Next, the actual avatar with its costume was created.
Lastly, the player chose a name and could optionally write a background story to add some flavor to the character, as well as creating an individual battle cry. These origins were as follows:. A special "Incarnate" origin was programmed for various NPCs in the game who obtained powers from the fictional Well of the Furies.
The "Incarnate System", which added additional powers for the player to choose from after completing difficult missions. There were five basic hero archetypes, which affected a character's power choices and team role throughout the game. Blasters were versatile damage dealers, capable of fighting at short or long range against one or many opponents, but had relatively little health. Controllers were adept at preventing enemies from moving or acting through inducing status effects, as well as possessing pet summons. Defenders turned the tide of battle with weakening enemy attacks debuffs and ally-strengthening buffs.
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- Elemental Guild;
Scrappers were melee fighters with a greater chance of critical hits against tough opponents such as bosses. Tankers possessed great defenses and the ability to take hits for the team, as well as powers to adjust aggro towards them. There were also five basic villain archetypes. Brutes dealt increasing damage as they attacked or were themselves attacked. Corruptors could cause damage at range, with high chance for critical hits against wounded targets. Dominators assailed enemies with status effects and direct damage.
Masterminds summoned, upgraded, and controlled combat pets. Stalkers were stealthy fighters, dealing critical hits when hidden or when accompanied by a team. There were also two epic hero archetypes which were unlocked after reaching level 20 level 50 prior to Issue 17 with another hero character.
Peacebringers were peaceful symbiotic aliens that had light based powers.
Warshades were war-like symbiotes that were normally enemies to the Peacebringers but had reformed their evil ways. Both archetypes were capable of shapeshifting into a more offensive or more defensive form.
Elemental Guild (MM8)
The villain side mirrored this, with two branching villain archetypes which were unlocked after reaching level 20 also level 50 prior to Issue 17 with another villain character. Both are rank-and-file soldiers for the villainous group Arachnos Soldiers and Widows attempting to make a name for themselves, each with two distinct specializations. With Issue 21, players could now create a character and go through a tutorial involving the destruction of Galaxy City by Shivans that allowed them to choose their alignment, such as a heroic Corruptor or a villainous Blaster.
Characters created with Going Rogue started the game in Praetoria, and chose whether to be a Loyalist, who followed Emperor Cole, or to be in the Resistance, who opposed him. In Praetoria, however, things were not so black and white. There were good and evil people on both sides, and, when leaving Praetoria at level 20, players could choose their character to be either a Hero or a Villain. The alignment could also be changed later on, allowing for Heroes to go Vigilante before becoming Villains or Villains to become Rogues before being redeemed as Heroes.
However, many of these items were described as intangible or other-worldly; such as "inspirations" temporary power-ups or "inf" an abbreviation of "influence," "infamy," or "information," for Heroes, Villains, and Praetorians, respectively, which was used instead of money , which were abstract ideas in the real world. With the release of Issue 6, while in supergroup mode, a setting that could be toggled on and off, players accumulated prestige points which were used to improve the supergroup base.
Issue 9 brought the Invention system to the game, which allowed characters to combine other dropped items they salvaged and recipes to create various goods. Invented enhancements could provide better bonuses than normal enhancements, including set bonuses for slotting invented enhancements from the same set into the same power.
Costume pieces and limited-use temporary powers could also be invented. In addition to these, there were also collectible badges for players to earn. Gained for performing various actions in game such as moving over specific places in each zone, defeating certain numbers of enemies, healing allies, and taking damage most served no functional purpose for players, except to provide characters with tag lines under their character names. However, a few, called "Accolades" gave players access to temporary powers and permanent bonuses to health and endurance the game's equivalent to mana or magic points and were gained by collecting other badges.
Players also had the option of purchasing a vast array items on the Paragon Market. Introduced with City of Heroes: Freedom , the Paragon Market was a cash shop wherein players could purchase, for example, power sets, costume sets, temporary powers and boosts, character renames and respecs, extra costume slots, and access to game content that to which they might not normally have access.
The currency used on the Paragon Market was Paragon Points, which were either purchased with real money through the Market or awarded as bonuses for VIP subscribers.
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Many enemies were found on the streets of Paragon City and the Rogue Isles, whereas others were found in specific instances or areas. There were also Giant Monsters and zone events that took place in parts of the city that were even more uncommon, such as Lusca the giant octopus in the waters of the Independence Port zone or the Ghost of Scrapyard that wanders through Sharkhead Isle.
The Power Within – The Goalie Guild
Enemies in instances were also graded with easier NPC's at the start of the map and more difficult enemies towards the end of the instance. The arbitrary divisions between zones are explained in game by the presence of "War Walls", powerful force fields derived from alien technology which were used to defend various areas of the city. Heroes set out by dealing with low-powered street gangs in the initial zones, working their way up to fighting increasingly dangerous threats — such as organized crime, corrupt corporations, hostile aliens, and supernatural terrors — even eventually entering other dimensions to fight supremely powerful enemies.
The setting of City of Villains was the Rogue Isles, a fictitious group of islands off the eastern coast of the United States. There, under the watchful gaze of Lord Recluse and the Arachnos organization, prospective villains fought to make a name for themselves, seizing any opportunity that presented itself.
The Power Within
The setting of the Going Rogue expansion was Praetoria, a parallel dimension version of Paragon City where the world was ravaged by Hamidon and his Devouring Earth legions and only Emperor Marcus Cole managed to bring stability to a world ravaged by the Hamidon Wars. Superpowered individuals living in Praetoria begin as Praetors, working for Emperor Cole, but decide to either join the Loyalist faction and remain a member of the Praetorian armed police force or join the Resistance and attempt to reveal the corruption of Emperor Cole otherwise known as Tyrant and free humanity from his rule.
All Issues were made available to both City of Heroes and as of Issue 6 City of Villains titles throughout the lifespan of the game, improving features in both games with each release. City of Villains was released in as a stand-alone expansion, an expansion that did not require the original City of Heroes purchase to work.
It offered five new character archetypes that were, at the time, exclusive to Villain characters, new maps, and began the first PvP Zones versus the Arena, which were instanced maps made for PvP fighting of the game. City of Villains also was playable with the same subscription fee that paid for City of Heroes access after buying City of Villains.
The retail box included four CD-ROMs for installation current to Issue 6, one of four limited edition HeroClix figures of the game's villains, a poster of a map of the Rogue Isles, and a serial code that gave access to the game and one month of game play. Also included was a code for a day trial for City of Heroes , as both games were currently separate.
Since , after the NCSoft acquisition of the intellectual properties, owning either City of Heroes or City of Villains unlocked both titles at no additional cost. City of Heroes: Going Rogue was released in Unlike City of Villains , Going Rogue was an expansion rather than a stand-alone expansion and required the original game to play. Going Rogue added an Alignment system, which allowed players to switch from Hero to Villain and added two intermediate Alignments: Vigilante, as a player progresses from Hero to Villain, and Rogue, as a player progresses from Villain to Hero.
The expansion also added the Praetorian Earth dimension where players could start out as neutrally-aligned Praetorians choosing any of the ten basic Archetypes available to Heroes or Villains , either deciding to side with Emperor Cole's ruling faction and become a Loyalist or side with the Resistance; the allegiance could change as the player chose and completed missions. Praetorian players could also attack new Neutral mobs and would eventually be able to play a mission that allowed them to choose to be a Hero or Villain and complete gameplay in the original games. Going Rogue also granted access to four new power sets, new costume sets and auras, and introduced missions that started after defeating mobs that affected the player's Alignment.
Starting in , "Booster Packs" were also released sporadically around Issue updates. Booster Packs did not function like expansions adding content to the game , but rather added optional costume sets to the game's character creator and user interface, and were available on the NCsoft Store for a one-time fee. Although each of these packs were themed after their similarly named character option in the game so far character origins and power sets , their features could be applied to any or all the characters in a player's account regardless of their actual origin, archetype or powers.
There was also a "Mini-Booster" pack for the purchase of an in-game jetpack for 30 days of real time. While costume pieces were still available in the Paragon Market under the Booster Pack names for one price, the prestige powers and emotes had been separated from the packs as an additional purchase. On February 24, , Heroes and Villains Super Packs were introduced to the Paragon Market after feedback from the beta release of the program was made known by the players.
Super Packs functioned much like a lottery mini-game, which offered two cards that give common rewards, and one card each that offered an uncommon, rare and ultra rare reward per reveal. Super Packs were sold in quantities of 1, 12 or 24 uses each on the Paragon Market. Super Packs were not available through in-game play Free players could not receive or use them , and as a Premium Player, a Super Pack may have granted rewards that you could keep but were unable to claim or use until you unlocked it in the Paragon Market or through the Paragon Rewards program.
A few in-game item packs were released to allow players to gain in-game items from select box releases of the game at a lower cost than repurchasing the title at retail price.
Item packs only contained the items in an Edition release, and did not come with free playtime or in the case of expansions the added game content that require an expansion purchase in order to use. As of August 30, virtual item packs were no longer available for sale on the NCSoft website.
The individual costume pieces and powers were available through the in-game store. The City of Heroes development team also initiated events based on North American and European holidays and observances, starting with Halloween in , followed by a Winter Event eventually becoming a primarily Christmas -themed event ,  and the newest holiday observance, a Valentine's Day event.
Eventual changes to holiday events included the addition of a Zombie Apocalypse world event during Halloween, and a ski slope inside of Pocket D during the holidays. Holiday events granted commemorative badges upon signing in during the event, and had earnable themed badges by participating in the in-game events. City of Heroes granted a commemorative badge during its anniversary month of May and often scheduled special events and surprises during May. On the game's fifth anniversary on April 28, , and on the same day during the sixth anniversary for , an outbreak of Giant Monsters of every type was released throughout the game in all zones for players to defeat within a hour span.
However, the game's official release was cancelled. The Korean CoH team directed its players to a coupon for an account on the US servers as compensation. City of Heroes and City of Villains employed several servers.
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