My return to CoH… again.

Thanks to a couple free weeks given by NCSoft a little bit ago in celebration of the fifth anniversary of [amazonify]B001TEPX8A::text::::City of Heroes[/amazonify], I decided to give the game my yearly return. I also wanted to check out their new Architect system since this really was the first attempt at user-created content in a modern MMO. So for that alone, this game is worth playing to see how it is working in the context of the genre.

CoH is still a really fun game after all these yearsThe one thing that I have to say straight up about the game is that they have really advanced so much since its launch. And really, it advances greatly with every time I try the game. I think I sign up for an account on average one month of every year and every year there is just so much new stuff to look through. I think the development staff has done a terrific job with working on some of the main issues within the game at launch.

As anyone who played might know, there really was a lack of end game but with so many new options like tradeskills, a couple of raids, pvp and guild housing, I think there is an end game. Unfortunately much of the repitiveness of the original game continues to bog down the game and make it become boring to play as you play it. Still, it is the best short term game in the business and I don’t mind giving my money to them from time to time.

Since I’ve last played, they’ve added a few new power sets to both heroes and villains, many new costume pieces, and unlockable archetypes for the villain side. I think they’ve also gone through and added some new power slot sets to the game. These sets are gotten through rare tradeskill recipes which can be gotten on bosses and task forces, and then you craf them often with rare salvage. The key to these is that they give multiple bonuses, so the first one might give end/dmg but then the more you get the more bonuses you get… get two in a set and you gain resistance to fire in addition to whatever the two slots would give. A really great idea, and it gives you the feeling of having actual loot within the game which is nice.

The Architect stuff itself is fairly cool. You can go to a building that contains it and sign up for one of the quests which you can enter right into the building. It is like a Holodeck in Star Trek or something. You can rate the mission that you completed or you can just go on them all as quickly as possible. You don’t get any salvage or power slots in architect missions, instead you get tickets which you can turn in for those prizes. It seems to me this is done to lower the amount of goods that you actually get in these but I can’t be sure.

It seems to me that there is a lot of ability for players to create their own. I’ve been through a couple of player-made missions so far and they vary pretty widely. In one particular mission that I liked, the author created a shiny garbage can that would normally be a clue that gave you a message of “You wouldn’t expect to find a clue digging through the garbage would you?” This sort of touch I found great and really showed off the engine I thought. You can also unlock mobs, costumes and boards for missions by going through missions and earning tickets which I thought was a great idea by the developers to make a game within the game.

[amazonify]B001TEPX8A:right[/amazonify]Overall, I really do think the game has come a long way. And i have already made a similar post to this one so I don’t want to beat it into the ground too much. I really do think its too late for this game. They keep coming up with great ideas but it’s way after the ball has already dropped. Really I think the real hope for this game lies in Champions Online which I am really excited for. Everything that they are doing seems to indicate that they have learned from their mistakes.

As for CoH’s future. They recently announced a new expansion pack called Going Rogue. Essentially the main thing is that players will be able to switch sides after creation so you might see a Villain Defender or a Heroic Mastermind. A nice idea, and again something that will keep players busy at higher ends of the game. They have also promised a few new power sets (Dual Pistols being the current rumor which is actually kind of lame). I suspect that this expansion is going to target current players more than anything. I expect that they will start having missions that cross the borders even if you don’t plan on switch and I also half-expect the level cap to be raised so that players have more to do in the end. But we will see. It is nice that they are still supporting the game at least for that one month of the year.

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