City Of Heroes Unveils “Freedom”

By Jim Rossignol on September 27th, 2011 at 9:23 pm.


You know, the only MMO I’ve ever missed playing, apart from Eve Online, is City Of Heroes. I am vaguely tempted to see if I can somehow resurrect my age old tanker character in the new, free world that NCSoft are touting. I bet it’s changed a bit since I was last in there over three years ago. The latest update “Freedom” has a bunch of stuff new content (see below for the full feature list) but also opens up the game pretty substantially, allowing people access to most of what made the game great (character creation) and the capacity to play through to level 50. Paragon’s Brian Clayton says of the update: “We aren’t just flipping a switch and going ‘Free-to-Play.’ We’re embarking on the biggest content and feature update to City of Heroes in its seven-year history.” I hope he’s right, because I have a genuine soft-spot for the ageing villain-biffer.

Details and video below.

· New Zone: First Ward, the training and testing grounds for some of Praetoria’s most elite forces and sinister weapons, is where players will encounter all new threats, including the massive zone-wide event, the Seed of Hamidon.
· New Epic Challenges: The Underground Incarnate Trial takes place deep below the streets of Praetoria, in the secret lair of the Devouring Earth. Those strong enough to break through their stronghold may reach the devastating Avatar of Hamidon for a final showdown of epic proportions. Up to 28 players can team up to fight new menaces and unlock great rewards.
· New Power Sets and Costumes: Time Manipulation (free for VIP Players), Beam Rifle and Street Justice represent just the beginning of new powers coming to players with City of Heroes Freedom, while the Barbarian and the Circle of Thorns Costume Sets, as well as the IDF and Defense Costume Sets (free for VIP Players) add even more options to the millions of customisation options at a players’ fingertips.
· New Starting Experience: Puts new players right in the middle of the action, giving them access to all archetypes with no alignment restriction. During the new starting experience, players will have the opportunity to determine whether they ally with the forces of good, or harness the powers of evil.
· New Missions: The debut of monthly Signature Story Arcs (free for VIP Players), enables players to play a key role in the main storyline as they fight alongside iconic heroes and villains and discover which of Paragon City’s premier heroes will die!
· New Rewards: The Paragon Rewards program is our way to thank players for investing in City of Heroes and provides new and unique in-game rewards designed around each player’s unique tastes and play style.

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72 Comments »

  1. vexis58 says:

    Sweet! The last time I looked into playing City of Heroes was back in 2005 when I was still using a mac, and I was really sad that it was PC-only. Since then, I largely got addicted to WoW, and now I can’t really justify paying for any other subscription MMOs. I’ve always wanted to try City of Heroes, and being free to play will give me a good opportunity to do that.

  2. ineffablebob says:

    I’ve played this game for 8 years now, since the original CoH beta, and I have to say I was skeptical when I first heard the plans for Freedom. My first thought was “oh noes, it’s going to turn into Free Realms”. But so far I’ve been fairly impressed. They added actual new content with the release, not just rehashing all the old stuff by turning it into micro-transactions (although that happens too). I’m especially impressed by the new First Ward zone. Once the flood of free players starts, it’ll be interesting to see how the community dynamic changes.

  3. Daiv says:

    Robot Lincoln might live again!

  4. Valdyr says:

    “archetypes”? So is this like the Champions Online free-to-play that doesn’t actually let you create your own custom hero, but rather choose one from a list, like “dude who throws fireballs” or “dude who punches things” unless you pay money?

    • ineffablebob says:

      As I understand it, you can customize pretty much anything you want in terms of your character’s appearance. You are limited to only a subset of powersets, though. Every player (free or premium) has to choose two powersets for each character, but premium players get more options.

    • Shaz says:

      No, archetypes in CoH are totally different from the ones in CO. For CoH, archetype is your class, basically, such as ‘Brute’. Brutes are melee (primary) and defence (secondary). You can choose which primary and which secondary yourself, whether you are F2P or VIP.

      A couple of archetypes are VIP/purchased only, as well as a couple of power sets, but that’s the only restrictions F2P players have in their character builds.

    • Wulf says:

      Essentially: There is no freeform in CoH, only classes. It’s much more traditional. (I view that as a bad thing.)

    • AthlonBoy says:

      Nyet. Though the MMOs use the same word, they are not the same.

      In CO, the game gives you free control to create whatever kind of hero you want from any framework of powers. When they went free to play, they locked this system from non-subscribers and created ‘Archetypes’, pre-made single-purpose builds that fit traditional MMO roles. These archetypes vastly underperform a freeform character.

      In City of Heroes, there are ten ‘Archetypes’, always has been, always will be. Free to play or subscriber, you are as strong as anyone else, let me make that clear. While each archetype is meant to play a role, there’s enormous flexibility here. While CO has frameworks for powers, CoH has power sets. Each archetype gets two powersets, one to do one job and another to supplement it. For instance, Scrappers get a melee damage powerset and a survival powerset. Wolverine would arguably be a Claws/Regeneration Scrapper, but you can be Broadsword/Shield, Martial Arts/Super Reflexes, or Dark Melee/Fiery Aura if you want. Naturally, you get to choose in what order you get your powers, though higher tier powers unlock at higher levels.

      There’s a lot of wiggle room here, and each archetype has a number of alternatives. Instead of a Scrapper, you could make a Brute, which has more hit points but lower peak damage, along with a Fury mechanic. Or a Stalker, with fewer hit points but the ability to hide in plain sight and deliver crushing assassin’s strikes. There’s also the Tanker, a walking meatshield.

      But CRUCIALLY, there’s wiggle room within an archetype. I’ve built a Scrapper to work as a Tank, despite Tanks and Brutes being more inherently suited to the role. I could also make a Tank that scraps. A corruptor that defends better than a Defender. A dominator that blasts better than a Blaster. There are hundreds and hundreds of combinations to make, and while it is not completely freeform, you can still lose yourself in what you can do awfully easy. Making new characters and trying out new sets is intoxicating.

      Oh, and free players get the same flexibility that subscribers get. A few powersets may be VIP-only (Time Manipulation so far), but they aren’t any stronger than alternatives. They’re just… different, they do different jobs, have different themes. Street Justice, a melee damage set, may seem redundant when we have Martial Arts and Super Strength for weaponless sets, but it’s entirely different to play.

    • bilharzia says:

      AthlonBoy says: But CRUCIALLY, there’s wiggle room within an archetype. I’ve built a Scrapper to work as a Tank, despite Tanks and Brutes being more inherently suited to the role. I could also make a Tank that scraps. A corruptor that defends better than a Defender. A dominator that blasts better than a Blaster. There are hundreds and hundreds of combinations to make, and while it is not completely freeform, you can still lose yourself in what you can do awfully easy.

      This really isn’t true. CoH is great fun I rate it higher than any other MMO I’ve played for entertainment value, slickness – ease of teaming – team play is painless and pretty much everyone wants to team up from level one – I would cite this as one of the best features of the game.

      However, the archetype system is not remotely freeform. It’s *not* possible to make a Dominator blast better than a Blaster, the game simply does not allow that. For example, WoW is actually *far more flexible* in its class system than CoH is with the archetypes – a Paladin really can be an effective tank, dps, or healer. Yes there are hundreds of variations in CoH, but no, you can’t change fundamentally what an archetype does – in fact I think Cryptic/Paragon were and are fairly clear about this. It’s a great fun, humourous game but this is not one of it’s strengths.

      It makes more sense to say that there’s a huge choice within the archetype to do the same thing but in very different ways – like a plant dominator controls differently from an ice dominator but they are both stuck as controllery/strong-melee/weak-blast type characters, no power choice you make can change that.

    • gwathdring says:

      I like that being a free player doesn’t make you worse off in this department. But I would agree that you are fairly limited. Here’s my take:

      You choose an archetype that defines your basic strengths in melee, support, control, and so forth. It’s sort of like a class system, though the options aren’t exactly the same as the classic MMO layout. It’s still a rigid, role-based system. The power balance between roles is fairly well handled, in my experience.

      Next, you pick two power types. These don’t change your role. They don’t fundamentally alter the way you play the game. They DO fundamentally alter the flavor of your character. City of Heroes gives you hundreds of options in designing your dream super hero–providing that hero fits into one of their broad archetypal roles. Your options for power combinations are truly vast … but if you don’t care about the flavor and theme of your particular hero, most of these options will be meaningless to you with small variations in far too many numbers to be worth the math.

      And finally, as you work your way up the power tree … you either select a power from one of your trees or from the other. These trees are mostly linear and without branching. Every other level, you will instead select some of your powers to gain “enhancement slots” that allow you to improve various aspects of the power (range, speed, etc.) through randomly dropped and/or vendor-purchased tokens (in game vendor, not the micro-transaction store).

      So there’s a lot of variety. But half of it is flavor and half of it is mostly unimportant changes in all the little numbers. I love the flavor options, personally, but I definitely feel limited and see why some players would find it more restricting that traditional class systems. Would you rather have the same options as everyone else, and work your way through a non-linear tree system or pick any of hundreds of combinations of options … and then work your way through a fixed, linear skill progression? CoH is the second one.

  5. sinister agent says:

    I’ve never played this, but it’s one of very few morgmpogrpgs that has looked like fun from all the write-ups I’ve seen. The main reason I never bothered with it was subscription fees. I will have to see if I can recruit a few friends* and have a look.

    Edit: Erm… except that it’s refusing any and all account names that I give it, claiming they’re in use and/or don’t fit the parameters. Even when I tried “jaoeijgn22″ and other random letters. There can’t be THAT many players, surely?

    *If I had etc.

  6. Sp4rkR4t says:

    This game sucked away 8 months of my life, and I’ve just started to download the client again. Let his Noodlyness give me strength through this rush to level 50 once again. :)

  7. LionsPhil says:

    Anyone want to make a pitch why I should care about this when I’m quite happily playing through Champions Online, since that got there with F2P chargen and oops-I-accidentally-found-it-fun-enough-to-hit-lvl21 first?

    • Starky says:

      How about this…

      You. Can. Play. Both.

      That is the main and massive advantage of F2P MMO’s you can play as many as you like, when you like, as casual as you like and not feel the oppressive urge to play as much as humanly possible to get your subs worth.

    • LionsPhil says:

      My time is finite, and my time during which I can synchronise gameplay with friends moreso. Spreading that time thinner is not helpful.

    • Wulf says:

      Even better is that I tried to create a new account to see how this all works from the F2P end (I already have an inactive VIP account).

      Firefox: Account creation failed.
      K-Meleon: Account creation failed.
      Chrome: Account creation failed.

      “You can still download the client and create an account in game!”

      Firefox: Download client button fails to work.
      K-Meleon: Download client button fails to work.
      Chrome: Download client button fails to work.

      Yup, that fills me with so much confidence.

      I’m just not bothering. I’ve already wasted too much of my time with that.

  8. Neelo says:

    I’d like to try it, but apparently every single account name I can possibly think of is already taken… even if I just type in some random letters.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’ve just been having the same problem. Guess they’re having trouble of some kind. Will have to try again later, I suppose. There goes my dream of being the infamous supervillain IoaHG4heD9!

    • sinister agent says:

      I managed to get it to work, then it took me to another page, and asked me to fill exactly the same details all over again. Hnnngn.

      Here, this page may be easier:

      https://secure.ncsoft.com/cgi-bin/playncCreate.pl

      Hopefully this’ll work and not be spamkilled.

    • Wulf says:

      This is exactly why Champions Online uses the @globalname system.

      See, your @globalname is your account handle (not your login name). And you can name your hero whatever you want. So if I want to just name my guy Lance, and someone else has, then it won’t matter. It’ll just be Lance@myname and Lance@hisname. The @globalnames don’t show up for most intents and purposes and can be hidden where they do show up, if you desire.

      It’s a much, much more elegant system than the one in City of Heroes.

    • sinister agent says:

      I don’t think this had anything to do with that. It’s just that the fancy account creation page wasn’t working properly for whatever reason. The plain one worked fine.

    • AthlonBoy says:

      What does the account name have to do with character names and global names? That, it… no, I can’t brain this.

    • Neelo says:

      Thank you, that page did work a lot better. Now, I hope the game is actually good.

    • Gundrea says:

      Weirdest of all CoH actually has global handles.

  9. Matt7895 says:

    Is there a particular server that RPSers would recommend?

    • Shaz says:

      It might be hard to recommend one right now, as anything said is subject to change due to influx of new/returning players with Freedom’s launch. http://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Servers has a rundown of typical server population size as well as what each server is ‘known’ for (such as Virtue being the unofficial roleplay server).

    • Matt7895 says:

      Thanks, I just remembered I made a character during a free trial back when City of Villains launched on the Justice Server. I guess I’ll just stick to that one.

    • Rhygadon says:

      The only two very unusual servers are Virtue and Freedom. As Shaz said, Virtue has long been the unofficial roleplay server, though the difference is less extreme than it once was (you used to hear people playing in-character all the time, now it’s rare unless you seek out the spots where it’s done). Nowadays, what it means is that you tend to find more grownups and interesting characters there. Freedom, by contrast, was the first server and now has a reputation (deserved in my experience) for being full of idiots.

      The catch is that, as the population has dwindled, the vast majority of players have gravitated to those two servers and the rest have become wastelands. It’ll be interesting to see if that changes as the free players move in; Freedom in particular is often red (near capacity) on weekends anyway, so people may have to start re-colonizing the others.

      Also, a while back the Euro and US systems were merged, so all players now have access to the Euro servers (including some specified to be for non-English languages). I haven’t explored those myself, but it’s nice for both sides to have the option.

    • Tams80 says:

      Triumph: “Speedo Hami Raids”.

      This shall be our server.

    • LionsPhil says:

      >having to care which server you’re on in advance

      Why is this even still a thing? What kind of friendless misanthrope designs a game where massively multiplayer is right there in the genre as a reminder of its fundamentally social base, then carves hard divisions into its population?

      Surely CO isn’t the only MMO where if you play the game and a friend plays the game you can actually easily and near-instantly move with a couple of clicks, at any time, onto the same server together, because which server you’re on is treated like the trivial little implementation detail that it should be. It is something that I take almost for granted that I can play with American buddies who signed up long ago before I met them and none of us had to orchestrate anything in advance, and it bloody well should be because anything else would be poor for a “normal” rounds-and-map-rotation multiplayer game and is absolutely ridiculous for a game that is 100% multiplayer-turned-up-to-11.

    • Arglebargle says:

      @LionsPhil

      This game came out before WoW. There were a lot of decisions made that were ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ and some were hard coded in pretty seriously. Their effort to allow you to change your power colors took a year’s worth of team coding work. Single server might not work with the their setup.

    • ChromeBallz says:

      @LionsPhil CO has 32 players per instance at maximum. This is about 256 for City of Heroes. So while the community is split up, old school style (you know, because the core tech of the game is actually 5-6 years older than CO), more people can be in the same instance of an area, giving a more populated feel.

      I should address that CO implemented the game in the way it did not just to ‘give players choice’, but also to manage the VM activity on the servers better since they can be smaller and more easily managed – Also making population increase or decrease easier to handle on a technical (and financial) side without having to go through the trouble of closing or opening new servers like older games do.

    • Choca says:

      CO has 100 players per instance, not 32.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, there are way more than 32 players per instance on CO.

      But “it’s old” is not a defence. This isn’t some retro curio in GOG’s catalogue—it’s a currently-selling game. They have been collecting subscription fees all this time, and now wish to collect micropayments money. If they’ve let their tech fall behind then, well, too bad? I’ll stick with the newcomer who does it better.

    • ineffablebob says:

      LionsPhil said:
      >having to care which server you’re on in advance

      Why is this even still a thing? What kind of friendless misanthrope designs a game where massively multiplayer is right there in the genre as a reminder of its fundamentally social base, then carves hard divisions into its population?
      I totally agree. It’s my single biggest complaint about how City of Heroes works (and Wow, for that matter). I should be able to play with anybody, not just those that happen to choose my server. I’m sure there’s big technical and architectural reasons that it’s a pain, but it really needs to be solved. Will it stop me from playing? No, but if something else comes along that does this better, I’m going to give it a long hard look.

    • Arglebargle says:

      @LionsPhil – If I could find a newcomer that did it better, I’d probably play it too. ;)

      CoX has an amazing character builder. CO’s is even better. However, when I went back to try to play CO for free, I found my chosen characters’ costumes had changed, as parts of it were now cash shop gated.

  10. Vexing Vision says:

    The original Vexing Vision (Illusionist/Kinetic Controller) will be back in action. Whoo!

  11. eldwl says:

    Cornflake Man shall be resurrected! :D

  12. Tams80 says:

    I’ve been interested in this for a while, but the subscription fee has put me off. Not paying the subscription, but the actual price. Not that it was that expensive for an MMO, but I just couldn’t afford it. Now I get to play. Woohoo!

  13. pupsikaso says:

    I wish the registration page actually worked…

    • Wulf says:

      Ha! You noticed that too, eh?

      This is why I hate NCsoft being locked into things. They introduced some ‘security upgrades’ not so long ago and adding ‘randomised answers’ to security questions for those whom didn’t upgrade their accounts (due to the account being dormant). This meant that I was locked out of my account and had to poke their support about this.

      I’m kind of hoping that Guild Wars 2 will have its own independent accounts system, but that’s like wishing for the moon, I guess. I suppose I’ll be back to these hassles when GW2 is released. One thing I like about Champions Online though is that I’ve never had a single issue with their accounts system, not a bloody one.

      I like how they screw this up so badly on launch day, it’s funny. For all the problems CO is supposed to have, their competitors have much bigger ones.

  14. Thingus says:

    I really did enjoy this back in the day, but I had some difficulty running it. Are there any bonuses for lapsed subscribers?

  15. Wulf says:

    So yeah. As I mentioned, I was going to try the F2P side of this to see how it works. But since they’ve totally FUBARed both their account creation system and their client download link, I think I’m going to just go and play my new primarily-Munitions guy in Champions Online instead. :P

    • ExMortis says:

      Really admirable viral work in this thread, Wulf. I think you hit all the important points.

    • iGark says:

      We get you like Champions Online more. Got that the first time you said it.

    • Wulf says:

      And I get that you two like other games and you’re slightly intensely bothered by me talking about the game that I like and having opinions regarding it and other games!

      I’m glad we all understand one another. :P

    • Thants says:

      It’s more that you tend to make the same point over and over in a thread.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Oh my goodness Wulf, there was a problem with an MMO login! I hear that’s never happened before!

      Yeah, it’s embarassing. Yes, it is very NCSoft. Hope you enjoy it fully in Guild Wars 2, where I doubt you’d complain with the same tone…..

  16. gwathdring says:

    Huh. Worked fine for me. Though I guess I didn’t try creating an account, as I already had an old trial from a few years ago. Feels good to get the gang back together. I’m too cheap for subscriptions. :P

    • Wulf says:

      It doesn’t affect existing accounts. I thought I’d mentioned that. I have an inactive VIP account and that’s not screwed up, it’s just that they’ve screwed up new account creation.

    • gwathdring says:

      Sorry, that came out sounding cranky, when it was not meant to be so at all. I was running on very little sleep.

      Oh. Bloody hell. I spaced out and edited over it. Whoops. Well, that works too. Nothing to see here!

  17. Thants says:

    Found an alternate way to create an account after the first one failed. Installed the game, after the installer crashed a couple times. Created another account because I entered gibberish in the security questions, and apparently they don’t just use it for password recovery like every other site but immediately demand that I enter it again. And now the game claims that the username or password I just created is wrong.

    I give up, NCSoft can suck it.

    • Wulf says:

      That’s still not as bad as what happened to me! I had an account before they started doing those security question things, and apparently because of this, when they upgraded they just tossed some stuff in there for me. I had to contact support to find out that this was all due to a ‘bug in the system.’ Lots of fun!

      You know, I’m looking forward to Guild Wars 2, I really am, I really, really am, so much… but I’m dreading NCsoft handling the account system. They’re just so completely incompetent at it.

  18. Arglebargle says:

    As a heads up for returning or free folks; spending any money at all at the game store gets you a host of bennies. It is, in part, a move to keep gold farmers and spammers in check, as none of them will put money in the system.

    And if you subscribed previously, you get bennies as well. The revamped system was set up to make sure you didn’t lose anything you had access to before.

    Personally I prefer CoX to the competitors. DCUO was awful, unless you like ‘twitchy controls’ gaming, and CO had a weird combination, for me, of boredom and incomprehensibility to their game. Even though one of my alts was almost a dead ringer for their free player archetype, it just doesn’t click.

    CoX has years of content additions (about three a year over the life of the game). There is no way you can experiance it all with one alt. Short of working the missions given by the Time Menders in Ouroboros.

  19. Barman1942 says:

    I’m definitely bringing back my Captain America wannabe. I *loved* CoH when I played it back in the day.

  20. Thirdstar says:

    Getting pretty sick of Wulf showing up on any threads and actively carrying out promotion for games that aren’t being discussed. Not to mention the misinformation he spouts. No Wulf, the game doesn’t have classes you blinkered twit, that’s why they call them Archtypes, it means something entirely different. AthlonBoy explained it very well upthread.

    Yes, the account creation is borked but if you have the patience (who am I kidding, this is the internet) to come back later even the F2P version of CoH is brilliant. This is because you have enough content and features available from the get go that you don’t feel like you’re being shafted. Unlike CO where the F2P version actually has ‘classes’ unless you shell out money for custom archtypes. Oh the irony.

    Disclaimer: I played CO for 6 months after launch and thought it was uninspired and far more straitjacketed than CoH, even though it doesn’t look that way at first glance.

    Also – Guild Wars 2! Guild Wars 2! Guild Wars 2! Guild Wars 2! Can you pay me to shill for GW2 instead of Wulf now?

    • sinister agent says:

      Account creation is working if you use the link I posted above. It’s the generic NCsoft one rather than the fancypants CoH one – whatever’s upsetting it is something to do with that page’s settings, not the account system itself.

    • Thants says:

      After you create that account, you have to go here and click “Link to an existing NCSoft Master account”.

    • Wulf says:

      <_< >_>

      You’re getting far too worked up over some random guy on the Internet, aren’cha? I suppose you’re emotionally invested in things that I have negative/positive opinions of. I’m afraid to tell you that there’s absolutely nothing I can do about that.

      I’m always going to have opinions, and sometimes they might not be the same as yours.

      Now calm down a bit, eh?

      (I mean, geez. The way you talk you make it sound like I’m somebody important or something. And if I actually bother you that much, then hey, that block button is there for a reason.)

    • Thirdstar says:

      Wait, I call you out for appearing on every single thread, specially ones that have nothing to do with GW2 and going “Huzzah! GW2″ and your response is to get over it/block you? And your take from the post was that I was emotionally invested in CoH and lashing out at you for dissing it? Wow, just wow.

      I don’t suppose it’s occurred to you that everyone that has called you out before is actually ‘emotionally invested’ in getting you to shut up about GW2. We get it.

      Again, as a gamer who is looking forward to GW2 I would like you to stop talking about it and making people think YOU are the average GW2 player.

  21. Sabre_Justice says:

    I should pick up this ol’ gracefully ageing gem of a game again now, and get back to my… over two dozen characters… and no, I’m not unusual.

  22. Kez says:

    Agh, how can this old game still be such a resource hog? My computer is probably 10 times as powerful as the computer I played CoH on at release and it *still* needs tweaking to get the framerate above 30 fps.

    Jeeesus.

    That said, it’s still moderately fun. Just like CO is moderately fun. I’ll play the free stuff on both, not gonna subscribe.

  23. Thants says:

    OK, I managed to get it to work (somehow added CoH to my new NCSoft account). This game has maybe the worst interface I’ve ever used in a game. I spent three minutes trying to figure out how change the graphics, and another three minutes trying to close the graphics panel.

    Plus, it looks like a game from ten years ago but it runs at about 20 FPS.

    • gwathdring says:

      I never really liked their interface. There was a pretty good tutorial for it back when I made my first character, but it only showed you how to do so much … some of the counter-intuitive keyboard short cuts don’t help especially much. At least Map is M. That’s nice. I wish ESC brought up the menu though … I take that for granted in most games.

      That said, I have yet to find an MMO with an interface I really appreciated. Guildwars was ok. And I suppose I haven’t tried WoW’s interface.

  24. Alexridiculous says:

    Downloaded and played for a while, remembered why I stopped playing. The combat is still clunky and slow paced.

    DC Universe is free in October, can’t wait for that!

  25. dadioflex says:

    I started playing Freedom last weekend, going VIP because it was the only way to get in and it’s not as much fun options-wise in free to play. Already bored with it but I looked at DDO and that’s been a real eye-opener.

  26. lumenadducere says:

    I tried playing on my old account only to find that all but 4 of my character slots were unavailable, leaving me with half of my characters. After picking the 4 I wanted to play, I found that I had essentially wasted one because you can’t play Masterminds even if you had purchased the City of Villains expansion prior. And considering it was my only villain at 50, I’d be unable to see any of the new content villain-wise unless I wanted to pay $15 just to unlock masterminds, so I figured I’d say screw it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I had some phenomenal experiences with City of Heroes/Villains as well, but annoyances with the game coupled with the fact that I’m very reluctant to pay more money for content I had already purchased with a prior expansion makes me frustrated. It’s a shame, too, as I was looking forward to playing with my robot army again. Well, more like a robot squad, but still. I still have my hero that’s level 50, so maybe I’ll putz around on him, but I think I’ll hold on to the fond memories and let others experience it for what it is.

    • Wulf says:

      I wonder if someone is going to come along screaming and flailing their arms over me having an opinion about this, too?

      I don’t like this model.

      See, Guild Wars 2 and Champions Online share a model: They don’t cash-shop main game content.

      This would be sort of like Cryptic putting Vibora Bay, Lemuria, and Monster Island up on the cash shop, but they promised they’d never do anything like that and they never have. In fact, the only bits of content that are on Cryptic’s cash shop are equivalent to ArenaNet’s mission packs for Guild Wars, but very nominally priced. In fact, you could get all the C-Store adventure packs for £8 and still have a bunch of points left over for other things.

      However, not having access to those three adventure packs even doesn’t cripple you at all, not even remotely. The reason for this is because all the main zones are fully accessible, all the way up to 40, the highest level. Even the comic book series content is free. What do they charge for? Fluff. There is a LOT of fluff. And some services (like extra character/bag slots, things like that). And that’s what I want to see.

      See, if I play City of Heroes I’d feel punished for not going with the subscription model, but if I play Champions Online then I don’t feel punished for that at all. All the content is there for me to do.

      I really, really don’t like Paragon Studios’ F2P model. if I’m being honest then I think it’s a bad one and that they’ve taken nickel-and-diming to a worrying extent. If they could have kept it to charging for fluff and leaving the main game alone a la Champions Online, then I’m sure it would have been fine. I was a tiny bit interested in Freedom before it’s release. Now I’m just sort of ‘meh.’

    • valmorian says:

      Wulf, I’m not really sure where you are getting the idea that CoH’ FTP model gates main content any more than Champions Online does. The ONLY part of the main content that I’ve been able to see is that two of the main archetypes are gated (Mastermind and Controller).

      Contrast that with Champions Online’s model, where instead of having the normal character creation process that subscribers get where you mix and match any power types you want, you are restricted to a set of archetypes.

      That’s just as restrictive in comparison to the premium accounts as CoH’s is..

    • Arglebargle says:

      Ax Grindy Man strikes again!

      People like different games and different play styles. No problemo there. Inaccurate presentation, well….

      Masterminds and Controllers ended up being gated because of technical reasons. They have the heaviest performance hit on the servers. I was under the impression that if you had subscribed long enough previously, they would be available for play. Oh, and you might check the ‘Token’ interface in the game, I think that might have a possibility to open up the ATs to returning players.

      I wasn’t super happy with the token as well as the shop interfaces, but it was implemented to try to keep all the veteran awards for players available.

  27. oceanclub says:

    Annoying, some archetypes you have to pay for. I logged back into an existing account, unlocked one f my character (you get 2 free slots), but now find I can’t play it unless I unlock the associated archetype (Controller). Which is €15, which is a bit steep for a free-to-play I just wanted to check out. Which archetypes are free?

    P.

  28. Christop854 says:

    mat kinh
    No, it’s more like how the City Traveler vet reward lets you pick any of the first three powers in the travel pools at level 3 instead of needing to pick one prerequisite and then the travel power at 14. You’ll just be able to pick from the first three powers in the pools at level 4.

    Also I think it effects all the power pools, but I’m really not sure though. You do still need to have two powers from the pool to take the fourth tier power at 20 though. Oh, and the travel pools are getting a fifth power (fast flight, immediate recharge for speed, a shield charge type power for jump, zone teleport).