City of Heroes - the er, official thread

  • WriterUK 30 Apr 2004 18:09:15 58 posts
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    Oooh, I've never done one of these before. Is there a procedure? Ah well, I'll try anyway.

    I got City of Heroes from today. \0/

    If anyone around here has also got it, and wants to -ahem- team up, in superhero parlance, or is just looking for someone to strike a superheroic pose in front of, well I'll be there.

    At the moment the unofficial 'Euro servers' seem to be Victory and/or Pinnacle, so I expect I'll do my first character(s) on there.

    Also, if anyone wants to know more about the game, just post in here and I'll let you know in an unbiased fashion.


  • Monsta 30 Apr 2004 19:50:08 1,276 posts
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    I'm thinking abotu getting in on the action.

    can we have a first impressions and also details on the cost front

    having never been involved in one of these mmorpg thingys how much time do you really need to dedicate to it. I'm more of a jump from game to game person so i'm not sure if its really for me

    on the topic of mmorpg's are there any good free ones or ones with free trials that i could give a go and whichs ones would people recommend
  • Kami 1 May 2004 01:40:18 2,662 posts
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    Theres Ryzom, which is still beta but it's open beta. Not bad, not brilliant. But things can only get better and you still have to realise, it's beta and not a finished product.

    You can download client from Fileplanet. 'Tis a big download. But pretty good.
  • WriterUK 1 May 2004 23:11:31 58 posts
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    Well I'm in now; very easy to set up and running sweet on my PC (P4 3Ghz, 1Gb RAM, Radeon 9800.. I think).

    I'll do more extensive impressions later - want to get back to it. If anyone's online, I'm playing on Pinnacle as Wolfshead, but might change to another server / character soon.
  • Pirotic Moderator 1 May 2004 23:53:17 20,640 posts
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    im tempted to pick this up, but i dont like paying for a game until i know it'll run ok on my machine.

    normally i get demos or try them out, but thats not really possiblle with MMORPGS until they release the "free trials" (normally when the client sales have slowed down).

    plus you can never trust the "recommended specs" as some companys just make them up on the fly.

    :p anybody have a mid-spec PC and care to comment?
  • oldskooldeano 2 May 2004 22:53:01 2,903 posts
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    I might hold off for the euro release but if not I'll buy off gamestop. There are ppl at work playing it, but I haven't asked them, so I'll ask you. How much is the subscription? 15 USD? plus VAT for being European? and how about umm.. 'bug freeness'? Buggy as hell or pretty good? Community? Fun and friendly or boring shitegobs? Content present, or to be added at a time undetermined? This is the kind of stuff I need to know before I commit my money to another MMORPG rip-off publisher (bitter? me? Naah!) ;)
  • WriterUK 4 May 2004 14:42:22 58 posts
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    Hello again all! Alright, will try to answer some questions first. I must preface all this by saying I'm an MMO newbie really, so excuse me if I don't pre-answer specific queries you might have... but feel free to post away if I don't cover something.

    On cost... The base cost is $14.95 if you pay in monthly chunks, with no extra 'European taxes' I can see. You need a credit card, although you can buy game time cards if you live in the US (or don't mind importing them, but you'd need a CC to do that, so...).

    The cost comes down (slightly) if you get billed in bigger chunks. I can't find the exact pricing anywhere right now, but I know I'm paying $13.95 a month because I went for a three month plan, so I pay three months at a time.

    On performance... Can't really comment on this I'm afraid. At the moment I'm running as I said on a P4/3Ghz, 1Gb RAM, Radeon 128Mb 9800 Pro card, 512k ADSL. It's working great so far at 1,024 x 768 resolution, with all the graphical doohickeys whacked up high.

    There's quite a few windows on screen at once so I may up the res and see how it goes, but it looks mighty fine to me right now.

    I'm sure if you posted on the official boards you'd find someone who could tell you if your spec was up to scratch. For the record, the official minimum specs are:

    - Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP
    - Intel Pentium® III 800 MHz or AMD Athlon 800 MHz
    - 256 MB RAM
    - 4X CD-ROM Drive
    - 2 GB Available HDD Space
    - GeForce 2 Series or ATI Radeon 8500 Series Video Card
    - DirectX 9.0
    - 16-bit Sound Card
    - 56k modem

    Surprisingly, I've seen people saying the game plays fine on 56K modems. Which brings me to....

    Lag or otherwise and for me, it's been very much 'otherwise'. I'm spending most of my time on the Victory server, which I believe is situated on the East Coast, and while I haven't been playing too much in US 'prime time' (eg I haven't been on in the middle of the night!) I've had no lag to speak of, at all.

    Admittedly I haven't experienced any of the uber-battles you might see later in the game, but even on my (sometimes flakey) BT Internet connection I haven't had one disconnect, which has impressed me.

    Bugs? Er, what bugs? I had a few unexplained crashes on the first couple of days, but I updated my (gulp) year old drivers to Catalyst 4.4, and away we went. No crashes since.

    I understand from the official boards that the 4-month plus Beta went really well and a lot of time was spent ironing stuff out. To be honest, I haven't had a single bug affect my play experience yet, and haven't seen anything really weird in-game (discounting the flying people, giant rock men, clockwork robots walking around... ;) ).

    Community seems to generally be fun and friendly at the moment. Sure, there's the usual MMO gripers ("Why isn't this the best game ever already?" blah blah blah) but everyone I've played with has been a bundle of fun. I'll cover this more in a 'first impressions' post, as it's part and parcel of that really.

    One thing I will say here is that the official site is jumpin' with activity, and Europeans are all over it too.

    And that's it for this long post... another to follow. :)
  • WriterUK 4 May 2004 15:19:44 58 posts
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    So, first impressions. Well, impressions after a Bank Holiday weekend, anyway. :)

    I freaking love this game.

    But I say that as a gamer and superhero fan, not an MMO fan or comic hater... which I think is an important distinction to make.

    I haven't played any other MMORPGs for any length of time. I played EverQuest (probably 3, 4 years ago) and really wasn't impressed by it. At that point I quit and didn't think anything of it, to be honest - good riddance to bad rubbish.

    I was very tempted to go for Star Wars Galaxies, but when I started to hear more and more about the myriad professions and the endless level grind, and less and less about, well, shooting Stormtroopers and wielding a lightsaber... the less I cared.

    Oddly enough, I wanted to play a game in the Star Wars universe so that I could be a hero in the Star Wars universe - not a wookie hairdresser.

    So with City of Heroes, which I tracked for about the last two years I guess, I wanted to do one thing: to be a hero, and to feel like that.

    Which, if you ask me, the game does in spades.

    While it's not a complete, total 'superhero experience' (things like secret identities, vehicles, 'batcaves', soap opera-like plots etc are currently missing) this is the closest you're going to get right now to 'being a hero' in a game.

    The character generation system is utterly simple to use but with a huge amount of depth. The highlight is of course the costume generation portion, which lets you create insanely detailed costumes that, to be frank, look really cool (unless you have no sense of style/colour co-ordination...). I have spent hours just playing around with and tweaking costumes to get them 'just right'.

    The variety of heroes on display is staggering as a result, and while my experience is limited in MMOs, I have to say it's pretty unreal to see a huge gathering of heroes flying / jumping / running around in front of you, all looking completely different.

    People frequently stop and check people's costumes out, or do 'power displays' for each other, just to see the effects. I still haven't gotten over seeing a hero take flight in front of me, or when another hero I was teaming with, when asked where he was, just said "Look up".

    For me, that's very cool.

    And I should stress 'for me'. I totally love the setting of Paragon City, the idea that you can be a hero within that, and the general 'comic book feel' of the whole thing. It's cheesy at times, sure (eg the acronym names of all the hero organisations; DATA for science heroes, for example) but for me that just makes it work. If it was dark and gritty, it'd be a different game; you need a very wide canvas to allow all the different heroes to thrive.

    Sorry, I'm rambling - well, eulogising. Let me be game specific for a moment.

    Someone asked about content. Now, I'm no authority on this, but some people on the official boards are saying there isn't a lot. Granted, the game is almost entirely about combat; go somewhere, beat something up, come back and get the next mission. There's no crafting or anything like that. I think there's the guild equivalent with superteams, but you need to be level 10 to start one, so I haven't gotten there yet.

    For me though, the combat is just great fun. There's so much variety in powers, if you're teamed up with a few different heroes, you're going to see some pretty wild stuff. Bad guys getting levitated and then dropped; fire, ice and electricity arcing about; guns going off; psychic blasts flying about; villains flying about (knockback happens on some powers).

    That's before you enjoy the spectacle of the bad guys, who even in the early 'zones' are cool. The Clockwork are a bunch of, well, clockwork like robots, that clank and whirr and fire electricity (been dealing with them a lot - I'm a Technology origin hero). There's street gangs like the Hellions (magical origins) or the Skulls, with corresponding colours and insignia. And there's even these zombie-like cadavers that puke acid vomit which have been whupping my ass of late....

    To be honest I think I'm just at the tip of the iceberg with this thing, in terms of character development (which seems well judged and balanced) and exploration of the game.

    Sure, there are things I wish (and many others wish) were there; capes, to be petty, and environmental damage (you can't crush cars / throw things / make like the Hulk). I don't think you'll miss this though.

    I'm happy to talk more if anyone wants to know more. And if you're persuaded to pick it up, right now I'm known as 'Lasergrid' on the Victory server. (Wolfshead is being retired!)
  • Zeitgeist 18 Oct 2004 14:08:26 811 posts
    Registered 14 years ago
    I played it for a few months when it was first released.

    My overall feeling from the game was what a waste.

    Nice graphics, nice smoothness overall.

    I just found the game to be extremely repetative. It didn't seem to matter who you fought against, every battle went exactly the same way.

    There was little depth to the characters development which was by and large non-existent, after a certain amount of time changes to the way your character played, were rare indeed.

    Battle in games is inherently samey, the way an MMORPG gets around this and adds longevity, is to supply over time, a variation of spells, equipment, levels, abilities, attributes or powers.

    Each time you gain some of these, your ability in battle changes and you can 'battle' in a different manner adding to the longevity of not getting bored.

    CoH uses just levels, and tied to those powers.

    Given the general notion that level 2 is easier to get then level 22, what you begin to recieve becomes far and few between.

    Now considering battles are pretty much unchanged for rather too long periods. There is another factor that lends to the feeling of mindnumbing repetativeness felt while playing this game.

    Travel. CoH has ingenious travel powers that are great fun for the first weeks that you have them.

    The problem lies squarely on the shoulders of the quest or mission system. Which all too often involves travel across multiple 'zones' which are huge. Some even with the fastest travelling possible, are a good 5 mins one end to the other.

    It seems such a small amount.

    Except when you consider that you spend 5 mins to the quest giver, 15 mins to the mission entrance, 25 mins in the mission, 15 mins to the quest giver.

    You realise you spent 30 mins travelling, and only 25 mins actually completing a mission.

    They had a good idea to alleviate this, introduce a phone service, but by the time you get a quest giver to use the phone they tend to be not far off telling you to go to speak to someone else. Back to square one.

    First impressions of this game are great, its easy to not notice the very small but continual things that bring the game down.

    Once you have played for a longer period of time the little things you barely notice become whopping great big peices of annoying crap.
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