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Preparing to Play City of Heroes

Last Modified: July 28, 2010

Assuming that you've decided to play City of Heroes, but haven't started yet, here is some really good advice to get you going (if you have started already, reading the following will still probably be useful to you).

Before activating your account

Prior to starting your account, there are many things you can do to learn more about the game. "Why", you may ask, "would I bother to research a game before playing it?" "What fun is that?", says you.

You must remember, the "Massive" in MMO. There will be a lot of people around to taunt, torment, and generally mock you for making really stupid mistakes and asking really simple questions. Even though the community of City of Heroes is generally very kind and patient, there are limits. Most importantly, some simple pieces of advice can save you a lot of grief in the game. For example:

  • There are a lot of caves in City of Heroes and tall characters spend most of their time dragging their face across the ceiling. Tip number 1: Keep your characters on the short side.
  • Did you know that you can't undo power selections? That means if you make a choice and end up hating it, you're stuck… or are you? I took a character all the way to level 13 before I realized that I really messed up with the power choices and she wasn't really very effective. Little did I realize that a few levels later, I could have done a Repec mission that lets you rebuild your character's power combinations as a reward. Instead, I built a new character with the same basic powers and started over from level 1! Even better, there's a City of Heroes Test Server where you can copy your character to to test out a power without it permenantly affecting your real hero. This is good to know ahead of time.
  • Lastly, you will save a lot of time and not feel like such an outsider by learning some of the game speak before you go in. It can slow you down quite a bit (and makes your newness very obvious) when you ask what simple phrases such as "ty", "wtf", and "brb Bio" mean. If a 30 year old like me can comfortably learn and use chat speak, so can you.
  • You can take screenshots of your gameplay by pressing the "Print Screen" key on your keyboard. This is useful for memories or for posting information in boards or guides. However, if you keep your graphics settings low because of a weak computer, these screenshots won't look so good. A nice gaming computer doesn't have to be expensive and will help with any other application you run as well so consider an upgrade.

Make sure you have a computer powerful enough to play the game at a good resolution an detail setting or you'll really miss out. They don't have to be expensive, but be sure to get good components. As a geek friend for help if necessary!

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Categories: Gameplay, Guides, Testing

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Massive Multiplayer Online

Refers to games such as Everquest, World of Warcraft and City of Heroes that are designed for online play with other live people. The key difference between this and online games such as Yahoo games is that there are anywhere from tens to hundreds of people playing together and collaboratively in the same virtual environment at the same time.


Character Respecification. Getting one of these allows you to relevel your character from level 1 to your current level instantly. You can choose all new powers and slotting choices (though you have to stick with the same primary and secondary power choices. You get these typically after new Issues or from the Respec Trials which are basically task forces with a respec as the award.


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Biological. Meaning I have to pee, but sometimes also used to mean I have to eat or take care of some other physical need.