Getting my tights in a knot

November 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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Wotcha everyone,

Champions Online was opened up for a brief weekend’s worth of free trial action last weekend, as part of the Blood Moon event.

I have fond memories of City of Heroes (and later City of Villains), and quite enjoyed playing a number of different heroes through the early and mid-part of the game.  Ultimately I stopped playing both because there wasn’t enough depth to the game, other than; Get mission: SLAM EVIL!

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the odd bit of super-heroic ultra-violence; in point of fact I do.  So I jumped at the chance of a free trial.  Who knows, I might even sign up for a month or two; getting people to sign up is part of the whole free trial experience after all.

Of course, it really helps if a free trial is taking place on a weekend where you don’t already have plans.  On Saturday I was off viewing hotels.  Apparently, weddings are supposed to have receptions.  So off we go, spending an afternoon going to numerous hotels when I could be partaking in a bit of SLAM EVIL action.

Wait, no I couldn’t have.  Because Champions Online’s updater was a reminder of what MMO gaming was like before broadband…  For those born since 56k modems went the way of the Dodo, it was slooooooow.  Really slow.  I set off the game updater in the morning, confidently expecting it to have been more completed by the time we got set off for the afternoon, but no.  It was still running.  I left it to run while we were out.  It was still running by the time we got back.  And when it was time to go to bed.

I left it to run overnight, expecting it to be completed by morning.  I can be so trusting and naive at times.

Sunday was to be another fun-filled day for me, but this was actual fun, in the form of a geeky day spent table-top role-playing.  So that would be me occupied for the afternoon and evening, but hey, I’d get to play some of it during the morning, surely?

I can’t remember exactly how sizeable the whole update was, but it took about 10 hours to download just over 2gb of it.  My connection isn’t exactly a fat pipe, but it handles that sort of thing easily in an hour or so.  Maybe two.

This meant that I got to play Champions Online for about an hour on Sunday morning, before it was time to go and have fun.

Yes, this was a free trial.  Emphasis on the free.  And it may have been that their patch servers were inundated with traffic; in point of fact, there could have been any one of a hundred reasons for it being so slow.  I just find it funny that I spent more than half of their free trial attempting to just get to a point where I could have a look at the game.  It would be churlish to be offended.

As it was, I had enough time to rush through the character creation and outfitting, before seeing how much of the starter zone I could see.

Thus, Digby of the British Space Corps was born (again.  He was a character of mine in City of Heroes).  I couldn’t quite get the costume to the same ‘30s kitsch factor that that certain other game was able to, but I was in a rush, after all.  And it was close enough.

I then went off into the game, to finally SLAM EVIL.  I’m not going to write a review here, as that implies I got to do more than spend 30 minutes beating up level 2 and 3 mobs, and getting about 4 quests done.  Hardly representative.

This is more a case of me giggling at the situation.  Initially I really wanted to see Champions, and this was an ideal way to do it.  Later on, it was a sort of game in itself; would the updater finish before I had to go out for the day.

As a consumer, I always find it a shame when I have a negative experience with a company, as this makes me want to:

a)      Tell four people about it.

b)       Not use their products or services again.

I’m trying to be positive about this experience, rather than negative.  Yes, the free trial was a limited time offer, and over the course of the weekend my time was extremely limited.  If I’d not had prior plans, I’d have been able to spend a good few hours in Champions Online, and get more of a feel for the game. As it was, maybe the universe decided that I shouldn’t play Champions Online.

With luck, there’ll be another trial at some point.  And I look forward to it.




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