We are all special cases

Listening to the latest Limited Edition podcast (now with a new feed, if you haven’t caught up), there was a bit of chat about Champions Online. Being a big comic fan you’d expect co-host Shuttler to be into a new superhero MMOG, but one of the problems he pointed out is that superheroes, by definition, should be out of the ordinary, a special case, whereas in Champions or City of Heroes you can’t throw a kryptonite rock without hitting a dozen flying super-strong ice-shooting magically-empowered alien science experiments. Though all MMOGs suffer this to some extent (the 2006 Azerothian census broke down employment in the region as: 0.4% – Farming (livestock & dairy); 0.5% – Farming (arable); 0.8% – Innkeepers; 1.4% – Retail; 97.9% – The Chosen One Who Will Rid This World Of Evil), suspension of disbelief is particularly difficult in a superhero game. There is a comic precedent, though (probably loads, but one springs to mind): Alan Moore’s Top Ten, a book that follows the story of a police force in a city where everyone has superpowers. As you’d expect from Alan Moore it’s a great story that looks at some of the issues that would unfold in such a situation, not always with a totally straight face (my favourite bit is a little side-plot of the problems of pest control when you have an infestation of Ultramice). It also reminded me that there are a few spinoffs that I must get around to picking up sometime; might be a few more ideas for Champions costumes in there too!

2 thoughts on “We are all special cases

  1. Shuttler


    Thanks for the link love!

    I looooves Top Ten and it is the exception to the rule.

    How are you liking Champions Online, going to stick around?

  2. Zoso

    Yeah, Top Ten is definitely a special case, and probably not an easy setting to maintain. I do wonder if Champions/CoH could do a bit more with the “everyone has superpowers” idea, but it would be a very fine line to walk without turning into a self-parody or weird meta-game.

    I’m really liking Champions at the moment, planning to stick around for a while. Dunno how long it’ll last, and for such an alt-tastic game (I could spend hours in the character creator) there don’t seem to be too many paths through the low level stuff (early CoH had a similar problem), but I’m over my MMO burnout for a now at least!

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