Champions Online – Making a Smart Character

celebrity-pictures-morgan-freeman-silky-voiceoverIf there’s one thing that Champions Online allows you to do it’s being free with your character. The freedom to make a super hero of epic proportions, or a super hero of epic failure.

It has become apparent to me that people are finding it easy to gimp their characters from an early point. I hope to help alleviate that problem in this quick guide.

You get a new Power every 3 levels. That means that by the time you’re level 40 you’ll have 13 abilities (not counting travel powers). When you come out of the tutorial you’ll get to pick new powers, it is here that you’ll set yourself up for the rest of the game. Pick the right powers here and you’ll find it hard to totally ruin your build

Pick a defensive power

It doesn’t matter if it’s a block, or a passive defensive, get something that will mitigate damage.

For melee, especially those focusing on Strength and/or Constitution – go for Invulnerability from Power Armour, it scale with strength and constitution and only requires 2 powers from any set (so you can get it very early)

For ranged who are stacking Ego, go for Personal Force Field from Force as it regens faster with a high Ego.

If you’re not stacking any of these powers, go for a shield and a passive Offensive like Quarry, or something like it. My personal favourite for DPS is Telekinetic Shield, as this lingers slightly after using, or Force Shield, which gives you energy back.

ALL block shields mitigate 250% damage (at rank 1), except Electrical Shield, which causes a minor DoT, this might be good for keeping aggro, but the loss of defence might harm you if you’re tanking.

Pick Relevant Stats

You get to choose 2 stats that you’ll focus on, and will scale with your level. These stats will also increase your damage output. But remember, focusing on 2 stats only will lead to gimping, choose a third stat to focus on and make sure you keep that up. You might not get any extra bonuses from it, but it’ll help your character in the long run. Not only that, your third stat is gear dependent, so you can switch it out for other rolls,

For example, Mitch Hellbringer, my melee dps/tank is focusing on Strength/Constitution, but his third stat is Presence (In order to tank better) OR it’s Dexterity (for DPSing) and switching Gear/Builds is an easy 1-click affair once they’re set up.

Lasair, my Archery/Gadgets DPS/Support char focuses on Dexterity and Presence, as Presence works well in a group situation for mitigating your aggro from Damage AND healing, it’s used in both forms. Dexterity isn’t, and that was a mistake. If I were to respec, I would likely change that main stat to something else. However, thanks to smart ability choices she’s not completely useless, and can easily deal with the standard 3-mob pull in lightning fast time.

Get Smart

There are plenty of utility powers you can grab, and trust me, there’s going to be a few spaces you’ll want to fill by max level. Smoke bomb is excellent for getting out of bad pulls, so is the Teleport travel power. Smoke bomb has saved my life quite a few times, not only that, it’s a temporary full stealth that lets you use travel powers within it (Like super speed or acrobatics) so you can bomb and run like hell. Works well for those “Scout the Warehouse” missions.

Heals are essential too, even if it’s something like Bountiful Chi resurgence, or even Medical Drones (For now, leave them be, they’re still idiots, but they have been tweaked slightly in the last patch so they’re slightly less of a nuisance) -whatever you do, get some kind of ‘dumb heal’ that will keep you up in a pinch

DPS – If you’re primary attack is a charged power, then pets are your friend. Munitions Drones and Attack Toys, Wolves, Demons etc are all extra DPS, you can have a veritable menagerie out mowing down enemies for you while you sit back and let off  your big abilities.

Munitions drones do have a habit of shooting up debris and furniture, just click passive, wait a few seconds and then switch to assist and they should be back to normal.

Tanks – get an Area of Effect power… even if it’s a Player-Based AoE (PBAoE) or a cone attack – the more people you piss off at the start of the fight the more aggro you’ll generate before those silly healers and damage dealers get in. I went for the Cone Effect on Reapers Caress (Single Blade Power). That however, doesn’t actually work, it still only targets one enemy. So for now, go for something like Condem, or Pyre (Actually, pyres quite good as fully charged it leaves a burning fire on the ground)

Healers – Don’t limit yourself to healing. You’re Support. Get a reactive buff like Bionic Shielding, or Protection Field, or a group buff like a Sigil. The Straight-up Empath build from CoX won’t be as effective and you’ll be wasting power slots filling them up with lots of heals.

I hope this helps anyone looking to start a character from scratch, or when the full ret-cons come for the early starters

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