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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: Feb 22nd 2008 11:19AM (Unverified) said

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Everything said here is all well and good, and I expect this game, if executed properly, to do well. However, in terms of competing with CoX, their argument is a little weaksauce. Let me explain.

First off, they're comparing their game to the CoX of 2004 and not the CoX of today. CoX has crafting and loot. It has some customizable powers (CO mentions black claws? You can have black claws now in CoX), and it has certain animation customizations, like flight poses. So already off the bat, the CoX strawman they're arguing against is obsolete.

Secondly, they're not planning a release until 2009, which means they've effectively just given CoX an idea of what they need to accomplish in the next year of development to stay competitive. And it's crazy to think that CoX doesn't already have many of these features in their own development queue.

Like I said again, both games will be great. But if Champions Online thinks it'll just come onto the market and replace CoX is pretty bold. A year (or two years?) is a long time to make dramatic changes... CoX could very well go through a complete overhaul before Champions even hits shelves.

Then again, people do tend to gravitate to the New Hotness(tm).

Posted: Feb 23rd 2008 12:56PM (Unverified) said

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Ah, but I think the emphasis here is the fact that these things are being designed into the game from the start, instead of being tacked on. CoX wasn't initially designed with these things, and so the features may not be as cohesive with the rest of the game than can be accomplished with that mindset from initial development.

And like you said, it has "certain" animation customizations. The impression I get is that Champions Online is going to take these customizations to the next level.
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2008 1:31PM (Unverified) said

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Well, lets be a bit more clear now.

I don't think they're comparing it to old CoX, for starters. Also, your example of power cusomization is kind of misleading because all you can do in CoX is change the color/type of your physical weapons. You can't pick any power you want and you certainly can't change the color or type of any of the non-weapon powers.

As for "custom" flight animations, you have to type in /fly 2 or /fly 4 every single time you fly, otherwise you'll just get the original pose. Also, I'd like to point out these aren't even animations -- just poses.

As for CoX changing, I'm fairly well-aware of it's limitations. In fact one thing Jack Emmert recently said, was that their biggest mistake was "designing to the max" Which means they didn't leave any room for changes or improvements when they made CoX. An example of this is that all the powers in that game have their colors "baked" directly into the animations, meaning you'll probably never see green fire or black lightning.
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2008 2:12PM (Unverified) said

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Both of your responses are correct. And I do think that the new superhero MMO genre (as it's soon to be) needs these issues reformulated in order to give players exactly what they want. They're also coming from a pen and paper system that is very dynamic, but already has rules in place to make it cohesive. So that's a strength.

I've watched the alpha videos of City of Heroes, where you didn't have a class, and you did just pick your powers on how you wanted to play. It also had combat stances... I think Jack Emmert is reaching back to his original vision for CoH and making sure he does it right with Champions this time around.

But I'm still going to assert that having features going out the door versus having added them on later in an MMO's lifecycle isn't a strong enough argument to shut a game out of the running. Champions is going to have to go through the same growth and expansion that CoX has, and four or five years from now, people will have clear opinions about both games... and I doubt either one will hold a clear victory. The MMO generation lines are blurring, people pick games based on the features they provide and the gameplay that makes them comfortable.

I'm not trying to shoot down Champions. I'm looking for a successor to what I consider to be my favorite MMO, so I can continue to enjoy superheroism online. I'm just saying that there's no sense putting nails in CoX's coffin when right now, CO is still vaporware. It still needs to go through a full dev cycle, and it will have its own features crimped and chopped before it hits the shelves... only then can we start making genuine assessments to its quality.

For the record, the flight poses are animated subtly, and I simply hit my fly key to pose into them. But I get your gist, it's totally a taped on feature. I'm just saying, they have a few years to redesign the mechanisms if they feel it's important to the players.
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Posted: Feb 25th 2008 8:48PM (Unverified) said

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"CoX has crafting and loot."
Yes, after 3 years they managed to put together a rather bland crafting system. They can only go up from there.

"It has some customizable powers (CO mentions black claws? You can have black claws now in CoX), and it has certain animation customizations, like flight poses."
Don't forget to mention that power costumization exclusively limited to changing weapon models. You can't alter the power colors, stances, etc. And they did this becasue the powers are hard coded into the game. Now they will make sure that it's easier to costumize them. As for flight poses: they are a pain to operate. You either type the correct command EVERY TIME you are flying forward to enable that pose, or you set up a macro to activate them (still have to press the binded button after starting to fly forward).

"Secondly, they're not planning a release until 2009, which means they've effectively just given CoX an idea of what they need to accomplish in the next year of development to stay competitive. And it's crazy to think that CoX doesn't already have many of these features in their own development queue."
So they given ideas for THEMSELVES. They don't have to compete against their other game. They decided to make another superhero game, so it's safe to assume that CoX will begin its slow descend in the near future. Why bother making new content for the old one when there is a new, better one?
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2008 11:52AM Ghen said

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forced grouping... it works well for me. I'd like to see a game where the main leveling mechanic is geared towards groups of 2-3 people. Its easy enough to find a buddy at the drop of a hat in most games, its just hard to find a full group of 5-8 and balance their roles in the group.

Everyone keeps talking about how they don't have time to group up in an MMO, but no developers have gone the middle road yet. Its either been full groups or complete solo play.

Posted: Feb 22nd 2008 4:38PM Krystalle Voecks said

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I will actually note that it is possible to do Positron with three people in CoH. It takes a really long time, but it is possible.

Yes, I did the whole TF with only two other friends. Yes, we're nuts.
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2008 4:55PM (Unverified) said

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I think the best design goal would be to reach for a place where something can be experienced solo or grouping and retain much of its fun. It's never a bad idea to let a game change depending on players' needs.
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2008 5:29PM Pagan said

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Hmmm. No open world PvP is a mistake, and a design choice that really limited City of Heroes. There should be safe zones, and zones where you are taking a risk going in solo. I HATE the Arena PvP idea, as it has already been done in CoH and Champions should take PvP one step further. Very disappointed although most of the other design choices sound great. I am an old school Champions player and hope Cryptic will rethink the PvP strategy.

Posted: Feb 22nd 2008 7:09PM (Unverified) said

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No open world PVP to *begin* with. The difference between CO and CoX was that the latter didn't include PVP in it's original design, creating huge balance issues when it was introduced later. CO is incorporating PVP--and all its attendant issues--from the get go, so expanding it to open world later will not have any impact on game mechanics.

Posted: Feb 24th 2008 6:33PM (Unverified) said

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Personally, I hate open PvP. I really don't want to play a game where some punk 12 year old can run up to me anywhere and kill me 50 times, just for the hell of it. So, I like the arenas. As far as which game is going to beat out the other, I think it will be a toss-up. I will be switching to Champions in 2009 myself. Only because I've played the table top version for over 10 years now.

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