Champions Online Now Far More Tolerable

It's a flippin' ninja!

It’s no secret that I didn’t have a good experience with Champions Online. So poor was my time with the game that I abandoned it well before my 6-month timeshare was up and shrugged away from Star Trek Online. The title didn’t…resonate with me, to put it politely.

A couple of months ago, Cryptic Studios announced the no-brainer transition to the popular free-to-play model. Like DDO and LotRO before it, the re-launched Champions Online would support itself on the freemium model. Players would jump in the game for free, only having to pay for addition content. While I still believe Cyptic is shooting itself in the foot (which may be in its mouth) by relegating the customization, the game’s best, features to the pay-for category, I expect the “new” game to make bank.

The re-launch, dubbed Champions Online: Free for All is now live (currently, login servers are being hammered).

In fact, there’s a very good chance I’ll dip my toes back in the pool. After numerous balance and content patches, months of beta testing, new opening areas and “reordered, rescripted and augmented” zones, the game is probably a radically different experience. Just look at the insanely long patch notes.

Seriously, I’ve never seen that many documented changes for a game before.

You can sign up here and check out the Free for All trailer after the jump.


  1. I think it may be a little obvious, but I’ll say it anyway…

    DC Universe online is out, it has re-ignited interest in the whole ‘hero’ (or villain) aspect of things, BUT has a monthly sub.

    Cryptic seem to be trying to cash-in on the people who don’t want to or can’t pay for a sub.

    The problem that I can see so far is that a lot of the aspects of Champions that made it great (the sheer wealth of customisation options for example) is nearly nonexistent in the f2p model. No power armor, custom archetypes, power tinting or travel powers. This, to my mind, is removing the initial ‘hook’ of the game.

    I can understand limiting certain things for a f2p model, but paring down the customisation doesn’t seem the way to go. I have had a little look around the web and it seems many won’t be playing or will unsub, simply because their current characters will be gimped down to set archetypes, powers and lower armor unless they carry on paying.

    Just my 2 pennies-worth.

  2. To be fair, one the largest Aspects of that game was it’s customization. I spent over an hour and a half on my character, so it’s not surprising they wanna stash that for dedicated player’s.

    The Free market is just that, Free. Theirs only so much you can give out in a handful. And if payer’s are just paying for…oh say, extra char slots, there’s not much to offer in the long run.

    Either way I may give it a shot, but like u said, DCUO is out atm and even I’m hooked on it. Just have too see how it play’s out in the end.

  3. From what I’ve experienced of DCUo so far, I’m enjoying it more than i thought I would.
    I have 1 toon at cap, and a few others on their way up.
    The pvp is a little um.. how do i say this? stunlock’y? but other than that, the rest is big fun.
    I also like the fact that I can switch from an EU server to a NA server on the launcher. Makes a BIG difference to me, as I have a few NA friends. That is another big draw for me too.

  4. @Nextgener

    The thing is though, when you advertise two major things which in the case of Champions Online, are it’s strongest aspects: free 2 play and character customization, you do NOT screw the free players out of one of the two. That alone kills your freeium market. They’re going the wrong way with that direction imo. Leave the customization as is, charge for ‘premium content” ala LotRO.

  5. I know this is old, but in case some one stumbles across it like I did today, I wanted to add my opinion on CO:F2P.

    I’ve been playing CO since the Alpha but have been so sick of dealing with the inept people at Cryptic (many management) that I have to stop playing for months at a time to keep from losing my sanity.

    Never before have I seen a game with so much potential be such a disappointment with so many broken promises. The worst of which were given at the very start of the game and sucked me and a half dozen of my friends in to “lifetime subscriptions”.

    I still play the game but I find it very difficult to get involved in the characters because there is no character development beyond L40. Most of my time now is spent getting ‘questionite’ or some such stuff in order to get better equipment which allows for handling Legendary and Cosmic super bosses.

    And don’t get me started about messed up ‘nemesis’ missions and the excessive farming needed to advance in this game. It reminds me of WoW but with out the fun.

    I will admit that there has been improvements, but it is so far away from being a game which captures the gamer imagination that I seriously doubt that Cryptic has any intention on making the game more exciting. Their focus still seems to nickle and dime every player for costume changes and useless “toy” companions.

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