Friday, July 9, 2010

Played Lately: Champions Online

  • After following the link from Jayedub to his article on Multiplaying, I looked around the site a little and found their Blogs & Sites list. So, fully aware of my vanity, I looked through the list to see if Bullet Points made the cut. And amazingly enough, it did, just not in the General Gaming section. I'm actually listed as one of three Champions Online bloggers. "Holy crud," says I. "If I'm a Champions blogger, I'm not doing a great job. I'd better play more so that I can blog about it."

  • But first, let's take a look at the latest updates from Cryptic. Just today we got the latest Ask Cryptic Q&A post. Of the nine questions posed, six were in regard to character customization options. Considering what a draw that is, I'm not surprised to see that questions about costumes. Of the other questions, one asked about new power frameworks, one inquired about playing as a villain, and one looked into the possibility of new zone-wide events.

  • The funny thing is, while the questions were pretty basic, a lot of the answers came down to "We're looking into it." For people who read the CO forums, none of this is going to be news. But then, I'm sure few people do, even if they aren't the cesspit the WoW forums are. Nonetheless, there's isn't a lot to get excited about.

  • There is a line from the movie The Shawshank Redemption that I will always remember: "Get busy living or get busy dying." I thought about that line after reading the most recent Producer's Letter for Warhammer Online. It looks like a game that is just hanging on, doing what it can to delay plunging into the abyss. Sadly, that's is the same vibe I feel from Cryptic these days.

  • Before you form any angry comments, that is only a feeling. They previously stated that their current plan is to alternate patch months and adventure pack months for the foreseeable future. So it's not like we don't have a general idea what is going on. And, from random forum comments, we know that the developers have been taking some well deserved vacations recently. And The Serpent Lantern just came out a couple weeks ago. Nonetheless, I hope Cryptic starts making some more future looking statements soon.

  • Enough of that. It's too early to start the death watch for a game that doesn't have any symptoms yet.

  • When I logged in recently, I had two goals in mind. I wanted to get back to Vibora Bay and I wanted to take on my nemesis again. These is a lot of Revelation content I haven't even tried yet. As well, I haven't seen a nemesis ambush in ages, so I wanted to start hunting for minions again. Serpent Lantern was a lot of fun, but I'd burn out if I kept running it over and over again.

  • I had a journal full of missions, so I had lots to do. A lot of them involve taking on the various supernatural gangs in the city. Somewhere along the line, a bunch of mafia thugs jumped me. I'd actually forgotten that they were my nemesis' minion since it had been so long since I'd seen them. I was amused by how much they stood out from the werewolves and vampires. But mostly I was happy to know my nemesis was still working. Since they don't attack in instances and that's where a lot of endgame takes place, I was afraid I would never see one again.

  • After completing the nemesis mission and a few in Vibora Bay, I got an invitation to try Therakiel's Temple. Since I've never seriously tried any of the endgame lairs, I jumped at the chance. I should have know better. Upon joining the group, one of the member protested that we needed a PRE/CON tank (Presence for aggro and Constitution for health) and a dedicated healer to beat the lair. The group pretty much fell apart while a tank and healer was searched for and I had to go to bed.

  • It was a disappointment to say the least. It was pretty straightforward to rush through the midlevel lairs with any old group. Considering how open the mechanics are in Champions, especially in how survivable and self-sustaining heroes are, I would have hoped that Cryptic wouldn't fall back so heavily on the holy trinity. Of course, what should I expect when Star Trek Online uses the same paradigm for their ship combat. I shouldn't complain when 99% of the rest of the game is so fun. And with the scalability available in the adventure packs, the future seems fine as well.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. One of my DDO guys in in with the Multiplaying bunch, so when I saw this post I checked for Ardwulf's Lair, which I was surprised to see is on their list as well. Under Champions Online, oddly, which I've not mentioned much lately.

    However, after some onths away I have actually been playing CO again, with a couple of new characters to re-acquaint myself with the game. It's still fun - but your post reminds me that I should push a character into some higher-level content.

  2. I'm horrible at managing that list hehe.

    If either of you would like me to move you into the General Gaming spot, I'd be more than happy to!

  3. This is a CO blog? I thought this was a muffin recipe blog. Though given that, your baking content has been a little thin... ;-)

    I was under the impression that in CO you didn't need a specialized tank, and that anyone could change into a defensive stance if need be. It's too bad they fall back on the trinity for some of the end game encounters.

  4. @ Ardwulf - There's a lot of good stuff in there now. You should take a look.

    @ Slurms - Can't speck for Ardwulf (and I shouldn't) but I'm as close to a Champions blog that this internet has. I might as well make sure someone is on that beat. :)

    @ Yeebo - Oh, you and your smart mouth. But yeah, it is kind of a bummer.

  5. Wow, that's quite the Champions Online post, but really where's the muffin recipe's that I have been waiting for!