A post on the Champions forums titled Do you die…and love it? prompted me to do this post.
One reason that I do not follow MMO forums that much is that I find that there is sometimes too much min/max kind of talk going on for my taste. Thus is very encouraging to see threads like the one above! It is about the the exhilarating fun of just jumping into a fight which may very well end up in a death and even frequent deaths. But it does not matter, because it is so much fun to play a bit on the edge!
I very much agree with the spirit of the posts in that thread. I do not really care if I have an optimal power selection and I am fine with going down somewhat often – I go down in flames and biting, clawing, kicking while doing it. Champions is one of the few MMOs where I enjoy playing melee characters – it is great fun! Min/max:ers think they are gimped and some of my melee characters do have it tougher in general compared to some other characters. But they are fun!
In the long run I rather have characters that have to struggle a bit to win, because that makes the combat more fun. Too stable and safe and it becomes boring. So I do not mind that my characters are not invincible or super heroic like Superman or some other superhero – that may be cool to read about and see in the movies, but actually play? No, I prefer my odd characters who may have to struggle a bit in their fights.
I am not a PvP player usually in MMOs – pretty much the only game where I liked to play PvP was some of the game types in Guild Wars. I have also avoided the PvP part in Champions Online – until now.
With the Blood Moon event Cryptic introduced a new PvP map/game – Zombie Apocalypse. This will be a permanent addition to the available PvP games. They have also added some open world PvP, werewolves vs hunters aka BITE, which is just running during the Blood Moon event.
Zombie Apocalypse is a small map with some cottages, presumably in the Canadian wilderness. On this map one of the participating heroes will start as a super-zombie, which can fight the group of regular heroes on the map. The zombie player is assisted by a never endiong flow of NPC zombies of various types. As soon as a regular hero is defeated, he/she is turned into a zombie as well. This means a zombie outfit, but the same powers as before the untimely death (or rather undeath). The zombie players can then attack the remaining regular players. This continues until there are no regular heroes left.
I found this to be quite fun actually and the mix of player zo,bies and NPC zombies attacking worked out well – the attack waves started slow and then the intensity increased steadily as time passed. A game takes maybe 5-10 minutes, so it is quick and easy to jump in. And since you can join from anywhewre in the world, it is quite easy and convenient to jump in for a few minutes of apocalypse. The Zombie Apocalypse is available to players from level 5. It seems that everyone’s levels are adjusted to a common level for the map, so that everyone is at the same level.
I played about 6-7 Apocalypse games today at various times, quite neat to jump in for a short play every now and then.
The BITE event is something that was described as “Open World PvP”. To me that is something I have had bad experiences with, sinc eit has seldom worked out well if one is interested in doing both PvP and PvE in my experience – at least not if the focus is PvE still. But I must say that I do like how Cryptic has handled it here.
In BITE a player can be either a werewolf or a hunter – the player can choose to play as either a hunter or a werewolf. There are contacts for each side in certain areas of the Desert, Canada and Monster Island zones. The contacts are located in certain werewolf-infested areas of these zones.
As a player hunter, the only other player that I can fight against are the werewolf players and vice versa. This means that the fight can go on in open areas, but without necessarily disturb/annoy people that have no or little interest in PvP. However, the NPC werewolves can still attack regular players. And if you get defeated while you are infected with Lycantrophy, you become a werewolf!
Werewolves and hunters also get a fixed set of powers – everyone is the same. I think this is a fair approach. Today I played for a while as a werewolf – fighting the hunters was good fun and something I will very much consider to do again. The waves of battle went back and forth in the werewolf-infested area of the map, as people joined or left either of the two sides.
I also did some of the PvE missions in werewolf form, which worked out fine. As soon as one changes zone the effect wears off though. All in all I enjoyed this session, which was mainly PvP for a change.