Friday, May 13, 2011

City of Heroes - Goodnight Sweet Prince

I've been a fan of City of Heroes for a very long time.  I was amongst the first people to sign up on the official forums, and got into wave 2 of the closed beta.  I posted on the beta forums frequently (for me) and often argued with the notorious Macallen.  I even wrote an article for a community I was part of back then, Gamers with Jobs, under the handle Paladin.  I was about as big a fanboy for City of Heroes as I've ever been for any game.

I subscribed to the game for a very long time too.  I have nearly 4 years worth of veteran rewards, which is far longer than I've subscribed to any other MMO.  The next closest contender is WoW at just shy of 3 years, and after that are probably EQ and DAoC at a little under 2 each.  I'm a bit of an MMO nomad, but I'd always come back to City of Heroes to check out new updates that sounded interesting.  This is not to say I think it's the best MMO out there.  It's not.  But I loved the freedom of the character creator and had dozens of alts.  I loved the ability to mix and match powersets, and was always on the hunt for the "ultimate" combination (never found one, a pox on balance!).  It was also a nice change from all the fantasy stuff out there, which to this day I am really quite tired of.  Give me some more genres, please!

Magma Force, signing off
City of Heroes is currently doing a free activation week, where any past subscribers in good standing can log in and play.  They had a major update not that long ago, so there's bound to be new stuff to see but . . . I found I have no desire to play the game at all.  Apparently, I am finally "done" with City of Heroes.

Is it me, or is it the game?  I think it's a little of both.  The most damning issue is that City of Heroes has failed to substantially evolve with the times.  Fundamental gameplay is exactly the same now as it was in 2004.  If I log in, I know exactly what I'll be doing -- running door missions.  Over and over and over.  They've added new ways to do door missions over the years, but they're still door missions.  The player created content was a great idea, but in the end, still door missions.  The new missions they added in the Going Rogue expansion were a step up, but they only existed in the level 1-20 game.  The structure of the Going Rogue expansion itself was a problem, as the segregation of expansion 1-20 characters from the rest of the game was so limiting that after an initial rush people stopped going there.  The game is best played in groups, so soloing through Going Rogue content wasn't much fun.

So, sorry City of Heroes, I think I'm finally done.  I don't have any regrets, it was great, and I'll always remember you fondly, but I doubt we'll meet again.

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