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Revelation Interview

By Garrett Fuller on February 22, 2010 | Interviews | Comments

Revelation Interview

Champions Online design director Bill Roper responds to questions from's own Garrett Fuller about the fast approaching Revelation free expansion.

How has Champions been growing in 2010? What trends have you seen?

Bill Roper:

We've seen a real stabilization of our player base over the past couple of months, which is great. Every MMO has a period where numbers ebb, and getting a handle on what our everyday turnout of gamers is lets us plan more effectively for the future. It also lets us work on growing that base now that the game is on the right path in terms of stability and features. We're also working diligently on probably the single biggest issue players have which is multiple paths to max level, which is not only great news for our solid core, but also the many new players we're looking to bring into the game through aggressive demo and referral programs.


Has the end game now become stable for players? Are you seeing more PvP or PvE game play?

Bill Roper:

We're seeing both, actually, and have been working on ideas and content for each of these groups. Our upcoming expansion, Champions Online - Revelation, has an incredible level 40 Lair that is the most challenging and rewarding team-based experience we've ever created. Not only does it have some great loot for players to get, but it has tricks, traps, puzzles, numerous bosses to battle, and an end-boss that is truly epic.

In terms of PVP, we're putting out a new high-end Lucedor set with Revelation. We're also cooking up some new arena ideas, as well as another of the very popular scenario-based Apocalypse maps.

Give us some insight into the lore of Vibora Bay.

Bill Roper:

It's the end of the world. The Apocalypse has begun, and the front lines of the ultimate battle between good and evil - Heaven and Hell - is Vibora Bay. Cracks have appeared in the ground, and demons spew out. Fire rains from the skies, dropping monstrous avenging angels. Common street gangs are being transformed into Vampires and Werewolves. The powers of Voodoo have risen from the dark corners of society to roam the streets. Humanity is at the center of the maelstrom, an endangered afterthought, expendable collateral damage. Soon all Vibora Bay will be reduced to rubble, and then the Battle of the Apocalypse will spread to engulf the entire world.

A super-heroic resistance has formed, led by powerful mystics Dr. Ka and Robert Caliburn, the Magnum Mage. Should one group gain the upper hand, it will hasten the Apocalypse, so heroes must fight back each battling faction and protect the many innocent civilian lives that hang in the balance. New heroes that live and serve Vibora Bay are present, and have even called upon The Champions for aid. And they need all the help they can get - which is where YOU come in

Are there plans for content patches leading up to the expansion throughout 2010?

Bill Roper:

Since Revelation is coming out in the very near future (we'll be putting it up on our Play Test Server next week), we don't have another content-specific patch before then. We do, however, expect to put up a bug fix patch next week that's been in test on PTS.

Champions Online has had some great live events, tell us what your plans are for the coming months.

Bill Roper:

We're doing a live event every month where our players can get a chance to play with and against the developers. We're going to be putting the gloves on and bringing it PvP style at the end of next week, for example. In the future we'll have a mix of both PvE and PvP events.

Can you give us an update on balancing character's powers? What are your biggest challenges?

Bill Roper:

We continue to make powerset passes, with Melee currently in review. Next up will be Supernatural. With the vast number of powers in the game, and taking into account how they can be mixed and matched, it is a complex and lengthy process - but one that we're continuing to tackle. We'll also be looking into the most specifically reported upon powers from the community.

Is there something in Champions Online that you have wanted to do for players but have not gotten the chance yet?

Bill Roper:

There are always a ton of things we want to do - it's the nature of MMO development. There are certain game systems like investigation and secret identity that are on our wish list, as well as player / guild housing. And of course, there's the goal of just plain making more adventures for our heroes to undertake as they go through their careers to provide diversity and new experiences for players new and old.

Do you see that goal being accomplished in the near future?

Bill Roper:

Some of those are pretty big ticket items that will take a lot of design and programming work, so we honestly have no current timeline for them. Right now, we are focused on more content creation, as well as allowing players to experience existing content in new ways.

Do you have a time line for the expansion?

Bill Roper:

The current plan is to release Revelation digitally to all of our players in mid-March. We'll probably be streaming assets earlier than that to make the final download more manageable, but as of right now, that's when the gates to Vibora Bay will open.

What is the best part about working on the game's first expansion?

Bill Roper:

It is easily the best work we've done on the game to date, and I am incredibly proud of the team for all the effort they have put into it. It's fantastic to see our game not only getting bigger, but better the more we work on it, and I'm excited to get it out to our players.

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