Tron Legacy is coming out next month, a sequel to the orignal movie way back in 1982. It makes me excited and bring back memories to Tron. Tron was the first movie to heavily use CGI and caused inspirations of developing the technology throughout the decade. Its pretty much the movie what lead to Jurassic Park and that movie cause CGI revolution in movies now.
Its been over two years since the last time I was with a MMO, my last was Age of Conan. PC gaming and movies have been really slow during the summer, having beaten Singularity within a week I was bored just wait for a new game to come out to play. So I decided to turn to a MMO to relief my boredom and Champions Online was it.
Champions Online is a really fun and everything MMO should be kind of game. There is almost no grind, tons and tons of gameplay for solo play, optional grouping with friends, and no fuss character development. Cryptic Studios is the developer of Champions Online, who did another super hero theme MMO called City of Heroes and City of Villains. They brought along their amazing character design system along with Champions Online and made it even better. With me being so interested in lizardmen in other games, I am able to make and play as one.
Age of Conan and Champions Online had one thing in common, balance gameplay for people want to solo. Everquest 2 was the exact opposite in forcing people to group for doing quests or getting good experience to level up your character. Finding a group to do a quest that will give you good armor, sword, experience, can take an hour or more of waiting. This provides a limit for someone who want to come to a game they have paid for to just play it. Age of Conan and Champions Online is exactly that, you could get on at any time of the day and do quests that are made for solo players in mind and you could advanced through the levels solo. Both games, most of my levels gained have been from playing solo rather then group. Not to say I dont like grouping, instead when I come on to a game I want to be able to play it the minute I get on. Champions Online give you an option to group, any zone or instance you could make it harder so that you can fight or do the same quest with friends in a group as you would do it solo.
Champions Online is how any MMO should be. There is very little grinding, most of the experience gained is from doing missions and a person could level fast. Leveling quickly allows the person to do more of the content avaliable rather then spend hours on end grind experience to gain two or three levels. All of the open zones have free roaming mobs for anyone fight just to kill hours of their time getting drops or whatever you want or you could fight the same mobs in an instance for a mission. There is no fuss in character development throughout the game. Everyone single person all looks different and it doesnt apply to anything that happens into the game. When you level up, you gain points to advance your character stats to make him stronger and get other abilities. I mentioned the balanced of solo play vs group play, this is the key. When I get home I want to play the game instantly with no waiting, this is where having a balanced optional solo play comes in. There is a minimal amount of timesinks set in this game. SOE was really good in timesinks with EQ2, waiting for groups, to having placeholders, and seven minute respawn times for each mob.
I would really like to see MMO keep to this trend of having minimal grind, balanced solo play and group and fun way to development your character as you advance through the game. SOE will be putting out DC Universe Online in November, it will be interesting to see how it turns out.