Champions Launched… Again

Yesterday was the big F2P relaunch for Champions. The patch notes are pretty extensive, which I think  highlights how much work Cryptic has done to improve the game both for existing subscribers as well as new free players. There were two surprises about the launch that I wanted to highlight, and you can see them both in the minimap image to the left.

First there were thirteen instances of Millennium City when I logged in last night. I’ve not seen more than two or three in a long time. I honestly wasn’t expecting such a large turnout for the launch, but I’m pretty excited to see such a large turnout. I’ll be very curious to see what the population looks like a week from now and then a month from now. How many people were old players just popping in to check things out like me? How many were former subscribers trying out the silver-level version of the game? How many were brand new players? I wasn’t paying much attention to the chat last night so I’m not too sure about any of the answers to those questions. Yet.

The second surprise was the new store icon. It’s the orange circle with the Atari logo on the bottom left of the minimap. Atari and Cryptic are dropping the idea of Cryptic Points in favor of Atari Points, apparently you can now buy Atari points which are good for more than just C-Store purchases. The Atari Points stipend that subscribers get though is locked to the Champions C-Store only. The original C-store button was just a menu item under the Champions C button (top left in the minimap) so the new store button is more visible. But I do like that it’s less conspicuous than the LotRO store button.

While it’s much much too soon to declare Champion’s F2P switch a success, I’m very surprised by the initial level of interest and pleased at how subtle the C-store integration has remained.

9 Comments

  1. TeshNo Gravatar says:

    I started to download it last night, and this morning, despite my system proudly proclaiming a 54.0 Mbps connection, the progress bar only got to 10% downloaded. As badly as my phone/service provider sucks sometimes, that seems like a new low point. Maybe that’s just a high point for CO, though, as it might be based on high traffic. Yeah, that’s what I’ll say it was, and continue to wish the CO guys well.

    Maybe someday I’ll actually be able to play the game. :P

    Oh, and totally off topic… how is A World of Keflings treating you?

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      That’s interesting about the installer download, I wonder if Cryptic underestimated the response they would get? For my part, I kicked off the client to patch the night before and got a 1.5GB patch pretty quickly.

      Keflings was pretty fun. I got through the single player in a couple of sittings, but it’s kind of like the first one where I lost interest in playing after finishing that part. I’ve not tried the multiplayer out in either version of the game. I did like the sequel a bit more since it had more of a story and some excellent humor. Oh and the music is infectious. I have a partial review in my drafts folder, I really should finish that soon.

      Update: Hmm, I just checked and couldn’t find it. It may have been the victim of a my recent draft cleaning.

  2. ellesevenNo Gravatar says:

    I will be downloading CO too. I’ve always wanted to try it, but was too cheap to pay another monthly fee.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      The free-to-play works really well as a trial. You have access to all of the content/levels except for two mission arcs that they call Adventure Packs. Not much of a loss if you ask me, they were both disappointing. The biggest difference between free/silver and subscription/gold is customizability. Gold accounts have access to more costume pieces and the Free Form Archetype (which means you can mix and match any powers you want). If you get into the game send me a tell and say hi. My handle is @BlueKae.

  3. YeeboNo Gravatar says:

    I hope it does well, despite whining in various places about the fact that FtP accounts are locked into archetypes forever. Between the setting and the astounding flexibility of the costume generator, it’s filling a niche pretty distinct from that of other FtP games on the market.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Yeah the whole archetype thing is hard to pin down. People are complaining that they don’t have access without paying, but Cryptic is giving silver players access to all the content and the hero customization is the only other thing that they could use as a reward for subscribing. At least people can play for free which is something they couldn’t do earlier. I eventually decided that the archetypes were a better idea than selling content/levels, because it’s a way for people to get introduced to the Champions system without worrying about gimping their characters if they haven’t researched enough.

  4. AnjinNo Gravatar says:

    I have a post cooking about getting back into CO. I’m really enjoying all of the updates. And you’re right about the Atari logo. It fits right in with all of the other buttons just fine. Heck, I already bought one of the costume sets since they’re on sale. Can’t wait for the stipend to start.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      I was very happy about the store button. I’ve been feeling a bit touchy about that stuff after my LotRO experiences, I’m probably a little over sensitive about it now honestly, so it was nice to see. That said, I’m not so happy about the whole “Atari Points” thing, might have some ominous connotations down the road. Like I said: overly sensitive.

  5. […] long after I logged in, I met up with my good friend Blue Kae who was also checking out CO at the time. He came up to greet Red Gazelle with his character […]