The defining aspect of a Hero is conviction. They express when a human makes the decision to stand for their morals against the entire world, if necessary, and their powers reflect this, both in that they separate the Heroes from the world and that they can change their shape, but not their own form. They tend to be honest and straightforward, but this seems to be a side effect of the expression criteria. Heroes are instinctively uncompromising, and there is a notable tendency for them to become intolerant of people they don’t like and suspicious of anyone else’s authority.
In terms of combat style, they tend to start out as sneaky melee tricksters, and end up as incredibly powerful battlefield controllers. Their learning curve is the shortest of the three, and once they figure out how to cut things by phasing tiny sections of them, they are close to unstoppable without powers of one’s own.
The defining aspect of a Rival is yearning, or perhaps desire for power. By nature, Rivals are incomplete, both physically and mentally, and can only grow when striving for something beyond their reach. The powers express when someone becomes willing to tear themselves apart, to destroy themselves in mind and body for the sake of a single goal. As soon as that decision is made, they start crafting their armor. Rival powers reflect this determination, focusing the force their armor conducts towards a single target. The oldest Rivals dismiss the idea of “mastering” Rival Complex, stating that a full suit of armor, theoretically the end of Rival development, is merely a plateau and that striving for the unachievable is the only way a Rival may truly live. This leads to restlessness, which is often misdiagnosed as an inherent effect of Rival Complex.
In terms of combat ability, they start as only somewhat mobile martial artist/gymnast melee and projectile fighters, and eventually become nigh indestructible, practically unstoppable monstrosities with very few weaknesses. Their armor also seems to have variable mass, but so far this has only appeared to manifest in the most advanced cases where Rivals completed their original armor and then added more layers, so accurate testing is difficult to say the least.
The defining aspect of an Overlord, however, is betrayal. Overlord Complex manifests in those who betray themselves to the core, who abandon someone or something that defined them, who turn away from, or more rarely, towards danger, who give or take something that they defined themselves by holding or avoiding, and who do it too suddenly to be a natural growth. Their powers focus on pushing things out of place, and their minds are instinctively more duplicitous, manipulative, and prone to holding grudges. Overlord Complex is the one that convinced people that powers have mental effects, as it’s are by far the most obvious; empathy is stunted, often severely, guilt is possible but easily suppressed, and also disconnected from the instinct to keep secrets, which is severe and reasonably constant. Conversely, there is an impulsive need to show off, to draw attention, and to display power, which was probably the biggest giveaway that the effects weren’t natural. Overlord Complex also has the most instinctive aspect of any of the powers, in one facet only; the irises glow with Overlord energy fields. Care must be taken to suppress the effect, although the urge to do so when it is discovered is significant, suggesting a built incentive for training control. It is also the only obvious aspect of any of the powers when not being actively used, as it’s pretty much always on unless consciously suppressed. Hence, tired, angry, or partially awake Overlords tend to let it slip their control, causing their eyes to flash purple.
In terms of combat ability, Overlords start out as fragile ranged combatants, and progress to become superfast, superstrong flying artillery units.