Enter the Nemesis.
What does Lex Luthor, The Joker, the green goblin, Dr. Octopus and Dr. Doom all have in common? At one time, all of them were the bane of a superhero’s existence. Who found out that Superman had a weakness to kryptonite? Who almost did in Spiderman’s Aunt May? Who actually makes a story really interesting to read, it’s the supervillains of course. Hero’s like Ironman, The Hulk and even superteams such as the Fantastic Four and the X-men would have boring jobs if it wasn’t for the eternal bad guy.
This is part of a refreshing new game mechanic that Cryptic Studios new superhero game Champions Online is going to bring to the MMORPG player this coming fall. The Nemesis System allows players to design their own arch-villain from top to bottom. This AI controlled NPC is part of the players hero background, as they progress through the game the arch-fiend shows up in their story arc to thwart their plans of do-goodery and make their lives all around miserable. Well, what is a bad guy good for? Not only will players be able to design the nemesis costumes and character design, but give them their own power sets, minions and even their personality. Very cool.
This new mechanic has already been a staple in the pen and paper version. This enables players to actually design their own content and will continue through the game outside of regular gameplay. So as many mmorpg players have complained in the past, “I am so tired of killing ten rats and then going back to get a quest to kill ten wolves.” Well, fear not my budding young superheros and superheroines, things are going to get really interesting really soon. Picture your on a regular “mission”, as they are called in Champions Online, and the regular ho-hum kill X and bring back Y for Z mission turn out to be an epic battle with…WHAT THE HECK IS THAT???? Well, that’s the monstrous denizen from planet Zikkzerey that is here to make sure you don’t kill even one rat, it actually is here just to kill you. Have you stopped yawning yet? Because that’s the type of surprises that I’ve been looking for in a game for a long time.
In a recent article series posted on the Champions Online website, a three part series going into detail about the character created nemesis system. Lead Designer Randy Mosiondz goes into detail about the new system that has the internet abuzz about Champions. “We wanted to start with some basic Nemesis plots which incorporated the Champions Online universe flavor. As we continue to develop the game, we want to develop more Nemesis plots that are more tailored to a player's individual Nemesis.” My feeling on this is that it will continue throughout your characters lifetime and be a never ending source of content.
Bill Roper, writes on content today in his post on Champions Online Daily News. He claims that there is a ratio of 500 minutes or work in order to create 20 minutes of playtime. While a hardcore gamer putting in 150+ hours of game play can run through a year’s worth of work in a few weeks or a month. He might be right in his assumption; gamers like me are always looking for more after we get to the end. Bill says, ”It’s one of the reasons we’re very focused on creating new ways to allow players to create their own content. The Nemesis System in Champions Online is the first step for us towards that."
Enter the nemesis. Who will be your arch-rival?