The idea of having a guild quest isn’t new to Guild Wars 2, because I know TERA has them, and I’m pretty sure other games have something that could be called “guild quests” in function if not actual name. The idea is pretty cool: have a quest for all of your guild members, most (if not all) which require all or as many members as you can possibly get in order to complete the quest in the time allotted. It sounds pretty cool, certainly a way to get guild members online and working together.
A lot has been written, however, about how this system is “unfair” to small guilds. The entrance fee is somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 guild influence. Naturally, the more people you have online, the more often they are online, and the more they do, the more influence you earn, and the fast you will earn it. For some large guilds, earning influence is tough, but doable. Even when the members aren’t playing together, they’re all working towards contributing to the pool.
But small guilds are behind the 8-ball. It takes a lot of work for large guilds to get 30-50k influence, which means it’s neigh impossible for a small guild (>5, maybe <30, I dunno. There’s no official definition for “small guild”) to get anywhere near that in a “reasonable” amount of time. I put “reasonable” in quotes, because given enough time, anything is possible, but in this case, that possibility might be measured in years, not months, and certainly not weeks, even with the most dedicated of intentions.
The backlash is predictable: join a larger guild. GW2 allows people to join multiple guilds! There’s no reason why you need to abandon your smaller guild to join a larger guild, just sign up, and represent the larger guild to get in on the action, right?
Well, yes. Technically, yes. Emotionally, maybe even spiritually, no.
Around the web, there’s a lot of heavy-handed rebuffing going on when someone in a small guild bemoans the barrier to entry. People are being told to piss off, suck it up, join a bigger guild, that they shouldn’t expect a small guild to be worth anything in this game. It’s Guild WARS, and smaller guilds can’t realistically assume they have a chance to compete against massive outfits with hundreds of members.
That’s not the point, although for people who feel OK just jumping to a large guild, it certainly is. Those folks are more often in the joining for what’s in it for them, not what they can bring to the guild. A large guild, for many, is a giant pool of resources they can draw from for their own personal needs. The more resources, the better the chance that they won’t have to wait, or want, which accelerates their progression.
Smaller guilds are small, often by choice. They’re made up of friends who want an easy way to stay in touch. They’re made up of people who don’t want to get lost in someone else’s bureaucracy, or to be subjected to the transient whims of other people they don’t know. These small-guild members don’t want to be a number in a crowd, and they certainly don’t want to be used by someone who’s only there for what he can extract from a faceless mob. Small guilds form uniform, emotional attachments; large guilds do as well, but not in a uniform way. They’re filled with cliques of people who have played together for years, those who attach themselves to other cliques, and the people who never chat or never join the voice server. Which group do you associate with? Why should you have to work to be accepted, or to be noticed, or even heard?
That’s what small guilds do: they give everyone the opportunity to meet and to get to know everyone. If you’re in a small guild and you don’t fit in, you won’t last long: you’ll either get the cold shoulder, or will be shown the door, or will feel out of place and opt to remove yourself. If you’re the type to exploit the good will of others, you’ll be locked out in a small guild, because you’re expected to give as much as you take. You can’t be anonymous in a small guild, because what’s the point? If you want to shrink into the corner and be unnoticed, join a big guild where they don’t care who you are, or what you do, or if you play or not. They just want to be able to use your body as a recruitment tool to attract other people who believe that more bodies equals a better guild.
I’m not even that sad about not being able to participate in the Guild Quests with the Wombats. Sure, it would be nice to have a tool that could bring back some lapsed members like this system surely would, but personally, I’m used to not having access to all of the content (as a long time soloist, dungeons and raids are often off the table, and never mind about PvP), so missing out on this doesn’t really faze me. If given the opportunity to multi-home with a carefully screened guild that could disprove my opinion of large guilds, I’d consider it, but I’m not going to go out of my way to seek one out in desperation like those who enjoy exploiting large guilds are suggesting.
They call it…transmedia…or something like that. Defiance is both a TV show set to air in April, and a MMO from Trion, also set to launch in April. The conceit is that there will be intermingling between the two; you’ll see something happen on the show, and you might hear of it, or see it’s repercussions, in the game…and vice versa.
That’s potentially heavy stuff. I don’t watch a lot of TV — right now, it’s Downton Abbey and Continuum, in a weird juxtaposition – but when SyFy puts it’s mind to it, it makes some good series (Eureka, Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13). I’ve seen previews and behind the scenes shorts on the show which looked good, and found that Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape) is producing, and is scored by Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica)! Sadly, sci fi has been hit or miss these days. Remember Terra Nova? I wish I didn’t. But Defiance is produced and is airing on a channel that claims to be devoted to science fiction — Terrsharktoanchulacuda notwithstanding.
And then there’s the game, which I can say nothing about because of a silly NDA. It’s a pay once, play forever model, though, so no subscription which is something I heartily endorse. I had a lot of fun during the past weekend, and have decided to temper my future participation, lest I burn out like I did…with RIFT.
The real interest is that this is looking to be an avalanche of Defiance. It’s more than just lunchboxes and action figures (which may or may not happen, I dunno) because it’s something that’s ongoing (the game) while you wait for the next installment (the show). You never really have to leave the world of Defiance if you don’t want to (and that’s a question that will be answered once the game and show launch).
Will we be suffocated by Defiance, or will we be addicted? In keeping with the theme…tune in next time!
Ah, The Secret World. You launched during a rather unfortunate period in MMOdom, preceding Guild Wars 2 by a few weeks. Many people had long since committed themselves to GW2, and with your business model relying on a monthly subscription, tons of folks took you out for a spin, but the end result was widely the same: “Great game, but if only it didn’t have the subscription…”
Today — 12/12/12, incidentally — FunCom has yanked the subscription for TSW, which should give many people pause. The game is now buy to play (buy the box, play for free), so those who said they’d wait for when it converts…it’s time to put your money (figuratively speaking, of course) where your mouth is.
TSW is adopting the GW2 model, which is telling. After the horrific train-wreck that was the last high profile F2P conversion — you all know of which I speak — FunCom isn’t hedging here. They’re going with what is undoubtedly the most popular and least odious model. You still have to buy the game, but once you do, everything else is free. No arbitrary content locks. You get what you’d have gotten had you been a subscriber last month. If you wish to subscribe, you get an XP booster, $10 worth of cash-shop tokens each month, a free gift every month (like free clothing!), and a 10% discount in the cash shop. Lifetimers get this, but their cash shop discount is 20%! For the full rundown, check out this sexeh FAQ!
One downside is that they’ll be pulling back on their Issue updates. They tried for monthly, but this is a technical field; delays are unavoidable. FunCom will be releasing their updates less frequently than before, but certainly more often than a lot of other AAA MMOs do. Quality of life updates will be free, but larger updates will follow the DLC model, and can be purchased through the in-game store using the FunCom currency.
I have never regretted pulling the trigger on TSW‘s lifetime sub. It’s a unique game in a sea of elves and space marines, and it’s the true torch-bearer for MMO storytelling. I can’t play this at night, alone, in my dark basement because the atmosphere is that thick; Not an easy thing to pull off in a game that needs to be all things to all people. I really love TSW, and am very happy to see them opening the gates to all those who bemoaned the subscription.
So join the Templars on Arcadia! No pressure. Or is there…?
Jebus. I’ve never seen any project spew forth so many Kickstarter updates as the folks over at Greed Monger have been doing. Make no mistake, the constant communication is certainly welcome. KS has always been a place where people tend to question the involvement of the project owners: whether backers will be kept in the loop, or whether the project will go to ground with very few milestones announced, so it’s nice to see the GM team keeping the channels open.
So what’s in these updates? Most of them I haven’t been keeping up with, which is in-line with my M.O. in regards to unreleased products. I do most of my learning once the game is available to me, but I’ve been checking out some of the highlights this time, and have listed them here:
- They’re putting up screenshots. 99% are certainly a “work in progress”, but it’s proof that there’s something tangible there. They have screens of weather, day and night, some building placeholders, and most recently, early UI designs. I like the UI, despite some calling it “MMO derivative”.
- The parcel sizes were originally 20×20, but they’ve since updated them to 40×40. For some folks who have funded enough to get two parcels, that’s 80×40. They posted an image of what the original parcel sizes looked like for comparison purposes.
- There was a lot of updates regarding upper-tier pledges. At $2000, you could get a castle! I suppose that’s great for the “monocle and top-hat” set, but for us regular folks…meh.
- But we get horses!
- Since the GM team benefits from land sales, and since abandoned land returns to their control after a time, they posted an initial explanation about how that works. This is important, because someone will invariably pay for land, lose interest (and therefor, their land), and will return some day expecting to find it as they left it. QQing ensues.
- As their haul increased, they hired two new folks to help out with development duties.
- They put up an update about potentially renaming the game. I’m not a fan of the name “Greed Monger”, partly because I feel that it sounds redundant, and more importantly because I feel that it gives the impression that the entire point of the game is to OWN ALL THE THINGS! Sandbox games, to me, are about the player experience within the game, not about phat lewt hoarding.
- And last but certainly not least, this morning’s update mentions building…building. Some games offer housing, but they’re really restrictive, limiting you to “hooks” that serve as pedestals that you can build on. Apparently, GM will have an in-game blueprint tool that allows players to design their buildings using parts like walls, stairs, etc., based on skill and available resources.
This isn’t a comprehensive retread of their updates, which are available on their KS page, but again, it’s nice to see so many updates, with notable progress showing.
My interest in this project has grown accordingly. Other projects that I’ve backed that have had fewer updates have more or less fallen off my radar. I’m sure I’ll be surprised when I get either A) an update, or B) the project delivered, but I really don’t know where those projects stand. GM’s stream of consciousness updates are helping to maintain my interest, even though I’m not really diving deep into each and every one.
I wanted to write about PlanetSide 2, which just released yesterday, and I had originally penned quite a lengthy fan letter about it, but ended up trashing it because I recognized it as having been written during the “honeymoon phase”. Knowing me like I do, it’s a crap shoot as to whether or not I’ll enjoy the game by this time next week, so here’s a post that’s as objective as I can manage.
PS2 is a FPSMMO. You join one of three factions, and you’re unceremoniously deposited in the worst possible location for a player who knows nothing about the game to be dropped — a “hot” war zone There’s action all around: explosions, death, tanks and transports rumbling by, fighter craft and gunships overhead, and a metric fuck-ton of other players, both with and against you.
Your job in the game is simple: capture enemy-held points, and defend your own. And stay alive long enough to hopefully make a difference. That’s the game, in a nutshell, but it’s the road you travel that makes the experience. That experience is measured in terms of points (it’s more like an FPSRPGMMO in that regard), but PS2 is a sandbox FPSRPGMMO: you’re given the tools, and some high-profile options, but it’s up to you to create the stories. Will you be the sole defender of an outpost, sniping enemies from a secure location? Will you spawn a tank and and suppress the enemy defenses? Or will you be a grunt, charging across the field with 50 other players towards an onrushing force of 50 opponents? When all is said and done, the purpose of PS2 is to give YOU the experience that you can tell your friends about, whether you are beaming over a victory, or simmering over a defeat.
I like FPS games OK. I’d pick other genres over them when given a chance, and I usually avoid multiplayer FPS matches because of the reputation of their constituents as being difficult to enjoy. The good thing about PS2 is that the jerk quotient is diluted through sheer numbers (you’re actually more likely to encounter a d-bag on your own team than you will as an opponent). There’s so many people shooting at you or around you that nothing is personal. You’re just another target. On the flip side, though, everything is personal because downed players want revenge. Each knockdown is another mark in the rage column that fuels a greater desire to get back into the fight. Some folks may be coldly calculating the objectives as their goals, but I’d bet that for most, it’s the opportunity to reciprocate an untimely death that keeps people re-spawning.
So, some boring technical details, based on what I sussed out during my time last night.
As a new player, the key thing to remember is to stick with a swarm of teammates. There are so many opponents that lone-wolfing it will result in nothing but a quick trip back to the reformatter. Before you head out, though, check the loadout machines (the pistol icons) and study each option. Each class has it’s strong and weak points, naturally, so find a class you’d like to dedicate yourself to because as you progress, you’ll earn commendation points which can be used to grow your character. These point buckets are divided by class, and also by vehicle, so if you prefer to do nothing but buy vehicles all the time, that’s an option.
I played a medic for a while, and as much as it pains me to say it, medic is a good first choice for a new player for a few reasons. First, medics are essential. Second, medics get XP for healing and getting people off the ground (skull and crossbones), so you’ll be doing this a lot. You don’t have to worry about your accuracy at a distance, because medics work up close. When you see a team member with a green health bar over their head, they’re hurt — undamaged players have no visible health bar. I’d like to say that targeting a medic is a war-crime, but there’s a voice emote to call out enemy medics, so it’ll make you a prime target. Be warned!
I’d advise folks to check the game, even if you’re not a hardcore FPS junkie. Yes, there’s no tutorial. Yes, there will be people who play a lot, who level fast, and who are simply better than you, but I think the selling point of PS2 is in it’s population. When you’re in the middle of a group of other faction members, they’ve got your back: it’s in their best interest to keep one another alive because it’s more guns to lend to the cause. They’re also your meat shields (as you are theirs). Where they go, you go. Where they shoot, you shoot. And when the point soldiers explode in a fountain of rubble, you know to pull up and find cover. If you manage to get a kill, or even an assist, it’s a fantastic feeling…which is usually followed by a bullet to the head, but even that can’t take away how awesome it feels to be part of something on this scale.
Remember a while back when I said that Guild Wars 2 was my “unicorn game”, something mystical that had never been seen before on this Earth?
I may have jumped the gun a bit.
I’ve been all over the map for a few weeks now, having scaled back my GW2 time significantly since before the Halloween events. Part of it has to do with the blah of the zones that I’m in; sorry, I just don’t “feel” them anymore. Once I got the gist of these dynamic events and everything, it became more mechanical than anything: hit the collectibles on the map for 100% completion, so the daily stuff that needs doing, move to the next zone. Meh. I can do that in any game, really.
Beyond that, the Wombattery has declined. Naturally, the all time high body count of just around launch could never be maintained. We Wombats have a known history of gaming promiscuity, and there’s really nothing epic about this game that would cause us all to nail our feet to the floor and repent our flighty ways. Some have found their home, which is like finding a home for a shelter animal; you’re always glad they’ve found a happy place. But the majority of folks seem to have gone their own ways, and once I got used to having so many people excited about the game as a whole, it’s really, really hard — damn near impossible — for me to care about playing in a vacuum.
GW2 is fun, and well built, and I never blame a game for my ADHD. I really thought this one was The One, but it’s not. I’d uninstall it for the precious space, but I bought my wife a copy, and feel that I need to keep it there on the off chance that she might want to play. I’m sure it’ll end up back in my rotation, as so many top-shelf MMOs do, but I can’t say when.
When I heard that Star Wars: The Old Republic was going free to whatever, I thought it would be a good deal. I liked the game OK, but not enough to pay for it. But with no strings attached? I could meet up with friends, and we could casual-though it. I have some friends who don’t leap at any MMO in a skirt, especially ones with subscriptions, so it’s always a selling point when one rips out the turnstiles to let the masses in.
But…I should have known that not everything was going to go over well. It actually started back when the initial tsunami of SWTOR announcements were being made. I watched a video of some developer on the project talking about crafting and trade skills. I like crafting and trade skills when they’re more than just the “have mats; have recipe; mash em together in mass production; profit!” that you see in 99.9% of the MMOs out there, and really hoped that SWTOR would break out of that mold. Anyhow, said-developer didn’t seem too excited about talking up the crafting, because he fobbed it off with the (para)phrase “we’ll have crafting, because other games have it”. So, basically it was admitted that we couldn’t expect anything special, because crafting was being added to fulfill an MMO bullet-point, and for apparently no other reason.
Then, of course, the much lauded “fourth pillar” turned out to be a rotten timber holding up a rather weighty roof upon which the SWTOR hype machine was grinding away. Looking under the hood, then, revealed something that didn’t have any more depth than the loved/reviled World of Warcraft. Less, actually. Removing this pillar left us with nothing more than a trash-mob tower-defense game. We already know that crafting wouldn’t add a dimension to it, so in the end, a lot of people decided that SWTOR wasn’t worth the monthly sub, and turned their backs.
As much as I might have wanted to check it out once it went free to whatever, I’ve now decided that no, I’m not going near it, thanks to one sentence in this quote from a post mentioned in an article on Rock, Paper Shotgun:
One of our golden rules is that the Free-to-Play experience should not cheapen the experience for paying subscribers.
I get it. Subscribers come first. They pay the bills and that’s what keeps the lights on and the developers fed. I am 100% OK with giving subscribers the buffet, while the rest of us have to deal with the dollar menu.
But then the sentiment gets worse, IMO:
If it turns out that the Free-to-Play conversion results in a degraded Warzone experience once we go live for subscribers, you can rest assured that we will quickly make adjustments to the system to ensure that subscribers have an optimal experience.
Emphasis mine. People like free things. Make something free, and yes, you’ll get all kinds of people coming out of nowhere who want a free piece of something free, for free, no strings attached. And with no strings comes no responsibility, right? The popular corollary that you hear from subs in a free to whatever game is that once something goes free, it goes to hell because the “Free players” are all scumbag parasites who have no respect for the game because they’re not paying for it.
I expect this from players, because many gamers are blatantly elitist when they feel that they have the upper hand on whatever drives their ego that day, but we’re getting this from a company spokesperson in a public forum. Reading between the lines, BioWare-slash-EA is planting a boot to the stomach of a population they’re hoping to attract (read: convert to subscribers of a game most of them left in the first place because they decided it wasn’t worth paying for) by putting them in their place as second-class citizens in no uncertain terms.
Free to whatever players may cheapen the experience for their subscribers…how? Already, BioWare doesn’t think much of filthy freeloaders that they want to convert. Somehow, these free to whatever players will degrade the experience, apparently by fleshing out the ghost-towns they call servers, and possibly becoming attached enough to pass through the pearly gates of privilege, where they stop being the enemy and magically become a pampered and revered customer. It’s not so much that I disagree with giving perks and priority to paying customers; I don’t. At all. I do, however, think that the people they have talking for this game are either not very good a PR, and shouldn’t be talking, or are barely able to conceal their arrogance, and disdain for potential customers and/or the genre that this game inhabits. There are certainly better ways to say what was quoted above that didn’t make it obvious that free to play SWTOR players should expect to get pissed on as a right of the company, and the paying subscribers.
Here’s some free advice: a free player who’s a dick will still be a dick if they start paying. Treating potential customers like moustache-twirling villains who are looking to blow up the train tracks of fun being ridden by paying customers is a sure way to prove that the SWTOR machine has just given up hope of being as relevant as their PR machine wanted us to believe they would be back in the early days of the game. Personally, I was wary when I was given the impression, through an off-hand remark, that the game-to-be would only be paying lip-service to some mechanics “because other games have them”. I’m not a game designer, but if I were, and I saw that as a reason for adding a mechanic, I’d punch the person who rationalized it thusly in their donut-insertion hole. Add to that the storytelling “experience” that was supposedly so revolutionary, but which turned out to be basically a thin veneer on an otherwise rotten frame. Finally, using language in a public statement that pulls no punches in telling the people you hope to convert to paying customers that you think they’re blood-sucking freeloaders beneath reproach is really phoning it in.
Wow…Uh…I really just want to back off my statement, and to apologize for this rant because I violated the #1 rule of blogging: Don’t take your first source’s word for it, especially if it’s a quote of a quote.
Apparently Tramell’s comment is correct. This actually had nothing to do with F2P players “ruining” the warzone experience, but rather that subs converting to F2P would mean that warzones wouldn’t pop frequently enough for remaining subscribers. The “degraded warzone experience” being referred to is that: a poorer experience overall, and not because of an influx of F2P players. In that, I apologize.
But I still feel that F2P players are generally given the short end of the stick in terms of “class”, and that the overall SWTOR experience and presentation have been astoundingly lackluster.
It was a while back when CD Projeckt Red announced that their next game would be not just a cyberpunk themed game in the spirit of The Witcher and The Witcher 2, but it would be THE cyberpunk game, based on the pencil and paper RPG Cyberpunk 2020. They were kind of vague, aside from bringing out Mike Pondsmith, creator of the original, so today we welcome not only the official name of the game, but a new website for you to feast your eye-implants upon!
It’s called Cyberpunk 2077. The site is pretty content-light at this point, with some wallpapers (like the one above), and the seed of their ongoing blog.
I instantly signed up for everything they offered – Twitter, Facebook, newsletter, potholder of the month club – and have decided that although I don’t normally get involved in a game way before one week before release, I’m making and exception for this one.
This campaign to save City of Heroes has me wondering why I care whether this game that I currently do not play stays open, or closes down. I thought about it myself, and have seen other people questioning whether or not those making the decision should care about overtures made by people who aren’t supporting the game financially. It’s a decent point, if you side entirely with the frigid practice of profit and loss, and ignore all else. When it comes down to it, of course the puppet-master has the right to cut the strings or keep the show going – we supporters of the #SaveCoH initiative aren’t ignorant, and despite the appearance to the contrary, aren’t idealists.
I prefer to think of it this way: “Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything.” Simply throwing up your hands and saying “that’s life” is to acquiesce to living only one step above a vegetative state. You’ll accept whatever people tell you, take whatever life gives you, and won’t utter a whimper of dissent no matter what. I’ll admit that some things can’t be changed because we hold none of the cards, or lack key information. Our actions may not even dent the veneer of the situation. Thing is, unless we’re 100% absolutely, positively, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt certain that any action we take is a wasted effort, then we’ve already lost, and we should be prepared to continue losing in the future because no matter what we think we know, nothing (aside from death and taxes, they say) is a foregone conclusion.
Writing letters, signing petitions, and joining your voice with others to make your opinion known is what we here in the U.S. have been raised on. Sure, we could shoot someone in the face in order to make our point like they do in some places on Earth, but as civilized people we elect to choose a different route: show support for what we believe in. Push the agendas that we believe in. Make those in power understand that their decisions aren’t just words in the form of an edict…they’re ground-zero of a shockwave that has consequences radiating outwards to affect hundreds and thousands of people who do have a stake in the decision that is made, financial or not. This campaign is our attempt to show NCSoft that those consequences extend beyond their ledgers.
Saying that the CoH decision is based on profit and loss is true, and it’s up to NCSoft to do what they feel is best for their business, and their investors. I’m not happy leaving it at that, though, because products like CoH aren’t cans of beans sitting on a supermarket shelf, or cars that drive off a dealer’s lot. They’re organic products that are created by talented people who love what they do and who put in long hours doing it. These are services that change and grow over time. Most importantly, they’re presented to us with a naked plea: Please, love our game. Gamers in 2012 are fickle, and it’s truly embarrassing how many options we have, all vying for our time. We could go anywhere, and play anything, and these companies know it all too well. Despite the up-hill battle that they encounter trying to market their products to a demographic that is literally awash in high-quality competition, smart companies know that it’s not just the graphics, or the systems, but the emotional attachment to the game, the world, your characters, and your friends that they need to foster in order to make their game stand out. If a company wishes to make life or death decisions about their service while willfully ignoring the fact that their customers have invested themselves as asked, whether currently or historically, then these decision makers aren’t in tune with their customers. For a company operating a service, that’s a cardinal sin of the highest order.
There is no harm in trying, and despite what some people think, many of us who are not currently spending money on the game do have a vested interest in whether the game persists or not. We had opportunities to enjoy this game, and believe that others should too. We have memories, and opportunities to return, even if we’re not thinking of acting on them at the present time. Discounting people’s emotional investment as a valid reason to fight is frighteningly easy for some on the Internet. Maybe engaging NCSoft and the decision makes will be met with stone-faced silence, or maybe they’ll push their financial case to a point of begrudging acceptance, but it’s better for us to try and fail than to sit on the sidelines as the situation steam-rolls over us. Today it’s CoH, tomorrow it could be anything if decision makers are lead to believe that their target demographic could care less or not.
I submit that simply throwing money at the company isn’t a show of support. It’s easy to set up a recurring payment and be done with it; it’s a business transaction, like filling the car with gas or buying groceries, and none of which requires “any skin in the game”. If you care, you need to fight. I could easily sit back and excuse myself by saying that I’m not playing or paying, and it doesn’t matter to me if the game vanishes. But I do care, and because “trying” in this case costs so little, I can’t imagine letting it go without a fight.
Like a bolt out of the blue, a deadly meteor streaking towards Earth, or a monster from another dimension that appears suddenly in down town New York City, the announcement that Paragon Studios, operators of City of Heroes, was closing was unexpected. Among those who had played or currently play the game, it was also devastating.
As comics and super hero movies have taught us over the years, heroes are heroes for a reason: they never give up, and never back down. They take up the burdens of those who cannot, and see things through to the end.
It’s no surprise that there’s a movement to save CoH. MMOs aren’t like other games. While they have ongoing operating expenses which puts them at the mercy of financial hatchet-men, they’re also vehicles for the memories of thousands of players. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t played CoH in the past year, or two, or three. If you’ve played it at all, then there’s a good chance you’ll have memories of time spent and friends made, and there might even be a chance that you’ve been meaning to revisit those places of memory now that it’s free to play. We’ve become so used to our MMO characters being locked up in stasis for our eventual return. But if CoH shuts down, there won’t be anything to return to.
Although I am one of those who haven’t played CoH in a while, I want this game to continue. CoH is one of those games that my friends and I played a lot of back in the day, which is especially meaningful to me because one of my friends that I played with was killed in a car accident two years ago. He loved CoH, and spent many hours creating a fantastic adventure for our group using the Architect system. I had always counted on that adventure being there for when we were ready to revisit it, but that may no longer be an option.
Internet activism is hit or miss, but if we abdicate our chance to make a stand, we know exactly what the outcome will be. So how can we get involved in saving the game? Pete from Dragonchasers has laid it out perfectly, so thanks to him for this summation:
1) Sign the Keep NCsoft from shutting down City of Heroes! petition
2) Write a letter to NCSoft. Please follow the guidelines in this forum thread. Quick recap – Be polite and respectful, hand-write the letter, and keep it short. More info at that link.
Here’re the addresses you need:
Mr. Taek Jin Kim, Chief Executive Officer
1501 4th Avenue, Suite 2050
Seattle, WA 98101
Mr. Taek Jin Kim, Chief Executive Officer
Kangnamu-gu, Seoul 135-090
3) Attend the in-game “Unity Rally” on September 8th. This is happening on the Virtue server. Dress as your favorite Paragon employee! Again, details on the other end of that link.
Have more questions? There’s a “Save City of Heroes FAQ” that should help.
I had someone tell me that decisions like this were made as a result of “cold, hard business facts”. I think we’re all well aware of that, but I urge NCSoft to consider that MMOs are more than just faceless services. This is a game loved by many. It’s one of the oldest operational MMOs out there. It’s given a lot of joy to a lot of people, and these people are your customers. They supported you when they could have been playing other games, and as comic books have proven, there is absolutely no end to the possibility for stories and expansions that could keep the game as fresh and exciting in the future as it was in the past.
Gamers Rally to Save City of Heroes
What happens when a virtual world is condemned to oblivion? Dedicated players of the online game City of Heroes struggle for the very survival of their city.
Mountain View CA, September 6, 2012: The online heroes of Paragon City are currently in an epic battle. Not against the forces of crime and evil that they have been facing for eight years, but against the decision of a company that is preparing to turn off the game servers and end a game that has been running since April 2004.
NCsoft, the publisher of City of Heroes, announced last Friday that it is shutting down Paragon Studios, the game development studio responsible for City of Heroes. Operation of the flagship will cease by November 30 due to a realignment of NCsoft’s focus.
To its community, City of Heroes is more than just a game, it is a vibrant, welcoming community. City of Heroes was the first online role-playing game for many gamers, and introduced them to the wonders of flying through the skies and battling epic menaces with friends. City of Heroes has brought together families, offered comfort during troubling times, and inspired charities that have raised nearly $30,000 for children, members of the armed forces, and to fight hunger.
The City of Heroes community quickly rallied and formed a campaign to save the game from virtual extinction. “We’ve been saving Paragon City for eight and a half years. It’s time to do it one more time,” said Tony Vasquez administrator of the Titan Network, an alliance of City of Heroes fan sites (http://paragonwiki.com), and one of the organizers of the Save Paragon City! campaign.
Through social media outlets, fan web sites, and the City of Heroes official game forums, players have been organizing projects and events to convince NCsoft to allow the game to continue, exploring options including selling the game to another game publishing company or development studio. The “Keep NCsoft from shutting down City of Heroes!” petition initiated by a community member has gathered over 12,600 signatures and continues to grow. (http://change.org/petitions/ncsoft-keep-ncsoft-from-shutting-down-city-of-heroes) In addition, players have begun a letter writing campaign to NCsoft to demonstrate the reach of their numbers and convey the impact City of Heroes has had on their lives.
City of Heroes players have a non-stop schedule of activities to show their support. Saturday, September 8th, players are organizing an in-game “Unity Rally” and Paragon Appreciation costume contest in which players will dress up as their favorite Paragon Studios staff member (http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showthread.php?t=296768). This event will take place on the Virtue server starting at 5:00pm EDT. Organizers expect that this could be the biggest costume contest in online gaming history. Other ongoing projects beginning this week include a crowd funding drive in which the community has pledged to financially assist acquiring the game from NCsoft and partnership discussions with industry leaders regarding acquisition of the City of Heroes game property.