City of Heroes players had been looking forward to August 17th for quite some time, ever since it was announced as the release date for the game's new expansion, Going Rogue. It looks like they got their treat a day early, however, as Issue 18 has gone live today. Issue 18 is the patch that coincides with the expansion, and sure enough, players who have pre-purchased the expansion are reporting that they do indeed have full access to all of the expansion content.
The official word from Paragon Studios is that the "soft launch" was done as a part of extended maintenance in order to facilitate a smoother launch day process.. Either way, there's no indication that the game is rolling back the live push, nor does it seem likely for a few hours of early release. The patch is quite large, so City of Heroes players are advised to start downloading early -- and as soon as it's done, they can start enjoying Going Rogue just a bit ahead of schedule.
[Thanks to Skystreak for the tip!]