Interesting news 27th June 2020

From the official website...

We've struggled through a few issues since I last updated this. First, let me say that our event planned for June is now going to be in July. That's the bad news. But the good news is that we have upgraded to 4.25.1, and (with considerable effort) gotten a hi-intensity server up and running.

Those two efforts put us off of schedule for the event, but as of this morning, we think we have the ability to support big battles that look good in the game. So now we are about to shift to the setup for the actual event, and then get it scheduled.

This is actually quite a breakthrough. We may have the best big-battle capability of any that we have seen in a modern engine like UE 4. At least as we see the issues around big PVE battles.

Latest news on the next event involving the community

News! An invasion test is expected to begin some time within the next two months - from Consultant himself. Mentioned at the end of the video released with the newsletter dated 9th May 2020. Team wipes expected...

May 2020 Newsletter - Video Speed of Melee Combat

Ship of Heroes had a recent successful community event, in which over a thousand players could make and test a character with street sweeping combat in-game. Some players thought the combat was becoming too fast, so the SoH devs are releasing a video of the fastest option for melee combat. Their goal is to let the community have a voice in the speed of the game combat.

The latest newsletter can be read on the official Ship of Heroes website. In the video...


  • A particularly fast and bursty melee character named Slash is being shown. Because Slash has a power which teleports him on top of enemies, he avoids the traditional weakness of all melee characters – the long run into combat during which ranged enemies can shoot him before he does any damage.
  • SoH has reached an interesting point in their three years of development. They’ve had a fully working game with a client and combat system for a while now, but they are still fine-tuning systems, FX, and in this case, the speed of melee combat to suit their audience.
  • The devs are also teasing their next video in this newsletter, by telling us that they’ve named the next one “Operation Valhalla” without letting us know exactly what the content is. But since Valhalla is the Norse myth of a place where heroes go to experience perpetual combat, so presumably it's combat-related.I think I have some ideas.
  • The next big thing from Ship of Heroes will be an invasion test, which is now on the calendar for June, if all goes well. The devs have told us that that they don’t mind having a few raid-wipes along the way, so be ready for danger if you are eligible to participate.

Ship of Heroes has conducted five successful Alpha and Beta tests: one in 2017, two in 2018, a major character creator Beta in 2019, and their open community event a few weeks ago in 2020. The next big test with their community will be an invasion or raid test, planned for the next few months.

If you have any comments about the video, or the game in general, please pop on over to the official forum - https://www.shipofheroes.com/forum/

End of the surprise community event

The March-April Ship of Heroes community event has now ended. This was a free event we hosted to add a little fun into the lives of our community members, many of who have been stuck at home due to the coronavirus. The event was a resounding success – more than twice as many people created characters and jumped into the city this time as did during our formal character creator Beta back in November. By our count, 1,277 people participated. More than 25 characters were leveled to 20, which was the event limit, over the last two weeks.

See the details of the much longer than usual newsletter here :)


More about the Community Event

The Ship of Heroes community event is a fun opportunity for those trapped at home to experience a real developer map in a game in the making, bugs and all.


  • Ship of Heroes is setting a new standard in game development transparency by opening the current version of their game on a developer map to their public supporters. This includes the bugs, the in-development features, and everything as it is now, except the instanced mission content. That will be shown later in the year. For those who missed the CCT Beta in November, this promises to be all of that and more.
  • The whole point of this event is to allow the Ship of Heroes community to have some fun, playing with SoH from home while they are locked down due to the coronavirus – hence the name of the event. It’s not actually a Beta in the usual sense of looking for bugs. The event is free, and open to everyone who has been following the game; the devs are sending download instructions and keys to people using the recipient list for the newsletter.
  • The SoH Character Creation Tool (CCT) had an extremely successful Beta just four months ago. 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. Just in the last four months, additional features and costume pieces have been added to the CCT, making it one of the best among the new crop of MMOs being developed. Multiple new powersets are available in the CCT as well, though most of these are experimental and potentially unpolished.
  • Apparently the devs are not afraid to let their community see partially completed content – perhaps because there is just so much new stuff in this event compared to November. One of the key things to see is that there is combat possible in this event, as there are a few enemies are roaming the city. Players can form teams, fight enemies, level up a little bit, get rewards and loot, and test out the first version of gathering materials for a future crafting system. It may not all be polished yet, but a lot is happening.
  • This game is getting closer to launch every month. The CCT is awesome, and already ranks as one of the best of the new breed of character generators. But the city is beautiful and iconic of comic book tableaus. There are moving cars and civilians almost everywhere. The day/night cycle has been restored, with a rather dark night that speaks to some potential for spooky night combat in the future.
  • The next big event which was previously scheduled is some kind of Beta of the SoH invasion combat for big groups, currently planned for in the next four months.



Ship of Heroes expects to launch by the end of 2020.

March 2020 Community Event Newsletter

Quite a long one this time but I'm cutting it short here because I want to get back online and play around! See you there :)

Here's an important bit. You can hop on over to the official SoH site to read the rest of the newsletter!
This community event is completely unscripted and unplanned. The idea only occurred to us about a week ago. We’re opening the game, bugs and all, to everyone who has been receiving the Ship of Heroes newsletter. You should be aware that we don’t really have a customer service team in place. Our small development team is doing everything, aided by volunteers from among our families and friends, so if something goes wrong, please be patient. We will do everything we can to get you into the game.
If you have children who are unexpectedly home from school due to the coronavirus situation, a good run-through with the Ship of Heroes CCT can be just the thing to occupy a few hours with your kids. The point is to have fun!
Please keep an eye on your email as we will be sending out keys in batches this week. The first thing to do is to download and extract of the Ship of Heroes game. Please follow the instructions exactly; most problems occur when people assume what the next step in the process should be. We’re sending out the download emails in waves to mitigate against crushing the download server. But as of this morning, we think that we have sent them all out. If you did not receive an invitation, just send us a request using the “Contact Us” form on the website or an email to communityeventsupport@shipofheroes.com
We’re providing a list of commands you can use in the game; type them into the chat once you’ve made a character and entered the city. If you discover that you need another command, please let us know in the forums. We’ll be doing our best to keep up with requests in real time, but some things may need to be added or fixed after the event.


Group commands

/invite or /inv – Invite to your group
/leave or /leavegroup – Leave your group
/kick – Kicks a player from your group
/uninvite – Removes your invite to a player

Emotes (these all take an optional target name, eg /wave Consultant)

/wave
/clap
/cheer
/crowdcheer – (YMCA)
/bow
/salute
/twist
/laydown
/sit
/frown
/smile
/neutral – Resets smile/frown morph
/emote (Example: /emote sights the Arches –– which would show: Consultant sights the Arches, for a character named Consultant)

Chat commands

/tell or /t – Sends a tell
/send or /s – Same as above
/m or msg – Seems to be same as above.
/party or /p or /group – Group chat.
/global or /g – Global chat
/say or /s – Say something only people nearby can hear
/yell or /y – Extended range say.
/reply or /r – Reply

Note: /yell will send a message to everyone in the area. By contrast, /say will only be heard by nearby players.

Other commands

/target or /tar – Targets the player named
/follow – Follows a player
/stick – Similar to follow but sticks in melee range

Note: You can toggle walking by holding down the period key while moving.


And, finally, although it hasn't been mentioned anywhere - the Beta Club is still open for business!

Who Wants to Play With the CCT

Here's an interesting development...
OK, so we need a name for what you guys asked us to do -- allow people to jump into the CCT and the city during the coronavirus lockdown. We're going to start letting people into the game as we see it as devs, each day.
Which means it is not a highly polished Beta, it is the current version with just a few things shut off. There may be a few bugs, especially on some of the new or transferred costume pieces.
So the first thing we need are 20-30 volunteers who want to go in and find problems for us, before we open it up even wider.
Pop along and take a look at the official thread if this sounds interesting...



Here's an update related to this 'beta.'

I received a question about what it costs to participate.
This is not a true Beta, just something fun to help the community when they are stuck at home, or otherwise stressed with the current situation. But we do think it will be fun, as long as people are tolerant of the occasional problem.
So we have "Pandemic Pricing."
In other words, it's free.
But if you can help with a donation, we always welcome those. :)

We're making progress on this, and we have a server rented, etc. Many, many fixes are in, but we need a bit more time to get it all set up and running, and our lead coder needs some sleep at the moment.

There is a good chance we will let the first volunteers have a look this evening or tomorrow. Then if it all works more or less as planned, we will put out a newsletter to everyone and let the rest of the community in to play.

  1. As it stands now, there are more things to see and to do:
  2. Many new costume pieces (with a few bugs we need to fix)
  3. New CCT features like two color wheels to test, new, alien/elf ears, hand and feet morphs, etc.
  4. There are a few enemies on the map, so watch out...they are higher level than you.
  5. There are ambushes on the map too, so be prepared to run or fight.
  6. We have some test crates for crafting materials you can click...yes, there will be crafting in the game but we have an early prototype working now. There's a crafting table somewhere...
  7. Day/night is working again.
  8. There are some capes in now, and a couple of auras.
  9. The new powersets, some untested and not polished, are in.

There are actually a lot of new things. We think we have turned off the first set of missions...we have to have something to show later in the year, after all!

So when you get in, go ahead and have fun. This is not a regular Beta, so much as a gift to the community -- something for people to do that is fun, with your kids if you want. For most of you, this is the first, perhaps the only time you will ever roam around, unimpeded on a developer map. Other games don't seem to allow this sort of thing. But we thought it would give you a laugh, and we can all use one more laugh.  

A Question of Combat Pets

The age old question about combat pets in MMO's has arisen once more. Heroic Games are planning on having combat pets for controller type characters and are interested in the players views on pet powers and commands. Hop on over to the thread on the official forum if you have any views on the matter or are just interested in what people have to say.

Consultant talking about the upcoming invasion test

Well,  typing rather than talking... Anyway, here's the gist of what he said (typed):

  • Players will sign up for a particular event, evidently there'll be a number of events run over a period of time with the players able to nominate a slot they want.
  • Having done so, it'll be possible to choose an existing character from a previous test or create a new one. 
  • The nominated character will be elevated by the devs (whatever the heck that means) and given some dust. 
  • Before the test, the players will have time to log in, level up a bit and get to know their powerset (or just zoom around admiring the scenery). 
  • Then the test begins and those who flew around gawping at things instead of leveling up will probably die multiple times providing much merriment for the rest of the testers and the devs.

Ok, that wasn't exactly how he wrote it... If you want to see the original post, head on over to the official forum.


The Street Fighting Powerset – Development Video #4

In March 2020's newsletter, Heroic Games talks about creation of a powerset while looking at the Street Fighting (melee) set.


When we think about powersets, we always think about playstyles. Street Fighting is a great powerset for that player who wants to hit bosses hard, and who’s less concerned with clearing large crowds of mooks. Quick attacks deliver both high dps and a very useful debuff to enemy accuracy and damage, allowing a brawler to hang in the fight longer and mop the floor with an enemy sooner. One of our devs is convinced that Street Fighting paired with a stealth power – in SoH, stealth is a power, not an archetype or powerset – would create the ultimate Stalker. Another dev says that Street Fighting is a superb Tanker powerset, since the high damage and taunt powers will allow a Tanker to hold aggro on a boss even if he’s teamed with some powerful damage dealers.
It'll be interesting to see what the players make of it. I did have a lot of fun with  my stalker in CoV, it was, actually, the only melee character I had out of all the characters I created and it's given me a new idea...


 This is the fourth of six melee powersets we’ve shown to the community so far. With a major event coming up in just a few months, it’s time to start planning which kind of character you want to try out during the invasion test; you may want to go back over some of our older videos and newsletters for ideas. The invasion test will be our next combat Beta – we did our first combat Alpha in 2017 – in which a large group of heroes, hopefully organized into multiple teams, resists and pushes back against a much larger Nagdellian army. 


From the newsletter: We think Street Fighting is ready to share with our community so that we can get feedback. Street Fighting is mostly a single-target powerset, and it’s our second unarmed melee set. So, any comments, please hop on over to the official website to join in the chat.

With a major event coming up in just a few months, it’s time to start planning which kind of character you want to try out during the invasion test; you may want to go back over some of our older videos and newsletters for ideas.

Response to Questions on the Melee Combat Video

Some questions were asked about the melee combat video which was released a few days ago. Here's a copy of the answers so far - see the threads on the official forum.

  • First, we will be delivering a set of six initial melee combat powersets. They are all listed in the last newsletter, but a couple of key points are in order.
  • We're not just giving you one melee power and then letting you change the graphics and FX. These are different powers. They all have different stats and they support, or hinder particular playstyles.
  • Why is it six? Because we thought we could do better than five but might not get to seven. We will be adding more over time.
  • Melee is its own special thing. Some sets have a power to charge in, and some do not. One set has some range, so you can do damage at a distance while closing with enemies. One would be perfect, especially paired with stealth, and really supports fighting that hard to kill boss, while another is all about racking up badges of kills from so many trash mobs.
  • We're not firing the powers as fact as possible in the videos because we're showing off the powers, and people need time to read the text in an explanatory video.
  • Buffs and debuffs are super important. Every pwoerset has weaknesses and strengths. But you can eliminate weaknesses and increase strengths through planning ahead. SoH is not just a button mashing game. You will want to think and plan.
  • Second, we're open to suggestions and changes. But please explain what problem you are solving with your suggestion.

 Original Speed of Melee Combat Discussion
Response to Questions on the Melee Combat Video


Speed of Melee Combat

Newsletter dated 22nd February 2020 talks about the speed of melee combat and showcases a new powerset.


  • The Ship of Heroes devs are showing off a new melee powerset called Martial Arts, and using the video to discuss with their supporters just how fast melee combat should be in their upcoming MMO.  After watching it, it seems pretty clear that they are thinking that melee should be more like BDO (Black Desert Online) than like CoH or WoW.  The devs openly acknowledge that melee has changed in MMOs over the last ten years, and they are at the cutting edge.
  • In this video, one hero with Martial Arts superpowers has a big fight with three evil cyborgs.  It is immediately obvious that there have been upgrades to animations during the last year – the fight is more fast and furious, and less of the “stand and take it” fighting from the years in which CoH was originally developed.  I especially like the Roll Away power which allows a melee fighter to roll out of melee range, recover, and buff his defense.  This sort of thing gives a melee player more control in combat.
  • This particular video is a developer video, as the SoH devs call them – the footage was prepared for internal use by the dev team in looking at the animations, FX, and especially the combat speed in this case.  Everything you see is current state, and will still get more polishing.  The SoH community has asked for more of this kind of unpolished video content, so they can enjoy the process of creating this game, and give real feedback.  The devs have complied.
  • The devs are announcing the names of the six melee combat powersets that they plan to have at launch.  There are also ranged damage, bugging/debuffing/healing powersets, and at least one control powerset scheduled for launch.  Two of the melee sets, Martial Arts and Street Fighting, deliver unarmed combat powers.  One powerset uses a short range energy shotgun, and is called Street Sweeping.  One set uses a single fiery sword, and another uses two swords, while the sixth uses a futuristic Spear or energy lance.  All of the powersets play differently, have unique appearances, and different animations and FX.  That’s quite a feat for an Indy developer.
  • The next big thing in Ship of Heroes will be a combat Beta specifically focused on invasions of the ship by waves of aliens.  SoH conducted their first combat Alpha almost two years ago, so this Beta has been highly anticipated.  Apparently the devs are shooting to have all six of the melee powerset available for the Beta, which is scheduled for sometime in the next five months (Q2).




Here's a few additional notes from the newsletter:
  1. The hero in the video is Uba, newly created by one of our dev team. Keen observers will notice that he has a new pointed ear model that is now available in the CCT, as well as a new hair look.
  2. We’re focusing on player abilities at the moment, so for now, the enemies in the video only have three attacks with animations. They’ll get more variety later.
  3. Each melee powerset looks and plays differently. For example, some sets have a “leap to combat” power, including Dual Swords and Spear. Others do not, like Street Sweeper and Martial Arts. Try them all out and see what fits your playstyle!
  4. Knockback animations are advancing a lot. Players can gain resistance to knockback from multiple sources: from their choice of archetype, from some powers as a feature, from some powersets, from some special enhancements, from other players as a buff, and as an infusion temporary effect. Resistance is generally additive across many sources.

The complete newsletter can be read on the official website: https://www.shipofheroes.com/the-speed-of-melee-combat-video/

Engine Update Newsletter - January 2020

Here's an interesting update early in 2020...

First of all, we want to let everyone know that we’ve upgraded to the latest version of the Unreal 4 Epic Engine, 4.24! We spent most of 2019 in 4.21, which helped us with stability and consistency throughout the year while we developed and tested major new systems. Now we’ve accomplished a significant upgrade to 4.24, which will help in several areas, so we’re getting a lot done. Of course, there’s always more to do.


  • Beautiful skies, both for day and for night – our Truesky plugin is not available in newer engine versions, so we need to recreate the day/night cycle we had in an earlier version of SoH without it. We are working hard on this right now, and while it is not done, it is going well.
  • We’ve solved the memory leak we found during the CCT Beta using 4.24 features.
  • 4.24 lets us make a significant costume and character art workflow improvement. This will help us to be faster in turning out new costumes.
  • We’re replacing Popcorn FX since it also did not follow us to 4.24, and we’re generally improving FX using the Epic Niagara system.
  • We’ve been adding features and improvements to the CCT since the Beta, in response to the requests of over 500 participants. Thank you all for the feedback! And we’re especially proud to say that everything in the CCT works as planned. Every morph, and every piece of clothing or armor.
  • While it is not a function of the engine upgrade, we’ve made huge progress with animations. Our team of animators has been working steadily all through 2019 and is continuing in 2020. We have the animations in place, mostly polished, for 18 full powersets.
  • Updating our engine is a big deal, but it’s not the only thing we’ve been doing since the start of the new year. We’ve taken the time to review comments from our CCT Beta event and added two new headpieces for the female body type, a variety of alien-shaped ears, and a feline-styled eye mask, among other items.

As usual, you can read the entire newsletter on the official Ship of Heroes site.