City of Heroes/Villains (aka CoH/V or CoX)

My Heroes My Villains
Useful City of Heroes Stuff Ranting and Raving
Superpowered Short Stories City of Heroes/Villains Experience
Build Philosophy  

This is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) released by Cryptic Studios.  Now I personally think that calling it a Role-Playing Game is a stretch, as there really isn't much of that you can do other than creative chat conversations.  In the game(s) you get to play super powered heroes or villains, which is something that I have been itching for since the days when I was playing pen and paper Role Playing Games.  Advanced Dungeons and Dragons is and always will be the top RPG ever.  But TSR produced dozens of other RPG's based off of various genres.  Not all were good (Boot Hill) or had a narrow genre that restricted the role playing (Top Secret), while others just didn't mesh as RPG's (Star Frontiers).  But they made two other RPG's that fit the bill.  Gamma World was all about a nuclear future (though Aftermath was better).  But they also secured the licensing rights and released the Marvel Super Heroes (MSH) Role Playing Game.  And the concept was simple, you got to play Marvels heroes and got to fight Marvels villains.  But better yet, you could create your own Heroes to fight those great Marvel villains.  And the Game Master could create new Villains for you to fight.  I mean this was a breeding ground for active imaginations, especially sugar charged, comic book addicted kids.  And even parents who railed against D&D saying it was for devil worshippers could not complain if their kid was playing a game where you emulated superheroes, rescuing cats from trees and stopping criminals.  They may have been wearing costumes, but even your friggin grandfather knew who Batman or Spiderman was.

Sure, the games mechanics were simplified, especially in comparison to AD&D, but when you look back, the old D&D Basic set was pretty simple too.  If MSH had ran for as long as AD&D don't think for a second that it wouldn't have been plussed up with stuff.  Conversely a lot of comic purists and gamers preferred Champions, which was another superhero RPG.  And yes, that game was hands down better in all aspects to MSH (and Villains and Vigilantes too).  But the simple rule set and the fact that Marvel characters were stamped all over it was the reason we got it.  Us power RPGers would all move to Champions, but we kept that friggin MSH box.  But for many years of my youth I pretty much only had my brother to play with and he did not have the desire to learn a pile of rules, so MSH was suited best for us.

Once we tired of playing the Marvel characters we began creating tons of our own.  And yes, we were kids so a lot of the first ones were nothing more than knock-offs of existing Marvel characters.  Eventually we started drawing cheesy comics of these gaming sessions.  We could talk about the sessions for hours just like we could about an issue of Spidey or Iron Man.  Then the game died and shortly thereafter I joined the Navy and the whole thing slipped into the status of a fond memory.  Sure I would find a couple of people that played D&D but time did not allow us to have the kind of sessions we had when we were teens.

Then PC's blew up and got all cheap and shit.  And games started to be developed and sure enough RPG's came back.  For me it was the SSI Gold Box games, which were Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition Rules set in the Forgotten Realms.  That was like getting chocolate cake and cherry pie together for free.  And for the next decade I played them and any other "pure" D&D game released, even the shitty ones.  All of the SSI games, the Baldur's Gate series, the Icewind Dale series, Neverwinter Nights.  And yes I occasionally dabbled with non-D&D games (Diablo, Elder Scrolls).  But there were no superhero games, which was something that always baffled me.

But then came a game called Freedom Force.  Sure the graphics were weak, but then again they were supposed to be emulating comic books.  I played the hell out of that game and the sequel that came out later.  I was happy, but still always went back to the Black Isle D&D games or the Fallout Games (memories of Aftermath and Gamma World).

But finally I heard word of City of Heroes and was butt excited.

 

 

I have been playing the game since July 14th 2004 and have never tired of it.

 

As you can see, I have quite a few.  The game has no real "end game" content.  In fact the developers have pretty much stated that they intentionally did that in order for more people to generate more characters.  CoX players, like players of other MMO's seem to get attached to their characters and the "homes" they have built.  Since we are limited to a maximum of 12 characters per server, there are many players that actually have second accounts.  I am one of those people, though the second account is more for experimenting and aiding my mains in earning Badges that I have missed.  But I think in CoX the players are even more attached partially because of the non-game aspects of the game.