In my initial foray into Champions online open-beta, I never did much to venture out into the big wide world after leaving the tutorial zones. The one character I did level quite a bit I got to level 16, and had completed a few Millenium City West side quests. For those levels, the game was interesting, fun, fresh and vibrant, if lacking in challenge. The majority of the 2-player quests were soloed without incident, and for the 3-player quests, grouping was quick and was never an issue.
Now, however, I’ve ventured properly into the world of Champions Online, and shortly after that level came a slew of interesting new quests. I won’t spoil the plot for you, but Kevin Poe is a bastard. It took me 3 attempts and a “am I doing this the right way?” thought. During loading screens it says “Often you can disable your opponents using environmental traps” – and with Kevin Poe, given the fact that he’s hard as nails and is standing over what looks like a pile of radioactive sludge with nothing but a grate between him and green death, I had the thought that this was one of those moments where a little switch somewhere would open the grate and drop him in it. No luck there, it actually required skill and tactics on my part to take him down solo – and it WAS a solo quest – and my guardian angel of a power: Block.
Block is one of the ways that Champions Online is different to all those other MMO’s – like WoW for instance – you can just sit there with your block up (Or shield, if you have a power) – incoming damage is reduced, most – if not all – status effects are deflected and you become a veritable tank for the small price of not being able to attack, and having your movement reduced significantly. Giant POW’s and BLAM’s appear above an enemies head when they’re charging an ability that might give you pause to block, so you’re rarely caught unawares. One time, however, I was caught simultaneously by 3 Argent Cyborg Chest Blasts. I landed a block away.
Stats are ever so important for your character. More than any MMO I’ve seen at lower levels, planning ahead is critical otherwise you’ll almost cripple your character for your chosen role.
Strength – Increases Knockback abilities and reduces knockbacks used against you, as well as reducing tangible holds (as opposed to intangible)
Dexterity – Increases Critical strike chance and the effectivness of stealth powers
Constitution – Hit Points
Intellegence – Power Cost and Recharge speed, increases your ability to see through stealth
Ego – Increases Critical Strike power as ooposed to chance. A high Ego and a low Dex means you crit less often, but for more. High Dex and Low Ego mean you crit more, but for less damage.
Presence – Depending on your role (selected in the build menu) you’re playing, it will either increase or decrease your threat generated
Recovery – Increases your equilibrium point (Your energy bar will fill up or drain out to this level when out of combat)
Endurance – Increases your maximum energy
By level 20 you get to choose 2 stats to focus on. These will scale with your level, and they will contribute to the damage you do. For my DPS/Support archer I chose Presence and Dexterity (As a high presence will lower threat, and Dexterity to increase crit chance, and in this case, both will increase my Damage output)
I’ll leave you with a few Screenshots from this weekend