I'll admit I'm doing this one first, because I hold it dear and It's one of the few MMO's that I've taken the time to get to max Lvl in.
And allow me to state before I say anything else, this game will hold little to NO appeal to the hardcore gamer. There's little to be said about loot, PvP while it is there and it is fun isn't a focus in the least, not to mention there is only one Raid style encounter in the entirety of both City of Heroes and City of Villains. (Technically it's two but hey, same foe, similar tactics.)
- Character Customization is amazing in this game. Trust me, if you come up with a character, and I mean ANY character, you can probably make it in the game's extremely extensive character creation system, which gets more options all the time.
-Good Community. The community is quite good with a high number of polite helpful individuals, plenty of Roleplayers, and few annoying grievers. Also, thankfully because of a good Customer service team, you won't see 800 clones of Wolverine or Spider-man running about, nor will you be constantly harassed into buying game currency.
- Graphics are nothing stellar, but they do look good, and the animations are very well done. A High point of the games Graphic systems is the integrated Physics system. Objects fall and tumble realisticly , and your powers can have interesting and unique effects on the world around you.
-The Sidekicking system in this game is a fantastic and well executed idea. More or less after you hit level 10, your character can make another Character his sidekick Basically what this does is artificially raises the sidekicked characters level to one below that of his mentor. This more or less allows players of any level to team up and have a good time. There is also a reverse version where the higher level player lowers his level to that of his Sidekicks.
-Good Use of Instances is seen well, everywhere throughout the game. The main game world is persistant and shared by all players, while most Missions take place inside buildings or in isolated areas which are done as Instances. This way, while you still have the option of meeting people outside, you'll never have the problem of overcrowding when you need to do a mission.
-The power System is something that isn't seen in other games and helps make the game more simplistic and action packed. At character creation you get to pick an Archetype, and two powersets. there are hundreds of power combos available so you can make a character for pretty much any playstyle.
- Last, but certainly not least is the Travel Power System. By choosing the right powers at lvls 6 and 14, you can be enabled to travel at superhuman speeds through either flying, Superjump, Superspeed, or short Range Teleportation. This makes getting around the large game world both fun and fast.
-No Real Loot System. Is I said before, there isn't much to speak of in terms of loot. There are no armors or weapons and nothing you can equip changes your characters appearance to any degree. In lou of actual items there is the enhancement system, which allows you to increase certain stats in a power. There is also a Simplistic Crafting System which can be used to create more diverse Enhancements.
-The endgame is well... Non-existant. By the time you've reached max Level, you've done pretty much all of the Missions (this games version of quests) in the game, most of the Task Forces, and have pretty much all of the enhancements you need for your powers, and seeing as there isn't any loot or much to say for endgame raiding, you just kinda sit there. Looking fancy.
-PvP is pretty much completely ignorable, and hit and run attacks are common due to the fact that almost all characters have a Travel power with which to escape when the tide of battle turns away from them. That being said, the number of Power combinations makes PvP rather interesting when fighting a skilled combatant.
What other games should learn
-Character Customization should be a focal point. It allows both for more creativity from players, and allows for many more roleplaying options.
-Instances are good in the right amounts and I personally believe that they should be used more often.
- The sidekicking system is fantastic and I honestly believe that it should become a staple of all MMO's.
-Allow Characters more diverse options for movement around the map at a lower level instead of making things like mounts a prestige item. I'm sorry, but a simple horse should not take immense riches to purchase, IT'S A HORSE.