The Art of Questing in Champions Online
There are three main forms of content in CrypticÂs latest super-heroic MMOG. You have your traditionally flavored Quests: content that keeps you moving throughout the gameÂs zones and levels. There are hundreds of Perks littered throughout the world: think of them as part World of WarcraftÂs Achievements and part City of HeroesÂ Badges. Then, of course, there are the Missions: more drawn out and dramatic story-driven content, often completed in instances. All three of these content types will round out your average day in Champions Online. But letÂs go over each of them in a bit more detail so you have a good idea of what to expect during your first days in Millennium City.
Quests work almost identically to any other recent MMOG, with the obvious caveat that youÂre performing these tasks with superpowers and often the ability to jump over tall buildings. Characters that have a quest to offer you will have an exclamation point over their head, and those that have a quest ready to be turned in will have a question mark floating above them. We all know how that works.
Once youÂve accepted a quest, the area in which it can be completed will show up on both your zone map (accessed by pressing ÂMÂ) and your mini-map in the upper right corner of your screen as green circles. ItÂs a handy little trick for those who do not wish to waste time looking, but it can be turned off if youÂd prefer to do the tracking of objectives yourself. Just be warned, the descriptions of where to find things in the quest text are intended to work hand-in-hand with the green map-markers.
There's also the Crime Computer to take into account. By opening up the quest journal and clicking on the button located on the bottom left-hand corner. This brings up a new dialog window that will list any available contacts for your level. This can be a huge help if you complete all the NPC quests in a given area but are unsure where to go next, and can also help alert you to content for your level range in the other primary zones.
Aside from the Crime Computer, there are also computer terminals stationed all over the main hub of Millennium City called Socrates that will help you in your hunt for the next quest. They'll often point you to a contact that you didn't know about, and others will actually have missions to offer as well.
One last note on quests: you can keep track of all the ones you have done throughout your heroÂs career in the quest log. It automatically keeps track of all the oneÂs youÂve completed throughout the life of your hero.
Perks, as stated above, are akin to the Badges in CrypticÂs former flagship title, City of Heroes. Except for one minor difference: Perks can actually give your hero or heroine statistical or cosmetic bonuses. As you complete them, you're given points to be spent on such rewards. You may even get a new title out of the hard work if you're lucky. You can check these at any time by bringing up your Character Panel. Perks come in six different flavors or means of collection.
Collection perks are given out often for collecting a lot of resources (money), or any other type of item. Exploration perks are rewarded for uncovering and exploring the many zones in the game. Even just finding respawn points can give you a new perk. Heroic perks are given for gaining levels, dealing massive amounts of damage, completing a larger number of quests, and even taking a certain amount of damage yourself. Knowledge perks are given for completing any one of the gameÂs many story-arc driven quest lines, or sometimes just for interacting with a certain object. PvP perks are obviously given for engaging in Player-VS-Player combat. Lastly, RogueÂs Gallery perks are given for defeating a certain number of enemies, or defeating a specific super-villain. If youÂre a completionist, or an achievement based gamer, youÂre going to have a ball hunting down all of these guys.
Missions round out the trifecta of content types in >Champions Online. Often instanced away from the general populace, Missions are usually the conclusion of a long story-arc driven chain of quests. One of the first of these youÂll have experience with is at the end of the Millennium City tutorial zone. Defender will fight alongside you as you try to stop the Qularr invasion on the city. And thatÂs just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this kind of content. Truly, some of the gameÂs most shining moments come in the form of rather cinematic missions.
Aside from the major instanced mission content, Cryptic has seen fit to include what they call "Patrol Missions. These are basically missions that spawn randomly for you as you play the game, and can either be ignored or attempted at each hero's discretion. But come on... why would any real hero turn down someone in need of a hand?
There are three main types of Patrol Missions. Fellow staffer Reuben "Sardu" Waters came up with the names and the info to shed some light on these ingenious little adventures:
Citizen in Distress Â Occasionally an NPC will run up to you and alert you to some villainous activity they happened upon. This opens up an instanced mission that can either be completed solo, or will also scale when entered as a group to provide a bigger challenge.
Citizens Under Attack Â Occasionally youÂll find NPCs that are being attacked by a small group of henchmen and villains. Upon defeating these attackers, the NPC will offer you a mission similar to whatÂs described above.
Bank Robberies Â In Millennium City, there are currently 4 main banks that are fairly often targeted by various villains and villainous organizations. These aren't constantly under attack, but by simply patrolling (get it?) past their location, you should be able to tell if they're in need of assistance. If they are under attack, a pop-up quest will be offered giving you the lowdown on whoÂs currently robbing the bank. Bank Robbery missions are also instanced, and will scale to your level and team size.