On Wednesday, we noted in our big roundup of MMORPG studios running Extra Life 2021 charity streams this weekend that City of Heroes rogue server Homecoming would be joining in its own way: by releasing a beta patch that would give its community streamers something new to entice donors. And that patch is now live for testing as of this afternoon.
The highlight of the test patch – dubbed Issue 27: Second Chances, Page 3 – is the new Dr. Aeon Strike Force, Chasing Fool’s Gold, a villain arc meant for toons over 35.
“The supervillain genius, Dr. Aeon, has begun to take notice of suspicious unscientific activity going on within Aeon City! Such things are inconceivable! None can be permitted to befoul the glory of his utopia! In his unparalleled brilliance, he has decided to enlist the service of local villains for the purpose of helping him maintain and enforce order! Definitely not to deflect any potential responsibility or liabilities from himself! Never! However, even his immaculate mind couldn’t predict the culmination of this plot. Decades of planning see the rise of an unexpected threat of which Dr. Aeon played no small part in helping create, in more ways than one!”
But personally, I’m looking forward to new earth-themed powersets: We’re looking at Seismic Blast for Blasters, Corruptors, and Defenders, while Earth Manipulation is a new secondary for Blasters. Stone Melee and Stone Armor have also been buffed for Tankers and proliferated to Scrappers, which ought to be interesting. (Earth powers in City of Heroes are awesome – cannot wait to make me an Earth/ Corr.) Electric Blast, Sonic Manipulation, Bots, and Dual Blades also getting some much-needed love, as are sleep and placate powers.
There’s more of course, including new advanced difficulty and challenge mode options for masochists, new IO sets, threat tweaks, new badges, new emotes, new costume pieces, 472 new supergroup base details, tasks updates, updates to Cimerora, a pass on several villain groups, the mapserver timing loop, and fixes for weird geometry.
The beta server, like the regular server, is freely available to everyone, and yes you can copy and boost toons over there to test out character ideas and new features.
As we mentioned at the time, the Homecoming server has been negotiating with original studio NCsoft since 2019 in an attempt to secure legitimacy in the wake of the game’s sunset and code leak to the community, so this very public move to support charity, on top of the return of streams earlier in 2021, seems to hint that the negotiations are continuing in a positive direction.
We’ll be streaming some of the new content on OPTV come Sunday, but if you want to watch it sooner for charity, check out the list of community creators tackling it tonight.