Giant Spider in the 3rd Act
East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom (Great Britain)
 
 
They're the fiercest killers in the insect kingdom.
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6,835 Hours played
My hours probably behove me to flesh out my review, so here goes...

Champions Online has been around for a long time, for an MMO, and has a lot of content. The original base game represents dozens if not hundreds of hours of story, and then you have Vibora Bay, the Adventure Packs, Comic Series, etc. This game had its time in maintenance mode and is now getting semi-regular updates again. Currently this is mostly in the form of the Serial arcs, gradually leading players through a developing narrative (and offering surprisingly good Questionite and SCR rewards on replay). A recent survey suggested that while Cryptic's resources for this game are limited, they want to know where the content focus should be.

Something important to note in comparison to other games in this genre: None of this content is paywalled. You can access everything, endgame zones, all story, as a free player.

Endgame has changed significantly in recent years due to top-tier gear now requiring Gold Champion Recognition. There are a few different sources for this, but the most popular are "cosmics" or officially Giant Monsters, massive open world bosses that require a number of players and specific roles. While most of the game is comfortably soloable, this is where, for good or bad, you'll be thrown in with the community. You'll laugh with them, you'll cry with them, your children might actually finish that Teleiosaurus you started in April 2020.

Then there's seasonal events, the heart and maybe the true endgame of CO. There are annual events tied to Halloween, winter holidays etc., and others that drift around the calendar. Complete daily missions and earn unique currency to unlock costume parts, vehicles, auras, even otherwise premium Archetypes. Events are where you'll get some of the most fun items and cosmetics and see some of the most distinctive content - Blood Moon is unmissable. I'd estimate that most of my hours are on events.

The Champions character creator is deservedly legendary. While you don't get the earlobe-tweaking sliders of a Black Desert Online, the costuming possibilities are seemingly endless, stretching well outside of the superhero genre. Even as a free player you'll find a dizzying number of pieces to choose, and then there's all the costume items you can find and earn in-game, in events, and in the store (which you might not even have to pay for - see below). Where there's dress-up there's roleplay; the walk-up RP community based in Club Caprice is pretty active and you might find a Supergroup that fits your style.

As for customising your character's powers, you can choose Archetypes which offer a themed, synergised build with some tailoring, or you can go Freeform. No other superhero MMO, past or present, has a feature like this; all of them only offer predetermined frameworks with limited power choices. Freeform is the freedom to create your own build with any type of power and the freedom to mess it up for yourself. It's not for everybody and it should be stressed that you can play the whole game without it, but it does offer a huge array of choices, whether that's for roleplay theming or minmaxing.

Now here's a little secret: You don't have to pay for Freeform. With very rare exceptions, you don't have to pay for anything in this game. There's a currency called Questionite which can be traded for the premium currency Zen, on an exchange where players determine the relative value of each of them. Anything in the cash shop can be earned through gameplay. With some perseverance and maybe waiting for sales, you can get your Freeform slots, hideouts, premium costumes and everything.

The rare exception would be the lifetime subscription. The price of this probably made more sense when there was a monthly subscription for comparison. It should be understood that this is the premium, VIP experience, and it's something to consider if you really, really like this game. As a lifetimer of a couple of years myself, yes I'd recommend it, but it's only worthwhile if you're going to play a lot of different Freeform characters.

I stick with Champions partly because it's so flexible in how you play it: it can be a casual experience or you can get fully committed to endgame. For me it's my chill Sunday evening game; my favourite radio show, a cup of tea, and jumping into the current event or seeing if the Cosmics are up.

So that's Champions Online, ten years and still kicking. The bad? While certain devs are pretty embedded in the community, they're bad at listening to us. Changes go up on the test server less than 24 hours before they go live and feedback is ignored. There's been a gradual shift from event unlocks being alt-friendly to everything being bound to a single character. A recent change to the overflow bag made it so that you have to empty it when there are 20 or more items; if you're opening anything in bulk you'll be emptying it constantly. You're going to hear a lot of whining about lockboxes, but the fact is that the game in its current state actively discourages you from opening them.

Oh, and it's been ten years and most female hairstyles still clip with every hat. I just want to wear the witch hat without a buzz cut already.

The Steam achievements also need updating; there are none for any post-launch content and several are broken or unattainable. It's still a good choice of game if you like going for achievements though.

It's free, it's still the best superhero MMO... All you have to lose is your time. I'll let Defender take it from here.
Salien Stats
Level Reached
25
Bosses Fought
17

Experience Earned
26,432,992
Recent Activity
174 hrs on record
last played on Jun 24
320 hrs on record
last played on Jun 24
2,919 hrs on record
last played on Jun 24
Giant Spider in the 3rd Act Oct 4, 2023 @ 12:25pm 
FinSemi: Yeah, I actually did a minor trade with them that went okay. Then they kept repeatedly bugging me about some rare keys without offering anything equivalent, even after I made it clear I was no longer interested in trading them. It didn't feel right and I haven't communicated with them since. That's good to know.
FinSemi Oct 4, 2023 @ 6:56am 
Sorry to post right here, but let's make it public. Looks like "Needgoing" has send friend request to you?

Have he asked to trade Steam keys or other games? Just don't ... He scammed me keys valued more then 600$, and I didn't received almost anything (he offered few trash keys to me). Promised whole time that he used those keys to trade so I could get something. And now he has ghosted me for 2 months.

Just avoid him! Also used nicks: [SPG]PLGrzesPL, Pan Malinka, gandarw200
Nostradamus Aug 26, 2021 @ 6:07am 
Hello, I saw your comment on my champions online review. I enabled comments hoping someone would come and give me good news. Could you tell me more about this premium pack? I can't find it on the store page so I assume it must be bought in game. My discord is Nostradamus#8434
Giant Spider in the 3rd Act Nov 7, 2020 @ 9:47am 
Thanks for the comments Tub Goat! I sent a friend request but I'll answer here for now:
For my taste, I'd recommend Champions. It's fun and it's very flexible in how you approach it: It can be casual or it can be your main game, while DCUO really demands you play heavily to keep up with endgame. Whether it's dated is kind of up to you. It has a cartoony art style that hasn't aged too much. The combat is very old school MMO style, which personally I like but again, YMMV.
Tub Goat Nov 5, 2020 @ 11:05pm 
PS Thanks for the review on new DCUO content (Legion)
Tub Goat Nov 5, 2020 @ 11:04pm 
I see you have a ton of hours in Champions and DCUO, I have played through DCUO base story on PS4 and enjoyed it. I was thinking of getting back into it on PC (been playing it casually). Was wondering which you recommend more. Is Champions still good or is it too dated to enjoy?