Happy Seven Years of Super!

It was seven years ago today that NCsoft and Cryptic Studios launched a new Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game called "City of Heroes", inviting people of all ages to come to Paragon City in Rhode Island and be heroes and superheroes.

This was a time when Worlds of Warcraft was the 800-lbs gorilla for MMO activity. Often-imitated, never duplicated, and with big money to have celebrity advertising. It still is the king for its genre. You'll find plenty of similar games trying to be like them, trying to replace them, and many people still want to put City of Heroes in the same category.

It's not.

City of Heroes has gone through two expansions and twenty updates or "issues". In 2005, one year after the launch of the game, the "City of Villains" expansion was launched, giving players the ability to go through MMO life as a villain. In 2010, "Going Rogue" opened a whole new world, and the means to go from a hero to a villain and back again by the alignment system. In between these events there have been invasions, bank robberies, time travel, zombie apocalypses, and hundreds of new ways to customize and improve one's character. All this without big name celebrities and mainstream media commercials.

Today, City of Heroes is the measuring stick for the superhero-genre MMO. Champions Online (created by the same people that started City of Heroes) and DC Universe Online both compete against City of Heroes and are measured BY City of Heroes standards. Sure they provide some things that City of Heroes don't, and DC obviously has the mighty corporate dollar behind them for advertising. But money doesn't provide experience or a track record of loyalty and dedication. Even during hard times, City of Heroes players find ways to go online and keep the game going.

No, City of Heroes is not Worlds of Warcraft, and it doesn't try to be Worlds of Warcraft. It doesn't have to.

Happy Super-Seventh.


Issue 20 is now LIVE!

The Age of Incarnates is here with Issue 20!

Mender Ramiel's mission is now clear. From his timeline, the Well of the Furies, the source of godhood, has chosen the WRONG Marcus Cole as its champion.

Emperor Cole, the Praetorian Tyrant, would soon have the power to take over not just the Primal Universe, but ALL of the Omniverse itself!

Ramiel's plan is to disrupt Tyrant's operation and force the Well to choose another champion. New Incarnates face Tyrant's lieutenants to stop them from creating the invasion force needed. To do that, the BAF and the ultra-secret Lambda Sector need to go. Take out Nightstar, Siege, and Marauder, and you MIGHT be able to take on Emperor Cole himself and undo a dark future.

There are also new missions for medium-level operatives. Medium-level heroes join up with Admiral Sutter and the USS Mason to confront a new floating fortress from the Praetorian Universe creating portals for invasion, then race to stop the already-arriving forces from decimating Talos Island and Skyway City.

Meanwhile, medium-level villains follow an opportunity by Moritmer Kal to steal the Flames of Prometheus from Positron, and make sure the other villain groups don't then take it from them.

But there is a reason why this new Issue is called INCARNATES, and that is that new Incarnates get FOUR new levels. Combined with their initial Alpha slot, they are now halfway to reaching their ultimate potential.

There are a few other goodies as well. The teamwork system has been updated with a new grouping of teams into larger Leagues. This allows operatives to take on larger missions such as the Hamidon and Rikti raids. A new Teamwork Teleporter system has been incorporated as well so players looking for teams can register for any team available, and then are automatically teleported into a League.

One more feature for villains is the expansion of the Black Helicopter Line so every zone in the Rogue Isles now has at least ONE Black Helicopter point.

The multiverse that is City of Heroes is getting more and more interesting.

(Note: Going Rogue Expansion is required for many of the new features.)


Breaking News! The City is Running Out of XP!

Apparently there was a reason why there was an 11-hour cosmic downtime yesterday, and for once it had NOTHING to do with Cosmic Rikti Monkeys (no doubt they're pleased to hear that).

Apparently the City of Heroes is running out of... EXPERIENCE POINTS!

Don't believe me? Well take a look...

(Oh, and check the calendar.)