City of Heroes/Villains has been around for a number of years now and a small army of Issue releases have helped bolster the adventures of the online super heroes and villains. NCSoft have now come to Issue 12, which has taken almost six months to put together, and aside from adding a possible turning point to the alien invasion menace it also looks to help tweak some of the day-to-day tasks of crime fighting. Now we sat down with City of Heroes executive producer and general manager Brian Clayton to find out more about the new deal.
MMOsite: I am glad that we have this opportunity to do an interview with you. To start, can you make a brief introduction to yourself and your team?
Brian Clayton: My name is Brian Clayton and I am the General Manager of our NCsoft NorCal studio. I have worked on City of Heroes as a producer and executive producer since August of 2003. Our studio, which we formed after purchasing City of Heroes outright from Cryptic Studios, is dedicated to development and management of the City of Heroes franchise.
MMOsite: How would you describe City of Heroes (CoH) and City of Villains (CoV) to someone who is unfamiliar with them?
Brian Clayton: The City of Heroes / City of Villains universe allows people to create their own heroes and/or villains using our award-winning character creator; giving them completely unique looks, powers and fiction/background. Once the characters have been created, players set forth within Paragon City or the Rogue Isles to make names for themselves, fighting crime or causing it! Characters gain new super powers as a result of their accomplishments, ranging from travel powers (flight, super jump, super speed, teleport) to a huge range of combat powers. And because we are constantly providing free new game content, called "Issues," players always have new things to do in the game.
MMOsite: Congratulations on the release of your latest expansion, "Issue 12: Midnight Hour". What new content is included in this expansion? And any exciting features we can see?
Brian Clayton: Issue 12 is probably the most feature rich Issue that we have ever launched. The quality of life features alone made for a tremendous update. But our primary features are the Villain Epic Archetypes, Powerset Proliferation, and the Midnight Squad storyline which leads players to our new Roman and Greek inspired zone, Cimerora. Between the Villain Epic Archetypes and Powerset Proliferation, which brings new powersets to each of our Hero and Villain Archetypes, our players have tons of new reasons to create new characters. Oh, and we added two new character slots to every player#DY#s account for that reason, which has made the players really happy.
MMOsite: A mysterious organization called Midnight Squad and a new zone named Cimerora are added in Issue 12. What is the background of Midnight Squad? And where did your inspiration come from when designing Cimerora?
Brian Clayton: The Midnight Squad is a clandestine organization of mystics, scholars and mages, seeking to rebuild its numbers since the devastating assault of the Rikti Invasion. As for inspiration, the design and art teams are always looking to introduce new cool themes and styles that haven#DY#t been previously brought to the City of Heroes universe. Hollywood and TV have done quite a bit lately to feature Roman-inspired entertainment and with the incredible flexibility of our lore we were able to introduce Cimerora.