I just saw the news via PC Gamer that City of Heroes is going free-to-play. I can’t say I’m surprised. I’m sure that NCSoft and Paragon Studios have been looking for ways to renew interest in the game and saw Champions Online’s renewed success. I’m just glad that NCSoft didn’t shutdown the game as they’ve never been shy about that before, although admittedly for much younger games.

Free or not, I’m not planning on going to go back to the game. Just like with Age of Conan, the subscription isn’t what keeps me from playing. It’s time.

Unlike Conan though, I do like the Paragon City setting and lore. I played back when a comic came in the mail every month and I enjoyed the two books that were released. But the lore doesn’t offset the aging character models and combat system. I prefer the combat pacing and mechanics better in Champions Online, as well as the open power system and newer graphics. The only reasons I’ve gone back to CoH in recent months have been for nostalgia during free reactivation weekends.

The F2P plan itself is a pretty standard hybrid subscription model with an in-game store, VIP members getting point stipends monthly, and separate tiers for free players, those who’ve spent some money in the store and subscribers. The most interesting feature is that they are creating a VIP only server and giving VIPs one free transfer a month.

Hopefully the new model works just as well for Paragon Studios and NCSoft as it has for Cryptic and Turbine.

City of F2P
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4 thoughts on “City of F2P

  • June 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Sounds like Paragon learned something from Turbine in setting up their F2P. A VIP server sounds interesting.

    Never was a CoX fan. And since I have Champions, there is no reason for me to go back.

    • June 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      Yeah, they seem to have a pretty good setup, certainly better than what SOE did with EQ2. I couldn’t go back if I wanted to, I’ve gotten so used to the faster paced combat and blocking mechanics that playing CoH is just not anymore.

  • June 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    That’s pretty good news. I wouldn’t mind spending some more time with Death Lagomorph. It looks like you can buy your way out of most of the restrictions on a Premium account, which is a biggie for me. I have to agree though that the pace of combat in CO is generally better than CoX.

    • June 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      I remember the first time I hopped into CoH during a free weekend after having playing in Champs for a while and I kept hitting the shift key trying to block. I didn’t play long.

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