Let's Play Champions Online Pt. 5Previous Post
Let's Play Champions Online Pt. 7
|If you remember from last time, I’m here to rescue survivors from this crash.|
My job is to free people from debris. If you can survive a plane crash, end up trapped by massive bits of former airplane, and sit in the snow for hours on end while being menaced by ice demons, then you are obviously a superhero. I shouldn’t be rescuing them, I should be helping them design costumes for themselves. (My advice: You can’t go wrong with some sort of star-based iconography.)
What’s interesting about this quest is that the goal isn’t what the quest log says it is. The quest log says to free people from the airplane debris. But if I lift up a chunk of plane and the person trapped underneath runs off, I don’t actually get credit for freeing them until I destroy the debris I’m holding. So the real goal of the quest is to destroy debris. You can, in fact, hurl objects at a bit of passenger-trapping debris until it’s destroyed and then dash off, leaving the passenger alone and injured in the frozen wastes and surrounded by ice demons. Doesn’t matter. As long as they aren’t pinned, my job is done.
|Ah! There is my goal! A piece of debris to destroy. I only get credit for ones on top of survivors, though.|
As I fly around, bashing debris and pummeling ice demons, I occasionally pass civilians who are injured and helpless in the snow. Guys like this one:
He makes eye contact. Oh geeze.
Look, I’m sorry buddy. I just can’t help you. Well, I mean… I could. There’s a gurney right over there. You’d be way better off if you were on that thing. And some medical gear. You’d have a much better chance if I could hand you that. And a box of supplies. Man, there could even be a blanket in there. Heck, it would be effortless for me to shuttle you back to base. I could do that with one hand, actually. But Cryptic entertainment didn’t put any buttons on the interface for doing any of those things. If you’re not trapped under debris or attacked by ice demons, I can’t help you.
What do I suggest? I don’t know. Maybe yell a bit. The demons are bound to notice you sooner or later.
Would it be okay if I covered you with snow? No offense, but watching you die is really making me feel like less of a superhero.
If it helps at all, I guess you should know that THIS IS NO ORDINARY STORM!
I fulfill my debris-smashing quota, as well as my demon-suckerpunching quota. Now back to base.
|The fact that you’re rooted in place and have an icon over your head tells me you’re the local NPC vending machine. I mean shopkeeper. Or whatever. Look, I’m having just as much trouble mapping MMO conventions to comic book archetypes as you are.|
Back at base, I meet someone who wants me to craft…
As you travel the world you’ll need to collect caches of crafting materials. (After defeating the low-XP mooks guarding them.) You’ll also need to save all the items related to your field of crafting, and disassemble them for components and skill-ups at a crafting table. (Although you’ll need to make trips to the bank to store the stuff when you hit a skill cap. Sometimes you’ll need to hoard objects and binge on crafting once you’ve leveled up enough to begin raising your crafting skill again.) You’ll need to drop some money on blueprints and conversion recipes so you can turn lesser components into greater ones.
If you manage to do all this extra fighting, sacrifice the money you’d make selling objects outright, pay for blueprints, give over half your inventory to crafting materials, make numerous trips to the crafting tables and the bank, and if you manage to pick the right branch of specialization, then you will, in rare cases, be able to craft items that are ever so slightly better than the common drops and quest rewards you’d be stuck with if you weren’t crafting. I leveled a character to 30, and in all her career she used exactly one crafted item, sometime in her early / mid 20’s. It gave her about 5 extra points of dexterity compared to the alternatives. This seemed like a pretty good deal until I checked the character info sheet and saw those 5 points made her less than 2% more likely to score a critical and give her less than 1% chance bonus to dodge.
So… was it worth those hours spent fussing with the crafting system in order to be ~1% more effective in combat for a couple of levels?
No. No it was not.
To be fair, the crafting system also gives you access to bags to expand your storage space. On the other hand, you wouldn’t need nearly as much space if you weren’t crafting. You can also craft healing items, although unless you’re really pushing against foes way above your level or something has gone wrong with your character build, you shouldn’t need those.
As with Hellgate: London, the entire crafting system is a lot of busywork for no meaningful benefit.
…a cold shield to protect me from the extreme cold I’ll be facing ahead during a particular boss fight.
I also have to save a few more people from a different plane crash on the other side of the base. These people have been frozen in blocks of ice, and I must use some doohickey to thaw them out, after which they jog away. Occasionally in the direction of safety.
|Han? Is that you?|
Again, I can’t help but admire the tremendous badassery of the average civilian. David Blaine attempted a trick where he was frozen in a block of ice and it kicked his ass. And note that he was doing the easy version of the trick where you don’t have to survive a plane crash first.
Now that we’re done saving civilians, it’s time we got down to putting a stop to the Snowpocalypse. This means pummeling some more ice demons…
|Here I am, fighting the forces of evil. The name over his head indicates that this is an “Ice Demon” and that he’s affiliated with the “Ice Demon” faction. In a minute he will leave the Ice Demon faction and join the proud fraternity of “stuff which used to have a face until it came into contact with my fist”.|
….so that we can gather the little voodoo knicknacks they carry and summon their boss…
|Here is a little move I like to call, “Pow! And then I take all your stuff.”|
…and give him a beat down so I can take his inter-dimensional scroll, and take that back to…
|For the last time, I ALREADY KNOW that THIS IS NO ORDINARY STORM.|
…Ravenspeaker. Great. I would feel better if the person leading us against the axis of snow owned pants, but he seems to know what he’s talking about. Apparently the scroll I acquired will let someone enter the portal and face the demon-god kigga-something-or-other. Ravenspeaker is using his hoodoo powers to hold the storm at bay, so he can’t go through. So the job falls to me.
I jump through the portal. I have to activate that item I crafted to keep from freezing my tuckus off.
It seems I have entered a world of weird…
|Floating asteroid-esque things. That’s… odd.|
|Looks like we’re not in Canada anymore, Dorothy.|
I have to fight some zombies. I’ve been occasionally encountering zombies since I arrived in Canada.
|Note to game designers: Zombies are mindless undead. I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of cannibals.|
These are no doubt most talkative undead in history. Their banter is infantile and un-funny, but I guess it’s hard to come up with witty material when your brains have rotted out.
On the upside, not one of them tells me how bad or out-of-the-ordinary the weather is.
Anyway, there’s a dude in a suit trying to awaken the demon-god Kigawhatsit and make it TOTALLY SNOW, LIKE SUPER-MUCH all over our base in the frozen wastes of Canada.
|Just to be clear: By “cataclysm” you mean “inclement weather”, right?|
This guy has pants! How come our leader doesn’t have pants?
He’s doing some sort of ceremony to awaken Kigawhozit, who looks like a fifty foot astral projection.
I figure if I hit Mr. Pants enough he’ll probably stop. I do. He does. Yay good guys!
|Your dark suit would be more menacing if you weren’t using pink energy blades. And if your face didn’t have a crater in the shape of MY FIST!|
I’m glad I made that change. You can re-color them so that they’re no longer pink (which doesn’t explain why this guy hasn’t done so) but after seeing these powers in action, I’m thinking they’re a little too slick and a little too flashy for ol’ Star on Chest.
Boss defeated, I return to the land of Canada. Looks like the storm has ended…
THIS IS NO ORDINARY PARTLY CLOUDY DAY!
Next time: Canada, the undiscovered country!
Let's Play Champions Online Pt. 5Previous Post
Let's Play Champions Online Pt. 7
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