NCSoft shut down City of Heroes back in August of 2012. Like all NCSoft games, they decided to keep the files for themselves and prevent people from playing on private servers. Well, it turns out that Leandro Pardini, a member of the group SCORE who managed to retain private server files from when NCSoft originally shut down City of Heroes, had been running a secret private server off the grid and away from the eyes of the general public for six years. Well, after someone who was invited to the private server leaked the news about the server, the private server files were then shared via the Discord channel.
Leandro Pardini had kept the server from the public’s purview because he knew that if NCSoft caught wind of the server they would send out a cease and desist, which is what happened with Tabula Rasa. So for the last six years Leandro Pardini only had a select number of people invited into the community to play on the super-secret private server in hopes of preventing it from being shut down by NCSoft.
The original leak occurred due to YouTuber Destroyer Stroyer, who did a lengthy 34 minute video explaining how he ended up being invited to the clandestine server and why he eventually decided to leak its presence to the world.
Within the span of a day, the video had created a wildfire of feedback, confusion, and especially a lot of anger.
The City of Heroes community on Reddit flared back up and became as active as the day it was shut down. This was due mostly to the fact that after all the feedback, backlash, and fury from the community – especially when they found out that the character data had been retained for the last six years – they wanted to play the game again.
According to Massively OP, Leandro Pardini decided to acquiesce to the demands of the public and release some of the files through Discord.
The article contains an interview with one of the people who worked on cleaning up the files and setting up the distribution through Discord.
The anonymous individual revealed that Leandro Pardini still had access to the character data, but they would not be releasing the character data right now. For now, only the basic server files were being released but no actual servers. They stated…
“Everyone will have access. That seems to be the most satisfying approach. We’re not going to make a server either. It’s up to the community to do with it as they see fit. That seems to go along with what Leo would want.
“As for the characters, the person holding the code does not have them. Leo still does. It’s just the server code as far as we know. I don’t want to speak for Leo, but I believe personally that he intends to give it back to us in a way that ensures we get our characters and not characters belonging to other people. He’s not really involved at all at this point. I assume that anything regarding the character info will be dealt with at a later date! We don’t have the character database, in any case.”
Once the files for the private server code spread through Discord, the City of Heroes Reddit community was quick to make use of them and get to work right away on rebuiding a server.
ES Tylenol made a post on the eve of April 19th, 2019, explaining what the status was of the server, and how they would be looking for the community for help once the server heads into the testing phase. How far away is the new server from going live? Weeks away. ES Tylenol explains…
“We have been talking and collaborating with multiple people on this and we are currently setting up a server, getting ready to move forward putting everything together and getting a server up and running. Obviously this will take time. We are estimating that within a week or two we should have a proof of concept up and running for everybody to see. We will be posting details as things progress but it looks like over the next day or two we will have everything we need to move forward.”
So depending on how things go, we could see a concept of City of Heroes making a return to form as soon as April 26th. Obviously, if you want to learn more about the private servers being rebuilt and remade for fans by the community, feel free to visit the City of Heroes sub-reddit community.
(Thanks for the news tip Nick Monroe)