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Ask Massively: We don't need another hero


Welcome back to Ask Massively. This week, I'd like to address a common gripe about Massively's coverage of sunsetted games -- specifically, City of Heroes. Even before the game closed down, some commenters were expressing annoyance that we were daring to cover the closure. Now that it's gone, these same commenters are irate at the fact that we didn't seal up the coffin and pretend that the whole thing never happened.

That's just not how it works.

Let's start with this lovely quote from a commenter to our superhero columnist. Sadly, it's all-too representative of some of the vitriol we've endured since August.

Seriously, this is getting old. Get over it already. The amount of whining coming out of Massively over this has got to the point where I've stopped feeling sorry for the players and now could not honestly give a shit about the closure; in fact, I wish it had come sooner so maybe all this outpouring of faketears would be over. This is really getting pathetic.
The article on which this was posted was an entry of our weekly column that used to be about City of Heroes and now covers all superhero MMOs. In the months since the closure, Eliot has been spending most of his ink discussing Champions Online, DC Universe Online, Marvel Heroes, and the two City of Heroes spinoffs fans are trying to build. This particular article, however, focused on NCsoft's recent denial of claims made by alleged Paragon Studios employees about the studio (it also covered how the post-CoH vacuum benefits the remaining superhero MMOs). NCsoft's controversial comments were news; so was the fact that NCsoft refused to answer follow-up questions. The situation was worth examining in detail, especially in our superhero column.

See, just because City of Heroes has been shuttered doesn't mean it's no longer worth talking about. In the context of MMOs, that would be silly; Larry still talks about Star Wars Galaxies and Beau still talks about Glitch because both of these games are still relevant, and occasionally, they even produce news. At the very least, their ideas live on in the genre. But forget MMO examples -- this is how the world works. Historical people and events and places are always relevant, always worth debating and referencing. Real-world controversies rarely die off without being resolved, and this one has definitely not resolved, however much those who wish it would go away consider it so.

But that's beside the point, isn't it? If you don't want to read about City of Heroes, skip the articles about City of Heroes. There. Done. Easy. No one is forcing you to read. No one is forcing you to provoke a flamewar with CoH fans every week. You don't need to present yourself at every City of Heroes discussion and throw a tantrum because other people still care about a game whose death you welcomed.

And if you don't want to look like a huge jerk to whom absolutely no one ought to listen, don't presume to dictate the terms of other people's mourning by instructing them to "get over it already." It's probably bad form to add insult to injury by telling them their grief is fake, too, and that you wish more grief upon a couple hundred thousand other fellow gamers.

Because that would be pathetic.

What should you play? Where is the MMO industry headed? How does Massively operate? Has Lord British lost his marbles? Why is there no edit button? Should "monoclegate" be hyphenated? Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce submits to your interrogations right here in Ask Massively every Thursday. Drop your questions in the comments below or ping us at Just ask!

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