City of Heroes Gets Shades of Gray with "Going Rogue" Expansion

city-of-heroes_qjpreviewth.jpgThe world of Paragon City is getting a bit darker as the lines are blurred between good and evil. City of Heroes/City of Villains is promising to muddy up the ethical water in the near future thanks to its “Going Rogue” expansion. The new content is designed to allow players to run the gamut of alignment between Superman-good to Apocalypse-Evil with all the morally shady places in between.

Brian Clayton, general manager and executive producer at Paragon Studios, explains in the press release that the team behind the game is looking to expand the game  into the four-colored jumpsuit world with the new content.

“For Years, players could choose between playing as a hero or a villain. Now we will present a third, malleable path where players can be affected by the results of their actions, enabling them to further develop, unveil new perspectives, and overcome new challenges.”

At the same time the game will introduce that time honored comic book convention – the mirror universe – where the normally heroic Statesman becomes the evil dictator of the world known as Praetoria in the guise of Tyrant. In the core universe the new alignment system also finally allows players to freely cross between Paragon City and the Villain haven of the Rogue Isles. Missions in all locations will now reflect their moral compass as well, allowing players to shape their character’s outlook and just where they fall in the good guy – anti-hero – bad guy range.

Along with the new alignment system and mirror universe zones two new archetypal storyline characters – Maelstrom and Desdemona will make their appearance to typify the good/bad paradigm.

I applaud the concept of making an MMO more responsive to the choice of the players and recent additions to City of Heroes/Villains like the Architect mission creation tools go a long way to extending the lifespan of this elder MMO even as Champions and DC Universe Online wait in the wings to give players more superhero MMO choices. I just find the claims hard to believe after all good/bad the missions are all still basically the same and nothing ever changes in Paragon City.

Full details after the jump.


CITY OF HEROES GOES ROGUE WITH NEW EXPANSION PACK
BRIGHTON, United Kingdom – May 12, 2009 – NCsoft®, the world’s premier publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), and Paragon Studios™, the developer of City of Heroes®, today announced the development of City of Heroes Going Rogue™, the first major expansion for the City of Heroes franchise since the launch of City of Villains® in 2005. As the name implies, Going Rogue will blur the line between heroes and villains in the first and longest-running super-powered comic book MMO game.

In the Going Rogue expansion, hero and villain characters will become immersed in the new parallel universe known as Praetoria, which is governed by Tyrant™, the evil incarnation of the game’s main protagonist, Statesman™. As gamers search for Tyrant and the rest of his Praetorian guard, implacable foes and fierce resistance will arise to face them from all sides, causing heroes and villains alike to question their loyalties.

City of Heroes Going Rogue will introduce a new alignment system that helps players explore the shades of gray that lie between good and evil. For the first time, hero characters can become villains and vice versa, enabling hero archetypes to cross over to the Rogue Isles™ and villain archetypes to experience Paragon City™. Clearly marked missions, in addition to behaviors and decisions made by the player, will move a hero’s or villain’s moral compass, which could eventually change the hero’s or villain’s alignment. Going Rogue will also introduce two primary new fictional characters representative of this alignment shift in the game’s lore: Maelstrom, a pistol-wielding hero gone rogue, and Desdemona, a demon-summoning villain who has been redeemed.

“City of Heroes has brought a fresh new perspective to the MMO stage with its foray into the super-powered hero comic book genre, and we are excited to present gamers with even more innovative content in Going Rogue,” said Brian Clayton, general manager and executive producer at Paragon Studios. “For years, players could choose between playing as a hero or a villain. Now we will present a third, malleable path where players can be affected by the results of their actions, enabling them to further develop, unveil new perspectives, and overcome new challenges.”

NCsoft will share more details on Going Rogue in the coming months. The game is currently in development by NCsoft’s Paragon Studios, the City of Heroes development team that most recently launched the ground-breaking Mission Architect system. The launch of Mission Architect sets a significant milestone for City of Heroes as the first MMO to allow players to create user-generated content. City of Heroes has and continues to set new standards among its MMO peers and player community with its engaging and approachable comic book-inspired universe theme and consistent delivery of concepts that break the standard MMO mold.

For more information about City of Heroes, go to http://www.cityofheroes.com. For more information about Paragon Studios, go to http://paragonstudios.com. For more news about NCsoft, go to http://us.ncsoft.com/en/news or http://us.ncsoft.com/en/news/press-releases.

Contact:
Sabine Berekoven, sberekoven@ncsoft.com, +44 (0) 1273 872174
Christian Vestøl, cvestol@ncsoft.com, +44 (0) 1273 872082
Luisa Mari, lmari@ncsoft.com, +44 (0) 1273 872136

About NCsoft
NCsoft, headquartered in Seoul, Korea, is the world’s premier publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games, including the critically acclaimed Lineage®, Guild Wars® and City of Heroes® franchises. NCsoft West is a division of NCsoft that holds operating responsibilities for North America, Europe, South America, and Australia/New Zealand. Read more information at http://us.ncsoft.com.

About Paragon Studios
Paragon Studios is a wholly owned development studio of NCsoft West and is dedicated to the growth of the City of Heroes franchise. Located in Mountain View, California, the team at Paragon Studios brings the world of comic books alive in a massively multiplayer 3D online universe. For more about Paragon Studios, visit http://paragonstudios.com. For more information about City of Heroes, go to http://www.cityofheroes.com.

NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, PlayNC, Lineage, Guild Wars, City of Heroes, City of Heroes Going Rogue, City of Villains, Paragon City, Rogue Isles, Statesman, Tyrant, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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