I'd been really looking forward to the release of the City of Heroes/Villains mission architect update, but since it's release I've started to get a bit worried. Two days ago I joined a mission team with my hero defender and the leader took us through a mission he had designed specifically for one purpose, farming XP. It didn't take me long to figure what was going on, as the mission had no plot or story line and the enemy groups were designed to be practically useless. It took less than 15 minutes to complete the mission with a team of 8 and in that time I gained three levels with my level 27 character (granted I was on double XP). Now if I had of been doing non MA missions, it would have taken 2-4 hours to get those three levels.
I'm not a big fan of grinding, so I often look for the easy path, but only so far as it doesn't ruin the gaming experience for myself or others. This definitely seems like an exploit to me.
For a long time now I've been asking for tools to allow MMO gamers to build their own content, but the reality doesn't seem to be quiet what I had in mind. Mission Architect has a few fundamental flaws. Players can easily build 'XP farm' type missions. If their mission gets taken down (reported for content), they can build another one in minutes. Also now that there is an easy way to get missions, why would players actually leave the mission architect complex? What happens to the rest of the game content and story arc? Surely the game designers/devs saw this coming...
History has taught us that MMO players will always abuse any power they are given. It seems odd that NCSoft would overlook such an obvious exploit. Either way, update 14 was meant to enhance the CoX gaming experience, but I fear it may be doing the opposite.