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Champions Online: Bill Roper Q&A

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Bill Roper is the Design Director at Cryptic Studios for Champions Online. Recently, Managing Editor Jon Wood spoke to him about the super-hero MMO's delay, his comments in Gamasutra on the genre in general and much, much more.

MMORPG.com:: Why was the decision made to push back the launch of Champions?

Bill Roper: We had the opportunity to take a few more weeks to really focus on fine-tuning, balancing, and polishing the game and we took it. It also lets us get in a few last things that were on the bubble, like Crisis Zones for Monster Island and Millennium City. It’s fantastic to have the support of Atari to make Champions Online the absolute best day-one experience we can.

Read the full Q&A here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

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Comments

  • EladiEladi ArnhemPosts: 1,100Member Uncommon

    Honest and political aswers, Silly questions that have nothing to do whit the game( well  little to do)  and would only serve to anoy anyone from any mmo dev team.

    Lost some credit here MMORPG, The amound of contend you have is based on how mutch a game company wouuld like to talk to you. If you ask silly things that do not serve to promote a mmo they will  slowly stop giving interviews.

    Or atleast less,  its already fairly obvious, some  other mmo and gaming sites that ask fair questions about games are getting more content.



    So take it how you like, but thats how I curently see MMORPG.com  as a lesser mmo site whit sometimes someting new and intresting to say .



     

  • sudsboysudsboy Nashville, TNPosts: 45Member
    Originally posted by Eladi


    Honest and political aswers, Silly questions that have nothing to do whit the game( well  little to do)  and would only serve to anoy anyone from any mmo dev team.
    Lost some credit here MMORPG, The amound of contend you have is based on how mutch a game company wouuld like to talk to you. If you ask silly things that do not serve to promote a mmo they will  slowly stop giving interviews.
    Or atleast less,  its already fairly obvious, some  other mmo and gaming sites that ask fair questions about games are getting more content.



    So take it how you like, but thats how I curently see MMORPG.com  as a lesser mmo site whit sometimes someting new and intresting to say .



     



     

    These interviews only serve to keep the game in the minds of potential consumers.  I don't think Bill Roper is gonna throw a hissy fit because Barbara Walters wasn't doing the interview and decide that his game doesn't need free press if it comes at the expense of sitting through the same questions the last game site asked.

  • Deathstrike2Deathstrike2 Wellston, OHPosts: 1,801Member
    Originally posted by sudsboy

    Originally posted by Eladi


    Honest and political aswers, Silly questions that have nothing to do whit the game( well  little to do)  and would only serve to anoy anyone from any mmo dev team.
    Lost some credit here MMORPG, The amound of contend you have is based on how mutch a game company wouuld like to talk to you. If you ask silly things that do not serve to promote a mmo they will  slowly stop giving interviews.
    Or atleast less,  its already fairly obvious, some  other mmo and gaming sites that ask fair questions about games are getting more content.



    So take it how you like, but thats how I curently see MMORPG.com  as a lesser mmo site whit sometimes someting new and intresting to say .



     



     

    These interviews only serve to keep the game in the minds of potential consumers.  I don't think Bill Roper is gonna throw a hissy fit because Barbara Walters wasn't doing the interview and decide that his game doesn't need free press if it comes at the expense of sitting through the same questions the last game site asked.



     

    Still, I agree that it would have been nice to have fewer questions about WoW and hypothetical questions about success in MMOs and more about the meat of CO. 

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,246Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Deathstrike2

    Originally posted by sudsboy

    Originally posted by Eladi


    Honest and political aswers, Silly questions that have nothing to do whit the game( well  little to do)  and would only serve to anoy anyone from any mmo dev team.
    Lost some credit here MMORPG, The amound of contend you have is based on how mutch a game company wouuld like to talk to you. If you ask silly things that do not serve to promote a mmo they will  slowly stop giving interviews.
    Or atleast less,  its already fairly obvious, some  other mmo and gaming sites that ask fair questions about games are getting more content.



    So take it how you like, but thats how I curently see MMORPG.com  as a lesser mmo site whit sometimes someting new and intresting to say .



     



     

    These interviews only serve to keep the game in the minds of potential consumers.  I don't think Bill Roper is gonna throw a hissy fit because Barbara Walters wasn't doing the interview and decide that his game doesn't need free press if it comes at the expense of sitting through the same questions the last game site asked.



     

    Still, I agree that it would have been nice to have fewer questions about WoW and hypothetical questions about success in MMOs and more about the meat of CO. 

     

    I agree.  The interview would have been much better without all the "some people say" questions.  Having that opinion, I enjoyed Bills' "I beg to differ" answer to question #2.  Bill lives it.  All the rest of us hang out in forums like this where the most negative voices congregate.

    Champions won't be a WoW killer, and they aren't expecting it to be.  That means they're probably being prudent on their expectations and production aims.  If they build solid and make it relatively easy to create new, interesting content, the game will be a success.

  • EladiEladi ArnhemPosts: 1,100Member Uncommon

    I do enojoy his aswers, thats why I started whit Honest and political, Anyone can see he nicely moved the aswers to more CO generic content and avoided the nasty things nicely. its his job.



    But im so tired of comparing games to games and specialy wow.

    MMO interviewers should start to aproge this way more as "real"  journalist. Things that have bin said 100 times aint no news,

    Try to be diferent as questions others do not, maybe even find a niche whitin. even if you always ask the same questions to several game company's its a good show. same questions , diferent aswers, build on that.



    Try to get a agreement, do weekly bi-weekly Q&A by mail  and focus on parts of games. this will get you a damn lot of intresting material,the companys probaly would be happy to aswer bi-weekly as its free promotion.

     

    The basic setup of the interview was good tho, aswers and questions and aswers upon it. the subject was is just totaly boring for anyone to read (in my view ofcource)



    anyway..totaly getting off tropic to the actual content so I just drop here.



    Hope for someting more news like next time :)

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,276Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robsolf

    Originally posted by Deathstrike2

    Originally posted by sudsboy

    Originally posted by Eladi


    Honest and political aswers, Silly questions that have nothing to do whit the game( well  little to do)  and would only serve to anoy anyone from any mmo dev team.
    Lost some credit here MMORPG, The amound of contend you have is based on how mutch a game company wouuld like to talk to you. If you ask silly things that do not serve to promote a mmo they will  slowly stop giving interviews.
    Or atleast less,  its already fairly obvious, some  other mmo and gaming sites that ask fair questions about games are getting more content.



    So take it how you like, but thats how I curently see MMORPG.com  as a lesser mmo site whit sometimes someting new and intresting to say .



     



     

    These interviews only serve to keep the game in the minds of potential consumers.  I don't think Bill Roper is gonna throw a hissy fit because Barbara Walters wasn't doing the interview and decide that his game doesn't need free press if it comes at the expense of sitting through the same questions the last game site asked.



     

    Still, I agree that it would have been nice to have fewer questions about WoW and hypothetical questions about success in MMOs and more about the meat of CO. 

     

    I agree.  The interview would have been much better without all the "some people say" questions.  Having that opinion, I enjoyed Bills' "I beg to differ" answer to question #2.  Bill lives it.  All the rest of us hang out in forums like this where the most negative voices congregate.

    Champions won't be a WoW killer, and they aren't expecting it to be.  That means they're probably being prudent on their expectations and production aims.  If they build solid and make it relatively easy to create new, interesting content, the game will be a success.

     

    These questions were close to worthless if you actually want any decent information about the game. There are still many questions to be asked about this game, not so much the gaming politics, which really have less sway if the game is actually worth playing.  I feel like this interview was wasted on what could have been a very nice concise and entertaining interview.

    Everyones caught up in WoW mania, and luckily its been dying down lately, I would've tried to get some more rough details about the combat and level design out of Roper..... with most interviews.. like some have said in the past, if you've heard one interview by Roper, you've heard them all.  He makes the game sound golden but he doesn't always get too detailed into it.. it would have been nice to get specifics..

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


    image

  • bverjibverji Corpus Christi, TXPosts: 722Member Common

    Hidden in the question though was the point that there seems to be an underwelming amount of hype about this game. I know very little about the game and frankly that makes me care to know even less. Seriously if the developers/producers come across as unexcited about their own game, then why should I be.

     

    Just sayin.

  • DameonkDameonk Ewa Beach, HIPosts: 1,914Member
    Originally posted by bverji
    Seriously if the developers/producers come across as unexcited about their own game, then why should I be.

     

    He didn't sound unexcited about the game to me.  He just sounded honest and realistic.  And frankly, that's a nice change from the people like Tasos and Paul Barnett that have been in the spotlight the last few years.

    Edit:  I agree with the other posters about the quality of the questions, though.  These questions were horrible.  Honestly John, most of your interviews are poorly done.  Maybe you should hire someone on your staff to just do interviews that has experience, because 9/10 interviews I read on this website are cringe-worthy.

    I am not aware of how your Q&A sessions like this are conducted. Are they over the phone, email, IM, IRC?  I'm guessing you just send a list of questions by email and the developer chooses which ones to answer.  What I would have like to seen was something more along the lines of an actual Q&A session with follow up questions.

    There should have definitely been more asked about the actual game.  Like, oh I dunno.  What core features still need to be added to the game?  Is there any features that are not going to make this pushed-back release that the development team hopes to add soon after release?  What positive feedback is the team getting from testers?  What negative feedback?  What is being done to correct X negative feedback being received?

    I would have liked to see those answers a lot more than "Don't you think WoW is an awesome game?"  "WoW, WoW, WoW?"

    "There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer."

  • ShreddiShreddi Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 315Member

    Those first 2 questions were canned and Roper knew it.  His response being Really? , He probably said it in disgust thinking here comes the B.S.  Anyway,  CO probably will not be huge.  I hope it is cause I already pre-ordered and Love COH/V.   But, a lot of people for some reason just like the mmo with dwarfs, elfs, bows and arrows, staffs, etc. etc.  I dont know why.  I wish I did, I would reinstall wow, conan, warhammer, etc.   Best of Luck to CO.  I hope it blows us all away.

    This post is intentionally written as to not make any sense what so ever. Thank You Very Much.

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148 1, NJPosts: 6,690Member

    I thought the article was supposed to be about Champions and not 300 questions trying to compare WOW's success to a game that isn't even released yet ? Sorry, I just would have preferred more focus asking questions about Champions.

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  • WebferretWebferret AdelaidePosts: 82Member

    Bill Roper = Steer Clear.

    I do hope for the games sake, it doesnt follow Bill's last adventure.

     

     

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148 1, NJPosts: 6,690Member
    Originally posted by Tanvaras


    Bill Roper = Steer Clear.
    I do hope for the games sake, it doesnt follow Bill's last adventure.
     
     



     

    He isn't CEO this time so we are ok. I'm sure it will be a very fun game to play.

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  • sibs4455sibs4455 manchesterPosts: 357Member
    Originally posted by Dameonk


     

     

    He didn't sound unexcited about the game to me.  He just sounded honest and realistic.  And frankly, that's a nice change from the people like Tasos and Paul Barnett that have been in the spotlight the last few years.

     



     

    Sorry but Bill Roper is anything but honest, his last outing proved that.

    I for one will not touch this game.

  • DameonkDameonk Ewa Beach, HIPosts: 1,914Member
    Originally posted by sibs4455

    Originally posted by Dameonk


     

     

    He didn't sound unexcited about the game to me.  He just sounded honest and realistic.  And frankly, that's a nice change from the people like Tasos and Paul Barnett that have been in the spotlight the last few years.

     



     

    Sorry but Bill Roper is anything but honest, his last outing proved that.

    I for one will not touch this game.



    What exactly are you referring to?  Looking for a link to back up your claim.

    "There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer."

  • th3proph3cyth3proph3cy Alice SpringsPosts: 31Member

    The questions here seem to only be related to Champions Online because it was an interview with Bill Roper. It's nothing we haven't heard before, and it's correct to say that comparing MMORPG's success to WoW's is overkill.

     

    However, something I do agree in - the amount of people that know about Champions Online, even veterans of City of Heroes, is lacking. The marketing team need to do more to enhance other's knowledge of the game.

  • qbangy32qbangy32 GT YarmouthPosts: 681Member

    A very differnt kind of interview to what we would normally expect from a games developer so close to release, however I found the honesty of the piece quite refreshing.

    There is already alot of information out there and it's good to see that Bill didn't just rehype old news, but covered a little new ground with the news that they have been able to add specific features that would not have made it otherwise on the original release date.

    The WoW comparisions is getting boring but I couldn't find fault with Bill for answering a question to clarify what he meant about previous comments over subscriber numbers and the meaning of success over failure in the MMO market.

    Overall a good interview that didn't shove the corporate message down our throats.

  • StellusStellus Phoenix, AZPosts: 261Member
    Originally posted by Dameonk

    Originally posted by sibs4455

    Originally posted by Dameonk


     

     

    He didn't sound unexcited about the game to me.  He just sounded honest and realistic.  And frankly, that's a nice change from the people like Tasos and Paul Barnett that have been in the spotlight the last few years.

     



     

    Sorry but Bill Roper is anything but honest, his last outing proved that.

    I for one will not touch this game.



    What exactly are you referring to?  Looking for a link to back up your claim.



     

    To my knowledge, it was Hellgate: London. And we all know where that ended up.

  • DameonkDameonk Ewa Beach, HIPosts: 1,914Member
    Originally posted by Stellus

    Originally posted by Dameonk

    Originally posted by sibs4455



    Sorry but Bill Roper is anything but honest, his last outing proved that.
    I for one will not touch this game.



    What exactly are you referring to?  Looking for a link to back up your claim.



     

    To my knowledge, it was Hellgate: London. And we all know where that ended up.

     

    I was referring to the part I highlighted in green above. I know he was CEO of Flagship when developing Hellgate. I was just curious where he was "anything but honest".

     

    I saw the fail-train that was Hellgate: London coming from a mile away, so I admit I did not follow the development or read a lot of the interviews Bill did about the game. What I did see at the time was someone that was promoting their game just like any CEO would. I was just asking for some clarification on where he wasn't being honest.

    I guess I've just been desensitized to the BS these guys put out after listening to Tasos for the last year and a half. When I think of dishonest I think of Tasos, nothing I've seen from Bill has been that caliber of deceit.

     

     

    "There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer."

  • qbangy32qbangy32 GT YarmouthPosts: 681Member

    Well you have to be a complete mug if your going to believe the coporate message these guys spew at every interview, thats why it was refreshing to see so little hype of the game, and that Bill was answering various questions about his views, rather than being just advertising spiel.

    It's been years since I've been listening and believing the BS marketing we get from any new games, they have to give out the same old crap day in day out to the communities to keep them happy (Haha yeah right as if you can keep any games community happy).

    However I have nothing but respect for these ppl who have to put up with constant crap from all quarters and still keep a smile on their face.

     

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,276Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by qbangy32


    A very differnt kind of interview to what we would normally expect from a games developer so close to release, however I found the honesty of the piece quite refreshing.
    There is already alot of information out there and it's good to see that Bill didn't just rehype old news, but covered a little new ground with the news that they have been able to add specific features that would not have made it otherwise on the original release date.
    The WoW comparisions is getting boring but I couldn't find fault with Bill for answering a question to clarify what he meant about previous comments over subscriber numbers and the meaning of success over failure in the MMO market.
    Overall a good interview that didn't shove the corporate message down our throats.

    This interview was basically what I would expect a normal MMORPG forum goer to ask.  The questions asked were related to common MMORPG topic, and especially the recent comment about Bill that actually got more views then other CO  related posts.

    Unfortunately it just goes alongside what most normal MMORPG.com posters know about CO, which is very little.  I'm not saying that the interviewer knew little about CO, which may be the case, but it seems like the questions were geared more towards what was most controversial on the forums....

    Overall though, to me, this interview seemed very generic, like you could've asked a developer of any game the same questions regarding WoW and subscription numbers and gotten pretty much the same answers.  Nothing about this interview seemed to scream Champions Online.

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


    image

  • ShreddiShreddi Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 315Member

    I agree with the wow comparisons getting old and also agree with comment about this game needs to be marketed right to capture an audience who will be interested in CO.  Even a non mmo audience whome might assume they are all like EQ.  Once someone stops looking for news about mmo's how else are they going to know whats out there.  WoW (appologize for this comparison but) even advertises on TV now (I happen to like Ozzy :).  to catch people who might now know whats out now.  I dont think they would have made their numbers without reaching outside the normal PC gamers  media.  Costs big dough but I would think there would be a market for this superhero stuff at least the size of dwarfs and elf stuff.  Just because the board game dungeons and dragons was huge a similar game with superheros might have been too.  If there was one and it flopped then sorry I didnt know about it.  Missed the commercial or ad.

    This post is intentionally written as to not make any sense what so ever. Thank You Very Much.

  • lvlanooblvlanoob Carrollton, TXPosts: 75Member

    I don't know much about this game, and I didn't learn anything knew with these generice questions. It would of been nice if the questions were more about the features of the game than just comparing it to WoW.

    ---------------------------------
    Mean People Suck

  • ShreddiShreddi Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 315Member
    Originally posted by lvlanoob


    I don't know much about this game, and I didn't learn anything knew with these generice questions. It would of been nice if the questions were more about the features of the game than just comparing it to WoW.



     

    Very good point.   Was a good oportunity to do that.  He probably didnt want to talk about WOW anyway.  

    This post is intentionally written as to not make any sense what so ever. Thank You Very Much.

  • DameonkDameonk Ewa Beach, HIPosts: 1,914Member
    Originally posted by Ravanos


    Less sucking of Warcrafts nuts in your next interview Dana

     

    The interview was conducted by Jon Wood, the managing editor.  Dana just posted the news.

    "There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer."

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 GTA, ONPosts: 2,931Member

    I love Bill's philosophy.  I've been part of beta tesing where we say, "for the love of mercy, don't push this thing live in this state, if you do, it'll tank."  Then things were pushed live and dropped like led balloons.

    Gamers, the ones I hang out with anyways, want something that really is fun.  For something to be fun it has to not be broken.  This is a very simple principle that some folks in the MMO industry can't seem to get for some totally bizarre reason.

    Yeah Bill, I want to play something that's polished and that's fun.  I also like how you said you want to focus on customer service and placing value on player feedback.  The fact that you delayed release in response to your beta testers tells me you're on the right track.  Way to go guys.  I'll probably try this out when it releases, and I wish you success.

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