I’ll confess it: I’ve been a long-time fan of the superhero character “Iron Man”. I liked Tony Stark long before he became a household name from the movies, although there were long periods where I didn’t follow the character because of the frankly idiotic moves by the comic writers who I often felt just didn’t actually like the character at all. I could go into more detail, but this is a blog about MMOs-and in this case, Champions Online.
The relevance comes with this thought: I wanted to make a very different Iron Man-like character. Iron Man is, in many ways, a modern version of the medieval knight: skilled with his weapons and encased in a full suit of armor to protect himself. I thought, “well, with all the tools that technology can offer, what would happen if someone managed to more or less convert an actual knight’s armor to modern specs? Or to be more accurate, super-heroic specifications?” With that as my opening move, the character of Silver Paladin was born.
The first thing I did with the character was design the look. Fortunately, costume parts for a knight were easy to put together. I deliberately chose nothing that made him look obviously hi-tech; all of those goodies were inside the armor. I didn’t really go overboard with accessories here; it was a link to what some might consider a simpler time (is any time simpler?). The next step was powers. Sadly, there is no shield powerset in CO, and no “block” power that manifests as a physical shield; there’s a missed opportunity, if you ask me. So I couldn’t go all out with the simple sword and shield combination like I could’ve with a certain City of Heroes character I’d had once. (Someday, I may do a Cast List for those, but it’s hard to bring myself to do that for a game that’s no longer remotely current.) But I was bound and determined to mix melee weapons with powered armor stuff-which meant this had to be a freeform character, as none of the Silver Archetypes would have what I wanted.
So I wound up going with a ranged/melee hybrid, with a few extras. The melee part of the equation used Heavy Weapons, which allowed him to use an almost anime-esque broadsword. On top of that, I used the Power Armor powerset to help round things off, including a shoulder-mounted gatling gun (with mercy bullets, naturally, that wonderful comic-book-friendly answer to lethal rounds) and the energy shield block power so he would have a tech-looking defense. Threw two layers of healing on the character-one that was a straight self-heal, and another that came in the form of a set of drones that could be swapped from offense to healing. (The healing was also helpful in teams, as they’d heal any friendly nearby.) The character was a pretty tough cookie as he leveled, particularly after slotting an Invulnerability passive to give him improved survivability. He couldn’t beat a Cosmic like Grond, admittedly, but he could survive a hit or two from him-empirically tested the hard way in Snake Gulch.
I did manage to get a Nemesis for him, a villain called Techknight; nothing really fancy or unusual on him-I like to make a Nemesis that I can contrast and compare with the hero in some way, and this one was designed to be what you usually think of as a power-armor wearer as opposed to Silver Paladin’s old-fashioned, knightly look. By the time I got this guy to 40, I still hadn’t finished his Nemesis arc, so Techknight is still at large….
As is often the case for my costume slots, I would create a “civilian” look for the character. I also did a couple variations on his armor, including a more armored up look (heavier helm, for instance), and a helmetless look, for conversation outside of a combat scenario. But nine times out of ten, if one were to encounter this character, it’d be in his usual appearance-ready to deal out justice the old, OLD fashioned way!