Launched 15 years ago today, yes today, City of heroes was a rather interesting take on online games at the time. In 2004 we online video game nerds only had a hand full of the selection we do today. Most played World of Warcraft, some played other online games either out of distaste for WoW or because they wanted something completely different.
Don’t get me wrong, World of Warcraft is still to this day a fantastic MMO, it has made a lot of good and bad changes over the years, but it has always been the top dog for a good reason.
Well back when WoW was new, and games like Ultima Online, EverQuest, Dark Ages of Camelot, and Anarchy Online were getting a bit long in the tooth a few series of games were starting to crop up. City of Heroes was one of them.
City of Heroes allowed for the player to make a superhero, something no other online game had at the time, the closest was “The Matrix Online”. You could select your own skills and you had to run around helping citizens. It felt like you were playing a really quality Spiderman type game but online with your friends. It had some of the first uses of instancing in a game, not just dungeons but personal story. In short it was revoultionary in it’s own way.
Shortly after it’s launch it was met with a lot of critisim, it didn’t have enough to do, it wasn’t original enough, it had too many bugs. Much of the complaining was resulting in the technological limitations at the time, and the game genre was so new they had no workflow to fix problems as they arose. The game floundered and even after a lot of successful additions to the game, even creating exansion packs, it did not maintain a big enough market share for NCSoft to keep it around.
The game was shut down.
Many people are still working on the next spiritual successor to the game, a virtual world where everyone can be a super hero, or villian.
I’ll talk more about the game and the Private server drama that arose recently tomorrow.
Keep it real!