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Champions Online: A Second Look - Page 2

Posted Wed, Aug 10, 2011 by jeffprime



Content

One constant player complaint is of lack of content. There were times that you had to grind to hit that next level. Cryptic has added some new content in the form of the Adventure Packs and the Comic Series. While the Comic Series (Aftershock) is free, the three Adventure Packs (Serpent Lantern, Demonflame, and Resistance) are not free unless you’re a subscriber.

These new adventures are rather well done and better yet, scale with your character’s level. Therefore, you can play these missions from level 11 all the way to level 40. This new content is a welcome addition and Cryptic plans on putting out additional Comic Series with the next one arriving in November.

champions online
Investigating a destroyed camp in the Aftershock Comic Series.

New missions were introduced and others were changed/deleted when the game went free-to-play. The new missions, especially the introductory ones in Millennium City, are well-designed and help immerse you into a storyline as opposed to the standard kill X of something. Still, more content is always desirable, but having four content updates in a year's period with the game switching over to free-to-play isn’t bad at all.

Sidekicks/Henchmen

Another change to CO is the addition of sidekicks and henchmen. These characters are essentially hirelings (as in Dungeons and Dragons Online) that act as trained pets. You can summon them, after purchasing them from the C-Store, and they’ll travel with you for an hour fighting your enemies and staying by your side. I like the use of characters like these as that if you only have a short time to play or are having problem getting a group together, you can just grab one of these and just go do your mission. There are two limitations though. The first is that you can only have one active at a time. I think it would be better if you could have more than one if you wish to choose to. The second is that you have to purchase them from the C-Store. I would prefer that you could buy them from the C-Store and have a limited number available for purchase from an in-game vendor for in-game currency similar to DDO’s method.

champions online
The mighty Harajuku Twins make great sidekicks.

Hideouts

Cryptic has recently added player hideouts to the game. Subscribers were able to get one for free, but you can purchase all of the available hideouts if you wish. Overall, there are four different types of hideouts: the sanctum, the moon base, the basement, and the cave. Each of the different hideout types has a number of different types. For example, there’s the Hi-Tech Basement, Mom’s Basement, and Vigilante Basement (upcoming). Each hideout has a number of different options that you can choose to more personalize your individual hideout. While it is not truly customizable, it is a welcome addition to the game. Every superhero worth his salt needs a lair for them to plot their crusade against evil. You can also invite friends into your hideout so you can hang out and socialize.

I am personally stoked over the addition of hideouts to CO. I’ve always been a proponent of player housing in MMOGs so I was glad to see it finally come to CO. While I wish that you could do more to customize your hideout, I’ll gladly take what’s available now. What I would like to see in the future is the ability to customize them some more and the ability for guilds to have hideouts of their own, but on a grander scale.

champions online
The Hi-Tech Cave Hideout.

Conclusion

Champions Online has changed since I originally left, but the core gameplay is still there. The biggest change is the switch to free-to-play and its impact upon choosing powers through the use of archetypes. While you’re locked into a specific power progression, at least you can truly look unique. CO’s costume creator is still the standard of character creation in the MMOG market. The zone progression is a great deal smoother and there is some nice new content with the Adventure Packs and the Comic Series. There are still areas that need some attention such as PvP, end-game content, and guild housing, but, overall, CO has made some improvements since I left. The game is definitely worth a second look and, better yet, it won’t cost you dime to try it out.


For more superhero goodness, check out MMOSUPERHERO.COM.

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