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Gold - Champions Online

Atari and Cryptic Studios announce Champions Online is gold, and the superhero MMORPG will go live in September, presumably still September 1, with early access scheduled of the end of this month. The announcement includes details on beta testing and early access:

New York, NY (August 14, 2009) – Atari and Cryptic Studios are proud to give superhero fans the game they've been craving as Champions Online™ for PC has gone gold. Based on the award-winning Champions pen-and-paper role-playing games and powered by the groundbreaking Cryptic Engine, Champions Online taps into a rich universe of heroes and villains with unparalleled intrigue and adventure.

Cryptic Studios – creators of the award-winning City of Heroes and City of Villains MMOs – has taken the massively multiplayer role-playing game genre to new heights with Champions Online. The experience begins with Champions' immensely powerful character creation and customization tool, which enables players to fashion truly unique superheroes by choosing from thousands of costume pieces, body types, powers, and character appearances. Players can then modify their choices with an array of configurable sliders and color options, resulting in a completely individualized hero.

No superhero, however unique, can be complete without a super villainous Nemesis or two. With Champions Online's powerful customization tools, players can also design the perfect Nemesis to oppose their superheroes. These ultimate adversaries appear throughout a hero's career, sometimes issuing challenges, other times ambushing their heroic foe. Champions Online brings epic superheroism to the MMORPG genre with depth that challenges the most experienced online gamers, while its fast-paced action promises to engage new entrants to the online superhero universe.

Be among the first to experience this one-of-a-kind online superhero gaming universe by taking part in the open beta, exclusively run by IGN's Fileplanet. Players can access open beta by registering at Fileplanet. Additionally, this thrilling title is available for pre-order at Wal-Mart, GameStop, Best Buy, Direct2Drive, and Amazon. Gamestop and Best Buy preorders even have the opportunity to join in a special Early Start Program.

Champions Online promises to redefine online gaming with the power comic book fans have been craving. The only question is... What hero will you be?

Champions Online releases on Windows PC this September.

For additional information, please visit: www.champions-online.com

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20 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
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20. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 16, 2009, 08:15 Mikus_Aurelius
 
However, like I said, open-ended MMOs have very small player-bases. EVE Online has less than half a million active subscribers, as opposed to WoW's 13+ million.

WOW skews the graph. How many other games have more than half a million subscribers? 2? 3? Half a million subscribers generate plenty of revenue for continued development, i.e. the 17 expansions for everquest. If more companies were willing to invest in half million player MMOs instead of chasing the "let's beat WOW" wetdream, we might actually get a few innovative games in the genre.
 
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19. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 16, 2009, 05:59 Jerykk
 
I have heard of EVE and yes, it is the most open-ended MMO out there. However, like I said, open-ended MMOs have very small player-bases. EVE Online has less than half a million active subscribers, as opposed to WoW's 13+ million. Since WoW is the benchmark for MMO success, it's logical to assume that all MMO developers hope to achieve similar success. In order to accomplish this, they're going to follow the WoW route, not the EVE route.  
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18. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 15, 2009, 23:49 Caveman
 
No MMORPG will ever be as open-ended as a single-player RPG. It just doesn't work. If you can steal from other players, people will complain. If you can kill anyone anywhere, people will complain. If your actions have an adverse effect on other players, people will complain. An MMO needs to have a consistently large player-base to survive and that means not pissing off anyone. Someone could make a truly open-ended MMORPG but it would have a very, very small player-base.
You ever hear of EVE? Nope, you're just hear trying to piss everyone off as usual.
 
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17. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 15, 2009, 22:21 Jerykk
 
A true MMO-RPG should give players the ability to assume a role, go where they want, and do what they want... and have their actions affect the world around them.

No MMORPG will ever be as open-ended as a single-player RPG. It just doesn't work. If you can steal from other players, people will complain. If you can kill anyone anywhere, people will complain. If your actions have an adverse effect on other players, people will complain. An MMO needs to have a consistently large player-base to survive and that means not pissing off anyone. Someone could make a truly open-ended MMORPG but it would have a very, very small player-base.
 
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16. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 15, 2009, 19:03 Kxmode
 
A lot think it began when EQ2 and WoW hit but AOs expansion Shadowlands was largely quest based that lead you from one zone to the next, etc.

Really? Because I spent 12 hours running around in SL trying to figure out what to do. You know how long I spent in WOW trying to figure out what to do? 10 minutes.

Edit: MMOs need to evolve beyond levels and classes. A true MMO-RPG should give players the ability to assume a role, go where they want, and do what they want... and have their actions affect the world around them. The game should not have any level restrictions. Seeing game content should be based on the skill of the player to use their abilities not some arbitrary, and cliched, level system. I do hope The Secret World has no levels.

This comment was edited on Aug 15, 2009, 19:17.
 
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15. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 15, 2009, 18:41 Fion
 
Anarchy Online was my 2nd MMOG and my all time favorite MMOG, bar none. No MMOG, shit no online game, has ever come close.

These days it's waning with an engine that struggles with modern hardware (though it's being revamped) and the gameplay and systems are far to archaic for the 'wow generation.' I personally still keep a relatively active Froob account myself.

I'm a Funcom fan in general. AO rules and their adventure games are some of the best of their time. They were headed actually by the guy who is making their next MMOG, The Secret World, which is a sandbox MMOG set in the modern world with no classes or levels and hopefully some of that AO complexity and depth. I'm an AoC player and while I love it, I miss the old school MMOG complexity that AO had. You know.. like needing a calculator and some actual mathematics skill to optimize your build.

The only problem with Funcom is they cant release an MMOG that is 'done' to save their lives. AoC's issues are well known, though AO's release was 10x as bad, people were also much more forgiving back then. Hopefully with The Secret World they will have learned their lesson. With Gaute Godager gone (though I really liked the guy, though unlike most I actually got to hang out with him a bit in AO,) and Ragnar Tornquist leading TSW, maybe things will be different. All I know is I cant wait.

As to the 180 from WoW. Like many innovations that are standard in modern MMOGs it was Funcom and Anarchy Online that began the themepark gameplay style. A lot think it began when EQ2 and WoW hit but AOs expansion Shadowlands was largely quest based that lead you from one zone to the next, etc. It broke from AO so dramatically that to this day a lot of folks refuse to play AO simply because of how much Shadowlands changed the game (though really it doesn't affect the regular game world.) But yea, even Shadowlands, the first themepark style MMOG/Expansion it is STILL a thousand times deeper and more complex than WoW ever will be. Not to mention WAY more cool.

This comment was edited on Aug 15, 2009, 18:46.
 
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14. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 15, 2009, 17:18 Kxmode
 
You guys should play Anarchy Online. It is quite possibly one of the most complex MMOs ever made. It is a complete 180 of WOW.  
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13. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 15, 2009, 15:30 Fion
 
I'm assuming open beta, starting in 2 days, also = NDA lift.

This game is solid, and some will love it no doubt. I've been in beta for months and it has improved by leaps and bounds since then, and in recent days a slight change to the endurance building system has made a big difference. But as others have said, once you have your end builder, end user and a passive defensive power.. your set. You can get far more but in almost every power set there really is little besides direct attacks, thus how the game got its nick name 'Blasters & Scrappers Online.'

The graphics are good and the powers are cool, but the game has the depth of a strand of hair. Sure when CoH started it lacked depth too in some areas, but not in others. The advancement system in CoX (CoH/CoV) was FAR more interesting and rewarding. The generic gear in Champions Online gives no hint as to what it does for you besides the archaic listed stats and slots into your inventory. Often when you get a new item the only way to know what slot it uses (and you have 3 primary and 6 secondary slots) is to try and equip it. The statistics on items are relatively archaic and at times it can be hard to tell if it's better than what you've already got in said slot.

The combat is boring. You hit, the enemy hits, you hit, the enemy hits. Theres no tactics, especially in teaming. You just stand toe to toe and fight. You might have one power that knocks them away from you but thats it. It is no where NEAR as 'super hero' feeling as CoX and the combat and teaming isn't remotely as dynamic, tactically based, etc. Not to mention every power set plays differently and no matter if your the weakest hero around you can still do stuff like take over enemy minds, throw them around, lodge them into a wall, freeze them in place and a myriad other cool things, not to mention enemy powers that throw you around and mess with your mind. The only thing Champions Online does better than CoX is the dynamic item throwing based on the characters strength.

On top of that it's a WoW clone in that it is a quest driven themepark game. The zones work like thus

Tutorial - Canada Crysis/Desert Crysis - Canada/Desert - City - Monster Island - Underwater (Lemuria.) Because of this once you've been through the 10-30th level or so with two characters, you've experienced all the content. On top of that it's WoW style quests (well 95% of them are.) Kill x thugs. Collect x items. Fedex x item' etc. It doesn't feel super heroic in any way.

Now it comes down to personal preference if you'd rather have quest based themepark gameplay over a myriad of missions and story-arcs that might almost all use the same dozen tilesets. I absolutely prefer the latter. Especially since CoX has added a new mission types and tilesets, etc.

Another aspect of that are the monsters. In CoX they are memorable because they use tactics, have different styles, are encountered differently, may work together or act differently. In Champions Online the monsters are largely generic. Zombies that throw radiation, zombies that use ice powers. Criminals of various groups (Chinese, mafia, etc) and thats all for about the first 30 levels. It gets boring.

Mind I'm sure some folks will love the game. Lots of travel powers, the ability to change the color of your power, being able to throw cars and lamp posts, etc. But it is very generic in both feel and play and I cant help but feel that if CoX was made today with a modern engine and modern animations, graphics, etc, with fast dynamic combat (like instead of click to use a power, click the use the next, CO allows you to click say a sword power repeatedly and the animations chain.) But if it were made today with modern MMOG ideas and tech, it would simply blow CO away. Even now as a 5+ year old game it plays a bit slower and doesn't look as good, but exceeds CO in every single other conceivable category.

Best of luck to Cryptic. But the talent that made CoX a great game, has long since left. The new guys have talent for sure but it's pretty obvious that the leaders of the design team said to themselves 'What did players of CoH wish for, for years. Changing the color of powers, the ability to pick powers from outside a strict power set, more travel powers that you get earlier, gameplay zones that aren't focused on a city...'

But in the end they forgot what makes CoX great in the first place.

This comment was edited on Aug 15, 2009, 15:38.
 
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12. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 15, 2009, 07:27 Cutter
 
No real open beta, only a week long? Heh, nuff said. One more strike and you're out Roper and Cryptic. But I guess that'll probably be STO.

 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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11. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 15, 2009, 01:14 Caveman
 
Virinath hit the nail on the head...glad I tried the beta of this, going to steer clear until they can properly balance PvP and get rid of these invincible builds.  
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10. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 14, 2009, 23:01 creatorswhim
 
Viranth, have you ever played an MMO before? If you want something exciting, try reading a book.  
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9. Re: Gold - Champions Online Aug 14, 2009, 22:25 Kxmode
 
We are the champions!
We are the champions!
No time for losers!
'Cause we are the champions...
*cue pause, then whisper*
of the world
 
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8. Re: Gold - Champions Online Aug 14, 2009, 20:28 Rhett
 
I was pretty hyped about this game, the videos made it look elite...but...

Sounds like these guys used the most basic MMO formula, and sugar coated an inane amount of "powers" that you can use...

Ontop of the tedium of grinding, there's also major imbalances and major lack of use of skills, it sounds like. That's just awful, I hope this beta helps them to severely fix these issues. (I haven't been able to play it yet)

 
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7. Re: Gold - Champions Online Aug 14, 2009, 19:49 Strumiker
 
Tried playing this as much as I could when my guild got into the Guild Invite round. Viranth pretty much summed it up. Everyone I knew that tried to do the beta thing got bored out of their minds and didn't want to spend the time trying to find bugs when they knew they wouldn't play the game on release. There does seem to be alot of story to follow in the game, but I think I'd rather go read a book

Good luck to them, hopefully they can make a go of it since they need to put food on their tables too
 
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6. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 14, 2009, 18:49 Enforcer
 
I was part of the beta as well and I know a lot of people who have played CoX will compare the two as being City of Heros 2. A lot of the costume designs are very very similar. Yes they have expanded on it but again you can pretty well create your same costume you had in CoH.

Travel powers work the same as well, while you are in combat (on purpose or aggro while going by) your movement powers get hindered so you go to a crawl either forcing you to fight or get lucky and get out of aggro range so they run back.

Teaming up in the game is not really needed, and you can survive on only 3 powers for the whole game (your End building power, your single big attack and your AoE attack). Yes there are other powers in the game but they don't add much in form of tactics.

The other thing good or bad is that this is a different MMO where you will not have your tank class, your DPS and healer, everyone is DPS granted some powers higher up and switching your "mode" will allow you to tank or heal.
 
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5. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 14, 2009, 18:42 Viranth
 
This is how it's combat/missions is:
Target foe.
Press your build up power to being attacking.
Press other powers to do more damage.
Rinse and repeat until every foe is dead.
Travelpower to your mission man and recieve reward.

And if any of your teammates level up during a mission, they have to run far far to a training, basically leaving your team out to dry.

This is it's PVP:
Wait for match to start. Run out, get owned by some uber build, maybe get lucky with some newb on the other team. Then get killed again by the uber build that no one can do any damage to.
 
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4. Re: Gold - Champions Online Aug 14, 2009, 18:40 The Half Elf
 
considering there are 2 super hero mmo's out there and only 1 of them is cel-shaded, and while they aren't beat-em-up's, they certainly aren't arcadey.

Try again Sempai
 
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"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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3. Re: Evening Consolidation Aug 14, 2009, 18:36 HellSlayer
 
Everyone run!  
o0
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2. Re: Gold - Champions Online Aug 14, 2009, 18:04 Sempai
 
I played the beta.
I didnt care for it much at all.
All these superhero mmo's look the same to me now. cell shaded and arcade'ish gameplay.

Ill stick with WoW.

Best of luck to them though.
 
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1. Re: Gold - Champions Online Aug 14, 2009, 18:01 Frijoles
 
Be among the first to experience this one-of-a-kind online superhero gaming universe by taking part in the open beta, exclusively run by IGN's Fileplanet.

*cough* which you have to pay for. *cough* Just tried with a non-paid account. No dice. Not exactly an Open Beta, but these days they never are.
 
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