Champions Online Turns Up Awesome, After All

Three days ago, I had three concerns on my mind.

  • I would not be able to get the 6-month discounted subscription because “limited time” suddenly became “limited numbers.”
  • I would not be able to play until September 1st because, in a very unique precedent, you’re only allowed in the pre-order head start if you pre-order for certain parties.
  • Champions Online’s power selection seemed overly attack-centric to me.

These concerns a mostly resolved, and now Champions Online is thoroughly awesome in my book.

Resolution Absolution

The first, the discounted subscription availability, was resolved because they re-opened the discounted subscription offer until August 31st.

The second, not being allowed in the pre-order head start, was resolved because for whatever reason, I was allowed in the game.  Maybe it’s because I was in the closed beta, maybe it was because I was one of the Sakura 150, maybe it’s because I bought a 6 month subscription, or maybe it was an oversight.  In any case, Sourpuss Cat has nothing to brood over now.

(If this was an oversight, I’d feel a little guilty about this… but then, it’s not like I’m sneaking into the theme park here: on the contrary, I’ve paid the price of admission several times over.  Anyone else could do the same if they want to buy a GameStop preorder key — granted, there’s only a couple days left the pre-order head start now anyway.)

The third, Champions Online’s power selection, is not entirely resolved.  However, I do feel a bit better about it now than I did prior to release.

Part of this is because the balance has been improved considerably from earlier in release — it’s still not perfect (pet pathing needs a fix badly, for example) but it’s definitely makes for a more playable game.  I was pretty busy during the open beta so I really did not get a chance to feel these out properly before.

Part of this is because I came to understand that the application of Advantage Points can often turn up additional powers by tweaking an existing power.  Because talents are out of the picture by 20, leaving copious advantage points and power selections for the end game, I’m given ample opportunity to make adjustments.

Overall, I’m reasonably content with the power selection… but even more powers would be nice, and I look forward to seeing what Cryptic comes up with.

Alt-A-Holicsm Cured?

I’m now puttering around at level 23 after about 20 or so hours in the game.  That’s more than half way through the level 40 cap – not bad for one weekend’s time!   I’m actually enjoying myself enough that I may very well see through character through all the way to 40… then start up a new character and take it in a new direction.

It’s interesting considering my old City of Heroes habit is to grind up to about level 20-something (on a 50 level scale game) and then quit and try out another hero.

Part of it might be because I want nearly every single power my hero has.  Even if I end up with a total dud of a power, I’ve ample opportunity to “retcon” it out in time for another power.  At worse (in terms of undesirability of a power I might have) I might end up with a “near miss” or “essential prerequisite” power.

Thanks to advantage points, there’s more here than getting the powers I want.  By choosing which powers to invest points in, I can also balance them just right by prioritizing the ones I like the most.

The consequence of this kind of flexibility is that I end up with a hero very much tailored exactly to be the hero I want.  I might have some ideas for another kind of hero I might want, but considering my existing hero is relatively close to flawless (in terms of suiting my tastes) I can just file these ideas away for the next hero.

As I said before, I’ve achieved level 23 in about 20 hour’s time.  This is good for another reason: now I’ve a pretty good core set of powers to remain entertained.  In City of Heroes, 20 hours would probably give me about a half-dozen powers, and few of them would be ones I was genuinely interested in using (unless it was a coincidentally good set).

Bring it all together, and I’ve got a hero custom tailored to my tastes with a well-established power base.  Yes, I could very much see how this would be a fair cure for my alt-a-holicism – I’d have to be thoroughly bored of my existing hero to try another at this point.

Desirable Animosity

At 23, my hero is beginning to be in demand.  Socrates can barely keep her digital fingers off my personal email address in inviting me back to Millenium City for some new emergencies that have cropped up.  Rolling a bit of roleplay sensibility into this, I enjoy the added attention: I’m needed.

I’m also getting close to another interesting chapter in my heroes’ development: the definition of his own Nemesis.  (I forget if that occurs at 25 or 30 – they moved it around a bit during beta.)  It should be pretty interesting to have my own custom-built bad guy, wringing his/her/its hands at my characters’ impending doom.

Towards the end of my character’s career, there’s the UNITY activities which are the end game world-shaking events.  I look forward to those as well.

%d bloggers like this: