Looking at Future Superhero MMOs

I’m growing a bit tired of the events surrounding City of Heroes, but I hadn’t really checked on any of the projects it inspired. I decided to go look at some of them. Now, I’ll present them in the order in which I looked them up and this is an extremely superficial impression. I would say it better reflects the quality of their website than the quality of the product itself. Still, it’s an impression.

Ship of Heroes

I was actually impressed by this project. I heard it mentioned on the MOP podcast some time ago and had simply lumped it in with “another future superhero MMO.” I have increasingly found myself ignoring announced projects that aren’t coming up on a beta phase.

So this one was a bit of a surprise. It looks good, seems to have a functional shell, albeit with a UI that reminds me of SWG or Repop. It’s the color, I think. It obviously isn’t finished and needs some polish.

Their webpage was fairly easy to use. I was able to get a good solid idea of what the game is, what it looks like, and where it is in development without too much effort. It looks like it plans to launch with around 12 zones and four classes with plans to add two more classes after launch. They have a fairly decent little FAQ.

Heroes and Villains

This is an extremely small shoestring-budget project that’s obviously a lot less flashy. There’s not even a release timetable available at the moment. It appears to be a volunteer team instead of a large commercial product. FAQ

There really isn’t much to see or compare that was easy to find or locate and I’m assuming this is because there’s not much to see yet. Still, it looks like they post an update every Friday, so it’s obvious something is happening, it’s just slow.

City of Titans

This project resembles Ship of Heroes in many ways, and seems to be in roughly the same place development-wise? My main complaint is that it’s hard for me to be certain because locating specific information on their website wasn’t always easy or user friendly. Most of the images I found were isolated assets and not in-game shots, though after some digging I did manage to find some in-game footage in their year-end post.

I know it’s a very personal thing, but I’m not sure I like the overall art style either, especially not that horrendous supergloss cape. It looks awful.

I also eventually found their FAQ as a link at the bottom of the page. According to that, the Heroes and Villians project is/was a small group that left this project.

Valiance Online

These guys appear to have a playable tech demo and are planning a public access week sometime in the near future. That said, their actual news/blog feed doesn’t receive many updates and the navigation wasn’t working the way I expected it to, so finding anything specific was a bit difficult. I did find a nifty little powers tool though.

I couldn’t find much in the way of media, or an FAQ for that matter. The most recent pieces of obvious artwork are some environments in a news post from November. They seem to be getting something done, but they don’t seem to be talking about it that much Maybe there’ll be more to see when they get their public access test sorted out.

Conclusion?

To be honest, just based on my cursory overview, my own preference would be for Ship of Heroes at the moment. In reality, none of these projects are likely to be complete this year, though I suppose they might get close. Cross that bridge when I get to it. I’m sure I’ll hear about it when it rolls around, and I at least have a better frame of reference for when I hear about it later.

Y’all take care, and remember, even people doing the wrong thing thought they were doing the right thing, especially at the time it was done.

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