While rocking the new free-to-play monetary method, City of Heroes Freedom has become an all new force to be reckoned with in the MMO arena and it grows even stronger with a brand new content update, Issue 23: Where Shadows Lie.

It's amazing that the game has been going as long as it has and as strong as it has, even though many of its competitors have fallen by the wayside. The latest Issue offers gamers a brand new zone called the The Magisterum Incarnate Trail, and also gives gamers brand new enemies to face off against as well as new powers to outfit your hero with.

Issue 23 also marks the end of the epic episodic saga of the Praetorian War. As stated in the press release...
Still reeling from the deaths of Statesman and Sister Psyche, heroes and villains must now harden their resolve and fight to stop Emperor Cole from shattering the dimensions. Issue 23: Where Shadows Lie launches with a heroic amount of new content and upgrades, as well as the thrilling conclusion to the Praetorian War.

Pretty badass killing off some heroes to further a story. It really helps bring gamers closer to the story. Anyways, no one really cares about storylines, right? Everyone is just amped to find out how they can maximize the awesomeness of their hero with some brand new powers.

For players level 50, the new Hybrid Incarnate tree opens up, which allows heroes to upgrade and enhance abilities with additional buffs, passive and active skills to make your hero more well-rounded for any encounter.

There are also a number of gameplay improvements that have been implemented with Issue 23, including improved party and chat functions for free-to-play gamers. You can check out the complete list of features below or pay a visit to the Official Website to hop into City of Heroes Freedom, for free.

Issue 23 Features:

• New Zone: Night Ward – Dark forces hide in Night Ward, threatening to destroy the cosmos. Night Ward is a Level 30-35 co-op zone where characters encounter strange magical allies and foes while powerful arch-villain Shadowhunter prowls the realm with his deadly army of beasts.

• The Magisterium Incarnate Trial – The inter-dimensional Praetorian War against Emperor Cole comes to a stirring conclusion in the new Magisterium Incarnate Trial. Emperor's Cole's lieutenants and strongholds have all been defeated and captured. Now heroes and villains will use knowledge gained in taking down Diabolique in an epic showdown against the Well's Champion to determine the fate of two worlds!

• Improved Free Player Chat and Grouping – Now all players (VIP, premium, and free) can join a new serverwide chat channel that allows them to communicate freely with each other. In addition, the new Interdimensional Tunnel System makes getting from one world to another quick and easy.

• New VIP Content and Benefits – VIPs can enjoy the latest Signature Story Arc Series 2: Pandora's Box - Both Heroes and Villains are being supercharged with new uncontrollable powers. Heroes team up with the remnants of the Freedom Phalanx to discover the secret menace behind the chaos, while Villains lay the groundwork for a new organization to rival the power of Arachnos.

• New Incarnate Powers – Level 50 VIP players can now unlock the Hybrid Incarnate Tree, which grants them new powers based on the core Archetypes in City of Heroes®. Choose a style that shores up a weakness, or one that further strengthens existing abilities.

• New Mecha Armor Tier 9 Costume Set – The Mecha Armor Costume Set can turn players into the sleek giant robot or high-tech warrior they've always dreamed of. This latest Costume Set is available only to VIP players who have unlocked the top tier of the Paragon Rewards program.

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