There’s been a ramping up of press over Champions Online these past couple weeks, which is a promising sign for those (like myself) who are looking forward to an expanded closed beta/open beta/release. Here’s a few of the latest articles along with my thoughts:
Cryptic is not just mining their fans for development ideas — they’re being pretty crafty in involving potential players in the creation process. The pre-launch waiting period can be a murderous wait, so by giving fans something to do, even something as seemingly insignificant as designing emotes or submitting their favorite superhero ideas, they can project the image that we’re all “on the team”.
This is a basic “Hot or Not” voting system that cleverly lets beta players show off their characters while tantalizing those of us on the outside with costume potential. It’s kind of amusing to identify art elements that were present in City of Heroes, but at the same time gratifying to know that you could create a pseudo-clone of your favorite hero for CO. All in all, it’s a definite step up from CoH’s graphics, stylized and all.
Their “Ask Cryptic” series is a nice back-and-forth between the fans and devs, creating a potential monster FAQ for the game. This one is a particularly good read — I like the question on power emanation points, along with the teaser that there will be dropped items in the world that can change your character’s look (different types of swords, for example) but not impact the power itself. A bit about defensive powers (dodge, resistance, forcefields and regeneration) is covered — wouldn’t Wolverine have three of those four?
“This game looked pretty boring,” was the quick-to-judge pronouncement of MMOCrunch — a statement I couldn’t disagree with more (not to mention… you’re giving up on these titles based on very early beta footage? Seriously?)
In any case, that’s not the vibe I’m getting, especially from preview videos like this. For one thing, you can fight raptors — Superman vs. Jurassic Park, aw YEAH baby! This video does a good job giving you a quick-and-dirty scoop on the title. There isn’t anything really “new” here, but I am really digging the visual look, the UI (which looks pleasantly minimal) and the fast combat.
After the Hellgate: London debacle, a lot of people were and are worried that Bill Roper’s addition to the Champions team would be like hiring a bad luck charm. Then again, this guy was responsible for development of one of the best-selling PC games of all time, and you can’t dismiss that.
It’s a pretty good interview, even though Roper does dance around some of the specifics that the interviewer was trying to nail down. Any time a dev mentions how you’ll be able to mix and match powers to create a unique character just gets me buzzed — and I found the “role” feature he mentioned interesting, in that you can switch loadouts of your character’s abilities based on a given situation’s need.
You have to admit, this quote is pretty exciting: “And within the next few weeks we’ll be pushing big things out to our beta community which we’ll also be growing as we get closer and closer to the game’s release.” Can’t wait!