February 18, 2012

First Impressions of Champions PTS Overhaul

So, here we are the first major, major update to the PTS, the Alerts have gone out and with it some of their first changes to the game including a little bit of re-itemization. And all I can say is, eh…. They’ve been aping and hyping all this now for quite some time and the first experience with it has been exceptionally underwhelming. And I don’t mean from the unfinished, buggy reasons why. They are extremely underwhelming, the whole idea of them being “team” content got flushed out of the door when the team I was in pretty much ran over each group solo.

It just baffles me every which way that the same group that is making Star Trek Online, that not only has viable endgame content, can’t seem to tell their Champions group to get their act together. A statement from one of the devs said they were looking at it from an endgame perspective, to which I will add; No, you bloody well were not. Hell several of the groups I was testing with the exact same utterance of the lack of challenge pretty much was very clear.

And yet again, I can do nothing but facepalm as they’ve not only, once again focused on low level characters, they are, again for the third or fourth time now, redoing the starting level content of the game. The 1 to 15 level-range has received so many revamps and revisions now that a lot of the content is out of order. This is not smart design here. I can’t even begin to fathom what they are thinking. They are designing this game as if the levels did not exist and think that everyone can meet the exact same challenges on equal terms, but the team game is an appalling mess, the content is laughable, and they pretty much give things away to make any actual replay value pretty low.

Now while they say this is just foundation work so they can move forward, in the past 3 years now, there has been absolutely no forward momentum performed with Champions Online. In fact, the only thing to have received any significant updates has always been the level 1 to 15 range of the game. Anything for teaming or challenging content has not been added and has pretty much just been ignored.

So in short, what I am saying, this update is very thin and needs more to it. If this is all that’s planned, then there is already a huge problem. This level of mismanagement has always annoyed me, because it’s something that you have to go out of your way to mess up. Champions’ deserves better than this and it is appalling on so many levels how the game is being treated.

All I can say, if what’s on test is any indication of the potential future to be had, it’s extremely too little and honestly, I think it’s well past too late. But I guess I can check back each week to see if anything else has changed, but I honestly don’t feel it will. Cryptic seems content in appealing to the minority demographic that remains instead of actually building a game meant for the MMO world.

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