Just downloaded and finished the intoduction to Champions Online. I must say I found it excellent, considering it is a free to play game, the voice acting, introduction and character creation where top notch.
The grinding was minimil and you always knew where you had to go next. Usually when I start a new MMO I get frustrated by the lack of knowing what to do, but CO chugs along nicely, doesnt force you to do anything but gives polite nudges in the right direction.
Very impressed and looking forward to whats comming next
edit: loves the star warsy 'honors' at end of the tutorial, makes ya feel special! hehe.
I must say I found it excellent, considering it is a free to play game, the voice acting, introduction and character creation where top notch.
CO is a fun game. I hit that slump at level 20-ish Capulet mentioned and STO started taking more of my time so I am not in CO as much anymore. You may or may not know that Champions started as a $15/month subscription game and was so for about a year before going to F2P hybrid model. That IMO acounts for the quality of the presentation.
I agree. I played CO when it first came out, and I did find it fun at the time, but it never really kept me coming back for more, particularly when I got into STO's closed beta, and launch grew closer and closer. With the recent content drought, I decided to give it another go and I was very suprised with how much more enjoyable the game has become. It's obviously been polished a great deal since launch, and I've been having a great time over there. So much so that I couldn't resist getting a gold membership.
Say what you will about F2P, but the recent Aftershock comic series have been awesome so far. High quality missions akin to our Featured Episodes, delivered on a weekly basis. I also found the Resistance adventure pack, which was brought to life after the F2P switch as well, to be an epic journey full of very respectable challenges and intense moments (and players complain about the STFs over here as being too hard, ROFL).
It is a great game, really. I recommend anyone try it out if they haven't, even if you have little interest in Superhero fiction.
Have to say that the travel ability skill really makes you feel so free. I chose 'flight' and it takes all the frustration of getting from one place to another so much more pleasant, and much more in control.
I have never quite played an MMO like CO I love the freedom it gives you (the flight abiltiy is on par with flying mounts in wow, but so much better)
This is high praise from me because I am VERY nitpicky about MMO's.
I agree that the flight power in CO is very fun! There were times when I would log in and just fly around the city. I'd go up the very top of the tallest buildings. I'd fly around the billboards. I'd hover and just see what was going on down below. No other game had given me that sense of freedom before.
From about 1-18 and then from 30-40 Champions is great fun. It just has a few problems...
1. Viper. It seems like the devs said during development 'When in doubt, use Viper'. There is Viper everywhere and then some. You would think Viper was the 'big bad' of the game as often you fight them. They are like the Council from City of Heroes, another Cryptic development. And as far as challenge goes, Viper is always kind of weak. Their troops don't have much variation either. The basic soldiers you start fighting at level 6 are the same as the elite guys you fight at 40. There are a couple different guys, like the Air Cav and Swordsmen that sometimes show up, but not much variation. This problem feeds into the number 2 problem which is...
2. A doldrum in the 20s. Why? Viper. There is a ton of Viper in this range. Not one, but two of the big instances of this range feature Viper very prominently. Besides that, there isn't much variation in what you fight here. There are the Hunter Pats, the Prison Riots, and some Gadroon, but like half of the stuff is Viper.
3. Needs more variation on stuff to do. City of Heroes had some memorable groups like the Freakshow, Crey, and Devouring Earth. Champions doesn't quite seem to have such memorable Rogues Galleries. Part of this is like what I touched on with Viper: what you are fighting at level 5 is eerily similar to what you are facing at level 40.
Now there are some things Champions does right.
1. Customization. Seriously, this game takes gold medal here. My look, powers, and style feel unique. I feel like I am crafting an image and character here. With the addition of builds you can further tone your character to what you want. It is a truly memorable experience.
2. The Nemesis system adds to this feeling of customization. You have a guy that you create and you fight them in comics fashion. And some of these Nemesis battles are very well done.
3. Balance. I think Champions is a good example of being able to create a game where you have great freedom over your character and as long as you don't intentionally hobble yourself, you can still do well.
4. Non-trinity dependent. I have run Strike Forces on Champions without a healer and nobody complained. Without a tank with nary a death. Skill and teamwork can overcome the dps, heals, tank trinity. And they do it well. Props to you on this Cryptic.
5. The action.
a. Monster Island Crisis is epic. It combines the fun of an assault on a fortified beach, the joy of fighting dinosaurs, and several epic supervillain fights. Four if I remember correctly.
b. The Vibora Bay Crisis is awesome. If nothing else, Champions is worth playing just for that area. If you followed the story from game start through the Vibora crisis, you really do geta feeling of hopelessness. Basically the world is ending and you and a band of Earth's greatest heroes stand between a fallen angel and the end of the world. Cool, right? You can handle this. Wrong. This is bigger than anyone thought. And your team is loosing...
c. Boss fights. Some are straightforward. But if you thought STO had some strategic fights, man were you wrong. Most fights in Champions can be soloed. BUT the big fights require strategy, even in a team battle. And that strategy rarely is pile on more DPS. This is done through a method of creating alternate objectives in fights. Such as one fight where you have to protect an ally from a supervillain (that summons hordes of minions to fight you if you have a group). The supervillain is easy to defeat, but he quickly respawns if you kill him. So the trick is to keep his attention on you while your ally does his thing.
Some things I would do to improve Champions...
1. More stuff in the 20s. Add some more non-Viper stuff to do in there. Maybe a new crisis zone. Back in beta I suggested an anime themed zone with secret ninja dojoes, animist spirits awakening and terrorizing a small city, giant monster attacks, giant robots, and kids in school uniforms for this stretch to add some spice. Sadly, such an area has not been added.
2. More variation in general. Have the enemies do more than get more HP as they level up.