For those of you who have never heard of the game, City of Heroes, it was a MMORPG that aloud you to live out your fantasy of being a superhero while doling out justice. Eventually an expansion came out for those of us that wanted to delved into the criminal side of things as well. The publisher NCsoft decided way back on August 31st, 2012 to shut down the game. This of course brought the fans of the much loved game out in force to try and stop or at least try to save the game in any way they could.
Eventually the efforts fell on deaf ears from NCsoft and time passed on. Several groups went on in to create spiritual successors of City of Heroes. Currently these games are still in full development and hopefully one day soon, will be released. During the six to seven years that have passed since the games closure, a small secretive private server was being enjoyed by a select few.
Without diving into conspiracy theories or internet rumors flying around into the minutiae of this secretive private server. The point is, last week, on the City of Heroes subreddit the user Destroyer Stroyer, posted a 40 minute long video that provided proof of this private server and the ways in which several members of the overall community operated in a way to keep the information under lock and key. This of course was just the beginning cracks in the proverbial dam. The following few days the secretive private server and the administrator Leandro,came to make his case known in to why things were run as they were. The CoH (City of Heroes) community were in mob mentality mode after more information came to light that Leandro had received an exact copy of the games server code, along with the character information database. When the news broke that not only did the community at large found out a small amount of people were happily enjoying the game they loved but, were kept in the dark about its existence for the past six years, hell broke loose. Leandro became the target of the outrage, receiving death threats, his personal information doxxed and was put into full on damage control.
The news began to spread like a wildfire, MassivelyOP’s Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce was drawn into the fray as theories that she was involved with the secret private server. New threads were popping up in the r/CityofHeroes subreddit at an almost fever pitch. Articles on MassivelyOP, Kataku, and others were being posted non-stop throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday.
With the overwhelming social pressure, Leandro had decided to make good on his words. The source code and associated files were released out into the public. By Friday and into the weekend a new working server was brought online and open to all. The massive amount of signups soared to 14,000 registered accounts and at last check, somewhere around 3,000 concurrent players had made through way into the game.
There was much rejoicing and emotions ran high as people flocked into the game to reminiscent in all of its glory. Come Monday and the feelings of joy had turned to confusion as the public server was taken down. The reasoning at the time was that something had crashed and the admin team were working on getting it fixed. Hours seemed to go on without confirmation of when the server will be returning. By the late afternoon news broke that the server would not be coming back online and it had been completely nuked. The person hosting the server made a statement in which they had received a notice from what they thought to be NCsoft at the time to terminate the server under legal threat. Later in the night it was released that the server host had panicked or perhaps the stress of providing the server to quite a large amount of people at once might not have been a great idea and had deleted everything on the server.
Currently the community of pushing forward in to bringing another server online or to find a possible good outcome going forward. Needless to say the past week has proven to be quite exciting. Even as I write this, much more information is coming to light that one of the oldest community sites, The Titan Network, are negotiating with NCSoft (MassivelyOP article) to open a public, legal server. I’m sure sometime in the future the events of the past week will more than likely became a story line of a movie.