Champions Online announces new ‘serialized story’ content

    
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Back in early June, a certain nameless MOP author wrote a column that speculated on why Champions Online didn’t do better — and what Cryptic could do to reverse the game’s languishing fortunes. “A small population or no, Champions is best served by having Cryptic inject some genuinely new content into it,” the handsome and intelligent writer stated.

Perhaps someone at Cryptic Studios was listening, because today the studio announced that, indeed, Champions Online is about to get some brand-new content in the form of “serialized stories.” The initial foray into this format will come with “Death Rattle,” the first of four chapters that will deliver a complete story about an investigation into the Cobra Lords on behalf of Ladyhawke. This update is coming up soon, and Cryptic promises that a lot more will follow.

“Death Rattle is just the beginning. After these four episodes release, we’ll move to the next four-episode arc, and the next, until the mystery is laid bare and all is revealed. There will be investigations, betrayals, twists and turns, and more for you to discover,” the studio said.

What say you, Champions players? Is this a new hope for the game?

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CasualSlacks

A while ago, earlier in the year, dev Kaiserin commented in the Champions Online unofficial Discord channel that the developers had made some headway into sorting out some of the hieroglyphics that comprise CO’s code so that they could start experimenting with updating some the older content. She also suggested that they were hoping to announce some things to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Champions Online in September. One of the first fruits we saw coming out of their efforts was the revamp and relaunch of the Destroyer’s Lab dungeon in May.

This work started well before the CoH code was released; so I wouldn’t get carried away with “but we’re a superhero game too give us money” speculation. I doubt that Cryptic/PW were worried about losing player to Paragon Chat back in the winter. Although, I don’t doubt that CO devs were aware of the playable builds of CoH.

I am provisionally optimistic about this news. Sort of like how when a manager shows up at work and says, “We’re cooking up some special compensation for you guys. So just hang in there. Something nice is on the way. Promise.”

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Fenrir Wolf

I’m not, sorry. I mean, their meddling with “outdated content” lead to destroying Dr. Destroyer’s Robot Factory even worse than prior meddling had. More’s the pity, really. I have so much love for that beta period of Champs before they began to nerf everything with gleeful and witless abandon.

If they’d done a good job with that I would’ve been feeling more optimistic, but the spirit of thoroughly failing to understand what the core demographic of Champs was is alive and well at Cryptic.

Vangreal
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Vangreal

Want to get players back? LET US USE OUR CHARACTERS. We all have a ton of toons ready to play, but can’t because their costumes and powers are locked away. Your free to play model sucks. Fix that, and maybe you’ll bring us all back.

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terminallynerdy

I see this as “oh shit COH is back quick figure out some way to actually keep players” bid lol

That might just be my pesimissim talking.

I do hope they do alright. I still think they should just give every free player and free account an unlocked character slot so you can build your own hero rather then sticking to the Archtypes they have. Just one slot though.

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Bruno Brito

I agree with that, altho i do like the Archetypes. I think all ATs should be free. ALL of them.

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Fenrir Wolf

I’m playing City of Heroes again. I mean, I can go with a server (or host my own) that doesn’t do bloody balance patches. So I can take my time and enjoy myself with a concept build without my character being destroyed.

It’s nowhere near as fun as Champions Online but it’s also missing two catastrophic elements that drove Champs into the ground: Marketing and Management. Prefix both of those with bad, in this case. They never understood that their players didn’t care about hardcore balance, we just wanted to have fun with our concept characters without the game being ruined for us every bloody patch.

The magical unicorn of balance that foolhardy companies chase has been the ruination of many an online game, and it’ll be the ruination of many to come. With City of Heroes being stuck in stasis, it means that people who take it slow and enjoy concept characters will have the luxury of being able to enjoy the game.

Unless Cryptic can figure out that that’s what the majority find appealing—that what keeps us around is creating new concepts, new characters, origins, stories, and silly builds—they’ll continue to fail. No one I spoke bar a handful of noisy PvPers played Champs for the balancing, nor did they pay for the subscription because they were addicted to the grinding. They stuck around because it was FUN.

I tried to hang in there… Just watching the fun being drained away, though, leaving behind this soulless husk? I couldn’t bear it. I had to quit too.

I’d love to be playing Champions Online instead of City of Heroes, but I can’t trust Cryptic to understand that the game they made attracted casuals who thought that being overpowered was actually FUN, and that those casuals would spend years playing the game just coming up with new concepts without even needing to be addicted to grind.

Cryptic made something impossible—an MMO that didn’t require grind to keep people subscribing—and then, out of greed and ignorance of the grand, ancient magicks they’d somehow conjured, ruined it. Bloody ruined it.

Ririrawr
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Ririrawr

k, now that i’m home, and finished catching up… all the champs players that keep up on the forums knew the devs were working on /something/ the last couple of months (coz cryptic and slow updates go hand in hand) and we all just assumed it was for the upcoming 10th anniversary. i certainly wasn’t expecting a return to comic series format :3

i just hope they don’t end up taking another infinite-hiatus from series after they finish this one like they did after aftershock and whiteout. coz, the series are all very engaging and well written, complete with the excessive ham in VOs, hee…
the only adventure pack / comic series that was truly dull was the first half of serpent lantern (their first one) so hopefully, they might update that too down the line

i mean, this stuff was the one thing that was pmuch universally liked by the playerbase… if steel crusade and qwz had been introduced as comic series instead of just chained missions, they would have been much better recieved as well.

after neverwinter’s big update and the trek connie issue; cryptic getting a tiny bit of good will restoration (and a slight win) is good. at least for the champs players, because… finally. ugh

just grateful it wasn’t some other crazy weird attempt/announcement of trying to reel in players that already dislike CO (because that always works out well for any game, huh)

so yeah, cautiously optimistic for the champs crowd :3

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CasualSlacks

I agree with this guy about 100%.

Also, I see the lack of punctuation as a style choice.

Ririrawr
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Ririrawr

hee, the shift key and i have never been friends… never :P

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Fenrir Wolf

Oh, how I loved the ham. Champs was a purveyor of only the finest, highest grade, most sumptuous ham and cheese. It made for an irresistible sandwich of Adam West-fuelled joviality. With everyone else being so utterly obsessed with “I’m grimmer than you!” or “I’m darker than you!” or “I’m edgier than you!” it was so, so refreshing.

A glass of mango juice with a slice of lime while stranded in the middle of a desert refreshing.

It was… so happy. It made me happy.

Oh, the ham.

“You must shut down ALL the bacon, it’s emitting a delicious odour that drives the Qularr CRAZY.”

I miss it so.

Loved Whiteout. Heh. All of the enemies with ? after their names. Wolf? Demon? VIPER Soldier?

And then I’d retire to my mod-themed base on the moon with its GIANT DEATH LASER OF DEATH!!!11!!1. Tumerboy understood us. I miss him, too. I miss him spending so long working on a bathroom that he didn’t have time to complete the penthouse properly. I miss his candour and openness about the development of the game.

There really was a lot to love.

Ririrawr
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Ririrawr

nostalgia waffles

and as much as i love our catmomdev, she… either on her own or from vocal feedback has been on a warpath with the combat mechanics which kinda has been making me lean away from the fighting… which is fiiiiiine… for now, since we keep getting costumes and other fluff stuff (CATS, devices, CATS, transformations, CATS, ATs, CATS, etc.) constantly added to the event-churn… aka, thankfully theres other fun stuff to keep me busy

anyway *highfive*

also, the only reason i ever got the moon hideout was that DEATHLAZOR… and the low gravity :3

-edit (please don’t eat my post)
i am however, glad she does the balance stuff so much, because all the ATs have become viable!

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Suikoden

Awesome!

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Armsman

OMG the ultimate in climate change…Hell must have frozen oven because Champions Online is possibly getting some new content…

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Jack Pipsam

Props to them for actually doing stuff with it. It does seem they’re trying the best they can with the budget/allowance have they. I doubt PWE gives a toss.

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Witches

It’s not bad news, but the gameplay once you hit max level is not that good, every instance is a labyrinth, i really appreciate how COH just gives us a get hell out of this place button, also giving npcs phones was one of the greatest ideas ever, returning to a quest giver only for him to give us 3 new quest on the zone you just came from (and you can only pick 2 right away ’cause you can only have a few missions active at the same time).

Hopefully the changes to the inventory arrive at the same time as this.

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Castagere Shaikura

Wow, when the last time you played it? There was always a way which you could leave an instance or alert right on your minimap.

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NeoWolf

Sadly I think its a little too little a little too late and the new Supers MMO’s are going to sink this ship well and truly once they’re out.

But I do think think it is a positive move at least. One of the best things about STO by far is its Featured episodes so Champions doing something similar is a good idea and frankly I’m sort of surprised it didn’t occur to them before tbh lol

(actually scratch that, thinking back I seem to recall they did do serialised stories way back but they were few and far between and then suddenly stopped).

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MrNastyButler

Hrmmm…at least they are…trying?