Hello! K9T here again with some glimpses at our noncombat Powers, Secret Identities and our Leads system. As always, this is just a preview of current intent and concept. Many of these systems may not make it to the game (especially on Launch day), but are definitely things that have been discussed and to some extent designed for the game.
We are all familiar with the old pattern. From the moment you leave the tutorial, you are working for someone else. Go beat up 20 of those guys. Find 8 of those things and bring them to me, because my feet are nailed to the sidewalk. I need someone, -anyone- to collect that MacGuffin before Dire Consequences set in.
What if you could come up with your own schemes, conduct your own investigations and mold the game around your own preferences?
The current plan is to handle it this way:
Step One: Play the game normally. You can ‘street sweep’ by defending normal citizens or even engaging in PvP. You could seek out NPCs for chat and purchases, or just explore. You can also interact with other players by spending time teamed and engaging in normal conversation. Finally, certain Emotes (remember the Newspaper) or even being logged off in certain locations (remember Day Jobs?) are all things players normally do. Doing so may have a chance of earning a special kind of Reward known as a Lead.
A Lead will consist of one element of a Story, such as a Setting, Antagonist or Objective. A Chat with your RL best friend over virtual coffee may cause your character to realize that something is going to happen in Phoenix Plaza (a Lead drops into your inventory). Heading to Phoenix Plaza with your character, you see graffiti by the terrorist group Agents of Revolution that sparks a hunch (netting you another lead!): They are up to something, but what? Searching the area, you break up a gang of AR graffiti artists defacing an alley and the pieces fall into place. They have set a bomb (The final lead! ...and of course it’s a bomb. This is AR we are talking about here. What were you expecting?)
Step Two; now you decide: will you ‘assemble’ this story for your own use, donate it to your SuperTeam, or even trade the information for someone elses’ Leads? The choice is up to you!
Many factors influence the rate at which you receive Leads. Have you chosen to acquire investigatory Powers? Are you spending time in your Secret Identity as a mild-mannered reporter? Have you noticed suspicious items around town with your Super Sense? Just playing the game should get you Leads at a reasonable rate, but if you choose to focus on being a detective (or the arch enemy of a particular faction, or the scourge of a specific neighborhood), you can collect stories faster. Of course, you can also still choose to work for NPCs, who will not only function as story vendors but can also act as experts on certain subjects to help with the progress of a related story and give out Leads related to their own fields of expertise.
Players who like the darker side of things may enjoy being able to pursue a variety of world conquering or world-destroying schemes, choose a particular batch of NPC do-gooders to constantly oppose, or even stake a claim over part of the underworld of Titan City. For instance, Stage 1: A Objective Lead drops: a mugging victim knows about a giant diamond somewhere in town. Stage 2: (Location Lead) you hear something while getting medicated at a local hospital - it's a bank! Stage 3: (Faction Lead) While beating down cops in another story, you find out that they are handling security for the diamond! Or at least that is how it might play out if you choose to slot those Leads together: Rob the bank, battle TCPD, find a giant diamond. You may be able use the diamond to power a space laser... or if this kind of Scheme isn’t your style, you may be able to trade it to another player, even on the open (black) market.
All of this is intended to help you customize your own ingame experience. Maybe you prefer more urban crime stories with your spandex, or perhaps dark and scary themes are more your thing. Maybe you want to keep the city safe from spellcasters and demons, or perhaps you think of things on a more ...cosmic scale. The focus will always be on superhumans and spandex, but you can also flavor your personal path through the game with a dash or two of spice from other genres as well.
Whether you want to be a colorful party girl who happens to have super powers or a grim avenger of the night constantly seeking out street trash to thrash, we welcome you.