Monday, September 14, 2009

Champions Online, the First 2 weeks

I've purposefully been making slow deliberate progress in Champions. I'm trying to absorb information, and I am testing some of the limits of low level game play.

With that in mind, there are frameworks I still haven't touched, and I've been mostly doing custom frameworks. On another interesting note, they are planning to add more frameworks down the line (for free), which is something rather nice to look forward to.

I haven't had much chance for grouping, and many of the bosses are scaled for a well played single player, and their little zones scale up with more players. This is true of grouping in general, and you may find yourself overwhelmed if you're grouped up, but running around solo. But this doesn't cover enemies higher than Super Villains, at which point you WILL need a good team to defeat. Most of your stats come from gear, and your superstats (which increase with your level). You get SOME stat bonuses from leveling, when you train in the powerhouse for it, but without good gear, you won't see much of an improvement in your guy.

After Crisis (essentially the first 10 levels of game play), you will have a choice of leveling in the Desert, Canada, or Millennium City. There really aren't low level quests in MC, so I suggest doing Desert and Canada first, and only heading to MC to do Super Group registration, Marketplace, or to check it out in general. Doing BOTH post-crisis zones of Desert and Canada, will only get you around level 17-18, at which point you'll really want to do the MC missions. (McMissions, they're really close by, and over with pretty quick ^_^ ).

That's my current highest level, finishing off, MC, trying to get to 20.

Auction House, or in this case the Marketplace, is still in it's infancy. I've sold all of one item so far. It doesn't show up on the map, and only displays the first 100 results. There is still much to be improved on it, so luckily we're in an MMO, and understand that it might be completely revamped.
Crafting is still developing, but as a suggestion, do NOT level up crafting to over 100 etc, until you have ALL the recipes of that level. If you don't grab the recipes you'll have to wait until you're retraining professions (which apparently is something they WANT you to do, since you don't forget recipes). Power Replacers can be sold to others, and some of them unlock costumes replacements for weapons.

Costumes are interesting, and as you level up you get extra costumes slots (currently the first time you do it will be free, but this wasn't always true), also when you join a Super Group. Costumes can be a complete remake of your character or a modification of your current one, and allows you to do things like role-play a Hulk type character, or a Secret Identity of your hero. The Tailor that you go to do your costume changes also lets you change the look of your weapon.

I touched on this in a previous post, but there's also sidekicking, which ups your level to the high level leader's point, and with the exception of gear, let's you join your high level friends in missions they're doing. Grouping in this game often times means tagging along for someone else's mission, and if feels it's easier to group if you're not going after only YOUR goals.

The dev team is very dedicated to this game, and fixes, and patches are coming fast and often. They're constantly doing little improvements, and come the Halloween event (Blood Moon), they'll have their first free "expansion".

Overall, the first 2 weeks have been fun, and the game is still in it's nascent stages of development after going live. The team's dedication I saw during Beta is what made my descision to get a lifetime account. I truly feel that this game has the potential to become great.

Of interesting note, I read in an interview that their UI will be universal for all their games, so expect Star Trek Online to play similarly to Champions, and any and all fixes applied to Champions to make it to STO and back.