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Shamus Plays: Champions Online, Part 3

Shamus Young | 28 Jul 2010 13:00
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If you remember from last time, Dr. Silverback told me to go to Champions headquarters and help the hero Ironclad. I imagine Ironclad will be standing there idle, and he'll ask me to punch five aliens for him. Eh. It's a living. Let's get this done.

A massive cannon has been set up just outside of Champions HQ. I don't mean some fancy photon cannon or death-beam. I'm talking about a gigantic gunpowder-based, shell-firing, heavy-ass hunk of industrial metal. They've got some Star Trek lights bolted to the thing for show, but this is basically WWII-level technology we're dealing with here. I'm not so rude as to ask why superheroes would keep something like this around, but I do wonder.

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Holy Haymakers! That is a big stinking gun.

Frankly, if these alien ships were susceptible to bullets I think we'd have beaten them by now. Still, I'll bet the Champions don't get many chances to use their huge-ass low-tech gun, so we might as well make the most of this.

Battle of The Ironclad!

This is the first public mission you'll encounter in the game. Public missions are awesome. They are simply an open area of the game world where a multi-stage adventure takes place. In one mission, heroes must protect the mayor during a speech. First you run around the crowd and discover (and subsequently pummel) all the disguised assassins using a metal detector. Once the crowd is clear, you sweep the nearby rooftops and remove all the snipers. Once the snipers are gone, an epic boss shows up and everyone gangs up on him. When the event ends, it gives a score that ranks all the participants on how much they, er, participated. Everyone gets an item and a dollop of XP. You don't have to worry about formally setting up teams or making strategies. The events are designed to be fun pick-up activities where everyone can come and go as they please, and which can accommodate both large and small groups of players.

This event is pretty simple. You have to kill a set number of aliens that rush the cannon. Then you run around and click on crates to "gather parts for the cannon." Then you defend the location for a fixed time limit. Then everyone gets their little reward cookie.

The event repeats indefinitely, so if it's fun you can do it as much as you like, and leave when you've had your fill. Public quests are one of my favorite aspects of Champions Online.

Ironclad is here. Unlike Silver Avenger, Kinetic, and the other superhero I didn't even bother talking to, he's not standing around asking people to do things for him like a murderous beggar. Ironclad is kicking so much ass that I'm having trouble finding asses that are still un-kicked. As soon as I run up to an nefarious alien invader, Ironclad whips a hunk of concrete at them and sends them into the alien afterlife. I give the bugs a few token beatings, but frankly I don't think Ironclad needs all that much help and I'm starting to feel like a sidekick. He likes to run around the battlefield, one-shotting bug aliens while shouting stuff like, "These aliens will PAY for the terror they have wrought!"

Ironclad lets us know that, "If we lose this battle today, then tomorrow, all humanity will fall." I suspect Ironclad is over-valuing Millennium City quite a bit. According to the loading screen, Millennium City used to be Detroit, which was destroyed by Mr. Truth-In-Advertising himself, Dr. Destroyer. If humanity was dependent on the health and welfare of Detroit, we would have gone extinct decades ago.

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Taste justice, evil bug... thing!

Once the aliens give up and stop trying to smash up our totally-not-compensating-for-anything gun, I head back to see Dr. Ape Guy and let him know everything worked out pretty okay, I guess.

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