Spotlight On - City of Heroes (Updates for 2011)

We take a brief look at the new updates planned for this long-lived superhero-themed massively multiplayer game.

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City of Heroes, publisher NCsoft's original superhero-themed massively multiplayer game, is celebrating its seventh year of operation. Paragon Studios, the game's current developer, is celebrating this milestone by adding even more new content updates to follow last year's Going Rogue content additions. Earlier this year, the studio unveiled challenging "weekly strike target" encounters as well as animal body parts so players can make the tiger-men and bird-headed men they've always dreamed of.

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Coming up in the near future: new additions like global server access for both US and European players, who will be able to freely jump among servers from different territories, along with a new "loyalty bonus" for longtime subscribers in the form of an "alignment aura" that will surround your character. In addition, Issue 20, the next major content update, will add a new task force encounter and a new strike force encounter for midlevel characters, and expanded "incarnate" content to build on Going Rogue, such as incarnate slots, which will act as career-long, empowering "buff" abilities throughout a character's lower levels and can eventually be exchanged for a high-level power. Owners of Going Rogue will also be able to explore new high-level areas, such as the Behavioral Adjustment Facility, a new raid area for groups of anywhere from 12 to 24 players. The studio also plans to add a new queuing system for Going Rogue's incarnate trials that will operate less like a long queue and more like a turnstile, getting players into the action faster.

Issue 20 is scheduled to launch later this year.

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