City of Heroes: Homecoming hit 100K players as another donation round funds

    
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Just in time for its 100,000th player registration, the City of Heroes rogue server Homecoming team posted up a second donation-drive, raising just under $8000 from 302 donors in less than an hour this weekend (donations are once again closed now). Interested donors should probably check out the detailed breakdown of what everything costs and where exactly the money is going.

In the meantime, players on the Homecoming servers have been invited to leap on the temporary beta server (you can’t miss it in Tequila). In order to entice players to actually muck around there, it’s got plenty of integrated cheats, like an instant level 50, endless free money, unlocked incarnate slots, and so forth. (There’s even a guide to make it super easy for you.) The purpose of this particular beta was to test a Snipe power revamp, a new IO set, power tweaks, new base items, and back-end optimization, though it sounds as if the Snipe changes have already been rolled back over player outcry.

Here’s what else is going on around the CoH rogue server community:

The Rebirth server posted multiple bits of news this weekend: It’s running a poll on whether GMs should play as regular characters alongside other players at the risk of immersion (ideally, the plan going forward “would let Rebirth volunteers play the game when there are no tickets without having to take the time to swap characters when one comes in,” a rep explained to me), it’s launching another new Discord for RP, and yes the server being temporarily called Guardian is a known bug. Additionally, devs say that players should now have been granted their missing Paragon Rewards tokens for the week, allowing them to freely acquire what would’ve been cash-shop loyalty reward in the live game.

As we noted last week, the Reborn/Pleiades server, which just boosted its hardware, is planning Pride celebrations all throughout the month of June; they began this past weekend with costume contests, tourneys, and raids and will continue over the next couple of weeks.

The /coxg/ server has been running events this weekend as well; apparently next weekend is a Goldside-focused event. The group has also declared that it “will never ever ever ask anyone to sign a legal agreement to play” on /coxg/, presumably a reference to Homecoming’s user agreement.

The Ouroboros team is inviting players to vote on what it should name its next issue. “From the Ashes” is currently winning.

Finally, apparently there’s a group out there volunteering to scrub any remaining data floating around the community.

Got City of Heroes community news you think we should cover? Drop us a note!
Confused about the City of Heroes rogue servers? Our extensive coverage can be found right here, and we’ve posted a list of all the servers we know about too. The short version is that this spring a leaker exposed a secret City of Heroes server running for the last six years using the sunsetted game’s original code, which was ultimately turned over to the community. There are now multiple player teams working on multiple public and private servers for the beloved superhero MMORPG, with over 100,000 people on Homecoming alone. So far, NCsoft has not commented publicly or taken legal action on any of them, and the company is in talks with players regarding the game’s future.

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Fenrir Wolf

It’s funny, I have to admit to liking Champions Online much better than CoX for a vast multitude of reasons. Seeing news of this had me wonder what they were up to. So I looked in on the forum.

“Hi! We’ve screwed up the Dr. Destroyer Robot Factory so it’s hostile to low-level players, dodge tanks, and soloers! It’s now Yet Another Min-Max Geared End-Game Raid! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!”

I immediately turned around and left, having remembered why I quit Champions in the first bloody place. And, honestly, why I quit the vast majority of MMOs that I do.

The only reason Guild Wars 2 manages to keep me around with such consistency is due to their attachment to activities which don’t involve much (or any) combat. That way I don’t have to worry about being destroyed by a balance patch.

I like concept characters. I don’t like being a burden to other people, nor do I like dealing with incredibly manipulative hierarchies (guilds). As such, when a balance patch destroys one of my concept characters, that’s when I usually leave and never bother to return.

As I mentioned in a post on the topic concerning rerolling characters, most MMOs are unwelcoming to my kind of person and their systems actively obviate us. It’s not a nice feeling.

The point here, though, is that with there being so many servers? There’s a chance that one either won’t bother with balance patches or—as impossible as it might seem—handle it responsibly or do it at a slower pace.

As such, that’s edged CoX up above Champions for me. I mean, for all of the lovely features Champs has (and they are many), not having my character heartlessly obliterated is preferable. I mean, each time that happens I just become more and more cynical about MMOs.

So I’m at the point where I’m looking forward to my favourite games dying and ending up as CoX has.

There seems to be a frothing loathing of people who take it slow and don’t enjoy guilds when it comes to MMO development teams, which is why the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of them don’t attract those who’re like me. Which does leave that large, under-served demographic.

It’s funny, really. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s those who’re like me who tend to be the communities of a lot of server emulator games. Just to get away from the balance patch grind mill.

Not that balance patch isn’t an oxymoron, anyway. Throwing a random number generator at an SQL database and hoping it’s better doesn’t really do anything to “balance” a game any better, though (as someone who’s not too shabby with numbers) it really feels like that’s exactly what they’re doing.

If I were more cynical, I’d say they do it to keep people addicted. If you destroy their characters every 1-2 months, it puts them back into the grind loop which keeps them paying money. Am I cynical enough to think that? Hmm. Honestly, maybe?

The lovely thing about private servers though is—despite all of their problems and drama—they’re rarely saddled with such destructive avarice.

Which means I get to play CoX again. Which means I get to have arguments with my robotic minions over the demands of uptime cycles and the problematic nature of shackling a sapient life. Never known robots to love to picket so much.

Footnote: If MMOs were really so interested in balancing they’d use the rock-paper-scissors approach of Pokemon and give certain abilities the capacity to nerf other abilities. So you have an ability that locks a player in place and damages them over time? Give other players the ability to break the cage or reduce the damage. As in, give someone a side-effect to an ability they use which has a debuff to a powerful ability another player uses. That’s much more effective than just juggling numbers each patch.

What I’m getting at here is that instead of nerfing X by juggling numbers, you could add a side-effect to Y that nerfs X. Which works in PvE too, as if a mob has Y then player’s X is less useful for that fight. So long as you use Y sparingly, it balances the game without ruining all the fun.

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Jiminy Smegit

Seeing people bouncing around in Atlas Park, heroes flying by me, hordes of mastermind pets, a few skulls playing tug of war with a grannys handbag, people RP’ing and teams forming everywhere. All these things fill my heart with joy. Its not the greatest MMO ever, it is showing its age but the depth of character design (which I feel is something MMOs have lost in the last 10 years or so) keeps people rolling new alts and having fun.

Feels good to wear spandex again, even if it does chafe a bit.

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Nick Smith

Totally agree. In so much that its becoming my main mmo again. The hard part is sticking with a main! So many fun toons.

Sixuality
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Sixuality

It’s great to see the target being met so quickly for the second month in a row. I had wondered if the excitement would fade a bit now that we’re over a month into this new era, but all of the servers seem as busy as ever too.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I suspect it will as all things must, but for now, any day i logon, all the servers except the EU server are in the red and there are still plenty of folks out there looking for teams running teams. It feels so good to see it too.

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Doubleplusgood

I am guessing that the majority of the 100K players are all previous COH players like myself which will be sticking around for a long time to come. It would only be the new players trying the game out that might fluctuate which I think is the minority. So I expect it to stay busy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the player count continues to increase!

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Yes I have three pages of alts to get to 50.

Three pages, so far…

Also, I am totally surprised both Nightmare Rose AND Devil Knight were not taken on Everlasting.

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Bullet Teeth

I’m guessing because it’s private servers now, that the Character names aren’t tied to the email address like they were back in Live? I VAGUELY remember being able to have several of the same named characters, because the email address was actually the “character name”, just not displayed.

Basically my question is, it’s now like traditional naming? One version, then it’s gone?

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Mike Minier

I think the character names are unique. I could be wrong.

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Eamil

That sounds like you’re thinking of Champions. COH has a global handle system, but it doesn’t replace unique names completely for the purpose of chat.

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Doubleplusgood

I am at 33 characters now :)
and you know what is interesting? I still have not made a character of every power type yet. the game has so many power sets that you can’t even cover them all with 33 characters. for example I have not made a gravity controller or shield tanker yet.

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BalsBigBrother

As I mentioned in this past Wrup I am more intrigued by CoH at the moment than full on enjoying it.

That said I can now understand a little why Bree always seems to bring up CoH as an example mmo when ever questions are asked in the podcast. It has some interesting systems and some I would like to see become a standard such as the difficulty tuning.

There is something about CoH that is keeping me going back to it despite some issues I have with it. Previously I wasn’t too fussed about the fate of CoH beyond it being another mmo closing down. Now I have spent a bit of time with it I am intrigued enough to want to spend more time with it and would be disappointed if it went away again for whatever reason.

Beyond that my visit to CoH has certainly reignited my interest in the super hero mmo genre and I am a bit more excited to see how the modern incarnations do when they eventually launch.

xpsync
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xpsync

“Bree always seems to bring up CoH as an example mmo” /sniff used to be swg /sniff yea i remember when she was cool too man :( /cry /sniff

I think i’m just a very traditional mmorpg player at heart, coh it’s great, but in the end it doesn’t click with me the way swg does or as much as my new wow experience is taking hold, i’m playing wow starting from scratch and it’s like this is the familiar formula i love. I think classic is really going to be a big click for me.

The volume of people coh clicks hard for is something i wish i understood more but, that’s just it, you wont know, it’s like all of them not understanding why swg is beyond the chit when it comes to the best mmorpg’s of all time, they just don’t get it cause it really isn’t their type game. In turn for me same rules apply, but i can’t help being a little jealous, well not really jealous, maybe envious? i dunno, i would honestly love to know what it is exactly that makes it click so deeply for people, what is the magic formula for them?

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Castagere Shaikura

If your first MMO was Wow or anything after I can see your struggle. I’M willing to bet anyone new to MMO’s post-Wow would have problems. Pre Wow MMO’s were just slower in nature and it really wasn’t a rush to max lvl either. It was more about taking your time and being social. The combat in COH will bore this generation of players. Those first 10 lvl’s are hard to get through.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

It’s really not that difficult. People have different tastes is all. I’ve played a variety of MMOs over the years, including SWG (before the big, unpopular changes were made), WoW, EQ, Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, TERA, Blade and Soul…I could go on, but you get the idea. MMOs remain my game genre of choice, and I’ll give almost anything a try.

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Nick Smith

Sync… for me when it comes to CoH clicking, it has to be the customization of your character. I feel that after Ive made a character that it truly is uniquely my own. I absolutely know there is no one else like my character.. down to the costume and color of powersets and biographys, etc.

Trove clicks with me in this way too as there is so much to collect and wear.

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IronSalamander8 .

I love the game but I’d never say it’s perfect. It just does so many things right or at least not egregiously wrong, that I enjoy it a lot. My biggest beef is the lack of attacks at low level. I don’t think it needs an auto-attack, but they need something past temporary and origin powers to fill the gaps in your attacks. It’s not an issue at 42 (where my main is at now), but at 3 it’s certainly a pain and can be off-putting.

I am interested in the new games to see how they work out but they got work to do and the market has changed since they kickstarted City of Titans.

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Bruno Brito

The /coxg/ server has been running events this weekend as well; apparently next weekend is a Goldside-focused event. The group has also declared that it “will never ever ever ask anyone to sign a legal agreement to play” on /coxg/, presumably a reference to Homecoming’s user agreement.

I would rather bind myself legally to Satan himself, than to pretend i’m not going off the deep end by joining 4chan in anything.

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

“I can’t imagine being forced to stay in the house of bricks with it’s walls and it’s silly rules,” said the wolf to the piggie. “Come outside with me, and we can run and play without any walls or any rules. It’s so much better out here. I promise we’ll have a great time…”

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Bruno Brito

Then you remember everything outside is lava, not just the floor. And the woffo is made of pure fire and hatred.

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Castagere Shaikura

100K players on their servers and under 8k to run it. Love the Homecoming team.

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Doubleplusgood

It made me so happy to see how fast they got enough donations needed. I think it only took 15-20 min? I saw the initial announcement that donations were open and then shortly later that the goal was reached!

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BalsBigBrother

It made me chuckle that I saw some folks from EU complaining because the donations happened over night for us and were closed before they could throw their money at the team.

Imagine that people complaining because they can’t give money to someone.