Architect Entertainment Instructor

From Unofficial Homecoming Wiki

Overview

Architect Entertainment Instructor.jpg

The Architect Entertainment Instructor is a type of NPC found in the Main Studio and Studio B of an Architect Entertainment Building. The Instructor has walkthroughs, instructions, tips, and tricks for using the Mission Architect.

The Instructor also has special introductory text as part of The Architect Studio Manager's tutorial arc.

What follows is a transcript of the interactive text:

Editing Note: Do not correct grammar!

This is a copy and paste from the game. Everything is being left 'as is' so that we can send in grammar bug reports based on this text. If you notice a typo or error, please check the text on server. If the text here on the Wiki doesn't match the text on the server, then update the Wiki to match it exactly. If the text on the server is a typo or a mistake, then /bug it in the game. The patch on 3/30/09 fixed almost all reported typos.


Initial Greeting

Architect Entertainment Instructor

Hi, Character. I'm here to help you through the various elements of the Mission Architect.

If this is your first time here, I recommend going over our Walkthroughs to help guide you through the Architect systems.

Now, is there anything specific I can help you out with?


Walkthroughs: Playing Creating and Customizing

Architect Entertainment Instructor

Walkthroughs

Here you'll find a variety of walkthroughs that will help explain each of the major features of Mission Architect.


Walkthrough: Playing Stories

Walkthrough: Playing Stories in Mission Architect

Overview
In Mission Architect, you can play arcs created by both heroes and villains. While playing stories you'll gain equivalent experience and rewards as you would outside of Architect Entertainment. The only real difference you'll notice is that you'll also collect Tickets. You can redeem these tickets at a nearby Architect Ticket Vendor for rewards.

Mission Browser
You can access a Mission Browser from any computer in the Main Studio or in the No Powers Studio B. The Mission Browser is where you'll see stories published by other heroes and villains. Our database gives you a number of sorts and filters to help you find the adventure that's right for you.

Sort Options:
- Rating: Sorts the highest rated content to either the top or the bottom of the list.
- Length: Sorts the longest missions to either the top or the bottom of the list.
- Date: Sorts the newest stories to either the top or the bottom of the list.

Search Options
Clicking the text that reads 'Search Options' will expand a small portion of the Mission Browser window. Here you will be able to filter your searches through a handful of options. Notice that as you filter your search, your filters will be displayed at the top of the window following the Filtering by: text

Search Options:
- Text Field: Type in what you want to search for here to filter your search to just those stories. This search will search the Name, Description, Enemy Group and Author Name.
- Rating: Filter stories by Stars, Developer's Choice and Hall of Fame.
- Length: Filter stories by their length.
- Morality: Filter stories by their suggested alignment.
- Language: Filter stories by language.
- Only show me arcs I haven't played: With this toggle turned on, the Mission Browser will only show you stories you haven't played. This is on by default.
- Only show me arcs I haven't voted on: With this toggle turned on, the Mission Browser will only show you stories you haven't voted on. This is on by default.
- Clear: This button clears out all search filters.

As the stories in the Mission Browser grows, Architect Entertainment recommends using multiple filters and sort options to help you find the adventures you want. Now, let's move onto Rating Stories.


NEXT: Rating Stories

Walkthrough: Playing Stories in Mission Architect

Rating Stories - The Star System
As you play through stories created by others, you'll get the chance to rate the story from 1 - 5 stars. If you rate the content well, the creator will gain tickets.

Comments
You can also leave a comment to the creator of the story you're on, telling them what you liked or what you would like to see them improve.

Hall of Fame
Arcs that become very popular among the community will earn the 'Hall of Fame' rank. Hall of Fame stories get permanently stored on the Arc Server and free up one of the three story slots for the person who created it.

Developer's Choice
Dev Choice stories are stories that the developers hand pick as the best of the best. Dev Choice stories get permanently stored on the Arc Server as well and free up one of the three story slots for the person who created it.

Guest Author
Guest Authors are individuals specially brought in to tell stories within Mission Architect. You can think of these stories as a type of Dev Choice.

We've covered how you rate stories and the different types of ranks a story can have. Now, let's spend some time talking about what happens to those stories that are considered inappropriate for Mission Architect.

NEXT: Inappropriate Stories

Walkthrough: Playing Stories in Mission Architect

Inappropriate Stories
Mission Architect wants an enjoyable experience for everyone. To that end, we have to heavily monitor all the stories being created within this system. We hope you will aid us in keeping a watchful eye for stories, characters or situations that aren't acceptable.

Flagging Content
Stories that have inappropriate content can be flagged for Architect Entertainment's Customer Service team to investigate. You can flag content by hitting the Architect Options button in your compass window. At the bottom of the window you'll find a big red button that says Report for Content. Hitting this button will open up another window, allowing you to give more detail regarding the story.

Report Options:
- Inappropriate Content: Stories that step outside of the T for Teen ratings or violate the End User License Agreement (EULA) in some way.
- Copyright Infringement: Stories that use characters, plots or events owned by others.
- Broken or Bugged Mission: Stories that have problems that make it uncompleteable.
- Other Violation: Reasons not listed above that make the story inappropriate.

Once one of these four options is selected, players are asked to fill out a complaint about the story. These complaints will be viewed by both Customer Service as well as the original creator of the story (if the story gets banned and unpublished). Be as constructive and helpful as possible. This is not the place to vent your anger or frustration at the creator or Mission Architect as a whole.

Banned Once
If a story gets flagged repeatedly for inappropriate content there is a chance the story will get pulled from the server before customer service investigates it. This unpublishes the story. The next time the creator logs into Architect, he will be notified that one of his stories was banned. He'll also be able to read any complaints left about this story. From here, the creator will have the option to make some changes to the story and republish it or simply delete the story altogether.

Banned Twice
If the creator makes changes to the story and republishes it, the story goes back up to the Arc Server as normal. However, the story is being watched. If it continues to get hits for bad content the story can and will get pulled again. The creator will again be notified that the story has been pulled. They will also be informed that from this point, they are not allowed to simply republish the story. Instead, they have to make any changes and submit the story directly to Customer Service.

Report to Customer Service
Once the story is submitted to CS, it'll be up to them to decide how best to proceed. They can choose to mark the story as acceptable, removing all flags from the story and not allowing any other flags to be placed on it. However, they can also decide that the content is unacceptable and take action against the creator. This action could range from a simple warning to being permanently banned from Paragon City and the Rogue Isle entirely.

Now that we've covered the negative side of story creation, let's cover the positive side. Let's look at Rewards in Mission Architect.


NEXT: Architect Rewards

Walkthrough: Playing Stories in Mission Architect

Architect Rewards
You can break rewards in Mission Architect into two distinct groups, Rewards for the Creators and Rewards for the Players.

Creator Rewards
Those who make stories for Mission Architect will receive Tickets based off of player approval. The higher a story is rated the more tickets the creator will gain. There is even a chance that if the story is liked well enough that it'll move into the Hall of Fame. When content gets moved into the Hall of Fame the story is then permanently uploaded to our Arc Server. This frees up one of the creators story slots to create even more great content.

Player Rewards
Those who choose to play others stories in Architect will earn equivalent experience and rewards as if they were adventuring outside of this simulated environment. The only key difference is that players will gain Tickets, instead of random drops. These tickets can be redeemed at a local ticket vendor for Enhancements, Inspirations, Salvage, Recipes and more.

Architect Tickets
Perhaps I should explain exactly what Tickets are. Architect Tickets are similar to our Merits System. As you defeat enemies on an Architect map or complete objectives you gain Tickets. When you complete a mission, you gain bonus tickets equal to the amount of tickets you collected throughout the course of your mission. This bonus actually increases for each mission in a StoryArc.

Badges
While playing in Mission Architect you can earn Architect specific badges. There are a number of badges for playing in both Test mode as well as playing Published content. However, the only other badges besides Architect badges that can be earned while in Architect are the badges that are granted to you for earning a certain amount of badges.

That concludes our walkthrough of playing content in Mission Architect. Please feel free to ask me any other questions about our system, or you can jump right in and access the computer behind you.

Walkthrough: Creating Stories

Walkthrough: Creating Stories in Mission Architect

Overview
Mission Architect allows you to create your own adventures and share those adventures with every other hero or villain in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. While others play your adventure, they gain knowledge, experience and rewards equivalent to outside of the virtual world of Architect Entertainment. We do try and keep things here as realistic as possible after all. Once the players are through with your story, they have the opportunity to rate the experience from 1 - 5 stars. The higher your story is rated by other players, the more rewards you'll earn as well. So, try to come up with the best stories possible.

Creating Stories
You can create stories or arcs as we call them at any of the Mission Architect Computers located in the Main Studio or in the 'no powers' Studio B. There are two types of stories, those you have Locally and those you've Published.

Local Stories
Local Stories are stories you're currently working on or that you don't want to share with the world at large. You can have as many local stories as you want.

Publishing Stories
You can publish up to three stories and share them with others. Each story can have up to five missions. Each mission having up to 25 goals. When an arc is published others are able to see your arc, play it and rate it. The better rated your arc becomes the more tickets you'll earn.

Testing Stories
While working on your story, you can test it as if you were actually playing the missions. You can even have a team of up to eight other heroes and villains accompany you. While testing no one gains experience, earns tickets or any other type or reward except for 'Testing Specific' badges.

That covers a general overview of what Mission Architect is. Now, let's jump into the actual story creation process.


NEXT: Story Settings

Walkthrough: Creating Stories in Mission Architect

Stories in Architect are broken up into three logical parts, Story Settings, Mission Settings and Mission Goals. Stories are a series of chapters or missions that follow one after the next. You can have up to five missions in a single story in Mission Architect.

Story Title & Description
The first step is to come up with a name for your story and a short description. When you publish your story, this information will be what other players see. It will also be one of the factors players use to determine if they want to play your story or not, so make it good.

Story Contact
A Story Contact is the person or object who tells the story to the players. You need a name for the contact and you need to determine the type of contact. You're options are Default, Standard Contacts, Enemy Groups, Objects and Custom.

Contact Types:
- Default: The blank hologram contact.
- Standard Contacts: Any existing Story Contact already in our database.
- Enemy Groups: Every individual in our database from Paragon City and the Rogue Isles.
- Objects: Inanimate objects that can also be used as Story Contacts.
- Custom: A Story Contact who you create yourself using our custom character creator.

If you're not sure what to put for the Story Contact, don't worry, you can always come back later or even leave it blank.

Story Parameters
Story Parameters are optional settings not required for the story to be playable. Currently, the only setting is the Suggested Alignment. Suggested Alignment is the recommended alignment of the story. Note: this setting doesn't restrict players from playing the story. It only suggests that the player be of a specific alignment or at least of that mind set when going in to play your story.

Souvenir Clue
Souvenir Clues are pieces of information the players take with them once they're through with the adventure. These clues are keepsakes to remind the player of your adventure.

Souvenir Clue Options:
- Souvenir Name: The name or title of the clue.
- Souvenir Description: The body of text for the clue.

Next Step
Now, let's look at the next part of creating a story in Mission Architect, the Mission Settings


NEXT: Mission Settings

Walkthrough: Creating Stories in Mission Architect

Mission Settings
Now that you've named your Story, picked your Story Contact and filled out any of the optional story settings, you can begin working on your first mission. In Mission Settings you define all the high level aspects of your mission. Where does the first mission take place and who are enemies that populate it?

Enemy Group
Here you pick the type of enemy you want to populate the mission. These enemies can be Standard, existing enemies already in our database or Custom, enemy groups created by you. Note that Standard enemy groups are restrictive by security level. You can see their level range next to their name in parentheses: Clockwork (1 - 20).

Map Type
Once you've chosen the enemies you want in the mission, you need to select the location or the map for the mission. Each Map Type is made up of multiple individual maps, broken down by length.

Map Length
The over all size of the map. Common options are Tiny, Small, Medium and Large.

Map
The final option for setting the location is choosing the specific map. You can leave the map as Random by default, or you can choose from one of the individual maps in the list.

When you select a specific map, you will see important information about that map displayed on the right hand side of the Mission Architect window.

Map Information:
- Map Image: This is the overhead image of the map. If the map has multiple floors there will be an arrow to the right of the image that allows you to cycle through the different floors.
- Map Details: Each map can only hold a finite amount of mission goals (see Mission Goals). In the Map Details section you see how many of each type of Mission Goal are allowed.

Mission Parameters
Here you can chose optional settings for this specific mission. Currently, your choices are as follows:

Mission Parameters:
- Mission Pacing: This controls the level range progression of enemies on the map.
- Time to Complete: This sets the amount of time the players have to complete the mission in minutes. Be aware that setting a timer creates a potential for the players to fail the mission.

Mission Complete Clue
This gives the players a clue, or a piece of information, once they've completed the mission. A clue usually reveals some deeper aspect of the story to the players.

Mission Complete Clue
- Clue Name: The name or title of the clue.
- Clue Description: The text of the clue given when the player completes the mission.

Now, let's look at the actual text of this first mission.

NEXT: Mission Text

Walkthrough: Creating Stories in Mission Architect

Write Text
There are five required text fields for a single mission, six if it's possible for the mission to be failed. Lets go over each one below.

Mission Introduction Dialog
The first dialog the players read regarding the mission. It's spoken by the Story Contact to the players.

Example: 'I really need your help with something. There's this guy... and, uh, he's doing something really bad.'

Mission Send Off Dialog
The dialog the players read after they accept the mission from the Story Contact.

Example: 'Thank you so much for helping me. This guy hangs out in this old office building. His name's Frostfire; he's a member of the Outcasts.'

Compass Active Task Text
This is a short description displayed in the navigation or compass window while the players are on the mission.

Example: 'Defeat Frostfire'

Still Busy Dialog
The dialog given by the Story Contact if the players return to them but haven't yet completed the mission.

Example: 'Have you taken out Frostfire yet? It's really important for you to go into that old office building and have a talk with him, preferably with your fists.'

Return Success Dialog
The dialog given by the Story Contact when the players returns after successfully completing the mission.

Example: 'You did it! I can't believe you took out Frostfire. Did he happen to mention anything about my sister? That's why I wanted you to talk to him. Did I forget to mention that?'

Additional Text
These are text options that are not required for the mission to be playable, but help add depth and personality to your story.

Mission Title
The title of the mission, displayed in all the Story Contact dialog windows.

Example: 'Face Off Against Frostfire'

Mission Subtitle
The subtitle of the mission, displayed directly underneath the Mission Title.

Example: 'Part One or Mission One or Prologue'

Mission Accept Text
The text the players click when they agree to take the mission from the Story Contact. By default this text is ' Accept '.

Example: 'Agree to take out Frostfire'

Mission Entry Text
You can have a window popup when the players first enter the mission map.

Example: 'You were sent in here to take down Frostfire, but something tells you there's more going on than meets the eye.'

Mission Success Text
You can also have a popup window appear when the players exit a mission they've successfully completed.

Example: 'You've taken down Frostfire. Now return to your contact and find out what's really going on.'

Mission Fail Text
Finally, you can have a popup window appear when the players exit a mission they've failed to complete.

Example: 'You didn't manage to take down Frostfire. He got away.'

Return Fail Dialog
Dialog spoken by the Story Contact when the player returns having failed the mission. This only shows up if the mission can be failed. Failing a mission does not stop the story from progressing.

Example: 'What? He got away? But what about my sister? He was supposed to know where she was. What am I going to do?'

Now, you have the overall story settings chosen, you've picked the location, picked the enemies and written the dialog for the first mission. Next we move onto Basic Mission Goals.

NEXT: Mission Goals

Walkthrough: Creating Stories in Mission Architect

Basic Mission Goals
Mission Goals are achievable objectives placed in your mission. These goals range from having the players defeat a specific boss to collecting information from a computer. Normally, Mission Goals must be achieved in order for the mission to be considered completed. However, you also have the option to turn this on or off.

Now, let's look at each specific Basic Mission Goal. You'll be able to get more detailed information about each of these later.

Fight a Boss
A boss is a powerful enemy that the players will face as they play through the mission. This could be the climactic fight at the end of the mission or just a cool encounter along the way.

Example: The Boss, Frostfire, must be defeated in order for the players to successfully complete their mission.

Collect an Object
An Object is an inanimate piece that appears on the mission map that the players can interact with. This object emits a sound and a glow to alert the players to its whereabouts. Many Architects refer to these objects as 'glowies' because of this. Objects are useful for finding clues, planting false evidence, or even a prized item to be stolen or retrieved.

Example: Break into that office and steal the credit card data off of their computers.

Defeat All Enemies
This makes it so the players must defeat every enemy in the mission in order for it to be completed. Note, Defeat All Enemies ensures that players stays in your map, however, forcing them to run around and track down the last (and oftentimes elusive) enemy can be a potentially frustrating experience.

Release a Captive
Captives are harmless individuals in the mission for the players to rescue. Once freed, the Captive immediately flees to the nearest door for safety.

Example: Enter the abandoned warehouse and rescue Jane Marie.

That covers all of the Basic Mission Goals, now if you like, you can continue on to the Advanced Mission Goals.


NEXT: Advanced Mission Goals

Walkthrough: Creating Stories in Mission Architect

Advanced Mission Goals
Advanced Mission Goals are just like Basic Mission goals except they have a higher level of complexity to them. These goals range from having the players rescue an ally that fights with them throughout the mission to defending an object from being destroyed. As with Basic Mission Goals, many Advanced Mission Goals have the option to not be required for complete. However, Patrols and Ambushes can never be required for Mission Complete. They are always not required mission goals.

Now, let's look at each specific Advanced Mission Goal. You'll be able to get more detailed information about each of these later.

Add an Ally
An Ally is a 'friendly' person in the mission who will follow the players around and help them fight.

Example: Positron is surrounded by Malta. Once they're defeated, Positron stands up and says, 'Thanks, now let's shut this place down.' The player can then go through the rest of the mission with Positron by his side.

An Ambush
An ambush is a wave of critters who will chase after the players once a Mission Goal has been completed. Ambushes don't just happen. They need to be triggered by another Mission Goal like the player defeating a Boss, clicking an Objective, or Rescuing a Captive.

Example: 'Once the final hostage has been rescued, a wave of Arachnos soldiers storm the mission map.'

Add An Escort
An Escort is a 'friendly' person who the players must rescue and then led to safety (exit). Escorts are dangerous because there's a chance the person can be defeated before the players can get them to the exit. This causes the mission to automatically fail. Escort missions can also be set up as kidnappings, depending on the flavor text and animations you use.

Example: 'Arachnos needs you to break into a tech lab and kidnap a Crey scientist.'

Add a Patrol
Patrols are enemies that wander the map. This Mission Goal is good for making your map feel more alive as well as fleshing out the story of your mission.

Example: As the players enter the map, they notice two guards walking around. One guard says, 'So, you think the boss is actually going through with it?' The other guard says, 'Between you and me, I hope not.'

Add a Battle
This lets you add two Enemy Groups to your mission that duke it out!

Example: 'Arachnos is invading a Longbow base and there are skirmishes between the two groups throughout the mission.'

Add a Destructible Object
This lets you add a Destructible Object and guards surrounding the object to your mission. You get to choose the Object, and the enemy guarding it.

Example: Somewhere in this warehouse is a cursed relic that will doom the world if it's not destroyed.

Add a Defendable Object
This lets you add an immobile Object to the mission that the players must defend against a wave of attackers.

Example: You need to protect the altar from the Circle of Thorns until the ritual is complete. If they destroy it, all the world is doomed!

That covers all of the Advanced Mission Goals


Walkthrough: Custom Characters

Walkthrough: Custom Characters

Overview
While Mission Architect has the largest database of heroes and villains in the known dimensions, sometimes it can still not be enough. That's why Architect allows you to create your own characters. You can pick the rank, fighting preference, powers, gender, costume, name and description of your custom character. Custom characters can be used in any of the following ways:

- Story Giver: This is the person who acts as the contact for your story.
- Boss: The major boss you want the players to fight.
- Allies: A hero or villain the players come across on the mission who teams up with them.
- Captive: A helpless citizen the players must free.
- Escort: A person the players must track down and safely lead out off the map.

Now let's look at how to create a custom character in more detail.


NEXT: Creating Custom Characters

Walkthrough: Custom Characters

Custom Characters
You can create a custom character from the 'My Creations' tab in the Mission Browser. Just look for the text that reads My Characters. Select that text then select the button that says Create Character. When you hit this button you'll begin the Character Creation Process.

Rank
All characters in the Mission Architect have a Rank. This lets others know how powerful they are.

Character Ranks:
- Person: This is the weakest rank possible. The Person rank doesn't even have powers. Because of this you can never have a character ranked Person as a Boss, Escort or Ally. They can only be the Story Giver or a Captive.

- Minion: This is the lowest powered rank in Architect. Minions are a dime a dozen. They're weak, slow and easy to take down.

- Lieutenant: Stronger and faster than a Minion, but no where near as tough as a Boss.

- Boss: Bosses are stronger and better than Minions and Lieutenants. They don't appear as often on a map, but when they do, they're dangerous.

- Elite Boss: More powerful than a simple Boss, Elite Bosses give players pause before they try and take them down. A single player may have difficulty taking one of these down.

- Arch Villain: The meanest of the mean. These characters strike fear in the hearts of whole teams. While they provide the greatest rewards for players who defeat them, they also deal out the most lethal attacks and have the strongest defenses.

Fighting Preference
Once you've selected the rank of you custom character, you can choose their preferred fighting style. You're options are:

- Melee: The character prefers to fight up close and personal.
- Ranged: The character prefers to stay at a distance to attack.

Flight Preference
Finally, you can choose if your character has the ability to fly or has a Reflection Effect on them.

Now, let's pick some powers for this character.


NEXT: Custom Character Powers

Walkthrough: Custom Characters

Choosing Powers
We've divided powers up by their associated archetypes. However, if that's too confusing for you, we've also included an 'All' group. Powersets are listed by their traditional archetype or in one list located under 'All.' Note that while custom characters are receiving powersets similar to the ones that players receive, the powersets have been slightly modified -- they are not exactly the same. Also, custom characters are not limited by archetype or gain any of the special advantages of archetypes. They fight at the level of player characters, which is stronger than the standard NPC foes. And they can take powerset combinations that players are not able to -- you can have a Defense Set of a Tanker or Brute paired with a Blast Set of a Blaster or Corruptor!

Primary Powerset
The first step is to select a Primary Powerset. This is the primary attack powerset your custom character is going to use. Powersets are a group of powers that work well together and have a similar theme. In a mission, your custom character will choose which power from this powerset to attack with. When you select a powerset, notice the column just to the right. This displays a description of the Powerset as well as the individual powers attached to that set. If you highlight over these individual powers, you'll notice the column just to the right of that will display important information regarding that power. Feel free to explore each of these Powersets until you find one that fits your custom character.

Secondary Powerset
Once you've picked the Primary Powerset, you must not select the Secondary Powerset. This powerset can also be an attack power, but it's recommended that it be something more defensive. However, the choice is yours.

Now that you've selected the powers for your custom character all that's left is to select a gender, outfit them with a costume, and give them a name, a description and an enemy group.


NEXT: Finishing Touches

Walkthrough: Custom Characters

Body Type
Now that your custom character has powers, it's time for you to select a body type (female, male and huge). Experiment with the sliders to get the body type just how you like it. Once you're ready, hit Next to continue.

Costume
After body type you get to pick the costume or outfit your custom character is going to wear. Architect has a lot of options to choose from so take your time and get it just right. Note, if you don't get it just right, you can come back at any point and edit the costume.

Registration
Finally, you have to register your custom character with Architect Entertainment. To do this, you'll need to come up with a valid name and description. You'll also need to attach this custom character to an enemy group. If this is your first time creating a custom character, there won't be any enemy groups to choose from. You'll have to come up with a new one. However, when you make your second custom character, you'll notice a drop down list next to the enemy group filed that will allow you to pick from existing custom enemy groups.

You've created your first custom character. Excellent. I'd recommend going over the Custom Group walkthrough as well.


Walkthrough: Custom Enemy Groups

Walkthrough: Custom Groups

Overview
Just as you can create your own characters in Mission Architect, you can also create your own character groups or Enemy Groups. Custom Groups are made up of Minions, Lieutenants and Bosses. Creating your own Custom Group allows you to populate a mission map with all your own enemies, adding even more control and flexibility to your stories.

Now, let's look at exactly how you go about doing this.


NEXT: Creating Custom Enemy Groups

Walkthrough: Custom Groups

Overview
You can create a Custom Group from the My Creations tab in the Mission Browser. Just look for the text that reads My Groups. Select that text then select the button that says Create Custom Group. When you hit this button you'll be taken to another window that will allow you to create or manipulate custom enemy groups. Note, that you can add existing enemies into your custom groups as well.

Available Enemies
On the left hand side of this window, you'll notice a large column that displays all our existing enemies in our database. You can select any of these enemies and add them to a new custom enemy group on the right hand side of this window. You do this by selecting the enemy group you want then finding the specific enemy you want to add into your new group. Click on that enemy and you'll see text that reads Add+ next to it. Clicking that enemy again will add it to your new group. If you want to remove a character from a custom group, click on that character in the window on the right. You'll then see an option to remove him.

There are tabs in the enemy group window that will filter the enemies to a specific rank. Clicking Minion, Lieutenant or Boss will show you only the enemies in that group of that rank.

When you select a enemy, you'll notice a preview window on the right will display the enemy and any important information such as name, powers and rank.

Custom Enemies
On the left hand side you should also see an option for Custom. Selecting this will show you all of your custom enemy groups and enemies that you've created. If you want to add or edit existing enemies, you can select the Create Character button or the Edit Character button at the bottom of the window to do

Now lets talk about Enemy Group Level Coverage.


NEXT: Enemy Group Level Coverage

Walkthrough: Custom Enemy Groups

Group Level Coverage
At the bottom of the Custom Group window you'll notice a bar with markings that go from 1 - 50. This bar is a visual representation of the level ranges of your enemy group. It shows you whether or not you have an enemy within that level range. Ideally, you should have multiple minions, lieutenants and bosses in every level range from 1 - 50.

Thankfully, Custom Characters automatically scale from 1 - 50 so all you have to worry about is having enough variety to keep the group interesting. This is not the case with Standard Enemies already within our database. These enemies have a very predefined level range. To that end, when you add existing enemies to your Custom Enemy Groups, make sure you cover your level ranges fully from 1 - 50.

That covers creating and editing a custom enemy group. If you have any other questions, I suggest returning to the main menu for further assistance.


Mission Goals: A Detailed Description

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Mission Goals

We've broken our mission details into two sections, Basic and Advanced.

Basic
Fight a Boss, Collect an Object, Defeat All Enemies and Free a Captive.

Advanced
Add an Ally, Add an Ambush, Add an Escort, Add a Patrol, Add a Battle, Add a Destructible Object and Add a Defendable Object.

Which section would you like to learn about?


Basic Mission Goals

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Basic Mission Goals
Basic Mission Goals include the following:

- Fight a Boss: A powerful enemy the players must defeat.
- Collect an Object: An object that must be collected from the mission.
- Defeat All Enemies: All enemies on the map must be defeated.
- Free a Captive: A helpless captive that must be found and set free.

Select a Mission Goal from below to get more information.


Fight a Boss

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Add a Boss

The Boss Mission detail allows for players to fight a major threat in the mission. You can place as many bosses in a map as the map allows. Bosses can be required for mission complete or they can be optional.

You must specify the boss name and the enemy group of the boss, but you can also change the enemies surrounding the boss, the animations the boss does when approached as well as the alignment. There are also multiple lines of dialog that you can write for bosses as well.

Settings
You should be aware of the following settings for this Mission Goal.

Alignment
This controls what side or team the boss is going to be on when the players approach him. Options include:

- Ally: The boss is actually on the side of the players and the enemy of all the other characters on the map. You can't have a boss set as allied and still require him to be defeated for the mission to complete.

- Enemy: This is the default setting. The boss is the enemy of the players, just like everything else on the map.

- Rogue: The boss is the enemy of the player, but is also the enemy of other characters on the map as well. This boss isn't liked by anyone.

Surrounding Enemy Group
This sets the enemies that are surrounding the boss. All bosses come with a group of minions or lieutenants around him. This option sets the group for those enemies. By default, this is set to Same As Boss

Make the Boss run away when hit points drop below...
You can make your boss run away when he gets to a certain percentage of his health.

Make the Boss run away when ally count drops to...
This allows you to set your boss to flee when his surrounding minions drops below a certain number.

Defeat Condition
There are two ways the boss can be considered defeated.

- Entire Encounter needed to complete: This means that the boss and all of his surrounding minions and lieutenants must be defeated in order for the Mission Goal to be considered complete.

- Only Boss needed to complete: This means that the players only have to defeat the boss, not the boss and his minions.


Collect an Object

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Collect an Object

Collect an Object is a Mission Goal where players must find and interact with some physical object in the map. This could be a computer, a wall safe, an altar or a number of other objects.

Settings
You should be aware of the following settings for this Mission Goal.

Collection Type
Collection Mission Goals are broken down into two categories: Wall and Floor. This determines the general location of where these objects will spawn. A Wall object can only appear on or against a wall where as a Floor object is the type of object only found on the floor.

Interact Time
This is the amount of time in seconds the players must remain next to the object. As the timer counts down, the players will see a progress bar filling up.

Remove Object on Complete
Once the players have finished interacting with the object, you have the option to remove it from the map.


Defeat All Enemies

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Defeat All Enemies

Defeat All Enemies is a Mission Goal where the players have to defeat all the enemies in the mission. Actually, there are two states for a Defeat All Mission Goal.

- Defeat All Enemies on the Map: The players must track down every enemy on the map and defeat them.

- Defeat All Enemies in the end room: The players must only defeat the enemies in the last room.

It should be noted that if you choose a Defeat All Enemies Mission Goal, you should make sure the player is aware of this in the Active Task Text for the mission. Also, it should be noted that generally players do not enjoy a mission where they have to defeat every enemy on the map. So, if you choose to do this, make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.


Release a Captive

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Release a Captive

Rescue a Captive Mission Goal is one where the players must enter the map, track down a specific person and defeat the surrounding enemies. This releases the captive and allows them to flee to the nearest exit door. Of all the Person Mission Goals, this is the simplest. It can't be failed and the fleeing captive can't be targeted or defeated in anyway.


Advanced Mission Goals

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Advanced Mission Goals
Advanced Mission Goals include the following:

- Add an Ally: A character on the map who helps the players.
- Add an Ambush: A wave of enemies that come after the player.
- Add an Escort: A character on the map that must be led to the mission exit.
- Add a Patrol: A group of enemies that wander the map.
- Add a Battle: Two enemy groups that duke it out until the players arrive.
- Add a Destructible Object: A guarded object on the map that players must destroy.
- Add a Defendable Object: A guarded object on the map that the players must defend.

Select a Mission Goal from below to get more information.


Add an Ally

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Add an Ally

Add an Ally Mission Goal is one where somewhere on the map is a character who will team up with the players and potentially aid them in combat. The Ally can be surrounded by enemies or they can be by themselves waiting for the players to find them.

Settings
You should be aware of the following settings for this Mission Goal.

Enemy Group Difficulty
Within this setting is an option for Single. This removes all of the surrounding enemies from the ally, leaving them standing by themselves.

Ally Behavior
This is what the Ally does once the players have 'rescued' him. Options include:

- Follow: The ally will follow the players through the map.

- Run to Nearest Door: The Ally will act like a Captive and simply run to the Nearest Door and leave the mission. The difference between this and a Captive Mission Goal is that the Ally will fight and be attacked while attempting to flee to the door.

- Run Away: The ally will run away from the players, but remain on the map.

- Wander: The Ally will not follow the players, but will wander the map, similar to a patrol.

- Do Nothing: The Ally will simply stand there and only fight enemies that are around him, assuming you set his Combat Abilities to Aggressive or Defensive.

Combat Abilities
This setting determines how the ally is going to interact with enemies on the map. Options include:

- Fight Aggressive: The ally will attack other enemies on the map, often times running away from the players to engage.

- Fight Defensive: The ally will fight other enemies but will remain as close to the players as possible.

- Non Combat: The ally will not fight enemies and enemies will not attempt to fight the ally.

- Pacifist: The ally will not fight enemies, but will be attacked and potentially defeated by them.


Add an Ambush

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Add an Ambush

Add an Ambush causes a group of potential enemies to come after the players on a mission. This Mission Goal is triggered after the players complete another goal on the mission. For example if the players interact with a computer that causes an ambush to come after them. The trigger is the computer. Ambushes can't be set as required for mission complete.

Settings
You should be aware of the following settings for this Mission Goal.

Create Ambush when...
This is the mission goal that creates the ambush. You need to link this ambush to an existing mission goal in order for it to work correctly.

Ambush Alignment
The alignment of the ambush when it is created. Your options are:

- Enemy: This is the default. The enemies are red to you.

- Ally: The ambush that is created is actually your ally. They will not follow you, but they will attack anything around you.

- Rogue: The ambush is your enemy, but they are also the enemy of others on the map. They will fight you and anything else that comes their way.


Add a Battle

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Add a Battle

Add a Battle has two enemy groups on the map fighting with one another. You can set who those enemy groups are as well as some dialog they say to each other and when you approach them.

Settings
You should be aware of the following settings for this Mission Goal.

Multiple Enemy Groups
Notice on this Mission Goal that there are two Enemy Group options. The first is for one enemy group, the second for the other. Throughout this Mission Goal the two different enemy groups will be referred to as Enemy Group One and Enemy Group Two.

Battle Alignment
This sets the alignment of the battle on your map. Options are:

- Both Groups are Enemies: The two groups are fighting each other. Both groups will be hostile to the players as they approach. This means they can potentially defeat one another before the players arrive.

- Group One is Ally: Both groups are fighting, but the first group is allied with the players.

- Group Two is Ally: Both groups are fighting, but the second group is allied with the players.


Add a Defendable Object

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Add a Defendable Object

A Defendable Object Mission Goal is an object the players must defend from waves of attacks. Before the players can defend the object, they must first find it and defeat the surrounding enemies. This will cause the wave of enemies to attack. This Mission Goal is considered complete when the players have successfully defeated all the attacking enemies.

It should be noted that this Mission Goal can be failed. Because of this, you'll need to make sure to fill out the Mission Failure Dialog spoken by your Story Contact at the end of the mission.


Add a Destructible Object

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Add a Destructible Object

A Destructible Object Mission Goal is one where the players are sent into a mission to destroy a specific, physical object. The object will be guarded by enemies. The detail is considered complete when you've successfully destroyed the object and the enemies guarding the object. This detail can't be failed.


Add an Escort

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Add an Escort

An Add an Escort Mission Goal is one where the players must track down and locate a specific person on the map. Once they find and free that person, they have to lead that person back to the mission exit door. Depending on how you set up the Mission Goal, it's possible that the person can be defeated before they get to the exit door. In these cases, the mission goal will be failed.

Settings
You should be aware of the following settings for this Mission Goal.

Enemy Group Alignment
This sets the alignment of the enemy group, including the person the players are supposed to escort. Options include:

- Default: The person being held is your ally and the surrounding group are your enemies.

- Rogue: The person being held is your enemy as is the surrounding group. This option is possible as a required element for the mission, but if the players kill the person the mission will fail. This setting can be useful for kidnap missions because the enemy has the potential of fighting you along the way.

Combat Abilities
This sets what the person does once the players have rescued him. Options include:

- Fight Aggressive: The person will attack other enemies on the map, often time running away from the player to engage.

- Fight Defensive: The person will fight other enemies but will remain as close to the player as possible.

- Non Combat: The person will not fight enemies and enemies will not attempt to fight the person. This setting is good if you want the players to have a safe and easy time escorting the person out of the mission.

- Pacifist: The person will not attack the enemies, but the enemies will attempt to attack and defeat him.

For the cases of Fight Aggressive, Fight Defensive and Pacifist, there is a chance the person can be defeated.

Arrival Behavior
This sets what the person will do when they reach the mission exit. Options include:

- Do Nothing: The person will simply stand there and do nothing.

- Follow: Once the person is escorted to their destination he will follow the players.

- Run Away: The person will run away in fear when they reach their location. They will remain on the map and not attempt to exit the mission door.

- Run To Nearest Door: The escort will run away and find the nearest door from which to exit.

Wander: Upon arrival, the person will begin to wander around the area.

Betrays on Arrival
Betrays on Arrival means that once the person is taken to the mission door, he will turn hostile towards the players. This doesn't prevent the mission from being completed.


Add a Patrol

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Add a Patrol

A Patrol Mission Goal is one where a small group of enemies wander around the map. These enemies can have dialog to help further the story. Patrols can't be flagged as required for mission complete. They're simply useful to make the mission feel more alive.


Tips & Tricks

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Tips & Tricks

Rearrange Missions
You can click on any mission on the story progress bar and drag it to another location. This means you can rearrange missions in your story by simply dragging and dropping them to the location you want them to be. This is especially helpful since you can temporarily move a latter mission of an arc to the first position and then you're able to immediately test just that mission. When done testing that mission, you can move it back to the position you want.

Right-click in a text field
When you right-click in a text field, you get a variety of options to choose from. You can change the color, scale and font of the text. You can even insert what we call 'text substitutions' which allow you to call out the players name, origin, class, level and supergroup.

Question Marks
Every option in Architect has a ? attached to it. Use these question marks like tool tips to guide you through the story creation process.

Architect Taskforce
Unlike other taskforces outside of Mission Architect, you can add people to your team after you've already started the mission.

Map Placement
Maps that are entirely outdoors do not have a Front, Middle or Back. This is because those locations are based off of individual rooms. Outdoor maps are considered to be one big room. To that end, picking placement for enemies in outdoor maps may not work the way you want it to.

Security Level Scaling
When you play stories in Mission Architect, we automatically scale you to the level range of that story. For example, if you're level 10 and the story you're playing is level 25 - 30, we'll scale you up to level 25. Also, in this same example, if you were level 40 and you went to play this mission, we'd scale you down to level 30.

Text Replacement
When typing dialog, there are a number of situations where you may want to refer to the players by name, level, class or gender. To do this, add the dollar sign $ to the front of these key words:

Commands:
- name or target: Replaces this text with the name the player.
- class or archetype: Replaces this text with the archetype of the player.
- origin: Replaces this text with the actual origin of the player.
- supergroup: Replaces this text with the name of the player's super group. If the player doesn't have a super group the text "No Supergroup" is displayed.
- level: Replaces this text with the level of the player.
- heshe: This option allows for gender switches, since the game knows whether you're playing a male or female you can specify which gender using the heshe replacement command, 'he' or 'she'. If you use capital versions of HeShe, the game will display them as capitals with replaced 'He' or 'She'
- himher: Similar to heshe, this text can be used to display the proper gender of the player. This command also supports capitals. HimHer becomes 'Him' or 'Her'
- hisher: Replaces this text with the gender of the player. This command also supports capitals. HisHer becomes 'His' or 'Her'.
- sirmam: Replaces this text with 'sir' or 'mam' depending on gender. This command also supports capitals. SirMam becomes 'Sir' or 'Mam'.

Remember, you're going to have to add the dollar sign $ to the begining of these commands in order for them to work.

Unlockable Content

Architect Entertainment Instructor - Unlockable Content

As you play through stories in Mission Architect and even as others play your stories, you'll earn Tickets. You can then take these tickets to an Architect Ticket Vendor and redeem them for various rewards. Some of those rewards are unlockable content to use within Mission Architect. Unlocking this content unlocks it for all of your characters. Below is a list of things that can be unlocked with Tickets.

Enemy Groups: These are full enemy groups such as Axis America, Praetorians and The Winter Horde.

Characters: These are packs of unique characters such as The Arachnos Pack that includes a Rank: Boss version of Lord Recluse, Ghost Widow, Mako, Scirocoo and others.

Map Sets: These are full map sets, with multiple maps in each set such as 5th Column, Original Caves and Arachnoid Tech.

Maps: These are unique map packs that contain similar maps in a group such as the Croatoa Map Pack that contains outdoor maps of many of the Croatoa areas.

Costume Pieces: These are different costume pieces that you can unlock that allow you to use these pieces on characters within Mission Architect. Examples include, Custom Weapons and Shields, Cimeroran Costume Pieces and Holiday Event Pieces.


How to Write a Better Story

How to Write a Better Story

Below are some of the things we here at Architect Entertainment suggest for making your missions better. These are not hard and fast rules, but are best practices for creating better content within Mission Architect.

Don't Over Write
We know you want to write your story as complete as possible, but you're going to lose the players after about five or six lines of text in the first window. This isn't going to be the case for some players who really like story, but for others who are on the cusp, you need to be as concise as possible. Keep your Intro Dialog, Send Off Dialog and Return Dialog down to a paragraph. Any other elements of the story you want to express, use patrols, clues, battles and boss fights for that.

Be Clear
Be clear and simple. Tell them exactly what they need to do for mission complete. We understand the desire to be mysterious about objectives, but players are going to get confused and frustrated if their Compass Text doesn't tell them what they need to do. That little window is going to be the overall 'storyteller' for them. Any other mission details are going to be secondary storytelling devices to the Compass Text. Make sure at every step the player understands, in clear terms, what it is they're supposed to do.

Format and Color Your Text
Players don't respond well to the wall of text. Use the right-click color options for text fields to color your text. Traditionally, we have the Mission Title and Subtitle a blue color so it stands out. We then suggest you find the one line that's really important for the players to read and color it orange. This is the line that if they only read one sentence, this would be the one. It's generally something like, 'I need you to go into that warehouse and beat the tar out of Frostfire.' If you're Intro or Send Off dialog doesn't have that line, it should. You can also highlight key names and places if you want, but go easy on the formatting. You want it to enhance the dialog, not distract from it.

Add Patrols for Story Purposes
Patrols are great ways to make your mission feel more alive and to add more dialog to your mission. Most players on a team won't see your Story Contact dialog, but everyone will see the dialog of a patrol walking around. Place the Patrol at the Front of the mission map and write a line or two that reveals part of the story.

Use Clues
Clues are great ways to progress your story. It's generally a good idea to give one out at the end of every mission as well as for any glowy object the players come across. Bosses and Release Captive mission goals can have clues as well.

When you have multiple clues in a mission use the earlier clues to help build the tension or set the stage for the climax of that mission. Keep your clues focused to small realistic bits of information.

Don't Use the mission goal Defeat Alls Enemies
Generally, players don't like to hunt around the map looking for the last guy. They'll get frustrated, bored and rate your mission badly. So, if you do use this mission goal, use it carefully. Here are some guidelines for acceptable 'Defeat All Enemies' mission goal:

- Make sure it's a small, simple map.
- Make sure there are other mission goals in the mission as well.
- Make sure it's clear to the player in the Compass Window that they have to defeat everything in the map.


Building a Better Enemy

Building a Better Enemy

Creating custom enemies and even custom villain groups in Mission Architect is not difficult. However, creating good enemies and groups is harder and it all revolves around you, the writer. Here are a few tips that should help turn your ho hum villains into something you can be proud of!

Start with an Idea
Have a good basic idea of who/what this enemy is and what he/she/it does that makes it memorable. I'm not talking about specific powers or even backgrounds at this point - you are putting a bad guy into a mission for a reason; that reason changes many of the other decisions.

Be Aware of File Size
Remember that custom villains are expensive in terms of mission file size. An entire custom villain group can quickly eat into your budget. Prepare accordingly! If you make a single group that's using too much memory, you can always make smaller sub groups you use can use in different missions. An example is using a real enemy group would be Arachnos, where there are dozens of critters to use. You could make a 'Wolf Spider' sup group, a 'Mu' sub group, a 'Widow' sub group and many more. That way you can use a sub group that helps focus your story and that saves you file size so you can add those custom Allies or Boss(es).

Let's Get Organized
As a best practice, put all your created characters in one or more Master enemy groups. Then, when you create missions for a StoryArc, don't use one of the Master enemy groups, but instead create one or more new enemy groups to be used just for that mission or arc. Copy into those arc-specific enemy groups some or all of your created characters from your Master groups plus any standard NPC foes. This way, editing an enemy group for one arc is not going to have unintended effects on any of your other arc

Mission Difficulty
Think about how hard of a mission you want this to be. If you are making a Test to Destruction mission, you are going to want to make different choices than if you are making an I want to tell a cool story mission. Everything from combinations of powersets, to enemy rank to critter difficulty setting change how hard a custom critter can be.

Notoriety
Related to Difficulty, is the target player's Notoriety - your hand crafted uber-tough boss becomes a Lieutenant if they player is on the lowest notoriety setting - which is a perfectly valid choice for them. Remember that players won't always be seeing your creation in exactly the same way you experience it during testing. So you may want to test your missions at various difficulty levels so you know what your players may encounter.

Test Your Creation
Before filling out all the Boss strings and background information and hand crafting a lovely costume, pick the powersets, difficulty and AI that you want him to use, and launch into a test map to see how he fights. Iteration and testing can go a long way towards making a memorable encounter. Once he fights the way you want, go back and...

Boss Chat
Fill out the boss chat dialog. This is some of the best way to get your story background to all the players on the team, not just the guy who talked to the contact. If you have a fully custom group, be careful not to go overboard with this, though, since it is easy to overwhelm the player with too much text flying up at once.

Test Flags
Back to testing. Make sure all your flags go off when you expect them to!

Ranged Attacks
And last, if at all possible, always try to give your critters a ranged attack or give them the power of flight. There's nothing sadder than an AV who can't attack the hovering Blaster, 20 feet over his head! Or, at least give your grounded melee boss some back up minions and lieutenants with ranged attacks and maybe even -Fly debuffs.


Chatter

When clicked after completing the Architect Entertainment introduction, Architect Entertainment Instructor will respond with one of the following phrases:

  • "I'm a certified Architect Instructor. I've got a diploma and everything."
  • "Uh... I'm a little busy right now. Can you maybe talk to the other Instructor. Thank you. Have a nice day."
  • "That's quite a view, isn't it?"
  • "I'm on break, ask the other guy."
  • "I'm working with another client at the moment. Please speak with another representative."
  • "Sorry can't talk. Ask someone else for help."