NCSoft: City of Heroes Can't Be Saved

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happy_turtle:
Two Words: "Open Source"

I would add one or two more (depending on how you view the colloquialism), along with a comma and a period. The end result would read "Open source, motherfuckers."

...I think that succinctly explains my feelings about NCSoft refusing to give up code their people didn't even write when they have no use for it anymore.

So they kill off City of Heroes just to release another sword & sorcery mmo? What the bet Star Trek is next on the block to make way for Guild Wars 3?

I guess you could say no one could save them...something something...hero pun.

Eh, I'm tired.

Sylveria:

hazabaza1:
Can't people just do private servers or something? I know that they're a bit sketchy at times but if it's not going to be available, then why not?

And they probably will, if they don't already exist, but clearly the game still has enough support from people who wanted to see it continue and develop.

NCSoft no longer wishes to be involved supporting western MMOs. Honestly, if you're playing an NCSoft MMO like... Guild Wars 2.. I wouldn't count on them keeping the lights on for more than 5 years.

Yeah, I can't believe how they forced ArenaNet to shut down Guild Wars 1 when GW2 launched.

Oh wait? That didn't happen and this is down to the studio that hosts the game RATHER THAN NCSoft?

rembrandtqeinstein:
Just open source it and let fans run servers. A community that big and nerdy will have developers willing to work on it as a hobby.

Its not big though: They could only get 20,000 signatures on a petition to keep it open... An i'm going to say that some of those were from people who were not even members.

rembrandtqeinstein:
It would be a huge PR win and wouldn't cost them anything since "generic superhero universe" as an IP is fundamentally worthless.

loc978:
...I think that succinctly explains my feelings about NCSoft refusing to give up code their people didn't even write when they have no use for it anymore.

Okay, let me clear this up right now. NCsoft couldn't give it away even if they wanted to. That would literally be the same as giving away a functional intellectual property. Just because the game is essentially worthless, doesn't mean the IP is. That IP is still worth a whole heap of money until the expiry on the copyright.

Lets Say NCSoft decides to develop a brand spanking new City of Heroes game in the future, them giving away the property now, immediately puts it into the public domain.

FelixG:
And you know, if they can keep DCU or Champions going, they could easily keep CoH going.

Sure & i can put some voltage through the body of a brain dead corpse & it'll still appear to be alive, but its not like its going to magically get up & resume its past popularity... An all the while its building up a giant medical bill. Same holds true here: Its worse then that, he's dead Jim.

Neino Ranatos:
I honestly have a serious doubt that NCsoft put any actual effort into trying to keep City of Heroes alive. This is a predictably publisher-like for them.

...Damn you, NCsoft.

Dudes, you got to get over this. COX was a mediocre game, with pretty poor graphics, a terribly designed game engine, worse team design, terrible clunkyness & same old same old map designs. It was a progenitor of much better but equally flawed games, who extended its life by including a mission archetect that kind of allowed you to design adventures for people, but not really.

Its now a ghost town, occupied almost exclusively by people who have long ago finished playing the actual game & now just use it as a playground to generate there own roleplaying sessions. It essentially became a super hero version of Second Life.

The fact is that its been losing players like it'd been hit by a digital black death for years now & the company finally decided to face facts & pull the plug. Even F2P couldn't woo back enough people to keep this property viable.

008Zulu:
So they kill off City of Heroes just to release another sword & sorcery mmo? What the bet Star Trek is next on the block to make way for Guild Wars 3?

No they killed of COX because it was no longer profitable: The fact that they are also bringing out a different game in the same year is a correlation, not a causation. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc mate: Correlation passed off as Causation.

matthew_lane:

rembrandtqeinstein:
It would be a huge PR win and wouldn't cost them anything since "generic superhero universe" as an IP is fundamentally worthless.

Okay, let me clear this up right now. NCsoft couldn't give it away even if they wanted to. That would literally be the same as giving away a functional intellectual property. Just because the game is essentially worthless, doesn't mean the IP is. That IP is still worth a whole heap of money until the expiry on the copyright.

My internet law degree tells me that they can release the code and the IP on a non-commercial, revocable license. So that means they retain control and could prevent porn versions of the game, or pro-nazi servers or whatever.

matthew_lane:

No they killed of COX because it was no longer profitable: The fact that they are also bringing out a different game in the same year is a correlation, not a causation. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc mate: Correlation passed off as Causation.

Not profitable? The game had a few hundred thousand players generating about 3 million dollars per year, in what universe is that not profitable?

matthew_lane:

Dudes, you got to get over this. COX was a mediocre game, with pretty poor graphics, a terribly designed game engine, worse team design, terrible clunkyness & same old same old map designs. It was a progenitor of much better but equally flawed games, who extended its life by including a mission archetect that kind of allowed you to design adventures for people, but not really.

I highly disagree with this statement.

Seriously? Suckage. I just got back into it, too, when I found out I could finally make my favorite concept character with one of the newest powersets.

Eh, bien...looks like Umbramancer is gonna be in for some looooong game sessions in the next two months.

Only a paltry 20,000? I think they'd have needed 200,000 to make NCSoft think twice. I've seen some alternative theories on "why NCSoft is REALLY shutting it down."

http://mmogrinder.net/2012/09/02/r-i-p-city-of-heroes/

rembrandtqeinstein:
My internet law degree tells me that they can release the code and the IP on a non-commercial, revocable license. So that means they retain control and could prevent porn versions of the game, or pro-nazi servers or whatever.

Nope. Its not how copyright works. If it were copyleft it'd work, but its not.

008Zulu:
Not profitable? The game had a few hundred thousand players generating about 3 million dollars per year, in what universe is that not profitable?

No, not 3 mill a year, its actually $4,800,000 a year... Working on the theory that every single one of those people who signed the petition was a pay for player & that none of them traded down to F2P. An even then, you have to pay for the overhead of the server up time, the power to run the servers, the bandwidth, the office space, the designers, the coders, the forum board team, the GM's, etc etc.

Lets say that you are paying your full time staff, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the 2002 median annual earnings of salaried computer programmers was $60,290. The middle 50 percent earned between $45,960 and $78,140 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,080; the highest 10 percent earned more than $96,860.

An they were operating a full, but limited studio. Trust me when i say that money is going to be going faster then a handful of singles at a titty bar.

Suddenly your profit starts to quickly evaporate & you realise that you are still harnessed to this huge dead weight. They'd have been lucky to be pulling in 2 mill a year on this game, with a serious case of diminishing returns.

Neino Ranatos:

matthew_lane:

Dudes, you got to get over this. COX was a mediocre game, with pretty poor graphics, a terribly designed game engine, worse team design, terrible clunkyness & same old same old map designs. It was a progenitor of much better but equally flawed games, who extended its life by including a mission archetect that kind of allowed you to design adventures for people, but not really.

I highly disagree with this statement.

You can disagree to your hearts content, it is nonetheless true. The game was a grab bag of poor design choices, the mission structures were disinteresting, the grouping feature almost non existant. Heck even the animation was that of the previous generation: It did not age well.

It was an excellent game, a rare gem in a field polluted by the same old Orc/Elf/Wizard clones that are out there.

I have no dog in this fight, but I came across this

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveCityofHeroes/permalink/160493507424254/

Larry Dixon: *shrug* It's as "real" as anything else NCsoft says or does. That'll flip if they want it to. What it *is* is an admission that they've noticed enough to respond to it "on company letterhead." Its face value is meaningless.

The REAL takeaway from this is "Hey this is starting to hurt, stop it guys!" If the revival efforts meant nothing, NCsoft would not post what amounts to "Elvis has left the building." And that is all that is. They want the negative attention to stop. That is an official attempt at deflection. Or, in political terms, an "Un-Answer."

It appears to be a response but actually accomplishes nothing except silence those who weren't very into it. Like I say, what it says is irrelevant; the thing to take notice of is that it was put there at all. And that means time to step it up because the other fighter just staggered.

If the "Save CoH/We love Paragon" etc. efforts were ineffective, we'd never have seen such a statement. The hidden meaning of that note is that it has dawned on somebody that this is developing into "anti-NCsoft," not "Save-CoH," so they issued a mollifying statement with a lot of buttonpushing feel-warm cozy buttons about how special what they just murdered was to them.

Now they reap the mistrust they sowed, they can see the coverage increase, the caution against them and the players taking their money away in droves, and we can look them steely in the eyes and reply "Too bad. It's just business. Isn't it."

The "exhausted all options" is bizspeak for "We didn't get what we wanted, so we stopped bothering to find solutions." Businesspeople who truly WANT a result ALWAYS find a way, they never "exhaust all options." So right there is an admission from NCsoft that they're very bad businesspeople. Most certainly unimaginative and inflexible.

Shortest form: As a strategist, the hits are being felt by NCsoft, and they've barely begun.

Second message: This is the murderer issuing an official statement that they "really tried hard" not kill what they had a choice about murdering, and hoping that "Oh they loved it like I did, they're really sorry!" should be your takeaway from that and that should make EVERYTHING just fine, right?

I don't take "We loved it too!" as anything but an insult to our intelligence.

Nah, this is a "There, that'll shut'em up" attempt, as if talking to six-year-olds.

008Zulu:
It was an excellent game, a rare gem in a field polluted by the same old Orc/Elf/Wizard clones that are out there.

Not really. It was actually a pretty terrible game. Lets not talk it up guys: It was a dodgy cool down engine, running graphics that were a generation old by the time of its release. It was generally an uninspired game domain, with little in the way of set dressing. It was clustered with open source bad guys, predicated almost entirely on fetch quests, had a terrible musical score (only slightly better then Champions Online) & was generally pretty turn key & snooze.

Not to mention how silly the power up & item creation system was.

Lets be honest here folks: The dislike of the idea of shutting down this game doesn't come from people liking the game: It comes from people who like the "IDEA" of the game. From people who don't like the idea of someone coming along & taking away the thing they hold nostalgic feelings about.

psychopez:
It's a bit trickier than just open source.

Paragon/NCSoft were still licensing technology from Cryptic to run the game. Cryptic probably had some sort of deal to let NCSoft/Paragon use the engine, but given that Cryptic has their own superhero MMO, they might not want to let someone else use their stuff for free while they have their own MMO for the using.

I mean, NCSoft can still huff a dong, huff all the dongs, but I don't think it's a straight up issue as letting someone else have the code...

That's what I had figured, as well. The problem lies in the fact that there are some many pieces in play that it's not just a matter of keeping the servers up on NCSoft's end. They'd most likely have to communicate and piece together deals with all powers involved to get the game to continue running.

I doubt there would be a single person of whom were involved in City of Heroes' that wouldn't want some type of royalty or payout in the game's continued existence out of NCSoft's hands, and at this point it's just not profitable for anyone behind the game to continue running the servers.

matthew_lane:

Neino Ranatos:

matthew_lane:

Dudes, you got to get over this. COX was a mediocre game, with pretty poor graphics, a terribly designed game engine, worse team design, terrible clunkyness & same old same old map designs. It was a progenitor of much better but equally flawed games, who extended its life by including a mission archetect that kind of allowed you to design adventures for people, but not really.

I highly disagree with this statement.

You can disagree to your hearts content, it is nonetheless true. The game was a grab bag of poor design choices, the mission structures were disinteresting, the grouping feature almost non existant. Heck even the animation was that of the previous generation: It did not age well.

true in YOUR opinion, it was the only good super hero MMO out there, have fun with the shit that's left :p

matthew_lane:

You can disagree to your hearts content, it is nonetheless true. The game was a grab bag of poor design choices, the mission structures were disinteresting, the grouping feature almost non existant. Heck even the animation was that of the previous generation: It did not age well.

An opinion is not a truth. You have equal right to say the game was terrible to your heart's content. Doing so is not going to alter the reality that it is still an opinion and not a proven fact.

I liked the game. That's just my opinion. That's all there is to it.

matthew_lane:
Not really. It was actually a pretty terrible game. Lets not talk it up guys: It was a dodgy cool down engine, running graphics that were a generation old by the time of its release. It was generally an uninspired game domain, with little in the way of set dressing. It was clustered with open source bad guys, predicated almost entirely on fetch quests, had a terrible musical score (only slightly better then Champions Online) & was generally pretty turn key & snooze.

Not to mention how silly the power up & item creation system was.

Lets be honest here folks: The dislike of the idea of shutting down this game doesn't come from people liking the game: It comes from people who like the "IDEA" of the game. From people who don't like the idea of someone coming along & taking away the thing they hold nostalgic feelings about.

Yeah well, that's your opinion. One a lot of people don't share.

matthew_lane:

008Zulu:
It was an excellent game, a rare gem in a field polluted by the same old Orc/Elf/Wizard clones that are out there.

Not really. It was actually a pretty terrible game. Lets not talk it up guys: It was a dodgy cool down engine, running graphics that were a generation old by the time of its release. It was generally an uninspired game domain, with little in the way of set dressing. It was clustered with open source bad guys, predicated almost entirely on fetch quests, had a terrible musical score (only slightly better then Champions Online) & was generally pretty turn key & snooze.

Not to mention how silly the power up & item creation system was.

Lets be honest here folks: The dislike of the idea of shutting down this game doesn't come from people liking the game: It comes from people who like the "IDEA" of the game. From people who don't like the idea of someone coming along & taking away the thing they hold nostalgic feelings about.

I liked the game. I liked it enough to sink thousands of hours into it over the course of 6 years, drop nearly a thousand dollars in subscription fees, and exhaust all the content in the game several times over.
I'd consider it the only MMO ever worth playing, out of every single one I've tried, which has been a lot.

NCsoft got my ire when they decided to kill Auto Assault.
Yeah, Aion goes F2P, but whatever is the child they keep locked in the basement just gets baked into some pie for the rest to feed on.

Clive Howlitzer:
I liked the game. I liked it enough to sink thousands of hours into it over the course of 6 years, drop nearly a thousand dollars in subscription fees, and exhaust all the content in the game several times over.
I'd consider it the only MMO ever worth playing, out of every single one I've tried, which has been a lot.

you liking it is not the same thing as it being a good game. I liked it when i was playing it too, but even i can admit it was a pretty dreadful game.

[Batman voice]A city full of heroes saving the day and recusing the world... and they never saw it coming... their own powerlessness... to save themselves... Who rescues the rescuers?[/Batman voice]

Anywho, It would have been nice if they announced a little more in advance if the game was becoming a money sieve since they should have known about this for some time. if they just though there resources would be better used elsewhere then they should just admit its the game's time to die. There going to look like villains but at least explaining it fully will avoid some of the bullshit accusations. Ah hell, even that wouldn't work. Nothing they are going to do is going to placate fans at least they had some announcement, they could have just pulled the plug with no announcement like a bunch of assholes.

Twilight_guy:
Anywho, It would have been nice if they announced a little more in advance if the game was becoming a money sieve since they should have known about this for some time.

They did announce it... thats what a game going F2P is: A giant decleration of "oh shit, our player base is vanishing, better make the game free."

Fact is this has been well known for about 2 months now & you've still got till the end of November. How much more time does one need? A year? Two years? Never?

Twilight_guy:
if they just though there resources would be better used elsewhere then they should just admit its the game's time to die.

They did do that already. They admitted that the game was just no longer viable & after investigating all other avenues, decided to shut it down.

Twilight_guy:
There going to look like villains but at least explaining it fully will avoid some of the bullshit accusations.

No, they were going to look like the villain of the piece, even if they were handing out free blow jobs. After all these are the people saying "you can't play this game anymore." Those fanboys were bound to throw a hissy fit about it no matter what they did.

Twilight_guy:
Nothing they are going to do is going to placate fans at least they had some announcement, they could have just pulled the plug with no announcement like a bunch of assholes.

I actually wish they'd done that. At least then it would justify the level if histrionics that is going along with the announcement.

matthew_lane:

Clive Howlitzer:
I liked the game. I liked it enough to sink thousands of hours into it over the course of 6 years, drop nearly a thousand dollars in subscription fees, and exhaust all the content in the game several times over.
I'd consider it the only MMO ever worth playing, out of every single one I've tried, which has been a lot.

you liking it is not the same thing as it being a good game. I liked it when i was playing it too, but even i can admit it was a pretty dreadful game.

I think it was a good game. It had its downsides, the same downsides basically any MMO has. I wouldn't have played it that long if I didn't think it was a good game. Even looking back on it, I think it was great.
Hell, I was about to go back to playing it when it was announced it was being shut down.

matthew_lane:

Twilight_guy:
Anywho, It would have been nice if they announced a little more in advance if the game was becoming a money sieve since they should have known about this for some time.

They did announce it... thats what a game going F2P is: A giant decleration of "oh shit, our player base is vanishing, better make the game free."

Fact is this has been well known for about 2 months now & you've still got till the end of November. How much more time does one need? A year? Two years? Never?

Twilight_guy:
if they just though there resources would be better used elsewhere then they should just admit its the game's time to die.

They did do that already. They admitted that the game was just no longer viable & after investigating all other avenues, decided to shut it down.

Twilight_guy:
There going to look like villains but at least explaining it fully will avoid some of the bullshit accusations.

No, they were going to look like the villain of the piece, even if they were handing out free blow jobs. After all these are the people saying "you can't play this game anymore." Those fanboys were bound to throw a hissy fit about it no matter what they did.

Twilight_guy:
Nothing they are going to do is going to placate fans at least they had some announcement, they could have just pulled the plug with no announcement like a bunch of assholes.

I actually wish they'd done that. At least then it would justify the level if histrionics that is going along with the announcement.

To the first: No free to play is a change in payment model in the hopes of earning more money. It's worked for several games, actually. I note that this was sudden because I read an article that noted that the Dev team likely didn't know this was happening before the announcement. If they didn't know it was happening then someone wasn't telling someone else something.

Number 2, Yeah that's not quiet the same as "we think this game is not profitable enough to justify having our employes on it so we are moving them and shutting down this game". They framed it as if the game is hugely in the red when it looks like its not quiet in the black enough.

Numero tres, Yeah the next few sentences in my post pretty much said the same thing.

Numbuh 4, Yeah doing that would just make them look like dicks and publishers already get too much flak without doing clearly dickish things like that. Also, just as the publishers was always going to be a mustache twirling villain, the fans were always going to throw a hissy fit, no matter how this went down.

Twilight_guy:
To the first: No free to play is a change in payment model in the hopes of earning more money.

no its a change in payment model because people are no longer paying to play. There has never been an executive ever that has said "well our game is making a shit load of money, we should make it free, so we can see if we can make slightly less".

F2P is always done as a way to try to recapture the market for any given MMO.

Twilight_guy:
It's worked for several games, actually. I note that this was sudden because I read an article that noted that the Dev team likely didn't know this was happening before the announcement. If they didn't know it was happening then someone wasn't telling someone else something.

You never tell the staff whats going on, thats just a bad habit to get into... Chances are that the company was hoping to salvage the situation right up until the last minute.

Twilight_guy:
Number 2, Yeah that's not quiet the same as "we think this game is not profitable enough to justify having our employes on it so we are moving them and shutting down this game". They framed it as if the game is hugely in the red when it looks like its not quiet in the black enough.

The game is hugely in the red. If something is not making a projected minimum profit margin, then its in the red. Thats how business works mate.

Twilight_guy:
Numbuh 4, Yeah doing that would just make them look like dicks and publishers already get too much flak without doing clearly dickish things like that. Also, just as the publishers was always going to be a mustache twirling villain, the fans were always going to throw a hissy fit, no matter how this went down.

Actually it would only make them look dickish to the COX fans... But its done that anyway. In fact i'd say they look more dickish because they are stretching it out. If they just up & closed the servers with "sorry guys, no more money left" they'd have been some minor bitching & then everyone would get over it, because they would have to... Where as this way we get the 7 signs of grieving for the next 2 months.

So far we've seen Shock. Then we saw Denial that the player base hasn't shrunk to the point where the server is closing down. Then we had Bargaining in the form of a petition.

I'm not sure what happened to Guilt, but players are probably feeling that quitely, because we certainly have reached the Anger stage, as seen here https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveCityofHeroes/permalink/160493507424254/

Next is Depression & then finally Acceptance and Hope

hmmmmmm. I wonder what form depression may take. It'll certainly be fun to document.

Switch to DC universe, then?

Elmoth:
Switch to DC universe, then?

That wont help. See as little as the remaining COX players will admit it, they actually don't care for the game aspects of the game. The majority of COX players are still there only to RP super heroes. They have big convoluted events, based around content generated through the architect: COX has essentially become Second Life for super heroes.

It seems to not be about gameplay for them, so much as its about outfits, and self generated head canon: That can't be replicated under DCUO. My suggestion is get a skype connection & a copy of "Mutants and Masterminds" 3E RPG. Or better yet, ditch the net & table top it with MnM 3E.... It'll be exactly like being online, but you'll actually increase your social circle of real people & finding an actual table top game while hard, is still significantly easier then finding a group in COX.

matthew_lane:

Elmoth:
Switch to DC universe, then?

That wont help. See as little as the remaining COX players will admit it, they actually don't care for the game aspects of the game. The majority of COX players are still there only to RP super heroes. They have big convoluted events, based around content generated through the architect: COX has essentially become Second Life for super heroes.

It seems to not be about gameplay for them, so much as its about outfits, and self generated head canon: That can't be replicated under DCUO. My suggestion is get a skype connection & a copy of "Mutants and Masterminds" 3E RPG. Or better yet, ditch the net & table top it with MnM 3E.... It'll be exactly like being online, but you'll actually increase your social circle of real people & finding an actual table top game while hard, is still significantly easier then finding a group in COX.

It looks like you're severely out of touch with what the game and community is like. Teaming is not difficult and is actually easier than it used to be. People do enjoy the mechanical aspects of character building and gameplay, and the entire community is not strictly composed of roleplayers who use the mission architect - nor is there anything wrong with those who do. The fact that such an option exists is actually a point in favor of CoH's quality as a long-term game.

ResplendentFire:
It looks like you're severely out of touch with what the game and community is like.

not really, i just distilled the common complaints out of hyperbolic bitching by people pissed at it closing.

ResplendentFire:
Teaming is not difficult and is actually easier than it used to be.

Actually i played it last month, so unless something has changed in the last month, then no.

ResplendentFire:
entire community is not strictly composed of roleplayers who use the mission architect - nor is there anything wrong with those who do.

No one said there was. But since its a given that the servers are going down, alternative suggestions are being made to accomodate players: MnM 3E was one best suited to RP crowd.

ResplendentFire:
The fact that such an option exists is actually a point in favor of CoH's quality as a long-term game.

I love how people are still using the term "long term game" when the game is closing & hasn't had a large player base in the last few years.

An the architect wasn't exactly what i would call a feature, more like a distraction. If you are going to let your players make an adventure, actually give them the tools to make an adventure rather then just play "dress up the villain".

Heck, i would most certainly would have been more interested. Unfortunately even the architect couldn't be anymore then a band-aid over the crappy cool down timer controls (which seemed to be the most common reason people bailed).

Heck chuck a real mission architect into DCUO & i'd consider actually subbing again, if only for a while. Heck for 6 months there i had one of the most commonly high rated series in the system on COX. Not that it was overly hard (especially once someone found a way to beat the last section really easily, for crazy level of xp).

So, um.... Its closed now & yet no story about it closing.

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