Friday, October 23, 2009

Back in Champions Online

Finally fired up my Champions Online account. I'm two days into my free 30 days, and enjoying it quite a bit. A few thoughts.

The character generation system doesn't seem as arcane as it did to me before. Part of it is likely that I understand the system better now. Part of it is also likely that I've been playing a lot of DDO lately, and that game has a well and truly arcane character development system. However, I suspect that some of the tooltips and descriptions have been cleaned up a bit. Certainly choosing primary stats is much less confusing than I remember.

At least at the low levels I'm playing, rumors of apocalyptic nerfs seem exaggerated. I decided to roll up a new dude (actually, remake Electric Dude) and see how the post nerf 1-10 game plays. It did seem a bit slower than I recalled at first. However by level 7 or so everything was right as rain.

I sucked before, I really really sucked. I'm sure I still suck, just (hopefully) not as tragically. I finally figured out that the main attack in the electric power set arcs between multiple foes if you let it charge all the way up. That makes a huge difference when you are pulling groups of mobs. Now I can get them more than half dead before they reach me and then spam them all down with electric shield, taking nary a bit of damage from minions. How the hell I got a nearly identical guy to level ten in the OB without noticing that eludes me.

I also finally figured out what the is going on with the various energy sheath powers. Hint: grab the one that goes in your passive slot first, it will be on damn near all the time. The one you trigger may be a slightly better buff, but you won't be able to use it more than one fight out of three in a dense area.

Evidence of my previous suckitude can be found elsewhere. I switched over to my old main from the headstart weekend. He was parked right outside an instance entrance. I was level 11, they were level 13 and packed tight as sardines. I got my ass handed to me on my first pull. Respawned, watched the patrol patterns, this time cleared my way to the boss (a Master Villian). She proceeded to rip me a new bunghole several times in a row.

Once I got down to three stars decided to check over my build. Discovered that it bit badly. The two stats I was most heavily invested in were presence and recovery. Recovery isn't too bad, it means I regen power very quickly. Presence, on the other hand, is full of suck for a solo character. It reduces threat (useless solo), and buffs my non-existent pets and heals. I can see why I decided to boost it. The in game description of the stat is vague as hell, and it's one of the two powers given a big bonus when you choose the fire power set. That does sort of imply it's something you'll want. However, at low levels it's an extremely poor investment for a fire character. Even at high levels I'd argue that more hitpoints (con) or more power (end) are both likely to be more useful than a buff to the one pet the set eventually gets.

In any case, that was not the worse of my suckage. Oh no, not by a long shot. I had items sitting in my bag that I hadn't even bothered to slot. One item summons a ghostly hound for two minutes. Hmmm, that might be handy in a tough boss fight. Worse than that, I had a small stack of healing items that were also unslotted. Put both of those on my hotbar, spent a little money on a retcon, and went in an slaughtered the boss with ease (as well as the Super Villian and two minions that spawned behind me as soon as she dropped).

All in all having a lot of fun with the game. Look forward to seeing some of the higher level zones.


  1. Glad to see you're having fun. I think you'll find a lot of the forum drama is overblown. Look me up in game.

  2. Cryptic seems to have taken a special joy in putting all these neat combos in their powers for people to find. It reminds me a little of Guild Wars in that. Of course, it took ArenaNet about a year to figure out that they should punish peope people who wanted to experiment with their builds.

    Also, I'm @AnjinM. Look me up!

  3. Electric Dude, nice. The electric powerset seems to be all about offense. My force and might characters can take a beating, but my electric character has to be careful on the pulls. But then I could just suck.

  4. Good to see that it works out well. Being used to traditional MMO combat I did not realize either in the beginning that one could charge or maintain a power.
    Reading the power description details a bit more and I noted I was definitely missing something.

    After being used to the Champions combat I find some other MMOs a bit lacking in the combat area and a little bit of adjustment to go back to just tapping a button in those MMOs.