It’s good to be bad.
City of Villains allows you to choose entirely different archetypes from City of Heroes, although a few of the power pools are largely shared between the two. Although some of the archetypes might seem similar on the surface - like the heroic Scrapper and the villainous Stalker - they play very differently in-game.
You’ll find that villains are much more interested in destroying their enemies than helping one another, although there are still some interesting team dynamics for Villains. Instead of mainly focusing on creating an unstoppable heroic force, you’re mostly trying to destroy everything standing before you as quickly as possible before they get you.
Villains also face up against almost entirely different gangs than heroes do, which exposes them to different damage types. As the archetypes are different, the groups play differently as well - there are no Defenders; the villain Mastermind class fulfills multiple roles at once. There is no dedicated defensive class like the Tanker, and each class has some sort of unique mechanic that encourages you to play differently. That, combined with the additional costume options that are only available to villains really helps you get the sense that you’re an evil comic book character dedicated to causing mayhem.
While the core experience is still similar to City of Heroes, it’s fresh enough to feel like a new game if you’ve already tired of Paragon City.
As new issues have been released, more power sets have been opened to share across both hero and villain sides, adding to how much you can customize your character. While the power sets may be the same, the different mechanics like the Stalker’s stealth or the Dominator’s domination power-up ability help to keep things sufficiently different to provide new experiences.
Brutes: Brutes do heavy damage while being able to endure substantial punishment. Their attacks grow more powerful as they attack their enemies and take wounds.
Corrupters: Corrupters project energy at their foes from range, causing extra damage to those that are about to expire.
Dominators: They control the battlefield, growing more powerful as they launch their attacks.
Masterminds: Summon a small army of minions to do your bidding while supporting them with attacks of your own and providing strong defensive protections to your group allies and your own private army.
Stalkers: Use stealth and cunning to overcome meddlesome heroes, killing your enemies before they have a chance to strike back.
Epic Archetypes: These archetypes become available once you get one villain on your account to level 50.
Arachnos Soldier: A powerful warrior that can choose two paths of evolution: Crab or Bane Spider.
Arachnos Widow: A deadly epic archetype that allows you to choose between the Fortunata or Night Widow path.