The Mission Event Begins in July!

 

The Red Sigil will feature heavily in the upcoming event.

We’ve been working hard to set up another Ship of Heroes Beta event, and now the time is approaching.  We have wanted to show off a full mission arc for some time, as well as some other missions.  It did take longer to bugfix than we had hoped, but you can expect to try out these missions in late June or July.  We are showing off the first Iris mission arc, which has several branching choices that can interact in complex ways – more on that in a future newsletter.  Iris is the archmage of the Mage’s Guild, and this arc includes some of the magic and the sci-fi elements of Ship of Heroes.  Some supporters may be invited in a little early to do preliminary team-testing, since we only have a limited number of devs.

We’ve finished just in time to celebrate the summer, too!

In the past, we’ve let thousands of supporters create characters, come into Apotheosis City and run around, fight, test their powers, gather loot, and generally have fun. This time, there will be even more to do. Eight real missions will be available to play. You’ll be able to create characters in the CCT with many new costume options, and also run around in the Snow Lair, which is a Christmas-themed map with presents and monsters, some weather, and heavy snow. And you’ll see upgrades everywhere, from the Mage’s Quarter in the northeast part of the city to several new and interesting mission maps.

“What’s that hissing noise?”-future burn ward patient

At the same time, we’re steadily adding to the game mechanics and content. The biggest addition this time is traps. Currently, most traps are delayed explosions that trigger when a player moves nearby. Keep an eye out for suspicious objects in missions; you only have a few seconds to back away and avoid getting hit. Traps don’t do enormous damage, but they can add up during a fight… of course, a clever hero may be able to lure enemies into the explosion instead.

If you respawn, then it’s good to pick a point next to a vending machine that sells infusions.

The other big addition is multiple respawn points inside mission maps. Look for glowing computer screens in convenient spots. Right-clicking one will tell the ship to respawn you nearby if you die, instead of making you walk back in from the map entrance.  In many missions, we intend to have an automated infusion vendor in the vicinity too.  Convenient, if you need a pick-me-up before heading back into the fight.

Most NPC vendors and major buildings are in the far north. Take a look around!

We have added several quality-of-life features as well. M opens a large map of the current area. Another way to navigate is by using the compass at the top of the screen; mission objectives for the active mission will show up here.

There’s a summary here in case you ever forget why you were beating up the guys in red robes.

You can press J to open the mission list and select which mission is active. You can also click certain locations and NPCs on the large map to set a compass waypoint, which is useful for navigating through the streets with travel powers.

It is worth mentioning that the new content now works well for all of us in testing, with a current bug list in the single digits.  Still, we know that different playstyles, different computer rigs, and different behavior in-game will reveal additional bugs.  Our forums will have a section for all bugs to be identified and described.  We’re really looking forward to hearing what all of you think.  And we’re going to use this event to refine some elements of what Epic Games calls replication graph technology, which allows a given mission map to be stored in memory once and used for multiple teams in separate instances.  This can significantly expand the range of mission content we can create.

Things like enemies and treasure are added separately for each team doing the mission.

We’ll explain more about the upcoming event in our next newsletter.  Stay tuned, because every week we get a little bit closer to launch.

Every week we add a new little touch to the game somewhere.

Technical Notes:

  1. If you are a supporter of SoH and you would like to jump in early and help us with some team testing, please let us know using a contact form on our website. It’s ideal if you can bring a couple of friends along with you.
  1. We had a recent problem with our SoH website, which has been mostly put right. We intend to replace the current site with a new, faster site in the near future, but it will almost certainly be after the current event.
  1. We also plan to bring our donation system to an end soon and switch to pre-sales of the download for the game and the subscription. We have not set an exact time for this, but if you have been waiting to get to the next tier in donations, you have a few weeks to pull it off.
  1. Note that two of the missions available in this event are challenge missions: Choke Point, and Permanent Quarantine. One is offered by Dr. Strikewell in the hospital, and the other is given by Sword Blossom in Engineering.  You do not have to do challenge missions in a team – you can try to solo either, or both.  But they are meant to be harder content, so take that into account.  We may raise or lower those missions’ difficulty depending on your feedback.
  1. In addition to the six missions in the Iris arc and the two challenge missions, you will also get a chance to see what we call the “Welcome Hero” mission, where Ambassador welcomes a new player to his role as a hero aboard the ship. This is a quick lore overview – let us know if we left anything out that a new player would want to know about the ship.
  1. Finally, you will find three mini-missions in the Snow Lair, if you look around. Killing the monster and gathering the presents, for example.  Be sure to leave a few tracks in the snow if you’re in the mood.