Well it’s like this, I was on an interminable weekend support call, which basically means being in front of a screen and on mute on a conference call for interminable hours (6-7) not doing anything.
Usually I would be on CoH to keep myself amused, but as that has now gone I needed something else to prevent me having to repeatedly bash my head against the desk to stay awake.
The intention was to start playing The Secret World, but my PC didn’t have enough graphics grunt to run the client, and I’m not shelling out for a new graphics card just to play the occasional game.
So it was back to Champions Online (as I already had an account from the beta) on the Free Play option. It was ok, not as good as CoH by a long stretch, but amusing. The graphics are still a muddy mess, and the outlining option doesn’t work on my graphics card, but I managed to knock together 2 characters on the costume designer that looked half decent (they look much better when you are zoomed in).
The controls are standard w-a-s-d but the a and d strafe left and right rather than turning, which is rather annoying. I found that q-e actually turned, but that is quite an unnatural hand placement, and I found myself strafing rather than turning in combat.
Combat itself was familiar, target point and click your power tray. You are only allowed 2 character slots on Free Play (you can pay for more), and a restricted selection of “pre-built” character types (you can open up more “pre-built” types by paying for them, but you can only use free form character building if you are a subscriber).
I had one “scrapper” blade wielder and one sort of magic blaster. The scrapper was fine, you just run up and mash buttons until either you or the mob falls over. There is a blocking mechanic, but I hardly ever used that.
One nice thing is that, in instanced missions, you respawn at the beginning of the mission.
The “blaster” was suitably squishy, and it did have quite a nice console-y mechanic where the longer you hold the button down, the more powerful the blast.
I didn’t get into the equipping or attribute upgrade mechanics that much, though you can pick up drops and equip into one of 6 slots.
The tutorial was much better than the beta, but there seems to be a dearth of low level content, as both characters had to run the same missions. Also the mobs are very easy to aggro, and very slow to forget, so you can’t run away if you get into trouble in a mission, and can easily aggro multiple groups running to a mission area or door.
Having travel powers early helps that, but the flight animation is so bad it’s embarrassing.
I’ve just come to the end of the first story arc, with a biggish boss at the end and it looks like my “blaster” will be too squishy to complete it, which, of course, is the major drawback. There is no JusCon around to bail me out…..