Author Topic: "Why save City of Heroes?" website  (Read 6436 times)

Quinch

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"Why save City of Heroes?" website
« on: November 05, 2012, 10:05:04 AM »
I've realized something - if we're going to keep attracting publicity about CoH's shutdown, we're going to need a go-to resource to explain why exactly CoH is worth saving. To us, coming from within, it's self-evident, but to someone coming without firsthand knowledge and with the usual assumptions how MMOs work, the explanations tend to sound either implausible or exaggerated. And with new account creation disabled, the option to see for themselves is... limited.

Given that one of the primary rules of communication is "show, don't tell", would it be possible to set up a small site or a page to show what, exactly makes CoH so unique? A showcase of costume creation and a gallery of costumes, for example, gameplay footage to showcase how it player, or even a narrated walkthrough through the game's basic features on YouTube?

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 10:54:14 AM »
Y'know, IMO this is a fantastic idea.  Aside from these forums, we don't have a centralized location for those outside the effort to get a look at what we're trying to save, at a glance.  Most people look at City of Heroes, see that it's 8+ years old, and go "why bother with such an aged game?"  If we can provide, at a glance, the things that make CoH unique, we might gather a few more voices to speak up against NCsoft's closure of it.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 11:15:58 AM »
I brought this up in some topic a while ago myself, currently the closest thing we have to this is the savecoh.com site - but it doesn't really give an explaination about what happened and what we're trying to accomplish with doing some extra navigating (it's more of a site meant for people who are already following our cause, where they can keep track of the latest developments).

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 11:21:16 AM »
I was thinking along the same line, but would it be possible to amend that website?
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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 11:48:56 AM »
This is an important idea. And needs to be promoted.

Especially now, when we have so little time left. I'm sure lots of people have been demo-recording their hearts out. But we need footage. We need screenshots. We need Badge titles that link to articles on things like "Why is there a "Kill Skuls" badge and what's the story behind it?" We need explanations for NPC chatter like "Ascendant who? I'm afraid you have the wrong number!" Or the Freakshow talking about how they used to work in the Brickstown area (or for Crey). Why is there a Cheerleader handing out flyers in front of the Steel Canyon university? (Save the Cheerleader, Save the World!) All the geeky little things that made us love the devs so much!

We need audio too. Sounds. The ambiance of an area. Show how Atlas Park SOUNDS different from Independence Port or Founders Falls!

And we need stories of the Devs and interactions with them - heck - we need to archive stories of In-game GMs and our positive interactions with them! There's a whole thread lauding GM_Lloyd over on the original forums that I hope was caught up in the archive that was saved.

We need to show off the Architect and the Base building to show people what players could create! How much the devs encouraged all of us to make the world our own! To tell our own stories! They did everything short of giving the players Dev tools in the game, and though sometimes they were abused for things like Farming missions, it was WORTH it for some of the classic stories available in the AE!

Show just how robust the character designer was. What it could do. Heck - just showing Leandro's film of over 3000 unique heroes on the Steps of Atlas is only scratching the surface!

If possible - show how the game evolved. How capes and other options were added.

How important Villains were to the game. And how we could create our own.

How deep the lore was. We now have access to the writing bibles. Let's put THOSE on the site!

Those are just some of the ideas that come off the top of my head sitting here. What else can others think of?

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Quinch

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 02:00:29 PM »
I'm glad you all approve - now, the question becomes, is there anyone here actually able and willing to put it into action? I know just about nothing about either web design or wide-range PR, so if there's someone here, or available to set it up, please speak up, otherwise the whole thing will remain just an idea.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 02:26:30 PM »
I'm glad you all approve - now, the question becomes, is there anyone here actually able and willing to put it into action? I know just about nothing about either web design or wide-range PR, so if there's someone here, or available to set it up, please speak up, otherwise the whole thing will remain just an idea.
Well, I can contribute some time and expertise, but due to professional requirements on my time (I work strange hours and sometimes have a week or so with barely a moment to myself, off consulting far from home) I'd rather not be a lead on the project.  More of a consultant.

However, I do wonder, isn't Paragon Wiki almost precisely the depth wanted if not deeper, and thus, wouldn't the most efficient and effective thing to do to create a new focused sub-section of the wiki that serves as a topical 'landing zone' for people needing a quick overview, with the ability to drill to any depth they like?  And the Wiki is already up there and ranked in search for some related stuff - things that can take a new site months to acheive.

Quinch

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 02:30:38 PM »
Aaaand there we go. You're right - the Wiki would probably be the perfect place for that kind of thing - not only practically and thematically, but also convenient for visitors to browse through the information that's already been collected.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 03:09:33 PM »
Aaaand there we go. You're right - the Wiki would probably be the perfect place for that kind of thing - not only practically and thematically, but also convenient for visitors to browse through the information that's already been collected.
Maybe someone can make a page on it, with a good description of what's going on? I don't even think it has to be anything fancy page wise, as long as it explains everything well and links to all of our important stuff.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 03:18:55 PM »
And be sure to make a prominent link on the "savecoh.com" site to that sub-section of the wiki.

Quinch

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 03:23:14 PM »
I disagree with the fancy part - the presentation itself should try to impress people as much as the game itself would, if they could play it. Not just presenting information, but also conveying just how much passion and creativity is invested in it, and how much would be lost if it went under for good.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2012, 03:42:19 PM »
I have an idea for exactly that on making a video of our world.

Start as a young girl in a costume entering Atlas City for the first time and show as she plays - time passing and she ages - growing older and more powerful. Finally show her very old and her getting news the City is doomed by a power even beyond all the combined heroes to save.

I want this all while Louis Armstrong sings What a Wonderful World.

I don't have these skills yet and I intend to try and learn because to me that song completely encapsulates our world.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 06:34:12 PM »
While I agree with all the above ideas, if you want to attract new people who never played CoH to the cause maybe it shouldn't be through how great CoH is it should be more about how this affects the digital world in general.  In the past when we lived in a more tactile world and everything came on a disc or a book or some other form that we could touch and keep we for the most part could do what we wanted with it, once we bought it was ours. But as we've moved into the digital age and don't actually have a hard copy of the things we think are ours the rules have changed. We spent money and time on this game and it's just going to be gone, the same can be said for all that DRM music what if that company stops selling gadgets that play it? What about all the stuff we have held in 'clouds' all our online emails, that website that holds my art work, or the one that holds my online journal? All of it could be gone because a company wants to realign it's company focus.

It's time we had some rights in exchange for our money, it's time we stood up for our digital lives and demanded fair use of that which we've paid for. It's time we were allowed to pass on our digital purchases in the event of our deaths just as we can our physical belongings. It doesn't matter if you've never played CoH, it doesn't matter if you think all gamers are some nerdy 20somethings that live in their parents basement and play games for days at a time eating cold pizza and having no social life, if you use anything digital, if you have one mp3 if you have an online email account if you ever saved something on a website you should be joining the cause and fighting for 'your own' rights along with our efforts to save CoH.

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2012, 06:54:58 PM »
In the back of my mind, I've been wondering if some kind of a documentary film is in order here, one that would both cover all the amazing things that CoH has done both in and out-of-game, AND all the potential scandal surrounding the shutdown fiasco but that's definitely not a short-term goal.

But then I'm not sure a website is either. To encompass everything, to convey the story to John Doe, we'd essentially be writing a book.

Ironwolf

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2012, 07:21:38 PM »
In my mind we need a seperate thread to discuss - What made City of Heroes special?

If we hope to ever recreate this ideal and catch Lightning in a bottle, we need to know WHY - what made this different.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2012, 07:31:52 PM »
In my mind we need a seperate thread to discuss - What made City of Heroes special?

If we hope to ever recreate this ideal and catch Lightning in a bottle, we need to know WHY - what made this different.

Anyone know someone with certs in game theory and/or social behavior, who could give some professional analyses?

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2012, 07:46:00 PM »
Another song that fits the CoH/CoV shutdown quite well in my mind:

This Used To Be My Playground by Madonna

[Chorus (first time without background vocals):]

This used to be my playground (used to be)
This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be the place I ran to
Whenever I was in need
Of a friend
Why did it have to end
And why do they always say

Don't look back
Keep your head held high
Don't ask them why
Because life is short
And before you know
You're feeling old
And your heart is breaking
Don't hold on to the past
Well that's too much to ask

[chorus]
Live and learn
Well the years they flew
And we never knew
We were foolish then
We would never tire
And that little fire
Is still alive in me
It will never go away
Can't say goodbye to yesterday (can't say goodbye)

Hmm CoH Video for this one?


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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2012, 08:29:50 PM »
While I agree with all the above ideas, if you want to attract new people who never played CoH to the cause maybe it shouldn't be through how great CoH is it should be more about how this affects the digital world in general.

I agree that we need to make the movement more relevant to people outside of it (because really, it is), but we can do both.

Knightslayer

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2012, 07:46:23 AM »
I disagree with the fancy part - the presentation itself should try to impress people as much as the game itself would, if they could play it. Not just presenting information, but also conveying just how much passion and creativity is invested in it, and how much would be lost if it went under for good.
I meant that more along the lines of it being more important to get -something- up that describes our cause well, instead of waiting a long time to create a really fancy page (kind of a placeholder while a more advanced version gets developed).

Quinch

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2012, 07:51:48 AM »
Ah. Well, they're not mutually exclusive - we can put up something ASAP, then polish it as time allows.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2012, 01:40:15 PM »
You know,  there's TONs of good material on the CoH official player forums (until 11/30) of various testimonials about just what made CoH special, ranging (from memory) from a childhood love and nostalgia for comicbooks and superheroes that CoH tapped to players writing about how they, their kids, their grandkids played CoH regularly even when separated by geographical distance.  Reviewing, copying and formatting that data IS an undertaking, imo.

While I lack webdesign skills, I would be willing to read thru the official forums for player testimonials I found especially heartwarming.  (Ideal for me would be simply to cut and paste official forums links to a forum thread here.)
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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2012, 01:41:20 PM »
I'm sure I could also throw in a couple of testimonials from SG pages on guildportal.com also.
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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2012, 04:14:21 PM »

http://www.savecoh.com/

I'm not sure we need something on top of that : it is probably better to have one central repository for the effort instead of several smaller and weaker sites.

If there are features missing from the site, I'm sure we can work with those who built it to add what we feel is missing...
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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2012, 04:46:28 PM »
I've been trying to save the CoH websites  issue break down pages but I can only save them in odd form. lol Even Firefox does not save them as photo documants.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2012, 06:49:34 PM »
FYI THe internet archive has the site and the forums

Forums: http://archive.org/details/archiveteam-city-of-heroes-main

Main site: http://archive.org/details/archiveteam-city-of-heroes-www


you can also use the wayback machine to see the site (all the way back to 2002, that brought back memories)

Ammon

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2012, 07:39:59 PM »
What makes City of Heroes so special, and worth saving?

Well, for me it is how versatile and creative the game is. 

Most games lock me in to their preformed characters.  I either have a character with a full story where I can only customize gear, or I have a character I can give a background to but that background choice has little to no effect.  City of Heroes allows me to really let my imagination loose and play virtually any kind of character at all, from almost any genre.  Fantasy, Horror, Sci-fi, Martial Arts, Contempory Action Hero ... almost anything I wanted could be created somehow and made to be effective.


Most games lock me in to a particular style of gaming.  With City of Heroes we have people who play to collect badges and accolades, people who enjoy PvP combat, people who explore the incredibly rich in-game lore, people who play solely in teams, people who play solo, people who almost purely roleplay and hardly touch the content at all, and people who create missions for others to play.  The game was not a game, but almost more of a virtual world in which one could play many different games, in many different ways.  Making builds was a strategy game.  Mission Architect, Base-Building, and RP plots were building games.  Badges and Accolades made for a collecting game.  It could also be a first-person shooter, a team third-person dungeon run, and many other games, all at once or whatever you chose to follow.


The game could be picked up near instantly for casual gaming, yet had enough strategy, depth, plot exploration and customization to immerse oneself in for years of hardcore play.


In summary, it was a game that let you make of it whatever you would.  It was so versatile that there was something for virtually everyone in the game, and not just a minor part of that something, but enough flexibility to be whatever game you wanted it to be.  There was grinding for 'stuff' if you wanted, but there was also the ability to play for years without ever grinding the same missions over and over if you chose to fully explore the arcs or mission architect.


That alone is such a rare quality, such an amazing achievemnt that it alone deserves respect and adoration (which its players have given it).  However, it added more.  It was a pioneering game that has expanded the entire genre of MMO gaming across its many years of development.  The first game to make levels largely meaningless for putting teams together.  The sidekick system.  Free flight travel.  The richest character creator.  So many other innovations that the game deserves a spot in gaming history that few games can match.


And these innovations are not just of the past.  What really makes City of Heroes so special, above all of the freedom, creativity, personalisation, community spirit, staff support, is that after almost 9 years, there is no other game on the market that offers anything even marginally close to the same gaming experience.  The game is utterly unique, in so many, many ways.

To me, that is what we need to get across, with each of those points leading to entire sections that expand and illustrate those points clearly.  Show how diverse the characters could be.  Highlight the different styles of gaming, and how one player could be playing Van Helsing, alone hunting the monsters, while another player was part of a super group like The Avengers, and another was in a millitary group with guns.  How one player could be an ancient magical spirit, and another could be a high-tech spaceman from the far future.

Show how base-building could be its own game, and highlight some of the amazing artistic creations, even though the tool to build with was often compared to trying to build a brick wall using chopsticks to lift and position the bricks.

Show a few of the detailed Roleplay characters, and show how they could create their own lore completely if they wished.  How they were able to create their own world and their own stories.  Show how the Mission Architect could fit in with that creation process.

Show some of the artwork and stories that the game would inspire and enable through the forums and beyond.

Highlight some of the community spirit, from fundraising to conventions, from the devs sharing an in-game wedding with the players, to many players finding out-of-game weddings from in-game meetings.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2012, 03:52:36 AM »
In my mind we need a seperate thread to discuss - What made City of Heroes special?

If we hope to ever recreate this ideal and catch Lightning in a bottle, we need to know WHY - what made this different.

You mean this thread? :)

http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,5057.0.html

It's 7 pages long...and they aren't short pages. We WANT this lightning caught in a bottle.
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Knightslayer

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2012, 09:54:58 AM »
Pretty much what Ammon said, for me the customization and freedom to be what you want is what makes CoH so special.
There is no other game where you can easily play anything ranging from a Fiery Demon to the leader of a special strike team (like S.W.A.T.), or with the recent additions even Shaman that summons animals (or animal spirits in mine's case).
Pretty much anything goes, without breaking immersion in the setting.
On top of that CoH pioneered so many great gameplay features, like the Sidekicking system, I found it outrageous that NCSoft completely removed their original CoH praise that was on the GW2 site under the explanation of how their current GW2 system works.
I guess the phrase "Give credit where credit is due" goes out the window once you kill off the game you were crediting.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2012, 02:35:50 PM »
You mean this thread? :)

http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,5057.0.html

It's 7 pages long...and they aren't short pages. We WANT this lightning caught in a bottle.
I'm well aware of that thread, and yet I posted to this one.  The reason is that they (the two threads) are doing the same thing (sharing what is so special about CoH) but for different reasons.  The other thread is to put that lightning in a bottle so we can hope to recreate it.  This thread is about being able to show others the lightning, and ignite a spark in them to join us.

Specifically, I'm saying what we need to create to get others on-side.  What we need to show others about CoH so that they understand, rationally, why we are fighting for it, and why they should help us.  So please don't take my posting here as dismissing the other thread or your stirling efforts to recreate the special magic of CoH.  Its simply that my focus is still on saving CoH in some manner, and at least, in uniting as many others with us as we can.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2012, 05:47:40 PM »
http://www.savecoh.com/

I'm not sure we need something on top of that : it is probably better to have one central repository for the effort instead of several smaller and weaker sites.

If there are features missing from the site, I'm sure we can work with those who built it to add what we feel is missing...

The person that runs the site is Leandro, he might be very busy at the moment on another project. But send him a PM. He's on this site. :)

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2012, 06:37:00 PM »
The person that runs the site is Leandro, he might be very busy at the moment on another project. But send him a PM. He's on this site. :)
That is exactly why I think that ParagonWiki may be the perfect vehicle - it is a collaborative creation that is not dependant on any one person, and allows many many hands to make light work of a large project.  It is not slowed when any one person becomes busy, and doesn't overload any volunteer with too much sole responsibility and endeavor.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2012, 05:19:59 AM »
I think the Wiki is probably the way to go.
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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2012, 01:26:06 PM »
http://paragonwiki.com/wiki/City_of_Heroes

Is this really all we have to say about City of Heroes?

The link above is the one that the words 'City of Heroes' everywhere on Paragon Wiki point to.  It is therefore the page that should introduce everyone to everything that City of Heroes is, in an easily accessible series of overviews of the various facets of the game.

Genre (and other genres it could easily encompass), Gameplay and subgame diversity (collecting badges, pocket D roleplay, following the arcs, powerlevelling, Taskforce and Trial gaming, etc), Character Diversity, Accessibility of the game, Age suitability,  History of the game (when things happened to the game), Acheivements of the game (what awards and firsts it gave the world)

All those selling points we talked about should be mentioned or have a dedicated section linked to from the CoH page.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2012, 01:45:26 PM »
Agreed, that would be a good spot to place it.

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2012, 01:50:08 PM »
That is exactly why I think that ParagonWiki may be the perfect vehicle - it is a collaborative creation that is not dependant on any one person, and allows many many hands to make light work of a large project.  It is not slowed when any one person becomes busy, and doesn't overload any volunteer with too much sole responsibility and endeavor.

Sending people to a page on a wiki is okay but overall it's just a page in information repository about the game.  You can have a site that has more than one editor but it should be standalone and not be a page within another site.  Honestly if its just information about the game they can just go to Paragon Wiki, so why would another page about the game on that site even matter? The whole Wiki is about the game.

If you want to direct people to a easy to digest site about why the game is worth saving, you really should have that be a standalone site.

You really don't want a lot of hands on a static page about the game. Wiki are great for storing information but if you're directing people to learn about the game and why they save it then a static page with some visitors interaction, such as testimonials.  The site itself doesn't need constant updating once the game is closed, but it does need visitor interaction.  A wiki page doesn't really allow that.

I'm sure someone can get the domain whysavecoh.com (I just checked and its available), for whatever you decide a standalone site or a wiki page.  A URL like http://paragonwiki.com/wiki/pagename isn't easy to remember.

Ammon

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2012, 03:09:01 PM »
Sending people to a page on a wiki is okay but overall it's just a page in information repository about the game.
It is our information repository.  If I wanted the people passionate enough to have dedicated an entire wiki to the game to explain to me why it is so important, what is the only logical place to go?  That wiki.  That Wiki that has already been thoroughly indexed in search and has years of click-thru information stored in Google and thus is set to rank well already, not in weeks or months like a new page would.


Honestly if its just information about the game they can just go to Paragon Wiki, so why would another page about the game on that site even matter? The whole Wiki is about the game.
And yet, there is the page where we describe the game, and we say nothing.

The Wiki has been geared to people who already know the game.  It has absolutely nothing at the moment that introduces the game.  It is the perfect vessel for what was stated in the opening post of this thread.

If you want to direct people to a easy to digest site about why the game is worth saving, you really should have that be a standalone site.
Very rarely.  Often you leverage a brand or something strong to launch something new.  The Wiki is the right choice.  A standalone site might be great, if we had months, not days, to start seeing results, and we'd still need to link to it from already indexed strong pages like the Wiki, the forums, etc.

I'm sure someone can get the domain whysavecoh.com (I just checked and its available), for whatever you decide a standalone site or a wiki page.  A URL like http://paragonwiki.com/wiki/pagename isn't easy to remember.
We already have the save CoH site, and other domains, and the whole point is to have a great place to LINK to.  The address doesn't matter that much when you are clicking a link.  Any address still takes just one click.  It is the content, geared at explaining to outsiders who have never played CoH, and may have never played any MMO at all, wht is so special about the game, and why they should care, that is the entire point.

DrakeGrimm

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Re: "Why save City of Heroes?" website
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2012, 11:55:06 PM »
Why save City of Heroes?


The answer is simple, really. It's the home of the best community on the Internet. Possibly, in the world. What more reason do you need?
We are the crazy ones, the mavericks, the dreamers, the forgotten sons. We color outside the lines for fun. We are the crazy ones! - "The Crazy Ones," Stellar Revival

"We put ourselves in "the attitude of heroes"--and we all became a little more heroic." - VV