It’s the end of the year and the beginning of a new one, and
in that time, your hero has thumped the heads of countless bad guys,
traveled to exotic locales, and even fought against alien invaders
within the confines of Champions Online. Since CO was launched, the
game has (and continues to be) tweaked and we look forward to new
happenings and content in the future. For now, we would like to take a
look back and a look forward; namely, discussing our five favorite
things about Champions Online and five things that we would like to see
in the game in the future. So, feel free to take off your cape, sit
back, and read on!
The character creation process in CO is second to none. You will
literally spend hours creating the look of your superhero from the
insane number of choices available to you. Do you want robotic limbs?
Check. How about angel or demonic wings? Check. An undead cowboy or
futuristic ninja? Check and check. A hero that is bestial in nature or
an ordinary human? Again, the answer is check. Plus, not to mention the
sheer volume of standard superhero outfits, plus various special
effects to boot. If you’re a perfectionist, you will go mad
getting the look of your outfit just right. The best thing in creating
the look of your character is that you’re practically
guaranteed that nobody will look exactly just like you do.
Another great aspect of CO is that not only will you gain a good amount
of super powers (fourteen in all), but that you’re free to
choose from any power set in the game. While there are limitations, at
higher levels, you will be able to select any power you want. This
allows you the freedom to create exactly the hero that you want. Do you
want a shadowy avenger of justice that wields twin .45s while being
cloaked in shadows, or do you prefer a practitioner of magic that
throws lightning bolts, but can also wield telepathic powers? Then,
you’re in luck! Whatever character concept that you can
conjure up, you will be able to create in CO. While your character
build might not be as powerful as somebody else’s who mins
and maxes their character, who cares? If you’re playing the
game and having fun, then that’s what counts. Be original and
daring like the superhero you’re playing!
The one thing that separates CO from any other game is the ability to
create your own personal nemesis. Having the minions of your enemy
attack you from time to time from out of nowhere adds some spice to the
game. In addition, you get the satisfaction of getting to go head to
head with a villain that nobody else has. The nemesis system is easily
my favorite thing in CO and my hats off to Cryptic for doing it.
Combat is the heart and soul of any MMOG. You use combat to get items,
gain experience, and accumulate money. Without combat, playing MMOGs
would be incredibly boring and dull. A game based on a superhero
property really needs to have a great system of combat. Superheroes
don’t put villains in time out; they thrash their sorry butts
for doing evil! Fortunately for us, combat in CO is easy and fun. I
love the ability to block to give you a little breather, and the sheer
number of powers that you can have adds a great deal of strategy and
options to your fights. There’s also the added bonus of being
able to pick up most objects and hurl them at your opponents.
It’s great fun to pick up a light post and chuck it at a bad
Design and Travel
What I mean by zone design is that I love the fact that, while there
are a limited number of zones to adventure in, each zone has distinct
areas (called neighborhoods in CO) to adventure in. Each neighborhood
has its own look and level range. Plus, travel from zone to zone is
awesome. I love being able to instantly transport myself to a new zone.
No more flying on a griffon for ten to twenty minutes for me! I also
love that you get your travel power early on at level five. If you want
to fly or run at super speed, you don’t have to wait until
you’ve played for twenty plus levels to do so. I hope that
more games incorporate getting travel abilities sooner, but I kind of
doubt it. The reason is that making you walk, or jog, from the end of
one zone to another is to force you to spend more time in game.
Personally, I’d rather spend my time in the game kicking butt
and not jogging down some road to get to an encounter. All in all, you
won’t waste a bunch of time endlessly running from one edge
of the map to the other in CO in that you should be able to travel
across the entire zone with your travel power in a few minutes. My
nightmares of Stranglethorn Vale are behind me at last!
style="font-weight: bold;">Five Things
We’re Hoping For
Let’s be honest in that pvp in CO is pretty dismal right now.
I’m hoping that in the next year, they’ll work hard
to make pvp more fun and interesting. They definitely need more maps
that encourage strategy, but also with a time limit so you’re
not trapped there forever. In addition, pvp can be strengthened by the
inclusion of a few other things that I’m hoping for in the
next year, and these things are the next three items on my list.
Ability to Play Villains
Since Cryptic created City of Heroes and City of Villains,
I’m hoping that in the next year, they’ll allow you
the ability to play villains. While it’s fun to play heroes,
it’s also fun to play the bad guys too from time to time. Not
only will being able to play a bad guy help general gameplay, but it
will also help in pvp. Now, teams of heroes and villains can fight it
out in epic battles of good and evil. To introduce villains, the only
thing Cryptic would really have to do is to create a new starter zone
and perhaps two new crisis zones (one for Southwest Desert and one for
Canadian Wilderness). If they really want to go full bore, then they
can do the next item on the list.
Adding additional zones for CO would be a welcome addition to the game.
Every MMOG needs new content added to keep the gameplay fresh. If the
ability to play villains were added, then perhaps Cryptic could create
all new villain zones (like in COV), and they could also add zones
where heroes and villains fight for control. There could be whole zones
dedicated to pvp (like the pvp lakes in WAR), perhaps with objectives
to take and hold to win control of the zone itself. Imagine your hero
is flying around after just foiling a bank robbery, when you hear in
the chat channel that the villains are close to seizing control of the
Hidden Earth zone. (Just to clarify, I made that zone up.) Now you have
a new choice; do you continue to do missions or go fly to the pvp
action and assist your fellow heroes?
I hope that one of Cryptic’s New Years Resolutions is to add
bases to CO. They had them in City of Villains, so they know how to do
them. The ability of a supergroup to have their own unique base is
needed in CO. For one, a group needs a place to hang out. Two, a group
also needs a place to call their own and show it off to other groups.
Third, there should be some additional perks to being in a large
supergroup and having special features in a base (such as work tables
and a vendor or two) would be handy. Lastly, having a base could
augment pvp like it did in COH/COV. One group could raid another
group’s base. Who doesn’t want the bragging rights
over who rolled over whose base?
Personally, I would like to take bases one step further. I would like
to see the ability of every hero having their own personal lair. This
lair doesn’t need anything spectacular such as crafting
tables or defenses, but it would be nice if you could design your own
modest lair and dress it up with some rewards from perks or quests or
even crafting. I would add the ability to have your friends being able
to enter your lair as well if you’re online. Why should I
have to belong to a supergroup just to have my own personal lair?
I’m not looking for any advantages to having a lair, but just
a cool place to call my own and say that this is where my hero hangs
his hat (and mask!). You can have a few places in each zone where you
can enter the instance for you personal base so you don’t
take up any landscape within the game. If Ultima Online had this a
dozen years ago, why can’t we have it today? Batman had his
Batcave, why can’t my hero, Crimson Twilight, have her own
Twilight Sanctum? C’mon, people!
This thing that I’m hoping for is more than new zones. I
would like to see more content in the number of missions available and
more open missions too. It’s no secret that there are certain
levels where mission content dwindles to nothing and you’re
forced to grind it out a bit. Increasing the frequency of
man-on-the-street missions as well as creating more missions in general
would really make level progression easier. You shouldn’t
have to take every single mission in existence to level up. I believe
that there should be an over-abundance of missions for you to do.
As for the open missions, they do need some work. Most of them are
located in areas that are a little out of the normal traffic corridors.
In addition, there should be some open missions that can be completed
by one or two people. I enjoyed playing public quests in WAR, but I
don’t in CO. Usually, I’m the only one trying to do
the open mission, and that’s no fun in that one person
can’t do it. They also need to add a dash of pizzazz to the
open missions, such as having a giant killer robot spawn at the end or
something equally spectacular so you’ll want to play it more
than once so you can enjoy the spectacle again and again.
Well, there you have it, my little sidekicks. I’ve compiled
my list of five things that I enjoy in Champions Online and five things
that I would like to see in the next year. I enjoy playing CO and am
hoping that Cryptic continues to add to this game so I’ll be
playing it for years to come. If you agree, or disagree, with anything
in my list, just drop a comment in the forums.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Champions Online Game Page.