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City of Heroes Gold

NCsoft sends word that City of Heroes is gold, and Cryptic Studios' MMORPG is expected in stores by the end of this month:

Austin, TEXAS, April 12, 2004—NCsoft® Corporation (KSE: 036570.KS), the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announces that City of Heroes™ has reached gold master status in North America and will soon be on its way to retailers in the United States and Canada. The company also announces that all customers who purchase the City of Heroes pre-order box and register their account will have a three-day head start in the game over customers who purchase the game on or after the launch date. The official launch date for City of Heroes is April 28.

City of Heroes, developed by Cryptic Studios, is the first game of its kind—a massively-multiplayer online game based on the comic book genre, where players can create their own unique super-powered heroes and defend the citizens of the fictional metropolis, Paragon City, from alien hordes, corrupt corporations, villainous gangs, and street thugs. The game boasts quite possibly the most extensive character creation system ever, allowing players to fully customize a truly distinctive hero or heroine.

The game will be available at a suggested retail price of US$49.99 and includes the first month of online game play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99. Sixty-day game time cards will also be available at many North American retailers at a suggested retail price of US$29.99.

City of Heroes has been in beta test since February and has been heralded as a welcome departure from the fantasy-based massively multiplayer games on the market today. Players will be able to enjoy not only looking good, but developing the skills of their hero through series of missions they get from Contacts. The game can be played solo or in groups. Players can also join Super Groups (similar to guilds in other massively multiplayer online games) and run group operations from their own headquarters.

All customers who have purchased the pre-order box of City of Heroes have been invited into the beta. There is still time to take advantage of the three-day head start—purchase the retail pre-order box and register your account at www.PlayNC.com. More information, including where to obtain a pre-order box, is available on the City of Heroes web site, http://www.cityofheroes.com.

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50. Re: gamers of the world unite Apr 14, 2004, 10:18 Furious
 
#49 -

I totally agree that the monthly subscription price is way to high nowadays, I thought UO at $9.99 a month was crazy way back when but after reading some budget analysis on how much it cost to run these MMO's $10 is really not that bad, and hey, business are in business to make money so don't condem a buisness that has a good working model for profit. These buisnesses will keep pushing the boundries till they find the buyers saturation point and then it will finally level out, so I wouldn't be surprised to see MMO's coming close to $20 a month with E2 and WoW coming out. I think it was DAoC that ws the first MMO to break the $10 barrier by charging $12.99 a month at their launch, so we should thank them for the subscription increases :).

I think paying for how much you play is a fantastic idea, however, the player should have to at least pay a base fee of something like $5 to cover server maintenance and other facility costs that the hosting company will incur just to run the MMO, which is substantially higher then those said games like CS, BF, TF or even NWN 'persistant' world which I think caps out at 64 players per world. Believe me, if NWN allowed worlds of 3000+ people it would not be free, only a person like Donald Trump would have the wallet to pay for that bandwitdh and Servers to keep it free.

Now as far as a large group cancelling their subscription together, I don't think that will happen. I have seen threads that state such plans on pretty much all the major MMO's forums but the simple fact is, is that 99% of the players are more than happy to pay the fee because they love the game.

Now there will be a MMO'ish type game coming out called Guild Wars that WILL NOT have a monthly subscription. They are going to depend on massive amounts of sales of their Game Client and future purchases of Expansion Products. Is this a better value? I don't know really, depends on how much they charge for the expansions and how often they come out. If they come out lets say every 6 months but charge $50 for the expansion then you be paying ~ $100 a year to play it as compared to CoH at ~ $230 (for the first year) and then ~ $179 a year after that. So I guess Guild Wars could possibly save the consumer ~ $79 a year. However, from what I have read, GW is not directly comparable to these large MMO's as it's a game that will allow Guild Wars of 8 v 8, not quite the same as a Tower/Castle Siege from DAoC or L2. So GW will not give some users the same satisfaction of large group warfare like L2, DAoC, EQ etc.

So the answer to it all is... MMO fanatics will set the bar as to where the monthly subscription fee increases stop and level out, not the 1% casual gamer population, unfortunately.

 
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49. gamers of the world unite Apr 13, 2004, 22:38 Jerry S Ku
 
The $15/month fees are massively profitable, none of these modern MMORPGs are "just scraping by". They're raking it in.
I agree with the guy who is asking for the ability to pay less money than a guy who plays all the time. There should be a cheap 10-hour purchase plan, where your first 10 hours of any months are like.. 5 bucks. If you play 11 hours, you immediately go into the standard monthly plan (you add 10 bucks to your billl). For one thing, this invites casual gamers, and most gamers are casual gamers. They play a few hours a week, if even that. So it's fair to them. Second, this invites more people to buy the game in the first place, and get hooked on it. I'm sure lots of people will go to the 11th hour, because the past 10 hours were so great. And since it was their own choice to pass 10 hours, they only blame themselves for the higher charge, instead of the company :-P

I would like to suggest to people who are fed up with high MMORPG fees.... to organise themselves into a massive group of consumers, form a coherent mass organisation, and then lobby the game companies for reduced fees. If the company ignores them, they can threaten to all cancel their subscriptions at the same time. It's kinda like how labor unions work. The workers are united, and threaten to take away their total labor power, when one of their members has a grievance. Hmm that's kinda like the Three Musketeers slogan.. All for One, One for All. Haha.

Cancelling subscriptions en masse would scare the bejeezus out of a company. Even if it was just 10% of the total player base. Of course, it won't be long before game companies ban consumer organisation efforts within the game. I dunno bout you folks, but when I applied for a job, I have to sign off on a paper agreeing that I will never pass literature to other workers. That's designed to prevent you from spreading union info. So I'm sure the game companies will do the same. This market pressure concept works for other policy changes (I've been told international market pressure against South Africa was what defeated apartheid). So it can work for games too.

I like the other guy's idea of "instant MMO", custom made by individuals. If you think about it, it's not too hard to pull off. For one thing, there are THOUSANDS of Half-Life servers out there. I calculated the yearly fees that go into each server per year, and it was extremely high (I think 20 million dollars a year!). These servers operate entirely for free (and some donations). So insant player-run MMO servers are very much possible, but companies don't want to provide that, as it will remove the consumer's interest for their future products. It's just more profitable to milk you forever. Another guy said that the fee goes into constantly adding content. I would remind him that the amazing Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, and Quake Team Fortress were all top quality games that were entirely free. Nevermind the endless supply of custom sounds, maps, and models. Another example that's semi-close to a player-run MMO is the Neverwinter Nights community. The game allows players to create all the quests, custom treasure, models, maps and graphics that they want. Not only that, you can spread your game world across multiple servers. When the player steps into a portal, he's shifted over to another server. EVERY SERVER OF NWN IS COMPLETELY FREE TO PLAY ON. Bioware refuses to allow any server to charge for gameplay. So we're talking about tens of thousands of kind-hearted computer gamers out there who are providing total conversions, and expensive servers, all without expecting any financial reward from it. Hmm now that I think of it, the gaming community is pretty damn generous and selfless :-P
Finally, I think high service charges are the MMO industry's own enemy. For example, I'm guessing that many Everquest players have not tried Star Wars Galaxies because they can't possibly pay $30/month (both are Sony games). They WANT to play more MMOs, alot more, but just can't. MMOs are all unique in their own way, but usually not unique enough to subscribe to multiple games. I think Sony, at least, should consider lowering the monthly to $20/month TOTAL if the player plays both SWG and EQ.
OK i'm done +_+

This comment was edited on Apr 13, 22:50.
 
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48. Re: Save your cash Apr 13, 2004, 20:36 Furious
 
1. The fat pipe is only necessary because the game has thousands of people connecting, WTF is the point of thousands of people connecting? I can't stand more that 60.

If you can't stand more than 60 people then why are you even bothering with this thread? It's about an MMO, you know that right?

2. Well in BF/MOH/COD we use our own servers as the game does not have thousands of people.

Yeah, duh, thats why you don't have to pay to play, bandwidth isn't free and your server uses a mere fraction of an MMO like EQ. One EQ 'server' is actually a huge farm of servers that supports the game world, you have a dinky little server that supports 64, wow.

3. Yes we get continually added content in the form of free patches and upgrades.

Sorry, you get a few patches here and there, not even close to the amount of content an MMO gets updated with, not even comparable at all.

4. You can never keep hackers at bay

And games like EQ have been hacked how many times, DAoC? I haven't heard of any news at all, ever. If you can show me proof I'd love to see it.

5. Give me a break

Take 5, I could really care less.

Weak argument sorry.

The only thing weak here is you comparing a dinky little 64 player game to a product that supports thousands of simultaeous (-sp) players. Plus I wasn't arguing at all, just stating well know facts that seem to allude people.

I can certainly respect the fact that you don't like MMOs, personally I'm burnt out on the Level Tread Mill that was EQ and DAoC (UO was more fun). But coming here and comparing a game(s) meant for 32/64 players to a MMO is just cute.

Well, have fun with whatever you do, I'm gonna go watch my President explain to me why my soldiers have to die in a suck ass middle eastern country. Life is good

 
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47. Re: Save your cash Apr 13, 2004, 19:27 Monty
 
hmm

1. The fat pipe is only necessary because the game has thousands of people connecting, WTF is the point of thousands of people connecting? I can't stand more that 60.

2. Well in BF/MOH/COD we use our own servers as the game does not have thousands of people.

3. Yes we get continually added content in the form of free patches and upgrades.

4. You can never keep hackers at bay

5. Give me a break

Weak argument sorry.

 
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46. Re: Save your cash Apr 13, 2004, 18:00 VoodooV
 
I have a problem with paying the same rates as some guy who plays it 24/7

if I only use it a fraction of the time the other guy does..how come I gotta pay the same amount.

combine that with the 'race' mentality that too many mmo'ers have and it's just not worth it for the casual gamer most times.

 
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45. Re: Save your cash Apr 13, 2004, 17:35 bothersome
 
I understand they add content. I just think they need to have an hourly rate to play instead of a flat monthly fee for people who want to get on just for three to five hours a week.

 
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44. Re: Save your cash Apr 13, 2004, 16:16 Furious
 
It's the principal of the idea of paying to play a game I already paid for!! It's like buying a music CD and then being told, "oh sorry, if you want to listen to it that will be £9.95 a month please"

But what if that music CD had tracks constantly added to it for the $9.95 a month? I think some of you are forgetting that MMO Dev's are constantly adding shit to the game servers and clients as time goes on. All the MMO's to date have done this. Your $9.95-14.99 a month subscription goes towards:

1) The fat pipe that allows thousands of users to connect to the server, that in and of itself is expensive.
2) The cost of leasing the huge cluster farms of servers that the game runs on.
3) Continuely added content that you don't always nessesarily see unless you read the update paragraphs when you log in.
4) Maintaining you character and it's 'stuff' on the Database and keeping hackers at bay.
5) The electricity and other HVAC to keep the server farms up and running almost 24/7.

Comparing BF 1942/UT2K4 and other 32/64 players games to a MMO is comical at best. Most of the Servers you play on are run and paid for by Joe public because they want to and if 'they' weren't around you would have hardly any servers to play on. Give me a break people. What a joke. And I don't play any MMO's at the moment, I just understand the model, and it does make sense.

This comment was edited on Apr 13, 16:16.
 
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43. Re: Save your cash Apr 13, 2004, 15:19 Monty
 
It's the principal of the idea of paying to play a game I already paid for!! It's like buying a music CD and then being told, "oh sorry, if you want to listen to it that will be £9.95 a month please"

It stinks of greed and once again it's us gamers that are the losers. Don't be so guillable about services and improved content... its all more bull just to get your hard earned cash. They ain't getting mine thats for sure, roll on HL2 & Stalker.

 
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42. Re: Save your cash Apr 13, 2004, 13:20 VoodooV
 
Second, MMORPGs are services, and services require monthly payments. I pay less for my monthly MMORPG fix than I do for my safety deposit box, so I consider them a good deal.

wrong, it is not a requirement, it's what they know they can get away with.

the days of pricing a product just slightly above what it actually cost to make it are long over.

they could find other ways to get their income that would increase the number of subscriptions, but they haven't received enough pressure to change yet. As long as people blindly forking over the cash, they'll keep charging that much..hell..they'll eventually charge more...oh wait..that has already happened.

what we need is more competition in order to inspire change.

that's what was great about the text based MU*s of old. If you didn't like one?...no problem, there are thousands others to choose from, you're bound to find one you like eventually.

I eagerly await the day some fan with an good idea can download some generic MMO source code, tweak it to their own tastes and viola, instant MMO.

most people believe MMOs are stagnant cuz there are only relatively few vendors, and they're so afraid to go too far off the beaten path of EQ...and of course, gotta have that monthly revenue stream after all

people need to be more picky instead of blindly accepting what is given to them.

 
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41. Great game Apr 13, 2004, 13:10 Puck
 
I've been playing in the CoH beta for a few weeks now, and been having a ton of fun. Forget that this is a MMORPG and realize that this is, hands-down, the best superhero game ever made.

I get the feeling from posts by the developers that they have big storyline plans, and eagerly look forward to them. But even without a huge content injection, the fun of playing and levelling your own superhero is worth at least a few months of enjoyable gaming.

That's my current plan: after three months I'll just decide whether I'm going to continue playing or not. But I'll definitely give it that time.

I've got a gallery of my characters at http://www.holycow.com/joe/gallery/coh/

Check out some of my recreations, including "Vega" from Street Fighter. The character designer is incredibly powerful, and the game gives you 8 character slots per server!

 
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40. Re: Save your cash Apr 13, 2004, 12:41 Taulin
 
First, it is only a matter of time before you see someone in CoH dressed up like a bicylcle repairman.

Second, MMORPGs are services, and services require monthly payments. I pay less for my monthly MMORPG fix than I do for my safety deposit box, so I consider them a good deal.

Does BF and all the rest of the online game keep track of all your player stats, lists, items, etc? Those small features I just listed require servers and customer support.. i.e. A service. Being able to log in and continue where I left off is no small task for online game.

 
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39. Save your cash Apr 13, 2004, 12:28 Monty
 
Ya know it is sad that people pay 34.99 for the game and then a further 14.99 every month just so they are able to play it (one sec while I lmfao @ you). Ok where was I....oh yes you guys pay to play a game that is probably boring after a few weeks, for what? To see what level you can advance your player so u can say HEY I AM @ LEVEL 300 gazillion.

Well don't take this the wrong way but the devs must be laughing all the way to the bank, I bet they use you as the butt of their jokes when out tyring to impress their new girl.

I play BF1942/Vietnam 64 players, I play 32 player MOH and also UT2004. I have great fun on-line with C&CG and also Far cry. And hey, it only costs me the price of the game. WAKE UP U BOONS!

 
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38. Re: In general... Apr 13, 2004, 11:19 Fingers M
 
I agree with KBee, some of you are judging this game purely as a mmorpg. I look at this game as a super hero game, which it exceeds all others. Im not a mmorpger, never have been and never will be, I even have doubts I will find enjoyment in WOW. But Im having a ton of fun with this game. Crafting all that other mmo garbage is not needed here, this is action first. Sure it lacks depth in some areas yet its enormously fun. The ammount of options available for character creation and power combos are great. I find myself just checking out the other characters around the city hall. Some are very creative or just funny as hell, remember when games were supposed to be fun guys? Like the others said, combat is great, it takes tactics and its fast. Obviously the game isnt going to be for everyone and the hardcore mmrpg crowed might not like it, but if the content interests you I think it will be allot of fun for you.

 
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37. Re: Gamers with Jobs Apr 13, 2004, 11:15 Furious
 
Someone really needs to come up with a pricing model for us gamers with jobs where the $50 gets you three months of average play time and then you can pay to play after that.

I'm in the same boat, check out Guild Wars.


 
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36. Gamers with Jobs Apr 13, 2004, 10:41 bothersome
 
Now, I'm a gamer. I love gaming. Unfortunately I have a job, a wife, and a child on the way. I still manage to get in 5-6 hours of gaming a week. I don't spend all my time on one game.

I really want to be able to play City of Heroes and World of Warcraft. The concepts of these games seem great and really well polished. I just cannot justify spending $50 on a game that I have to continually top up and pay another $15/month. Someone really needs to come up with a pricing model for us gamers with jobs where the $50 gets you three months of average play time and then you can pay to play after that.

 
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35. Re: In general... Apr 13, 2004, 10:35 Grounded
 
"A Former EQ Addict (L55 Ranger, L60 Ench)"

That an addict? the best you could do was level 60?

yeah you are speaking from a ton of experience I see

 
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34. Re: In general... Apr 13, 2004, 10:28 KillerBee
 
I am in the beta as well. I agree with many of Plink's points.

This game is an action game, pure and simple. It's not about loot. You don't have to worry about killing 5000 guys to go buy some crappy gear that you need to replace in 2 levels. Leveling speed in a little above average for MMOs. Creating a character will be an all day process because of the ton of options and costume combos. The powers are varied and very cool. From claws and huge maces, to gravity control and psionics (you can actually lift someone up and throw them without even touching them).

The community is generally more mature than most, and people have always been willing to help me if I ask.

The main draw of this game for me in the immersive cityscape that you play in. So detailed and alive. Also, this is an easy game to play both casually (30 minutes is enough time to get your fix if in a rush) or hardcore.

Anyway, I could go on for days. If anyone has any questions, I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

 
Life is sexually transmitted.
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33. Re: In general... Apr 13, 2004, 10:25 Grounded
 
man what a bunch of idiotic comments

this is a perfect example of people running off at the mouth and not having any idea what the fuck they are talking about

half of you havent even folowed the development of this game or watch the community posts by the devs

I thik that some of you may review for Gamespy the way you talk

 
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32. Re: In general... Apr 13, 2004, 10:23 Beamer
 
What MMORPG is ever released "finished?" Granted, none will ever be truly finished, but all seem to ship at about 40% promises with little to do. They ship mostly as content-free engines.



Haha, Underlight, though, I remember the first five minutes I played I found my way into a dungeon and 1) got lost 2) got yelled at for asking someone for help 3) ran into invisible characters 4) got chased around in circles by a monster because I didn't know how to attack.


Good times. Still, no MMOG has matched either Fighter Ace or Air Warrior for fun factor. Playing Air Warrior over a 14.4 connection with 10 kids from my HS through AOL back in 1996 was much more fun than anything out there today.

 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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31. Re: In general... Apr 13, 2004, 10:09 VoodooV
 
CoH doesn't have an economy or a crafting system or a faction system like other MMORPGs. So why does it cost the same as other MMORPGs when it doesn't have a big database to manage. I'd say it has about half the features so it should be half the price.

I have to agree. 15 bucks is ridiculous for half the features you'd see in SWG and even that was too much for me to buy SWG even after beta.

if you don't think its too expensive, tough, I do, cost is such a personal issue anyway so making an arguement that the price isn't too much is moot and ineffective. everyone has their own priorities and situations and incomes.

Sadly, other than that, I completely agree. All MMOs seemed to be geared toward making the game a race, their own little press release about it going gold and referring to 'head starts' reinforce this. Hell they're banking on the hope that you're just another button masher (JABM) hitting the feeder bar for a pellet.

well this is one rat that isn't running that race until developers start making games that don't cater to obsessive compulsion and make games for people who don't feel the need to race/grind to the next level and just enjoy being in the game cuz of good gameplay. (screw plot, I think an interactive server-wide arc is impossible with thousands upon thousands of players ) campaigns though are a different story. but of course, you have to make it so that no one ever wins, which is equally unrealistic, but I hate just looping back to the beginning when someone wins, cuz then it makes the struggle pointless.

I think the key is SMALL squads/groups, fuck these huge thousand-member guilds, fuck them in their stupid asses, cuz they always want to eventually do the same thing, affect the world to their favor. well sorry, but I just don't trust any universe, even a virtual one to a bunch of anonymous armchair generals. Guilds are nothing but glorified mobs anyway.

 
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