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Author Topic: Champions: Return to Arms  (Read 5552 times)

Failsafe

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Champions: Return to Arms
« on: January 16, 2005, 09:57:47 PM »

RELEASE DATE: 07-FEB-2005
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I have to say, I love a good dungeon-crawling game.  It was with much joy when I discovered Champions of Norrath around October of last year.  This game has a great look, thousands of weapons, armour and items, random dungeon layout, a fantastic score and many hours of gameplay.  Another cool feature is ability to import characters from another memory (at any point in their game) into a current campaign.  Brilliant!

Champions: Return to Arms promises more of what makes the original so good.  More character classes, more weapons and longer gameplay.  And again, another brilliant feature being added is the ability to port over your original Champions of Norrath character, completely retaining experience, weapons, items...everything!

Here is a list of key features from the official site:

  • Two new playable races
  • The ability to import characters from the original game
  • All-new and beautifully detailed environments
  • Thousands of new items and magical artifacts to acquire
  • Innovative medal system which unlocks secret gameplay modes
  • More than 50 levels along with a mission menu containing non-linear side quests
  • A host of new monsters to battle and non-player characters to encounter
  • Continues the engrossing fantasy storyline of Champions of Norrath
  • Multitap, 4 person multiplayer via LAN and online at SOEGames.net (players must provide their own internet connection)

Gamespot has an excellent preview with initial impressions of the offline mode.  There is also a recent developer interview that is certainly worth checking out as well.

I'm anxious to see if there is any interest in playing this.  I don't have an online adapter yet, but I think I will be picking one up to play this.  Can anyone who played the original Champions comment on its performance and how well it worked overall online?
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Beer Monkey

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2005, 03:32:31 PM »

Jeremy,

If my PS2 weren't 'banned', I'd be all over this and would be happy to slay some virtual dragons with you.

Such is life.
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MrJames

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2005, 01:40:38 PM »

Norrath was one of my favorite PS2 games.  The online element is rather primitive compared to what everyone is used to with Xbox Live but still damn fun. Voice support is included but the clarity is a bit lacking compared to most Live games. Organizing a game with others can be quite chore because you have to enter the exact game name created and then enter the exact password. Coordinating through AIM or a forum like this is an absolute must. Once the session is started there is no way to join. Saving is critical since you lose all progress that hasn't been saved. When only two are playing the session ends if either gets disconnected. Nothing sucks more then playing for a long period of time without saving only to get a random disconnect causing you to lose all of your progress.

I didn't mind dealing with any of those issues because the game itself was just that fun for me.  :D I look forward to Return to Arms.


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Orpheus

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2005, 01:47:10 AM »

CRtA is supposed to have a much improved lobby system (anything would be an improvement over the original). Have my copy preordered, this along with the first SOCOm are my two favorite onliune PS2 games, and I'm really looking forward to bringing back my archer of doom. :)

This game was fantastic online when you got 4 players and a good connection. One of the best things is that as long as you are all in the same area (such as a dungeon or outdoor area), you are free to split up from the rest of your party. Everyone gets XP for each adversary killed which keeps everyone advacing relatively close although the person killing it gets a touch more. Being able to level your character up offline and bring them online was really nice. Oh yea, it has hands down the best camera of any of the games built around this engine. Only gripe was the voice was a bit weak, but not so much so that going the xbox live chat room was necessary.
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Failsafe

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2005, 03:53:17 PM »

I'll try my best to get my PS2 online for this.

Travis, how weak is the voice?  You mentioned that it's not bad enough to want to use Xbox's chatroom.  I may be tempted to do this anyway as I don't own a PS2 voice communicator either and it would save on the expensive.  Although, it may not be practical for everyone to be chatting on their Xbox communicator.
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Bryan

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2005, 08:43:59 PM »

We all know how well Jeremy's voice sounds in the Xbox dash...   ;)

I will definitely jump into this series (for the first time) and join anyone who wants to play. 
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"By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive."
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Orpheus

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2005, 04:20:48 PM »

THe voive was pretty good for most people, just occasional stuttering breakups if someone had a soso connection, nothing you wouldn't experience with XBL. I'll certainly be using the ingame voice as I don't have my Xbox or PS2 in the same room anymore.
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MrJames

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2005, 01:57:31 PM »

The voice is definitely usable I just thought it lacked some clarity that I'm used to hearing with Live. Dashboard chat shouldn't be necessary.


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Failsafe

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2005, 04:53:05 PM »

http://returntoarms.station.sony.com/

The site has been updated with various snippets.  The FAQ section has lots of interesting info.  Just curious James and Travis, were you guys going to carry on with your original Champions character or create a new one?  I'll most likely create a new one and I'll hopefully be ready to go online a couple of days after it gets released.

Four people can play simulaneously.  We should be able to manage that.
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MrJames

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2005, 07:35:03 PM »

I plan on importing my character from Norrath.

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Orpheus

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2005, 06:52:54 PM »

I plan on continuing on with mine as well (level 30 archer).
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Failsafe

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2005, 03:32:29 PM »

http://ps2.ign.com/articles/585/585595p1.html

7.6 from IGN.  Sounds like it'll be a great game.  They complain about the lack of innovation as it plays the same as the original.  This is just fine with me though.  The online component has some improvements as well.
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Orpheus

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2005, 05:16:08 PM »

Quite honestly, I want more of the same. The only gripe I had with it was setting up online games and it sounds like that wil lbe majorly improved.
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Failsafe

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2005, 10:22:42 AM »

Hrrmrmmmm,

Well, perhaps I will not pick this game up right away and wait for a price drop (and possibly even a fix, which is doubtful).  Here are two glitches that have been confirmed by Snowblind Studios:

The first is a wizard glitch:

A weapon with an enchantment (gem socketed), be it Ice, Fire, or Lightning, will have their enchantment overwritten by a wizard's Ice, Fire, or Lightning weapon enchantment spells providing they cast aura large enough to engulf the owner of the other weapon and he or she has it equipped.  This is normal.  What is not is the previous enchantment is completely lost after the wizard's spell duration is over, it'll have to be added back with a combinable item again, and if you don't have an extra one handy it's completely gone.

The next is for health+/mana+ gems (not health/mana regen ones):

After importing characters with the mentioned items they do not receive the health/mana bonus.  Also, if you create a new character and find/socket a health+/mana+ gem you will not receive the bonus.  Again, this does not apply to the health/mana regen gems, just the health+/mana+ ones.

It's unlikely that the problem will be fixed on subsequent releases.  It's certainly making me think twice about paying full price for the game.

Here is their response:

Quote
As with the bugs in CoN we have absolutely no say in recalling or exchanging the game. This is entirely in SOE's hands. Sorry.

As per the bugs showing up. Yes, they're in there. No, we didn't intend to be in there. Had we known about them before the game shipped they wouldn't be there.

Personally, I don't see this as the "game killer" some are making it out to be but if you see it differently you're certainly entitled to you position and if that means a loss of enjoyment to the level where you no longer wish to play RTA, then so be it.

If it's any consolation we DO listen to what you have to say and we ARE concerned over any and ALL bugs that do show up. If we were in a position to fix this stuff we'd do so in a heartbeat, but the reality is we're not so all we can do is offer our heartfelt apologies and hope there is enough worth in the rest of the product to overshadow these indescrepencies.
_________________
Brian Despain
Snowblind Studios

However, a major thumbs up to Snowblind.  I'm impressed at how vocal they are in helping to explain the bugs and simply not ignore them.  There is also an excellent post over at their forum detailing precisely what the glitches affect and what they don't.
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Failsafe

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Re: Champions: Return to Arms
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2005, 02:07:42 PM »

http://www.snowblindstudios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1251

Here is the complete explanation of the 'wizard glitch':

Quote
This thread discusses the glitch in RtA, which some people call the "wizard glitch".

Symptom Example: You have a sword that has a bonus fire damage (and visualfire effect). A wizard friend can cast a Fire Weapons spell that has an aura, so that all players within the aura get fire effects on their weapons. Standing inside the aura, your weapon gets the effect, but after the spell wears off, your sword has lost it's fire bonus permanently.

FAQ:

Q: Does the spell *always* cancel my weapon bonus?
A: No. It only cancels the weapon bonus if the spell's effect is higher than the weapon's bonus. Also, the weapon's bonus must be the same element as the spell. For example, if your sword with bonus fire damage, it can only be permanently affected by the spell "Fire Weapons".

Q: How can I see if my weapon's bonus is high enough to be safe?
A: You need to compare the numbers on the weapons stats with the spell effects. Compare the bonuses of the elemental damage in question. If the weapon's bonus is higher, it is safe and will not be affected by the spell. For example, if your sword does 30-34 bonus fire damage, and the wizard's aura offers 29-35 bonus fire damage, then your sword will not be affected (use the lower numbers in the ranges).

Q: I don't understand the spell descriptions - there's "damage" and then there's "aura damage"?
A: For these types of spells, the main damage is the weapon bonus applied to the spell caster's weapon. The Aura damage is the weapon bonus applied to the teammate's weapons (who are standing within the spell's effects). Generally, the damage applied to the spell caster's weapons is much higher than the aura damage, so this glitch is more likely to affect the spell caster's own weapons.

Q: Which spells does this glitch involve?
A: This glitch involves the wizard's spells "Fire Weapons", "Cold Weapons", and "Lightning Weapons". It also involves the shaman's "Poison Weapons", and the shadow knight's "Disease Blade" (which should probably be called "Disease Weapon").

Q: Can you give us some data about these spells?
A: Here is some rough data on the auras. Fire Weapons aura at lvl 17 minimum (15-18 dam), and 20 points offers aura dam 29-35. Cold Weapons aura lvl 20 minimum (25-50 dam), and 20 points offers aura dam 39-47. Lightning Weapons aura at lvl 17 minimum (21-25 dam), and 20 points offers aura dam 35-42. Poison Weapons aura lvl 18 minimum (33-40 dam), and 20 points offers aura dam 63-76. Disease Blade aura at lvl 26 minimum (19-23 dam), and 20 points offers aura dam 34-41.

Q: Does this glitch make the game unplayable?
A: No. You can still play the entire game without encountering this problem. You should just try to remember your current weapon's bonus abilities and understand the results of these weapon buff spells. If you generally play with friends, tell them to be careful if their buff is higher than your weapon's bonus. Or, simply ask them to continually cast their spell so your weapon get's the higher spell effects.

Q: Do these spells effect weapons that are in my inventory but not equipped?
A: No. Those weapons will not be affected.

Q: Can this glitch happen in PvP arena?
A: Only on the spell caster's own weapons. The arua has no effect in PvP, since players are trying to kill each other (not buff each other).

Q: Did you guys at Snowblind know that this glitch was in the final release of the game?
A: No. We didn't know until it was posted on the forums. We were really surprised, disappointed, and frustrated.

Q: Are you guys morons? How can you let such a glaring issue get into the game? Or are you just trying to steal my money?
A: All we want is to make great games that people love to play. We tried very hard to make this game outstanding, and the obviousness of this glitch is embarassing. Regardless of how it slipped through the system and got into the game, we regret it. Hopefully, fans such as yourself can still enjoy the game and try to work around it the best you can.

Q: Is there going to be a "recall" so I can get a copy of this game with this fixed?
A: SOE is the publisher, so they are in charge of this answer. (Note: players online all have to have the exact same version to play with each other.)
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