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Champions Online: Combat Interview

StraddenStradden Managing EditorMember CommonPosts: 6,696

MMORPG.com's Jon Wood recently caught up with Champions Online Lead Designer Bill Roper to talk about the combat system in Cryptic's upcoming super-hero game.

Earthrise Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

Can you give us a quick overview of how combat works in Champions Online?

Bill Roper:

Combat is designed to be very action-oriented while maintaining a tactical edge. Players can use a run-and-gun style to not only gain the best positioning in a fight, but also avoid certain kinds of powerful attacks from villains. Certain powers drain endurance while others build it back, and every power set has a special endurance-building mechanic that can be combined with other sets to allow for unique character builds and combat styles.

Read the Champions Online Combat Interview

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • TalinTalin Member UncommonPosts: 824

    Sounds interesting. While I like the mention of the ability to throw environmental objects - bricks, cars, tanks, there was a definite omission on what level of the environment will be interactable.

    No mention was made if buildings will suffer damage, or other environmental changes based on combat.

     

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148Member CommonPosts: 6,690

    I think this will be one of the few suprises we have this year for MMOs. I been impressed with what we have seen so far and I think many will come play Champions Online at release.

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  • WolfdorWolfdor Member Posts: 123

    I hope he's right, the combat he describes sounds more exciting then the videos they have previously shown did.  Another major concern I have is that the game will feel to spread out where the game world feels like a bunch of zones.  While a game like CoH was a bunch of zones, you still felt you were part of a giant city.  The videos and info I've seen for CO, makes it look like a game like EQ2 or DDO where you just zone hop all around.

    Hopefully time will tell a good story for this game, despite all the beta leakers crying doooooom (what else is new?).  For a game that is due out in April, I feel like there isn't much info known about the title.

  • KryogenicKryogenic Member Posts: 663
    Originally posted by SaintViktor


    I think this will be one of the few suprises we have this year for MMOs. I been impressed with what we have seen so far and I think many will come play Champions Online at release.



     

    I think that people are going to be very disappointed with this game. I'm of the opinion that DC Universe Online will be a much better game as far as gameplay, polish, and care.

    Cryptic tends to lean to heavily on mathmatics based snooze fests, and I don't think that CO will be any different.

  • RavanosRavanos Member Posts: 897

    god i hate the look of cell shading.

  • spookytoothspookytooth Member Posts: 508

    to Bill Roper I will ask, does this super cool combat you speak of exist in the game right now? Or is it the ideal you are striving for?

    Show us a video of it.

  • ManchineManchine Member UncommonPosts: 469
    Originally posted by Kryogenic

    Originally posted by SaintViktor


    I think this will be one of the few suprises we have this year for MMOs. I been impressed with what we have seen so far and I think many will come play Champions Online at release.



     

    I think that people are going to be very disappointed with this game. I'm of the opinion that DC Universe Online will be a much better game as far as gameplay, polish, and care.

    Cryptic tends to lean to heavily on mathmatics based snooze fests, and I don't think that CO will be any different.



     

    I thought the exact opposite.  From what I have seen DC looks like its gonna be a snooze fest. 

    image

  • ThestacheThestache Member UncommonPosts: 35
    Originally posted by Kryogenic

    Originally posted by SaintViktor


    I think this will be one of the few suprises we have this year for MMOs. I been impressed with what we have seen so far and I think many will come play Champions Online at release.



     

    I think that people are going to be very disappointed with this game. I'm of the opinion that DC Universe Online will be a much better game as far as gameplay, polish, and care.

    Cryptic tends to lean to heavily on mathmatics based snooze fests, and I don't think that CO will be any different.



     

    Not so sure that DC will be better, having been a huge EQ1 fan, after SOE took over it became very boring. Also tried EQ2 and Vanguard, and felt the same about those 2 games. If they run it properly, it has a good chance to succeed. However, if they run it the way they normally run games it will be a fail.

  • xaldraxiusxaldraxius Member Posts: 1,249

    That was a great interview. I like the looks of the game, but I have been hesitant on what their idea of 'action oriented' combat was. He asked the right questions and pressed the point when the answers were a little vague.

    Sounds like a good game. I think the gameplay in this game will be much better than that of DCUO, but neither is out yet so who knows?

  • SlackerboySlackerboy Member Posts: 142

    I have been really looking forward to this game, but ever sence I learned it is being made for the Xbox and the PC... And the response to will combat be dumbed down did not make me feel any better. 

    I have moved from the buy it as soon as it comes out camp, to the wait and see camp.

    As for DC... It is being made by SOE. They can mess up anything. I started in the wait and see camp with that one.

    I really hope 2009 is a better MMO year then 2008 was, but so far it is looking kinda grim.

  • KryogenicKryogenic Member Posts: 663

    SOE isn't developing DCUO. They are publishing the game. The dev team is very solid and they have tons of awesome concept art and in game art. I've experienced both games in action and I stand firm on my previous statements.

    Once some more time has past I'll be able to eleborate on my opinion, but until then... we'll all just have to wait and see.

    I think that you guys should seriously take a look at some of the decent combat vids for DCUO. The PvP vid where a super speeder is running up the side of a building is freaking awesome.

    Think about the circumstances surounding CO.

    It was slated to be Marvel Universe Online, but Marvel pulled out, 2k Games dropped it, and now Atari has it.

    Meanwhile, DCUO has been chugging along steadily the whole time with the same vision in mind, and it shows.

    Cryptic has had to scrap work to start over because of the IP change, and they are steadily trying to beat the clock to reach their set release date.

    It's never a good idea to throw polish, balance, and gameplay in the back seat so that a game can release on time.

  • xaldraxiusxaldraxius Member Posts: 1,249

    I've seen the vids of the girl with the swords running around in a terrible fashion and performing moves that seem very stiff too, so DCUO hasn't impressed me yet. DC's graphics are better I'll admit, but the animation has a long way to go.

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 Member Posts: 2,931

    This combat system sounds very promising.  I recently allowed my subscription to run out on City of Heroes because they very intentionally turned the PvP game into a movement suppressed button mashing contest.  All the fast-paced, 3D travel powers were switched off or completely suppressed in the pvp zones.  Also, the unique power sets like holds, slows, buffs and heals were all nailed with nerfs and something called diminshing returns.  This just made the game really boring, slow, over-simplified and frustrating for me.

    The system being worked on by Cryptic for Champions sounds like exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for.  Also, the variety of villain tactics, and the way powers interact with environment, sound like a fresh twist.  I'm really looking forward to this.

    As for comments on DC online, some of the exact same jack-asses that ruined the StarWars title have been working on it, so anyone who tells you that SOE devs haven't been working on it is full of it.  Imagine someone posting B.S. on forums to try to market an SOE game.  Damn guys, get a new marketting strategy.

    P.S.  Just so you know the guy plugging the SOE game is full of crap, here's some factual information:

    "DCUO is being developed by the SOE Austin studio team."  There efforts are being led by "Chris Cao."  Anyone who has had any history with the StarWars game will remember Cao's involvement with destroying that game and openly insulting its players for not thanking him for the destruction.  Information about the DC game that isn't wrong or deceptive can be found here:  http://www.onrpg.com/MMO/DC-Universe-Online.

  • WolfdorWolfdor Member Posts: 123
    Originally posted by Kryogenic


    SOE isn't developing DCUO. They are publishing the game. The dev team is very solid and they have tons of awesome concept art and in game art. I've experienced both games in action and I stand firm on my previous statements.
    Once some more time has past I'll be able to eleborate on my opinion, but until then... we'll all just have to wait and see.
    I think that you guys should seriously take a look at some of the decent combat vids for DCUO. The PvP vid where a super speeder is running up the side of a building is freaking awesome.
    Think about the circumstances surounding CO.
    It was slated to be Marvel Universe Online, but Marvel pulled out, 2k Games dropped it, and now Atari has it.
    Meanwhile, DCUO has been chugging along steadily the whole time with the same vision in mind, and it shows.
    Cryptic has had to scrap work to start over because of the IP change, and they are steadily trying to beat the clock to reach their set release date.
    It's never a good idea to throw polish, balance, and gameplay in the back seat so that a game can release on time.

     

    Age of Conan also had tons of "awesome concept art and in game art".  Bottom line is, DCUO's combat so far looks no different then an 80's arcade game like a Double Dragon.  Mash 4 buttons brainlessly til enemy dies, rince repeat. 

    SOE is the developer of this game, it's being developed at their Austin studio.  As long as John Smedley is involved in anything with DCUO, you'll see things like that giant Metropolis mall you see in the newer screenshots likely wind up being a giant mall zone you can enter to make "super, fun, and exciting Microtransactions."

  • spacebotspacebot Member UncommonPosts: 148
    Originally posted by Kryogenic


    Cryptic has had to scrap work to start over because of the IP change, and they are steadily trying to beat the clock to reach their set release date.
    It's never a good idea to throw polish, balance, and gameplay in the back seat so that a game can release on time.

    Were do you get this info? I was under the idea(from interviews) they were ready for launch but were doing to spend the extra months this year to polish, balance and add gameplay.

  • SoldarithSoldarith Member Posts: 184

    I just think there are far too many super hero type MMOs about to get pushed out and they are going to kill one another; similarly to how all the pirate MMOs did last year.

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 Member Posts: 2,931
    Originally posted by spacebot

    Originally posted by Kryogenic


    Cryptic has had to scrap work to start over because of the IP change, and they are steadily trying to beat the clock to reach their set release date.
    It's never a good idea to throw polish, balance, and gameplay in the back seat so that a game can release on time.

    Were do you get this info? I was under the idea(from interviews) they were ready for launch but were doing to spend the extra months this year to polish, balance and add gameplay.

    Your information (from interviews) is correct Spacebot.  This guy's info is bad.  SOE Austin is in fact developing DC universe, and it's some of the same crew that wrecked the StarWars IP.  Also, the development team for DC has had turnover already pre-release.

    Cryptic's team has been working steadily on the one IP, Champions, for a long time, and have for months now mainly been focused on increasing polish and "fun."  They had talks with Marvel years ago for a new superhero game, but that didn't materialize.  When those talks fell through, they began work on Champions, and have stuck with the one IP all throughout.  They did not switch game designs mid-development at all, like the other poster suggests.  SOE has done that, however, with StarWars; and NCsoft did this with Tabula Rasa.  Both of those games were disasters as a result.  Cryptic hasn't done it, at all.  Actually the other guy's post comes across as very misleading.

    Cryptic has dev barbeques where they play and play a certain section of the game.  If it's not hugely entertaining for everyone on the team, they make all the necessary adjustments, and then move on to another game section.

    I can't predict exactly how good this game is going to be, but the development process up to this point has been excellent, and very consistent.  The other poster is either talking about things he has no knowledge of or is doing some marketting disinformation for SOE.

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 Member Posts: 2,931
    Originally posted by Soldarith


    I just think there are far too many super hero type MMOs about to get pushed out and they are going to kill one another; similarly to how all the pirate MMOs did last year.

    Well if SOE does to the super hero genre what they did to StarWars, DC online will be a nightmare (makes me glad to be a Marvel fan lol).

     

    City of Heroes has suffered from repetative gameplay that has been addressed somewhat, but not a ton; and they just brought in a very controversial unwanted entire game revamp that has a lot of current players bailing out.

    In light of the popularity of super hero films, and the struggles of SOE and NCsoft, if Champions is polished and the business model is consumer friendly, I think it could do very well.  I'm optimistic at this point, but time will tell.

  • KryogenicKryogenic Member Posts: 663

    I was in the Alpha and now the beta for CO. I know exactly what I'm talking about, but am unable to disclose because of the NDA, but you're welcome to fanboi it up and preach on about something you have absolutely no understanding of outside some media spun hype interviews.

    Also, being a douchebag doesn't lend credibility to your arguments it just makes you look like an ass.

    Anyway, thanks for reminding me why I stopped frequenting these boards.

    It a damn shame that the MMORPG.com community used to be a lot more civil and cohesive than it is now. Once MMORPGs became mainstream the community took a nose dive. Now the decent people have been swept away by the mass of mindless sheep, like ArcAngel3, that believe all the media hype and actually defend companies for screwing their player bases over and releasing unfinished games as retail products.

    I'm sure instead of stepping back and analyzing your behavior you'll look for some way to spout off with some angry, angsty, bullshit pertaining to my post. Just know that I couldn't care any less about your opinion or stance on anything. I'm done with this thread and I hope that if I have the misfortune of participating in a thread that you are apart of in the future that you will have grown up and formulated a manner to interact with other people in manner conducive to flowering discussion, but I won't be holding my breath.

    Peace.

     

     

  • bverjibverji Member UncommonPosts: 722
    Originally posted by Thestache

    Originally posted by Kryogenic

    Originally posted by SaintViktor


    I think this will be one of the few suprises we have this year for MMOs. I been impressed with what we have seen so far and I think many will come play Champions Online at release.



     

    I think that people are going to be very disappointed with this game. I'm of the opinion that DC Universe Online will be a much better game as far as gameplay, polish, and care.

    Cryptic tends to lean to heavily on mathmatics based snooze fests, and I don't think that CO will be any different.



     

    Not so sure that DC will be better, having been a huge EQ1 fan, after SOE took over it became very boring. Also tried EQ2 and Vanguard, and felt the same about those 2 games. If they run it properly, it has a good chance to succeed. However, if they run it the way they normally run games it will be a fail.



     

    I haven't ben a fan of SOE's MMOs either, but DCUO is being made by the Sony game division, which has had far better results. Granted they haven't been in charge of making a MMO before, but that might acytually be a good thing.

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 Member Posts: 2,931
    Originally posted by Kryogenic


    I was in the Alpha and now the beta for CO. I know exactly what I'm talking about, but am unable to disclose because of the NDA, but you're welcome to fanboi it up and preach on about something you have absolutely no understanding of outside some media spun hype interviews.
    Also, being a douchebag doesn't lend credibility to your arguments it just makes you look like an ass.
    Anyway, thanks for reminding me why I stopped frequenting these boards.
    It a damn shame that the MMORPG.com community used to be a lot more civil and cohesive than it is now. Once MMORPGs became mainstream the community took a nose dive. Now the decent people have been swept away by the mass of mindless sheep, like ArcAngel3, that believe all the media hype and actually defend companies for screwing their player bases over and releasing unfinished games as retail products.
    I'm sure instead of stepping back and analyzing your behavior you'll look for some way to spout off with some angry, angsty, bullshit pertaining to my post. Just know that I couldn't care any less about your opinion or stance on anything. I'm done with this thread and I hope that if I have the misfortune of participating in a thread that you are apart of in the future that you will have grown up and formulated a manner to interact with other people in manner conducive to flowering discussion, but I won't be holding my breath.
    Peace.
     
     

    Lol, all I did was correct your disinformation.  You said SOE is not developing DC online.  You're wrong.  They are.  So you're either mistaken, or spreading disinformation.

    You also said the Cryptic has changed the I.P. in the middle of their development.  You're also wrong about that.  Not only is SOE developing the DC game, but it's some of the same people that butchered the StarWars IP.  That's simple facts.

    Your response is to call me a douchebag lol, and accuse me of some kind of angry, angsty post.  I think you need to take a step back and look at who is sharing false information (that everyone can easily verify) and who is being angry and insulting. 

    If you want to share disinformation that is easily disputed, don't be surprised when someone calls you on it.  Also, don't be surprised if they take a frustrated tone, like I did, and probably will again if you spread more b.s.  There's a very low tolerance for SOE crap among MMO gamers these days.  I was much kinder in my comments than most would be.  

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 Member Posts: 2,931
    Originally posted by bverji

    Originally posted by Thestache

    Originally posted by Kryogenic

    Originally posted by SaintViktor


    I think this will be one of the few suprises we have this year for MMOs. I been impressed with what we have seen so far and I think many will come play Champions Online at release.



     

    I think that people are going to be very disappointed with this game. I'm of the opinion that DC Universe Online will be a much better game as far as gameplay, polish, and care.

    Cryptic tends to lean to heavily on mathmatics based snooze fests, and I don't think that CO will be any different.



     

    Not so sure that DC will be better, having been a huge EQ1 fan, after SOE took over it became very boring. Also tried EQ2 and Vanguard, and felt the same about those 2 games. If they run it properly, it has a good chance to succeed. However, if they run it the way they normally run games it will be a fail.



     

    I haven't ben a fan of SOE's MMOs either, but DCUO is being made by the Sony game division, which has had far better results. Granted they haven't been in charge of making a MMO before, but that might acytually be a good thing.

    Like i said, the guy in charge of DC was moved from StarWars Galaxies.  He mutilated that game and alienated the players.  His name's Chis Cao.  Feel free to confirm this independently if you like.  He also brought some of the devs from the StarWars team with him.  This is not some new group of people; they just shuffled the deck and moved the StarWars guys over to DC online.  After what they did to StarWars, I wouldn't play this game if they paid me.

     

  • MelkrowMelkrow Member Posts: 278

    I couldn't help myself but post in this thread.  "Action packed" aspect of the combat is artificial.  In other words, animations look amazing, but all you do is press one button and auto attack does the rest, you just enjoy the visuals.  There are powers that you execute in between the auto attack sequence, and the longer you hold that attack button, the more it charges and more powerfull it is.  This was a nice touch no doubt.

    However, the biggest let down as far as CO combat goes are controls.  To put it bluntly, it's made for kids on XBox 360.  They have this non-sense "auto facing", which simply breaks the game for me.  What it does is when you target somebody, your character will automatically face in that direction, and you can't do a thing about it.  Well, that's not so bad you say, but, they take it to a whole new level.  You will ALWAYS face your target, no matter what your positioning and camera angle is. 

    Say you target somebody that's in FRONT of you, obviously, you will face front, and camera will be behind your back.  Now if you run past your target so that your target is now behind you, your toon will automatically turn around to face your target (but your camera angle stays the same, thus you will be facing the camera), and you will be literally running BACKWARDS and shooting through your camera into your target which is not displayed anywhere on your screen.  Even WOW required you to make an effort and face your enemey before you can send a fireball their way, but in CO this is done for you automatically. 

    If this one single thing was fixed (aka removing auto facing in it's current forum), the game wouldn't feel so cheap and shallow.



    image


    Playing: Darkfall Unholy Wars
    Played: Darkfall, EVE, AoC, Ryzom, Ragnarok Online, GW2, PS2, Secret World, WOW, City Of Heroes/Villains, Champion Online.
  • TaishiFoxTaishiFox Member RarePosts: 980

    Oh yay, yet another heroes vs villians game.  Sorry but I don't support this idea as I don't think this genre is very successful, I mean just look at City of Heroes/Villians, no one cares about it really.  Anyways, just wanted to give my view on these upcoming games and say that this genre is a waste of time, thanks for reading.

    imageimage
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  • tapeworm00tapeworm00 Member Posts: 549

    Yeah, like the thousands of people playing City of Heroes/Villains and the thousands more waiting for either of the upcoming superhero games.

     

    Translating your dislike for something into a generalization doesn't make you look smarter or justifies your point of view; it's the other way around, kid.

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