Paragon Studios

Players rally in protest against City of Heroes' closure

Omri Petitte at

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.


City of Heroes is closing down

Tom Senior at

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.


City of Heroes' first player-designed costume hits the cash shop

Josh Augustine at

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.


City of Heroes Dev Diary: Life after Statesman — the aftermath of a major lore change

Josh Augustine at

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.

Players design new armor, power set, and zone revamp at City of Heroes Summit

Josh Augustine at

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.


Battling through time, Minotaurs, and casino safes in City of Heroes' new movie-themed event

Josh Augustine at

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.


Random loot packs are the best-selling item in free-to-play City of Heroes

Josh Augustine at

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.


City of Heroes Dev Diary: Designing Darkness Control

PC Gamer at

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.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: Balancing story and combat in Bloody Bay

PC Gamer at

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.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: Designing Dilemma Diabolique

PC Gamer at

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.

City of Heroes: Freedom review

Richard Cobbett at

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.


City of Heroes players to assemble at real-life Summit

Matt Purslow at

City of Heroes developer Paragon Studios have always been player-orientated, holding numerous player gatherings in the past. However, with the launch of the game's new business model and Free-to-Play mode, the company want to do something with a little more scale. Massively are reporting that they intend to hold a City of Heroes Player Summit; something much more than just a little gathering.

Heroes players can assemble for the Summit on November 19 in Palo Alto, California. If you're a fan of the super-hero MMO and fancy the journey over to America's west coast, you can expect to find a venue where you can chat with the developers, attend panels and pick up some CoH merch. Little more information than that has been revealed, but keep an eye on the City of Heroes website if you think this is the event for you.


City of Heroes subscribers get early access to Freedom update

Tom Hatfield at

City of Heroes is going free to play later this year with the launch of the massive Freedom update. Now NCSoft and Paragon Studios have announced that they will be giving current subscribers early access, starting today.

Current players have access to the new in-game store and the new First Ward area. The head start program will also feature a number of events, with the developers promising costume competitions and a live alien invasion by the forces of Hamidon and Praetoria.

The full update will go live later this year, marking City of Heroes' transition to a free to play game.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: Rogues gallery

PC Gamer at

In the last installment of the City of Heroes dev diary, we got a look at the massive monsters of the First Ward zone, which demand a entire super-team of players to take down. But what about the mobs you'll face throughout the area on your own? Here's Gilbert Martinez, CoH's art lead, with the inside scoop on the new villain groups of the First Ward, complete with mutated psychic-tumor women and freaky, masked carnies.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: Giant monsters

PC Gamer at

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' Art Lead Gilbert Martinez explains the concepts behind the artistic design of the three giant monsters that players will have to battle in the upcoming "Issue 21: Convergence" update. Let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.

City of Heroes Dev Diary: First Ward concept art

PC Gamer at

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' Art Lead, Gilbert Martinez, explains the concepts behind some of the zone's art . We hope you enjoy this exclusive look into City of Heroes' art design and let us know what you’d like to see developers discuss in future diaries in the comments.

City of Heroes: Freedom will use "staged download" system

Tom Hatfield at

City of Heroes is going free to play later this year. As well as the massive update that's due to hit, Paragon are releasing some new technology which will download updates as you play. "We sort of have a staged downloading system now," said producer Brian Clayton.

"So you’ll jump into the character creator first and as you’re going through and setting up your character the entry level zones will then download in the background. Once those download in the background it downloads the rest of the game."

The new system will launch alongside City of Heroes: Freedom later this year, with the aim of making it more accessible for new player: "Our hope is that a new player for the very first time that wants to try out City of Heroes is in the game within five minutes." Clayton said.


City of Heroes: Freedom screens and details

Tom Hatfield at

As we reported earlier on today, City of Heroes is going free to play later this year. It will also be releasing its issue 21 update, described by producer Brian Clayton as: "Some of the best content we’ve introduced into the game."

Details and screens of the new areas are within.


City of Heroes goes free-to-play

Tom Hatfield at

Veteran MMO City of Heroes has announced that it will move to a free to play model later this year, coinciding with their Issue 21 update. The new model will see current subscribers known as 'VIP players' while others play for free, with micro transactions integrated through an in-game store.

Details within.


City of Heroes hits 7th anniversary, releases data on player behavior in fun infographic form

Josh Augustine at

42 million characters have been created in City of Heroes since it launched in 2004. Scrapper are the richest characters in-game, on average. It would take over 3,900 days to play all of the content in the game, including player-created missions.

Knowledge is power, and we just made you three parts stronger. You can thank us later. Of course, if you crave more data about City of Heroes (subsequently increasing your overall power in a general, abstract sense), you'll want to check out the infographic below. City of Heroes is turning 7 next month, and NCSoft put together this collection of data bytes about CoH's statistics and player behavior to celebrate it.