Heroes of Champions Online

By Shamus
on Sep 17, 2009
Filed under:
Pictures

Um. So…

Today’s lack of substantive posting is brought to you by Champions Online. I have about a dozen posts in the queue. (In this context “The Queue” is located between my ears.) But if I don’t type them I can’t post them. I think next we’ll be talking about FUEL.

In the meantime, here are a few snapshots of other heroes I’ve spotted in the game:

”TheHulk77″ – his powers are super strength and super lack of imagination.
”TheHulk77″ – his powers are super strength and super lack of imagination.

I think he was actually named “Spider Man”, which means he’s probably been punished in whatever way they punish you for using the game to flaunt IP laws. I’m the one on the left.  “Doc Feral”.  A scientist turned into a big musclebound ape-thing. Not exactly trailblazing work on my part, either.
I think he was actually named “Spider Man”, which means he’s probably been punished in whatever way they punish you for using the game to flaunt IP laws. I’m the one on the left. “Doc Feral”. A scientist turned into a big musclebound ape-thing. Not exactly trailblazing work on my part, either.

That’s a pretty good Green Lantern, but still… all this freedom to create and all you want to do is re-make an existing hero?
That’s a pretty good Green Lantern, but still… all this freedom to create and all you want to do is re-make an existing hero?

Oh how novel. Come on, doesn’t ANYONE have ANY imagination?
Oh how novel. Come on, doesn’t ANYONE have ANY imagination?

AHHHH! Okay, that’s enough imagination. Can we go back to knockoffs now?
AHHHH! Okay, that’s enough imagination. Can we go back to knockoffs now?

I liked him because his character was named “Seamus O’Toole”.
I liked him because his character was named “Seamus O’Toole”.

No doubt his nemesis is the fearsome Doctor Atkins.
No doubt his nemesis is the fearsome Doctor Atkins.

There are a LOT of clown-themed heroes. Clowns, and people wearing all black.
There are a LOT of clown-themed heroes. Clowns, and people wearing all black.

I used to think goofy names like this were because the player couldn’t find a good name, but Champs Online lets you pick any name you want without caring if someone else is using it.  And still we get people named “PressAnyKey”, “xXKillStealerXx”, and “TheHulk77″
I used to think goofy names like this were because the player couldn’t find a good name, but Champs Online lets you pick any name you want without caring if someone else is using it. And still we get people named “PressAnyKey”, “xXKillStealerXx”, and “TheHulk77″

I really liked this one.  Good use of color. Reminds me of Vivec from Morrowwind.
I really liked this one. Good use of color. Reminds me of Vivec from Morrowwind.

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  1. Tacoma says:

    No Gandalf yet?

    • Shamus says:

      I don’t think there are long beards. Actually, the selection of beards is large but shallow. Several times I’ve found I couldn’t make what I wanted, beard-wise. They don’t have a normal, well- trimmed, medium length beard, but they have a dozen variants on the “Ming the Merciless” theme.

  2. samiel says:

    snacktor is my idol

  3. Rosseloh says:

    Agh, now I want to play it, and I can’t afford paying for another MMO!

    Oh well, I’ll stick with LotRO and CoH for now.

  4. Rutskarn says:

    I wonder if the glut of knockoffs will taper off as the mods start getting their acts together? I would really hate to go adventuring with The Shoveler, Ash Williams, and Pee Wee Herman.

    Okay, that’s a filthy lie. Still.

    @Shamus: I call that the The Movies effect. 50 hairstyles, 4 of which aren’t hideously ostentatious and completely, bafflingly useless. 100 costumes, 20 of which aren’t pointless in the extreme.

  5. Henebry says:

    if the beard selection is skimpy, they certainly seem to make it easy to create a Marvel or DC lookalike.

    I agree with samiel: Snacktor is my idol. Not only does he look like a lamebrain; what’s more he’s a member of a supergroup that manages to reference two (2!) postmodern comic book supergroups, groups which themselves are references to silver-age groups the Justice League and the Avengers. PoMo is perfect for fans because it’s all about the knowing reference.

  6. Eric Rossing says:

    Hmm…. I haven’t made a clown yet…

  7. MintSkittle says:

    Seems like lots of people are somewhat lacking in imagination. Longshot seems to be a common name for Munition characters, and after creating my first character and getting dropped off in the tutorial zone, the first person I see is a clone of Sakura from Naruto.

  8. pnf says:

    Saving the “Female character with the chest slider allllll the way to the right and wearing something skimpy” screenshots for another post?

  9. BaCoN says:

    Robes are hard to pull off.

    Shamus, if you wanna give me a shout, me global be @Obee.

  10. chabuhi says:

    That’s another thing I couldn’t stand about CO. I mean, I’m not asking people to be the most imaginative person in the world, coming up with only perfectly unique names, but there isn’t anything more immersion-killing than chars with sequentially numbered generic names, (not-so-cleverly) veiled curse words for names, names of characters from completely unrelated fiction, or multi-syllable names with no vowels (ok, so DC broke that rule themselves, so that one’s OK, I guess).

    I’d rather see a bunch of “Bob’s” walking around than one more “Spyydrr Mahn”

  11. Galenor says:

    Can you create a character that has a monocle, a cape, a top hat and a handlebar moustache?

    If so, I’m going to have to buy this game right now.

  12. Joshua says:

    Where the breast slider defaults to is based on body build. Most of them are largest, but some (Strong maybe? Not in the game right now to check) it’s somewhere in the middle.

  13. chabuhi says:

    @Galenor

    Are you re-creating Mr. Peanut?

  14. Ludo says:

    I like the idea of a name which hint at your powers without revealing all your weaknesses… so I have “Impact” (might and a touch of Supernatural), “Bullet” (Munitions, of course), “Armada” (Power armor) and “Spirit” (Psy). On a slightly more devious note, I also have “Empowered” (Force – I really like the name ^^) and “Lupa” (the indispensable female wolfalike).
    No clown, no obvious IP ripoff.

    @Galenor : I think you can do this kind of gentleman. I’m not certain as I usually only create female characters, but I think I saw at least one Mandrake/19th century gentleman.

  15. pffh says:

    So I take it that the character generator is fun? By the way how many characters can you have?

    Also off topic: Shamus there was a tf2 update and the servers need updating.

  16. Merle says:

    I believe my computer would die of alt overload roughly twenty minutes after I joined Champions Online.

    My opinion of Green Light would be greatly improved if he were accompanied by companions named Red Light and Yellow Light…Beware the wrath of the Stoplight Squad!

  17. Pickly says:

    To all the “people lack imagination” posts: This seems surprisingly common for computer game players, or possibly entertainment nerds in general. there;’s the stereotypical “Legolas” for fantasy MMO’s, there’s the way that a lot of people in RPG’s seem to have difficulty imagining any sort of classes apart from pretty stereotypical ones (I assume from D&D or an early MMO), there’s the seeming inability for a lot of people to accept game types outside well established Genres. It seems pretty well established, over and over, to me that a lot of people playing these things lack imagination (Or take it in some very wild directions.)

    (Here’s a blog post I had that mentions some of these things for RPG class ideas: http://pickly-braingas.blogspot.com/2009/08/rpg-character-class-ideas.html)

  18. pffh says:

    @Pickly: Your link has the latter bracket (()=brackets right?) added into it so the link doesn’t work.

  19. Rutskarn says:

    Random thought: would Snacktor’s sidekick be named Lipitor?

    @LastShamusComment: Fan-say!

    Seriously, I’d adventure with that guy. He’d probably supply his own Earl Gray and scone assortment.

  20. mark says:

    My main in CO is “Sycophant”, a gun-toting Irishman from the future, sent back in time to protect earth from genetically modified organic robots. At least he thinks he is. Its so hard to remember with such a killer hangover. maybe a pint would help…

  21. Aaron says:

    I think you mean Vivec, Shamus, not Vivic. Almalexia would shake her head in disgust…

  22. Galenor says:

    @Shamus

    Oh my god.

    It is beautiful.

  23. Shamus says:

    Galenor: That was just a quick two-minute job. I’m sure you could do a lot better with a bit more time. However, the monocle is a tech monocle, not a Victorian one, so it looks a bit odd from the side.

  24. Shamus says:

    “Vivec” fixed. Wouldn’t want to offend Lord Underpants himself.

  25. Maldeus says:

    Oh, man. I swore off monthly fees. I promised myself I’d never get lured into that deathtrap, paying an effectively infinite amount of money for just one game, constantly feeling compelled to play more and more in order to get my moneys worth out of this month’s subscription fee. But then this happened…I…I think I might try the free trial…But if I do, there may be no going back…

  26. BlckDv says:

    My “main” is Doylo, for some value of main. I’ve already got 5 chars past the tutorial and “crisis zone” stages.

    The Jedi Ape is the one I have the most silly who cares fun with. Dual Sword orangutan with a splash of force.

    I had a munitions as my main, but quickly realized that hat wearing trenchcoated gunslinger was a wee bit of a popular design.

    So far the game is a huge sink of time for me, but amazing amounts of fun, both solo and two manning with my wife.

  27. BaCoN says:

    Let’s not mention the enormous group of furries. Don’t see them? Head to Club Caprice, THEYRE ALWAYS THERE.

  28. pneuma08 says:

    I don’t know if people realize they don’t have to compete with others for naming rights.

    Anyhow, I’ve gotta keep an eye out for when they start offering free trial weekends or something. I’m not interested in MMOs, but I do loves me my char gen softwares.

  29. Lilfut says:

    I like this concept. I’m a cheapskate, so does anyone know if there’s a freeware superhero MMORPG?

  30. Maldeus says:

    Having looked at just about every freeware MMO there ever was, is, or will be (that last one took a bit of effort), I can say that there is no freeware superhero MMO. And if there was, it wouldn’t have half the character creation system.

  31. Zero says:

    Want to try the game, but I really hope they’ll put out software with just the “hero creation” portion. City of Heroes had that at one point.

  32. Ergonomic Cat says:

    I hate seeing Cloud Strife every where.

    But then again, I had a CoH named Cirrus Discord….

    My toons are Tiger Bomb, Widowmaker, Beezeruul, Drago, Big Red, Mystikal, Knight Saber and Malakim.

    Not spectacular, but not too horrible.

    I spent several hours watching the starting area tho. It was awesome.

  33. Solid Jake says:

    In defense of The Unimaginative, I think of lot of people’s first instinct when confronted with a superhero game that lets you be pretty much anyone would be to make and play as your favorite superhero.

    It can also be a fun exercise to see how well you can recreate existing characters within a character creator’s restraints. I used to do that with Soul Calibur III all the time (and IV to a lesser extent, as a lot of the options were gutted).

    Finally….well, some of us just kinda suck at coming up with original characters.

  34. BlckDv says:

    Solid Jake:

    Good points, and I’d like to expand on them a bit. How many comic book fans can look back and not think of one time when they wanted to (or even did) yell at their favorite hero “No you idiot, do this instead!” A superhero MMO is the chance to in a small way become the writer and “fix” it; not to just be a character, but to be a “riff” on that character, to see what he is like when he really does act like you want him to, in a small way to get to be the writer for a while.

    While some of us (including myself) may want to express the thousands of hero ideas we will never get to see in print, others may want to see the stories we will never see about characters we know, I am not so sure I can comfortably call them less creative.

  35. Pickly says:

    Ah, link try 2: http://pickly-braingas.blogspot.com/2009/08/rpg-character-class-ideas.html

    @ Solid Jake: What you described to me actually seems like an element of a creativity lack, in that while some people will like to play superheros, the existing superheros often mean that a lot less people will attempt, or have an interest in, their own ideas. (it seems a lot of uncreativity stems from this, actually, in terms of MMO’s or other similar types of ideas.)

  36. Fedaiken says:

    Shamus,

    If you are looking for someone to group with or to bounce questions off on how the systems work hit me up in game. Dr. Hands@fedaiken (I can’t remember right now if i put a space between Dr. and Hands or not.)

    See ya!

  37. BlackBloc says:

    I believe my computer would die of alt overload roughly twenty minutes after I joined Champions Online.

    No worries there. You have only 8 slots.

    I had a munitions as my main, but quickly realized that hat wearing trenchcoated gunslinger was a wee bit of a popular design.

    In my defense, mine’s a girl. ;)
    http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/8714/readytoshoot.jpg

  38. BlackBloc says:

    If you want to Friend me, Guillotine@XDarkAngelX

  39. Jack Colby says:

    I think some of you are making the mistake of thinking that because it’s possible to be original with the creation system, everyone has to have that same goal. Additionally, sometimes when testing out a new game you may want to see how well you can create existing characters, just as a sort of game in itself, or on a lark when bored. Believe it or not, it can take some clever thinking and imagination to combine elements to look as close to a “real” character as possible, given the game’s constraints. It’s a different kind of fun than you may want out of the game, but it surely isn’t “wrong.” Why not just let people be happy playing the way they want to without slapping “uncreative” on them immediately? You don’t know their mindsets when they created those character designs.

  40. Josh says:

    “they punish you for using the game to flaunt IP laws”

    Should say “flout” (to flaunt is to display something proudly)

  41. Maldeus says:

    Something still rubs me wrong about people playing unoriginal characters. Building one, sure. Playing one every now and again, because hey, you built it, you may as well have fun with it. But given the concentration suggested, it would appear several people have lookalikes as their main. And since there’s more than one of any given lookalike…Well, it breaks immersion. You see a Spider-Man lookalike and you know it’s not Spider-Man at all. So, meh. Each to their own, I guess, but lookalikes hurt the gameplay for me.

    Not that I’m actually playing yet…

  42. Uncle Festy says:

    “but Champs Online lets you pick any name you want without caring if someone else is using it.”

    *totally wants to start a guild of people whose usernames are all Joe*

  43. Pickly says:

    @Jack Colby

    It’s not so much that people create these sorts of characters, but that so many seem to create these sorts of characters compared to the amount of people coming up with new/their own ideas. (Sin other words, it’s the total pattern that seems iffy, rather than a particular individual decision.)

  44. freykin says:

    @Merle:

    The stoplight squad would be a cool 3 man team. Green could have some speed buffs, Yellow would have some debuffs, Red would have holds and such, and fit in attacks as appropriate.

  45. RPharazon says:

    This reminds me of the incredibly lame superhero concepts that me and a group of friends came up with a decade ago.

    Best entry was mine, in my opinion. He was a guy who wore a shoebox like a hat, and fought using shoes. Throwing shoes, slapping shoes, and generally shoe-based attacks.

    Oh yes, the heady days of youth.

  46. Taininfernus says:

    I just wish they would release a trial version. I’d love to play it but I have a thing against paying every month to play a game.

  47. Eric says:

    I’ve been considering getting this for a few days now. Of course, the only computer in the house that could run it is now kaput, so it’s a moot point. If/when I get a better computer, I’d totally love to start playing it.

    As far as unoriginal/lookalike characters go, I’m curious to see if I could make either Severian (Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun) or the Escapist (Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay). Just for giggles. I have some ideas of my own I’d like to make.

  48. Jonn says:

    For those interested in the character creator, you might try following the link from http://www.champions-online.com/node/554188 to their IGN costume contest at http://championsonline.ign.com/

    Basically you get access to the costume creator for free, though the contest is restricted to U.S. residents (isn’t that nice, a single global server, specifically for one country /rolleyes)
    Note that I haven’t checked if it forces you to say you are a US resident to access it.

    In seriousness, its a good game with rather a lot of bugs to be fixed. Despite being released later than planed, it STILL needs more time to be considered finished.
    I’m not complaining, mind. Grabbed a lifetime sub as soon as I saw them, and other than the launch-day nerf, very happy with how its growing.

  49. RPharazon: We did that in CoH.

    We had a League of Losers group.

    My characters were “Sleepy Kid” who could fall asleep on command (and make others sleep too) and Third Degree Trauma, who was a fire tanker that wasn’t immune to his own flames. He had bandages on his head, feet, hands, and arms, and a camo pattern in reds to simulate burns all over his body. He was amazingly fun. I bound phrases like “OH GOD, THE PAIN!” and “I…I think I need to see a doctor soon” to his powers. It made people a little uncomfortable to be around him.

  50. Spider Dave says:

    As an undergrad student, I cant afford to get hooked on games for financial and homework reasons.

    But it’s so damn tempting.

  51. justaguy says:

    On one hand I agree that making clones is… derivative. But on the other I can’t help but feel some sympathy there, and think that judging them is, well, judgmental.

    I used to play CoH/CoV (and am not playing CO, cause I’m waiting for a free demo before I decide)and I’ll be honest with you… I ignored pretty much everyone else in the game. From time to time I’d see someone whose costume would catch my attention, and sometimes they were hero clones and at worst I went “Huh, that’s a bad knock off of spider man” but usually it was more along the lines of “Hey, that’s not a bad spider man outfit… that’s dedication.”

    Is calling them unimaginative and looking down on them really necessary? Does it really impede on your enjoyment of the game that much that some random toon looks like spiderman?

    Over time (assuming the game lasts) you are likely to see less knockoffs as people get their legs under them and branch out creatively. For now, people are following their bliss. Is that so wrong?

  52. Jonn!
    Thanks for the links!
    I’ve been wasting the last few hours making way too many fun characters!
    :)

  53. TSED says:

    Wow, Shamus. You’ve seen WAY more knock offs than I have, and I’ve been playing since Sept 5th! I saw Master Chief and I saw The Infraggible Hulk, and that’s pretty much it as far as knock offs go.

    Either I’m oblivious or you’re actively seeking these guys out. I’ve got no idea which is more likely.

  54. RIck says:

    I’m sorry, I still think they look like they’re made from Tempur-Pedic material and have Down’s Syndrome (with apologies to those with Down’s Syndrome). I really don’t like the way the characters look, and it’s really a deal-breaker for me, I’m afraid.

  55. BaCoN says:

    Dude, I’ve seen two spidermans, any number of Crimson Dynamos and Iron Men. I literally saw a group of three Supermans in the Tutorial. I have seem umpteen million Deadpool variants.

    And, like I told Shamus, a BILLION FURRIES.

    Also, Shamus’ costume is actually pretty badass.

  56. Daimbert says:

    On creativity: For many of the people who create clones, there’s one main reason why they might do that. They do it because they want to play as that character.

    Someone commented that it’s jarring to them to see a Spider-Man running around that they know isn’t Spider-Man. Sure, but to the player playing that character, it IS Spider-Man. They have the closest powers they can get to him. They act as he would act. Talk as he would talk. Take missions that he would take. In short, making a clone is allowing that player to play as a character they find interesting. Is that so wrong?

    In CoH/CoV, I created a fair number of clone characters, from an Emma Frost clone to a Raven clone to a Sledge Hammer clone to a Johnny Bee (from Misfits of Science) clone. I also created a fair number of original characters. The clones I created because I wanted a character/personality to play, and something in some way struck me as being cool to play or create one of them. The original characters were the same way. Personally, I’ve had fun with both ideas, and obviously since I can do both it isn’t that I’m unimaginative.

    As for Champions Online, I’m finding it interesting … but I don’t want to upgrade my PC, so I’m staying away from it.

  57. Mephane says:

    Shamus, mind putting each other in the friend list? I don’t know your actual ingame name, but mine is just the same as here. ;)

  58. krellen says:

    My only comment: those graphics are ugly!

  59. Joshua says:

    They look better if you turn off the black outline, IMO.

    Steel Angel

    and

    Paragon

  60. Maldeus says:

    Steel Angel was awesome, I must say. I second the awesomeness of the wings.

    Paragon…Well, stripper with super powers wore thin for me a long time ago, but that’s just my opinion.

    • Shamus says:

      I can’t say anything about the stripper with superpowers. I have this affinity for creating females with huge bulky armor over their hands, feet, and shoulders, and otherwise wearing painted-on underpants. It amuses me way more than it should at 38 years old.

  61. Arquinsiel says:

    I know a Seamus O’Toole. He looks nothing like that. (He is Irish though….). I should tell him about this game so he can go make himself.

  62. TSED says:

    Ok yeah, I HAVE seen a lot of Deadpools. Only a handful of furries though, thank the heavens.

    I’ve made a large number of costumes that I am quite pleased with (CO makes it easy to suffer from alt-itis. I have made about a dozen characters, and deleted a little less than half of them). Nobody comments on them though, so I guess my aesthetics aren’t typical. If any one’s interested in seeing them I guess I could do some uploading.

  63. Maldeus says:

    Meh, something went wrong with the Champions Online character creator download. I’m going to go get a free trial for City of Heroes instead. I expect the next fourteen days are going to be much more stressful than they logically should be.

  64. Zaghadka says:

    Is that really the way the graphics look? That Spider-Man looks like he was photoshopped into the picture, badly.

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