I miss this vista. I miss being able to fly over Atlas Park at sunset, or at any other time. I miss this game, which was closed far sooner than it should have been.
Even though the one-year anniversary of City of Heroes’ closing is but two days away, there are still plenty of players like me who love and miss this game for what it meant to us. #SaveCoH is still a popular tag on Twitter for this reason; we former players still share memories and creative ideas for characters we never got to try. And yes, we’re still angry that this game, this virtual world which we gladly paid to access, was so cruelly taken away for such trivial reasons as “realignment of company policies.” (Those new policies apparently included utter refusal to heed customers’ complaints and wants.)
Perhaps I’m beating a long-dead horse. But City of Heroes was far more than just a “superhero MMO”–it was a haven for creative people. You could create original characters, design original costumes in minute detail, choose your own powersets, and play your character in hundreds of beautifully-rendered virtual environments. Not only that, you could meet other creative people and form teams and supergroups (guilds) with them. City of Heroes attracted a different type of MMO gamer, the kind that wasn’t just interested in constant raids and multi-hour quests, but camaraderie and working as a team. It attracted working people, parents, and other folks who didn’t have a ton of time to dedicate to a game–it wasn’t as intensive a game, so it was easier to approach and easier to enjoy casually. It was an MMO for people who don’t like MMOs, in other words; it provided a sanctuary from other time-consuming games (*cough*WoW*cough). It was unique, just like its playerbase…and we grieve for its loss.
And yet City of Titans represents hope amid this grief, because it is at least a partial return to the virtual world I miss. Even though November 30th tolls like a somber bell in our minds, we have something to look forward to, a fan-created virtual world where we may fly over another Atlas Park. We are still sad and angry, one year later, but we have used those feelings to propel us forward. On this Thanksgiving Day, this resilient community of CoH players, with its creative vision and firm resolve, is something for which we can all be thankful.