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Why is this game so good?

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A fifteen year old base engine (albeit with some upgrades). A game that's been essentially dormant since 2012. It's more fun than most AA games put out in the last year.

 

Is that all just nostalgia?

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IMO, from my PoV, this game, unlike any other MMO for sure, allows you to really 'make something unique'.

The vast majority of current gaming tends toward playing the creation of someone else...just playing more complex chess pieces, really.

 

This game allows people to_create_ a character.

 

This game allows that character to 'break the game' as part of the game - the balance aspect of most current games prevents that.

 

At the time, CoH was called a 'happy accident'.

Even then, game companies thought it foolish financially to give players such a level of power in-game.

 

Turns out, there are plenty of people that like the ability to create a true super powered hero and kick ass at scale.

 

With the retail barriers blown aside and the game allowed to be more of a pallet, this becomes even more appetizing.

 

What other MMO, or game really, is out there that allows the sheer magnitude of unique characters this game does?

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I'm going to be burned at the stake for this, but I believe City of Heroes is not a well made game. It is, however, radiant in that fact. Enemies ragdoll in on themselves, it's extremely easy to make something operate on a broken and absurd level, and generally even with the same powerset combinations, two characters will play exactly the same. City of Heroes is that one favorite stuffed animal that shouldn't still be in one piece after everything it got put through.

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What other MMO, or game really, is out there that allows the sheer magnitude of unique characters this game does?

 

*raises finger about to speak then lowers it multiple times*

 

Uh, only one I can think of is Champions Online (with freeform builds). But that game isn't as good as CoH. And it never was.

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I'm going to be burned at the stake for this, but I believe City of Heroes is not a well made game. It is, however, radiant in that fact.

 

 

This gave me a smile. I mean, I absolutely agree, but this is the best way I've ever seen it worded.

 

IMO, I think it's this: CoX doesn't just let you make a hero, it makes it EASY to make a hero. I don't think I've ever made an unplayable character in this game, even with sets I don't really like.  I've played other games (especially other MMOs at the time CoH came out) that actually made it possible- even easy- to completely bork your character to the point where only an expensive respec could save it. It's also a rare gem in that you can make an amazing looking character right from level one, which gives the player instant investment in what happens to that character.  ;)

 

And then, when you have your character?  CoX is the first and only MMO I've played that feels like it takes place in a real city, which is the perfect backdrop for the game and every story arc feels like your own little comic book.  You can dive deep into the lore or just skim over it, but you feel like a part of the world right from the get-go, rather than just a faceless minion who never gets credit for all the amazing things you do (a complaint that I am unashamedly directing at WoW.)

 

CoX really only has one competitor when it comes to making an actual super hero in an MMO, and the other game may be a bit shinier but it somehow missed the mark when you actually got into the game, which is why I was never tempted to pay out for a free-form slot.  I was subbed to CoX right up until close, though.


Pink Champagne (Emp/Rad)

Guide of Misguidance (Dark/Regen)

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I feel what makes this game so good is and will always be the community. Out of every single MMO I've played, this community is hands down the best one I have ever encounter in all my years of gaming. It truly brings the game together. The amount of different personality and types characters you run into. Who are all positive and honestly leave a smile on my face everyday.. Sure there are your trolls, but they are a minority in the game.

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For me the magic has always been - I can live my early childhood dream and be a hero.  It's the old game we used to play - if you could have any one superpower, which one would pick?  Well I can pick all of them and see what they feel like.

 

Excepting shrinking...I'd really love to shrink.


"The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth." - Niels Bohr

 

Global Handle: @JusticeBeliever ... Home servers on Live: Guardian ... Playing on: Everlasting

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It's the whole package.

 

You *FEEL* powerful. 8 enemies your level and you're half dead? No problem, pop an inspiration and charge. Other MMO's, you better have a team with a dedicated healer to take those guys on. The powersets feel like they've got Oomph, there's plenty of variety, and being able to color your powers makes a difference in how powerful you feel.

 

The UI is MASSIVELY customizable. Color, window size, text size, position, opacity, the whole nine yards.

 

None of this "7 powers max on the bar" bullshit.

 

Your powers you got in the beginning of the game still matter at level 50. "PEW PEW PEW WHAM!" is your buildup.

 

The QoL stuff.

 

I have yet to see an MMO that lets a ton of different people of all different levels all effectively play together. That sidekick system really blows other games out of the water.

 

Enemies don't feel like reskinned stuff. And the groups stay, just have better stuff, all the way up.

 

No "gear dependent" shit. You don't have to worry about not having the latest raid gear, and no arguing over who should have got that drop.

 

Your looks aren't overlaid by your gear.

 

I don't know, it's the whole package. Where other games just slavishly copied the main MMO's, CoX feels like it went its own way and discovered something good.

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I’m just gonna put  this here again because it sums up the way I feel completely. It’s to the tune of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire and you’ll be humming that as you play now lol:

 

Marcus Cole, P.I., Rikti Crash Site, Sewer Trial,

Malta Sappers, Carnie Strongmen, Portal Corp and you

 

CoT Trial, Capes at twenty, Crystal Titan, badges many,

Respec, Sidekick, Enter Rularuu.

 

Striga Island, Council fools, Epic ATs, power pools,

Lusca's in, Epic win, Clockwork building Paladin

 

Sky Raiders, Super Spy, Ravenstorm, Moonfire,

Bonny Morass, Long Jack, Volcano base, global chat!

 

Why do I stay subscribing?

Well it's not surprising

When the bar keeps rising.

I'm gonna keep subscribing,

I'll be logging on until the game is gone.

 

Katie Hannon, Sonic Blast, raving Trolls, Red Caps,

Archery, Trick Arrow, debtless level twos

 

Shiva Strike, SG-Base, Warburg rocket, nukes from space,

Dominators, Masterminds and Brutes and Stalkers too

 

Grandville, R.V., thugs, Mu Mastery,

Mace Blast, School of Sharks, melee with Electric sparks

 

Guard the bank, Pocket D, Fusionette and Jimmy T,

Faultline reborn, PSYCHOCHRONOMETRON!

 

Why do I keep on playing?

There's no way to stop it

Other games can't top it

I'll always keep on playing,

I'll be wearing capes untill there's no more updates.

 

Auction House, Black Market's in, Hamidon is back again,

Recluse' Helmet Souvenir, Rise of the marketeer

 

Rikti War Zone retcon, Lady Grey, Hero 1,

Rikti bombs in Atlas Park, Zombies rising after dark

 

Ouroborus, Mender Silos, Flashback, poor old Cyrus,

Reconstruction, Power Slice, Strength of Will, Ablating Strike

 

Fortunatas, Crabs and Banes, Purple IOs, Extra trays,

Midnight Squad, another zone, Giant mechs in Ancient Rome!

 

Why don't I stop my alting?

There's so much to do here

I will never be through here

I'm gonna still be alting

When I'm full on Freedom there's ten more to choose from

 

Dayjobs, second build, World of Pain, Soothe's heal,

Level Pacts, Shield Defence, Villain PPP Respec

 

Super Leader, Architect, PvP Invention Sets,

Dev's Choice, Hall of Fame, 5-Stars, Buttcapes

 

Fifth Column rise again, Super Booster costume change,

Barracuda, Doctor Kahn, nerdrage at the badge farms!

 

Why do I keep on paying?

'Cos the money's well-spent

On this fantastic content

I'm gonna keep on paying

For my server transfers and the Boosters I use

 

Powerset Proliferation, customize your animations,

Team size set for eight, Pet persistence on

 

Doppelgangers, Ultra Mode, Dual Pistols, tails that move,

Demon pets, Hell On Earth, email spammers gone

 

Going Rogue, Alignment shift, market merges, finding Tips,

Heroes in the Rogue Isles, Villains checking blueside

 

Alpha Slot, Incarnate, Great Escape, Syndicate,

Primal Earth prepares for war, GIMME GIMME MORE MORE MORE!!!

 

Why do I keep subscribing?

It's pretty clear to me that

Everyone should see that

City of Heroes is awesome

And in another window

I'm-a just about to

Log on, and on, and on, and on, and on...

 

MCM

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I'm going to be burned at the stake for this, but I believe City of Heroes is not a well made game. It is, however, radiant in that fact.

 

I don't disagree but I would say the software underneath the game has a lot of flaws. The game -- the package of fun, engagement, and entertainment you get from it -- is ridiculously well-realized.

 

CoH could get a graphics/physics upgrade, sure. But that wouldn't improve the game one whit.

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I'm going to be burned at the stake for this, but I believe City of Heroes is not a well made game. It is, however, radiant in that fact. Enemies ragdoll in on themselves, it's extremely easy to make something operate on a broken and absurd level, and generally even with the same powerset combinations, two characters will play exactly the same. City of Heroes is that one favorite stuffed animal that shouldn't still be in one piece after everything it got put through.

 

No, I think you got it. At its core, CoH is an enjoyable game in its own right. It's flaws, however, are what make it beloved because they're more endearing than aggravating for the most part.

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For me the magic has always been - I can live my early childhood dream and be a hero.  It's the old game we used to play - if you could have any one superpower, which one would pick?  Well I can pick all of them and see what they feel like.

 

Excepting shrinking...I'd really love to shrink.

 

*looks down at waistline*

The older I get, the more I want that power.


Be excellent to eachother!

Penumbra Dancer, Everlasting; Warshade

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I'm going to be burned at the stake for this, but I believe City of Heroes is not a well made game. It is, however, radiant in that fact. Enemies ragdoll in on themselves, it's extremely easy to make something operate on a broken and absurd level, and generally even with the same powerset combinations, two characters will play exactly the same. City of Heroes is that one favorite stuffed animal that shouldn't still be in one piece after everything it got put through.

 

Nothing is perfect.  But, I have always believed that the benefits, and the fun factor (and let's not overlook the social aspect because of the great community) greatly outweigh any of those flaws.  It is truly an example of something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

 


What was no more, is REBORN!

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Really, I think a large part of why CoH is so beloved is because of the community. For some reason the game has always attracted a playerbase that's friendly and helpful. The player base in MMOs generally tend towards being elitist a-holes and selfish jerks. People who would much rather insult and belittle then help others. But not CoH. People who come to this game by and large are genuinely nice to their fellow players. Maybe it's because the game is at it's heart about being a super hero? Or maybe it's because at the end of the day, you can do 90% of the game's content on your own (and always could)? No idea why it's true. Just that it is true.

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I think the fact that you are given 100% control in character creation, from their look, how they travel, and their power set has A LOT to do with it. Two Fire/Fire Blasters, while on the surface should be the same can look different, one may fly while the other has super speed and their power set may diverge 100 different ways through secondary and Epic power set selection and how enhancements are used. Each character becomes the players creation, their work of art, their hero or villain. For me, that has always been the difference  between Cox and all the other games out there.

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The AA titles has changed from a focus on gaming to a focus on gambling and how to design games so they get people to pay money again and again.

 

Just look at what monetized cosmetics has done to your ability to customize your character in modern games. A freeform system like CoH will never be created again because the AA companies want you to pay money for your appearance.

 

Older games were about the experience, the excitement of adventure and the joy of overcoming challenges. Modern games are about how to make the experience only fun while you keep on paying money.

 

So yeah it  is not only nostalgia, CoH belonged to a golden era of games which is mostly gone now.

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The AA titles has changed from a focus on gaming to a focus on gambling and how to design games so they get people to pay money again and again.

 

Just look at what monetized cosmetics has done to your ability to customize your character in modern games. A freeform system like CoH will never be created again because the AA companies want you to pay money for your appearance.

 

Older games were about the experience, the excitement of adventure and the joy of overcoming challenges. Modern games are about how to make the experience only fun while you keep on paying money.

 

So yeah it  is not only nostalgia, CoH belonged to a golden era of games which is mostly gone now.

 

I unfortunately should point out that, toward the end, CoH had early loot boxes. Those Superpacks.

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I'm going to be burned at the stake for this, but I believe City of Heroes is not a well made game.

 

 

Near sunset someone (I believe it was Arcanaville?) made an extensive and well-thought out post supporting just that.

 

CoH is a case of terrible game design and failed decisions, that somehow magically "worked great" in the end. Resulting a game that defies expectations, sets new precedent and will never be replicated again due to this.

 

 

A good example off the top of my head to support this thesis;

 

People praise this game for the lack of the "holy trifecta". When in fact, the devs originally intended for there to be such a thing. They just messed up balancing so badly that the holy trio was not needed for the bulk of content. Scrappers could do well enough on their own that they didn't need a tank. Tanks could do enough damage that they didn't need a Scrapper. Lengthy, binary holds are a nightmarish idea balance wise, same with overwhelming and stack-able buffs/debuffs. But somehow it all just "works"

 

 

I love this game to death, but its the dictionary definition of a "happy accident". Look at everything that Cryptic has developed since... Many of their game decisions seem to be made to make sure its "not CoH again", and the games suffer for it.  It's pretty blatant that this game has no right to be as good as it is xD

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I think it works because, from your very first moment in the game, you're out there taking down bad guys (or good guys!). You feel like a potential superhero or supervillian from your very first step. In other MMO's, you start out so weak that a butterfly farting in the field next door sends you flying and you spend your first week collecting flowers or some other time wasting nonsense. Virtually everything you do in CoX helps with your progression whereas most other MMO's seem to be designed to keep you logged in for no purpose other than to make the numbers look good on paper.

 

Having said all that, there are a lot of frustrating things about CoX, few ever really liked those endless convoluted caves where you could spend half an hour hunting down that last well hidden npc, but even that was addressed to some extent with those little red markers now showing their location. I can't help wondering what direction this game would have gone in had the plug not been pulled.

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I think it works because, from your very first moment in the game, you're out there taking down bad guys (or good guys!). You feel like a potential superhero or supervillian from your very first step. In other MMO's, you start out so weak that a butterfly farting in the field next door sends you flying and you spend your first week collecting flowers or some other time wasting nonsense.

 

One of the first games I tried after CoH was Aion Online. It was ok, I was thinking, and then one day at about lvl 5 I was soundly defeated...by a mushroom. And not three mushrooms either.  One mushroom, it came up to my knee. It just sort of bounced in a cartoony jolly way and spat poison at me and it killed me. In Aion online your character is supposed to be some sort of demigod or something, and a fucking mushroom killed me. I stopped playing shortly after that.

 

CoH ruined me for other games.

 

MCM

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It was ok, I was thinking, and then one day at about lvl 5 I was soundly defeated...by a mushroom.

 

MCM

 

Oh man, that's hilarious!  At least my first death in WoW was to a wolf....  ;D


Pink Champagne (Emp/Rad)

Guide of Misguidance (Dark/Regen)

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It's a perfect storm.  It brought together factors, any one of which might have been enjoyable in isolation  and made a better game from a mediocre one.  But most of all it's the gameplay, and the game itself.  Everybody, including myself, praises the community. But the community is fostered by the gameplay and game mechanics, which helps avoid the kind of drama that makes other communities less good. 

 

Mechanics: global friends you can chat with on different servers. 

 

Mechanics: the game encourages making friends and playing with them.  With a small handful of exceptions, you can bring the character you want to any mission, story arc, or task force.  You aren't dead in the water without a 'tank' or a 'healer', The MMO trinity encourages drama because the players who spec to fill those roles can become prima donnas. 

 

Mechanics: you generally can bring the character you want to play.  The sidekicking system encourages that very thing.

 

Mechanics: this game does loot right.  It's personal and private.  There's no need to tell the world about your purple drop.  Everything can be sold to other players, it isn't 'soulbound' or any such nonsense.  You don't have to worry about that necromancer 'accidentally' rolling 'need' on that piece of tank gear.  You don't absolutely have to run the same content over and over again until the piece you want drops. 

 

These things set it out from the crowd among MMOs. 


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And not three mushrooms either.  One mushroom, it came up to my knee.

 

At least when I faceplant in this game it's because my new tank ran into the middle of some guys who I forgot sap End, then he lost his toggles.  I killed myself, and had fun doing it, rather than being one-shotted by some fungi.


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And not three mushrooms either.  One mushroom, it came up to my knee.

 

At least when I faceplant in this game it's because my new tank ran into the middle of some guys who I forgot sap End, then he lost his toggles.  I killed myself, and had fun doing it, rather than being one-shotted by some fungi.

 

It wasn’t even a case of me accidentally wandering into the Endgame Content Epic Shroom of Doom area, it was a mob in a lvl 5 mission!  My demigod being killed by something out of Super Mario was Working As Intended!

 

Ugh other MMOs are terrible. I played one (it might have been Aion too, Ican’t remeber, I tried so many after CoH) and one mission had me go give some medicine to an elf that was lost in the forest. The the elf was in the overworld, because this game had no instances. When I arrived in the deep dark spider-infested forest to rescue this elf - because his wife had begged me to, telling me nobody else would help and he was surely lost unless I and ONLY I (she really harped on about how I was the chosen one) could go save him - there was a queue of about ten other PCs waiting in line for the Pc at the front of the queue to give him the potion, upon which he would vanish (as the game’s phasing tech showed the player who’d just gave him the option the elf standing up thanking the PC and running off) then waiting for him to respawn so they could do it all over again.

 

It was absolutely ridiculous. I literally had time to have a chat with the player in front of me in the queue while the goddam elf slumped over for 30 seconds, then vanished, for 30 seconds, then slowly respawned and slumped again and again. I was thinking ‘this fucking elf and his wife are onto a good scam here, he’s getting free drugs every 2 minutes all day long’.

 

Instances. That’s another thing that I LOVE CoH for. You don’t see Spiderman sitting on his mobile for The Green Goblin to finish being beaten up by Iron Man before he can have a go too in the comics!

 

But then again, you don’t see Spiderman teabagging a defeated Doc Oc whilst crowing ‘halol noob lrn2play!’ In broadcast either in the comic I guess, which is why RV sometimes seems a bit immersion breaking rofl.

 

MCM

 

 

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There's definitely a heavy dose of nostalgia involved, but even now, a couple of weeks later I'm still smiling when I throw someone into the air and make them go flying back the way with a nice combo.

 

It appeals to the part of me (85%) that loves superheroes. And the random conversations I see from the NPCs.

 

I can't sum it up, but this was my first MMO and it had all the right ingredients. Heck, even the bugs are enjoyable.

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