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Reader Comments (23)

Posted: Nov 2nd 2009 8:10PM (Unverified) said

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Personally I don't think that City of Heroes is in as difficult a position as the author implies. For months now folks have gone on about how Champions Online would be the end of CoH... well, last weekend there didn't seem to be any lack of population, and for the whole weekend CO was FREE! If anything it might say more about CO's situation, and the fact that a 5+ year old game has more appeal to many folks than a shiny brand new game on its free promotional weekend. I'm happy to have the competition, because the developers know now that if they slack off there is someone ready to eat their lunch. Going Rogue sounds better and better the more we hear about it... I for one, think it bodes well for CoH's future.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 1:58AM (Unverified) said

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@d.hutch

I agree. I really tried to like Champions Online but it's just a disaster IMHO. I've totally given up on it.

Right now I'm taking a break from CoH while i gear up to play MW2 & L4D2 for a couple months. I'll be back in time for the Holiday Event they throw every year; skiing down the mountain hovering outside Pocket D.

I'm eagerly awaiting Going Rogue so i can have some new adventures.
Especially if they update the graphics a little (even though they're still better than CO's by a lightyear; CO's gfx make my eyes burn).
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 3:52AM Psychotic Storm said

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first of all, you are missing the entire point of the writers article, second, both games can coexist and thrive together, they cater different people and both can have their loyal fanbase, stop this mentality that this mmo will kill this mmo because, its false and stagnates the genre.

The article is about how unsafe are NCSoft games from NCSoft and partially explains the TR tragedy, NCSoft does not care about a games performance or even if it can sustain itself, it only cares about huge profit, so games are not judged in the merit of if they can sustain themselves, but on the merit of "if the money I give give more investment when in the bank or not".
This alone makes any and all NCSoft titles unsafe and impossible to predict, yes CoH might be thriving under players eyes and suddenly the plug be pulled just because NCSoft decided its better to put the money in the bank and collect investment instead.

That mentality will give short term money, but makes NCSofts reputation worse and worse.
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Posted: Nov 2nd 2009 8:33PM Halldorr said

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I was one of those that was claiming CO would give CoH a hard time...and I can admit I was wrong. The Mission Architect is a fantastic addition to the game and the upcoming expansion is adding a great graphics upgrade which is overdue imho. I'm currently debating checking out CoH again, EVE again, or giving Vanguard a chance and with the upcoming expansion, CoH is looking fine.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2009 8:50PM CCon99 said

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It's pretty amazing that CoX is still going pretty darn strong after almost 6 years. Unlike WAR, AoC, SWG, and many many others, CoX is a game that hasn't had a single server shut down or forced server mergers. The timing of their expansion pack seems to be in a good window as well, CO will likely be long stale and Comic gamers will likely be looking for something fresh.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 1:44AM Bezza said

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Hmmm... I really don't know if I would say CoX is going strong? More like after the release of CO it is clear that CoX is still going.

A lot of people seemed to assume CO would shut down CoX, which is a pretty overzelous and dramatic claim. Has any MMO ever "shut down" another MMO in the history of the genre? I doubt it. I believe that the impact of CO on CoX rather, has been over stated by CoX naysayers and CO fanboys. Now lets not suggest that CO wont have 'some' impact on CoX. Positive and negative I would suggest. Many CoX players might try CO and decide they prefer the game they know and thus return to CoX with renewed vigor. More may play CO and enjoy it, but like any semi-intelligent person, they will understand that any new MMO is an unfinished MMO. Thus they may retain CoX as a fall back.

There are no doubt those who have made the switch, but they can -and will- return to CoX if and when it suits them.

I have heard many negative comments about the architect expansion from non-guild (supergroup) players who say as a result of the architect expansion most of the city maps are devoid of players. But those in guilds are happy as it directly benefits them.

Personally, I believe it will take more than a graphical upgrade to gain the response NCsoft need/wants. Current subscribers will be most pleased with the upgrade as the maps in CoX are very tired and show their age. Will this will be enough to boost the games profile and bring in new subscribers? I suspect it will, but not to the desired numbers NCsoft are hoping for. I for one will dust off my toons and take a look at it when the time comes. In the mean time I expect CO will also be busy filling out content.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 4:05AM Psychotic Storm said

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I will agree with Bezza CO or any other MMO cannot kill any other MMO and so on, if nothing else on the same merit that people were crying that Aion would kill CO why not kill CoH instead or together with CO? because its under the same company? laughable excuse.

I believe the impact CO had in CoH is the intresting additions the later had the past months, they might have been scheduled for months, but their release days is strangely tied up with CO, so it should be classified as a positive impact, it makes CoH to act, same thing I am expecting from CO, as long as there are competitors there will be action, as they say, competition makes progression possible.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 11:47AM Cinnamoon said

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The fact that a company hasn't shut down servers doesn't necessarily mean they shouldn't be shut down for the good of the playerbase; and the fact that a company has offered free transfers off of servers doesn't necessarily mean it's doing poorly. In fact, last year there was a lot of talk from the CoH devs about shutting down servers and/or setting up a Guild Wars-esque system for traveling between servers. Ultimately all of that was scrapped, in favor of cheap paid transfers and fast leveling. Why transfer when you can reroll pretty painlessly, and even sneak your money to a new server through Went's or the BM? And that's exactly what people do, and why only two CoH servers are highly populated these days.

I love CoH, but I won't pretend that they haven't had population problems for years, just because their devs refuse to address those problems, as Sony did with SWG, or EA did with WAR. It takes a lot more gumption and care to save a game even at the risk of bad press than it does to neglect it.
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Posted: Nov 2nd 2009 9:00PM J Brad Hicks said

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I agree with his conclusion, for an even easier to explain reason. City of Heroes was profitable with a development staff of 15. (Sliding slowly and steadily down the drain, but profitable.) Is it still profitable with a development staff of 50? My gut instinct is: not without a substantial increase in subscriptions. And NCsoft, suspiciously, has stopped releasing quarterly subscription numbers for City of Heroes. There are poorly-sourced rumors that numbers went up for the first time in a long time when they released player-created missions. Will they go up again when they add shades-of-gray moral complexity missions and side switching? I hope so.

My own scientific wild _____ guess is that NCsoft has bet a ton of money that, with proper reinvestment, City of Heroes could become at least a half-million subscriber game, which is what they need it to be. If it doesn't? Then I wouldn't give a plugged nickel for the job security of those last 35 people hired, at the very least, and wouldn't make any bets on the long-term survival of the game. Which would be a shame. It has its flaws, but hands-down it's got the best game mechanics and the best mission designs of any MMO on the market today, and even after five to six years, it's still a heck of a lot of fun to play.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2009 9:48PM wjowski said

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...Apparently while there can be 5000+ generica fantasy MMOs on the market, there can only ever be one superhero MMO at a time.

This logical and science.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2009 9:53PM Drexel said

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It's not all that surprising really. I personally think CO is the superior game if you were comparing CoH now with CO 5 years from now. It's hard to make an apples to apples comparison when one title has 5 years of development (and the money that comes with 5 years of subscriptions) and the other just launched.

The bigger issue is NC soft. With AA, Tabula Rasa and now Dungeon Runners I am begining to think the NC in NC soft stands for "No Commitment".

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 12:41AM (Unverified) said

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No matter what I believe CoH (i always confuse that with Company of Heroes :p) will always have a committed player base that will still subscribe to it.

I don't think this game would ever "die" but it would all probably depend on NCsoft.
AA, TR and DR all had a commited fan base, and they were not "bad games" they just didn't fit with the mainstream audience of Fantasy + RPG.

With Aion out now, and GW2 to come.... it might be a matter of time when NCsoft will pull the plug on CoH to focus more on their "bigger" titles.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 1:03AM (Unverified) said

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SCREW Ncsoft, they deserve everything they get, and MORE.

FIRST they kill Auto Assault, even REJECTING a very fair offer from a fan-created group to BUY the rights to the game, THEN they kill Tabula Rasa after essentially pushing Garriot out (Hope the suit goes well RG!), and now they put all their eggs on a ho-hum JMMO. Good riddance.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 7:34AM (Unverified) said

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This ^^
And I just want someone to pick up TR when they (hopefully) lose the right to keep it on a shelf gathering dust; you don't know what you've got til it's gone.. :S
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 7:40AM (Unverified) said

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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 2:54PM (Unverified) said

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Maybe Garriot will win the rights in his lawsuit..
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 10:06AM Psychotic Storm said

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I think you are getting paranoid, but it explains why you attack CO in every topic.

CoH life isn't dependant in CO popularity, I wouldn't touch CoH for my own reasons, it been from NCSoft and its graphics are two of them. On the other hand I love CO, again for my own reasons, I am not much into superhero genre (as oxymoron as it may sound) but I really do appreciate that I can build whatever I imagined and play with it, each game can appeal to different target audience and both can coexist, hell for one people love or hate CO for its "comic style" graphics.

If you feel that the existence of another MMO in the same genre is enough to trigger a "mass exodus" from your favourite MMO, you really should re-evaluate why you play it, because it looks like you are not entirely sure about its solid foundations.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 10:21AM Enaris said

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I think the original author is making one mistake in all of this. Yes, NCSoft hasn't been afraid to pull the plug on games. Yet, from what I understand, not one of the games they've nuked was currently profitable.

There may have been a chance to make TR profitable, with yet more investment in the game, to repair the damage that had been done by an unready launch (the climb AoC and Vanguard are trying). NCSoft decided not to take that gamble (and that's what it would have been, a gamble, that spending more money would let them recoup it in the end). Likewise, Dungeon Runners was not profitable either. Again, the new "browser based" was an attempt to return to (or gain) profitability.


Even with the increased staffing, I've seen no indications that CoH is unprofitable. Which means that it is an entirely different critter from those other games.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 11:15AM Psychotic Storm said

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what would be the problem of having a game that is self sustainable live?

TR was closed without any attempts ever made for it to survive, thought I do believe it was self sustaining, Auto assault was not soled back to the developer even thought the developer was ready to pay for it, from the looks of it NCSoft just has way too much money and doesn't care about them, a game either makes the profit they want and it does fast or dies.

that's it dies, not shelved it dies never to be seen again, not even a profitable exit like selling it to someone they think they can save it, the article is correct from my outside observation, they care only about the profit, not if a game can sustain itself and move from that onwards to success and that makes me be really sceptical about any games they make.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 9:59PM UnSub said

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There's "profitable" and then there is "profitable and worth reinvesting in". CoH/V could probably exist for quite a while as a profitable cash cow while the existing player base slowly declined.

If NCsoft Korea saw a better use for the money they might want to reinvest in CoH/V - such as translating one of their new titles for the Western market (e.g. Soul and Blade) - then that is what they will do. CoH/V can go back to having 15 (or less) people working on it.
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