City of Heroes Homecoming players have rolled almost a million toons to date

    
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I’ve always said that if I could do one thing in video games – you know, besides what I already love and do – it’d be play with metrics. (I have no intention of ever doing this – would you, after covering this clusterfudge industry for a decade?!) But longtime readers know that it’s like pulling teeth to get valuable data out of big video game studios. When they do pony up real numbers we can do something with, it’s a rarity.

Rogue servers, however, have no such compunctions. Over the weekend, the City of Heroes Homecoming team posted a detailed breakdown of all the characters created on its five servers since April, looking at everything from the total counts to archetype distribution. Here are some of the highlights:

  • You folks rolled 911,434 characters.
  • Excelsior is still the biggest server, with 233,576 toons.
  • Over 60,000 of those characters actually made it to level 50.
  • “People have spent 17,422,975 hours playing on Homecoming.”
  • Waaaaay more folks roll Brutes than anything else, followed by Blasters and Masterminds.
  • People seriously do not play the the four epic archetypes: They’re all four at the bottom of the pile, beaten out by even the likes of Stalkers and Dominators.

The team breaks it down by powerset combos too, and here’s where it gets really interesting. Would you have guessed that more Blasters roll Dual Pistols than Fire Blast? It’s close, but there it is. Notably:

  • Blasters love Dual Pistols and Fireblast, with Energy Manipulation and Gadgets secondaries. Sonic Attack and Plant Manipulation are at the bottom. But Corruptors are all about Fire and Water Blast plus Kinetics and Dark Miasma, and they’re not falling for Assault Rifle or Trick Arrow.
  • Brutes go for Spines and Super Strength plus Fiery Aura, while Scrappers lean more on Martial Arts and Street Justice and Regen. Tankers go straight for Super Strength at two and a half times the rate of anything else. Stalkers, naturally, focus on Ninja Sword. Ice Melee and Ice Armor are very much unloved by all four melee classes, though Tankers skip Super Reflexes even more.
  • Controllers dig Illusion and Kinetics. Electric Control and Trick Arrow, not so much. Dominators, however, head for the new shiny in Darkness Control.
  • Defenders are clearly playing City of Heroes wrong since people roll Empathy at three times the rate of any other primary set. That was a joke. Defenders also skip Traps, Trick Arrow, and Assault Rifle, which all clearly need buffs.
  • Masterminds know Bots are best, but dang, Dark Miasma as a runaway favorite for secondary surprises me.
  • The new archetype, Sentinel, also sees a ton of folks running Dual Pistols and Regen.

Want the level 1 characters weeded out of the count? Referring back to the Blasters count, I’ve played Dual Pistols repeatedly and been repeatedly let down, so I’d have guessed most of those toons don’t last because the concept and animations are better than the actual gameplay power and effect. And I’d be right: While DP slightly edges out FB up to level 31, it falls well behind after 32. Heck, it falls behind both Fire and Ice Blast at level 50. So those stats are worth a looksee too.

It’s a curiosity for us, of course, allowing us to peek into what the greater playerbase is rolling and interested in stylistically and power-wise, but for player devs, well, it’s a clear indicator for where development time ought to be spent.

Source: Homecoming. Thanks, Yrys!
In the spring of 2019, gamers uncovered a secret City of Heroes server running using the sunsetted game’s original code, which was ultimately turned over to the community. There are now multiple public and private servers for the beloved superhero MMORPG, with over 100,000 people on Homecoming alone. NCsoft has not commented publicly or taken legal action on them and is still in talks regarding the game’s future as of September 2019.

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Monsoon

I believe the reason the HEAT and VEAT numbers are so low is that there are relatively few ways they can be rolled, since they don’t have multiple primary and secondary sets available to them. Then you look at Brutes and they have 22 different primary sets and 13 secondary sets. That would be 286 total combinations, however there are a few combinations that are incompatible such as Titan Weapons/Shield Defense.

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Schlag Sweetleaf
city on the edge of a million toons.gif
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silverlock

It’s kind of funny how the two biggest stories in mmo news in 2019 are two games from 2004.

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Denice J. Cook

You know it, baby!

:P

And the only reason I’m even here right now is that I’m currently stuck in a queue of over 3000. Guess where? ;)

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Utakata

/Back to the future!

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Peregrine Falcon

@ silverlock – It’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of the MMO industry in 2019, isn’t it?

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BalsBigBrother

Um I might have a few um many, lots and lot of characters. I am not sure what I have the most of to be honest but I know I am still having fun with them so its all good.

Demon of Razgriz
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Demon of Razgriz

With my Emps, I usually add Dark Blast as my secondary and have a blast. Dropping heals and, while they’re recharging, causing DoT, is fun. Plus, if you got a Kinetics MM, then the team is usually set with both offensive and defensive buffs. I don’t think I’ll ever roll any of the epic ones though. I can’t figure out how to play PB/WS, and there’s not enough people red side to roll a Widow or Spider. But I’m seriously lacking in the number of alts I feel I should have.

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Crowe

I made both a widow and a crab and switched to the blue side at level 1. Don’t let the red stop ya!

Demon of Razgriz
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Demon of Razgriz

Thank you for his! Forgot that I can roll them blue side. Think I got the perfect story for them also.

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Laughing_Alex

A shame people are rolling empathy three times more than other sets. The other sets are actually easier to use or imo better for most teams later in the game. Empathy requires very high global recharge to come close to a good number of sets imo. This from a defender and corruptor player.

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Laughing_Alex

Not to mention the sheer fun to be had in the other sets you dont get with empathy.

Celestia
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Celestia

I’m not saying I’m responsible for half of those alts, but I’m not not saying I’m responsible for half of those alts.

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IronSalamander8 .

SR for Tankers is something that I never saw before and its heavy reliance on Defense over resistance would drive most healers nuts. I’m not shocked at all that super strength is so popular for Tankers, it’s one of the most iconic super powers ever. I wonder how well Invulnerability does overall?

I have 14 characters right now, but haven’t been hitting it a lot although I did play my undead cheerleader EM/WP Brute last night (EM for the pom-poms). But, Battle for Neighborville is now available for those who get a Founder’s pack so I’ll be hitting that one heavily when I grab it, I haven’t looked forward to a game this much since I was like 12!

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

*sheepish*

I have over 40.

And none of them are what folks are playing.

Only have two 50’s though:
Nixie is a water storm defender who rocks in groups.
Nova Gold is a energy energy sentinel

My closest to 50 is a stalker with dual blades and I gotta say, there is something wrong with the to hit chance for stalkers. I miss way too much on non-aggro assassin’s strike. and that with 95% chance to hit.

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Crowe

Don’t feel bad. I made #43 today. And if Homecoming ever gets around to releasing Wind Control, I’ll probably make another!

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Does not check email

I want the other archetype power pools that should go with sorcery

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Matt Redding

It’s kind of a shame more people aren’t playing Stalkers but I think a lot of people don’t know how radically they’ve changed from their launch. The cornerstone of that are the 2 special enhancements in the archetype set. These are level scaling enhancements that are minimum level 10; sadly I was telling someone about them and they immediately dismissed them as “end game gear, nothing to worry about.” Like, NO, level 10 and up, just a couple hundred merits. Anyway the first one gives the power it’s placed into a chance to kick you back into Hide. And if a stalker is in Hide, they automatically crit with single target attacks and have a high chance with AoE powers. The second one, once slotted into any attack power makes ALL your attack powers have a chance of resetting your build-up power. Combined this means that about every 20 seconds Stalkers can go back into hide autocrit or can chain use build up to keep in a highly boosted (not perma but FREQUENT) build up state. In fact, I put a Gaussian’s proc which has a chance of a bonus build up in my actual build up power and then proceeded to have the base power reset so quickly that I stacked build up FOUR TIMES for a couple seconds. Basically, stalkers are the new scrappers, just with lower hit points but free stealth. They can even be a broadsword/shield stalker and from all I’ve read it’s the sickest thing possible because of the nearly crit-on-demand playstyle coupled with powerful attacks.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

It’s a lot of fun to play stalker.

but it is tough to solo those elite bosses that you sometimes get in mishes.

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Matt Redding

Actually I was soloing those guys so easily I thought it was broken and that was before I got the AT enhancements. Like that mission in Night Ward that ends with multiple EBs? My Psi-Melee/Willpower Stalker just GANKED them both so hard. I think the Honoree was the only one I really had a problem with, we both did and resisted psi damage and his hit points let him hold out better (plus Fusionette started the fight prematurely…)

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

So Fusionette did what she is supposed to?

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Crowe

I’ve tried but it’s just not my playstyle. Even in pen & paper games, I don’t like the stealth classes.