Paragon Studios is running a promotion where you can buy City of Heroes for 1.99 dollars/1.49 Euro/1.29 British pounds and get one month of game time. This offer lasts only until August 29th 16:00 pacific time (August 30th 01:00 central European time).
There has been some speculation here regarding the timing of this promotion; either it would mean that it would be another month after the end of this promotion that Issue 21/Freedom will launch, or it will launch on August 30th.
Personally, I am leaning a bit towards the latter – it will launch on August 30th, or at least that what their current plan may be. The VIP beta has been running for about 2 weeks now and with another week that is a somewhat normal time period for how long they usually run open betas for new issues. The update frequency has increased and it is mostly smaller things corrected, although there are still various bug reports being entered – most of them minor though, it seems. August 30th is a Tuesday, which is the day of the week they typically apply updates.
Also the end of the free trial accounts will also pretty much coincide with August 30th as well, my guess is that they want to minimize the amount of time where new players cannot sign up to play. If they launch on AUgust 30th then this promotion deal is a fairly good one; you can get VIP status for up to a month, should get you 400 paragon points (which would cost $5) and access to everything that VIPs get as part of the subscription. Sort of a try-before-you-buy for the VIP access. That is, assuming it will launch by the end of the month. Since it is something paid for, the account will be a premium account if the subscription is not extended.
This promotion cannot be applied to existing inactive accounts though – it has to be an entirely new game account, or upgrade an existing trial account. That game account can be part of an existing NCSoft master account though.
A number of existing players seem to jump on this to create a 2nd (or 3rd etc) account. If anyone plans to spend any money on the game and do not mind a new account, this is probably a pretty good deal to get started.