A mere five days ago we saw the launch of a Kickstarter project for City of Titans, the spiritual successor to crime-fighting MMO City of Heroes. Developer Missing Worlds Media has now blown past its funding goal of $320,000 and shows no signs of a significant slowdown. With funds topping $360,000 as of this writing, City of Titans has already unlocked its first stretch goal, an Android port of the Avatar Builder.
City of Heroes
The Phoenix Project has landed in the streets of Kickstarter, hoping to bring four-color heroics and villainy in the spirit of City of Heroes back to the MMO space. The team at Missing Worlds Media is asking for $320,000 to make City of Titans, almost $190,000 of which they have already raised as of this writing.
A dash of DLC developments appears on today's list for Mass Effect 3, Assassin's Creed 3, and Max Payne 3. Also appearing are NCsoft's official word on the community movements against City of Heroes' impending closure and Hi-Rez's narrower design focus for Global Agenda 2. In the wise words of Claptrap: read on, minions!
Picking up the "Host Three PCG Podcasts" achievement, T.J. once again leads a party of daring journalist-adventurers into the deep and dank dungeons of the week's PC gaming goings-on. We talk the unforgettable moments of PAX (both the good, and the ones we wish were slightly more forgettable), the closure of City of Heroes, whether or not Steam should be catering to your sexy time fix, and how T.J. would like to punch story writer Sean Vanaman repeatedly in the abdomen so he can see how it feels to be on the receiving end of The Walking Dead Episode 3.
NCsoft's decision to close Paragon Studios earlier this week consequently meant the shuttering of superhero MMO City of Heroes. That blow landed heavily among the community, but they're striking back with in-game protests and the ever-popular petition -- a petition nearly 14,000 signatures strong so far -- to change NCsoft's mind.
Veteran superhero MMO City of Hereos will be gone within the year. "In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios," writes Paragon community manager Andy Belford on the City of Heroes blog. "All recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately."
The announcement was made on Friday, with a note of thanks to the developers and the fans for their dedication over the course of the past eight years. "The team here at Paragon deserves special praise for all that we have accomplished over the last 5+ years. These developers are some of the most creative and talented people in the gaming industry.
I spent hundreds of hours with my guildmates last year, chatting online while downing dragons, super-villains, and other big bads. But every now and then, it’s good for a team’s morale to drop the daggers, get out of the house, and just hang out with each other.
More and more MMOs are hosting annual conventions to help their players do just that. But it’s not just the games that make each convention different — the theme, style, and length all vary as well. We've attended and rated the biggest of them inside...
Last month, I talked about how impressed I was that Paragon Studios let the players design so much new content at this year's Player Summit. My favorite was a new post-apocalyptic armor set that players dreamed up, voted on, and directed a concept artist to draft during the mini-convention.
Today, City of Heroes released the costume set from last year's player summit design session, the Retro Sci-fi kit, available for $5 in the game's cash shop. I had a quick chat with the devs to find out how close it is to the players' original design, and why it took so long.
PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, City of Heroes’ lead designer Matt "Positron" Miller and content designer Sean "Dr. Aeon" McCann talk about the huge ramifications of killing off their games' main character in the last update, and all the things that one death changed. Let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.
I was really impressed by how highly player input was valued at Paragon Studios' City of Heroes Player Summit last month. I've been to player summits for every major MMO out there and all of them have been primarily focused on the developers telling the players what's coming next--except for this one.
In Palo Alto, California, 100 players sat in a room with developers and were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas for new armor styles, a new power set, and a complete zone revamp. The developers and players then spent hours working together to pick their favorite options and flesh them out to be built into the game.
I love seasonal content in MMOs--it's usually a bit tongue-in-cheek and focused on fun, rather than serious progression. The next wave of seasonal content coming to City of Heroes is just that, sending players to battle in a time-traveling gladiator arena and pull off a casino heist.
When Paragon Studios introduced grab bags filled with random loot called Super Packs to City of Heroes' cash shop back in February, the players flipped out. Their outrage flowed into forums and blogs everywhere and it was clear that most of them hated the idea. But Paragon carried on, insisting that the players would change their minds.
Three months later, Paragon announced that they are now the best-selling item in the game's cash shop and a complete success.
I love games that let players create their own content, and City of Heroes is currently experiencing a renaissance of player-made mission arcs, thanks to the switch to free-to-play rejuvenating the playerbase. Paragon Studios does a great job of highlighting top-quality story arcs that it comes across, but there are a lot of awesome adventures falling through the cracks. Here are my five personal favorites currently slipping under the radar. You can find all of them by visiting any of the Mission Architect headquarters in-game.
City of Heroes is preparing to launch their latest big content update. Issue 23, which will be called 'Where Shadows Lie' will bring an end to the dramatic Praetorian War storyline, which has already claimed the live of City of Heroes' signature crime fighter Statesman, pictured above (centre). The war will be resolved in a new mission called the Magisterium Incarnate trial, which promises to give players the chance to end the threat of Emperor Cole, whose lieutenants they've spent the last few updates battling.
Like 'em or not, lockboxes are the latest craze in free-to-play games. These little chests of mystery show up on your fallen foes sealed alarmingly well, and often require a special key purchased from the cash shop to open them. DC Universe Online will be the latest to jump on this trend with next week's patch, but it will at least allow subscribers to open all of them for free. In addition, subscribers will be getting a few other nice perks starting next Tuesday.
PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, City of Heroes' Senior Systems Designer Phil “Synapse” Zeleski talks about designing the new Darkness Control power set. Let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.
PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, City of Heroes' World Designer Cord “Think Tank” Carney talks about their design goals of the Drowning in Blood trial, and how they tried to balance story and combat inside. Let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.
PC Gamer routinely features Developer Diaries: tales of what goes on behind-the-scenes in the development studios making your favorite games. In this entry, City of Heroes' Senior Designer Chris “Baryonyx” Behrens talks about the five main mandates that've shaped Paragon Studio's design of the game's new endgame Incarnate Trials. Let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.
With the addition of the Incarnate system in Issue 20: Incarnates, we introduced a complete end-game experience to City of Heroes. Fundamental to this experience is the Incarnate Trial. Since last April, we've introduced six Incarnate Trials to City of Heroes, and the upcoming Issue 22: Death Incarnate will bring the seventh, Dilemma Diabolique.
Surprised that City of Heroes went free-to-play? Of course not. Make a list of all the RPGs that could easily get away with gouging their audiences into oblivion, and an ageing but popular one that’s already built on genuine character customisation is always going to come top. Can’t you just see the accountants now, dancing naked through their editors with a pricing-gun, before retreating to their dark lair to watch the money come tumbling in from all those fire swords and boob-windowed leotards and whatnot?
Yes. The thing is... that’s not what they’ve done. Far from it. City of Heroes: Freedom is one of the most generous free-to-play games ever. Bad news for crime. Great news for us.
Halloween is a time for many things. Candy, costumes, vandalism, paganism - you know, wholesome stuff. But Halloween also has its darker side. That's right: MMORPGs - perhaps the most evil, life-devouring game genre in existence. So clearly, it only makes sense that all of them would... OK, I'm done trying to make sense of this.
For some reason, MMOs take to Halloween like machete-wielding psychopaths to teenagers on camping trips. Why? Who knows? But it's stupidly fun, and you get to punch zombies in a videogame. That, like, almost never happens. Find out what the likes of WoW, Rift, World of Tanks, DC Universe, and many more are up to this Halloween after the break.