NCsoft's City of Heroes is four years old, and having spent half a decade creating content for the superhero themed MMO, the developers are ready to hand the reigns over to you, the player. In his 'What a long, strange trip it's been' post on the game's forums, lead designer Matt Miller (Positron) reveals an upcoming feature for the game that will allow for player-created content on a level unheard of in an MMO.
Similar in concept to our character creator, it allows you, the players, to create missions and story arcs for your characters and others to participate in. You'll be able to pick the map, villain group, and objectives, as well as write the dialogue and any clues needed for the missions. When you are satisfied with it, you can upload it and have other players across all servers play it and rate it. Fame will come to the players whose stories rate the best overall.
I'll pause while aspiring comic book writers all over the world apply a moist towelette to their nether regions.
What Positron so nonchalantly tosses out in a forum post could be one of the most significant advances in the history of the MMO. While games like Asheron's Call 2 toyed around with giving players some degree of control over the game, full-on user-generated content is completely new to the genre. Back at GDC 2007 when Phil Harrison talked about Gaming 3.0, where the experience was driven by user-created content and community interaction, I never thought I would see the concept applied to a game like City of Heroes. I don't like to bandy about the term 'revolutionary', but damn if it doesn't apply here. As Leigh put it, this could very well be the beginning of MMO 2.0.