Champions Online Will Let You Make Your Own Enemy

Want to be a superhero? New MMO Champions Online gives you your chance - and lets you design your own nemesis, to boot. Cryptic Studios explained all at the New York Comic Con yesterday.

Champions Online will be an vastly action-oriented MMO — the brief clip screened featured battles with exploding forcefields and clashing katanas. Unlike games where a single enemy is encountered, Champions will have its heroes fighting off squads of attacking henchmen at first, with new strategies and tactics introduced as gameplay progresses and your advancing character comes into contact with hardcore villains and supervillains. The game is especially interested in elevating the level of personalization and character-building, allowing for unique modification of powers and putting more power than ever in the hands of players.

What's special about this game?

—Customization! A huge part of what they're excited to bring to Champions Online is enabling players to have hands-on creativity within the game's world. The game will be classless, featuring pre-defined themes and power sets, but your character will be defined by the skills and talents you choose, entirely self-constructed. There will be opportunity for hybrid characters that can switch between offense and defense capabilities, and characters in general will be able to temporarily take over the action role of a team member if they go down. You'll be able to select various roles, switch up your build, and learn about more powers than you'll be able to use at once. The mobility of switching between active and supporting roles is an exciting development, meaning no one team member will feel forced into a box by their chosen skill-set.

—The Nemesis System — the creators seem the most excited about this new, extensive feature. You'll be able to build your own villain that you can fight once you build up your reputation. You can customize your villain entirely, choose their power sets and minions, even create a background and mythology for them. The game's creators suspect that as much time if not more will be pored into villain-creation than into heroic character-building. You'll be able to invite people to fight with you, then show off your nemesis-constructing skills when your personal villain attacks. This element of being able to create and share the result with friends is one of the features creators wanted most for Champions Online. By the time you're creating your own nemesis, you'll be very well-acquainted with the game, and your own villains will likely be the most difficult enemies you encounter.

Champions Online Will Let You Make Your Own Enemy

—Action-oriented MMORPG — There will rarely be static fights and there will always be somewhere interesting to go. You'll be able to constantly move around, with lots of interaction in many different environments. There will be constant activity on the game, marked at first by fighting off swarms of lower-level minions. If you've always wanted to take on a ring of bad guys and show them how it's done, this will be your chance. It'll feel heroic to battle coordinated attackers, feel even better when you reach more challenging solo opponents.

—A Variety of Vistas — Champion Online's creators wanted to bust out of just being set in city-scapes. Millennium City (set in the ruins of a very old Detroit) will be the hub of adventuring, but there will be a ton of different places in the world to visit and find new challenges. Every area will have a strikingly different feel. A few of the settings the panel let slip featured a desert, a location in Canada, and Monster Island. While "everything and the kitchen sink" is in Millennium City, there will be many types of neighborhoods/genres within the disparate cites sites. Each place will look and feel distinct, and offer a different type of gameplay, from typical showdowns to espionage to crime-solving.

—Complex Storylines — One writer shared that "the amount of dialogue and scripting is insane." He had recently submitted 29 pages of dialogue for one neighborhood of one setting. Although there are several overarching storylines threaded throughout, there willl be tons of stories and missions that mingle horror and comedy with heroism.

Info from the Q & A:

—The stats operation system will be unique, and you'll be able to use items, talents, and "perk rewards" to alter your status.
stat operation: use items and talents and perk rewards, able to alter your stats

—Will there be unusual weapons? (The questioner wanted a guitar). There will be a lot of unusual weapons on top of more than 200 "mundane" weapons, plus we are promised "crazy fun cool new stuff."

—You'll be able to band together with other players to form "supergroups."

—Can you punch people through plate glass? There'll be breakable surfaces, along with interesting things to pick up and hurl (the biggest at the moment is a tank, but they hinted there may be an F-14 jet to throw at some point).

—Do you have to grind out levels with the daily grind so many other games require? Certain levelling-up is a feature of most MMOs, but the creators believe that Champions Online is unique because there are no limitations to where superheroes can go and what they can do; the genre gives more freedom, and players will be involved in creating their own content.

—Will there be super-vehicles? The game's creators are starting to work on vehicle tech, aware that some players are interested in "supercars and motorcycles and superpogo sticks," and are in development stages with those ideas. Super-vehicles aren't guaranteed for launch.

—What happens at the max level? Work is progressing on the endgame now. Items will continue to mean upgrades to your character, and they're working on having an arena-like fight club. The game is built to be in the hands of the players, and the endgame will grow with player suggestion and input.