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Champions Online PvP: Keep on Fighting Till the End

Posted Thu, Apr 16, 2009 by Cody Bye

Thanks to the incredibly popular Queen ballad, the term “champion” often evokes thoughts of grueling athletic events or epic world-spanning battles. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary offers one definition of champion as “a winner of first prize or first place in competition.” Champions are fighters, warriors, and competitors; they strive to be the best of the best.

So when news of the super hero-themed Champions Online hit the Internet almost two years ago, I was thrilled. The veteran team at Cryptic Studios was going to open up the world of super powered individuals again, but this time they could go back and fix anything they should have done better in the original City of Heroes. Chief among my personal complaints about the original game: Lack of super villain support from the initial release.

Certain that Cryptic wouldn’t make the same mistake, I followed every piece of news that trickled out of Cryptic’s San Francisco headquarter, until it was announced that super villain would again be put on the backburner for the initial Champions release. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement, but I actually understood why Cryptic would make this sort of move. Many games have been released over the years that only support a one-sided sort of environment, and by focusing on just one side of the constant battle, Cryptic could make the lives of would-be super heroes that much more in-depth.

So I fumed and let the feeling pass. Eventually, I felt a bit of relief when PvP in Champions began to be readily discussed, because one of the main reasons I wanted to play as a super villain was to get my daily dose of PvP out of my system. In their “Meet the Team” interview with Combat Systems Designer Geoff Tuffli, the developer talks about his excitement surrounding the PvP aspects of CO:

PvP, on the other hand, when designed correctly offers constantly changing and evolving gameplay that can provide some incredibly memorable encounters. There are PvP encounters I still remember five years or more after the fact. What I like about Cryptic's approach to PvP in Champions Online is that instead of being afraid of it, we're leveraging it where it makes sense to make a better game for those who choose to participate in it.

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