Soft loading used to be a way to make Task Forces in City of Heroes and Strike Forces in City of Villains a great deal easier by fooling the server into thinking only one team member was online; this was done by having all but one person on the team log off while the remaining person entered the mission. This technique was rendered obsolete due to changes made in the May 3, 2008 patch, which causes Task Forces to spawn based on team size regardless of whether the team members are logged in or not.
The procedure could be used for any instanced ("door") mission in a task/strike force, and would cause all bosses (except specifically coded-in ones like elite bosses and some named bosses) to disappear, as well as most of the minions.
Soft loading did not decrease the level of the enemies, nor did it make the end battle with the Archvillain any easier; it merely allowed the team to speed through "clear all" missions by decimating the total amount of enemies.
Some task forces could be cleared in under 90 minutes if all missions were soft loaded successfully.
While it is no longer possible to soft load, here is the procedure that was typically used when it was possible.
2. The remaining stealthy team member visits every floor in the mission before the others log back on. As the server checked the team size every time a new floor was visited for the first time, it was important for all floors to be visited by the single team member before the rest of the team logged in.
3. The other members logged in and were able to clear a sparsely spawned map.
In the current version of the game, all floors will be spawned with the same number of enemies regardless of whether team members are logged in or not.