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Cryptic's Champions Get Scrappy Online In PVP

It's heroes versus villains in this new comic booky MMO.

The game's look has come a long way in the last year. 
You can't ship an MMO these days without some kind of player-versus-player action going on, and Cryptic Studios held an event last night showing off its own latest take on PVP in Champions Online. It's hard to glean a lot of fine detail from a game this complex when you only have a few minutes to sit down at a demo station, but I can tell you that in addition to a cape, my character had a number of ice-based ranged abilities and a channeling life-steal ability mapped to number keys that I was able to use against other players competing on a LAN.

In other words, the basic interface and controls in Champions operate and feel like those in most MMOs you may have played. One interesting aspect that reminded me of my very brief experience with Cryptic's last comic book-themed MMO, City of Heroes, was an auto-attack ability (in this case, a basic ice blast) bound to the first ability slot. Toggling this ability on would make my character attack the targeted enemy repeatedly, which in turn filled up a special meter below my character's health bar. Once that meter was full, it activated some of my stronger and snazzier powers mapped further down the ability bar.

What I saw of the PVP setup in Champions was fully consensual. You activate it by hitting the PVP icon on your interface, which pops up a browser that searches and lists all the currently open PVP matches. Then you hop into one of those--which seem to be instanced, since you get a loading screen and are then transported to an arena separate from the game world--and start laying it down against other players. A Cryptic rep told me some of these PVP matches would tie into quest storylines and requirements, though you're also free to just jump in and start blasting characters on the other faction to relieve stress if you want.

The company also released a wealth of new media showing off Champions' PVP aspect; take a look at this trailer for a better idea of how this stuff is going to work.


  

28 Comments
Posted by Brad
The game's look has come a long way in the last year. 
You can't ship an MMO these days without some kind of player-versus-player action going on, and Cryptic Studios held an event last night showing off its own latest take on PVP in Champions Online. It's hard to glean a lot of fine detail from a game this complex when you only have a few minutes to sit down at a demo station, but I can tell you that in addition to a cape, my character had a number of ice-based ranged abilities and a channeling life-steal ability mapped to number keys that I was able to use against other players competing on a LAN.

In other words, the basic interface and controls in Champions operate and feel like those in most MMOs you may have played. One interesting aspect that reminded me of my very brief experience with Cryptic's last comic book-themed MMO, City of Heroes, was an auto-attack ability (in this case, a basic ice blast) bound to the first ability slot. Toggling this ability on would make my character attack the targeted enemy repeatedly, which in turn filled up a special meter below my character's health bar. Once that meter was full, it activated some of my stronger and snazzier powers mapped further down the ability bar.

What I saw of the PVP setup in Champions was fully consensual. You activate it by hitting the PVP icon on your interface, which pops up a browser that searches and lists all the currently open PVP matches. Then you hop into one of those--which seem to be instanced, since you get a loading screen and are then transported to an arena separate from the game world--and start laying it down against other players. A Cryptic rep told me some of these PVP matches would tie into quest storylines and requirements, though you're also free to just jump in and start blasting characters on the other faction to relieve stress if you want.

The company also released a wealth of new media showing off Champions' PVP aspect; take a look at this trailer for a better idea of how this stuff is going to work.


  

Staff
Posted by natural_deadhead

I might buy

Posted by CitizenKane

Looks good, but I'm not much an MMO player.  I just don't have the wherwithal of time to fully enjoy them.  I fear for my social life.

Online
Posted by Out_On_Bail

I'm looking forward to checking this game out.  I hope it doesn't suck.

Edited by TheClap

I'd like to see this kind of fighting in other instanced places. E.g in a few city blocks or an entire open city?  Especially for the the Team Deathmatch.  It would be like your gang of super heroes/villains can go out at any and take on a rival group in a real life place instead of those MMA looking rings.  They wouldn't have to render the whole city at once, just where the 4-10 players are. 

ps. this game is looking the best it has looked yet.

Posted by Reverseface

I will PVP you !!!

Posted by JoelTGM

nice new video

Posted by Bigandtasty

I read that as Cryptic's Champions Get Crappy Online, heh. 


Champions looks good but I don't know if it will bait me into taking the MMO plunge again.
Posted by Ineedaname

Looks really good but those environments look mighty bland. Still  short while to go though.

Edited by crusader8463

ice isn't good atm. should have went with a level 3 palm blast, level 3 eye beam as your main damage attack. they can take out a players full hp in 1-2 sec. Even tank spec'ed builds in defense mode and i was killing them in a few sec flat. Just spam the energy build up until u have a full bar then hold down the palm blast and you get a easy kill 75% of the time. Thats why i suggest eye beam as a good follow up after 2-3 sec of your energy attack. Best build i have seen so far. And i like force blast as your energy builder as it fits best thematically with the above two powers.

Posted by Jayzilla

i am ok with arena style fights in other genres, but since when do superheroes go to a "gym" to fight it out? i am all about the character customization in this game though. it's a lot of fun.

Edited by khhus

I really don't like the art direction of the game, I'm not sure why - It just feels like the characters lack any style or "cool-ness" to them. Everything seems so generic?

Not to start any war here, but APB's characters and art-style is miles ahead, at least to me.

Posted by Jedted
@khhus said:
"I really don't like the art direction of the game, I'm not sure why - It just feels like the characters lack any style or "cool-ness" to them. Everything seems so generic?Not to start any war here, but APB's characters and art-style is miles ahead, at least to me."
Artisticaly, this game looks soooooo much like CoH.  Which isn't surprising since it's the same developer but you'd think they'd try to differenciate themselves from that OTHER super hero MMO.

Edited by khhus
@Jedted: I completely agree, it really does look like CoH, but glossier and more colorful. Not sure if that's a good thing...

I guess it just lacks a serious tone. I mean come on... A superhero shooting arrows? This isn't the 1960s.
Posted by zityz

Looks goofy and stupid and fun. I might pick it up because I'm tired how a lot of mmos out look like WoW or Linage 2.

Global Agenda looks pretty awesome as well.

Posted by DrRandle

:X There isn't an auto-attack button in CoH. Sorry, had to be "that guy." Also, this game is way more animated, detailed, and all around better looking that City of Heroes. As somebody who's played CoH for a while, and has been in the Beta for Champs, there difference is night and day.

Posted by ahoodedfigure
@DrRandle: Also, isn't the character creation system for this much more robust?  I hope it's not as robust as the actual pen and paper champions because it'd take somebody all damned day to make a character, but detail is good!

I also wonder how they're going to police copycats who can't come up with original heroes...
Posted by turbomonkey138

Looks fun . Might just be what city of heroes could have been . Hope the Customization is good .

Posted by turbomonkey138
@ahoodedfigure: Remember on City of Heroes when Marvel and Dc sued them for all the people running around Paragon with claws who called them selves Wolverine256
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@turbomonkey138: Yeah, I was actually thinking of exactly that while watching the trailer...  well, I think of that whenever I see any superhero game.  I'd like to try something new, but I realize there are tons of people who just want to copy what came before.

Thing is, HOW can a company sue another company for the latter's having tools that make these sorts of things possible?  It reminds me of Little Big Planet getting all kinds of guff for its user-generated content.

It's a bit BS to me.  I guess the legal justification is that if you have a toolset which allows a person to create an umpteenth Mario clone, you are somehow culpable for allowing the copyrighted results of this toolset to be put out there for everyone to download, as you're getting money for this service.  Supposedly they think that someone would buy Little Big Planet just because some random dude made a Gradius level (which was epic, by the way). 

I guess with superhero makers it's a bit different, because someone apparently DID subscribe to a game like CoH just so they could make some lame Wolverine knock-off, so CoH is profiting from someone's obsession with a property that CoH doesn't have the rights to. 

Still, feels like the same thing as suing a paint program to me.  I think people who design these creative tools need to get a bigger backbone (and a bigger legal fund) or they're always going to be run over in these legal gray areas, which could stifle the more creative stuff, even when it's protected speech (in the States), like satire.
Posted by PenguinDust

I've been really into the potential of this title for quite some time.  I am completely strung out on fantasy based MMOs and thirst for something different that is still character based (no EVE or Jumpgate).  So, this being the first out of the gate to address my needs, I'm certainly going to pick it up when it drops this September. 

Posted by killdave

So this is City of Heroes 2?
What's happening with DC Universe or whatever its called?

Posted by TheePeaceFrog

I love the look this game has going for it. I will be checking out the open beta for sure.

Edited by MrKlorox

Lookin like Borderlands now with the visual filters. At least that top screen does with the rocky background.

Posted by Media_Master

Looks like another cool super-hero themed MMO

Posted by Kohe321

Looks okay, but the MMO market is going to be pretty over-saturated soon.

Posted by Haseo

Looks interesting COH/Cov was interesting but the whole way it didn't feel like a MMO killed it for me, hopefully this one will do better