Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Played Lately: Champions Online

  • Considering how little I like to group in MMOs (I know, I know), I was astonished to find myself asking for teammates to take on Dr. Destroyer's Factory. Even more astonishing, I found four other heroes willing to assist me in defending Millennium City from the robotic horde.

  • Dr. Destroyer's factory is quaintly hidden behind and below this painting of the villain himself found in the Battle of Detroit Museum. There is a nice little quest series from Doctor Silverback and Microman that has you investigate the museum, discover the factory, and then remove the threat. It's the very definition of theme park questing leading to the big ride, but the whole game is like that. The only difference here is the ending instance is can't be soloed. Lucky for me, Cryptic's goal of downplaying the holy trinity really works.

  • Walking in the front door, you'll immediately notice a quest tracker, like those found in the Open Missions, directing you how to progress through the instance. At first it's shutting down a couple terminals to disrupt the factory. Later in the instance you come to a puzzle that requires you to use an overhead magnet to load parts into a robot-making machine. It was cool to have a real puzzle in there, but my little group was having trouble figuring it out. It's probably meant for four players to each stand at a terminal and work together, but it was just easier to take over and do it myself.

  • The very next thing you'll notice is all the henchmen and villains, all marked Tough. If you've had the misfortune to run into any before, you know that you're in for a fight.
    (As a aside, once during a Citizen mission, I ran into one ugly spawn of PSI psychers: one tough villain and three tough henchmen. This in the days before I discovered Regeneration. They knocked me out five times before I figured out how to deal with all four. But it's a fight that has stuck with me long time.)
    It turns out that as long as people don't get too crazy pulling bad guys, the chaos of combat is perfectly manageable. One of my teammates ran the little healbots that did a good job keeping everyone up. But with five heroes all beating up the bots, things went boom pretty quickly. And everyone got to participate in the destruction.

  • When you get to the end of the instance, you find a... um, hold on a second...



    Okay, we're back. At the end of the instance, you find a robotic duplicate of Dr. Destroyer overseeing the construction of a massive Destroyerbot. Perfect! The duplicate did wipe us out once, but we ended up zerging it down eventually. When the big guy woke up, he had a lot of hit points but not enough smashiness to finish us off. The heroes won through in the end and I had a great time. Anyone hoping for a highly technical encounter will go away disappointed. But if you enjoy the CO aesthetic of "big action, big fun," you're going to get that times five (because of the number of players, see?) here.

  • Teaser: Come back tomorrow for the reason why I haven't been posting the last few days.

© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.
If you're reading this on a site other than Bullet Points, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. That sounds like alot of fun. I really need to step up my game cause you are going to hit 40 before I ever see 20!

  2. @ Jayedub - I wouldn't worry overly much. I've got a few things working against me.

    1) The level 30 content cap is approaching.

    2) I started an Telekinesis alt and I'm having a blast.

    3) Well, there's tomorrow's post to explain number 3.