I have to admit something, to everyone reading this and to myself. I’m not sure I missed City of Heroes as much as I had first thought.
Trust me, I realize how blasphemous that might sound, especially since I’ve written about the game on more than a couple of occasions on my own personal blog before. I still contend that it is an outstanding game and does so much right that modern MMOs just seem to utterly fail at or forget was done well already. But the fact remains, my time in Praetoria may have soured me a bit to the title.
Perhaps it’s a fault with the Going Rogue expansion itself. As I wrote a couple of weeks back, this expansion’s starting experience is definitely “CoX Hard Mode” with enemies that employ tactics that are well above and beyond the sort of things a new character is capable of mitigating, let alone a new player. This is an absolute shame because whatever frustration those enemies provide just barely edges out the enjoyment I got from really paying attention to the quest text. The expansion really does a great job of building the world of alternate Paragon City, but it’s just not good enough to muddle through the hell of lower levels.
Perhaps it’s a fault with the class choices, though being left to my own devices seemed to help just a tiny bit here. I’ve officially confirmed that Masterminds are just not my bag, but I really did want to try. Brutes definitely feel like they’re closer to my style of play, but even that class got overwhelmed. Especially by those freaking Ghouls oh my gosh stop falling from the ceiling and healing your friends when you die why do you do that??
Maybe I’m just a bit too emotionally attached to what’s new and now. I know the common refrain from many is that the old days were the good days, and in some cases I can certainly agree, but really I still feel like MMOs are in a more entertaining, enjoyable, and wonderful place than they’ve ever been as far as play experiences are concerned. The genre’s commercial viability is certainly a point to debate, but I’m not here to raise that argument. I just like playing the new stuff and looking at what’s coming up next. Yes, I still anticipate games. Startling revelation, I know.
Or maybe I’ve just said my goodbyes to City of Heroes. When I visited Paragon Chat some few years ago, I was awash with joy and nostalgia. The opening music thrilled me and brought back years of experiences back to my mind. I was able to rebuild my main toon from pure muscle memory. Super Jump travel was immediately obvious. But as I leapt around the empty city, I started to realize that I was missing the people. Now that I have the people, I feel like I’ve been away from the game for so long that it just felt… well…. lonely.
I guess the counter to that complaint, then, is to simply find new people to be with. The problem is those damn rose-colored glasses will always be peered through as I try to stack new friends up with old friends. The idea that they may fall short of that nostalgic ideal is unfair to me and especially unfair to them.
Or maybe I’m just overanalyzing this whole thing – maybe I should just play blueside and ignore that goldside is even a thing at all. I like the character concept of the Witchfist, after all. Maybe I can roleplay with her, assuming that roleplay is active in Homecoming.
In spite of its age, though, City of Heroes still does so many things right. That character creator is top notch, from powerset development to aesthetics. The team dynamic that’s fully modular and can be adapted to suit anyone’s needs is brilliant. The combat is actually pretty fun (except for Mastermind), even though it’s nowhere near as action-packed as modern MMOs can be. It even still holds up from a visual standpoint more or less, if one ignores the mitten hands. If you’ve never played the game before or don’t have the weird overthinking brain goblins that I can have, it’s never been a better time to have your own Homecoming.
Even so, there’s just some cog missing from the machine, like that one stupid inventory item you left several screens back from a point-and-click adventure game. Some ingredient to make the glue of City of Heroes stick for me again. I’ll probably revisit things on my own time with my own character and try to really re-establish my own connections, but I really think I maybe have truly moved on.
Speaking of moving on, it’s time for CMA to head on to this next month’s adventure. To the chagrin of at least that one person in the comments, August is Not So Massively Month, when every week I’ll be dipping in to one of the multiplayer or pseudo-MMO-like games that we cover here on this site. Being one of those filthy game-hopping casuals, I expect this month should be a good time, and I look forward to everyone taking the journey with me. So with that, let’s open our poll!
Now, seeing as this next month is going to focus on games that are pretty straightforward in terms of things to do, I’ll generally be opening the polls to determine what game to cover for the week. Last week’s poll had you determining my starting point and the winner was either Dauntless or Monster Hunter World, which means you all would like to see me whup on some giant beasties. So this poll’s question is this: Which one should get the nod for next week?
Which creature hunting multiplayer game should I play for the week?
- Monster Hunter World. It's got a pedigree for a reason. (56%, 137 Votes)
- Dauntless. Let's see you tackle the Behemoths! (44%, 108 Votes)
Total Voters: 245
As usual, polling will close up this upcoming Friday, August 9th, at 1:00 p.m. EDT. I know that this is unusual for this column, but I hope you’ll all join me in saying vive le difference and steer this madcap idea of mine along. Also, if you have suggestions for games that fit the month’s theme, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Because, as always, this is your column as much as it is mine. Until then!