Man of Two Worlds
Before Set IOs, CoH's answer to farming was "knock yourself out, you can get everything you need to buy everything you need at the level cap without even trying". Set IOs, especially the purple PvP ones changed that a bit, but the real defense(?) against farming was the rampant alt-itis that CoH encouraged.City of Titans, and really any of the COH-successors will really need a MA early on since there's simply no competing at launch with the amount of content COH had, nevermind what DCUO and CO have. They *will* need to figure out how to deal with farming and such early on, though.
Instead of grinding for the best lewt, people were basically grinding for new power combos or familiar ones on new servers. I think to some extent any successor is going to need to replicate that to be really capture the CoH feel. If we wind up limited to 8 characters like a typical MMO these days there's just no hope that it'll feel the same.