What We Learned from the Combat Alpha

Mar 20, 2018

Thanks to the supporters and press who have gone on the first combat runs in Apotheosis City! You made our first Alpha Combat Test runs a great success through your participation, your enthusiasm, and your feedback.

I think we have seen that playing the game is already fun – but testing and responding is hard work as we are actually intent on making improvements based on feedback.

To have context for this update, go to the Ship of Heroes YouTube channel and look at the Combat Alpha video – you can see the things we’re going to discuss there.

During the various Alpha runs we have done thus far with our community members and with the press, we’ve assembled a list of recurring suggestions that we are acting on. So let’s go through and discuss some of the obvious ones. In each case we’ll give you a time in the video and a screengrab, but it is easier to spot in the video itself.

0:16 – Characters like Sword Blossom and Ambassador should be able to sheath or holster their weapons. We’re working on this now, starting with the animations.

0:59 – Unbalanced FX. Some powersets like Fiery Blast are too visible. Dark Magic Blast is in the middle, while Dual Swords is invisible in the fiery holocaust. We’re evaluating possible improvements.

1:52 – Recharge times on some powers are too long. We need more instant-cast powers, and we are reviewing our global cool-down for powers.  This will also become a poll question in the future.

2:36 – One of Sword Blossom’s blink powers has developed a flaw. She has gained the unwanted ability to teleport outside of the ship, but not to return.  We’re fixing that. Sword Blossom is in mid-animation at the center top of this screengrab.

3:01 – Enemies should attack relentlessly. We have already begun an enemy AI upgrade.  This upgrade will be affected by the poll results you’ve given us on this subject.  Our goal to is to add a new level of challenge to the AI.

6:56 – More combat stances are needed. You can see that while some of the powersets have combat stances, Iris and Green Pants Man simply return to a standing pose between attacks. We will upgrade this soon.

7:42 – The jumping ability in SoH is different from most MMORPGs. One element of this is that we have realistic physics; you cannot jump into the air headed South and change direction to move East in mid-air. But in many games you can. We’ll be running a poll soon on the website to see which option the community wants to embrace.

8:24 – Rooted vs non-rooted balance of powers. It has been suggested that we should reduce the time spent rooted. This is going to be discussed, and polled, in the near future.

10:54 — Sound FX needs review. Some loved the sounds associated with the powers, some disliked a few. We’ve added a game sound designer to the team to review what have now, and review again as we add additional powersets.

As always, the place to share your thoughts, and shape the development of the game, is on our website and forums, at: https://www.shipofheroes.com/

You can donate there as well, to help us create this new game and establish a community with a positive, fun atmosphere.

More on this Subject

The Speed of Melee Combat Video

The Speed of Melee Combat Video

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.

read more
The Superspeed Travel Power Video

The Superspeed Travel Power Video

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.

read more
Restorative Nanites Powerset

Restorative Nanites Powerset

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.

read more

Subscribe to the SoH Newsletter