Can you introduce yourself and describe your role on the project? How long have you been in the gaming industry and what drew you to your current position?
My name is Chris Lena and I am the Senior Producer on Champions Online. I have been working on these MMO things for about 7 years.
Why did you decide to adapt the Champions system instead of rolling your own new hero series? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach?
A lot of people here at Cryptic have always had a deep fondness and respect for Champions and the other Hero Games products. Besides Champions being a kick ass game in its own right it is a fantastic story for an MMO. Remember that Champions and its heroes, villains, locations, and stories have been developed and played since 1981. That is a incredibly deep well to draw on.
What's the core design concept for the game and how has it evolved as development on the game progressed?
Not to sound cliché but our first goal is to make the game fun. We want the action to be fast and dynamic in a way that you have to be paying attention. We want to deliver a great diversity of environments. I should also add that we are committed to having more meaningful customization than you have ever seen! Those core principles have not changed.
Most of the change over development has actually occurred because we strayed from those core ideas. One instance is originally we had an archetype system for picking powers – essentially you pick a class and that determines the powers you can choose from. We received a lot of feedback from people following the game that that was not something they wanted. We thought about it and realized also that taking out classes and having an open power selection was also in line with our emphasis on customization. So we removed archetypes and now Champions Online is completely classless…I should say without classes.
About Champions Online, I've heard a lot about character creation but what about the story itself? Will we see any mass arch-nemesis breakouts in our future?
Yes. Like I mentioned before, the original Champions has been around since 1981 so there are way more storylines and characters than we could ever use. The story is vital to the game and putting the player right in the middle is just the way we like it.
Can you talk about the arch nemesis system in the game? How do you keep the variety in the game?
There isn’t much I can say about the Nemesis System at this point. At some point in your career you will be able to create your very own Nemesis. This will include designing their costume and general disposition.
How will you interact with your fellow heroes? Will people be able to solo in the game if you want to (for the Batman types out there).
Although we will have group content you will be able to play solo and progress from level 1 to the max level.
Will there be a bit more variety in the types of tasks you have to do as a superhero? Is it more than just go to this location and beat up the bad guys?
Part of being a super hero is doing heroic things. Rescuing citizens, putting out fires and things of that sort are all things that heroes can and will be doing.
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