So many supes from City of Heroes turned up at last night’s online rally that it crippled one server and overflowed into two others.
Heroes were queuing up seven hours in advance for a mass show of solidarity against owner NCsoft’s plans to close the massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) on November 30.
But numbers for the Unity Rally grew so high the Virtue server had to be rebooted, with Freedom and Infinity servers brought in to host. The official number of players present is unknown but 33 “instances” of Altas Park were created, with campaign organiser Tony Vasquez of the Titan Network guesstimating that each instance held 100 people – a grand total of 3,300 players. See the video below...
In his speech, which paraphrased Firefly, he said: “'Y'all got on this boat for different reasons, but y'all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before.'
“Some people think that this is the end of our incredible community. Well, I can tell you that I do not hold to that.”
Supes bearing torches for the game heard during the stirring speech about a hectic week of campaigning which has attracted support from high-profile fans like Valdemar novelist Mercedes Lackey. She offered NCsoft permission to use her likeness in an advertising campaign for free a la World of Warcraft celebrity endorsement. Lackey and her husband use the game to “meet” with her father-in-law on a weekly basis, a retired Master Sergeant from Delta Force who will only play City of Heroes.
Neil Gaiman also re-tweeted a campaign boost to his 1.7 million followers when he learnt that part of Dark Astoria in the City of Heroes world had Gaiman Woods named after him.
Tony Vasquez hinted at a new campaign idea during his speech, to be announced later this week. He said programmers at Paragon Studies, the caretakers behind the game who were axed by NCsoft, were very grateful for all that’s been done. So much so they were present at the event handing out free custom titles called Paragon Backer and wore their own badges: gamer, loyal, Paragon or veteran. In response gamers redesigned their avatars’ looks to mirror the real-life identities of the discarded programmers or changed their names to Heroes Never Die, Hell No We Won’t Go and Save The City.
One new announcement came from campaigner Meticulous Meta who urged everyone to bolster the letter writing campaign by posting capes and masks to NCsoft’s offices.
Some choice player quotes from the rally:
Nephele: Remember, the harder we are to ignore, the more pressure NCsoft has to negotiate - with us, with Paragon, or with other publishers!
Than'daal: This is the only MMO where I've felt like the characters are really mine, not just somebody's pre-made elf or orc or whatever... there's nothing like this.
Sombra Fantasma: Today let us tremble those walls of earth, steel and stone! Let us be heard from Atlas, to Cap au Diable! Today let us make them remember this COH and we are not afraid!
Silent Moon: Paragon is my home, and I will defend it.
#SaveCOH has become a trending topic on Twitter and the online petition to NCsoft reached 16,000 signatures at the time of writing. See http://www.change.org/petitions/ncsoft-keep-ncsoft-from-shutting-down-city-of-heroes for more details.
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