Champions Online


May 6, 2003
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I've already posted news of this in the City of Heroes Thread, but I thought it would deserve it's own Thread. Champions Online is a Next-Gen Super Hero MMORPG, done by the same people that created City of Heroes. It's based on a popular Pen & Paper game from 1981, you can read more on it on the Official Homepage. It will be available for the PC and Xbox360.






I've registered myself on the Champions Forum and found out some interesting things, you no doubt would like to know. Apparently there won't be any power-sets anymore, instead every character will be able to learn anything. I don't know how exactly that'll work myself, but here are some posts from a Developer from a Thread concerning that specific subject.

We are still working on many of the specifics of how you will select powers for your character and which powers you can select at any particular point. There is a lot of iteration and testing that still has to happen before we give a real picture of what you'll be playing with when the game goes live.

Our goal is to give you guys as much flexibility and customization as we possibly can without penalizing you for making thematic choices in your power selection.

We've made the deliberate decision to allow for a massive amount of customization and power flexibility. Even where this flexibility won't be total, the reality is that this will - not might, but absolutely will - allow for players to gimp themselves and for min-maxing in various forms to occur.

Trying to balance this with traditional conceptions of balance is clearly going to be an uphill battle. What we are focusing on, instead, is to try to make it so that there is as wide an array of viable choices and options as possible. What I do not want to see is a system where while a player can theoretically choose a million different options, in reality all but one of those options is completely gimping themselves.

What does this mean in practical terms?

We are going to provide as flexible and as customizable a system of power selection as we can offer while preserving good gameplay for a majority of builds and approaches. Some builds will inevitably fall between the cracks of our expectations for normative gameplay, and we're just going to accept that as an inevitable price for experimentation.

There are also some changes to the combat system as well.

from the article said:
Basic details on the controller layout for the Xbox 360 version of the game have now been revealed. The two analogue sticks are used in typical action game fashion -- left stick is movement, right stick is camera. Pressing the A button will make your character jump, while one of the face buttons is a default attack (X button?) that gives you an immediate punch, kick or single blast of some kind. Holding down the right bumper puts your superhero into a guard stance. Anytime you achieve success in attacking or defending, a blue bar representing your power fills up -- allowing superpowers to be unleashed via any of the other mapped face buttons. Holding down the left trigger will act as a shift-function, which makes your face buttons change into other mapped powers on the fly. None of these powers have recharge timers, so if you've got the blue energy to pull it off you can do so instantly and to your hearts content.

By their nature, MMORPGs and traditional fighting games have different priorities which feed different control structures. We are, indeed, trying to make CO play faster and more reactively, and in that sense it may feel different from what many are used to with MMORPGs.

That being said, CO is still an MMORPG, and character development and tactical consideration are very much at the forefront. CO will be more reactive and faster paced than a traditional fantasy MMORPG, but not as twitchy as a conventional fighting game.

In regards to the Endurance Bar, melee fighting attacks will not be the only attacks that build Endurance - there will be ranged options that accomplish this as well. There will, too, be powers that you can use in an initial onslaught, but most of your most deadly powers will require that you fight for a while before you can bring them to bear.

The important point to this is that there will never be a time when you as a player will have to simply sit there waiting for your powers to recharge - there will always be something for you to do.

That's all for now. If I find out any more interesting stuff, I'll make sure to post them on here.
i might like to give champions a try
The concept of this game has grown on me and now I'm pretty excited. I hope the power to multiply is available in there. :yay:
4 Scans from Game Informer.

I really hope (although doubt) that there is no fee for this besides the purchase of the game itself. I mean Xbox Live is enough and games like Guild Wars and Counterstrike do fine without fees.
Even if I'd prefer it to be free, I can live with monthly fees. Other people spend their money on cigarettes, I pay monthly fees for a game.

What makes me really excited about the game right now, is the fact that gameplay is probably going to be way more dynamic than in traditional MMORPGs. Gameplay that feels more like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance? If that's really true, I'm definitely getting it.
That oughta be fun. An MMORPG I can really get into. Fingers crossed for that multiplying power though. :woot: I'm already thinking up my characters.
I read about this in GI and the game looks amazing. I wonder if there're gonna be upgrades and stuff you can buy on X-Box Live.
I heard everything will be available for everyone from the getgo. Don't see why the 360 should get extra stuff.
I think next year. I don't know the exact date.
I'm really hoping XBOX LIVE is enough and that there's no extra money paid for monthly costs.
For those interested what the Developers have to say, there's a nice little thing called Dev Tracker. It's a special section of the board that lists every post that a Dev has made. So have fun hunting down any useful information.
I loved City of Heroes, still play occaisionaly with friends, so there's a strong chance I may get this over Age of Conan, depending on reviews of them both.
It looks cool but I cant get behind a game that you have to continue to pay for every month in order to play
For those interested what the Developers have to say, there's a nice little thing called Dev Tracker. It's a special section of the board that lists every post that a Dev has made. So have fun hunting down any useful information.

whats a "dev"?
It's just short for Developer.
The site has been updated with 3 new Screenshots. Showing us some of the character's facial expressions.




I wish the characters had a more realistic look to their faces, but I'm excited all the same.
Little update. Cryptic collected tons of questions and picked 5 of them to answer. Might give a little more insight into game.

Kestrel said:
You asked, we answer!

Here are a few of the questions submitted on our forums recently. Thanks very much to Jackalope, Arkayne and Heretic for their answers!

If we didn't get to your question, don't worry. We're going to be doing this frequently, and you'll have a chance to ask again. We're as excited as you are about Champions Online – it's just that there's a lot to talk about, so we can't get to every question immediately.

Will we be told what decisions were made based on drawing Inspiration from the HERO system? HERO'philes want to know what parts of their beloved system to expect. (Drakos)

Jackalope: Well, Drakos, some of the stuff will be pretty darn obvious! We're lifting some terminology straight from the HERO System and putting it into Champions. However, the HERO System and Champions Online won't be identical.

For those of you who don't know Champions – go out and buy it right now – and just settle for my very brief description. A player receives a certain amount of points at character creation and then allocates them into a variety of areas: characteristics, powers, skills, etc. There's a single commodity, these hero points, which players use in both character creation and advancement. The beauty of the system is its flexibility. You can create just about any power, any character you can imagine.

In terms of powers, you start out with a very generic description. Let's say you wanted a long range flame blast. First, a player selects "Energy Blast" (every blast in Champions starts out as an Energy Blast). Then he'd select a variety of advantages to simulate long range and damage over time. After applying these advantages, a player calculates the final cost. There's another step – what sort of power structure you can place the power in – but I'll leave that alone for the moment.

To compare this system to others, there is no such thing as a "Dark Blast" or an "Ice Blast" in the HERO System. Mechanically, everything is just an Energy Blast, but with different advantages and even limitations applied.

If we turn to Champions Online, we won't be using the exact same point system, power advantages, characteristics, power limitations or disadvantages (all of this is Hero lingo). We are using systems that are essentially the same, but fit the MMORPG genre somewhat better. In Champions Online, we will have Dark Blast, Ice Blast, etc. Now, a player will be able to affect how these things develop, but this won't be an orthogonal to the choices in the HERO system.

Our inspiration from the Champions RPG is to allow players to customize their powers. Rather than trying to copy the specific power advantages and limitations (and the +/- fractions), we're trying to achieve the same goal of power customization. So yes, we'll have advantages and limitations, but they won't be the same type in the HERO System core rulebook. They'll be different ...

Will non-combat skills come into play?

As an example, if a level has a reactor which may explode, blocking off entry to an area, can that reactor be set to normal with a 'Science' skill? Can a 'Security' roll be made to gain entrance to areas that you couldn't otherwise enter? (rabb1t)

: Yes there is rabb1t! There are skills you can learn, develop, and use to affect your environment. For example, while raiding a VIPER base you may come across a team of VIPER agents accessing a Draysha Gas station to make themselves more powerful in combat. If your Science skill is high enough, you may be able to shut down the gas vents or reconfigure it so you can gain the benefits (and drawbacks) of the gas! We have a good distribution of Skill-based interactions throughout the game so players will have lots of fun figuring out how to turn an environment to their advantage or unlock bonus elements.

How do you intend to avoid Archvillain fights that are nothing more than high hit point slugouts? (Ex_Machina)

: Excellent question, Ex_Machina! One of the things we learned from previous MMOs is that while a bag o'hit points villain is fun to take down once in awhile, you also need more interesting boss fights. As part of the Nemesis system, there will be special "Showdown" scenarios based on forced confrontations with your Nemesis and his or her minions. The scenario differs each time with different objectives so it'll keep your Nemesis fights interesting.

What will the "death penalty" be? (Hythian)

Arkayne: The "death penalty" is fairly simple, Hythian. After a player is defeated, he or she can choose to wait until another nearby player with healilng powers puts them back in the fight. Failing that, the player can choose to go to a nearby recovery point. Those points are spread throughout zones and instance maps.

Regardless of what the player chooses to do, they have to pay a small price for defeat: upgrade degradation. Upgrades are pieces of equipment, imbuements, special training, etc., that players use to make their character more powerful. Every upgrade has a condition associated with it. Whenever a player is defeated any upgrades the player has slotted degrade. If the condition of an upgrade is reduced to 0, it stops providing a benefit. Upgrades can be restored to full effectiveness for a resource cost at most hero safe areas throughout the game. This represents items being repaired, re-exposure to experimental rays, combat technique montages, etc.

I've got a question about the new combat system. In the newest Game Informer, it said that the combat feels more like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. So to touch upon a question from another thread, do we still auto-target our opponents and have a fireball follow them around corners and even through allies? Or can a selfless friend stand in front of you, defend you and take the hit? (Dusk)

Heretic: You will auto-target your opponent, but there are a couple of changes to how we are approaching player powers that should minimize the "fireball following them around corners" issue.

First, we have shortened activation times as much as possible. This makes the game feel faster and more responsive, but it also significantly reduces the frequency of projectiles following around corners.

Second, we are relying more heavily on charge-up and maintained attacks. The advantage of these type of attacks is that they give the player the opportunity to block or move to put walls and other objects in the way and close off line of sight from their attacker.
I'm sold! I still love COH, but I'm glad we are getting something new. It's cool that it's coming out on the 360, is it going to be cross-platform?

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