Aaaaand now there’s a new temporary City of Heroes rogue server up

    
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This story has been updated several times over the last few days; updates are at the end. The original story follows.

Can we just agree that the City of Heroes drama going on right now is wild? Turns out it’s damn hard to organize thousands of hungry players and coders in the shadows, and even prior to last night’s announcements – that Titan Network is in talks with NCsoft to bring a legal player-run server online and that Discord groups are continuing with independent efforts – the community was in disarray. Picture thousands of people banging their silverware on the table and calling for the heads of the waitstaff and cooks. It was like that.

Well, now they’re getting another taste of the City to whet their appetites, as a new temporary server is coming online today. It sounds as if this one’s being presented as a joint effort between multiple groups. Organizers stressed to us that it’s a temporary measure to give folks somewhere to congregate as negotiations continue, so don’t get too attached to your toons. It does appear registration will be the same as before, through the SCORE website.

As always, we remind our readers that even though NCsoft is apparently willing to negotiate, these servers are still technically illicit, so please weigh your safety accordingly – we cannot advise you to do anything illegal and in fact have penned a piece discussing the legalities of these servers. We also continue to urge gamers to cease harassing Leandro and hassling NCsoft – it’s not helping.

Update 04/24/2019 11:04 AM
Updated message from Discord now.

Update 04/24/2019 13:24 PM
New updates from the Discords. It sounds like the original Discord is reshaping itself around a “server-in-a-box solution.”

While the Reddit Discord is working on an independent server.

Update 04/24/2019 6:12 PM
There’s an update from the folks running the current live server on the SCORE forums.

“Firstly, you guys have done a fantastic job of hugging the servers as tight as you possibly could. In the six and a half hours that this server has been opened we’ve already seen nearly 10,000 account registrations and over 2,200 players in-game concurrently. The servers are holding up pretty well, but there are definitely going to be some growing pains with a community as large and passionate as ours.

“I would like to thank Leandro for his support with this project, without his help none of this would have been possible right now.

“Going forward, we would like to communicate with you guys through the official forums until we have worked out something a little more flexible; we understand that the forums are under a lot of load right now and aren’t always accessible. We’re still working on all of this in the background and we hope to have more information ready for you guys soon. In the mean time, we look forward to seeing you guys in Paragon City once again and hope that you enjoy your time on the server. Thank you again for all of your support.”

Update 04/24/2019 9:54 PM
Update from from the original Discord:

Update 04/25/2019 8:12 AM
The Reddit Discord made announcements overnight noting that its plans are subject to how the NCsoft talks turn out.

Update 04/25/2019 12:25 PM
The Torchbearer server has updated with a post noting that peak player count has gone up to 3300 with nearly 17000 accounts created. There’s already somebody level 39. According to the reps, the server is being run by players called Cipher and Rigo “with assistance” from Leandro, though they say he is “not directly involved in the administration/moderation of the server,” merely “providing technical support” – that “without a lot of hard work from Leo there is no way this server would be online right now – he has been an incredible help to the team.” Funding is still up in the air.

“We’re currently investigating how the community is able to financially support this server in a way that doesn’t put us in any legal jeopardy. The server is currently costing around $2100 per month, but there’s a reasonable chance we may have to scale up further for stability. In order to sustain the load from last night without major issues, the cost would likely go up to around $2700 a month.”

And it appears this may not be a test server after all – it may not even be wiped.

“Many of you have been asking how long this server will be around, and if there will be a character wipe at some point. The short answer to both of those questions is that we do not know yet. Our primary long-term goal is to ensure that the community has a stable server that we can all enjoy together in perpetuity. Right now we cannot say if his server will be that, but we are not closed off to that possibility. If for whatever reason that primary goal requires us to shut this server down or wipe the character database, then we will do that. Outside of fulfilling that goal, we don’t foresee any reason why a character wipe would need to occur.”

Update 04/26/2019 8:12 AM
Overnight, Innocuous stepped down as head admin of the original Discord, turning its management and coordination with its members coding efforts over to Retched. Torchbearer – that is, the current live server – is now being openly run by the team calling itself Homecoming, operating out of the SCORE website. It’s now clocked in over 3400 online concurrently.
Update 04/26/2019 6:25 PM
We’ve updated with news of the second server, Excelsior, and the latest stats on the servers in a new article.
Our complete City of Heroes rogue server coverage:
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flying_dutchman

This is actually a really smart move. You’re super secret server gets exposed and brought into the open, so you spin up another temp server , let everyone on. Then when it inevitably gets busted and closed you can shrug and say “Well we tried.”

All the while you keep the actual secret server running in the back ground away from all the prying eyes.

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feleran

With 3400 concurrent players that would be in TOP 10 MMOs based on concurrency :)
That’s an achievement!

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Matt Redding

I suspect as soon as a donation method is opened up, a lot will be given. If the server can’t be kept up I think people will still give generously to cover the cost of this “test”.

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Kevin McCaughey

I never played it when it was alive – now I am considering it when it is (officially) dead :)

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Jiminy Smegit

It is hard trying to explain to a non-gamer that certain games produce an emotional response in us and I think this is certainly true with the heavy time investments required to play MMO’s.

I missed this game in the same way I would miss an old friend that I had lost touch with for many years. All it took was a brief tour through character creation and a step into the tutorial area to witness all the glorious superfreaks created by other players and I was in love again. I am waiting to play on the real server when it comes along but I saw enough to know that I am ready to be spat on by zombies all over again.

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IronSalamander8 .

Got back in last night and got my Inv/SS Tanker to 6. Was going to work on some others as this is getting wiped again so didn’t bother getting the Isolator badge (I always do the tutorial, especially hero side as I like to see Coyote as he was added in tribute to a player we lost), but they took the server down for testing and it was a bit later for my 5 AM wake up time. I’m still looking to NCSoft for what they do, and would prefer to join something official, even if I have to start over again, but it was a blast.

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Natalyia

I have apparently vastly overstated (to myself) how much of my fondness for CoH was rose-tinted hindsight. I figured eh, what the heck, let’s see if it’s still fun…

It’s every bit as much fun to roam around Paragon City fighting crime as I remembered it being. And I’m just a low-level hero with no influence, few powers, and fighting street thugs. It’s still a blast. Add in the nostalgia factor (the constant – oh, yes. Those. Or That. Or oh, wow – I forgot about…) and I am very happy that this exists.

The graphics aren’t great, but it somehow manages to capture the feeling of being a hero for me from the get-go in a way that Champions Online and DCU:O never managed.

I’m still looking forward to the next generation of superheroism online. City of Heroes looks it’s age – and will likely never be more than what is is now. But gosh is that a glorious thing to have back again. Many thanks to everyone who made that possible, for however long it lasts.

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Eamil

As someone who barely tried the game a couple times back in the day and has no nostalgia for it, I’m just stunned by how well the game has aged. It plays very nicely, at least when the servers are keeping up.

Thankfully most of the drama that’s been plagueing the Discord seems to have settled down as well now that there’s a server again.

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IronSalamander8 .

I’m right there with you. I tried CO and DCUO and both fell flat for me after CoX, even if DCUO has excellent and ‘comic-booky’ graphics (CO is more cartoony which is part of my issue with it). I was concerned I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and was almost worried to jump back in but oh has it been good! The music of the neighborhoods as you SJ around (and you can get a travel power at 4 now! It was 14 when I started!), the sounds of super strength when you punch mobs, the skyscrapers and land marks, it’s so, so good.

I too am still looking to the successors but they’ve got a tough road to follow, even as they do have more modern graphics. CoX has so many things that set it apart.

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Yuge McBigly

Dated as it looks, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it supports my 3440×1440 screen with no issues. Huzzah!

Well, at least it did on the now shut down server. I can’t imagine it wouldn’t work on this new one but I have not tried to get on it yet.

Celestia
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Celestia

I’m never going to get this big stupid grin off my face. Oh, how I have missed this game.

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IronSalamander8 .

For sure!

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Tamanous

I really hope the road to an official CoH server is quicker and less painful than Classic Wow. Mostly because I really want to play CoH again. It (and to a lesser degree Champions Online after) was the only mmorpg I could play along side my primary mmorpg. Otherwise I’d only plan one at a time.

I might even be able to get more rl friends back into it easier than something like Classic Wow.

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Jason

So at the end of the day, after all that drama and fanfare, Leandro, the man who fought tooth and nail for 7 years to keep city of heroes out of the community’s hands, is hailed and celebrated.

“Who cares, we just want to play!”

Yeah I do too, and I’m going to, here’s hoping that Leandro doesn’t do what Leandro has already done repeatedly, lie, shut the server down, then make it private again once all the media attention dies down.

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Dug From The Earth

Its why the other team (the non-Leandro one) is working to get a game server working using the i24 codebase, rather than Leandro’s custom i25 package.

Most are happy they are just getting to play for now, but its good that they arent relying on it to be the end all solution.

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Jason

I agree, that is the silver lining in all of this, no longer is it all centralized and controlled by one or two people.

City of Heroes is guaranteed to live on now.

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IronSalamander8 .

Agreed. I’m fine with i24 over i25 if it comes to that. I am still watching NCSoft’s reaction closely.

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Bombzai

And recall the character db is still there as well. At least more progress has been made in the past 7 days over the last 7 years.

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IronSalamander8 .

I’m still a bit leery of this as well. But I’ve been trying to avoid making things worse even if I was upset about hearing about that private server that was hidden for so long.

I fully understand why some of the community are having a hard time with all this.