Player Characters are the personas that subscribed players take on while playing City of Heroes and City of Villains. The creation of a Player Character is the very first step for a new player in getting started with the game, and most players have more than one player character (known as 'Alts' or Alternate Player Character).
The online worlds of City of Heroes and City of Villains are homes to an entire universe of heroes and villains, where thousands of other players take on the roles of super powered heroes - in a stunning, 3D graphical world.
Player characters are as diverse as the players they belong to, and many players take the time to flesh out their characters by writing detailed biographies for them. Some veteran players who are more familiar with the CoX universe may even write bios for their characters that places them 'in-world', and give reasons why they became heroes or villains. Some players will elect to write their biographies over the course of their CoX experience, reflecting the growth or experiences of the character. However, the character ID card only allows for a limited amount of information to be entered (1023 characters - including spaces and carriage returns), so bios do have to be short and to-the-point most of the time.
Per the EULA, player characters are not allowed to be named after existing characters from comics. For example, a PC cannot be named 'Batman' or 'Wolverine'. This has not stopped players from amalgamating names, adding letters to established names and so on. GMs can and do take action should a name be used that conflicts with the EULA. Often, such names are already restricted by the servers.
Player characters require the use of at least 3 characters in their name, although they need not necessarily be letters and numbers. There are 4 non-alphanumerical characters allowed in a PC name: . ' - ? (period, apostrophe, hyphen, question mark). However, it is only possible to use one of the four types of non-alphanumerical characters in a name, and only one of that type of character. For this reason it is also not possible to make a name consisting solely of non-alphanumeric characters.
- Example: The name "Zip-Zip Zoom" is acceptable, but "Zip-Zip-Zoom" is not, because it uses two of the same character. Nor is "Who's Hungry?" because it uses both the apostrophe and question mark.
Costumes & Customization
Players are offered a variety of customization choices and options, including costume pieces and powers to create their own player characters. There are thousands of possibilities when it comes to customizing the appearence of character, ranging from costume sets (such as the "Enforcer" set) which gives a complete costume scheme, as well as other options that that are not neccessarily intended to fit together but do anyways.
With the introduction of Issue 11, players also customize weapons that their player characters carry as well, including types of weapons and colors of weapons.