City of Heroes (Episode 12)

Posted on December 28, 2011, in Episodes. Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Oh man… the game has shut down. And I was just watching this episode to find a game to play….. shoot!

  2. NCSoft just announced that City of Heroes will be shutting down its servers by the end of the year. There has been no explanation as to why, and it came completely out of the blue despite the game still seeming to be healthy.

    Many people have found this both shocking and baffling.

    Just wanted to post that up here.

  3. I must say, I was personally looking forward to seeing what you had to say of DCUO, as Ive quite liked the other reviews, and it struck me as quite surprising that CoH ended up winning.
    But, the bit in the video made a good job about explaining it and it even comes by as amusing, and indeed, as a sort of commendation to the fanbase.

    It is this appreciation of the fanbase which actually gives me a bit of an interest in trying this out, considering what I had previously heard of the game back in the days had been a bit mixed with some off-putting stuff (and WoW having much more of a hook at the time *ahem*), and honestly the idea of having to pay to access the whole game (even if not much) or some perks or “upgrades” only being available through ingame currency are still quite the turn-offs for me.

    So anyways I did want to ask: any chance of you doing a review on DCUO ?

    Now I understand this has just been done for a superhero MMO, so Im certainly not expecting a “soon” for it.
    And I know its not like there is a shortage of other varied titles out there which could fall in for the show (specially if you’re including MOBA and sport-RPG’s), so Im just wondering if its going to be considered at all.

  4. Clawsandeffect

    First off, it was a pretty fair and balanced review that covers the majority of the good and bad points of the game. Even though I’m a 6+year veteran I’m not going to say the game is flawless.

    There are, however, a few things that need to be mentioned.

    First: Your mention of the Help channel was brief, and didn’t mention that Help actually reaches more players than Broadcast does. Broadcast is limited to players in the same zone as you, while Help reaches players on the entire server, regardless of where they are or whether they are a hero or villain. As a result of this, many veterans (who have access to global channels) choose to use Help quite frequently, and if you ask a question there is usually a veteran or two paying attention to the channel that can answer it for you (if you play on Pinnacle one of them is frequently me) Help also has no limit on how many people can use it, while the player created global channels does have an upper limit. When the hybrid model was first released, a fair number of players were upset that the Help channel was being used as a de facto Broadcast by new players, but they have since relaxed.

    Second: The amount of money required to really open up the game for you is small. Less than the cost of buying a console game, and easily providing more entertainment for the money spent. Reward tokens are earned by spending money on the game or by time you have subscribed. Tier 3 opens up pretty much all the chat channels and allows you to send tells. You will reach tier 2 for $5 spent (the first purchase gives you a reward token, regardless of the amount), and you will reach tier 3 for an additional $15 (it does not have to be all at once). The single most game changing thing you can purchase in the market is an Invention license. That will cost you an amount of points that equals about $2 for a 30 day license. So, if you don’t care about the other stuff in the market, you can unlock all the chat options and have access to Inventions for a year or more. All for $20, which is well worth it if you like the game enough to want to play it regularly.

    Third: The slow pace that was mentioned several times. As other people noted, as you get higher in level you get more powers to use, which gives you something to do at any point you can imagine. At level 50 you will find that you have acquired more powers than you can feasibly use in one fight, and many players take powers that they have no intention of ever using, just because they have to take SOMETHING at that level. Intelligent use of your enhancements plays a role as well. Using just SOs (the best you will get without paying anything) you can cut the recharge time of a power roughly in half. Doing so will result in lower values for other attributes though, so you have the choice of getting the power back faster, having it deal more damage, costing less endurance, or being more accurate. Or you can combine the types of enhancements you have slotted and have a little bit of all of them. It does not appear that you got to a sufficient level to use Single Origin enhancements in your review. Things get much better once you can use them at level 22.

    Fourth: PvP. PvP, in spite of the changes a couple years back that virtually gutted it, is still quite fast-paced and takes full advantage of the fact that you can go UP as well as moving along the ground. That said, there is a steep learning curve and you will have to learn how your powers work in PvP as opposed to PvE. There’s also the high probability that a new player will be VERY frustrated when attempting to fight a veteran PvPer, due to difference in skill level, and the fact that the veteran will most likely have a lot of Invention Sets slotted, which will push their performance well beyond what a new player will be capable of. That said, it’s fun to mess around with with your friends, but it’s not a big selling point of the game. The game was not originally designed with PvP in mind, so it was quite a surprise how broken some things were when it was introduced.

    Fifth: You mentioned not being able to speak on class roles at higher levels. Basically, Tankers tank, Defenders defend, and Blasters blast. It doesn’t change much as you level. One of the nicer things about the game is that the “Holy Trinity” of Tank/Healer/DPS is NEVER required to succeed in anything in the game. The way the class roles are set up, and the overlap between them, means that while everyone can be useful on a team, no one is strictly required. In fact, one of the most powerful team combinations you can have at higher levels is a team of 8 Defenders. That would be the fantasy MMO equivalent of entering a dungeon with a group of nothing but healers. It’s powerful because a team of 8 Defenders can buff each other into gods and/or debuff enemies into kittens. And even a Defender’s lower damage is respectable enough, and gets damn powerful when you add debuffs into the mix.

    And last: Your review mentioned it being fairly lonely in the game. The time of day in which you play has a lot to do with that. The average age of CoH players skews a little older than some games, so the game starts getting more active in the late afternoon and early evening most days, coinciding with when people have free time after work and school. The population has been estimated (fairly accurately I’d say) as fluctuating in the neighborhood of 100,000 to 140,000 or so. That’s not quite as impressive as WoW’s population numbers, but it’s pretty damn respectable for a 7 year old game.

    Your review did a good job of hitting the major points of the game. The only thing you failed to really hit is the fact that the pay-for options are fairly cheap compared to some MMOs, and you unlock the chat functions when you spend money on other stuff, rather than spending money JUST to unlock chat functions. I understand being frustrated with the communication issues, but like I mentioned above, the Help channel is actually superior to the original Broadcast in terms of communication breadth, and is available to everyone.

    I was also somewhat amused that my vote for CoH to be covered was one of the ones you scrolled past when describing the community’s support of the game.

    So, I guess my review of your review is favorable? It was a fair assessment overall, even if I disagreed with a little bit of it.

  5. I’ve been enjoying these reviews. I didn’t even CoH had a community this dedicated. Well, the more you know.

    I haven’t played CoH, but it looks interesting. It’s not really my cup of tea, however.

    Try Elsword as one of your upcoming reviews. It’s very fast paced and feels quite different from other action MMOs. Just a suggestion.

  6. A fair well done review.

    I do agree with the people who mention that enhancements can change the ‘slow’ pace of combat. While the ones initially available, Training Origin (TO) only provide a modest boost, 8% I think. when you reach level 12 you can purchase (or if you’re lucky) get Dual Origin (DO) enhancements as ‘loot’. DOs are twice as effective as TOs, and when you hit 22 you can get Single Origin (SO) which are twice as effective as DOs; so you wind up with a roughly 32% boost. With the enhancement slotting system, you can put 3 of the same kind in a power; so your level 22 character could put 3 recharge SOs into an attack, cutting the base recharge time 96% (without getting into Enhancement Diversification (ED), we’ll just call it the in-game cap. You can read up on ED elsewhere). This stacks with Hasten (which you can also put recharge enhancements into) to further cut down on the time.

    I’ve been playing CoH for over six years now, and have tried EVE Online, LoTR, STO, and WAR, and so far CoH is what I keep coming back to.

    On a related note, as Twoflower mentioned, with the in-game loot/crafting system, you can create characters able to take on large groups of enemies that are higher level than you, and do it on a routine basis. Especially with the post 50 content available now.

  7. I started playing CoX when that CoV pack came out (you know, the one with the Heroclix in it)
    I played on my older brothers account, then made my own and played for roughly 5 months V-side. I dropped the game due to funding problems and real life intruding for a long time. Them my little brother tried a free trial and I dug up my old account and gave it to him. When he said how much he liked it and that he’d invited a friend and joined an SG, his enthusiasm piqued my interest. I rejoined with a new account4 1/2 years ago or so and I have nearly never gone without a subscription since. I have to admit that my return was really great when I joined my brother’s Super Group ( The Avant Guards)

    I have tried CO, tbh I dislike it allot, I hate the interface, controls and am a long-time anti cell-shading activist. I mostly tried it to check out the costume creator, which is the best thing about CoX imo. I have not tried DCUO and probably won’t, it doesn’t sound like something I’d like to play. I HAVE tried WoW, and love the Hunter class, but the class balance seems overly broken to me. I also got tired of leveling when I hit 65, I just didn’t want to go another 20 levels.

    Sorry for the ramble : / these are just my opinions on some MMOs I’ve tried but they are mostly preference, I am not bashing anything.

  8. Really like this series; been watching for a while now.

    Got back to playing CoH after seeing this review, and really like it. II tend to hate hassling with zillions of items that most MMOs thrive on giving you, so this is a nice simple and uncomplicated one. I like the combat, too. Less flash. You can come up with methodical combos that work well.

    Don’t like that the enhancements keep going out. You should be able to get more, and upgrade them to a higher level, rather than have to scrap them and get a whole new one. It’s a neat concept, though, and provides good variety.

    Also, some of the better NPC pathfinding out there. I’ve had a couple escort and follow missions, and the NPCs do a great job of keeping up. Might not happen often enough in games to make a note of it in reviews, but something to look out for.

    Regarding reviews, would you consider adding technical information? Either in the review itself, or just post it in after the video. The download sites tend to not tell us how big of a download we’re going to face, or what it will do to our system. You mentioned the NCLauncher that had to be updated, so it might just be a case by case basis sort of thing, but it would be nice to come here and at a glance write off an MMO to try, because they have 2 gigs of crap to throw at us. Or to give one a shot, because it’s small, and my comp can easily handle it.

    Yes or no, great job in any case.

  9. I’ll agree with the Majority with your Review. You’ve given a decent Free-Player perspective of CoH/V.

    Now please bear in mind that City is a Subscription Hybrid game (Focus on Subscription). It has been stated that Paragon/NCSoft focus is on the Subscription (aka VIP) player. But as Trent mentioned, if you spend $5, your Chat and Super Group options open up some.

    Now also keep this in mind: For the Free/Low Tier Premium player, you’re experiencing, for the most part, CoH/V before the introduction of the Crafting System (Issue 9) nearly 5 years ago. And honestly, While the Invention Origin Enhancements (IOs) make aspects of the game better, what you encountered is balanced around what can be purchased through Gameplay (Standard, Dual, and Single Origin Enhancements).

    Speaking as a 5 &1/2 year vet, You gave City of Heroes a decent Review. Thank you.

  10. One thing not mentioned in the review that needs to be about the Freedom system: If you have subscribed in the past, or are subscribing now and wish to go to a non-subscription experience, you will not lose anything you’ve paid to unlock, such as the extra ATs, or being able to use the Invention system. You also get more character slots, based on how many you earned through time subscribed or by purchasing slots with real money, and none of your characters will be erased for good. They’ll just be locked out until you either start subscribing again, or use an unlock token. There is very little that a Premium level player (former subscriber, or one that has spent money in the Market to earn rewards) cannot do. The chat system woes are not a factor if you have ever paid money to play this game.

    One piece of advice for future reviews: please stick to the lingo of the game you’re reviewing. There are no quests in CoH. They are missions. There are no guilds. They are called Super Groups. You might be trying to compare this game’s experience with what is familiar to players of other games, but you also make it sound like you really haven’t done much research or actually played the game if you can’t get the terminology right.

  11. I’d like to add to the comments about the pace of comment with one simple recommendation – Hasten. It’s one of the powers in the same pool as Super Speed, and it cuts the recharge of every power you have to 60% of what it otherwise is for two minutes. Its own recharge time seems a bit long, but it affects itself, so it takes very little effort to get Hasten up at least most of the time, giving all your powers a much better cooldown time, and letting you have at least two minutes’ worth of a much more complete attack chain, even at low levels.

    Though yes, as many people said, once you have a lot more powers, and better +recharge rate enhancements/buffs, combat becomes a lot faster-paced at the higher levels. A lvl 50 player spending any time not doing something at the upper levels is generally held, stunned, sleeped, or dead. And even holds, sleeps and stuns don’t stop Blasters, due to that class’s innate ability – they just slow us down a bit. :)

  12. Fairly even handed review, good job. That is why we think you are great at this – You might not get everything and miss some subtle nuances; but you come at it from the perspective of someone who is new to the game, which is what other new people should be hearing. And your play/pay/pass rating system gives a lot more information than arbitrary fractions (I’d like to see more gaming review sites switch to a model like this).

    A couple of things of note; While I’m not entirely sure to what level you took your character(s?), the combat improves immensely in the later levels. While the recharges on your powers do slow things down considerably in the early levels, as you level up (gaining 1 new power ever 2 levels until 32), additional powers start filling in the gaps. Giving full attack chains, and much less waiting for something to recharge.

    Fortunately low-level enemies have a similar dearth of abilities. Those red and gold steam-punky soldiers that face-planted you several times in the video were balanced around characters closer to 35-40(+). Even though the side-kicking system allows you to fight alongside your team-mates at their level – the truth is that you still lack the tools to effectively deal with them.

    (also, you mentioned a lack of auto-powers, you can set a single attack at a time to auto by ctrl+clicking the icon)

    And finally, RE the cash shop, I would have liked to see a bit more in-depth info about the “massive rewards pyramid”, Some of the things it unlocks alleviates some of your concerns – a simple initial $5 purchase promotes you from ‘free’ to ‘premium’, and removes a good chunk of the chat restrictions.

    As for pvp… you’re not missing much. It’s a long story. :/

    At any rate, thanks for this review, as a 7 year veteran of the game, I have dealt with the quirks for so long that they are second nature at this point, it’s refreshing to hear from the other side of the coin.

  13. I just wanted to say I’m happy to see you reviewing this. I’ve been hoping that the game would win and I’m glad to see it featured. I would note that CoH official facebook account put out a request to vote in the poll as well which probably contributed to the massive amount of votes. Chances are thought he developers themselves got the news from the board post.

    Also I’d ask anyone reading Twoflower’s comment about the loot system to disregard it. CoH does have a loot system but it involves getting crafting components which can then be turned into enhancements. Couple this with the fact that you can just simply buy all the enhancements you will ever need at shops and the loot system really just becomes a min/maxing type of system. It doesn’t compare to killing something and having the uber +5 sword of awesomeness just fall into your inventory. It’s just never going to have the same visceral feel of acquiring loot that more loot driven games is going to have. I for one consider this a good thing. I hate playing the loot game. I log on to play a game, not play the futures market on a collections of bits whizzing through the internet.

  14. Harming your actual customer capacity to communicate in what is decidedly a social game is a huge no-no. The Free To Play players are too valuable to everyone involved to put those sort of restrictions on them. It literally makes me cringe to see CoH resort to this, as there are far better ways to address the root of the problem (the currency sellers / spammers) than make everyone suffer for it. Really it comes across as them trying to inconvenience me so hard that I’ll give in and break out my wallet.

    Oh well. Another fun episode here behind us. Another comment from me asking for NEStalgia to be reviewed. One of these days you’ll break and do it, perhaps.

  15. Few things – and I’ll put myself as “mildly disgruntled long-time player,” having really just left … mostly from things you didn’t get to see (and won’t, as a free to play or premium.)

    I’d call the review 80% fair, especially when it comes to chat and such. I do want to point out a few things though. From what you showed, you just didn’t get that high in level – so, yes, combat *is* slow (and endurance is more of an issue, as are the “value” of enhancements – training origins dont’ do much, and you don’t have many slots.) I almost never, in mid to higher levels, find myself lacking something to use.

    Loot… No, the loot system isn’t like other MMOs in many ways – and in others it is. Part of it’s tied to the costuming options, though. While you can get (for instance) wings, there’s no stat or ability tied to them (unlike, say, “To get better armor, you need to replace the current set.” Even with modding, most MMOs I’ve seen have you replace things – meaning you can’t really pick and stick with a look for most of your career without gyrations.) Consider COH’s “loot” as being auto-looted and dropped right into your inventory, no need to click. You can sell it, or (with the invention system… again, something you don’t get to see without paying) use Invention Origin enhancements. These also take care of one of your complaints – namely, they don’t expire. Put in an IO that does (say) 16% additional damage at level 15, it’ll do 16% additional damage at level 50.

    Basic enough – but that same system also opens up “set IOs” which add other bonuses, sometimes in the forrm of procs (say, chance to hold or additional damage of a different type,) but quite often just by adding some percentage of some stat (defense, damage, range, recharge.) This can be quite powerful – allowing some of the more powerful or game-changing abilities (your tier 9, or a Dominator class’s Domination, for instance, which gives status protection and stronger controls) to be essentially permanent when you get enough.

    PVP… for most of the game can be summed up as “LOL.” There was halfway decent PVP in the game through issue 12. Major changes came in issue 13… which drove the majority of the PVP community away. Unlike most of the MMOs I’ve seen, you can’t walk in and expect your powers to be (mostly) the same – say, with a little damage reduction or something to even things out. No, you’ll hop in and find your defense vastly different, your holds lasting a fraction of the time they did, and some “lol” powers in PVE being overpowered in PVP (or did the fix Flurry yet?) There’s no status protection as in PVE – you *will* get held, even as a tank – it just affects duration. For the most part, other than the occasional event from a few diehards, on most servers the PVP zones and arenas are dead (other than people going in for other reasons, like exploration badges or to get pet “helpers” like the Shivans.) It can be fun, yes – but it’s been essentially dead for years now.

    ATs – Lower level, as you mentioned, no real differentiation. Higher level, yes, they grow apart – but you still never need the “holy trinity” of Tank/DPS/Healer (and many Empaths and Pain Domination users will bristle at the term “healer” – the buffs are FAR more useful. And a non-Empath Defender will probably be grinding their teeth at being called “healer” as well.) Plus, you can run a team of just defenders, for instance, and cause quite a bit of jealousy at the damage/speed/defense (etc.) that team gets. (Look up “Repeat Offenders” for a super-supergroup based around this.) Yes, some powersets do better than others solo, or versus certain mobs, but nothing requires a team or a certain archetype or powerset.

    I will say one thing that has irked me in other MMOs that doesn’t happen in COH (given the genre, it’s appropriate) is that you can face mobs of bad guys routinely and win. Going through and having to pull apart a mob because two of something will likely wipe the floor with you – even if they’re not “elites” or “bosses” – I find really irritating, and it’s one of the things that does make COH stand out (and has kept me in until recently.) Plus, of course, my characters are *mine.* I don’t end up looking like everyone of the same class within a few levels… I think those two together really kept me around. (meanwhile,the fascination with Praetoria, the Well being in everything, and Incarnate-this-that-the other… little to none of which will affect a free or lower-level Premium player – pretty much finally pushed me out.)

  16. Fair review of the game i love, thank you.

    As most state, we have tried to get them to loosen the chat restrictions, it’ll come, just wait, we are not going quietly into the night!
    Super Group (Guild) access is granted as a premium player, to become a premium player all you need to do is spend cash on the game. Even a one time payment of $5 in Paragon Points will upgrade a F2P account to Premium, and will unlock a lot of content, and lift several chat restrictions.

    This is my 1st, and still only MMO i play. I have been here for 2.5 years, much shorter than most of my friends, but i was glad i found people who helped me and taught me so much about the game. That made me do the same now for others.
    I can not comment or compare CoX to any other MMO, i never played them, i have seen footage but that’s it. All i can say, withing hours of playing this game, i became addicted. I have several level 50 toons, 50 is the level cap, but most of the time i play just one toon.

    If you never played this game and you want to try it out, most of the servers have a bunch of great people on them. As stated, Virtue is the Role Play server, so if you’re in to that, check it out. If you want to have fun, and enjoy the game with people who want to help, pick any server. I’m on Guardian, my toon Nephila is well known on the server… See you in game :)

  17. City of Heroes/Villain combat is not really “slow”. It only seems to slow when you are lower levels and you have few attacks. Once you are higher level, you get more powers and you can slot for -recharge so the recharge timer is greatly reduced.

    I’ve played Champions, WoW, WAR Hammer, Lotro and Rift and I feel City of Heroes’ pace is faster than most of them. Champions seems faster only because you are constantly attacking with Energy Builder and things die a lot faster in CO than in CoX.

    The game does have crafting/looting system. You don’t need to actually click a “dead body” to get loot. The game automatically gives you loot which is great because your combat is not slowed down by looting or clicking “need, greed, pass”. Every player has similar chance of getting good/bad drops. You also don’t need to feel bad if you click “Greed” on something you can’t use. It’s really not other people’s business to know what you choose IMO.

  18. All it takes to open up chat restrictions is to buy something… anything in the cash shop. My daughter spent a mere five dollars on the shop and she could chat away with anyone she liked.

  19. The chat restrictions are pretty harsh but there were a ton of gold spammers out there that were sending tells and in all the channels and they had to curtail that. You can still use local chat though, which is seen by most people.

    I can kinda get that you feel combat is “slow” but it’s basically the inverse of WoW.
    In my short stint there, I saw that you had to “powerup” then release and you could do that more often (same with Aion). Over here, you basically shoot, wait a few seconds, shoot, wait, shoot….some of the archetypes have a lot of attacks (Blasters, Stalkers, Scrappers) so that helps.

    It is an old game and the review was very fair so we thank you for that.
    I’ve also been playing for a ton of years so it’s easy to lose track of how rough it can be to new people. Still, you can use IM systems, Ventrilo (fairly common now) or email to let your friends know when you are on. A friend of mie just joined and he just emails me to let me know when to join him.

    Overall it’s a fun game. One of the best features is you can generally take on 3-5 equal level mobs and wins, and movement is quite fast. Both were dealbreakers wth me in Wow.
    Thanks for the review!

    Oh, as for loot…you can get wings and unlock costumes in game in various tasks but mostly the loot in seen the Powers field of a character description; look for long lists of “set bonus” (basically permanent powerups) to see who has twinked their bulds.

  20. Yeah a lot of the community went against the huge chat restrictions that came through but Marketting and the devs refused to budge. To the point they actually disabled a way which let free 2 play people communicate with non-free 2 play people. As Two Flower said, we get WHY they did it but still, it makes the biggest aspect of CoH, the Community, completely seperated from the Free 2 play community.

  21. The City of Heroes chat restrictions are a pain, yes, but we did what we could as a community. Paragon City marketing just wouldn’t budge. You can, however, make the most of it by using the Help channel. I know it’s intended to be used for getting help, but as it’s the only broadcast channel available to Free accounts, it’s more or less become the meeting ground for low-level characters. Most people who need a team but can’t ask for one broadcast there, it seems.

    As for the slow pace of combat, that seems like a bit of a misnomer, though I admit to not having played World of Warcraft. You’re bound by power recharge, yes, but you are also not bound by a global cooldown, so you’re actually only as slow as the combined recharge of your powers. Speaking of room for min-maxing, calculating the uptime of your powers and finding a seamless “attack chain” is one of the bigger things. You can also enhance your powers for recharge, making them come back faster and you get a good number of powers to use pretty early on.

    The sound and music design IS lacklustre, though, especially music. I keep asking for something to be done about that, but you take what you can get. The studio does employ a “sound engineer” now, however, so some of then newer powersets (not available for free…) sound a lot better. At least a lot of the grating looping sounds of powers were made to fade away. Once upon a time, the constant creaking, whining sound of Forcefields, for instance, could drive a man insane, but now they quiet down after a while.

    You really are as good as people think you are, Chaos :) Sure, there are other stuff I think you could have said, but I’ve been with the game since its Launch and that makes me very obviously biassed. It was nice hearing your account as more or less a brand new player. If you choose to stick around, by all means do so. The City of Heroes community actually enjoys brand new players :)

  22. For me it was the slow combat that really turned me off. The combat system is a deal breaker for me when it comes to action MMO’s. If Im not having fun with it by the time I reach level 15 then Im out. I dont do the whole “but it gets fun once you get to endgame” crap. Its no different than the “the first 60 hours of a game that’ll take you 65 hours to beat kinda sucks, but once you get past that 60 hour mark then it gets REALLY good”. Personally I found the combat to be smoother and much MUCH more intuitive in CO than I did in this game.

    After reading so many comments about how good this game was I had high hopes. There were things I did like, like the travel powers and the way you could augment your combat powers in addition to other parts of your character. I liked the inspirations, they were useful enough to warrant using them consistently and dropped frequent enough so you didnt have to horde them like a squirrel preparing for the winter months. I liked the contacts, Im not sure why. I guess it was cool to see my character use a cell phone.

    Aside from the combat, I didnt like how vague the mission instructions were. I dont expect a giant arrow that says “GO HERE” but when the mission says “Go to the park and find the entrance” and you spend 45 minutes looking for an entrance only to realize that you werent actually supposed to into the park because the entrance youre looking for is on the side of a cliff just outside the park, then something doesnt add up. Plus add in the fact that you cant even ask somebody for help because of the chat restrictions. Just do what alot of other games with the ‘pseudo free to play’ model uses, have a global chat and a local chat with a level restriction on global chat, and a level restricted message limit on the local chat (i.e. at level 1 can only send 1 message every 10 seconds, at level 10 2 messages every 10 seconds), with local chat being visible only to those with in the immediate vicinity of your character. Finally, the last thing I experienced that I didnt like was the fast respawn with the slow combat. Those are two things that dont compliment others very well and only serves to demonstrate how flawed the combat system is.

    These are just my opinions, take them as you will.

  23. I did consider trying CoH when it went F2P, then I discovered the chat and supergroup restrictions. It’s like they missed the point of an MMO entirely with that, and it turned me utterly off on the game.

    That said, after watching the review, I think even if that restriction was removed, I’d still stick with Champions Online. It sounds like CO is more refined and tweaked than CoH in many respects. That and honestly it looked kind of drab graphically. But that may just be me.

  24. Hey if you ever want to do Guild Wars then I can help you if you want. I have a lot of experience with the game save for a few PvP areas but I know someone who does a lot of PvP to balance that out. Also I am that same guy who offered the same on the Guild Wars 2 mesmer page at Blistered Thumbs sorry if you read it already.

  25. It’s fascinating to see the game played by a relative newcomer. I’ve been there for seven years, all the way since beta — a different perspective.

    You bring up some very valid points about the limitations when you’re a purely free-to-play level. A lot of the stuff is purely extra of in-depth, like other archetypes or mission content on top of the ridiculous amount of mission content already present — but the strict limits on communications and guild membership are definitely questionable decisions on Paragon’s behalf. I get WHY they did it, but there has to be a better way to do things than that. Fortunately, the Help channel all players can talk on plus the strong community means you won’t be completely up a creek.

    As for things you hadn’t reached yet, due to your level or pay status… there is actually a relatively complex loot and crafting system in there, which allows math-crazed min-maxers to really go nuts with making characters capable of soloing content intended for eight people. There’s also a raiding system in the endgame for subscribers which rides the line between being casual-friendly and in-depth enough to keep your interest. Still, if you want to get to that level of game complexity, there’s a pay wall of one sort or another.

    Thanks for taking a look. The CoH community is passionate, and it always helps to get more insight into how the game plays from inside and outside that community.

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