When NCsoft closed City of Heroes’ doors in 2012, it was anything but a normal MMO closure due to a lack of interest and population. On the contrary, the thriving and devoted community rallied around the superhero title in a tremendous fashion and vowed that it would do something, anything to keep CoH’s spirit alive.
Of course, it’s one thing to talk big and another thing to take that passion, anger, and drive and channel it into a productive project. When it became clear that NCsoft wasn’t going to sell City of Heroes to interested parties, the community turned to Plan B: make a spiritual successor by itself. Again, easier said than done, but in this case it wasn’t mere talk.
City of Titans was the first such project to emerge on the scene, raising over $678,000 in a 2013 Kickstarter to fund this vision. Missing Worlds Media has been trucking forward with this game in the five ensuing years, and while we are still a ways away from playing it for real, I thought it might be beneficial to look at five reasons to be excited about this game right now.
1. The team is being (slightly) more communicative these days
City of Titans has developed a reputation of setting lofty goals and failing to stick to a timeline or stay as communicative as it should be. I’m not here to blow smoke; I think that it’s concerning how little we’ve seen or gotten for a five-year-and-counting project, and the team needs to hew more toward professionalism in its work ethic. That said, this year so far we have seen a noticeable uptick in communication from the team, including videos, details, and screenshots as the team has recovered from a significant setback in the game’s old data repository. The rollout of reveals and discussion helps to keep the excitement alive and hope that we’ll actually get to play this one day.
2. It looks to scratch that City of Heroes 2.0 itch
When it comes to making a spiritual successor to a very specific game, the question is how far away do you drift from the original and how slavish you adhere to its design? For better or for worse, City of Titans is aping City of Heroes as closely as possible while buffing up the graphics considerably, even down to the similar name, titular city, and lead characters. For players who simply want an updated version of City of Heroes, this might indeed be what they’re looking for in an MMO.
3. The avatar builder is coming along quite nicely
Back in February, the team showed off a sneak peek at how the avatar builder — character creator, in other parlance — is shaping up. We all know that this was a big selling point of City of Heroes, and I’m pleased to say that Titans’ avatar creator is looking slicker than snot (especially if you want to make a booger-themed hero). The team is obviously spending a tremendous amount of effort on creating options and sliders so that players can craft the hero of their dreams, and I am salivating over the thought of just getting to play with this one part. Speaking of which, that was supposed to happen last fall, but… yeah. Delays.
4. Its mission system will account for personal choice
From the character creator to beyond, superhero MMOs are deep into roleplaying even if players don’t consciously call it as such. We all have a vision for what our superheroes will be and how they will act, which is why it’s great to hear that the Titans team has designed a mission system that takes us off the rails and delivers both choice and multiple endings. You can see a goofy Christmas version of this mission system in the following video:
I’ve always been of the mindset that quests should branch and be influenced by the player, but most MMOs would rather pump out a large number of rigidly defined quests rather than ones that show some flexibility. I sincerely hope that the latter is more the norm in Titans than not.
5. There’s a lot of city here for us to discover
Last fall the team gave an update on the project during which it reported that City of Titans then had “no less than 173 named NPCs, 107 tip episodes, 5 district story episodes, 61 path episodes, and a recurring event completed.” The team also said that it was “adding more history to the world in hundreds of small ways by adding brand names, unique places, and countless more additions to our already rich and immersive lore.”
Sure, most of us aren’t able to access or play any of this right now, but this doesn’t sound like a meager handful of content waiting for us — especially when you consider that procedurally generated mission maps are also in the works. From all indications, this volunteer team has a lot of solid parts of what could become a great MMO, if it is able to weld the parts together and deliver it to fans before too much more time goes by.
What do you think of City of Titans so far? Let us know in the comments!