City of Heroes - interview

We`ve been talking a little with Jack Emmert from Cryptic Studios about their upcoming MMORPG called City of Heroes. It`s based on the popular comics` superheroes (and supervillians) of 60` so everybody who likes this stuff should pay attention a read it now!

Doupě: First of all, could you please introduce yourself and your company to our readers?

Jack Emmert: I’m Jack Emmert, one of the game designers and founders of Cryptic Studios. The company was formed roughly a year and a half ago. Essentially, our team combines talented members from the traditional roleplaying game and arcade/PC game industry.

Doupě: How long have you been working on City of Heroes?

J.E.: We’ve been in development since July 2000.

Doupě: What is the background story of the game?

J.E.: Paragon City has always been one of America’s greatest cities – a center of commerce, industry and even superheroes. A veritable storybook metropolis where dreams came true. All of this changed several years ago when the alien Rikti invaded Earth. Using Paragon City as their base of operations, the Rikti launched devastating assaults across the globe. Humanity rallied, with the help of Earth’s heroes, to push the Rikti back. The war was won, but Paragon City was devastated. Although many of the ruins have been rebuilt, Paragon City remains a city in need. Supervillains, criminals and even rogue Rikti cells are at large in the in the city. Paragon City’s super heroes have sent a call out for help…

Doupě: What was your inspiration when creating City of Heroes?

J.E.: Rick Dakan, our lead designer, had always been intrigued with the story potential of comic books – nearly any tale could be told within their pages. When MMORPG’s first began appearing, Rick realized that here was a genre of game that was ready made for intense story development. Combining comic books with MMORPG’s seemed like a natural after that.

Doupě: There are many other MMORPG in development, what will be the difference between CoH and these?

J.E.: The genre of super heroes. Super hero games have been nearly entirely fighting games. City of Heroes will be one of the first true super hero RPG’s – where you can design your own hero and develop him over time. Cryptic Studios has also been working with Nvidia, ATI and others to ensure that City of Heroes will take full advantage of all the latest technological innovations.

Doupě: How far can you go when customizing your hero?

J.E.: Very very far! Players will choose their own avatar (male, female and gargantuan), powers, skills, and costume options. With our character creation set, there are tens of thousands of unique combinations.

Doupě: What are heroes` skills and abilities? Will they be able to hold some
special weapons?

J.E.: Every attack, whether it’s from a power or a weapon, has an associated skill. The higher the skill, the greater the chance that a hero will succeed in his attack – and the greater the amount of damage that a hero will do. Skills are also needed in order to use special items. Heroes also have basic core attributes: Strength, Agility, Stamina, Personality, Willpower, and Intelligence. These are also used in various ways to determine how well a hero succeeds at a given task. Heroes can also purchase special weapons and gadgets to enhance their ability to fight crime.

Doupě: Where does CoH take place?

J.E.: In our first release, the game is set entirely in Paragon City. We will expand the game universe in successive expansions.

Doupě: What about the quests and CoH`s world, could you tell us something moreabout this?

J.E.: Heroes will go to Organizations to receive a mission in the city. A hero may attempt to do a solo mission or team up with other heroes. Each mission will have certain objectives to accomplish within a set amount of time. For instance, the heroes might need to find a certain number of hostages and free them within an hour. This isn’t the only place for heroes to battle evil; a hero may also enter a Hazard Zone and attempt to cleanse out the villains there.

Doupě: For how many players is your game designed?

J.E.: Our servers (called “continuities) will be designed to have roughly 10,000 accounts each.

Doupě: At what development phase is CoH right now?

J.E.: We are rapidly closing on a private Beta; we plan to release in late summer of this year.

Doupě: Will we have to pay for playing CoH? If yes, how much?

J.E.: We have not finalized our publishing plans as of yet, but you can expect that the pricing plan of City of Heroes will be similar to MMORPGs.

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