Superhero indie MMOs City of Titans, Valiance Online, and Ship of Heroes say they’re not in a race

Whenever we write about the current crop of City of Heroes-inspired indie superhero MMORPGs, some of our commenters nearly always ponder whether it would be better for everyone if the three bigger studios pooled their resources, talent, and playerbases into one big game. Surely it would be better if they weren’t all competing with each other – or so the thought goes.

But following a pair of our articles earlier this week – one an exclusive from Ship of Heroes, the other a preview of Valiance Online’s map – key developers from those two games as well as City of Titans chimed in on Twitter to attempt to dispel the idea that they’re in any sort of competition to begin with.

“I wouldn’t call what we’re doing a race or battle personally,” Valiance Online tweeted out.

“We’re against the whole race/there can only be one mentality as well,” the City of Titans account agreed. “We really wish news sites would stop fueling that fire.” (That part appears to have been directed partly to the twitter account of the fledgling Marvel MMO, which we also covered last week.)

City of Titans Project Lead @warcabbit expanded the discussion to a straight up monologue (his word!) that’s worth a read for his perspective on NCsoft, City of Heroes, and the other superhero titles:

The Phoenix Project as a whole, have agreed to refute that, and to act in the spirit of our founding – we are all part of something greater. We all have our differences – I’m not going to get into what they are – but we have distinctions, and we hope each of our distinctions appeal to a playbase – we want MORE superheroes. Heck, we’ve even discussed crossovers with Valiance. I think we settled on ‘we’re each other’s cinematic universe’ but hey, things can happen.

We got one opponent. It’s not NCSoft, it’s apathy. We believe, here. We’re making something the world needs, we’re looking at inspiring people to be the best they can be. We are willing to go hard, and fail, and get back up, and keep fighting.

As long as one of us is here? It’s not over.

It’s not about CoH. It’s about the spirit of CoH. About a positive community in a MMO. About the first MMO to encourage LGBT players, not ban them. About the first MMO to let you look how you wanted, play how you wanted, and with who you wanted.

I see people talking about how Storm or Wonder Woman or Spidey inspired them because they could see themselves in them, because there wasn’t someone out there besides that hero. How finding that hero was lighting for them. How it gave them hope, how it made them believe that they could be more than the obvious. Doctors. Teachers. Scientists. Businessmen. Anything. We want people to keep being inspired. And we want to fight for it.

We’re not gonna do that by tearing each other down.

All of you reading this, remember when you found comics, or video games. Remember how those pages felt the first time you opened them. Remember when you believed a person could be a hero, and you could do it too. It’s just paper. It’s just ink and art and staples. But it’s not. It’s a dream, of truth, and justice, and doing the right thing – and being more than yourself, more than what others see when they look at you. Hold that flame in your heart. Pass it on. That’s who we are.

So it may not be a race, but I doubt I’m alone in wishing they could move faster all the same!

Source: Twitter
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Duane_Does_not_check_email
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Duane_Does_not_check_email

I don’t think of 3 titles in development as bad, but a couple of backups if the effort of one fails. 5-10 years from now…. we will see how many get to market or whatnot unfolds.

I love all three for trying and feel a lot of gratitude anyone bothers to remember old coh players.

Reader
Crowe

I think one of the best things about CoH was the sense of community. I had my first character nearing level cap when I first encountered a forum-aware guild. Eventually, I ended up joining and reading the official forums. Oh sure, I had occasionally popped in for FotM or powerset guidance but now I was reading server-level forums and actually recognizing some character names from people I had played with. It really opened my eyes and made the game a whole lot bigger and more important for me.

From my readings and research on City of Titans, Valiance Online, and Ship of Heroes I get the same feeling. These guys *get* that. I think that’s a big part of what’s driving them to make a game. (note: no offense to H&V but I just haven’t seen enough for me to get much of an impression) If I could find a game that allowed deep customization in playstyles that also allowed me to invest myself in the server forums of the game (or whatever would approximate my “local world”), then I’d be all over that. It wouldn’t even need to be a superhero game. Rift was the closest I came to finding the depth of playstyle but Trion seems to be actively managing that game to hell.

So for CoT, VO, and SoH I have donated. I don’t feel that I’ve “cheated” on anyone as much as done my due diligence to give folks with a skillset I lack the opportunity to possibly fill a niche in my gaming life. If even one of those three is successful (for what I’m looking for) then I will consider all three a solid investment. I’ve never felt this was a race and I’m in my middle years so I am (hopefully) mature enough to wait for quality of delivery over speed. No race. If all three deliver, I feel like I’ll be an even bigger winner.

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Magnus Itland

Yes, technically there are three spiritual successors to CoH (or four if you count Heroes & Villains), but they are not equal. One of them had a highly successful Kickstarter, the other two are subsisting on love and pocket change.

I’ve actively supported both of the two junior partners, but it seems only a very small fraction of the thousands of former CoH players are willing to vote with their wallets for a more diverse super future. That’s a bit disappointing. With Valiance Online you can actually get to test the alpha build of the game for a few dollars. You’d think if people were that excited, they’d vote with their wallet.

Reader
Crowe

Wat, no Redside?
(jk)

Reader
J

They better be, because there is not enough demand in the market for all three of them to survive. DCUO hobbles along with console players propping it up and honestly, I don’t know how Champions Online keeps the doors open. The superior comic MMO was lost to NCcrap and now here we have three at once trying to make it. Not gonna happen.

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IronSalamander8 .

I did give City of Titans some KS money but I’ll give any of these a try once we have a solid and stable release. CO was a major letdown after CoX with its weird graphic style and the lackluster animations/combat and DCUO had such odd power choices and lack of customization despite its excellent look that I cancelled my pre-order of that title.

Of the 3 Ship of Heroes looks like the best overall, Valiance the ‘shiniest’ and Titans still looks like its either still very early in development or going for a much older look than one would expect from a new MMO.

Nathaniel Downes
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Nathaniel Downes

I will admit curiosity at how CoT has an older look. That is a label I had not heard before.

Duane_Does_not_check_email
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Duane_Does_not_check_email

No one knows vo was in development but cot was “first, loudest and longest at this spiritual successor” quest.

Cot will always get way more scrutiny and soh is the bright new flashy.

I cannot say I agree with all these screenshots, alphas and openness. I miss when development was more private and less communication. Controlling expectatations was easier, but it’s not 2004 anymore.

Reader
Chosenxeno .

Pfft. It’s a race…A race that SoH will win…EHEHEHEHEHHEHHEH!

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Hirku

When the chips are down, these “civilized” developers…they’ll eat each other.

nomnom.jpg
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Witches

Yes, yes…but who is leading?

Reader
TheDonDude

I bet the Flash and Superman say the same thing before each charity match.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Rather than a “peace treaty” between these 3 studios, i would have rather had instead, a combined effort for 1 overall game.

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Kickstarter Donor
Legend Of Vinny T

That’s the tricky part of being a “spiritual successor”. The spirit moved everybody in different ways. Just look at the settings: Contemporary New England city, future California city, and interstellar generation spacecraft.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Of course, all of those new and different directions, might have simply been intentional for the sake of keeping the games out of legal hot water. :P

Reader
Sorenthaz

Everyone has their own visions and ways they think that they could do CoX but better.