How do powers work pt. 2

Jens: So in this area right here, I can change these out as I said, but I also have these reactive defences, or reactive powers. These are my active powers, the ones loaded out on the trigger and the face buttons. The reactive powers are things that I load out that automatically happen. They're like procs. And those also have an offensive or defensive slant to them. Right now I have them all loaded out for defense.

So I have a block, which is the orange one with a shield and a fist; I have a dodge, which is the blue one with the shield and a projectile. And I have an evade. So you'll see that as I'm getting hit by certain things, my guy might do a little flip, as the evade goes off. Now, it overrides what I'm doing with my character moment to moment. Bizarro has those kinds of things too, like he may evade (once in a while) my ability, which has a cooldown timer attached to it and I need to try it again.

So I can change that loadout to be more offensive as well. I can put in things like 'aimed attack' or 'critical strike' or things like that, that would actually increase my DPS. So with my reactive powers and my active powers, I can really tune the kind of tactics that I want to do as a solo player, or as a group player. And it really gives me the ability to not get pigeonholed into one role or another, only to find out that my class is less than desirable, or that people only want one of me on a forty man raid.

"If your tank has to leave in the middle of Arkham Asylum, it would suck to have to leave Arkham Asylum. Why not: you just turn into the tank and keep going?"



So you can have preset power combinations? And whenever you're in a place where you can change them, select from a preselected group?

Jens: We're in the early stages of implementing the loadout interface, and how that's going to work. Right now, not in this current build but in one of our prototypes, we have a loadout screen going on. We don't have any presets in it at this time. The tricky part about the presets for us is as you can see, we're not as much power based as we are – we have a little bit of power, but we let you regen it really quickly, we want you constantly using your superpowers. It would be lame if you were gated too much with your superpowers. We have cooldowns.

So what we want to avoid is ability dumping, by having quick switch. You have to deal with the situation that you have at hand, deal with with what's at your fingertips, without necessarily having to switch it in and out.

Studio Creative Director Chris Cao: We'll likely go with an out of combat or 'when you're knocked out' switch, and a cooldown, like it takes five seconds to switch.

I was just assuming it was a specific place in the world that you could switch, but you can switch anytime?

Jens: Yeah, it's not like Guild Wars where you have to leave the area and then switch out. What we have here is the ability to say 'I'm in the world right now, looking at this encounter that's down the street, and I'm not properly prepared. I'm going to go ahead and go (burbling noises) and switch myself out, and I'm ready to go.

Chris: Right. If your tank has to leave in the middle of Arkham Asylum, it would suck to have to leave Arkham Asylum. Why not: you just turn into the tank and keep going?

Ah! You want players to have fun?

Everyone: Yes!

In-game it seems as though the travel powers have a lot of variety among them. Can you describe the process that went into creating the game's 'for fun' powers?

Chris: We've noticed that different people like to travel in different ways. It's actually a sign of good differentiation when then happens, we think. The race car drivers, the guy who play Forza, they love superspeed. They're used to looking in-line and planning where they're going to go. Other people, who play character-centric games, like the flight power. They don't have to think about it, they can just move through the space how they want. They lose some of the tactical advantage that speedsters get, but the speedsters have to think a little bit about where they want to go.

"Our most important philosophy is that your time together with friends is the most valuable part of the game. We need to make sure you can stay together with your friends."

We're not trying to play how they'll all 'metrically intersect' to make the perfect game. Instead we're keeping our eye on the important things: "we have to have the Flash in the there." We have to have that kind of fun. Then we look to figure out how to make that work in the context of the game.

We got to play with superspeed, and flight. You mentioned that acrobatics was going to be another travel power; walljumping and that sort of thing. What else can we expect to see in the game as regards travel powers?

Chris: [laughing] I'm interested to see what Jens has to say; go ahead, you have complete freedom here.

Jens: Really there are three movement modes that most heroes have. Some sort of acrobatics with zip-lines to get around leaping jumping, some kind of flight powers, and some kind of superspeed. Those are the three big buckets. We have several others we want to play with ...

Wall-Crawling?

Jens: That's in the acrobatics bucket, and to a lesser extend superspeed. You sort of stick to the walls when you're running up a building. The acrobat goes slower up buildings but they can stop because they're holding on. There are a whole bunch of other ones too that we're looking at but may or may not make it into the game at this point.

Chris: [Laughing] I'm laughing because there's a big inside joke about one of the powers we're thinking about right now. I won't mention it right now because we don't want to promise anything ...

Jens: It is going to be brilliant! In fact I want to make sure you folks come back here special so that you can see what we have planned. It's going to be great. [laughs] But seriously, there's a lot of stuff that could go in there. Most characters, though, either fly, run fast, or jump.

Chris: Lots of players have asked us about player-driven vehicles. Our most important philosophy is that your time together with friends is the most valuable part of the game. We need to make sure you can stay together with your friends. Even if you don't have a vehicle, your basic movement powers let you stay with your friends and fight with your friends. Our philosophy is 'you are the vehicle.' We want to up the ante on the experience.

"You need to be able to fight with your character while you're in your movement mode. It would be lame if you couldn't fly and attack at the same time."

It's not that we can't do cars or motorcycles, but as soon as you start to do them you go "would I rather wall-climb and then zipline between buildings, or drive down the street on my motorcycle?" There's a Batman-esque feel to those vehicles, but we're defaulting on the site of making movement powers as cool and as deep as possible. That's why wall-crawling isn't a separate thing, it makes acrobatics that much cooler when you have all of these options.

Jens: Most important to us, though, is that you need to be able to fight with your character while you're in your movement mode. It would be lame if you couldn't fly and attack at the same time. If you're in a car it's like ... "how do I shoot my ice gun?" Everything goes to hell at that point.


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