Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Farewell, City of Heroes

Karen: It's with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to an amazing game, City of Heroes. Come November 30th, Paragon City will turn out the lights forever. But in the over eight years of its existence, it provided the closest experience to being a super-hero that most of us will ever have. And, of course, hours of fun.

City of Heroes was a  massively multi-player online game, so tons of people could experience the same game world together. It had hands-down the best, most customizable character creation system I have ever seen, allowing players to make virtually any type of hero they could think of -and believe me, I came up with some pretty strange ones, like the Cosmic Ape! Heroes would fight bad guys and grow in power, facing ever greater threats. Villains included robots, zombies, sorcerers, monsters -anything that you could think of from a comic book. Sometimes large scale events would be staged, like alien invasions or giant monster attacks. Then huge groups of heroes would have to team up to save the city.

Although I had stopped playing the game for a few years, I did come back recently and found that it had grown, with fun new powers like water blasting being added to the choices. But for whatever reason, the company behind the game, NCSoft, has decided to pull the plug, and the servers will go down on the 30th.

It's a shame, as no other MMO I've played has really been any where near as fun. I've tried Champions Online and DC Online but in my opinion neither could touch City of Heroes.

The hardest thing of all is realizing I'll never see all my characters again. Even though I hadn't played them for a few years, it was good knowing they were out there. So good-bye, Crimson Thunder, Blue Vengeance, True Son of Liberty, and all the rest -you'll live on in my memory.

I still have one thing that I got from City of Heroes though -my husband! We actually met while playing the game back in 2004. Yes, now you know just how big a nerd I really am -and why I feel more than a little sad to see this game disappear.


Anonymous said...

Commiserations, Karen. It's easy to get attached, isn't it? I carried on playing the old, blocky DOS version of Civilisation for YEARS after the news ones came out.

BTW, I hope you haven't taken your husband out of the box. You know that massively reduces the value.


Humanbelly said...

Boy, it really underscores how in no truly tangible, visceral, concrete way do these wondrous, complex, highly-nuanced, beloved creations actually exist. They are simply phantoms of whim and fancy, brought vividly to life in-mind and on-screen. And literally an off-switch can bring them to an irretrievable end.

Man. . . does that make me melancholy. And I'm not even involved in the MMO world.

Good job catchin' a real, live May-yun out of the deal, though, Karen! You're probably one of the Grand Priziest Winners they've ever had, without their even knowing it!


Edo Bosnar said...

I'm with HB: I'm not a gamer and have virtually no interest in the online gaming scene, but man, landing a spouse that way has to be the best bonus ever.
And Richard, re: not taking him out of the box - where's the fun in that? ;) ...

Anonymous said...

I guess you're right Edo.
In your mind, did Karen magic hubby out of the screen in Weird Science stylie ? R

david_b said...

Fun, endearing story, Karen.

Also NO interest in gaming either, since I exhaustively played the original Wolfenstein game on Windows 3.1 back in 1992. Enormous fun, just coming back from my 3yrs in Germany on military tour.

Thanks much for sharing.

Arion said...

I haven't played on my computer for some years now. By the way, I wanted to tell you that I love your blog, I've also reviewed some Bronze Age classics such as Conan the Barbarian, and I'm always looking for trades to read old stories.

Keep up the good work,

William said...

Never played COH, but it sounds cool. Now I wish I had gotten into when it was going strong.

I did play DC Universe Online for a couple of months, but once I maxed out my level, the game got a little too repetitious. I tried to play again recently, now that it's free, but I kept running into jerks who just wanted to fight, so I gave up. However, I do miss my creations The Green Cougar, Powerstar, Captain Mighty and others. So, I feel your pain Karen.

Karen said...

COH really had such an amazing variety of powers and costume items that I never saw two characters who looked alike (unless they were mimicking a well-known super-hero that is). That was really refreshing compared to so many games out there. I think it spoiled me -I couldn't get into World of Warcraft at all because everyone tended to look the same (and I hated getting water from the well and killing pigs).

While it never crossed mind that I would ever meet anyone via a video game, it's not a bad way to do it. At least you know you have something in common! But it boggles my mind that we met at all, given there were twelve servers and who knows how many people playing. But I decided to invite "that guy that looks like Black Adam" to play on our team and the rest is history.

Unknown said...

Hey there, Karen. First-time poster {first-time reader, in fact, came here by way of Gnews} and first off, yeah, as a fellow CoHer, I feel your pain.

That said, well, we're still not letting the game die without a fight, so keep your eyes peeled as there's stuff in the works. It's all longshots, but it beats giving up.

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