First published in 1981, the Champions role-playing game is one of the first RPGs to forgo the traditional dice-rolling system of character generation in favor of a point-based system. Cryptic Studios has licensed back to Hero Games the rights to produce Champions RPG books, and the sixth edition of the HERO System and Champions, set to release in 2009, will include rules on how to recreate Champions Online characters and scenarios.
Champions Online is all about total customization -- it will offer a near infinite amount of character customization so that all players will have a unique game experience. Gamers will be able to create their hero's name, back story, costume, powers and abilities as well as design their own personal arch-enemy and his or her back story, which will guarantee a truly unique experience.
Lemuria is a kingdom torn asunder by civil war. A conflict, brewing for thousands of years, has finally come to the surface with the return of the ancient Lemurian gods and their demands for loyalty. Players must navigate the politically fraught waters of Lemuria and avoid its myriad monsters while attempting to prevent the use of an ancient doomsday weapon.
Superhero MMORPG Champions Online, will be free to play beginning Q1 2011, players will be able to download and enjoy the game at absolutely no cost.
Champions Online free-to-play will also feature additional premium content for purchase. Adventure Packs, items, powers and costume pieces can be selected a la carte inside Cryptic's innovative C-Store. Additionally, current players may continue subscribing as Gold members, while new players may also optionally upgrade to Gold status, which unlocks most of the game's content and includes extra features.
"Transitioning Champions Online to the free-to-play model is a great opportunity to reach a whole new audience of PC gamers that view subscription fees as a barrier to entry," said John Needham, CEO of Cryptic Studios. "By taking care of our current subscription-based community and welcoming the addition of new players through free-to-play, Champions Online is poised to build upon its success and to establish a new leadership position as the first free-to-play superhero MMO."
Champions Online has been lauded since its launch for the customisation options it gives players. The switch to free-to-play gives players even more control over their gameplay:
- Unlimited Play Time – Play as much as you like, as long as you like, at absolutely no cost. No subscription or credit card required.
- Your Own Hero, Your Own Story – Become a hero, encounter his or her Nemesis, and advance to maximum level at no cost.
- Play Your Way – Utilise the optional web-based and in-game C-Store to purchase gameplay upgrades or additional premium content.
The Champions Online free-to-play closed beta test begins on November 9, 2010 and will be made available to a subset of current players, with potential openings for new users.
- Hi-Octane Excitement: Champions Online delivers furious, fast-paced encounters previously reserved for action and fighting games. No more boring auto attacks and lengthy recharge times. Champions Online combat is instantaneous — and electrifying!
- Brains required: Every enemy and super-powered threat in Champions Online has its own unique abilities and combat specialties. Use your head — or wind up dead!
- Bring friends, make friends: The Champions Online universe will be jam-packed with thousands of heroes, facing thousands of threats. Join up with other heroes, create your own superteam, and prepare to take on the ultimate threats!
- Total customization, at your fingertips: Choose from hundreds of different costume pieces, colors and body types to create your character's one-of-a-kind costume and look. There are billions of possible combinations, and in a universe brimming with the fantastic and the unforgettable, you can still be completely unique!
- Your powers, on your terms: There are a multitude of astonishing powers to choose from in Champions Online, and its flexible character creation system gives you total control over your hero's abilities. You can even pick the appearance of your powers. Do you want purple force fields? Green fire blasts? Jet black claws? In Champions Online, you decide!
- Keep your enemies close: Every hero must have an archenemy. In Champions Online, you design your character's supreme adversary, choosing a name, powers and costume for a superpowered foe to bedevil your hero throughout his or her career.
- Bigger and better: Vanquish evil, and your successes will be rewarded with costume pieces to enhance your powers and abilities. Then customize the appearance of those rewards to your vision of your hero's look and abilities!
- Endless exploration: The battle against evil in Champions Online rages across the world into outer space and alternate dimensions. No other MMOG offers players the chance to explore such diverse realms — from the shining skyscrapers of Millennium City and the frozen wastes of Canada to the interstellar gladiatorial arena on the moon, the hidden underwater city of Lemuria and the foul mystical dimension known as Qliphotic.
- Evil most foul: Battle supervillains, aliens, giant monsters and secret, sinister organizations. Doctor Destroyer is launching new plans to conquer the world. VIPER lurks in the shadows, seeking chances to strike at humanity. The ancient Lemurians are plotting a return to power. And Mechanon won't stop until it has wiped all organic life from the planet. Can you stop these heinous threats to humanity?
- Make your mark: The story of Champions Online is constantly changing, continually evolving. Villains are defeated. Heroes rise and fall. Cities transform. Your actions may decide the future!
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