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A Time For Heroes: How A Community of Thousands Was Abandoned And Still Fought On

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
#RememberCOH, #SaveCOH, Atlas Park, City of Heroes, Mercedes Lackey, NCsoft, Paragon Studios, Save Paragon City!, Titan Network

A Time For Heroes: How A Community of Thousands Was Abandoned And Still Fought On

Fun Fact: City of Heroes is, to this date, both my first and final MMO. As a kid who'd grown up surrounded by Marvel comics, fixated on Saturday morning cartoons, I'd always fancied being a superhero. Even before City of Heroes was announced, I was excited. Less excited, of course, by the subscription, I wasn't too keen on that, but here was a game that would let me live out my superpowered fantasies and team up with others like me.

I was a little apprehensive, truth be told, both that it wouldn't match up to my expectations, and that I wouldn't necessarily enjoy this new experience, predicated on co-operation with a whole bunch of people I'd never met before, who'd been engaged in the world for weeks before me, who might not be kind to a newcomer. I'd heard tales of veterans in EVE preying on the wide-eyed and innocent, ranging bands of rookies in World of Warcraft found themselves overrun by those who deemed them easy pickings, and I feared the same might befall me.

"It is not like any other MMORPG currently available," Mercedes Lackey, the best-selling fantasy author and avid #SaveCOH spokesperson tells me, only a couple of days after NCsoft followed through on the statement that they issued back in August, and pulled plug on City of Heroes. "The game mechanics favour cooperative play, rather than competitive play.  The User Interface is easy and intuitive to use, and does not rely on fast reflexes and the "twitch" control of console games.

A Time For Heroes: How A Community of Thousands Was Abandoned And Still Fought On

"The player base tends to be older and more mature; people who find something they like and stick with it, rather than burning through to the endgame and going on to something new.  Because of all this, it is very easy to find a large group of people within the game that become friends and share interests and concerns outside of the game.  It is VERY rare to hear things like 'LRN 2 PLY N00B!' in broadcast chat, or to be kicked from a team because one is a beginner and making beginner's mistakes.

"Families can play together with their young children, or their grandparents.  My husband and I regularly play with with his father (a retired Army Special Forces Sergeant-Major), who lives 1500 miles away from us, and has a very ill wife who needs constant care, limiting his options for recreation. City of Heroes evolved over time into something much more than a mere game."

I was never so glad to be wrong.

Sadly for me, perhaps, life intervened and I found myself unable to dedicate the time and commitment to the game after three or four months that I had in the first couple of weeks. I went off to university, lost touch with the friends I'd made in Paragon City, cancelled my subscription, forgot the name of my electrically-buffed Blaster hero, and moved on. Before I did, though, I got a taste for a community always willing to help one another out, to look out for one another; a community in constant communication with their virtual providers - right up until  the lights went out on November 30th, Paragon Studios had been beavering away on in-game events.

"I felt as if someone had just bombed out my entire town," Lackey says of her immediate reaction to hearing that NCsoft was planning to shut the game down. "I felt as if a bus containing a hundred of my best friends had gone off a cliff.  I am not exaggerating.  I am still breaking into tears.

"The closest analogy I can make is that it is a city of 100,000 built around a theme park.  The residents of the city go off and make their living, and then they come home, and when they come home they go play in the theme park with all the friends and neighbours they have here.  That's why it is so special. I think the devs figured some of that out, and did the smart thing--instead of policing it and making up rules, they had very few rules, looked to see what "rides" the residents of the city preferred, and made more of them.  And most of all, they took down as many of the barriers that kept people from becoming friends as they could.

"If you took the best parts of Second Life, combined it with the best parts of Facebook, the best parts of IRC, the best parts of MUSHes and MUDs and the best parts of MMORPGs, you would have City of Heroes.  It was a 'game' in which you could stand around and RP for hours, run mission after mission, battle in PvP, and if you really wanted to grind, you could do that too.  It was a game in which high level people could game with low level people and no one was handicapped.

"And it was a place where we could come, blow off steam, talk, do improv-theater, or whatever else we wanted to with people who became real friends.  I mean, real, as in, would send you money, would listen to your problems, would call you at 4 AM because you were feeling bad, would drive 200 miles to babysit your cat because you were in the hospital kind of friends.

"Now do you see what we have lost?  They've bulldozed our town, and bussed us away before we could even exchange phone numbers with our now-scattered friends."

A Time For Heroes: How A Community of Thousands Was Abandoned And Still Fought On

The days that immediately followed the announcement saw a painful upheaval occur across Paragon City. "It was madness," says Sarah Lane. "Like an apocalyptic nightmare. The forums were a mess, all of the rules were being broken, everything went a little bit to hell as everyone tried to deal with the news.

"But then you began to see rallying calls, and I'll always remember that first protest." September 8th saw a huge rally take place across 33 replications of Atlas Park as thousands of gamers flooded the servers to take up torches in defiant protest of NCsoft's actions, outside of City Hall. Tony Vasquez and the Titan Network launched a petition that would garner over 21,000 signatures calling for NCsoft to rethink.

“We’ve been saving Paragon City for eight and a half years. It’s time to do it one more time,” Vasquez said, back in early September. His call was answered by the likes of John C. Wright, Neil Gaiman, and Lackey herself. #SaveCOH was born.

"We were at DragonCon when NCSoft made the announcement and threw everyone at Paragon Studios literally out the door," Lackey remembers. "So the first week or so was very difficult as I was trying to put on my “convention face” and be genial and happy with everyone when all the while I was devastated.

"Then I found out that most of the activity to save the game was taking place at the Titan Network, I went there, discovered a solid group of diverse (and may I add, adult and professional) people who were determined not to lose THEIR “town” either. At that point it was either lie down and let some big faceless foreign corporation that made no attempt to understand us—rather like the Vogons—roll over us, or fight back. Lying down was not an option for me."

The Titan Network got organised, they put an emphasis on PR, and they set about making as much noise as possible in a professional and reasoned way. NCsoft were approached numerous times over the weeks that followed, but the publisher remained tight-lipped, releasing a wafer-thin statement that served little but to reinforce the Nov. 30th deadline. The petitioning increased, but the Titan Network turned their efforts further afield and Call to Action were issued. Drives were conducted to capture the game at its best through pictures and video in the final few months. A media initiative was set up to ensure that news sites had as much information as they could handle, with the Network admins urging fans to thank sites for their coverage. Charity fundraisers were rife, they always had been when it came to CoX, the opportunity to be real-life heroes raising thousands of dollars.

A Time For Heroes: How A Community of Thousands Was Abandoned And Still Fought On

Still NCsoft were unmoved and, sure enough, when November 30th rolled around, the publisher let the curtain fall on City of Heroes. "I remember being stood in Atlas Park with my best friend, we'd grown up playing City of Heroes," says Sarah Lane. "There were some desperately trying to bust through missions right up until the last minute. Some were just reminiscing with others. Some were just trying to drink it all in. They started playing music , and I was crying buckets. It just went out, just like that. 'Lost Connection to Mapserver'. In a split-second, my world was shattered."

It only takes a brief glance at some of the threads posted up on the Titan Network forums, a hotbed for heroic action that sprang up in the face of NCsoft's stonewalling, to see that Lane and Lackey's sentiments are widely shared; that after eight long years, to have a virtual world snuffed out has been utterly devastating for many. Scrolling through the forums you'll read how CoX (the shorthand for referring to both City of Heroes and its nefarious companion - City of Villains) gave military veterans returning the Middle East a route back into society.

"To be honest, CoX was my first re-introduction to semi-normal society after I got out of Iraq," writes one such veteran.

"I served for fifteen months as a machine gunner.  Aiming at other humans and pulling the trigger was a fact of life.  When I got out of Iraq, I was, well, not quite hitting on all eight cylinders, if you know what I mean.  Hardly a functioning human being.  CoX was easy - I could play it from my barracks room, where I was comfortable.  I didn't have to go out in public, where I'd spend more time instinctively scanning for targets and feeling naked for my lack of body armor.

"CoX helped me more than I can effectively articulate as I struggled to make the transition from professional killing machine to human again.  Just simply interacting with people through a non-threatening medium where I didn't have to deal with the other glitches, twitches and bugs I had picked up while being shot at in a hostile environment for over a year of my life."

It rather puts the antagonistic comments that have dotted coverage of the #SaveCOH campaign, asking why all the fuss for some thing that's "just a game", to shame. The addictive qualities of MMOs are widely known, and regularly parodied, but what of those for whom gaming is much more than  a pastime? "I grimace every time someone turns around and says 'but it's just a game'," long-time COH-fan Jake Hearn emailed in to say. Paralysed from the waist down since, Jake's experience of CoX has been of something much more than "just a game". "It's been a home for me really," he told us. "But one where I can do extraordinary things. I play with my cousins on the other side of the world. I play with friends from school. I've made friends from America, from Australia, from all over Europe. To them, I'm not just a kid in a wheelchair, I'm a guy who can shoot fireballs from his hands. It's been such a valuable part of my life. That's not to say it's been my life, but it's been a place of recreation, of escape, it's helped me forge relationships and restore confidence that I can carry with me every day."

And he's less than impressed with NCsoft. "It makes no sense to me," he says. "But then what does a suit in Korea care about a disabled guy from Manchester?"

A Time For Heroes: How A Community of Thousands Was Abandoned And Still Fought On

Lackey is not exactly full of praise for the Korean publisher, either. "If anything, I have developed a deep and abiding contempt for NCSoft," she tells me.  "Their attitude seems to be 'shut up, sit down, and play what we give you' without any consideration for what the players want. We were insulated from that because the Paragon Studios staff and Game Masters were so outstanding in every way. Now we are seeing what the real NCSoft looks like.

"As for the players keeping the game alive, first of all, you must be aware that there was a stonewall, concerted effort on the part of NCSoft to prevent anything like a sale. There were two venture capitalists, one of whom has a game company, operating out of the Titan boards, whose efforts to contact NCSoft about a sale were ignored entirely. There was an effort by Paragon Studios to buy themselves back that was also shut down. And NCSoft’s position at that time was 'all efforts to sell the game have been exhausted' which in itself is a lie, because they completely ignored two of the three efforts that I know of, and probably treated the Paragon Studios effort with the same contempt."

Much of the anger seems to have stemmed from the fact that City of Heroes  didn't look like a game that was in trouble. There were no licensing issues as there had been with Star Wars: Galaxies, and the game was still turning a profit, unlike some of NCsoft's previous failures.

"City of Heroes was still profitable, with all servers still up and running," says Lackey. "They were putting out new issues every three months; I24 was about to go live, I25 was in the coding stage and I26 in the planning and preliminary art stage. Paragon Studios was developing a second, non-CoH game and could have gone on half staff if all NCSoft wanted to do was save money and just run CoH.

"In the hands of the skilled developers, the old game engine was made to do things no one every believed it could.  Furthermore, when I visited Paragon Studios about 3 years ago, plans were going forward for a City of Heroes 2, based on a new graphics engine.  It was NCSoft that cancelled that, despite great player anticipation.

"And, again, as the West gets older, we are attracted to those things that made us happy when we were young.  Just as an example, you can see how popular movie remakes are, and the revival of nostalgic toys.  Everquest is still alive, as is Ultima Online.  In fact, the number of old games that are still holding a steady customer base far outnumbers those that were cancelled.  The only reason Star Wars Galaxies was cancelled was because the license was lost."

A Time For Heroes: How A Community of Thousands Was Abandoned And Still Fought On

It doesn't seem to make sense, and NCsoft have given up nothing to explain  their actions aside from foggy buzzwords such as "company realignment" and strategic decisions". We asked their European representatives if it would be possible to speak to someone in order to ask a few questions and also present the publishers' side of things, however "no one is available for comment on City of Heroes". It's been that way for three months.

In the face of such apparent apathy from NCsoft, the campaigners have turned elsewhere for solutions. The Titan Network is now, understandably, in slight disarray. as suggestions on how to move forward inevitably cause divisions. Champions Online and Star Trek Online have both taken CoX refugees in, especially after it emerged that Cryptic had snapped up a few of the ex-Paragon Studios devs. But, some have found the idea of jumping ship a little too dauting or indeed abhorrent, and a number of fans have begun the process to see their community fully ressurected. The Pheonix Project and Heroes & Villains are the two main development undertakings that have arisen from the ashes of NCsoft's decision; both still assembling teams, claiming resources from a Network divided, confused, and tired.

"I am far more concerned with the fact that these projects are both going to be going on for years and that people will lose interest when there is nothing concrete out of them," says Lackey when I ask her if she thinks the factionalism, as opposed to the unity exhibited throughout the #SaveCOH campaign, will cause problems going forward.

"That, and being tired of spending every non-working moment essentially working on a second job that doesn’t even pay you anything is going to make people drop out of the projects before anything gets a chance to come to fruition. Don’t forget, even with a full game studio behind it, The Secret World took over five years from concept to rollout, and these folks are just gamers working in their spare time.

"I hope that one or both succeed, and I hope people are not expecting anything out of either group for YEARS. Although there are a lot more off-the-shelf tools for making games these days, there is still a lot of art, design, and programming work that has to be done, and all of it will have to be done by people who are working in their spare time. I don’t expect to see anything solid from either group for at least three years. So, ask me in three years."

A Time For Heroes: How A Community of Thousands Was Abandoned And Still Fought On

Of course, that doesn't mean she's just going to lie down now that the servers have been switched off. Even as the candle of hope flickered out, #SaveCOH were doing what NCsoft had allegedly failed to do: find a buyer.

"You must bear in mind that we are by no means done yet," she states. "Ammon Johns, the highly respected UK Internet Marketing Specialist, a UK journalist, a UK Senior IT Tech and I happened across a post on one of the boards about trying to interest Disney in buying and supporting the game, and the more we thought about it—insane as the idea is—the more it started to make sense. It’s really a very natural fit. The Marvel game that Disney has forces you to play as a Marvel character—it does not allow you to make your own superhero. The one that is in development is strictly an Arena-style PvP game. Both are on the Diablo engine which favours competitive play rather than cooperative play.

"COH would allow Disney full market saturation of the adult superhero genre, literally covering every aspect of play, from those who just like to stand around and RP, to very robust team AND solo PvE, to Arena-style PvP. We have pages and pages of testimonials from parents that play with their kids, and grandparents who play with their grandchildren.

"We put together 31 single spaced pages of pitch, and if I go on any more about it, I’ll have to reiterate all 31 pages. But we did try to brainstorm every possible objection Disney could have and counter it, and display all of the advantages Disney would have if they acquired the game.

"We are currently debating our next 'target' if Disney shows no interest. But remember, we are not pitching the game, to which we have no rights. We are pitching the idea of buying the game. We have contact information in the package for who to get hold of if Disney is interested. Disney moves slowly and deliberately, so we want to give them plenty of time before we go fishing for anyone new."

 

It seems a strange idea at first, the notion of a community stranded and lost making presentations to other parties without owning the rights. It's a long shot, to be sure, but this is essentially thousands of evicted virtual tenets lobbying an estate agent to buy out the nefarious landowner who threw them out and razed their homes to the ground. Given all that City of Heroes was, all that its community did, and the resolutely opaque nature of NCsoft's decision-making, it's easy to understand not only the sense of injustice that Lackey speaks of (she calls the closure "unethical"), but also why this MMO's closure has caused such a stir throughout the industry.

"I can understand that even gamers don't "get it" if they have never experienced the kind of community we had," Lackey tells me. "And when they get angry in the face of my refusal to accept that it was 'just a game', all I can say--which is both a curse, and a wish--is 'I hope you never have to go through what I am going through now.' A kindly wish, because I would never want anyone to go through this kind of bereavement. And a curse, because if they never do--then they will never have experienced what something like this can give to them and do for them, and I feel very sorry for them.

"As for those who sort of "get it," and say 'Well even Camelot didn't last forever,' I have a simple reply: 'Why not?'  Look at Disney Corporation. Walt had dreams, and he made the reality, and he surrounded himself with more creative people who could make more dreams. And he passed the torch on to them. And they brought in others like them. And Disney evolved and continued to flourish, and flourishes to this very day, and will flourish as long as they keep evolving and bringing in creative people.

"There is no reason why City of Heroes or any other game couldn't do the same thing.  None.  Barriers only exist because people decide they do."

Thanks to Mercedes Lackey, Lauren O'Neill, Sarah Lane, Jake Hearn, TonyV and the Titan Network.

Add a comment21 comments
CrispyGolem  Dec. 12, 2012 at 01:04

I nearly cried reading this. Thank you so much to you guys for this beautiful article, to the folks at Titan Network for never giving up, and to Mercedes herself for everything she has done. There are so many inspiring stories on the forums, so many testimonials that bring a tear to the eye. I might never have gone looking for them had I not come across this piece.

It's good to see that even though NCSoft have jumped ship, COH lives on in a way. Truly, thank you.

Stalemate  Dec. 12, 2012 at 02:29

Great article and interview.

This is exactly why CoH is being mourned and celebrated: it fostered a sense of community and loyalty that even its publisher did not understand nor respect.

It's quite interesting to see that NCSoft stock has been struggling since late this summer (coinciding with the announcement of the sunset and underhanded firing of Paragon Studios) and Guild Wars 2 is not bringing in the income they expected.

Players don't only want the latest and greatest shiny. NCSoft put down our healthy dog and told us to the suck it up and instead go play with a new toy car instead.

NCSoft can not get it because it has no heart.

We, and apparently others, recognize treason when we see it – and remember it forever.

HeatherDowney  Dec. 12, 2012 at 04:03

This wasn't "Just a game" for me either. I understand the pains of what happens when people get addicted to games. My first husband pretty much left me for World of Warcraft. City of Heroes was an amazing place to go and actually truely being myself.

I spent many years hiding the real me. I grew up in a very abusive home and I never got to be a kid. I got my first job doing a paper route at the age of 13 and had 497 papers by the end of it. I went to work for JCPenny at the age of 17 and worked 40 hours a week as I finally convinced my mother after 11 years to please leave her abusive husband. I had to work to help my mom pay bills and I can honestly say that if it wasn't for my paycheck there wouldn't be food in the fridge.

I moved out shortly after she married again to a wonderful person I am proud to call my dad. Still in my own shell I married young to a man who didn't truely care about me in the way I wished it. I had started playing City of Heroes shortly before I married. I moved over 800 miles away from my family so I was completely on my own and absolutely lost and devistated.

City of Heroes allowed me to be someone that I couldn't be right then in real life. It was my escape. While my life around me was crashing and burning, I was Shadow Rouge. Empathy Healer who could help those in need. Who could heal the hurts of others even though I currently couldn't do anything about the wounds that were in my heart. I may not have been able to save myself in real life but those in City of Heroes truely helped save mine.

The people I met on City of Heroes was my life line. I even had several offers from SG members to allow me to live with them while I looked for a new place to live and work while I got my divorce.

I met my current husband at an SG meet and greet almost 8 years ago now. We have two kids and while my husband stepped away from the game I loved every moment of it. I miss City of Heroes so much. I miss writing stories for Shadow Rouge and I went out of my way to help those in need because I wanted to pay back what I was given as well. In this game we didn't just play at being heroes.... we really did become them.

NCSoft You are the final villain I want to help bring down.

Zhure  Dec. 12, 2012 at 04:47

These noble efforts shine a light on NCSoft's failure in their stewardship of a heroic shared world.

ExTitan  Dec. 12, 2012 at 05:22

I used to believe and belong to the whole SaveCoH and Titan community until they got rather delusional and started spouting hatred every chance they got. CoH was a great game that I played for over 7 years, but unlike some people I chose to move on instead of spending my final moments in game angry and sad. While CoH was still profitable; it was barely profitable. It had seen a slow flat trend in it's revenue and was operating at 25% of it's peak subscriber base. When it was shut down only 40% of it's players were actually subscribed to the game (Per Matt Miller/Positron). As a subscriber for 7+ years I get really tired of these articles by people who "loved" CoH but couldn't be bothered to play and/or pay for years - and then wonder how such a thing as it's closing could happen. Here's a hint...not enough PAYING customers. Had CoH been more profitable it would not have been closed down. As for Mercedes Lackey and every other Titan member - they will come here and tell you "this" or "that" but most of Titan are RPers who simply can't let go of their "reality" and refuse to move on. CoH was a GREAT game, but it's gone and the time to move on has come...some people just refuse to let their land of fantasy die with respect and instead have stooped to racist tactics and plain misinformation in order to support their cause. For people trying to save a game about being a hero; very few of them act heroically.

Corvus1970  Dec. 12, 2012 at 05:32

Thank you for this article. We in the CoH community need all the good press we can get. We're fighting for a chance to see our home return, and articles like this are big help.

KrnlMandrake  Dec. 12, 2012 at 06:07

Fantastic article. Thank you to everyone who took part in it and thank you Mr. Gardner for such a well written article. It really helps alleviate some of the frustration and fatigue I feel working to find ways to keep going on this.

Thanks again,
Manny

Gilliam  Dec. 12, 2012 at 08:09

I don't think we will see the likes of City of heroes ever again
Sad sad times for the gaming commuity. if a game like this still in profit can't suvive. I lost a home i lost friends I lost a passtime i realy enjoy .. i did gain £18 a month saving in my subscription but i would gladly give that back to get COH Back.



Next time i see an NCsoft booth at a games fair Gonna Egg it :)

FrostyfrozenCoH  Dec. 12, 2012 at 11:57

City of Heroes was a game and in that a city named Paragon City. It befell a disaster that it's community fought to avert. In years to come when humanity builds more internet community's Paragon City will be & CoH with it will be remembered as the City of Atlantis is remembered today. As a city and community before it's time.

JohnRobey  Dec. 12, 2012 at 12:49

Thank you for this article. It looks like Matt Gardner and Dealspwn "get it" and understand a whole lot better than publisher, NCSoft, about what City of Heroes meant (and means) to thousands.

LeperDave  Dec. 12, 2012 at 13:43

Thank you for the coverage, but there is one thing that has to be pointed out. (I'm sure someone already has... but it certainly doesn't hurt to say it again.)

We are still fighting to save City Of Heroes.

Never give up, never give in.

OzonePrime  Dec. 12, 2012 at 14:25

Thanks for a great comprehensive story! And, we are still fighting!



Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

ArcticChaos  Dec. 12, 2012 at 16:49

Thank you for taking the time to write this article <3

I'm so gutted CoH is not anymore, I had not played for about 8 months, and tried to log on after the servers where turned off. After having trouble, I googled, only to find out what has happened. I'm so angry, sad, and after reading what's happened, now even more angry I will never see my toons again.
I made some amazing friends in CoH and although I'd not played in a bit, I always return after a while.

There is no other game like this one. I dunno what can be done, but if there is anything to BE done to bring this game back, please let it be known. xoxo

amourman  Dec. 12, 2012 at 19:11

Hello for those of you that don't know me my global was @Amour Man. This was a great post it brought back a lot of memories about playing the game and spending time as part of such a great community, since The news about COH imminent shut down I've been bouncing about game to game with such titles as Star Trek online, DC Universe Online, Guild Wars 2, Champions online and quite a few others, the communities vary but none are the same in some of those mentioned I won't say which but I've been kicked from teams during instances without even a word because I don't have the arctype of toon the team wanted and also been on teams that spout verbal and a lot of the time racial abuse at people if they don't do something a certain way and apparently being new to the game is not a reasonible excuse, it's now gotten to the point I've not played a game for months since COH was the only game I've really enjoyed an was a constant player for years. No other game can compare to the kind, warm welcoming feeling the community showed always willing to help out others and never without a time to play with, I would return to COH but I'm afraid there is currently and doubt ever will be another out there that could compare.

HaremKing  Dec. 13, 2012 at 00:33

On Dec 1st(It was 3 in the morning for me) I lost a gateway to many of my friends. NCSoft essentially Killed them. Killed me. Killed my world. For what? That still isnt even clear.

It was the one place where you, the player were in control, in a world of infinite possibilities and customization. There are so many different stories between the community, of accomplishments, victories, defeats, and fun times; you could write novels.

All that was taken away for seemingly no reason at all. Yet, we fight on, and we will keep fighting. We will boycott NCSoft at every turn. We will push them until they break, and then we will trample on the pieces, until we, in some way or another get our game back.

Slcendce  Dec. 13, 2012 at 05:25

I used to believe and belong to the whole SaveCoH and Titan community until they got rather delusional and started spouting hatred every chance they got. CoH was a great game that I played for over 7 years, but unlike some people I chose to move on instead of spending my final moments in game angry and sad. While CoH was still profitable; it was barely profitable. It had seen a slow flat trend in it's revenue and was operating at 25% of it's peak subscriber base. When it was shut down only 40% of it's players were actually subscribed to the game (Per Matt Miller/Positron). As a subscriber for 7+ years I get really tired of these articles by people who "loved" CoH but couldn't be bothered to play and/or pay for years - and then wonder how such a thing as it's closing could happen. Here's a hint...not enough PAYING customers. Had CoH been more profitable it would not have been closed down. As for Mercedes Lackey and every other Titan member - they will come here and tell you "this" or "that" but most of Titan are RPers who simply can't let go of their "reality" and refuse to move on. CoH was a GREAT game, but it's gone and the time to move on has come...some people just refuse to let their land of fantasy die with respect and instead have stooped to racist tactics and plain misinformation in order to support their cause. For people trying to save a game about being a hero; very few of them act heroically.


You are either an NCSoft lackey or you were an f2p'er on CoH for about two weeks and got mad and wandered off to go wait for the softcore porn games.

elvnsword  Dec. 13, 2012 at 10:41

ahem,

ExTitan...

Let me phrase this as kindly as I can... City of Heroes, by NC Soft's own released documents was making MILLIONS in profit. Aion they're little flagship game, was LOSING Money, as in not making a profit.

We are not unjustified in our boycott... Nor our dislike of they're business practices. I do not think calling for a boycott, to be hate...

With 40% of the player population subscribed we were 100% popular, meanwhile NC Soft keeps releasing F2P out of the box games and wondering why they can't get a loyal fanbase.

See that's the problem, they had a cash cow, a golden goose they killed to try to get all the eggs out at one time. Add to that strange business decision a complete lack of customer service, and ignoring and LYING to the customer base about potential buyers, and you have a company setting itself up for anger from the internet.

I for one, am boycotting. By voting with my wallet, sparse though it may be int eh scheme of things, I am showing them that I for one and many others like me, will not broke in this nonsense. They're stock values show the validity of this technique.

If they want us to stop, sell the IP and game over to someone who will care for it as we all do.

Thank you for your time,
Elvnsword

SCyberTaz  Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:49

"I think closing down the game was a good idea" said a Tier 9 VIP... NEVER!

Ok, no one said I was the sanest or most well-mannered player, far from it. But with NCLimp sitting on the intellectual property of CoH like they are. I doubt anything short of the company getting bought out or bankruptcy would make them sell it. They're like a fat kid with a cookie yelling "Mine!" I loathingly refer to NCSoft as NCLimp because of my low opinion of them and as a reflection of their stock prices. They hit a low of 141000 which was 38% of their all time high.

Yeah, the game was getting long in the tooth, but they introduced "Ultra Mode" even after NCLimp decided to shelve any interest in adding a sequel to City of Heroes. But NCLimp's never been about what the players want, they are all about profit and cost. Content = cost, and we know how much of an aberration CoH was in their folio compared to their other "grind" games.

It's also about NCLimp's stock manipulation. It would be interesting to see the stock sales / purchases by Kim and his cohorts at NCLimp's home office.
Did they buy stock right before Nexon bought in last year. Did they sell after it peaked?
Did they buy right before GW2 was released earlier this year?
Did they sell it again right as they announced their contempt for "western players" by closing down a title that was bringing them an estimated 10-12 million a year before costs.

This tanked their stock price, one wonders if their selling off their NA/EU NC Interactive to another of their holding companies they set up is another move to bump their stock price so they can sell more shares.

Only time can tell, they'll probably be buying back their shares just before DoA & Seoul Calibur err Blade & Seoul and Outlaw err Brave err Black err WildStar get released to China and the western markets. Those will probably make the hapless simple-minded mouth-breathers happier than a lonely, hyperactive sausage maker in a factory he owns...

And ExTitan, only the cowardly hide behind vague nicknames or choose to remain anonymous.

@SCyberTaz, The Oddfather of Champion and Exalted
http://www.facebook.com/SCyberTaz

Last edited by SCyberTaz, Dec. 14, 2012 at 02:30
Polartica  Dec. 13, 2012 at 15:18

ExTian....... I have never been racist, sprouted hatred or posted misinformation. The main issue I have is regarding NCSoft lying to us,disrespecting it's player base. So I choose to treat them like they treated us. I choose never to play any of their games.
I have tried other games, but none do anything for me.So I'll move on to no gaming. If NCSoft sell the right to COH,then I'll play again. If they make COH 2, not a chance. That doesn't mean I hate them.
I usually post on Save COH, COH and Boycott NCSoft on Facebook. I sometimes post on Titan.
Sure some get quite angry, nothing outside normality in our society. When a part of your life get's prematurely ripped from you and get fed lies about it.
Anyway, I feel others have replied sufficiently to what you've written ExTitan. No need for me to prattle anymore.
SINITA

ukase  Dec. 14, 2012 at 02:12

I used to believe and belong to the whole SaveCoH and Titan community until they got rather delusional and started spouting hatred every chance they got. CoH was a great game that I played for over 7 years, but unlike some people I chose to move on instead of spending my final moments in game angry and sad. While CoH was still profitable; it was barely profitable. It had seen a slow flat trend in it's revenue and was operating at 25% of it's peak subscriber base. When it was shut down only 40% of it's players were actually subscribed to the game (Per Matt Miller/Positron). As a subscriber for 7+ years I get really tired of these articles by people who "loved" CoH but couldn't be bothered to play and/or pay for years - and then wonder how such a thing as it's closing could happen. Here's a hint...not enough PAYING customers. Had CoH been more profitable it would not have been closed down. As for Mercedes Lackey and every other Titan member - they will come here and tell you "this" or "that" but most of Titan are RPers who simply can't let go of their "reality" and refuse to move on. CoH was a GREAT game, but it's gone and the time to move on has come...some people just refuse to let their land of fantasy die with respect and instead have stooped to racist tactics and plain misinformation in order to support their cause. For people trying to save a game about being a hero; very few of them act heroically.
While I can certainly imagine seeing things as you see them, Im inclined to believe that this "hatred" you mention comes from sadness and bitter disappointment. You may rely on one thing, I'm not a role-player. And my life is a lot more fun than playing CoH, most of the time. I mean, I don't have to worry about getting stunned in real life, lol. I do agree with your position of bewilderment when people that haven't subscribed in years or months claim how much they miss CoH. However, I do realize that economically, times are hard for a lot of people. I really, really like a filet mignon, but I don't buy them because I need other things. CoH is a luxury when you get right down to it. Most people that dropped their subs did so for financial reasons, I imagine. I can't fault people for common sense. No need to be an ex-titan. Just be an ex-coh player.

Jonfan  Dec. 19, 2012 at 01:43

Very good article about the most unique and amazing community and game I have ever known in over 15 years of playing MMOs.

No other game even came close to the spirit of the players and the development team at Paragon Studios. In CoH, you actually felt a part of something, not just another player in some game where people were more combative than helpful.

CoH brought more diversity, creativity and sense of community to the MMO world than any game since MMOs began. CoH showed the industry what an MMO could be and broke all the so-called rules about what can and can not be done in a game. It was truly amazing to feel the spirit that enveloped you when you played and, for the very first time in online gaming, I knew that the Devs were just as devoted to the game as the players were. The spirit there energized us all and we rode on a crest of friendship, community and excitement about our 'home' for over 8 years, only to have some soul-less corporation crush it in the most callous and inexplicable manner I have ever seen.

There has been a growing sentiment in the gaming industry that, at some point, all of the creativity that goes into a game becomes art, and no work of art should ever be knowingly destroyed and banished into the void, never to be seen or heard from again. It's just plain wrong.

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