City of Heroes “Rogue” Expansion
City of Heroes was the first true superhero MMO ever released. Finally, comic book fans could suit up and fight crime as a superpowered mutant, crafty inventor, or practically any other type of hero they could conceive of.
Later, when City of Villains was released, those same players got the opportunity to delve into the darker parts of the superhero genre, pulling off bank heists and utilizing powerful new abilities in the pursuit of personal gain.
The two sides of the game have so far only been able to clash in PvP zones. Heroes have never been able to make their way into the villain-controlled Rogue Isles and the villains were similarly barred from entering Paragon City, the domain of the heroes.
The upcoming expansion, Going Rogue, will finally allow players to blur the lines between hero and villain. Featuring a whole new area to explore, the ability to walk the line between hero and villain, and a whole host of new powers and abilities, Going Rogue has many who may have grown tired of City of Heroes long ago ready to slide back into their tights.
New Game Area: Praetoria
Praetoria is a mirror universe, a concept that is certainly familiar to anyone who has spent time reading comic books. Praetoria is lead by Marcus Cole, the emperor who is better known to some simply as “Tyrant.” In a time of great crisis, he convinced the world’s leaders to place him in charge and grant him the authority to meet the threat.
Cole defeated the threat, but never got around to giving his power back to the people. Now he rules through the help of his Praetorian guard. Far from the utopian paradise it initially appears to be, Praetoria quickly becomes an urban battlefield for players to experience.
Moral Alignment System
In Praetoria, players aren’t asked to create a hero or a villain character. Instead, you simply begin as a Praetorian. You are given the choice to side with either the loyalists or the resistance, and your moral choices as you progress through missions will determine whether you eventually become a hero or a villain.
Heroes and Villains are also no longer confined to their initial surroundings. No matter what path you choose in Going Rogue, you’ll have full access to all areas of the game, including Paragon City and the Rogue Isles.
New Power Sets
Players who prepurchase the Going Rogue expansion will be given early access to two of the expansions new power sets, Dual Pistols and Demon Summoning.
Demon Summoning is a Mastermind powerset that differs from its brethren in several significant ways. Each of the demons that can be summoned wield a unique elemental attack, and the Demon Summoner’s weapon of choice is the Hellfire Whip, a short-range weapon that deals fire and toxic damage while simultaneously reducing the target’s damage resistance. Now, masterminds can wade into the thick of battle with their minions instead of hanging back and attacking at range.
Dual Pistols is the other new powerset that has been announced. It is available for all factions: Heroes, Villains, and Praetorians alike. Probably the most important distinguishing aspect of this new powerset is the “Swap Ammo” power. With this ability, a Dual Pistol wielding character can choose the type of secondary damage their powers do at the press of a button. Versatility is the Dual Pistoleer’s biggest asset.
Other Features and City of Heroes: “Going Rogue” Release Date
Like any City of Heroes expansion, Going Rogue adds new costume pieces to the already incredibly-detailed character creator.
Other game additions include new badges, Mission Architect system tweaks and additions, additional free character slots, an updated graphics engine, and more, yet to be announced benefits.
City of Heroes: Going Rogue is going to completely redefine the CoH game world. The stakes are certainly high, as the bar for superhero MMOs has been raised by their new chief competitor, Champions Online. Will the new CoH team have what it takes to compete with the new game from former City of Heroes developer Cryptic?
Gamers will have to wait for Going Rogue’s Summer 2010 release to find out.