the tab within the page to select the secondary and I was more focused on other things at the time. It might not be a huge problem though.
5th- Body Build. Mostly the same, but spruced up like all the other pages were.
6th- Costume Creation. Ever wanted to see what you would look like with any costume available in the game? Now you can. The new Costume creator lets you try on what you have yet to purchase, but will not let you finish the character with those pieces on. the left/right buttons for selecting pieces are smaller and harder to click and the buttons all seem different to me... it's just something to get used to, I suppose, as someone who doesn't do a whole lot with costumes.
7th- Power Customization. Same quirks with Costume Creation, but as of yet I don't recall any different options for this function.
8th- Register. Like the final portion of the old character creation, except it doesn't look like an up close look at your driver's license. It now has the same look as the rest of the process and works just as well.
One thing about the new interface I forgot to mention is that you can select your character's name from any page via a text box at the bottom of the screen.
Archon Helios, signing out.