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Important Notes About Framework Terminology
This section defines a few Champions Online terms so you can make full use of this guide to the munitions framework.
Energy Builder - This is basically your auto attack. It deals some damage but it is primarily there to generate energy for your other attacks.
Close Attack - A melee range attack.
Close Area Attack - Melee range or PBAoE attack.
Ranged Attack - An attack made at range.
Ranged Area Attack - An area effect attack made from range.
Buffs - Enhancements to yourself or allies.
Crowd Control - Abilities that control, hold, root, or snare your opponent.
Tier 0 - An ability you can take without taking any other powers in the set.
Tier 1 - You must have 1 other power from that set, or 2 from any other set before taking the power.
Tier 2 - You must have 3 other powers from that set, or 5 from any other set before taking the power.
Tier 3 - You must have 5 other power from that set, or 8 from any other set before taking the power.
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Energy Builder - Gunslinger
Gunslinger is a pretty standard energy building attack, but it is one of the worst. With the opening shot you fire both of your guns, but after that you hold the right gun at your shoulder and only fire the left gun. It tends to be the second slowest energy builder at generating energy. If you are able to pick a different energy builder (like the sonic blaster) it is worth considering.
Advantages of Note:
Trick Shot makes the attack AoE 10% of the time, or 100% of the time when enraged. Since a full maintain of 2 Gun Mojo gives you the enrage buff, this almost sounds tempting. The problem is, the damage is so small that gaining AoE capability from it does not really help much.
RECOMMENDATION: Avoid if you can, but not a horrible power.
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Close Attack - Bullet Ballet (Tier 1)
Bullet Ballet is a rare melee range attack for the munitions set. You perform an elaborate "gun kata" that involves gunfire and a few spinning kicks to your foe. The damage is so-so but there is really no special benefit to the lack of range in this power.
Advantages of Note:
You can add crippling challenge to this power which is a nice advantage (it lowers an opponent's block and keeps it down for 10 seconds - more information about this advantage later). But you still have to deliver it at melee range, which really diminishes my excitement. You can also make it have a chance to AoE, but again, only in melee range and it is only reliable if you are Enraged.
RECOMMENDATION: Avoid. Unless you are a melee/munitions hybrid, then this power might be a good pickup.
COUNTER ARGUMENT: Feedback from read "Gldm": "Bullet Ballet is not worthless, the last attack is a significantly harder hit (spike damage) than most other munitions powers. This is important vs enemies with damage reduction powers like Invulnerability or Defiance... If you're going to be a close-range munitions fighter or you plan to use munitions to supplement your melee damage with powers like Two Gun Mojo + Close the Gap, the Ballet is a good complement since many melee focused characters use enrage to supplement damage."
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Buffs - Killer Instinct (Tier 1)
Killer Instinct is an excellent buff. If you plan to have more than 2 munitions powers you DEFINITELY want this power, and you may want it even if you only have one. This is an innate passive buff which means you do not have to use up your buff slot but still receive the benefit all the time. Every time you score a critical hit with any munitions power, you will regenerate some energy (determined by your ego).
It is important to note that KI has a 4 second cooldown between triggering. This means you can only receive the energy from KI once per 4 seconds, no matter how often you crit.
CAVEAT: To make best use of this power, you need a high dexterity and ego. This power is not worth it if you do not super stat DEXTERITY. You also need to either super stat ego, or at least devote some serious talents/gear to raising ego.
RECOMMENDATION: Definitely take this as long as you super stat DEX and use munitions powers regularly.
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Buffs - Lock and Load (Tier 2)
Lock and Load lowers the energy cost of your munitions powers for a short time, but raises the cost of non-munitions powers. Considering how energy efficient munitions powers are, and the buff you already get from Killer Instinct, this is a pretty worthless buff. There are far better ways to improve your energy gain from other frameworks that do not come with a penalty like this one.
RECOMMENDATION: Avoid. (Exception: Melee hybrid, non-crit builds can make good use of it).
COUNTER ARGUMENT: If you are a melee hybrid munitions player, you can add the Two Smoking Barrels advantage and lower the cooldown on every melee hit. For non dex/crit builds, this can make it more efficient for generating energy than KI.
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Close Area Attack - Mini Mines (Tier 2)
Mini Mines were once the bread and butter of the set, but in an act of classic MMO mismanagement, they were overnerfed into garbage on September 22, 2009. They once did enough damage to outright kill henchman, but they lost 75-90% of their damage and now basically tickle even lower level trash mobs.
The nerf was so extreme they had to provide a full respec (retcon) to all players.
Advantages of Note:
Wall of Fire doubles the number of mines but reduces the damage by 30%. The damage nerf here was added during the first round of nerfs to this power. If you want to use this power at all, you should probably avoid this advantage since it further drops the damage.
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Make Sure You Read All Three Parts of This Guide
This guide to the munitions framework is very detailed. All three parts are multiple pages. If you want to add comments, I recommend adding them to part 3 of the guide. That should keep them all in one place.
Champions Online released with 21 frameworks (with a 22nd to come in October 2009). This series of guides examines each framework, discusses the powers, and gives a general evaluation of each power's capability.