Champions Online diversifies its business model (that F-thing)
Joining a couple of the fantasy-themed MMOs that has been around a bit, Chmapions Online will now in early 2011 change to include a subscriptionless option (you know, that F-thing).
Players will be divided into Silver and Gold players, with gold being the regular subscription option pretty much and silver the new option without a subscription fee, but with some restrictions. A lot of thje info about this can be found at the Champions F2P web page.
Looking at the feature matrix the main features that the silver players will not have seem to be a number of customisation options and the adventure packs. I think this approach makes a lot of sense for Champions – the people who loves to have have a lot of customisation options and thinks that this is important is a key target audience for Champions. This is also one of the areas where the game is pretty strong.
What is also interesting is that they seem to aim to (re-)introduce archetypes, which has a reasonably fixed set of powers available to them. In a way this sounds like they are going back to the approach they had in City of Heroes, although it is probsbly not going to end up exactly like that. I think this can potentially be quite good; even in games which has a lot of customisation options (e.g. City of Heroes, Guild Wars etc) there are many players that look for something proven or that fits a certain style rather than experimenting too much themselves. Hopefully there will still be some element of choice, even if it is limited. I think this is a good move for the game.
There seem also to be some plans on changing the zones a bit – the Desert zone will not longer be one of the options available directly after the tutorial, instead one can go to Canada or to Millenium City Westside. So the early Millenium City content seems it will be dropped a few levels possibly, while some Desert content will have the levels raised a bit.
Not sure how much different the play experience will be – I’d rather see that they drop levels entirely or at least partially. But perhaps this is intended to rearrange content a bit so that some weak level ranges get a bit more variation.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this works out. I am quite sure that part of this plan is to have this in place by the time DC Universe Online releases .