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!