Ambassador and the Street Sweeper Powerset
Ambassador joined Ship Security at a young age; he proved to be a skillful and charismatic leader, rising through the ranks on merit, and invented several policies on cooperating with superheroes that are still in use today.
Exposure to Unobtanium granted Ambassador extraordinary strength, toughness, and regenerative abilities in his teens, and he soon joined the Justice Corps under the command of Conrad Ritter, who later retired from fighting to run the R&D branch full-time, leaving Ambassador in charge of the organization as a whole. Ambassador has tried many different outfits over the last decades of fighting, settling on his iconic shield and powered armor thirty years ago.
Ambassador wields a shield and a street-sweeper, a multi-effect shotgun of the future; in fact, these guns have become a popular weapon among heroes on the FHS Justice, in part because of his example. Ambassador’s personal gun is unique and state-of-the-art; he has nicknamed it the Punisher Mk 33. Every five years or so, the R&D branch of the Justice Corps redesigns the gun as a new prototype, incorporating new upgrades and technology into it. The current version sports captured Nagdellian technology and a couple of Promethean runes altered to be safe to use. The barrel is made from a rare material known as Quicksilver, which has only been found in a few asteroids in all of known space. Many heroes now go on expeditions looking for more Quicksilver, both to upgrade their own weapons and to sell for a large profit.
Ambassador’s armor and shield are advanced and contain many gadgets, but they are not unique; in theory, other heroes could assemble the same gear, though it is tailored to his natural abilities. When asked why so much more effort went into his street-sweeper, Ambassador replied, “I don’t need as much help staying alive; my powers handle that just fine. What I need is to be a big target in every battle, and to draw enemy fire away from my friends and allies with my flashy attacks. The extra firepower I get with the Punisher doesn’t hurt, either – and if R&D wants something dangerous field-tested, I’m the best man for the job.”
“You, Come at Me!”
Ion Shot in Action
All of the FX, SFX, and animations shown in this video are works in progress, and will likely be refined, adjusted, and improved over time. The video shows the current state of development of a second full powerset, in an executable gameplay situation that demonstrates what a player would experience today with the prototype of SoH.
We have now shown approximately 30 powers as they work in the executable game. This count includes 10 from the Fiery Blast powerset, 12 from the Street Sweeper powerset, and flight, which is a universal power. In the combat sequences of the April build video we also showed elements of other powersets, including Mystic Healing, Electric Blast, and Sword Melee, all of which are being refined and will be shown off in full later this year.
Street Sweeper is a short-range powerset designed for heroes with innate high resistance and defense, to enhance their offensive abilities. The powerset is heavy on single-target attacks, but does include two short-range AOE attacks as well. Most powers have the secondary effects of defense debuff and extra threat. In addition to eight current attack powers, there are the two taunt powers, and two self-buffs: Fresh Magazine and Supercharge. Two other offensive powers are being considered, as are two additional taunt powers, so the powerset will likely continue to evolve over the next 18 months.
We are showing the version of the Street Sweeper powerset which is used by a Tank like Ambassador, who has taunt powers designed to facilitate the tanking role in team play. These are Challenge (ST) and Provoke (PBAOE); these powers cause a lot of threat, but almost no damage. Brawlers would not have Challenge or Provoke in their version of the Street Sweeper powerset. In addition, Tanks and Brawlers both inflict extra threat with all their attacks, while other archetypes normally deliver threat only through damage. We are also looking into making the extra threat a toggle that can be turned off for situations where multiple tanks want to work together.
We are showing both cast and channeled powers in this video, and powers can be instant or timed. In Unload, rounds that hit the enemies stop; rounds that miss move on and strike the back of the target range. In gameplay, we plan for it to be possible to fire Explosive Round, and then fire a second power while the grenade is in the air. We have not displayed Ambassador’s shield in this video, since that might make it harder to see the offensive powers.
Over the last ten years, the average speed of melee combat has been increasing in MMOs, with faster attacks and less time spent waiting before the next attack. At the same time, movies like the Avengers have adopted and popularized the idea that superheroes can be thrown around like rag dolls and just get up, largely uninjured, and keep fighting.
Back when we first announced Ship of Heroes, we planned to launch with three travel powers: flight, superspeed and teleportation. Of these, we judged that flight was the most difficult to get right, so we created that one first. Now we’re introducing superspeed to the game.
The 30th of November marks six years since City of Heroes closed. Today we are releasing a video showing our first version of a new support powerset focused on healing and buffing, as an homage to CoH.