“Heroes may fall. Heroism never dies.”
With a not-so-covert nod to the late City of Heroes, City of Titans’ latest 4th of July video attempts to bridge a connection between the fall of one superhero MMO and the coming of another.
The short video shows a statue (which some have called a Statesman homage) on Lockharde Island with the inspirational words listed above. A new shield-bearing hero stands vigilant as the fireworks go off behind him. What’s really notable about this clip is that the studio claims that all assets in it were filmed in the game world, so if that’s the case, then City of Titans is looking pretty darn good from what little we’ve seen of it.
Check it out below!
Over the weekend, I was reading a makeup subreddit (don’t judge me – I swear there is a gaming point to this) and the lads and ladies were discussing what they would do if they had to start over with $200 and an empty makeup bag. As I’m flipping through the suggestions for how to maximize your budget with palettes and multi-use products, what floated up unbidden in my mind was that it looked exactly like the way City of Heroes players used to give build advice. Oh sure, every game with talents or whatnot has this, but City of Heroes was extremely complicated at its most extreme end and there was an absolutely epic program called MIDS to help you plan your character down to the tiniest mathematical equation. Put simply, whether you wanted to just have a vague clue which level to take which skill or you wanted to mix-max your every IO set, you needed MIDS, and so people would go on the forums and get into long discussions/arguments about those builds.
Path of Exile has always seemed to me another extreme example of detailed, maybe too-detailed-for-most-people, character development. I wish we had more games like this!
Which MMORPG has the most complex character development? And, as a bonus question, which MMORPG has the niftiest character development tool?
Raise someone else’s hand up if you have fond memories of playing a Controller in City of Heroes. The concept of a crowd control class has sadly gone by the wayside in most MMORPGs, but it looks like it may come roaring back for City of Titans.
Not only will the City of Heroes spiritual successor have a full class — the Operator — devoted to mezzing, but the dev team promises that several other classes will contain similar elements in their secondary power sets. One thing that players will discover is that City of Titans’ crowd control powers, such as charm, sleep, or fear, will be “more persistent” and of a “noteworthy duration.”
“Since controls are going to be such a significant part of the game, our staff had to design them with great rigor to achieve a desirable game play experience. We also had to balance the mechanics for both PvE and PvP. Our goal for this and all of our mechanics is to make using them between the two types of play as seamless as possible,” the developers promised.
By now, many of you probably know that I’m the curator of the MMO Timeline on my personal blog. On this page, I’ve attempted to catalog the launches, expansions, business model shifts, reboots, platform transitions, and sunsets of MMOs by year. It certainly helps me to get a high-level overview of certain eras of online gaming history as well as to trace the development of certain titles.
For fun, because that’s a lot of what Perfect Ten is about, I wanted to start with the year that MMORPGs really took off and select one title per year over the next two decades that I felt had the best debut and was the most exciting title to launch that year. Some years it’s going to be really easy to pick, while others… man, I am setting myself up for some hate mail, aren’t I?
Let’s turn our time machine back to 1997 and get this show on the road!
Well that is certainly one way to fill up the comments section with tons of screenshots: asking all of you to show of your best and boldest fashion! We had a virtual fashion show last week in the One Shots comments, and here are my personal favorites of the bunch (although most all were tremendous).
First up is UpayaBlossom, who brings some springtime cheer into the dour setting of Secret World Legends. “Oooh… fashion show? I was born ready for this!” she wrote.
Here’s a weird thought. What if all of the enemies in video games were adorable people and we played as the hideous monsters? What kind of fashion would we sport then?
One of the reasons that I love and listen to MMO music so much — other than it rocks, obviously — is that it has this incredible power to trigger nostalgia and latent memories of time spent in-game.
It’s amazing: I might have been away from a game for years or haven’t even thought about it since it went offline ages ago, but the second I hear the main theme or an iconic track, it is like I never left. Occasionally I marinate in City of Heroes’ score or the vanilla World of Warcraft soundtrack just to be transported back to around 2004.
Which MMO soundtrack brings back all the feels for you? Is there a particular theme that makes you close your eyes and gives you goosebumps as you are transported back in time?
If you’ve been following SEGS’ twitter over the last week, you know the team there has been teasing something big. And now we know what it is: the next version of the game.
SEGS, of course, stands for Super Entity Game Server; we’ve been covering its team’s efforts to create a full-fledged free-to-play open-source City of Heroes emulator codebase since April.
“The SEGS Group is proud to announce the release the the next version of the Super Entity Game Server version 0.5.0, nicknamed by the group, The UnSilencer,” the developers say. “This version features numerous updates, fixes and additions to the code that will allow you to run a server that is compatible with the Issue 0/1 client of City of Heroes, Comic book/Superhero MMORPG. Some of the new features of this version, are the ability of the server to now spawn NPCs or Non Player Characters, on the map in their predetermined spawn points. Also added is support for MySQL and PostgresSQL in the dbtool, used to create new databases for the server.”
Since the server merges, the Star Forge server has unofficially become the roleplay server for Star Wars: The Old Republic
. And roleplaying’s fight to remain a relevant way to enjoy this MMORP
G has never been tougher. Roleplayers, if nothing else, are resilient. We are still in the game and attempting to find our place in this world where there is little support for our gameplay style from the developers.
Some of you might remember the late ’80s, but for those who don’t that was a period of time when the only thing keeping Star Wars alive were the RPGs. Timothy Zahn would not pen Heir to the Empire until 1991, the best video game we had was arcade-only made in ’83, and The Phantom Menace was well over a decade away. This was the period of time that the keeper-of-canon Pablo Hidalgo started his quest to become a part of the Lucasfilm family. It was the time when only two things were keeping the Star Wars alive: the Kenner toys and West End Games’ Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. We know it wasn’t the made-for-TV Ewok Adventure movies.
Roleplayers have been the undercurrent that has kept the franchise alive, even during the dark times — during the prequels. What is their current status in SWTOR?
While City of Heroes is long gone, you can’t keep a good cape down. With a couple of superhero MMORPGs out on the market right now and a trio of them on the way, there are at least five titles for players to live out their heroic fantasies.
For those among our readers who have boundless ideas for superhero characters, from the majestic to the goofy, there is nothing stopping any of them from planning out what kind of powered-up vigilante they want to create.
So if you had all options available to you, what kind of superhero would you want to make in an MMO? What would be your character’s powers, theme, name, and backstory? Would you be a flier, a jumper, or a web-slinger? As a bonus question, do any of the five MMOs we’re tracking look to be the best arena for you to create your dream character?
Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was remarkably reluctant to enter into the field of MMORPGs despite being a perfect candidate (a gaming geek who loved fantasy and sci-fi RPGs). All of the reasons that I had at the time for stalling really could have been boiled down to a single word: accessibility.
MMOs back then looked — and probably were — very inaccessible. They had a payment barrier. They required a lot of setup and hardware. Their interfaces were cluttered and their gameplay interactions were obtuse. Frankly, I got the impression that a lot of them were a mess that was only understandable to those who had put in hundreds of hours to decipher the format.
When MMOs started to become more accessible, particularly with City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars, I eagerly jumped in. Those three titles in particular made giant leaps forward in opening up these games to the first-time player. But that doesn’t mean that MMORPGs have arrived at universal accessibility just yet. Here are ten areas that studios could be improving in order to make their titles more appealing and understandable to outsiders.
Although City of Heroes is not coming back (I think we all need to come to terms with that), many successors are waiting in the wings with their own vision of how a superhero MMO should be. Valiance Online, City of Titans, and Ship of Heroes all have claimed inspiration from City of Heroes and claim that they will be replicating some elements of what made that title work so well.
But what did work well about City of Heroes? Why did it succeed when Champions Online, a title modeled after it and created by the same studio, failed? Why is City of Heroes so beloved, even years after its demise?
Let’s hash it out today in the comments. Break down City of Heroes for us and see if you can’t put your finger on what made this particular MMO fly high.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Heroes of the Storm, Elder Scrolls Online, DayZ, EVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2, City of Heroes, Final Fantasy XIV, Portal Knights, Lineage 2 Revolution, Wizard101, Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!
What was your first? Not necessarily the first MMORPG you ever played, but the first that made you fall in love with that game and the genre at large? Probably for me, that would have to be City of Heroes, a title which just clicked on all levels and ushered me into a new age of gaming.
I’ll let Katriana tell you hers: “My first MMO, and first MMO love it’s probably fair to say, was EverQuest. I have many memories of my time there, but sadly I don’t have many good screenshots from that time still that aren’t just character selfies. The image below was taken circa early 2003 and is one of the better ones I still have. It represents the crowning achievement of the guild I was in there, the slaying of the first-born dragon Klandicar. It was far from being new or even necessarily notable content at the time, but it was quite an achievement for our little guild.”