Posts Tagged ‘champions online’

Wait… what?

22 November 2009 Leave a comment

Promotion for Champions Online‘s next in-game event. It begins, eventually.

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Champions Online has 1 million characters

2 November 2009 Leave a comment

Champions OnlineWorlds In Motion reported recently that Cryptic’s Champions Online has at least 1 million characters under its superhero tool belt:

Online game maker Cryptic Studios said its most recent MMORPG, the Atari-published Champions Online, has garnered over 1 million created superhero characters, but the size of the subscriber base is unclear.

Unclear? Hrm.

I sent this news item to Siam, the owner and managing editor of The MMOGamer. Because I’m bad at math, I asked him to do it for me:

You should do math. How many characters can one account have, then half that, and divide that by one million =P

His response?

Max 8 per account. 1 000 000 / 4 = 250 000

That number does seem a bit high, 250,000. I would half that again, maybe a little more. Then I would multiply it all by the number of players who named their characters after famous comic heroes times .045035893845083405 and divide it by some other arbitrary number that I just made up.

I’m honestly not too surprised to find that there’s a million superheros created in Champions. The character creation/development is so complicated, that I’m sure that, like me, many players are rerolling, trying to find something that will get them passed level 20.

I still am playing the game, for what it’s worth.

Making right out of wrong

26 October 2009 Leave a comment

Champions OnlineI previously took issue with the way Cryptic failed to handle a major server issue in a timely manner with its Champions Online property. They announced today that they will be giving players one free retcon (opportunity to do a character redesign) with the launch of their Blood Moon Rising event at the end of this month:

Due to this weekend’s server issues, we’ll be granting a free Retcon to all players when Blood Moon goes live on Tuesday, October 27th. Keep in mind that free Retcons do not stack, so players who have not used their previous free Retcon before tomorrow morning’s maintenance will not receive a new one. Also note that free Retcons do not impact purchased ones in any way. Owning a purchased Retcon will not prevent you from receiving a free one. We appreciate your patience this past weekend, and we can’t wait to see you in Blood Moon!

As a player, I love free stuff. Any time I can get free stuff from a game developer I’m a happy camper, and with the difficulty in designing a Champions character that is effective down the road, getting a free retcon is a bonus. But, there’s also the cynical part of me that says that they’re just bribing me because I was pissed off at them. I was. They are. Free retcons for everybody!

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How not to not handle issues

25 October 2009 2 comments

Champions OnlineOkay, it was a Saturday night when this happened, but still. As MMO developers, we all know that it’s important to keep our services running as close to 24/7 as possible, even on patch and expansion days. Our players want to play, and we want them to. I would hope.

I’m already iffy on Cryptic’s Champion’s Online, their second superhero-themed MMO. I’ve played their City of Heroes/City of Villains, now owned by NCSoft, for a couple of years and enjoyed it. Champions? Not so much. Granted, the game is still very much new, so there’s a whole lot of balancing that needs to be done to the game. As it stands, I’m stuck on level 19 with a fire character who can’t seem to do much except die. A lot.

Anyway, I was playing Saturday, or rather: I wanted to play Saturday. It was the afternoon, several hours after my early morning playing session, and I decided to pop in again and see if I could get far with a new character I created. Only I couldn’t log in. It took about 20 minutes for the character selection screen to display, and then another 10 or so for the map server to pop up. I simply assumed, at first, that the problem was with my connection, or even hardware. But later that evening, when I tried several more times, I popped onto the forums to see if others were having the same issue.

Champions defeated by server issuesTons of players were having the same issue I was. Not only that, at the time of this screenshot, the problem had been going on for over four hours. I can only imagine that either CO‘s community team is off over the weekend, or maybe their CS didn’t notice that their login server was shot to shit. All sorts of bells and whistles should have gone off within, say, 15 minutes of the problem making itself known. To be honest, I don’t know if any did, or didn’t. But what I do know is that on a busy Saturday night, players couldn’t play a game, and it took almost five hours before the game’s developer communicated with its players that there was an issue, and they were trying to resolve it.

They did wind up taking the server down, doing whatever magic operations at Cryptic does, and gave players a two hour downtime window. But they got the problem resolved within an hour, and heroes began cleaning the streets of Millennium City soon after.

Always keep your community informed. Even if it’s just a “we’re looking into reports” post. Otherwise you lose the trust of your players, and losing trust means losing subscribers, and no one wants that.

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