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atomic_mouse in championsonline

A Happy Convert

I just recently started playing Champions Online...as in---maybe in the last week.  I've been a hardcore WoW player for nearly 3 years now.  Since picking up CO, I cannot seem to stop playing it.  And when I'm not playing it, I'm THINKING about playing it.  I've been playing on a friend's PC, because I have a Mac, but I JUST bought Windows 7 for Bootcamp, and should be up and running on my own by around the 23rd.  Exciting!

You will have to forgive some of my WoW jargon, but it's the only way I can seem to put some of the things I have questions about.

When I picked my toon, I went Darkness spec, I've also messed around with Supernatural.  But I think I like Darkness the best so far.  I've even been perusing the Champion's Hero Creation Guide, and trying my very best to figure out how the stats work.  I love the game, but having been an MMOer for a while, I have to say that CO's system is a might bit harder to figure out (for me, at least).

In WoW, as many of you probably know, you pick your character---your class---and eventually your spec.  And that character is forever locked into that class.  So...as a WoW player, being able to COMPLETELY customize your spec is both exciting and overwhelming!  Where do you start?  In WoW, there are good specs and bad specs, is this the same for Champions?  Are there specs that are ineffective/really effective?  This is somewhat of a major problem I've been having as far as getting my head around the entire game.  I can't seem to find sources that tell me one way or another what's what and what's good for what.

Since I picked Darkness in the beginning, I've just been following the tree down, picking what looks cool.  I know to pick items with Endurance and Constitution...at least I guess that's what I'm supposed to be picking.  But I really am not sure how a "build" is supposed to work.  I know that you can change constumes/passive slotted abilites/gear/and powers with them, but I still can't figure out how exactly that all works.  At least as far as the powers are concerned.  So I'm Darkness.  Say I want to make my other spec or BUILD---I dunno...Sorcery or something like that.  Are all of your "talent points" refunded for the new build?  Or do you have to unlearn all of them and buy all of the other new powers?  And if you switch between builds---do you have one that has sorcery abilities and one that has darkness abilities (in my case)?

What about gear?  If you switch your powers, do you look for other gear that helps that power set?  What about MIXING power sets?  Are there pre-built builds for one such as myself to follow?  And what about an "enchanting" element.  Is there such a thing?  For gear?

I know that if I took the time to stop and ready what every last npc had to say to me, I'd probably be more hip to how all of this works.  But I'm sort of for jumping in head first, and asking questions later.

I know that this is an overwhelming number of questions, but if any of you other fine players could help the new girl out, I'd really appreciate it. :)

Thank you in advance!


There are good and bad specs, and which is which has been swinging wildly all over the place with some of the initial nerfs and buffs.

But basically, martial arts is mostly crap -- there's enough good powers between all the sets to make a decent melee character (actually, I was able to do it with just 2-blades) but a LOT of melee powers are bewilderingly awful. Archery is the same way from what I've heard.

Sorcery used to suck but I heard it's reasonable now (actually, I heard it was massively overpowered, which probably means it's reasonable considering the inherent drawback of having to stand inside a little circle all the time).

Fire is broken at the moment. Its main schtick (gain energy by setting people near you on fire) doesn't work with half the powerset and its staple attack power (conflagration) has something like three separate bugs that combine to make it unusable. I've got a level 32 fire character waiting on ice until they fix that.

Mixing sets tends to work fine. In fact, for something like Darkness it's almost compulsory since darkness doesn't have a defensive passive.

Switching builds does not give you any additional powers or talents or anything -- it lets you change your stance (to, say, sentinel instead of avenger) and move the same powers with the same advantages around in your power tray (mostly useful to switch what's in your passive slot). You *can* equip other gear but I haven't come up with a compelling reason why you'd want to yet.
I love the game, but having been an MMOer for a while, I have to say that CO's system is a might bit harder to figure out (for me, at least).

I sort of agree with you here, but it takes a week or two before you figure it out. The recent patches have made the UI a dream compared to its startup.

But I really am not sure how a "build" is supposed to work.

I haven't delved much in the Alternate Builds much either, but from some tinkering, the builds are more aligned to be able to swap Combat Roles that your champions can do, which I have wondered whether there are going to be larger multi-teamed instances for future issues. I have been meaning to play around with the builds menu too, but I might create another character first before making a mistake with my main.

What about gear? If you switch your powers, do you look for other gear that helps that power set?

To me gear seems very aligned to swords and pointy things at the moment. I did slot a piece of gear for my Force attacks that dealt lightnig damage, but after a few levels I found another piece of equipment that has a massive +Dex buff which I needed and found the Crits were hitting more often and more damage than the chance to deal extra electricity damage. At the moment with gear all I am doing is selecting rewards aligned t my crafting and sacrificing them to the crafting bench for Crafting points for later. I think Gear and Crafting has yet to mature with the game just being released.

I know that if I took the time to stop and ready what every last npc had to say to me, I'd probably be more hip to how all of this works. But I'm sort of for jumping in head first, and asking questions later.

I think thats most people in MMOs, though if I do have a complaint, finding specific information in game is a bit of a chore with some NPCs in odd locations holding some weird tidbits.

Good luck.

The important thing to remember is that no game is the same scale as WoW. WoW is a HUGE game. One instance in CO could probably fit easily within one area of WoW. Its just the way it is (Though Mortal might rival it the creators say...)

Most people take the time to focus on two major stats, and take gear in accordance to them. Changing gear gear in this way is rarely needed as the Stances supply an adaquate, measurable change in the function of your character as a whole, without effecting those stats. With exception of course. A prodominently healer class, or a tank class, might of course want to focus a bit more on DPS when they are out on there own, but beyond that i see no real reason to focus swap gear... At least not yet!

MMOs are all about the experience of playing them. Having a plan-o-gram on exactly where everything is, and how to field the 'perfect character' saps so much enjoyment out of the game... I laugh at minmaxers, because they get bored easily and quite early, leaving plenty of space for people like me who simply enjoy the game and stick to a theme character just to have fun!
I agree on the scale thing, and its early days for Champions, not that they want to compete with all elements of WoW

Its probably why WoW lasted three months for me. I was spoiled by City of Heroes, and classes seemed really railroaded...along with the random ganking, the travel, the guild douchebaggery... just my experience though
Like I said, I've been playing WoW for 3 years...and I've seen all of the high level content there is to see. Minxmaxed and everything. And I LIKE pushing stats---but with this game, because there are SO many stats, I'm actually finding it more fun (even though it's confusing). I read earlier in the guide that "there is no perfect build." Which excites me, because it gives me a lot more freedom to play how I want without getting pressure from other players. Having to defend your gear and spec to people in WoW gets really...really tiresome. And explaining to new players why they MUST take this spec in order to be a good player...whew...

I'm really liking Champions, and I want to see it thrive. I wish I could like---talk directly to Cryptic and be like..."Okay, I love your game...but you need to simplify some things just a little." I'm not going to lie---I feel like a pretty competent person when it comes to online gaming, and this one is giving me a run for my money. It's just SO much information. What I'd kill for a tooltip that pops up with short, to the point explanations on what is what. That's one thing that WoW does well---create an ACCESSIBLE gameplay experience by explaining very early how things work, rather than making you run around and talk to NPCs for advice.

Again, I don't want to see this game fizzle out because it gets eaten by the review sharks claiming..."This game is too hard for the average gamer."

Having read a couple of posts now, I'm glad that I'm not the only one that isn't ENTIRELY sure how everything works.

Thank you.^_^
Champions Online

October 2010

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