Summer 2021 Schedule

The FHS Justice uses futuristic liquid coolants to keep the engines from overheating.

Our last newsletter talked a bit about the kinds of events we did in 2020, as well as our winter holiday content. In this newsletter we want to talk about the next upcoming event, our overall plans for 2021, and some new areas of Apotheosis City that we’ve created.

 

We’re creating a lot of different types of content this year: task forces, holiday events, challenge missions, big raids, and even some mini-missions. But the main focus for the next few months is on mission arcs. We have 5 main storylines with major mission arcs under construction. Each one is associated with a different department of the ship’s crew; each has its own primary mission contact, themes, and feel. These story arcs are a major component of Ship of Heroes, and you should think about which ones you’re most interested in.

Even the hospital has a restricted area. Dr. Strikewell may send you there at some point… if you’re worthy.

  • Ambassador will send heroes to battle alongside Ship Security against the Nagdellians, an evil empire with endless armies of clones. His missions have the most direct combat, and the largest threat; even just holding the line against them is an accomplishment.
  • Sword Blossom needs heroes brave enough to protect the ship’s engineers and systems from the cunning Dr. Cornish and his Prometheans, cyborgs who stalk the maintenance tunnels below Apotheosis City. Her missions are a mix of guerrilla warfare and mind games; the FHS Justice might just break down without help.
  • Strikewell runs the medical department, and has a network of contacts within the shadier parts of Apotheosis City. Her missions will send heroes after the unruly Yekus Mercenaries, who have recently acquired an extremely powerful artifact. Recovering it won’t be easy, and other factions may also get involved…
  • Iris the Great is archmage of the Mage’s Guild, an umbrella group which tries to represent all mages aboard the Justice. Her missions will require a deft political touch; some mages are power-hungry rogues that must be fought, and a few are virtuous, but most will decide who to back based on the player’s choices.
  • Meltdown runs the Operations department, which organizes most of the harvesting, crafting, and trading aboard the ship. His missions will send players against a wide variety of foes in the pursuit of wealth. Whether you want to get rich for noble or selfish reasons is up to you.

Magical powersets are highlighted in purple in the CCT, or red when selected. Magical heroes will have an easier time with certain missions, and a harder time with others.

Our next major Beta event is approximately scheduled for April-May of 2021, and it will allow our community to playtest several different kinds of missions. During the event, you’ll be able to run through the entire Iris story arc – the most technically challenging for us to create out of the five. You’ll also be able try out two challenge missions and three holiday missions… or just play in the snow of the Snow Lair.

“I’ll fight the snow monsters, eventually. But first…”

Our next newsletter will be all about the event and the content we’ve created for it, but in the meantime, here are some early shots of cool areas that will feature in future content.

Engineers consume snacks and store personalized equipment in these break rooms.

The first area we want to show off is Engineering Sector 2-B, which is deep in the bowels of the Engineering Sector. This is an area which Sword Blossom and her force of engineers maintains – and it is an unfortunately frequent target of Promethean attacks and kidnappings. Though the pictures we’re showing here are Promethean-free, don’t let your guard down; they’re always on the lookout for enemies and possible converts.

Here’s a clean, undisturbed section of the underground tunnels…

…and here’s a larger tunnel section in disarray after the cyborgs attacked.

The second area we want to show off is the Ship Security HQ. Those of you who played in our previous events have probably noticed the Ship Security building lurking in the northern area of Apotheosis City near the town hall and the hospital. Now you can enter and see how Ship Security handles affairs, from waiting rooms to jail cells for those who don’t obey the rules. Today the cells are free of foolhardy Yekus mercenaries and other ill-behaved sorts, but that might not be the case every time a player comes to visit!

Offices like these are tastefully decorated. Physical books from Earth are a luxury, though.

Today, the cells are empty. Most days, there’s someone in there – often Yekus mercs.

What comes after the next event? Well, it depends on the feedback we get from all of you, but we will begin playtesting more missions in a closed-beta system roughly at mid-year, and we still plan to launch Ship of Heroes before the end of 2021.

Technical Notes:

1. The FHS Justice contains a wide variety of locations, each with its own aesthetics. For example, Engineering areas have a lot of metal plates and exposed mechanical parts for ease of maintenance. By contrast, skyscraper offices use panels to cover everything up.

Ship Security, for example, has a number of gated areas meant to keep Nagdellian raiders out.

2. We’re currently testing a cutting-edge Unreal Engine feature called Replication Graphs. These allow multiple teams in separate instances of a mission to use the same copy of the map and art assets on the server. Players won’t see other teams and will have their own enemies, but it’s another way to keep our FPS high. Ship of Heroes is the first MMORPG we’re aware of to implement this feature with the Unreal Engine.

 

3. During the process of creating and testing these current crop of missions, we’ve made too made little improvements and changes to note. But you will see them during the next event. Just as an example, in one mission there are NPC mages who fallow you and fight at your side.

 

4. We also have added additional costumes to the CCT, so you can create a new character if you wish. Expanding the costume options is an ongoing process for us.

 

5. We have made some significant changes and upgrades to the mages quarter, the area of Apotheosis City that generally attracts and houses most of the mages.