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When City of Heroes was first released it didnt recieve near the credit it deserved, coming out months before World of Warcraft, it incorperated an unheard of an arguably still unmatched Character Creation system, and gave players more of a reason to group together than any game (besides Final Fantasy XI). Alot has changed since the days of release, and though many MMOs have come along since than, and even a couple more Superhero MMOs have been released, but City of Heroes remains the 1 game I cant quit for good. This is not a review of what City of Heroes was, because all veterans miss the pre i5 days where burn still owned all and a single tank could take down 100 enemies at once, but this is a review of the game in its current state, which i am happy to say is worthy of praise equal to the pre i5 CoH!
The core gameplay of City of Heroes hasnt really changed much since it first game out (well since about i3). People are still finding ways to farm, not that thats a bad thing ONCE YOU HAVE EARNED A FEW 50s!! Teaming is easier than ever thanks to everyone mentoring (or exemplaring) to the team leaders level and being able to gain xp even when exemplared. Architect missions are a blast, though they have eliminated the use for regular missions, unless you are a new player or just a faithful to the old ways you wont do much outside of AE unless its a requirement.
The new Incarnate System is a matter of opinion. I have seen people that have hated it and are going to quit because of it, I myself love the new system! Basically you gain these Incarnate shards on every mish once level 50 (or killing outside mobs, lvl 50ish). There are 2 weekly Task Forces every week that are easy to get into since people either gather in Pocket D or there is also a LFG tab that transports you into a trial when one is ready. These trials give other components that are essential to leveling up your Incarnate Abilieies. Incarnate Abilities can range from gaining better end recovery, or increasing your damage, to getting a pet that helps in battle or even a blast as strong as a blasters nova. By gaining these powers it is possible to really enhance your characters power, making you much stronger than level 50! This adds alot more fun into the game, it gives max level characters something to do, and honestly its just plain fun. I have been playing nothing but 1 character for the last 2 weeks just because i want to level his Incarnate Abilities more.
IOs have become VERY expensive, some depends on your server but there is always something to work for to increase your characters strength. IO's mixed with Incarnate Powers makes you feel like an amazing hero/villain and there is a good story to boot.
I do have a few problems with the game atm though. The Trials get very tedious, hoping it changes after this week but there is a cutscene before one of the trials that takes 5 mins and is annoying and very boring to watch. IOs have sky rocketed in price making it hard for new players to get how everything works, the Incarnate system is a great idea but missions have become pretty easy because of it, and Going Rogue does not have enough content to justify the $40 price, honestly I have made 1 praetorian but that is it, when you can make a hero or villain and switch in between its kind of useless, they should have made Rogues/Vigilante's an allignment of their own so characters already on 1 side couldnt switch.
All in all guys City of Heroes/Villains has never been more fun for me than it is right now, level 50s are fun to play without PvP or 12 hour TFs, me, my brother and cousin have all reactivated and dont plan on quitting anytime soon, I havent even started IO'ing my PvP toons yet, the future is looking bright and I can honestly say City of Heroes is STILL the best Superhero MMO out there.