Denizens of Atlas Park, mauraders of the Rogue Isles, I come from Comic-con bearing news: You will soon be joined by a third type of player. He lives in the shadows between good and evil, and prefers the grey shades rather than donning the white or the black hat. With City of Heroes: Going Rogue, players will be able to choose to dabble in both the good sides of villains and the darker aspects of heroes.
Going Rogue opens up a new universe to City of Heroes: Praetoria. In Praetoria, players will create a character devoid of alignment, and go through a completely new leveling experience where they choose sides between the resistance or the loyalists. Will you choose to help the utopian government, or be their downfall? Because these shades of grey infuse all aspects of gameplay, you can even choose in infiltrate the opposing faction and just appear to be helping them along until you sabotage them from the inside out.
After the Going Rogue players complete their levels 1 to 20 content, they can transfer into the original City of Heroes universe as either a hero or a villain. Once they have selected their role, however, things continue to shift, because of something they are calling the Tip System. Tips enable your hero or villain to explore some of what the other side might be dealing with. Perhaps you're a villain who can decide to help out an orphanage. This path toward redemption opens up new opportunities to do good, until finally your villain becomes a hero. Within the system, (I know because I asked) it is possible for your Mastermind to become a Villain, or for your Arrow Blaster hero to turn into a villain. It is also possible to have your character continue to play in the shadows inbetween -- in true Going Rogue style. With this expansion it is your choice exactly how complex your character becomes.
Going Rogue also introduces a completely new graphics engine to City of Heroes, which shows of the city of Praetoria beautifully. The graphics even allow for weather effects, light blooming, and high water detail, all which enable a richer, more meaningful player experience as they adventure within Praetoria.
I think the choice to explore the shades of grey within the good versus evil continuum was a brilliant move on the part of NCSoft. Most modern heroes (Wolverine comes to mind, as does Twilight's Edward) are bad people with good hearts, or vice versa. Very rarely to people in the real world fill an iconic "good" or "evil" roll, and we want the superheroes we play to be just as realistic as we ourselves are.
City of Heroes: Going Rogue steps out of the shadows August 17th. How you play is up to you.