I'm not convinced many, if any, of our regular readers are still playing superheroic MMO Champions Online - general interest seemed to dry up pretty soon after release. Would love to hear some earnest talk about what it's like these days, though - are the servers busy, is there plenty to do at the high-end, has it managed to diversify its quests yet? CO was probably the biggest disappointment of last year's games for me - not a critical failure, but meatless enough that it killed my plans to spend a couple of merry months in an online world stone dead. At least Cryptic aren't throwing in the supertowel yet - they're continuing to tinker under the hood (although earlier attempts at that pissed fans off royally), plus they've just revealed the first expansion's in the works... If they had any sense, they'd call it CHAMPIONS ONLINE VS SIR BIFF BIFFINGTON III OF THE MEGA-BIFFINGTONS. They haven't announced the name yet, so it's not too late - CAMPAIGN! CAMPAIGN! CAMPAIGN!
What they have revealed is that it's set in a new area known as Vibora Bay, which is ... oh, I'll just paste it. I don't know any better. "One of the Gulf Coast’s largest and most exciting cities. It’s a center of commerce, culture, tourism, and some incredibly strange goings-on. It maintains unusual traditions of mysticism and religion along with an eclectic group of inhabitants and frequent paranormal activities. Heroes constantly face threats of global proportions, but this time the crisis is greater than ever. The apocalypse has come, and it rides upon the half angelic / half demonic wings of Therakiel."
Which sounds pretty much Here Is A New Place To Beat Up Some Monsters In, but the last line hints it might be a little more dramatic than that. If this is indeed an apocalypse, it could be something that affects the Champions world in its entirely rather than just the one city. What with apocalypses not generally being territorially precise, and all that.
More details and piccies soon, but before then is the charmingly-titled Kitchen Sink patch, which seems a pretty weighty attempt to fill in some of the balances holes and rebalance its unbalanced balancing. Gaze upon the latest patch notes ye mighty, and despair. More instantly appealing are the other various mini-updates due - f'r instance, a new,
free not-free clutch of costume pieces being added every week for the next three weeks, and the option to flashback and replay old missions. More future-morsels are listed here.
So it sounds as though it's an agreeably fatter game than it was once, but it's still tempting to question the wisdom of going to an expansion pack just yet, given the game caught quite a lot of flak for being short on content in some areas. That's presuming it's a paid-for expansion, of course: a freebie would be good news. Because, I suspect, what's needed is something super-tasty to lure lapsed players back, rather than just to squeeze a few more groats out of those who remain.
CHAMPIONS ONLINE VS SIR BIFF BIFFINGTON III OF THE MEGA-BIFFINGTONS. Do it!
Dave Tosser says: Yes, the bees, the bees, they understand. Master, don't beat me, I love you. Champions Online's problem is that it was only slightly different to City of Heroes. It should have been exactly the same, rather than taking dangerous creative risks like using a different graphics engine. If Cryptic simply change the title to Champions Of Heroes then I... my... I, I, I... MONEY. MASTER. MONEY.