Tuesday, August 25

Drooling & Disappointment

I tried to like Champions Online, I really did.
But the cell-shading made me feel like I am 22 years to old for this game.
CC felt like it was designed by the same guy who did the original CC of CoH with the following mission statements:
1) Make it subtly different from what you did before
2) Don't use any of the embellishments (needed improvements) that the CoX live team applied to your earlier work
3) Don't worry about things like item name consistency and having full sets of accessories. No-one will notice if one bit of a five bits set is missing from any given costume. Plenty of time till post-launch to put those in.

I didn't complete the tutorial mission I'm afraind. While the CoH tutorial isn't exactly stellar, the COV version is really solid. Either one of them makes you want to explore. CO's had me wanting to grab one of the kids running up and down our flat's gallery and put him behind it. I guess there's a second kind of uncanny valley. One in which the art choice didn't go for foto-realism but maybe shouldn't have strayed quite so far. That the latest patch makes the entire screen shutter black/image/black/image whenever something reflective appears doesn't help. That's a 6 year old crappy coding issue that should not be making it to Open Beta.

A game that seems to have found a sweet spot between the two valleys is SWTOR:

Looking at the combat mostly, I notice that while it's very twitchy you don't actually have to aim. WHich is good. I don't wnat an FPS with MMO tagged on. I could move to the US and play Huxley Beta if I wanted that, maybe actually buy the game in a decade or so when it releases. Considering Phè's style of control I think she should aim for heavily armored ranged combattants though.

Crotch-kick! Woohoo! I'm not going to psycho-analyze why, but if there's a class in a game that has a crotch-kick I must play it. Since there's no way I'm not going to play a Twi-lek if they make it in, you can expect to see a Twi-lek smuggler kicking crotches near you some time soon (I hope) I love the cover system too. Looking at the Sith warrior I think melee might be more twitchy than ranged comabat. Note that while Bioware is not the first MMO to announce NPC's seeking and taking cover, they are the first to actually show it while announcing it. They might even be the first to have it working by launch too thanks to the Hero Engine :-)

We've seen this bit before. The multi-player dialogue is very interesting. I think this game is going to be very popular with static group players. It might be rough on some players who have gotten used to things like Horde or Alliance allegiance not really mattering as I doubt that light and dark side players will have many opportunities to work together. Then again, the emphasize on story might actually allow that in a meaningfull manner.

Me want... to..... play.....

Only regret:
The same as from the start. SMugglers and Bountyhunters should be a grey faction. The fringe. Out for number one, not alligned (to start with) with either dark or light sides of the force.


  1. CO : Spent maybe an hour creating a character then maybe an hour and a half playing said character, it was all just too dark and too claustrophobic for my liking, felt no compulsion to log back in again.

    Those walkthrough videos for SWTOR are very sweet, so far though I see no group content, it looks like a nicer version of KOTOR where you can chat to your mates, even if that is the case I'll still be playing it :)

  2. Vids 3 and 4 with both the BOuntyhunter and Sithwarrior (the flashpoint stuff) is all grouped content.
    What I don't know if how that would play out with 3 or 4 people. I.e. how well will the instances scale. I guess that's what Beta testing's for :-)

  3. Champions Online is indeed in many way a piece of crap. There is a lot wrong with the game. The character creation has loads of options, but most is lost because your final character is too fuzzy/cartoony to see all those differences. And they have still managed to do a sloppy job with those meaningless deatils as Lani had pointed out. The chat window vs font size allows not much more than chatter than "ding", "gratz", "gratz", "hi" and "here". On top of that I have yet to hear anybody player say anything, anything at all. I tried to emote ro a few players, but they are not player directed at all. The emote 'bow' resulted in the chat line "Phedre@Phedre_D bows". The NPCs are rather unimposing characters that don't really entice me to read what they have to say. Maybe if a game looked this cool 10 years ago it might be top notch. Anno 2009 it is just pathetic. So I can fully understand you guys have had enough.

    But... I actually had fun with it. I liked how I got jumped on from different directions, and still managed to fight my way out. Hold, block, parry all work smoothly. It got me hooked on enough I want to log in again and see what more there is to see and figure out. So I will be playing on and hopefully bore you guys with my adventures and screenshots. Maybe I should set up a twitter account too :)

    SWTOR is still too far away. It looks all fantastic, and hopefully it will be. But it will be at least another year till it gets released. I will definitely pre-order it once that time comes, regardless of what might change or not change the next couple of months. Until that time I will mostly ignore it.

  4. I'm happy for you that you like it Phè, even though we won't be enjoying this together. My current sense is that CO feels like a solid Console MMO that's in Beta. Not a PC MMO that's in Open Beta with less than a month till launch.
    As a PC MMO it feels just as unpolished as several other PC MMO's over the last two years which launched too early. Time will tell, but I think the playerbase that'll stick around will be VOIP using teens waiting for the console version and those people who can put up with that. But for a Superhero MMO I'd so recommend CoX ten times over this. CO will snag a portion of the CoX crowd just for the breath of fresh air, but I suspect less than 20% will make the jump a permanent one. Maybe DC online will do better but I doubt it.

  5. Yeah, I think so too. Champions will not last long. Hopefully slowly by slowly developers, and maybe more import the investors, will realize that MMO players are for a big part 30 to 50 year olds that are not interested in the direction MMOs have been going.