Farewell to Paragon City

Tonight at midnight Pacific Standard Time, City of Heroes will be shut down.

Or sunsetted.

Or whatever it is they have chosen to call it.  But it will be gone all the same.  The heroes will be told to hang up their capes and move on with their lives.

CityofHeroes

CoH will join Tabula Rasa, Auto Assault, and Dungeon Runners, on the list of closed NCsoft MMORPGs.

The closure was announced back in August, which galvanized a chunk of the CoH player base.

SaveOurCity-450

Those players protested, created petitions, and questioned whether NCsoft was exploring any alternatives besides simply closing the game.  Even as time ran out there was hope of a Disney miracle.

But, at this point, it does not look like there will be any last minute reprieve.

The appointed hour approaches.

Among other things, CoH is another former subscription MMORPG that looked to boost its bottom line by going free to play.  However, we are now in an age where free to play is the norm.  Subscription only MMOs are now the rare breed. “Free” is no longer the inducement it once was.  And so, while reportedly still making money, CoH became a very small percentage of NCsoft sales, being folded into the “other” category for the last quarterly report.

I think if City of Heroes had been more core to the NCsoft corporate story, the way EverQuest is to SOE, we would have seen a lot more work on the part of the company to keep it around.  However, from NCsofts point of view, CoH might seem like Cryptic’s game.  A game that NCsoft published, then bought out, which was never a huge source of revenue for them, and was always something of an outsider.

Heroes are ever loners.

It is Lineage that is to NCsoft what EverQuest is to SOE.  It is core to their culture, popular in their home country, and still bringing in a lot of money after 14 years.  City of Heroes is just something in the “other” category, soon to be struck from the list altogether.

And so it goes.

How soon until there is a private server?  Somebody must be working on that.

4 responses to “Farewell to Paragon City

  1. I remember Auto Assault, I think it had some great ideas but frankly forgot why I quit playing it – I love car wars and I loved Auto Duel as the game. Also played Tabula Rasa – to me it just needed more oomph in regards to content etc…

  2. I beta’d CoH and liked it but not enough to buy it or play it even when it went F2P. I waited too long to try Auto Assault, a game I did like the look of, and it was gone before I got round to it. Tabula Rasa and Dungeon Runners I never even considered playing.

    Incredibly vexing to see MMOs close that aren’t even loss-making. I do think there should be some means of retaining these worlds for historical purposes, in either a gallery or academic setting. I hope at the very least the code will be securely retained so that future historians will be able to recreate these things.

  3. I had several characters in CoH, and I played a controller from the original set up to 50 with my friends. It was a great game, and the choices of costume was and still is the most expansive, best and amazing that I will proboly ever see ever again. The graphics were great and I belive it had a achivement system well before WoW had it’s and the expansions grew and grew the mid game by leaps and bounds. The thing that killed it was lack of end game content (Which, there was only one thing to do, kill hami) and the sameness of the world. The expansions would of been alot better if they were a bit more creative, didn’t add so much space, and vaired the missions alot more. It was a hamster wheel superhero game with great costumes, but so much grind I thought I was working. They should of combinded servers as well instead of having the 8 or so servers, and made the Multi part of the game alot more prevelant, and I think that would of worked to keep the game going for a bit longer, plus more epic archs and end game content. Other than that, im sad to see it go, as it was on of the first MMoRPG’s I played, and it was great to be able to fly (hover) around massive city streets as low as level 6 (or level 1 later on when you unlocked level 50 content and rolled a new toon) (again, well before WoW had flying mounts) Different colors for your attacks came later on and you had your own superbase in later expansions, again well before WoW even came up with this stuff. It was a game that was really ahead of it’s self, and its a shame that It couldn’t come together. Ill miss it!

  4. @Bhagpuss – I did a weekend trial of CoH back when they released the Villains side of the game and spent all my time in the character editor. So I am not sure that counts as playing. And, as I mentioned in my previous post on CoH, I bought the Going Rogue version due to Steam sale induced mania, and then get around to playing. Such is life.

    I agree with Gripper on Tabula Rasa, and like you I hung around too long to try Auto Assault. Dungeon Runners wasn’t bad. I wasn’t keen on the controls and it was never going to be in my top five played games at any point in time, which meant I stopped playing it.

    As for preserving the source code, I am sure they have it all nicely stowed away off-site with somebody like Iron Mountain. The question is, could somebody build that code at some future date. I’ve worked in enterprise software environments where the build system could literally not be reproduced outside of our lab to build the software.

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