140 people found this review helpful 3 people found this review funny
427.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2017
Champions Online is a great game that suffers under its management and monetization.
CO has some of the best character customization, and power customization, I've ever seen in a video game. With City of Heroes by-and-large gone save for its community, it's one of the only decent superhero MMOs still in existence. As someone coming from CoH, having a superhero MMO with numeric stats, and not governed entirely by power choices is something that requires adjustment, but I can live with it.
Now, that's under ideal situations. When Perfect World took over, power customization, and even the right to pick your own powers, became a thing of the past unless you either bought a freeform character slot or became a paying subscriber. Free players are limited to pre-set archetypes, which not only have fewer powers than freeforms, but have all but a few of their powers pre-selected, with only advantages remaining for players to choose. Even then, a good half of the archetypes available are also paywalled. The crafting system, once a robust and nuanced part of the game that added a lot of depth and versatility to your character build, was gutted, and is now limited almost entirely to combining mods. Vehicles, probably the most anticipated addition to the game from the moment they were announced, were limited solely to being obtained from the cash shop or lockboxes.
Speaking of lockboxes, they're probably the single most onerous addition to the game. Many times, the sole loot you'll get from an enemy will consist of lockboxes. You'll pick up hundreds of these things over the course of one character's career, and the only way to get rid of them is to trash them, sell them to other players for a pittance (and good luck with that, by the way), or pay real money for a key to open one. When you do open one, you have the chance to get rare equipment, rare equipment mods, or a vehicle, but usually you'll just get a consolation prize consisting of questionite and drifter salvage - and while questionite doesn't suck as a reward, it's a far cry from the other things you're probably opening the lockbox for.
Barring the rare few costume unlocks you can find in-game, most costume options are barred behind either cash shop purchases or subscriptions. I'd say a good 80% of costume options are only available via the cash shop, with the rest either being from limited-time events or other PvE sources. Similarly, alternative travel powers are typically only available from either the Questionite store or as cash shop purchases.
In the interest of fairness, I will say that you can technically earn most things, even cash shop things, in game. Questionite can be earned from defeating signature enemies and doing certain missions, and questionite can be sold to other players on the Questionite Exchange in exchange for cash shop currency. The exchange rate, however, is god-awful and gets worse all the time, and it will take months, even years of farming to make any significant purchases. Moreover, many cash shop items are priced at rates that can only be described as 'extortionate' - for example, purchasing a *single* freeform character slot costs more than a purchasing a month's subscription to the game.
All in all, if it wasn't weighed down by PWE/Arc Game's predatory monetization strategies, CO would be a fantastic superhero MMO. As it stands though, expect to be nickle-and-dimed by the cash shop, purchase a sub, or farm for months to get anything worthwhile.
480 people found this review helpful 40 people found this review funny
6,886.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2015
Okay, so, Champions Online. I'm just gonna ramble about this, because I can't be bothered being neat and succinct with it.
TL;DR: Game's dead.
EDIT: Yes, I have a lot of hours clocked on this game. I basically use this title as a more populated version of Paragon Chat. I log in, I screw around or roleplay for a bit, then log off. I rarely, if ever, actually use this software as an actual video game. It's a chat client at this point. I've been at this game since 2011, and I'd wager 2/3rds of that playtime was just me being AFK or RP'ing.
(Now Onto the Point...)
Most people will say that the character creator is the highlight of this game -- and they'd be right. The character creator is one of the highest points this game achieves, and it achieves it in style.
...However, don't expect to make anything particularly awesome without first dropping real cash on this thing. Costume sets are quite overpriced, too, sometimes requiring the user to spend up to $10 for a single set (mind you, each set doesn't contain that many costume pieces to begin with). Being under the F2P model, you can expect the game to nickel and dime you, but ever since the takeover from Perfect World Entertainment, they've really gone overboard with the microtransactions, all while the devs have simply stopped caring about the game as a whole.
There's no ambition to be had; anything cool you see upon booting up the game was very likely put there years ago, when the game was in its prime, under the guidance of developers with the drive to make a legitimately good game. The ambition once had by the development team has since dwindled to nothing. As a result, content is largely stagnant. Most of the new content is half♥♥♥♥♥♥♥shlock they expect you to pay top dollar for, and anything that's halfway decent is shuttered away behind a lockbox which is essentially a big gamble that you have to pay $1 a pop to open -- and believe me, it may not sound like much, but that will add up quick.
Beyond the diseased, sickly cash cow Perfect World reduced this game to, it's also not that amazing as a game in itself. Sure, the gameplay can be deceptively nice at first, and may even feel like it has great variety -- and in some aspects, it does. But like everything in this game, it seems to only get worse as time goes on, and you'll find yourself fighting the same classes of reskinned, repurposed bad guys over and over again, doing the same types of objectives passing off as something more interesting, all while running around in relatively uninteresting, mundane locales that only have the passing resemblance to something with inspiration put into them.
You can also largely forget about questing, because an expansion introduced a while back basically made it redundant to do so. Instead of adventuring through the game and leveling your character up through time, dedication, and some approximation of hard work, you can instead just queue yourself up for one of the many "alerts" in the game that takes you and four other players to a self-contained instance to fight a boss and get an easy XP or monetary reward. Rinse, repeat, ad nauseam.
The graphics themselves can be summed up in one word: "Meh". They're not bad, but they're not exactly that great, either. On high settings, the visuals can look crisp and well-defined, with pleasing particle effects scattered about to whet your appetite. But the keen eye will notice that the art design is all over the place. This game has a BIG problem with artistic cohesion: you'll often find high-poly models with highly detailed textures in one place, and as little as five feet away will run into a very low-poly, blurry-textured mess of a model right next to it. It can't decide if it wants to look like a PS3 game or a PS2 game, and can be very distracting.
Furthermore, the actual work put into the environments is lazy at best. There's misaligned and missing textures all over the place, spots where you can see straight through the level, and even simply disgusting corner-cutting measures that one can only assume the developers thought nobody would notice, such as entire buildings being misplaced and left out in the middle of the street, or pieces of level geometry hanging a full meter away from where they're supposed to be placed.
The community is also quite lackluster. The overall population of the game is low at best, so I don't know where they're getting this "thousands of heroes" figure from on the bullet points. Maybe Cryptic means in terms of individual characters created and stored in the database, not even taking into account whether they're still active or not. Anywho, the PvP community is - as you'd expect - largely full of pompous blowhards that gloat over their ability to break this game's move sets or exploit some failure of the lackadaisical developers. On the other hand, the roleplay community is largely full of ERP'ers looking to get a quick fix off similarly horny players, all while roaming the one populated RP zone in scantily clad, large-chested women.
In terms of the general "I'm just here to level" player, I can't really complain there. They usually don't say much unless they want to sell an item in zone, or party up to do an alert.
All in all, I'd say avoid this one, unless you REALLY want to make some characters, like being begged by desperate devs to spend cash, or don't have much else better to do, such is the case for me.
162 people found this review helpful 6 people found this review funny
267.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 1, 2015
Some years ago I would have (and did) recommend this game to people. It was fun, allows for some ridiculous levels of customization on one's character, and had a relatively decent leveling experience. Unfortunately nowadays I can't really give it much positive merit. Instead of working hard to release actual new content and deliver on a promise to raise the level cap and give us new content with an expansion, the developers instead pulled the rug out from us by revamping some systems to tie into their in-game store, completely ruined the leveling experience from what it used to be, removed crafting in favor of something that tries to get you to spend real money, and added a few other things that cost real money. All they do now is just half-heartedly produce a new vehicle or costume piece once in a while with pointless fanfare. There's no real incentive to level one's character through dedication and hard work anymore. Just idle in the city center and queue for the new "Alerts" (dungeons) until you can't stand it anymore. There's little effort that's been put into making these alerts consistent in terms of balance, structure, and bugtesting, and it really shows.
Customer service is abysmal and it feels like it's been outsourced to people who are only there to earn a paycheck and nothing more. If you have a problem, tough cookies. You'll most likely get a canned-ham response attempting to tell you in a roundabout way that policy states you just have to deal with it. The developers rarely communicate with the players except to try to put together some sort of meaningless community event once in a blue moon. Their lack of interaction with players and the direction the game went really shows that there is zero passion for making and keeping this as a quality game anymore. There's no real reason to pay for a subscription, the ONLY incentive being that you get some coins for the in-game store every month, it unlocks a bit of costumes and content that's otherwise behind a paywall, and you get unlimited access to freeform builds.
If you are coming into this expecting an awesome superhero MMORPG that you go out and fight bad guys on and save the world, prepare for disappointment. You're better off playing DC Universe Online or paying a subscription to play something that's actually worth it and with a diverse and active community such as WoW or FFXIV.
If you like playing a free superhero paper doll simulator and like coming up with ridiculous or cool costume and power concepts, then this might be right up your alley. Just don't expect much in the realm of actual gameplay.
98 people found this review helpful 10 people found this review funny
335.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 26, 2017
After playing the game for 300+ hours and having a really fun time with a few really awesome characters, my main character was deleted without warning because he looked too much like megaman, and was named rockyman (like Rockman the Jap name for Megaman). --- This was before they put in the TOS that you couldn't have character look-alikes owned by other companies.
After which I opened a support ticket only to get my Lifetime status removed and my other two characters deleted for literally no reason other than i had a single character that looked like megaman, and was named Rockyman.
49 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
5,962.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2014
Alright, I've played this game far too much to not have written my honest opinion on it.
You are a superhero who's conveinently arrived to the world in times of crisis, and you (naturally) use your powers to help the general populace and occasionally assist the "Champions" themselves against greater threats.
Supermassive customization system; everything from tights and capes to having a lizard-face, tail and double-jointed legs.
You can throw anyTHING at people, provided you have the strength to pick it up. Freight (Cargo) containers included.
A wide and diverse variety of powers that you can choose from*, with many actually well-balanced "Archetypes", or pre-build powers to choose from as well. See cons for "*"
Tons of references to other sources when you pay attention.Maybe the game is just made of references?
The ability to essentially create even the story behind your hero (Where'd they come from? Why do they fight for the common good? Etc...)
You can create... your own rival! Your Nemesis will actually even be the cause of multiple missions.
You can skip the tutorial and get right into the main world after your first character that is
In-depth tutorial and tooltips for newbies, provided they choose to do them.
A diverse amount of areas that you can choose to explore (You don't have to leave a zone if you don't want to, there's generally higher level foes & quests available somewhere)
Wide variety of unlockables. If you see an NPC using something, you can get it!
But, this game does, sadly, have it's problems
Though you can skip right out of the tutorial, you always have to do the same starting set of missions every single time, and there's not much getting out of them. It can get a bit stale if you do it too often.
Can get VERY grind-y! A lot of the good-quality items can take an extensive amount of materials to actually obtain, and potentially days or weeks to acquire. (This is true however for many MMO's, though, serously)
MANY things are locked if you're not a Subscriber (Gold member). Free-form builds, where you pick your powerset, are only playable if you either subscribe or drop $50 into the game just for that. Many Archetypes are locked without Gold as well. (Total of 9 classes availible right at the get-go, which is few compared to the grand scheme of things.)
Game has quite a bit of noticable bugs (But most of them are hilarious, like backflipping at hilarious speeds.)
Nemesis system feels a bit tagged-on, just to say they have it.
I think I covered just about everything. There are times when I can't stop playing and will get hooked for a week, but then, you can actually set this game down for a time and come back to it again later.
85 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
389.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 25, 2017
I played this game during Beta and payed for the subscription all the way until Champions Online was sold off and became F2P. Suddenly all my characters were behind a pay wall. If I wanted to use characters with certain powers, I had to pay. If I wanted to use my characters with certain costumes I had to pay. Suddenly everything was behind a pay wall and I couldn't access any of my characters that I had spent so long playing. It would have been nice if the new owners gave a little leniancy to folks who had BOUGHT the game, and payed the MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION to play. I shoveled enough money into this dying game and now they expected me to throw more money at it just so I could continue playing my characters. If they had allowed previous owners to continue playing those characters/using those power builds and had any new characters they made using that stuff behind a pay wall this review would be positive.
As it stands now, this game is kinda dead and has lost much of its former glory.
37 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
104.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2017
Having been with this game since launch, practically before it was heralded on Steam, this game was amazing. It replaced my lost love for City of Heroes (Or otherwise known as CoX when referring to both it and its counterpart, City of Villains) and filled the void for superhero gameplay. However, the game did have its goods and bads, some such came relatively to mind was its balancing issue due to the heavy basis on a module that allows you to utterly mold your character's powers to match their relative theme, meaning you could draw not just from one, but all powersets in the game. Its flexibility was second to none, imo, but then there was the issue with content; I considered the game ahead of its time, the gameplay very hands-on and a league above the more linear trait of play such as World of Warcraft's tap and wait function, this was more pro-active in your field of choice and play. On that, aforementioned is the issue with the content, though the game on launch had little content but great quality to make up for it, and it HAS made up some degree on this issue.
But now, Cryptic sold the rights of the game itself to Perfect World Eden, who are notorious for--let's just say--making a game unbarable the longer you play it. The Free-to-play limitations are almost comparable to SWTOR's handicapping of your experience on a F2P Character. You have to practically pay for everything, albeit with a monthly subscription, but since then this game honestly feels like it has been long forgotten and abandoned by its new overlords.
A good game should never be reduced to a paywall just to enjoy its premium content, but hey, PWE live behind micro-transactions and sucking the life out of what was a good thing going in the beginning.
It's a shame, I honestly used to love this game.
I do not advise any one buying it now. Had this been back in 08-09, I would have. The gameplay remains okay, story is very botched at this point (with little linearity to make sense of it), costume/character customization is now PAYWALLED TO ALL HELL, Freeform power-sets are completely a no-go unless you want to fork out the money for it, Archetypes are limited unless, again, you pay for them, and the content still seems lacking despite previous attempts to fix this. The PvP is very botched, on-top of that - it has always been a balancing issue with a game that is so flexible with its freeform powers.
58 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
255.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2016
This was one of my favourite MMORPGs simply because of the extensive amount of customization. You could make pretty much anything, whatever powers you basically wished, and change the colours of these powers (as well as animations) in many cases. I enjoyed this game for a very long time, still have a longing to return...
However, my experiences with the customer support was completely atrocious. To explain, I had a subscription to Champions and, as with many MMORPGs I played, would unsub when I wasn't going to play much that month or if I hadn't played in a bit. Let me clarify beforehand that I only unsubbed from Champions this once, this one time, and only did I return and want to play Champions again did my story start.
I initially had unsubbed as I was busy with other things and games. Months go by and I am suddenly noticing a charge on my account that I'm unable to track down, so I begin to do some inevstigation. It turns out when I unsubbed from Champions, although I received a confirmation of doing so in my email, they still charged me. It took me about a year to notice that they had still be charging me monthly actually, and when I contacted their customer service/support they fought tooth and nail in their own defense.
It was mostly a finger pointing game of who dun it, but it was made to be as if it were my fault entirely on either end. I was very clear and concise, however the people I spoke with were extremely unprofessional, accusative, and insanely defensive. Basically, it was insisted that since it took me so long to notice they were basically stealing from me, it was my fault and they'd do absolutely zilch to compensate.
Only after I had shown the email with the exact date and time of my cancellation did they cease trying to give me the run around. I convinced them to reimburse me for half of what they charged me over that time, but they had tried to convince me to take less than a third of that, in addition to offering me a free month or two of subscription (hah, THANKS.) I figured that was as much as I was going to get at this point after the customer service/support hooligan I was dealing with not only got my account information wrong regularly, but also threatened to "permanently remove me from gold membership."
Now, if you are unfamiliar with Champions and gold membership, it is a permanent subscription in a one-time fee. It costs $300 and I'd actually known several in-game friends who'd invested in it. The fact of the matter is that I never bought gold membership in the first place... and had I, that would mean I'd not have to pay a subscription in the first place. Funny, that.
Please be very, very careful with these people. The game is wonderful, but watch your bank like a hawk.
88 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
270.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2015
Maybe if you'd asked me a few years ago I could have reccommended you try out this game as while it had a rocky start and was somewhat buggy its really started to see an improvement around the time they introduced Vibora Bay and the story arc missions...
However that all changed when PWE took over and content took a steep nosedive off a skyscraper while tied to an anvil.
These days its hard to not make an overpowered hero that can blow through all content and this is coming from someone most may veiw as a 'filthy casual' player. What challanging content that was in the game has been nerfed into a joke and thanks to the alert system most can't even realy connect with what lore and interesting villians the game has beyond the ones that pop up to be beaten down in the alerts. I'd be surprised if most newer players that reach cap even know about any of the actual dungeons you had to unlock like Telios Tower.
Pretty much PWE has rendered most previous and interesting content obsolete and the only thing Champions has going for it anymore is its extensive character customisation, which would be great if it wasn't all held behind paywalls.
And as a lifetimer from launch it saddens me to see the state of what could have been such a great superhero MMO and makes me miss City of Heroes all the more /em torch