Post CCT Q&A Notes from Chat Logs

Chat logs from the end of event Q&A under the arch have been released. The logs were incomplete but what is available has been posted on the official forum. Thanks to Sara-Clare McGeever of Heroic Games and Golden Ace for the work they did in making these logs available. You can read the entire log at the chat log thread.

I've picked through the logs and listed the points that I found most interesting...

UI


  • UI elements can be moved around and resized. Alt-U toggles the UI on and off (for uncluttered screenshots).
  • It's expected that there will be 4 additional power bars available.
  • We are working on controller powersets now. After we recover from this Beta we'll begin some early testing.
  • Player housing is after we work out harvesting and crafting.
  • The number of civilians wandering around can be changed. System Settings-> Manual Tab there is an option called Civilian Density.
  • Badges will be available, giving experience (and hopefully titles).
  • It's expected that we'll be able to click to interact with things like benches, etc. No more shuffling back and forth trying to find the right position to sit on something.
  • Capes will almost certainly be in the future Betas... unless we find them impacting FPS too much. It's expected that capes will be earned, like they used to be in CoH.
  • Hair supports movement but most of the models currently lack the physics to enable movement.
  • Lots more costume pieces, including civilian clothing, are expected to be available by launch.
  • We had a world-class artist make multiple eyes with imprints from real people in some cases.
  • Players will be have a choice of weapons but not be able to create their own.
  • We're close to having what COH launched with in terms of hero costumes.


Game


  • Team sizes up to ten.
  • Other worlds are definitely on the list, but for the future.
  • We have a variety of mission goal types in that system so far including kill, interact, destroy, etc.  and you'll be able to specify multiple goals for a mission. We're also looking at our version of Mayhem missions.
  • Positive community is a big part of this game. We want to make it safe to join a PUG again.
  • On player collision, we are currently not planning for it. In COH an old man with a cane could shove aside a level 53 Incarnate. Also player collision provides an opportunity for griefing.
  • The public quest system supports mutating PQs. So every stage has a success or fail. If the players fail to repel an attack, some dust gets stolen and, presumably, the players can raid the enemy to get it back or the enemies could take over a section of the ship and the players would have ot take it back. The possibilities are enormous.
  • The Beta Club will remain after launch.


Beta/release


  • The next beta, date undecided as yet but expected to be Q1 2020, will be a combat beta, an invasion by NPC's. In the next Beta players will get to make a character or use the one from this Beta. Before the invasion, you’ll have a chance to level up your character, buy augments and infusions, and test your powers.
  • The next Beta will proceed in waves. Each wave will have some number of players... 30 - 50 if we can manage it.

Others


  • It's expected that there'll be a discussion on respecs on the forum at some stage in the future.
  • A different server provider was used for this test, Heroic Games were not completely happy with the result.


Finally, from Consultant: Be active in the forum, and let us know what you want. we do pay attention.

CCT Beta Character and Archetype Distribution

Here's some interesting stats from the CCT beta...

Of over a thousand characters created during the beta,
42% were females,
40% were males,
18% were 'big guys'.

Of those,
28% were tanks,
25% were brawlers,
31% were devastators,
16% were support.

That all looks pretty good from a distribution viewpoint. If this is maintained at launch, all roles will be nicely supported and there should be no problems creating well rounded teams :)

November 2019 Newsletter - Conclusions from the CCT Beta

Here's an excerpt from the newsletter:
The first Ship of Heroes character creator Beta is over, and it was a big success! Participants had a lot of fun creating characters, exploring Apotheosis City, using travel powers, entering new maps like the Beta Club and the hospital, and joining a costume contest and scavenger hunt. Players who were in the costume contest and the hunts gained some Dust and could buy infusions and augments to upgrade their powers. The devs were surprised by how many players went swimming in Lake Fortitude, and tested out their first powers on top of the Justice Corps headquarters.

As always, the rest of the newsletter can be read on the official Ship of Heroes website at https://www.shipofheroes.com/conclusions-from-the-cct-beta/.


And some important notes from the dev team:

The next beta test will be a combat beta sometime in Q1 of 2020; those of you who were with us will remember that our last combat alpha took place in March 2018. 
1. We plan to release the chat dialog from the Closing Q&A on the forums soon! Several people have requested a record of the fun times we had at the wrap-up of the CCT Beta event.
2. After looking at the powers during the Beta, we believe that the engine version 4.21 is the likely cause of the memory leak in superspeed – not all superspeed particles are actually being destroyed. Our next engine upgrade to 4.23 should fix it.
3. We are likely going to change server suppliers for the next Beta, because our new supplier underperformed the previous ones.
4. According to our calculations, we used 46 costume pieces for the male, 46 for the big guy, and 68 for the female in the Beta. We fully expect that this number will continue to climb as the game is developed!
5. We plan to publish a short video highlighting the changes, bug fixes and improvements we’re making in the near future. After that, the remaining changes prior to launch will mostly be in the area of adding more costume pieces.

Post Q&A Session at the end of the CCT Beta

The last part of the CCT beta was a Q&Q session under the arch. Quite a few people had to leave before the end so they weren't included on this line-up we arranged at the end with our characters holding torches as has become a custom.



We're awaiting processing of the chat logs for further details of what was discussed since none of us was able, at the time, to take adequate notes (!)  Watch this space for further info :)

What's interesting, in this image, is the variety of costume designs, considering the rather limited set of individual costume sets available to work with. The number of costumes available was, apparently, very similar to the number City of Heroes originally launched with but lots more are promised as the game development proceeds.

More Screen Shots of Apotheosis City

Took a number of screenshots of Apotheosis City during the CCT beta. It's looking um... shiny! We now have civilians wandering about doing their thing, hover cars buzzing around and we had some (rather overpowered) travel powers to play with.

Apotheosis City - bids eye view!

Apotheosis City - Looking Up

Apotheosis City - City Hall in the foreground

Apotheosis City




The Hospital was open as well, during the beta. Here are some screenshots of that building too. No doubt some characters will become quite familiar with this building - it's the respawn point for defeated heroes...

Apotheosis City - Hospital Interior

Apotheosis City - Hospital Interior

Apotheosis City - Hospital Interior

Apotheosis City - Hospital Interior



And, finally, screenshots of a couple of my new characters out in the city...

Apotheosis City - My obligatory darklet hovering before the arch

Apotheosis City - Calypse selfie at the arch

Next Beta

The latest bit of exciting news is that Heroic Games are planning the next beta for Q1 in 2020. That will be a combat beta in which players will be able to create a character (or maybe more than one), level it up and go out to fight some invaders. That's about all the information we have on this at present but... watch this space :)

The Beta Club Revisited

The Beta Club was open during the CCT beta. I took some screenshots of the inside, naturally. During the Q&A session, we discovered that the Beta Club will still exist at launch but not what would it would be called or where it would be located. That's good news, it does look nice in there, far too nice to be a one use place for a beta test :)

Beta Club - at the entrance

beta Club - Corridor to the Dance Floor

Beta Club - Dance Floor

Beta Club - Onstage

CCT Beta - A few Screenshots

I took a few screenshots of the characters I created in the beta. It certainly has come a long way in the last few months and, though there were only a few costumes at this time, we were able to mix and match quite nicely. As people who know me will testify, I usually create female characters (usual disclaimer about preferring to look at female backsides) so here are some of the characters I created for this beta.

The names will be saved by Heroic Games while the costume designs were saved to the PC so they could be reloaded for the next beta. Great news :)





End of the line

Last minute reprieve for the site. Since it's the only one, apart from the official site and the wiki, dedicated to Ship of Heroes I decided to keep it going, at least till launch...

Ship of Heroes Costume Creator Tool Beta Press Release

Here's something we've all been waiting for: Ship of Heroes Announces Start of Beta Testing on Character Creation Tool.

1st November 2019 is the date.




From the press release:
"We are fulfilling our 2017 promise to open the CCT to everyone who has donated at least $50 over the last couple of years, and let them create original characters using our character models and costumes," Casey McGeever, CEO of Heroic Games, said. "We've received a large volume of suggestions and requests over the last couple of years, and most of these have been added to our character creator. Also, as we promised in the past, participants in this Beta will be able to create characters and save their character names for future use." Those wishing to participate in the Beta have until October 15th to donate a total of at least $50 to Heroic Games. Donations are cumulative.
 Here's an interesting video about the character creator...


Update - CCT Update and Improvements

The latest newsletter, dated 4th September 2019,  from Heroic Games about their upcoming MMO Ship of Heroes talks about the improvement made to their character creator. Read all about it here...


Here's the blurb:

Ship of Heroes is showing their latest round of improvements to the character creator in this newsletter, particularly the high variability of the faces that can be created in their game.  A player can create anyone with their character creation tool.


SoH has three main character models – male, female and big guy – and all of them can be massively customized.  One of the game's strong points is making your own unique avatar, and the devs are touting the idea that the entire game could be filled with unique characters, with no two alike.  In this newsletter the devs show a wide variety of possible faces, including some non-human ones.


Compared to the SoH character creator Alpha from 2017, a lot has changed.  All of the hair models have been replaced and significantly improved.  The amazing avatar eyes have been retained.  Non-human skin colors such as red, blue and green have been added, and each of the character models seems to have more than 40 preset faces.  The faces can each be selected, and then individually modified.  Some new features have been added, like lipstick for female characters.


One of the new features hinted at in this newsletter is the randomizer.  3-4 randomizer buttons are apparent in the newsletter pictures, and the devs hint at a short video in the immediate future showing the power of this tool.  But perhaps the best feature of this whole CCT is that players will be able to use the randomizer for some parts of their character, and then stop and change what they see.  This is an amazing level of customization not normally seen in an MMO.


The immediate comparison that comes to mind looking at these avatars is to City of Heroes, now resurging on unlicensed private servers that may have as many as 100,000 players.  The SoH avatars are much more advanced and more detailed, as one would expect from a game combining the Unreal Engine's graphical power with an impressive level of artistic realism.  The CoH character creator, while revolutionary for its day, did not even have clear faces or distinct fingers, which is sometimes lost in nostalgia for the great gameplay of CoH.


The next big event which will be open to supporters is some kind of advanced Beta of the SoH character creator, currently planned for later in 2019.  The devs have said that the costumes shown today will be available in that Beta.


Ship of Heroes expects to begin combat Beta testing by the end of 2019, with an invasion test.

Mysteries of Apotheosis City: The Beta Club

The latest update is an interesting one. We get to see (and hear) the inside of the Beta Club, there's a new jumping (in air) animation, a view of 'The Sorceress' in her mostly black outfit and we discover there's a badge inside the Beta Club!



Here's an interesting quote from Consultant telling us what's coming next:
We’re building so much new content for the CCT Beta that it’s going to take at least two more videos to show it all.  The current plan is to go through the next big interior map, the hospital, which has a completely different art style and feel.  After that, we’ll do a video focusing on the many different things you can do with the CCT during the Beta, particularly for your heroes’ faces.

As always, you can read the full update on the official Ship of Heroes site.

CCT beta update 18th August 2019

Here's a quote from Consultant on the official Ship of Heroes forum about the upcoming character/costume creator beta and a few other bits of interest.
Let me give another update on the CCT Beta. Right now we are waiting on one thing to be fixed by Unreal, which is their interaction with TrueSKY, which is broken at the moment. We've diagnosed it and it all rests with Unreal at the moment as far as we can tell. So there could be a couple of weeks still to go. 
Since that is happening, we are continuing to develop and add things. 
The plan is that tomorrow we'll launch a short video showing the interior of the Beta Club, our hangout which is the equivalent of a Star Wars cantine or a COH Pocket D. It's pretty cool.
We also had some feedback from a couple of the ladies who work on the game that we need to give our female characters the option for lipstick, so we're adding that to the CCT too. 
I feel like adding the Spiderman quote here, that with great power comes great responsibility. And gosh, there are a lot of really bad lipstick colors out there. But we're giving you guys the freedom. 
We're polishing the interior of the hospital. Not the entire building, but the general interior that gives you doors and openings into other missions of the future. We think this is cool, because of the contrast with the Beta Club, among other elements. We're also expanding the exterior of the hospital a bit to accomodate the enlarged interior. 
Things are progressing. And look for that video tomorrow. You'll be able to enter the Club during the CCT beta.

8th August 2019 - Latest Report of the Character/Costume Creator

Progress on the CCT continues.

We've been experimenting with how to solve the dilemma we've created...we're giving players so many choices, so many options, that no other MMO character creator we're aware of can match us. But this also means that an individual player could literally spend weeks trying out options.

It's important to realize that most of us are not artists, and it is actually complex to fiddle with all of the sliders individually, while trying to achieve a certain "look." How do you want her jawline to look, now that you can control that, for example?

So we face a dilemma -- make it simpler by reducing player choice, or do something else. We opted for something else.

We're adding in some randomize buttons, so that once you choose a model (male, female, or big guy) a player can click the button to see many different versions of character. You can still fiddle and adjust a character one slider at a time of course. Or find a randomized character you like and make adjustments to that.

Then, for costumes, you can use the randomize costume button and see your avatar in different kinds of costume and clothing combinations. And of course you can manually override that and just choose what you want from the options.

Then you can hit the randomize colors (for the clothing, not the hair, etc.) and see how it looks. Or just pick the colors you like manually.

And you can go back and forth if you want to change something that occurred earlier in the process once you have run through it all once.

We now have it on our list to create a video of this, but give us some time, we're still coding and adjusting. But this selection process is going to make it much easier for a player with modest art skills to get what they want, in a reasonable amount of time.

Of course, "reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder.


Another update for the character/costume creator beta

From Consultant:
During the upcoming character creator beta, we're going to give participants an option to run around the city and explore. Some buildings will be open, including one building in the Warehouse District, and of course Ivar & Sons Auction House. But also we'll allow people to jump into the hospital lobby and poke around, and in addition we're going to have a nightclub with a hidden entrance, called the Beta Club.
There'll be a badge for finding the entrance and getting into the club. It's not quite finished, but it is looking pretty darn good.
Shinies! One thing I did like doing in City of Heroes was running around collecting badges. We'll be getting them in Ship of Heroes too :)


So far, the only information we have regarding the date of the character/costume creator beta is that it's pencilled in for the end of August. This isn't a firm date so be sure to check back here (or the official SoH site) regularly.

As far as I know, all you need to do to qualify for the character/costume creator beta is have donated enough towards the development of Ship of Heroes to have reached the 'Stylish' level - that' means having donated at least 50 US Dollars. And, yes, donations made over any period of time on the same account accumulate.

CCT Beta Update dated 29th July 2019

From the official forum:
Here's the current update (monday morning, eastern US time). 
We just finished some testing on the FPS for the CCT Beta map of Apotheosis City, and it looks pretty good. As always, we have a few spots with lower FPS that we're looking at. And we added emissive windows to the City Hall and to a large building in the Science Park so it is easier to run around the city at night. And we're testing with cars and civilians all over the city. It looks really good, at least to us. 
We're working on a "beauty pass" for the characters. Females are done and males are being worked on. One thing we decided to add was a slider for raising the position of the eyebrows a bit. This makes a difference in how the face looks -- intent or happy or surprised -- so we thought players would want to have this option. 
We have a good deal of work to do but we're on track, at least right now, for a late-August CCT Beta. We're also working on a few surprises for the Beta, in terms of exploring the city.
Latest bit of news from Consultant:
We reviewed the hair models for the female characters and we spotted a couple of places where, from certain angles, you can see through to the scalp. So we were fixing that yesterday, and have a couple more hair fixes for today. 
Another item is that we're adding cars and civilians all over the city, on the new draft map for the CCT Beta. This stuff takes a bit of time, and we're trying not to get it too full, or too empty. FPS is still good, because we've been planning for this stage for a few years.
We're doing a review and some polishing to the animations we've shown recently.
We're also investigating nvcloth, which is the latest Epic tool for making capes move, to see if it is better than what we already have. The jury is out on that one right now.
And we're doing a bunch of other stuff too, of course. Steady progress.
Consultant posted a relatively long reply to answer questions about launch dates and such things. Here's his very interesting post, quoted from the official forum.

First, sometimes we get people asking why we don't post the launch date, with the apparent belief that we know the launch date with absolute certainty, but we're just withholding it for ... well, reasons. 
No we do not know the launch date with certainty. And you are right, the schedule to complete is out of date.
So let's talk about that.
Here's what we are trying to do, and also the dates associated with it: 
1. We're trying to enable $50 and up donors to join a CCT Beta, and we'd like to pull this off in late August. From where I sit right now, I can see this slipping into September, but we will definitely get this done. Some activities are on the critical path, and several of them have piled up on a single dev -- and we cannot take those activities from him because he is our expert. Still, this is going to be a big deal, because the participants in the CCT Beta will be able to do the following:
A. Pick one character name and hold onto it for the game.
B. Create a character using what we think is the best character creator in any MMO today.

C. Take their time -- the Beta will likely last for a week or two.

D. Run around Apotheosis City and see the current city build for themselves.

E. Assuming that we do not find some horrible flaw in the CCT during the Beta, we hope that the participants will be able to use their characters in an invasion test (Combat Beta) later in 2019.
 
2. Which pretty much means we plan to have an invasion test or combat Beta later in 2019. Which month, you ask? That depends on how the CCT Beta goes. Again, we expect things to work very, very well. They worked well for us when we were testing this week, as a single player. But sadly, in the history of game development, disasters have often followed successful internal testing. So we are cautious about over-promising. There is far too much over-promising going on in game development already.
3. After the invasion test, in early 2020, we want to set up a series of live Beta tests of the whole game, beginning with mission testing. And we need to establish (by talking to the community) how many missions we need to have before we should launch. We're told COH had approximately 380 mission at launch. That's a lot of content -- far more, in fact, then most games are launched with today.

So those are the highlights for perhaps the next 6-8 months of development. Could we launch next summer? Yes, if everything goes really well. Or at the end of 2020 if something goes wrong, or we lose key people, or the community wants something changed and we think we can do it...
But in the meantime we plan to let the community do a lot with SoH. Character creation, invasion testing, followed by mission testing...and then launch when we we are sure how much minimum content we need to have. You could be playing/system testing, and giving feedback for development, on and off for a lot of the next 8 months.

So, breaking things down into plans for the future, we're looking at tentative targets as follows:
CCT Beta - late August/Early September 2019
Combat Beta/Invasion Test - late 2019
Game Beta - early 2020
Game Launch - when ready (probably middle to late 2020)

As always, you can look up the original thread on the official forum.

Latest news from Consultant posted on the official forum - 18th July 2019

Latest news from Consultant posted on the official forum (dated 18th July 2019):
We're working away on issues related to the CCT Beta, and we're making progress. 
We will have a Beta as soon as we can manage -- most likely in late August. We're having some fun working everything out and we're pretty happy with a lot of stuff we have working in the CCT now. More preset faces, more skin options, better hair options, more costumes, a very powerful set of morphs that can be applied to every preset face... This is going to be fun. 
We're also working up a new map of Apothesosis City, so participants in the Beta can run around a bit and explore. There won't be combat in this Beta (it is the character creation Beta, not a combat Beta after all), but we think you're going to be pleased. And we're going to organize some events in the City at different times, so people can get together, chat, ask the devs questions, etc. 
Stay tuned, we're going to start showing off some aspects of the CCT.

And here's another update from a day later:
We actually have kind of an issue with the CCT. A player can make so many different kinds of characters with different faces, different sizes and costumes, that it becomes an issue to explain the range of the possibilities for us.
We made an internal video just showing the preset faces for the female model, and slightly cycling the skin tone and hair models. A real quickie video. But since we have more than 40 present faces, the video ran to more than eight minutes. 
And that had no changes in hair color, or facial morphs, or exotic skin colors, or SciFi implants...and it was only the females, and there was no consideration of the costumes at all... 
Just the preset female faces took 8+ minutes. 
I guess that means we need to warn all of you that you might want to schedule some real time to fiddle with the options, when the Beta comes out...

July 2019 - latest bit of launch date news

A common question that comes up is 'when will SoH launch?'

The answer is that no date has yet been set. Here's a couple of quotes from Consultant on the official forum dated 15th July 2019:
...we need to complete and assign quite a few animations to powers and create quite a few missions.
At the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 we will be taking a lot more community feedback into consideration, looking hard at the remaining technical issues and picking a date. We are not picking one now.
So, still to come in 2019 is the Character/Costume Creator beta, then an Invasion beta. When those are completed and they've dealt with any issues that may arise and taken the communities feedback into account, we can look forward to a launch date.

Devs Looking for Info -- Can You Help?

The Heroic Games team is looking for some information. Here's the content of the post on the official forum. Head on over there if you can help...

What we want to know is the actual date (month and year) that the first closed Alpha or Closed Beta of some other MMOs took place (list below). And if you have a link to a source document that supports your data, that is awesome! But some of this may be stuff that you remember, because you participated.

So, first (this would usually be closed) Alpha or Beta for these games:


  • Dark Age of Camelot
  • Star Wars Galaxies
  • World of Warcraft
  • Everquest 2
  • Warhammer Online
  • Star Wars, the Old Republic
  • Elder Scrolls Online
  • The Secret World
  • Guild Wars
  • Guild Wars 2
  • DCUO
  • Path of Exile
  • Crowfall


If you know any of this, or can figure it out, we'd like to get your help. If there are both alpha dates and Beta dates, please tell us which one you have uncovered.

Thank you.

Heroic Games is on LinkedIn

A reminder for those who haven't seen the forum post. Heroic Games is on LinkedIn.

If you are interested in following, it is simple and free. You log in to your LinkedIn account, search for Heroic Games, and what pops up should have a big blue button with white letters saying "Follow."
Click that and you are in.
LinkedIn is part of the overall social media outreach for Ship of Heroes. We know that our audience skews a bit older and more professional than most games do, so many members of the community will already be on LinkedIn.

FAQ - Ship of Heroes

There's a really useful FAQ in development over on the official Ship of Heroes site.
Adding an index into it here for completeness...

Basis Of The Game And Why We Are Here
Donations
Lore
The FHS Justice
Zones
Combat, Missions And Leveling
Loot, Augments, Temp Powers, Infusions and Crafting
Enemy Groups
Archetypes
Power Sets
Game Cost and Tokens


Auction House and 4th July Celebration Video

The devs at Ship of Heroes are involving the community in the developmental progress of their game.  In this video they are wishing everyone a great 4th of July, and showing that another piece of their game is now in working order.  In this case it's the auction house, which is named Ivar & Sons.  This is the 30th video that devs at Heroic Games have published about SoH.

In this video hero Snow Drift demonstrates that the auction house is working by putting an augment up for sale.  It’s a simple thing, but it's one of hundreds of seemingly simple things that need to be in place to enable a modern MMORPG.  Functional trading system for players?  Check. 

The devs are still polishing their starting gameplay area, known as Apotheosis City. But it already looks great, especially with the day/night cycle and the fireworks over the city center.  This is another small detail that speaks to the immersive power of this game.

Ship of Heroes is being developed in an extremely transparent manner.  One nice aspect of this is that progress shown in previous videos reappears in later videos.  We've seen Ivar & Sons on previous tours of Apotheosis City, going back to 2016.  But now it looks completed.  It's decked out with plants, signs, and working NPCs.  The heroine in the video, Snow Drift, has been shown before to have super-speed with an ice-based FX trail, and she still does.

Since the arrival of private servers with the old City of Heroes content on them, the SoH dev team hasn't slowed down at all.  They’ve shown combat with leveling, augment, power-ups, and buffs all working.  They’ve shown the super-speed travel power, and some great little additions to their city.  And now they’ve shown an auction house with trading functionality for players.

Watch the video on the official Ship of Heroes Site.

Ship of Heroes has conducted three successful Alpha tests, one in 2017 and two during 2018. The next big test with their community will be a character creator Beta, which is scheduled to be followed by a raid test.


June 2019 - superspeed video, new animations, Hazard Zone!

Ship of Heroes introduced a new travel power with their latest video: superspeed.  More information on the official SoH site.

Developers have been able to use flight for over two years in the game, but superspeed is one of the three travel powers that the dev team promised to have for launch, with teleportation still to come.  Superspeed in SoH is actually faster than flight, but it is balanced by the need to go around obstacles, making it roughly equivalent.

In this video hero Snow Drift shows off her superspeed power by racing around Apotheosis City.  During SoH’s recent login tests, over 200 supporters were able to jump into the city for an FPS measurement.  During that event, one of the most requested upgrades was to add collision to the trains in the city.  The devs listened, and you can see Snow Drift jump onto the top of a moving train. 

The devs are allowing players to choose from five different FX options at the character’s feet, so that superspeed can be customized to the players characters concept.  The four choices with FX are fire, electric sparks, ice, and darkness.  It’s also possible to choose no FX at the feet.  It’s pretty obvious from watching the video that superspeed is really fun.

The devs are announcing that in SoH, superspeed is a travel power and not an unbalanced attack power.  So a player can race up to an enemy and attack, but if they do, superspeed turns off and cannot be restarted until the combat is over.  There’s no racing back and forth, hitting the big boss 800 times while taking no damage in this game.  But on the plus side, superspeed does not use much energy, so you can keep going indefinitely if you want to.

Apotheosis City is coming alive with more verticality, more stairs, outdoor restaurants and more urban realism in general.  There is much less of that unrealistic architectural uniformity in this MMO than in most others.  There is also a first look at something in the center of the Hazard Zone, which is still mostly bare soil at this moment, but has a substantial hint of a dangerous heart of darkness.

The devs at SoH like to point out that they record their videos in the same kind of client/ server arrangement using a packaged game version that a player would experience.  This is not a special marketing piece produced in the Editor.

The devs are also taking some time to create some non-combat animations in response to requests from their community.  Ordinary things like walking and sitting down are on display.  SoH has three distinct character models for a player to choose from and incredible customization is possible from each three.  They have male, female and big guy models, each with a unique Unreal Engine skeleton, there are subtle differences in the animations.  Females walk like real females and male characters walk like males, increasing immersion.  SoH is not simply morphing their male character into a female shape and leaving the animations intact.


Ship of Heroes has conducted three successful Alpha tests, one in 2017 and two during 2018. The next big test with their community will be a character creator Beta, which is scheduled to be followed by a raid test.

Status Report for Ship of Heroes

Things are looking good on the Ship of heroes development front. Here's a post by Consultant on the official forum:

Some of these top things are in the game already:

1. We have done, and will continue to do, everything we can to enable people to play, even if they have older or graphically weaker computers. You may not be playing on Ultra settings (we can only do so much from our end), but we've done a lot in this regard.

2. You can solo most content, and do not need to team in order to advance. In fact, there are a lot of features designed to make solo play fun. We all solo, don't we?

3. Keeping up as a casual player. You should be able to play at your own pace. Since we are committed to positive community, you should be welcomed on any team, even if you are new or inexperienced. And you should be able to form a freindly team of your own, even without a guild or buddies, and do most anything.

4. The powers are different. Every class, every powerset has plusses and minuses. You need to think in advance and overcome the weaknessses your character has, and to make some lemonade out of lemons, at least part of the time. and DPS is just one factor; sometimes not the most important factor in combat success.

5. We do not have sidekicking built yet. But we do plan to have it included in the game.

6. We've shown about a dozen emotes already. More are coming.

7. We plan to top the COH character creator. We will see if that is possible, but we feel good about it, right now.

8. Our augments system provides customization above anything we've seen up to this point in another MMORPG.




Watch this space for a new video coming up soon...

CoH Private Server?

Comment from Casey:

With the surprise news yesterday that a private server for City of Heroes may have been operating for years, possibly with hundreds of players, we just want to reiterate that Ship of Heroes is developing full-steam, and that we will launch as planned on the schedule we have announced. Ship of Heroes is the next step in superhero gaming with a completely unique setting, new story and missions, new engine and graphics, and infinite room for future game expansion. Our goal is to provide a gaming home to all of those who want to continue to experience the positive community that we have already assembled on our forums and in our Alpha tests. After all the support we have received, doing anything else would be a betrayal. Please show your interest by continuing to support Ship of Heroes.




Closing my Twitter Account

Due to rampant and disturbing political censorship on Twitter, I have decided that I am no longer willing to use their platform. You can find me on https://gab.com/lunawisp.

Official Note About Derived Targeting

Here's something of interest regarding targeting in Ship of Heroes, spotted on the official forum.

From our lead coder, this morning:
"Derived targeting is now working. If you target an enemy who is attacking and ally and use a buffing spell it will buff the ally who the enemy is attacking. And if you target a friend who is attacking an enemy the same will also happen."
Right now the slider is for all UI elements at once. It is complex to allow individual UI elements to be resized by themselves, but we are looking at that issue this week.

Talking about hair models and physics

Latest update from Heroic Games regarding their hair models:
We'd like to give a quick update regarding where we are on the idea of adding new hair models. We added a new, highly skilled artist to the team and he is working on hair models for us, beginning with the transfer of the hair models from Paragon (very nice free assets provided by EPIC Games to their community). We have grabbed those assets, converted them to our standards, and also now have LODs for them.
The next step, which is underway right now, is to adapt them to our models, add the collision features and bone physics we want to employ (which we are creating from scratch), and then to test the resulting hair models in SoH.
We've begun testing, and of course appearance is the first issue. They do look good by the way.  :)
We also need to fine tune the physics, and the collision issues, and make sure we can easily afford the models within our FPS goals. That is not done yet, but it is all looking pretty good as we move forward. Our current selections for this system seem to be delivering a big improvement in FPS compared to APEX physics, which was our prior system, from 2017.
We still need to pull it all together in the game (the assets are not pushed to the real SoH yet, they are in testing), and settle a few things, and also make sure we like the color options for hair. But it is coming along quite nicely.

 This update, and the community's comments are on this thread on the official forums, and there's an associated older thread talking about hair choices.

Apotheosis City - latest look

Here's a couple of images posted on the official forum showing the latest view of part of Apotheosis City. The area certainly isn't flat, offering many points to jump onto unsuspecting bad guys (or be jumped on!) and plenty of interesting areas high up providing landing pads, etc. This is starting to look like a really interesting place to explore.



There are some more on the forum.

Mission Difficulty Sliders!

Here's an interesting post by Consultant on the official forum...

We are working on the code for missions, and this reflects our plan for the mechanics of how missions should work. I thought that perhaps we should start describing what we have in mind so that all of you can weigh in before we settle on this approach. Each of these factors is more less independent from the others.

First we still plan to let characters set their difficulty level for most missions, so if you are level 20 you should be able to dial the level of the mission up or down and get level 21, or level 19 enemies to fight. And perhaps a few more levels as well.

Next we also intend to allow characters to affect (perhaps with a slider) the composition of enemy mobs. So you want more trash mobs? Fine by us. More lieutenants, bosses and maybe an Arch-Villain? Again fine by us.

Enemies need to scale to the size of the hero team, so a mission that has a solo hero obviously needs to spawn fewer enemies and lower level enemies than the same mission being played by a team of 10 heroes.

These factors do all interact, and we are planning this out right now, in detail. And some mission types begin at higher levels of difficulty than others. So any given mission can deliver a totally different player experience, depending upon how the player makes his selections and forms his team (or does not form a team).

So we'll basically be able to choose our own level of difficulty. They really are going all out to make this as friendly to play as possible. If you have any comments about this, hop over to the forum to add your voice ;)

Upgrade to Unreal Engine version 4.21

Heroic Games have announced an upgrade to version 4.21 of the Unreal Engine they're using to develop and run their new MMO, Ship of Heroes. You can read all about the benefits offered by this new engine on their website.

Also last year, was the release of an enormous amounts of assets by Epic Games which developers can use as a base for their own creations. Some of the hairstyles have been shown by Heroic Games - it's worth noting though, that these can't just be copied to Ship of Heroes, a lot of work is required to modify them to fit the new character models used in SoH.




Here's part of the newsletter, copied verbatim:
Our skilled coders and artists have done engine upgrades many times before, and we usually take a moment and tell all of you what the advantages on the new version are going to be.  And once again, we’re going to provide the top-level summary, but moving from 4.18 to 4.21 means that we have integrated over 400 improvements into the game code, many of which are visible to our dev team but are not visible to our players.  Some of the most important upgrades that you’ve be able to see or hear us discussing and reacting to are the following:

  •     Dynamic Resolution supports linking resolution to FPS for console games made in UE. We are not building a console game, and we already have a custom version of this feature coded and working in SoH, but having DR as an engine feature helps us optimize.
  •     Advances to the Niagara FX system in terms of realism. It’s possible that we may use both Niagara and PopcornFX in our FX, depending upon the situation, so this gives us options, including with powerset creation.
  •     We can pull the art and FX assets that Epic gave to the community from their game, Paragon, and re-use or re-create them in our MMORPG. While the costumes from Paragon are not directly useable in Ship of Heroes, they do give us advanced 3D concept art to work with, and also some really cool hair models (that we still need to extract and optimize for our purposes).
  •     The Replication Graph feature allows a significant reduction in server work for the kind of instanced missions that will be our bread and butter. We still need to code this capability specifically to our game, as it does not deliver results “out of the box.”  This is a tool specifically designed for high-volume multiplayer games.  Thank you, Epic!
  •     The introduction of the Proxy LOD system in version 4.19 is an extension of their Hierarchical LOD system, the system we use to help reduce draw calls and improve LOD performance over long range. This will be an especially welcome improvement during some of our Beta events later this year.
  •     In Epic’s 4.21 version of their Unreal Engine, they added a feature to detect and mitigate DDOS attacks. While we will need some time to figure out how to integrate it with SoH, we believe that this may ultimately improve both the security and performance of the game during a potential DDOS attack. Of course, we hope we don’t ever need such a thing, but historically DDOS attacks have taken down MMOs before and we would prefer to avoid the experience.
  •     Finally, Epic has given us a year’s worth of bug fixes, LOD enhancements, animation improvements, Sequencer upgrades, and debugging tools that our dev team is looking forward to adding to SoH.

Over 10000 accounts registered on the SoH forum!

Another milestone reached, over ten thousand registered accounts on the Ship of Heroes forum in two years. As Consultant said on his thread, that's pretty good for a team of mostly volunteer developers making a new MMO...

Ship of Heroes - Post Holiday Video

  • Ship of Heroes has released its second annual Christmas video highlighting a future holiday event in-game: fighting winter-themed seasonal monsters. Those looking carefully will notice that the flashing presents from the 2017 Christmas video are still in use in this year’s build. This video was released a week late because the devs conducted a series of login tests on December 15 th with several hundred supporters, and that pushed back production of the holiday video.
  • This time, a team of seven heroes defends the city. There is one tank and six ranged damage-dealers, two of whom can also heal. Civilians run away from the invading monsters as the heroes run in to fight them. Nice touch!
  • This video shows several new game mechanics. First are waves of extradimensional monsters invading the FHS Justice. Each wave spawns once enough of the previous wave has been defeated by the heroes. The video also shows brand-new temporary power-ups called infusions being used in-game. Finally, players can now buy infusions; this is the first time we have seen vendors working in Ship of Heroes.
  • This Christmas video is the conclusion of a big year for the SoH development team. They’ve conducted a major combat Alpha in Q1 and a hugely successful set of login tests in Q4, allowing 200 real players and supporters from the community to run around inside Apotheosis City for the first time.
  • Ship of Heroes has now published 26 videos over the last two years, showing the steady construction and expansion of the MMORPG. One of the hidden benefits of this process is that we can go back and look at any of their prior videos, even the very first one, and see how their game prototype is evolving in an extremely focused manner. These devs understand project management, and are illustrating their development philosophy of “build excellence, then expand it.”
  • The devs at Ship of Heroes are also asking their community to make donations directly on the SoH website, as a beta is now in the offing for the end of 2019, plus several additional events that the donating community can participate in. The video was sent to more than 10,000 newsletter and YouTube subscribers, and contains a soft appeal to help the self-funded indie developers at Ship of Heroes to achieve their goals.

Ship of Heroes has planned multiple events open to their community for the coming year, and is currently scheduling a Beta launch at the end of 2019.
 
You can see the video on Youtube - https://youtu.be/fHJuoFohhYI