So when the PileFlanet (Yes, I did that on purpose) beta came out for Champions online, I took advantage of the membership I’ve inexplicably maintained for the last few years and downloaded and installed the game. I got my key, activated my account, patched (I won’t bitch too much except to say that didn’t go well) and tried it out. I made a few characters, cool, and tried to play. Meh.
Pete over at Dragonchasers and I exchanged tweets about it, and we agreed that the main problem with Champions is that it’s got a first-impression problem. Now, the game might not be for everyone but everyone I have spoken to has agreed that the game is better than the first impression it gives. And that’s a problem for Cryptic. I almost didn’t come back to the game. In fact, I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the fact that Brent over at A Wall of Text commented that he was really digging it. Given that he and I seem to like some of the same stuff, and when we play together we often have the same likes and dislikes, I decided to give it another run. I’m glad I did.
I’m not saying that I’m going to cancel my WoW accounts (I’m not) or that it’s going to be a game that I’m going to be playing 5 years from now (it almost certainly isn’t) but it’s a lot of fun. Tarkheena and I are enjoying it.
It’s not without it’s problems, many of which have been documented and in some cases overblown. There are legitimate issues though. None of them are particularly game breaking.
What I do like about the game is that it has an interesting character development system. I won’t endeavor to explain it here because in all honesty I don’t nearly understand everything about it yet. But it is fair to say that it allows for almost as many ways to build your characters’ abilities as there are to customize your costumes. That means that there is an opportunity to gimp your character and the remedy for that hasn’t been adequately addressed as yet. It also means that Cryptic has given a large percentage of it’s user base an opportunity to not understand how any of that stuff works. The game play and questing has been fun for me too. I do think that they need to address the minimal amount of experience you gain from killing mobs, as if you decide to grind it’s not rewarding enough. There needs to be a way to level up without using up the quests you want to do with your friends. On the subject of friends, the system in the game is as good or better than any MMO out there. It always irritated me that in WoW, if I make a new character I can’t see the friends from another character in their friends list. Not only that, but if they are on another character I can’t find them either. Champions addresses that with the @name feature. When I make a new character, it’s automatically appended with the @genda moniker so my friends can find me easily even if they don’t know my Champions character’s name. I’d like to see the ability to go incognito added, as sometimes you just don’t want to be seen.
Tarkheena and I have both signed up and purchased the retail game and gave them our credit cards, so we’re going to be playing for a while. I don’t know how long we’ll stay but for now we’re having fun which is certainly the main reason to play, right?
If you would like to chat in-game I’ve pretty much already told you how to find me. We’ve got a chapter of Casualties there (simply called “Casualties”, no “of” anything) that we are recruiting for.
We’ll be back in WoW before too long I’m sure. Apologies to the folks over at Messengers of Death, I haven’t forgotten you.
For now, Blambot or one of my other Champions will be blasting or crushing baddies in and around Millenium City. See you there?