Who Wants to be a Superhero?

Okay, I finally caved and bought City of Heroes, the superhero MMORPG. Playing it has brought back some rather fond memories of the Marvel Superheroes pen & paper RPG from TSR (now WOTC, back in the day.

I must say that I've had more fun in the past week or so playing this game than I have in such a short time with any of the other MMORPGs that I've played and/or tested: Star Wars Galaxies, Horizons: Empire of Istaria, Everquest, and Ultima Online.

The only other MMORPG that I've had even close to this much fun with was Star Wars Galaxies, but that was mostly because of the combination of the setting (c'mon, what Star Wars geek can pass up the chance to run into Luke, Han, C-3PO, and Darth Vader??) and the sheer variety of non-linear character progression options. But, lacking anything even resembling a background storyline, SWG got old after a few months, and I cancelled the whole thing before I reached the 6-month period I'd originally subscribed for.

Surprisingly, I actually miss some of the crafting that I've done in other MMORPGs. City of Heroes is pretty much a fighting-oriented game (as you'd expect from a comic book-based game!), and aside from combining "Enhancements" to make them more powerful, there's nothing even resembling crafting in the game. Which is good, in that you go out, kick some ass, then kick some more ass. But it's a little limiting, in that all you can really do is kick ass and socialize.

Not sure how long the game will keep my interest - I'm having a lot of fun making different characters with different combinations of skills, and the variety of baddies to fight is so far pretty decent. They also have some pretty good storylines underlying the game itself, and are planning an expansion (City of Villains) that will introduce PvP abilities into the game. If done right, this should make CoH one of the best MMORPGs out there, particularly for those of us without 10-12 hours a day to spend playing around online (well, in a game at least).

Of course, what happens once Worlds of Warcraft finally arrives from Blizzard is anyone's guess. Given that CoH is a $15/month cost, and WoW will likely have a similar price structure, it'll eventually come down to a knock-down, drag-out fight for my MMORPG budget (which, with the new house, will be minimal)...and the idea of being a dwarven rogue/smith is pretty damned attractive to me right now.