A Star is Born:
Let’s Play Champions Online Pt. 3

By Shamus
on Oct 6, 2009
Filed under:
Shamus Plays

44 comments

If you remember from last time, I’ve been sent to speak with the chief of police and see if he needs any help in his not-being-conquered-by-aliens project. I don’t get the ability to fly until I leave the tutorial area, which means I must jog as heroically as possible down the street.

I elbow my way through the enemy forces and arrive to find the chief of police doling out little homework assignments for the never-ending parade of heroes. I run up to him, rip up the nearest street lamp and then stand there holding it over my head. He doesn’t comment or take notice at the fact that I’ve just flagrantly and senselessly vandalized the city right in front of him. This is because about half the people who come to speak to him do exactly the same thing, and he’s pretty much used to it by now.

Did you… um… order a streetlamp perchance? No? Right.  I’ll just fling this at the wall then.
Did you… um… order a streetlamp perchance? No? Right. I’ll just fling this at the wall then.

Champs Online uses a context-sensitive action key. Use the key on an NPC, and you’ll talk to them. Use it on a door, and you’ll go through. Use it on a streetlamp, and you’ll tear it free and brandish it like a weapon. The problem is that if you’ve got more than one interactive object nearby, it picks the least appropriate one when you press the key. If you’re looking directly at the chief of police and invading his personal space, and if there is a streetlamp somewhere behind you and off to the left, then you will, without fail, rip up that streetlamp when you hit the use key.

I have leveled a lot of characters and I’ve probably done this newbie zone over a dozen times, and the only time I don’t make this mistake is when the streetlamp isn’t there because someone else beat me to it.

I can’t put the streetlamp back, so my only choice is to fling it at the wall and try again.

Then, at long last, I am able to greet the chief of police. This act is so momentous that I ascend a level on the spot.

Chief has a few jobs for me, all of which basically boil down to different excuses for killing aliens. I need to kill aliens who are menacing civilians. I also need to kill aliens raiding medical supplies from ambulances. And finally I need to free people from debris,. This last job, while not explicitly calling for the deaths of aliens, is pretty much impossible to pull off without fighting the aliens between my heroic self and the rubble-bound citizens.

Right. Before I leave, I survey the area and see if anyone else needs my help. Ah yes:

staronchest_luggage.jpg

A citizen in need. Clayton Griswold has lost his luggage. He was about to go on “the vacation of a lifetime”, but then the aliens attacked and he lost his suitcase and an alien took his his passport and some other guys got all his airline tickets and…

This conversation is starting to get a little uncomfortable. Ten feet away a couple of women are bleeding out on the sidewalk, and Clayton here is sobbing about lost airline tickets. I agree to help him just to shut him up.

He claims that he “dropped” the travel stuff, but judging by the number of different aliens I have to pummel to get all of the tickets, I’m pretty sure he handed them out like leaflets. I stride over to a group of bugman nearby and punch them until airline tickets pop out.

This is the guy who has Clayton’s passport.  I can’t believe I’m killing him for a passport and not because he’s invading the city. Note my exceptionally heroic jogging.
This is the guy who has Clayton’s passport. I can’t believe I’m killing him for a passport and not because he’s invading the city. Note my exceptionally heroic jogging.

I’m having trouble figuring out why the aliens took the time to collect airline tickets. I would think that anyone arriving on their own spaceship wouldn’t really have a lot of use for them. Maybe after exterminating and enslaving humanity they plan to engage in some sort of scam involving frequent flier miles?

Next I have to free people from the rubble. This is fun. Thrown objects do tremendous damage, so I lift rubble off of a bystander, hurl it at a bugman to kill him, and recover the medical supplies he drops.

I’m sorry, citizen.  I’m jumping up and down on this rubble as hard as I can, but it just won’t break!
I’m sorry, citizen. I’m jumping up and down on this rubble as hard as I can, but it just won’t break!

I return to the chief who coughs up my XP bounty. Then I hand Clayton his luggage, but of course he can’t go anywhere. This part of the city is sealed off by the aliens. Even if he escapes, I doubt the airlines are going to be doing their thing with aliens in orbit. I don’t think Clayton really thought this through. I leave him to sit alone and dejected, with his suitcase and his airline tickets. Loser.

The chief sends me to see the Silver Avenger, a fellow superhero. Finally, I will be rid of these nagging civilians and we can do some real superhero type stuff. I wonder what sort of exotic missions we’ll undertake together?

The mission to see the Silver Avenger is titled “Silver Avenger Sandwich”.  I have no idea why, and I’m MUCH too embarrassed to ask.
The mission to see the Silver Avenger is titled “Silver Avenger Sandwich”. I have no idea why, and I’m MUCH too embarrassed to ask.

She’s standing next to a SWAT van, but it’s too heavy for me to lift so I manage to speak with her without hurling the thing. It turns out that her plan is: She stands around while I go kill aliens. This pretty much what I’ve been doing since I crawled out of the rubble, is killing bugmen for NPCs who have lists of things that need punched and excuses why they can’t do it themselves.

Silver Avenger gives me a zap gun and asks me to zorch three aliens with it. I strongly object. I’m Star On Chest. I’m not Gun Man or Captain Shooting Stuff. This whole gun thing goes completely against my nature, my powers, my moral code, and character concept. My agent would go bonkers if he even saw me holding a gun. Do you think Altmier’s Brand Zesty Hot Sauce, with their authentic south-of-the-border flavor and easy-pour spout in three amazing flavors wants a spokesman who goes around shooting people? I assure you, they do not.

But she insists that this is a special science gun. It will do some sort of science-y thing to the aliens that will help us understand something or other that I honestly couldn’t follow. I ask her if they could make the gun do the science stuff without hurting the aliens. I mean, I could do that. It would be like taking their picture. I get the readings, then make with the punching. Sadly, they can’t do that.

I’m really uncomfortable with this, but I grudgingly agree to take the gun with me and maybe or maybe not use it against some aliens, I can’t make any promises.

She also asks me to destroy some alien equipment. Can do.

She just wants me to destroy one alien console, but their stuff is so sad and flimsy it would be really hard to destroy just one on my trip through the city. I decide to destroy every single bit of alien technology with my bare hands in order to make up for the whole gun thing.

I go down a side-street and smash up some alien stuff with great relish. Then, looking around to make sure nobody else is around, I use the gun to zap a few dudes.

This just doesn’t feel right. These aliens will <strong>pay</strong> for making me break from my character concept! Thankfully the green ooze they spit is obscuring my face.
This just doesn’t feel right. These aliens will pay for making me break from my character concept! Thankfully the green ooze they spit is obscuring my face.

Meandering around, I get a notice that fellow superhero Kinetic needs my help! I’m sure he just wants me to do what I’m already doing (punching things for people with no ambulatory abilities) but I decide to track him down and see what he needs. XP is XP, after all.

I pass some people trapped in the rubble, and others being menaced by bugmen, but I filled my quota already and there’s just no percentage in going overboard with a job like this.

Aside: The game has a really, really unique take on earning XP. You know how in your average MMO it’s pretty easy to earn XP by killing baddies? In WoW, I think you can ding level 2 in about 15 kills. Well Champs Online is balanced so that an overwhelming majority of your XP comes from turning in quests, not the fighting. Even at level 1, you’d have to grind mooks for an hour or more if you wanted to level. You can just barely see the bar move. This means that unless you’ve got a quest to beat up some bad guys, there is almost no incentive for doing so.

On the upside, this means the game is built so that you should never ever have to simply grind bad guys for XP. The downside is that there’s basically no in-game reward for sweeping the streets for fun.

I manage to track down Kinetik. He’s in a spooky back alley filled with green fog. He’s being held prisoner. By an alien.

That can’t be right. I mean, one alien? I count them again, and sure enough: one.

Kinetik, man.  I don’t want to be rude, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but are you absolutely sure you’re a superhero? Don’t answer right away.  Think about it for a second. Who said you were a superhero? Did this person mention you having any specific powers? Was this person, in fact, your mother?
Kinetik, man. I don’t want to be rude, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but are you absolutely sure you’re a superhero? Don’t answer right away. Think about it for a second. Who said you were a superhero? Did this person mention you having any specific powers? Was this person, in fact, your mother?

Kinetic, what is going on with you, man? You’re trapped in a flimsy alien cage and held prisoner by one dude. I killed a dude just like this a few minutes ago for a passport for the dumbest man in the city. I’ve ripped up and thrown heavier objects than your cage by accident while trying to talk to people.

After a moment of reflection I realize I just can’t, in good conscience, rescue Kinetic. Doing so would lower us both in so many ways. I’m sorry, Kinetic. You’ll have to escape on your own or suffer the terrible fate of… being in a flimsy cage. Good luck.

I leave Kinetik behind and go on to finish the job Silver Avenger gave me. She said that after I was done… uh, “using” the gun, I should take it to Dr. Silverback.

Problem #1: Dr. Silverback is a holographic projection. How do I “give” something to a holographic projection?

Problem #2: Dr. Silverback is an ape-man, and “silverback” sounds a lot like an awful racist slur against ape-people. I that really his name? Was she hazing me by trying to get me to call him silverback? Is this like sending the new recruits to get elbow grease? His name is probably “Dr. Parker”, and I’m going to walk up and call him “silverback” and then it will be all awkward.

So, I’m supposed to give you this gun? Do I just leave it here or… ?
So, I’m supposed to give you this gun? Do I just leave it here or… ?

I try to give him the gun before he explains I need to plug the thing in to the base of his holo-whatsit. Right. Of course. I knew that. Dr. Hologram seems happy enough to have the data. I try to play it off like I’m just delivering the gun for someone else and I don’t know anything about it being used to shoot anybody.

He looks at the “readings” and gets all excited. But then he gives me a new job: He wants me to go help superhero Ironclad.

Right, right. I can see where this is going. Fine. Let’s go talk to Ironclad.

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Footnotes:


20204Feeling chatty? There are 44 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Yonder says:

    Break a superhero out of a flimsy cage and you help him for a day, teach him that he needs to break out of his own damn cage and you help him for a lifetime.

  2. Well, thematically and visually this all looks cool. Can’t see much that differentiates it from other MMOs in terms of the basics though

  3. Modran says:

    On the one hand, you seem to be having fun. And I AM having fun reading your articles (the origin one was very cool).

    On the other hand, the more I read, the less I want to go, buy the game and play it…

  4. Jazmeister says:

    This is a pretty hideous portrait of the type of quest standard MMOs offer. It’s very interesting. This wouldn’t even begin to attempt to even think about cutting the mustard in a single player game.

  5. Rhys Aronson says:

    While it is just one alien, it is an INVASION LEADER!

  6. Thunderbat says:

    The Kinetic capture screenshot’s caption made me laugh SO hard.

  7. Of course Kinetik normally has a few pretty feeble aliens defending him. Or as I’ve tended to find a small posse of heroes hanging around waiting for him to get captured again so they can rescue him.

  8. scope.creep says:

    I think the name of the mission, “Silver Avenger Sandwich”, is a pun on Silver Avenger’s last name, “Sanchez”. Most mission names are puns or in-jokes. I suppose I could see a comic book being titled in such a manner. Sometimes the puns are amusing; sometimes they’re sigh-inducing. Must everything be a joke? Seems I read something about that somewhere… probably by Yahtzee. The guy’s a genius.

  9. mavis says:

    you know – i’ve never found kinetic. A lost cat – a trapped supper villian but never kinetic…

  10. Joe says:

    God that cape looks fantastic.

  11. Ritch says:

    This is NUTS. The game doesn’t even take itself seriously. I can’t imagine playing this if all the quests are a joke. It’s more like those Justice Friends side stories from Dexter’s Laboratory or Evil, Inc. (bows to Brad Guigar) than JLA, X-Men or Avengers.

    Mystery Men was comedic, but even it had more heart and soul than this.

    I’m so glad I didn’t sign up.

  12. Joshua says:

    Killing the Invasion Leader guarding Kinetix and the four Drones that spawn is I think the only place in the Tutorial that I’ve been defeated more than once while soloing (not counting the time during Beta when they accidentally gave Black Talon, the boss at the end, something like 90% damage resistance). It seems to depend what powers I have, and maybe whether I’ve got good Con, whether five aliens at once is no biggie or doom.

    Since so many of the missions are go mug enough guys to get X drops anyway, I’m hoping they put in some repeatable missions that just tell you to go patrol and smack baddies that get in your way.

  13. RichVR says:

    1. If you click on choices instead of hitting Z problem solved.

    2. The guy holding Kinetik is a challenge at your level. You would have had fun if you tried to free him. Very likely would have been defeated the first time, especially if his buddies show up.

    3. I know the articles on CO are humorous but the game is more fun than you make it sound. Sorry.

  14. BlckDv says:

    Man, while I have gotten some good laughs from this series, I do want to point out that if I was not a fellow Champions player, I would likely think that this was a horrible, horrible game from reading them. If it was that horrible (admittedly a subjective idea), my main Doylo would not still be fighting his nemesis Red Slaad across Millennium City.

    I am presuming that the choice to interpret everything from the most negative light is an intentional bit of foolishness to help highlight the sort of guy Star on Chest is, but for those who have not played the game, let me point out a few extra details that Star did not include.

    1)I think the most recent patch has really improved the context button. While I still have issues when two NPCs are side by side, it has seemed to prioritize talking to someone above other choices the last few days.

    2) I have always felt that I did do what I can for those “mortally wounded civilians”. I gather the stolen medical supplies that can be used to treat them or ease their suffering, as the Police Chief asked me to. I’m guessing less “super” Doctors and Nurses are capable of giving them out, and I don’t need the game to play s clip scene of triage to accept that.

    3) Yeah, the luggage I can kind of get, but the “save my vacation” quest has always been a bit hokey to me too, no counter point here.

    4) Actually, the wonky sound gun device Silver Avenger gives you does let you get away with not fighting or killing the aliens. If you read the text and watch the in game effects, it “pacifies” the alien you zap, and you do not have to beat on the pacified alien unless you are a jerk. I’ve finished the gun part of this mission without killing a single alien on over half my toons. I still do have to beat up a Qulaar or two to get to the console… but I don’t have to use the gun on them.

    5) Counter to aside: I have consistently been rewarded by the game for going out of my way to help clean the streets. If I rescue random citizens from thugs, rubble, whatever that I have no quest for, I get a bonus pop of XP, I know that it was 500 XP around level ten. Sometimes the rescued citizens also offer me special one off missions. “the guys who robbed me were working with…”

    6) With Kinetik, I think the issue really is respawn speed vs. players doing the tutorial. The few times I have done this quest with no other hero around, there are actually three “layers” of enemy, a pair of firebugs, then a trio of the normal fighting drones, then the pictured Invasion Leader.. which was already noted is not the same mob as the one who stole the passport.

    7) A more general comment: To me, this game has invited me to forget what level I am, and not assume that the OOC frame of level matches the IC frame of story. Spiderman didn’t gain a level after his first few issues… but he was better known and got more attention from good and bad guys. I like to think of Champions as like a comic.. leveling up is more about the writer adding new powers in later issues or having a crazy crossover event… from this point of view, “rescuing Kinetik” when I’m level 5 feels like I’m a hero, not like it’s a joke of a mission.

  15. acronix says:

    Pun-named quests are quite common in other games, like Warhammer Online. Some are serious in their content, but the title is an intended joke. But I think CO`s intention is to satyrize heroes stories. Of course that it takes away all the heroic feel you could have had in your hero if the setting took itself seriously.

  16. Spider Dave says:

    It’s always fun to see a hero following the Path of the Closed Fist for once. Props for that.

  17. MelTorefas says:

    Personally I think the game Shamus is describing sounds like tremendous fun (aside from the Cowboy robots). And his articles, I find *highly* entertaining. The entire point of these kinds of articles is to highlight and poke fun at the nonsensical aspects of the game from a mostly in-character perspective.
    That doesn’t equate to a review of the game. If anything the fact is that Shamus has constantly said how much he loves this game, and if he didn’t I don’t think he would spend this much time on it (remember Velvet Assassin?).
    I guess I just don’t get why it seems like so many people here and on the Escapist want to take the silly, fun things Shamus writes and treat them so seriously.

    …Actually, replace “here and on the Escapist” with “on the internet” and “Shamus” with “anyone at all ever”, and I think you have a fine summary of my biggest dislike for the internet as a form of communication.

  18. NotYetMeasured says:

    Aside: The game has a really, really unique take on earning XP. You know how in your average MMO it’s pretty easy to earn XP by killing baddies? In WoW, I think you can ding level 2 in about 15 kills. Well Champs Online is balanced so that an overwhelming majority of your XP comes from turning in quests, not the fighting. Even at level 1, you’d have to grind mooks for an hour or more if you wanted to level. You can just barely see the bar move. This means that unless you’ve got a quest to beat up some bad guys, there is almost no incentive for doing so.

    On the upside, this means the game is built so that you should never ever have to simply grind bad guys for XP. The downside is that there’s basically no in-game reward for sweeping the streets for fun.

    I love quest-based XP, but it sounds like they need to bump up the reward for non-quest activities, so it is worth at least a little. Another mechanism, used by LOTRO and possibly others, is to have Kill Deeds. Kill 300 bug-men (or save 100 trapped civilians, etc.) and you get some small boost for your character. The targets are set high enough so that you probably won’t get them from only doing the normal quests, so there is some value from just grinding, if you want to do that.

  19. DrKwang says:

    @NotYetMeasured: Those are called “Perks” in CO. They have them for “Killed X bug-aliens”, and for talking to people (meet all of the “Champions” supergroup) and for finishing quests in the story areas (there are several side-quests like helping the tourist that stack up to a perk that Star On Chest is going to sadly miss….)

  20. Torsten says:

    Is it a thing with perspective or are the NPC characters in the game really that tall compared to player characters? It bugs me in MMOs when you try to create a character and find out that even a tall player character is head shorter than NPCs and a normal height character, that should really be the most common height in the game world, has eyes in average NPCs crotch level.

  21. Mazinja says:

    You do get some shiny stuff for killing X number of enemies. The X is a VERY LARGE NUMBER. You get a perk for 100, 1000, and 5000 enemies of each type. 1k and 5k perks unlock a costume piece at a vendor. It’d be nice of they unlocked it for ALL CHARCTERS, but this is apparently not the case.

    Also, Star On Chest! The kitten! Foxbat! Think of the publicity! THINK OF THE PUBLICITY!

  22. camazotz says:

    I’m definitely enjoying this blow-by-blow tale….I think a few of the more aggresive defenders of CO need to relax a bit and recognize the humor of it; I would still be playing CO right now (despite the rampant lack of seriousness…nothing I wasn’t prepared for, being familiar with the paper and pencil edition of Champions; Foxbat for the win!) if not for the fact that my rig throws up while trying to run it.

  23. Joshua says:

    @Torsten it’s perspective. The default height for characters seems to be about 6′ (for police and bodyguard types, with random pedestrians a bit smaller), the max height for your character is 7′, which puts it head and shoulders above most of the NPCs. The shot of him talking to Silver Avenger is more indicative.

  24. Zed-F says:

    Re: Aside

    The rewards from sweeping the streets are there, just not in the form of XP for defeating mobs. Instead you get:
    – Perks when you’ve defeated a given (usually large) number of mobs
    – XP for rescuing civilians (500 xp per civilian, which can add up fast if you can find an area with lots of respawning civilians to rescue)
    – Civilians will run up to you while you are out patrolling and give you timed missions. Civilians you rescue can also do the same.

    As far as the game not taking itself too seriously goes, remember that it’s intended to have a Silver Age feel to it. If you know comics, you may recall that the bulk of Silver Age comics didn’t take themselves too seriously either. ;)

  25. Jack V. says:

    I infer the aliens probably have some similar sort of conversations with an alien NPC:

    – Dude, I’m psyched! Let’s invade this place!
    – …and then, go and collect 13 airline tickets
    – And how many people in NY drop them?
    – One in 1000000
    – Riiiiiight. And then I can go back to invading the city?
    – Right.
    – OK, I’ll go wait for the guy to respawn. I hope being beaten into bloody pulp by incomprehensible blaarglings and having his treats stolen doesn’t make him all depressed, or the next guy will feel awful guilty.
    – Think of the XP, ok? And get on with it, the next guy just vzorped in.

  26. Traska says:

    The guy holding Kinetik is a challenge at your level. You would have had fun if you tried to free him. Very likely would have been defeated the first time, especially if his buddies show up.

    ———————–

    Wait. It’s fun, but you’ll likely be defeated the first time? That’s the antithesis of fun. It just sounds like DIAS gaming to me. ::Sigh:: I played this game in beta, even got through the Canadian area (which was… okay, it was snowy) and into the city. I loved the look and feel of the place (it’s amazing what you can do with Paragon City with five more years of tech advances, innit?) but overall, the game itself seemed rather middle-of-the-road. Hopefully it will get better.

    But yeah, the constant attempts at humor was one of the reasons I didn’t buy a copy and subscribe. I like subtle humor, not cream-pie-in-the-face humor, and that seems to be all CO has.

  27. TheNovak says:

    Since no one else seems to have mentioned it: you totally could have rescued Foxbat and/or a nearby cat for additional chunks of XP.

    Also, I’m glad that you’re enjoying the game in spite of itself, Shamus — same boat here. I just reached level 40 with my main (the Steel Spartan), and despite a lot of frustration with things both small (trailing mouse cursor) and large (friggin’ Lagmuria, having to grind heavily from 39 to 40, Bill Roper’s “if it’s not working right, break it really hard in the opposite direction before you fix it” design philosophy), I honestly don’t think I’ve had as much fun with an MMO as I’ve had with Champions.

    One final thing that will undoubtedly come in handy: http://www.ebonmists.com/co/index.php

    It’s a site that will tell you what quests you’ve missed, since there are a lot of them tucked away in little corners of the game world. You take your character’s page address (from the My Characters link at the bottom of the left sidebar on the CO website), and you get a big list complete with wiki links. Wish I’d discovered it earlier; it would have saved me a ton of frustration.

  28. Feb says:

    This series is so much fun. My laptop is probably not up to specs, and I doubt I’d be into an MMO in any case, but it’s really cool to be able to experience CO through the Prism of Shamus.(You know what I mean.)

  29. Cody says:

    I’m almost as excited about finding out what you meant by:

    “This pretty much what I’ve been doing since I crawled out of the rubble, is killing bugmen for NPCs who have lists of things that need punched and excuses why they can’t do it themselves.”

    as I am about finding out what happens to Star On Chest next.

    Also, when you are noting the second Dr. Silverback problem you say “I that really his name?” instead of “Is that really his name?”

    I am really enjoying this series, you’re a great writer Shamus.

  30. RichVR says:

    POSSIBLE SPOILERS

    Having finally gotten to the Cowboy Robot thing, I can say a few things from experience. Sorry I’m slow, 8 alts and all that.

    Yeah, the concept is lacking. If you can’t do that just play and suspend disbelief thing, it’s a problem.

    My Level 16 pure munitions chick was almost lassoed off of the wooden starting area because she decided (okay, I decided) to use my assault rifle on a couple of the bots that I saw through the planks.

    Edit: Assault rifle has a great range but the cooldown sucks. And once I use it my energy is too low for gatling gun. And my energy builders don’t reach as far. Luckily I have… Other things. ;)

    But the wood saved me. I backed up a bit. Blocked and toasted both bots.

    Of course I didn’t get to the two “!” items that they left.

    So I decided to rocket boot down lower. Bad choice.

    Lower down they are reddish? Not too red. They have to fix that.

    Anyway, I rocketed back up to the beginning And got a mission to whack a bunch of robots around Hanging Trees as well as being able to figure out that as you get lower mobs get tougher.

    My bad. I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t care what I’m shooting. As long as I don’t lose too many stars. See?

    Still having a crapload of fun. I have 8 alts and when one gets tiresome I switch.

    I guess that’s not possible if you’re running a single toon through the game.

    That might be an issue.

    Love your writing Shamus. Just saying you might want to diversify for your own personal enjoyment after the writing is done.

    Next edit: I read that they changed the colors on the mobs to be more colorblind friendly. So I’m guessing that I’m misreading some colors myself. No prob. I can get used to it.

  31. TSED says:

    @RichVR:

    Shamus has ten bajillion toons. Seriously. He gets toons to their 20s and baleets them because he had another idea (and he’s out of slots) ALL THE TIME.

    [i]ALL THE TIME![/i]

    • Shamus says:

      TSED speaks the truth. I’ve had a level 29 munitions, a 24 electric, a 17 dual blades, a level 18 Power Armor (deleted) a level 20 might (deleted) a level 20 might / gadgeteer, a level 17 hybrid, and a level 22 might (deleted). Plus Star on Chest, who is of course still in the tutorial.

      I’ve also leveled claws, single blade, martial arts, and fire past the tutorial before deciding I didn’t like them and deleting them.

      Interesting note: One day I checked my account page / character list while they were doing a patch, and I was able to see every single character I’d ever created, ever, even the ones I deleted. Even the ones I played for ten minutes and then re-created, like the original Star on Chest.

      Then the patch was done and the list returned to normal. Still, it REALLY pisses me off that THEY WILL NOT SELL ME MORE CHARACTER SLOTS, and they aren’t even really deleting the deleted ones. All my old characters are still there, just inaccessible. They’re not profiting from this, it’s just a stupid and arbitrary system that’s keeping me from dong what I love, which is coming up with concepts and playing with them.

      It’s not like there’s 30 servers and you get eight characters per server. You get eight. Period. More than snake gulch, more than the hosed teaming, more than the broken quests and post-lunch flukes, this is what is sucking the joy out of the game for me.

  32. Zed-F says:

    Pretty sure the ability to buy more slots coming, once they fix up the C-store. ;)

    Personally I’m more interested in their plans to allow us to earn more slots through play, though that will probably take a little longer.

  33. A Reader says:

    If you like objective based XP then try Dungeons and Dragons online which gives you XP for Finishing the instance or ‘optional’ objectives.

    The amount of XP given to you at the end of the instance is modified by things like the amount of monsters killed, the amount of breakables smashed, etc. Also the amount of XP is lowered by how high the highest level party member is (level 3 quest with a level 15 player in the instance will give the party no XP for ‘optional’ objectives or for finishing the instance) and by how many times you have completed the instance or the optional objective but the latter only affects you.

    Sorry for rambling off topic.

    Also I’m enjoying the adventures of star on chest which tempt me into buying this after I finish with Dungeons and Dragons online.

  34. A Reader says:

    EDIT:
    Hope to see you on server Kyber

  35. DKellis says:

    The problem with the critters giving relatively low XP will become acute when you hit the content gaps.

    Whether you’ll hit the content gaps in the first place depends on whether you PVP or team up often or get very lucky with citizen request missions, which give relatively low XP anyway. (Tangent: if you’re turning in a mission and trying to decide your reward, and a citizen suddenly runs up to you, their mission dialogue overrides the previous reward dialogue, but I have yet to find a way to be able to accept that mission. It’s a UI problem.)

    I’ve encountered that content gap at around level 29 or so on two characters, upon which I will have nothing but quests two to three levels above me.

    Usually you can check the Crime Computer to see if anyone else in the world has something for you, but in this case the only missions I hadn’t done were bugged ones (My Lost Foot and Waterfront Watcher).

    I’d like to see how Shamus reacts to the Lemuria Crisis, which has possibly the most ill-thought-out boss encounter in the entire game. It actively punishes certain build choices that are perfectly viable in the rest of the game (in this case, endurance-recovery ones). If you have a Reverb power (Ionic Reverberation, Killer Instinct, whatever) or Accelerated Metabolism, good luck.

  36. TSED says:

    My Lost Foot is completable, it just takes a bit of coaxing to get her to not ‘hang up’ in that one spot. I’ve done it on two different toons.

    Waterfront Watcher, though…

    When citizens run up while you’re figuring out a quest, the ‘action button’ (default Z) works for me. Which is how I usually accept anything anyways.

  37. DKellis says:

    I’ve tried the “action button” thing. It doesn’t work, possibly because the “Accept” button is greyed out.

    In any case, I got past the content gap by grinding in Monster Island, doing nothing but sweeping the place of +2 enemies for a few hours. Henchmen give little XP, but Villains and Master Villains at least make me feel like I’m progressing.

    • Shamus says:

      The secret with the thing where citizens run up to you while you’re turning in a quest:

      The dialog they throw up just hijacks the one you were looking at, including the button state. If the “done” button was available to you, then the “accept” button that replaces it will also be available. If you’re mulling over quest rewards, the “done” button isn’t enabled until you make a selection. So your ability to accept the random quest depends on whether or not you clicked on one of the available quest rewards.

  38. RichVR says:

    I stand chastised on the character diversity issue, Shamus. Consider my head bowed with shame. I can’t agree more on the number of character slots.

  39. Slippery Jim says:

    You’re making me want resubscribe and team with you.

    Oh – and you can buy more slots in City of Heroes so why would NC Soft not know that people would pay for them?

  40. […] started playing Champions Online over the weekend (curse you, Shamus!) and of course I had to go with a dual-sword-wielding hero.  He does technically have […]

  41. Irrevenant says:

    “The downside is that there’s basically no in-game reward for sweeping the streets for fun.” Should we really need to be rewarded in-game for having fun? Isn’t fun reward enough?

  42. WJS says:

    As noted above, the bug that makes you rip up streetlights is long gone by this point. The “rescue civilians from rubble” quest has been cut, but the biggest change here is to Clayton Griswold. He still mentions his flight to Canada, but there’s no longer a quest about it. Nor is he just sitting there either – he’s the one who gives you the quest for medical supplies now, and he spends his time helping a paramedic treat a couple of injured.
    For those who never played, “Silver Avenger Sandwich” is a reference to how her group is being hammered from the north and the south. The scanner zap gun has been replaced with using a scanner on a couple of Qularr antennae.
    Kinetic getting captured was obviously hushed up, seeing as in this simulation, you don’t need to rescue him; he spends all his time now fighting Qularr outside the Champions building with Witchcraft.

One Trackback

  1. By Champions Online @ Ordering Disorder on October 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    […] started playing Champions Online over the weekend (curse you, Shamus!) and of course I had to go with a dual-sword-wielding hero.  He does technically have […]

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