Champions Online: The Review
"Super Fun PVE … Super Bland PvP... and a Lot of Spandex in Between "
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Introduction

OK, grab your red and yellow spandex (2 sizes too small) and squeeze in. On August 17th Champions Online is released for the masses for Open beta. The latest big mainstream P2P MMO to be released in 2009. It carries a burden of huge hype from numerous players who are not satisfied with the current options in MMOs. It is my hope that this review will help you make this decision. I will update the review constantly through open beta as I expect many things will change. Check back often!

I was fortunate to have been brought in to the beta prior to this game's release. I saw the dramatic changes as this game went though closed beta to release. It remains to be seen how well Champions will do when it officially opens. The launch of an MMO has come under intense scrutiny over the last 2 years (And we have seen some stinky MMO releases ...think AoC, think Darkfall …gah!). It is my hope to give those players who have newly joined or are considering Champions insight as to what to expect, what to do, and perhaps where this game will be several months down the road. Champions will grow and mature …but not in a way we have grown accustomed to in the post-WoW era.

This article is about what to expect from Champions Online...a bit more than what you get from FAQs or boards, but an in depth look at my experience playing this game. I do not declare myself some MMO guru or expert…most players have played numerous MMOs and are quite able to distinguish what’s good from bad. My viewpoint will be straightforward and as unbiased as possible …addressing why the highs aren’t so high, nor the lows so disastrous.

You will find that I talk and relate aspects of Champions to mainstream MMOs like WAR or WoW…and most importantly City of Heroes/Villains. This is intentional. It is not because I believe these games represent the standard for MMOs, but it is a framework on which most players have experience with and can relate to.
So, with that introduction, let’s begin.

System Requirements
Minimum System Requirements
* CPU: 2.5GHz Single Core or 1.8GHz Dual Core
* Memory: 1GB RAM
* Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 / ATI Radeon X700 or HD / Intel Graphics with Dual Core
* Sound: DirectX Compatible Soundcard
* HDD: 5GB Free Disk Space
* Network: ADSL / Cable Modem
* Disc: DVD-ROM
* OS: Windows XP/Vista
* Driver: DirectX 9.0c


Recommended System Configuration
* CPU: Intel E8400 Core2Duo or Better
* Memory: 2GB RAM or Better
* Video: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or Better / ATI Radeon HD3850 or Better
* Sound: DirectX Compatible Soundcard
* HDD: 5GB Free Disk Space
* Network: ADSL / Cable Modem or Better
* Disc: DVD-ROM
* OS: Windows XP/Vista
* Driver: DirectX 9.0c


Into the Game
Ok…do you have your spandex on yet? If so ...then it’s not tight enough! Go 2 sizes smaller.

Server Selection
Ok, enter the whole username/Pword (same one you had in AoC...and in WoW…DAOC…EQ1…DIKU Mud) watch the splash screens pass you by (wave to the flaming gorilla) and you’re in. You will soon find yourself on a rooftop (trust me, you’ll be on rooftops a lot in this game). This is the choose character screen. From here you can choose an existing character to play or create a new one.

You will notice there is no server selection screen. There are no server types. No roleplay server, no PvP server, no standard server, no deluxe a la mode server. The game itself is so highly instanced, that specific servers are done away with. One of the consequences of no servers and one of the biggest downers in this game is that you can have a max of 8 characters total for Champions. That’s a bit of an oversight by Cryptic in my mind. The biggest draw for Champions is the character customization and development. It’s nearly half the fun. By setting your character limit so low, a lot of heroes are going to have an untimely demise. ALT-aholics will be upset.

Character Creation and Customization
OK everyone, sit back, strap on the lap bets and get ready for the ride. If character customization is not your thing, its time to go find another game. Similar to the preceding City of Heroes/villains (CoX), over half the fun of Champions Online is making new characters. Just like City of Heroes the possibilities seem endless. Champions takes costumes and body construction to a whole new level (yes even beyond what CoX trailblazed).

To get started, just hit the new character button. Once you do that the first thing you are asked is “what power framework your champion will be?” There are 6 main frameworks to choose from:
Elemental:
Magical:
Tech:
Martial Artist:
Psionic
Might:
Force
Fire
Electricity
Ice
Darkness
Supernatural
Sorcery
Archery
Power Armor
Munitions
Gageterring
Dual Blade
Fighting Claws
Single Blade
Unarmed Combat
Telepathy
Telekinesis
Might


Or you can choose to mix and match powers (very nice). For example, half fire, half ice or the Juggernaut who also summons pets. As you are first learning the game it is probably easiest to choose a single framework rather than trying to mix and match. Understand you can add different powers later on as you level up. In fact, the most successful players will eventually employ several different power frameworks in their heroes.

Next choose your sex (probably the easiest decision you will have in customizing your character…sorry no eunuchs). At this time there is a random body generator button which you can press. I say try it out if only to see how different and unique your character can become. However, if all you plan to do is select a random body and move on to playing…you are skipping the biggest feature champions has to offer.

Ok, you had fun playing with the random hero generator but now you are stuck with a 4 foot pigmy with cybernetic arms and a shark’s head decked out in green spandex….Fear me!!! Hit the Next button which brings you to the face customization screen. Hit UNDO and that brings your entire character back to default (no more shark boy). You will see that there are 8 preset heads to choose from. Feel free to try them out and hit UNDO if there isn’t one that fits your taste. You can choose 'Customize face' to allow detailed control over the facial features (21 features to control like eye size, eye slant, etc). Then you can do the same to the body. Same deal: 8 preset bodies or hit custom to work with specific aspects (19 in all including height, width, arm length etc). In most MMOs this is where customization ends. In Champions, it just the beginning
Now is the fun part. Where you not only make the costume, but the character itself.

Flame Boy
Vincible
Champions Online Review Champions Online Review

Amazing Random Character Generator Guy
Mongo
The Yellow Bellied Avenger
Champions Online Review Champions Online Review Champions Online Review

You have 5 areas to construct your hero.
  • Starting with head and face where you can bring back the shark head, wear any number or masks, or instead of a face, you have a skull. Choose horns, or fish ears or a cyborg jaw.
  • Next create your body. It can be mechanical, or a zombie. Wear a trench coat (zombie trench coat) or the obligatory spandex (man that’s gotta chaff in the summertime).
  • Gloves and hands are next. Now you can choose your gloves (any number of long or short ones) or cybernetic fingers…perhaps furry claws are more your style
  • Legs and boots next…same as with arms (My man is wearing fishnet stockings…fear me!).
  • Lastly you can choose your mood. What’s your facial expression or how you stand and walk (hunched over like a beast, or proudly erect walking a bit too overconfidently. These mood aspects of the customization are the only ones which don’t have a lot of choices. I wager more will be added as time goes on.

  • With each costume part you can adjust the primary and secondary colors. If anything there is so many options that a player can become overwhelmed. Also you could easily spend 2-3 hours working to get your character just right. I kinda wish they had a save function…just in case you crash during character creation (which happened a lot during beta). Don't worry if you don't have time or just cannot get your character quite right, you can adjust all these options in the game by going to a tailor NPC (for a price).

    The last screen is where you enter your hero’s name. I give props to Cryptic for allowing multiple words for use in naming the heroes. This way, we aren’t stuck with single word names like “Wolverine2344” but you can name your character “The Cosmic Avenger”, “Gerbil Girl”, “The whizzer” or “The Amazing 3D Entity”. Not only can you put your name down but you can also add a paragraph synopsis of your character’s origins, abilities, history, etc. Very cool for the roleplaying crowd. This background info is something that’s available to view just by right clicking any character you find in game.

    PVE Gameplay
    PVE is the strength of Champions Online. Its just fun to play ...fun to fly about…fun to look about the terrain. The best zone for me was the main Millennium city zone, the worst was Canada ….perhaps this is because the developers wanted realism…I dunno. This game is very friendly for casual gamers, in fact if there is one thing you can do to maximize your enjoyment of this game...its slow down and enjoy the ride. Champions Online stays true to the Hero universe setting with the main characters (Doctor Destroyer, Foxbat, VIPER, etc) all around and involved in quests.

    Although PVE is the game’s strong point, one of its weakest is the game’s use of instances. Honestly, for me, this isn’t a big deal. However, a lot of players prefer a persistent world rather than a large collection of instances that are loosely put together. There are 7 main zones in Champions Online: Millennium City, New Mexico, Lemuria, Moon Base, Canada, Monster Island, and QLiphotic. These zones are HUGE. They are so big they almost make up for the fact that they are instances…they don’t feel like instances. Within each of these zones are various smaller instances used for raiding, quests, etc. There is a lot for the explorer to do. If you chose a flight power (and most should) you will have the ability to zoom up high and around the zones for a good look. You can reach each main zone through various ports most by helicopter, some by submarine or rocket. This is the only time you really feel disjointed. One moment you’re in the desert, the next ..’poof’…you’re in the frozen lands of Canada, then… ‘Poof’…Monster Island. There really isn’t any flow to the zones.

    I don’t hate nor love instances. However, I well know there are some players who avoid games with instances or hate new games they think will be instanced. To some, instancing destroys the feeling of a virtual world and its immersion. However, if done well, it can work. Champions as it stands is a bit clunky but they do try to make it easier for a player moving from one instance to the next. Every time you zone into an instance it displays a list of instances for you to join. The instance list it tells you how crowded the instance is as well as which instances have friends or guildmates. But, unfortunately, in the end it’s hard to play with everyone you know in this game. Also let me repeat...The main instances are HUGE!!! They do not feel like instances at all and they seem to go for miles.

    Yep! That's all one instance!
    Champions Online Review


    I think this game comes out strong very early on. The tutorial zones are very well put together (although they are very small). They will take you from lev 1-9ish and give you all the information you need regaridng powers,travel, bosses, crafting, and more. The tutorial levels are a lot of fun...however they do grow a bit stale after your 4th or 5th hero. I hope Cryptic  will eventually offer aa bypss over these zones for veteran players.

    Most every quest, instances and levels are soloable. In fact, there is so much solo content that players don’t know what to do when they find themselves in a group. Players can take on roles within a group. Roles become available when you complete certain 'Perks'. Roles basically follow the standard MMO trifecta ‘Tank, healer, DPS’.
    There are 4 different roles;
    Defensive, Balanced, Offensive and Support

    The roles are unlocked by completing a perk (like an achievement in WoW). For example after you've taken X points of damage, you obtain a perk and you can now perform the Defender role.
    Defender - After you take a certain amount of damage
    Offensive - After you deal a certain amount of damage
    Support - After you heal a certain amount of health

    Tanks are pretty much already set by those players who’s hero is like ‘the hulk’ and heavy in str / con. Many DPS characters can play the healer role effectively without problems.

    One fun part of the game is the perks. Like a lot of MMOs now titles are a fun side game. The same goes for Champions. Perks also unlocks non combat pets, costume pieces, certain quests as well as titles. If you look at the perks section of your quest journal for every zone you go to, it'll have a list of quests to complete for a perk. 

    There is little to no death penalty. If you die you respawn at the nearest spawning point. Spawning points are easily seen and are found throughout the zones. You must ‘unlock’ a spawn point in order to be able to respawn there. You do this by flying next to or through the point …so it’s a good idea to unlock as many as possible else you find yourself having to travel a long way back. One aspect to dying is loosing a 'star' under your mug shot. The longer you live and fight, the more stars you are given (They appear under your character's pic). For every star you have you gain an added bonus in power (damage/healing/etc). However, when you die, you lose a star....with every star lost, you lose a percentage of the damage and healing bonuses that the stars provide.

    There is a lot of ‘Easter eggs’ in Champions online. Honestly, this is one of the things that makes a game great. I believe it was one of the aspects that made WoW fun to play and I’m glad that Champions Online followed suite. Champions pokes a lot of fun at super hero mythos, comic book fans, politicians and much more. Examples include anything dealing with the super villain Foxbat, or the mayor declaring in a speech ‘Rarely is the question asked: is our children learning’, various signs for ‘The triple bypass burger’ or a quest entitled ‘World of Witchcraft’…classic.

    Champions Online Review


    One of the biggest aspects of this game is how the game goes beyond the client. You can Twitter from within the game. You type /twitter in the game and it'll get you set up with your twitter account. After that's done you type /tweet <stuff> and it'll get tweeted. There is WinAmp support so that you can link itunes to the game client. You can manipulate your hero’s webpage through the champions online website to change his appearance, pose, etc. I expect this to continue in Champions and other games as MMOs develop more out of game aspects and features.

    Powers
    As I mentioned above, there are 6 main frameworks of powers in champions: Elemental, magical, tech, psionic, martial arts and might. However, these can all be thought of as 2 themes …melee DPS and ranged DPS. I mean much of the questing , grinding, and PvP game is all DPS...all the time. Think 8yr old with ADHD, on a sugar high after drinking 5 cans of Monster Energy drink. …yea, it’s kinda like that (and welcome to my family). The combat is fast paced with you often fighting groups and gangs (with a big shout out to Andre the Giant in ‘The Princess Bride’)

    Each set of powers comes with its own line of abilities. Each ability has different levels and the deeper you go into one line, more powers are available to you. Powers come in active and passive forms. Active powers are ones you click to activate while passive ones are on constantly and automatically fire on their own. Note there is only 1 slot for passive abilities, you must choose which passive ability you want. I’ve found that the passive abilities are some of the most powerful, so choose well. To customize your powers appearance hit 'P'. Now you can change the colors of your powers (I want my energy blasts to be red...no blue!) as well as where the powers originate from (Let my energy blast originate from my fist...no chest...no forehead). Customization is what this game is all about.


    However fear not, there are defensive abilities (both passive and active). In fact, the defensive powers are by far the most dominant. There are blocking powers that increase your ability to deflect damage as well as passive abilities that allow you to withstand damage while fighting. The power of Invulnerability and regeneration are close if not completely overpowered as I write this. These passive abilities are so potent they should almost be considered mandatory for all characters. You don’t need both, but choose one and stick with it. I expect both these abilities to be nerfed several times in the coming months…and even after they are …they will still be dominant. Get them, get them early. The biggest mistake most new players make in Champions online is going all offense and not taking a defensive ability. A level 18 quest entitled ‘Poe-owned’ will show you how you cannot win without defense in this game. Also, PvP will also become very frustrating if you do not have any defense.

    Also some players think ‘hey…I’m Flame Boy…I must be all flame, all the time!’. Do not min / max powers and abilities as is common in other MMOs. As a hero in champions online you should investigate other lines of abilities. Choose 2 or 3 power frameworks that are complimentary. For example…One line gives you DPS while the other gives you CC. Flame Boy can also have amazing supernatural powers to summon pets for instance. Think of styling your character in champions online like putting a deck together for Magic the Gathering (remember that game...ahh good times…good times….dammit, I’m broke again…just one more booster!!!). You need to go in with a plan and a strategy. Look up the powers and find what works for you. Expect a lot of power templates and styles to come out as this game matures.

    Travel powers are key in Champions Online. There are several to choose from and each with advantages and disadvantages. I would note that the flying powers that allow you to hover are the best for PVE. Some powers are better for PvP (Teleport, Tunneling) but they really limit you in PVE. Some just look silly (Like web slinging through the desert). Some are hard to control and a bit clunky (Super Jump, Swinging). However they are all given to you at an early level (lev 5). Travel powers can be improved through power training or items.
    Champions Online
    Travel Powers
    Flight
    Jet Boots
    Super Speed
    Teleport
    Acrobatics
    Swinging
    Super Jump
    Ice Slide
    Tunneling
    Rocket Jump
    Fire Flight
    Hover Disk
    Earth Flight
    Traveling around is really cool. However Cryptic made a bit of a problem in that traveling as a group is all but impossible. Someone with superspeed has a hard time keeping up with someone with a flight power as he soars over walls or mountains which you have to run around. Trying to follow a guy using superjump is tough because its hard to keep an eye on him. In the end, a flight travel power is just the easiest and most versitile.


    All powers (offensive, defensive, blocking, and travel) can be bought or respeced in a place called the Powerhouse (Looks like a giant gear) that can be located in the main hubs of all Zones. In the powerhouse you can purchase new powers and try them out. They have NPC dummies so you can test out each power's damage, range, area of effect, etc. They also have giant lasers which allow you to test out each defensive ability. If you do not like a power you bought you can remove it at no cost while you remain within the powerhouse.

    Quests:
    Champions employ the standard quest framework used in most MMOS these days. Quest givers have a yellow ‘!’ over their heads, a white ‘!” is for an upcoming quest that you need another level before you can receive. When you receive a quest a green zone appears on the main map (hit the M key) which shows you where to go. NPC’s have a Yellow ‘?’ when you complete a quest showing where you should go to turnin. All ‘!’ and ‘?’ are located on both the main map and the mimimap. As with a lot of recent MMos, this often means questing as a whole is just a bit too easy. You wind up playing the minimap and not even looking where you are going just follow the ! --> Green zone --> kill --> ? ..then repeat. However if you actually force yourself to slow down (Smell the roses!!!) much of the quest text and storeylines are fun and some downright hysterical! Quests really feel like a good story if you take the time to read the text.

    At level 25 you get to create a nemesis. This is a villain (which you create, design, and name) which will randomly pop up and dog you as you perform quests trying to stop you ( and your amazing spandex style of justice). I thought this was a great idea and really adds to the immersion. It has some kinks but I am sure they will be worked out.

    There are also public quests which you may stumble upon. Similar to the ones found in Warhammer Online these are large events that recur over and over. You will see a small button appear on the bottom of your screen that asks if you want to join. Doing so will throw you into the public event. Completing the event gives you XP, gold and sometimes items. Sometimes there is stratification of rewards based on how much you contributed to the public quest compared to other players.

    Crafting
    To sum it up I was underwhelmed by crafting in Champions. This is probably one area that needs the most work. I expect a lot of changes to be made in the crafting system over the next several months. There are 3 main crafts in Champions Online. Each has 3 subspecialties which you much choose when you pick a craft.

    Mysticism
    Arms
    Science
    Enchanted Gear
    Ordnance
    Inventions
    Arcana
    Fighting Styles
    Exposures
    Avatars
    Alien Metabolism
    Mutations


    You can only learn one craft (and one subspecialty in that craft) in champions; and they ask you to make this choice early on in the game. However you can change your craft at any time if you so desire. In order to craft an object you need to buy blueprints from the craft vendor, be at a craft table (often located next to the vendors) and have the reagents to craft the item. There are three ways to gather reagents for crafting. Buy them off the auction house (simple enough), Deconstruct items you loot off of your kills or get from quests (You need to be at a table to deconstruct), or gather reagents from the zones. There is no separate gathering skill. Your craft will allow you to extract reagents from supply crates, arcane objects, etc that are found throughout the zones.

    There are currently 500 skill points max in crafting. You start out with a Max cap of 100 and have to "purchase" higher level access from your trainer in their store tab. You have to have a specific level in order to qualify to purchase the next level, 10th to be able to buy the 101-200 level, 20th for the 201-300, 30th for the 301-400 and 40th for the 401-500. You can skill up your crafting in 3 different ways: 'Experiment' on items you loot from mobs. To do this you just take the item to a craft table and place it in the experiment box. This sacrifices the item but will gain you skill levels. Gathering materials also levels up the crafting skill, as does actually making items. With a higher crafting skill you can buy more blueprints and gather at harder locations.

    I honestly do not kow if crafted items are better than any raid or looted items. However I found crafting both tedious and non-rewarding.

    PvP Gameplay
    To put it bluntly PvP is basically a bunch of Heroes put against another group of Heroes in a cage match instance with little to no purpose. In fact the first PvP instance you fight in is actually occurs in a fighting (I believe professional wrestling) arena …the first side to 15 defeats wins . Later on there are instances where you have NPCs to protect and can activate objects and weapons within the instance but its still feels …blah.

    PvP is not this game strongpoint...not by a long shot. The instances are small and confined and rather uninspired. Most often is a DPS fest. Smart groups will assign roles and use healers (Do this). Fighting in the Arenas gives you XP for leveling (a decent amount actually) and acclaim which you can use to buy items and costumes at the PvP vendor (gotta love that wrestling mask). I suppose you could level through PvP …but I don’t think you would want to.

    Graphics and Sound
    The graphics from champions is nice showing of comic books come to life. It wasn’t real life, but it feels like you magically jumped into a comic book. Cell shading is real big in this game. Cell shading it gonna make or break the game for the player. If you detest the appearance of a cartoon / comic book world…you may want to pass this up. I, however, liked it. The graphics are smooth and very stylized. The various powers effects are well designed and displayed. The character animation are fluid and polished. Very refreshing and easy on my computer. My 3 yr old computer with 4mb of Ram and a 128 graphics card easily handled this game.

    From the players I spoke with, most hate or love the comic book styling. There is a way to toggle this on or off to suite your preference. Head to video options, click the advanced button and turn OFF or ON the 'comic-book-outline' depending on if you like it or not. For many, this is THE graphics change that makes people who hated the champions look to liking the game again.

    The default graphics settings are set low and can be improved a lot. Select Options and choose Video. Check the Advanced options box to open up the advanced options. Turn off the Processing check box and turn up the detail settings and turn on anti-aliasing as well as anitropic filtering. If your performance is too slow, just turn down the settings on shadow and lighting.

    Sound and Music:
    The sounds of combat and powers are great. A lot of the quest NPCs, Villains, and heroes are voice acted which really adds to the game (FoxBat was a bit too snively tho). The sounds of chaos of the city, weather, birds chirping in the park, desert sandstorm...very well done!

    The Music is about average. Nothing leapt out at me, but it didn't make me turn the speakers off either. Its all dramatic but is missing some ‘X’ factor I cannot put my finger on. However, since there is WinAmp support so that you can link itunes to the game client ...I guess one could make the argument it has the best music ever!

    The Flaws of Champions Online
    Been There...Done That
    There is nothing groundbreaking or new in champions. Much of what Champions offers is done well but already seen in previous MMOs. All features are well refined, but if you are looking for a truly novel MMO experience…Champions Online is not it. It’s kinda like CoX-2. The most original aspects of the game include the Nemesis and the out of game features (Twitter, Hero pages)

    I wanna roll with a crew
    Only 8 slots for characters. ALT-aholics will be upset. Expanding the number of character slots so that players can continue to experiment without having to throw old heroes into the abyss would be most welcomed.

    This game is solo friendly ..almost to a fault. You can level up and never team up with anyone. There are several reasons for this. There are not enough instanced missions requiring groups. Most missions are extremely easy and there are few incentives to team up (There is a grouping bonus, but it is small ~15%ish). Also Traveling as a group with so many different powers is cumbersome.

    It's like deja vu all over again
    Highly instanced. Instances within instances. Its like when you look into the reflection of a mirror in a mirror…that’s champions. If you despise instancing and feel that instancing goes against the principles of what makes an MMORPG..then Champions Online is not for you. However let me tell you that the main zones are freaking HUGE and do not feel like instances at all.

    I'm bored...let's fight
    PvP is not this game strong point ..not by a long shot. The PvP instances are small, confined and rather uninspired. There is no ‘epic’ feeling to PvP and no sense of reason. Why am I fighting these guys again?

    Don't forget to read the fine print
    Microtransactions will upset the MMO purists. At this time the extent of microtransactions is unclear. The latest report is that the storefront will mainly focus on costumes and appearance. What was officially released on the Champions website was
    1) Microtransactions enable us to have a larger development team
    2) Microtransactions are mostly aesthetic (costume pieces, pets, etc.)
    3) If a microtransaction does have any sort of in game effect, then it can be also be earned in game.

    The first items for sale are "action figures" (which are like mini pets you've seen in other games), there are twelve available as of now, which you can see here . The figures are 80 points each making them $1 US per figure.

    However many players worry about a slippery slope…first its pets and costumes, then XP potions, then perhaps equipment. Only time will tell.

    Look Daddy ...I drew a rainbow
    Crafting is ….meh. I was underwhelmed with crafting. Expect a lot of retooling and revamping.

    So many 'I win' buttons..its hard to choose

    Some powers and combinations are very overpowered. Expect a nerf to invulnerability and regeneration. In fact, expect a lot of changes to powers as this game matures.

    Do you take the discover card?

    I do not suggest the lifetime membership. It's a lot of money for a game that hasnt proven it's long term worth yet. I know many of us remember COH release where everyone had such a great time for about 2 weeks and then (for reasons yet unclear) faded away from the game. I worry that champions may have the same problem of players sticking with it long term and leaving after a few months (This happens with all MMOs). There are some players who loved CoX and play it religiously still today. If you are someone who played CoH long term, then I would say you are likely to stick with champions long term. Everyone else, pay through shorter intervals. Update: On Sept 1st Cryptic suspended the offer for 6 month and lifetime subscriptions. They say the offer is gone forever ....I don't believe them ...it'll be back.

    Bad boys get all the good girls
    And without stepping too much on CoX’s toes…I think a lot of players want to be villains. I expect (Nay ..I demand!) Champions will have a villain expansion at some point. Along the same line...this game is way too "goodie-goodie" and get the golden scrunchy award for 'least violent game'. You do not die in Champions Online..you are ‘Defeated’. There is no blood, no decapitations, no burning flesh even with massive fire powers.

    Tips tricks and hints
    The biggest mistake most new players make in Champions online is going all offense and not taking a defensive ability. Get them, get them early.

    Blocking is very useful in PVE and PvP, get used to doing it early.

    Flying is the superior mode of transportation giving you a lot of advantage as you move about the PVE terrains. Super-Jumping and swinging are a bit cumbersome.

    You need to use more than one power line in champions. Research your powers and choose a couple of lines with a plan and a strategy.

    To speed up logging in and out of the game. Click the Options button on the initial LOGIN screen (where you enter your username and password). Then select the 'Fast Launch' option.

    Summary
    Champions is a very solid and fun PVE game. It is a welcome change from the fantasy sword and sorcery dominated market. It’s a very immersive and great for exploring.

    The gameplay is fast and honestly is more like a console game than previous MMOs (go figure with the Xbox release). However, like many, console games the combat can be a bit repetitive.

    This game has a lot of replay potential as you move through different Heroes and different power strategies and combinations. However some combinations are overpowered and if balance is not strictly enforced…you will see a lot of cookie cutter heroes: Different looks, same powers. Expect a lot of nerfs and power changes early on.


    For more in depth guides for specific classes.
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    I agree with much of this article and would add
    My experiences have been different in this way