Consolidated Power and Weapon Customization Thread




Consolidated Power and Weapon Customization Thread

The following thread will contain all up to date info on what people and the devs have said about power and weapon customization. It will include all good suggestions and ideas from the thread how to make it work among other threads.

Please bear with me now as I present various links from the web pointing to statements as well as quotes from other people who posted.

This should be the official thread to be stickied so we can discuss in a rational and polite manner how to make it work.

I Begin by quoting what the devs have said from oldest to newest;colid=4725

Statesmen: 09/07/2004
Sabrehawk: Is there any chance of adding a feature that will allow us to tone down visual effects of powers or turn the effect off? Will "clear" or "transparent" be a color option?

Statesman: Yes. We're still toying with different options and sliders.

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Statesmen: Friday, January 20th, 2006
Colours are far more likely than animations, but that's something on the far horizon. There are some gameplay issues here; colour, for example, is a way that players can identify powers. Should a player be able to change the colour of his powers, other players might not recognize them and he has some advantage in PvP.

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Positron: 02-07-2007
WarCry [LemonLass]: When will you add custom colors for powers? This is something alot of us have wanted since the game came out because I believe it is vital to a hero or villians uniqueness.

Matt Miller: As much as I would love to have a purple energy blast or green fire, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. The problem stems from both the way the powers were made, and the sheer amount of powers we have, some of which are obviously un-colorable. We did some internal experimentation with power colorization back before City of Villains launched, and while pleased with the results, it in reality proved to us that undertaking the task of adding this to the game was going to be monumental. Time and money would simply be better spent making content for the game that actually meant something to the power of your character as opposed to something purely cosmetic.

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Positron: 2/7/07
Coloring powers is much the same way. We've basically made the decision that it's not going to happen, and I took the opportunity of the Q&A to inform you guys of that. Of course, if one of our genius engineers figures out a way we could do it and still get you 3 updates a year, you can guarentee it will be back on the schedule and I'll be the first to tell you.

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Back Alley Brawler: 09/2007
'Baked in' was in response to someone's comment that colors were baked into animations. The only thing really baked in are some colors into some particle textures and textures on geometry used in FX scripts. Most particle textures use a greyscale image that we tint to different hues in the particle scripts, but some of them we don't tint. It's enough that any sort of power customization to allow changing the hue of power effects we'd have to deal with them. That's not the only hurdle and it's really not even the biggest hurdle.

I really can't stress this enough, there's nothing insurmountably difficult about power color customization, it's just a tremendous amount of time to pull it off.

I am not sure if you will respond, but I will ask:

With the amount of time necessary to implement something like this would it cut into time developing new content so much so, as to stop us from receiving new content at all?

Sort of. It would completely dominate some of the artists' time for multiple issues. That would prevent any content from being developed that required any animation or FX. Obviously we'd be able to develop other things at the same time as this, but we'd definitely be doing the lion's share on this.

It would also require a chunk of support from programming. They'd have to implement the system to allow powers to reference different FX scripts or accept some kind of hue shift value, hook everything into some kind of UI so players could modify and see what they're modifying, possibly change the way character data is stored in the database, etc. I couldn't even begin to tell you the things programming would have to do to make this happen, but it's significant enough to cut into other features, bug fixes, or performance/stability improvements.

There are no costume effects triggered by powers, they're triggered by animations. In the case of Winged Boots, the effects are actually always on. They just have a scaler on the particle emitters that say emit more particles the faster the character is moving. So, whether the character is running, jumping, falling, flying, being knocked back doesn't matter. There is absolutely no way to tie costume pieces to power FX. The two systems are independent, completely unaware of each other, and there is no way to connect them.

Trust me, there is nothing that any player who has no idea how our systems work and what they are and aren't capable of doing is going to come up with an idea that we haven't already thought of. I've seen a few posts that come close to ideas we've already discarded as unfeasible, some that are decent ideas but simply don't work in our system, and the rest are generally in the category of sheer gibberish.

Even if we did figure out a super simple way to do this, the sheer number of powers and combinations alone makes this something that would take more than a single issue to develop. Potentially more than 2 or 3 issues.

It will never be scrapped. We never completely scrap any idea, no matter how impossible it might be at the time.

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And now to the best posts on how to make it work

There's one part people keep leaving out, and that's weapon customization. We've been told by the developers in no uncertain terms that switching the models for weapons is pretty easy and simple. We see ample evidence of this by the staggering multitude of enemies who use basically the same powers with different weapons. Furthermore, we see this in Mastermind henchmen, where giving them an upgrade changes the weapon they use. Grave Knights, for instance, go from rusty sword to a strange two-bladed sword to a glowing two-bladed sword, while Soldiers go from what looks like an MP5 submachine gun to what looks like an M4 assault rifle. I should note that we plain don't see that with power animations and colours, as there is no single enemy that can change the sprites or animation of any of their powers in real time.

In the realm of realistic possibility, weapon customization still strikes me as the most realistic part of weapon customization, and one that at least appears to not present any technological challenges. Granted, the same UI adaptation that BaBs explained would take a while for colour customization would be required for weapon customization, but at least from an art department standpoint, there doesn't seem to that much to adapt.

Of course, I don't know how their powers work, but I'm going off in-game evidence. If a real-time in-game event (upgrading a henchman) can change the weapon used for powers that remain completely unchanged, themselves, then that tells me the same can be done for a player character. And if a player weapon can be change in real time, then there is no reason why that change cannot be controlled by the player in question.

Furthermore, henchman weapons appear to the uneducated observer to be controlled by auto powers. Unlike our auto powers, however, theirs can be given to them in real time. If you'll pay attention, the upgrade icon in a henchman's buff bar moves past all click buff icons and all toggle buff icons and goes all the way down to their other auto powers - Resistences and Super Leap. So this tells me another thing: that an auto power can be given in real time. Weather that auto power can be removed in real time, however, is another question that does not have a clear answer, as henchmen never lose their upgrades.

If removing an inherent in real time is impossible, then nothing I say past here will be relevant. So for the sake of continuing my train of thought, let us assume that an inherent power can be removed in real time.

So we know that inherent powers can change a character's weapon model, we know that inherent powers can be given in real time and we have assumed they can be removed in real time. In that case, I give you what I see as a possibility: a weapons vendor. This will be a vendor who sells single-use temporary powers. Using a temporary power would change the appearance of your weapon once until another such temporary power is used. To keep things consistent, all characters using weapon sets have an additional auto power when they are created: Weapon. This is the auto power which represents the default weapon for the set. This auto power is removed and replaced with another one each time a weapon change temporary power is used and its description describes the weapon currently being used. I foresee these powers as powerset-specific.

Of course, all of that is conjecture on my part. It is based in truth and observation, but I have drawn assertions on it that, while they appear true, may prove to be false. I also have no knowledge of context and there may be other problems that are not evident to an uneducated observer such as myself. For what it's worth, given what we've been told and what I'm seeing, weapon customization at least appears to be a doable part of total power customization.

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I'm going to rehash some thoughts I posted a while back in a different section of the forums, but I think it's relevant here.

Ultimately, IMO, you have the problem of defining just what you mean when you say power customization.

Player A: I want to pick the color of my SFX.
Player B: I want to pick which SFX is displayed.
Player C: I want to create my own powers.
Player D: I want all of the above.

Any and all of the above are possible. All of them require significant time and labor from the art department, which means that we may never see them unless there's a reason to devote the entire art department to that sole project.

Color changes get suggested because, to the armchair designers, it intuitively seems like it ought to be simple to change a few RGB values. The hundreds of posts in this thread alone should be evidence of why that isn't really so.

I wonder sometimes whether using the Guild Wars model would make things easier, but I've no way to judge the implications of it. In Guild Wars, every item or armor piece has the equivalent of an alpha channel that can be custom colored. Changing the color doesn't recolor the entire object. It recolors whatever highlights the color mask has been defined to cover. In CoH terms, your fire imps would stay yellow, but the tips of the flames might change from shades of yellow/white to shades of your custom color.

Should people continue to make suggestions? Sure. Is anyone likely to come up with a miracle implementation that the devs have never considered? Highly unlikely.

However, I'm going to suggest that the devs DO have this in mind. Here's the thing: We have a form of color customization right now and we could have power effects customization tomorrow.

People have already mentioned the piston boots aura bug. Well, the only thing buggy about that was that it shouldn't have been turned on for piston boots. The actual FX currently works just fine for winged boots. You pick the highlight color of your winged boots in the costume creator. You turn on a travel power. The boots detect that you have activated a travel power and they add a colored aura to the power. The color of that aura is the highlight color of the boots. Change the highlight on the boots and you change the aura. Voila! You've just customized your travel power. Moreover, you've added SFX to the existing SFX of any of six running powers (sprint, super speed, prestige sprints) and maybe the flight powers (I haven't verified that).

It's a costume piece that watches for the activation of a power and then ADDS a customized SFX rather than altering the existing SFX. This is interesting technology, because it means that you may be able to go back to the costume database and add a "proc" to any costume piece in the game that allows it to perform a similar function. It means that you could potentially add a kind of power SFX customization all over the game without having to create a new user interface for it or remake all of the SFX art.

What about item 2? There's no way around the fact that this requires a commitment from the art department. Accepting that, let's have another look at those piston boots. Here we have another costume piece that reacts to the activation of a power. It doesn't add SFX to the power directly like the winged boots. It plays a custom animation when one of its associated powers is activated. Ditto for rocket boots. Cool, right?

Think about it - What is this except an experiment in creating alternate SFX for a power? It's a small step from rocket boots that ignite when you fly, to a sword with its own look and draw animation that tells the game engine "Use my art instead of the standard sword art when you have to draw me". It's another small step up from there to costume elements that completely redefine the SFX of a power when they are "equipped". Possible? Sure. Likely? I dunno, but I'll wager somebody at Cryptic looked at this technology as a stepping stone to something more than just a way to make your boot pistons fire when you jump.

How about Player C's request? I don't see a lot of talk about this, but the fact is that the devs have the technology to implement it next week if they chose to. In fact, we already do this every day. It's called the invention system. Every time you slot a "stealth" or "chance for healing" or "chance for psionic damage" or any IO that adds a new effect to the power it's slotted into, you're performing power customization.

Earlier in the thread, someone stated the the effect that "the devs can't create a blank power and let you choose your own effects". That statement is false. As of Issue 10, the devs can, very simply, create a powerset that consists entirely of powers that do nothing at all until one or more inventions are slotted into them that define what effects the powers will have.

To imagine that the devs themselves are somehow unaware of this potential and didn't deliberately design the invention system to allow for the potential to create such a powerset is just sort of ludicrous. This theoretical "fill-in-the-blank" or "craft-it-yourself" powerset may never see the light of day, but that will be a game balance design decision and not a game mechanics design decision. The mechanics and the technology already exist.

The point of all this is two-fold.

Firstly, the devs are pretty smart from what I can see, we don't really need to think outside of the box because they're already outside the box and indications are that they've been working outside of it for longer than anyone might have suspected based solely on what you can see from outside of the company.

Secondly, is that the current designs are ample evidence that a foundation is being laid for future developments with each issue. Issues 9 and 10 aren't just about fancy new content. They're about fancy new game engine tech that's powering that new content. That new tech has far-reaching implications beyond its immediate application. This is not an accident. It's a result of planning and brainstorming. The devs aren't focussed on today. They're focussed on targets three months or six months or a year in the future. The things they implement today are not the end of the road. They're stepping stones to the future.

When you see a new feature, don't just say "That's cool!". Ask yourself, "Where can I go starting from here?" You may be surprised. The winged boots are the only costume piece I'm aware of that currently behave in this fashion. When you color them, they generate a trailing aura effect when you run. This trailing aura is the same color as the boots. Strictly speaking, they're not changing your SFX, they're adding additional SFX. Whether this is qualitatively any different than customizing the SFX is up to individual taste. It means, for instance, that I can't change the color of my Dash streaks, but that I CAN add a new streak colored to my specifications that shows up along with the normal Dash streaks.

It's not what people typically think of when they mention SFX customization but that doesn't change the fact it's a different kind of customization. To see the potential, imagine that you have a pair of Thunder Gloves. Thunder Gloves are a costume piece that watches for electrical powers. If such is activated, it creates a cloud that stretches between the hand of the user and the target of the power. The cloud assumes the same color as the secondary color of the gloves. The lightning bolts are unchanged, but the same power now has the appearance of a bolt generated by a miniature thunderstorm and the coloring of the thunderstorm is under control of the player.

It's a different avenue to customization that allows for new potential changes to powers while leaving the existing powers SFX and their support code intact.

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Ya know, some people will argue against what I think and others will claim it just won't sell... but honestly, I think its about time for a paid expansion. Everyone likes their free updates and some people will rail against spending more money on an MMO that's 3 years old already. I think the added benefit of more budget to work with would get a lot more features & content into one big update rather than a little here and there over time.

I know this came up once before and the community was against the idea, but maybe its time for everyone to rethink the benefit of another real, full-blown expansion. CoV really breathed life back into this game because it gave us multiple new zones, 5 new ATs, several new powersets, lots of new enemies to fight, new features (like paper/radio missions), and just an all around "new" feel.

We need that again. I want that again. And I'll pay for it. long as it includes:
epic AT for villains (evil kheldians would be fine, you don't have to make entirely new content... just modify PBs and WSs to suit the red side),

new zones, and a PvP and/or Co-Op moon zone is a must.

"new" powersets for all existing Ats... which don't actually have to be new, but just expand player options by borrowing from existing stuff... storm summoning dominators (maybe illusions for them, too), some tanker weapon sets for brutes, etc... and bring over some of the brute & stalker attack & defense sets for scrappers & tankers, plant controllers, etc.

NEW powersets, of course, would also be nice... dual pistol blasters and corruptors, street fighting for the melee crowd (both sides, obviously), and maybe a pirate-themed mastermind set. Seriously, pirate minions using some of the dual blades powers be totally awesome... and maybe the old fashioned flintlock pistols the undead of the Banished Pantheon to fill out their ranged attack. That alone would sell an expansion... but pirate MMs in a moon zone would leave the game lacking only one thing: dinosaurs.

New giant monster threat: dinosaurs! Take 2 or 3 of the well known big ones and make them into radioactive mutations... and have them spawn on the moon... one, two, or three at a time (at random). Why? Why not?! Story? Time travel... whatever the big moon menace is, have their big plot involve time travel experiments and the mutated dinosaurs are the result of imperfections in the process... they get loose and run amok over hero and villain alike! w00t! I would so pay for that!!

Return of the 5th Column. C'mon, they're overdue. C'MON!! Maybe they make their return as the bad guys on the moon experimenting with time travel... and they are a small (loosely used for a limitless supply since they'll be there to fight as often as we do the missions) surviving faction of the 5th Column experimenting with time travel so they can go back and undue the history that lead to the Council overthrow.

More new costume options, more new costume options, and... oh yeah, more new costume options. Recipe created ones are alright, but I also like the Vanguard stuff where completing missions makes new Vanguard pieces available. Here's a great chance to slide by with a lot of extra options with not so much work going into the creation of new art for the costume pieces: make various NPC pieces available by completing missions. Players can "join" Longbow reserves and earn their uniforms by performing missions for a Longbow contact. Villains can drift away from their Arachnos affiliation by performing missions for various NPC criminal contacts and gaining access to that faction's unique look. But don't limit it to sides... both heroes and villains could get opposing side costume pieces by making missions of "go undercover to infiltrate this gang" to unlock the appropriate pieces. Lots of new contacts, lots of new missions (which shouldn't be made exceedingly difficult or into task/strike forces) means lots more for players to do to keep them interested in playing longer, etc, etc.

Power customization. I would expect this above all else in a paid expansion... because its one of those things that everyone asks for but it isn't in the time and/or budget to get it to us. If it comes with a price tag that also covers a bunch of other stuff... I'll happily pay for it.

Vehicles. This is real easy... I've seen suggested vehicles as pool powersets and such in the past, but the answer is simple! Temp powers. Don't cheap out on us like with the jet pack and Zero-G pack, though, making it attainable only once and with a limited amount of usage. I'd say make them limited use, but reacquirable over and over by performing the mission again... perhaps the mission could be for a grateful mechanic who rewards the hero by loaning him one of his special motorcycles (as fast as unslotted super speed) --or villains steal their motorcycle as their mission. Motorcycles are nice, but some people want a flying machine (beyond the rocket pack)... a skycycle (unslotted flight)! Different contact, tougher mission, whatever. Too much animation to deal with? Solution: Limit animation by making the use of vehicle temp power limiting the character to only affecting self (no attacking, healing, buffing others, etc). Activating the power "morphs" the players character into their character on the vehicle like how kheldians shape change. Possible? I dunno, but that'd be wicked cool stuff.

Cookies. Come on, I want a cookie. The donut emote is okay, but give us a cookie emote, too.

Speaking of which, we must have more emotes. Yes, we must. There can never be enough. Amongst the new emotes should be at least 2 or 3 new dance emotes (one of which could and possibly should be an air guitar move).

Seriously... free updates are nice, but the Marvel MMO will be out sooner or later and the little things we get tacked on in CoX's free updates are going to dwindle away eventually. Before that happens, we should have one last blowout attempt at a big basket of gaming goodness updates, upgrades, and fun quality of life improvements.

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Colors are really the biggest issue for me, particularly with energy blasts and force fields. Call me Versace' if you like, but it really sucks when your power colors clash with your costume colors. Also there's frequently incongruity between the origin of your powers and the color you're stuck with; I have an Illusion/Force Field controller whose powers are based on light, and the green force fields just make me sad.

I don't mind waiting on this. I don't need to hear "It's coming in Issue X" just yet. What I would like to hear is "we're working on it, and we will figure out a way". "Not going to happen" is simply unacceptable. Tough talk? What am I going to do about it? Well, nothing, of course; but I do see myself getting bored all that much more quickly with the game, and wandering away. Add power customization and suddenly I have four servers of alts that will keep me busy for quite a long time, not to mention the ideas that will pop up from imagining power sets with a different look.

There's so many people who want this, it seems like shooting yourself in the foot to leave it at "Not gonna happen". It's very disheartening to those who want it so badly, and an effective way of quashing their enthusiasm for the game. I realize it's difficult, I realize it's time-consuming-- but those are obstacles, not barriers. And to the people who say it would delay content, powerset and costume additions, and they couldn't care less about PC-- well, you've been getting content, powerset and costume additions since I1. The people who have PC at the top of their want list have gotten JACK since launch. You may not see anything worthwhile in PC, but many of us didn't get much out of Recluse's Victory, either.

What would be cool, and completely acceptable to me, would be if they spread the power customization project out over the next year. Then it could go live next July 4th, and WE will be the fireworks.

Plus, July 4th's my birthday, and what a present that would be...

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I think that's the biggest problem here, and we see it in ample evidence with auras. All sprites in this game already use greyscale to control alpha values, where white is completely opaque and black is completely invisible. They also use the SAME greyscale to tint the powers, making powers more white the more solid they are and more black the more transparent they are, and adding colours of a different hue to recolour the greyscale.

This is a problem for one simple reason - dark-coloured sprites come out almost invisible while bright-coloured sprites come out eye-poking. Imitating the pervasive black of something like Dark Armour is impossible with auras because black auras are almost invisible, for instance. If we want to recolour our powers, alpha values would have to be completely separate from colour and probably controlled by a separate setting.

Think of a simple Paint colour control - that has three settings for every colour, either RGB or HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminescence). The current control we have over sprite colours has Luminescence directly tied into a colour's alpha AND a colour's saturation, as well. This is one control, represented by the horizontal of the colour selection box. The other control we have is hue, represented by the vertical of the colour selection box. When picking a colour, every row is a separate colour - greys, reds, oranges, yellows, greens, cyans, blues, purples and back down to reds.

Each specific row starts with a very vivid, but very dark colour (high Saturation, low Luminescence), goes into a very vivid, very bright colour (High Saturation, Mid Luminescence) into a very faded but still vivid colour (High Saturation, high Luminescence) and ends in one or two samples of a very dull, faded colour that looks like a slightly-tinted shade of grey (the result of low Saturation, relatively high Luminescence).

Basically, we have control over one dimension of colour and a pre-set combination of the other two. For colours with pre-set alpha parameters, like those found on all object textures, this still gives us a pretty good selection of colours. However, on objects with variable-alpha levels, such as sprites (power colours), that gets more complicated because a sprite's alpha value is directly connected to its Luminescence. That puts three parameters on the same single control, and inevitably produces a lot of interference.

To get the ability to recolour out powers, we'd need to have at least three separate controls over colour - the two we currently have and one separate controlling the sprite's alpha value. That, I suspect, is pretty difficult to achieve, in that it would simply require a lot of stuff to be reworked.

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Re-Fixed it for everyone

Dictionary:noth·ing (nthng) KEY


No thing; not anything: The box contained nothing. I've heard nothing about it.
No part; no portion: Nothing remains of the old house but the cellar hole.
One of no consequence, significance, or interest: The new nonsmoking policy is nothing to me.

Dictionary: in·sur·mount·a·ble (nsr-mount-bl) KEY


Impossible to surmount; insuperable: insurmountable difficulties.

= Power Customization is not hard to do...just takes time to do

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My wife is an Industral Engineer, we talked about teh whole PC thing last night. She noted that when she dose a project that is the size and scope of what PC would be, it is not done all at once. It is installed over time, then there is the implamentation when all is ready.

If they do or have been working on PC it would be over time, with parts of it going in here and there in patches, but remaining inactive.

Part of what makes me think they may have had an wye towards this is the modding community.

(As a disclaimer I do NOT mod my client! Been tempted, but never done it. The reason i follow the modding community is because I was heavy into Morrowing Modding.)

They have suggested that there are refrences in the folders and code links to colors, and skins that are never actuly seen in the game. I am not going to pretend to understand the codeing of this game, or how their systems work, but those who mod do, or do better than most of us any way.

I do however remember what skin building in games like Q3 were. I know this is far more advanced, but if some one had the skin you used on their client they could see what you looked like, if not then not.

My point here is that at some time I think it has been worked on, or towards.

I know I said I was going to let it rest, I lied. The server is down and I am bored.

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There are four parts to this idea. It would DEFINITELY be an entire issue's focus, and could potentially take a minimum of six months to code with all the new animations to add... but it appears to be entirely possible with the current engine, and would make CoX the most potentially customizable MMO ever.

PART ONE: alter the existing power animations to correspond in concept with the player's origin.
Let's say I have an Energy/Energy Blapper named Angry Andy, who has a Magic Origin, an Empathy/Energy Defender named Ancillary Annie, who has a Technology origin, and a Mutant Mind/Empathy Controller named Mutie Mike. Andy's Power Burst should look like Magic, like a curse he is laying down on an enemy. Annie's Power Burst should look like futuristic devices, possibly some sort of 'glove blaster' or wrist cannon.
Equally, why should Annie's Technology-based Healing Aura look the same as Mike's? Mike's Empathy should probably look the same as standard Healing Aura-- an power that eminates from within. But Annie should have an animation that resembles technology, to give her power a sense of purpose. For Natural characters, animations are less 'showy' and bright. For Science characters, animations are like mutant abilities-- chemical changes occur in the body.

PART TWO: all Power Pool powers respond to costume choices.
Cryptic introduces costume pieces to correspond pieces that correspond to Power Pool sets. For instance, the Speed recipe is an aura that make the toon seem to vibrate and blur out of focus constantly, occasionally momentarily stuttering, when Super Speed is active, or causes a blurry animation in the toon's hands for Hasten. There's another one that just pales the character and adds a ring of ancient runes, meant to represent Magic. The Magic Presence Aura recipe is a large demon mask (like the ones Tsoo wear) that floats in front of the toon when a power is active.

PART THREE: there is a color set in the Auras area that allows 5 colors to be selected. Powers now draw their colors from one or more of these these five color channels, and a guide is published so that players can tell which channels their colors use, that can be set in the ICON window (or at character creation).

PART FOUR: give all players who log in during the month the issue is released a one-time, every-logged-toon, free '+Origin' respec, that lets your reselect your Origin, and also resets your elected Veteran reward powers as well (Sands of Mu/Axe, Nemesis Staff/Blackwand, and your companion). In case you picked your Origin long before these things mattered, you can reselect the Origin of your pleasure. (You will not be able to slot SO's or DO's in your old origin, of course.)

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Lemur Lad:

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I was reading a post about why Power Customization would be hard and nodding along thinking "yep, it would be" when I realized a way it could be done that uses stuff that's already there.

Step 1 (how to make the UI work): you choose a "power pool" for your character at creation/respec time that is an animation style of the power. So for energy blast, there'd be "red energy blast" and "blue energy blast" "pools" and each would have the same 9 powers, just with different colors and (possibly) different animations/sound effects. This would be done just like the power pools now, with a button at the top of the section "choose a primary look" instead of "choose a new power pool" and the number of choices limited to one instead of four.

Then once chosen, it would appear there just like already chosen power pools do now.

Step 2: (implementing this behind-the-scenes): it'd be just like the way they copied the power sets for another AT, pretty much. there would be 2 of each power.

Step 3: once you do this for energy blast (which definitely should be the first one done - it's been asked for most, and it's already part-done) -- do another everytime you have the spare time. Invulnerability should be early too, since 2 colors/styles of it already exist.

So, after energy blast, do energy melee over in blue (also already partly done)... do fire control over in "dark" (smoke) look... do superstrength both with and without camera shake... do martial arts with and without the particle effects... do a version of Broadsword with a gold or black sword...etc. Whatever you think of. maybe do polls to ask what people want alternates of next.

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BBQ Pork:
I had hoped for something like that as a band-aid variant of Power Customization.

For a set of macros
/macro Axe1 "powexec_Anim Chop$$powexec_name Hack"
/macro Axe2 "powexec_anim Beheader$$powexec_name Disembowel"
Your Broadsword Scrapper could use the Battle Axe animations (played like emotes) over the top of his Broadsword powers, giving the illusion of having a different weapon.
The first problem is that all actual effects of the power must stay as the original power: Damage and Endurance cost obviously, but also the time alloted to play the animation as well, or else everyone would macro all thier powers to something fast, like Brawl.
If a superfast animation was placed over the top of a power with a longer animation, then it would have to play within a longer time, with your character just standing around doing nothing for a second or two to make up the difference.
If a long animation were placed over a short one, then it would possibly have to be chopped to fit, or you would run into other problems.

In the end, I've just given up on power customization for CoX, and certain powersets like AR. (Since we can't pick up those rifles that certain Crey minions use. )

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So perhaps a great alternative to the idea of posting about how to effectively achieve power customization (and the resultant attempts to shut down any mention of it), would be to allow those of us out there who are in fact programmers, with experience in graphics development, etc... to postulate in a thread how they might achieve something like this, based on what is known about how the engine is working (ie; via BaB's post).

Yes, I know that since none of those speculating are involved with the actual development of the game, that their sentiments concerning it will in fact be speculation, however, it will at least give the devs a post full of semi-educated theories from which, if they so choose they can discuss among themselves the feasability of implementing.

Does that sound like at least a happy medium solution?

Lemur, while I understand where you are coming from, many posts are attempts by players to discuss feasible ways to accomplish PC. Granted, in this particular thread, the term "baked in" and its meaning seemed to have taken hold, and that is the reason why BaB came in and explained its usage in his post, so, he was clarifying for Ultimo's sake, and that seems acceptable.

The truth is that no one culled a dev response to Ultimo's question. In fact, many people simply gave their takes on how something was done, and it did not make sense to him. So, we will mark this as a favorite, and remember BaB's post so that any further misunderstanding concerning the term "baked in" can be easily answered.

However, and I post so that you do not think I was ignorant to previous responses, I asked BaB about the workload and its effect on content simply to know if those who said "we want content, and not power customization, cause we won't get content" were incorrect in assuming that time devoted to this end would mean no content whatsoever for them.
Thanks, as always, though, for your input, and wisdom.

Perhaps you failed to see that at one point States said we would never see flashback, and then recently, came back and said it was possible and that the idea grew on him? Things change. That said, I agree we have been explained to. However, when someone suggests an idea for the implementation of a system (granted, I assume it is not an idea the devs have already said no to), it is not always that they have not read what the devs have said, but that they are attempting to suggest an idea that could possibly be the solution.

Rather, perhaps the problem is that people tend to be rude as opposed to supportive, and quick to be sick of the same questions, instead of gracious to those who have never asked them.

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This may have been brought up once before, but what about the possiblity of slowly rolling Power Customization out. Say i11 Powerset x gets new customization. X would equal 3 or 4 powersets. Then i12 x2 gets upgraded. Sure it's not perfect and some would be left in the cold for a while, but it would be better than waiting for all to be put in at one time.

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3 or 4 issues to do power customization, that would be a long time to wait for that feature. I would wait that long for that to be put in the game. The reason I say that is because it's been about that much time since we've had any new powersets. Bases, ED and GDN took quite a bit of time to impliment and they turned out to be (in some part) negatively received by the playerbase. If the Devs a had put that time to power customization it would've been done long time ago and would've only serve to enhance the overall immersive quality of this game.

Actually, yes I do get some of my immersive experience from pretty colors. I can only speak for myself, but a significant part of my superhero experience in this game is in the customizing of my characters. I take pride in selecting the colors and costume combinations for them. I won't even play a toon if I don't like the way that it looks -- I don't think I'm alone in this.

In addition, when players for power customization discuss their wants, it's not just about "pretty color." It's also about weapon customization too. Nearly all of the weapons that we get in the game are pretty mundane in appearance. Where are the Mjolnirs or Terrax the Tamer styled axe. Where are the over the top guns and swords that you see in the comics. Most of the really cool looking weapons in this game belong to the NPCs.

I'm not trying to get on the Devs case about power customization. I'm just expressing my opinions on it. They've already said that it would be a major task to impliment it, so if they don't do it, life goes on. However, if there's a slight chance that they may reconsider, I'm gonna express my opinion for it and gladly listen to opposing opinions about it.

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At some point, bells and whistles translate into $$$. The devs will have to realize that CoX is going to have to be able to compete with the next generation of MMOs as well as those currently on the market, for a limited number of player dollars. I know that if we had more pretty colors, we'd have more wives and girlfriends playing alongside their men. (And yes, I have educational background in advertising/PR which includes demographics, as well as a wife who used to play CoH.) If we had more player-customizable content we'd retain some players that might ordinarily leave when another MMO comes out that does include that type of content. At some point, the return has to justify the time and expense if the devs want to see CoX stay competitive with the rest of the market.

Yes, new/updated villain groups are important. Yes, new missions are important. Yes, new/updated zones are important. However, when we're playing in CoX, we're playing our characters...the one factor of the game we identify with as ours. Therefore, customization of characters will always be inherently more important to a large percentage of the players than other content.

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Olaan: it would take the efforts of many of the cryptic programmers and artists several issues at the expense of bug fixes, balance issues, stability, possible additional content, etc while it's being developed.

If the above mentioned sacrifices mean I can have green fire, purple energy blasts, black ice, and/or a sword that looked as though it were carved from a piece of obsidian born in the ninth level of hell then by all means tell them to get right on it.

Good things are worth waiting for and sacrificing for.

Especially if you could somehow get them to tack on minion customization for anticilary/patron/mastermind pools...

Besides that...character creation in this game has always been almost a game onto itself...

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While I am pro power customisation I'd like to describe the current power data chain (As I understand it).

1. Sever decides you have activated a power.
2. Server sends power activation packet to client, this contains power id, power source and power destination (at least)
3. Client (sometimes) recieves the packet
4. Client looks up the id in piggs, goes and gets the .geo which (I believe defines the shaders, and textures)
5. Client goes and gets the the shader (depending on the shader model supported by your gfx card) and textures
6. Client renders power.

So for _just the colour change part_ you need.
1. Alter the code that stores persistent data about a player to add in the colours
2. Add a UI to choose those colours
3. Change the network code that handles power activation packets to include the colour
4. Change the network code on the client that handles power activation packets.
5. Change _every single_ power shader across all supported shader models such that they accept a colour tint parameter
6. Change every single power texture and add another alpha channel to define the colourised areas and alter the texture accordingly (note adding the alpha channel may impact performance *)
7. Change every single non-PC power description to send the colour that matches the old "baked in" colour

* Performance: previously the baked in texture was 24 bit RGB (ignoring potentially many other alpha's) the power customised version would still be RGB with another 8 bit alpha adding +33% to most of the texture storage requirements. I don't believe you could approximate the current power textures with only 8bit grey and 8 bit alpha.

I understand why it would be laborious. And I can see there are no shortcuts. I still think it would be worth it though.

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Here's a thought:

There are still numerous bugs and QoL issues that have been around for varying amounts of time, some since launch of CoH. Why not make an Issue that's all bug fixes and QoL stuff (most of which requires little to no art work) and let the artists slave over Power Customization animations?

Or another idea, last time I read anything about Cryptic I believe it was stated somewhere that before expenses but after taxes Cryptic made about 8 million dollars off CoH last year...where's all that going and why can't some of that be used to hire more artists?

Even hire more for a short term gig since something like this is a gonna be a GUARANTEED boost to subscribers.

Power Customization = CoX breaking 200,000 active subscribers for the first time in a long, long time. End of Story.

If the wishes of the CoX player base (since CoH Beta) aren't enough to persuade Jack to make Power Customization and bug/QoL fixes a priority then the extra 40,000+ subscribers, and their money, that would result from it should be...

EDIT: We also don't need everything at once. Recycle old animations and other animations from other powers into a menu where you choose the animation to be associated with your power. Then you choose from which point the power eminates by doing that. You want an energy rifle? Ok the your powers will use the AR character animations but the energy blasts will come from the gun muzzle instead of bullets...

Want to fire blasts from your head? Then use the eye beam and other head touching animations (many used with psychic attacks) and have the energy blasts fire from that spot...

We've seen character animations recycled for various powers with what appears to be someone going "Ok here's the touching the head animation which has a 'power hardpoint' on the forehead. Lets make a sonic animation come from there instead of the pink psychic one and stick it in the sonics set."

Granted I'm sure it's more complex than that but it's still gotta be easier than giving us full and total customization and it'd be a helluva lot better than the power customization we currently have aka none.

Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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Hey all, Oldtimer returning here to chime in.

I'm one of the ones who pointed out in mid-beta that this 'feature' was going to, eventually, be a mandate---if for no other reason than to upgrade the graphics and long-term viability of the game.

As BaBs pointed out, the doing is feasible, but the trade-off would be no other or very little other new content until PC becomes fully operational. I'd be willing to deal with this for many reasons. I'll list a couple:

1: desirable; a majority seem to favor it; I know it's been wanted since mid-beta.

2: in-line with the already existing 'character customization' system CoH/V are famous for

3: breath of new life, new draw for the game

In all honesty, I think this feature to the game should've been done immediately after CoV or even during that development as was feasible---with an eye towards it's eventual inclusion. As it is, I'd recommend doing it now before even more new Issues are installed. Get I11 out the door and then no-holds barred, full-steam ahead on PC before anything else.

IMO, of course

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Well thats a good lot of quality ideas there from the community and official wording from the dev's so far.

If i missed anyone, please feel free to re-post any thread or topic in here that you previously posted in another thread.

Lets make this an official thread and hopefully a sticky.Where we can talk about ideas, get info from devs when they are ready to talk about it, and come up with a way to make it happen.

NO Slander, No Flame Wars, Only constructive ideas and thoughts and solutions. This way there will be 1 massive thread and people can ignore it or post and add to it. I

Instead of having all those threads coming up every week. It needs to be done like this. It is due and overdue for this to be a sticky if only to provide a newbie guide for this issue among other things.






21 = Blackjack!! Winner!

Lol but seriously I am going to stay ...dont hit me i don't want any more cards to bust and get 22 (lets not blow this kiddies)



I'll stop caring about my counter if we manage to reach 31



Well this thread will hopefully end your counting days



Good, maybe more people will post on it, in THIS thread I hope

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yes I hope so too...we are going on 4 years now of this game being released and after so so many posts on the matter it makes perfect sense to have just 1..i have sent Pm's to those who posted in the "how to make it work" thread asking them to move it to here...Carnage the originator of that thread didn't seem very interested in replying to anything and didn't want to make it i stepped up and did the right thing.



I think there has been some great suggestions on how to make this work...

if anyone has any new is the time

thanks for viewing this post



Please someone send a PM to the powers that be that like to ignore me...
and get them to LOCK all other threads about power customization plz..

plz plz plz.



Please someone send a PM to the powers that be that like to ignore me...
and get them to LOCK all other threads about power customization plz..

plz plz plz.

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Or combine them.

Types of Swords
My Portfolio



That was the idea was to combine them here




You didn't put in my beautiful homage to all these wonderful power customization threads. I'm offended.



well if they are wonderful like you say and they will help and not hurt...then go on ahead



Please someone send a PM to the powers that be that like to ignore me...
and get them to LOCK all other threads about power customization plz..

plz plz plz.

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Agree lock the other threads and make this a sticky




I love you, the end.

Listen to Survival Guide. Because you should!
"You have a mom? I thought you were conceived through pure win?" ~Spinestradamus
"reading ur posts is like reading a stop sign, its red oddly shaped and makes me come to a complete stop...then i go" ~anon rep; thank you



Excellent Thread

Happy to see it being Stickied!

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Thanks !



I love you, the end.

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Happy Birthday!!!



well if they are wonderful like you say and they will help and not hurt...then go on ahead

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might just wanna forget about it then.



You can have the mods sticky, delete, ban, lock all other threads or even cause other threads to spontaneously combust, creating an unescapable DoT burn-patch in the forum...

.... smart money still says power customization has about as much chance of happening as Koko the "talking" gorilla presenting you with the complete works of Shakespeare, produced from her personal lap-top. But do carry on.

Waiting for PEGASUS! and pies with wings!:



hey at least this is an organized thread

Who is Koko the talking Gorilla?