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City of Heroes: Livestream Q&A with Matt 'Positron' Miller

MikeBMikeB Community ManagerAdministrator RarePosts: 6,486 will be featuring former City of Heroes senior lead designer Matt 'Positron' Miller this Thursday, December 21 at 7:30PM EST to discuss the now shutdown superhero MMO as part of a livestream Q&A on our Twitch.TV channel.

Fans of the game are sure to have questions for Matt and we'd like to get you involved in the interview! Simply post any questions you have (as many as you like!) regarding City of Heroes in the comments below and we may select some of them to pose to Matt during our interview this Thursday. 




Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB



  • MikeBMikeB Community ManagerAdministrator RarePosts: 6,486
    Give us your questions!

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • XxjagoxXXxjagoxX Member Posts: 148

    I loved this game for about 5 years.. playing none stop for about 3 years then leaving and coming back ever once and a while with new builds and content.. But after issue 17 i just quit.. the game went too far away from its roots. with with cash shop and focus to much on gear "enhancements"  the "end game gear" was just to much of a grind with not that much of a reward..


    I would love to see a city of heros 2? or a super hero game with alot of the same things city of  heros offerd Is there going to be anything in the works?


  • knightauditknightaudit Member UncommonPosts: 383

    I played COH for a number of years and I thought it was great, I was sorry and sad to see it go. All of the developers did a great job of bringing the game to life and making a great community and I thank you all for that.

    My question to Matt would be. If the possibility existed to remake COH/COV What parts would you keep, what would you change and what would you omitt fully from the game?

    Thank you

  • wolfneowolfneo Member UncommonPosts: 24
    i loved this game i still do and miss it so :(

    1. why was it shutdown? i would like a clear cut answer

    2. is it ok for player-made severs of the game to be used since the game isn't live anymore?

    3. are you working on any other games? CoH2 maybe? :P


  • ZharreZharre Member UncommonPosts: 80


    1. You'd have to ask NCSoft that question, but they have absolutely refused to give any answer aside from 'realignment of company focus'. They wanted it dead for reasons they are loathe to give.

    2. NCSoft is very possessive of the IPs it controls, even those they shut down. NCSoft has shut down private servers of other games it's closed, so it would likely do that for any CoH private servers. There are groups that are trying to create a successor that would be free of IP issues, however.

    3. I wish.  :( But, again, NCSoft owns it, and wants it to be dead.

  • mobbygmobbyg Member Posts: 1
    What would be the chances of the source code being released, like Quake's has been?
  • DreyderDreyder Member Posts: 25

    I could easilly have written any of the posts here... in fact my experience is almost identical to the initial poster.

    The thing CoH offered that other MMOs don't is that when I made a superhero... I felt like I had created something and since the name is so important in conveying what that superhero is about and that it is unique to you... you really felt like each hero was a unique creation.

    Superhero MMOs using established IPs don't really give you the sense that the world you're in is a blank slate for you to make you mark in... cause Superman is Superman and you're just not gonna be more important or anywhere close to that... in CoH you felt like the world WAS the server population. In that respect... CoH was almost like one of those "social MMOs"...

    If there ever was a CoH2 what I'd love to see would be the same level of character creation, unique names to each players (unlike champions)... if they want a cash shop I would make a vectorial logo / emblem / facemask creator and have people pay to get their created logo on their superhero.... but what the game should really focus on should be the communities on each server and letting influence and create their own world.

  • StarsmanStarsman Member Posts: 14

    My two questions (that I think actually can get an answer):

    If you manage to come up with investors or lottery money: would you plan creating a new MMO?

    Assuming a yes (or assume you were held hostage and forced to do a new MMO): would you decide to make a spiritual successor to City of Heroes, or would you go for something entirely unrelated to super heroes?

  • AlienOneAlienOne Member Posts: 2
    My question is: If City of Heroes is not sold, and a sequel is not made, will there be a chance that you or any of your colleagues will try to create a new similar experience for gamers out there who are craving the kind of combat system that was offered in City of Heroes?
  • FaelchuFaelchu Member UncommonPosts: 2

    Thank you and the Paragon team so much for City of Heroes. I started in 2004, 2 months after beta, and loved playing the game. No matter what was going on in my life, you and CoH were always there for over 8 years.  Thank you most kindly.

    My question is: where are the Paragon Studios developers now? I'd like to support the games they are currently creating and supporting. As long as NCsoft is not involved, if you'll forgive me.

    My wildest dream is that CoH will somehow arise from its ashes, or a CoH 2 will come from the Paragon team. Just sayin'.


  • Harbinger1975Harbinger1975 Member UncommonPosts: 244

    I hadn't played CoX in a long time.  But I still had many fond and wonderful memories of the game.

    My question:  Though Paragon Studioes was shut down by NCSoft, has there been any talks of you guys getting back together and doing a Kickstarter MMO/Game based on City of Heroes?  I know it won't BE City of Heroes, but some new Superhero Kickstarter game?  I have a strong feeling you'd have alot of supporters


  • XurelleXurelle Member Posts: 1

    I played CoH from launch until the final Virtue disconnect August 30th.  I miss it a lot.  Three generations of my family all played it together.

    Matt, have you seen the Korea Times article where NCsoft’s Seoul-based spokesman Kim Yo-han said that “nothing had been decided on selling the game or other action afterwards.”

    Are you, and/or Melissa and Brian trying to get backers once again to buy the CoH IP from NCSoft since it appears they might be changing their stance on selling CoH?   (Originally they basically said they had exhausted all options and weren't selling it.)

    There are a million questions I want to ask, but at the end of the day, that one seems the most important one.

  • WicoaWicoa Member UncommonPosts: 1,637
    What are you working on now.  There is a big gap in the mmorpg market for a super hero game CoX was good enough to be that top dog.
  • ApocalypseSunriseApocalypseSunrise Member Posts: 80

    Loved CoH dearly and was sorry to see it go before its time. All the devs and programmers did a great job of keeping it going past its prime and the community made it worth returning to after I'd taken a year off.
    In my opinion, CoH reached its prime back in 2010 and with NCsoft's trademarking of City of Heroes 2 it appeared they noticed it too. The shutdown occuring with no CoH2 set to launch, or even announced for development, seems all the more mysterious. As much as I'd like to know why NCsoft chose to shutdown their north american moneymaker I'd really like to know why City of Heroes 2 hadn't been given the greenlight. In 2010 it was time to begin the reboot. NCsoft was proud of CoH and your work.
    Q: What happened?

    I know efforts have been made to get Disney to look into buying City of Heroes from NCsoft.
    Q: In the event that doesn't pan-out, have you and fellow devs/programmers considered approaching Marvel or DC with the proposition of building a new superhero/super-villain MMO?

    CoX was unique and with it gone there is a void in the world of superhero gaming that neither of DC's or Marvel's current games can even come close to filling. Genre fans have been making clones and knockoffs of their trademarked characters within City of Heroes since launch day back in 2004, myself included. Lots of gameplayers would love to play alongside their favorite signature heroes and villains. I realize this would be an EXTREEME stretch of the imagination, but I would love to see an MMO joint-effort between the two comic giants. I don't see it happening, but I would certainly buy stock in both companies should they cooperate in such a venture.
    Aside from that, should all (or most) of the City of Heroes development team get back together and make a new super-powered MMORPG I would support you all the way. Well . . . just so long as NCsoft isn't involved. The superhero market just isn't their "thing", as evidenced by the sudden shutdown of CoH with no sequel in the works.
    Q: What would be your thoughts on beginning an entirely new superhero mmo? Would you address issues in CoH that were present from the beginning? Would you plan-out future content such as storylines, powers/powersets, QoL and new areas so that you have pre-determined goals for the years ahead? And quite importantly: Would you insist on a measure or method of control so you could prevent or delay a free-to-play option which often seems to indicate a game's money troubles?

    Thanks for taking the time to listen and thanks for all your hard work on City of Heroes. I wish you all the best for the future.

    Yes, I've read a poem. Try not to faint.

  • mithanielmithaniel Member Posts: 1

    Q: What did you like most about creating content for the players?

    Q:  What issue, post-Freedom, was the most time consiming

    Q: How long in planning was City of Heroes: Freedom, as going F2P wasn't an easy decision I'm sure.

    Q: What did you like the most about the community and interacting with them?

    Q: Of all the former devs that had left/moved on before the shut down, which one did/do you miss the most?

  • victoriavictrixvictoriavictrix Member Posts: 3

    How can we help you (and anyone else remaining) find jobs?  We worry about you guys.


  • JRVthatsMEJRVthatsME Member Posts: 17

    Considering that you used to work for Cryptic Studios, would you and the remaining Paragon Studios staff who are still unemployed like to work for Cryptic Studios hopefully on Champions Online. I've heard that Cryptic wouldn't have the budget to employ more people right now but perhaps with the fact that there are many thousands of us CoH players perhaps some kind of arrangement can be made between us and Cryptic that would cover saleries and expenses for each Paragon dev they employ and bring in some profit besides. Say for example if for every 2000 - 3000 of us who commit to maintain a $15 monthly subscription to Champions Online and keep renewing it for a set amount of time, Cryptic would higher an Unemployed Paragon dev to work on Champions online. There are a good amount of us who are now playing Champions Online and I have seen some of us say that they would pay just to see you working on Champions Online. When Neverwinter is released Cryptic will likely need more devs to properly maintain 3 MMOs and staff from Paragon would bring high quality to the company. I think that if this was possible everyone (Cryptic, Paragon devs and CoH players) would only benefit from it. Do you think there is any way something like this could be negotiated and would you go for such a thing?

    After everything that us the CoH players and the Paragon devs have been throguh together (mostly good and recently bad) you guys are practically like family to us and we'd like to have you back with us (ideally in CoH) and this at least could set some things right to a small degree, even if not the way we all want it to be the most.

  • MikeBMikeB Community ManagerAdministrator RarePosts: 6,486
    Let's get some more questions!

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • WildFire15WildFire15 Member Posts: 12

    Q: Is there any particular feature of City of Heroes that you are most proud of?

    Q: If you were given the chance to start CoH from scratch, is there anything you'd do differently?

  • Ironwolf2112Ironwolf2112 Member Posts: 1

    Hi Matt as a player of City of Heroes from the first day the game went live I miss the game and our devs equally as much. Would you and members of the old Paragon Studios consider moving to a new location? I know in Michigan 40% tax credits and 0% interest loans up to $15 million can be granted to game developers. Could Paragon Studios be moved to a city in Michigan?



  • Sugoi-chanSugoi-chan Member UncommonPosts: 15


    Assuming you had the funding to create an original MMO to replace CoH, what sort of time estimate would you say it would take to make the new game fully operational?

    There's a lot of people out here that believe you can just wave a magic wand, and Poof! there it is.  I know it takes a lot of skill, hard work and time to get something like this made.

    Matt, thank the gang for me,  I was a CoH player from Apr 2004 until it's shutdown, on nearly a daily basis.  The game was just so much fun on so many levels... from character creation options, the people who played on teams with me, and the many different ways a character or team could approach the varied assortment of missions.


  • TheQuinchTheQuinch Member Posts: 22

    Q: So far, NCsoft hasn't given the players any hints as to why they decided to close the game down. Has it, to your knowledge, given the developers one? {a yes or no answer would be fine, since I'm sure you'd tell us why if they did and you could}

    Q: Were there any graphical or gameplay overhauls planned for NPC groups in the same vein of CoT and Skulls {coughnemesishaxcough}?

    Q: During CoH's development, was there ever one decision that you looked back on and said to yourself, "what the HELL was I smoking back there?!"

    Q: If you had a single-charge "Defy the odds" temp power you could use on CoH, how would you use it?

    Q: A lot of #savecoh efforts are assuming that, if CoH was sold to another publisher, it would be possible to reassemble the core dev team. What's your take?

  • ApocalypseSunriseApocalypseSunrise Member Posts: 80

    In my previous post when I mentioned "addressing issues in CoH that were present from the beginning", the following was what I was refering to.

    Original City of Heroes Issues:
    1. Travel methods and abilities [A. Character vehicles ~ (helicoptors, planes, cars, boats, motorcycles, flight packs/suits, jump boots, teleportation apparatus, submarines) B. Secret Identity travel ~ (subways, taxis, air travel, personal vehicles) C. Others ~ grappling hooks/grapplers, ziplines (installed or improvised) ...etc]
    2. Individual Skill set/s that could be just as important as a character's primary power/s (Not everyone is skilled at computer hacking, demolitions, molecular biology, using and understanding the many different types of magic, shutting down a runaway nuclear reactor, bypassing security systems, repairing damaged/broken devices or vehicles ...etc.)
    3. Secret Identity dayjobs that earn money, gain mission contacts and individual skill set/s development (Many superheroes and villains have regular identities. Interactions in normal clothing can inpact the world just like in-costume actions.)
    4. Friendly Fire [Option for friendly fire for bonus rewards, challenge points/bragging rights, skill set/s ...etc]
    5. Destructable environments [As an option for some missions if Friendly Fire were in effect; could be refered to as  "damage allowance" (It might not matter much if you caused damage to an already ruined building or a villain's lair but causing significant destruction in populated buildings would look bad on a heroic character.)
    6. Expanded Terrorist activities [Attacks on infrastructure (bridges, subways, public transit, airports, electrical generating stations and transmission lines, railway stations and lines, water and natural gas supply lines), local media businesses (tv/radio/newspaper offices)]

    And the one nearly everyone was curious about- 7. An actual shapeshifting powerset not granted by or related to a seperate entity entirely.


    Over the years of play I've heard many fellow CoH players mention one or more of these issues at one time or another. Aside from the obvious game features, the things I have listed are things you'll find in actual comic books and movies. 'City of Heroes' was great for what it was but it could only allow so much with it's engine. The comic books we loved were about more than just fighting or beating the bad guys (solo or mob-style) with overwhelming strength, power or numbers.
    CoH was a great trial run. It's time for a comic styled MMO that can go farther and provide more. I'm sure all of Paragon Studios former developers could make it happen and should you be interested in pursuing it I have faith you will find the way to "wow" everyone all over again.

    Q: What are your thoughts on this?


    Edit-  The rocketboard and flying carpet were nice additions for a flight ability, but I always felt they should have been customizable.

    Yes, I've read a poem. Try not to faint.

  • LeperDaveLeperDave Member CommonPosts: 8

    You created Positron while playing Champions the pen & paper game.

    Do you still play? If so, which edition of the game do you consider the most viable?

    How close is Positron the COH version to the original as far as powers goes?

    With COH, what is the one thing you wish you could have brought into the game, but couldn't?

  • onemooncirclesonemooncircles Member Posts: 1

    I just want to first say thank you for providing an on-line home in Paragon City.  I miss my friends and looking forward to the new content with each issue.

    More of a statement then a question:  I would jump at the chance to send one of your projects $20 a month for 8 years.

    Are you done with Hero themed MMOs?   Are you done with Mmorgs?

    Since 2002 are there many more or new options to game engines?  If COH was starting today would you have more options compared to starting 10 years ago?


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