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Letters to Statesman - A JIVE Exclusive (Part 1 of 2)

Written By: Thomas L. Strickland
Posted: 01/19/2005


Back in September, JIVE introduced you to Mr. Jack Emmert, Lead Designer for the incredibly successful MMORPG, City of Heroes. At the time, Jack was incredibly excited about the release of Issue #2: A Shadow of the Past, an expansion of game content delivered to City of Heroes players at no extra cost. Now, only four months later, City of Heroes has unleashed a third expansion, as well as a limited time Winter Event that has heroes battling giant snowfolk and pelting each other with slushballs. During our first interview, we asked Jack about his in-game alter-ego -- a star-spangled hero named Statesman -- and how that name has leaked into his day-to-day reality. "People call me Statesman when they meet me, like it's my first name or something, but that's cool." Cool, eh? Well, when we had another opportunity to question our friend Jack, we decided to let the hero take centerstage in a feature we're calling: Letters to Statesman!

If wishful children send letters to Santa Claus, why wouldn't heroes want to pass a note to the greatest do-gooder in Paragon City? So we polled our fellow players and posted a call for questions on the official City of Heroes boards. The questions had to be delivered in-character and as a letter, but beyond that simple rule, the sky was the limit! In no time at all, we had a stack of letters asking about everything from costumes to supergroups to the immobility of tails.

Several letters were received, fourteen were submitted and the first seven letters -- and their responses from Statesman aka Jack Emmert himself -- are right here!

Hey Statesman!

I'm one of many teen heroes looking to further my education while balancing my heroic duties. Are there any programs funded by the Paragon City government to help me out?

- Slipshod, Level 50, Virtue

Dear Slipshod -

Not as of yet young hero, but the burgeoning teen population of heroes has made the authorities consider a special school for training. As the game expands, you may see more costume options that will appeal to younger heroes.

- Statesman

Dear Statesman,

How does Doctor Vahzilok keep escaping from the Ziggurat Prison? Exactly how many times do we have to arrest him?!?

- Steele Magnolia, Victory Server

Dear Steele -

I laud your efforts to bring Dr. Vahzilok to justice, but how do you know that you�ve captured the real Dr. Vahzilok? He is, of course, a master of animating corpses �

- Statesman


I have been hounded to no end by the Icon tailors regarding my out-of-date fashions, but they seem to never have anything new on their shelves. So I was wondering if the great Statesman could shed any light on the apparent shortage of new and hip fashion in Paragon City. Can we expect to see a veritable flood of new and unique costume options in the near future?

Thanks a ton.

- Spider Solitair, Level 46, Victory Server

Dear Spider -

I�m proud to announce there�s a whole new line up of costume options coming in the game's next expansion. That way you can have a costume to meet any crime-busting occasion, while doing it in style!

- Statesman

Dear Statesman,

Often I have more than seven friends that wish to come and pummel evil with me. Will I ever have an opportunity to have a pummelling party greater than eight?

- Crimson Diva, Level 36, Victory Server

Dear Diva -

When City of Villains comes out, you�ll be able to defend your base � and invade others � with the full membership of your supergroup. That�s right � several dozen teammates can join you in your invasion!

- Statesman

Dear Statesman,

I've never fully trusted Hero Corps. Are we, the heroes of Paragon, actually employees of this company? Are you? Oh, and another thing ... older pictures show you with a full helmet, yet nowadays you only wear the front half. What happened?

-Charles Langly, Level 33, Victory Server

Dear Charles -

Hero Corps is a private company who hires super powered beings out to the highest bidder. That�s the reason why I formed the Freedom Corps � to counterbalance this.

As for my helmet, well even heroes need a change once in a while, that�s just a matter of taste I guess. In my younger years, I wore only a simple domino mask!

- Statesman

Dear States-

I want seasons. With weather. And maybe some time where all the thugs come together and sing Christmas carols, because that would be cool and I'm sure the citizens of Paragon would appreciate a nice tune while they're being mugged.

-Agarif, Level Unknown

Dear Agarif -

The way I see it ... when you subdue an evil doer, the only music they need to hear is the sound of the prison door slamming shut. As for the citizens of Paragon City, your war cry should be music for their ears.

Seasons and weather are very tough things; a lot of art and software. Because these are nice visuals, but don�t offer much in the way of gameplay, I haven�t prioritized them.

However, over the past week or so, we�ve had a really impressive Winter Event that culminates in something that you might find interesting�

- Statesman

Dear Saint Jack,

I'd like to visit some of the alternate dimensions (servers) I have been hearing so much about. Is there any chance Portal Corp (or Cryptic) could arrange that?

- Lavender Shadow, Level Unknown

Dear Lavender -

This feature will be going into one of the next two updates �

- Statesman

Hold tight, True Believers! The second set of letters will appear in Part Two of Letters to Statesman, available next week right here on your friendly neighborhood JIVE!

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