The shining glory of the game is, however, its customization. Since it is based on a comic book universe, appearance is very important and nearly every person I meet in game looks unique. With the exception of some Task-Force or event-related costume items, capes (unlocked at level 20) and auras (unlocked at level 30), all costume parts are available from level 1. You don't have to play for months before you can look good - you just need some creativity. They've been putting out 'Booster Packs' lately, which are about $10 and give you more costumes, powers, emotes and occasionally a few other things like the ability to change gender. And one of the most recent issue updates allowed players to change the color and animations of their powers.
I've been subscribed to City of Heroes on and off for... god, over five years? I have about three years of subscription time. I didn't start in beta, but when I started playing they were only about four issue updates (they just launched Issue 19). This game is older than World of Warcraft and I've been playing it since 2004.
I wanted to share some of my (extremely varied) characters. The customization is both a blessing and a curse: it's fun to try all sorts of combinations and playstyles, but it's hard to stick to just one character.
[Lowbie Fire/Axe Tank]
[Level 21 Electric/Rad Controller (First Praetorian character)]
Classic femme fatal lesbian gumshoe in a futuretech suit
[Level 50 Fire/radiation controller]
Mythical beasts shape shifter
[Lowbie Martial Arts/Reflexes Scrapper]
Little Bunny FooFoo, hoppin' through the forest
Picking up the field mice and BOP-ing them on the head.
Preteen Bunny FooFoo, hoppin' through the hallways
Picking up the preteen boys and BOP-ing them on the head.
Teenage Bunny FooFoo, hoppin' through the punk clubs
Picking up the moshers and BOP-ing them on the head.
Grownup Bunny FooFoo, hoppin' through the city
Picking up the bad guys and BOP-ing them on the head.
[Level 39 Ice/Sonic Controller]
Everything is literally a game to her. Look, she's getting her epic armor! Man, I'm so meta.
[Lowbie Ice/Ice Blaster]
[Lowbie Invuln/Mace Tank]
Was an exotic dancer when the virus struck.
Don't let him within ten feet of you. He has... urges.
Bonus scantily clad women in the costume shop: