Almost a decade ago my brother got me addicted to my first MMORPG, “City of Heroes,” and since that point I’ve travelled much further down the online gaming rabbit hole than I ever expected. So when he told me that Paragon Studios (the creators of CoH) were shutting down their servers this year, I initially was sad to see it go, but at the end of the day it was something that I knew would happen.
Back in the day, CoH was fantastic, and there are still some things that Paragon Studios did that I wish would become more the norm in MMORPGs. The most important to me was the level of personalization you could give your toon. From picking their powers, altering their costume, and even writing their own biography; you had enough control to pretty much create your character from the ground up. My personal favorite out of all the bio’s I wrote, was for a coffee house barista/ beat poet, named Beatnik Barry.
Powers: Super Strength, Invulnerability, Super Speed
During a rather intense poetry slam at the coffee house, Java Jive, it became aware to the employees that they were about to run out of coffee. In a desperate attempt to ensure this didn’t happen, they started to mix coffee with anything they could find.
After drinking down what would later be identified as a mixture of French Roast and uranium 238, Barry hit the stage to perform his poem, “Quiet Sasquatch Whispers.” To the horror of the audience he transformed on stage form a scrawny, 5 foot nothing pipsqueak, into a 7 foot tall, muscled, monster.
Barry still works at Java Jive.
Even though there were aspects of this game I loved, it just couldn’t keep up with juggernauts like World of Warcraft. To make matters worse, their story lines, and game play started to get stale. Eventually I just walked away from my characters and Paragon City only to look back once with a weak wave goodbye.
In the end I think Penny Arcade was able to wrap up how I feel. In short, either you get it, or you don’t.
Farewell City of Gyros, farewell.