This week I decided to go ahead and cancel my Champions Online account. I think there is a general malaise at my house when it comes to MMOs. So I guess I have to tell Champions; “It’s not you, it’s me.” I need to see other MMO’s.
Champions is a fun game and I think that there will be a time in the future that I resub. For now though, there are a few things about the game that make me want to put it down. First, there is the lack of polish and finish to the game. Depending on the encounter, a mob near your level might be an appropriate challenge or it may not. This is especially true in boss encounters. Some of them are major undercons. This betrays a lack of balance that permeates the game. Second, there is the quest driven nature of the game. Now before you think I’m going to bash quest-driven games, know that I like that style of game just fine. You (game designers) just can’t let me run out. As my main character reached his mid-twenties he started falling farther and farther behind the quest curve. For example, when he was 21 he only had quests that were 2 levels higher than him available. He was still able to do them, if not able to use the rewards immediately. As he leveled through his twenties this problem became worse. I could probably grind though it but mob experience is weak, and I’m not inclined to do so.
The other major issue with the game doesn’t have anything to do with game mechanics. My guild (Casualties of War) seems to have moved on to Aion and Fallen Earth. What was a vibrant SuperGroup at launch is now a small handful of us. For me, the social aspect of the game is at least as important as the game itself. So lacking that ability to hold the attention of my (admittedly ADD) friends I am left feeling more alone in a multi-player game than I am comfortable being.
The game does have a lot to recommend it though. It’s fun when it works. I like being able to attack and kill multiple mobs at once with my chosen power set. The character creator has been discussed ad nauseum, but being able to make just about any kind of character is very appealing. I do miss seeing my character morph over time as I gain power and gear. I guess that is my DIKU-mud influenced MMO background.
Keep at it Cryptic. You have something good there. Please get it finished, and I’ll be back. At least for some visits.