City of Heroes

A-S-Thombarr's avatar
By A-S-Thombarr
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    On December 1st, 2012, at 00:01 Pacific Time, a truly wonderful game shut off its servers for the final time. That game was called City of Heroes. This was a tragic event in my life, but I didn't know that until very recently. This week, in fact. The past couple of days I have been in sudden, unexpected pain, no doubt because I have been repressing my true feelings about the unceremonious closure of the game; pain so severe that it has been physical at times.
    Now, I'm going to make it my point to say that this is by no means an NCSoft bashing post. The company made the decision that it made, and no amount of tantrumming or fit-pitching or any other such thing can reverse it. I'm not here to offer my speculation or opinion regarding NCSoft. I am here to express my feelings about the game, as well as where I'm going to go from here.
    I discovered City of Heroes three years ago (a little late in the life of the game), and since then it has been more than a game to me. It has been an escape - something that I can turn to in hard times, when stressful or emotional situations have been pressing from all sides. There was nothing to me like flying through the skies of Paragon City, or super speeding through the streets to take out the local gangs. CoH was there for me when I went through a messy break up. It was there for me through two deaths in the family, the latter of which happened after the closure was announced but before it was shuttered for good. The community for this game was the best I've ever encountered.
    The time of year that I always played the game the most was the Springtime,and the Christmas Event. I mean, I played year round but the amount of time I spent online was significantly less than those two times. It's probably because those were always the most stressful times of the year (spring semester of college was brutal, especially when I was working on my Senior Thesis) and there was nothing for me like logging on and being my superpowered self (or selves, as I suffered from pretty bad altitis).
    But now I'm at a place where I have a lot of major life decisions to make, and there's a huge void to fill. I'm not someone who necessarily runs from his problems, however at times you have to be able to just... NOT... think about them. CoH was my way of not thinking about issues. It was fun (of course) even when I was not stressed.
    I've tried numerous other MMOs, including but not limited to World of Warcraft, Aion, Champions Online and DC Universe Online. I have quickly lost interest in all of them. This is nothing to say about the quality of the games in question, but rather a statement about my own love of City of Heroes. Try as I might, I am still comparing these games to CoH, and until I can stop pining for the dearly departed MMO I will not be able to appreciate them in the way they deserve.
   To this day I can still remember (and may never forget) the fanfare that played whenever I logged into Atlas Park, that theme that sounds like a true Silver Age Comic show  newscaster (Daily Planet anybody?). I can remember how fun it was to play in the Hollows (for some reason that was my favorite zone from beginning to end of my tenure there) and Steel Canyon. I still search for the soundtrack, and I peruse paragonwiki for the pictures and walk down memory lane. I can look for games to help fill the gap, but I know that what I'm actually looking for is Steel Canyon, Faultline, King's Row, and Croatoa, when I won't find those things. There's nothing I can do about it. Right now, all I can do is face these feelings I'm having, and this desperate longing for City of Heroes, so that I can move on in a healthy way (not in a find a new game way, but in a move on with my life way).
    I spent a lot of time thinking about what to do with these feelings I've been having, and I have decided that I will write a City of Heroes fanfiction series. I've had a story in mind ever since I created my first character, and it will center around characters I created (Amber Undertow, Brighton Powell, Darwin's Flame, Shadowblaize and Safehouse, to name a few). I'll be uploading slowly, but it will be I think a fun exercise.
My reflection on an incredible game, and an important time period of my life, that came to an abrupt end. Also an announcement of a soon to begin fanfiction of said game!
© 2013 - 2020 A-S-Thombarr
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