A Killing Moon: Champions Update Announced

By Kieron Gillen on September 3rd, 2009 at 4:30 pm.

I used to be a werewolf. I remain to be a werewolf.

This broke yesterday, but I thought was worth giving a nod towards. Showing some kind of developmental superspeed, Cryptic have announced the first update for Champions, which is due for late October. And being that period… well, Halloween. It’s actually thematically right on in terms of the superhero zeitgeist, with both Marvel and DC having stories around zombie superheroes. Some people call this Superhero Decadence, and – oh – I’m going to have words with them sooner or later. Anyway – there’s lots of battling fallen heroes, becoming infected as a zombie in PvP, Werewolves and a new powerset based around Celestial power. More details here. At the least, already giving players something to look forward to strikes me as good marketing.

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16 Comments »

  1. Baris says:

    Yesterday I was told Gunkata is in the game and today this. It just keeps getting better and better!

    Unfortunately my copy still hasn’t arrived, maybe I should have just spent the extra 11 euro and bought it off a download service.

  2. Vasagi says:

    crippling altitis is killing me, i think i have a toon nailed im running down the street and a flashy power combination will grab my eye.

    the horror

  3. Eben says:

    I would love to play Champions i really would but its just that little bit too much like a previous game whos name i cant really put my finger on right now… Also Vasagi i have the same problem i think ive filled 3 servers worth of character slots with alts and never got above 32 on the other game that might be abit similar. Beta was fun for 5 mins tho’

  4. Mike says:

    This looks like magnificent fun. The_B didn’t quite manage to convince me it was any less grindy than WoW, though, and not enough people I know are involved. Impressive, though, releasing stuff this early.

  5. Wulf says:

    I, for one, welcome potentially hot lycanthrope-on-lycanthrope action, considering that I frequently play a werewolf character myself (a kick-boxing, pistol-toting, zipline-swinging werewolf, no less!).

    @Eben

    One could claim that Guild Wars and World of Warcraft were very similar because they share some cosmetic similarities, but in actually playing both games one finds they couldn’t be any more different. The same is true of City of Heroes and Champions Online.

    They appear similar on the surface but that’s due to a base necessity: That both games need to have a powerful character creation system that allows for a grand amount of customisation. That’s what they share and at the start that can make the two of them seem very similar. But this is something that any superhero MMO would need to have, DC Universe will have it and that will probably be compared to City of Heroes thanks to that as well.

    I said it was a necessity though, didn’t I?

    Imagine if in a comic book Universe the heroes often adopted mismatching costume pieces based on which was better, instead of the minor changes that we usually see. For example, if Wolverine had a rainbow-coloured uniform. It’s an amusing thought, but it wouldn’t be at all practical.

    A comic book character has to be distinctive, clear, recognisable, and individual, and they need a strong design which they can stick with over a long period so they can be visually recognised as an iconic hero (look at Superman and Captain America), whereas in the usual MMO most characters are inherently forgettable as a design aspect of the game.

    But forgettable heroes just wouldn’t work, would it?

    Interestingly enough, Freedom Force also had a similar kind of character creation system to City of Heroes, wherein one could design the costume of their hero, and this again comes back to that the costume will be distinctive and will stay with the hero.

    In World of Warcraft, you may remember my name but you’d never know me if you saw me by anything other than name. However, in a superhero game you’d learn to know me by my appearance. If I were to run past you then you’d recognise me instantly, and that’s why it’s a necessity.

    So a successful superhero game will need this element in order to work, and I’m sure that people will say that DC Universe will be a clone of either City of Heroes or Champions Online too based on the merits of the character creation system alone, without bothering to find out how the game plays.

    Remember the point I made in the first paragraph? I’m going to make that even more relevant now by tying that in to what I’ve covered here; some games are going to have similar elements out of necessity, but those may be the only similar elements present. If one were to actually play both City of Heroes and Champions Online, it becomes as clear as day by the environments, the questing, and the game mechanics that the two are as different as chalk and cheese.

    And I do think you’re making a claim of similarity based purely on the character creator (and perhaps a short time into the tutorial) because you’ve even confirmed that yourself, by saying that the beta was fun for about ’5 minutes’.

    In my opinion, Champions Online is nothing like City of Heroes, it’s a very different beast indeed and it plays in quite a different way. The only similarities is that, yes, they’re both superhero games, and yes, they both have complex character creation systems.

    But as I’ll stress, it’s expected and necessary for Champions Online (or any superhero MMO) to share that similarity with City of Heroes, is it not? City of Heroes was the first to implement such a system but it did so out of necessity, just as any superhero game will.

    So saying that Champions Online is like saying that Phantasy Star is similar to Final Fantasy, that Soul Calibur is similar to Street Fighter, or that Mini Ninjas is similar to Windwaker. Some games share similar conventions, conventions that other games instituted first out of necessity, but it doesn’t actually make the games alike each other.

  6. DK says:

    [Personal attacks belong in the Personal Attackery. Which ain't here.]

  7. Danarchist says:

    Its fun right out the door, that’s all I ask out of a game these days, dont bore me. Its been a few years since I felt a game worthy of a video card upgrade :)

    The fact that I am now running around as a terrifying WereBunny also lends good marks.
    Combat in CoH was boring and repetitive staring at cooldowns, this at least has stat and resource management with visible gear drops. Not to mention some pretty interesting abilities!

  8. Lafinass says:

    @Vasagi

    I’m right there with you man. I’m actually looking at my first deletion tonight to make room for the next alt I have a craving for.

  9. Zyrusticae says:

    Ahaha, yes, altitis is strong with this one! Even I, normally a one-character-all-the-way kinda person, couldn’t help myself to keep on building alt after alt after alt. It’s just… the freedom of power selection, in combination with the excessively detailed character creation, that just demands you not settle on “just one”.

    It’s kind of scary, really.

    …Ah, and about the patch: Sounds neat, but I’m still waiting for a “big melee weapon” power set.

  10. Al Ewing says:

    That new powerset seems like a good fit for Stardust The Super Wizard.

  11. TooNu says:

    Shame the game is so fucking broken right now otherwise this would be exciting.

  12. Morgawr says:

    After experiencing Champions Online’s awesome combat system, I’m not sure I could go back to normal MMO combat.

  13. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Could be cool. Marvel Zombies was awesome.

  14. Choca says:

    The zombie thing sounds fun :D

  15. Tim says:

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I’d rather see some more crimefighting in Champions rather than fight another necromancer and his zombie chums. That I can do in other games.

  16. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Giving it a go now. Spent about an hour on character creation and 15 minutes of actual playtime. Devised a not-very-good homage to The Shadow and performed some quests during the tutorial, but I think I’ll end up resetting the character and start anew. This is the thing I have the most problems with in MMORGs in general – customization to a point where I never feel totally satisfied with appearance, and this is coming from someone who usually doesn’t give a toss about it.

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