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A la carte

October 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Champions Online allows players to pick any power they want, but that does not mean that all powers combine well together. It’s perfectly possible to go to a restaurant and only order desserts. It may sound nice, but it’s not very healthy if you would do it every day. Therefore I present a menu with powers that do form a balanced diet. The taste is up to you.

Energy Builder

These come in two flavors: melee and ranged. Ranged is by far the easiest to manage. Even characters that are mainly melee can consider taking a ranged energy builder, especially if you are interested in PvP, however, this is not something I would recommend. Most energy builders have a secondary effect that is often beneficial to the framework they’re in. However, sometimes they add a weak effect that nevertheless gets the resistance buff up against your stronger attacks, e.g. a weak root from your energybuilder can prevent the strong root you planned on applying with a normal attack. In most cases it is best to pick the energy builder of your main framework.

Passive

Although you can have more than one passive (the single slot above your ability bar), only one can be used at a time. Some passives will increase damage, while others will increase survivability. New characters will get more benefit out of a defensive passive like Regeneration (Supernatural Framework), but offensive ones work as well. However, the passive in your main framework is NOT per definition the best, e.g someone with Telekinesis will get more damage out of Shadowform with CON/END superstats than out of Ego Form. Choosing a passive at either level 5 (in framework) or level 8 (outside framework) is one of the most important choices during leveling and it will greatly affect leveling speed.

If you have doubt, take Regeneration and rank it all the way up.

AOE

You will seldom be fighting single mobs in CO. Most pulls are packs of three with at least two henchmen. Single target damage is pretty slow, while Area Of Effect moves will damage all mobs for a negibly larger energy cost.

Single target heavy damage

Bosses are often charging attacks, so the moments you are not blocking should be spend doing as much damage as possible. Therefore grab a single target heavy damage attack. It may have a high endurance cost as well as blocking generates endurance.

Heat wave puts the hurt on a single target

Heat wave puts the hurt on a single target

Block

The basic block will get you all through the game, but given the amount of time you will be blocking it is really worth it to upgrade it. The flavor depends on your play style. Some of the good ones in my opinion are: force shield+advantage to return energy, telekinetic shield (it gives damage reduction for a while after you have stopped blocking), Power Armor shield with Laser Knight for melee. Note that TK shield is going to get nerfed a bit in the future according to the public test realm patch notes. The ice shield is currently broken: it cannot be disabled by Crippling Challenge in PvP.

Passive Defense

Passive defenses are abilities that give a serious boost in survivability. They all share a cooldown, so taking more than one is often a waste. Personally, I use both Resurgance and Unbreakable for PvP though.

Self Heal

A bit of healing can get you out of difficult situations. Either take an instant self heal or a healing ability. Note that some heals get interrupted easily, so these are disqualified as self heals (e.g. charging Empathic Healing from Telepathy). Mindful Reinforcement (Telepathy Framework) is very strong if ranked up to level 2/3, but a nerf is expected.

Root/Hold

To manage large packs, it helps to be able to root or hold targets. This does not have to be a separate power. Many powers have a root/hold component. Of course, the specialised ones are stronger.

Gang-up preventer

Getting swamped by mobs or enemy players? Use your “gang-up preventer” to get them off your back. The single best of these is Force Eruption because it can be charged while you’re Held yourself.

Force Eruption is great to give you some space

Force Eruption is great to give you some space

Travel power

There is pretty large difference between the travel powers in terms of comfort and utility. Some examples: flight in all its flavors will allow you to go Away From Keyboard almost anywhere, while Teleport  is the best escape ability in PvP. Super/Rocket jump is great for heights, Super Speed for long flat stretches and Acrobatics is a great intermediate. Actually, I believe Acrobatics is much better than jump and speed. Slinging, however, is great fun. It’s speed is about as great as flight and it’s almost as good for getting out of tight spots as teleport. Spend some time in the Power House before choosing a travel power, because it’s a long way between your first travel power at level 5 and your second one at level 35.