Home > Champions Online > Broken powers kill PvP

Broken powers kill PvP

PvP in Champions Online has the potential to be one of the most interesting and dynamic forms of any MMO PvP. In order to get there, a large number of good powers needs to be available as to avoid a single dominant build, the so-called cookie-cutter build. Unfortunately, there are two powers which are clearly broken and while one at least has been acknowledged as broken by the devs, nothing has been done about them yet. I hate to make Doom&Gloom posts, but, unfortunately, the state of the game calls for it.

The worst abilities

Mindful Reinforcement is a shield bubble with a limited amount of hitpoints. When it disappears, it heals the user for the amount of hitpoints still present in the shield. Only one application can be present at any time. At least, that is what it should do in theory and it actually works that way for tier 1. On tiers 2 and 3 on the other hand, the shield can be stacked and it will heal for full regardless how many hitpoints are left. As such, the only way to kill someone with MR2,3 who knows what he is doing, is extreme burst damage. The use of this ability results in long fights that will more often than not never be resolved.

Swallowtail Cut is an advantage in the Single Blade tree. Although all Martial Arts trees are in a pretty sorry state, buffing this ability was not the fix those trees needed. What it does is bleed someone for 55% of their health in 10 seconds. Blocking does not mitigate the damage, Invulnerability does basically nothing, Lightning Reflexes (which should be particularly good against bleeds) does nothing either and a heal ability like Bountiful Chi cannot even outheal the damage if someone has a decent Constitution. Only Unbreakable trivializes the bleed, but that ability is on a long cooldown. To add insult to injury, STC has no tree requirement so anyone can take it. Robots, aliens, gunslingers, everyone is also running around with a katana these days. Combine this ability with a hold and any other damage and any opponent will be quickly dispatched. A hold followed by STC and then a knock-up/knock-back effect is particularly dangerous as no abilities can be used while being hit around. Teleporting away immediately when the bleed icon appears under your portrait seems to be the only reliable defense.

STC is an ability that actually punishes someone for stacking CON. No other ability does the same thing for e.g. EGO or DEX. An ability that would do more damage based on your opponent’s INT sounds pretty weird, but that is exactly what STC does to CON. People superstat and stack CON for survivability, but they pay for that by having less pure damage/ utility.

STC is not only bad for PvP, it’s simply a bad design in PvE as well. 55% HP in ten seconds is just mediocre on a henchman, but it’s great on higher power villains. Of course, the real powerful ones cannot be affected by it. That the ability cannot function equally well for all kinds of enemies should have alerted the devs.

If nothing is done, all PvP arena's will be as empty as this one

If nothing is done, all PvP arena's will be as empty as this one


Since I am a software engineer myself I know that seemingly easy fixes are not always that easy. However, there should be some reaction on the many forum posts that are constantly made. Or PvP will truly get flatlined as discussed in this post on the offical forum.

Positive note

I’m really looking forward to the Bloodmoon content. the PvE looks nice, the werewolf/hunter PvP is with fixed abilities and the Zombie survival map just sounds great. Also, the event is still far enough away that the broken abilities can be fixed.

  1. sonickat
    October 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    The developers have said that when they see issues with the game if PVE and PVP can not be reconciled PVE will be their priority. I am surprised that PVPers have not migrated out of the game en mass yet. Probably because of the same reason that end gamers have not migrated out of a game where there is no end game yet, they are addicted to the customization.

    In a game as customizable as this balance is nigh impossible which makes it even more hard to believe for me why PVPers have been sticking around.

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t want PVPers to leave, they are helping support the game. It just amazes me they haven’t. If I was a PVPer I would of left as soon as they started openly admitting they play favorites for content development and balance.

  2. cometgirlblog
    October 21, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I prefer to divide my time equally between PvE and PvP but with the lack of content I have been more focused on PvP lately.
    This post was pretty negative, although honest, but I still believe that CO can become a great game. However, we’ll need new PvE content and power balancing fast.

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