Stolen Pixels #129: Champions In Line

By Shamus
on Sep 29, 2009
Filed under:
Column

I made this comic backwards. Usually I start with an idea for a joke, and then look for a way to set it up. In this case, I found this scene of NPC heroes waiting to get into hero club (whatever it’s called) and decided the moment needed to be a part of a comic.

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1313 comments. That's a baker's dozen.

From the Archives:

  1. chabuhi says:

    It’s all about what defines us, y’know?

    Reminds me of a college party (COUGH)twenty(COUGH) years ago where a townie introduced himself to me as:

    “Hi. I’m Eddie. I go bow-huntin’ fer durr.”

    “… oh, and I also saved the city from Black Talon.”

  2. Here is a question – was City of Heroes equally bad about concealing the “this is a MMO so you have to wait in line to save the city” or is CO going above and beyond to emphasize it?

    When you started talking about CO I was tempted to jump in, if nothing else to mess around with the character editor. Now I know better. This definitely doesn’t seem like a game I would enjoy, but I’m loving your posts and comics about it. :)

  3. Ergonomic Cat says:

    Missions in CoH are all instanced, so it hid it much better. Other people were doing the same thing as you at the same time, outside your view, rather than in order right in front of you.

    CO is like most MMOs. CoH is the minority (that’s why I’d love CO’s characters in CoH….)

  4. Randy Johnson says:

    If you look really carefully you will see Concealed Carrie in line.

  5. TSED says:

    …. I didn’t even know you had to form lines for it. Whaaat?

  6. Magnus says:

    Ah.. as MMOs become more complex in their storytelling, so will such problems occur.

    In the olden days we made our own fun, I remember creating a guild in Anarchy Online with the sole purpose of taking down the huge Brontosaurs that wandered around in certain areas. Yeah, they were peaceful creatures, but they were huge, and therefore killing one was impressive (to me at least!).

  7. Magnus: One of my friends was in a UO orcs guild – they had huge events, RP’ed orcs, made grand storylines, etc.

    Don’t think you’ll find that in WoW or Aion….

  8. DKellis says:

    To be fair, those heroes are all NPCs (well, except for players who wandered over to see what’s up). I don’t even know what the club is for.

    With regards of queuing to do stuff, Champions Online has a lot of missions out in the open world, and there are a lot of players doing the same stuff (for a number of reasons: launch-day honeymoon period, lack of content variety), so invariably you’ll have to wait for the objectives to respawn. City of Heroes has almost everything in instances (the open world stuff is rare), so there’s no actual queue.

    NPC citizens sing your praises in both games, but CoH did it less until recently, and now they have a lot more content variety, so players in the vicinity of each other probably haven’t all done the same stuff. CO has much chattier citizens. (But still no children.)

  9. Legendary Bard says:

    So, if he’s a huge pushover, it could be like.

    “Hi, I’m Joe. I don’t have any powers, but I still saved the city from Black Talon.”

  10. Simplex says:

    Hello,

    Maybe this is not the best place to ask, but is twentysided steam group still playing Left4Dead? I am asking in light of the new mini-campaign “crash course” that was released yesterday :)

  11. Jonn says:

    Its called Club Caprice, for what little difference it makes.
    Interesting name, certainly fits the club theme.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/caprice In case anyone is curious.

  12. Joshua says:

    Champions actually does a much better job with making you feel special, IMO. Not only is there the parade in your honor and the way the post tutorial zones change thanks to your intervention, but you sometimes get actually useful souvenirs of your battles directly tied to who you were fighting instead of purely generic drops. In City, you feel like a low-level flunky who isn’t even worthy of the contact’s cell-phone number until you’ve done a whole lot of leg-work. I actually find that more annoying than having to go see every contact in person in Champs, where at least most of the time the contact is in the same zone. And City’s almost-every-mission-is-instanced comes at the expense of you’ll have seen almost every map you’ll ever experience by level ten; players treasure the handful of missions that just have some new textures and unique placed items on the same old maps (like the freak’s lair in Freakolympics, or the garage in Clockwork Captive) because they’re so rare.

  13. BlckDv says:

    I’ll also chime in as a CoH and CO alum that the “queue” issues to fight a foe in CO are uncommon and abnormal, not an every mission occurrence. Almost every “boss confrontation” is still done as an instance, where your team has its own private world to confront the actual named villains, you just beat up most of the lackeys in a common area unlike CoH. Now, you do have the issue of having several PCs all gather around the quest NPCs to do turn it, making it clear you are not the only hero helping that person out, but CoH has this as well.

    I also love the little mission extras in CO, like the Crime Computer, citizen requests, and Socrates “alerts”. The Crime Computer flags quest givers you may have missed for you, while citizen requests and Socrates alerts give you spontaneous mini-missions you can take or pass up, like to stop a bank heist in progress or help scientists fleeing from an evil company. They help to break up the “nothing ever happens” vibe that MMO’s naturally give off.

    Also; the setting Shamus used for this comic does not actually have any in-game mentioning of everyone having played the tutorial. There is a “club” in the mob free part of the city that is billed by the NPCs and setting fluff as a club for supers, and so the game generates a queue of folks in costume waiting to get in.. they do not make mention of what villians they have defeated. I’m not at all shocked; as when a “club” was added to CoH it rapidly became a center of RP player attention, so CO decided to have such a place from day one.

    In the same way the fluff casts the PvP part of the game as a televised sport like WWE style wrestling.

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