It’s a funny thing. I’ve now almost run a toon on Champions Online all the way up to the Level 40 max… and … something just seemed wrong. It’s not that I don’t love playing my toon on Champions, no – actually when it comes to bringing the pain on bad guys I’ve cobbled together a build that’s damn near unstoppable when it comes to solo play. I handle mobs of 5,7,10 easily in Red Con and mobs of 3-5 purples with a bit of effort but it’s doable.
With the various nerfs on my old Mikey on CoH… you can’t do that. Oh sure – I can stop’em dead in their tracks but Mikey lacks the she take down on COH that I have on Champions. What is missing… is that sense of fun, of family, that I had over on COH.
So – just to see how it was – I went back and checked out my COH builds. With the new Praetorian “Rogue” builds it’s a bit weird playing as a Corruptor or a Dominator – but it’s fun. Heck, even my original builds were still a lot more fun. For sheer playability COH’s engine seems to be much less laggy, but then it’s also older and more stable. COH has had a number of years of tweaking and tuning that I have no doubt will enter into Champions in time.
What is missing desperately from both games – are the players. Oh, it’s not that people aren’t playing tons are playing. Just … no ones where you can see them – find them – chat. Not in numbers that really draw you in and make you want to play.
I can remember logging on for the first time on CoH and having a hard time standing under Atlas for all the heroes there. It’s pretty much a ghost town on any of the servers these days. Something ironically that I attribute to giving the fans exactly what they wanted… bases, instanced missions, villians, and now rogues. With each of these innovations the players have fewer and fewer reasons to gather, to collect and to congregate.
I’ll probably finish getting my current Mikey to level 40 on Champions… and then take a break from gaming for a while. Drift on and check in from time to time. But the coolness of these games has become mediocrity for me. The very features which fans have asked for – are the very ones that are killing their popularity to me. See, as much as a pain in the arse as it was to have everyone hanging out under Atlas in CoH – people were Hanging Out. The skies were filled with capes and the streets covered in people racing by at Flash speeds.
You felt as if you were in some unique and busy world. Now, the worlds are unique – but the busy… has left the building.