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Reader Comments (41)

Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 1:22PM jslim419 said

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"I'm writing this before most of the world knows about it"

too bad you couldn't have published it before your own website knew about it.

Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 1:54PM The Ogre said

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@jslim419

That would mean breaking the column publication schedule - not to mention a bit of journalistic integrity (especially for a games blogger - reveal stuff before it's officially out, without permission, and you lose access).
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 5:25PM Daemodand said

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@The Ogre There is no journalistic integrity because game bloggers are not journalists in any way shape or form.
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 1:37PM (Unverified) said

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I haven't played COH, but I was excited to hear this news. How would the Massively readers rate this game? Serious opinions appreciated...

I've been thinking about getting into DC Universe Online, but I really don't want to pay a subscription. Now that COHF will be coming soon, it gives me the opportunity to get into the super hero/comic MMO.

A couple of friends and I tried Champions Online and that game was complete trash. I'm really looking forward to trying this once it's live.

Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 1:56PM Sorithal said

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@(Unverified)

I played it like... a year or two ago so things have probably changed, but I'd give it an 8/10 back then. Customization was crazy, the travel powers were fun, and there are so many various builds you can do powers-wise that it's really hard to comment on all of them. I just know that in that game you -really- feel unique and like a badass hero/villain. Plus the sandbox-style environment in each zone was really fun with flying/super speed and such.

But that's more my experience of the game from levels... 1-20ish. I did get bored after awhile, mainly because it sounded like end-game at the time was nothing but a grindfest. Guessing they've improved upon that since then.
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 2:13PM (Unverified) said

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@Sorithal

Many F2P MMOs don't hold my attention after the first 20+ levels for various reasons. From feeling like a grindfest to having limited combat mechanics, I guess I'm too picky... but not need to play a game if it feels like a chore. I went through that with WoW and I'm over feeling like that.

To be honest, I just can't wait for GW2. In the meantime, I'll be trying anything and everything until that's released, it just has to be free!

Thanks for the reply ;)
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 2:20PM El Furioso said

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@(Unverified)

Everything @Sorithal said. :) Plus, the end-game has gotten quite a bit deeper with all the new Incarnate stuff.

In general, CoH is a lot of fun, and now that you can dip your toes in for free, there's no reason not to throw on some tights and defend some hapless citizens.
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 2:32PM The Ogre said

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@Sorithal "But that's more my experience of the game from levels... 1-20ish. I did get bored after awhile, mainly because it sounded like end-game at the time was nothing but a grindfest. Guessing they've improved upon that since then."

It hasn't. The endgame is grinding two relatively short trials/raids over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 2:45PM Sorithal said

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@The Ogre

Well it's a good thing that people won't have to pay a monthly fee just to get to that point and realize that :p
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 3:42PM DarkWalker said

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@(Unverified)
I liked the game when I played it 2+ years ago, just left because respecs are not unlimited (pet peeve of mine, if I want to respec and find I can't, I just leave the game). Worthy a look at least, more so now it will be free.
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 6:57PM Dusty668 said

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@DarkWalker Respecs can be bought as a recipe, earned in the game with a specific mission (Issue 2 September 2004), or when a new issue comes out. As often as you want.
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 11:10PM Jeromai said

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CoH is worth playing to see a number of things. Especially for MMO players used to a traditional model. The costume creator will suck you in and never let you go. The emphasis on customisation and choice.
A non-absolute-reliance-on holy trinity style of group combat that works. Mostly due to the power of buff/debuff stacking as well as very strong controls that don’t break on attack.

The standard specialist role of CoH which cleaves loosely to tank/heal/dps/control styles. Very loosely, some defenders and controllers can alpha a spawn just as well as a tanker, some scrappers and blasters are just crazy and will still survive through it. The hybrid model of CoV which produces an entirely different team dynamic of soloists that can still work together. And the crazy blends of in-betweens.

Teams of defenders (never call them healers!) overlap to form phenomenal synergy. Scrappers and tankers are pretty self-reliant melee dps/defence or self-healers, one does more damage at the cost of survivability, the other is the opposite. Or rather, scrappers are ninjas, brutes are all about the SMASH, tanks can become nearly self-sufficient and never need a pocket healer (though a good buff/debuffer alongside is much appreciated), and you haven’t lived until you’ve 17+ mobs surrounding you and still holding all that aggro without much sweat.

Dominators require a highly active playstyle to hit the real highs - control, then damage! Ditto blasters without a pocket aggro-holder. Defender and corruptor playstyles vary by powerset, they are incredibly varied and offer an eye-opening amount of support, mixed with ranged damage. Controller/masterminds are more pet classes mixed with support, can be more passive, can also be played in active style defending on buff/debuff powerset.

No autoattack, and no global cooldown. The hotkey skills are more spammable as a result, there’s a lot of them, and there’s a stronger emphasis on mobility and fast furious mass combat than standard MMO dungeon crawling. Travel powers – you haven’t lived until you’ve flown, superjumped and superspeeded. And maybe teleported (get a shift-click bind.)

The sheer flexibility of the super-sidekicking system and dynamic spawn sizes, which means you can play with your friends or PUG at any level and not have to worry about affecting someone’s xp rate or you yourself not getting xp or whatever. Fantastic system to observe in action.

Other interesting things may be the consignment house system, which operates in a slightly different manner to increasing bid auction houses, the Mission Architect system, the scenery of the zones themselves, especially the vertical nature of some of them. Inventions loot is a fairly standard recipe crafting system, though the random nature of the reward drops, that are-not- announced to the rest of the team unless you yourself want to brag and have your teammates fight over it and beg you to sell it to them, might be a change.

On the weaker side of things, CoH is notorious for very repetitive map instances (play it long enough, you can memorize warehouse map layouts and turn left and right on instinct alone, and some of the cave and underground Oranbega systems are a nightmare) and rather predictable spawn sizes and placements. Go solo and you’re going to see 1 lt 1 minion, 3 minions and not much variation thereof. Go in an 8 person team, and it all becomes large predictable clumps after a while. But focusing on the player synergies and different flexible playstyles from alts will alleviate this for a while.

It's also received criticism in some quarters for a very repetitive endgame grind, involving masses of players while neglecting players who can't or won't accomodate that playstyle with a stopgap measure that is about thirty times slower to progress than the not-quite-forced-but-very-strongly-encouraged "group-up-play-the-Incarnate-trials-and-like-it" style. New players won't get there for a while though, so I wouldn't sweat it, just enjoy the really nice novel bits of CoH first.
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 11:20PM Jeromai said

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@Jeromai
Oh and I forgot, they recently enabled an option to vary the spawn sizes via a difficulty slider NPC, so there's now increasing levels of challenge that can be self-chosen. Still predictable, though.
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Posted: Jun 23rd 2011 6:37AM Jeromai said

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@Tempes Magus

I am an evil wall-of-texter. I do use line breaks though!
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 1:46PM Sorithal said

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Yaaay, been hoping that CoH would go f2p soon. Champions just isn't the same :/

Posted: Jun 27th 2011 3:00PM (Unverified) said

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@Sorithal In fact I understand that Champions is now being sold by Atari and if they don't find a buyer, they will just terminate the game.
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 1:51PM The Ogre said

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Signature arcs are going to do nothing to make anyone feel important - you're still going to play second-fiddle to the signature characters. Whoop-dee-doo.

Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 4:33PM Decados said

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@The Ogre With just a little bit of looking I'm sure you can find a good therapist to help with that self esteem issue. If in game NPC's being powerful to you is bothersome, I'd suggest you have coping issues.
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Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 2:00PM Luk said

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"fact that free players don't get full access to the game since they're cut off from six of the archetypes."
2 Khedians, Controller, MM, what are the other 2 archetypes that will not be available for F2P?

Posted: Jun 22nd 2011 2:21PM Faith said

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@Luk

The 2 Villain Epic Archetypes, Arachnos Soldiers and Arachnos Widows.
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