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Old 05-29-2009, 05:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Champions Online

Hey Trotter, here is some thing for you.....

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/g...5/feature/3096
Quote:
“Think console…not mmo….”

All would-be super-heroes should remember this advice as they approach Champions Online. Yes, Champions Online is an MMO, but the game is much easier to play and enjoy when approached with a console mentality. Due to its reliance on character positioning, fast reactions and selective targeting as an essential part of combat, the game plays much more like an action console game than the average “click and get a sandwich MMO.”

Granted, there are times where combat is more straight forward (i.e.: “ get x and give to y”), but for the most part gameplay, especially when solo, requires a little more thought. Heroes need to consider how they’ll get to their enemy (route) and which ones to attack first. Ignore this advance, and the game becomes a lot harder to play. At first, I felt like it would need a friend just to finish the tutorial, but once I took the console gamer’s approach, it was as if I had pressed the easy button.

Recently, I had a chance to explore the Champions Online Beta and gather my impressions. Do keep in mind, though, that all of these elements are subject to change.

Character Customization

Cryptic Studios is best known for their work on City of Heroes, so comparisons between the Champions and CoH character creation systems are inevitable. Most players could spend hours rolling new characters in City of Heroes. The options were incredible. Honestly, I never had so much fun in that game as I did just making characters. It was fun and intuitively structured. Champions Online has a lot to live up to.

The first choice of any would-be super-hero is what kind of hero they will be. In Champions, they call this the character’s “origin.” Options range from a powerhouse (think “The Incredible Hulk”), to an untouchable (more like “Spider-man”), or anything in between. Whatever origin chosen ultimately sets the new hero’s base stats and dictates what kind of hero they are likely to become. So, if the goal is to have cat-like dexterity or the hit points of the Terminator, choose wisely. While this choice dictates a path, players gain more points over time. That big powerhouse could get a little more nimble, if they don’t mind sacrificing some hit points.

The next step for new heroes is to select a Power framework. These are similar to archetypes in City of Heroes. With 18 power frames to choose from, heroes can choose to specialize in archery, fire damage, martial arts, dual blades, telekinesis, or munitions, among others. Basically, it determines the way a super-hero kicks ***. Again, though, Cryptic has made this system very flexible. Just because someone starts in archery, doesn’t mean they can never learn how to shoot a gun. Every skill and power is available to every player. It enables people to experiment and create truly unique characters. It also doesn’t force anyone to start over to try a new toy.

With the character fully tweaked under the hood, it’s time to get to the fun part: looks and costume! Simply put, Champions will do more than meet the expectations of City of Heroes fans. It will blow them away.

The level of customization borders on ridiculous. For example, there are four different colorization options for each piece. Take the chest gear for example. The game allows details like a knife belt across the chest, but what’s more, enables full color customization of belt, knife blade, sheathe and hilt. It really made the process unique. One of the most impressive features was the ability to customize a piece of gear to show specifically on the character’s right arm, leg or hand and then do something completely different for the left side. Another thing to get excited about is the improved selection of robotic appearances. The attention to detail in this system is amazing.

Customization doesn’t just end at the costume, though. Players can change where powers originate (head, hands, chest, sword, etc.) and create separate builds and roles, which they can easily swap out based on circumstance.

That’s not to say that the system is quite ready yet. A few elements are less than thrilling. The tabs (for head, chest and foot sections) found on the left hand side of the creation area are a little clunky and unintuitive. The interface in CoH was a lot sleeker. While I was impressed with the color options available and the detail available, there could have been better explanation of how each of the four colors alters the design.

There is definitely room for polish and improvement, but with a few months before launch, Cryptic has time. The creation experience presented a fun and dizzying array of options, it just needs more tweaking and a little more elegance to really bring it home.

Inside the Tutorial

Like every MMO released these days, Champions Online features a quick tutorial that introduces the elements of the game.

The tutorial walks new players through a few easy missions, introduces basic movement, interaction with NPCs and quests. More importantly it draws hero’s attention to some of the features in Champions that are new and interesting, especially for those familiar with other MMOs.
Combat

I chose to create a character with the dexterity of an Untouchable origin and the power framework of a martial artist with dual wield. I received my first mission from a local NPC and headed off to a back alley to attack some qularr pods.

In combat, abilities stack and rely on each other. For example, my basic attack builds up endurance, which I can then expend by using some of my more advanced and deadly skills. If my endurance gets low, I can just continue to auto-attack with my basic attack skill until I have enough endurance built up to once again try something fancy. Some skills also deal more damage as they are “powered up.” More power equals more damage or time duration.

Another skill essential to surviving Champions Online is the ability to block an incoming attack. When fighting a mob, a special graphic icon will sometimes appear above the enemy’s head. This indicates that they are about to unleash a power attack. Players can (and should!) block these attacks, either by hitting the shift key or clicking the block icon on the hot bar. Trust me, this is a skill you want to use every time you see a mob getting ready to open a can of “whoop-whoop” on you. It can be the difference between immediate death and a minuscule amount of damage.

Less fun is the need to manually maintain attack range. Once a target is selected, players have to walk up on their own. It sounds like a small thing on paper, and makes sense given the importance of planning a route in Champions, but it can be extremely frustrating.

For example, if a melee character is paired with a ranged hero, this can be problematic. If the ranged caster steals aggro just as the melee hero is about to unleash a power attack of their own, it burns it. The mob runs towards the ranged character and forces the melee character to reset and give chase.

Players who have experience with console action games should adapt more readily than those who are used to just jumping into the fray and hitting an attack button. Situational awareness and selective targeting are key to survival. At first I found the tutorial difficult to complete without a partner to help with damage output, but with my new approach, my success at solo combat increased dramatically.

I enjoyed watching my character execute combat styles gracefully and fluidly. The sound of metal blades as they slide against each other and slice a mob in half was especially pleasing. I appreciated the skill involved not only to time my skill selection and execution, but also the need to block fatal blows. It was a bit difficult to manage my aggro as a melee damage dealer when paired with a ranged attack class, but that was not a game breaker.

Missions (or Quests for the rest of us!)

The tutorial missions slowly move players from basic movement introduction tasks to more advanced tasks such as saving citizens. Very quickly, they introduce open missions and instanced storyline arc mission areas.

Open missions are very similar to public quests in Warhammer Online. Basically, a characters enters an area and is informed of the objective at hand. Everyone in the area can contribute to the success or failure of the stages. At the end of the open mission, players are granted experience and rewards based on their overall contribution to the entire open mission event. I like this particular approach to harder missions that may have more advanced rewards, because they don’t force people to sit around and find a group. Simply walk into an area and play. Once characters reach level five, and have successfully participated in an open mission, they are asked to report to Champions HQ. This is basically an instanced mission objective with some nice cinematic cut scenes. This scenario can be soloed if players choose their targets wisely and watch where they stand.

There is a nice variety of missions that players see right off the bat in game. They include typical “get x and bring to y” missions, open missions, instanced missions and, further along in the tutorial, players get to participate in mission chains that eventually lead to an instanced scenario and escape from the tutorial area.

Environment

The first thing that went through my mind when I entered the game was, “graphic novel.” The rendering is a little gritty and dark and while City of Heroes had a comic book quality and appeal to it, the artistic style of Champions takes that to the level of a graphic novel.

One of the most outstanding features is the ability for the player to interact with the world around them. See a trash can? Pick it up and huck it. Kick rocks and pieces of rubbish that are strewn about the area. In fact, I kicked a rock over to a ledge and punted it, watching as it bounced off the wreckage of a helicopter. Some elements, like kicking rocks, may seem more fluff than actual utility, but the ability to grab objects and actually use them as weapons is just…plain…fun.

Conclusion

Champions Online is fun and offers just enough differences between it and its costumed competitor, City of Heroes to be fresh. The skills and combat are a challenge and ensure that the player will be actively engaged in combat and game play. The ability to interact with the environment provided another element to the game that made the experience more enjoyable, and the inclusion of travel powers almost immediately removed a lot of frustration. Players are able to travel in an efficiently and heroically right away, they don’t have to wait until level 14. If the early areas of Champions Online are indicative of what is to come, then Cryptic Studios has a solid game on its hands.
Looks like it might be out Q3 or Q4 this year. I am looking forward to this. I do hope that this will be better than City Of Heroes/Villains.
Has any one here been selected for the beta?

Offical Website Champions Online Official Site
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Champions Online Beta on FilePlanet
FilePlanet subscribers can sign up early, get a key and begin downloading early to prepare for the Champions Online Open Beta!


This sort of came out of the blue. Bugger, just when I have just pre-ordered my copy of Aion.
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not good news for the Xbox360 version

IGN: Life Support: Games in Danger
Quote:
Champions Online
For: Xbox 360
Read the Latest on Champions Online >>

Back in February, I wrote about the disappointing lack of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games on consoles, naming Cryptic Studios' Champions Online as one of the titles gamers were falsely promised for game consoles. Originally picked up by publisher 2K Games, Champions migrated to Atari for its eventual PC release, with no official word along the way regarding the game's Xbox 360 version. Jack Emmert, Chief Creative Officer at Cryptic, told me in February that the technical hurdles to getting a cross-platform MMO up and running were quite high. "I think once there are some standard engines and technologies available, this might change, but I'm unsure that'll happen anytime soon." I reached out to Atari for an update on the status of the Xbox 360 version of Champions Online, but a spokesperson simply said there is "nothing to talk about yet" regarding the game. You know what else doesn't say much? A corpse. This superhero has one foot in the grave.
in all honesty, i feel that MMORPGs are best played on PC and not console
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I keep forgetting about the playtests, lol...
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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bringing this thread back..who here plays Champions online
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been playing a little bit. I haven't gotten very far yet though. Level 10 i think is where I am at.
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I get bored with Aion, I will be giving them one a go. If I knew that CO was actually going to come out this Quarter, I would of picked it up instead.
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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why didnt you pick it up instead of aion? it came out a few weeks before...well i suppose if you preordered heh
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Got an email from Cryptic this morning. I was a beta tester (but only had the time to play once).

Quote:
It’s hard to believe that Champions Online has been out for a full month now! We’re hard at work on a ton of upcoming features and content, but we thought we’d take a minute to look back on this past month, as well as give you a peek as to what’s coming up in the future of Champions.

This Past Month

* Lots of power balancing meant free Retcons for everyone!
* Big changes to the Economy were made after we had overestimated the amount of resources players would accumulate while leveling. Increased item drops and decreased Retcon costs make it more affordable!
* We began addressing gaps in content by adding new missions to Monster Island in Well’s Pass. We’ll be continually adding more as time goes on.

Coming up in early October!

* Mission Tracking Updates! – New ways to share missions with groups, including setting primary missions, making more missions shareable, and granting “Assist Bonuses” if you help complete a mission you don’t have.
* More Missions! – Bounty missions, UNTIL tasks, and more content in Millennium City and Canada to help address more of the leveling gaps.
* Power House 2.0 – A new room to test out your powers against real enemies, Power Tips from the trainers, and a duel-free zone by the trainers to make purchasing a power much quieter.

The Blood Moon Rises October 27th!

* Take part in an event of epic proportions. The evil Undying Lord Takofanes has returned to proclaim his coming reign over humanity. Help defeat his undead hordes all over the world.
* Help save the 13 souls of the Undead Heroes to unlock the Celestial power set weeks before it is released to the public.
* New PvP Map: Zombie Apocalypse – Fight for survival against the zombie hordes.
* New power set: Celestial – A support-based set allows you to both heal allies and weaken enemies.

October is an exciting month to be a Champion! We have even more updates coming in the second half of October, so keep checking Latest Entries | Champions Online Official Site for more updates as the month goes on. See you there!
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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How much PvP is his this game?
The problem with Aion is that in the end, it is all PvP in the Abyss. And PvP is not fun when I have a Ping of 700.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulofadra6on View Post
why didnt you pick it up instead of aion? it came out a few weeks before...well i suppose if you preordered heh
I pre-ordered Aion one week. CO is finally announced the next week. And I was cursing myself when I found that out.
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