Monday, August 17, 2009

Things aren't looking too good for Champions Online

The NDA went down on Champions Online, and so far the early reports from the MMO blogosphere are pretty universally negative. The sole semi-dissenter I've come across is a post by Beu over at Spouse Aggro, who points out that the game is still in beta. The problem with this counter argument, if indeed it is meant as a counter argument, is that I have never really seen a game make a major turn around during open beta. What you see is pretty close to what you will get at launch, at least for the content that they give you access to. Improvements tend to be in the area of client performance, if anywhere.

Even before this round of early reports, I found it odd that they hired Bill Roper to helm the launch of CO. Hellgate was a pretty amazing tragedy in my mind. There were a lot of great features in HL, but it got the legs kicked out from under it by a few unfathomably poor management and design decisions (but that's another post). Hiring the guy that steered that ship straight into a reef seemed (at best) a puzzling decision to me. A few months after he was hired, CO announced that you could buy a lifetime sub for $200...but only before the game launches (!?!). At that point alarm bells started going off in my head. Now that reports from the beta are coming in, color me officially skeptical.

All that said, this is a game that I've been following for more than a year. Whenever I get an opportunity to try it for free, I certainly will (I haven't yet looked into the conditions for getting into the open beta). I try never to form a firm opinion of something until I've experienced it myself. That tends to get me in to trouble a lot when I'm dining out. "Well, that's an odd sounding dish. Doesn't seem as if it would taste very good, but I'll never know if I don't try it..."

In any case, expect some impressions on CO here at some point. I sincerely hope that my skepticism is unwarranted.

1 comment:

  1. I think skepticism is well warranted here. Good golly, but this has been a strange day.

    I'm waiting to reserve judgment until I actually play the game. If I get to play the game. Jeez.