| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (21)

Posted: May 6th 2009 11:46AM Wouldzey said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Not what i was expecting with this game. Whilst im against servers AND zone instances this could work out quiet well. It's always frustrating meeting new people who play the game only to find out you cant play together because you're on different servers. This would solve that as well as removing the need to do server merges or closures later in the game's life cycle. Overall im happy with this announcement and looking forward to how it plays out.

In regards to the Euro part of the post, i too wish to know if we will be able to play with our US friends also. I hardly ever play on Euro servers as ever since SWG, i've played on US servers with US and Euro players together. With WAR i was really dissapointed with how they handled it. From posts confirming we would be able to play on any server we wanted, they changed stance and dumped us Euro players with GOA (speaks for itself). I ended up importing a US copy, playing on US servers and for less monthly sub as i would if playing in Europe.

Hopefully Champions will be a truly worldwide MMO where you can play anywhere with players who speak the same language as you (English Language Version, Asian Languages, European Languages ex English).

Posted: May 6th 2009 12:02PM icicles said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Makes so much sense, was ever a technical artifice, although I do fear it has the potential to diminish and further the decline in that feeling of community.

Some of my best MMO memories date back to the original Everquest, where lack of instancing, coupled with the likes of very long spawn times for epic quest monsters, resulted in players and guilds across some servers/shards creating community run mechanisms to arbitrate and co-operate or vice versa (the mob rotations and "who's next in line for Ragefire" queues of Morell-Thule were truly amazing, great work Mallo et al).

I'm not advocating a return to those mechanics (ok, so part of me would love it), just an old man musing :)

Posted: May 6th 2009 12:13PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'm slightly worried about this frankly...although I'll admit I'm slightly confused.

Is this like Guild Wars, but with bigger instance pop caps? How big are we talking here? 100? 1000?

Is this just like WoW, except you can pick your server at each login instead of being constrained to one?

Posted: May 6th 2009 12:20PM Miffy said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
Lame.

Wont be trying it now cause I can't standing hitting loading screens in mmorpgs. I hate zoning too cause like it stops the game from feeling like an online world.

Humph why is the genre going backwards? Better Technology and yet instead of being seamless we just get more loading screens like Everquest 2 or Lotro or AoC.

Posted: May 6th 2009 4:49PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Loading screens are not a step backward. Plenty of games still use them. They solve a lot of technological problems that so-called "seamless" worlds have always been plagued with.

Plus everyone knows you weren't going to play Champions anyway. (Neither am I, but the anti-zone gripe really annoys me.)
Reply

Posted: May 6th 2009 12:28PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This is great news. Going the way of a DDO or EVE or GW is a good thing. This crap with being locked into a single server, like WoW or WAR or any number of other MMO's, is just annoying. I want to be able to play with any one who happens to own the game, not just those on my selected realm.

Then with shards you end up with problems like WoW and WAR have, where you'll have dead servers, or extreme population imbalances. No one wants to be on a server where 80% is the opposite faction. (although may not apply to Champions)

This is just good news, in my opinion. Hopefully though they won't separate Europe from the North America, because that is another level of frustration.

EVE Online is the way to go, all MMO's should do that. (Looking at you Warhammer Online, you failed)

Posted: May 6th 2009 2:48PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@ScytheNoire

This differs from EVE in a couple of really important points: one, unique character names that are immersive. Two, there isn't any instancing.

Sure, EVE may have a single gaming shard. But if you go to a particular system, anyone else going there will go to the same system as you, not a separate instance. EVE is a single, uninstanced universe.
Reply

Posted: May 6th 2009 4:20PM Brendan Drain said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This is nothing like EVE's server model. It's more like Runescape. The argument over whether there are instances or shards is really just a technical one. The bottom line is that they're coping with the server load by splitting people over many copies of the same game areas, each run as a separate server process.

In modern terms, we call something a shard if it's a completely separate persistent universe, with no crossover to other servers apart from infrequent, arranged character transfers. Since there's no crossover, two people on different shards can have the same name or one group on a shard could own a certain castle while another group owns it on another shard, for example. We call something an instance if there is a high potential for crossover. That is, if a player can move their character from one instance to another through normal game means.

In that sense, Runescape's servers aren't actually shards but are instances of the same persistent game universe. By announcing that Champions Online will have no shards, they're just saying it will work the same way. Rather than having 20 universes, each with their own server populations, they can have one universe with 20 instances of each zone.

What this server model is good for is that it lets any player play with any other player. If you find out a friend of yours plays the game, you are guaranteed to be able to play with them. It will also homogenise the economy across the game (in WoW terms it would be like having a single shared auctionhouse for all servers). It's actually a really good idea that other companies should take notice of. It will have some impact on areas of gameplay like PvP, but I doubt that'll be an issue for a game like Champions Online.

But don't mistake this for a single-server approach like the way EVE Online does things, there's still massive instancing involved.
Reply

Posted: May 6th 2009 1:05PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
You can do this in a PvE-centric game. This wouldn't work in WAR where the whole game is about open-world zone control since if you didn't like how the game was going in your specific instance you could just switch instances. Don't get me wrong, CO looks great, but design decisions like this tell me it will never be a good pvp game even if they add in playable villains as an expansion pack. PvP will always be limited to instanced arena-style stuff.

Posted: May 6th 2009 4:24PM Brendan Drain said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Spot-on assessment. I wrote about how the server model of EVE Online affects its PvP style in an article a while ago:
http://www.massively.com/2008/09/28/eve-evolved-eve-onlines-server-model/

With massive instancing like this, it's going to severely limit open world PvP. I would guess that CO mustn't be going for that PvP style and will be limited to instanced battlegrounds. That's fun, but it's not everyone's cup of tea.
Reply

Posted: May 6th 2009 4:57PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Brendan: LOL you would guess? Champs has never been about PvP at all, beyond arena bouts and such. Open world PvP has never been even a remote possibility.
Reply

Posted: May 6th 2009 10:21PM Brendan Drain said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Alright Meanwhile, I'll admit it. I haven't really been following Champions Online :p. The whole superhero MMO thing is a bit lost on me, I'm more of a sci-fi and fantasy fan :D. If Champions Online never had any intention of doing something like open world PvP then this server model is pretty much perfect for what they've got in mind.
Reply

Posted: May 6th 2009 1:57PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This could work, it seemed ok in AoC but i do prefer the server selection but we will see.

Posted: May 6th 2009 3:03PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
"by not drawing as many artificial lines between members."

By allowing an infinite number of Dastardly Don@home, Dasterdly Don@chilly, Dasterdly Don@jonathan?

Yes, you can pick a 'surname' to fit in with your character name to some degree... Say Dark@Knight to be unimaginative. Still looks stupid with the 'at', but serviceable. But then you're stuck with it for all of your other characters, too. When I was playing CoX, I chose unique names that fit the character concepts I was going for. I had a number of very different alts and can't imagine sharing the same surname for all of them.

Sure, players can now create any manner of naming deviations to make something 'look' like another name, but to everyone else they're obvious cheap copies. No self-respecting MMORPG player will create a Moonbeem when they really wanted Moonbeam. But with this system, we'll see plenty of Moonbeams with completely unrelated surnames.

That, to me, is a very artificial distinction between players. I'd much rather see players having to select from a list of home cities at character creation. So that Moonbeam becomes 'Moonbeam of Paris' or 'Moonbeam of NYC', for example.
Reply

Posted: May 6th 2009 5:02PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Zensun: I think you are making a lot of assumptions. I really doubt you'll see the @xxx portion of a character's name in most cases. It will likely only be used in chat, not in the floating names or in the team interface.

There will be plenty of unimaginative copies running around, to be sure, but I don't think the "surname" part will be as obtrusive as you fear.
Reply

Posted: May 6th 2009 1:56PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Instancing everything? Gotta say, I'd rather see multiple shards.

In any event, I still don't like the whole charactername@playername thing. Much too long and ruins immersion. Keep it simple, keep character names unique but have a strict policy to freeing up names of inactive accounts.

There's no reason an account inactive for three months should be able to keep its names other than to intice them to come back. If they're afraid of losing the name in the first place, that might even entice them to keep playing even if they're not playing.

Posted: May 6th 2009 2:06PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Will be odd, but I think in the long run it will help foster community... by not drawing as many artificial lines between members.

Posted: May 6th 2009 5:37PM cray said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think a few posters are hung up on what the instancing is going to be like. I don't think players are going to notice it too much, from the way the developer is describing. You'll always instance with your teammates, so your not going to be suddenly dropped in an abandoned server. I think I read somewhere that you are not going see "loading screens". while moving from one zone to the next. So it's going to be pretty seamless and feel like a persistent world.

Posted: May 6th 2009 9:04PM Keen and Graev said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
*flush*

Posted: May 6th 2009 9:55PM Cicadymn said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Like people said it's not live Eve. But I do like the idea of having everyone together. One of the coolest parts I saw in Eve were the advertisement barrels written in english, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, even Russian. It felt like a really big experience to see all those in the same spot. I thought it was pretty cool.

Though it wont be like that in Champions, it's just something that the whole, one server idea reminded me of.
| 1 | 2 |

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW