Latest in

Image credit:

Anti-Aliased: I like walking into towering infernos (like the Champions Online C-Store) pt. 2


And now, the part where everyone gets angry -- the retcon

The retcon seems to be the heart of this whole issue and the reason is people don't like the thought of being able to either pay to wipe away your mistakes or they think the retcon is too expensive and needs to be lowered in price.

Both schools of thought obviously conflict with one another, even though they're both coming across as being dissatisfied with the retcon and the C-Store in general. Yet, we need to make these two schools of thought distinct from one another. They both want vastly different things. One side believes that the retcon shouldn't even be in the store, while the other wants to be able to respect quickly and cheaply.

I, however, like the way Cryptic thought -- add the option but make it expensive enough so it can't be abused. Hitting that sweet spot where the retcon is affordable while still deterring abusive use is a tricky one, but the retcon is extremely competitively priced when compared to the closest options -- the faction transfer and race change in World of Warcraft.

Obviously this is not the best comparison. However, 30 dollars to change your faction and 25 dollars to change your race is double the cost of a single respec in Champions, not discounting the fact that you can still buy a retcon in-game for crazy amounts of money. Sure, it's not cheap at all, but it's possible to buy a full retcon in game.

And, to be very honest, don't let people kid you -- the only reason you might screw up your character in Champions is because you didn't do your homework. The powerhouse lets you screw around with many, many powers and builds to see exactly how they function. There shouldn't be any surprises here if you test out your powers properly.

"This has been done by many other games, including the illustrious World of Warcraft, for far higher prices."

Plus, Cryptic is still handing out free retcons, and will continue to do so when they make extensive changes to the powers. Already players have gotten three free retcons -- something many people like to selectively forget about. No one's forcing you to use your retcon. You can easily save it up and use it later in your character's progression if you really think you're that gimped.

Verdict: It's a nice option to have on the table. The in-game full retcon is seriously crazy priced, but I don't see myself as ever needing a full retcon unless my powers get screwed up, in which case I'll probably get one from Cryptic anyway. As a just in-case option though, I can dig it. Will I buy it? Nope, I have free retcons already.

The conclusion

Blind anger leads to being unable to see that Cryptic has stayed with their original promises. The store offers cosmetic upgrades and service features, like they said. If the item has a drastic in-game effect, like the retcon, it is still available in-game. And, to top it off, the retcon is being offered at an affordable price that still deters overuse of the item. The game isn't about retconning your character every 5 minutes -- I'm sorry, but this isn't World of Powerswapcraft. The game offers you the chance to test your powers fairly, and if you know what you want then you'll most likely never have to even touch a purchasable retcon.

To top it all off, the fact that I could go around and make comparisons to already existing services offered by other companies outside of Cryptic means that Cryptic isn't the first company to do something of this nature. This has been done by many other games, including the illustrious World of Warcraft, for far higher prices.

If you don't want it, don't buy it. The servers haven't exploded since the store came online, and the game is chugging along at its usual pace. Don't let the naysayers fool you, the world of Champions hasn't upended simply because of a few new items in the Champions Store.

Now, if you could excuse me, I'm going to go open my own microtransaction store. I'll sell flame-retardant earmuffs for 1,000 Sera Points (TM) for those of us who want to avoid the loud flames in the comments section.

Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who really sees no point to complaining over this as it totally won't affect you if you don't want it to. When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog, The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send her an e-mail at seraphina AT massively DOT com. You can also follow her on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr