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The Taxibots were formed in late 2004 - not long after I started playing City of Heroes, in September or October. The two players who made Taxibot 1 and Taxibot Alpha had the idea of making it safer and quicker for lowbies to move between the two train stations/lines (one at the north end of Steel Canyon, serving the higher-level zones, and the other at the south, serving the low; inconvenient if you're sidekicked, which at the time was still a short leash) and get to the newly-introduced iCon store, which was the only way to change one's costume after character creation.

People loved the idea, and many others - including myself - made characters to join the new SG. I'd been looking for a concept/excuse to play a defender with (comic book) radiation powers, and so Taxibot Gamma was born constructed. This was on Virtue, but "garages" soon opened on other servers, including Infinity.

The Paragon Taxi Service, or PTS, soon expanded its services to "badge tours" in which "passengers" were rapidly 'ported from one bot to another in a circuit that hit all of the exploration badges in a zone, and 'porting them to and from their missions in the Hollows (which otherwise often required long zig-zag runs through very bad neighborhoods). We also joined regular teams, providing "charter service" to assist with our powers and, of course, teleports.

As the years went by, the actual need for the Taxibots was reduced by various (welcome) quality-of-life improvements to CoH, such as combining the train lines, the addition of jetpacks and other means of safe fast travel even for lowbies, a hospital in the Hollows, and so on. This went hand in hand with the usual decline in guild activity. There was talk and an attempt made at starting a "Getaway Bots" villain group once CoV went live, but lower numbers redside and a completely different travel paradigm - where players didn't have to cross half the city or zone to reach their next mission - meant it never really took off. Some players, though, like myself, were still occasionally playing our Taxibots right up to the end.

What put us out of business, really, was Paragon Studios fixing the problems and rough spots that the Taxibots were created to work around. It's hard to be too upset by that.

I'm still proud of having been a Taxibot. My usual duty station was the Atlas Park gate in the Hollows. I stood there for hours, letting people know I was available to whisk whole teams back to safety from the depths of that (originally) terribly designed and hard to navigate zone. Between announcements and answering requests for a 'port, I could read, surf the web, get up and get a drink or whatever - a very relaxing way to play the game, or some form of it. Everyone was glad to see me, get a teleport or buff from me, and so on. And I was glad to be helping others, making their play experience more convenient and less annoying.
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For many, this last week included a holiday - a time to reflect and give thanks on what we have. Life being what it is, the good feelings are often leavened with stress and even sadness.

For some, this weekend marks another occasion... one that I wish I didn't have to observe, but again, life is what it is.

So here's to the City of Heroes, Paragon City: a place where for eight years, we could be almost anything we could imagine. Here's to the people we met, the heroic and villainous and foolish and noble things we did, and the stories we told: may they live long and shine brightly in our memories. Here's to the friendships made there that still endure.

Here's to a game that was, and still remains in many ways, one of a kind. A game whose like we may never see again. But that shouldn't stop us from taking the better parts of it with us wherever we may go.

*raises a glass and drinks*

This entry was originally posted at
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[ You have been forcibly disconnected from the server. Servers are shutting down ]

"This game let us fly. So I'll fly. Right until the end."

I kept my promise. Miss Megajoule was in the air when it happened, flying through the skies over Atlas Park.
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My ongoing project to document the world of City of Heroes is going well. I've taken screenshots and demorecorded flythroughs of all of the blueside zones (Paragon City proper). Tonight, after picking up a certain badge on one character, I toured the Shadow Shard.

When I got to the Storm Palace, I could hardly have asked for better background music from Winamp's random shuffle.


Sep. 12th, 2012 09:44 am
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This article is the best explanation I've seen yet of why City of Heroes is worth preserving - not just for those of us who play, but for everyone.
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Stages of grief )
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On Saturday night, I was listening to Virtue server's streaming "radio" station, CAPE Radio ("You aren't super until you put on The CAPE"); I don't usually, preferring my own music library, but they had a special Halloween program. Eventually that ended and they resumed their regular programming... which in this case, included the track referenced in my Music tag. It's been a few years since I watched Matrix Reloaded, and I'd forgotten how awesome this cue (and the fight scene that was set to it) was. Even better, it came up while the team I was on was moshing through a base full of Arachnos goons and promptly made that fight much more awesome and kinetic.

It's not the first time I've used the Matrix soundtrack(s) as CoH fight BGM - there's the instantly-recognizable "Spybreak" from the first, of course, and the Burly Brawl, also from the second (particularly appropriate when fighting a lot of Crey suits). And there's a fight in a much-delayed gamefic I may yet finish that I can't help but set to "Neodammerung." Then there's "Supermoves" by Overseer, from the Animatrix, which [ profile] z_gryphon once described as "[character] vs. the Entire Fifth Column"; it fits, it really does.

Of course, there's also the more traditional/classic superhero soundtracks, like Williams' Superman and Elfman's Batman, joined more recently by stuff like "Driving with the Top Down." And it seems appropriate to play the Halo soundtracks, particularly variations on the main theme, when fighting the Rikti.
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I was going through one of my directories while waiting for an Incarnate trial to start in City of Heroes (Lambda Sector, to be specific), and happened to fire up the collected music for the Operation Gnomeregan event, so they started at the same time.
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As of today, according to NCSoft's account tracking, I've spent five years in the City of Heroes.
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Actually, it was pretty quiet today, allowing me to pick up my 10th launch on Abom. He's the Rocketman now.

But I couldn't resist the ref. And the zone does seem strangely familiar after a couple of weeks of wandering the Capital Wasteland.
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During my nap just now, I had a very clear City of Heroes dream. I took the role of my character Miss Megajoule, trying to track down and capture a mutant pyrokinetic. My contacts were the typical pair: a reasonable person in SERAPH, and a Knight Templar type with the Feds who wanted to see all dangerous mutants either weaponized under something like the old Might for Right Act or held indefinitely in tiny power-dampening cells.
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So what are the odds that, after more than a year of trying to catch him online, one of my characters (the Watchmaker) would finally get in touch with his old running buddy from the Hollows, one of his few good friends IC ... on the very night that the latter made level 50?

That's enough to make up for the awful team earlier tonight, easy.
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Here's a draft of the next chapter of "Faces of the City", for review and comment. I think it might need something (more of the zone's history, maybe? but how do I work it in?); what do you think?

Read more... )
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More stuff that'll probably only make sense to CoH players, sorry.

Please tell me this isn't crap. )
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Shortly before noon on Saturday, February 25 2006, a year and a half after she arrived in Paragon City, Miss Megajoule reached level 50 and was named a Hero of the City.
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Okay, let's try this again.

Since I want everyone to (be able to) be there for MJ hitting 50, what day and time works best?
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To my friends in DFB and DG:

This weekend, MJ's making her final sprint to 50.

Four missions. Seven AVs.

Be there.

EDIT: ... or not.

FURTHER EDIT: Looks like next Saturday. (See more recent post.)