Cryptic Studios has posted part two of a three-part series detailing the development of the Champions Online nemesis system. Check it out:
Having a Nemesis is iconic in superhero comics, and we are very excited to bring it to players in Champions Online. Battling and defeating your Nemesis brings a special superhero feel to Champions Online. Also, other games haven't really given players a chance to customize their own adversaries. We also like that it brings the fight to you. Instead of making the player always go out to find missions, we wanted the Nemesis to reach out and grab you, bringing you into a story. All of that sounds great, but the big challenge is how to implement it.
Within Champions Online we already had a system set up to handle player characters, pets, and "critters" (regular bad guys). The Nemesis, though, was something new. It acts in some ways like a player and in other ways like a critter. We wanted to make it feel like another player constantly targeting and interfering with you, but we didn't have that built into the game. What we already had was a pet system, where we could store the information about pets with your character. But, a pet was too small for what we wanted to do with the Nemesis. That would limit what it could do, which would make it feel a lot less cool to players. We wanted the Nemesis to be bigger and more full-featured than any pet. So, we made the decision to treat it like a computer controlled player.
There's more to read so hop over to the Champions site.