| Amazing customization
Bugs and glitches aside, and even with the additional quests and new zone progression, leveling can get repetitive and tiresome fairly quickly; this is where crafting, PVP, and social activities come into play. While not a huge fan of crafting myself, I found the crafting in Champions to be less mundane and tedious than in many other games I’ve played. Finding resources is very similar to traditional gathering, with the player being able to find resource nodes and, if their skill is high enough, harvest them. Gear collected off of enemies or given as quest rewards can also be broken down into resources in order to craft new items.
While I did find crafting to be mildly enjoyable, I can only do it for so long (regardless of system) before I crave some action again. I took this opportunity to hop into PVP and see if anything was new. From what I remember of PVP at launch, it was a horrid mess of “for-the-moment builds,” destroying all competition, as balance was seemingly impossible. While balance issues are still a problem, with the introduction of classes it is much less noticeable than at launch. Other than that, not much else is different. The three standard PVP maps remain, starting with a Team Death Match map available regardless of level, a free-for-all map around mid-level range, and a team objective based map around level 30. In addition to these, Crypic has taken one of the PVP maps that used to be available only during the Blood Moon event and made it permanent. I found this new map, which is available regardless of level, to be the most fun out of the four. The map, Zombie Apocalypse, is a last-man-standing type of map that throws hordes of zombies against a small player group with no hope of survival. Upon death, players join the zombie ranks to try and take down remaining players. I found this map to give the perfect mix of teamwork and competition, which led to a genuinely enjoyable time.
Even so, I can only PVP for so long before I need a break, so I hit Millennium City again to check out the social aspects of Champions. One of my favorite things about Champions is how they have their servers set up. Instead of having multiple servers, Champions Online has only one server with different instances of various zones in order to manage population. This allows players to move from high to low population instances at will, depending on what the player prefers. I, personally, enjoy high populations, so I found this extremely useful in finding people to interact with, even with the population being much smaller than at launch.
Pick up groups were easy to find, and guilds were plentiful when I bothered to look. Community presence is astounding in Champions, with a place in the world easy to find no matter what the player may enjoy. Global chat was extremely active and (usually) friendly and helpful, making me feel welcome within the community. Role playing is very active as well, with Club Caprice giving a safe haven for role players to meet and have fun without non-role players getting in the way.
Overall I found my revisit to the universe of Champions to be enjoyable. The general atmosphere of the game and the community aspect really draws players in, even if it’s not in a conventional sense. New zone progression, quests, and an entire new area to explore help to keep the game fresh for those returning to the game, whereas tweaked powers, a new class system, and a modified tutorial and UI help to introduce new players to the world and flourish as their crime-fighting persona.
While various aspects of the game do get tiresome, even after playing for only a month, the transition to a free-to-play system makes it so players can come and check out, or re-check out, Champions Online without any buyer’s remorse or negative consequences should the player not enjoy the game. Even though it’s not perfect, I found my time in the Champions universe to be a pretty good time, good enough that I plan on staying around for a while, even after finishing this review. And why not? After all, with no costs attached, I have nothing to lose.