Praetoria, also known as Praetorian Earth, is a utopian alternate Earth, under the rule of Emperor Cole, who is known to the heroes of Primal Earth as Tyrant. Praetoria is the major focus of the Going Rogue expansion, providing an alternate leveling path for newly created characters. Its super-powered inhabitants are also the primary antagonists in content for high-level players using the Incarnate System (which requires an active subscription).
Praetoria is, in fact, a "mirror universe", where, unlike on our Earth, the most famous superbeings are twisted and evil, having given in to their darker sides, or at least to expediency over morality. While the official backgrounds provided in Going Rogue may largely be dismissed as propaganda, they do suggest that the previous "evil counterpart" stance is softening and that more of the Praetorian supers occupy a gray zone.
Primal and Praetorian Player Characters
New characters created by City of Heroes players have the option to start in Primal Earth or, with the purchase of Going Rogue, in Praetoria. While this decision is primarily cosmetic, it does have some minor effects on the character, and their dimension of origin can never be changed.
Differences between Primal and Praetorian player characters include the following:
- Praetorian characters are exclusively restricted to Praetoria and Pocket D until level 20, at which point they migrate to Primal Earth.
- Primal characters cannot gain access to Praetorian mission content, but they may join Praetorians as teammates in that content.
- Praetorian characters cannot select or unlock any of the Epic Archetypes.
- Only Praetorians may be of the Loyalist or Resistance Alignments. After level 20, they share the same Alignments as Primal characters.
- Primal and Praetorian characters each can earn a different set of Achievement Badges.
- All Badges available to Primal characters can either be earned by Praetorians directly or have Praetorian equivalents.
- The Praetorian badges that Primal characters cannot earn are: Loyalist, Resistance Member and Moral High Ground.
The Portal Corporation refers to this dimension as Upsilon Beta 9-6, with the name Praetorian Earth assigned by Portal Corp technicians. This dimension was first discovered by Tina Macintyre due to invading forces by Anti-Matter. Several missions assigned by Tina Macintyre and Maria Jenkins take place there, and it is also the locale for the City of Heroes expansion: Going Rogue. The early press releases for the expansion were the first to refer to it as Praetoria.
Background of Praetoria
Praetoria, humankind's last and best chance for survival, shines like a beacon of hope across an embattled world. Emperor Cole established this stronghold to protect the lives of his people and to provide a safeguard in which to plan the defeat of humanity's greatest enemy. Though much was lost in the Hamidon Wars, both in lives and land, Emperor Cole built the capital of Praetoria into a safe haven where the citizens of the Empire can live in peace and prosperity. While the rest of the Empire struggles to meet its obligations to the Emperor for the safety he provides, the citizens of the capital city enjoy abundance, security, and opportunity so that their dreams, and the dreams of their Empire, can be realized.
Praetoria had its genesis in the ascension of Marcus Cole as the world's prime guardian. No one will ever forget how very close the human race came to annihilation in those dark years before Emperor Cole's rise to glory, or how the very earth itself turned against humanity at the command of the renegade scientist, Doctor Hamidon. The misguided leaders of the world sought to beat back the Devouring Earth with nuclear fire to no avail. Only through Emperor Cole's intervention was the world saved. In gratitude for his efforts, the people of the world chose him as their sole guardian, forever turning their backs on the archaic notions of nation-states or ethnic identities. From then on, they were citizens of the Empire--they were Praetorians.
Praetoria stands at the location of Hamidon's first great defeat at the hands of Marcus Cole, the man who proved to the world that the Devouring Earth could be beaten. Cole dedicated himself to the Earth's protection in this place, and it was here that Cole drew his line in the sand against the Devouring Earth. He established the city of Praetoria as a stronghold for those who suffered at the hands (and claws, fangs, and tentacles) of the Devouring Earth.
The world's super-powered heroes united behind Cole and became his trusted lieutenants, his Praetors. These Praetors serve him and the people of Praetoria to this day. A flood of refugees flocked to Praetoria during the war to shelter under Cole's aegis for protection. In the stress of the burgeoning and downtrodden influx of population, the city swelled beyond the capacity of its limited infrastructure to support. Hemmed in on all sides by the enemy, Cole had one choice within this stronghold: Expand it or allow it to die. His decision to fight heralded the start of the Hamidon Wars, the wars to reclaim that which was lost in the land, mind, and spirit of humankind. With each victory, Marcus Cole's power and the dream for a safe and prosperous Praetoria expanded.
In the aftermath of the Hamidon Wars, it is hard to believe that humanity had devolved so far that simple electric power was a rare commodity. With the energy afforded by the invention of Praetor Keyes' powerful anti-matter reactor, the newly crowned Emperor Cole laid the foundation for the Imperial capital city of Praetoria, from which he would govern the efforts to reclaim all that humanity had lost. With so much devastation left in Hamidon's wake, Emperor Cole has invited the people to live safe and free in his utopian capital. From this shining paradise, he sends forays to reclaim the world, and he plans the return of humanity's primacy over the Earth.
There is no want or need in Praetoria. Basic necessities of life are provided for -- water, food, shelter. There is no manual labor. All of those tasks are performed by the Praetorian Clockwork which work and exist among the populace. There is neither crime nor discontent due to the Seers and Praetorian Guard on every corner. Due to the increased amount of leisure time available, the arts and sciences have greatly advanced to new levels.
Praetoria is the ultimate Meritocracy. You can choose not to do anything at all for a 'living' as everything is provided for you. But if you choose, you can advance in society to a position of power. If you can shoulder the burden for something, you are allowed to do so for as long as you are able.
War Walls are not widely used in Praetoria, although they can be found in some outdoor missions (such as on the Prevent Shadowhunter's Resurrection mission from Maria Jenkins). The borders between the Praetorian zones are invisible, and when a player character moves from one zone to the next, they will appear in the appropriate area on the edge of the next zone. The border around Praetoria as a whole, however, is protected by a Sonic Fence that is lethal to player characters.
- Nova Praetoria - the heart of Emperor Cole's domain. Emperor Cole's tower can be seen from almost anywhere within the zone.
- Imperial City - a NYC style city.
- Neutropolis - a much more technology-enhanced area, including remnant refugee camps.
- The Underground - very clean and well-maintained, but still dangerous.
- First Ward - a lost part of Praetoria.
- Night Ward - a place where First Ward and the Netherworld overlap.
The Praetorian archvillains are:
- Anti-Matter (counterpart to Positron)
- Battle Maiden (counterpart to Valkyrie)
- Black Swan (counterpart to Swan)
- Bobcat (counterpart to Mynx)
- Chimera (counterpart to Manticore)
- Diabolique (counterpart to Numina)
- Dominatrix (counterpart to Ms. Liberty)
- Infernal (counterpart to Primal Earth's Infernal)
- Malaise (counterpart to Primal Earth's Malaise)
- Marauder (counterpart to Back Alley Brawler)
- Mother Mayhem (counterpart to Sister Psyche, and occupying the body of Aurora Borealis' counterpart)
- Neuron (counterpart to Synapse)
- Nightstar (counterpart to Luminary)
- Pendragon (counterpart to Hero 1)
- Shadowhunter (counterpart to Woodsman)
- Siege (counterpart to Citadel)
- Tyrant (counterpart to Statesman)
Most of them have different costumes to wear in Praetoria than their Primal Earth couterparts. These new costumes carried over to various Hero-side missions related to the Praetorians, replacing their old costumes. Additionally, members of the Praetorian guard are known by other names on Praetoria. Tyrant, for example, is more well-known as the savior of mankind, Emperor Cole.
Known Organizations and Mirrored Factions
As heroes are turned into villains on this mirror world, some enemy groups are turned into heroic organizations - if they have not already been oppressed by the might of the Praetorians. Some are new groups entirely.
- Seers - Mother Mayhem's psychic network of psychics which she uses to monitor the population via a Seer Network to ensure everyone is behaving appropriately. An all female law enforcement group, they may well be the Praetorian counterparts of Arachnos Fortunatas. Being part of a psychic network makes them also somewhat similar to Arachnos Bane Spiders. Some of them share a restrained pose similiar to that of Arachnos Mu Mystics.
- Syndicate - When organized crime is put down, it gets even more organized. All of the resulting gangs and groups have banded together under one large crime syndicate. They will apparently take the appearance of Yakuza, Cyberpunk, Black colours, Jackets, Multiracial and possibly more. They will also have super-powered shotguns, and motorcycles.
- The Resistance - the rebels of Praetoria. Players may have an opportunity to join their group. They are led by a man named Calvin Scott, whose Primal Earth counterpart is the husband of Aurora Borealis. Also among their ranks is the Praetorian Belladonna Vetrano, better known as Ghost Widow on Primal Earth.
- Praetorian Police Department - the counterparts of Paragon Police Department. They serve as the first line of defense against the Resistance. They are apparently an alternative career path for loyalists.
- Carnival of Light - the counterparts of Carnival of Shadows, they are a group of heroic freedom fighters. They were first mentioned in City of Heroes storylines and apparently bear some similiarities to the Carnival of Shadows, as Anti-Matter's forces confuses the Carnival of Shadows for the Praetorian versions. Vanessa DeVore, who has a Primal Earth counterpart sharing the same name, is a trainer in the underground portion of Nova Praetoria, and shows up in the arc from Praetor Tilman. The Carnival of Light also has members from the Praetorian version of the Midnight Squad and the Legacy Chain. Two splinter groups, the Carnival of War and the Carnival of Vengeance, are known to exist.
- Destroyers - a disgruntled band of ruthless soldiers abandoned after the Hamidon Wars.
- Praetorian Clockwork - the counterparts of Clockwork, they were formerly divided into Blue and Silver Clockwork groups, created by Anti-Matter and Neuron. New Praetorian Clockwork were introduced during Hero Con 2009 and Going Rogue as passive servant-class robotic humanoids who do maintenance work and generally repair and rebuild the city as required. They will only attack players if players attack them first. The Praetorian counterpart of Primal Earth's Clockwork King refers to himself as Metronome. Rather than a single entity, he jumps from Clockwork to Clockwork.
- Devouring Earth (Praetorian) - the Praetorian version of Primal Earth's Devouring Earth, they have apparently overrun much of the planet due to widespread usage of nuclear weaponry.
- Crey - as Ghost Falcon was recently revealed to have originated from Praetorian Earth, and encountered a Praetorian version of the company Crey, who 'deprogrammed' him, this means Crey exists in Praetoria, though it is unknown if they are still the megacorporation Crey Industries similiar to Primal Earth, or are more focused in the science world, according to Ghost Falcon's origin. It is unknown if Countess Crey exists among the ranks of Crey, or if she is even alive.
- Ghouls - formerly humans, they wear shackles, indicating they may have been prisoners of some sort. They are cannibalistic, and prey on human flesh. They make their home under the streets of Praetoria in the vast underground.
- Midnighters - the counterparts of the Midnight Squad, and once a group of powerful arcanists who were destroyed from within by one of their own, the Master Midnight. The remaining survivors joined forces with the Carnival of Light.
- Tsoo - are also know to Praetoria. Same as Primal Earth, they were known as a powerful asian gang leadered by Tub Ci. They absorbed the remnants of both the Triad and Yakuza after the Hamidon Wars, but were completely obliterated fifteen years ago, no mention of who did it. They were thought dead, their leader included, but since the re-appearance of Tub Ci as a leader of the Syndicate, no one can say how many of his old comrades might have found solace there as well.
- Imperial Defense Force - oftentimes abbreviated as the IDF, they are the most advanced and loyal combat unit in Emperor Cole's military.
- 2nd Imperial Defense Force - the counterparts to the Sky Raiders. They were subjected to Neuron's T.E.S.T. P.L.U.S. procedure by their commander, Colonel Duray. Although Crow was the only initial survivor, Neuron later revived the soldiers, who are now zombie-like and completely loyal to Duray.
- Ravenwing Cabal - their counterparts, also called the Ravenwing Cabal, were infiltrated and destroyed by Diabolique at the behest of Tyrant. There are at least two survivors, Nadia and Sorceress Serene.
Mirrored NPC Status
- Aurora Borealis - her counterpart, also named Aurora Borealis, was the caretaker over Calvin Scott. Her body was originally possessed by Mother Mayhem until later events in Minds of Mayhem.
- Calvin Scott - his counterpart, also named Calvin Scott, is the head of the Resistance. He has the ability to remain hidden from the Seers, making him highly valued to leading the Resistance.
- Clockwork King - his counterpart, Metronome, does not appear to possess any kind of organic physical body anymore, and jumps from Clockwork to Clockwork. He has a number of them known as Rogue Clockwork. He is working with various groups partly for his own ambitions and also to rescue Penelope Yin.
- Colonel Duray - his counterpart, also named Colonel Duray, is in charge of the 2nd Imperial Defense Force Regiment. Duray was responsible for sending Crow's company to Neuron for experimental T.E.S.T. P.L.U.S. procedure.
- Dr. Vahzilok - his counterpart, a famous geneticist who was working with Neuron, grew embittered by Neuron's superior capabilities and so he used a genetic resequencing serum on himself. He was sure his formula was correct, and wanted to perfect the serum's formula before Neuron did. His desire was so strong that he tried the serum on himself. Unfortunately, he was wrong, and the serum mutated him into the first of the Ghouls. Now, he is the Ghoul King.
- Faultline - his counterpart is a woman named Jane Temblor. She works for (Praetorian) Colonel Duray, and has an antagonistic relationship with her partner, Fusion.
- Fusionette - her counterpart is a man known only as Fusion. He works for (Praetorian) Colonel Duray, and has an antagonistic relationship with his partner, Jane Temblor.
- Ghost Widow - her counterpart, Belladonna Vetrano, is working with the Resistance. Since Praetoria does not have Arachnos, Belladonna was never killed in action, and is alive to this day.
- Hamidon - due to the much earlier use of nuclear arms, Hamidon Pasilima unleashed the Devoured Earth earlier compared to Primal Earth, and started what would be known as the Hamidon Wars, which affected the entire planet. Because of this, the world governments literally gave power to Marcus Cole, now Emperor, to save the world. Emperor Cole did just that, and created a world free of want or need. While Primal Earth's Hamidon is a giant amoeba, Praetoria's Hamidon appears to be a giant lovecraftian monster with tentacles and claws.
- Hero 1 - his counterpart, known as Pendragon is a troubled member of the Black Knights, and has had issues with his master's wife, the Black Queen.
- Invisible Falcon - his villainous counterpart was deprogrammed by Crey, changed his ways, and somehow came to Primal Earth where he currently lives as an accepted superhero. He is known as Ghost Falcon.
- Lord Recluse - for unknown reasons, when Stefan Richter and Marcus Cole found the Well of the Furies, Stefan was killed by Marcus, and never became Lord Recluse due to his early death.
- Montague Castanella - unfortunately for Montague's counterpart, also named Montague, he was one of the victims during the betrayal of the Midnight Squad by Master Midnight, and raised from the dead to be an unthinking zombie.
- Mr. Yin - his counterpart, Wu Yin, became successful as a household name and CEO of Yin Corp, and lives a privileged life along with his daughter and heiress to the corporate throne, Penelope Yin. He is not happy about his daughter being forced to enroll in Mother of Mercy Psychiatric Hospital and has been making attempts to get her back.
- Nemesis - his counterpart is reportedly a nobody.
- Odysseus - his counterpart, also named Odysseus is not a gang leader, but part of the Resistance and one of their Trainers. The Warriors apparently don't exist in Praetoria.
- Officer Flint - his counterpart, also named Officer Flint has virtually the same role in the Praetorian Police Department guiding newcomers in Precinct Five.
- Penelope Yin - her counterpart, also named Penelope Yin, is currently working undercover for the Resistance, in Mother Mayhem's hospital. Unfortunately, she has appeared to lose most of her sanity there.
- Percy Winkley - his counterpart, known as Master Midnight, betrayed the Midnighters, killed the majority of them, and reanimated them to serve him as his undead Midnight Masters.
- Psimon Omega - his counterpart, Simon Omega, is a renegade psychic on the run from Mother Mayhem and her Seers, and refuses to join any side, be it the Syndicate or the Resistance.
- President Marchand - his counterpart, Provost Marchand, is still alive and well, if getting on in years, working as a Loyalist.
- Seer Marino - her counterpart had died earlier in the year that you meet her brother, Paolo Marino.
- Steven Sheridan - while his counterpart's status is unknown, Steven Sheridan has traveled to Praetoria from Primal Earth to aid in the Resistance with his own missions.
- The Dark Watcher - while his counterpart's status is unknown, the Dark Watcher has traveled to Praetoria from Primal Earth to aid in the Resistance with his own missions.
- Tub Ci - his counterpart, also named Tub Ci, is working for the Syndicate as the personal bodyguard of Mr. Wu Yin, and director of security for Yin Corp.
- Twinshot - her counterpart, Ricochet, is a member of the Resistance.
- Wretch - working for the PPD as Paolo Marino, since he was never in the fire with Ghost Widow and transformed into The Wretch.
- Vanessa DeVore - her counterpart, also named Vanessa DeVore, is working with the Resistance. She is the leader of the Carnival of Light.
- War Witch - her counterpart, known as Sorceress Serene leads the Talons of Vengeance in her quest against Diabolique and Tyrant.
- Praetorians (Enemy Group)
- Map included with the boxed edition (slightly different from the one in this article)
- Official Praetoria overview
https://secure.ncsoft.com/images/store/asset/coh/COH_GR_map_web.jpgMap included with the boxed edition (slightly different from the one in this article)