champions online

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Official Site: Champions Online
Studio: Cryptic Studios/Perfect World Entertainment
Launch Date: September 1, 2009
Genre: Superhero Themepark
Business Model: Hybrid F2P (Cash Shop, Optional Sub)
Platform: PC
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Champions Online puts its lifetime subscription on sale for the price of its freeform slots

We still don’t know exactly what the plan is with Champions Online’s subscription. The plan to take subscriptions off the table entirely was postponed due to how subscriptions interact with freeform archetypes, but freeform archetypes are now cheaper. And now the lifetime subscription is on sale for a cool $120, which still sounds like a lot under the circumstances but is a 60% discount. As MOP readers Stez and Nicholas have pointed out, this morning’s update did indeed disable subscriptions, and the freemium pack is now for sale, though Cryptic does now allow unused freeform slots to apply to existing characters.

For those of you doing the math at home, that evens out to being six characters slots with freeform options for $120, the same as individually buying six freeform slots (it’s $60 for three), plus a whole bunch of other goodies on top as well as a monthly stipend in perpetuity. Is it worth it? That depends on you; it’s certainly an open question how much cool stuff you can expect to be added to the game in the future, if anything. But in terms of dollar-for-dollar value, it’s competitive with other things you can buy from the game.

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Perfect Ten: Best MMO debuts by year, 2007-2017

Continuing from my previous column, I’m going to be running through the second decade of graphical MMORPG launches and picking the best title to debut in any given year. From doing the first decade, I know that this thought exercise isn’t always fair; some years have several great contenders, while others see one mediocre one rise due to a lack of competition.

Still, it’s kind of fun to look back at MMO history and to see which game was really the best of that year. And if you ever felt sore that a particular title got overlooked, well, consider this a retroactive awards ceremony of some sort.

Let’s dive right in where we left off with 2007!

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Perfect World updates its Arc client with new features

You may or may not use the Perfect World Entertainment Arc launcher to play games like Neverwinter and Champions Online. There are lots of ways to get into the games, after all. But the developers would certainly like it if you were using the branded launcher, and with the latest update to the client you’ll have even more reason to do so. The newest version updates the layout of the front page to be more readable and allow special displays for more news categories, making the launcher more useful for sorting out what’s new.

Players can also take advantage of the launcher’s improved chat system, which brings some of the bells and whistles of voice chat, friend lists, group chats and you know what, it’s another client adding in an interface that should hopefully remind people of just using Discord. But there’s also an improved overlay in the game, so that’s a good thing. It should give you a little more reason to use the Arc client, or at least more improvements for people already using it.

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Champions Online announces the Patriot’s Celebration for Independence Day and Canada Day

It’s June 28th, and that means there’s only seven days left to get your 4th of July events posted. Champions Online is waaaay out ahead of the pack with the Patriot’s Celebration it’s announcing today. Bonus: It manages to include Canada too. Awww, hugs for Canada!

“Today, we have a special event for Champions Online in celebration of Canada Day and the upcoming Independence Day. This year, our Fourth of July event will feature brand new costume awards each week for two weeks! Known as the Patriot’s Celebration, this in-game event will have players queue up for the Red Winter Alert in order to fight against a team that looks to rebuild their motherland in a version of the Cold War.”

The event runs until July 10th, and as of now, you can redeem your “Patriot Tokens” for a mask and some golden wings because why not. Hey, maybe you could put the costume pieces on the new toons you rolled up thanks to the cheaper prices on new character slots. There’s an idea!

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Champions Online slashes prices on freeform characters, three for 60 bucks

At the beginning of June, PWE announced big changes for Champions Online: It was planning to drop the game’s optional monthly subscription in favor of a one-time purchase premium pack. But players were deeply concerned over the move, chiefly because of the way freeform character slots work. Subscribers receive access to freeform characters – that is, characters who can take nearly any power from any tree rather than be hemmed in by an archtype layout, but losing that access would mean they’d have to pay the free-to-play price of $50 per character.

PWE wisely put the switchover on hold, but now, it appears it may have sorted out a solution, as it announced that it’s reducing the cost of all character slots and freeform slots “starting today” – which sure sounds like a permanent reduction. Freeform slots themselves now work out to $30 apiece or $60 for three, while character slots are 100 ZEN apiece or 10 for 700 – the latter are so cheap they may as well be free.

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And tanks: World of Tanks revives World Cup soccer mode, War Thunder rolls out Project X

Ahhhh World Cup madness is upon the sportsball world right now, and if you happen to be into both soccer/football and tanks, well then I have some epic news for you: As of yesterday, World of Tanks has brought back Tank Football, its soccer mode, with some sweet new additions and prizes.

World of Tanks PC marks the biggest footballing event with the return of Tank Football, this time with three specialist roles and Gianluigi ‘Gigi’ Buffon as a commentator. The metal machines are ready to tear up the pitch, go for glory and be crowned victorious, all while the Italian legend gives a running commentary of a game. […] Tank Football 2018 is a return to 3 vs 3 matches where everyone is vying for glory. These matches take place in 3 special arenas, including one inspired by Moscow’s biggest stadium and host to the final, the Luzhniki. Three unique tanks, all with their own specialist roles and abilities on the pitch, are ready to be crowned champions. So whether players like to play up front or from the back, there are roles for everyone.”

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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.

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Lord of the Rings Online 22.2 update is live with sweeping class balance changes, wearable instruments, and new story quests

It’s release day for Lord of the Rings Online. Update 22.2 is the big ol’ class balance patch that everyone’s been fussing about for the last few weeks.

“We have taken steps to improve the power, gameplay, and overall enjoyment of numerous classes throughout the game, as part of a longer-term effort to optimize class balance,” Standing Stone says. It’s buffed the potency of multiple traits and reset trait allocation for all affected classes too. Notably, Champions got a hefty damage and healing buff, Guardians will find Keen Blade got a do-over, Hunter lines and skills got major overhauls, Warden DPS is up up up, and some of the Lore-master’s traits have been outright deleted (I’ll let MOP’s Justin be the arbiter of whether that class is improved or not!).

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The MOP Up: Fractured Lands has fun in the apocalypse (June 3, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from RendArmored WarfareWakfuElswordH1Z1Conan ExilesDauntlessSea of ThievesFractured LandsMagic: The Gathering ArenaEVE OnlineOrbus VRRuneScapeFoxholeShot OnlineDark Age of CamelotPixARKTERA, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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Champions Online is discontinuing its subscription too

Back in May, PWE surprised Star Trek Online players by effectively discontinuing the game’s optional monthly subscriptions, replacing them with a starter pack that allowed everyone to permanently unlock most of the stuff they were getting with that sub. Now it appears it’s doing the same thing for Champions Online, which was also a hybrid free-to-play title.

“We’re making a change to how subscriptions work in Champions Online,” the studio posted today. “The Lifetime Subscription will still be available and unchanged, but we’re shifting away from monthly subscriptions. As of June 7th, those subscriptions will no longer be available on our website. Instead, we’re replacing them with a brand new purchasable pack, Premium Pack.”

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Champions Online brings out the vehicle-centered Circus Malvanum event

The heart and soul of Champions Online is either playing a superhero and taking out dastardly villains or flying vehicles around. The event hitting the game’s live servers right now is focusing more on the latter; help Jo finish her flying steam bike to earn it as a special vehicle and take part in the Circus Malvanum air race! You’ve got until May 31st to take part, or until November 16th, 2017. (The official page lists both dates, but we’re pretty sure the one from last year is a typo.)

If you think steam bikes are lame, flying or no, you can opt to just buy your way into the vehicle side of the game for slightly less cash; all vehicles are 20% off. That is, off the purchase price, not someone taking a hacksaw and chopping off a fifth of a given vehicle. Although that could mean a convertible.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your underdog MMO?

It’s easy to take pot shots at Champions Online these days, what with Cryptic hyping up its duration after years of stagnant development. But I’ve also been reading testimonies here and there from people who genuinely love the title and still have fun with it.

That reminded me that we all have our underdog MMOs. These aren’t titles on the top 10 lists of popularity and discussion, yet we still love them anyway. Maybe they have that spark of something special that only a few of us have seen, or perhaps we cherish them despite their flaws. I still carry a weird torch for Fallen Earth, even though it has settled into obscurity and hasn’t done much for years now.

What’s your underdog MMO? Which title do you secretly love and proudly support even though it’s not as cool and trendy as some others?

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Wild Buster will reboot as Champions of Titan under new owners to get back on Steam

Back in February, Valve took action on MMO studio Insel Games, which published hybrid MMOs Wild Buster and Guardians of Ember, booting the company off Steam having determined that the company had tampered with reviews by coercing employees to buy and positively review the game. While Insel Games denied any wrongdoing, its games have been accessible to new players only through its official website for the past few months. For Wild Buster in particular, updates had been scant.

Now, an update has finally arrived. Insel Games told the Steam community that Wild Buster had “failed to attract enough players to provide a sustainable service and a big enough community to enjoy the game.” Rather than shut down the game, however, Insel Games says it’s transferring publishing rights to IDC Games, which will relaunch the game as Champions of Titan with new accounts and a server wipe. Not coincidentally, this will also allow the companies to get the game back on Steam.

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