Monday, November 22, 2010

Gold Members get $5 free

Champions Online appended their matrix to include that Gold members get a 400 point stipend. That's $5 real world value. This brings it inline with other F2P games that also have a monthly option. Lifetime members get this stipend since they are Gold Members.

How long until that $5 pays you back? 60 months or 5 years. Not too shabby...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Champions Online, F2P Changes, continued

Some more F2P changes, posted 10 days ago on the forums, sorry I'm late with this info, but I've been busy with school.

Passive abilities are getting changed to scale with your Super Stats. The difference here is that certain passives before, required a specific stat. This meant that if you wanted to use Invulnerability, you would have to have really high strength to make it useful. Now you can have the stats you usually use as your Super Stats (two stats that increase the functionality of your powers). This means that builds can actually be more consistent throughout.

Holds are being changed. I'd explain how holds worked before, but it was all rubbish and difficult to understand. Now hold strength is a consistent thing, and hold resistance will apply a direct reduction to a hold (12 seconds to 6 seconds to 3 seconds) on each subsequent cast, and then full resistance for awhile.

Also some new powers:
"Archery: Gas Arrow: Creates a Gas Cloud at your targets location, causing AoE Toxic damage over time to targets in the cloud.
- Darkness: Void Horror: Summons a single controllable pet made of shadow energy.
- Darkness: Summon Shadows: Creates 3 beings of shadow energy that fight your foes for a short while.
- Darkness: Void Shift: Blink out of existence for a moment and lunge at your target.
- Fire: Fire Shield: Fire now has access to a block power of its own! This block can apply Clinging Flames to nearby attackers.

- Ice: Avalanche: You rain down large chunks of ice on your foes.
- Munitions: Steady Shot: An additional Energy Builder for the Munitions Framework, Steady Shot utilizes a well-aimed single pistol to attack your foes.
- Sorcery: Pillar of Poz: Creates a column of magical energy, knocking your foes away from you.
- Sorcery: Hex of Suffering: Your target pulses with magical energy, taking damage and dealing damage to foes near your target.
- Sorcery: Vala's Breath: Heals friends in an area around your target.

- Telekinesis: Ego Blade: A melee Energy Builder that utilizes Ego/Id blades.
- Electricity: Lightning Storm: You repeatedly bring down lightning strikes upon your enemies.
- Force: Force Snap: Creates a burst of Force energy just behind your target, Knocking them toward you.
- Force: Force Geyser: You create a geyser of Force energy under your target, Knocking them up into the air.
- Force: Crushing Wave: A maintained 50 foot cone attack that repels your enemies.

While all of these are subject to change pending testing, these powers should all make it to the Live servers come Free to Play launch."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Life Time Subscriptions Return!

Champions Online is giving access to their life-time subscription service. This can be bought now, and will translate to the Free to Play change the same way current Life-Time subscribers will be. This also allows access to Life-time only costume pieces, an exclusive pet and title. Furthermore, you get a special color on your Forum Posts name.

More details will be made available later. This costs $299 and includes the price of the game (since the game will be free soon enough). This means that a new lifer, can simply purchase the life-time sub from Cryptic now, and not have to go to the store to get the game first.

I wonder how many people will prefer to have a life time gold membership, instead of purchasing things a la carte for their Silver Membership? In the long run, if you want to have everything, the Life-Time Subscription would be best.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

East vs. West

Keiji Inafune, the creator of Megaman, recently quit Capcom in a high risk attempt to change it. His thoughts (link to Gamasutra verified interview that had been translated and posted to a message board) are that with the life-time employment that Japanese companies offer, the employees have less reason to try to be competitive. Producers get no credit if the game does well, but take all the blame if the game fails. Designers like him have less reason to risk failure with a new idea. Instead they have stagnated, while in the West, games are thriving.

But, all I keep reading about in the west is how companies lay-off employees at the end of game cycles, resulting in 1/3 of all game designers being unemployed. Inafune though, points out that these designers are instead making their own studios and following the Indie route. This path apparently, is almost non-existent in Japan.

In the West, Indie developers can make downloadable games for X-box360, Playstation 3, Wii, DSi, iPhone, Andriod, Steam and other platforms (upcoming Ubuntu Download Center, and the Mac App store for the MacOSX).

So, will Capcom fail, or will their structure remain intact for the duration of the downturn? Will they be forced to restructure, resulting in up to 300 employee layoffs (estimates by Inafune)?

Update: They are taking a third route, restructuring while trying to keep all employees. Looks like his voice just took time to take effect? Or perhaps the very public interview he did, got to them.