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Q: Here's a follow-up question on character balance. We assume that as time goes by, more tweaks and adjustments need to be made to make sure all characters are on roughly equal footing. So how do you see villains stacking up against heroes in the long run? Will one side or the other be more reliant on having group members to support it? What kinds of unique strengths and weaknesses will villains have compared to heroes? How will those differences eventually guide players into choosing which characters to play as? Will villains be better suited to a specific type of player, for instance?
JE: Our focus on PvP has always been on teams, whether the players are villains or heroes. All "City" archetypes are made to work within the framework of a group. Hero archetypes tend to be more extreme in their abilities than villains. A tanker, for instance, has higher protection values than any villain archetype. The controller has stronger mez abilities than the nearest villain equivalent, the dominator. But all the villains have more damage capabilities (on average), and they also have unique abilities. To use the previous example, the brute builds up "fury"--the more damage he takes, the more he does.
And a snip from Jive Magazine's Q&A:
Q: With City of Villains comes base-building, as well as a certain amount of crafting from found surplus. One of the hallmarks of City of Heroes was the lack of looted items, so were there many concerns during development about surplus adversely affecting the COH/COV Universe?
A: I wouldn't exactly say that there's crafting; player "skills" such as tailoring or blacksmithing play no role in the Salvage mechanics. Instead, players collect Salvage from mobs and mission rewards - then take them to a workshop in the base. Players open up new blueprints for base objects through Super Group accomplishments.
Here's why it isn't "loot" according to the classical definitions. First, Salvage drops randomly from mobs. No single mob has "better" stuff than another. Every villain group drops stuff that's equally useful to all Bases. Players won't be focusing on any particular villain in order to get the l33t stuff. Secondly, Salvage items add additional functionality and coolness, but we've tried to avoid making them absolutely necessary for Bases. Lastly, every player has an equal chance at Salvage; they won't need to wait in line for a particular spawn to occur.