The devs at Ship of Heroes are giving us an update on their plans for 2021, and also talking about the mission content they are currently building. It seems they are adding some new kinds of missions not seen in City of Heroes, like extra-difficult solo mission content called challenge missions. And of course, there will be story arcs, task forces, and various missions from random contacts scattered over Apotheosis City.
There will be another major SoH Beta in the next two months, which will be open to everyone. The devs tell us that donors will likely get access to the event one week early. This particular event will focus on allowing players to run through a low-level mission arc that is granted by Iris the Great and focused on the Mage’s Guild. In addition to this arc, players will be able to enter and play the Christmas missions seen a few months ago in the Snow Lair, and try out two of the challenge missions – really difficult content that may need a team to complete.
This newsletter has screengrabs of several places we’ve never seen before aboard the FHS Justice. It seems the devs have been really busy creating new maps and locations, ranging from Engineering break rooms to Ship Security offices.
In total, the next event will showcase twelve missions, including an introductory mission called “Welcome Hero”, which gives new heroes an overview of life aboard the giant spaceship.
One of the technical features that the devs want to test is the use of the new Unreal Engine feature called Replication Graphs for instanced missions in an MMORPG setting. This allows the server to maintain up to ten separate instances of a map, each with separate players and enemies, but only need one copy of the map itself. This is supposed to improve server performance and lower cost, but as far as we know, it has never been tested in a public setting by an MMO team.
Over the last few years, Ship of Heroes has regularly tested their game’s progress in public Alpha and Beta events – this will be the sixth such event so far. The devs think they are on schedule for a game launch late in 2021, but they do hedge by saying that launch depends on the feedback they get from this event, which may well be the last or next-to-last public Beta before launch.
Ship of Heroes will launch a major Beta in April or May, and then likely begin closed Beta testing of mission content before the end of 2021.
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