City of Heroes/Villains- A Game We Miss
A few years back, around the time of World of Warcraft release, there was a game with an expansion called City of Heroes. The expansion was called City of Villains. It was early in the market for MMOs and dealt with the Superhero Genre. Allowing for vast customization of your Hero or Villain.
The game Hero side started you’re in a city called Paragon City. Where the Superhero Statesman set the example for what it meant to be a hero. He was kind of a fusion of Superman and Captain America. He and his team, Freedom Phalanx, lead the new wave of heroes to protect their city.
The story starts just after a war with another dimensional invasion had just been thwarted. Alpha team being the ones to cross over forcing the closure of the portal. Their fate left unknown for a long time, along with their leader Hero One. In their memory, all heroes took their capes off. A year later they put them back on after learning the history of the heroes.
The removing of the capes was a clever way to mask that the early system was not able to handle the flutter of the cape. By the games eventual death it had not just capes, but wings. That is what made the game so great. Not only did the gear you wear not ruin the appearance you strove for, but they continued to evolve the game so almost any character was possible.
The villains also did not start with capes, even though the system was improved enough to allow it. It required the character to reach a certain level and steal the cape from a hero as you crossed over to Paragon city. The expansion largely taking place in Arachnid city, a survival of the fittest Villains kind of city. The sister city ran by the Statesman archenemy, and former friend, Lord Recluse.
The story that the world was created, with the environment and the quests you did, prompted fans to even create fan stories built around their characters. I myself created a story for each character that made it past level 30 (max level being 50). Doing endgame content with strangers and even just flying around the city is a fun adventure.
The last major event I was able to play before the game was shuttered (The game went on a long time after I was just joining the Navy), was the second invasion of the dimension-hopping creatures. Not to mention their champion a corrupted Hero One. (Canon wise he was saved).
As mentioned several times, the game is no longer. The void attempted to be filled by games like DC Universe and even Champions online. Though the games were fun, they did not have the spirit of a game that was unique. There is hope in a new game on the way called City of Titans. Which will be talked about in a later article, as more research is needed.
There is a secret kind of life of this legendary game. Hidden servers became public, originally something buried on Reddit, but making news as people talked about it. Once made public fear that they would be shut down by NCSoft rose. They were quashed when the company chose not to act.
I doubt we will ever be able to return to Paragon City, but I will forever watch for it to come back.