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MMORPG | Setting:Super-Hero | Status:Final  (rel 09/01/09)  | Pub:Atari
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Massive Melee Changes Revealed

Posted by Michael Bitton on Apr 02, 2010  | Comments

Massive Melee Changes Revealed -

Melee players in Champions Online have been eagerly awaiting details on the previously announced melee review that has been in development, and this latest dev diary from powers designer Matt "Akinos" Danuser spills the beans on Cryptic Studios' plans for Champions Online's currently underwhelming melee experience.

The changes announced are pretty substantial, read below for some basic highlights:

Melee energy builders will now build energy and threat (but not deal damage) from up to 50 feet away. Why did we do this? A few reasons:

  • Simplify energy generation for all players. All players will generate energy within 50 feet of each other. This helps establish a more solid base to work with for overall game balance.
  • The Alpha Strike. Being unable to build energy until you are already engaged in combat was an additional layer of “disadvantage” for melee characters. We wanted to mitigate that.
  • The struggle to gain energy in our highly mobile game environment was just not fun.
The energy gain will be about as far below Ranged EPS (energy per second) as Ranged EPS is below Melee EPS, but all melee characters will have access to constant energy from within 50 feet of any enemy.

One of the issues that came up time and time again in playtests was the frustration with charge powers. We took several steps to alleviate these frustrations:

  • Any melee charge power that locked your character down no longer does so. Freedom!
  • Shortened some of the longer max charge times.
  • The melee range increase, as mentioned before, will help you connect your charge attacks.

And last but not least, deserving of its own set up of bullet points:

  • A “missed” charge attack will no longer cost you energy or trigger cooldowns.

These few changes alone should address a majority of players' basic concerns with melee gameplay in Champions Online, but wait, there's more!

Players will be able to reach the STR-based melee damage bonus cap easier than before, as the value required has been reduced from 100 to 70.

A new "Brawler" role has also been added specifically for melee focused characters. The Brawler role is essentially a Melee DPS role, and the Avenger role has been altered to be a Ranged DPS role, this may upset some players who mix ranged attacks with players.

Brawler will give a bonus to melee damage while lowering ranged damage, adds snares to single target melee attacks, increases energy decay, disallows energy gain through blocking, reduces energy costs of powers, and increases energy generation. Brawler has no HP penalty.

The revised Avenger role will do the opposite, increasing ranged damage at the cost of melee damage, but will also see its HP penalty lowered substantially.

Lunges will also be revamped as part of the melee review. As a result, Mighty Leap will no longer require a charge, will have its cooldown reduced to three seconds, will stun the target if performed more than 10 feet of the target, and will now have a -travel advantage.

Thunderbolt Lunge will lose its backflip away function (sadface!) and also lose its knockback on crit. However, Thunderbolt Lunge will now root targets, and the cooldown has been reduced to three seconds.

A new Offensive passive called "Way of the Enlightened Warrior" will also be introduced to the martial arts set. "Way" can be slotted into an Offensive or Balanced slot, buffs all melee damage (scales off STR and DEX), increases dodge and avoidance (scales off DEX), and generates some energy when your opponent dodges your attacks.

And yet, there's more! Martial Arts will also get a new Block power called Parry. Parry will allow players to reflect (the damage) of one attack back at his attacker for the first two seconds of the Parry, the damage reflection can only trigger once every six seconds.

Not everything is rays of sunshine as a result of the melee review, however. Bountilful Chi Resurgance will see some substantial nerfs. I haven't played Champions Online in awhile, but last I played BCR was useless anyways. For the curious, below are highlights of BCR's changes:

Bountiful Chi Resurgence:

  • Cost increased.
  • Healing reduced.
  • Base damage reduction reduced to 10%.

Bountiful Chi Resurgence: Resurgent Reiki:

  • Old version removed. Advantage now provides additional ticks of healing whenever you dodge.

Read the full dev diary here for additional details.

Are you happy with Cryptic's plans to address melee changes? Do you feel like your feedback was adequately addressed? Let us know in the comments below!

[Thanks Christopher8 for the tip!]

Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB
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