When my buddy Eric introduced me to this game, I knew I was in trouble. I met my wife playing an online game where we spent untold hundreds of hours in cyberspace, and that game was only a text-based game with a fantasy genre that I have never even cared for. I knew how addictive they could be, and yet I played anyway. City of Heroes was right up my alley. It was a superhero game. It had amazing graphics. You could design your own character. Perfect! The only problem was that my little laptop computer couldn't handle it. Not enough RAM. Well, summer came, and I talked to my late friend Barry, who was at the time working at at computer company, and he put together a machine capable of playing the game (and more) for $700.
I played with a bunch of friends for several evenings, but during the afternoons on summer vacation I was on my own and I created a new character that I wouldn't have to worry about advancing too far ahead of them. And advance I did. I couldn't get enough of playing my fiery speedster. When he reached every new plateau I was excited for the next new power. I researched the ideal power builds, tested them out, and maximized his potential. I got clear up to level 43...and deleted him.
I was playing way too much. Most of my friends weren't playing anymore (they had gone over to Worlds of Warcraft) and I wasn't getting anything else accomplished and I had a lot to do. I finally simply had to face that I couldn't control how much I was playing and permanently deleted the character. After a few months, some of my friends started trickling back in. I reluctantly started up again, but only once a week, on Wednesdays and only to play with them. This time I kept the playing time under control, but I had to start my character all over again. I missed the little fire monkeys and the way his powers worked together. So I started all over again and this week, I reached the highest level. I'll still play along with everyone. We really don't play for love of this game. We play so that we can have something to do while we chat online, despite the geographical distances between us.
It's still fun to "win" the game after all this time, though!