On June 28th, 2011 City of Heroes Issue 20.5 Incarnates Ascend was released bringing with it massive improvements to the Incarnate system.
The major highlights of Incarnates Ascend were:
- The Introduction of the Keyes Island Incarnate Trial
- New Lore Pets
- New Incarnate Merit Rewards
This update was really entirely dedicated to Incarnates. Keyes Island Trial and the lore pets were really the major focus. This is when 12 of the pet options were added. The ones that were added at this time were:
Carnival of Shadows
But sometimes it’s the smallest changes that have the biggest impact on the game and that was certainly the case with Incarnates Ascend. This is when buffs started being applied to all characters within a 30-foot radius. For Defenders, Controllers, Corruptors, and Masterminds this was a game-changer. You no longer had to chance down every member of your team to get them buffed.
This is also when players were given the ability to decide if they were impacted by movement affecting buffs like speed boost. This marked the introduction of Null the Gull as a contact in Pocket D. Prior to this he had randomly appeared in Pocket D near DJ Zero and earned himself a cult following.
Issue 20.5 was the last one released before City of Heroes went free to play 77 days later.
But the next important day in City of Heroes history comes on June 29th when two different issues were released, though 5 years apart. This was the day that Issue 1 released in 2004 and Issue 15 in 2009. Issue 1 brought the level cap of the game to 50 and with it came new zones and all-new foes. Issue 15 introduced the Dr. Kahn Task Force and Barracuda Strike Force.