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A new era for PvP in City of Heroes

Adrian Bott

Massively recently had the chance to talk with City of Heroes executive producer Brian Clayton and Lead Designer Matt Miller about a multitude of CoX topics. It was clear to us that some major PvP changes were afoot, so we picked up the topic and ran with it.

Massively: So the 'multi build' feature sounds incredible for PvP, and it sounds like you're going to be doing some PvP rebalancing, which I know can get into fiddly details, but can you talk generally about what sort of rebalancing you guys are doing for PvP combat?

Matt Miller: We're basically trying to balance it out and make it a lot more fun, not make it so one-sided where certain archetypes and certain powersets completely dominate the PvP game.

Matt Miller:
This was impossible previously because we didn't really treat PvP and PvE all that differently. I mean, the system knows what your target is, it knows whether the target is a player or an enemy, so it could adjust its effect based on that, but also there were certain powers that you didn't use on an enemy – you used them on yourself, or used them on the ground, and those are powers that we really couldn't adjust in PvP without breaking them for PvE.

"We have bigger and larger initiatives down the road for PvP, and this is our first big step in the right direction..."

And we're changing that now. We are making it so that when you are in a PvP zone, your powers will work differently (for certain powers). They may not behave exactly as they behave in PvE, but hopefully they're going to bring a much more balanced and engaging PvP gameplay to our game.

Massively: So just to double check: Powers after this change will be triggered differently, their effect will be different based on whether you're in a PvP zone or not, right?

Matt Miller: Right. It's not every power, it's just some of the more problem powers.

Massively: Question to Brian: as a studio, are you folks looking to speak to the PvP players in a different way than you have previously?

Brian Clayton: Again, PvP is an area that we internally know that we want to improve and we want to further within City of Heroes. We have bigger and larger initiatives down the road for PvP, and this is our first big step in the right direction, to make PvP fun and viable again in CoH.

So I wouldn't say that our philosophy has changed, but with the additional bandwidth and growing the studio in the last months, we're able to tackle a few more things, whereas before we were having to be very careful about where we innovated, where we evolved our systems; and PvP has always been on the list of things we wanted to tackle. Now, we certainly have the resources to do something about it.

Read the full interview about Issue 13, and what Brian and Matt had to say about the Super Boosters.

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