Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Laziness: When Does Champions Come Out?

Obviously my last post was an April Fool's joke. Except it probably wasn't funny enough to qualify as a joke. April 1 kind of caught me off guard; hopefully I will plan better next year.

But, even with the fun of achievements and Ulduar on the horizon, I'm in the same place right now as the entire WoW community seems to be: bored and out of stuff to do in WoW that really revs our engines. Either we are playing other games, going through the motions, or trying to freshen the game by trying it from another angle. So most of us only log into our mains during the cut-back raid times, and spend the rest of our gaming time on alts or other games (I'm finally getting deep into Fallout 3, which I strongly recommend, especially if you take the "Bloody Mess" perk).

I do find my mind wandering, looking for another multiplayer experience that really grabs me. Fallout is based on feeling alone and desolate, and it excels as an RPG and game, but is missing the social and competitive elements of WoW, a lack which I notice. Though I'm decent at shooters, they don't tend to hold my attention as multiplayer hobbies. Team Fortress 2 and Quake Live have only managed to take up a few afternoons or evenings for me before the rest of my brain feels neglected. I've been reaquainting myself with StarCraft for the past few evenings, but it just isn't the same.

What I really need is another MMO. Unfortunately, none of the MMOs out there strike my fancy. I really hate to get into this, because I'd rather put that whole stupid "WoW tourist" thing behind me, but what I want to talk about is Champions and how I wish it would come out now while I'm bored, instead of later when I'm busy with Ulduar.

Though I respect them as games, I'm not looking for something like EVE, and Lotro and WAR and EQ2 and Vanguard I know from experience are too much like WoW to feel different for me, except for the fact that they have poorer art direction (imo) and lose some of my favorite WoW features. Obviously, OMG real consequences games like Darkfall are out, and FF11 has an appealing setting, but I also know from experience that I don't enjoy the forced grouping or extended battles of that game. And I already played City of Heroes into the ground before picking up WoW. Not saying they are bad games, just saying that they don't have what I, one particular person, am looking for. This is not meant as a flamefest.

Ok, SWG is a bad game.

But anyway, the only new MMO I know is supposed to come out this spring is Champions Online. Built by mostly the displaced CoH team with a new license, I expect CoH2, which is fine by me. I loved CoH, but it just didn't have enough depth or content.

Looking around the internet with all my might, I can't seem to find a solid release date for the thing. All reports say "Spring 09", but umm...that's ending pretty soon? Shouldn't they have a release date out by now, even if that date is "the end of May"? Or will it just be pushed back?

The really sad thing is that Champion's best bet is to land a week ago. The WoW juggenaut has ground to a sickening near-halt, and millions are just chomping at the bit for a fun, appealing MMO that isn't going to drive them away immediately with it's hardcoreness. I know some people think that WoW subscribers trying other games is a bad thing for those games, but I disagree. Sure, you get all the terribad entitled griefers, etc., but you also get the great players and good average joes. You just don't notice the positive parts, because they aren't as loud and obnoxious. Or maybe they just aren't grouping with you. :)

And think about this: if Champions releases, say, a month after Ulduar comes out, guess who goes to try Champions? A mix of 1) people who hate WoW, and 2) people who either suck so much at WoW or are such social outcasts there that they jump somewhere else for a clean slate.

If Champions comes out now, at least a bunch of those dreaded "WoW Tourists" will be people who are successful in WoW and just bored, rather than the entire starter playerbase of Champions being WoWhaters, comic fanboys, and outcast ninjas/botters/griefers.

And if Champions is of good quality, I'll likely keep my subscription to it in parallel with my WoW subscription, at least until Starcraft 2 comes out and I have to choose between 2 of the 3 to devote my game time to. So I'll be a member, rather than a tourist. If someone would just come out with a game with even comparable levels of quality, content, and fun in my eyes. God knows WoW needs a real competitor, so the devs will get a wake-up call. I think right now they are quite well aware that they are free to screw us as much as they feel like, because we don't have any other legitimate place to turn. But that's a topic for another day, and I'm lazy.

Tonight, we're downgrading to Jack Daniels. Mmmmmm.

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