We are the Champions
I'm on the fence about Champions Online, but given the limited scope of the beta test, that's to be expected. I cannot talk about a lot of stuff in the game, but I can focus on one thing that the game does right: travel powers. In City of Heroes, you have to wait until level ten to get a travel power. Now this makes things difficult if you have a particular theme in mind; if you want to create a character like The Flash or The Hulk or Superman, then you have to wait to give them what most folks would be considered a trademark, defining, and basic power. After all, what is a quickster without super speed, or a powerful monster without a super jump or a birdman without flight? A bad experience.
Instead of making you wait, Champions Online gives you access to that power by the time you leave the tutorial in Millennium city. At level five, you get access to one travel power, a super stat and a new power from whatever you chose at the beginning of the game. Therefore, when you get out there into the game world, you feel like the character you imagined when you began the game.
Travel powers are interesting but some are better than others. Burrowing allows you to go underground and travel at a decent pace, but you can't attack anyone on the surface; teleport takes some getting used to as do rocket boots; and super jump lets you travel great heights but feels a little uncontrollable..Web slinging, which is more akin to Batman's favorite mode of travel than Spider-Man's, works very well; you use it by hitting the spacebar and holding it to hold to keep your grapple extended. Acrobatics is a lighter combination of super jump and super speed combined with some fancy somersaults; and flight works perfectly.
One thing Cryptic needs to do is attach some attacks to these travel powers. For example, if I can fly, why can't i charge at an enemy and hit them with both my fists or grab an enemy , take them high in the sky and drop them on their head? Cryptic is on the right track to take on City of Heroes but it needs to do more things differently and other things better. I will be talking more about the game (what I am allowed to talk about at this time) soon.