One Year On, We Still Miss City of Heroes


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.

4 thoughts on “One Year On, We Still Miss City of Heroes”

  1. Oh, goodness, now you’re making me cry! I miss teleporting all over the Rogue Isles. (I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, by the way, just never introduced myself because I have a cronic fear of people. Hello!)

  2. I cried a good bit writing this post! Lol :’)

    Thank you for commenting–I understand the people fear getting in the way of communicating 🙂 Hope you’ve liked what you’re read thus far!

  3. Yeah. As I write this, it’s May, 2014. I still miss City of Heroes horribly. These days, I play Champions Online, but it isn’t even close. I miss all those places I used to explore. Atlas Park with it’s futuristic skyscrapers and nice little parks. The working class apartments and power towers in Kings Row. Steel Canyon with its massive statue and the original tailor shop. Talos Island with its sailing ships and scenic beaches and islands. The burnt out buildings and decaying urban squalor of Mercy Island. The cobblestones and gargoyles of Cap au Diable. The industrial shanytowns of Sharkhead. The gorgeous white and gold architecture of Nova Praetoria, and the palm tree lined neighborhoods by the river. The hustle and bustle of Imperial City with its majestic city park and towering skyscrapers. The ruined grandeur of First Ward, and the view from the ramshackle retrofitted battlements of the survivor compound.

    God. I miss it all.

    And as you say, City of Heroes had an easy-going welcoming community. I had many friendships lasting years online there. It was a place casual players became regulars, and you heard elitist crap like “noob” and “learn to play” much less less. It was a place you didn’t have to be a rules expert, you could just relax and play. You often saw husbands and wives, or entire families, gaming together. The game mechanics were as accessible, casual, easy-going, and welcoming as the community itself.

    I can’t talk about City of Heroes on Champions Online. They don’t get it. No. That’s not true. They don’t care. They say “It’s been two years. Get over it.” They don’t understand how special City of Heroes was to us. They don’t get how special the community was. How it was more than just a game. It was a second home. The place where we’d always be welcome. Where we could be with our friends.

    I won’t get over it. I won’t forget it. Not ever.

    You never forget your first love.

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