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End of a Gaming Era

This morning at 12:04am PST, City of Heroes shut down its servers for the final time.

I was there with my gaming group, the same folks I’ve been playing CoH with since it came out in April 2004. We haven’t played together consistently, but it was great to come together in the final days and document an era in gaming that has seen many changes. For the record, City of Heroes came out half a year before World of Warcraft. Maybe that can help put into perspective how influential and inveterate City of Heroes has been in the online gaming world.

I have to admit, aside from the character creation and the existence of the Pixie Patrol Supergroup, I wasn’t that into City of Heroes. It wasn’t until the release of City of Villains expansion in October 2005 that I began playing the game in earnest. I put aside Final Fantasy XI Online, which I loved and still remember fondly, and World of Warcraft in order to consolidate my social gaming into City of Villains. With the two different versions of the game, the moniker CoX became the common way to refer to the duality of gameplay. Villains gave it the push I needed to choose that universe over the others. How can you say no to being a bad guy?

After a while, our gaming group splintered to other games but a few of us managed to keep playing Villains weekly since 2006. We also “went Rogue” with an additional expansion in 2010. Stories have been added to enrich the gameplay, costumes have been created, friends have been made, and there’s never been a dull moment. Until the announcement in late August this year that NCSoft was disbanding the development team, Paragon Studios, and shutting down the servers in November.

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