Champions Online Power Set Interview - Dual Blades, Single Blade, Fighting Claws and Unarmed

For the latest installment of Ten Ton Hammer’s weekly review of the Champions Online power sets, we spoke with Bill Roper about the title’s martial arts themed power sets; Dual Blades,...


For
the latest installment of Ten Ton Hammer’s weekly review
of the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/co" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">Champions Online
power sets, we spoke with Bill Roper about the
title’s martial arts themed power sets; Dual Blades, Single
Blade, Fighting Claws and Unarmed. Each of these sets will provide some
interesting options for those of you looking to get into some
fast-paced martial combat, so read on to learn all the details!



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Ten
Ton Hammer: What can you tell our readers about the martial arts power
sets, which includes dual blades, single blade, fighting claws, and
unarmed?




Bill
Roper
: The martial arts are a
particularly fun and active set of powers, and there’s a lot
that goes into them. One of the things that all the martial art school
share is this concept of “momentum.” This helps you
build out a sort of mixed martial arts character, because all the
secondary effects of these power sets generate energy. Although
we’re still finalizing all the text for these power set
descriptions, I like to describe it as basically as you’re
fighting these monsters you’re adding an effect onto the
attack that is a “momentum counter” and the more of
those you build up, the more additional energy you generate.



So the idea is that the more you attack and the more different attack
types you use against your enemies, the more energy you generate. The
martial arts schools are all designed around being very active. The
more you do, the more you benefit from this secondary stuff.



Ten
Ton Hammer: What kind of attacks can we expect from each set?




Roper:
The unarmed power set is really set up to do single target attacks that
are very powerful. It also does crushing damage, if players are
interested in specific damage types.



The claws are using slashing damage, and they have some specific powers
in this particular set that are interesting, such as Viper’s
Fang. Basically, when you do the Viper’s Fang attack three
times in a row, you actually do toxic damage over time. A lot of the
claw attacks are built to be doing these chains of attacks on single
targets. It’s really a back-and-forth sort of combat with the
claws.



Because, if you’re not getting momentum to happen, you always
have to go back to that energy builder, but the good thing about the
martial arts is that if you’re focusing your advantages
towards building that momentum, you can do more of those
“alpha strikes” against the enemy and hurt them
more.



Ten
Ton Hammer: Do any of the other power sets have these “chain
attacks?”




Roper:
Single blade tends to work this way as well. There’s the
normal energy builder powers, and then there’s a power called
Reaper’s Caress, which is a sweeping attack. If you do that
attack three times in a row, it applies a bleed to the target. Bleed is
basically slashing damage over time – a physical DoT. That
one doesn’t do as much damage to a single target, but it does
damage more enemies in an arc in front of you.



And there are more powers that work off of these damage types, like
“bleed” and “toxic” as well.
We’ve gone through the core mechanics and added in a sort of
“class” of damage or ability – like the
bleed – in other power sets.



So for example, we can use fear or bleed or momentum and use those
where we want to. You can then look through all the powers and
enhancements and figure out things that might have some good synergy
with your bleed martial art powers.


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Ten
Ton Hammer: And what about dual blades?




Roper:
Dual blades basically starts with you being able to damage multiple
enemies in front of you. You’re doing less damage to a single
target, but we’re letting you do that group damage all the
time. You’re then basically trying to generate as much energy
as you can, because you want to do the bigger strikes as soon as
possible due to the smaller amount of damage you’re doing to
each target.



Ten
Ton Hammer: With dual blades, is the damage divided among your
opponents, so if you attack a single target you’ll be doing
more damage than if you attack multiple targets?




Roper:
If you’re only hitting one target, you’ll be doing
more damage than if you hit multiple targets, but not as much as if you
were using an unarmed attack power.



If you had a single attack power that did thirty points of damage; if
you were using a dual blade attack on three targets, you’d
probably be doing 10-12 points of damage per target, but
you’d only do 20-22 points on that single target. Those
numbers are just ones that I tossed out, so players shouldn’t
take those percentages as the baseline truth. *laughs*



So I’m not doing thirty basic points, but I’m also
not just doing a third of the damage either.



Ten
Ton Hammer: You talked about focuses recently. What are these
“focuses?” Is it like switching stances between the
martial arts?




Roper:
Sort of. It’s a slowly generating power that you use to gain
some bonuses. Think of it as focusing your “chi” in
a particular area. That focus then gives you benefits to all the powers
in a particular power set once it gets powered up, but it also gives
you some basic bonuses as well that you can use in any of the martial
arts power sets.



If I was to make an unarmed and single blade character, I may want to
take both focus powers and kinda “stance dance”
between those two. Or, as a player, you could look at it and think that
unarmed martial arts focus is more defensive in nature, so you might
just want to always keep that one on.



So maybe I’m coming in with the unarmed attacks, and then
I’m doing a couple sweeping strikes with my blade, but
I’m constantly working on the unarmed focus because I want
those better defenses.



Ten
Ton Hammer: So you’re getting the bonus to defense even if
you’re using other powers besides the unarmed attacks?




Roper:
That’s correct. There’s just a regular bonus that
you just *get* and then other bonuses you get if using the powers from
that power set.



Ten
Ton Hammer: And momentum is really the overarching secondary ability
that comes up with martial arts?




Roper:
Right, and we really wanted it to be that way so players could use
multiple martial arts abilities in their character.



I mean, there are a couple different secondary DoTs you get in some of
the powers, but that’s just another sort of power ability.


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Ten
Ton Hammer: In a previous interview, we talked about the ego weapon
that telekinetic power set characters can wield. Those weapons
can’t be applied to dual blades or single blade, can they?
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Roper:
You can’t have those. It’s just a telekinesis power
ability. You might be able to find some other types of blades you can
use that are basically “ego blades” but there
isn’t a way now to use ego blades to attack your enemies with
martial arts.



That is a neat idea though. We may have to look into that.



The cool thing about the power generating system that we use is that
it’s really powerful and lets us do a lot of crazy things
with our powers. We’ll talk about stuff, and then ask
“can we do that?”



And the answer is usually “yes” but then we have to
figure out how to actually achieve that goal. I think the ego blade
concept is definitely possible, but I have no idea how they’d
actually do it.



Ten
Ton Hammer: I was looking over the “big picture’
with Champions Online the other day, and essentially at your end level
players can have fourteen active powers. With that in mind, how
critical is it to stay within a power set at those later levels? It
seems like there are a lot of synergies, how much power is lost if you
don’t get those synergies?
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Roper:
That’s the beauty of the system, as I think it really depends
on the player. I’ve seen mixed power sets that are really
good. The focused ones are very functional and very fun, but they
don’t delve into the nuts and bolts.



The people that get into that and really find the synergies are going
to be those players that find the really powerful builds.



The late game synergies tend to be other ways to build up endurance.
I’ve built up a few characters, and if you find different
ways to build up endurance in each of those characters, it works out
okay. It’s not like there’s only one way to build a
character and you need to do it that way.



I think our game really rewards the sort of creativity that players can
find. I mean, you might make a single blade and munitions character,
and those would work really well together because both of those power
sets have bleed functions in them.



You can do that in other power sets as well with different abilities.



For the people that want to delve into it, there are lots of
“sliders” and “knobs” that they
can twist and tweak.



Ten
Ton Hammer: Is energy the big resource that everyone is trying to
manage at later levels? Obviously it’s the single resource
everyone is drawing their powers from. Are those the players that are
going to succeed; those that have good energy building and pool
capacity?
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Roper:
I think in most games you can ask the same question. Is having a lot of
mana important for a spellcaster?



Ten
Ton Hammer: It can be…




Roper:
It’s what powers your character. Is it going to be hugely
important for your character to have a lot of it?



It depends on the character. That’s the cool thing about our
system. You don’t have to necessarily pick one way to manage
your energy. You might have really high endurance for a large pool or
just generate energy quickly so you can do a lot of attacks.



Ten
Ton Hammer: Thanks again for your time, Bill!
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