One of the main features of the original Champions Online was the ability for a player to make any type of character. Not just visually, but the toon’s playstyle and role could be nit-picked to the last detail. Want to shoot beams out of your chest while dual wielding pistols? You could do that. Fancy lasers firing from your dome and an endless supply of health and/or armor? That was possible too. For better or for worse, the amount of customization meant players could totally gimp their character, just like in Dungeons and Dragons Online.
Guilty as charged.
That’s why the introduction of archetypes for the F2P re-launch are a double-edged sword. There’s so many damage types, abilities and spells present in CO that even seasoned MMOG players can be easily confused. With relatively no barrier to entry for the game, it was wise of Cryptic Studios to create a diverse set of pre-built roles for the flood of new players. Structure and direction are very good attributes for newbies. The other edge is forcing players to pay for the most-touted aspect of the game, complete freedom over character development and playstyle.
We’ll have to wait and see how that monetary choice turns out, but as the video shows there’s still plenty of customization present in the character generator. And even the archetypes give players some semblance of diversification. It just happens to be very late in one’s superhero career.
And if you’re looking for a wager; I expect Champions Online: Free for All to make Cryptic Studios a bank vault full of money. Just like like DDO and LotRO did for Turbine.