Champions Online has
barely been out a month, but that doesnt mean Cryptic is resting
on its laurels. Due out at the end of October, the Blood Moon
free content update is going to bring with it a whole bunch of Halloween
themed content, but more importantly for the alt-a-holics the Blood
Moon update is bringing an all new power set: Celestial. Itll
be a first for Champions an entire power set geared towards support
and healing. But in a game that insists on player freedom and
solo viability, how will the Cryptic staff balance the set so that it
can be viable for both group and solo play? Lets take a look
at some of the powers we know about already.
The energy builder of the set, Radiance is the first skill players will
use that serves a dual purpose. If you target an enemy, it does
damage like any normal energy builder. But if you target an ally,
it heals them. The only thing you have to pay attention to is
whether or not your ally needs healing, because Radiance will only build
energy when targeting an ally that needs to be healed.
As the first tier attack in the set, this behaves similarly to Radiance.
If you target an enemy, it does damage. If you target an ally,
it heals them. This sort of dual-purpose is applied to many of
the sets skills. What is interesting is that you dont have
to delve very far into the Celestial set to reach the first healing
abilities. This means that even players who are just looking to
add a little support role to their existing powers can pick something
like Rebuke to add to their repertoire.
Illumination is not just a good song by Gogol Bordello (look them up!)
but also a major HoT in the Celestial set. Like the previous three
powers, it serves a dual-purpose. You can target an enemy with
this buff/debuff of sorts and when any ally attacks that target,
said ally will receive the Mend buff, healing them over time.
On the other side of the fence, if you target an ally the Illumination
buff lasts for 30 minutes and whenever that ally is attacked theyll
receive Mend and be healed over time. The real trick comes with
the Advantage Brilliance, which turns Illumination into a toggle
AoE HoT that affects targets within 25 feet around you.
I grouped these two together, because as was recently illustrated in
a developer diary, many powers in Champions Online are designed to share
benefits in a way that may not be easily discerned. The synergy
between Conviction and Iniquity is one of the many ways players will
be able to use powers in a very effective combination. Conviction
is a self-buff that temporarily increases your maximum health.
When used in combination with Iniquity, which transfers your health
to the targeted ally, you negate the damage from the health transfer
due to the raised total health provided by Conviction. Its
a pretty spiffy way to keep your friends alive and ticking.
Throw in some more requisite healer-archetype
powers like a resurrection skill (the recently announced Redemption),
and you have the makings of a very efficient support role in a game
that is pretty much classless. But one things for sure after
several weeks of live play: the power set is needed. Right now
players are improvising quite a bit to build characters that fit the
support role. But with the Celestial set, theres no need.
As much as Champions deviates from the average holy-trinity setup of
most MMOGs, its become noticeable that players like to fill
that support role. And the Celestial power set will give them
just that option. Heck, my werewolf-esque hero might just delve
into the set a little himself.
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