Thus, I put out a call for your City of Heroes characters along with their stories so that I could share them with the world at large. Dozens of readers responded, and for the next couple of weeks, we're going to be looking at the digital face of tragedy and memories. These are the avatars who genuinely meant something to someone, and while they are about to be deleted from the servers forever, I hope that by archiving them here, they'll live on for future generations (read: December 2012 readers) to discover.
Let's go meet some of them, shall we?
Daniel: Dow (right)
Of all the archetypes, I think I enjoyed playing Brutes the most. This character, a Staff/Invulnerability Brute named Dow, was one of my more recent creations. Staff was new at the time, and I had never played Invulnerability all that much before, so I thought I would give the combo a shot. What started out as just a simple test build ended up being one of my favorite characters, as well as one of the toughest.
Raiq is my Dark Brute, a demon duke of Hell. "You have summoned me... mortal. That was... foolish... Alas, regret is futile. Now, let us begin..."
Dee: Rentaro (right)
This is the first superhero that I created when I first joined about two years ago. He's an all-electric blaster who started out in Praetoria. I accomplished a lot of my firsts with him. He was the first hero that I'd maxed out on. He was also the longest-lived character I'd played with in any MMO. My experience playing with him was amazing. The Electric Control/Manipulation powerset was a lot of fun to play with. There's just something about zapping your enemies and watching them convulse that fills you with joy, you know? Sure, I died quite a bit, being a blaster and all, but in CoH, it was all a part of the fun.
My husband Vynsint and I have been active members of CoH since 2007. These are our first characters, and their costumes haven't changed much since their creation. They stand in our throne room of a base that has taken almost six years and thousands of hours to create. It is a marvel, it is our sweat and labor, and it is our cherished "dollhouse." We walk it's halls every time we log on. All the thought and love that we put into creating such a wonder will be lost forever if the servers shut down on November 30th.
Ted: Nuke Em High (center)
Nuke Em High. Ex-Pro Skateboarder. Used to go by the name "Trasher" for his disgusting habit of taking any dare to eat trash or anything else off of the ground. Was found most days skating an abandoned relic of the cold war, a missile silo. One day at the silo, a friend found some gray goop and dared Trasher to have some. He did. It tasted like dirt, salt, and battery acid. It gave him such a surge of power. Fast forward 90 days and his body had utterly mutated as he grew to over seven feet tall. Now he calls Paragon home and still skates in his free time. He did gave up eating off the ground, however, unless it follows the five-second rule.
Neil: Weather Dancer (right)
When I first created her, I was just mainly looking for a good look that suited a Electric/Storm Controller. I had the idea for Native American rain dancer-inspired theme for her, and this was what I came up with. I never really thought that her look was totally unique or amazing, but when I started playing, I would get so many compliments from others on how they really liked her. I was kind of amazed at it, and it gave me a smile every time it happened. I came up as a runner-up in a lot of costume contests held by other players. Than I finally got a first place in one. I was pretty shocked that I was chosen. The day I won the contest was the day before the news hit of the closure.
Living in a zoo, Panda was content to spend all day sleeping and eating bamboo. When the Rikti Invasion happened, the zoo was abandoned and the animals were left to fend for themselves. A few weeks after the initial attacks, Panda was running out of time and food when a Rikti ship was shot down over the zoo. Some of the wreckage from the downed Rikti ship happened to land in Panda's enclosure, which caused panda to evolve at an accelerated rate. With Panda's increased intelligence and strength, he was able to finally leave the zoo. After leaving the zoo, Panda finds the destruction of Paragon too much to "bear" and vows to fight back the Rikti invasion and any other threats to Paragon.
Xen: Cola Girl (center)
Cassie Blake, better known as Cola Girl, has the natural ability to generate cola at will. A self-professed cola addict, she drank so much that her body adapted its very DNA to the point that the girl literally bleeds her favorite soda-pop. Equipped with chilling unit (after all, no one likes warm soda), she decided to serve justice and quench villains of their thirst for evil!
Doug: Mighty Lad (right)
Needless to say, choosing just one character or costume to represent all of my alts is a daunting task. I can point to a couple dozen that I love. However, I have to say that Mighty Lad is definitely one of my all-time favorites. It's a relatively simple design that evokes the changes from the dividing line between the Golden and Silver Ages of superhero comics. I gave him a bio to reflect that era.
That's all the space I have this week, so tune in next time for the rest of these creative capes!
When not clawing his eyes out at the atrocious state of general chat channels, Justin "Syp" Olivetti pulls out his history textbook for a lecture or two on the good ol' days of MMOs in The Game Archaeologist. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his gaming blog, Bio Break.