Posts Tagged ‘city of heroes’

Spiritual Successor to City of Heroes Funded; Heading Towards Stretch Goals

7 October 2013 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

The Kickstarter campaign for City of Titan began five days ago. Originally called The Phoenix Project to raise City of Heroes from its ashes, the spiritual successor to CoH has already met its modest goal of $320,000. As of this writing, some 2,300 backers have promised nearly $347,500. That’s an average of over $150 per backer!

The #SaveCOH campaign may have gone quiet, but that hasn’t not dashed the hopes of deep super hero customization. The virtual studio known as Missing Worlds Media peaced itself together after the closure of Paragon City. The team is chaired by S. Quinn and lead developer Chris Hare.

You can read about the full project at the official Kickstarter page. The funding milestone means that Missing Worlds Media has unlocked stretch goals, including mobile ports for the Avatar Builder and a MacOS client at launch. All three goals will be unlocked if City of Titans can land a modest amount of $450,000.

There are 27 days left, so it’s entirely likely.

NCSoft Seattle Undergoing ‘Realignment’, CoH Closure ‘Unethical’

5 December 2012 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

How’s that headline for you?

We’ve a double-dip of NCSoft related news for you this morning, coming from NCSoft itself and relentless continuation of the #SaveCoH campaign. We’ll start off with the official, because it makes the other news have more of an impact. NCSoft has clarified earlier reports on the status of its Seattle based offices. Originally reported as a closing, NCSoft Public Relations Director Lincoln Davis clarified the rumor to PC Gamer as a “realignment.”

“NCsoft is realigning internal publishing resources to better suit the needs of our game development studios,” Davis told PC Gamer. “As a result of the realignment, several employees and contract positions were affected. This was a very tough decision to make and wish the best for all NCsoft employees in their next ventures.”

NCsoft Seattle, more appropriately NCSoft West, is the Western publishing arm for the South Korean company, working closely with the teams of Guilds Wars 2, WildStarLineage and Aion.

The Korea Times brings more bad press for NCSoft, picking up on the #SaveCoH campaign. In a new article, noted fantasy author Mercedes Lackey called the recent closure of CoH ‘unethical’ citing the termination of jobs supporting a profitable revenue stream as the core reason. In addition to such a quotable line, the article provides a nice recap of City of Heroes, the campaign to save it and the march to the MMORPG being unplugged.

When Rejected the #SaveCOH Campaign Looks for Another

28 November 2012 | 9 Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

The #SaveCOH campaign has received much press, and not just from the likes of Lore Hound and other gaming blogs. The effort to save the superhero MMORPG City of Heroes from closure has attracted mainstream media, best selling authors and thousands of followers. Yet, NCSoft has stonewalled all positive momentum, going so far as to ignore requests for information. Resolve unshaken, the group has turned its sights towards finding a new suitor, Disney.

The group continues to make a strong case for continuing the MMORPG and why it’d be a good fit in Disney Interactive’s stable of titles.

Best selling author Mercedes Lackey, who helped to draft the pitch to Disney, stated “We believe that Disney and City of Heroes are a perfect match; Disney now owns Marvel and two impending Marvel MMOs which are slated to be mirror opposites of the cooperative, community gameplay fostered by City of Heroes.

“In addition, Disney has the reach to effortlessly give City of Heroes the exposure it never had under NCSoft’s regime of benign neglect–and City of Heroes will provide Disney with some extremely unique cross-marketing opportunities.  Disney has always understood and fostered community and loyalty–something NCSoft never did.”

Many will point out that there are two Marvel universe MMOGs in development, the already-launched and kid friendly Marvel Super Hero Squad Online and the upcoming Diablo-style title Marvel Heroes. City of Heroes, while ironically sued by Marvel in the past, would fit the core MMORPG bill. (Editor) Let’s not forget about the Asia-only Marvel MOBA.

City of Heroes is scheduled to go offline this Friday, November 30 at 11:59 PM PST. There’s little chance of stopping that now, but an 11th hour effort may be able to resurrect the game at a later date.

In one of our lengthiest posts ever, the full press release is presented after the cut. Continue Reading

#SaveCOH Campaign Continues, Responds to NCSoft’s Claims

9 October 2012 | 6 Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

The player-run campaign to save the soon-to-be-closed superhero MMORPG City of Heroes continues despite recent comments from NCSoft. Last week, the publisher and IP holder responded to the growing campaign’s requests by denying them. The lack of transparency has left a sour taste in many player’s mouths, strengthening the campaign despite the seemingly overwhelming odds.

To respond to the blockade, the campaign is continuing to hold vigils, even joining the charity Game-a-thon to support the Children’s Miracle Network, as is LoreHound. The latest Open Letter to NCSoft is reproduced in its entirety below the cut.

Personally, I think it’s time for the #SaveCOH campaign to begin targeting the larger shareholders to get them on board for requests for information. After all, who can pressure a company more than a large contingent of stockholders? Here’s NCSoft’s page on the KRX (Korean Exchange).

Without being given a stay of execution, NCSoft will be closing City of Heroes on November 30, 2012. Continue Reading

NCSoft Dashes City of Heroes Resurrection Hopes

3 October 2012 | 2 Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

The sad news of the closing of City of Heroes came down just over a month ago. Since the announcement on August 31 the CoH community has been nothing but creative. They’ve held in-game protests, created a dedicated website, devised homemade viral videos, started petitions, supported the soon-to-be-unemployed developers and even got a little jerky. All in the name of saving the game they love. It’s been nothing short of inspirational.

Sadly, NCSoft doesn’t care.

The company finally responded to all of the press and calls for saving yesterday, and it wasn’t anything short of soul crushing. NCSoft responded with a short let down:

We appreciate the overwhelmingly constructive and positive messages in the emails, notes, and packages you’ve sent in support of the game. It has not been an easy decision for us to close Paragon Studios and prepare to shut down City of Heroes. We’ve exhausted all options including the selling of the studio and the rights to the City of Heroes intellectual property, but in the end, efforts to do so were not successful.

It appears that the only positive thing CoH players have left to look forward to are the upcoming closing events. City of Heroes will wrap up more than eight years of service on November 30, 2012.

Another One Bites The Dust: Lineage Closing in North America (and Cryptic Studios ‘Discontinued’)

18 May 2011 | 9 Comments » | iTZKooPA

What? It's from 1998.

It’s unfortunate that Another One Bites The Dust exists, but necessary. This column chronicles the fateful announcements ahead of an MMOGs’ downfall, a company closure or, in some truly sad cases, both. Grab your Big Gulp and let some hit the floor for the fallen.

NCSoft, perhaps best known in the West for being the publisher behind the Guild Wars franchise (and my favorite Sci-Fi MMOG Tabula Rasa) recently announced that the company will be shutting down Lineage in North America. The early MMORPG title continues to support itself in its homebase of South Korea, but North American gamers have moved on, perhaps to its sequel Lineage II or sister product Aion.

NCSoft is giving all players, current and previous, a chance to partake in the title’s final moments. Any player that is in good standing (i.e. not been banned) has had their account reactivated. All billing has been cancelled from last week on. If that describes you, you’d best join in, as the development team promises a few live events before Lineage heads to the digital graveyard.

Given that it’s remaining online elsewhere, I wonder if the closing moments of Lineage will have any impact on other realms. I’ll always remember Lineage as the game that introduced me to the horrors and joy, in that order, of MMOG PvP, and Eastern MMOG developers.

The North American servers for Lineage will close on June 29, 2011. That’s assuming the world doesn’t end on May 21 like those nutjobs keep saying.

In not-so-directly-related news, former NCSoft development partner Cryptic Studios is having its own issues. Atari, the company’s owner since 2008, announced in its financial report that it considers Cryptic Studios to be a “discontinued operation.” Gamasutra reports that the original developer of City of Heros/Villains (now at NCSoft subsidiary Paragon Studios), Star Trek Online, newly free-to-play Champions Online and the upcoming Neverwinter RPG will be sold off.

Atari and Cryptic Studios have separately stated that the developer’s products will remain unaffected, at least for the immediate future.

Atari is dropping the recently-acquired studio to focus on its new business strategy “of fewer but more profitable releases and further expansion into casual online and mobile games.” Losing some $25 million in the past two years probably didn’t bode well for Cryptic. The studio has not divulged if Champion Online’s move to the F2P genre was as successful as past endeavors by other companies.

All the best to those affected by the decisions.

Do You Care About Endgame Character Customization?

6 May 2011 | 1 Comment » | iTZKooPA

I. Like. Big butts. (And I cannot lie).

Each developer has its own definition of character customization. Cryptic Studios is probably the, ahem, champion of character customization. The company’s games have allowed players to make everything from popular comic book clones (begetting a lawsuit) to beasts of burden to their own alien species. Blizzard has been the polar opposite, maintaining the idea that its artists’ interpretations are what’s best for the universe and storytelling.

Sprinkled in between is every other developer. For every game with player-decorated housing, there are dozens without. For every title with a handful of starting options or sliders for character creation, we’re meet with troves that have an overwhelming amount of choice. For every game with armor dye, there are a handful of games that lock players in to a non-unique fashion sense.

Once upon a time, all members of a class in high-end gear in World of Warcraft looked pretty much the same. This made PvP judgement easy. Learned players would know who to fight based on their appearance. A full set player would be skirted, while the piece-meal player would stand out and get assaulted (or passed up for the priest in a twill set). Easy pickings.

For the longest time there simply was no endgame customization. Players barked and Blizzard added in frivolous gear sets that players could acquire during seasonal events, Santa outfits, tuxedos and the like. Useful for farting around your favorite city. The company steadfastly refused to allow the players do any actual modifications to existing set pieces or even one-shot PvE/PvP items no matter how much the community petitioned. But hey, we can cut our hair and beards…

The stance holds, but as pointed out earlier, players will now be able to get Tier 12 gear in a variety of colors. Blizzard has yet to reveal how the colors will be acquired, but the fact that players are being given an option at all is a start.

Personally, I don’t care for customization. During my MMOG career, I’ve attempted to make use of such features as they’ve been made available to me, but like achievements, customization isn’t my cup of tea. I’ve never been artistically inclined. Having the ability to tweak colors, patterns or arrangements is like having two anuses for me. Shit comes out either way.

What about you? Is customization a feature you desire? Do you long to be able to tweak your toon’s appearance as your tastes change? Do you think it should become a required feature in MMOGs, much like basic starting customization? Have you made use of it extensively in games that have made it available to you? Think Blizzard is feeling a bit of genre pressure, such as Rift’s upcoming patch and its appearance (dress up) system?