MMORPG got Bill Roper on the line to talk about combat, including how CoH and Champions combat differs. I always liked CoH’s combat — it never seemed slow, nor confusing — being able to queue up attacks helped quite a bit.
Roper claims that Champions has a “fluid” combat system that’s neither twitch nor stand-still-and-fight — it sounds like they’re trying to find a sweet middle ground that many MMOs are moving in the direction of (Age of Conan, anyone?) yet not quite achieving. He also talks a bit about how they’re handling endurance.
They do bring up a question about the fact that Champions is being launched for both PC and XBox — and PC players’ (valid) concerns about the game being dumbed down or whatnot. We have yet to see cross-platform MMOs really take off, with only Final Fantasy XI being the exception. Age of Conan promised it, but I haven’t heard anything about that lately.
In any case, having Champions launch for XBox too is both bad and good, in my opinion. Bad, because there will be the temptation to dumb down the game for knuckle-headed console freaks who can’t fathom a game where you’re not winning unless you’re pressing one button very fast. Bad, because XBox Live players aren’t well known for their maturity or sportsmanship. Good, because XBox = more sales, and it could potentially help Champions grow massively. Good, because we might well have the option to roll on PC-only servers, nixing my initial worries.
I guess we’ll see, won’t we?