Friday, October 30 2009

The first hit is free…

…this weekend, anyway. Champions Online is offering people a chance to try their game out for free, from 10am Friday through 10am Monday. If I weren’t already playing, I’d start.

Even with the bugs, imbalances, and graphics glitches, even with the inept proofreading and occasionally 7th-grade-level writing skills, they’ve built a game that’s an awful lot of fun to play. With a few months more polish and playtesting, it will be even better, but it’s worth a look today. Honestly, I’d pay the monthly fee just to play with the character designer; the fact that the combat system is dynamic and exciting is a bonus.

Speaking of the character designer…

[click the images for more views]

Feylost

Feylost was never what you’d call a good faerie, but after she was exiled to Earth for defying the will of a prince, she became downright nasty, feeding on the misery of mortals. She confines her attention to the worst of humanity, leading society to consider her a hero, but prison doctors have been noticing a strange physical and mental degeneration among certain inmates, and one of them has started putting the pieces together.

Champions Online - Feylost
[Everything about this character is built around my discovery of the Venomous Breath power, which in technical terms is a 50-foot-long, 90-degree cone attack that does toxic damage, but visually, it’s a stream of bile. I adjusted the colors to a delightfully vile strawberry, and gave her a flight power that wreaths her in pink flames. The wings actually work, and yes, they’re shiny metal that reflect the surroundings. She’s a vicious faerie butterfly who slaughters henchmen with her vomit.]
The Cybernetic Librarian, revisited

When last seen, The Cybernetic Librarian had undertaken the study of sorcery to restore her lost humanity. Along the way, she dabbled in darker powers, including raising the dead. As a result, her first attempt to recreate her real body didn’t work out quite as planned…

Champions Online - The Cybernetic Librarian, revisited

[I took the existing cyborg body and converted it to a normal human, correcting the proportions until she looked normal. Then I liked the results so much that I made a number of variants, including demonic, party dress (no screenshot yet), and NSFW “caged heat” costumes. The demonic body is more muscular than the rest, but the costume parts are a fair match for the original concept, preserving much of its look.]

Renegade Schoolmarm

After losing a third of her class in a gang-war crossfire, this Westside Junior High School English teacher put down her lesson plans and picked up a gun. And another gun. And grenades. And mines.

Champions Online - Renegade Schoolmarm

[Yes, that’s the TCL human body, the dollie I love to play dress-up with. RS is a munitions build, but where most people pick up the Assault Rifle and Gatling Gun powers, I went with both Frag and Smoke Grenades, added Killer Instinct and Regeneration to recover both energy and health in the middle of combat, and upgraded Two-Gun Mojo for the primary damage-dealer. Bodies go flying everywhere, and she’s rarely defeated in combat. She has the “caged heat” costume as well, but I only use it inside of mission instances; I like the Lingerie Avenger look as much as the next guy, but I don’t think it contributes to the atmosphere of the game to use it in public. There are enough of those outfits on display already.]