The free-to-play (or better, hybrid) superhero MMORPG market is soon going to be rather crowded with both City of Heroes and DC Universe Online joining the fray, but Cryptic seems unwilling to give ground to the incoming competitors as Executive Producer Rob “RoBoBO” Overmeyer laid down an extremely extensive overview on the future plans for Champions Online in the form of the September 2011 Ask Cryptic Q&A session and of the new UNTIL Field Reports feature.
The additions and improvements to the game to come in the upcoming months are numerous, so I’ll summarize the juiciest ones:
- A new city area ( defined darker than Millenium City but not as dark as Hudson) is in the planning stages. It will be made of 3-4 neighborhoods and it will feature some much needed content for high level players.
- The level cap will be increased to 45.
- With two teams working side by side on Comic Series, we’re looking at a six weeks interval between the publishing of subsequent ones. The next one, Whiteout, will feature Larger than life comic book Supervillains and Cosmic Threats.
- The already announced Alerts have been detailed. They will be 5-men instanced group encounters and will be split in four different types: Grab will require the party to stop a villain group from things like heists and kidnappings. Overdrive will grant the heroes incredible powers to fight against impossible odds. Brawl will be a straight up fight against a villain to stop him from destroying the world and Nemesis will feature any of the previous three types, but will add a player character’s custom Nemesis to them.
- The Unarmed powerset will be reviewed, several new powers will be added and two new archetypes will be created (a Tank and a Melee DPS).
- The Infernal powerset will be reviewed as well, with new powers added and new archetypes.
- A new area dedicated to costume contests will be opened in the Powerhouse, including a fashion show-like catwalk. If you think this isn’t important, you never saw Champions Online‘s character creator. Variety is so immense that costume contests are one of the most popular activities in the game.
- New emotes are planned by the end of the year, some will be imported from Star Trek Online.
- The Nemesis system will be updated, with new missions, more frequent encounters, more options and more minion types.
- A new mission arc that will show a pre-crisis Vibora Bay is being developed. Together with it a full fledged interior will be added to the Minefield Nightclub, to serve as a social environment. Again, if you think this isn’t a big deal, you probably don’t know how developed the Champions Online RP community is.
- A new level 32 mission arc is in the planning phase.
- Earth and Wind frameworks will be added respectively to the Brick and Energy power types.
- Team duels will be implemented.
- The Bloodmoon event will be updated, including a fight against Takofanes
- New Neighborhood Events and Zone Events (Champions Online’s version of Public Quests, respectively on a small and large scale) will be implemented.