Champions Online puts subscription switch on hold in light of player disapproval

So, as we reported Friday, Champions Online was on deck to lose its subscriptions just like Star Trek Online. Except that as many, many players pointed out on the forums with varying degrees of politeness, the difference is that at the level cap in STO, you don’t really need a subscription any longer. CO has those wonderful freeform character slots, and you lose them without a subscription… and the change to models would have had those go away with no option but the $50 freeform slot purchase.

After a weekend of angry comments, the official decision has been to hold off on this particular change and the premium pack until the developers can figure out another way to handle the changeover. Good news for players who didn’t want to lose out on their freeform slots during the change, bad news for… well, no one, really. Not every game with an optional subscription is created equal.

Source: Official Forums; thanks to Robenix, Sister Silicon, and Zen Dadaist for the tip!
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19 Comments on "Champions Online puts subscription switch on hold in light of player disapproval"

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Fair Mores

Thank goodness. The thought of losing my freeform characters forever was crushing.

After playing a freeform character I can’t imagine having as much fun playing an archetype. I also don’t want to pay the equivalent of a new game for a slot to just level up a new freeform character either. This change would have completely divorced me from the game.

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Moxie Grey

Except a lot of the backlash was based on people not reading the actual content of the announcement.
Didn’t they say that any already-existing Freeform characters would not be lost?

Also, I like Archetypes okay (mostly because if you’re freeform, groups expect you to only play the Flavour Of The Month or they boot you for not being “optimised” enough).

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CasualSlacks

Would you ever consider going LTS?

Mattaui
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Mattaui

This is related to why I ever quit playing in the first place. Several years ago you could pick up the subscription cards for cheap various places and I was playing off those. When that ended, I was faced with not only having to downgrade my character but to pay for the privilege. I know they’ve got to monetize the game but it seems like they didn’t understand how players interacted with their game. I can easily see some long time player with several golds that might be fine with the sub price but wasn’t about to drop hundreds of dollars for a ‘lifetime’ account.

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Moxie Grey

I downgraded from Gold and didn’t have to pay any real money to revert my characters…

Mattaui
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Mattaui

If they were archetypes, you can do that. But there’s no silver freeform option, so you have to convert them to an archtype and it requires a retrain token. Just tried to do it now. Did you already have some retrain tokens?

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Armsman

Hey, can’t afford to piss off the he last 100 or so people who actually spend money on this game, right? ;)

[Seriously CO was never a bad MMO – and IMO has better game mechanics then DCUO. That said, when the company (Cryptic) OWNS the IP and decides to gut the team that was working on the game to the point it gets an average ONE minor piece of new/actually playable game content once per calendar year; yeah, it’s not going to attract any new players in quantities that matter. That’s IMO sad, because if they actually gave it some actual attention they probably could grow the playerbase; but they’ve effectively abandoned it.)

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Moxie Grey

Their publisher is not good about maintaining games that aren’t Perfect World or its spinoffs. I’m not even sure why they bought the Champions IP if they didn’t plan on actually keeping it going properly; imo, they should sell it to a company that actually does games right, and let them revive it.

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CasualSlacks

I think that the 250 – 400 players, depending on the season, who continue to play the game play because of the freedom in character creation, both visually and with abilities, that Champion Online grants isn’t found in other games. The fact that the game lacks new content isn’t a dealbreaker for those of us who don’t chase content. That is not to say that I wouldn’t want new content, but if the game attracted more players and created more content at the expense of restricting character creation, I might as well play another game.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Sad too cause I always liked the Champions IP. Played it plenty as a tabletop rpg.

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Nicholas Roberts

I probably should have provided more context with the tip, but the overall outcry was more towards the concern that long time (non-liferime) subscribers had the potential to lose access to their Gold level characters if they lapse their subs after the implementation of the new system – – lwith the only recourse being to pony up for the LTS if they wanted to unlock them, or convert them to Archetypes. The removal of the free character slot program and arbitrary enforcement of a character slot cap (which apparently has always been there) has also ruffled some feathers. Though the sky high price of the freeform slots is still a major concern it’s not the whole story.

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Moxie Grey

That character slot cap HAS always been there. It’s never had to be enforced because nobody made 60 characters at once previously. I’m sure the only reason they even mentioned it is because they realised someone could theoretically buy a Premium Pack while having nearly 60 character slots already, and wanted to head the outcry off before it started.

Honestly, I like the idea of the Premium Pack, and I would happily buy one. The best way they can go about fixing it is 1) ensuring current freeform characters & slots remain freeform, 2) offering previous subscribers some kind of reward for their dedication (maybe a monthly stipend like LTS get, but smaller? Exclusive gear? Veteran Rewards for every month they were subbed? Questionite ore based on their subbed time? Idunno), and 3) offering a substantial discount for LTS to anyone who is currently a subscriber.
Actually, #3 might work to solve #2. Hm.

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Castagere Shaikura

It wouldn’t have been so bad if they lowered the cost of those freeform slots but they were thinking no one would notice. The whole thing was about selling more of those 50 dollar slots.

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Moxie Grey

Yea, 5 or 10 dollars is much more reasonable. 50 should unlock freeform for all current & future slots, imo.

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Malvious

Nice to see a company actually listen to their player base.

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Indigo Salma

Oh come on, i was actually looking forward to this.
But i guess the outcry was about the freeform characters.

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Nicholas Roberts

I think people agree that the idea in itself is a good one, since it was a decent deal for new players (lack of Freeform aside). But it needed to be thought through a little more.

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Utakata

Yeah…like including the freeform options in the premium pack. It was one of the unique mechanics that where sold with the game originally. It should stay, or they’ll be losing one of the few things good about that game.

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Moxie Grey

Maybe include 1 or 2 permanent freeform slots in the pack, and give current subscribers a discount on LTS? That would pretty much fix it for me. Honestly, if/when they open the Premium Pack option back up, I’ll snag one. 15 bucks to make all the characters I really want to make? Hell yes.