Monday, August 17, 2009


FINALLY, I can start telling you what I think of the Champions Online Beta, now that the NDA has been lifted and we are in Open Beta. I'm going to start a series of posts telling what I think about what in Champions so you can make an informed decision WHEN you buy it.

I'll try to write as much as I can...


First Impressions!

I won't discuss the "look" part of character creation beyond just - remember how cool it was in City of Heroes? It's even BETTER.

Nope, I'm going to talk about the mechanics.

First of all, you will notice that you don't have "classes" like in other games. I rather like this because it hits home that you are a "superhero" not a "healer/tank/rogue/etc". You can either select a specific powerset which starts off with a basic attack that 'builds end' and a stronger attack that 'uses end' (more on this later). However, you CAN mix and match your abilities: imagine shooting to build end then running up and punching the bad guy for a lot of damage! Yes, you can do it and have a viable combo. My "might" (think Super strength) could hurl FIREBALLS if she wanted.

The next thing is that you can choose your "Origin". In this case, your origin describes your initial distributions of "stats". When I started, "Prodigy" was the only option, but there are reported to be others.

After creation, you are delivered to the tutorial where you need to save the city from alien attack. Yeah, they start on the LARGE scale.

Unlike City of Heroes, the missions are NOT instanced. Instead they work more like World of Warcraft/Warhammer Online in that you run around a shared world for most of your missions.

Judging from the leveling speed, I'm betting they are going to do the same thing Blizzard did with World of Warcraft and provide a patch every year or so with a large level increase. THIS is speculation on my part. Actually, as I further think about it, I suspect this is very likely as there are certain areas which seem to be tailor made for "adding stuff" in the implementation: Crafting origins, transition from tutorial to main game world, etc.

The User-Interface and mechanics feel somewhat similar to World of Warcraft. You click on your opponent and you will automatically attack while working in other abilities.

However, you also need to pay attention to your opponent as you have the ability to (and will NEED to) block incoming attacks. Blocking neutralizes a great deal of incoming damage, but you can't attack when blocking.

Another unusual mechanic is the ability to "pick up" items and throw them. Yes, Rachael was able to run and pick up a large rock someone was trapped under and then THROW it at an enemy mob!

Aggro distance is more sensible than in Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. In WAR, I often found myself standing right next to a mob and not drawing aggro. This broke a lot of verisimilitude for me. Champions aggro feels very similar to that of City of Heroes. One last thing, you don't have the "Invulnerable Rubber Band" that WoW has where you fight a mob, they pursue you, until they reach some point and run back to their starting point and are invulnerable during that running.

What do I think?

So far, I REALLY like this game. I felt like I was playing a "powerful" hero right from the get go. The animation was fast paced and comic-book-y. The world allows for a great deal of creativity in character creation and fight solving.

I'm thinking that The Divine Miss Rachael Storm WILL live again in Millenium City.

No comments: