Meta’s Verse: City of Heroes F2P?!
By Meticulous Meta, OnRPG Journalist
We interrupt our scheduled completion of Meta’s Top 10 Issues to give you this breaking news.
City of Heroes is going Free to Play. Yes, I know it’s a big trend right now. And yes, I will be continuing to subscribe to City of Heroes. Not because I want the rewards. But because I am loyal. And you know, when I first read about it I was in a rage. I thought to myself there was no way I could possibly write a straight news piece because I am passionate about the game I have spent so much of my time and money on. But the more I read about the free to play system the more I get the feeling its nothing more than an extended, open trial. When the news broke global channels all over the game were talking about it. Most people logged in saying WTF. And I have to agree with them. I actually checked the date to make sure it wasn’t April Fools day. One of the great things about the City of Heroes community is the loyalty. I’ve only heard of a few people who have said they’ll be leaving. And they already had planned to, this was just an extra nail in the coffin so to speak. Everyone has been saying they plan to continue to pay for the game. So what is it going to entail?
Free to play:
2 character slots
Limited access to Archetypes, chat, auction house use
Super Groups, in game mail completely unavailable
Mission Architect, Server transfers, new zone missions, purchasable.
Read only forum access
Can form Super Groups and chat channels
400 free Paragon Points every month
1 free server transfer a month
VIP Only Servers
Premium in game customer support
Wait, Paragon Points? Yep! They’re going to be opening a store. Gone are the days of Booster Packs and Veteran Rewards. Instead you will be able to purchase such things in the new store. I admit that I love the Veteran Rewards system and will be sad to see it go. But at the same time I’m looking forward to being able to buy those rewards I really never had a hope of getting.
The free content releases will still be happening. Issue 21 is due to be released as Freedom as they’re calling it is released. VIP players will also be getting monthly story arcs, and full access to the incarnate trials. Does this mean Free players won’t have access to the incarnate trials at all? It doesn’t really make that clear. I can really say that I wouldn’t mind seeing the entire Incarnate system be VIP only.
They certainly go out of their way to make sure that people who pay for VIP access get rewarded in a big way. Yes, at first I panicked. I’ve seen other games go free to play and flop, while others have done it with insane success. I only hope that doing this doesn’t drive off the very loyal fanbase that the City of Heroes folks have worked so hard to get. I for one won’t be going anywhere. And now that I’ve calmed down I think I’m ready for the future.
But going free to play wasn’t all they announced. With the sudden and unexpected announcement came the announcement of Issue 21: Convergence. I have to say this is something I’m actually excited about. I am now left in a twisted up mess of emotions and I don’t really know what I should be feeling right now. So what is issue 21? I’ll stop teasing you and tell you now.
Issue 21 Features
First Ward: The first new zone for Praetoria. My inner fan girl just squeed a bit because I love the Praetoria story and finally I have something new to gush over. It is completely unlike the utopia of Praetoria as we know it. Described as one of Emperor Cole’s biggest secrets, First Ward was a failure. Praetorians are lead to believe it was lost to the Devouring Earth but the truth is so much worse.
Time Manipulation: A new primary powerset for Defenders, and a secondary set for Controllers, Dominators and Masterminds. Time manipulation is set to alter time in your favor. It will be available free to all VIP players.
Seed of Hamidon: The seed of Hamidon was sent into First Ward to pave the way for the Devouring Earth. Your job is to stop it before it can do that. Expect a fantastic new giant monster to take on during a zone event in First Ward.
The Underground: A new incarnate trial which once again progresses the story of Praetoria and shows that it really isn’t the utopia they would like you to believe. You’ll have to face off against Cole’s forces and Devouring Earth.
Costume Sets: Two new costume sets will be released. Not much else to say about that.
Galaxy City: Needless to say Galaxy City is going to be seeing some big changes. So if you like the zone as it is, well I suggest you see it now while you can. Because it is not going to be as it is anymore. It will be introduced as a new co-op tutorial where you learn about the ups and downs of villainy and heroics in our ever changing world.
I’m looking forward to the new issue and may actually finally give incarnate trials a go. While I’m a little unsure of the free to play model I will keep an open mind. As always I am a loyal soldier in the Paragon Army.
As a final note I would like to wish EMpulse farewell. You’ve been with us from the beginning and you will be missed by all. From the fanbase to your blossoming family we say congratulations and goodbye.