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:
• Aug 22: Today’s City of Heroes’ Homecoming patch future-proofs the rogue servers for Mac players
• Aug 12: City of Heroes’ Homecoming Team finally posted a new beta patch after months of public quiet
• Aug 8: City of Heroes’ Homecoming rogue servers have joined the Titan Network/NCsoft negotiations
• Jul 8: Catching up with City of Heroes’ Homecoming rogue servers as NCsoft negotiations continue
• Jun 8: One of City of Heroes’ rogue servers, Reborn/Pleiades, was just shut down by its operator
• Jun 3: City of Heroes: Homecoming hit 100K players as another donation round funds
• Jun 1: Perfect Ten: 10 things I’d love to see added to City of Heroes in the rogue server era
• May 30: City of Heroes: Homecoming adds numerical power cooldowns, nerfs Death from Below, adds User Agreement
• May 28: City of Heroes: Community harassment ramps up as Homecoming counts 91,000 players
• May 22: Perfect Ten: Helpful tips for returning to City of Heroes in 2019
• May 21: City of Heroes: All the public servers we know of, plus Reddit’s launch and Homecoming’s name release
• May 20: City of Heroes: Homecoming concurrency, Rebirth and Reddit’s i24 servers, and the future of basebuilding
• May 17: City of Heroes: Homecoming’s new home, EU players, multiboxing, SEGS, and… piglets
• May 15: City of Heroes rogue server teams activate i24 PTS, prep for tomorrow’s Homecoming server moves
• May 13: City of Heroes community forms Round Table as Homecoming rogue servers count over 56,000 players
• May 9: City of Heroes’ Homecoming servers port to Canada this weekend, server status page is live
• May 8: Leaderboard: Would you donate for a City of Heroes rogue server?
• May 7: City of Heroes: New servers, Discord drama, and Homecoming gets $6900 in donations in 20 minutes
• May 6: City of Heroes’ Homecoming rogue servers will offer character transfers after all
• May 4: City of Heroes now has a fifth rogue server live as Homecoming buffs up and work on i24 continues
• May 1: City of Heroes’ rogue servers nerf AE farms, boost XP, but can’t do character transfers
• Apr 29: Two weeks in, City of Heroes has four rogue servers and heartwarmingly massive queues
• Apr 26: Nearly 30K people have rolled City of Heroes rogue server accounts as the game turns 15 years old
• Apr 24: Aaaaand now there’s a new temporary City of Heroes rogue server up
• Apr 23: The Titan Network is negotiating to open a legal community-run City of Heroes server
• Apr 22: City of Heroes’ first new rogue server shut down over a fake legal threat, but admins say it’s coming back
• Apr 22: Leaderboard: Do you plan to play on a City of Heroes rogue server?
• Apr 21: City of Heroes’ rogue servers may abandon character restoration as 14000 gamers register to play
• Apr 19: Lawful Neutral: Is it safe to play on City of Heroes’ inevitable rogue servers?
• Apr 18: The City of Heroes private server team has released its code [Update: The test server is live]
• Apr 18: What’s going on with City of Heroes now: ‘This game is a unicorn’
• Apr 17: Massively OP Podcast Episode 217: City of Heroes after dark
• Apr 17: Into the Super-Verse: The death of the City of Heroes community
• Apr 16: Leaderboard: Where do you stand on the ‘secret’ City of Heroes emulator?
• Apr 15: ‘Secret’ City of Heroes emulator operators address SCORE leak drama, rebut personal info database rumor