City of Heroes Meta’s Verse: CoH Isn’t WoW
I’m breaking away from the news this week and doing a bit of an opinion piece. Something happened to me this week while I was playing with some friends and I need to talk about it because it’s a topic I keep hearing and I’ve had enough. One of my oldest friends in City of Heroes is against change. He is of the opinion that all the new things coming out, the direction the devs are taking us is towards a World of Warcraft route. That by the end of these changes we may as well be a WoW clone but with heroes instead of fantasy creatures. Now if this was the first time I’d heard this I would ignore it. But I’ve heard several people over several global channels saying this. And I’ve had enough. I won’t go into why I don’t think it’s like WoW, because honestly I don’t know. It was a game that I could never get into and know next to nothing about. I will instead go into the basic ideas people are trying to get across.
Anyone who has played City of Heroes knows that teaming means to rescue miscellaneous person X, get item B or stop villain M before something terrible happens and combat means walking up to the bad guy and hitting them until they stop. On my main character (a Katana/Super Reflexes Scrapper) I can completely stop paying attention when fighting minions as long as I keep mashing the same four or five buttons. With the new Apex and Tinmage task forces you have to stay paying attention. Be on yours toes, constantly moving. In terms of the fighting styles it is completely different from anything we have ever had before.
Why don’t people like this? It means the game is harder. Its resulted in leaders who more than anything are in charge of telling people when to do what. Why is this happening? Well there are two reasons. The first, the game is changing but the mentality of players isn’t. People still want to stand around and fight. But when you’re being targeted from orbit, you need to move or else you die. When people aren’t moving when they need to it becomes the job of the leader to start telling people when to move. And the leader becomes a glorified babysitter. The second reason is that people aren’t used to failing. Sure, it’s a game. And no one likes failing a game. But some people are so afraid of ending up face down, or maybe it’s the debt that they aren’t willing to take risks. Personally I’ve never had that big of a problem with debt. And when I team with people who are afraid of debt, or who take issue with my taking risks to make things more interesting I give them a saying that seems to stop them. “Debt ain’t nothin’ but a badge.” Change is bad? I don’t think so.
City of Heroes wasn’t stale. Things would suggest otherwise. Since the Alpha slot was unlocked every weekend two servers have gone into the red. This means that they have a large number of people on them. Many other servers have gone yellow. Now, thanks to the weekly strike targets servers are going into the red during the week. All of the servers are going from green to yellow at the very least. Numbers show that more people are logging in. More people are playing. At some points in the past it was next to impossible to find a team for anything. This is especially true of high end content. My favorite task force is the Lady Grey. Before the Alpha slot you couldn’t find 8 people to fill a team to do the task force unless it was a speed run. Now you see them being run daily. Especially this week while it’s the weekly strike target.
This has of course lead me to another complaint people have been having. One that for once I will agree is a valid point. It is (nearly) impossible to find a team that isn’t level fifty. Everyone wants those shards. And if they don’t want incarnate shards they’re after a notice of the well. Why is this the case? We have something new. And people jump at new things. Especially the weekly strike forces because they seem for now to be a limited time thing. The only way to get something before it comes out for the rest of the population. The real question that has to be asked is why, these people who can’t find non level fifty teams aren’t on fifties themselves.
The biggest worry my friend and other people have had is that City of Heroes won’t be what it has been for so long. That the game will change so much it will be unrecognizable. I think all those people need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Apex, Tinmage, Incarnate, Incarnate trials are all end game content. Something players have been begging for. But before you can get to that point there are fifty whole levels you have to get through. When things calm down, incarnates are old news everyone they’ll look back at this moment and laugh at how worried they were.
Maybe WoW did have weekly tasks with extra bonuses first, maybe they had raids with large amounts of people. Does that mean we’re turning into them? No. Does it mean we’re taking a step backwards from being industry leaders? No. Comparing City of Heroes to WoW is unfair. Saying if you want change go play WoW is ridiculous.
City of Heroes needed the change, its benefitting from the change that’s happened already and this has just been a preview of things to come. The grinding is gone, speed runs of task forces are all but at an end. I don’t feel like making petless masterminds or concept builds just to make the game interesting for me again. The game is interesting for what it is. My desire to play is stronger than it has ever been and I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming. Maybe you agree with me, or maybe you agree with the others. Either way I hope you found this informative and got some insight.
Just a reminder that starting Tuesday the Weekly Strike Targets will be Sister Psyche and Silver Mantis.
Meta’s Verse is written by Meticulous Meta who lives in Atlas Park with her dog Snuflé