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    Beginner Guide by Saboruto

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 09/03/09 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Greetings and welcome to my Champions Online "New Player Guide"!  The aim of
    this guide is to teach you the basics of CO's unique playstyle and mechanics,
    as well as to ease you into your first visit to Millennium City and the world
    of the Champions.  I will assume for clarity's sake that this isn't your first
    MMORPG and that you're familiar with common terminology, but I'll try my very
    best to explain every concept I touch on so that even players new to the genre
    can find help here.
    The intent of this guide isn't to handhold you through character creation and
    the tutorial but rather to cover some of the more complex and easily missed
    options, challenges and content of the first part of the game.  I'll explain
    new concepts and try to keep this as thorough and as newbie-friendly as
    possible, but I'm going to deliberately avoid spoilers as best I can and I'll
    try to keep the direct tutorial info to a minimum.  Champions Online is a game
    that should be experienced, and I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who's
    going through it for the first time.
    Anyway, that said, welcome to Champions Online and on with the guide!
    This guide is the intellectual property of me, Daniel Jason Dyals.  You are 
    authorized to view this guide and to print it out for personal use only.
    This guide will only be hosted by GameFAQs and its affiliates and any other
    websites I explicitly authorize to host it.  If you wish to host it on your
    website, contact me at the email address at the end of this guide.  You must
    retain this guide in its entirety, including this disclaimer.  If I find this
    guide being hosted on an unauthorized website, I will pursue my legal rights
    to the fullest extent of the law.
    Character Creation
    The first step on your journey to heroism is Character Creation.  This is where
    you'll define the basics of your character as well as your character's
    appearance and costume.
    Your first choice in the Character Creation process is your Framework.
    Frameworks are basic templates of powers and abilities that your hero will use
    throughout the game.  There are many prebuilt Frameworks, or you can elect to
    customize your own Framework.  Each premade Framework is built around a
    particular theme of abilities, and although each has its own particular area of
    specialty each Framework is exceptionally versatile and will serve you in any
    combat role you choose to fill.
    The following is a complete list of prebuilt Frameworks that you can select:
    Electricity - Focuses on area attacks and high-cost high-damage attacks
    Fire - Focuses on large burst damage and damage-over-time attacks
    Force - Focuses on knockback effects and defensive barriers
    Ice - Focuses on snares and area attacks
    Archery - Focuses on ranged attacks and status effects
    Gadgeteering - Focuses on utilitarian pets and support
    Munitions - Focuses on low-cost high-powered damaging attacks
    Power Armor - Focuses on rapid attacks and personal defense
    Dual Blades - Focuses on melee attacks and critical hits
    Fighting Claws - Focuses on bleeds and status effects
    Single Blade - Focuses on high-powered single-target attacks
    Martial Arts - Focuses on melee attacks and dodging
    Telekinesis - Focuses on both melee and ranged attacks
    Telepathy - Focuses on healing, buffing and crowd control
    Might - Focuses on melee attacks and knockback effects
    Darkness - Focuses on debuff attacks and support abilities
    Sorcery - Focuses on utility abilities, pets and area attacks
    Supernatural - Focuses on a variety of attacks and regeneration
    The last option on this screen allows you to design a custom Framework using
    attacks from any set you choose.  This option is intended for those who are
    more experienced with the game and who understand the mechanics behind powers
    and stats, but feel free to experiment!  If you choose this option, you'll be
    presented with a new screen where you can select your basic, energy-building
    attack and your secondary energy-using attack.  Many of these abilities were
    designed to be used in tandem with others from the same Framework.  For
    example, Electric Bolts from the Electricity Framework has a chance to apply
    the debuff "Negative Ions" to the enemy, and later abilities from Electricity
    can exploit this debuff to great effect.  In other words, if you choose a
    Custom Framework, you'll need to carefully consider which powers you'll choose
    and how those powers will work together.
    Your first power selection is your Energy builder.  Different Frameworks offer
    different attacks that can be used as Energy builders.  Energy builders deal
    minimal damage and serve basically as your auto-attack.  Melee-ranged Energy
    builders deal more damage than long-range Energy builders, at the cost of
    forcing you to stay within melee range of your opponents.  None of the Energy
    builders deal much damage, their main purpose is to generate Energy (your blue
    bar) that can be used to power your more damaging attacks.  As you attack with
    your Energy builder, your Energy bar will rapidly fill up, and you can then
    use that Energy for truly damaging attacks and utility powers.  This is what
    creates Champions Online's unique flow of combat, as you weave your Energy
    using powers around your Energy builder.  Your second Custom Framework power
    selection (and all other powers you'll pick up later) will use the Energy that
    your Energy builder generates.  If you chose a premade Framework, your two
    starting attacks would be thematically matched, and in some cases they've been
    designed to work together in a unique way according to the game mechanics (as
    in the Electricity example in the previous paragraph), which is why it's
    helpful to have a strong understanding of the game's rules and mechanics
    before you begin experimenting with Custom Frameworks.
    Once you've selected powers for your Custom Framework you'll be presented with
    a new option to choose an Innate Talent.  Talents augment your base stats, and
    your base stats affect your powers in many ways, which is another reason why
    it's helpful to have a better understanding of the game mechanics before you
    elect to create a Custom Framework.  One helpful tip is to read the
    descriptions of the pre-built Frameworks, which will offer hints at which stats
    are important to the powers within that Framework.  Players who choose a
    pre-built Framework will only need to truly focus on two key base stats, while
    players who build their own Frameworks will often value three or even four
    different stats.
    Gender, Body and Costume
    Once you've chosen the powers and Innate Talent for your Custom Framework or
    have chosen one of the pre-built Frameworks, your next option will be your
    character's gender.  Gender has no direct effect on gameplay.  In the world of
    Champions Online, males and females are equal in every way, so this is purely
    an aesthetic choice.
    Once you've chosen your gender, you'll be given several different preset head
    options which alter the appearance of your character's head and face, or you
    can choose to tweak individual settings by clicking on the Custom Face option.
    The sliders under Custom Face will alter specific areas of your character's
    head, and the results of these changes can be seen on the character preview on
    the right side of the screen.  Play around with these settings or browse the
    premade face options until you find a combination you like.  From this point
    forward, none of the costume and physique choices you make are carved in stone.
    You'll be able to visit a tailor in any zone after the tutorial to alter all of
    the remaining character builder options, so feel free to go crazy.  It's easy
    to change anything you do now if you decide you don't like it later!
    The next group of options will allow you to customize your bodytype, in exactly
    the same way as the previous screen allowed you to alter your face and head.
    Once again, you can choose a preset model or define your own with the sliders
    under Custom Body.
    After you've set your physical parameters, you can now begin designing your
    costume.  The costume creator in Champions Online allows you unrivaled freedom
    in creating a character that is uniquely your own, and you can be certain that
    you'll never meet another character that looks exactly like yours.  You can
    literally spend hours wading through the various options available to you, and
    it's outside the scope of this guide to give an exhaustive list of all the
    options, but I will touch on some of the key points of the costume creator.
    Along the top of the screen are several tabs.  From left to right these are
    the Head, Upper Body, Hands, Lower Body, and Mood & Stance tabs.  As the names
    suggest, these tabs will allow you to alter those parts of your character's
    body and costume.
    Under the first four tabs you'll be presented with an almost overwhelming
    number of options.  The dropdown menu at the top of the screen below the tabs
    will give you choices that completely alter that segment of your body.  For
    example, under the Head tab, the list presents you options such as "Heads &
    Hairs", "Full Masks", "Half Helms", "Monstrous" and several others.  If you
    wanted a character wearing a draping hood, you could find that option under
    the "Hoods" selection.
    Below the dropdown list and to the left are subsections of your chosen tab.
    Under the Head tab you'll find options for "Head Type", "Head Wear",
    "Hairstyle", "Eyes", "Eye Accessory", "Mouth Accessory" and more.  Selecting
    one of those boxes will change the drop down lists presented to the right and
    will allow you to select from any costume pieces and design settings available
    for that part.  Certain options in the left list will present you with a
    "Material Type" drop down list that allows you to select from "Cloth",
    "Leather", and "Metal".  This doesn't actually control the type of material
    that costume part is made of.  Instead, it alters the reflective property of
    that part.  Cloth pieces will have a matte finish.  Leather pieces will have a
    very subtle shine to them.  Metal pieces will be highly reflective.  Feel free
    to experiment with these settings.
    Below the selection boxes and drop down lists are two boxes that control the
    colors of your character's costume, hair, eyes, and other features.  The
    "Shared Colors" box on the left will alter all of parts on your character that
    you have not previously recolored, while the box on the right will change the
    colors of only the costume part you've selected.  The first box under "Shared
    Colors" is your character's skin tone, and the other three boxes represent the
    colors that are used throughout your costume.  It's worth noting that, while
    the Shared Colors box only allows for three colors to be used in your costume,
    you can recolor each individual part separately with the box to the right of
    the Shared Colors box, and later altering the selections in "Shared Colors"
    will not change the pieces you've individually colored.  
    Below the colored boxes are several buttons.  In the "Shared Colors" box are
    three buttons marked "Default", "Shuffle" and "Random".  The Default button
    will reset your color selections to the costume creator's default settings;
    this is helpful if you've made too many changes to your character and have
    become overwhelmed and want to start the coloring process over.  The Shuffle
    button will reorder the colored boxes while keeping the same colors selected;
    basically, this allows you to swap the colors of your parts around without
    having to change each part individually.  For instance, if you really like the
    black and white theme you've used throughout your character but you've decided
    that you'd rather have white be the primary color and black be the accent
    color, you can shuffle the colors until you're satisfied with the results.  All
    of the parts that share a color will change to the new color automatically.
    The last selection, the Random button, will randomize the shared colors your
    costume is using.  You can press this over and over until you find a color
    combination you particularly like.  
    Below the individual costume part's color box are three more buttons.  The
    second and third, "Shuffle" and "Random" work exactly the same as their
    counterparts under Shared Colors, except that they only alter the costume piece
    you're currently working on.  The first button, however, is a toggle button
    named "Link" or "Unlink".  Selecting this button will separate the tab you're
    currently working on from the rest of your costume.  For instance, if you're
    under the Upper Body tab and you Unlink, you can change the shared colors box
    and it will only alter the colors of the costume pieces under that tab.  If you
    want to reconnect that tab to the rest of your costume, click Link.
    To change a color, click on the colored box you'd like to change in either the
    Shared Colors box or the individual costume part's box and you'll be presented
    with a full spectrum of colors available for that piece.  The top few color
    boxes in the color window are set to the "Shared Colors" selections currently
    active.  The first long row of colors is a "smart row", it will keep track of
    the last several colors you've chosen from any part of your character's costume
    so that you can reuse that color without having to remember where it is on the
    grid.  The rest of the rows will present various colors and hues that you can
    use for your costume piece.
    There's one option in particular under the Head tab, Eyes selection that you
    might easily miss.  When you select the part recoloration box (not the Shared
    Colors box) and click a color to change its selection, you will see a slider
    bar at the top of the spectrum grid.  This bar allows you to give your eyes a
    glowing effect.  The higher the setting of the slider, the more intensely your
    eyes will glow.  They glow with the color set for the iris, so if you color
    your eyes separately, they'll glow different colors.
    Certain costume pieces which would normally come as a set can be designed
    separately, as well.  For instance, your hands can be set up so that one hand
    is a monstrous claw and the other is wearing a high-tech metal glove.  Whenever
    an option is available to design a matched pair of costume pieces separately
    (eyes, gloves, feet, arm accessories and legs, among others), there will be a
    trio of radial buttons above the dropdown lists in the main box.  Leaving the
    "Both" button selected will make it so that any changes you make to that
    costume part will be reflected on both sides.  If you select the "Left" or
    "Right" buttons, you can select different costume pieces or colors for that
    part without altering the other part.
    Another point to keep in mind is that, should you want your character to wear
    a cape, you'll need to alter two different costume pieces for it to match up
    correctly.  Under Upper Body > Back, you'll be given a drop down list that
    includes capes.  If you select a cape option in this list, a new box called
    "Cape" will appear beneath the "Back" box to the left.  Changing the "Back"
    settings (material type, color, etc.) will only change the top portion of your
    cape, the mantle.  You'll have to select the "Cape" box to change the rest of
    the cape to match.  Also, you cannot currently choose to wear a cape if you
    are wearing any "body armor" upper body costume parts, so if you put your
    character in armor the cape option won't appear for you unless you remove
    the armor and put on a different upper body article.
    Below the "Shared Colors" box are three final buttons.  These are "Undo",
    "Redo", and "Default".  "Undo" will revoke the last change you made to your
    costume, useful for correcting mistakes or comparing a new change to its
    previous version.  "Redo" will put your last change back in place if you used
    Undo to take it out.  "Default" will literally reset the entire costume and is
    useful if you've gotten overwhelmed and would like to start the costume
    creation process over.  If you click "Default" and change your mind, you can
    Undo it to go back to the costume you were working on.
    There's one final tab we haven't discussed yet, the "Mood & Stance" tab.  This
    tab has fewer options than the others.  "Mood" settings will allow you to
    change your character's facial expression, while "Stance" will change the way
    he stands and runs.  You can give your character a puzzled expression and
    have him stand idly, or you can give him a defiant expression and have him
    crouch down, or you can make him look angry and have him hunker down and run
    on all fours.  The choice, as with everything else in the character creation
    process, is yours to play with.
    Once you've explored around in the costume creator and have created your
    perfect character, there's only one thing left to do.  On the final screen of
    the creator you will name your character and put in the character's biography.
    This screen also summarizes your base stats and your Innate Talent for you.
    Unlike other MMORPGs, you can name your character anything you want without
    worrying whether the name has already been taken by another player, so be sure
    to pick a name that truly fits your character.  Names must be no less than 3
    characters and no longer than 32, and they can use any combination of letters,
    numbers and spaces.  Hyphens, periods and apostrophes can be used, but other
    punctuation and special characters cannot.
    Once you've completely finished customizing your character, the last thing to
    do is click "I'm Done" at the bottom of the screen.  Doing so will open a list
    of currently active instances of the tutorial.  Choose any you like and enter
    the game world.  Each instance is identical to every other, the only exception
    being the players currently active in that instance.  If you have a friend in
    the game, he can tell you which instance he's in and you can join that one.
    Otherwise, you can pick one with lots of other players or one with very few
    players so that you can have the run of the zone.
    The Tutorial
    Once inside the tutorial, the first thing you'll learn is how to move.  The
    following are the default basic movement keybinds:
    W - Move Forward
    S - Move Back
    A - Strafe Left
    D - Strafe Right
    Q - Turn Left
    E - Turn Right
    Z - Interact
    Spacebar - Jump
    Shift - Block
    You can alter these and many other settings under the Options menu, which can
    be found by clicking the Champions "C" icon next to your minimap.
    The first NPC standing directly in front of you will teach you how to move.
    You can speak to him and any other NPCs by pressing your Interact key (default
    F).  Be sure to talk to every NPC and read every dialog option in the tutorial,
    as these contain valuable tips and explain many of the game's concepts.  NPCs
    that have information for you can be found by looking for the blue lowercase
    "i" symbol on your minimap or by the blue and yellow stylized "i" above their
    heads.  Mission-givers can be found by the yellow "?" on the minimap or above
    their heads.
    PLAYER TIP:  Once you have the dialog window for an NPC open, you can continue
    to talk to them by pressing your Interact key again. (Submitted by beta tester
    At the bottom left of the screen is the chat frame, this allows you to talk to
    other players or to review NPC dialog or combat text.  In the bottom-center of
    the screen is your power tray.  The first power on the tray is your Block
    (default Shift).  The next two powers are the ones you chose at Character
    Creation or which came with your preset Framework.  The next several empty
    boxes will house future powers, including the last box which will contain the
    travel power you'll pick up once the tutorial is over (default T).  Your combat
    powers can be selected by clicking on them or by pressing their corresponding
    key (default 1-7).  The bottom row is a second bar where you can place further
    new powers (default ALT+1-7) and your second travel power which you won't get
    until much later in the game (default Y).  The little tab sticking up above
    your two bars will hold a passive power, once you get one.  Finally, just below
    your Block power are three buttons, represented by a lightning bolt, a mask,
    and a gear.  The lightning bolt opens your Powers frame (default P).  The mask
    will open your Builds & Roles frame once you have access to those things
    (default B), and the gear opens your Inventory (default I).
    The bar in the bottom-right corner is your Inventory panel, where you can place
    your equipment and temporary powers.  Clicking on any one of these empty
    buttons will open up your inventory frame, and the first three buttons will
    expand upwards until they are a 3x3 grid, as below:
     Utility Column ---------------------
     Defense Column -----------------    |
                                     |   |
     Offense Column -------------    |   |
                                 |   |   |
                                 V   V   V
                                --- --- ---
                               |   |   |   |
     Secondary Upgrade Row ->  | 7 | 8 | 9 |
                                --- --- ---
                               |   |   |   |
     Secondary Upgrade Row ->  | 4 | 5 | 6 |
                                --- --- ---
                               |   |   |   |
       Primary Upgrade Row ->  | 1 | 2 | 3 |
                                --- --- ---
    The (1) button on the bottom represents your equipped Primary Offense upgrade.
    (2) represents your Primary Defense upgrade, and (3) is your Primary Utility
    upgrade.  Above these are the Secondary Offense (4, 7), Secondary Defense
    (5, 8) and Secondary Utility (6, 9) upgrade slots.  You can have one Primary 
    and two Secondary upgrades equipped for each type.  The last 5 slots are where
    you place temporary powers which may give you combat abilities or be used to 
    complete mission objectives.  The large grid above these is your backpack, and
    the icons above your devices slots are your other bag slots.  You start out
    with only your backpack but you can buy or create more bags after the tutorial.
    (Correction by live poster Gage27 here, caught a change made at the end of
    beta that I had missed!)
    Any time you're standing near an object or character you can Interact with, a
    button will pop up above your power row.  You can either click this button or
    press the Interact key to begin using the object or speaking to the character.
    When you speak to a character, oftentimes they will have multiple conversation
    choices.  New missions being offered will have a yellow "!" next to them, while
    information will have a blue "i", just as on the minimap.  Other conversation
    options will be presented later, such as using a store or learning new crafting
    Follow the directions of the NPCs in the tutorial, completing missions as they
    are offered to you.  Once you've completed a mission, sometimes you'll have to
    speak to the NPC that gave you the mission to "turn in" the mission.
    Completing missions will grant you experience and resources (money), and
    occasionally the NPC will give you a new upgrade or allow you to choose from
    several upgrades.  In this case, highlight the upgrades being offered to view
    their stats, and when you find one you like click on it, then complete the
    mission.  The upgrade will appear in your backpack, from which you can
    double-click it to equip it if you have the correct slot empty, or you can drag
    it over to the correct upgrade slot to equip it as well.
    Very early on, you'll be presented with a mission that will require you to
    enter combat, so now's as good a time as any to discuss the basics of combat.
    Combat in Champions Online
    What superhero game would be complete without some super-powered fighting?
    Combat in CO works completely differently from any other game out there.  In
    the upper left corner of your screen you'll see a small portrait of your
    character along with several bars.  The green bar represents your Health, the
    blue bar represents your Energy, and the yellow bar and yellow hashmarks
    represent your experience gained toward your next level.
    In the middle of the Energy bar is a little marker, this represents your
    Equilibrium.  When you're outside of combat, your Energy will naturally drift
    back to this Equilibrium point.  If you have less Energy than your Equilibrium
    would dictate, you'll gain Energy while out of combat.  If you have more
    Energy, you'll lose it.
    You can gain energy beyond your Equilibrium level or replenish Energy used in
    battle by using your "energy-builder" attack.  This is your base attack and
    deals minimal damage, but it refills your Energy bar to its maximum very
    quickly.  You can toggle this auto-attack on by clicking it or pressing its
    bound key or even by right-clicking a nearby opponent, and you'll continue to
    use this attack until the enemy you're targeting ties or until you turn it off
    again.  While you're using your energy-builder, you can also intersperse other
    powers into the mix.  Using another power while your energy-builder is on will
    temporarily halt your energy-builder's effects.  Powers besides your
    energy-builder will almost always cost energy to use, and these powers are
    usually much stronger than your energy-builder and work quite differently.
    You have two choices when using an energy-using power.  You can either press
    this power down (by holding your mouse click or by holding down the bound key)
    to "charge" this power, or you can instantly activate it by "tapping" the power
    (clicking without holding the power down or tapping the bound key).  Powers
    have effects that vary depending on whether you tapped or charged the power.
    Most powers get stronger when you charge them, but charging takes time and you
    can't take other actions while charging.  Tapping is very quick but it doesn't
    deal as much damage as charging, and tapping a power several times can rapidly
    deplete your Energy.  Further, some powers change dramatically depending on
    whether you charge or tap them, so be sure to read your power descriptions.
    Blocking is another very important component of effective combat.  Most attacks
    can be taken normally (especially from weak minions), but some attacks are
    devastating and should be blocked.  Strong attacks of this type will normally
    be very visible.  When an enemy is charging up an attack, a bubble will appear
    over the enemy's head.  As the bubble fills in and outlines, the attack is
    about to complete.  Then a comic-appropriate word will appear in the bubble,
    something like "BAMF!" or "ZAPP!" and the enemy's charge attack will complete.
    Be sure to press your Block key before the attack goes off to avoid a large
    amount of damage and potentially avoid negative status effects.  By default,
    you block by throwing up an arm to deflect some of the damage, but certain
    powers will augment your block ability through the use of anything from fields
    of energy to psychic barriers.
    If you are attacked and an opponent manages to land a status effect on you that
    prevents you from being able to attack or move, you can rapidly press your
    power keys or your Interact key "break" the effect, gaining Energy while you
    attempt to break out.  It's important to break out of holds as quickly as
    possible since you're defenseless and cannot block or attack while being held.
    While in combat, you can also use certain upgrades and temporary powers.  To do
    so, click on the power you wish to use or press the corresponding keybind
    (default 8-0 for your primary upgrades and CTRL+1-5 for your temporary power
    slots).  Not all primary upgrades have use effects, so read the tooltip for
    that upgrade to see if it can be used while in combat.
    And now that you know the basics of how to attack, let's go back to discussing
    the tutorial.
    The Tutorial, Part II
    Whenever you defeat an opponent, they may drop an upgrade.  Also, oftentimes
    missions will require you to recover items from defeated opponents.  When an
    opponent has dropped an item, a large silvery "!" will appear on their corpse.
    You can press your Interact key to loot the item.  However, if an item has
    dropped for another player, the "!" that appears will be much smaller and you
    won't be able to loot that item since it's reserved for the other player.
    As I explained earlier, you can wear nine upgrades at one time.  Upgrades are
    classified as Primary or Secondary; as Offense, Defense, or Utility; and as
    Science, Mysticism, or Arms.  Primary upgrades are usually stronger than
    Secondary upgrades and sometimes have use effects on them.  Offense, Defense,
    and Utility determine which column the upgrade will fit into and generally
    determine the types of use effects Primary Upgrades may have.  The upgrade
    classifications of Science, Mysticism, and Arms mostly dictate the sorts of
    crafting components that upgrade will break down into and which crafters will
    be allowed to break it down.  Don't worry if your KILLER ROBOT OF AWESOMENESS
    ends up wearing magic charms and amulets, that won't actually matter except as
    a thematic choice.  In other words, even if the item doesn't necessarily fit
    the origin of your character, you can still wear it if it's an upgrade for you
    and you don't mind that it isn't of your origin.  The background color of an
    upgrade's icon will help you visually determine what type of upgrade it is:
    upgrades with a red background are Offense upgrades, those with a blue
    background are Defense upgrades, and green backgrounds indicate Utility
    upgrades.  An upgrade's tooltip will also tell you what type of upgrade it is.
    If you get lost and aren't sure where a mission is taking you, you can open
    your map (default M). Mission objectives will appear on the minimap and on your
    large map as green circles.  Whatever the mission requires of you (defeating a
    certain enemy, finding a certain object, etc.), that objective will be found
    somewhere within the green circle.  Once you've completed the objective of the
    mission, if you must speak to an NPC to turn it in the NPC will appear on your
    maps as a yellow "?".
    Besides missions given to you directly by NPCs, there are several other mission
    types that may take more exploration to find.  Some missions will be given to
    you by objects in your inventory.  These objects will be marked "This item
    begins a mission" and can be double-clicked to open a dialog box.  Other
    missions can be found just by being in the right place.  If you stray into an
    area with a mission such as this, a button will appear above your powers trays
    labeled with the name of the mission being offered to you.  Click on this
    button to open a dialog box.  Be careful, you can easily miss these types of
    missions if you aren't watching your screen.  All of these various mission
    types are represented in the tutorial, so you'll need to really explore to find
    One other type of mission that deserves to be discussed is Open Missions.  Open
    Missions appear on your map and minimap as an icon of three stylized people
    wearing blue standing side by side.  Open Missions run on a timer, and anyone
    can join these missions at any time just by going to that location on the map.
    If you're in the area of an Open Mission, a checklist of objectives will appear
    on the right side of your screen.  Objectives for that mission that have
    already been completed will be checked off and will appear in green, while
    incomplete objectives will be highlighted.  Follow the directions and attempt
    to complete the remaining objectives while assisting other players.  Some Open
    Missions are quite difficult and you may not be able to complete them without
    the help of other players, but be patient and someone else will likely show up
    who can assist you.  Once you've completed an Open Mission, a countdown timer
    will start.  When the countdown finishes, the event will reset and start over.
    So, if you caught the tail end of a Mission sequence, wait around for a few
    moments and you'll be able to experience it from the start.
    One last thing, before you enter the final mission (and you'll know it's the
    final mission because you'll be given a warning pop-up), take the time to fully
    explore the Tutorial.  There are four easily missed "hidden" missions that you
    can activate.  One is found by watching your minimap for a quest icon towards
    the beginning of the tutorial and is a simple introduction to escorting NPCs.
    One is found by listening for a sound you wouldn't expect in the middle of an
    invasion and teaches you how to activate missions from "this item begins a
    mission" items in your inventory.  One is found towards the end of the instance
    and teaches you about pop-up missions that you can find just by being in the
    right area.  
    The final hidden mission is the single most important thing you'll ever do in
    the game, because you'll be offering your assistance to the Champions world's
    most esteemed, powerful, handsome and important supervillain!  Yes, the one and
    only Foxbat, idolized by millions and loved by men, women and inanimate
    objects across the universe!  And the only hint I can give you is to watch out
    for falling debris and to look over the fence.  You'll probably hear him
    before you see him!
    After the Tutorial
    Once you've fully completed the tutorial, you'll be treated to a really amazing
    event, after which you'll be offered the choice of furthering your adventures
    in the frigid wilds of Canada or the hot, arid Desert.  The choice is totally
    yours, and both areas are truly fun.  Once you arrive at your new destination
    and speak with the contact you were given, your first action should be to visit
    the Powerhouse and train up your new powers.  Near the helicopter that
    dropped you off will be a small platform which you can use to teleport directly
    to the Powerhouse gate.  The Powerhouse entrance is a large revolving gear.
    Stand inside the gear and press the Interact key to enter.  Once inside, you
    can speak with the Powerhouse employees to train your new powers, talents, and
    pick up your first movement power.  As long as you stay inside the Powerhouse,
    your choices are free to be changed at any time, so experiment with the
    different powers and movement abilities until you find a combination you're
    happy with.  There are also separate rooms set up to allow you to test your
    movement powers, defensive powers, and attacks, which will give you a chance
    to experiment with a build and try out new abilities before you commit to them.
    From here on out, you're free to explore your new environment, picking up
    missions and saving the day time and time again.  There will be more Open
    Missions to participate in (and these, unlike the Open Mission in the tutorial,
    reward upgrades upon completion), and even a few boss fights!
    You'll also finally be able to pick up a crafting profession.  You have three
    different choices:  Arms, Science, and Mysticism, corresponding to the three
    types of upgrades you can get.  Choose the one that most fits your character's
    statistical needs, as each focuses on different stats, as shown in the chart
    Utility Major: 1) END, 2) EGO, 3) INT
    Utility Minor: 1) CON, 2) END, 3) EGO
    Defense Major: 1) CON
    Defense Minor: 1) STR, 2) DEX, 3) REC
    Offense Major: 1) STR, 2) DEX, 3) REC
    Offense Minor: 1) CON, 2) STR, 3) DEX
    Utility Major: 1) EGO, 2) INT, 3) END
    Utility Minor: 1) EGO2) PRE3) INT
    Defense Major: 1) PRE
    Defense Minor: 1) EGO, 2) END, 3) INT
    Offense Major: 1) REC, 2) DEX, 3) STR
    Offense Minor: 1) PRE, 2) REC, 3) STR
    Utility Major: 1) INT, 2) END, 3) EGO
    Utility Minor: 1) INT, 2) END, 3) CON
    Defense Major: 1) PRE/CON
    Defense Minor: 1) INT, 2) END, 3) EGO
    Offense Major: 1) DEX, 2) REC, 3) STR
    Offense Minor: 1) REC, 2) DEX, 3) CON
    The subcategories under your selection (for instance: Fighting Styles,
    Ordnance, and Alien Biology under the Arms category) are strictly for concept
    flavor, and you're free to choose any of the three without any negative
    effects at all.  If your Arms character is a natural street fighter, you'd
    choose Fighting Styles for appropriately named upgrades, whereas if your
    character is a trained military expert with access to the latest classified
    technology, you'd choose Ordnance.  Any upgrades and one-use items you create
    will have names fitting your origin, but they'll be identical to upgrades
    created by the other subcategories.
    To craft items, you must first obtain raw materials.  You can occasionally
    find resource points in the world that you can Interact with to gather small
    quantities of common, uncommon and rare materials, but the most reliable way
    of gaining materials is by breaking down unneeded upgrades of the appropriate
    category at a crafting station (this is called Researching).  If you chose
    Science as your crafting specialty (for example), you can use the Research
    option at crafting stations to break down Science upgrades for their base
    components.  Arms and Mysticism upgrades cannot be broken down by Science
    crafters, but you can trade them to other players or sell them on the auction
    house and obtain Science upgrades instead.  Try to choose mission rewards
    appropriate to your craft so that you can build up a good inventory of base
    Once you've Researched upgrades for their components or obtained components
    through resource nodes out in the world, you can now select Development at a
    crafting station to turn those components into useful items and upgrades.
    You must first obtain the blueprints for each item or upgrade you wish to
    craft, and most blueprints can be purchased from the crafting trainer of your
    specialty.  You must have a high enough skill in your specialty to learn a
    particular blueprint, and skill can be gained through Researching upgrades,
    Developing items, and even from looting components from the random resource
    After any significant skill gains, check in with your trainer to see what new
    blueprints you may have unlocked.  You'll be able to craft personal one-shot
    healing and combat items, new upgrades and even extra bags to expand your
    inventory!  After a certain point, you'll reach the cap for the first tier of
    your crafting profession (100 skill points is the first cap).  You'll now need
    to unlock the next tier by purchasing it from your profession trainer.
    Crafting in Champions Online isn't strictly necessary and you can get along
    fine without it by purchasing what you need from the Auction and by picking up
    mission rewards, but it's fun and easy and really useful, so I encourage you to
    give it a try.
    Special thanks to the following people for assisting me with this guide:
    Beta tester Shijeer - Too many good suggestions to mention!  You have him to
                          thank for several bits of info throughout the guide.
                          Seriously, get to thanking!
    Beta tester AndrewDB - For reminding the author that the Interact key can be
    	               used to continue an NPC dialog.  I can't believe I
                           forgot to mention that!
    Live poster Gage27 - For catching a bit of misinformation held over from the
                         closed beta relating to extra bag slots!
    Live poster Fulmens - For reminding me that the three schools of crafting
    		      each focus on different stats.
    Cryptic Studios - Without Cryptic, there'd be no Champions Online and no need
                      for a CO Beginner's Guide!  Also for entertaining me for
                      three years with City of Heroes and City of Villains, and
                      for allowing me the singular honor of beta testing this
                      incredible game.
    The CO beta testers - For being such a great community!
    The CO live boards - For being a neverending source of entertainment.
    You! - For reading this behemoth of a document.
    My boyfriend - For being so amazing and supportive and for springing the $200
                   so that I could get a lifetime subscription.  I love you Nate!

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