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We present City of Titans, a spiritual successor for the superhero MMORPG City of Heroes, being developed by Missing Worlds Media.
5,003 backers pledged $678,189 to help bring this project to life.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Posted by Missing Worlds Media (Creator)
Hi. Tim “K9T” Ross here, with some ideas on things that are currently planned for City of Titans. As always, we are months at least away from even an Alpha game state and everything here is subject to change. Many of the systems I mention here may not be ready at Launch. 

In most MMOs, you can choose a face, clothes, class and maybe even a starting city. You can even choose which of several available missions you do, which will alter what parts of the game’s Lore and cut scenes you see. But what you cannot choose is one of the most important things, In My Humble Opinion: the course of the story itself. 

In City of Titans, we plan to change that. Here is a look at some of the ways in which your choices within stories will alter not only your experiences, but the experiences of your fellow teammates and perhaps the world itself. 

Win or Lose: For instance, the genteel and honorable villain Hexbane may call you out for a duel, and you may well be powerful enough to defeat him. Winning will, of course, earn you xp and drops as would be expected. But losing the battle may cause him to taunt you with knowledge of his future plans as you languish in his torturous trap. The clues thus revealed could enable you to access related side quests and stories more easily than otherwise. Following up on these could make up for the xp you did not gain for defeating Hexbane, but in a vastly different way. Although your choices should not lock you out of content, they may make certain things easier or more difficult to get to. However, regardless of your choices or the combat effectiveness of your build or teammates, you should always be able to progress through the game at a reasonable rate of speed. 

Pick and Choose: Many MMOs offer the illusion of choice by giving you various decision points within a story that don’t actually mean anything. No matter what you do, YOUR Flower Girl is always in another Fortress. In City of Titans, we intend to offer choices that can change the outcome of individual stories. Choosing to travel directly to the escape shuttle means you actually rescue the girl in time (thus triggering an ambush when you try to carry her to safety) while failing to get there in time indeed means she is carried off (creating a new obstacle: now you must perform detective work or get the aid of one of your Contacts to track her down). Either way, the amount of xp and drops from either choice should be roughly equivalent, and you will not be locked out of unique rewards. However the choice can affect many things, including how Flower Girl and her captor, Dragon Turtle, feel about you [Note: these last two NPCs are not actually planned to be in the game at this time. Nothing to see here, lawyers. Move along.]. Such choices that can ultimately affect the world at large as well. For instance, deactivating a security system to avoid a laser maze in your mission could allow a Giant Monster to escape confinement and menace the streets of a Titan City District! 

Are you In or Out: Faction Favor is one of the many things the game should track. Did you do a dozen stories where you saved the Titan City Police Department’s, er, bacon? Did you do one mission where you betrayed them and stole a set of their neat new Computer Operated Protective suits? Officer Cogburn may remember both of these facts and act accordingly. Not only that, but the pyromaniacal mercenaries of IFRIT (International Fire Response/Ignition Team) may remember how your little joyride ended up burning a large patch of forest and call you up to suggest that you might want to walk on their side of the fence for awhile. 

Who’s Naughty or Nice: All of this also ties into our dynamic alignment system. Another Update explains that system in more detail, but let me just say that how Law-Abiding, Violent or Honorable you are will be important choices with lasting consequences, whether you are a Hero, Villain, Scoundrel or Vigilante. 

I hope you have enjoyed this little look at how choice and consequence can matter in City of Titans. How much of this will be in the game on launch day? 

To a large extent, it’s your choice!

Eric Nelson, Ellie McDade, and 89 more people like this update.


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    1. Tim Stone on

      Another bang-wiz concept - organic relationships with the NPCs and world around us. If lightning strikes, and the Wife & I win the lottery, expect a windfall. =D

    2. Cinnder on

      This sounds really, really interesting, but also very difficult to do as designers.

      I would LOVE a game where I make decisions based solely on what I think a particular character would do, but I often find a part of my brain puts too much weight on what gamey effect the decision will have. If you can pull this off so any path is equally viable/legitimate while still clearly having a real impact, resulting in my thinking only about story when I need to make a decision, I may never play another game again.

      One request: please make the nature of the choices very clear. Not necessarily lay out what all the consequences will be before choosing, but avoid the well-known Bioware Wheel of Ambiguity, where the words sometimes don't match the result. (My favourite one of these was in SWTOR where my Sith had the option to tell a female NPC "You've got legs." I chose it because I thought it was slightly flirty, but what it resulted in was "Why are you sending me on this quest; can't you go do it yourself?")

    3. Missing avatar

      Kenneth Kestner on

      While the concept of failure in missions sounds intriguing, a few things I dont want to see:
      1. Being forced into a moral choice that I object to in order to "win" the mission. I play the good guy, and that's how I want it - straight and narrow.
      2. Having mission objectives that are only obtainable via high dps or other means
      almost impossible to achieve with my current character.
      3. Task Force missions like the one in the RWZ (Lady Grey), where people purposefully failed mission objectives in order to speed the TF along.

      What I would like to see are my victories having a permanent effect on the world around me. A perfect example would be the storyline in WoW for the Death Knight, where the zone changed as you went through the story.
      So tired of beating the bad guys, then going out into the world, and there they are out in the streets, like nothing ever happened.

    4. Missing Worlds Media Creator on

      @Wyvern - but the idea is not to have failure being "you ran out of time" but your choices setting up failure in other peoples viewpoint.

    5. Missing Worlds Media Creator on

      @Wyvern - You mean the "The Knights of the Hourglass..."

    6. Missing avatar

      Wyvern - Phoenix Rising Token Minidragon on

      "As for failure, you will not be able to retry indefinitely, you will have a clear "failure" option." This part has me worried, honestly. I remember how annoying the occasional bit of "failable" content in CoH was - the "rescue all civilians in this burning building on a time limit" mission, for example - and that was when it didn't mean anything to the story and you could retry as often as you liked.

      I'd much rather present this sort of thing in terms of choices - "Do you save the captive but let the villain get away, or do you lock down the villain but let the captive be transformed into a slavering monster", sorts of things.

      Alternatively, allow time travel; sure, you failed that rescue mission back at level 6, but once you've cobbled together a time machine from scrap / researched temporal magic rituals / made friends with the Chrono Guardians - well, now you can go back and try again.

      Especially there should be retry options for anything with a time limit. Sometimes real life intervenes, after all, and it'd suck to be stuck on the "you failed" path just because a squirrel decided to gnaw on your internet cable (or whatever).

    7. Joel McCrea on

      Officer "Rooster" Cogburn by any chance? LOL I liked that last name!!

    8. Missing avatar

      Shinard on

      Everything I hear about this game makes me love it more. Choices that actually matter? A realistic (or, at least, not a monochrome) karma system? Lasers and giant monsters? All in a MMO? Good luck, and I await with baited breath!

    9. Missing Worlds Media Creator on

      @WesFoxx - The "What If" scenario....

    10. Zombie Man on

      For CoH players, what's described is a lot like the Praetorian arcs with branches within the arc and choices made that affect how the game world interacts with you based on those choices made within the arc.

      Or, the Incarnate arc from Max ( where you could rescue Director 11, Gryfalcon, and Slinger to help you with the final mission, or not. That's branching within the mission. Now imagine if after freeing those three to help you, certain hero organizations after the arc became cool to you for letting go high ranking Malta.

      Choices, choices.

    11. WesFoxx on

      Personally, Im just hoping that there will be a way to retry missions if you get an outcome that doesn't match your characters personality

    12. Timothy jay S Ross on

      Hi! K9T stands for Kitsune9tails, a name I have used on the Internet for decades (hence the avatar above). I am not every Kitsune9tails out there (it always boggles me to find it taken) but I've hung out on more than one gaming site. Kitsune can shapechange, so I suppose one could look like a canine Mister T if they wanted. Oh and don't worry too much about flooding a zone with giant monsters. First of all, our techs are very smart. Second of all, you all have super powers ;)

    13. DeathSentry on

      Do you need more volunteers for Lore? would love to help.. this game is gonna be awesome! And damn, $500k!!! See NCSoft? There IS a demand for this type of game!!!

    14. Missing avatar

      Anna Simpson on

      This all sounds long as the branching doesn't mean it's possible to inadvertently screw up my badge count. If badges can get cut off from one character ever achieving them on their main levelling path, then I hope they'll all still be accessible via some kind of Flashback equivalent.

    15. Nathan Gillispie on

      ZM's comment about Paragon only having 1-3 writers explains a lot.

    16. Unjust on

      Ok, another question. Are you going to require a number of different branches for each story that have to be written to actually complete the story. And if and when the players get there time on a "Missin Architect " will they have the same option to do so with there own written missions?

    17. Missing avatar

      Jason King on

      I will take "ALL OF THEM!" for $1,000, Alex. Seriously, I LOVE this! Alignments really don't seem to matter in games. A Darkside Jedi can walk into the Jedi Council on Tython without raising an eyebrow. In Marvel, the Punisher has to hide from Heroes even more than Villains. You didn't see that aspect in CoH. And when you get in Dr. Doom or Lex Luthor's way, they actively try to get even. And YES! No more railroading, where no matter WHAT you do, the hostages are dead, or the kidnapped person has been gotten away with. LOVING this so far.

    18. Robert Smith on

      "All of this also ties into our dynamic alignment system"

      This Single Statement fills me With Warmth and makes me want to Donate more... (Wish i could Honestly). No Hero is Perfectly "White" and no Villian Is Truly "Black". (And usually those that are Sometimes have A redeming feature, Its rare to see a Truly Irredemable character)

      Anyway Nice one.

    19. Missing avatar

      Sacha Hartmann on

      "K9T"? Is that a canine version of Mr. T?

      Inquiring minds want to know!

    20. Nos482 on

      Then get enough people together to run that mission in 10 or more instances and flood the streets with giant monsters...=P

    21. Astrid

      "For instance, deactivating a security system to avoid a laser maze in your mission could allow a Giant Monster to escape confinement and menace the streets of a Titan City District!"

      That would be awesome. I love this idea.

    22. Craig E Ransom on

      Holy Smoke! We actually broke the $500,000 bank!!

      If you can make the branching paths work, more power to ya!

    23. Nos482 on

      Yay, $500.000 ^.^

    24. Missing avatar

      zmonkey on

      My new favorite update had arrived! I love the idea of branching paths, even if it's only a crossroad at one or more points on a mission. Could end up working well as a vehicle for alignment change, as well.

    25. Missing Worlds Media Creator on

      @Atarun - The content-lock does not mean that you experience the content the same way. How you interact determines a lot about how you experience content. A good example I can give is the game Dragon Age: Origins, where how you interact does not lock you out of content, but does change how that content is presented, dramatically at times. As for failure, you will not be able to retry indefinitely, you will have a clear "failure" option. You still gain experience from it (you learn from your failures after all) but it will, again, color your path going forward. Instead of, say, Police Commissioner Zheng calling you to ask for your help in protecting the Ambassador of Freedonia at a state dinner, you now find yourself face to face against the ambassador's kidnapper, already having seized his prize, after tracking him down in an effort to prove yourself not a washed up has-been hero.

    26. Atarun

      "Either way, the amount of xp and drops from either choice should be roughly equivalent, and you will not be locked out of unique rewards"
      Sounds like from the viewpoint of gameplay mechanics, choices will not matter at all. And that there will be no way to completely fail a mission (and it is on par with most MMOs where you can retry indefinitely, albeit with a twist I like). I wouldn't mind that at all myself, but I suspect a lot of self-identified hardcore gamers might decry the lack of challenge.

    27. Atarun

      "Although your choices should not lock you out of content"
      May I ask why not? Isn't City of Titans supposed to encourage re-rolling? If so, why not lock content based on choices, given that a re-roll could make different choices and access the content?
      How do you hope to maintain the illusion that player choices matter, if no matter what all content is always accessible? For me, that is the surest way to give players the feeling that no matter the road they take, they will always end up in the exact same point and therefore the story might be multi-linear, but certainly it is not non-linear.

    28. Zombie Man on

      We have *a lot* of volunteers for composition. Unlike Paragon Studios which had only one-three full time writers (with some of the other devs occasionally pitching in), we have scores of folk. Just think of how much was written for the Mission Architect when you opened up the writing staff.

    29. Unjust on

      This will be awesome, but you all are gonna be writing your fingers off making all these story arc's for the game. There is no doubt in my mind that if you offer up all that has been stated, this game will thrive.

    30. Michael O. on

      To reiterate ... every one of these updates makes me realize how long the next two years are going to feel!

    31. Magnus Mercury on

      Faction Favor sounds like an awesome idea, and is something that I've found that a lot of games miss. If your character's methods or style match one of the in-game groups, it seems reasonable that they might want to work with you to some degree! This also sets the stage for possibly playing groups against one another or other kind of "double agent" work!

    32. Missing avatar

      ScRyiER - PhOeNiX RiSiNG on

      OMG this game needs to be playable as soon as Last week! Love the updates : D