Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Champions Online Launch Today

I'm excited to see Champions go live today, despite this equation:

crowds + collision detection =

Here's a "State of the Game" post from the Cryptic Team that's a good, short read.

I have to congratulate them on what was the most bug-free and stable open beta and early start I have ever seen, despite seriously worrying problems with the initial patcher and the complete failure of the early start's special invasion.* If that disaster is a sample of things to come, then I'll know exactly which MMO monthly fee to cut out of my budget. I'm choosing to give them the beenefit of the doubt currently, especially considering that the dev team was probably taking their first weekend off after going gold before the craziness of live release. Still, it was badly handled. The SotG reflects how responsive the dev team has been to player concerns in other areas, so I have high hopes for their stewardship of this online world.

They're also already announcing the first major content patch, which adds a new power set. Woot!

And here's a launch interview with designer Bill Roper (previously designer of Diablo 2 and Hellgate: London) that I found interesting, as well.

Enjoy Millenium City!

*The special non-combat pet available to early start players requires that they kill 100 invading aliens as part of the invasion event. At first, each invasion would last 10-15 minutes and occur every half-hour, meaning it took about an hour total to get the pet. After the first day, something bugged out and the events lasted, at most 30 seconds. So if you wanted the one-time-only pet, you had to camp the spot in the middle of a crowd for 1/2 hour, then had 30 seconds of desperate, frenzied activity, and hope you got a few tags (usually 3-4 per time) to get closer to the 100. It got the point where people were timing each shard and jumping from shard to shard to follow the event, making each spawn even more crowded.

Despite playing for hours every day of the preorder event, and in fact having been in the beta for 4 months beforehand, I still ended up with nothing to show for being there early because I refused to do the boring camp.

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