Save City of Heroes!

If you’re a gamer you’ve probably heard by now that NCSoft has decided to shut down Paragon Studios and close City of Heroes, a game that has been running since 2004 and that still has a viable player base. Currently the servers are scheduled to go dark on November 30th, 2012. As expected, City of Heroes community members weren’t happy to hear that news, but they aren’t just crying into their beer. Instead they’re banding together to try to save the game that they love.

At this early stage of the campaign it sounds like they’re still exploring options, from convincing NCSoft to keep the game running to asking them to sell the assets and IP to a 3rd party. For now it’s all about making noise and getting NCSoft’s attention.

So what can you do to help?

1) Sign the Keep NCsoft from shutting down City of Heroes! petition

2) Write a letter to NCSoft. Please follow the guidelines in this forum thread. Quick recap – Be polite and respectful, hand-write the letter, and keep it short. More info at that link.
Here’re the addresses you need:

Mr. Taek Jin Kim, Chief Executive Officer
NCsoft Corporation
1501 4th Avenue, Suite 2050
Seattle, WA 98101

In Korea:

Mr. Taek Jin Kim, Chief Executive Officer
NCsoft Corporation
157-37 Samsung-dong
Kangnamu-gu, Seoul 135-090

3) Attend the in-game “Unity Rally” on September 8th. This is happening on the Virtue server. Dress as your favorite Paragon employee! Again, details on the other end of that link.

Have more questions? There’s a “Save City of Heroes FAQ” that should help.

If you love City of Heroes or just want to support the gamers who do, now is the time to step up!!

Full Press Release Below

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Gamers Rally to Save City of Heroes

What happens when a virtual world is condemned to oblivion? Dedicated players of the online game City of Heroes struggle for the very survival of their city.

Mountain View CA, September 6, 2012: The online heroes of Paragon City are currently in an epic battle. Not against the forces of crime and evil that they have been facing for eight years, but against the decision of a company that is preparing to turn off the game servers and end a game that has been running since April 2004.

NCsoft, the publisher of City of Heroes, announced last Friday that it is shutting down Paragon Studios, the game development studio responsible for City of Heroes. Operation of the flagship will cease by November 30 due to a realignment of NCsoft�s focus.

To its community, City of Heroes is more than just a game, it is a vibrant, welcoming community. City of Heroes was the first online role-playing game for many gamers, and introduced them to the wonders of flying through the skies and battling epic menaces with friends. City of Heroes has brought together families, offered comfort during troubling times, and inspired charities that have raised nearly $30,000 for children, members of the armed forces, and to fight hunger.

The City of Heroes community quickly rallied and formed a campaign to save the game from virtual extinction. �We�ve been saving Paragon City for eight and a half years. It�s time to do it one more time,� said Tony Vasquez administrator of the Titan Network, an alliance of City of Heroes fan sites (, and one of the organizers of the Save Paragon City! campaign.

Through social media outlets, fan web sites, and the City of Heroes official game forums, players have been organizing projects and events to convince NCsoft to allow the game to continue, exploring options including selling the game to another game publishing company or development studio. The �Keep NCsoft from shutting down City of Heroes!� petition initiated by a community member has gathered over 12,600 signatures and continues to grow. ( In addition, players have begun a letter writing campaign to NCsoft to demonstrate the reach of their numbers and convey the impact City of Heroes has had on their lives.

City of Heroes players have a non-stop schedule of activities to show their support. Saturday, September 8th, players are organizing an in-game �Unity Rally� and Paragon Appreciation costume contest in which players will dress up as their favorite Paragon Studios staff member ( This event will take place on the Virtue server starting at 5:00pm EDT. Organizers expect that this could be the biggest costume contest in online gaming history. Other ongoing projects beginning this week include a crowd funding drive in which the community has pledged to financially assist acquiring the game from NCsoft and partnership discussions with industry leaders regarding acquisition of the City of Heroes game property.

A bit more City of Heroes

I hadn’t planned to play more City of Heroes this morning, but I was looking at the update notes and was curious about the new “Shield” powers. I logged in and created a throw-away character to check them out. Something about the character creation tool in CoH always brings out my inner 13 year old. My ‘real’ characters are male but when I’m experimenting I inevitably end up with a large-breasted hottie female character.

So here she is. The shield doesn’t even show until she gets in combat, which is a bit of a shame.

Anyway, I logged into my “main” after than, and set up a second “Build” to see how that worked. I couldn’t figure out a way to change your archetype, though (I don’t think you can but I’m not 100% positive) so couldn’t take Shields on him. It was still kind of fun to build a level 13 character from scratch, but I think the “multiple builds” thing is really intended for higher level characters, since my two builds aren’t all that different. One has Combat Jumping and the other had Hover but otherwise they’re pretty similar.

I did some ‘standard’ missions today, and they were fun but I started to remember how dull it got running through the same run-down buildings over and over again, or the same caves. But then I spotted a building on fire, and ran to help put it out. You get a Fire Extinguisher temporary power, and the patches of flame have “Hit Points” that you knock down with shots for the Extinguisher. I jumped into a team and we put out the fire, which was different and kind of fun.

I may even play a bit more today, and I can see subscribing at some point in the future, but probably not for a long period. But $15 to play around in CoH for a month sounds like a decent deal to me.

City of Heroes welcomes back ex-residents

To celebrate the release of City of Heroes Issue 13 , NCSoft has reactivated all old City of Heroes accounts for this weekend only. Of course my wandering eye couldn’t resist.

Let me start by saying that the NCSoft Launcher pretty much rocks. I fired it up, clicked a button and the entire City of Heroes client installed on my system. No hassles whatsoever. And why oh why don’t they come out with a Station Pass-style bundle subscription? They’ve got 7 games to offer now, with Aion and Champions Online in-coming, and Tabula Rasa sadly exiting. It just seems like a bundled sub might save TR, making it a “value add” title. They could just leave a small team to work on it slowly. I’m guessing obviously, but I figure that’s how Sony gets away with keeping Everquest Online Adventures and Planetside running.

Anyway, back to City of Heroes. My most recently played character hadn’t been played for 481 days, so I was rusty as hell. The last time I jumped in (also on a freebie weekend) a friend of mine had given me a lot of advice on my forum, and so I went and re-read all that. But having been away so long, I’m not sure how much of the cool stuff I found was part of Issue 13 and how much has been around for a while.

I had a new contact when I logged in, and so I went to speak to him. He started a long story-based series of quests surrounding a cure for The Lost (those warped people with the tv sets on their heads). Maybe I was lucky, or maybe the quest scales, but it was just the right level for me (my character was only level 10 when I started, 12 by the end of the day) and was really fun and interesting. Much more interesting than I remember quests being back in the day. I got some Merit Points for completing the chain, though I doubt I got enough to do much with.

I also went through the Invention tutorials, which I’d never done before, and made myself some nifty enhancements. I found some places where Heroes and Villains fight together against the Rikti, though you have to be level 35 to get involved with that.

It struck me how funny it was (in retrospect) for Funcom to talk about Age of Conan’s active combat as some revolutionary system, because my CoH character fights the same way my AoC character did, with ‘arc-based’ melee attacks that require positioning in order to hit the max number of baddies, and no auto-attack.

A couple systems that I do know are new are “Day Jobs” and a “Leveling Pact.” The former is a system whereby if you log out in certain places, your character will go to a day job and earn some kind of bonus when you play again. So log out in a Police Station and you get bonus experience when next you play. Log out in a hospital and you’ll get a health regeneration buff. That kind of thing.

“Leveling Pact” is something I’ve never seen before. You make a pact between your character and a friend’s character, and those two characters will always remain the same level. So if one of you plays every night and the other plays twice a week, you’ll still be the same level when the less frequent player does get a chance to log in. Kinda neat.

There’s lots more new things in Issue 13 and you can read all the details at the official site.

*sigh* Another fine game. It was great to get a chance to see how far City of Heroes has come, and I’ll add it to the “would like to play again some time” pile, but that pile is getting darned big at this point.