Will the New Champions Online Supervillain Onslaught Feature Help Turn the MMO Around?

By Jeff Francis
Will Supervillain Onslaught turn Champions Online around?

Superhero movies are all the rage as Marvel releases blockbuster after blockbuster, and TV has a cadre of shows based upon the DC universe. Such success has not been replicated in the world of mmorpg games though, even though a number of games have found an audience. The current longest-running superhero mmo is Champions Online, but the game has been languishing for some time. The developers have said that some new things were coming, and now we have a taste of a new gameplay mode in the form of Supervillain Onslaught. Will the new Champions Online Supervillain Onslaught feature help turn the mmo around?

Champions Online Grond

The new Champions Online Supervillain Onslaught mode allows gamers to play as supervillains. The first thing that we have to remember about this new feature is that it is not about players creating their own bad guys and following a storyline. This mode is more akin to the Legends PvP in DC Universe Online. Here, players are transformed into one of three Champions Online supervillains (Avatar, Grond, or Medusa), who then go on a rampage. The background for this mode is that a scientist, Teleois, has created the Onslaught Device that turns heroes into villains. What happens next is that the player gets to rampage around Millennium City to fulfill a mission as other players try to take him out. The developers expect such battles to last around ten minutes or so.

There are some interesting features surrounding this Champions Online Supervillain Onslaught feature. The first is that it's always fun to play as the bad guy. As someone who loved playing a villain in City of Heroes/Villains, I'm glad to see that Cryptic is finally dabbling in adding some villain-style gameplay to the free mmo. Personally, I wish that they would create a separate storyline and missions for villain characters, but I can understand that they don't have the resources to do such a thing at the present time. However, I really like that the rampage by the player is done not in a separate instance, but in the actual Millennium City zone that's populated by hordes of players. This should lead to some really fun clashes as the villainous player has the power of a raid boss. The developers have said that it'll take anywhere from five to ten players to bring down a supervillain.

There are different types of tokens associated with the Champions Online Supervillain Onslaught mode. Players can earn tokens to unlock additional villains to play (and if the new mode is successful, you can expect the developers to add some more villains to the mix) as well as using tokens to buy Onslaught gear and items for your hero. Subscribers and lifetime players can use the Onslaught Device once per day for free, and additional uses can be gained by earning tokens. Free players can earn their shot at evil glory by fighting the supervillains to earn such tokens to get their chance at being one themselves. The goal is to get players swapping back and forth between hero and villain, all the while rumbling on a grand scale.

Champions Online combat

So will the new Champions Online Supervillain Onslaught mode help turn things around for the mmo? I'm of a mixed mind on this. I do think that it will definitely help as it adds a new mode to the game that players should enjoy. Millennium City could end up being a very active place as it is quite possible for multiple supervillains to be rampaging around at the same time and even fighting one another. This sounds like it can be a lot of fun, which should liven things up. Its success will also depend on how easy free players can earn the right to transform into a big baddie. Still, I can also see that some players may find this new mode underwhelming as they would have preferred the ability to play as a villain or for the developers to release some new themed content like the comic packs that they used to do long ago.

I don't think that the new Champions Online Supervillain Onslaught will turn the game around on its own. What players need to see is some consistent new content being created and released in order for this to happen. I do think that this new mode is a step in the right direction, but it'll be up to Cryptic to build upon that foundation with some more content that is compelling and fun. Once players see that the devs are serious about putting out new content, such as more villains for this new mode, then they might start coming back. I'm really hoping that this is the beginning of a renewed push to get the blood pumping again in this mmo. Champions Online is a very solid game, and it deserves to get a big push to get it back on track.

Sep112015

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