One thing I will say, and I feel it really needs to be said;
As long as support isn't all just healing, healing, more healing and actually has real buffs/debuffs/crowd control and respects them as viable playstyles. I shouldn't have to wait around all day for a person who only restores health points like they do in CO in later game content nore earlier game content. Teams should be dynamic like they were in CoH, as thats what really helped encouraged friends to just team up with one another rather than inviting someone for the class.
I read that people will be able to take powers with more freedom, so long as it's not like CO where everything gets nerfed for being combinable with something in a different set and then forgotten about know? CO was a complete disaster as it's freeform system ironicly shoe-horned people into very narrow builds thanks to the huge power differences we'd see in them, all the while buffs/debuffs/crowd control were largely neglected caused for a game which could have had some serious depth and replay-ability with options to explore to not really have any. If Ship of heroes is really focused on the journey a good balance and focus on non-trinity team abilities and whatnot to discourage cherry-picked holy trinity has to be key to
Now, I saw the person writing the article here; http://2p.com/47345154_1/Ship-of-Heroes-Could-This-Be-the-Next-City-of-Heroes-by-Nephthys.htm?fr=page-next
Now, I wasn't one of those who knew neph but, given what I saw about CO's forums reactions she wasn't anywhere in there.....so.....maybe I need to reassess that person some
From what I read though, they focus heavily on the community and story elements, which I am all for, I hate games without good story telling, and anyone who says mmorpgs shouldn't have any kind of story focus need to get there heads out of there behinds. Story and environment makes the world, when you have an environment without a story, it's just graphical effects. One needs a setting and both the story and environment make that. When a world has only the environment, all I see are boring buildings, with robots moving about. A castle with emotionless people in it is just a building made of crude stone bricks and a portcullis. A castle with lively characters who have differing, varying personality befitting a medieval environment to the miserable peasants and spoiled princes and stern kings is a legitimate medieval castle and a legitimate setting, and that applies to all kinds of settings
But for a game to be a true rpg, imo, variety of playstyles have got to be supported equally. Making people all play either a healer/tank/damage when the original CoH let us take a few oddball powersets and find a way of making them work and explore them....would miss the ball. And part of that is also encouraging players to play other things, which CoH did supurbly.
What made storm summoning truely feel like it's own powerset, for example, was that inspite having one of the weakest healing powers in the game (o2 boost, which was more of a short-length buff than a heal), it was popular among players because of it's knockbacks, and how it's debuff effects meshed into everything. For instance freezing rain debuffed resistances and defenses of everything effected very heavily, enough to make a mob take over 30%+ damage(a number unheard of in other mmorpgs) and assured teammates attacking those mobs would hit. This was in addition to a -slow and constant knockdown from slipping/sliding. Hurricane shoved enemies, yes, but it was also made useful with a massive -30-50% to hit debuff, which effectively reduced mob chances to hit anything to near nothing for the moments they were in it, which combined with it's repel, made it a powerful spell/power to shove enemies into corners with or debuff archvillains even.
And it helped roleplaying, when powers prevented damage through very powerful crowd control effects, debuffs, buffs. It helped players become attached to those characters and for roleplayers, it helped those players come up with personalities for those characters. With some sets even supporting a few different styles of play it allowed for a wide variety of character personalities to roleplay. Something that you wouldn't see in run-of-the-mill mmorpgs. I mean I would rather talk to two storm summoners with differing personalities thanks to them using different tactics that developed, the aggressive "Offender" storm summoner and the more defensive "Defender" storm summoner, than two healers who are just gonna be "Oh, I heal you and i'm the reason everyone is alive, it's my job". The defender and "Offender" on the other hand as I sometimes saw, had differing opinions on how to do things and that combined with the sheer number of differing powersets? Well every man or woman had a golden character for them if they weren't roleplayers and roleplayers got to explore wide varieties of characters to, well, roleplay.
The journey ended up varied in CoH for that reason. No one set was alike, because buffs/debuffs/crowd control allowed them to not only feel super and useful but also useful without resorting to just more healing. Every new character I made was somewhat like a puzzle, in a sense. "How would energy/time woman solve this problem? I know staff/willpower guy smashed his way through these no problem but how would energy/time woman deal with it? She isn't invincible nore is she the most damaging, oh I know I can keep knocking them into the wall while time's juncture cripples them to miss on the few attacks they hit!".
Later, same situation, different character: "How would mind/force fields deal with this situation?" The process would repeat in that the player would look for how their character would deal with them, rather than generic mmo(aka like CO): "Ok, hold *(thats my power 2 key which I bound to my mouse), let two gun mow them down on gun guy" "Ok, keep pressing * and watch them drop with sword gal". "Ok, hold * again to electrocute them with electric gal." It's difficult to develop a unique personality for someone who plays and feels like another character, which is also where DCUO fails as well. Everyones always pressing left click or right click, or a combination, when fighting, so it feels like your playing the same person no matter what sets you pick at times.