City of Heroes was a superhero MMO unlike any others out there; it allowed you to create your own superhero or supervillain, rather than building off of established characters. Its much-touted character builder was one of the best in the industry, allowing complete customization of your character's look, and from there, you could further customize your character with an optional backstory, primary and secondary power tree selections, and additional generic powers.
Because of this, many people, including myself, used the format to create original characters and develop them through playing the given story missions. That is how this site was born. Below follows a teeny-tiny primer on how City of Heroes worked...
Characters in City of Heroes could be either Heroes or Villains at the beginning, but that's not where character development ended. Within those two groups, characters could be one of seven different archetypes:
Blaster (superior ranged damage)
Arachnos Soldier (jack of all trades, spider version)
Once you picked what kind of character you would prefer to play, then it was on to the next stage of character building...
Power Trees and Power Pools
When you created a character in City of Heroes, you could choose from a wide range of primary power trees and secondary power trees, which led to many different combinations, all of which could be really fun to play. You could also select optional, supplementary powers out of generic power pools available to any and all character if you felt like yours needed a little rounding out. (Power pools were also the only way to get good long-distance traveling powers, such as Flight and Leaping). Endless customization was possible, even as you leveled up your character--and if something didn't work out as well as you hoped, you could always respecify your character's powers and try again. It was all part of building your hero for the challenges ahead...
The Point of All This
Once you finished building your character, Paragon City (or the Rogue Isles) was your oyster, free for the exploring. You could complete all sorts of missions, get in-game items and sell them to other players, play through user-generated content, have costume contests, chat with friends and meet new people--whatever your MMO heart desired, it was available through City of Heroes! Your characters became a lens through which to view and explore Paragon City, as well as an intellectual challenge to try new power combinations and different playstyles...