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CO veteran's experience trying CoH


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There are quite a few posts on here with players sharing their experiences with these two games, and I've really enjoyed reading the varied opinions. For what its worth, here's mine. There are a lot of aspects of CO that I haven't seen discussed here, so I'll try to mention some things that I haven't seen discussed here yet.

 

Before I say anything else, thank you to everyone in this community who has contributed to this miraculous revival of CoH! I seriously never thought I'd be able to try this game out and doing so has been a dream come true. You guys are doing God's work.

 

I was curious about CoH when it was new, the idea of playing a superhero in an interactive world really sparked my imagination. However, I ended up spending my time with other things and other games, and when I stumbled upon CO I was reminded of those feelings I had for CoH. Even though I never played it, even then I was looking at CO as a CoH replacement. This was late 2010 and CoH was still around, but it was CO's f2p model that won me over to their side. The freedom to just try it with no strings attached, ultimately got me engrossed in the game, and I ended up shelling out way more than if I just bought CoH. I have since grown to hate the F2P model btw.

 

So CO really was great to me in the beginning. The energy recharging system was engaging, giving combat a flow and sense of pace. The Champions IP storyline is really well written. It's cheezy and silver-agey on the outside, but I actually was surprised by the depth of some of these stories. The 'comic series' arcs are where this shines the most, with Whiteout and Demonflame being very well written.

 

Some of these worlds are just fascinating, like strolling through the desert and just stumbling upon the robotic-cowboy area 'Snake Gulch' or the ghost town of 'Burnside' was unforgettable to me. But almost all of that was experienced alone. Nobody seemed interested in the game world or the lore. Most players just played the daily rotating 'red alert' missions and never left the main hub world, as if grinding resources was the most fun thing to do. A small group of min-maxers would PVP. And the only other group was the periodic costume contests. I seriously would be alone 99% of the time in these adventure areas and other zones, I felt like I was a single player, and it wasn't for lack of trying. Like someone said in another post, teaming up sucks because one min-maxer will just clear everything in 5 seconds, and that's what happened the 2 times I actually found a team.

 

Like many of the people here who played both games, I found more fun in character creation and costume editing than the actual gameplay. I had so many slots it was ridiculous. The very most fun I ever had in CO was the costume contests. There were groups who would meet up on a schedule, seemed like there was one every day at least by some group. Usually there was a theme for these, like 'historical figures' or 'superhero wedding', and coming up with ideas for those was so much fun. There were some imaginative and skilled players who manipulated the costume system and came up with some things that didn't seem possible, I was always surprised at some of the entrants. These contests had 50+ people in them, and judging could take a little while. It was by far the most players I ever saw at one point, as usually CO seems kind of barren.

 

I actually reached the max level with one of my characters, and dabbled in PVP. Like many of you, the min-maxing and unbalanced nature of the freestyle skill tree means I got my ass kicked pretty bad. It was disheartening. 

 

Although I had a fondness for CO, it frustrated me in many ways. The bugs was the #1 concern to me. The animations wouldn't cycle correctly, where a character holding a gun would just stand there instead of using the 'gun firing' pose, and the projectile would magically changing direction towards the target. Enemies would get stuck, spawn in objects, and their animations would not run properly. Unexplained things would happen sometimes. 'Hold-Down Charge' abilities (like Snipe) always did this annoying thing where when it was ready to fire, a second one would begin charging for a split second before canceling. It made it look so clunky and un-cool. For that reason I avoided those abilities, even if they were powerful. I'd take a cool-looking thematic character over a dorky min-maxed one any day. A minor annoyance was how stiff and fake a lot of the enemies feel. They just stand there and ignore you until you attack them. You could take out a group of 100 enemies, 2 or 3 at a time, and all of the rest will just stand there oblivious. In the overworld, they respawn very fast. So clearing out an area is like playing whack-a-mole, where most of them are just standing there waiting to die, while the ones you killed 30 seconds ago have already reappeared.

 

I took a break from CO for a year or two, then came back to it in 2013. Wow, a LOT changed. First of all, it seemed like the staff disappeared and meaningful development ceased. The monetary system changed, now everything was with these damn loot boxes, you'd pick up 100 of them from enemies and wouldn't be able to use any of them because keys cost real money, all just for random chance of cosmetics, where most of them are crappy recolors. It really bothered me. Long standing bugs from years ago persisted, not one of them was fixed. In fact, I noticed more bugs. The beloved Nemesis missions started to bug out on me, every time. During the cutscene of the first Nemesis mission, the villain that I created would come in his grand entrance and instead of walking would be using the 'typing' animation. So he's standing there pecking at invisible keys while he slides across the floor, saying "Muahaha I am the greatest villain..." To rub salt in the wounds, updates were FREQUENT. I'm talking every week a new update, all microtransactions. New limited edition costume pieces, superfluous vehicles that you had to buy, more loot boxes, etc.

 

It seemed like they gutted my beloved CO and made it a shadow of its former self. These lootboxes and microtransactions were like a plague that needed to be cured. So I haven't played CO since 2013, but I check the website on occasion and the Steam reviews to see what it's been up to, and it seems like nothing has changed, except even the microtransaction updates are becoming infrequent now. I'd bet anything that every one of those bugs from 10 years ago are still in the game.

 

So recently I gave CoH a try. This is an old game right, I mean last updated in 2012. I was shocked at how similar it was to the older version of CO. Bugs and all (the gun thing definitely happened the first time I tried CoH), although CO still is more buggy than CoH from what I can tell. The thing I described above with the enemies being oblivious to you until you attack them seems mostly true here, as well as the respawning thing. For as much talk about these two games being different, they really are a lot alike!

 

It's like two twin brothers who are constantly trying to prove how different they are from each other because they hate each other, but actually the main difference is just in the clothes they wear.

 

So what are the meaningful differences? Well, I said CoH is most similar to the old CO, that referring to the microtransactions. Thank God CoH isn't trying to nickle and dime us like every other game out there. For that reason if nothing else, CoH wins the competition hands-down. As far as the art style that people have such strong opinions about, I'm indifferent. Maybe I'm just unobservant but the differences seem relatively minor to me. I probably like the art direction of CoH a little more, but I can't deny CO is technically of superior quality. Combat flow, I have to give to CO. Man it just seems really slow, waiting for these cooldowns, at least in the beginning when you have like 3 powers, I'm standing there doing nothing 50% of the time. I'm more interested in a casual experience and I'm not big on high-mechanic/reflexes gaming, so this was somewhat welcome, but even for me it started to become a slog.

 

The 'on-rails' aspect of CO has come under much scrutiny here, with people not liking being told what to do. I understand where you're coming from, and I think you're right, but there's a downside. As someone who hasn't played CoH before and just jumped in recently, I was big time lost. I seriously had no idea what to do, I started to become frustrated wandering around. Admittedly this wasn't that long and maybe I just suck, but I was not having fun just roaming around, getting into these long slow battles with random enemies every 5 seconds. The thought of just quitting seriously crossed my mind. I eventually found the quest guy and started to make some progress, and things started to turn up a bit.  The missions feel just as stilted as CoH though, enemies standing around waiting for you to attack them, respawning in 30 seconds.. I think both games are about tied here, just a matter of personal preference. I think CoH is better for veterans while CO is better for newbies.

 

Anyway, there's my opinion. I'm going to keep giving it a try and see if it grows on me, but I have to say I can't help but be a little disappointed. What you start with probably colors your opinion greatly. I started with CO so that feels right to me, while you guys started with CoH so CO feels wrong to you. But I can't get over the microtransaction problem CO has, so I'm trying to learn to like CoH.

 

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear more of your opinions and insights on these two games.

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I think this is a really fair comparison, kudos for the critical reflection.

 

It's worth noting that microtransactions were a thing as CoH approached the end of its original life. Not nearly to the extent that CO has gotten to, but CO has had longer to let its market seep into the game. It could have gone deeper into that quagmire, but we'll never really know. In Homecoming, many of the items you'll find in the P2W vendor, as well as many of the costume parts and power picks had to be purchased via the ingame CoH shop.

 

There isn't much I can say that I really liked about CO, but it's mostly stylistic and down to taste. In broad strokes, CO's art style felt a little bit forced and the writing in the game felt like a parody of nothing rather than a lore. I played it relatively recently, trying to level a few characters, and found that I was outlevelling the world really really quickly - like the game didn't really want me to play it, it just wanted to ferry me on to the endgame. There were some awesome parts of the world - Snake Gulch, like you mentioned, was absolutely fabulous - that I found I was outlevelling before I even got there. That made the game feel a bit bored of itself. That's a huge win for CoH over CO - I can enjoy the 1-50 journey at my own pace and be challenged at an appropriate level along the way.

 

But the big turn off for me was the world design, compared with CoH. Most of Paragon City and the Rogue Isles are well designed and full of character. Exploring it still gives me the warm fuzzies, even when I have fewer choices for travel powers. Millennium City felt to me to be a bit lazy and dead behind the eyes. It had landmarks randomly thrown in with no consideration to its context. The biggest offender is that god awful hub:

champions90.thumb.jpg.dbe04f0e3476099a3be9435d637c46fc.jpg

 

It feels like it exists without any kind of explanation. The buildings are nonsensical in themselves and each fight against each other for style while dwarfing the landmarks around it, which includes the crashed alien ship and the signature supergroup headquarter. You couldn't ignore its existence because the game seemed to want you to hang out there at the exclusion of the rest of the world.

 

It was very hard to want to be part of a world that didn't care about itself. If it wasn't for how terrible that hub is, I probably could have put up with the game for longer.

 

I will say that I liked CO's freeform characters and the range of characters you could come up with. By the same token, it made it quite unclear what would balance well in the game, but I got bored before I made it to any point that it mattered.

 

It also felt like there was an enormous range of currencies. I don't know how it got to that, but it was impenetrable for a new player. But maybe CoH feels the same way to someone not used to it (with influence, merits, vanguard merits, threads, shards, incarnate merits...).

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Depending on your video cards capability, you should look at trying out some of the " Experimental Graphics " settings. There is a Cell Shader and some other setting that will make CoH look more like CO. Not really my thing because it removes some of the costume details in the process, but you may like it. I have played both, and I felt like you did starting out in CoH when I played CO. Just could not get used to all the open world missions and often could not decide how to build a Characters Powers without an Archetype guiding me. I don't think I was ever on a team, and gave up at about 25. I went back a few times, but just couldn't find my groove there. Don't be afraid to indulge some Alt-Itis, it is normal when you can have SO many Characters per Shard.

 

Be sure to Post which Shard or Shards you play on, teaming here is a lot of fun, and it's pretty easy to find one, if you want.

I play on Reunion and Everlasting Mostly, early mornings weekdays and a little more on weekends.

Old Days on Virtue.

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" When it's too tough for everyone else,

it's just right for me..."

( Unless it's Raining, or Cold, or Really Dirty

or there are Sappers, Man I hate those Guys...)

                                                      Marine X

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It sounds like the OP hasn't really gotten much past Atlas. it also sounds like they didn't do any instanced missions? Mobs don't respawn in instances I would say it is not a really fair assessment till about 32-34. By that point you have most or all of your core powers, so combat is much more dynamic. I would also suggest playing some of the AT's that you can't really replicate in CO. So controllers, MM's and to a degree Defenders. The thing about mobs not noticing you is really a genre convention. Id say most MMO's have or had the same issue.

Things I like(d) about CO:

-Web slinging. It worked well as a travel power

-The flying disc as a travel power. 

-Stances

-Maybe some of the sliders for body proportions? It's been a long time since I played so I can't really recall the CC very well.

 

Things I hated about CO:

-Pretty much every other aspect of the game. I hated the look, found the world to be generic at best. The teaming was garbage if you could even find it. Making an interesting character all too often meant a gimped character. There wasn't a whole lot of reason to have more than like three attacks. I HATED the combat system. I did manage to make maybe three characters I liked? But even them I didn't get far with. I hated the loot system.

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I didn't play CO beyond it's Beta, didn't really care for it at all. I'm pretty sure that they both run on the Cryptic engine, which is why you see common bugs between them.

As far as mobs ignore your, that in general occurs if you've out-level them in the neighborhood/zone you are in. If you've hit L10 and you're tooling around Atlas Park, pretty much every mob out on the street will ignore you.

 

Otherwise, welcome and I hope you enjoy your stay!

 

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Dislike certain sounds? Check out PK's Rosetta Stone or my Silence/Modify specific sounds. Looking for modified sounds? Check out Solerverse's thread.

"You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means."

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Thanks guys for the replies. 

 

@Lines, Glad you got to see some of the decent aspects of CO. And you're right though, about the multiple currencies thing, it is very confusing and I'm glad CoH has much fewer currencies. That's always a red flag for me, it seems like a ploy in any freemium game to muddle the true value of one's purchase with multiple currency types. Also good point about CoH dabbling in microtransactions, I wouldn't be surprised that if it did stay around, if it wouldn't have gotten just as bad as CO did.

 

@Marine X Thanks for the tip about the graphics settings. I think I'm content with it the way it is for now, I think it looks great for what it is. I have really low standards in general when it comes to that.

 

I've made a few accounts, one on Everlasting and two on Excelsior, all Villains so far. That is one thing you could never do on CO, make a Villain, so I'm indulging that for a bit. I'd love to team up!

 

@CommunistpenguinYou are right, that I had not gotten too far when I made the post. Still haven't really, but I can say I've gotten far enough now to know that combat has become a lot better. Once you get 4-5 powers it really starts to feel less slow.

 

One minor complaint is AOE abilities. It's so fast to just hit the button and auto-cast on whatever target is selected, but for AOEs you have to aim and click on the ground and it seems annoying. Isn't there some way to fix this?

 

@OublietteThanks man! And yes, they both use the same foundation. I keep seeing more things that remind me of CO, I'm surprised that not more people have commented on the striking similarity in most aspects of the gameplay.

 

I do miss CO's costume options. As I make more characters in CoH I keep finding myself feeling limited. Perhaps because I like to make funny and joke characters a lot and it seems like most things here are played straight. On CO I could make a guy with a bag over his head, and I made a Street Shark once, etc. Oh well, at least I got to make Vaccine Man!

 

Here's my characters so far:

 

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4 minutes ago, Ironjustice said:

@CommunistpenguinYou are right, that I had not gotten too far when I made the post. Still haven't really, but I can say I've gotten far enough now to know that combat has become a lot better. Once you get 4-5 powers it really starts to feel less slow.

 

One minor complaint is AOE abilities. It's so fast to just hit the button and auto-cast on whatever target is selected, but for AOEs you have to aim and click on the ground and it seems annoying. Isn't there some way to fix this?

 

There are actually several types of AOE's. For the ones you are talking about, that is just how those work. There are also Pbaoes, which are point blank around you and happen as soon as the power activates. There are also Aoe's that happen at the point of the target, ie a fireball type which also happen hen the power activates.

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17 minutes ago, Ironjustice said:

One minor complaint is AOE abilities. It's so fast to just hit the button and auto-cast on whatever target is selected, but for AOEs you have to aim and click on the ground and it seems annoying. Isn't there some way to fix this?

 

Just to touch on this, there are several different AoE powers in the game:

Targeted AoE - Where you must select a target and activate to lay down a 'patch' centered on the target. Example: Snow Storm or Speed Boost

Point-Blank AoE - This is centered on your own character. Example: Foot Stomp or Shadow Fall

Location AoE - Where you must select a location to lay down a 'patch'. Example: Tar Patch or Spirit Tree

 

Edited by Oubliette_Red
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Dislike certain sounds? Check out PK's Rosetta Stone or my Silence/Modify specific sounds. Looking for modified sounds? Check out Solerverse's thread.

"You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means."

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12 minutes ago, Ironjustice said:

One minor complaint is AOE abilities. It's so fast to just hit the button and auto-cast on whatever target is selected, but for AOEs you have to aim and click on the ground and it seems annoying. Isn't there some way to fix this?

Location-based ("patch") AoE abilities got a huge quality-of-life upgrade with the "powexeclocation" command. Normally you'd have to click on the power icon (or press the button) and then click where you want the power to fire, but the powexeclocation command (Wiki article here) makes it a lot more flexible - you can drop them automatically on yourself, on your target, or at any other of the parameters the command allows for.

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23 minutes ago, macskull said:

Location-based ("patch") AoE abilities got a huge quality-of-life upgrade with the "powexeclocation" command. Normally you'd have to click on the power icon (or press the button) and then click where you want the power to fire, but the powexeclocation command (Wiki article here) makes it a lot more flexible - you can drop them automatically on yourself, on your target, or at any other of the parameters the command allows for.

This is exactly what I was hoping for! Thank you!

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