Friday, November 30, 2012

Off Topic: RIP City of Heroes

Today's November 30th. That means it is the last day for City of Heroes to be online. The game shut its doors to new characters some time ago, and tonight at midnight the servers come down forever. There was a good try by the community to save the game, but it wasn't meant to be. Ultimately, the powers that be decided that the game just wasn't going to be viable for their future plans.

Personally, I think this sucks. While I wasn't always playing the game,I've kept my account active whenever I could afford the subscription rates because I liked it. In a lot of ways it was a great example of how to do so many things right in an MMO:

-Sidekicking, and later super sidekicking,  was a great way to be able to play with friends no matter the level. Either your high level friend could come and play with you -without ruining your fun because they'd be leveled down to your level - or you could go with them - without ruining their fun because you were artificially leveled up to their level - and see the later content. Ultimately it meant that you didn't have the awkward issue of "I want to play with my friends in this game, but they're 20 levels higher than me."

-Instancing was also one of the game's strong points. City had instancing, which you may love or hate, but the way they handled it was pretty damn good. Missions were instanced, this helped give the feel that you were the star of your own super hero story. The city zones were not instanced, so when moving between missions you could feel like you were part of a world of heroes. If your mission needed to use a city zone for the map? You got a personalized instance. Now you were the lone hero again, fighting villains across a city. Compared to how other games have handled instancing, I think it was a cut above. Why? Because you didn't have to fight with other players for objectives but still got to be part of the world.

-Free to Play was a late addition but CoH did it right. They saw the trend of games going F2P and that they, as an aged game, would have to bite the bullet and do it eventually. They did it right. I could go on about the lack of sold power (though some powersets were for sale for everyone) but where they shone was with the char creator. CoH was always famous for it's character creator and they knew it. So how did they do this with F2P? Simply put, when you were in the tailor and looking at costume pieces you could see EVERY costume piece in the game. You could completely customize the look, and then before you could buy the look for the game you would have to buy any pieces you didn't own. Of course, that meant you already knew that it worked for your character and the costume you wanted it for. A lot nicer than lots of games.

So yeah, I'm sad to see this game going. It has easily been my favorite MMO of all time. It did more things first, or right, than almost any other MMO. It's age meant that it existed before everyone thought you had t be a WoW clone to be a successful MMO. But now it is gone. Life moves on I suppose.

Still, I figured we could open the comments to anyone who wants to share a story from their CoH adventures.

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