Let's Play Champions Online Pt. 2
I’m enjoying Rutskarn’s Morrowwind series so much that I’ve decided to do one for Champions Online. This will run every Tuesday-ish until I get bored with it, people get sick of it, or I cancel my account. Or I forget. Or I die.
Starting off, I decide to create the quintessential silver-age superhero. Not one of these brooding black-caped, spike-covered, angst-ridden antiheroes like all the young people are into these days. I want someone wearing classic tights and using classic iconography. But not, you know, operating under the same silver-age idealism and respect for all life. Heavens no. I’m going to have the same approach to fighting crime as The Punisher. I’ll just be wearing stretchy clothing and a brave smile when I do my vigilante-style killing.
Looking through the powers, I discount all blade-styled weapons. Too messy. There are a couple of fighting & fisticuffs based power sets that seem to fit his style, but they’re also a little bland. (And I am already playing a couple of other melee-based characters.) Then I see Telekinesis, which is based on Ego and Constitution. Ego? I can base my abilities on the strength of my own ego? Sold!
I go for a quick run-through of the character building options and am able to craft my avatar in just under a fortnight, which is a new record for me.
|ME: Let’s see… does the nose look more heroic at 10% width or maybe a little closer to 14.5% width? MY WIFE: Are you still staring at that man?|
In keeping with his silver-age design, he’s got a chin that falls somewhere between “Jay Leno” and “bulldozer”. His suit is bright and colorful, and he’s ripped like Hercules even though his powers do not involve physical strength. In fact, I can’t think of a power more fattening than telekinesis. These days the only exercise I get is from walking to, and subsequently opening, the fridge. If I could move food with my mind and fly, then it would take me about two weeks to get to the point where I could cosplay as Castle Wulfenbach.
Thus begins the journey of Star on Chest. His Bio:
For product endorsements, public appearances, or crime fighting, please contact Champion Media Worldwide and ask to speak with his agent.
A personal message from Star on Chest: “I’ll be appearing at the grand opening of the Northwood Center Mall this weekend. Stop on by to see your favorite star-based hero in person! Autographed photos just $20! Bring a friend!”
Champions Online doesn’t have catchphrases, but if it did his would be, “Don’t you KNOW who I AM?!?”
No, wait. It won’t let me use that bio because it’s too long. Apparently the biography system is powered by Twitter. I whittle it down, but then it complains that I have profanity. After much confusion I discover it was the phrase “hero in” that was setting it off, which it was evaluating as “heroin”. The content filter was worried I was promoting the use of dangerous narcotic drugs.
Dear Young People: Heroin can reduce you to a puking husk of a glassy-eyed junkie prostitute. Eventually you’ll find yourself haggling over the price of sex because you don’t have change for a five. Please do not try heroin unless your life is already worse than that. There. That should keep the kids safe.
Anyway, I revise the bio for brevity and remove the words “hero in” so as to avoid corrupting our impressionable youth with pro-heroin propaganda.
Eventually I summon all of my strength, all of my willpower, and boldly click the start button to begin the game.
Man, I should have gone with 10% width on the nose.
|You know all those anthills you stomped on as a kid? Well, payback is a bitch.|
The city is in chaos. It’s being invaded by bug aliens known as Qualar or Quaa’lar or Qua’lor or some such piffle. Aliens run rampant through the streets and the police are fending off never-ending waves of bug man from behind hastily constructed barricades. Buildings have been smashed. Fires burn. The dead litter the sidewalks. The coffee shops are all closed.
|Oh, now I’m going to have that 80’s song stuck in my head all day. Thank you so much, game.|
I begin my life as a hero in* the midst of this destruction. My first act is to climb out of a pile of rubble. I’m not the only one, though. Apparently this rubble has been spewing out heroes in an endless stream since launch day. This rubble is the king-hell clown car of the ages. There are actually people appearing on top of me before I can even step away from the pile. This leads to that awkward moment you get in MMO games, “Pardon me miss, but it seems we’re occupying the same physical space and you haven’t even bought me a drink yet.” I step out of the transporter malfunction and greet the nearby police officer.
Time to see what’s going on around this burgh.
* This phrase is not an endorsement for heroin.
Let's Play Champions Online Pt. 2
The Gradient of Plot Holes
Most stories have plot holes. The failure isn't that they exist, it's when you notice them while immersed in the story.
What is Vulkan?
There's a new graphics API in town. What does that mean, and why do we need it?
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
A Telltale Autopsy
What lessons can we learn from the abrupt demise of this once-impressive games studio?
So what happens when a SOFTWARE engineer tries to review hardware? This. This happens.