One night of Champions Online and I guess I have to give you my first impressions.
First off, the graphics. While on the whole good, I did have to spend some time playing around with the settings before they seemed right (for some reason it auto-set my graphics to low, when I could quite happilly accomodate all the sliders to max) – I also had to turn bloom off, as the tops of Ambulances should NOT look like the surface of the Sun.
The character shadows tend to be a bit overstated with the small of the back being in almost complete darkness compared to the rest of the model, it might have something to do with the comic book feel but it just looks odd.
Other than these small annoyances, the game looks excellent, and disregard my last post, I was able to make Enola Gay, and call her that, as Gay is not a restricted word… yet Cardinal is…
The gameplay itself is familliar yet refreshingly different to other MMO’s, and is probably closer to MXO than anything else. Being able to move and continue to shoot and charge abilities is excellent, allowing you to circle-strafe around charging enemies. I’ve yet to properly try out a melee character, but I have made one – Dr OppenHammer, the Nuclear Paladin (Single Blade, hopefully with a Hammer Power-replacer eventually)
This week I’m going to try out a few of the different specs, play with the character creator a bit more, and generally mess around with the game. Next week I’ll attempt to level up to Nemesis level and try that out.
So far I’ve tried Fire (Enola Gay, with green coloured fire for radiation), Single Blade (OppenHammer) and Gadgeteering (Basically, me in a Kilt and a jetpack) and Gadgeteering seems my favourite so far but that might have something to do with me running around as a guy in a Kilt and jetpack shooting people with a ray gun…
As for Crafting, there are three schools, Science, Arms and Mysticism, each makes their own power-ups and items. Science makes things like DNA mutaters, Chemicals etc, Arms makes guns and other weapons, Mysticism makes magical items. Each crafting profession works similar to each other. You can either get reagents from drops, or dis-assemble/disenchant/melt down item drops (akin to WoW’s enchanting, inscription and Jewelcrafting) to give you school-specific reagents. It’s nothing ground-breaking, It’s familiar to those who’ve played WoW, which is no bad thing.
My first impression of the game is one of familiarity and safety. They’ve created a basic template that’s so similar to WoW that it won’t scare off newbies, but has the potential to expand and be totally different. The Character Creator, Nemesis and custom power-sets are definitly a step forwards in User-Generated Content – Although too much UGC can be hazardous (look at CoX) and it’s taken the Public Quests from WAR, the Personal Instances from LOTRO and mercifully gives us travel powers straight after the tutorial, so no trapsing up and down the Barrens for 10 levels, no Hollows Taxi service.