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City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play

The City of Heroes Website announces that City of Heroes Freedom will launch later this year, brining a free-to-play component to Paragon Studios' MMORPG. This will be a hybrid method which will still include subscriptions as well as the ability to play gratis. There's an interview on the topic on Gamasutra, and here's word on what this means to existing subscribers:

All current City of Heroes subscribers will automatically be upgraded to VIP accounts when City of Heroes Freedom launches. When City of Heroes Freedom launches, you will continue to enjoy all of the subscription benefits and content you enjoy today, as well as brand-new exclusive rewards, features, and services. Additionally, beginning on July 1, 2011, you will earn 400 Paragon Points each month. When City of Heroes Freedom launches, you will become a VIP player, and you will start with a tidy sum of Paragon Points to spend in the new in-game Paragon Market.

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20. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 22, 2011, 02:36 Slashman
 
Well from what I understand...if you were a sub before you still get stuff. I think you become what is called a Premium Member. Its different from a VIP but I'm a bit fuzzy on what you get exactly.

I'd say waiting is a viable choice as that's what I'm going to do.

Either way, you'll still get more than what Champions is giving for free. That's a definite.
 
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19. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 22, 2011, 01:29 Veterator
 
I had probably half a dozen characters. I was in an SG but ....I doubt it exists and really don't care if it doesn't.

The character I played the most was a mastermind. So are you saying a resub for however I wanted to play. Or a resub to get the VIP flag before it rolls over to the f2p model?

If there's no benefit to being subbed when rolling over that I can't get later, then I can wait and see what's changed when f2p comes out.

I know I was super pissed when I couldn't get access to the unlock at max level archetype on my villain....because they hadn't put it in yet for villains. I thought I'd get access to it when I hit 50 villain or not.
 
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18. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 22, 2011, 00:44 Slashman
 
Ironically, Veterator, you'd probably be in a better position if you just resubbed.

Most of the outcry from the current subscriber base is centered around the fact that they don't want to play with the F2P crowd and there is only going to be one exclusive VIP server. So if you don't have a gajillion characters as is the norm for regulars who currently subscribe and a huge SG base that you want to move over to the VIP server, then I'd say go for it.

As a past player, I'm only going to jump in for free play to see if anyone I know is still there once this all goes live. I left the game a few months ago with no real intention of going back.

From what I'm seeing...you don't lose any powers or your ability to choose them like how Champions does their F2P. You just don't get access to Epic Archetypes(both hero and villain) and you don't get controllers or masterminds. Unless you pay that is.
 
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17. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 21:09 Veterator
 
So.......VIP is going to be like a purchase thing for f2p? Or are you VIP when you subscribe?

I had an account there..bought city of villains and played for a bit. They've added more stuff so I have no idea how that translates for me.

Wondering if it'd be worth it to sub up to get the VIP flag if it means something once you drop the sub.
 
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16. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 20:05 Slashman
 
The lowdown is that VIP players get all the stuff they had before and access to all Archetypes. They also start to accumulate free points for every month they stay subbed. Its pretty much business as usual in terms of access to all your stuff. In addition if you didn't have Going Rogue before...you will now have it as a VIP member.

Free players get access to all ATs except for Masterminds, Controllers and Epic ATs. They get all the powers and options at each level that a normal player would. What they don't get is access to all content and special items like Booster packs and their accompanying costume pieces etc.

The whole thing is listed on the website.

Also...VIP players get a VIP only server where no free players are allowed.
 
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15. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 20:01 Acleacius
 
SOE is SO FAR BEHIND the curve on F2P. smedley and his farce of a F2P EQII, are such a joke, both.

Vanguard would do extremely well with F2P, similar to LotR. Except the hardcore base probably couldn't take the fact that Flying Mounts could be bought in a store. Even if it meant if it meant a x100 increase in paying population.
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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14. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 17:41 Ant
 
I wonder if the game is any better since City of Villains beta? Is CoV going to be F2P too?  
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13. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 17:21 Shineyguy
 
Thanks Kanniball. I might want to go back and play CoH again. I have my CE DVD around somewhere, and I'm pretty sure I also bought CoV at some point too.

CoH was the first MMO that I really got into. Was very addicted to it at first, and always had a good time playing. My main was a blaster with flying (basically my take on Iron Man/War Machine). Loved that character, my scrapper was really fun to play as well.
 
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12. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 16:01 kanniballl
 
Verno wrote on Jun 21, 2011, 15:56:
The F2P in Champions Online was insulting, ripping out basic functionality to get money was just dumb. They might as well have just kept the subscription.

Probably couldn't. The population numbers were also REALLY bad in Champions before F2P.

I recall shortly before they went, a Saturday afternoon had only 2 or 3 instances of Millenium City with like 70 per. And the other zones were pretty bad too.

I'm pretty sure that without F2P that Champions would've had to fold. F2P brings in more micro transactions, and the increased population gives the Golds a sense of activity.

That being said, it's too shallow of a game for me. With my new rig, I'd rather just play CoH. And with color customization I can stay "in concept" easier than back-in-the-day... though it would be nice to have brawling AND blasting in one toon (without guns/swords).
 
"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurama
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11. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 15:56 Verno
 
The F2P in Champions Online was insulting, ripping out basic functionality to get money was just dumb. They might as well have just kept the subscription.  
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Playing: Gauntlet, Dark Souls 2, Wasteland 2
Watching: Intruders, 24 Live Another Day, The Signal
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10. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 15:52 kanniballl
 
jacobvandy wrote on Jun 21, 2011, 15:32:
I poked my head in DCUO the other day just to see what was going on (I still had the free sub going from after the hack) and the beginner area was a ghost town.

And Champions, ugh... I'll probably never play that again because of how gimped the F2P is. In the 30 days after I bought it for like $5 on a Steam sale, I created an Iron Man-type power suit hero and played him up to level 25 or so.

It got REALLY REALLY bad just prior to the hack, I tried a little after and it was still fubar. There are pretty much only 2 or 3 populated servers anymore (like 1 PvE and 2 PvP) which is why they want to go to megaservers/merge.

Meanwhile people keep abandoning their toons to go to filled servers. But even the popular servers aren't THAT popular anymore.

As for Champions, that stinks. I know they are just about to release (or just recently released) the Force F2P powerset, I have no idea when Power Armor is coming up. Actually, my main is now a great Power Armor toon.

I went with a pre-release lifetime which paid for itself by the time I stopped (mostly) playing. I don't play that much anymore but at least all of my toons are freeform.

Really, the only real "advantage" Champions has over City of Heroes is free form. So unless they seriously gimp City of Heroes then I'd rather just play that one for free.

This comment was edited on Jun 21, 2011, 15:58.
 
"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurama
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9. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 15:32 jacobvandy
 
I poked my head in DCUO the other day just to see what was going on (I still had the free sub going from after the hack) and the beginner area was a ghost town. Literally nothing in chat and I didn't see anybody... granted, it was about 3AM PST and the server was about to go down for maintenance, but other MMOs I've played have tons of people that stay in there until they get kicked out every night.

And Champions, ugh... I'll probably never play that again because of how gimped the F2P is. In the 30 days after I bought it for like $5 on a Steam sale, I created an Iron Man-type power suit hero and played him up to level 25 or so. But now if I want to play for free, I'd have to "convert" him into one of the preset archetypes, none of which include the Power Armor skill tree.

I wouldn't care if they decided they had to limit free players to one character slot, no crafting, no storage, tiny inventory, or whatever else, so long as I had full access to character classes and skills. How they've done it is the worst possible way imaginable, IMO.
 
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8. DCUO Jun 21, 2011, 15:18 kanniballl
 
This has to hurt DC Universe Online.

  • They took a big hit after that whole Sony / SOE / PSN fiasco; they lost a lot of players.

  • The fiasco also put their Update on a major delay, and it looks like it delayed their Server Merge as well. Further costing them players.

  • Now BOTH of their comic competitors are going Free to Play. That has to hurt.


  • 1 is manageable, but it's probably hard to compete with both being free.

    As it stands, DCUO needs a large content update and to release more power sets (such as the ones available in Beta).

    This comment was edited on Jun 21, 2011, 15:25.
     
    "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
    -Fry, Futurama
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    7. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 15:16 kanniballl
     
    Teddy wrote on Jun 21, 2011, 14:54:
    Narf2029 wrote on Jun 21, 2011, 12:54:
    It was a good ride while it lasted, but if my $15 a month doesn't continue to get me the same stuff it does now the ride is over. If it does, then hurrah so what, business as usual.

    That's how LoTRO was when it went F2P. The subscription included everything it did before. The F2P section was just limited, forcing you to buy "nonessential" things like the riding skill, etc. Or pay for additional character slots beyond the (I think 3) you got for free.


    For Champions Online...

    Continued subscriptions get everything they used to get plus extra "gifts" after extra 100-or-so days (large bag, re-usable heal device, respecs, etc). And every month they get a small stipend/allowance of C-Store points to let you buy stuff you'd normally have to use cash-bought points for.

    Thus far all Adventure Packs and such are accessible for free and from what I hear all new content will continue to be free. Though I haven't heard if they're ever going to do a full-out Expansion like CoV or Going Rogue.


    The Free To Players lose a lot, but have most of the core game.
  • They do not have access to free-form, only pre-made sets/builds.

  • The don't have access to all power sets or travel powers, but they can buy "most" of them.

  • They have to pay for stuff like Adventure Packs

  • Smaller inventory slots, fewer costume slots, fewer characters, etc.


  •  
    "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
    -Fry, Futurama
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    6. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 15:12 kanniballl
     
    Shineyguy wrote on Jun 21, 2011, 15:02:
    Have they fixed or tweaked the debt system at all recently? I stopped playing, oh, 5 years ago? due to the debt system. I would die so much trying to keep my team mates alive that I was constantly in debt and couldn't keep pace with leveling. Hit 23 or something and quit.

    I just started playing it again a little over the weekend. I had to start over, since I had NO idea where my main was at story-wise or where to go for my level.

  • I think you're debt free up to or through level 10

  • After that, death = debt


  • However, to me it looks like they either reduced the debt or it scales as you go up. At level 13-ish it's quite quick to work off -- by the end of a mission I've usually worked off a couple of deaths worth of debt.



    -

    This comment was edited on Jun 21, 2011, 15:20.
     
    "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
    -Fry, Futurama
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    5. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 15:02 Shineyguy
     
    Have they fixed or tweaked the debt system at all recently? I stopped playing, oh, 5 years ago? due to the debt system. I would die so much trying to keep my team mates alive that I was constantly in debt and couldn't keep pace with leveling. Hit 23 or something and quit.  
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    4. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 14:54 Teddy
     
    Narf2029 wrote on Jun 21, 2011, 12:54:
    It was a good ride while it lasted, but if my $15 a month doesn't continue to get me the same stuff it does now the ride is over. If it does, then hurrah so what, business as usual.

    That's how LoTRO was when it went F2P. The subscription included everything it did before. The F2P section was just limited, forcing you to buy "nonessential" things like the riding skill, etc. Or pay for additional character slots beyond the (I think 3) you got for free.

     
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    3. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 14:14 kanniballl
     
    Funny.

    Just the past weekend I bought a month of City of Hero gametime since I haven't played the game in years and wanted to see how it stood up.

    With all of the graphics settings maxed it's pretty decent. The poly count (especially the faces) isn't the highest but the micro-details on some of the costumes are actually better than Champions. Meanwhile it has more and better story going on.

    I don't know how they're going to distinguish though.
  • In Champions, the F2P gamers lost the "comprehensive freeform" power selection that separated Champions from CoH. So paying is a lure for some.

  • In City, what are they going to do... force which power you get at each level? If it's just micro-stuff then it's not worth the subscription.


  • The game is alright, but I wouldn't pay for the monthly fee regularly.
     
    "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
    -Fry, Futurama
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    2. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 12:54 Narf2029
     
    It was a good ride while it lasted, but if my $15 a month doesn't continue to get me the same stuff it does now the ride is over. If it does, then hurrah so what, business as usual.  
    Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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    1. Re: City of Heroes Going Free-to-Play Jun 21, 2011, 10:18 Prez
     
    Shocking! No, wait - the other one - not surprising at all really.  
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