Champions Online is a Free to Play, with optional subscription, superhero-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game by former City of Heroes/Villains developer Cryptic Studios based on the Champions license. The game's rules and setting are loosely based on the HERO System ruleset. The game has as yet only been released for the Microsoft Windows platform. An Xbox 360 version of the game was in development, but was confirmed as canceled in March 2010.
The game is more action-oriented than most MMOs. Successful attacks and blocks increase a power meter which can then be spent to unleash more powerful actions. Death is handled in a similar manner to City of Heroes, in which a player may choose to be revived by a teammate or respawn at a neutral site, except respawning does not accrue experience debt. Instead, upon death you lose one of your five possible accrued Hero Stars. These stars are earned for staying alive while defeating NPCs. Your character gains bonuses to their effectiveness for every star earned (percentage increases to damage, healing, etc.).
Unlike most MMOs, there are no armor pieces or armor sets to collect. Instead character dress is purely unique and cosmetic, as are most weapons - damage is calculated using the character's basic stats, with the addition of extra devices. Reflecting the game's original design as a console game, characters also possess much fewer skills than standard MMOs; however each skill can be highly customized with a variety of player-chosen "Advantages". This tends to make the game much faster-paced and less of a "grind" than traditional MMOs. The level cap is 40, with special endgame content and gameplay at the cap.
The game features an "orb system" where enemies defeated by the player may drop orbs that temporarily benefit the hero's powers, life, or energy.
The game includes non-combat crafting skills, based on Science, Arms, and Magic, each of these has three other specializations players can choose under them. There are also a variety of travel powers, including swinging using webs or grappling hooks, flying, fire flying, jet-boot flying, rocket boot jumping, hover disks, super jump, super speed, teleportation, acrobatics (fast running, leaps and flips), ice sliding, earth flying, and tunneling.
The action takes place in the Champions universe, featuring Champions characters as NPCs. Regions include urban sprawls, dinosaur-infested islands, underground ruins, and underwater lairs. Each region in the game is composed of several "instances" with up to 100 players per instance at any one time. This allows the game to run on one huge virtual server, and for players to travel freely between instances to join with other players, rather than the game being sharded into different servers. Many missions take place within smaller instances created specially for a team entering them. These instances are reset if you leave and return. It is possible to revisit the same region to redo some missions again and again.
A special region called "the underground circuit" allows player vs. player competition. Also, Stronghold, the setting's advanced prison for super-powered inmates, is used for player vs. player scenarios, in which the player will take on the role of a supervillain trying to break out or a superhero trying to contain them.
- Canada and its constituent areas
- Force Station Steelhead
- Burial Butte
- Millennium City, a high tech city built on the ruins of Detroit
- Lemuria City, an underwater city
- American Southwestern Desert and its constituent areas
- Project Greenskin
- Stronghold, a high level superprison buried in Devil's Head Mesa
- Snake Gulch
- Monster Island
- Slither Beach
- Vibora Bay
- Africa, in the Serpent Lantern adventure pack
- The demon-ridden Qliphothic realm in the new Demonflame adventure pack