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Champions Online Interviews: On Alert Update Interview

By Garrett Fuller on April 16, 2012

MMORPG.com: Tell us some of the plans you have for Champions Online’s revamp?

Rob Overmeyer: First of all, the Champions: On Alert! update is simply HUGE!  It is positively brimming with new features, new content, and complete overhauls or improvements to old systems.  Our flagship feature for this update is, of course, the Alerts system.  Alerts use a dynamic queue and teaming system to get groups of players together fast, sending them straight into a variety of exciting battles against sinister supervillains!  These Alerts smackdowns offer unique rewards which actually accelerate the rate at which players gain resources, XP and more as they play.

Another big ticket feature in our update is a completely new item system to kit out your characters, complete with customizable, slotted gear!  Two new systems, Modifcation and Fusion, give you the ability to fully customize your gear.  Other features include a brand new Specialization skill tree, an overhaul to stats and roles, and much more!

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MMORPG.com: How will these changes impact players?

Rob Overmeyer: First of all, let’s address the impact of the all-new items.  Players with existing, legacy gear and items will still be able to use them as normal.  However, the benefits of the new, customizable items will be instantly recognizable, and players will want to go after them at their own pace.  Modification and Fusion will allow players to customize their gear at will with special accessories, crafting the perfect combination of bonuses on a character’s items.

Base changes to Super Stats will make it easier for players to see which stats they want as an Archetype, and make it easier for Freeform characters to maximize their potential.  Roles have been renamed to more accurately describe what they are intended for, and will now affect what your Super Stats do for you.  For example, a DPS role will provide you with the maximum damage bonus, while Tank and Support Roles provide bonuses targeted at their unique functions in a team.  Finally, Specializations will grant a near limitless layer of stat and skill-based abilities to all characters as they level up!

MMORPG.com: How has the game been since moving to the free to play model?

Rob Overmeyer: Champions Online has enjoyed a great many high-quality content updates and releases since going Free to Play, as well as some excellent Events!  From Adventure Packs such as Serpent Lantern and Resistance, to Comic Series like Aftershock and Whiteout, players have had several new story-driven content updates to enjoy.  In addition, Events have offered lots of unique encounters, from epic battles with Takofanes or Black Harlequin to special celebrations like the Anniversary Concert featuring Sapphire!

MMORPG.com: There are some major changes for the crafting system can you tell us what will happen to it?

Rob Overmeyer: The changes to crafting are extensive.  In short, the new crafting system is all about Modification and Fusion, allowing players full control over customizing their gear at all times.

Modification allows Mods – item-enhancing, stat boosting accessories - to be added to “slots” on new gear items.  In this way, items can be customized to create special bonus and stat combinations. 

Fusion, on the other hand, allows players to effectively “level up” their Mods, by fusing a stack of lower-tier Mods into a new Mod of the next level, granting greater stat and bonus boosts!

These new systems effectively replace the old crafting with an elegant new method for creating custom gear via slots and Modifications.  However, the old crafting skills are preserved, and grant better chances for success via Fusion and allow discovery of new Mods at skill objects in-world.  Also, players with old crafting components will be able to exchange them for Mods – giving them the new components they need for their customization needs!

MMORPG.com: How is the community working with you to make decisions for the game?

Rob Overmeyer: Champions is fortunate to have a very passionate and vocal community, many of whom are extremely active on our Public Test Server.  For this update in particular, we have been devoted to keeping open the lines of communication with our community, from blogs and updates explaining upcoming features to frequent updates of the Test Server, where players can actively experience these features as they are developed.  Through feedback posts on our forums, fans and members of the community have given us valuable insight and feedback on these features which we have taken to heart and used to improve each one for the better.

MMORPG.com: Can you tell us about the Champions Alert system?

Rob Overmeyer: Alerts are an expression of what comic book combat is all about - superheroes squaring off against supervillains!  Each Alert is a fast-paced, group throwdown against a unique supervillain in a special scenario. 

Every Alert is different, but there are some consistent categories that dictate the rules of engagement as well as the rewards.  For example, Brawl Alerts are a straight-up smackdown with the villain, and offer a boost to XP as a reward.  Meanwhile, Burst Alerts grant your heroes a size and strength boost via radioactive energy, enabling them to plow through hordes of henchmen!  There are other varieties of Alerts as well, some even showcasing your Nemesis!

Players have their choice of entering an Alert with their current team, or joining the queue solo to be quickly and automatically teamed up with others!  Either way, the Alerts system gets a group of heroes together fast, letting them join the fight - and the fun!

MMORPG.com: How will this system be used by players?

Rob Overmeyer: We anticipate Alerts will be used by players as fun, accessible team content – but they will also be utilized for their unique rewards!  Each Alert type offers unique “boosts” to players’ XP, resources, modifications and more as they continue their play session.  Ideally, a player will login and begin by playing various Alerts to garner these unique reward boosts.  Then, players will continue to enjoy accelerated acquisition of XP, resources and more as they play!

MMORPG.com: What are your thoughts in the new direction of the game, are you excited about the future?

Rob Overmeyer: We are extremely excited about the new direction we are taking with this update.  We firmly believe that the features we are introducing here will strengthen the foundations of Champions Online, and increase its longevity.  With complete overhauls of the item systems, new features like Modification, Fusion and Specializations, and brand new content in the form of Alerts - not to mention tons of added polish - there will be lots to enjoy for new and returning players alike for a long time to come!

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