Choose My Adventure: My life as a Guardian in City of Heroes Rebirth

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I joined City of Heroes in 2003, with a friend of mine and we quickly became best friends. We had been playing for about three years when I was diagnosed with cancer. The game represented one of the last safe places I could go to escape from my reality, so it’s where I spent most days until returning home on weekends to see family members while getting treatment. Soon after that diagnosis though, the servers were shut down and never reopened again as an MMO; despite how much time some people invest into this world – it is just too risky for super heroes need not be real at all times due to player safety concerns.

The “city of heroes: rebirth forums” is a forum that has been created to help players of the game. It provides support for those who are new, and also helps those who have been playing for a long time.


Can the addition of a whole new class entirely alter the nature of an MMO’s experience? Other games, such as Black Desert or Lost Ark, regularly make this gamble, but when I created a Guardian character on the City of Heroes rogue server Rebirth, the choice seemed more consequential than those other instances.

I think the majority of the explanation for this seems to be mental as much as mechanical. After all, I spent a lot of time in the first game experimenting with various powersets to discover what worked. The Guardian archetype in Rebirth, on the other hand, is a little more unique.

As far as I can tell, this is essentially a homemade mash-up of previous classes, combining abilities from blasters, scrappers, and defenders into their own major and secondary powersets. On paper, it seems dismissive, but the use of these sets is much more deliberate.


Take, for example, the Hellfire persona that the poll required me to construct. I remember a handful of the skills from one of the Mastermind powers (whips aren’t used very frequently in MMOs, so the Demon Summoning powers were difficult to forget), and the Darkness secondary set I chose had no surprises from Defenders and Controllers of the same cloth. I understand that the power combination is quite mundane, but one of the first things I usually try to answer to the best of my ability is what combination of abilities can create a fun character aesthetic.

I spent a lot of my early time in the game crafting that character, incidentally. To be honest, people who know me or are familiar with the breadth of alternatives available in CoH are probably not surprised. Rebirth was no slouch in that area, particularly given how much new content had just been added. I don’t believe I went too far off the beaten path when I created Mister Shiver, a darkness-wielding magician dedicated to the cause of justice.

When I arrive in Atlas Park, I usually lean forward a little in my chair, curious to see who else is milling about and what other personalities are out there. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much going on out there. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, given that Rebirth is the smallest of the game’s rogue servers, but I was thinking “small” was a relative phrase. I couldn’t get the impression that I was uninvitedly accessing someone else’s private server.


Regardless, I got right to work doing what I always do when I start this game: street cleaning. The Guardian’s Resolve mechanic – a stacking buff that improves defense and accuracy for myself and everyone nearby for 15 seconds – alleviated a lot of the early leveling pain, while the Guardian’s Resolve mechanic – a stacking buff that improves defense and accuracy for myself and everyone nearby for 15 seconds – alleviated a lot of the early leveling pain. Veterans of the game will understand what I’m talking about, particularly those who have dared to roll Defenders or Controllers.

Until now, nothing had truly set Rebirth apart from Homecoming, despite the Guardian archetype. XP rates weren’t really changed, foes didn’t appear to strike much harder, and this game, like Homecoming, had some strange mob spawning things going on; at one point, I discovered an area where a small army of monsters simply kept respawning at me so I could battle until it was dull or not as rewarding.

I must admit, though, that the quantity of improvements that drop in Rebirth seems to be more. In comparison to Rebirth, which flooded me with SOs, Homecoming, which is based on the original game, felt unusually sparing in this respect. Choose your poison, I suppose: get pummeled with ineffective improvements or wait for the proper DO to come.

Another difference in Rebirth was the feeling that completing the objectives given to me was the most satisfying way to progress. Again, this is possibly just my perception, but the XP I received while I was executing the initial missions I was directed to seemed a lot more meaningful than it did in Homecoming. I get the idea that the server’s stewards favor the old missions.


One element that is radically different from Homecoming is the upkeep of the VIP Paragon Rewards system, but it looks that instead of paying a membership fee, you are just given tokens to climb up the tree for merely being a regular player (unsurprisingly). That looks to be the key hook for keeping people active on the server, but it wasn’t immediately stated in-game, so I’m going on assumptions here. I like the concept, but I realize that people who despise FOMO mechanics would find it more of a hindrance. Having the ability to get temporary abilities (and hence extra buttons to press in battle) was highly appealing to me. (Some of these are included in Homecoming, although they are just given out to all characters by a merchant without explanation.)

It’s still early days, but I’m starting to get a sense of the rogue server’s vibe, and I’m also getting the feeling that I can maybe stretch my legs a little further; while the mission series I’ve run so far has been rewarding in terms of XP, I’m not opposed to seeing what else is out here and whether it’s just as rewarding or not. As a result, we arrive to the first poll option.

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The results of the first poll are assumed in the second, but even if the voting does not follow a mission path, I’ll use the results here as guideline for the next week’s activities. I’m basically wondering what narrative arc in the major missions set we should pursue next.

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Polling will end at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 13th, as it usually does. Until then, I’ll probably do some street sweeping to burn through a few more levels before continuing on my quest. To be honest, I like what this Guardian archetype is doing.

cma_swipe_icon_finalWelcome to Choose My Adventure, a weekly column in which you may accompany Chris on his excursions through mysterious locations, and you get to determine his destiny. Which is excellent since, unless he’s ordering a burger, he can be rather indecisive.


“Choose My Adventure: My life as a Guardian in City of Heroes Rebirth” is a memoir about the author’s experience playing and creating the game “City of Heroes.” The author was an avid fan of the original game, and he has been waiting for it to come back. In his memoir, he talks about how he joined the game with friends, and they created their own characters together. He talks about what happened when they came back again after a long hiatus. Reference: city of heroes servers.

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