5 underrated player-created missions in City of Heroes

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I love games that let players create their own content, and City of Heroes is currently experiencing a renaissance of player-made mission arcs, thanks to the switch to free-to-play rejuvenating the playerbase. Paragon Studios does a great job of highlighting top-quality story arcs that it comes across, but there are a lot of awesome adventures falling through the cracks. Here are my five personal favorites currently slipping under the radar. You can find all of them by visiting any of the Mission Architect headquarters in-game.By John Sollitto

This article initially ran in PCG US #217.

1. Doctor Geist and the Scientific Method

Just a dash of this and a little dash of that.

Time to finally use everything you learned in high school science class! As Dr. Geist’s bitter new lab assistant, you use espionage and sabotage to destroy another scientist’s reputation. The variety of map locations and the manic quest-giver (along with the sheer enjoyment earned from impersonating another character successfully) propelled me to replay this mission over and over again. It’s a great introduction to the Mission Architect system for new players, and really shows off the potential for building creative stories, not just mindless kill-fests.

2. A Hero in Need...is a Friend Indeed!
Arc ID# 375018 | Creator Wrong Number | Level 5-14 | Play for The wicked fun boss fight

Fear my thunder fists!


Interacting with iconic characters from CoH’s lore is common fare for player-created missions, but this particular arc puts a big twist on helping Paragon City’s Statesman. While it starts out as a mundane run-and-grab questline, it soon leads to an incredible battle with the Gamester, the evil trickster who plagues CoH’s winter holiday events. Mission objectives are put together well, with misleading clues and comical dialog adding a lot of flair, and the final fight is drool-worthy eye-candy, thanks to the author’s custom-designed NPCs.

3. Captain Skylark Shadowfancy and the Tomorrownauts of Today!
Arc ID# 337333 | Creator The Cheshire Cat | Level 30-40 | Play for Over-the-top boss battles

Is that a Shadowfancy? What an odd naming choice.


A maniac is threatening to blast Earth with a giant Fear Ray and it’s up to you and the Tomorrownauts, a team of heroes dedicated to protecting the Earth for future generations, to take him out. You have to smash your way through a lot of robots and parasitic aliens—this arc is overflowing with bosses and vast, cavernous maps that you can easily get lost in. But marching side-by-side with Captain Skylark against the classic villain Baron Doomsday made me feel like I’d reached nerdvana. Reprogramming Doombots to give the Baron a taste of his own laser-rocket medicine is a fun break from the usual tank-and-spank boss fight.

4. By Any Other Name
Arc ID# 337333 | Creator The Cheshire Cat | Level 30-40 | Play for Over-the-top boss battles

I should not have eaten spaghetti for lunch.


Players are so used to fighting the Rikti (an elusive, aggressive alien race), that they’ll be hesitant when one shows up to ask them for help at the start of this arc. But teaming up with this elite agent sets you on a great adventure across farmland, caves, and warehouses. Along the way, you’ll battle a corrupted human and then collect resources across an entire map to restore her to her original state. If you do, she’ll join you as a powerful ally in the final battle. More than any other arc I played, this one provides a unique experience by twisting the game’s well-established lore on its head.

5. The Do-It-Yourself Casino Heist Project
Arc ID# 404549 | Creator Twoflower | Level 20-54 | Play for Shenanigans and clever dialog

This is a metaphor for mindless gambling, right?


Aided by your over-sexed assistant Goldie Digger, you gather a team to heist a prized diamond bust of Marilyn Monroe from the Golden Giza Casino. After extracting and shanghaiing the wacky members of your crew from hairy situations, you end up in a casino map and blast your way to the vault only to find a deadly surprise inside. The arc’s campy dialog and playful feel is fantastic, but the heist gameplay is by far the highlight of the show. Skirmishing with casino guards, defending your safe-cracker as he does his thing, and getting out alive with your prize is perfect fun for any would-be Danny Oceans.