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Champions Online Powers Interview #1 - Gadgeteering, Munitions, and Archery

Posted Sun, May 31, 2009 by Cody Bye

Character creation is a vital portion of any MMO. Whether you’re just naming your character or – if you’re like Champions Online – 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 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 Champions Online.

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?  

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.

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 set.


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