Champions Online: Six Months Locked In


Torn between other games, money and life, iTZKooPA weighs the fate of a single Champions Online subscriber.

MMO gaming is not a cheap habit by any means.  Nor is it one that’s easy to pick up and put down.  These games require days worth of play to “finish”.  An amount of time that can easily be pushed into multiple months, or compacted into a few sleepless nights.  World of Warcraft is my main game, it isn’t going anywhere, but I do enjoy dabbling in other universes.  I’m in it for the stories.  The ones produced by the content creators, and the ones experienced as a player.  Considering that Champions Online is about as far away from Warcraft as you can get it seemed like a nobrainer, right?  Yet,  I remained on the fence about Champions Online for some time.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy my time in the Closed Beta, or Open Beta, I did.  My indecisive attitude had almost nothing to do with the title’s small faults.  I, like Inktomi, have other things going on that have been stopping me from picking up that 6-month subscription deal.  First off, there’s my subscription fee to World of Warcraft, a game that will take up most of my time until something earth shattering comes along.  Then there’s the fact that Dungeon & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited goes live just a week after Champions.  And that title is free.  Then there is the list of chores – life, work and housekeeping – that one has to deal with on a daily basis.  I took the deal anyways, and here’s why.

The character creation process cannot be over estimated, or over appreciated.  Making an ugly toon may not take much skill, but players have been doing absolutely amazing things with the editor.  Want to play a Watchmen? Done. A WoW Succubus?  Saw it in game.  How about a BSDM character? Scarily possible.  In far too many varieties.  Oh, and you can craft a completely original, normal looking super hero if you want.  Just in case you’re the boring, unimaginative type.
Fear not, I’d never subscribe to a title just because I can make a samurai in a french maid outfit (saw it).  You also get to customize your character’s starting attributes, or powers as they are known.  Like the general design, you can start from a basicarchetype or go all out and create from scratch.  The ability to customize your toon, both visually and mechanically, to just great lengths captured my attention.  And the rest of the title has managed to hold on to it.

I haven’t played a ton, I never do in betas.  Certainly not enough for a full review, but during my 10 hours the game has held my attention with its shiny visuals, arcade-y combat and refreshing (to a long standing fantasy MMO subscriber) stories.  Champions is by no means groundbreaking in its originality, technical aspects or game design, but it’s a solid mix of old ideas with new twists.  That’s why I took the plunge and closed the deal on a six month subscription despite my misgivings.

What does this mean for you readers?  It means that you can expect in-depth coverage of Champions Online from MMOCrunch for the foreseeable future.

Get your tights ready.


  1. “MMO gaming is not a cheap habit by any means”

    What on earth are you talking about? £30 one off cost then less than £10 a month? I can’t think of any other activity that provides me with such a good bang for my buck.

    Designer shopping is an expensive habit, Crack is an expensive habit, Learning to fly is an expensive habit. MMO gaming is so far down the list of cheap habits that your statement suggests that you must earn absolutely no money at all, even if I was living on social benefits I could comfortably afford to MMO.

  2. I was referring to multiple subscriptions problems, the subscription + purchase plans as compared to buying a single game. You can make the case that MMOs offer more content than single player games of course.

    Not comparing gaming at all to the rest of life’s incredibly expensive habits. That, I totally agree with you on.

  3. You are both right, just in vastly different ways. I had to make it a personal rule of mine to not have more than two MMOs subscribed a little while ago. For the majority of last year I had three subscribed and I barely played the main one (LoTRO) more than a few hours a week. The other two, WoW and the now dead Tabula Rasa, just sucked down monthly subs from my bank account.

    My wife manages to blow far more money than those three subs do in a year on a single shopping spree…

  4. This game has come a long way since I start playing in closed beta…and it still has a long way to go before I believe it’s ready for prime time. The game hasn’t been optimized which shows when moving around and in combat, everything feels sluggish. The game supports builds for switching between a Tank and a Healer but this process isn’t describe. There’s no integrated tutorial system with the missions, you’re forced to read about aspects of the game from different NPCs scattered over the world and there’s no way to review previous read topics. Crafting works but is shamelessly unpolished and crude to follow. The Inventory isw one big mess with no way to organize your items or seperate inventory slots for gear, crafting resources, mission items, etc.

    In all, this game is launching too soon and I will definetly wait 6 months to see what state they’re in.

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