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So you know how there's been rumors of a CoH private server for many years?

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TheInternetJanitor
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So you know how there's been rumors of a CoH private server for many years?

I know it has been something of a contested, almost conspiracy theory sort of rumor.

Then this happened...

I realize the video is more about SEGS trying to set the record straight than the secret server shenanigans.

edit: the video that prompted the SEGS team to do that:

Lothic
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Eh, I think it's a "fun idea"

Eh, I think it's a "fun idea" to imagine there's a private CoH server running out there. If nothing else the very existence of such a thing would be a "poke in the eye" against NCsoft's unfortunate decision to kill the game while it probably still had a few good years left to it.

But even if we collectively accept that such a server exists I'm not sure I'd want to play on it for all sorts of reasons. Don't get me wrong when I say I'd probably love to log on and poke around for a few hours just to enjoy the fond memories. But I doubt I'd ever start "playing" it again to any serious degree. Let's face it people at this point CoH is now based on software tech that's nearly 20+ years old. I didn't bother to play Pac-Man much in the 1990s; why would I want to play a game that likely began its development around the 2000-2002 timeframe in 2019?

If a private CoH server does actually exist I then I commend the people keeping it alive and hope they can keep it going as long as possible. But as far as I'm concerned I'm still looking forward to CoT regardless.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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My wife and I would play it

My wife and I would play it even if we were the only 2 on it. I dont care that the code is 15 years old, the gameplay structure of how they handled different parts of the game was so different from the crap today that it would still be a lot of fun.

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Yeah, those rumours would

Yeah, those rumours would surface every now and then, and some of the other videos on that "Destroyer" dude's youtube account provide some pretty compelling evidence towards confirming them. Very interesting - so it appears the server code DID leak all those years ago. That could be very valuable to the Paragon Chat crowd, and even to the SEGS crowd (I know they are building their own server backend, but it could be useful for "checking their own work" and even for others looking to resurrect the old missions and lore to plug into SEGS). Assuming they could gain access to this code that is.

Personally I'd love to have a working version of the old game, preferably with a large population of other players, but even a small server with a few close friends could be fun as well. And you wouldn't need a supercomputer to run it to boot! Just dust off that old Laptop you have laying around and you should be good to go.

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The interesting part to me is

The interesting part to me is the whole conspiracy stuff surrounding it. I mean, yes, of course news of the existence of a private server itself is exciting, but the whole "the guy that ran titan and paragon chat is secretly behind it and runs the reddit and deletes people's posts and gaslights people" is just bonkers.

The thing is, people commenting on those youtube videos tried testing the waters putting up reddit threads about it just a few hours ago and had their comments deleted....

It is all very bizarre.

Yes, the game is pretty old at this point to be sure and I'd love a new game with updated tech, graphics, and modern design....but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be interested (and have been for the last 6 years) to play the original. The motivation for projects like SEGS and even CoT just would not have existed without CoX getting shut down completely.

So in that respect perhaps some good will come of the weirdness. Eventually.

edit: Massively OP did an article about it already

https://massivelyop.com/2019/04/15/score-city-of-heroes-emulator-leak/

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Since the cat is out of the

Since the cat is out of the bag, it's definitely not a rumor.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

But even if we collectively accept that such a server exists I'm not sure I'd want to play on it for all sorts of reasons. Don't get me wrong when I say I'd probably love to log on and poke around for a few hours just to enjoy the fond memories. But I doubt I'd ever start "playing" it again to any serious degree. Let's face it people at this point CoH is now based on software tech that's nearly 20+ years old. I didn't bother to play Pac-Man much in the 1990s; why would I want to play a game that likely began its development around the 2000-2002 timeframe in 2019?

If a private CoH server does actually exist I then I commend the people keeping it alive and hope they can keep it going as long as possible. But as far as I'm concerned I'm still looking forward to CoT regardless.

I'd get a lot of the same satisfaction out of ParagonChat, so I agree, keep your eyes on the ball ;)


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It isn't an either/or

It isn't an either/or situation, though. They could have kept any development of new work they were doing a secret just like they are doing and still copied the codebase a billion times for anyone to host servers with. Net threat to them, zero, and good luck to any company paying lawyers to keep up with sending shutdown demands to every bob and joe that felt like throwing up a server. Since we're talking about the actual legit game and not an attempt to reverse engineer it, you know it works. You'd just have to change the location it tries to find servers at.

That and the creepy gaslighting and censorship is what makes the story really noteworthy I think.

It seems like villainy for the sake of villainy. Nothing of note gained other than an invisible sense of superiority over others because "I know something you don't know".

That is the optics of the situation at least. The whole "we had to keep it a secret to develop it" rings hollow since they had to do zero work to make the game work. They had the whole game already.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

It isn't an either/or situation, though. They could have kept any development of new work they were doing a secret just like they are doing and still copied the codebase a billion times for anyone to host servers with. Net threat to them, zero, and good luck to any company paying lawyers to keep up with sending shutdown demands to every bob and joe that felt like throwing up a server. Since we're talking about the actual legit game and not an attempt to reverse engineer it, you know it works. You'd just have to change the location it tries to find servers at.

That and the creepy gaslighting and censorship is what makes the story really noteworthy I think.

It seems like villainy for the sake of villainy. Nothing of note gained other than an invisible sense of superiority over others because "I know something you don't know".

That is the optics of the situation at least. The whole "we had to keep it a secret to develop it" rings hollow since they had to do zero work to make the game work. They had the whole game already.

I don't think that's feasible. If every Bob and Joe had the server code to put up their own servers, then NCSoft lawyers would know to keep an eye out for these. They shut down the 1 private Tabula Rasa server 4 years after the games death, you don't want to wave your hands and draw attention to CoH servers. Lawyers also don't get tired of chasing private servers, because in IP law, you HAVE to protect your IP or you loose it. It's why Marvel sued CoH, it's why Bethesda sued Mojang over 'Scrolls'. You couldn't just release CoH until NCSoft stop caring to pay lawyers because they legally can't.

Also, in terms of 'they had to do zero work to make the game work', that's not how code bases work. Perfect World Entertainment is removing the player made content systems from both Star Trek Online and Neverwinter Online. Why? Because no one left knows how that code works anymore. They HAVE the code, it didn't disappear, but no one understands because everyone who wrote it has moved on. That is one part of TWO currently active games, let alone the ENTIRE game itself. It doesn't take much searching to find stories of how 'spaghetti' the code to City of Heroes was. Just having the code base doesn't mean you put it on a server and hit run.exe .

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Take a look at how many

Take a look at how many blatant servers are running right now of NCsoft's biggest title, lineage 2. Seriously, google it. There are tons. So much that they have to distinguish themselves from each other and offer different flavors and experiences of the games. This is true for any other major game including the biggy of mmos, wow.

Yes, some get taken down. They move, and more get put up. A takedown demand is not a threat to the population as a whole when the servers themselves can be put up on a whim. A 20 year old game isn't going to require enterprise class hardware. I've run private servers for friends of other newer games on spare rigs lying around for funsies.

Takedowns are only a threat to individual servers. The defense against that is a critical mass so it isn't feasible to focus on killing them. The cost of paying lawyers vastly outpaces the cost of putting up servers at that point. They'll put down a couple a year so they can say they are defending their intellectual property, but they aren't going to bankrupt themselves spitting into the wind.

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Boy if it’s really true, it

Boy if it’s really true, it really stings that there’s been a server out there all this time to play the game. To this day, I’ve wanted to play CoH so much that it physically hurts. Paragon Chat helps but it’s not the full experience. I’ve settled for other games but the experience is hollow compared to my original home. I still listen to the CoH music every day.

I understand the legal hurdles, but I hope the server might be shared more openly now. Or maybe they disseminate the code a little bit so that there can be more servers. I don’t know. For all my excitement for CoT, I feel just as strongly the desire to be back in CoH.

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There is no question anymore

There is no question anymore as to whether it is true, the guy in question masterminding the whole thing released a statement saying it absolutely was and he is sorry-not-sorry and he was right all along to keep the filthy peasants away from his special clubhouse. Check the massivelyop article I linked earlier.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

There is no question anymore as to whether it is true, the guy in question masterminding the whole thing released a statement saying it absolutely was and he is sorry-not-sorry and he was right all along to keep the filthy peasants away from his special clubhouse. Check the massivelyop article I linked earlier.

Yeah I posted my comment before reading the full article confirming. This is pretty upsetting for me. All these years I would have given anything to play the game.

I thought I had stopped hurting about the shutdown.

Name: Safehouse
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You can stop now... Leandro

You can stop now... Leandro has already came out and admitted it.

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Check out this heartbreaking

Check out this heartbreaking commentary from one of the most upbeat members of the community, Positive Gamer:

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McJigg wrote:
McJigg wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

It isn't an either/or situation, though. They could have kept any development of new work they were doing a secret just like they are doing and still copied the codebase a billion times for anyone to host servers with. Net threat to them, zero, and good luck to any company paying lawyers to keep up with sending shutdown demands to every bob and joe that felt like throwing up a server. Since we're talking about the actual legit game and not an attempt to reverse engineer it, you know it works. You'd just have to change the location it tries to find servers at.

That and the creepy gaslighting and censorship is what makes the story really noteworthy I think.

It seems like villainy for the sake of villainy. Nothing of note gained other than an invisible sense of superiority over others because "I know something you don't know".

That is the optics of the situation at least. The whole "we had to keep it a secret to develop it" rings hollow since they had to do zero work to make the game work. They had the whole game already.

I don't think that's feasible. If every Bob and Joe had the server code to put up their own servers, then NCSoft lawyers would know to keep an eye out for these. They shut down the 1 private Tabula Rasa server 4 years after the games death, you don't want to wave your hands and draw attention to CoH servers. Lawyers also don't get tired of chasing private servers, because in IP law, you HAVE to protect your IP or you loose it. It's why Marvel sued CoH, it's why Bethesda sued Mojang over 'Scrolls'. You couldn't just release CoH until NCSoft stop caring to pay lawyers because they legally can't.

Also, in terms of 'they had to do zero work to make the game work', that's not how code bases work. Perfect World Entertainment is removing the player made content systems from both Star Trek Online and Neverwinter Online. Why? Because no one left knows how that code works anymore. They HAVE the code, it didn't disappear, but no one understands because everyone who wrote it has moved on. That is one part of TWO currently active games, let alone the ENTIRE game itself. It doesn't take much searching to find stories of how 'spaghetti' the code to City of Heroes was. Just having the code base doesn't mean you put it on a server and hit run.exe .

Just because you don't believe something is true, doesn't mean that it isn't... If you would like to see how prevalent private servers would be if he had released the code six years ago like he should have, go look for a world of Warcraft or Ragnarok online private server... There are massive amounts of both. Neither of the companies that run those games go after private servers very often, because it's mostly a waste of money because they can't get them all.

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Wouldn't it make sense to

Wouldn't it make sense to make the game source code entirely public? This way users can operate and open their own servers... NCSoft cannot possible shutdown the average Joe running his private server with 20 other users.

-- Nic

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Take a look at how many blatant servers are running right now of NCsoft's biggest title, lineage 2. Seriously, google it. There are tons. So much that they have to distinguish themselves from each other and offer different flavors and experiences of the games. This is true for any other major game including the biggy of mmos, wow.

Yes, some get taken down. They move, and more get put up. A takedown demand is not a threat to the population as a whole when the servers themselves can be put up on a whim. A 20 year old game isn't going to require enterprise class hardware. I've run private servers for friends of other newer games on spare rigs lying around for funsies.

Takedowns are only a threat to individual servers. The defense against that is a critical mass so it isn't feasible to focus on killing them. The cost of paying lawyers vastly outpaces the cost of putting up servers at that point. They'll put down a couple a year so they can say they are defending their intellectual property, but they aren't going to bankrupt themselves spitting into the wind.

Remember in my last post when I said there are "many reasons" why I wouldn't bother to play on a secret CoH server? You've listed some of those reasons here.

For me personally it's not an issue of worrying about being caught doing something naughty. Like you said these servers could be spun up and down as needed and the "takedown lawyers" could play whack-a-mole forever and never completely stop it. My main concern is having any one single server be permanent enough to be worth spending time building up any character worth having. Back when I played CoH I spent probably thousands of hours as a badge collector on two main badge collecting characters. What's the point of trying to spend ANY time trying to recreate that if a given server could be taken down at any instant?

So sure we could live in a world where there are thousands of private/pirate CoH servers running and have a few of them come and go on a daily basis based on whether they've been ordered shut down or not. But in that world where you'd have no guarantee that any single server is going to survive from one day to the next I see absolutely no reason to invest any serious amount of time building up a new set of characters.

At best I see this as a novelty with no serious application. Like I said I wish the people involved well but I'd never waste any time getting involved with it.

P.S. Before anyone mentions it I'm sure I could go as far as to set up my own server for my own purposes. Sure that's possible - but as a serious badge collector type person it's semi-pointless to have 1300+ badges on a "personal" machine that can't really be verified. Who's to say I didn't hack the code to just give myself all the badges?

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Using your metaphor "wack a

Using your metaphor "wack a mole" eventually arms tire and they won't be able to stop all of them. At this point they should just release the source code allowing users to run their own servers.

-- Nic

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Curl4soccer wrote:
Curl4soccer wrote:

Using your metaphor "wack a mole" eventually arms tire and they won't be able to stop all of them. At this point they should just release the source code allowing users to run their own servers.

Even if we got to some kind of utopia where NCsoft just gives up and lets people do whatever they want there would never be the concept of "officially verified" servers again. If we're all running our own servers who's to say I didn't just hack my characters to level 50 and give them 1300+ badges auto-magically? What would the point be?

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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I mean GM's are a thing on

I mean GM's are a thing on WoW private servers too. I wouldn't even care if a person just hacked their way to 50 with 1,300+ badges. I just want to play the game of my childhood. Eventually, I would hope that bigger and more reliable private servers would be established. E.g. look at Warmane for WoW. It's been active with 1,000s of players for years. They have a legitimate community, and GM's that don't abuse the power. Call me naive but, I would do anything to create a character and run through the sewers. ^_^.

-- Nic

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Curl4soccer wrote:
Curl4soccer wrote:

I mean GM's are a thing on WoW private servers too. I wouldn't even care if a person just hacked their way to 50 with 1,300+ badges. I just want to play the game of my childhood. Eventually, I would hope that bigger and more reliable private servers would be established. E.g. look at Warmane for WoW. It's been active with 1,000s of players for years. They have a legitimate community, and GM's that don't abuse the power. Call me naive but, I would do anything to create a character and run through the sewers. ^_^.

As always YMMV. I totally have no problem if anyone else would want to play on one of these private/pirate/personal servers. I'm simply voicing my own opinion on the matter. *shrugs*

I suppose in some ways I spent so many thousands of hours playing CoH already that I just can't envision doing it again. Sure as I said before it might be fun to fly around in the game and see all the places for a few hours but I just can't imagine putting the serious time/energy back into it again, especially under the circumstances where all that effort might not even be considered "official" by any one else.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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There is another angle to

There is another angle to consider besides releasing the code being "the right thing" in a lot of people's eyes.

Right now they are a single target. A high profile target, with obvious ties to all the relevant groups in facebook, reddit, titan network, and even projects like CoT that grew from them. This makes them a very EASY target to go after. They can very easily kill CoX for good, full stop. In all likelihood right now NCsoft are either doing that or they are beyond caring. If NCsoft pursued that it could even impact other projects like this one by association, even if everyone involved was always innocent and pure (and we know now there was a fairly sizable group that conspired to keep this secret), simply by wasting time and resources.

Flood the world with a million other targets and suddenly you are a much less attractive target. The goal of having your private elite clubhouse becomes much EASIER because you can hide in plain sight. The game lives, it will never be truly shut down again, and even if Leandro is motivated by only the basest of instincts the concept of self preservation here should be an obvious reason to go in this direction.

But SCORE isn't doing that, at least according to Pardini's interview.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

As always YMMV. I totally have no problem if anyone else would want to play on one of these private/pirate/personal servers. I'm simply voicing my own opinion on the matter. *shrugs*

I suppose in some ways I spent so many thousands of hours playing CoH already that I just can't envision doing it again. Sure as I said before it might be fun to fly around in the game and see all the places for a few hours but I just can't imagine putting the serious time/energy back into it again, especially under the circumstances where all that effort might not even be considered "official" by any one else.

That's very reasonable to be quiet frank I don't think I even have the hours in my day to sink in some serious time. I just know with all this talk about this SCORE private server has got me wanting to play with my fire/kinetic controller again. For SEGS all I really want is some combat *praying*.

-- Nic

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

There is another angle to consider besides releasing the code being "the right thing" in a lot of people's eyes.

Right now they are a single target. A high profile target, with obvious ties to all the relevant groups in facebook, reddit, titan network, and even projects like CoT that grew from them. This makes them a very EASY target to go after. They can very easily kill CoX for good, full stop. In all likelihood right now NCsoft are either doing that or they are beyond caring.

Flood the world with a million other targets and suddenly you are a much less attractive target. The goal of having your private elite clubhouse becomes much EASIER because you can hide in plain sight. The game lives, it will never be truly shut down again, and even if Leandro is motivated by only the basest of instincts the concept of self preservation here should be an obvious reason to go in this direction.

But SCORE isn't doing that, at least according to Pardini's interview.

For what it's worth I agree that the more you metaphorically let the cats out of the bag the harder it would be to ever get rid of all of them.

Has there been any indication why SCORE suddenly decided to "go public" with this? What motivated this recent outbreak of news/info about all this? Basically what's the point of trying to keep it contained to just the confines of the SCORE group now? If it was just some "leaker" the SCORE people could have just stayed quiet and let the idiot rant the way (most?) people laugh off people who've claimed to have been abducted by UFOs.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

For what it's worth I agree that the more you metaphorically let the cats out of the bag the harder it would be to ever get rid of all of them.

Has there been any indication why SCORE suddenly decided to "go public" with this? What motivated this recent outbreak of news/info about all this? Basically what's the point of trying to keep it contained to just the confines of the SCORE group now?

I'm not entirely sure but, I believe it was this video that ousted them... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUuQDcL2FoY&t=57s

This guy has been posting content the last week.

-- Nic

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Oh, they admitted to it

Oh, they admitted to it because one of the people that had been playing on their private server finally had enough of the petty dictator like behavior of the main guy(s) and leaked everything.

At first they weren't going to admit it, they tried the same tactics they had used for years of trying to lie, gaslight, cover it up.....it just didn't work. There was enough proof and enough attention since more "pure" projects like SEGS had built a hopeful excited community that word spread too fast. Since some game news sites, massivelyOP in particular, are huge fans of CoX and have ties to the community and possibly Leandro himself and/or his in group, they were able to talk with him and get an interview. Which is linked above, and worth a read, it isn't long.

To add on to my previous point about making themselves a smaller target being a good idea - it isn't just NCsoft they have to worry about now. Have you seen the stuff coming out of facebook, reddit, 4chan, and the rest of the internet?

There are some angry, angry people out there now.

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Just to be clear if you read

Just to be clear if you read the Leandro interview you have to take it in context - he tries to paint a picture of him being a secret savior and the only hope of the world.

He's had this since the shutdown. It was working the whole time. He accepted money for it during this time from players, making it super duper illegal. Any argument of "we had to keep it a secret to keep working on it" is immediately invalidated by the fact that it worked already. Any argument of "if they found us they could shut down CoX for good" is invalidated by the obvious answer that a proliferation of the code makes them a harder target, not an easier one.

It is obviously a power trip thing and THAT is what has the community in a rage more than anything else. The pure short sighted selfish villainy. It isn't even "I'm going to do this unpleasant thing for good reasons" villainy. This isn't even an MCU thanos argument. It is just lies and pettiness all the way down.

I think people are also excited about this because the social and political situation of people's lives lately have been something of a mirror to this situation and they are already upset about that. A few secret corrupt people pulling strings and laughing at the plebs.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Oh, they admitted to it because one of the people that had been playing on their private server finally had enough of the petty dictator like behavior of the main guy(s) and leaked everything.

At first they weren't going to admit it, they tried the same tactics they had used for years of trying to lie, gaslight, cover it up.....it just didn't work. There was enough proof and enough attention since more "pure" projects like SEGS had built a hopeful excited community that word spread too fast. Since some game news sites, massivelyOP in particular, are huge fans of CoX and have ties to the community and possibly Leandro himself and/or his in group, they were able to talk with him and get an interview. Which is linked above, and worth a read, it isn't long.

To add on to my previous point about making themselves a smaller target being a good idea - it isn't just NCsoft they have to worry about now. Have you seen the stuff coming out of facebook, reddit, 4chan, and the rest of the internet?

There are some angry, angry people out there now.

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Just to be clear if you read the Leandro interview you have to take it in context - he tries to paint a picture of him being a secret savior and the only hope of the world.

He's had this since the shutdown. It was working the whole time. He accepted money for it during this time from players, making it super duper illegal. Any argument of "we had to keep it a secret to keep working on it" is immediately invalidated by the fact that it worked already. Any argument of "if they found us they could shut down CoX for good" is invalidated by the obvious answer that a proliferation of the code makes them a harder target, not an easier one.

It is obviously a power trip thing and THAT is what has the community in a rage more than anything else. The pure short sighted selfish villainy. It isn't even "I'm going to do this unpleasant thing for good reasons" villainy. This isn't even an MCU thanos argument. It is just lies and pettiness all the way down.

I think people are also excited about this because the social and political situation of people's lives lately have been something of a mirror to this situation and they are already upset about that. A few secret corrupt people pulling strings and laughing at the plebs.

Thanks for summarizing the situation. I realize you guys have posted the various links to all this but to be perfectly honest I haven't spent the time to fully read/watch all of it yet. ;)

I suppose it'll be interesting to see how much of a reaction NCsoft is going to offer towards all of this - especially if people have been making unlicensed money from it.

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For what it's worth Lothic I

For what it's worth Lothic I agree with you that not having the game in an "official" way means the community, which was the heart of the game, isn't there. I didn't care much about most of the badges if they weren't tied to something like a costume piece, but the same reasoning you gave for them applies to lots of things. To really get that CoX feel you'd need the community. You want costume contests, you want people swooping in to save the day and help you, you want all of that. That means people. Perhaps thousands.

With Pardini's playhouse they had maybe dozens logging in according to the leaks. It was basically empty and dead.

The argument has been made elsewhere that having a proliferation of the code would mean more people playing, and that might be true, but they'd also be split up amongst various servers. Even if the density is far greater you aren't going to get what you had in the actual game, so your point is very sound.

Still, with the success of so many other private servers I can't discount entirely the ability of them to deliver an experience people enjoy. As for worrying about an individual server being taken down and losing your progress 1. That can be backed up and moved when the server moves to avoid a threat and 2. Pardini's playhouse has been in operation *nearly as long as CoX's entire lifetime*. Let that sink in for a moment. In a fairly short amount of time his private server will have been operating longer than the ACTUAL game.

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That is nuts, I didn't even

That is nuts, I didn't even think about the fact that his server may have been running longer than the actual game was in production. Thanks for filling us in on the situation.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

For what it's worth Lothic I agree with you that not having the game in an "official" way means the community, which was the heart of the game, isn't there. I didn't care much about most of the badges if they weren't tied to something like a costume piece, but the same reasoning you gave for them applies to lots of things. To really get that CoX feel you'd need the community. You want costume contests, you want people swooping in to save the day and help you, you want all of that. That means people. Perhaps thousands.

With Pardini's playhouse they had maybe dozens logging in according to the leaks. It was basically empty and dead.

The argument has been made elsewhere that having a proliferation of the code would mean more people playing, and that might be true, but they'd also be split up amongst various servers. Even if the density is far greater you aren't going to get what you had in the actual game, so your point is very sound.

Yes we might have an ironic scenario where there's a thousand active CoH servers which would make them collectively "takedown proof" but only like 5 people on each of them. There are obvious pros and cons to that situation.

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

As for worrying about an individual server being taken down and losing your progress 1. That can be backed up and moved when the server moves to avoid a threat

You could technically save and maintain individual progress but there'd certainly be no serious "guarantee" of that. Just stating the reality of the situation.

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

and 2. Pardini's playhouse has been in operation *nearly as long as CoX's entire lifetime*. Let that sink in for a moment. In a fairly short amount of time his private server will have been operating longer than the ACTUAL game.

That's a sobering thought. Has there been any "updates" to the baseline he's running or has he basically been maintaining a status quo the entire time?

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Lothic, you should just watch

Lothic, you should just watch the videos. A lot of your questions are answered.

There's a video of the guy running around playing a new AT (ranged/defense) with new powers. They are way beyond "status quo"

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alltrueist wrote:
alltrueist wrote:

Lothic, you should just watch the videos. A lot of your questions are answered.

There's a video of the guy running around playing a new AT (ranged/defense) with new powers. They are way beyond "status quo"

He even was transformed into a Jack in Irons. In the forum post I saw there was several patches added into the game. The guy said that you had over 1,000 character slots that could be created but, the part I thought most intriguing was all of his 'old' characters were visible. See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI7e6I22Q38

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They basically took what the

They basically took what the original devs were being worked on (issue 25?) and finished that, as well as a new archetype (though I think that was basically just reusing powers from other ATs). So yeah they are farther along than the actual game was at death. Not a huge amount though.

There is another angle we haven't talked about yet, and here is where the story gets even a bit more dark and ugly.

Taken from someone else's reddit post:

1) Every trusted City of Heroes community was in on this and censored it. There was no place for us to discuss the truth of this situation, and it was a massive conflict of interest.

2) Community members were routinely ostracized, gaslighted and harassed for believing there was a private server. It’s one thing for there to be a lie of omission, but it’s far worse to ostracize, outcast, and attack the reputations of people who are telling the truth.

3) Titan Network allowed us to go on donating to spiritual successors, including their own, by keeping the server from us. Tons of people have donated money and time to other projects who might not have if the truth had been allowed to be told.

So let's talk about point number 3, because it seems like that might have a really big impact on CoT specifically, and we are on the CoT forums.

The breach of trust here might have a very real impact on projects like CoT. We know the ingroup of friends that were involved in all of this knew each other and spoke to each other. While Pardini's statement tries to leave everyone else but him blameless how many people are actually going to trust anything he says? Especially when faced with the fact that those involved were financially motivated to lie? Who actually knew what and who actually did what isn't even that important now that many potentially virtuous people and their efforts will be tainted by association or even suspicion of association.

How will this impact the interest in donations and volunteers?

Or, to ask the real tough questions that are going to be on people's minds: how has this ALREADY impact these projects? We now know paragon chat was a front purely to distract people. What about all the other projects? Where did that money really go and what have they really been doing with their time?

Because I assure you some people are going to take this information very poorly, and take a new look at any perceived delays or lack of transparency from these projects in an unfavorable light. You think people questioned the validity and efficiency of projects like CoT before? Yikes.

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alltrueist wrote:
alltrueist wrote:

Lothic, you should just watch the videos. A lot of your questions are answered.

There's a video of the guy running around playing a new AT (ranged/defense) with new powers. They are way beyond "status quo"

Frankly it was easier to have someone like you tell me here. I'll get around to watching the vids eventually...

P.S. Truth be told I actually did try watching one of them (forget which) but the guy was taking like many multiple minutes to even say "anything" of relative importance. I literally gave up on it because I didn't have like 30 minutes to have him string together 4 or 5 words that were informative. Like I said I'll give it another try when I have more time to waste on parsing out the useless crap of it. ;)

P.P.S. Now it looks like I might be too late; videos are getting taken down now.

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The positive gamer video is

The positive gamer video is much less painful , the video from the actual leaker is painful to watch, I don't blame you Lothic.

That being said, he is the prime source (that and the Leandro Pardini interview) so anything else is going to be secondhand at best.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

They basically took what the original devs were being worked on (issue 25?) and finished that, as well as a new archetype (though I think that was basically just reusing powers from other ATs). So yeah they are farther along than the actual game was at death. Not a huge amount though.

There is another angle we haven't talked about yet, and here is where the story gets even a bit more dark and ugly.

Taken from someone else's reddit post:

1) Every trusted City of Heroes community was in on this and censored it. There was no place for us to discuss the truth of this situation, and it was a massive conflict of interest.

2) Community members were routinely ostracized, gaslighted and harassed for believing there was a private server. It’s one thing for there to be a lie of omission, but it’s far worse to ostracize, outcast, and attack the reputations of people who are telling the truth.

3) Titan Network allowed us to go on donating to spiritual successors, including their own, by keeping the server from us. Tons of people have donated money and time to other projects who might not have if the truth had been allowed to be told.

So let's talk about point number 3, because it seems like that might have a really big impact on CoT specifically, and we are on the CoT forums.

The breach of trust here might have a very real impact on projects like CoT. We know the ingroup of friends that were involved in all of this knew each other and spoke to each other. While Pardini's statement tries to leave everyone else but him blameless how many people are actually going to trust anything he says? Especially when faced with the fact that those involved were financially motivated to lie? Who actually knew what and who actually did what isn't even that important now that many potentially virtuous people and their efforts will be tainted by association or even suspicion of association.

How will this impact the interest in donations and volunteers?

Or, to ask the real tough questions that are going to be on people's minds: how has this ALREADY impact these projects? We now know paragon chat was a front purely to distract people. What about all the other projects? Where did that money really go and what have they really been doing with their time?

Because I assure you some people are going to take this information very poorly, and take a new look at any perceived delays or lack of transparency from these projects in an unfavorable light. You think people questioned the validity and efficiency of projects like CoT before? Yikes.

The unfortunate part is this:

We at Missing Worlds Media had zero connection to SCORE. We had no idea that it was going on, none of us were invited to it. This was as much of a surprise to us as everyone else.


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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

The positive gamer video is much less painful , the video from the actual leaker is painful to watch, I don't blame you Lothic.

That being said, he is the prime source (that and the Leandro Pardini interview) so anything else is going to be secondhand at best.

Nuts' fellas, I agree it was tough to sit down through the 30-minute video. But, i'm stuck at work all day anyways so it wasn't like I had anything else going on. I am upset that they've put out this shell of CoH named Paragon Chat. The fact that all of this was managed to be kept quiet is impressive to me. I'm not very good at C++ or C or I would actively try and add NPC's into these emulators. Who knows, I'm going to waste 100's of hours adding NPC's in just for myself. WHEN CAN WE CATCH A BREAK!!!!

-- Nic

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No worries Tannim22,

No worries Tannim22,

I don't think you guys would be actively developing a spiritual successor while holding out on us the players. Just happy your team is on the forum engaging with people is the first step to show you're on our side. Being transparent is the key to PR issues like this.

-- Nic

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

They basically took what the original devs were being worked on (issue 25?) and finished that, as well as a new archetype (though I think that was basically just reusing powers from other ATs). So yeah they are farther along than the actual game was at death. Not a huge amount though.

There is another angle we haven't talked about yet, and here is where the story gets even a bit more dark and ugly.

Taken from someone else's reddit post:

1) Every trusted City of Heroes community was in on this and censored it. There was no place for us to discuss the truth of this situation, and it was a massive conflict of interest.

2) Community members were routinely ostracized, gaslighted and harassed for believing there was a private server. It’s one thing for there to be a lie of omission, but it’s far worse to ostracize, outcast, and attack the reputations of people who are telling the truth.

3) Titan Network allowed us to go on donating to spiritual successors, including their own, by keeping the server from us. Tons of people have donated money and time to other projects who might not have if the truth had been allowed to be told.

So let's talk about point number 3, because it seems like that might have a really big impact on CoT specifically, and we are on the CoT forums.

The breach of trust here might have a very real impact on projects like CoT. We know the ingroup of friends that were involved in all of this knew each other and spoke to each other. While Pardini's statement tries to leave everyone else but him blameless how many people are actually going to trust anything he says? Especially when faced with the fact that those involved were financially motivated to lie? Who actually knew what and who actually did what isn't even that important now that many potentially virtuous people and their efforts will be tainted by association or even suspicion of association.

How will this impact the interest in donations and volunteers?

Or, to ask the real tough questions that are going to be on people's minds: how has this ALREADY impact these projects? We now know paragon chat was a front purely to distract people. What about all the other projects? Where did that money really go and what have they really been doing with their time?

Because I assure you some people are going to take this information very poorly, and take a new look at any perceived delays or lack of transparency from these projects in an unfavorable light. You think people questioned the validity and efficiency of projects like CoT before? Yikes.

The unfortunate part is this:

We at Missing Worlds Media had zero connection to SCORE. We had no idea that it was going on, none of us were invited to it. This was as much of a surprise to us as everyone else.

It makes my blood boil that I’ve seen accusations flung about that have no basis in fact, claiming COT has been some sort of front to fund SCORE all this time. It came up on the SEGS discord that this accusation appeared on 4chan, leading me to make the mistake of checking that out. (Note SEGS folks themselves are NOT accusing MWM of any shady actions just to make that clear)

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The main issue is that an

The main issue is that an accusation like this doesn't have to have a basis in fact to be dangerous purely because this whole situation is rife with secrecy, conspiracy, lies, and gaslighting.

Any proof or rebuttal to an idea that CoT or any other project had their hands in the proverbial cookie jar is going to be very very hard to show. It is difficult to prove you did NOT do something. Even in a normal environment of pure innocence that is difficult, but when you have a situation like this that is covered in intentional secrecy and lies? To say nothing of financial incentives, since Leandro was apparently getting paid to run this server....

I'm not even sure what CoT can do about it this from a PR standpoint. For what it is worth I do believe them and SEGS and the other projects when they say they had no clue it was going on. SEGS most of all since they would have created a working game years ago if that was the case.

But then anyone wanting to argue the other side can just point to paragon chat....

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I have already had friends

I have already had friends wonder if this is why none of the projects have been released. Unfair I know, but that is the perception from some. My main hope is that the code gets released, and we see a successor with something concrete. My money (literally) is on COT. The others have kind of wandered due to reasons of their own.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

The main issue is that an accusation like this doesn't have to have a basis in fact to be dangerous purely because this whole situation is rife with secrecy, conspiracy, lies, and gaslighting.

Any proof or rebuttal to an idea that CoT or any other project had their hands in the proverbial cookie jar is going to be very very hard to show. It is difficult to prove you did NOT do something. Even in a normal environment of pure innocence that is difficult, but when you have a situation like this that is covered in intentional secrecy and lies? To say nothing of financial incentives, since Leandro was apparently getting paid to run this server....

I'm not even sure what CoT can do about it this from a PR standpoint. For what it is worth I do believe them and SEGS and the other projects when they say they had no clue it was going on. SEGS most of all since they would have created a working game years ago if that was the case.

But then anyone wanting to argue the other side can just point to paragon chat....

I read somewhere that SEGS was also being developed by Leandro... I don't recall exactly which source I saw that from.. Anyone?

-- Nic

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

The main issue is that an accusation like this doesn't have to have a basis in fact to be dangerous purely because this whole situation is rife with secrecy, conspiracy, lies, and gaslighting.

Any proof or rebuttal to an idea that CoT or any other project had their hands in the proverbial cookie jar is going to be very very hard to show. It is difficult to prove you did NOT do something. Even in a normal environment of pure innocence that is difficult, but when you have a situation like this that is covered in intentional secrecy and lies? To say nothing of financial incentives, since Leandro was apparently getting paid to run this server....

I'm not even sure what CoT can do about it this from a PR standpoint. For what it is worth I do believe them and SEGS and the other projects when they say they had no clue it was going on. SEGS most of all since they would have created a working game years ago if that was the case.

But then anyone wanting to argue the other side can just point to paragon chat....

I wonder if maybe the best thing to do right now PR wise is to just keep on going. Keep SHOWING that you’re working in good faith and don’t engage the rampant speculation. Ultimately, talk is cheap and actions will be the final proof.

Now that MWM has at been more regularly communicating than they were in the past I’d encourage they just keep communicating as they have been. Keep showing the advancements in development. People will make the accusations they want to, especially because a lot of them feel betrayed and lied to.

That’s just my pedestrian point of view on it. I’m sure the devs are already discussing what they feel will be the wisest course of action.

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I think I’ve spoken up about

I think I’ve spoken up about this in a variety of platforms. It’s currently hard for me to quantify how I feel, and truthfully I keep thinking I should be angrier about it but I’m not. I guess I’m waiting to see what happens next?

I am upset the game’s been around still in some form and I’m only just hearing about it, and I guess I would like to play it but from what I understand the population of this private server is woefully small, so I can’t imagine it keeping my attention for too long, especially with such a heavy NDA (I mean, I won't shut up about CoH to my friends now, how could I not if the game was still going?). Right now I am merely hoping that this doesn’t have too much of an impact on things like CoT or SEGS, and am sad that the revelation such a server existed for so long is doing a number on the community. I'm not surprised people are upset, and at the moment it's kind of pulling people in two directions: was it right for the server to be leaked? Was it right for it to be kept secret, or even exist in the first place?

I want to keep an eye on this, however. There’s a bit of division about exactly how draconian NCSoft have been over licences, and the expectation would be that they would come down hard on it as they did with Tabula Rasa's emulated private server 4 years after that game was shut down. I think this is likely to happen, given the amount of money and effort NCSoft went to in order to keep the IP offline (trademarking CoH 2 and CoH 3, for starters). However, some would argue that since private servers exist in abundance with Lineage 2, one of NCSoft’s most prominent IPs no less, that they may just ignore it and allow it to pass. What folks tend to forget with core companies like NCSoft is that they measure their game's success by how it goes in their own country, this being Korea. Lineage 1 and 2, and Guild Wars remain active to this day because how ludicrously popular those games are over there, and while CoH was profitable on a global scale, it wasn't popular with users in Korea. I remember there being something mentioned about their desire not to relinquish the license being something of a cultural thing; if they gave CoH to someone else after they themselves declared it a failure, and then the game became super popular after that, it would make NCSoft look foolish and reduce their standing, so they would rather keep the IP and let it languish, hence trademarking sequels that would never be made.

Should NCSoft bring down the legal hammer, then we’re likely back to where we started in 2012, but things like Paragon Chat and SEGS may be brought into question, especially with unhelpful accusations floating about that the heads of these communities are behind this server, sitting with their 'ivory servers' and only keeping the game to themselves as some kind of power trip. Bad news and terrible assumptions tend to be contagious, so I do sadly see some of these successor projects getting some negative press, but since talks with NCSoft ended, I would be willing to bet none of the companies behind these projects have anything to do with it, as Tanim points out. It may be a rough patch of PR, but I don't think it will be around for much longer. I do recommend preparing a formal statement just in case.

If NCSoft ignore it, then the ball is passed to these SCORE folks. Short of an official statement from the company declaring “Yeah, we don’t care about it anymore, go nuts” it’ll remain fairly ambiguous. However, with no word from NCSoft, SCORE would be forced into a new position, no matter how temporary since their secrecy was done under the guise of keeping the game alive without NCSoft swooping in with a C&D and killing it off for good. Without that threat anymore, the remainder of the community will get even angrier and demand to be let in; ‘your one good reason to keep it secret doesn’t apply anymore, why not let us in now?’. It might be possible, at this point, that despite articles and coverage and everything, NCSoft remain unaware of it until it begins to pick up traction with more users and then they come in with the ban hammer.

The situation has yet to fully develop, I feel, and while I should be happy the game had still been going, the news had only really made me upset. SEGS and CoT have me excited and hopeful; people who loved the game seeking to make something they feel genuinely passionate about and knowing what it was that made them love CoH in the first place. Should a miracle happen and we can play CoH again without threat of shut down? Sure, I’ll hop into the first RP server that comes up, but despite that I still want to partake in the world MWM is creating, as that looks like it’ll be a lot of fun and made by people who cherish it.

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ArticulateT wrote:
ArticulateT wrote:

The situation has yet to fully develop, I feel, and while I should be happy the game had still been going, the news had only really made me upset.

What I find fascinating about this whole situation is not so much that private CoH servers have apparently been running since the shutdown but that no one "spilled the beans" about them for so long. I guess up until now the people who were claiming that such a thing like SCORE existed didn't have the proof to back their stories up. I'm literally amazed a "secret" like this managed to last 6+ years. *shrugs*

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
ArticulateT wrote:

The situation has yet to fully develop, I feel, and while I should be happy the game had still been going, the news had only really made me upset.

What I find fascinating about this whole situation is not so much that private CoH servers have apparently been running since the shutdown but that no one "spilled the beans" about them for so long. I guess up until now the people who were claiming that such a thing like SCORE existed didn't have the proof to back their stories up. I'm literally amazed a "secret" like this managed to last 6+ years. *shrugs*

Precisely, I'm impressed with the levels of secrecy. At this point I hope NCSoft puts legal action on them, and a way for them to get off it is to post the code online. If they're so worried about NCSoft swinging the hammer just put it on foreign servers.

-- Nic

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Curl4soccer wrote:
Curl4soccer wrote:
Lothic wrote:
ArticulateT wrote:

The situation has yet to fully develop, I feel, and while I should be happy the game had still been going, the news had only really made me upset.

What I find fascinating about this whole situation is not so much that private CoH servers have apparently been running since the shutdown but that no one "spilled the beans" about them for so long. I guess up until now the people who were claiming that such a thing like SCORE existed didn't have the proof to back their stories up. I'm literally amazed a "secret" like this managed to last 6+ years. *shrugs*

Precisely, I'm impressed with the levels of secrecy. At this point I hope NCSoft puts legal action on them, and a way for them to get off it is to post the code online. If they're so worried about NCSoft swinging the hammer just put it on foreign servers.

I was pretty stunned by how it had been kept under wraps for so long, but I think there's a mixture of tactics happening for the most part, and along with asking videos to be taken down, some of the users would muddy the waters by saying in the comments or in discussion boards that they edited it together or recorded it prior to the shut down and waited until now to upload it. When it was being discussed in the SEGS discord after the videos were found, a new user came in to call everyone crazy, tinfoil hat wearing idiots before promptly vanishing.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
ArticulateT wrote:

The situation has yet to fully develop, I feel, and while I should be happy the game had still been going, the news had only really made me upset.

What I find fascinating about this whole situation is not so much that private CoH servers have apparently been running since the shutdown but that no one "spilled the beans" about them for so long. I guess up until now the people who were claiming that such a thing like SCORE existed didn't have the proof to back their stories up. I'm literally amazed a "secret" like this managed to last 6+ years. *shrugs*

People DID try to spill the beans, but we censored and gaslighted.

Anyway, here are 2 videos that will help you understand how far along they were. In video 1 you can see that they were able to retrieve all of his old characters and data (including Incarnate powers, enhancements, inventions, but not influence):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI7e6I22Q38

In video 2 you can see him street sweeping with an Assault Rife/SR custom AT:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYwzOTFCK7I&t=1170s

There is no obnoxious commentary to wade through, just the videos themselves. The character list in video 1 starts around 9:30

City of Heroes:
Altruist, lvl 50 Invul/SS Tank
Ellodie, lvl 50 WP/Fire Tank
Omega Centauri, lvl 50 SS/Invul Brute
Project Carnivore, lvl 50 Claws/Regen Scrapper
Guardian, lvl 50 PB
Marc Century, lvl 50 Invul/EM Tank

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The unfortunate part is this:

We at Missing Worlds Media had zero connection to SCORE. We had no idea that it was going on, none of us were invited to it. This was as much of a surprise to us as everyone else.

CoT isn't out yet, obviously. But just the custom buildings we've seen in the last four weeks -- not even looking at the huge quantity of lore, back-end code, Chargen, etc that we have seen elsewhere -- just those buildings represent hundreds of hours invested in developing a *new* game, not in enhancing or playing a previous one.

Those "Mogul" buildings aren't "purchased assets" quickly slapped together to look impressive. Somebody had to make those by hand. It's been said by Dr. T and others that the Mogul buildings took more time to develop than they were probably "worth" in terms of the price charged in the KS. But now, years later, that extra (Time Investment / Money) ratio gives MWM a measure of credibility that probably can't be weighed in terms of just dollars and cents.

So not only does Tannim's denial here have credibility just because The Red Crowbar has been on these forums for a long time.... Paragon Chat has that. But with those buildings and the other original work we have already seen, we have visible, material evidence that the MWM team have been putting their personal time and effort into *this* project, not into a secret mad-scientist zombie conspiracy version of CoH/CoT.

It's hard to trust anything these days... reality itself seems pretty damned malleable any more. But the fact that all the efforts behind CoT have involved new creative work, rather than in propping up or leveraging elements of the old game, gives Tannim's statement above a strong measure of credibility.

My two cents.

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alltrueist wrote:
alltrueist wrote:
Lothic wrote:
ArticulateT wrote:

The situation has yet to fully develop, I feel, and while I should be happy the game had still been going, the news had only really made me upset.

What I find fascinating about this whole situation is not so much that private CoH servers have apparently been running since the shutdown but that no one "spilled the beans" about them for so long. I guess up until now the people who were claiming that such a thing like SCORE existed didn't have the proof to back their stories up. I'm literally amazed a "secret" like this managed to last 6+ years. *shrugs*

People DID try to spill the beans, but we censored and gaslighted.

Oh I'm not denying that the folks involved managed to "successfully conceal" what they were doing. Obviously they did succeed somehow... at least until now. I'm just commenting on how such thing was even possible in this day and age when everyone instantly seems to find out about everything and people are seemingly all too eager to leak about anything.

I mean what exactly did SCORE use as leverage to keep people's mouths shut? If anything SCORE should have been at the complete disadvantage of any deal like that because they were the ones who could (and still now can) lose everything to NCsoft's ban hammer. I'm just amazed that so many people apparently felt obligated to "keep" the secret for years.

You know how the classic joke goes that "black hat" hackers only do what they do as a sort of job interview to get jobs at the anti-virus companies... I think the CIA or DIA ought to hire the guys who managed to keep SCORE a successful secret based on their masterful track record of keeping SCORE from being found out until now.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Geveo wrote:
Geveo wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The unfortunate part is this:

We at Missing Worlds Media had zero connection to SCORE. We had no idea that it was going on, none of us were invited to it. This was as much of a surprise to us as everyone else.

CoT isn't out yet, obviously. But just the custom buildings we've seen in the last four weeks -- not even looking at the huge quantity of lore, back-end code, Chargen, etc that we have seen elsewhere -- just those buildings represent hundreds of hours invested in developing a *new* game, not in enhancing or playing a previous one.

Those "Mogul" buildings aren't "purchased assets" quickly slapped together to look impressive. Somebody had to make those by hand. It's been said by Dr. T and others that the Mogul buildings took more time to develop than they were probably "worth" in terms of the price charged in the KS. But now, years later, that extra (Time Investment / Money) ratio gives MWM a measure of credibility that probably can't be weighed in terms of just dollars and cents.

So not only does Tannim's denial here have credibility just because The Red Crowbar has been on these forums for a long time.... Paragon Chat has that. But with those buildings and the other original work we have already seen, we have visible, material evidence that the MWM team have been putting their personal time and effort into *this* project, not into a secret mad-scientist zombie conspiracy version of CoH/CoT.

It's hard to trust anything these days... reality itself seems pretty damned malleable any more. But the fact that all the efforts behind CoT have involved new creative work, rather than in propping up or leveraging elements of the old game, gives Tannim's statement above a strong measure of credibility.

My two cents.

Hear hear!

I think in the end it won't matter what people think about the Secret Server Scandal if CoT comes out and is as good as we all hope. IMO, the fact that MWM won't ask for any more money till they can give us something tangible gives them yet more credibility.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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SCORE had the threat of

SCORE had the threat of banning people from their server. Imagine that for more than half a decade, instead of feeling hurt or loss about the shutdown, you KNEW you could still have your favorite world and characters at the touch of a button? The threat of taking that away is a significant motivator.

They also were very good at lying and gaslighting, using many people and bots to vote on comments/videos, report them, or outright delete them since they had significant influence or total control of a variety of platforms where discussion was taking place. They successfully used the community's excitement and goodwill against it by pushing movements like "don't try to make a private server because that will undermine our ability to officially purchase the IP" to get people to fight against each other. Divide and conquer.

I'll be honest, when I saw one of my earlier comments in this thread disappear I frowned like Karl Urban in Dredd. Then I realized Tannim just wanted to condense it into his official reply and let out a deep breath I didn't even realize I was holding.

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I've been watching the

I've been watching the rumormill for several years on this one and had been confident a private server existed somewhere out in the wild for most of that time. There were several incidents of postings made in various locations that only remained up for a few minutes before being pulled down rapidly and quietly that stuck out. There was one case of someone posting a screenshot that appears to show a new CoH archetype (think it was called a Sentinel?) that could've been doctored but seemed like a lot of work for a throwaway post that was, likewise, quickly deleted. If I were running a CoH forum and someone posted a doctored picture of a private server and I knew it didn't exist, I wouldnt rush to delete it - I'd point and laugh. It just felt like the mods of the forums in question were in on the secret and were doing their best to keep it hush-hush.

Personally, not sure how I would've responded if an invite had ever came my way. Don't get me wrong, I miss CoH with a passion. But playing on some user's server who might decide they didn't care for something I posted in chat, didn't like that I managed a victory against them in PvP, only to find my access suddenly suspended would only result in my walking around on eggshells all the time. Not that I'm overly abrasive online, not that I play PvP at all, but I suspect my mindset would've still been more focused on the fear of what I could lose than the enjoyment of what I had. Thats not entertaining and I'd probably gravitated away from that sort of environment.

Which makes me wonder if thats why we're seeing it leaking now, maybe a bit too much of the server admins growing used to that walking-on-eggshells circumspective behavior around themselves and it went to their heads, the players became increasingly frustrated and it reached a breaking point. All supposition, who knows.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

SCORE had the threat of banning people from their server. Imagine that for more than half a decade, instead of feeling hurt or loss about the shutdown, you KNEW you could still have your favorite world and characters at the touch of a button? The threat of taking that away is a significant motivator.

I'd contend that anyone who was ever willing to turn against SCORE (for whatever reason) wouldn't care if they lost access to it. *shrugs*

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

They also were very good at lying and gaslighting, using many people and bots to vote on comments/videos, report them, or outright delete them since they had significant influence or total control of a variety of platforms where discussion was taking place. They successfully used the community's excitement and goodwill against it by pushing movements like "don't try to make a private server because that will undermine our ability to officially purchase the IP" to get people to fight against each other. Divide and conquer.

Again it's obvious the strategy that SCORE used to maintain control was masterful no matter what methods or means they used to do it.

Still doesn't really answer how absolutely NO ONE managed to successfully crack in or out of their shell for 6+ years. I'll bet there are cults out there right now trying to duplicate SCORE's paradigm on this.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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I've just had a glance over

I've just had a glance over on the City of Heroes subreddit, and sad to say some folks there are handling this poorly. I've spied a couple of topics mentioning investigation of fraud, and that all the successor projects knew about the whole SCORE fiasco from the start.

It's... not a pleasant scene there, at the moment.

I do a DnD Podcast, which can be listened to here.

Additionally, I write up my sessions of a Teen Heroes game here.

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ArticulateT wrote:
ArticulateT wrote:

I've just had a glance over on the City of Heroes subreddit, and sad to say some folks there are handling this poorly. I've spied a couple of topics mentioning investigation of fraud, and that all the successor projects knew about the whole SCORE fiasco from the start.

It's... not a pleasant scene there, at the moment.

There’s a huge breach of trust and good will with this revelation. And now rumormilling from angry people who don’t know who they can trust anymore is starting to turn on everything they can find.

Name: Safehouse
Ranger: Gunner
Primary: Force Blast
Secondary: Super Agility
Tertiary: Kinetic Melee
Travel Power: Parkour
Status: Traveling. Following rumors of a huge city in Massachusetts that is teeming with supers.

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ArticulateT wrote:
ArticulateT wrote:

I've just had a glance over on the City of Heroes subreddit, and sad to say some folks there are handling this poorly. I've spied a couple of topics mentioning investigation of fraud, and that all the successor projects knew about the whole SCORE fiasco from the start.

It's... not a pleasant scene there, at the moment.

I get people would be upset about SCORE but I really don't see how "connecting the dots" to the successor projects makes any legitimate sense.

I suppose the working conspiracy theory would be that the successor projects are just here to act as "distractions" to get most of the people who I suppose were deemed "unworthy" to join in with what SCORE was doing to not actively try to find out about SCORE. Frankly if you truly believe in BS like that I also have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Again you have to give the guys at SCORE major props for managing to keep the con going for as long as they did. I suppose we'll just have to see what NCsoft does about it. In the meantime if groups like MWM were just a smokescreen for SCORE then we should see them disband more or less immediately - I mean what's the point of keeping a front company whose cover is blown? Of course we'll know the truth of that soon enough...

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Their basic strategy was the

Their basic strategy was the same used throughout history by dictators and demagogues. It isn't terribly hard to pull off, the crux is having a desperate and malleable group of people. Sure, Leandro was good at manipulating them but let's not go overboard fellating the guy.

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Safehouse wrote:
Safehouse wrote:

There’s a huge breach of trust and good will with this revelation. And now rumormilling from angry people who don’t know who they can trust anymore is starting to turn on everything they can find.

Lothic wrote:

I get people would be upset about SCORE but I really don't see how "connecting the dots" to the successor projects makes any legitimate sense.

I suppose the working conspiracy theory would be that the successor projects are just here to act as "distractions" to get most of the people who I suppose were deemed "unworthy" to join in with what SCORE was doing to not actively try to find out about SCORE. Frankly if you truly believe in BS like that I also have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Again you have to give the guys at SCORE major props for managing to keep the con going for as long as they did. I suppose we'll just have to see what NCsoft does about it. In the meantime if groups like MWM were just a smokescreen for SCORE then we should see them disband more or less immediately - I mean what's the point of keeping a front company whose cover is blown? Of course we'll know the truth of that soon enough...

Mm, you're both right. I think my core concern at this point is that because people are acting out of emotion at this point it might cause significant problems for MWM. As Geveo says, there's an abundance of evidence to suggest this project, at least is on the level.

I think I might need to take a break from this whole thing, the amount of negativity it spawned is making my head spin.

I do a DnD Podcast, which can be listened to here.

Additionally, I write up my sessions of a Teen Heroes game here.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Their basic strategy was the same used throughout history by dictators and demagogues. It isn't terribly hard to pull off, the crux is having a desperate and malleable group of people. Sure, Leandro was good at manipulating them but let's not go overboard fellating the guy.

Not really "fellating the guy" lol. Still finding hard to believe that no one would have spilled the beans for that long over a silly game. Remember we're talking about a "game" here, not life-n-death stuff. My scathing commentary here is more about how many weak-minded people must have been involved with SCORE as opposed to just how godlike Leandro's manipulations must have been.

Regardless I'd bet various real life intelligence agencies would love to know how this guy pulled it off...

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He pulled it off with

He pulled it off with positive and negative reinforcement (I have what you desperately want, make me mad and you lose it forever). He recruited the most loyal among those turned to work to further this despotic control. People did spill the beans before, many times, but it was denied, deleted, laughed at.

You can see this exact behavior play out many times in history, both ancient and modern, and even in current events. Intelligence agencies use similar tactics all the time, so they'd have little to learn here.

If you want a particular example of these tactics playing out in real life look up the events of COINTELPRO or either of the red scares immediately following each world war if you're into 20th century American history.

Obviously someone running a stolen video game for profit doesn't compare to the depths of those actual historical events but the strategies are similar enough. Corrupt, discredit, or neutralize those that don't get in line.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Their basic strategy was the same used throughout history by dictators and demagogues. It isn't terribly hard to pull off, the crux is having a desperate and malleable group of people. Sure, Leandro was good at manipulating them but let's not go overboard fellating the guy.

Not really "fellating the guy" lol. Still finding hard to believe that no one would have spilled the beans for that long over a silly game. Remember we're talking about a "game" here, not life-n-death stuff. My scathing commentary here is more about how many weak-minded people must have been involved here as opposed to just how godlike Leandro's manipulations must have been

I'd bet various real life intelligence agencies would love to know how this guy pulled it off...

As IJ says above, the exact same way it's always been done:

1. Maintain control the media.
2. Create a privileged group with special benefits (& thereby something to lose) that will support you (and their own privilege in the process).
3. Make yourself out to be the beloved hero.
4. Silence and punish dissent ruthlessly.
5. Mock any whistle-blowers (or opposition) as lunatics.

The order is flexible, but the recipe is timeless. It ain't rocket science.

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Geveo wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Obviously someone running a stolen video game for profit doesn't compare to the depths of those actual historical events but the strategies are similar enough. Corrupt, discredit, or neutralize those that don't get in line.

Well then all I can say is that Leandro wasted his "talents" on a mere video game... ;)

Geveo wrote:

As IJ says above, the exact same way it's always been done:

1. Maintain control the media.
2. Create a privileged group with special benefits (& thereby something to lose) that will support you (and their own privilege in the process).
3. Make yourself out to be the beloved hero.
4. Silence and punish dissent ruthlessly.
5. Mock any whistle-blowers (or opposition) as lunatics.

The order is flexible, but the recipe is timeless. It ain't rocket science.

This ain't "real life" either. People being cowed by a murderous real life dictator is one thing; being cowed for access to a mere video game is pathetic.

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If you're more interested in

If you're more interested in the topic of ruthless manipulation I suggest reading the art of deception by kevin mitnick. Yes, that mitnick.

There's always the timeless classic of Machiavelli's prince too I suppose.

edit: Well said Lothic, it is pathetic. That being said the key ingredient to make something like this work is a population of people that are easy to manipulate so in a very real sense they have to be "pathetic" to some degree.

It works this way in real life too, even with murderous dictators. Dictators have power because people give it to them. They don't actually go out and murder thousands or millions with their own hands. So calling the herd pathetic isn't really fair. They're just people.

You can see similar behavior to some degree in a lot of corporate actions as well, not just state. Though that line has begun to blur to a great degree within my lifetime.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

If you're more interested in the topic of ruthless manipulation I suggest reading the art of deception by kevin mitnick. Yes, that mitnick.

There's always the timeless classic of Machiavelli's prince too I suppose.

Thanks... I'm fairly well aware of the countless historical examples of real life cults of personality and their role in numerous autocratic atrocities. I just find that the newly exposed existence of a virtual cult based on a 15 year old video game is pricelessly pathetic/ironic.

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

So calling the herd pathetic isn't really fair. They're just people.

Again if this was real life-n-death stuff I might have some sympathy for the "herd". In this case they're just mindless sheep deserving of all the ridicule they're getting over this.

I loved CoH and played thousands of hours worth of it. But if I thought my only access to it was going to be through a tin-plated dictator with delusions of grandeur I could honestly say "Well, I had my fun when NCsoft ran things around here" and just walk away. It's actually just that simple...

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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on a completely different and

on a completely different and far more positive note, check out this thread.

https://cityoftitans.com/forum/cot-coming-norwescon-weekend

(I work here, I'm allowed to hijack threads. MWAHAHAHAH!!)

MWM Editor- Public Relations Team-All Purpose Frog

Wait until you see the... nope, that would ruin the surprise.

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Nice! I'm happy the team gets

Nice! I'm happy the team gets a chance to show off a little. Wish I could be there in person.

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JWBullfrog wrote:
JWBullfrog wrote:

on a completely different and far more positive note, check out this thread.

https://cityoftitans.com/forum/cot-coming-norwescon-weekend

(I work here, I'm allowed to hijack threads. MWAHAHAHAH!!)

This is the kinda stuff I like to see!!

Name: Safehouse
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Primary: Force Blast
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JWBullfrog wrote:
JWBullfrog wrote:

on a completely different and far more positive note, check out this thread.

https://cityoftitans.com/forum/cot-coming-norwescon-weekend

(I work here, I'm allowed to hijack threads. MWAHAHAHAH!!)

Hahahhaha, I love it! If only I didn't live in Ohio....

-- Nic

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They operated in secrecy

They operated in secrecy because of NCSoft! NCSoft still owns the IP and are now at risk of receiving a C&D order because someone got his panties twisted.
They only ever accepted donations from players to keep the server running. NO ONE WAS CHARGED for services.
It was kept to a select group so that NCShit wouldn't rain on their parade.
I've known Leandro and his group since the CoX days, played with him and was a member of one of his SGs. They're a relatively upright group of people who were not in the "business" of cheating or tricking anyone. The work they were doing was to come up with a complete game and is now at risk of never being completed.
Massively Overpowered has a better (more balanced) article on what transpired and isn't filled with the histrionics you will find in the video. (They actually fact checked their sources 😮).

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JWBullfrog wrote:
JWBullfrog wrote:

on a completely different and far more positive note, check out this thread.

https://cityoftitans.com/forum/cot-coming-norwescon-weekend

(I work here, I'm allowed to hijack threads. MWAHAHAHAH!!)

Tinfoil hat alert! It's just another case of MWM distracting us with shiny objects! ;)

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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I know there must be, have

I know there must be, have been, people who were active in all the social media, all of the successor projects, and SCORE as well. Why are 'we' angry at any of these people anymore? My sense is that SCORE protected itself from 'bad things', by staying sub-rosa. Does anyone really blame them for being cautious?

If you were a super-hero, playing on SCORE, and somebody outed your secret in public, wouldn't you do/say whatever it took to Protect that? I know that 'we' have been suffering from not having 'our city', but I, for one, have enjoyed several other games in that time. It would be difficult to enjoy playing the old game, while not being able to talk about it, surrounded by people crying out the agony of their withdrawal symptoms.

However, the best thing about CoH was always the community - Haven't we had that HERE? I've deeply enjoyed all of the discussion and planning 'we' have done, anticipating our new city, or Cities.

It's almost a miracle that SCORE has managed to stay private for so long when any slip-up risked a huge 'expose' blow-up like we're seeing now.

As for the folks screaming 'fraud' and other allegations, it seems to me that their true motive is simply that They were not part of the 'criminal conspiracy'. I'm pleased to see that the discussion, here, has been measured and mature.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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JWBullfrog wrote:
JWBullfrog wrote:

on a completely different and far more positive note, check out this thread.

https://cityoftitans.com/forum/cot-coming-norwescon-weekend

(I work here, I'm allowed to hijack threads. MWAHAHAHAH!!)

Wait, are you allowed to use an evil laugh when you do a good deed? :-)

Spurn all ye kindle.

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StellarAgent]They operated in
StellarAgent wrote:

They operated in secrecy because of NCSoft! NCSoft still owns the IP and are now at risk of receiving a C&D order because someone got his panties twisted.

No S*** Sherlock... SCORE has apparently been living under that tragic scenario for 6+ years now.

StellarAgent wrote:

They only ever accepted donations from players to keep the server running. NO ONE WAS CHARGED for services.
It was kept to a select group so that NCShit wouldn't rain on their parade.
I've known Leandro and his group since the CoX days, played with him and was a member of one of his SGs. They're a relatively upright group of people who were not in the "business" of cheating or tricking anyone. The work they were doing was to come up with a complete game and is now at risk of never being completed.

Frankly between the choice of the original way CoH worked under NCsoft and the alternative that involved keeping it all secret with only a few people being invited and having to constantly fear getting caught by the greater public goes I think I'd rather preferred that SCORE never existed. Now it's all just going to be perceived as a dirty little cult no matter how grand and noble Leandro's intentions might have been. Sucks to be him right about now...

StellarAgent wrote:

Massively Overpowered has a better (more balanced) article on what transpired and isn't filled with the histrionics you will find in the video. (They actually fact checked their sources 😮).

I still suspect in the greater annals of gaming history the likes of Leandro and SCORE are not going to be treated very kindly all things considered.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Logic check: keeping the

Logic check: keeping the server private and secret as a pathetic 1984 power trip is only sabotaging the stated goal of keeping it alive. A single server and the people running it is an easy target. A thousand servers is an impossible target.

When a strategy doesn't achieve the goal it is stated to work towards it is either a terrible strategy, a lie, or both.

The *only* reason to do this is a desperate and petty feeling of superiority and meager financial gains.

Any "work" being done beyond copying and pasting the stolen code that had to be kept secret was done about 6 years ago when the server came online and the first person was able to log in, so that argument holds no water either.

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

As for the folks screaming 'fraud' and other allegations, it seems to me that their true motive is simply that They were not part of the 'criminal conspiracy'. I'm pleased to see that the discussion, here, has been measured and mature.


CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

As for the folks screaming 'fraud' and other allegations, it seems to me that their true motive is simply that They were not part of the 'criminal conspiracy'. I'm pleased to see that the discussion, here, has been measured and mature.


Dangit, this thread has descended to Marxism.

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Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

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Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:
Lothic wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

As for the folks screaming 'fraud' and other allegations, it seems to me that their true motive is simply that They were not part of the 'criminal conspiracy'. I'm pleased to see that the discussion, here, has been measured and mature.


Dangit, this thread has descended to Marxism.

LOL! ^_^

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"Swordfish."

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Did someone say Marxism?!

Did someone say Marxism?!


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Curl4soccer wrote:
Curl4soccer wrote:
JWBullfrog wrote:

on a completely different and far more positive note, check out this thread.

https://cityoftitans.com/forum/cot-coming-norwescon-weekend

(I work here, I'm allowed to hijack threads. MWAHAHAHAH!!)

Hahahhaha, I love it! If only I didn't live in Ohio....

I actually just left the Dayton area not long ago.

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

As for the folks screaming 'fraud' and other allegations, it seems to me that their true motive is simply that They were not part of the 'criminal conspiracy'.

Quoted for truth. That's my take on most of this as well.

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There are also just a lot of

There are also just a lot of really angry people. The CoH fan community famously prided themselves on being heroes so this stings a lot more for a lot of these people that there is a perceived injustice from within their own ranks.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

There are also just a lot of really angry people. The CoH fan community famously prided themselves on being heroes so this stings a lot more for a lot of these people that there is a perceived injustice from within their own ranks.

If people are still THAT angry about a video game that shut down seven years ago, well, to put it diplomatically, I'm not sure that is at all healthy. I mean I'm a little disappointed that more hasn't been done with that server code (as in spread around for protection), but angry? Nah - I have too many other games to play (though like I said before, I'd love to play CoH again, but then I occasionally like playing older games - I'm eyeing you Diablo).

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On the note of Diablo, be

On the note of Diablo, be wary the nostalgia-goggles.


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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

On the note of Diablo, be wary the nostalgia-goggles.

Oh I'm aware, but I've heard about a mod that adds more functionality to the UI so I might look into that as well.

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I think the anger is less

I think the anger is less about the game itself than the feeling of betrayal and manipulation.

I mean sure people want to play the game, but the stuff Leandro did is pretty vile. The setting might be low stakes but the actions are pretty evil.

Speaking of which apparently some of the CoX devs are chiming in with support for the leaker saying he deserves a bug hunting badge. Lol.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Speaking of which apparently some of the CoX devs are chiming in with support for the leaker saying he deserves a bug hunting badge. Lol.

That comment was supposedly one dev and it was purely anecdotal. Let's not go making mountains out of mole hills here.

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Cobalt Azurean wrote:
Cobalt Azurean wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Speaking of which apparently some of the CoX devs are chiming in with support for the leaker saying he deserves a bug hunting badge. Lol.

That comment was supposedly one dev and it was purely anecdotal. Let's not go making mountains out of mole hills here.

And hilarious, you left out hilarious.

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Man...Looking at Reddit and

Man...Looking at Reddit and Facebook, I don't remember seeing this much hate since...well, the outrage towards Captain Marvel pre-release a couple weeks back. :P

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