Death of a Game: City of Heroes

My understanding is the back end was very low tech. In some cases the code relied on Excel spreadsheets from what I have read and as others have written, the main offer came from the people who were already working on the game.

My guess is the accountants decided the amount they would get for the IP was not enough to equate the potential future income they could generate by keeping it and possibly relaunching it as a new game or other content even if that future has not yet come to pass (or ever does).

I really wish someone else would make a game that had the wide open character options and fun and easy to learn game play of CoH.

That’s pretty much every MMORPG. You get to the end and then just grind the same couple end-game raids for gear until the next expansion or you level up alts. Maybe do PVP if you’re of that mind.

They tried to add more end-game stuff with the Praetoria raids, they gave the ability to de-level yourself to do content you missed on the first pass and I assume they hoped the Architect system would fill the “Nothing to do” gap but, honestly, once you’re all slotted up with your 95% Recharge and 95% Endurance purples in your skills you’re sort of on hold until something bigger comes along.

There are few things I miss more than CoH. And I know that’s stupid. But I’m reminded almost every day of what a wonderful world it was to go play in. And I’m too fuckin’ old to get a tear in my eye over a game… but goddammit, they took my world away from me.

I’ve heard it was internal politics, a high muckymuck in the company showing a lower division that he could be a complete asshole. Slam the door, lock it… showed them.

City of Titans continues its slow development, but I’m not holding out much hope it will ever reach CoH levels of… anything.

You can still use a launcher to open the game and wander around the maps. I can’t do it any more. Too heartbreaking to visit when it’s so empty and dead.

Don’t forget the Incarnate missions–there were arcs that enabled you to progress above level 50 as a solo character, too. They were still adding Incarnate levels up to the end, and the final mission against Mot was pretty damn epic.

Or stomping ants. I found it great fun to take my 50 fire/ss tank to Perez Park, find the largest mobs I could (sometimes 50 or more, and do a Foot Stomp to send them flying to their deaths.

The completely open-world design never left me without something to do, even if it was kind of pointless. There’s more to a good game than grinding through levels, and nothing has ever supported that kind of non-point play better, IMVHO.

Hellion soccer! Pick a goal and try to knock as many low-level street mobs through it as possible. (The one time everyone wanted stormies and energy blasters on their team. ;))

My favorite emergent gameplay project was Agoraphobic Man, my permanently level 1 forcefield defender. He wasn’t a hero or villain; he was just engaged in desensitization therapy–his purpose was to collect exploration badges without ever gaining xp or powers. The challenge was in navigating dangerous areas without drawing aggro and in reaching difficult locations without travel powers.

He never defeated an enemy or completed a mission, and I still take satisfaction in the fact that when the servers went down, he was standing on the Storm Palace.

I once danced in the courtyard of Peregrine Island without a single XP point to my alt’s name. That was fun. Didn’t think about trying to get into the… shadow world? Mirror world? Crap, I’m forgetting.

Shadow Shard.

For those not familiar with it (or who have forgotten), it was four huge zones of shattered islands floating in space. Without travel powers, the only way to traverse them was to island-hop using gravity geysers that sent you hurtling through the void, often to a dead-end island, if you managed to hit an island at all. They were all “hazard zones”, which meant they were full of large groups of enemies. The mobs were mostly at or above the player level cap, many of them could fly, and they had a bunch of other special abilities to make them nasty. Slipping past them to collect badges and reach the farthest end of the last zone with no powers was a serious challenge.

My Energy Blaster would see how far she should could Force Push something across the sky. Good times.


I still miss it, too.

My favorite MMO to date.

I can still remember wandering the streets of Galaxy City, with nothing more than Hurdle, scaling buildings to look for likely targets. And finally being able to take out the Circle of Thorns who’d come out at night to perform rooftop rituals.

And a lot of fun with fellow Dopers in our supergroups.

I’m quite hopeful for City of Titans. They’re slow, but they’re doing it right. They’ll have something playable within a year or two. And it’ll take years more to get up to the CoX content level. But they’re building a flexible system that’ll last for a long time, instead of the congealed mess that CoX became.

I have no complaints on that front–despite playing CoX for years I never did reach level cap. Past the mid-30s, getting new levels was too grindy for me. Much more fun to simply come up with a new character.

I miss Volt Valkyrie. :slight_smile:

I miss the doper community we had. Toaster was the glue that kept CECIL together.

Isotope X.
The Undisputed Champion.
Agent of VISION.
Shotgun Seraph (the Archangel of Firearms).
The Nth Degree.
Sgt. Subzero.
Professor Brainstorm.
Diamond Dawn.

I had a problem with altitis.

CoH had a great art community and I was fortunate enough to get some gifts and deals on commissions. For the sake of indulgence…

Polish Princess - My first 50, a Rad/Rad Defender
Rose Veldt - AR/Traps Blaster who came to Paragon City to hunt big game
Pachamama - Storms/Earth (Earth/Storms?) Defender
Tally-Ho - Bow/Bow Defender
Scarlet Finch - Tally-Ho’s evil Praetorian Twin

Plus, of course, numerous characters whose appearances stayed in game.

I feel kind of bad I’ve forgotten most of my character’s names. My mains were High Beams (Energy Energy Blaster) and Garnet (Stone/Inv Brute). I had literally dozens of others spread over three servers (Protector, Virtue and the one for VIPs).

I always liked Garnet’s back story. He was a Dwarven Patriarch of a clan under Paragon City. A greedy corporation over mined and destroyed his home and killed everyone in his clan. He absorbed Dark Magic to gain the power kill them all in revenge on the company and Paragon City because they let it happen.

I only had one character I remember from CoH, a fire blaster dressed like a stage magician named Phosphorro. He was fun. I didn’t play the game for very long.

I can remember:
Master Electric - Electric/Electric Blaster
Soren Surt - Fire/Fire Tanker
Samindarian - Willpower/fire Tanker
Dinsdale - Spines/??? Scrapper
Armoury - Bow/Gadget Blaster

I had more, but I do not remember their names.

The only character of mine that I remember was a Mastermind named Bo’s Minion. I named him that because he was and because then his minions displayed the title Bo’s Minion’s Minion, which I thought was hilarious.

Of course, my hunter in WoW has pets that all share his name because I also find that hilarious and it makes targeting me a bit more difficult.

Oh, man, character lists and memories.

Balanced - Emp/Dark Defender (My first and main. Magically merged twins sharing a body. I argued with people so much about calling defenders “healers” and empaths being able to solo. I finally checked “soloing an archvillain” off Bal’s list a few months before the end.)

Djinn Rumi - Illusion/Storm Controller (Djinn whose bottle got picked up by a pirate who used it to hold booze. “What this room needs is…MORE CHAOS!”)

Naramie - Dark/Dark Defender (Deliberate subversion of the Dark themes–she was a perky cheerleader.)

Regular Joe - Willpower/Blades Tank (My one tank. A normal guy with knives and some scavenged gear. Probably crazy.)

Bluff - Trick Arrow/Archery Defender (My blind archer. I remember soloing the Positron TF with him, just to prove I could.)

Agoraphobic Man - FF/Psi Defender (I described earlier him earlier.)

Bananas Foster - Spines/Fire Scrapper (If you remember the original Spines graphics, you’ll get the joke. I managed to get three capes on his outfit.)

Redemption Jack - Dark/Dark Scrapper (Part of our sub-group of Dark scrappers formed to experiment with using auras to depress mobs to death.)

Others, less memorable–Toothpick Fairy, Heir Power, Mourning Knight, Liberty Valence, various members of the Mad Science Fair…so much altitis, even without getting into villains. (I never got attached to my villains, though I recall being tickled to snag the name “Kidney Thief” for my stalker in the Urban Legends villain group.)