An account is required to play City of Heroes Freedom. There are several types of accounts, each offering access to a different set of features in the game. The two primary types of accounts are Free and VIP. Additionally, Free accounts are further subdivided into Free and Premium accounts. Players of such accounts are known as Free Players, Premium Players, and VIP Players.
A Free Player is a non-subscription account holder who has never spent money on City of Heroes. Free Players have extremely restricted in-game options, much like the Trial Account had prior to the release of City of Heroes Freedom. As soon as a Free Player spends any money on City of Heroes, their account upgrades to Premium Player. Note that it is impossible to downgrade from a Premium Player back into a Free Player.
Trial Accounts from prior to City of Heroes Freedom launch will be treated as Free Players when logging in.
Free Players are also colloquially referred to as freebs, freeps, freeks, freems, and freemies.
A Premium Player is any non-subscription account holder who has ever spent money with NCsoft on the City of Heroes product. VIP Players whose subscriptions lapse turn into Premium Players. Premium Players may have limited access to some game features and systems. It is impossible to downgrade from a Premium Player to a Free Player.
Premium Player account status is an intermediary access tier in the hybrid model adopted when City of Heroes Freedom launched, between Free Players and VIP Players. Premium Players include, but are not limited to:
- Players joining the game as Free Players after Issue 21, who have purchased points through the Paragon Market
- Players joining as Free Players after Issue 21, who subscribe (including Time Cards and Game Cards) or apply a retail code, and then let their subscription lapse
- Returning players who applied a retail code to their account, subscribed to the game, or applied a game time card, at any time in the game's history, but do not renew their subscription after Freedom launch
Premium Players are also colloquially referred to as preems, freemium, and premies.
A VIP Player is a subscription account holder in good standing. Any form of subscription counts for VIP status, including monthly payments, paying for blocks of time, and free months included in box sets. VIP Players get 400 Paragon Points for free each month they are subscribed, to make purchases from the Paragon Market. VIP Players have little restriction within the game, especially long-time subscribers, as the Paragon Rewards Program awards a lot of the unlockable content for free over time. Additionally, any player who had an account prior to the release of City of Heroes Freedom still has access to any Veteran Rewards they may have accrued.
VIP Players that unsubscribe for any reason are downgraded into Premium Players, and must adhere to any restrictions placed on them due to their new designation, although any purchased or rewarded unlockable piece is still available even if normally restricted from Premium Players (e.g. purchased character slots, costumes or powers awarded through Veteran Rewards or Paragon Rewards).
VIP Players are also colloquially referred to as veeps and elites.
There are several ways to change an account's type:
- Free accounts become Premium accounts by making any purchase on the Paragon Market
- Free and Premium accounts become VIP accounts by purchasing a VIP subscription
- VIP accounts become premium accounts by allowing their subscriptions to lapse
Note that it is impossible for Premium and VIP accounts to be downgraded to Free accounts.
Any purchases made on the Paragon Market are retained even if the account type changes from Premium to VIP or from VIP to Premium. Any purchases made prior to the release of City of Heroes Freedom (such as Super Boosters, Mission Architect Story Slots, and directly purchased Character Slots) are also retained if the account type changes.
Accounts have access to a wide variety of game features depending on the type of account, the account's Paragon Rewards status, and any made on the Paragon Market.
All accounts have access to the following core features.
- Access at least 8 Archetypes (Blaster, Brute, Corruptor, Defender, Dominator, Scrapper, Stalker and Tanker)
- At least two Global Character Slot Tokens across all servers (details on the Global Character Slot page)
- Create costumes from billions of combinations
- Play as a Hero or Villain up to Level 50
- 105 Power Sets
- Join Supergroups
- Edit Supergroup Bases
- Play in 45 different game zones
- Access to Local, Team, Help, Pets, Friends, League, Arena, Leveling Pact, Looking for Group, Emote, and Architect Communication Channels
- Reward drops including small Inspirations, Training (TO), Dual-Origin (DO), Single-Origin (SO) and Special Enhancements
- Receiving email (not sending)
- Inf cap of 25 million inf per character
- Limited inventory
- Ability to buy anything from the Paragon Market
- Read the Official Forums
- Support by Knowledge Base and email
Paragon Rewards, VIP Status
The following features can be earned as part of the Paragon Rewards program. Additionally, VIP accounts automatically have access to all of these features.
- Access to all of the communication channels and ability to join Global Chat Channels
- Inf cap up to 2 billion per character
- Send and receive email
- Mission Architect License (varying levels of access)
- Ability to earn Reward Merits
- Ability to earn Vanguard Merits (subject to prerequisites)
- Medium and large Inspiration drops
- Increased Invention System Capacity
- Player-to-player trading
Paragon Rewards, Paragon Market, VIP Status
The following features can be earned as part of the Paragon Rewards program or purchased from the Paragon Market. Additionally, VIP accounts automatically have access to all of these features.
- Invention System (30-day Invention License through Paragon Market; permanent access through Paragon Rewards and VIP)
- Auction House (30-day Auction House License through Paragon Market; permanent access through Paragon Rewards and VIP)
- Controller and Mastermind archetypes
- Additional character slots
- Post in "All Access" sections of the Official Forums
Paragon Market, VIP Status
The following features can be purchased from the Paragon Market. Additionally, VIP accounts automatically have access to all of these features.
- Peacebringer, Warshade, Arachnos Soldier and Arachnos Widow Archetypes
- Alignment system access
- Praetoria access
- Praetorian Character Creation
- Going Rogue Power Sets: Dual Pistols, Kinetic Melee, Electric Control, and Demon Summoning
- Going Rogue Costume Sets
VIP Status Only
The following features are available to VIP accounts. These features are unavailable to Free and Premium accounts.
- Access to Incarnate System content, powers and drops
- Access to Exalted, the VIP Server
- Ability to create or moderate Global Chat Channels
- Interact with the SG registrar (create SGs, pay rent, exchange inf for prestige, server's top SG list)
- Ability to access Tier 9 VIP exclusives within the Paragon Rewards Program
- Post in any forum of the Official Forums
- Priority server queueing
- Premium in-game customer support
- 400 Paragon Points per month (or 550 per month, with Rewards Tier 8), awarded monthly on the player's renewal date; these stack with themselves and any purchased points
- One Server Transfer per month, awarded on the first of the month; these stack with themselves and any purchased server transfers
- One Reward Token for every month of paid VIP subscription, awarded at the end of each subscription month
- Free and Premium Players cannot get rid of the Paragon Market icon, even if they have it disabled in options.
- Both Free and Premium accounts are listed as "Free" on the NCsoft account management website.