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  A Glimpse at Supergroup Culture  
Posted 2007-07-17 by Tony Walsh
The Central Nexus Blog gives us an inside look at various types of player-populated "supergroups" in the comic-book game City of Heroes. Supergroups, known as "clans" or "guilds" in other games, are teams established and maintained by players, often with a central theme in mind. These groups range in purpose, focus, and activity, for example a "Taxibot" supergroup's sole purpose is to assist other players by teleporting them around the game world.

Central Nexus writer Omnitron discusses several types of supergroup, ranging from the kinds that form simply for in-game benefit (a.k.a. "rules play") to others which are firmly rooted in story (a.k.a. "role play"). You may recognize these types, as they're not entirely exclusive to City of Heroes. Of particular interest to me:
  • "STRICTLAND": A group run to a strict, narrow set of social and metagame rules, such as mandatory costumes or specific kinds of chat behavior. As Omnitron puts it "In a game like City of Heroes where you can be so unique, conformity doesn't come easy to some players."
  • "(RP)": The role-players. Great description by Omnitron: "Some of them don't know when to stop. And it can become confusing when you have to know what you should know (or not know) about the characters and/or the roles they are playing, and they story they are doing... [Separation] of player knowledge and character knowledge within the confines of the group can become at times tedious and at other times impossible."
Several other types are described in the original (short) article. Worth a read for descriptions of the "Villain Wannabes" and "nAmeZ" types.
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