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Posted: Nov 11th 2011 10:02AM epilepticemu said

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Wow thanks for this great write-up! I've been wanting to give this game a shot, and I'd want to try it with fully-viable free builds rather than having to create a viable tank without much knowledge of the game. If I do start this game with my husband, what support pre-made character would you recommend to go with the Master?

Thanks!

Posted: Nov 11th 2011 10:15AM Lenn said

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@epilepticemu The Mind would be a good one. The Celestial powerset is the ideal healing set, but I'm not sure if that's a buyable archetype yet.
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Posted: Nov 12th 2011 12:02AM Patrick Mackey said

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@epilepticemu

The Mind would be the best. Even if they made a Celestial archetype, it would not be anywhere near as good as the Mind. The Mind raises the Master's defense, which is a critical weakness for him since dodging can be kind of fluky. The Mind also protects the Master with her AoRP very early on, and helps a lot with early game AoE damage. They're a match made in heaven.

Another decent choice would be the Impulse, who can protect the Master with Protection Field and Inertial Dampening Field. The Impulse can deal more damage than the Mind and also deals more up-front. He is a gold archetype though, so you'd have to pay for the Impulse and the Master and IMHO the Mind is a better choice.

My third choice would be the Grimoire, who is a good team support character as well, but I don't think the Grimoire's mostly stationary playstyle fits well with the Master. His AoPM is alright for raising the Master's energy management and damage and he heals as well.

Again, a Celestial archetype only helps in that it would be able to heal at level 1. It doesn't exist, but if it did, it would likely have terrible power choices and Seraphim doesn't cover any of the Master's weaknesses.
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Posted: Nov 12th 2011 12:03AM Patrick Mackey said

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@epilepticemu

Oh, also, this is important: The Master is a one-time C-Store purchase. He isn't free, but you don't have to subscribe to play him. If you're interested in a tanky playstyle, he is really the only choice though.
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Posted: Nov 11th 2011 12:30PM Anatidae said

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I always appreciate your Champions articles.

I wish this game had more.... "something". It is that same something that almost every MMO lacks though. I like to think of it as "what's the point?"

You know. It is super fun to create a hero. Very fun to try out new powers. And quests are fun at first too. But after a couple of months, it all feels like extreme repetition. I suppose you could just focus on PvP matches and there is more RP in Champtions (And CoH) than most MMOs, but the game world offers little extra.

I don't have an answer myself. Maybe it would have been cool to have villains and there could be somewhat of a faction battle where villains and heroes can claim parts of the zones through battle and questing. So your actions actually change things around you. Something like that would entice me far more to boot up Champions more often than I do now.

Actually, the only reason I follow Champions is that I have a lifetime subscription and I keep hoping that it might pay out big one day when Crypic figures out some cool end game or meta game within Champions to give it that compelling element - to make me feel like my actions mean something in this world.

Posted: Nov 12th 2011 12:08AM Patrick Mackey said

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@Anatidae

I find myself in the same rut a lot of the time, to be honest. I wanted to answer this because I think that CO does a lot right, and the RP community is great. I kind of play in spurts, when I find some new area of the game to explore I tend to play a lot, then kind of fall off when I get bored.

I think a lot of it has to do with the lack of overall challenge and rewards for the endgame. They've said that they want to add more meaningful endgame stuff, and they've done a bit to improve PvP rewards (yay!) which dramatically increases my desire to PvP. They're also working on adding more breadth of content with Whiteout, Alerts, and new Nemesis options.

One of the problems with CO is that the leveling treadmill gets old on your fourth or fifth level 40 character.
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Posted: Nov 11th 2011 4:46PM deadborder said

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A Tank archetype that not only doesn't suck but actually is a passable tank? It's only been, what, six months since F2P launched? More?

Of course, the non-suck Tank is, naturally, a premium archetype. Cryptic have really done a good job in making the base Silver ones terribad as an "encouragement" to upgrade

Posted: Nov 12th 2011 2:32AM Patrick Mackey said

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@deadborder This is not really true. The free tank archetypes are simply not tanks, they're offtanks or tough damage dealers. They're okay, they're just not tanks.

Of the gold archetypes, the only one that is really better than the free ones is the Master. Even then, he is not as good a tank as the Mind is a support.

As far as gold archetypes go:

Tempest and Void are equivalent or worse than Inferno at raw damage. Tempest kills AoE a little better, Void has lifedrain for self-sustenance.

Impulse is unique, but he's not particularly great or impressive.

The Disciple is better at melee DPS than the Blade, but is a little less durable. The Fist is outright worse than the Blade, although I guess his AoE is a little better. The Devastator is about on par with the Blade. None of them are as good as the Inferno at raw damage, although the Disciple does more to single targets.

The Inventor is a decent support, but he is outstripped by the Mind and Grimoire in terms of damage. His healing is worse than either archetype and he gives no team buffs.

The Savage is the only sustainable melee other than the Master (who has a strong ranged attack), but is not a tank. As a tanky DPS, he is not as good as the Behemoth or Glacier, but is easier to play.

The Specialist is horrible.

All in all, the gold archetypes are just different, rather than better. The Disciple and Master are the ones really worth considering for gameplay reasons. The rest are only cool if you like the concepts or want a certain type of advantage, such as the Inventor's pets.

Again, the Mind (which is free) dramatically outstrips the gold archetypes, including the Master in terms of soloability and team contribution.
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