Posts Tagged ‘City of Heroes’

The RPG Scrollbars: Voices In The Air

There’s something oddly comforting about radio. Comforting because it’s so familiar, so natural. Odd because it’s a comfort that most of us don’t really use all that much these days, at least not in the ways that games just casually assume. It’s a little like the whole audio diaries thing – it makes a vague sense that everyone in a city like Rapture might record their daily crimes and schemes onto audio tapes, even though in reality that whole idea became obsolete when Facebook/Twitter added status updates.

But I do love in-game radio. It’s an amazing narrative tool, a great way of filling in the gaps the screen can’t show, a constant companion in the loneliest of situations, and not a bad way of making music diegetic – a term that translates to ‘let’s see who now sneakily Googles diegetic’. Forget Spotify. Never mind video. In RPGs, nothing can kill the radio star, unless of course you walk up to them and shoot ‘em in the face. Then, sometimes. Though usually nature still finds a way of keeping them on the air.

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City Of Heroes Reborn

Three years ago, I wrote an epitaph for NCSoft’s axed superhero MMO City of Heroes, and for my beloved character within it.

“The City of Heroes has been closed down forever, and so The Entomologist is dead. Does he still exist on some dusty server, or have the bytes that made him been wiped forever? It doesn’t matter. There’ll be no Jean Gray resurrection for him.”

I was wrong.

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Remembering City Of Heroes

Sometimes you can wait too long, think it’s okay to put off saying that important thing to the game you love, and then they’re gone. Then time goes on, and it becomes less and less relevant to say. Then you never say it.

City Of Heroes shut off its servers about two and a half years ago. Alec had the sense to eulogise it then. I never got around to it. And yet my memories of the game still buzz around in my head, the fondness for the MMO that really was responsible for forming RPS, years before there was an RPS, all with no outlet. The game can’t really be included in Top X lists, since it’s unplayable. It doesn’t make good use of time or SEO to dedicate a feature to it on a major gaming website. So what to do? Waste some time, I say. Here are my memories of the long-lost City Of Heroes.

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Valiance Online Opens Pre-Alpha Spandex People Testing

Superheroes never die. They just switch MMOs. City of Heroes might have been reduced to a bittersweet memory, but you might find some of that old glory in Valiance Online‘s open pre-alpha test phase, which happily does not require you to sign NDAs in your blood. This upcoming MMORPG is set at the tail end of the 21st century, where spandex-clad superpeople roam free-range through the fictional city of San Cielo.

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Possibly Maybe: Resurrecting City Of Heroes

That look, however, is still SO out.

Superheroes are killed off, resurrected, revamped, and rebooted all the time, but doing that to a superhero video game can take a lot more legal wrangling. When NCsoft shut down super-powered MMORPG City of Heroes and its developer, Paragon Studios, people tried to save it. Fans rallied and Paragon tried to buy itself out of NCsoft. The servers closed in November 2012. Then, last year, a studio founded by fans raised $678,189 on Kickstarter to make “spiritual successor” City of Titans. Like Growly Gus [or Wolverine, as Marvel call him in the US -ed.], they keep getting back up.

Now a group of fans say they might possibly get to resurrect City of Heroes too. Maybe. They’re in talks with NCsoft to license the name and start running CoH servers again.

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City Of Heroes Wannabe City Of Titans Kickstarts

A logo!
It’s only been a year since the sun set on Paragon City and City of Heroes was sealed off. If you look at that homepage and weep and wail and pound on your desk, snottily disclaiming: “It was too soon, damnit”, then I have a thing you should look at. The previously titled Pheonix Project, a fan-made spiritual successor to the dead MMO Read the rest of this entry »

City Of Heroes Inspired The Phoenix Project Kickstarting

I loved City Of Heroes. As someone who tends to find MMOs somewhere to run around in on my own, gobble up everything single player, and then quit out and never play again, City Of Heroes was different. It was a place to me. I don’t think that’s testament to the world-building therein – I’m not sure the towns themselves were anything particularly special. I don’t think I can put it down to the superb powers, fun biffy combat, or amazing character creator either. For me it was about a certain time, with certain people. Which means I’m super-excited to see what can be done with The Phoenix Project – the fan attempt to create a spiritual successor to the now gone-forever MMO. Soon to be Kickstartered.

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What Could Have Been: Paragon Nearly Bought Itself


City of Heroes is no more. Paragon perished, and with it, so did a home away from home for many colorful victims of radiation overdose. It was a sad day at RPS’ nuclear-powered space base, and not just because it meant the Justice League became our closest orbital neighbors. You’ll remember, though, that fans certainly didn’t go down without a THOOMKAPOWBIFFZOTT-ing fight. But, until now, we didn’t really know the other side of the story. Unsurprisingly, Paragon was waging a war of its own, and it was trying every last trick in the book to stay afloat. The part we never heard about, however, is how close the house that City of Heroes built came to pulling it off.

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Rebuilding A City Of Heroes: The Phoenix Project

One of the more miserable gaming events of last year was the closure of City of Heroes. The end of an entire world does tend to be a sad affair for those involved and even onlookers might find themselves touched by the extinction of all those lovely data-denizens. While the urban heroes may have fallen for good, Gamerzines have spotted The Phoenix Project, which aims to rise from the City’s smouldering remains. Missing Worlds Media is a “community based game studio”, made up of members of Titan Network’s ‘Save City of Heroes’ forum, among others. Their intention is clear – they want to build a new comic book world packed with heroes and villains, and they want you to be a part of it.

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City Of Heroes: A Farewell To Superarms

Fuck, I actually sobbed when I found this old shot

I left him in there to die. I wish I’d at least taken one last screenshot. I thought I didn’t care, but now it hurts like hell. He’s gone forever.
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