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Reader Comments (30)

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 1:28PM Slayblaze said

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Thanks for the perspective from a lifetime-subber point of view and luckily it was not all negative, although it's too bad about the issues and hopefully they'll be resolved soon.

I never played CO before the FFA update, nor did I even really have much interest as I already have too many MMO's on my plate, although I knew a little about the game through friends who played it. Tried out the new F2P CO and yesterday I played it for 13 hours straight and I'll do the same today - I'm really liking it so far and the Archtype system is great for us new players who literally know (knew) nothing about the rather incricate mechanics in constructing a viable freeform build. From the point of view of a first-time player just being introduced to CO for the first time and knowing absolutey nothing about how the game "works" other than being a seasoned mmo player, I'd say it couldn't be any better.

Whether it holds up over the long haul remains to be seen but CO is so far probably the best of the latest wave of F2P games in general in many ways and is definitely a "pay-quality" title imo. It is totally understandable for the original subs and the lifers to feel underwhelmed, as evidenced by the CO forum, but I do see some positive posts by some of them too. I'm betting that things will smooth over in time.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 2:59PM Issmir said

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@Slayblaze

The archetype system really is a lovely introduction to the game. Lord knows I broke my character repeatedly with all the powers to pick. And it's really wonderful to see so many new players falling in love with the game. not everyone likes it (which is to be expected), but enough do that it feels like a prolonged holiday event in there.

Overall, the FTP change has been very good for Champions so far. New people get to try it out, vets get new players to help out and the sudden rush of new and creative costumes has my guildies pretty excited.

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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 1:46PM Maraq said

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I bought a lifetime sub when the game first launched and was a regular player for about 6 months, and played on and off after that. I've recently been sidetracked by other games, but after checking the update/patch page of the new f2p game, i'm looking forward to the patch process finishing and checking the game again.
I also like the archetype system addition, and think its a great starting point for new players who might otherwise get a bit bewildered with the choices, or simply make fundamentally bad choices that dissapoint gameplay wise later on. So far i'm cautiously optimistic.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 2:56PM DancingCow said

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The F2P thing aside, it looks like recent patch notes have finally addressed a lot of CO's long-standing problems and that's obviously a good thing. I may even resub to check them out.

It's amazing that they finally let go of convoluted the statistic/power relationship which to me was an obvious problem pre launch. Pets sound like they're finally useful. And they've fleshed out some powersets with some new powers.

All good stuff.

But a lifetime sub? Never. While I might be curious enough to resub for a month I haven't seen any patch notes which address one of my biggest problems with the game - it's too solo-oriented for my liking.

And there are several MMOs due out this year which have the potential to guarantee that I'd never get my money's worth from a CO lifetime sub.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 3:02PM Issmir said

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@DancingCow

The lifetime sub isn't for everyone. A few of my friends have one, as do both my wife and I, and we don't regret it at all. But we made that decision during the final stages of closed beta, eyes open, with a good feel of what kind of game it was and what it offered us.

In my case, the game paid for itself after a year (they were less expensive pre-launch) and I know have free access to my favourite MMO. For someone else it might be a terrible, terrible mistake.

The patch changes are pretty shiny too. Between invulnerability now absorbing 64% of damage instead of 30% on Foolhardy and Chest Beam being a cylinder attack instead of a single target, I've been having a complete blast.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 3:01PM wagonfactor said

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CO going F2P has allowed me to check this game out again. honestly, its really awesome so far. spent a week and half or so hitting max level in DCUO, which i enjoyed untill i hit max level. booting up CO is (i hate to be cliche) a breath of fresh air. i LOVE the cell shaded graphics and the combat/quests have been alot of fun so far. i dont plan on buying anything but who knows, i might. ive also told 5+ friends about it going f2p and they intend on checking it out as well.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 4:13PM Silverangel said

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I agree with your point that a lifetime membership is an investment. I agree but not everyone sees it that way. Should lifers, as investors, have any special considerations as such, or be treated differently than ordinary clients, like investors in a company. The analogy raises interesting concepts and questions.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 4:14PM BruceLeeglad said

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Im clearly impressed by the new F2P !!!
i can login to my old account, BUT i cant play my toons because they need GOLD membership... Yes you can convert them to F2P silver membership toons on the char selection screen IF it only worked, AND i cant delete my 2 toons for some reason !!!

WAY 2 GO :D

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 4:22PM Issmir said

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@BruceLeeglad

Have you tried mailing support?
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 4:27PM BruceLeeglad said

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@Issmir Yeah no luck so far... and Live Support cant help either the told me to write to support wich i allready had LOL :D
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 4:23PM Stormwalker said

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I have a lifetime sub and I enjoy the game a lot. I like having full access to everything and not feeling the pressure to play constantly to make it worth the investment (once time had passed to cover what would have been monthly sub fees). I still play a lot because it's fun.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 4:59PM DrRumpy said

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Interesting article on Lifetime subscription. I can understand the author's point of view, though I disagree about as strongly as humanly possible.

For instance, up until the F2P model launched Champs Online subs had done nothing but decrease to some sort of subsistence level. So a Lifetime sub did nothing to attract new players. The investment was not sound in any way, shape, or form. Unless the point was to fund "fail".

Of course, nobody can say what another person will find fun. So it's perfectly valid for the author and others to indicate that they enjoyed the ongoing beta quality of the game post launch. Monthly subscription players apparently disagreed because they fled the game in droves. I know I did.

Let's turn this around a bit and ask for any Lifetime subs who stopped playing the game between launch and today to chime in. After all, if you've been playing all this time with a Lifetime sub, I mean, what else were you going to do. You already paid all you could.

Cryptic as a company is morally bankrupt. Not more or less than most, but it's still a detestable quality. Something like the Goldman Sachs of MMOs. Selling Lifetime Subs for a game that goes F2P....unbelievable.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 5:57PM Issmir said

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@DrRumpy

I'm not sure I can agree with the comparison between Goldman Sachs - a company that helped produce the largest financial collapse in generations while reaping multi billion dollar profits from it - with Cryptic - a company that charges $15 a month for a service, offers the same service for a flat one off fee or a restricted version of that service for $0.

Seriously, do people feel as strongly about "double dipping" in microtrans as they do about the sub-prime crisis and a complete lack of regulation in the financials? Does "Lifetime on a free to play game" really equate to "We told our staff not to touch LCDS but sold them to our customers because we realized the profit we could make from a complete international financial meltdown"?
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 8:02PM DrRumpy said

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@Issmir

It's just opportunity and scale. Cryptic has shown they will do everything and anything to extract money from it's players. From a corporate standpoint their policy has been to over promise, under deliver, and charge like crazy for it.

They will find every way possible to innovate payment models while delivering sub standard products.

So, is Cryptic as bad for the world as Goldman Sachs? Of course not. But the blatant disregard for anything but the bottom line is a common characteristic of many corporations.

Here's a novel bet for you. Cryptic's third game will be a content thin barely beta quality game on release. And, it will offer another shot for Lifetime subs.
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Posted: Jan 28th 2011 7:02AM Issmir said

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@DrRumpy

I think there's a world of difference between trying to make enough of a profit to pay the bills, feed the family and introduce new features and the aggressive pursuit of profit at the cost of everyone and everything else.

People trying to make as much money out of something they have created isn't moral bankruptcy, it really isn't. I know it's part of the same discourse of a capitalist society.

I'll go you one further - publicly listed corporations (of which Atari is one even if Cryptic is not) - are required by law to put the interests of their shareholders first.. So accusing them of being more interested in the bottom line than anything else is a bit like accusing them of fulfilling their obligations.

Now, you may not like the quality of the games, and I can respect that. There may not be enough content or the design philosophy and the mechanics may annoy you. And that's all good -taste is a very personal thing, and I feel like that about other games.

But that doesn't make the people who make the game despicable. I, for one, hated my experience in WoW, but I don't believe that WoW are guilty of moral bankruptcy.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 5:14PM El Furioso said

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Great article. I'm really on the fence on this one. Played through all of Closed Beta, but CO never really did it for me. There were some fun times, definitely, but there was a convolution of the power/skill approaches (mentioned above by others) that didn't resonate with me.

So maybe Archetype characters would be better for me. Started the F2P download last night; maybe I'll start it up again.

Quick question: did the F2P conversion affect the costume creator? Do you still have the same number of options, or were some stripped out and reserved for playing players?

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 5:53PM Issmir said

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@El Furioso

Some were stripped out, though they can be purchased as a one-off microtrans if you don't feel like subbing.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 5:19PM Averice said

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I just don't see a need for life time subs from the company. Unless they're seriously hurting in investment money, because like everyone has been saying, once the first period is over, you never have to pay again. The company could introduce new things which you're forced to buy, rendering your lifetime sub completely useless if you wanted, though that'd be a terrible move. Or they're stuck just never making any more money off of you.

I like the idea of life time subs, but I'm so wary of the potential for the company to just take my money and run that I don't think I'm ever going to buy one.

Also, as Stormwalker said, I feel better when I'm playing a game that doesn't have something looming over me. Personally though, I do not feel like monthly subs loom over me. I do feel as if micro transactions do though, since they're made to be enticing in order to make you want to buy them. Micro transactions just really throw my desire off of a game.

Posted: Jan 28th 2011 7:50AM ArhK said

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@Averice

For what it worth, I totally agree with your point of view, micro transactions tends to put the money thing right "inside" the game, and I hate it, it completely turns me off. I DON'T want to have feel like I am in an IRL shop while playing online.

15 bucks / month and let me enjoy the game, no bullshit, no micro-transactions shit please.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2011 11:56AM Destu said

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@Averice

If you are a Lifer every month you get some cryptic points to spend on micro transactions. So there is no way that they will introduce something a lifer can not buy eventually. I have been a lifer from Beta and I enjoyed the game for a about six months then took a year off did some other things with my time (like have a family and get a better job) and now I am back. I still love the game and enjoy that it went free to play. It adds more people even if some are Trolls that talk crap about the game. If you do not like the game quit and go play something else there are plenty of games out there. Being a lifer is great no monthly bill to worry about and I can enjoy on my own time. Love it or hate it the game is here and I play it and love it.
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