City of Heroes - Log Horizon style


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So I've been on a massive nostalgia binge on City of heroes... it was probably my favorite mmo and I didn't play it nearly as much as I would have liked. It's been dead for two years now and the current super mmos just don't scratch that itch. My other big junkie series is Log Horizon, an anime of players waking up as their avatars in world seemingly based on the mmo Elder Tale(a 20 year old fantasy mmo that takes place on a pseudo earth). Unlike .hack or Sword art online the game is not a VR game and there is little clues to follow on how everyone got stuck so it moved on to the players trying to find away to live in this new world. It is more about the social side of things, players forming governments, creating inventions, and interacting with the npcs(who are now much more like the human players, lacking only the ability to revive after death).

Basically I wanted to take the general set up of Log Horizon and apply it to the setting of City of Heroes.

Set in the twilight days of City, players are logging on one last time for a torchlight vigil. To sit and remain logged on until the final minutes (This really happened btw). Anyway just as the servers shut down the players suddenly wake up and their inside paragon (or the rogue isles for villains). Mass panic ensues. Slowly but surely as no conclusion comes to reveal itself the players have to accept their new dangerous world of Heroes and Villains... how do they adjust? How will the world be different?...

well I have a TON of notes as I've been brains storming this with Windfalcon for a few days now and I will leave this up as the set up/interest check and follow it up with a second post containing the first bunch of conclusions we came too.


Well-Known Member
Beware, large info dump incoming

City of Heores - Log horizon style

All right, the meat of the idea... first off for those who aren't familiar with Log Horizon I will set up what changes Paragon city will be under once the players get stuck there.
1. This world is REAL and so is everyone in it, it just works on the physics and mechanics of the game. Players still game Influence or Infamy from every action they take, everyone has life and energy bars, etc.
2. NPCs will be, for lack of a better word, Human. They will have names, stories, lives, etc. This goes from average Joe civilian, to Hellion gang member mugging average Joe to Lord Recluse himself. As such enemy factions won't just be hanging on every corner waiting to be punched in the face. Well maybe some of the gangs but the more organized groups will be planning things and taking smarter, informed actions.
3. The NPCs will drastically increase in number. Paragon city will be an actual city so the number of civilians will increase many fold... that goes for all of the human factions (Various gangs, police, mafia, Council, Arachnos, Longbow,etc) though likely to a lesser extent it will still be noticeable.

anyway, on to the things me and windfalcon came up with....

Pros and Cons of the City of Heroes Setting

- plenty of quality of life features to the game for those now living it it.
- Bases for lodging
- Day jobs for interacting with the public and does some non super activities
- Each zone is segmented but force shields to prevent overflow or invasions from swarming the city. Which to be fair theres a LOT of those.
- Pocket D, allowing both heroes and villains to meet and discuss the the events of the world in a safe setting
- Both a side kick(powering up lower lvl players) and a mentor system (powering down higher lvl players) to allow varied groups to work together easier.
- Diverse and fluid character customization. There are so many types of hero and villain combinations that you have a large diverse cast AND there's plenty of ways to change your appearance so it makes it near impossible to be stuck in a body you don't want (or allow the freedom to take on odd forms if they'd rather)
- Diverse and crazy ability combinations could allow for all sorts of combos the game normally wouldn't allow meaning powers based "Overskills" would run rampant.
- Easy access to travel powers, subways, dimensional portals etc means getting around is not an issue. Plus would allow for formerly unused pathways to get from paragon to the rogue isles.
- The architect system could allow players to make training areas to level without potentially injuring 'landers' as well as make holo retreats of sorts to get away from the super hero/villian madness.

- Most zones are crawling with enemies, this would lessen slightly with some groups backing out to more intellgent holdings instead of standing on the street corner mencing civilians. But some zones are populated with more monsterous groups that would not think and just act.
- No food systems at all in game making the prospect of flavorless food(as like in LH there is no reason to program flavor into food no one will taste) with little fix VERY possible. The only way to eat, drink or cook at all was with emotes...(addendem: There may be a way around this which I'll add at the end)
- Few secondary skills outside of combat so non combat and crafting 'overskills' would be harder to come by.
- Past actions would have consequence. Villain players would have to live with the actions they have done and the fromer npcs would react to them as such. Heroes to a lesser degree.
- The abstract 'influence and infamy' currency would likely start causing problems when players really start trying to live here.

- Abstract crafting system. Due to the lack of usual equipment and currency the invention system is really bizarre and unlike most mmos... so it would be hard to easily 'overskill' and create outside the box. But the abstractness could allow new inventions to come into being by that same note so... hard to say.
- Plenty of proactive NPCS and organizations... come this shift they could really hinder players that suddenly stop following the guide lines. But equally players could recruit large npcs followings or even hire/side with factions that were normally just enemies or quest givers. Goes both ways here...
- Auto teleport to hospital at critical injuries... no one really dies in City and instead of losing xp you just get a penalty to have to make up. So it may be possible to avoid the memory loss associated to elder tale but that's more up in the air...

Extra notes and Queries
- On the Tasteless food note, there is no cook skill in the game as stands but there may be a way around it... The Day Job system. In city when you logged off, depending on where you left it's implied your hero was spend their time there doing things until you came back to adventure. if you logged out in the police station you spend your off time helping the police with crimes or investigations, log off in the auction house and you act as a 'day trader' buying high, selling low watching the ebb and flow of the auctions, etc... After you did these enough you'd get a badge that marks you as experienced in this 'job' or place. Now of course there's only a handful of these jobs in game(anywhere else you log off you are considered to just be paroling the city). But with the world turning real that could easily be expanded... watch if a hero spends there free time in a restaurant kitchen, eventually they'd earn a badge marking them as experienced cook. Thus the in game ability to actually cook food. It's a lot more convoluted then most mmos straight forwardness but it's definitely possible... and unlike elder tale you can have as many badges as you want so once it's figured out anyone with the inclination to cook real food could do some restaurant work... just a thought.
- As for how it would really overskill. In City all food and drink are emote based, so not too far off from menu cration in that you just kinda would do an emote a little then boom created meal. So much like Log Horizon taking the time to actually get the ingredients and cook the food could replicate the effect it does in that series.

- Side note, that day job system does open itself up to 'social overskill' potential for sure. You can be noted as a midnighter by hanging out in the midnight hq, or an Aracnos official for hanging in the main Acranos building... what if you hung out in a Family establishment, could you become a 'made man'? other factions are opened up in that respect, as long as you do the work of course.

- Thoughts on Severs. Now unlike Elder tale, all the servers are instances of the same city and isles, if players from every server were smashed together into one city it would get VERY overcrowded... but there is a way out. Dimensions. It's canon to City that there are multiple parallel dimensions, through portal tech and a few other spots the players can go on missions and make contact to the other worlds (some players even used this factor as backstory). So, what if each of the servers was their own alternate dimension? Each one a different instance of a 'post Shift' Paragon city with different players stuck in it... add to this, if you knew a players account handle you could contact them no matter WHAT sever they were on. could add for interesting notes and alternate possibility the story characters could be informed of from friends in alternate worlds... Think about it, a very low pop server would be very understaffed to deal with crisis once the villain groups got wise to the sudden numerical advantage. Then the possibility of zeroing in on the right frequency allowing for people to cross 'servers'... (Official servers that existed and there general note. Personally I played Virtue, RP server and all the but I did have a characters in other places)

- Flavor text. Now in Log Horizon a big plot point come later in the series is 'flavor text becoming reality'. Make sense as with the world becoming real the notes on those pieces of equipment would also become reality. but as stated previously There really isn't any equipment, the augments you slot in to your skills are nebulous and finite... But something that could become s a note is the background tab of the characters... when creating your character you had two options at the end, your catch phrase (which would be bound to a button) and your backstory... now you didn't have to fill this in but at least in the rp server that's where players would write the character's origin, how they became a hero/villian etc. So you could roll with the idea that since all of these heros and villians are existing in a real paragon city, then the stories of how the characters got there would also become real? you know reality filling in the gaps.... Just a thought to consider.

- Last note for now, Face changers and costume vendors. Now unlike most mmos there are no set races, what kind of characters you design was limited only by your imagination and costume parts. so becoming a real flesh a blood version could get complicated. What happens to all those players that made a robot type character? or the elementals, aliens, etc?
This is where it ties in a bit to the previous point in reality having to 'fill in the gaps' for things to make sense, taking origins written to flesh out how those players would actually feel. But theirs more... Characters have multiple costume slots they can switch between. usually this would subsist of their base outfit, maybe their super group look if they coordinated, street clothes/alter ego style, etc... so what if a robot character desperate to be human again goes and makes a human costume... are they now human? are then merely covered in a human like skin but still a robot underneath? hard to say...
Then you have the big question, in the super science special pack you got access to a special face changer in the pocket D (the neutral ground for socializing), unlike normal costume stores they could alter your body type, gender, physical sliders, etc... And that's just one character slot, that means players could switch entire body types as well as costumes on a whim. A godsend for trapped characters right? well what about those people who never bought that DLC, could they gain access to this character? or are they stuck with their base body type? If the face changer can change ANYTHING about you could if fix your voice to actually match your body?


Well-Known Member
...Too obscure I take it then. fair enough... I guess I'll just brain storm this out with Windfalcon of site then. I guess if i come up with anything concrete I'll put it here...