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From Millennium City with love

June 26, 2012

I have had a few days off and through a stroke of bad luck, also managed to get sick right before and during this time – so I am spending a bit more time at home than originally planned. This resulted in a bit more MMO play time – which all ended up with Champions Online. Revisiting the game as I mentioned in a previous post triggered an urge to explore the game once more. It also triggered some of the memories why I spent a few months almost only playing Champions Online for a few months, almost 3 years ago. I find it quite exciting to be back in the game again, despite some dark clouds and concerns.

When Champions Online was originally released there were a number of little details that were obviously improvements from the state of the game City of Heroes was back then, including easier respecs, traval power available at an early stage, more customization options, including power colour customization, updates to the sidekick/mentoring system etc. Some of these have improved in City of Heroes as well after Champions Online was released and later Champions also introduced some additional/mission features from City of Heroes.

A Big Axe is always a winning concept

When I look a bit closer to Champions Online now I do see a few other bits and pieces where the games have influenced each other – custome sets in the store is one thing. The Titan Weapons powerset (in City of Heroes) and Heavy Weapons framework (in Champions Online) also have some similarities – not sure which one was first here.

I have been dusting off some of my old characters, going through a list of 15 characters mainly in 20-30 and teen levels – plus also tried creating entirely new ones. The new ones ran through the tutorials and early content.

One thing that striked me here is that in Champions one seems to have had the approach to refine existing content, to make some of it better. Much of the early content seems to have gone through this approach. While there are many things to recognize there are also differences, sometimes major and sometimes more subtle. Contrast this to Paragon Studios approach, where they either leave an area as-is pretty much, or revamp it significantly – although Champions have had revamps also.

This results in that I think Champions feels more consistent and is perhaps also the simpler one to understand the different game mechanics in place  and thus more accessible for a new or intermittent player.

There is also a lot of choices for a new player in various areas – basically all content is available for free and there are 10 different archetypes available to all players, plus another 13 archetypes that can be bought if you are not a subscriber – included for subscribers. It is also possible nowadays for free/silver players to buy a freeform slot, although that costs a good chunk of money ($50 per slot).

A new meaning to the term “high level player”?

But in the end it is one important question to answer – is it fun? I would say it is a definite yes to that question!  A lot of the content that is available in the game today is something that I did not play or try out when I had initial active period – most of it was not available yet back then.

So pretty much all adventure packs, the comic series and Vibora Bay is all somewhat new to me, plus of course the alerts and some of the content in Monster Island and Lemuria that I did not try out at all even in the beginning.

And getting attacked by henchmen from my nemesis on one of my higher level characters reminded me of the Nemesis system, so it was a nice surprise because I had forgotten  about that.

The Apocalypse is near in Vibora Bay

As with most things you end up doing too much of the content may end up becoming stale and repetitive – it may be that for some that has been around and active all the time. For me that has just reacquainted myself with the game content it feels refeshingly different from the playtime in City of Heroes – which after 6 years for me has become perhapa a bit stale and repetitive…

There is also a charm and fun factor which you cannot really find in any other MMOs outside of this genre. That is the fantastic creativity exposed by many different players in terms of costume creations. In the past I have considered the Champions costume creator perhaps technically superior, but the one in City of Heroes one that has been easier to create characters, at least certain types of characters.

For specific character types and attributes I still think City of Heroes is better. But looking at what people play with and have created I think there are many other character types in which the Champions costume creator is definitely superior. Pretty much everyday I see some amazing creations.

My main worry here is that I will end up playing too many alts at once, so that I play much of the same content too many times in a short time. We will see…

Categories: Champions Online
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