There are plenty of criticisms leveled at the storyline structure found in MMOs. Heck, there's even a long-running blog called Kill Ten Rats
that brilliantly sums up those criticisms in one fell swoop (even though that blog's name comes from a place that has a lot of heart for the genre). But NCsoft is willing to see if players can do any better in City of Heroes
content update Issue 14 -- an update that gives players the mission-building portion of the developer's kit. Sure, in a persistent world populated with thousands of players it's still difficult (if not impossible for the majority of MMOs) to rise above the "kill ten rats" formula. But it's the characters, dialogue, story, objective, etc., that will elevate the wheat from the chaff, and NCsoft will be paying attention and duly rewarding the best of the best. As Issue 14 moves into open beta, this will be an intriguing experiment
Calling all superheroes and supervillians... City of Heroes Content Update Issue 14 is officially making its debut via the game's open beta session. In Issue 14, players will have an opportunity to create and give feedback on one of the most in-depth player created mission systems in an MMO to date! The Mission Architect game system is a robust new system that allows players to literally design their own missions for the game, determining details ranging from environments, mission objectives and enemies, to the written fiction and character dialogue. With Mission Architect, players will also be able to share their creation with the entire City of Heroes community as everyone's story/mission masterpieces will be available in-game for fellow gamers to play and rate - and the higher the rating, the more benefits and rewards players will experience.
City of Heroes Issue 14 was developed by NCsoft NorCal in Mountain View, CA. In addition to the launch of Issue 14, NCsoft will be releasing City of Heroes Architect Edition for both PC and Mac in mid-April, a retail product featuring Mission Architect alongside other content updates.
For more information, please go to the official City of Heroes site at http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/news_archive/issue_14_open_beta_begins.html