I recently jumped back into City of Heroes as it’s gone free-to-play and my vet status meant most of the game’s features were unlocked right up front. CoH is an MMORPG that launched in April 2004 and as anyone who has played one of these games will tell you, MMOs are designed to be massive time sinks. It gets even worse because the typical $15 monthly fee makes you feel obligated to login and do something even if you don’t particularly feel like it because, dammit, you’re going to get your money’s worth! That’s what’s nice about free-to-play (F2P) — you can play as little or as much as you like and saunter along at your own pace. There are usually some things you can’t do without paying (obviously the publisher needs to generate revenue somehow) but it’s easier to fork over $5-10 whenever you feel like it instead of being on the hook for $15 every month or no super hero (or villain) for you!
The best part of the game is probably still the character creator. Here are a few I’ve made recently, as making endless alts is pretty much a required part of the CoH experience. I’ll elaborate a bit on the game’s current incarnation in another post.
Punch Bull continues the fine tradition of names based on terrible puns. He’s a level 20 super strength/willpower brute. His specialty is punching things really hard. As you can see, his main costume is a boxing outfit, a raging bull, if you will. His tail wags.
My latest in a series of robot-like characters, Mint Laser is a level 20 beam rifle/electric manipulation blaster. His specialty is shooting things with extremely loud beams of energy. If those things get up in his grill he can switch to punching them with glowing fists of electricity.
His second costume will be something delightfully retro (and extra minty).
Frank Lee Feathered
Finally (for the moment) there is Frank Lee Feathered, a level 14 plant control/earth assault dominator. I originally had given him wings but I found them a bit distracting, so while he looks like an eagle he acts more like an ostrich. Further underlining that is the fact that most of the earth powers require him to be on the ground to work. His second costume will probably have wings.
More on how these kooky characters play and what the game is like with the hybrid F2P/subscription model soon™.