While I’m on hiatus from WoW, I thought I’d try Champions Online. It seemed like it could be cool. I’ve been on a big comic book kick lately (I’ve been reading Hellboy, Irredeemable, Flash, Scalped, and other great books) and the thought of creating my own superhero and engaging in superheroics sounded fun. And best of all, it’s free…sorta.
At first, I felt like creating a big dumb oaf good for smashing things, like The Hulk or The Tick. I gradually worked my way through the extremely elaborate character creator (man I wish WoW had more character options) and came up with this dude, whom I named “Adam Smasher”. Puns are an important part of superheroics.
The mechanics took a while to get used to. Apparently, each archetype (aka “class”) has its own energy-building auto-attack ability, and then the rest of their abilities spend that energy. Unfortunately, the auto-attack doesn’t just stay on like it does in WoW (it has to be toggled on and off), though there are ways to fix that. Also interesting is that many abilities can be charged for a couple seconds to cause more damage. I guess that’s CO’s version of casting time.
After I got through the starting missions, I decided to make a completely different character, with ranged attacks. So I created an Archer (or is it Marksman?) that I named Arrow Dynamic. (Remember what I said about puns?) As you can see, he’s VERY different from Adam Smasher.
One of the really cool things about this game is that they give you a fast-travel ability right off the bat (as soon as you finish the intro missions). There are lots to choose from, and they’re all pretty cool. In fact, I wish WoW had some of them. There’s the classic Flight, which lets you float and fly through the air like Superman. AD got that one. For AS, I went with another Hulk/Tick move: Super-Jump. Honestly, Super-Jump is way more fun than Flight. I can leap to the top of buildings and bound across rooftops like a lunatic. There are lots of others, like Fire Flight (like the Human Torch), Ice Flight (like Iceman), teleportation (like Nightcrawler), Burrow (like…I have no idea), Speed Running (like the Flash), Swinging (like Spiderman or Batman) and a few others. Very cool stuff.
This may seem silly, but it’s really fun creating new characters. I made a second account just so I could play with the character editor. Best of all, you can save them in self-contained JPG files that can be loaded back into the game later, so you can basically create as many characters as you want, as long as you don’t mind not being able to play them.