On August 16, 2010, City of Heroes Issue 18 Shades of Gray was released introducing the Tips System and Alignments. This came out just one day before the launch of the second expansion for City of Heroes, Going Rogue.
The Alignment system allows villains to redeem themselves to become heroes, allows heroes to fall from grace to become villains and allows for shades of grey in between. Today, on Homecoming changing alignment is as simple as talking to a seagull, but back before shutdown changing your alignment was a multi-step process that took several days to complete through the tips system.
Along with the ability to change sides, Issue 18 brought about Combat Mode Auras. Before this, if you had an aura it always had to be on. This is also the point when the economy merged, allowing heroes, villains, and Praetorians to all shop from the same transactions. This is also the point when Inf became universal, doing away with the side-specific names of Influence, Infamy, and Information.
Issue 18 also saw the return of the Cathedral of Pain Trial. The trial required a supergroup with a specific teleporter and at least three full teams of players to complete. To this day I’ve only ever done it once and it seems like most people forget that it even exists. It’s a fun bit of content though and a great break from doing the usual things all the time so if you happen to see one advertised give it a try.
Admittedly, Issue 18 wasn’t very big though it did lay some important groundwork for Going Rogue which launched the very next day on August 17th. The next Issue wouldn’t be released for 106 days, Issue 19 Alpha Strike. This is when the Incarnate System was introduced, bringing in all-new end game content. The next important date in City of Heroes history is August 17th when Going Rogue released which is then followed by August 31st when Issue 5 Forest of Dread released.