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Default Out of the blue, NCSoft to shut down City of Heroes

September 1st, 2012, 17:28
As an on and off fan of this MMO since its inception, this news has me pretty sad. It's especially surprising given how much innovation the game has had since its F2P launch with new powersets and incarnate abilities.

http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showthread.php?t=295621

This morning we announced that Paragon Studios will be taking to the skies of City of Heroes for the last time.

In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world's first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year. As part of this, all recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately. We will have more information regarding a detailed timeline for the cessation of services and what you can expect in game in the coming weeks.

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. By now, we've all been given this news internally, but to anyone who may be reading this message after the fact; know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed. To any potential studios looking to grow your team; hire these people. You won't regret it.

To our Community,

Thank you. Thank you for your years of support. You've been with us every step of the way, sharing in our challenges, encouraging us to make City of Heroes better, more than everyone else thought it could be. We couldn't have come this far without you. I implore you all, focus on the good things of CoH and Paragon Studios. Don't dwell on the "how" or the "why", but rather join us in celebrating the legacy of an amazing partnership between the players and the development team.

Thank you, and I'll see you in the skies, one last time.

Andy Belford

Community Manager

Paragon Studios.
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September 1st, 2012, 18:23
Sad for all of those who enjoyed (I never tried it). And for empoyees losing their jobs.

However, I am somewhat surprised that we haven't seen more of this. There are a lot of MMOs around now, and more coming every year. And they all have to fight for what's left after Wow has taken its (huge) share of players.

pibbur who no longer plays wow and is quite happy with that and is not at all tempted by the upcoming pandas but is a bit worried by the number of mmos he has and the fact that it's still 9 more years before retirement.

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September 1st, 2012, 18:26
There are too many MMORPGs for too small of a base.
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September 1st, 2012, 19:42
odd - I thot this one was doing well - that is, its one of the few that survive, but maybe NCSoft is having money problems, it can't compete in the new F2P market, or they think it leeches from GW2.

The superhero MMOGs have changed hands several times with Cryptic, it seems, creating three or four of them - which is odd as one was suing another (Marvel was Suing CoH because the players had flexibility to create their own costumes).

It looks like their Champions Online continues as does DC Universe Online. I didn't know Marvel Universe Online was changed to Champions.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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September 1st, 2012, 20:25
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
odd - I thot this one was doing well…
That was the general consensus amongst the players as well. Ever since the game went f2p, it has launched content-filled update after content-filled update. The last year saw more new powersets than in the prior three. Everyone thought the game was flourishing, so it was a shock to hear the news, and such brusque news too - "'In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease…"

It is undoubtedly related to the latest NCSoft losses for the second quarter, but as to why you punish a successful niche product to counteract the losses from Aion is beyond me.
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September 2nd, 2012, 03:22
Maybe it's just too small? Sure it's a plus but it's a little plus and isn't likely to go any direction but down after all these years. So end the show now and leave them wanting more.

I'm sad to see CoH go but it had an incredible run. 8 and a half years! When it came out, about all there was for superhero games was Freedom Force. A few months after it came out, World of Warcraft hit. Yet it lived on!
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September 2nd, 2012, 14:11
From the dozens of MMOs I've played, this was the second one I played the longest (after EQ's 2.5 years), I played it for about 1.5 years and enjoyed it a lot. Very fun (if you like playing in full groups, solo wasn't nearly as fun)
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September 3rd, 2012, 04:39
Yeah, solo was deadly dull for the first half of the game's life. You were either up against three minions or a minion and a lieutenant EVERY SINGLE BATTLE. Ugh. The difficulty slider helped with that but only somewhat.
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September 4th, 2012, 10:54
So first you make it F2P and after that close it for not making money? hmmmmm…….
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September 4th, 2012, 12:08
I bet there are other reasons.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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September 5th, 2012, 02:54
Guild Wars needs more server admins? Paragon Studio's tools have some sort of special license and that license price just went through the roof? Whatever effort/bandwidth that's being used by CoH's store is needed by Guild Wars? Dr. N. C. Soft's grandson got banned for making a Wolverine clone?

NCSoft is mum about the whole thing so far. There are dozens of theories about just why it happened. Whatever the reason is, it won't be enough to satisfy most CoH fans.
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September 15th, 2012, 17:27
The 2004 City of Heroes "bible of lore" has been published!

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BypR…N2M/edit?pli=1
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May 1st, 2013, 02:08
I miss this game more and more with each passing day You don't know what you have until it's gone.

ARRGH!
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May 5th, 2013, 02:51
Pththth, the hell I didn't! I put something like 10,000 hours into that game. I think I could still walk through most of the maps blindfolded.

I still haven't found an MMO where it was so easy to group with anyone you wanted. GW2 is the only one that even seems to try by letting high level characters go slumming in low level areas with nerfed powers so they can group up with new folks. The reverse wasn't there, though, last I saw.
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May 5th, 2013, 16:09
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Pththth, the hell I didn't! I put something like 10,000 hours into that game. I think I could still walk through most of the maps blindfolded.

I still haven't found an MMO where it was so easy to group with anyone you wanted. GW2 is the only one that even seems to try by letting high level characters go slumming in low level areas with nerfed powers so they can group up with new folks. The reverse wasn't there, though, last I saw.
yes but in GW2 people aren't really in a group. It's different people with the same goal, but you wouldn't know who was there, no group dynamics, nothing. After 2 months of playing I didn't know anybody. I don't consider that 'grouping'.
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May 5th, 2013, 16:55
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Pththth, the hell I didn't! I put something like 10,000 hours into that game. I think I could still walk through most of the maps blindfolded.

I still haven't found an MMO where it was so easy to group with anyone you wanted. GW2 is the only one that even seems to try by letting high level characters go slumming in low level areas with nerfed powers so they can group up with new folks. The reverse wasn't there, though, last I saw.
Have you tried Secret World? Obviously a very different kind of setting - but it's quite flexible when it comes to high-levels playing with low-levels.

It came out before GW2 - and it kinda works in a similar way, in that you can repeat (almost) all quests indefinitely - and though you'll receive reduced XP, you're always getting SOMETHING out of it.
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May 5th, 2013, 18:40
Have never played Secret World (nor do I wish to) but not sure if you understood what Zloth was referencing, Dart - in CoH, a lvl 50 full-blown hero could run lvl 1 missions together with his lvl 1 friend who was new to the game. Or the lvl 1 newbie could join his lvl 50 friend's missions. The player(s) would be scaled up and down accordingly. This also worked outside in non-instanced events such as alien & zombie invasions where upwards of 50-100 people could join in and fight together; this is most like what GW2 offers but nowhere as limiting.

Not only did CoH have this player scaling, but the costume editor, supergroup bases, well-implemented chat channel system, and the later customizable difficulties and Architect player mission creator were all ahead of their time. The attention to detail was also gratifying; for example, not only could you /friend people based on their global account names if they gave you their permission, but you could also rate another player (only visible to yourself) if you did or did not wish to group with them again. There were just a lot of little details that screamed of the love the developers put into that game. And it is missed greatly by many a player.

And that is all just mechanics. Some of the most care-free fun I've had in gaming was in CoH when in a full group of defenders or controllers. Defenders would be relegated to being healbots in your typical WoW clone of today - but they were more, so much more in CoH. And controllers? Well, one of my favorite variants had me at the center of a hurricane repelling and knocking back enemies into a corner so that the tornadoes I summoned could mince them into paste. Sigh. I miss this game. I'll stop rambling now.
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May 5th, 2013, 18:50
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Have never played Secret World (nor do I wish to) but not sure if you understood what Zloth was referencing, Dart - in CoH, a lvl 50 full-blown hero could run lvl 1 missions together with his lvl 1 friend who was new to the game. Or the lvl 1 newbie could join his lvl 50 friend's missions. The player(s) would be scaled up and down accordingly. This also worked outside in non-instanced events such as alien & zombie invasions where upwards of 50 people could join in and fight together; this is most like what GW2 offers but nowhere as limiting.
Secret World works a lot like GW2 - and I didn't mention CoH. Zloth mentioned GW2 as the only other game he knew of that did something to alleviate the issues we're talking about.

I'm glad CoH had a lot of scaling options - but I wouldn't know them, because I couldn't stand the game.

Very much like GW2 - Secret World will grant XP to high-level players (though there's really no level as such) even when doing the starter quests.

It's not quite as blatant as the scaling in GW2 - but it's close enough that I thought I'd mention it.

Also, it's true that neither game scales upwards. I personally think scaling is something that needs to be handled with care - and that it should fit the game. It wouldn't work well in a lot of games.

As for CoH - being very much about one samey instance after the other (that was how I felt when playing it) - I think it was a very good fit. It didn't feel like a progression journey through an evolving world - but more like a lobby game in a bland cartoon environment.

Secret World is a very different and very unique game. It has the best writing and the best quests of any MMO I've played - but it has a lot of issues as well.

Not only did CoH have this player scaling, but the costume editor, supergroup bases, well-implemented chat channel system, and the later customizable difficulties and Architect player mission creator were all ahead of their time. The attention to detail was also gratifying; for example, not only could you /friend people based on their global account names if they gave you their permission, but you could also rate another player (only visible to yourself) if you did or did not wish to group with them again. There were just a lot of little details that screamed of the love the developers put into that game. And it is missed greatly by many a player.

And this is all just mechanics. Some of the most care-free fun I've had in gaming was in CoH when in a full group of defenders or controllers. Defenders would be relegated to being healbots in your typical WoW clone of today - but they were more, so much more in CoH. And controllers? Well, one of my favorite variants had me at the center of a hurricane repelling and knocking back enemies into a corner so that the tornadoes I summoned could mince them into paste. Sigh. I miss this game. I'll stop rambling now.
We all have our fond memories of various games

I'm not a big fan of instance-driven games - and while I found CoH novel in terms of mechanics and the setting - I found it very bland in terms of atmosphere and hugely lacking in terms of appealing content. Indeed, it felt like a somewhat faceless game focused around combat and mechanics - and lots of people seemed to be content with that.

None of the other Cryptic games appeal to you? They seem so similar to me. I admit, I never played their other superhero game much. I even forgot what it's called.

Personally, I miss UO the most (I know it still exists) - and I can't figure out how a genre that started out on such a high note has devolved into what it is today.

Well, I know why - I just lament it.

But I'm sorry to hear that Cryptic shut down the game. Maybe it will open up as some kind of public version like what happened with SWG?
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May 5th, 2013, 23:17
Yeah, altering to group size really does require instancing to work best. Scaling to level so low level players can play with high level players makes spoilers almost inevitable, too. City of Heroes was a collection of short stories, really, so the spoiler damage was minimized.

I did play Secret World, actually, and I was VERY impressed with the setting. I also really like the skill system there, which lets me mix and match all sorts of things. I actually got a bit overwhelmed by that skill system and decided to put the game down for a bit to let the game "settle" a bit before I started making more skill choices. "A bit" has turned out to be quite a few months, unfortunately.

The thing there is that I really felt like I was playing a single player game with tons of other people around. It's not like they were kill stealing or anything but it still spoiled the mood a lot to have five other people scouring a library for clues to the 'ancient mystery' or mowing through spawns.

If I remember right, the way you played with lower level characters was to simply remove your high level gear and equip low level gear - and I suppose stick with low level skills as well. I guess that will get the job done but it sure is a lot of work for the player. Plus all the story stuff seems to be balanced for a single player so even if you nerf yourself, it seems like you would have to confine yourself to just the group-oriented quests.

I don't think City of Heroes ever got to the point where ANY character could team with ANY other character ANY time but it was that way at least three quarters of the time. The ability to play whatever character you wanted on a given night no matter what your friends were playing was a great boon.
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May 6th, 2013, 11:52
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Yeah, altering to group size really does require instancing to work best. Scaling to level so low level players can play with high level players makes spoilers almost inevitable, too. City of Heroes was a collection of short stories, really, so the spoiler damage was minimized.

I did play Secret World, actually, and I was VERY impressed with the setting. I also really like the skill system there, which lets me mix and match all sorts of things. I actually got a bit overwhelmed by that skill system and decided to put the game down for a bit to let the game "settle" a bit before I started making more skill choices. "A bit" has turned out to be quite a few months, unfortunately.

The thing there is that I really felt like I was playing a single player game with tons of other people around. It's not like they were kill stealing or anything but it still spoiled the mood a lot to have five other people scouring a library for clues to the 'ancient mystery' or mowing through spawns.

If I remember right, the way you played with lower level characters was to simply remove your high level gear and equip low level gear - and I suppose stick with low level skills as well. I guess that will get the job done but it sure is a lot of work for the player. Plus all the story stuff seems to be balanced for a single player so even if you nerf yourself, it seems like you would have to confine yourself to just the group-oriented quests.

I don't think City of Heroes ever got to the point where ANY character could team with ANY other character ANY time but it was that way at least three quarters of the time. The ability to play whatever character you wanted on a given night no matter what your friends were playing was a great boon.
Well, you don't have to downgrade your gear - though it would obviously be pretty boring to have L10 gear against L1 enemies. Especially for the low level players tagging along.

But otherwise, I think we largely agree about Secret World. It works best as a singleplayer game. The emphasis is on atmosphere and rather cerebral quests. It's not a good format for playing with others - as you either miss the best parts of the game - or you're going to have to stand around a LOT waiting for other players to finish their stuff.

Personally, I've never had that much trouble with the whole "high-level" vs "low-level" thing. If I play these games with friends - we tend to make a set of characters that we only play together, and then we play other characters separately. So, it's not really an issue for me.

Also, I think it gives the game a very "fake/gamey" feel to just scale everything. It doesn't feel quite right to me.
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