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Optimization and power level caps in this community


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Hi guys! I'm new here, and while I work on my first character to submit, I wanted to get a feel for the style of optimization that is preferred in this community.

(I know backstory is also very important, but half the fun of M&M is in stating out the character and then seeing if the build works, at least for me.)

So, I guess my question is, what degree of optimization is common/accepted around here? Do most heroes/villains you guys make end up hitting the power-level caps for Attack/Defense/Toughness/Damage/Saves/etc.?

On another side of optimization, I'm a little worried with my current character that his concept and powers focus on melee combat, but he's lacking in any serious ranged attack, not even a straight-up Blast. Is that a pitfall that I have to worry about much around here? (i.e. this case specifically, and lack of well-roundedness in general)

Thanks in advance for any advice you have, I'm really looking forward to joining you guys on your adventures!

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I believe every character here hits their Defense/Toughness caps; most hit their Attack/Damage (or Attack/Effect) caps.

There are a few other melee-focused chars here, so you would be in good company. Not having a ranged attack will be a hindrance in some cases, but not having one doesn't mean your character's useless; Flash, Hulk and Wolverine have gotten by fine without such for decades.

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Basically, we expect you to hit caps in some scenario, but that doesn't mean you have to hit caps all the time. Hitting caps with just 1 weapon, or only in melee or only in ranged is pretty standard here. The character optimization thread has quite a few tips on how to make a character optimized and yet not be broken. If you want to see how far you can dial the optimization up, take a gander at the characters played by the Refs. Generally speaking, we have a better handle on the rules than the player base and are therefore able to make our characters in the most efficient manner.

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I'd say at least hit defensive caps. It doesn't really matter if you can do anything, but it's no fun to be knocked out in one or two hits.

Not being able to do anything gets old pretty fast, too.

Some concepts are more focused than others. You wouldn't build Colossus the same way you'd build Batman. So if you find yourself short on points, it's fine to leave yourself a little undercapped, just as long as you can contribute in some way. At character generation, I wouldn't recommend building a PL10 to less than PL9 caps, PL8 at the lowest. And I wouldn't recommend undercapping a PL6 at all. Once you start playing, keeping up with your new PL caps isn't much of an issue. But I've learned from experience that starting out severely undercapped is just not worth it.

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I believe every character here hits their Defense/Toughness caps

Except for Divine :P

As far as optimizing goes, there's nothing wrong with hitting caps. Don't be afraid to build a character that does what he's supposed to just because you think it's going to outclass others. It won't. We're all pretty up on the rules and good builds here. We won't hate you for making a good character. That said, listen to what the refs tell you, and you should be fine. Good luck!

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