Champions Online Power Set Interview: Power Armor and Might

Along with all of our awesome content from this last weekend’s Champions Online PvP event, the staff at Ten Ton Hammer is proud to present our last little segment on the power sets in CO....
Along with all of our awesome content from this last weekend’s Champions Online PvP event, the staff at Ten Ton Hammer is proud to present our last little segment on the power sets in CO. Reuben “Sardu” Waters sat down with Bill Roper to discuss the Power Armor and Might power sets. There’s definitely some intriguing options in both of these sets, so make sure you check ‘em out!

Ten Ton Hammer: We’re on to our last combination of power sets, which happens to be Might and Power Armor. Could you give us a brief overview on these powers?

Bill Roper: They’re certainly two diverse powers, but if you could draw a line between the two sets it would be that they’re both all about delivering the “big punch.”

The Might power set is built around the classic big brawler, melee combat super hero. They definitely have a lot of “big impact” hits. One of the cool things about the set is the ability to “knockdown” or “stun” your opponents while you’re punching. That’s kind of your biggest advantage with the power set.

Obviously people that pick the Might power set are going to be in the middle of melee, drawing aggro, and acting as a really functional tank sort of class. People that take the might power set will be focusing on strength and endurance; they want to do more damage and have more knockback with the abilities that have knockback potential.

It’s kind of a cool set, because when you’re actually using your powers – depending on which powers you’re using – you’re either knocking enemies down and stunning them in place or clearing enemies away from you with big knockback attacks.

Another cool feature of the Might power set – and you don’t necessarily have to do this – is the fact that strength is a major component of the set, and when you boost this stat it allows you to pick up bigger and bigger objects in the world and environment. It’s a nice added range component to the power set. You start by picking up mailboxes and benches and things like that, but then you start being able to pick up pieces of rubble and cars and even up to things like tanks and even larger objects in the world.

Ten Ton Hammer: Is that ability inherent to the Might power set? Or is that something that anyone with strength can do?

Roper: There’s actually a power in the Might set called “Hurl” which actually allows you to pick up and throw chunks of the ground. But it’s actually strength that allows you to pick up stuff in the world. The higher your strength, the larger the objects are that you can pick up.

Ten Ton Hammer: And what about Power Armor?

Roper: Power Armor is designed to have big impact attacks, but in a way that those are controlled through cool downs based on where the power is focused from. For example, when you get the first powers in the set, you have wrist blasters and eye beams. There’s a series of attacks in the power set that emanate from the hands, and then there’s a series of attacks that emanates from the eyes. Finally, there’s a series of attacks that emanates from the chest.

All of those attacks are on individual timers, so basically the mechanic there is to rotate those powers and when you’re using them. This makes it interesting, because you might have three different types of eyebeams that you’re using. It’s a bit more strategic way to play.

It’s all about Power Armor having that really big punch. There are also some really heavy Power Armor selections that make the set great for tanking. It also has its own tech shield, so that when you block there’s this digital projected shield look that comes up in front of your character.

Ten Ton Hammer: Last month on the official site you showcased “developer favorites” and you mentioned that Power Armor was your favorite because it plays differently than all the other sets. What type of differences set it apart?

Roper: The really big difference is obviously the mechanic we talked about earlier and the effects of those cool downs. I always feel like I’m making slightly more strategic decisions with Power Armor, especially when we typically have that fast-pace, action-style of combat that we use. It’s not like I’m going “boom, boom, boom” and I’ve used three different abilities. Instead I’m going through my powers and specifically picking them for their varying effects. They’re very situational, because my powers might all be on the same timer.

Plus I think Power Armor has some really neat effects animations, like when you’re firing your shoulder rockets and *schwing* a little rocket comes up that blasts out at your enemy. It’s got a lot of mechanical effects with it that happen when you’re using your various powers – like a gattling gun that pops up – and I really enjoy watching those.  

And who doesn’t like making a cool Power Armor guy? I want to have my big giant mecha looking dude to run around with. It’s pretty fun.

Ten Ton Hammer: What about setting different emanation points? Is that something you can do within the power set?

Roper: The Power Armor set does *not* let you play around with the emanation points, because they’re built into the mechanics. We had talked about allowing players to do that and keeping certain powers on the same timer, but then it just got kinda confusing. Having them emanate from other points messed with our descriptions of the actual powers along with the natural thought process players had with those powers.

If we ever add to the power set, we may try to do it that way, but right now you’re not really able to choose emanation points.

Ten Ton Hammer: What about the power replacers? Are either of these sets that would use the power replacer items?

Roper: As far as I know, there aren’t any power replacers for these two sets. Most of the power replacers are for those that have weapons in them and that sort of thing. Swords, guns, and those sorts of things, or some that you can add on to your different techs.

There are some you can use, but I don’t know how much they’d impact what you’re doing. For example, you can get gloves that add fire effects to your hands, and this does add some additional fire damage to your melee punches. This would definitely add to the Might set, because it’s adding on to your natural character.

We could certainly make power replacers for the Power Armor set, different shoulder blasters and chest blasters and that sort of thing. I just don’t believe we’ve actually implemented any of these into the game yet, due to our effort to get shipped.

Ten Ton Hammer: Do you see these two sets as single target sort of abilities? Or can they do AoE damage?

Roper: The both definitely have AoE damage. Might in particular has some good area of effect powers. You definitely have to be within melee range, but you’ll be hitting guys in an arc in front of you or doing a full rotating attack with your avatar as the origination point. We tried to at least add a bit of this into each power set, simply so that players who solo have every chance to succeed in combat.

Power Armor also has plenty of solid area of effect attacks as well. They’re both really strong for soloing. We’re obviously doing a lot of tuning and tweaking right now to make that work. Players always enjoy being at range from their enemies, but Might already does a lot more initial damage than a ranged attacker, so you’ll be taking guys out quicker.

We’re continuing to work on different aspects, like right now you can take your basic attack in the Might set, and if you use it against someone that’s far away from you, you’re basically tagging that enemy and challenging them to come fight you. They’ll come towards you, and you’ll also “tag” them so you’re doing more damage. Some of the melee sets – not all – do that now, and Might was one of them that we targeted.

So now you don’t have to rush in, you can actually challenge a guy to come and fight you. Or – as you get higher up – there are different abilities you can use that allow you to jump into the middle of combat.

Since we’re so close to shipping the product now, we’re basically just focusing on polishing everything up and doing tons and tons of balancing. Might is one of those power sets where we want to make sure that it’s not only great in group combat, but is also a really, really fun set for soloing as well.  

Ten Ton Hammer: Are there advantages built into the Might set that influence the aggro building in the set?

Roper: On all the advantages in the Might set, while not only enhancing your damage output, they tend to jack up your aggro generation as well. I mean, might is all about getting in there and getting people’s attention.

Ten Ton Hammer: What would you say sets Might apart from the Unarmed set?

Roper: I think that the Might set is really focused on bigger damage that happens at a slower pace than the Unarmed set. While you kinda have to build up to stunning with the Unarmed set, you’ll do this with a series of quick attacks rather than one big attack.

You could definitely take the two and have a nice mix of fast burst and big hit powers, and either stun them to set up your Unarmed combo or knock off a flurry of hits to pound them into the ground.

Ten Ton Hammer: Well that’s all the questions we have for you, Bill. We look forward to talking with you again soon!

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