Most of the defunct MMO City of Heroes game code has been released online, leading to a test City of Heroes Private Server being launched.
In a surprising move, the group SCORE (Secret Cabal of Reverse Engineers), which gained notoriety earlier this week after their secret City of Heroes server was revealed to the public, dumped the private server code on Discord last night. The release of the code comes after many fans on the official Reddit expressed the desire to preserve the game from developer NCSoft.
"It was uploaded onto a Discord server someone started who we don’t know,” according to a source on Discord, as noted by the website MassivelyOp. “Like 300 people congregated there and now the files have spread like wildfire. It’s not the character files. It also doesn’t contain the mission files or NPCs, but it’s a big piece of the puzzle for reverse engineering the game that no one but Leo had before.”
Leo refers to Leandro Pardini, the member of SCORE who would become the face of the backlash after the secret City of Heroes server becomes public knowledge. While several anonymous players on the Discord server would respond to inquiries over the codes release, Leandro himself would make comments about the handover later, noting that he is waiting for other players to provide hardware to get unofficial servers running. "I want servers with the specs I listed to get a playable shard out ASAP so the trolls die already.”
Leandro also notes that the servers will be using data files from an internal update by the SCORE team, titled Issue 25: Unbroken Spirit. "This is simply because it will be the fastest to deploy, since it already has tools for account creation, all the microtransaction garbage like the Paragon Rewards tree removed, and many other optimizations," stated Leandro.
The code dumping on Discord was not a complete version of the MMO, which shut down in November of 2012. The current code is missing several content and mission files, but a reconstruction of the game is possible, if given enough time.
Another missing part is the character database, which has been withheld from the public. According to a post on Reddit, the leader of the City of Heroes Discord, Innocuous, announced that for the well being of the community, the character database will not be released. Members of SCORE were in talks with both NCSoft, and EU Law firms over GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, and the holder of the character database. The decision was made after "coming to consultation and deliberation" and SCORE hopes that this will allow further developments on the server and help restore the community.
"In doing so, we will have to sacrifice the heroes and villains of old in order to make sure we are intangible for the future," stated Innocuous. "I understand this has taken a bit of time to deliberate, but we are finally able to press onward with full spatial awareness of the situation at hand. Thank you for your patience, now let's keep trudging forward."
At this time, a test City of Heroes private server has been launched live, on the City of Heroes Reddit page. Please note, that due to the state of legal limbo, players will download the test server at their own risk.
NCSoft is aware of the whole situation, and though no legal action has been taken yet, fans of City of Heroes are rightfully concerned about the future of the project, with fan-made versions based on the game's code, such as SEGS, also in the works along with the SCORE version with the official code.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Do you plan on playing on the City of Heroes private server? Leave your comments below.