When Champions Online (henceforth CO) released in Fall 2009, I played it a few months with several friends. Back then, CO was solely a subscription-based game, but it recently switched to a Free-to-Play model. I haven’t experienced the F2P model first-hand, so my impressions encompass the full package (which is now for Gold subscribers), not the F2P experience (which is for Silver members). For this issue of MMO Co-Opportunities, we’ll be focusing on the unique customization system of CO as well as the ability to do Nemesis missions with friends.
CO was created by Cryptic Studios, the folks behind City of Heroes/Villans. It was meant to be a spiritual successor to those games. Like CoH, CO has an extensive character customization system which is really a must-have in a superhero game, in my opinion. I spent many happy hours messing around in the character creation window just for fun and I found that pretty much all the heroes in the game look extremely different from one another due to this extensive customization system.
The customization isn’t merely skin-deep, however. When I played (and I understand that now this option is still available for Gold subscribers, but not Silver), whenever you got a skill point, you could purchase whatever ability you wanted from the many different power sets (e.g. Archery, Fire, Dual Blades, etc.). You want a hero that uses kinetic weapons and guns? You can do that. Notice an awesome ability in a different tree? As long as you meet the requirements within that power set, you can grab that, too.
As a nice detail I found particularly delightful, you can customize the colors on many of your active abilities, so even if you’re grabbing skills from different power sets, you can make them look like they all belong together through making their colors match. You could also pick which Super Stats you wanted on your character. Your Super Stats effect the damage for all your abilities, but the different stats do different things. You want to focus on crits? Pick Dexterity as one of your two Super Stats. Do you do a lot of healing? Pick Presence, then.