The Titan Network is negotiating to open a legal community-run City of Heroes server

    
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Following the abrupt shut-down of the first City of Heroes rogue server yesterday, the game’s community has been in turmoil as leaders urged patience. Now, it’s been made clear why, as the Titan Network has finally announced it’s been negotiating directly with NCsoft to open a community-run City of Heroes server, all above-board and legal.

Titan Network, run by Tony Vazquez, has been a staple resource for the City of Heroes community since long before the sunset, hosting Paragon Chat, the Titan forums, and the Paragon wiki. It would not mark the first time that players have sought to deal with NCsoft, though we assume that the last time inroads were made, nobody knew the source code was in the wild.

MMO players will recall there is precedent for this sort of collaboration; MMO studio Daybreak famously partnered with Project 1999’s, the player-crafted classic EverQuest server.

It is not currently clear when the server will open or what it’ll be called, but ideally we won’t be gaming from the shadows.

Update 04/24/2019 12:05 a.m.
The leaders of Reddit-backed Discord posted this statement:

The leaders of the original Discord made this statement at midnight, acknowledging the Titan Network negotiations as real but suggesting the Discord team is still working toward its own solutions.

Update 04/24/2019 8:35 a.m.

Overnight, the original Discord posted a massive Q&A on Discord to fill the community in on more. Most of it boils down to the fact that they’re working on it, don’t send money, more time is needed, and a timeline will be up when they have one. The group is working to surmount the expense and difficulty of getting a new server up without relying on NCsoft’s largesse. They’re apparently compiling i25, not i24 – with a team working on each one so that an “easy-to-deploy private server solution” is also on the table – and they claim that an i25 version will go up “ASAP.”

“We are working on multiple solutions,” the new PR rep, Tempest, says. “Our eggs are NOT in one basket, and we are absolutely not going to simply sit back and wait on NCsoft on this. Coders are still working, and optimizing as we speak. […] Server progression information will be coming once we have it, like I said developments are happening in such a way that it’s very difficult to pin down specifics on that front. But I CAN get you this bit I just got fresh off the presses!: The source code has been built successfully. Multiple developers have managed to create characters and get ingame. There are still some functional bugs keeping the source build from being deployed that are being worked on.”

Why can’t they just redeploy the weekend server?

“For one, we don’t actually have that hardware onboard anymore. Secondly, we were throwing hardware at the problem rather than coming up with solutions – there were several issues with the mapservers that was causing significant problems, and simply overpowering that kind of issue with more hardware like a band-aid is not a solution we want to move forward with.”

Finally, the PR rep reminded everyone to stop harassing Leo. It’s not OK folks. And while we’re at it, don’t hassle NCsoft, either.

The Reddit Discord also posted a new statement:

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Demon of Razgriz
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Demon of Razgriz

If I’m NCSOFT and reading all of this, I’d put CoH up in maintenance mode and charge either a one time fee or a small (<$10) monthly fee and not only kill the private servers but also steal the thunder from any of the successor projects as well. And, if I really want to get brownie points, any subscribers to other games would get “perks” such as jump the line server access, extra alt slots, etc. And I’d be happy with this.

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Witches

I gave DCUO and CO a spin just because of this, it’s really hard to understand NCSOft’s position in all this, logic says they could license the rights and let people have legal servers of the game, with the code being public knowledge it’s very hard to understand what they stand to gain from not allowing the IP to be used, it’s not like they are Disney and have strict guidelines on how to manage their IPs.

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Does not check email

Ncsoft only cares about products that earn half a billion a year. Communities and breaking even is beneath them.

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Humble DG

This is one of the two best options for MMOs in general that sunset, if there isn’t some trademark or licensing royalty issue tied to the game. Having the company accept the game is no longer ideal for them to host, but willing to allow the community to run it provided certain terms and conditions are met. The second, is to convert the game as an open-source project and let the community take it from there.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ailsa Nordstrom

It’s unfortunate that Tony V seems to have positioned himself as the one to “negotiate” with NCSoft. I think he was sincere in his efforts back in 2012 to #SaveCoH, but I think he ended up using whatever money was raised in that effort to just set up the private server of which we only recently became aware. Maybe it just became more than he could handle, but it was dishonest for him to perpetuate the idea that he was making headway with NCSoft while secretly just getting a server up and running for him and a select group. I can see why his secret server was outed. I would love to see a legitimate CoH server but I’d advise everyone not to put faith in Tony V.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ailsa Nordstrom

I have no proof to back up my claim that he was behind the secret server. I just find the timing of his recent reiteration that he is negotiating with NCSoft (a claim he first made in 2012) to be suspicious and it smacks of opportunism. Just my 2cents.

xpsync
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xpsync

For the emu community in general, this would be the most favorable outcome, and a heavy duty chunk of good pr for nc.

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Utakata

…I read that as “emo community”. My bad. :(

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IronSalamander8 .

:lol:

xpsync
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xpsync

lmao :)

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IronSalamander8 .

Emu community!
comment image

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Somewhat Eclectic

Honestly, that was my first thought.

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Matt Redding

EMU MASTERMIND NOW!!!

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drew who

Thats cool . I commented a couple of days ago that something like this might be a good idea but I never thought it would actually happen . Let’s hope it goes ahead .

:)

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Anthony Clark

I hope this happens!!!!

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Skoryy

Well, at least the Discord folks got themselves a good CM. They even set up a nice little Q&A section.

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IronSalamander8 .

I saw this in the discord last night. I’m taking the same wary attitude I had before, but we shall see. Honestly I’d be happiest to be able to play the game with NCSoft’s blessings if not their direct participation, even if it was essentially a ‘maintenance mode’ server. I’m sick of the drama and other BS involved in this, even with my own irritation over this hidden server, it’s time to ‘kill skuls’ already.

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

“play the game with NCSoft’s blessings” Huge tbh!

I’m not concerned at all with swg:l very confident in fact, coh though without a nc blessing i’d always be leery with the fact you go to log in one day and it’s just gone. Which has already happened.

As i mentioned HUGE! i’ll be so there, all i ever heard about playing swl was endless stories from people who played it, which always made me wonder why the f did they shut it down? It was obv exceedingly popular.

Anyway i’d think this would make a perfect second slot game, with Ship of Heroes on the radar ofc, that’s looking very promising.

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Chandelier D. Brown

I’m pretty sure that that private server is still up and running, these mods should be ashamed of themselfs. Asking for donations so that they can run their own servers over other peoples back, all while using the same launcher as paragon chat which is highly suspicious.

We should sue their ass!

Also, don’t believe a word Ncsoft says, they did this 7 years ago and they wont change.

Harry Koala
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Harry Koala

Sue them for what exactly? “I assert that I have an absolute right to log in to their privately hosted server running illegal software”

Not sure whether the launcher thing matters or not: some previous comments here suggested it was more a matter of pointing the launcher at a different server, not anything to do with the launcher itself. If true, that would be a bit like saying blizzard is complicity in private servers since the blizzard launcher can be persuaded to point to a private server rather than an official one.