TonyV leaves City of Heroes NCsoft negotiations, resigns from Titan Network

    
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Over the course of the last few months, following the revelation of working City of Heroes server code out in the wild and the community’s Herculean efforts to restore the game, multiple community reps have maintained that they are in negotiations with NCsoft to make the existing rogue servers a permanent and legal fixture in the MMO world. One of those community leaders was Tony Vazquez, aka TonyV, the man behind the long-running Titan Network.

But according to a post issued by Vazquez tonight, his role is coming to an end. The post claims that Homecoming staff have asked him to step away from the negotiations and that not only will he comply with that request, he will be turning over the Titan Network to Homecoming – that includes the Paragon Wiki, Paragon Chat, the forums, the City Info Tracker, among other tools. “It just doesn’t make sense to me to continue maintaining two separate places, two separate forums, two separate web sites with game tools and information, both run and maintained by the community,” he says.

However, his departure from the community doesn’t appear to be out of spite or concern for Homecoming’s integrity; a recent engagement and new business venture will apparently occupy his immediate future. “I still remain convinced that the best chance of having game instances you can play on without having to worry at any given time that they might be shut down is by a cooperative agreement between NCSOFT and Homecoming,” he opines. “And just to be crystal clear: There are a lot of amazing and brilliant people working hard to provide not just a good gaming experience, but one that’s ever growing better.” He also offers advice directly to Homecoming: “You have my sincere wishes for the best of luck, but you also have a lot of hard work and an awesome responsibility ahead of you. Stay focused on the goal. Always remember that our community is filled with invaluable resources of all types; find and use those resources. Never forget that you yourself are part of the community and maintain a healthy dose of humility.”

Finally, Vazquez also recommends that the existing City of Heroes community forgive NCsoft for the brutal 2012 sunset, in a paragraph that sheds new public light on how the behind-the-scenes negotiations have been going.

“Even if you think they were wrong back then, let it go. They have been nothing but genuine, friendly, and extremely accommodating through our conversations. At this point, they’ve gotten everything they’ve wanted from all involved in the server code leak. If they were out on some twisted mission to screw everyone over, that hammer would have fallen already. They’re not. Some of them used to be City of Heroes players themselves. There was absolutely no reason for them to not shut down Homecoming a long time ago other than they really want this to go through for the community. They’re bending over backwards to figure out a custom arrangement for us that’s fair to everyone, something I believe will still happen, and something I hope the whole industry takes note of. I for one cannot express enough gratitude for what they’re doing.”

We’ve contacted Homecoming for a statement, but we don’t anticipate a full and formal response until the morning. TonyV himself declined to comment for this story, citing the need to work on the transition of the site.

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.
Update Sept. 12 8:15 AM EDT
Following a flurry of panic in the community last night, it seems there’s been a fresh agreement on the fate of Titan Network proper. “I’ve spoken with Tony and we’ve agreed to transfer ownership of Titan over to me, keeping the existing community moderators and leadership intact, besides Tony himself,” writes Sekoia, one of the long-time Titan administrators. (Update: We were under the impression Sekoia was working with Homecoming to some degree, but Homecoming maintains he is not a member of the organization directly.) Either way, the organization will not be handed over to the Homecoming team and will continue operating independently: “I know I’m not the most recognizable of names, but I’ve been an admin keeping Titan running from behind the scenes for years now. We intend to keep things running at Titan as they’ve been and promise to do our best for the community going forward. We all at Titan thank Tony for his years of management and wish him the best of luck with future endeavors.”
Update Sept. 12 1:50 PM EDT
Now we have Homecoming’s statement:

“Homecoming wasn’t aware of Tony’s desire to transfer Titan to us. For a variety of reasons this wasn’t a desirable outcome, and we’re glad Sekoia has stepped up to take responsibility. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to working with him going forwards!”

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