A View from Atlas Park: Your (Beta) Invitation, Sir…


A View from Atlas Park: Your (Beta) Invitation, Sir…

How quickly a year goes, hey? Seems like only yesterday I was waking up at 3am local (ie Western Australian) time in order to log into CoH beta. And just how good if felt the first time I played, even just through the Outbreak zone (due to bug that told you the wrong door to enter for the final mission) because, after two years of imagining what it would be like to play, CoH was actually good. It was fun. It was a mmog I actually wanted to play.

But more on that next week. For now: the original invite.

UPDATE NOTE: Several people did not receive this invitation when it was sent this morning, or received an incomplete version. This email is being sent to you because you apparently have not created a CoH game account yet. If you received an invitation already, this one should replace the earlier one. If you have any problems or questions, please reply to [email protected].


We would like to take this opportunity to officially invite you into the City of Heroes Closed Beta! Should you accept this invitation, you will be among the first individuals from the online community to experience and test this new multiplayer game! You were chosen to participate because of your long-time devotion to City of Heroes and we are absolutely thrilled to offer you the opportunity to play at this time. However, there is a lot to know, so it is very important that you read the following carefully.

First, we would like to explain what the current status of City of Heroes is, how the beta testing process will develop over time, and what we expect from you if you are interested and eligible to participate. If after considering these things, you think you would like to participate in the Closed Beta, we would be grateful to have your assistance in making this the biggest and best on-line game ever!

City of Heroes is just wrapping up its ‘core feature complete’ stage. This means that at present, most of the game features are in and (usually) working. Players have access to all the planned powers and city zones appropriate for characters level 1-30. Now, it all needs to be tested thoroughly.

Closed Beta Process
For the early phases of closed beta testing, we will be inviting individuals in as we deem appropriate – in groups of 100 until we decide to increase that number. The process of getting you into the beta is automated, and specific instructions on activating your beta account are at the end of this e-mail.

Once in the beta, there will be ‘open server windows’ of time when we want as many people as possible to log in and play. Outside of these windows of times, we will disable access to the servers. As the beta testing progresses, we will expand the frequency and duration of server accessibility. Typically, each session will have a focus, or some specific things we’d like to get feedback on. We will tell you what these are, at the beginning of each week through a “Closed Beta Update” email.


If you accept our offer to beta test, we expect you to keep the following in mind:


1. Behavior and Conduct
This Closed Beta is serious business. We take it seriously and we need you to do so as well. You cannot discuss your participation in the beta with anyone and you will have to sign a legally-binding NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to guarantee this. PLEASE be considerate and don’t flaunt your participation to other members of the City of Heroes community. All it will do is make the people who haven’t been invited feel bad, and will only encourage them to ask you for information that you cannot give them. This beta is not about bringing attention to yourself and your participation, but about digging in and testing a game to make sure it’s the very best it can be! We expect you to behave maturely and always remember the task at hand. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you do NOT identify yourself to anyone as a closed beta tester.

Please note that no discussion of the game whatsoever includes: no taking of screenshots, no verbal anecdotes, and no commenting on message boards or in chats about any aspect of the game. Should you do any of the above mentioned prohibitions or violate the Non-Disclosure Agreement in anyway, it will result in automatic removal from the closed beta and legal action may be taken against you.

Likewise, should you act inappropriately in the game or display disruptive “griefing” behavior, this will also result in your instant removal from the beta test.

2. A Commitment to Test
We will be tracking beta participation and if we find that you are not testing consistently, we reserve the right to remove you from the Closed Beta and replace you with someone who can better meet the testing obligations.

3. Providing Feedback
Our best method of receiving feedback from you is via a special Beta Testing Message Board and in-game bug reporting tools. You are expected to provide written feedback and plenty of it – your participation in this Beta does us no good if we can’t get the information we need to make the game better!

System Specifications
Currently City of Heroes supports the following system specifications:

Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP, Intel Pentium® III 800 MHz or AMD Athlon 800 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 2 GB available hard drive space, GeForce 2 Series Video Card, 16-bit Sound Card, 56k modem, keyboard, and mouse.

Windows 2000/XP, Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1700+, 512 MB RAM, 2 GB available hard drive space, GeForce 4 Ti or ATI Radeon 8500 Series Video Card, 16-bit Sound Card, Broadband Internet connection, keyboard, and mouse.

Taking all the above into consideration, if you are interested in participating in the Closed Beta, please complete the following three sections.


I. Register a PlayNC Account.
PlayNC is a brand new website where we will handle account creation and management for NCsoft games. The website is also currently a work-in-progress, so expect to see a great number of new changes and content appearing on the site in the upcoming months. You will need to create a PlayNC account to participate in City of Heroes beta testing. To do so:

1. Go to https://secure.plaync.com
2. A security pop-up window will appear. Enter the following:

Account name: ***DELETED****

**Please save this information as you will need it to access the PlayNC site**

3. Click “Create” on the navigation bar.
4. Enter the appropriate information in the account name, password, hint, and birth date fields and click the “Next” button. Please Note: Your PlayNC account name cannot be the same as your City of Heroes account name for security reasons. Note also that it is very important that you use your real birth date, since this information will be needed for identification and verification purposes (i.e., lost passwords).
5. Enter your personal information (name, address, telephone number and e-mail address). Click “Next”.
6. An e-mail verification will be sent to the e-mail address listed in your personal information. Enter the code you receive with the e-mail verification. Click “Next”.
7. Confirm your account information (or make edits) and click “Confirm”. For the duration of the beta test, your billing information will be displayed as “Beta Service”.

II. Register City of Heroes Beta Account.
Once your PlayNC account has been created, you will need to assign a City of Heroes Beta account to your master account. Eventually, this system will allow you to assign multiple accounts to one master account, including multiple NCsoft games. To assign the City of Heroes Beta account:

1. Click “Add a Game” on the navigation bar. (If you have logged out of the website, you may need to log back in to see this option.)
2. Enter the serial number listed in the Password field in the previous step.
3. Agree to the NDA and EULA by clicking the “I Agree” buttons.
4. Create a City of Heroes game account by entering an account name and password for your account. Click the “Create” button.

III. Register a City of Heroes Beta Message Board Account.
The City of Heroes Beta test has private message boards available at http://boards.coh.com. You can use these boards to offer suggestions, report bugs, or discuss the current testing of City of Heroes with other members of the beta test – but first you’ll need to register for a message board account. To do so:

1. Go to https://secure.cityofheroes.com/cgi-bin/coh_board.pl.
2. Enter your e-mail address and serial number in the security pop-up window as you did when first visiting the PlayNC website.
3. Log in using your game account name and password.
4. Create a message board account. Your login name for the message boards will automatically be the same as your City of Heroes game account login. Your display name will be what appears when you make posts to the message board.

Finally, you may wish to register for a customer service account in case of any technical support questions. You can do so by visiting the City of Heroes Support website at http://support.cityofheroes.com and following the instructions to create a new account.

Remember to keep your email and serial number handy for access to the PlayNC website.

Thank you very much for taking the time to join us in the City of Heroes beta test. We look forward to seeing you on the streets of Paragon City!


– The NCsoft Team

– UnSub [email protected] 18 April 2005

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