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Exclusive Interview with Champions Online Executive Producer, Bill Roper

Posted Wed, Dec 09, 2009 by Dalmarus


The Nemesis Confrontation update has come to Champions Online players and the battle is on! As heroes race to close a rift from the Shining Dark in their attempt to stop the devastatingly dangerous supervillain, Shadow Destroyer, questions abound. Join us as we track down Executive Producer, Bill Roper, to get them answered.



Ten Ton Hammer: Your current nemesis is the one that players will face in Nemesis Confrontation. Are there any plans to allow the possibility of an earlier nemesis from your nemesis gallery to make an appearance as well?


Bill Roper
: The current storylines work so that once you defeat a Nemesis, they’re considered to be locked away in Stronghold prison. We’d want to create a fiction around them breaking out – or you going in – to fight them. It’s definitely something we’re considering.

Ten Ton Hammer: Are there plans to expand the Shining Dark dimension in the future, becoming a playable zone in and of itself?

Bill: The Shining Dark is a great part of the Champions lore and is certainly worthy of further exploration. Multifaria is a compelling alternate reality and offers us a lot of interesting possibilities. We have a little something different in mind for our next big content push, but we certainly won’t forget about the darker side of earth.

Ten Ton Hammer: With the gladiator theme running through NC, is there a chance that we’ll see some PvP action from Nemesis Confrontation?

Bill: We hadn’t planned that specifically, but the PvP team is always playing with new ideas and arena concepts, so we may just have to do something with that!

Ten Ton Hammer: Players have talked about not seeing their particular nemesis during Nemesis Confrontation, or the name or costume appearing differently to them while appearing normal to other players. Are these things we can expect to see addressed in future patches?

Bill: If that is indeed happening, it’s a bug and we’ll fix it.

Ten Ton Hammer: The new costume pieces in Nemesis Confrontation are now drops or perk rewards as opposed to buying them in the C-Store. Was this the result of player feedback from the Blood Moon event, or can we expect to see more future content updates utilizing costumes or costume parts as in-game rewards?

Bill:
As with the Blood Moon update, there are both costume pieces that can be earned in game and new sets that can be purchased in the C-Store. We didn’t change the model at all because the response was so positive. The new twist to the C-Store updates we added this time is offering a way for players who don’t have the hours to put into gaining extremely high-level perk rewards to get them as part of purchasable costume packs. This idea has met with a greatly favorable reaction from the players.

Ten Ton Hammer: There have been a lot of player concerns due to only 4 of the nemeses having chests in the lair which usually leaves one player in a full team out in the cold. Most players let the hero loot their particular nemesis’ chest. Will there be any chance of adding a fifth chest for the last nemesis?

Bill: Yes!

Ten Ton Hammer: While it’s great seeing work being done on new content such as Nemesis Confrontation, does that work take away from fixing well-known bugs, such as the Crisis on Monster Island bug?

Bill: We have more than one designer on the team, so no - working on new content doesn’t take away from addressing known issues. The biggest challenge we’ve faced there, honestly, has been the flu bug making its way through the team and a rash of people making it onto juries!  At least they’re getting the chance to be heroes in their own right by meeting their civic duty.

Ten Ton Hammer: On the forums, players have stated that their nemesis, making an appearance in the Nemesis Confrontation, is more like a henchman than an arch-villain. Will this change (making them more of a sub-boss) in the future or stay the same?

Bill
: I think this is the perception because there is a villain that brought all the Nemeses together. The Nemeses you fight are set up as sub-bosses in that you have to defeat them in order to unlock the final stage of the lair. That being said, we’ll keep looking for ways to increase the importance and excitement of fighting against your custom-created villains.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will forced grouping be implemented in Nemesis Confrontation at some point in the future? Players have been pretty vocal so far about other players in the lair who aren’t grouped with them ninjaing the various chests.

Bill: To address the ninja loot issue, this is an issue that doesn’t have anything to do with being in a group or not. There is currently no restriction on who gets the loot (whether they are teamed or not) so forcing players on a team will not keep any players from opening the chests. Solo players are not stealing dropped rewards as they are not easily able to do more damage to a target than the teamed players in the instance, so the ninja loot issue is limited to chests.

That being said, we’re working on a fix right now to address this problem.

Ten Ton Hammer: Nemesis Confrontation is an UNITY mission, meaning that you have to be level 40 to do it. Are there any plans to make a lower-level version of NC or of adding new lower-level lairs in general?

Bill: We’re going to keep Confrontation a UNITY mission, but we are looking to add more Lairs through the levels of the game. There are already several of them, such as Dr. Destroyers Lab and Stronghold, but this is an area of game play we’d like to expand upon.


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