Character creation is a vital portion of any MMO. Whether
you’re just naming your character or – if
you’re like target="_blank">Champions
– specifically
customizing every piece of equipment down to the codpiece,
it’s incredibly important to nail the player’s
sweet spot. One of the most critical elements of the style="font-style: italic;">Champions Online
creation scenario is the selection of the super hero’s powers
and deciding whether they’re dishing out fiery blasts or
sucking the life out of their enemies.

To help the player’s decide, Ten Ton Hammer has scheduled a
number of exclusive interviews with Cryptic Studios’ Bill
Roper focusing specifically on the various powers that players can
choose from. We started with three
“implement-wielding” power sets –
Gadgeteering, Munitions, and Archery – and we’ll
continue to expand this list as the weeks go on. For now, settle in and
enjoy a look at these upcoming powers in style="font-style: italic;">Champions Online.

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Ten Ton Hammer: The three
power sets that we’re covering in this interview -
Gadgeteering, Munitions, and Archery - all seem thematically similar.
For someone that hasn’t played the pen-and-paper version of
Champions or been able to check out the beta test, what are the
differences between those three power sets?  

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Bill Roper: Thematically,
you’re right; they are all very similar. In fact, Archery was
originally part of the Gadgeteering set – it was a few powers
within that power set – but the players in the beta told us
that they wanted to be able to build a whole archer. So we decided to
fill that out into an entire power set.

Obviously the Archery set is oriented around ranged combat, but
there’s a diversity in the power set as well. You get lots of
different arrow types, and you’ll see everything that
you’d expect from a super hero archer – penetrating
and sonic and energy blasts. It’s the very strong,
four-color, archetypal archer set.

But we wanted to make it that way, and make it a very strong heroic
theme for a character. Every major comic universe has their archers in
it, but the existence of the Archery power set is in direct response to
what we heard from the beta players.

In terms of Munitions, it is very much for those players that want to
make the type of hero that has that complete arsenal. If you want to
make a high-end, special ops, military type character…

Ten Ton Hammer: Someone
like the Punisher?

Roper: Yeah,
or maybe a character that is a super soldier with a whole diversity of
high-tech weaponry. Also, Munitions is a good power set for those folks
that are looking for the “Gunslinger” type of
classes, especially with the different types of weapon replacements you
can get in the game so you can wield six-shooters or shotguns. You
could even make an entire “cowboy” outfit if you
wanted to.

Munitions is also one of those powersets that will be fairly usable
across the different power sets. On top of that, a lot of the NPC
enemies in the game use a stripped down version of the Munitions power
set. For example, street gangs are definitely going to use a lot of
Munitions powers. That isn’t just limited to Munitions
though, a lot of our enemies use stripped down PC powers.

The Munitions set, however, is very broad ranging and really helps us
populate the world and also allows players to make a variety of
different hero types, although I imagine anti-heroes will definitely be
drawn to this power set.

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Ten Ton Hammer: What
about Gadgeteering?

Roper: Gadgeteering
is more along the lines of one of those “mad
tinker” character types. There are a lot of pet powers you
can use in that power set. That’s everything from robots to
attack toys.

That’s actually one of the crazier Gadgeteering powers. You
basically have constructed these attack toys, so you can adventure
through the world as this wild toy master. Some of the toys include
helicopters and little soldiers.

There’s also an experimentation ray, which is this wacky
looking ray gun that does a de-buff on your enemies but also has a
chance that there’ll be a sort of side effect. An example of
that would be actually shrinking your enemies.

Really, the Gadgeteering powers are really going to encompass a lot of
the less serious, more tongue-in-cheek sort of powers. It’s
really just a crazy mélange of the “everything
else” that isn’t encompassed or doesn’t
thematically fit with a lot of the other “gadgety”
power sets. It’s a big catch-all, and that’s why
there are so many different types of powers and/or pets in this power

Ton Hammer: Out of
the three, I was going to mention that Gadgeteering seemed the least
focused of the odd man out. Are you planning on splitting off
additional powers from this power set similar to what you did with

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Roper: Probably
not, because in the Champions pen-and-paper game, Gadgeteering is
really a giant pool of powers. In the tabletop version, anything that
your hero constructs it’s dubbed a
“gadget.” Even something like Iron Man’s
armor would have been considered a “gadget,” so the
depth of the power set was enormous. The pen-and-paper game is much
more complex in that players actually have to build their powers from
scratch; it’d be like us giving players the dev power tool.

But that required a lot of number crunching and was too complex for our
game. So instead of having everything fall under Gadgeteering, we
pulled out some of the more thematic parts of the set – like
power armor and Archery – but we stil wanted to have that
large pool of powers for players to draw from. The things we left in
were pretty broad based and didn’t really have a separate
theme that we wanted to flesh out.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will
players focusing on Munitions powers be able to get bigger guns through
power replacements or something like that?

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Roper: There
are power replacers that fall in the Munitions set, there’s
actually a large number of them. What happens is that you keep the same
power that you have, but you’re augmenting that power based
on the item that you’ve found or crafted. And sometimes this
means that you’re actually replacing a particular item with
the geometry of another item.

So for example, you might normally have a Munitions power that looks
like you’re wielding a 9mm Beretta, but you can get a power
replacer that looks like a six-shooter. In fact, there may be a whole
set of power replacements that have a Western or
“cowboy” theme around them. Or you might have a
high-end special ops set or a street thug set.

The cool part about this segment is that you will always be able to
choose the look of your character, despite the items that may drop. So
even if you find something with terrific bonuses, you can still use the
look you had before. You may be a modern gunslinger – like
something from the Matrix – but an item drops that makes your
guns look like a six-shooter. So you can equip that six-shooter, but we
won’t force you to make a cosmetic change. You’ll
still get all of the bonuses associated with that item you found
without changing your look. And once you’ve unlocked a
particular look, you’ll always have access to it, even if you
don’t have a particular item anymore.

The only time that we ever “force” a look is if
there’s something in the storyline or scenario that would
require a player to disguise themselves or wield particular weapons.

Ten Ton Hammer: Are the
power replacements easy to come by in the game? Will players be able to
make a particular look easily?

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Roper: There
are some that you can get initially, but then there are others that are
part of special rewards and still others are crafted. These tend to be
rarer items, but the “best looking” or
“super coolest” items are the ones that you
obviously have to do the most work for.

But you can definitely collect them all.

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Ten Ton Hammer: We
haven’t talked much about Archery yet. Since this power set
was really fleshed out from existing powers in the Gadgeteering power
set, is there really enough powers in the set to create a fully fleshed
out, thematic archer?

I mean, when you think
about Hawkeye or Green Arrow, their powers are pretty limited. They
have a variety of different arrows, and that’s it. Did you
really have enough there to work with?

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There’s definitely a lot of different types of arrows that
are used in Archery. There are also different ways that the bow is
fired.  For one attack you might fire one arrow while another
attack you’ll fire a volley that does an area effect.

That said, even if you were building a particularly thematic character,
you’d probably dip into some other power sets.

Ten Ton Hammer: Like if a
person was developing a samurai sort of archer, they might fire arrows
until the enemy gets close and then pull out a sword.

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Right. Or players might give them hand-to-hand combat powers. Or
anything else that they think fits with their theme.

Ten Ton Hammer: Finally,
you ever going to entertain player-generated powers in the game? Maybe
have a contest with the players and have them put together a particular
power that you can implement in the game?

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Roper: I
think that most of the powers we’ve implemented that come
from players have been due to feedback we’ve received from
the beta test. Mostly these are suggestions on powers that are already
there or wanting to add a particular type of effect to a power that we
then flesh out.

The area that we’ve seen this the most is really in the
travel powers. Swinging was something that players wanted to see for a
long, long time, and we put in a lot of effort to make that work.

That said, I think the way we could implement something like this is
through players creating an overarching idea rather than actually
trying to figure out the mechanics of particular powers. The mechanics
system in Champions is amazingly complex, and it blows me away on what
the programmers and the designers can get the powers to do.
It’s amazing.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Champions Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016