City of Heroes

Ok, now that this game is out, are a lot of people playing it? I haven’t picked it up yet because I am waiting to hear some impressions. The beta test commentaries seemed a bit mixed. Is it worth playing? How is the level grind? Is there enough variety to maintain interest? etc.

I am playing it and absolutely loving it. In general I can’t abide MMORPGs, but CoH really has its hooks in me. I imagine a big part of that is the fact that I have a soft spot for superheroes, but I find the gameplay very engaging and fun.

As others have mentioned, the combat is quite enjoyable. But it really starts to sing when you form a team and take on missions. Tactical thinking and team coordination really pays off, and when you find a good group, it’s an absolute blast.

I’m also really impressed with the overall design of the thing. Between the different archetypes, primary and secondary powers, pool powers, and customization possibilities, there’s a seemingly endless variety of possible hero types.

My interest level may very well fade before too long, but CoH is definitely the only thing I’ll be playing (besides Dom2) for the remainder of this first free month. After that, I can actually imagine playing the $15 per unless things really take a turn for the worst.

Yeah, after talking a lot of trash about how jaded I am with regard to MMORPG’s, I went out and bought the thing. Glad I did. Great game, at least for now. I’m a sucker for “living cities” and CoH’s is pretty darned good. There are things to quibble with here and there, of course, but overall I’m in the Having a Great Time With It category. (I’m “Apparition” on Virtue, in case anyone wants to team.)

I picked this up yesterday and so far am really impressed; probably one of the most refreshing MMORPGs that I have played in a long time.

I created a “Controller” character that is weak in melee, but can cast mind control spells. Combat is really cool and is realtime in nature, almost like you are playing a 1st or 3rd person action game.

You often fight multiple enemies, so strategy is really important. Love it when you rescue someone who is being attackted by thugs, and after you eliminate them, have the rescuee come up to you and say “Thanks, that was awesome”, or something along those lines.

The “living city aspect” that muttbuch mentioned above, is really an interesting feature. You do feel that you are “out there”. The pedestrians and random muggings on the street really seem to fit in, not some random pathing of some creature in your typical MMORPG.

At this point, I cannot really find anything that stands out as being negative; having way too much fun. Not sure when or if the “honeymoon” will wear off.

This is first MMORPG I’ve ever played where you can walk around all day and never see two people that look alike. I’m constantly amazed by the level of creativity people exhibit in their character designs.

All of the above-- it’s a blast and really easy to just jump in and play, unlike some other MMORPGs I’ve tried. (I was really into Batman, Spiderman and Superman as a kid, though, so that probably helps too.) I’m a Scrapper with Spines and Regeneration and my 9-year-old daughter is a Defender; we’re playing as a duo. The costume she designed for herself is da bomb, and mine’s pretty wild too. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen a lot of cool getups-- practically everybody’s got unique costumes. I also love the fact that the combat is closer to an action/adventure’s, too. I was surprised at that in an MMORPG. It feels like there’s more freedom and excitement somehow that way.

I love this genre and a long time ago I had a massive comic book collection. The one thing that gives me pause is the “player density” issue. If I am flying or walking around the city in my leotards and cape and everywhere I look is another superhero grinding away for more powers, items, fame, whatever… It is definately going to ruin the feeling for me. I have the same issue with the high fantasy MMOG’s where everywhere you look are fellow “adventurers” decked out with vorpal blades and shiny armor. It could only be worse in a game where you are supposed to be a superhero. Sure the Justice league has 7 members but not 700.

Maybe I’m on when it isn’t busy, but I can go 5-10 minutes in the back alleys without seeing another hero. They congrgate near entrances to Perez Park, but thats about the only place I see large groups standing around.

I remain convinced that the lack of variety in content and types of activity will hurt longevity and retention here. One big factor will be ‘end game content’ - big storyline missions that players might actually be able to effect. They need earthshattering content on a fairly regular basis: that’s what the superhero business, and even their own backstory, is about.

That said, the more I get into this the more I think I’m seeing what these guys are about. The strategy guide helped me see the bigger picture immensely: this is a rare instance where I’d definitely recommend it. Unlike SWG you can’t sell back skills/powers you decide you don’t want. More to the point, figuring out how to combine powers enhancements, and enhancement slot allotments is much more important than it seems at first glance. If SWG is largely an ‘external’ and ‘social’ game in which adapting to a changing environment is, theoretically, the large draw CoH put all that effort into the ‘internal’, character powers design, and ‘martial’ aspects of the game. Teamwork and society are important in a limited, but important, sense - combat tactics. At the higher levels especially each set of foes offers a whole different set of challenges depending on the type and it will get increasingly tough for a solo act to cut it even in the scaleable environment. You just can’t be good at everything and any particular kind of foe might end up being your particular Kryptonite.

The tasty combat, the need for real teamwork, some cool players, and the complexities of character design are definitely real draws. My esteem’s going up for CoH the longer I play.

There is the question of suspension of disbelief, which is fair, that asks how you can buy into the fantasy of being a special superhero if everyone is a special superhero and they’re breathing your air left and right. I’ve found that the backstory does alot to explain this if you’re willing to use that as a tool. It’s also extremely easy to just ignore most other heroes unless you need 'em. I’m finding myself in group chats much more than I was in SWG. You get a team together and that’s pretty much your focus. When folks have accomplished goals the team tends to break up immediately as folks go to level up, get new missions, or whatever. In SWG, in my circles there was more a sense of community. You had to pay attention to what was going on around you as it could be important. Politics in a city, enemy forces in PvP. In CoH other heroes aren’t really a factor that distracts, or attracts, much attention outside of the teamwork needs of PvE missions.

The way the enhancement system is set up trading powerups and organizing more permanent groups around resource (enhancement and experience) gathering looks to be a major goal and might bring a stronger communal sense to the design. We’ll have to see how that actually works out.

Lastly, there are little touches that do help believability in some ways. The notions of getting missions from an array of contacts each with their own foes and each with special rewards brings a sense of depth to characters. Heroes always have their own thing going on, outside the team, and this implies it. That even lowly thugs can drop Inspirations, and on occasion Enhancements, makes the idea of just patrolling streets a relevant thing. These are classic hero shticks…

I’d still like to see destructable environments at least in spawned locales. That’s really a necessity to capture the whole heroes in battle motief. But combat is plenty fun as it is. 'Nuff said.

One thing that I haven’t seen commented on much is the way there’s actually a rationale for each roaming mob in the city. Instead of just standing around, they’re always (or nearly always) engaged in hijinks of some sort: breaking into cars and buildings, stealing womens’ purses, etc. I actually feel like Joe Cop when I see some woman being harrassed and go to bust up the party. It’s so much more realistic and emotionally rewarding than just blasting my way through a sea of wandering monsters who, let’s face it, are never really bothering anybody.

It sounds like both the abundance of heroes and the social element issues could be improved by adding player villains. Then it would be a bit more special to be a hero (or villain) and there would be more interaction between characters and enemies, as well as (I would think) tighter groups, each with their own nemeses and so forth. That could add a VERY interesting dynamic to the game.

Presumably it will - the first expansion has been announced - City of Villains, adding PC villains.

What, the villains are all white, arab terrorists or from the North Korean Army?

That would have been funnier if it was funny.

This game is great. I like MMOs and comics and all that, but I’ve never been into superhero games like Champions or any of the licensed hero games. This kicks ass, though. The game setting, the way you interact with things, is like GTA3 (with flying!) and the combat actually does take some skill if you want to fight tougher stuff.

Also, I was never much into group hunting in DAOC, it was just too repetetive, I liked to run around and stuff, but I made a healer, healed the first person I found fighting, and we teamed up. I got to level 8 in like 2 hours, and we had a great time. This game really is solid, very few glitches of any kind, smooth launch, bright and interesting graphics. You can make all the different characters you want, it’s pretty much unlimited and the first five levels are quick while you build up power and skill (your skill, not the hero’s)

Did you notice you can run/jump on almost anything? Instead of something looking like a highway overpass, it really is one, with little angles and such, you can use them to get around the city faster, so knowing the geography helps you get to crimes faster.

My only concerns are the lack of difference between the origin types and the fact that there’s gonna be a lawsuit if anyone from Hero Games ever sees this, it’s pretty obvious where the game system came from.