Thursday, September 10, 2009

Champions Online loses my support. Details Inside!

I have been following the progress of Cryptic's new MMORPG, Champions Online, for the last six to nine months. It looked very promising on paper. You use thousands of options to create your own unique superhero and then explore Millenium City and beyond. It was one of the top three MMOs that I was currently anticipating -- to the extent that I had not even looked at its competitor, DC Universe Online, for a moment. My Xbox clan was going to get it together; it was a complete no-brainer. Right?

Well... Right up until Cryptic decided, for whatever reason, to drop a nerf-nuke the size of Canada on the game's launch day and completely split the player community as if the game had been hit by a socio-political earthquake. From what I have read, the amount of health possessed by and damage done by all enemies was doubled and an across the board percentile nerf made all but the most min/maxed character builds utterly useless. This is bad when you consider that the largest allure that Champions Online had was that you would be able to make *your* character, even going so far as to forgo a class system for a skill based system to add further freedom.

The hardcore v.s. casual debate has reached boiling point and beyond on their forums and the reviews on are absolutely abysmal. As someone who tends to teeter very much in the midle of the two broader definitions I must examine a game from my own perspective and know what I want from it. I can handle additional challenge. I can handle having to make currency in a game for multiple hours to get what I want there. I recognize that MMOs must have a gimmick that will ensure that I keep paying. What I cannot understand is the complete disruption of the actual premise that was making me look forward to the game. In essence it seems that Cryptic was so concerned about min/maxers abusing the skill system that they created classes and have left us to figure out what those are. That is not what I wanted from this game.

Therefore, I am not going to be rushing to test it out. If my clan on Xbox Live does eventually get the game when and if it releases on the Xbox 360 I will likely get it. But I am no longer curious what is happening to it or anything of that such. Not only were the nerfs given without warning, they were also done after people had paid for 6 month and lifetime subsriptions. Clearly Cryptic is an underhanded company. Even if I do end up being Rope(r)ed into playing this by my friends I will certainly be reading all the fine print before I attach the game to my gamertag.