See Page 3 for the full break down of the free-to-play vs. pay content for Champions Online.
Champions Online Free-to-play conversion
When I first learned of the Champions Online conversion into the free-to-play realm, a move made popular by Turbine’s highly successful change of business plan, I was a bit skeptical. I wondered how Cryptic would pull it off and I wondered how they would, potentially, ruin the game through free-to-play limitations. Then, I found out Cryptic was making their acclaimed character creator, which allows you to create your own powers and craft your character’s looks, limited to only choosing clothing and preselected powers for free players, and, I’m doubtful I was the first or last player to do this but, I had a fit. I argued that, if Champions Online was famous because of its detailed creation system, why would one limit what a free player can create? What would convince them to subscribe at all? Luckily, I was wrong about Cryptic’s somewhat controversial decision. And I’m glad I was.
Champions Online Gameplay and Character Creation
Before I delve into the classes, or Super Classes as me and the group I play with call them, I’ll dive into the gameplay. The gameplay in Champions Online isn’t quite like most MMO’s, but it’s not as action-oriented as some would have you believe. It’s also not as passive aggressive as most free-to-play MMOs. The game closest to Champions Online’s play style is Guild Wars. Just like Guild Wars, even though the attacks are (usually) automatic, the use of other skills isn’t optional, it’s vital towards coming out victorious in almost every combat situation. The combat itself is also a joy to watch, especially if you use The Mind class, which atttacks enemies by opening his (or her) palm and attacking their minds, combat is over once he/she closes his/her hand and makes a fist, which makes me imagine him saying “mind crush” and just destroying the enemy’s mind.
Of course, to imagine my character saying anything would mean that I’d have to see my character as something special, not just another copy-paste avatar in some sort of virtual world. Aside from the classes, the character you create feels like an individual. It feels as if the character you create is someone you’d put in a comic of your own. Even with the free-to-play restrictions, Champions Online has the most in-depth character creator I have ever seen in an MMO, aside from Perfect World. The simplest way to put it is: if you’ve ever imagined, drawn, wrote a book about, or anything else involving an imaginary character with powers, odds are, you can create a pretty close approximation to that character. And if you want a near one-to-one image, all you have to do is pay a fee for customization items, which you can purchase at any time thanks to the fact that the detailed character customization is available at any time.