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Midnight Strikes: City of Heroes Issue 12

I've been meaning to post that the twelfth expansion ("Issue") for City of Heroes was about to go live for a while now. In fact, so long, that it has gone live, and anyone can actually play it. It's called Midnight Hour and introduces a new organisation ("The Midnight Squad - aka The Midnighters, which the Authority may want a word about, so we'll move swiftly on before someone gets their brains punched right out). To celebrate, beneath the cut we have its promo videos, our first impressions from our City-of-heroes insider and a completely gratuitous Wilson Pickett song.

Here's the latest trailer, which introduces the Midnight Squad, and generally talks about what they get up to. That is, an excuse for cross-time hi-jinks and/or XP grind. I especially like the Roman Legionaries.

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While we're actually planning on returning to give a shot, especially Walker who's jonesing to be a bad healer some more, we haven't had a crack. But one of my somewhat disgruntled - that is, generally with life, not just with City of Heroes -has, and mailed me his initial thoughts.

First impression:
They've spent a lot of development time they could have spent on... something else revising the front end of the game into an e-store so that they can sell us additional character slots for $4-6 each.

Hmm. Sounds like NCSoft have an eye on the micropayment model. Yes. You knew that though. I was just trying to make it sound as if I was contributing to this fine endeavour, instead of cutting and pasting.

I am full of shame.

A whole load of hero powers were inaccessible to villain equivalent classes and vice versa for inexplicable reasons. A lot of these are now available. A notable exception would be that Tankers still can't have Electric Melee or Electric Armour (but Stalkers can).

The radio mission contacts are split off into their own tab, which is very handy.

They've changed how the rest of the contacts list works, and you can choose to sort the contacts by zone, name or how much they like you, none of which are useful. The only important thing about contacts is which ones are in your level range, which you can't sort by any more. It splits off the ones you currently have an active mission with, which is pointless as they got sorted to the top in the old system anyway.

You get a crazy buff for about 20 seconds when you level up. It also rezs you if you happen to be dead at the time.

You can rate and write notes about other players, much like many WoW mods that have been doing the same thing for a few years now. Unfortunately, like a WoW mod this information is stored locally on your computer, so will be inaccessible if you ever log on from different machines.

You can load a whole costume set at once now if you want "Jester" or "Enforcer" or whatever.

You can finally see the stats for your powers. I haven't finished playing with this information yet. My combo-powergaming obsessed friend is gleeful about it though. This information has always been hard to come by in the COH community and while caring about the exact stats of your powers isn't really the point of COH, it's gratefully received.

Not that he's looked at everything yet:

Haven't played:
Whole new Roman thing.
Villain Epic Archetypes (cos who has a villain at 50?)
Revised Hollows (sounds good though, there are smaller groups of guys so you don't get ganked by the huge mobs

Generally speaking, Midnight Hour offers a fine chunk of content - and it's impressive that they've managed twelve of these things since launch. Anyone still playing either of the cities out there? Does this impress you? And if you're not any more, would it tempt you to return?

And take it away Mr Wilson Picket!

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Kieron Gillen


Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.