Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ode to the Forum 2

Megan at Out of Mana use to do a segment called "New Rules" that was adapted from Real Time with Bill Maher. While I think the latter is a complete hack, the former was one of the most influential bloggers/writers until she quit blogging.

After venting on the last post "Ode to the Forum", I've decided I'm going to make it a regular installment in this blog, to talk about all the redunkulous things that people should be shot over.

Without further ado, Ode To The Forum!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Maintains and TGMP

Protip: Toggles are abilities that you hit once and automatically run.  As a default setting, your energy builder is set to be a toggle that resets when you target a new enemy.  You may have noticed at times that certain chain abilities

In other news, The Two-Gun Mojo Project is moving along nicely.  I'm through early Canada and had no problems soloing any content with only Two-Gun Mojo as my only real damage power.  Here's how he sits at level 13.

Super Stats: Dex, Ego
Talents: +8 Dex, +5 Dex/+5 Ego, +8 Ego

Level 1: Gunslinger, Two-Gun Mojo
Level 5: Killer Instinct, Acrobatics (Versatility)
Level 8: Regeneration (Rank 2)
Level 11: Retaliation

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Two-Gun Mojo Project

Every time Cryptic nerfs some overpower skill, people are outraged.  In fact, a whole bunch of them are so angry that they post long tirades about how they're quitting the game and everyone should be sad that they're doing it.  People flame them and inevitably it turns into a thread about Aion.  (SEE YOU IN AION.  ZOMG NO YOU WON'T LOL)

Let's get one thing straight.  Skills like the pre-nerf Mini Mines are cheating, plain and simple.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Telepathy 101

The 101 series is a short information segment providing some in-game information on some of the starter tier skills for various power sets. This will give a little insight into use early character building so people don't get stuck rerolling due to high retcon prices.

Suggested Role
The Telepathy tree has a lot of healing and party abilities, that makes it a perfect tree for a support character.  Don't be fooled though, as many of the skills have the ability to do amazing damage. 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Milkshake Brings All the Villians to the Yard

So I'm a dude.  In MMORPGs, for the most part, I play dude characters.  As much as I'd rather be looking at the backside of a sleek, sexy femme fetale rather than a huge man-mountain like Hulk, I would just rather avoid situations like these (thanks for the laugh Jong and Syrana).

I decided to delve into the world of transgender heroism and make a female tanking character that ended up looking like Mila Jovavich from Resident evil (so much that I might have to take Two Gun Mojo).  In order to do that, I went to make a custom body, and WHAM, my jaw dropped to the floor.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Do Unto Others

At it's very heart, Champions Online is a game designed to be PvE (Player vs. Environment).  However, it's becoming increasingly clear that many of the balancing issues in the game seem to be coming from the PvP side of the show.  Why would Cryptic use less than 2% of the intended gameplay (Hero Games) in order to pick which skills are too powerful and which aren't powerful enough, if PvE is the focus?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ode to the Forum

In ancient Rome, the Forum was a public space used as tool for citizens to gather socially. They would host debates, festivals, meetings and discussions of all shapes and colors.  In modern times, we do a great service to the idea of the forum, via the internet.  In these forums people can post quickly with nigh anonymity, giving slightly less credence to the concept.

In true fashion of the freedom of ideas and freedom of speech that the Roman Forums provided (as long as you don't hate on the emperor or promote Christianity), I give you this Ode to the Champions Online Forum.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kick, Punch, Block

Seriously, I had to be the only person I knew growing up that could play Parappa the Rappa for hours on the old Playstation.  That was before games sold out for bigger and better things, like the full three dimensions.

I remember the very first level was in a dojo with Chop Chop Master Onion. Way too intense for the first level.  He had a friggin' onion for a head (you could tell because of the stink lines).
He wanted to teach Parappa how to rap, which inevitably involved various  martial arts moves that had nothing to do with rapping at all.  In fact, none of the levels had anything to do with rapping.

I feel like we could all use a lesson from Chop Chop Master Onion.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Powerhouse and You

As you may already know, the powerhouse is the first spot you hit whenever you get a new level. This is the place where you purchase all of your talents, powers, and advantages. But did you know about all the neat things you can do there?

Currently, a lot of powers and advantages don't... exactly work. However, the powerhouse gives you a chance to test out most of your powers so you can tell if something is working the way it's supposed to. Remember, just because the tooltip says what something does, doesn't mean it actually works!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Math Behind the Numbers: Part 2

I've decided to do a summary of the Math Behind the Numbers thread, because going through over 140 posts about stats can be somewhat... tedious. Here's a follow up to Part 1 with the benefits as have been solved so far, as well as some additional information.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Math Behind the Numbers: Part 1

I live for the numbers in games. Have you ever played the board game Shadows Over Camelot? That game is practically impossible to win, but there is a way that we found out. You have to use 4 specific characters and they all have to do very specific things, but that actually gives you a fighting chance. Whenever I played WoW, I became a big time theory crafter and strived to understand every stat and how it applied to every class. It's just how I operate, I'm a engineer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Wouldn’t Worry About That Little Guy.

Unlike some MMORPGs out there, Champions Online works with very little RNG. Damage dealt often doesn’t stray far from the average, damage received is pretty stable (before resistances), an martial arts will always suck. However, there are still some strange occurrences (read: bugs) that pop up from time to time when adding all our stats together. What's going on?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Munitions 101

The 101 series is a short information segment providing some in-game information on some of the starter tier skills for various power sets. This will give a little insight into use early character building so people don't get stuck rerolling due to high retcon prices.

Suggested Role
Munitions does very excellent DPS, but requires high crit in order for some of the skills to function. For that reason, they're usually picking Dexterity and Ego as their two super stats, which makes tanking or healing very difficult.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Using the Market

Most MMORPGs have some form of public trading facility (a place where people can post goods and purchase items from other people). Champions online has this, but it operates differently than many other MMOs. Here are some tips to using the Market in Champions.

- Auctions never "Expire." If you post something, it'll remain there until it's bought or the auction is cancelled. Is your bank full? Use the Market instead! This of course only works for bound items.

- You can't look further than 100 items. This means you may need to narrow your search a little bit more to find good deals. Set the level range from x to x and pick each individual slot to see the most results.

- Due to the other two points, competition is going to be fierce. If you post an item, people may not even see it unless they search for it by name. If you need money soon, sell it to a vendor instead.

- Materials are available. Do you need to make some items? Check out the materials section. Since people skill up by researching items, you can often buy a lot of mats cheap because power leveling a craft may leave people with excess mats.

There are some serious issues with the AH, and eventually there will be too many posts and nothing will sell. By then, Cryptic will hopefully found a way to implement a little more control over the Market.

Edit 10/16/09: There are still some series issues with the market, but at least you can now view more than the first 100 items, so at least you can dig for items, but it will take a long time to get through all of them, because they still don't time out.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Picking Your Super Stats

There's some confusion on how super stats work, so here's a little clarity.

No matter what super stats you pick, stack them as high as possible.

Almost all of your damage comes from your super stats simply because they are your super stat. Sure, some of the stats give a little benefit, but the flavor of the game is that you could have a high intelligence/high presence might character and you'll still do ok.

That being said, here are the basic benefits of each stat.

Strength - Melee damage (up to +20%), knockback resistance, physical hold recovery. Helps Invulnerability and Enrage
Dexterity - Critical strike chance and stealth detection. Helps Lightning Reflexes
Constitution - Increases maximum health. Helps Invulnerability and Defiance
Endurance - Increases maximum energy and energy gain from your builder. Helps Personal Force Field.
Ego - Increases critical strike bonus damage and intangible hold recovery. Helps Personal Force Field
Intelligence - Reduces cooldown times, reduces energy cost and increases pet damage.
Recovery - Increases equilibrium energy level and energy gain from your builder. Helps Regeneration.
Presence - Increases threat in defensive role, decreases threat in support and offensive roles, increases healing effectiveness and increases pet health.

Strength, Constitution, Presence, and even Ego are good for Tanking types.
Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Ego, and Intelligence are good for DPS types.
Endurance, Intelligence, Recovery, and Presence are good for Support types.

But most of all, have fun with it. Pick a stat that fits your theme more than what may provide you the biggest boost. Unlike picking powers, it's hard to gimp yourself by picking the "wrong" superstat.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

If You Don't Stop Touching It, You'll Go Blind

I've got a dirty little secret. I use mini-mines... a lot. My main is a gadgeteer and the only two powers I have outside the set are PFF (to fit the character concept) and Mini Mines. Originally, I picked the Mini Mines because the futuristic look of them fit my character (let's call him Tiberius, he wears a yellow shirt, you get the picture).

I simply cannot stop using them.

**Spoiler Alert**

Using Mini Mines will ruin your gameplay experience.

I thought about picking them up on a few martial arts characters, to bring them up to curve. But on my Gadgeteer, who was doing fine up until he got them at 17, I use them too much.

It got to the point where a fellow member of my supergroup asked for some help, and I didn't use them that fight. Not because I didn't need the, but because I didn't want him to know I used them.

I'm really looking forward for them bringing them back in, whether it becomes a charged ability, the CD is increased, or the damage is brought down. Then I can use them without feeling so dirty.

Edit: They patched Mini Mines to do 30% less damage when using the "Wall of Fire" advantage. While it's a step in the right direction and I can feel better about using it, I still think it's going to be the highest damage skill I have.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gadgeteering 101

The 101 series is a short information segment providing some in-game information on some of the starter tier skills for various power sets. This will give a little insight into use early character building so people don't get stuck rerolling due to high retcon prices.

Suggested Role
Gadgeteering does very excellent DPS, but does not provide much in the area of healing or crowd control. In addition, there are no passive or active defenses in this power set, so unless you plan on a lot of cherry picking, DPS will be your go to role.

Welcome to Foxbat Diaries

Hello everyone! My name is Fricassee. I've decided to provide a resource to the Champions Online player base dedicated to providing some of the lesser known facts about the game. A lot of it is a mystery this close to the release, and hopefully we can get a strong community to help people stay involved.

I have been a member of several MMOs over the last 6 or so years and participated in several games, including Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, Tabula Rasa, Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, and finally Champions Online. Some of those games I experienced end game content, some I didn't get very far in at all, but hopefully I've got enough experience to provide some actual useful data.

Edit 10/19/09: As per this post, the blog has been renamed to The Gamer Diaries and retooled to spread the focus amongst MMORPGs, LARP, Board Games, and Writing.