In a world of guns, atomic blasters, telekinetic blows and eye lasers, the superhero who relies on getting up close and personal with fists or weapons becomes the underdog. Ever since launch, melee heroes in Champions Online
have struggled with the disadvantage -- perceived or real -- of having to close the gap to an enemy and wail away, as well as generally feeling Superman-levels of powerful while doing it.
Enter Matt "Akinos" Danuser, who jumps on the stage for the latest Champions Dev Diary
. Six months after launch
, Matt and the team spent a lot of time reworking the melee power set, with the simple yet encouraging motto of "Make it fun, make it competitive, and make it fun."
The first step to boosting the fun factor of melee users was to enable energy and threat generation from a distance -- as far as 50 feet away! This will help meleers to build up enough steam for an impressive alpha strike, as well as get a mob's attention on them as they close the gap. Other improvements include charges not locking your character down, streamlined lunges and shortening some of the longer charge times.
The goodies keep on coming, don't you worry. Matt happily shares the news that Champions
is going to be introducing a "Brawler Role" alongside the other roles in the game, which should boost offense without losing HP.
Martial Arts users are also in for a treat or two. They'll be the recipients of a new offensive passive called "Way of the Enlightened Warrior" which increases melee damage, increases dodge and avoidance, and generates a bit of energy when an enemy dodges an attack. Martial artists will also get the enhanced blocking "Parry" skill, which returns some of the attacker's damage back to them.
Matt ended on a bittersweet note, saying that a necessary nerf to "Bountiful Chi Resurgence" happened when they found that the power wasn't working as intended. Such is life, fair heroes, but we doubt that will keep fist-swinging champions from keeping our world safe.