The only place where City of Heroes
has 'raid content' anything like other MMORPGs is arguably the Hamidon, with the Rikti Mothership coming a close second. Originally a molecular biologist called Hamidon Pasalima, this horror underwent deliberate mutation to become a single cell of titanic size, which occasionally surfaces in the Hive zone heroside, and the Abyss zone on the villain end. Hamidon is considered to be the leader of the Devouring Earth faction.
Raids on the Hamidon used to be frequent, and were so predictable and easy that they became much more of a social gathering than a challenge. A major revamp to the encounter several Issues ago introduced new tactical challenges that made him much harder to defeat. Hamidon now had to be spawned, and the mitochondria had new powers that worked together in a frighteningly lethal synergy. Some blasts, for example, left characters unable to be healed for a period of time, a mechanic that had not been seen before - nor has it been seen since.
Unfortunately, the change left far fewer players willing to tackle it, mainly because there's nothing a player can get from a Hamidon Raid that can't be gotten from other, less demanding game challenges. Hamidon Origin enhancements (or the synthetic equivalent) can be had from running the Statesman Task Force or Lord Recluse Strike Force. Though there are still regular weekly and twice-weekly raids on some servers, the tea-party style gatherings are gone; but an innovation coming with CoX Issue 13: Architect
may change that back round again.
The new Merit System will introduce rewards that vary depending on how demanding the task is: 'A new game system that allows players to earn tokens by completing Trials, Task Forces, Strike Forces, Raids, etc. The most challenging and time consuming tasks grant the most reward tokens, which can be redeemed throughout Hero and Villain zones for recipes, enhancements, salvage, costume pieces, badges, inspirations and other game items.
Details are sketchy at this stage. We have no idea exactly what is going to award merits, or how many. However, given the intent of the system, we would be very surprised if the Hamidon Raid didn't warrant a large number of Merits as a reward for completion. Using the Merit System is the perfect way to get players interested in harder, longer content again, as opposed to rinse-and-repeat farming of the shorter stuff. As he is one of the toughest challenges in the game, and the only one that can involve groups of up to 40 players, we'd be glad to see Hamidon resume his place as the ultimate foe. Running a Task Force with a group of up to eight people is all very well, but there's nothing like the atmosphere of a full-on raid.