Old heroes never die - they just get updated with brand new content that makes them all fresh, sparkly, new and interesting. Actually, that's probably not true of old heroes in general, but it's certainly the case for City of Heroes (and/or Villians), which is due to receive its eighth update, Issue 8 - To Protect And Serve, in the coming weeks.
As a major feature of that update, developers Cryptic will be adding a brand new type of mission to the game, called Safeguard Missions. These missions will be scattered throughout the game, and will be available to heroes of all ability levels - the objective being to thwart various attempts by nefarious types to spread chaos through the streets of Paragon City.
The central objective of the Safeguard missions is to prevent a bank robbery which is being planned by the villains. Players who are notified of the bank robbery will need to rush to the bank, and prevent the criminals from getting into the bank and breaking down the door to the vault. All isn't lost if you fail at that task, though, because you can still take out the criminals before they make it to their escape vehicle.
Interestingly, once you've finished the main objective in the Safeguard quest, you are then given 15 minutes to "clean up the streets" by taking out the small-time crooks and vandals who hae piggybacked in with the villains planning the bank robbery. Taking out vandals increases your time limit, giving you more precious minutes in which to learn experience, badges and temporary powers - leave them be for long enough, though, and they'll mess the city up, which reduces your time limit.
The missions also have number of side-missions associated with them, which are activated by certain "keys" on the main mission - keeping an eye out for those keys gives you new objectives to pursue, and of course a chance to earn experience, badges, and so on.
The new Safeguard missions are just the latest in a long line of additions to City of Heroes / Villains since the launch of the game, and in many ways they complement the Mayhem missions which were introduced for people playing on the Villain side of the game in the last Issue. You can find a nice gallery of some screenshots from the new missions here, or better again, how about a trailer video showcasing some Safeguard gameplay? Don't mind if I do.
If you fancy hopping in and trying City of Heroes / Villains, then both games are now available in a handy combined pack which also gives you a bunch of bonus items and content in-game, and has all of the updates so far conveniently pre-installed. Best of all, it costs a princely fifteen of your earth pounds - or you could always win one for free in our fantastic contest.