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Champions Online: Re-Review - It's Not Perfect, But It's Fun!

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,613MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In our continuing effort to revisit games that have been out for a year or more, MMORPG.com's Robert Schroeder takes a look at Cryptic Studios' Champions Online. Robert's got a lot to say about Champions so be sure to head through for a terrific read. Played Champions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Champions Online keeps with its theme of being an action based RPG, which places the player instantly in a role where they feel they make a difference as a super powered hero. From first login, the player gets a sense that they’re something special in the world, and that’s without even leaving the character creation screen. But is this true if everyone is special in that world?

Read more of Robert Schroeder's Champions Online: Our Re-Review - It's Not Perfect, But It's Fun!


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • Khaine007Khaine007 Kansas City, MOPosts: 35Member

    You didn't really touch much on the PvP unbalances, which are huge glaring mistakes that made me quit playing the game at launch.  PvP, 2 years after release, is still completely broken in this player's opinion.  There is no crowd control immunity whatsoever.  You can be chain rooted, held, snared, knocked up, knocked back, all of it.  Back to back, non stop.  Like, from full life to dead without having any control of your character.

    The PvP in the game is just all about getting 1-2 overpowered huge spike damage abilities, and spamming your crowd control on people so you can lock them down long enough to use your I-Win button.  At this point, I've pretty much given up all hope for the PvP in Champions, which is disappointing because there are so many different sets and powers in the game that could lead to truely fun experiences in the PvP system, and yet it all boils down to who gets their CC off first wins.

    That being said, I am enjoying my return to CO as well, and as a premium player, having the ability to mix and match powersets to my liking rather than being set in stone classes, enhances the game's fun and replayability.  For those who don't kow, with the Freeform premium characters, you can visit the Powerhouse to test out ALL the powers of the game that you have access to, to really see how you like them.  Also while in the Powerhouse, any respeccing of your powers is free of charge, to any changes you make while in the Powerhouse.  And one new thing I've seen since coming back with this feature, is they added a Battle Station where you can choose to fight between 3 different enemy factions that all pertain to your level content, whether to fight them one level lower than you, equal, or one level higher, and last, you can choose to spawn them for a solo player, or all the way up to a team of 5.  This is all so you can actually get a feel for how your current setup would fair out in the actual zones.

    All this said, CO has been an enjoyable return for me so far, other than the PvP system being broken, in my opinion, beyond repair without some major overhauls that I don't see happening.  But, for those just looking for the super hero feeling, Champions Online is definitely worth checking out.

  • gandalesgandales Pembroke Pines, FLPosts: 464Member

    Almost 2 years since launch, I can say the game had some tough times since STO, released barely 6 month  after CO release, stole a lot of the post launch development for Champions, critical(imho) for the early success of a new game. Besides, Atari was not allowing to put much investment into the game so the dev team was without much resources.

    Taking that into account, Cryptic has done a decent job keeping the game not only alive but also improving things over the last year. Hopefully with the new owner,  we can see some more investment to new features. 

    If CO could get a user generated content tool like the foundry or CoX architech, the main issue of content would be much solved. Then they can work on endgame progression.

     

     

  • RJEclipseRJEclipse Lexington, KYPosts: 33Member

    I agree, the PVP system is pretty messed up. The reason I didn't really touch on it is I felt that it hasn't really changed that much since launch; it was broken then and is broken now lol The only thing that I saw really change in PVP was the additional map. The set-in-stone power sets do make it a tad bit more balanced, but not really since freeforms can still grab a FTM built and own everyone :p

  • RJEclipseRJEclipse Lexington, KYPosts: 33Member

    Originally posted by gandales

    If CO could get a user generated content tool like the foundry or CoX architech, the main issue of content would be much solved.

    qft. While I don't think this type of system would work in a lot of MMO settings, I tend to think it flourishes in the super hero genre. It's just such an open setting, there's room for players to really have their imaginations come alive in a way that doesn't conflict with established lore. Plus, with the nemesis system I could see how this could be a great way for player to have their ideal villain really come to life

     

     


     

  • GibboniciGibbonici LeedsPosts: 472Member Common

    I agree CO would benefit massively from it's own Foundry, and not just for the content (which is reasonably plentiful now anyway).

    As I understand it, Cryptic are currently working on a version of the Foundry for Neverwinter Nights and once they've got it working in that then they're planning on bringing to to CO too. I remember them saying something about a lot of under-the-hood stuff needing to be done with CO before the Foundry can be slotted in, but I'm not sure if they're doing that as part of the regular update patches or whether they'll do it once they've got NWN Foundry-ready.

    Anyway, tl;dr - the Foundry is definitely coming to CO but it'll be a while yet.

  • MataOCDMataOCD ZagrebPosts: 54Member

    I personaly like Champions. There is not much grinding because of the large number of quests, it is a good game both for social or solo playing, the graphics are good, special powers are fun, and overall it's a good game!

  • MorpgeusMorpgeus NijmegenPosts: 58Member

    Hi folks,

    Old-time CoX afficionado, went to CO beta, subbed for 6 months but only stayed for 2.

    I would come back there if 2 things have been fixed:

    1) At around level 12-15, I looked down some (Western type) zone and noted with regret that about 9 out of 11 quests I had were 'kill x of y' or 'find x of y'. Streethunting...not 'content' by any stretch of my imagination. I had *great* fun until I found out there were virtually no dungeons anymore, nothing to look forward to until the very-much-too-late-in-the-game Nemesis system (which I never got to see).

    2) I have *never* made a more interesting-looking, fantastically beautiful and weird toon - not even in CoX. CO also allowed me to take a really interesting 'road' to evolving my avatar). But...and this is the big one...whenever I tried to hit things (also started around level 10) I noticed about 2 out of 3 opponent types kept on withdrawing; retreating. Now a melee type toon (with melee as umm...bleh I forget...the thing you have to do to gain 'power') needs to be in the vicinity of baddies to get their bar filled. At around level 10, even my support class friends (not to mention ranged) were out-damaging me at about 200-300%. I am *not* suggesting to nerf anything! I am saying as a melee toon, I could only keep on stepping ahead, while my opponents kept stepping back. One of the most frustrating game experiences ever in my 75+ MMORPG ;).

    In short: if the 'non street hunting' content has increased, and the melee toon has a better chance of 'charging up', I would love to re-sub.

    Any and all info appreciated.

    Until then I'm in the (infinitely improved over beta times) DDO thing; having a ball with around 8 friends that I keep dragging along to new titles :)

    Lucas

    * I say, there is no
    * darkness but ignorance.
    -
    * Twelfth-night; or, What You Will

  • AnthonyMSAnthonyMS Crofton, MDPosts: 33Member

    First, shouldn't the Monthly Fee be $15 since it is a Freemium game not just F2P. N/A makes it seem like there isn't a subscription and there is with Gold.

    Second, what killed CO post FFA for me is that once I stop subscribing EVERYTHING that is "Free for Gold" is revoked. So, post subscription, all subscribers have been doing is exchanging their $15 for 400 CP each month. Since $6.25 gets you 500 CP, this means you'll ultimatelty have been giving around $10 for the delusion that you're getting it "Free for Gold". I'm a HUGELY practical person; so, I would prefer to exchange my $18.75 for 1500CP, and permanently buy the items I want rather than subscribe. This leads me to being a permanent Silver player, and I feel that archetypes are TOO restrictive giving us too little ability to choose our powers in a game that's all about designing your character.  Plus, I feel that, all this time, they could've been making and selling new Powers, new Character Focuses, and new Innate Characteristics instead of wasting their time trying to entice players to subscribe to Gold with ATs. Finally, they've lost me in purchasing ANYTHING like Hideouts, Bank Slots, etc. as I have NO interest in spending MY money on a "cookie cutter", "dime-a-dozen" AT.

  • TARDISjunkieTARDISjunkie Jacksonville, FLPosts: 60Member

    @Morpgeus:

    I was also in CO beta, and didn't see much of what you saw.  Streethunting was always an option, but never a necessity.  I will say that the mission "stream" has improved significantly; at no time have I had to sit there wondering what to do or where to go next.  In fact, at times, I've had to neglect missions & contacts because my mission queue was too damn full!

    RE: What everyone (including the reviewer) seems to be saying about Melee ATs--umm, what?  Every attack you make has a certain amount of Aggression (think "taunt") built into it.  This is readily visible in the Tutorial.  Some of the Qularr (bug-like aliens) can fly, and will shoot you from on high.  Target them & activate your main "energy builder" power.  If the enemy is out of range, your character will do a "hey-you-c'mere" emote, the enemy will respond appropriately--and hey presto, come over to you!  Granted, I prefer ranged to melee, but every melee AT I've played, I haven't had a single issue with enemies refusing to enter melee range--or retreating, for that matter.  That's right: Not one single retreat.  So honestly...I have no idea what you're talking about.  Also, one of the earliest powers you get as a Melee AT is one that allows you to leap a fair distance directly into melee combat with an enemy; if you leap from far enough, they're stunned for several seconds.  I've used this power to "hop" from foe to foe, which is very kinetic & just feels like a lot of fun!

    Oh, and Khaine007--the Battle Station inside the Powerhouse has been there since beta.  Might've been called something else then, but it's always been there.  And yes, it is one of the best things CO has as far as character building goes.  Pick a power, then go try it out.  Doesn't matter if you get your ass kicked, because defeat in the Battle Station doesn't cost anything.  And if you decide you don't like that power, no sweat--just check in with one of the trainers again, and shazam--drop that power for free & pick a new one, rinse & repeat.  Now, if you leave the Powerhouse, you'll lock in your selections--which means if you want to drop a power, it'll cost you (not real money, just IG currency), so pay attention.

    CO has definitely become more RP friendly.  The Nemesis system (which I only just recently got to start experiencing) is a tremendous outlet for creativity, allowing you to generate your own custom villain & select his/her minions.  These minions will ambush you from time to time out in the world, as you're going around & doing your own thing; occasionally, one of these minions will drop a "clue"--zomg, your Nemesis is over here doing something, go get 'im!  Much fun.

    So yeah...CO has improved dramatically since I was last here shortly after launch.  Sure, I'm only playing it until TOR launches, but even so--it costs nothing and is definitely worth your time.

  • Ashen_XAshen_X PLEASANT HILL, CAPosts: 363Member

    Originally posted by Morpgeus



    Hi folks,



    Old-time CoX afficionado, went to CO beta, subbed for 6 months but only stayed for 2.



    I would come back there if 2 things have been fixed:



    1) At around level 12-15, I looked down some (Western type) zone and noted with regret that about 9 out of 11 quests I had were 'kill x of y' or 'find x of y'. Streethunting...not 'content' by any stretch of my imagination. I had *great* fun until I found out there were virtually no dungeons anymore, nothing to look forward to until the very-much-too-late-in-the-game Nemesis system (which I never got to see).



    2) I have *never* made a more interesting-looking, fantastically beautiful and weird toon - not even in CoX. CO also allowed me to take a really interesting 'road' to evolving my avatar). But...and this is the big one...whenever I tried to hit things (also started around level 10) I noticed about 2 out of 3 opponent types kept on withdrawing; retreating. Now a melee type toon (with melee as umm...bleh I forget...the thing you have to do to gain 'power') needs to be in the vicinity of baddies to get their bar filled. At around level 10, even my support class friends (not to mention ranged) were out-damaging me at about 200-300%. I am *not* suggesting to nerf anything! I am saying as a melee toon, I could only keep on stepping ahead, while my opponents kept stepping back. One of the most frustrating game experiences ever in my 75+ MMORPG ;).



    In short: if the 'non street hunting' content has increased, and the melee toon has a better chance of 'charging up', I would love to re-sub.



    Any and all info appreciated.



    Until then I'm in the (infinitely improved over beta times) DDO thing; having a ball with around 8 friends that I keep dragging along to new titles :)



    Lucas

     

    Heya Lucas,

     

    Just a heads up that they have definately fixed the melee issues. Currently a melee toon can expect to dish out some of the best dps in the game without any difficulty at all. Melee also received buffs to their survivability during the overhaul of the melee system a while back.


     

    When all has been said and done, more will have been said than done.

  • MadBloodDollMadBloodDoll Chicago, ILPosts: 16Member

    this review is totally false. There's no issues with graphics AT ALL in this game or server problems. The games polished and then some. It seems like there is some funny business going on with Paragon studios working their lies into "critics" here to slam a game that is 1000x better than CoH.  I'm putting this on twitter and my site saved as is so doesn't matter if you delete my post. I've archived a big file of lies paragon studios tells.

     

    Champions is 100% fine and you can level to the end game without some lame incarnate trials. Level 6 or 11 powers are bigger and better in Champs then the incarnate powers you get at the end-game of CoH/V.

  • Mopar63Mopar63 Carbondale, ILPosts: 296Member

    Overall a great review, very fair look at CO as it is today. I would however love to see reviewers quit listing Repetitive as a Con. ALL MMOs are repetitive and that is a simple fact. The basic mission structure all follows the same forumla and varients there of. 

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,144Member Uncommon

    Is buggy, have the worst support ever, real crap, .... but yes, is fun, very fun. :-)) And have little improved since start.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,144Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by MadBloodDoll



    this review is totally false. There's no issues with graphics AT ALL in this game or server problems. The games polished and then some. It seems like there is some 



    Champions is 100% fine and you can level to the end game without some lame incarnate trials. Level 6 or 11 powers are bigger and better in Champs then the incarnate powers you get at the end-game of CoH/V.


     

    Of course this IS false ... but game is fun. And maybe somebody having problem with terrible lag with graphics even with good computer will find usefull my finding: have discovered that lag is minimal if i set graphics to windowed desktop mode, zoomed to max so full screen experience is not ruined. Before in some areas game was unplayable ... now no problem.

  • SupercollideSupercollide LeedsPosts: 34Member

    [quote]Originally posted by MorpgeusIn short: if the 'non street hunting' content has increased, and the melee toon has a better chance of 'charging up', I would love to re-sub.Any and all info appreciated.Until then I'm in the (infinitely improved over beta times) DDO thing; having a ball with around 8 friends that I keep dragging along to new titles :)Lucas[/b][/quote]
    There are still some street hunting missions but they are either small number and easily blasted through except some big kill 150 ones - if you just pick up the mission and clear all the other ones in the area you're usually only 10 off finishing that one anyway.

    You can skip about 40% of the missions and still hit cap before you run out of story missions. One friend consistently ignores two whole zones with any problems.

  • kitaradkitarad RomePosts: 1,744Member Uncommon

    I am going to go check out this game now. I will probably sub since I seldom do the f2p thing .I hate restrictions besides I can easily pay for two games monthly so this and DDO and I am subbed to DDO too will be my game till SWTOR.

    image

  • MorpgeusMorpgeus NijmegenPosts: 58Member

    Hey folks,

    Thanks for the info!

    So far I conclude:

    1) melee issue has been fixed

    2) there is more content

    Now I have a question left:

    How are things with guilds? I recall distinctly trying to make a guild (and needing something like 6 or 8 peeps to do so - prediculous :p), and then also *reading* (never got to test it since a guild starts small usually; I never will understand what moved them to make it impossible to start a guild with a small group) that a guild/supergroup really did not have any bonusesusus.

    So...I am curious about the 'state of the supergroup' and the existence of guild halls, or bases, or whatever they are named (if they exist - I think I read something to that effect?).

    Mostly, despite the fact I think they still do not have housing, I am now sufficiently interested again to sub, if there is such a thing as a *functtonal* SG base (teleporters; crafting; whatevuh).

    It's the last hurdle for me. My friends want to have something to build together. Is it there?

    Again, my thanks in advance,

    Lucas

    * I say, there is no
    * darkness but ignorance.
    -
    * Twelfth-night; or, What You Will

  • Ashen_XAshen_X PLEASANT HILL, CAPosts: 363Member

    Originally posted by Morpgeus



    Hey folks,



    Thanks for the info!



    So far I conclude:



    1) melee issue has been fixed



    2) there is more content



    Now I have a question left:



    How are things with guilds? I recall distinctly trying to make a guild (and needing something like 6 or 8 peeps to do so - prediculous :p), and then also *reading* (never got to test it since a guild starts small usually; I never will understand what moved them to make it impossible to start a guild with a small group) that a guild/supergroup really did not have any bonusesusus.



    So...I am curious about the 'state of the supergroup' and the existence of guild halls, or bases, or whatever they are named (if they exist - I think I read something to that effect?).



    Mostly, despite the fact I think they still do not have housing, I am now sufficiently interested again to sub, if there is such a thing as a *functtonal* SG base (teleporters; crafting; whatevuh).



    It's the last hurdle for me. My friends want to have something to build together. Is it there?



    Again, my thanks in advance,



    Lucas

     

     

    It takes 5 people to start a SG (although its pretty easy to askin zone chat for a couple of people to join long enough for you to form the SG and then leave).

     

    There is not really any purpose to SG's other than shared storage and social activities. There has been talk about increasing SG utility at some point (its on the devs' radar, but not an immediate priority).


     

    When all has been said and done, more will have been said than done.

  • RJEclipseRJEclipse Lexington, KYPosts: 33Member

    Originally posted by Morpgeus



    Hey folks,



    Thanks for the info!



    So far I conclude:



    1) melee issue has been fixed



    2) there is more content



    Now I have a question left:



    How are things with guilds? I recall distinctly trying to make a guild (and needing something like 6 or 8 peeps to do so - prediculous :p), and then also *reading* (never got to test it since a guild starts small usually; I never will understand what moved them to make it impossible to start a guild with a small group) that a guild/supergroup really did not have any bonusesusus.



    So...I am curious about the 'state of the supergroup' and the existence of guild halls, or bases, or whatever they are named (if they exist - I think I read something to that effect?).



    Mostly, despite the fact I think they still do not have housing, I am now sufficiently interested again to sub, if there is such a thing as a *functtonal* SG base (teleporters; crafting; whatevuh).



    It's the last hurdle for me. My friends want to have something to build together. Is it there?



    Again, my thanks in advance,



    Lucas


     

    I didn't join a supergroup personally, so I can't really comment on how they function. I found that i ran into the same toons quite frequently in game, so I still got a guild-esque feel from interacting with the same people, even if just by coincidence, over and over. 

    Since you're looking into building something with your friends, though, like Ashen_x said it doesn't take too many people to start a SG, so you could build whatever they can do if you could get a few friends in with you.

  • RJEclipseRJEclipse Lexington, KYPosts: 33Member

    Originally posted by MadBloodDoll



    this review is totally false. There's no issues with graphics AT ALL in this game or server problems. The games polished and then some. It seems like there is some funny business going on with Paragon studios working their lies into "critics" here to slam a game that is 1000x better than CoH.  I'm putting this on twitter and my site saved as is so doesn't matter if you delete my post. I've archived a big file of lies paragon studios tells.



     



    Champions is 100% fine and you can level to the end game without some lame incarnate trials. Level 6 or 11 powers are bigger and better in Champs then the incarnate powers you get at the end-game of CoH/V.


     

    I never said it was a bad game, in fact I had a lot of fun with it. Perhaps they were computer issues with the client crashing or internet issues with disconnects, but the character getting stuck during certain animations leaves me to believe that there are some glitches in the game.

  • raistlinmraistlinm new orleans, LAPosts: 673Member

    Originally posted by RJEclipse



    Originally posted by MadBloodDoll





    this review is totally false. There's no issues with graphics AT ALL in this game or server problems. The games polished and then some. It seems like there is some funny business going on with Paragon studios working their lies into "critics" here to slam a game that is 1000x better than CoH.  I'm putting this on twitter and my site saved as is so doesn't matter if you delete my post. I've archived a big file of lies paragon studios tells.





     





    Champions is 100% fine and you can level to the end game without some lame incarnate trials. Level 6 or 11 powers are bigger and better in Champs then the incarnate powers you get at the end-game of CoH/V.






     

    I never said it was a bad game, in fact I had a lot of fun with it. Perhaps they were computer issues with the client crashing or internet issues with disconnects, but the character getting stuck during certain animations leaves me to believe that there are some glitches in the game.

     I don't know how you guys do it being a reviewer on this site is absoultely brutal.  I can't disagree with the review as it is pretty spot on about the games experience.

    Unfortunately I find the writing and overall feel of the game world to be a total turn off like most of what Cryptic does and wasn't too enthused about the general look or feel of the game.

    For a free to play game though how can we really complain anymore?

  • sirachsirach , PAPosts: 53Member Uncommon

    I have been a lurker here for a long time. I've been playing different MMO's recently trying to see the pro's and con's of them all. Rift had by far been my favorite thus far, and then I tried Champions Online durning the Hot Fix Trion had last week. I fell in love. I haven't felt this much fun and awe towards a game since my first MMO many years ago. I've taken it from reading the comments on this site, many wish they could have that feeling back. Champions Online has given me that feeling back. This game might not be for everyone, but I love it. The PvE is fun, the storylines& RP possibilites are fun, the costumes are fun,  Club Caprice is fun, you can FLY, you have amazing powers, PvP is a blast and original imho. Zombies Apocolypse anyone?There is a built in music player to control winamp. It's Free.  I'm currently a silver member and have played 71 hours of the game and I'm at Level 17. I haven't had to pay a dime yet (though I did buy two flight powers because I love being able to customize my looks). Today I'll become a gold member, and plan on staying for a long time. I can't see ever getting bored or grinding in this game (so far). I really hope it continues to be this much fun. Here's a link to a video of my character's progression of Power and Costumes.  The amount of customization allowed and the graphics are amazing to me. Give it a try. Ignore the negative crap. Four Thumbs Up!!     http://youtu.be/4PQOFD_UzqY


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