The Return of City of Heroes

Of all the weird things that’ve happened in the last four years, few have been more unexpected and more welcome than the return of City of Heroes.

Y’all remember City of Heroes, right? My great video game obsession, the best dang superhero MMO ever, shut down too early back in 2012. I mourned the end of that game plenty, and I figured there would never be any computer game that’d catch my attention the way CoH did. But the years passed, and all of us superhero fans had to move on.

And then, all of a sudden, about a year back, City of Heroes returned. Some guys had cobbled together their own secret game server with all the old code, all working perfectly, and they’d been playing with a few friends for years. When word got out, everyone panicked, expecting NCSoft to hit the game with a lawsuit — but NCSoft has weirdly turned cool about the whole thing. No cease-and-desist notices, at least not yet. And so lots of people, including me, showed back up to the game and started playing new superheroes in Paragon City and supervillains in the Rogue Isles.

It’s been really, really great.

I still haven’t advanced very far — I’m a dedicated alt-oholic, making up new characters every time I come up with a half-decent character concept. Some of them are re-creations of characters I played in the old CoH, some of them are brand new. But it’s been fantastic to get to play this wonderful game again.

It’s especially exciting that the people behind this new server have put a number of new powersets and missions onto the live servers so everyone can play, as well as adding a few new graphical elements. During the early fall, all the trees in Atlas Park started changing to autumn colors, and during the Christmas event, all of Atlas Park was covered in snow and ice.

They’ve even got a whole new archetype — the Sentinel, which has some of the Blaster’s offensive power and some of the Scrapper’s defenses. In other words, it’s a ranged combat specialist that doesn’t die as often as Blasters usually do. That’s a big thing!

And because I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t showing off some of my new characters — and trust me, I could very easily make this a full-time City of Heroes characters blog — here are a small number of my favorites:

Blue Viper

I’ve never managed to gain any skill with any of the Archery powersets, but I was really happy with the costume design I came up with for this character. There ain’t many things more fun than just playing around in the costume creator.

Detective Imhotep

Sometimes, you come up with a bio for a character that’s too good not to share, so here’s Detective Imhotep’s:

I’ll never forget the day that leggy dame walked into my burial chamber.

“Arise, Imhotep!” she says, “Arise and serve me as my undead slave!”

So that’s what I did, ’cause sometimes a guy has to do what a guy has to do. Or at least he has to do what a dame tells him to do because she’s put runes on him and is controlling him with the Ankh of Nephren-ka.

But then one day, she got killed by the Circle of Thorns, and I knew I’d have to do what I could to find her killers. So I hung out my shingle as a private eye. You got the cash to hire me? Great, pal, I charge $25 a day, plus expenses. And bring me a few tana leaves, too. It’s been a long millennium.

Sir Loyne of Bieffe

It’s a swordsman with a cow’s head, created solely for that punny name. But his bio is pretty good, too.

And there arose in our time of most dire need… a CHAMPION! A titan who took no bull from anyone! A hero so rare — so medium rare! — that none could mooove him from the path of righteousness! Let thy hearts be comforted, innocent citizens of Paragon City! For among you walks… A COW.

(And that’s just three of ’em. You want me to post more of them? You have no idea how much I’d love to post more of them. If y’all beg me hard enough to post more video game characters, I’ll do it, and you should probably consider that a threat.)

Wanna get online and play City of Heroes again? There’s a pretty thorough guide right here on how to get on one of the larger servers/game clients, though there are several others out there. Hope to see you in-game!

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