The Effective Champion

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Postby Angerthegods » Jun 10, 2017 08:27

I've played Champion in daoc beta, live, Uthgard 1.0, and Genesis. I love this class. It is underplayed, underestimated, and not well liked by realm mates and realm enemies alike.

Some people are drawn to that sort. To the underdog. The effective Champion is not an underdog. It is a killing machine that is covered in myths and facts that it stays buried under.

Some facts.

Fact 1. Champions destroy melee.

Champions are the single most powerful class in the game against Berserkers. They can disrupt and cripple most melee opponents several realm ranks higher than them instantly, while beating on a healer or caster, and are designed to break Berserkers in a fight. Anyone who's ever sat at AMG late night and had realm duels will see this from a Champion. They're just not fun to fight in melee, and it's why they're 'Champions'. They tend to dominate a fight, and are especially good against stealthers for this reason compared to other fighters.

Fact 2. Champions frontload.

They burst you down quickly, or cripple you and disable your offense. This is not a Blademaster's DPS, putting out consistent solid numbers over the course of a fight. Champions pick a target, DD, Snare, Str/Con Debuff, Slam, LW Sidestyle for a frontloaded 1k+ damage in ~2 seconds, and people die. They need LW, and are very, very good at getting killspam because of this frontload.

Fact 3. Strength matters.

100 Troll strength is relevant when they put 18 additional points into it, and you pick a 40 strength Lurikeen and go 10, 10, 10 at creation.

Stop that.

People will not group a Lurikeen Champion like they will not group a Celt Nightshade (were it possible). There is already realm bias against grouping your class, and added bias against your race will double your loneliness unless you intend to play it for fun exclusively - Or ...

Fact 4. Gold matters.

If you already have a friend, a guild, or a main character that can fund your Champion with gold you will have much, much, more fun playing this class from 1 - 50 and beyond. Champions are golddiggers and effectively outfitting them will bankrupt you because you cannot [afford] to be wearing garbage or fighting like garbage. Due to low condition, low con, untemplated equipment, the results are people confirming their whining that you are useless and 'other class here' would be better, and you will not have the option to solo the oranges you should be able to kill when you can't find groups.

Some myths.

Myth 1. A Fighter mage.

Starting this game as a new player who has never tried it, thinking 'Magic, and melee! I love fighter mage!' will end horribly. Horribly. This is not the Paladin or Thane equivalent fighter mages of the other realms, it is not quick or easy, with colorful group chants, or flashy thunderbolt spam demonstrating your addition to the group. You specifically use magic to cripple, disable, and disrupt your unfortunate target, and for 50 levels those red and purple enemies resist everything you cast. This class is designed to kill players, and is not meant for sustained PvE.

Myth 2. Champions suck they have no [Det]ermination RA.

The reality is that once you start killing, and people notice, you could be a Firbolg Valewalker, 'grab that guy, he's good' becomes the narrative. If you are a Lurikeen Champ in shiny epic armor and your name is Shieldspec McFTW with no gold and no buddies it will not be. A tank's job is not to be immune to mez. It's to know when to peel for the healers and demezzers, so you and the casters can get rolling on the enemy support classes when you have an opening to assist and kill one. A group gives up determination for heavy magic and melee peeling and disrupt, and frontloaded damage with a Champion.

A Champion peels without needing to hit a target at all by crippling damage dealers with debuffs. One red haste debuff with Warden PBT makes disrupting without melee assisting very difficult. With Wild Arcana you can debuff damage dealers into the base buffs and make them useless, and by 20 seconds have 2 damage dealers fully debuffed for 60 seconds each. If a group is doing its job, you will need Purge, not Determination. If it's not doing that job effectively you will die to a group that does it better, and it has nothing to do with whether or not your determination made your group less terrible.

Myth 3. Champions are a solo class

I enjoy soloing late at night. But a Champion out of it's 3 options (Solo, Duo/Trio 'smallman', 8v8 group) is not at its best as a solo class. You have no self endurance, no self speed, and no self healing. You have no effective escape, no sustain, and must all in to kill. You will release often, cannot pick your fights, and can't deal with mez and root (or stun) at the same time. Everything you cast takes endurance and power. What you have is a single target frontloaded damage output that kills people, that makes it look like it's meant to solo. This is not the case.

It is fun endgame for entertainment but it is not what the class is meant for. It would have recieved the endurance chant along with Warden, who actually does have several solo tools built into the class. A Champion is not a Warden, Skald, Theurgist, Runemaster or invisible class with tools to compete, but if you bring the fight to one, you die. That doesn't make you a solo class; its for the same reason Berserkers don't solo. For all that damage they're much, much deadlier in a group when others around them are distracted.

Myth 4. Play what you love, just have fun

I like, and ran Elf Champion, with 15 strength at creation. You can have fun, and bend, around a working plan, but Champion just does not have the room to relax that a afk naked bard running endo, 10 levels lower then the group does. Equipment and spec become much more narrow in what you need to have.

This is a Champion;

There are people in your realm who won't like you. People you haven't met already don't like you. People you will kill, won't like you, and will run out of the PK furious that they died to you. They will make slit-throat emotes from a safe distance, then die again. If you want to be effective (you are not playing for entertainment alone and want to be involved like any other class in groups and the community), doing what you love and just having fun will not get you what you want. It's one or the other, Shieldspec McFTW has fun but spends a lot more time solo releasing to the PK. This class is a hit-man meant to take targets out and this can only be done seriously with intent to kill [players].
Last edited by Angerthegods on Jun 15, 2017 04:24, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Grignr » Jun 11, 2017 13:08

Well crap, now you've got me interested. What are your opinions on leveling spec if you can get together good equipment and a full respec stone at 50?

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Postby Telcontar » Jun 12, 2017 16:43

As a champ, I agree with all of this :D
Realm points for door repairs, that's all I want!

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Postby Windwalker » Jun 13, 2017 10:43

I agree on all of this -when it comes to end-game.
Leveling to 50 is a mess tho...

1)Groups don't want you because "you are not as great tank as a Hero" or "as damaging as a BM" (which I also consider incorrect, since your pulling capability is unique in this role)

2)Most importantly, solo exp is way too slow, having to DD pull, slow (to gain time for another DD in the process), debuff, do style 1, MAYBE style 2, 2nd DD and -you're out of endu!
WTH! I just did 2 styles why am I out of endu??? Anyway, you mostly finish the fight with auto-hits, but the downtime to get that endu back is punishing.
Your HP bar is full, your power maybe at half, but your endu depleted.
You are made painfully aware that you need to group for the end regen and constant kills.

You're back to point 1...........

Maybe there are ways to play a Champion effectively after a point, but the class sure needs love from both the dev team and the players alike.

a) Endurance should be disengaged from casting spells, or the endu regen chant should be granted too.
b) Players should trust Champs a bit more, they can handle some situations better. Like for instance when adds happen and the grp gets wiped because the hero or BM has to manually hit each and every one of them to grab aggro. Or when a strong mob could be made easier kill by debuffing it.

Many classes have a distinct and immediate benefit to the group. Like heals, buffs or AOEs. Champ is not 1 of those classes.
He just does his job right and there's something dependable on that.

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Postby OGCFTW » Jun 13, 2017 19:36

I too love the idea of champs. It's been forever, but I was wondering how the Large Weapon/single hand damage is calculated.

If I recall correctly, your "base" spec in blade/pierce/blunt has a totally separate and unrelated damage/weaponskill calculation and your large weapon spec has its own calculations, correct?

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Postby Angerthegods » Jun 14, 2017 08:52

@Grignir: The most consistent route is hybrid spec. Leveling Valor at level to 40 and the rest in 1H several points above Shield (40/60, or 30/70), skipping parry and LW until after 40. Shield + Scale Armor convinces group leaders that you are useful, and makes an easy grouping point when their only other option is Studded Blademaster or Hero. You're also a stable chain puller with your DD shout, saving debuffs to peel if adds get out of control. People always want reds and purples chain pulled and Shield + Scale + Shout makes that happen.

Final Hybrid Spec on a Champion if you go the standard Slam route is to respec 1H with the free respec at 40. Minidings in shield until 42, Valor at level, LW to 39, and rest 1H so templated LW is 39+11 at 50. Then you have 1H with enough weaponskill to land taunt and reliably switch 2H > 1H if you need to. Sidestyle 2H, Tank 1H, Slam/Debuff adds, is a no-fail cookiecutter.

@Telcontar: I have read your posts during Uthgard 1.0 many times. The Champion road is hard but its too fun being a magical 2-handed enforcer. Just too much fun.

@Windwalker: I have learned to use Valor at level with 1H a few points ahead of Shield to group and solo consistently. Shield is always reliable and just gets better, and LW early on, especially with no gold, DEVOURS endurance, for no reason at all. You also get hit more with LW in the first levels causing more downtime, and it makes the debuffs constantly resisting early level an insult added to injury.

This is correct. Both are separate in Hibernia. In Albion 1H influences 2H damage. In Midgard 1H and 2H is shared. In Hibernia LW has it's own damage calculation table independent from 1H.


There are a couple other things I want to stop like 'Champions are a solo class', and more things that make this class sound like something it's not. I'll add it soon.

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Postby Jerrian » Jun 18, 2017 12:04

Nice post and it summs the champion situation very well.
I played a Champ at Uth1 and I really liked it, but you come to the point in rvr where ppl start to blame you because their group died and it ´s always easier to say the group setup wasn ´t perfect because of the CC victim aka Champion. I had fights without doing a single hit cause of very well placed CC on me,- ok when enemies have time to plan exactly their cc on you , something is going wrong in your whole grp because your grp sucks and misses their rupt on enemies, but at the end you will be always blamed for not having determination.

On the other hand, there are close fights where every single details counts and having a tank in group that is some seconds too long out of a fight because of CC, weakens your offence power what weakend the pressure you can do on an enemy group and without pressure your grp can´ t kill and is getting killed.
So the arguments against champs are quite valid and it ´s a simple fact, that daoc players try to get the best setups for rvr. So champion is not first pick for the primetime 8er grps but it ´s good for duo with bard or smallman groups. But duo and smallman is not easy to play here.
Anyway, like said it ´s a hard route as a champion and you need players and a guild that support you.

-Champion has a nice synergy when duo with a bard

-Champion is great for duels, but with missing speed it ´s hard to get any good 1vs1 duels.

-PVE farming groups will prefer hero as shield tank over champ also rvr groups who ´ll fill a slot for peeling will not take a champ normally and talking about DPs,- ppl prefer blademasters over champs.

- solo PVE is possible but classes like warden and valewalker are better desgined for it, warden does lower damage but can chain and has the ability to heal and reg endu,
Valewalker is cheaper to equip and has better reactive styles that even outdamage a champion, also the defence is quite better as long as you play a shield champ but a shield champ does not deal much damage so the kill speed ratio may be similar to a warden but warden still has more Utility with speed and chants and less downtime compared to a champ.

It ´s still a nice and interesting class but to be serious, it ´s the wrong class on this server with this setting to pick for 99% of the players.
As leveling is hell here and you will be alone very often,- you´ll be disappointed at the end what you ´ll receive after taken all this effort you invested in this toon and it ´s even harder to get set in groups in endgame.
If you plan champ to play endgame in 8er grps this class is probably not a good choice for you.

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Postby Requin » Jun 20, 2017 08:39

People don't pick you in a group because they are all jealous:

"Damn this guy has a lvl 50 ELF CHAMPION ! Grrrr. I wanted one too, but i decided not to cause nobody would pick me for RvR, so we should not group him otherwise it means I should have made a Champion too..."

"Man this guy looks like a Samurai! All I ever wanted..."

"Pff Champion is a hero without det, and on top of that he is Elf, what a clueless guy! *Deep Inside I freaking hate him for having more courage than me*"
:lol: :lol: :hammer:
Reminder to Self: Quality over Quantity, what is the Value here?

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Postby Angerthegods » Jun 21, 2017 19:53

Measuring a Champion's effectivess in a group that is designed to fail (all pickup groups/PUGS) won't work. If you read it you'll notice that having friends and relationships and gold, ahead of time, is strongly advised. If this type of group is what you play with or 'all you can get' those tend to be the results regardless of class. They blame, they fail, they wipe twice and disband, and they find someone to blame whether or not a Champion is in it.

A Champion should avoid all pick up groups, it's an advanced class in a team of randoms. Get friends who know what you will deliver and know their roles well enough to play at their best instead of blame you when they play their worst.


Spoken like a true Alb. How are your reavers doing, all 2 of them. On Genesis they refused to group Paladins because they had no det and would rather run endo pots. I think Uthgard is a little ahead of that.

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