Familiar Dissatisfaction

Issue 14 of City of Heroes may well breathe new life into the game for many established players… but it seems I’m already locked in altaholicism before a week after it’s rolled to live servers.  What happened, exactly?

First, performing Issue 14 player-made content changed the environment by providing essentially unlimited scenarios.  Second, in terms of being a character I really wanted to play from an unlimited scenario perspective, my existing characters all feel off.  Finally, I was unable to create a new character that fit either.

My City of Heroes flow is thoroughly disrupted.  However, when I can’t seem to last past the character selection screen without being confronted with disheartened apathy, I have to face facts: it’s not the game, nor the characters, it’s me.  I’m simply burned out once again and need to do something else for awhile.

Overthinking My Way To Victory

On the upshot, boredom is once again proving a powerful incentive to refine my skills as a game creator.  I’m finally reaching the meat of the game, it’s time to make some tough choices as to what I really want to do.

I’m sort of thinking along the lines of a sci-fi multiplayer Dwarf Fortress of a sort, but there’s some definite decisions to be made.  For example:

  • Massively multiplayer games have always held the grind near and dear to their appeal, but I’d like to avoid monotony as much as possible.  How much repetition is good?
  • I’m all for dynamic content, but just how much mischief to tolerate before it falls too far into the realm of griefing?  I’d like for the players to care about their content, but if they become too attached, the potential for change is sabotaged because everything becomes griefing.
  • Then there’s a certain matter of satisfying depth versus learning curve simplicity.  The deeper the game, the longer it will last, but the more it will intimidate the newbie.  (Granted, to a great extent this can be compensated for by implementing good help mechanics and releasing features as a learning curve.)

Simple stuff, but I’ve been putting it off due to considering the ramifications involved.  In the end, there’s naught to do but to forge ahead and accept the consequences, but I hate painting myself into corners.

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