7 days around the MMO world (Mar. 22)

This wonderful week in March hailed in the 1st day of spring in the northern hemisphere of the world (fall if you’re in the southern hemisphere) and while it wasn’t a quiet week in the MMO space there hasn’t been too much big news coming in. We’re guessing that’s because GDC is right on our heels, but we do have a major content patch for City of Heroes to show you, so let us jump to that shall we?

This past Wed the doors for City of Heroes’ latest content patch beta testing were swung open. The main feature of Issue 14: Architect is the ability for players to create and share their own missions and story lines. The general idea is that you make a mission and it gets submitted to the server, and then shared to the rest of the community. Other players can then play through and rate your missions. The better rating your missions get, the more benefit you receive from it.

The developers are rewarding creativity and they want you link up missions into a well thought out storyline and have stacked up incentives to entice. If your story line is good enough it can get picked to be a Developer’s Choice or entered into the Hall of Fame, both of which have badge rewards for the proper bragging rights. You also get tickets that can be turned in for a token that will get you a random recipe drop. There are three levels of the token – bronze, silver and gold all having various percentage to give you a rare drop, gold being the highest.

The Architect system itself is very robust, giving players ample tools to create an epic story line. In fact the detail you can get into is pretty insane. You can create characters to appear in your missions from scratch using the same character creation tool that you use to create your main hero. You’re able to write all the dialogue that appears in the missions/storyline and define all of the mission’s objectives. You can even get down to the granularity of placing objects and defining character’s animations and behavior.

The other notable news to hit the MMO world is the launching of Lord of the Rings Online’s first major content update since Mines of Moria – Book 7: Lorien. Not much has changed since we brought you the update a couple weeks ago but Book 7 gives you access to the new zone Lothlórien, new crafting instances, better low level player experience and the new epic quests feature.

In other MMO news: