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City of Heroes lets low-level players go Drowning in Blood

Eliot Lefebvre

Designing a low-level instance is a challenge that's rarely discussed. High-level challenges are of course the marquee elements of any game, but the low-level content needs love. How do you introduce the concepts to players? How do you make the rewards meaningful while still making room for later improvement? City of Heroes is tackling precisely those problems with the new Drowning in Blood trial, a level 15-30 trial in Bloody Bay coming with Issue 22.

In a recent developer diary, world designer Cord Carney explains how the team tried to balance both storytelling aspects and gameplay elements, keeping the second lower-level trial as engaging for new and returning players as the recent introductory trial Death From Below. Carney also explains how the trial will offer players a chance at obtaining a buff that lasts up to level 30, giving everyone a reason to participate with lower characters without unbalancing the endgame. It's an interesting look at making lower-level content engaging, epic, and fun.

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