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  1. 83 points
  2. 58 points
    Hello everyone! We’ve got a few updates to share with you today. The Talks Just over one year ago we announced that we had begun talks with NCSOFT, so it’s about time we provided a little update! Over the past year we’ve been working closely together to make this work, and have made significant headway in several areas. Unfortunately, Coronavirus has hindered the pace of these discussions somewhat, but we’re still having regular meetings and are slowly but surely moving towards a positive outcome. Many of the updates we’re talking about today are a result of these ongoing talks. There’s still a ton of work going on behind the scenes to get us to the finish line, and we’d like to thank you all for your continued patience. TL;DR: Still Soon™, but Soon™er than before. Homecoming: City of Heroes We’re going to be changing the name of the project from City of Heroes: Homecoming to Homecoming: City of Heroes. This won’t be an immediate change - you’ll slowly start to see things switch over the next few months - however, the current Homecoming logo will be remaining in place. We’ve also set up several social media channels - we’re not actively using these right now, but feel free to follow us for when we do! Twitter Twitch Facebook YouTube Finally, we’ll also be switching over to using homecomingcoh.com domain in the near future (with our short links moving to hccoh.gg). When we make the switch all existing links will continue to function with a redirect, but you will need to refresh your login cookies (ie: you’ll need to log in to the forum again). New Launcher Next up, the long awaited new launcher! Informally dubbed Project Hangover, the new launcher is a big step up from our dependency on Tequila and Island Rum. It’s designed to be light and fast, and is built with a focus on security. It allows you to selectively install and remove the beta / staging servers (and toggle automatic updates for each), features a built-in server status monitor, and has a much more usable news feed. Finally, the new player experience is much improved as it takes care of installing the necessary runtime, and is compliant with the modern Windows permissions model. It works on Windows and Linux out of the box, with the Mac version requiring a simple WINE update - but we have an upgrade procedure mapped out for Mac. For brand new installs it’s already fully functional, we’re currently finishing up functionality to facilitate automatic migration for pre-existing installs. We’ve recently begun internal testing of the new launcher with the GM team, and hope to roll it out for wider testing in the near future. Page 6 Finally, we’ll leave you with two screenshots to hint at some upcoming content from Page 6... And that’s all for today! - The Homecoming Team
  3. 58 points
    Hello everyone! It’s been a month and a half since our last update, so we thought now would be an excellent time to let you all know where we’re at. Today we’re going to be talking about your wishes for the future of the game, what’s next for Homecoming, and our plans going forward. Your Feedback A few weeks ago we asked one simple question: What do you want to see out of a legitimate, licensed City of Heroes server? We’ve pored over the first 20 pages of your responses, and this is what we’ve found: New and updated costume options were by far the most frequent answers These were followed by new powers, and then by new content (most commonly new end-game content) There’s a strong desire for us to continue updating older sets to be on-par with newer sets The most popular specific request is, of course, Mastermind customisation (what else would it be?!) Protection from server closure and generally ensuring that Homecoming (and your characters) stay online is very important to many of you Issue 26, Page 3 Now for the exciting bit! We will soon™ begin public testing of Issue 26, Page 3. What is Page 3? Well, I’m glad you asked! As we don’t have the resources of a full studio behind us, we’re going to be releasing content in smaller chunks (or.. Pages) which are bound together into larger collections / storylines (or.. Issues). Pages 1 & 2 were mainly maintenance & quality of life updates, but 3 is our first major content release. It will include: The Force of Will power pool Two new Story Arcs with branching narratives A bunch of new exploration badges And that’s just the beginning. We’ve got a ton more in the pipeline, some of which will positively shock you. Going Forward Our goal, as always, remains the same: To ensure the community can continue playing the game for many years to come without fear of an imminent shut-down. We are also committed to continuing with our 100% free, not-for-profit, donation-driven model. As part of this, we’re now collaborating not only with The Titan Network, but also the Victory and Resurgence servers, and it’s our intention to invite more servers to the table in the coming months. We really do appreciate the community’s patience on this, and we can’t wait to share more with you when the time comes. That’s all for today. Thank you once again for your continued faith in us! - The Homecoming Team PS: be on the lookout for spooky ghosts.
  4. 57 points
    Hey all, Just wanted to provide a brief update on our situation. First, some background: Once you're hosting for more than a few hundred concurrent players, the resources required to host a server need to be spread over multiple physical machines (instead of all being virtualized on one machine). In order for this to work it's required that these machines are all in their own private network - however when renting hardware this needs to be virtualized. OVH is one of the few hosts that provide a compatible technology (vRack) at a reasonable price - and unfortunately, it's this part of our infrastructure that we have the least control over, and by extension something we aren't able to build redundancy for. Most of the issues over the past few days have been a result of the vRack connections between the individual machines being disrupted (either directly or because of wider network issues). As you may have noticed, Reunion and Everlasting have been mostly unaffected. After investigation we've discovered that machine hosting Everlasting's database server is located on a completely different server rack to the machines that host Torchbearer, Excelsior and Indomitable (and, of course, Reunion is across the pond!). So - we're re-configuring a few things and moving TB, Excel and Indom's database servers to the 'good' rack and taking the machines on the 'bad' rack offline. This means that we will be running with reduced redundancy, so here's hoping the good rack remains good 🙂 No ETA just yet - we'll let you know when there is one. In the meantime we're in contact with OVH to try and get the issues with the bad rack resolved. Long term we are also going to be investigating alternative hosting providers to try and avoid these issues going forward.
  5. 51 points
    Frequently Asked Questions Last updated: December 17th, 2020 1) How do I register an account? Create a Forum Account here. This is the account that you will use to log into the website. Create a Game Account here. This is the account that you will use to log into the game. 2) I just made an account but I can't log in to the game, help! See step 2 above. 3) How do I install the game on Windows? Download the Homecoming Launcher. Follow the setup instructions and choose an installation directory. 4) How do I install the game on OS X? Download Island Rum here. Install the game in whatever directory you want Island Rum should automagically download the client once you start it, but note that your download may be slow at peak times. Once Island Rum has finished updating, ensure that "Homecoming" is selected, and then click "Play". 5) Help! I still can’t get the game running 😞 Please read through the extended setup guide here. If you are an OS X user and are still having trouble please read through the steps listed here and here. 6) Are there any rules and policies I should read? Yes! Please read the User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Code of Conduct. 7) How can I stay up to date with the latest news and server status updates? Please join our Discord for the latest updates: discord.gg/cityofheroes 8) What are the "Beta" and "Prerelease" options? Have a read through the Beta FAQ for more info on our testing environments. 9) Which shard should I play on? If you are in Europe, we highly recommend you play on Reunion as it’s physically located in Germany - the rest of the shards are in Canada. If you’re into roleplaying we recommend you take up residence on Everlasting (the unofficial RP shard), and if you’re into PvP you should try your luck on Indomitable (the unofficial PvP shard). Alternatively, Torchbearer and Excelsior both have a good mix of different types of players on them. 10) Can I transfer my characters between shards? Yes! You can transfer your characters between shards at any time, up to a maximum of 5 transfers every 3 days. 11) When are the regular maintenance windows? The regular maintenance window is between 12:00 and 14:00 UTC every day of the week, however we typically perform maintenance on Tuesdays. Occasionally maintenance will occur outside these times if we are deploying an update or we encounter unforeseen technical issues. 12) When do the weekly strike targets change? The Weekly Strike Targets rotate at 04:00 UTC every Monday morning. You must complete the Strike Target before it rotates in order to receive the additional rewards. The one-off reward (Double Reward Merits + Notice of the Well or bonus XP) can only be earned once per character, per week, even if there’s more than one Strike Target. Please see this thread for a list of upcoming Strike Targets, or type /gmotd in game to see the current Strike Targets. 13) Will GMs restore or grant missing influence, enhancements or items that I should have earned or have otherwise lost? We are a volunteer team that works to strive to do what is best for everyone as a whole – and our small team can’t always treat each individual case with the equality they deserve. We also don’t have the resources to validate the claims authenticity. As we cannot verify previous ownership of these, we are not awarding any lost merits, influence, or enhancements - however, most instances of mysterious disappearances result in reappearance within 24-48 hours. This also applies to emails that were erroneously sent to the wrong recipient. 14) Will GMs award a badge that I should have earned? Currently all badges in game are awarding correctly. Our policy is not to award any badges unless they are unavailable to get in the game. 15) Will GMs restore deleted characters? Generally we do not as the tool for doing so is unreliable, but under extenuating circumstances (and if is requested quickly enough) we may be able to restore a character. 16) Can I rename my character? You can rename your character in the character select screen for free as many times as you would like. 17) Can I change my global handle? You can! Click Menu > Change Global Handle. Please note you can only change your handle once. If you have used your single handle rename token you can request another by sending a support ticket. Please note that additional tokens will be granted sparingly, so please ensure you have a good reason if requesting another. 18) How do I report a bug? Please post a report in the Bug Reports forum. If you think the bug is exploitable, please submit a support ticket (see “How do I request support?” below) 19) How do I make a suggestion? Please post in the Suggestion & Feedback forum. 20) How do I request support? Type /petition or navigate to Menu > Support in-game to submit a support ticket, or do it through the forum here. 21) Can I donate money to Homecoming? Sometimes. We open our donation rounds on the last Saturday of each month, generally around 19:00 UTC, and only take in as much money as we require to pay our bills for the next month. This means that the donation window closes relatively quickly, so you will need to be quick! Please see the Finances & Donations FAQ for more info, and the Finances & Donations forum for a record of previous donation rounds. 22) Will Homecoming be developing new content? Yes, and there already is new content! A new Archtype, the Sentinel Several new powersets, including Electrical Affinity, Radiation Assault and Plant Manipulation New stories and missions, including the Market Crash Task Force located in Kallisti Wharf and Freaklok story arcs However, for the moment we are focusing on creating a stable foundation for future development - this includes things like our recent 64-bit client. Once these improvements have been made we will get back to creating new content. 23) What is this name release policy I've heard about? Is it in effect yet? The name release policy is not yet in effect. Here's how it'll work once it is enabled: Characters will be flagged as ‘inactive’ when the following time thresholds are met: Level 1-5 characters will be flagged as inactive if they have not been played in the last 30 days Level 6-20 characters will be flagged as inactive if they have not been played in the last 90 days Level 21-49 characters will be flagged as inactive if they have not been played in the last 365 days Level 50 characters will never be flagged as inactive When a character is flagged as inactive they are not immediately renamed. Instead, their name is simply no longer locked. This allows another player to create a character with that name, at which point the original character will be renamed. You can remove the inactive flag on a character at any time simply by logging them in. 24) Can I view the server status anywhere? You can! Head on over to the Server Status page.
  6. 50 points
    Hello everyone! I am so incredibly pleased to be here in an ‘official’ capacity, to introduce myself to you fine, devoted gaming specimens. I am Piecemeal, and since nobody asked and I didn’t bother to mention it to my colleagues, I am installing myself as the official Villain liaison. Doing so, impulsively and without consultation or consideration, perfectly justifies this official title, and plays perfectly to the spirit of villainy. So, with that out of the way, let’s talk about who I am and what I do. I’ve been a devoted fan of this game since 2005, when I showed up halfway through Issue 3 with a feather in my cap, bounce in my step, and a wide-eyed wonderment of the world in front of me. I knew nothing of the Rularuu invasions that would fly-by murder people in Steel Canyon months prior, or that the Fifth Column even existed. Truly, it was an innocent and ignorant time. I endured the Enhancement Diversification, which destroyed my playstyle, since I was raised under the mantra of “Invuln is all you need”. It was a tough transition, but one I grew to love. I really didn’t need 5Dmg/1Acc in all my claws attacks with 6 slots in Stamina. It was fun, but I understood the logic of the new system. I adopted, adapted, and improved, like an arbiter with a bad haircut. When this game came back, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had made peace with the 6-years-old hole in my heart, and then suddenly it was back again. I decided that if I was going to invest again, I had to contribute, somehow. I snuck in with a bunch of other well-intentioned folk when an open call went out early, and saw a call for people who wanted to take on a story arc task: “Who wants to write a story that connects the Freakshow and Vahzilok?” I practically leaped down someone’s throat for the opportunity, only to find that Mekkanos had scooped me and gotten the reins. Undeterred, we formed a small co-op to begin making sense of what we were trying to do. What would we need? What should it entail? Can these things even be done? Eventually Mekk came up with his narrative document, and my first task was to develop the descriptions of the enemies featured in our first new enemy group, the Freaklok - an unholy marriage of man, machine, and groaning meat. As part of his story, Mekkanos centered the idea around there being a lab of Dr. Vahzilok that falls into Freakshow hands. As I began developing Freakified Vahz and Eidolified Freaks in my design document for the enemies, I also began to assist in molding the story documents for lore and logic. Pretty soon we realized that the Freaks weren’t organized enough to accomplish the story as written, and went to the lore bible to read up on the Vahz. It was there that we realized that most of the Vahzilok were partly cybernetic, so we proposed that the Freaks would engage in a hostile takeover of the Vahz, bridging the level gap from when the Vahz disappear and the Freaks begin showing up in content. They were after the tech that was miniaturized, hidden, and keeping the zombies together. And anarchy could still prevail. What we needed next was the catalyst, and decided Cortex was more-or-less the “lost asset” of the Vahzilok, having shown up as a big-bad in the original Posi TF, and then fading into obscurity as a side fight in Posi Part 2. We wanted this to run redside, so we needed a reason for him to be there… ...He’s dying. But why? Because Posi 2 put the Doctor in jail FOR REALSIES, and nobody can maintain the army like Doc V could. We had our hook. Your actions heroside had consequences, and created a proactive adventure for a villain. Instead of the opposite, which tickled me pink. Off we went. Your character finds out about the lab, and pursues it in hopes of building their own army. Of course, it never quite plays out the way you think. Note: They are falling apart super fast. Along the way, we decided we needed another NPC to drive the research, and I pitched Dr. Pierce, dooming her to her fate. I now could say I had left my mark on the work, and I was happy. The story got worked on, and I went down the rabbit hole of spaghetti code learning to make costumes from NPC parts like a deranged Mr. Potato Head surgeon. That’s where things got crazy. We were a small team, and I didn’t really know anyone, and everyone was always SUPER busy. We got me set up, and started with some basic costumes and tools to get textures ready. And then, as volunteer operations do, those who felt their part were done, were done. The person concepting costumes was finished, and I was making them; the writer was done with his narrative; the map editor was communicative but busy, and couldn’t give the time. Suddenly, it was just me. And a villain was born! I absconded with the project and started to learn. I mean really, really, really learn. It was part detective work, part deductive reasoning, and all the mental hell I could enjoy for months. I didn’t want to bother anyone, so I kept referencing things that already worked and determining how they did what they did. Sometimes I got it, sometimes I hilariously missed the mark. Getting a leg up on my knowledge, or: Individual bone scales don’t mind not having limits. Sorry not sorry to Operative Renault, my personal surgery dummy. Don’t use a chest as a head. Or maybe you should. Don’t look to me as your moral compass. And in the span of a few months, somewhat quietly, my knowledge tree had grown from just costumes to include costumes, textures, villain groups, individual villains, new power assignments for mobs, spawndefs, map editing, FX, tricks, GEOs, story arc writing, branching dialog, conditionally triggered events, scripting, captions, powers, PFX, and… really, I don’t know how my life has held together with all that in my head alone. I had grown from a knucklehead into a semi-competent if not devious reverse engineer and detective. It was a game within a game. I was in it to win it. Left: A Freaklok Ripper smiles in appreciation of her tormented existence. Right: A Freakbomination tests out its cyber-sight. Not shown: A small donation has been made to surviving members of Operative Renault’s family, out of pity. When you play these arcs, please do not ride the hype-apotamus to the stratosphere. These arcs, while I consider them to meet my standard for quality, are also my first foray into anything like this. At all. I’ve never coded in my life. And the quality steadily increases in these arcs as I set more and more goals for myself. So you’ll see that redside mission 1… is fairly standard. Redside mission 2, a little bit more involved, with a few more tricks. Mission 3, full ham on mobs, scripting, dialog. I went nuts. Lost maybe 6 weeks troubleshooting that mission until I got it working right. We're coming to a chophouse near you! Missions 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 - just learning compound tasks, with some surprises. And then mission 5. Mission 5 took a WHILE to make. I hope you find it worth it. Especially since I coded in an easter egg. If your character has all the badges and souvenirs needed, an additional fight will spawn for another badge. You’ll know it when someone says ‘For reals tho', let's gank this crybaby.’ My favorite happy accident was that I wrote out the redside arc first, and then wrote the companion arc, blueside from Agent Watkins, that chronologically precedes it next. Do you have any idea how rewarding it is to write dialog that foreshadows events when you do it that way? I didn’t know, until I began dropping hints via dialog in blueside mission 3, and I chuckled. I had arrived. These arcs are a love letter to the game, and a moment captured in the timeline of my life where I can say I truly created something that other people could experience and enjoy. It’s all I’ve ever wanted and all I ever hoped it could be so far. The creativity, the struggle, the frustration, the enjoyment of overcoming the obstacles. The HEAPS of pop culture references. It’s a dream come true. I want to give you all the best experience possible in telling stories in this world. I’m really shooting for the moon with this opportunity. I will patiently read your feedback on how the story sits with you. Some of it can’t change, but the things that can, I will consider. And I promise the next thing I work on won’t stay locked in a vault for this long. This arc has been a long time in development, but soon, I hope to deliver quality content faster, with a battalion of trainees underfoot. Of course, I will make them seek knowledge out before just giving it to them. I might make them walk my path to understand how to figure it out. Because I’m a villain, and that’s what villains do.
  7. 47 points
    A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE INCARNATE SYSTEM or “WHY ARE INCARNATES SUCH SNAPPY DRESSERS?” The Incarnate endgame power system is one of the more confusing systems that the Homecoming version of City of Heroes has to offer—and while there are a number of great guides for it out there (most notably "Incarnates Made Easy" by @jimjimjimmeh) it seems to me that none of them do much more than scratch the surface. A number of times in-game, I’ve had to explain the system to new Incarnates in depth, and my experiences there showed me that the newly Incarnated often have a lot of questions where the answers aren’t usually all in one place. So I’m going to try to change that. This guide will go over how to use the Incarnate powers window, and offer suggestions for how to proceed once you hit level 50. If any other experienced players disagree with my advice (and I’m sure some will), I invite them to offer alternatives in follow-up comments. And yes, I recognize this guide is very, very long. (It came to 48 pages when I typed the draft in Google Docs, albeit at 18 point font size.) But the Incarnate system is very, very complicated, and I figured it was best to put down everything I knew about it because I can't tell what bit of information might be crucial to someone else. If you want a shorter, basic overview, that guide I linked a couple paragraphs back is a very good one—but this guide is meant to be comprehensive. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the answer to the question posed in the alternate title is, “Because they have so many awesome Threads!”) WHAT ARE INCARNATES AND WHY DO YOU WANT THEM? In deference to @TheSwamper, who asked those questions in another Incarnate guide thread, here’s a brief explanation of what Incarnates are all about. The Incarnate system, explained in-game as a way to become a god-like being yourself, is the post-level-50 endgame power and content system that NCSoft implemented in the final days of the live version of City of Heroes. In the lore of the game, you’re assumed to go right on leveling up to outright genuine godhood, in the years or decades after the time period covered by the game ends (you see a “flash-forward” memory of yourself as a god, who the game’s various archvillains are completely unable to damage, as part of the Incarnate introductory arc in Ouroboros), but the game just follows you a smidgen of the way there—but as far as these powers are concerned, a smidgen is quite enough. As for why you “want” them, well, you’re going to be given them whether you want them or not. You can always ignore these new powers, of course, but I find that they add a little extra zest to playing my level 50s through 45+ content, and are a great way to make an old character seem suddenly fresh and new again in some ways. And if nothing else, being able to be effectively level 50+1 in regular content is a great reward for the effort you put into getting all the way to 50. So, why not go for it? The answer to that rhetorical question seems be largely, “Because I don’t understand what the hell it even is.” And that’s what this guide is intended to explain, in detail—as well as the answer to TheSwamper’s third question, “How do I get started earning them?” WHY IS THE INCARNATE SYSTEM SO CONFUSING? To understand why the Incarnate system is such a god-awful (Incarnate-awful?) mess, you have to know a little of the system’s history. I think that there are two main reasons the Incarnate system is the way it is. The first is that the system was introduced very late in the life cycle of the live version of the game, just a few issues before it was closed down for good. City of Heroes has had a history of introducing clunky and overly complex systems early on, then gradually streamlining and simplifying them over time. (Case in point: sidekicking. Ask anyone who was around in the early days about the amount of fiddling around it took to organize the right quantities of people at the right levels to sidekick or exemplar people when sidekicks and exemplars needed one mentor per sidekick. But now, it's all entirely automatic.) The Incarnate system simply didn’t get enough time for the developers to be able to do those sorts of revisions. The other reason has to do with how the Incarnate system was engineered in the first place. If you look at the write-up for the Incarnate system in live on ParagonWiki, you’ll see that there were some key differences from how the system now works. In particular, back then Incarnate XP and threads could only be ground out via Trials, and there were a number of more grindy ways to unlock slots. The Incarnate system was largely locked behind NCSoft’s "VIP" paywall, as yet another way to try to pry money out of its free-to-play playerbase. When SCORE made the game completely free to play and made free-by-default most of the things that had required grinding to unlock, it left some holes and rough edges in the Incarnate system—for example, the Empyrean and Astral Merit Vendors who had once resided on Ouroboros had pretty much their entire inventory of unlockable costume parts and other oddments incorporated into the costume designer’s free selection or otherwise made free. With nothing left to sell, those vendors disappeared, replaced by a new one whose main function is to convert between Empyreans and Astrals—and there's nearly nothing else you can actually do with Empyreans and Astrals anymore. SCORE is a small group of volunteers who have a limited amount of time to devote to working on the game, and don’t have the resources that a commercial game developer like NCSoft had. When it came to removing the paywall, my surmise is that that they saw that redesigning the system from the ground up would take many more man-hours than they had, so they settled for patching over things as best they could. This is why we still have two separate systems of largely incompatible Incarnate crafting components, and two sets of Incarnate merits that actually can’t be used for very much. (More on that later.) Given the level of manpower SCORE had, and all the other things they had to fix and update, I think that going this route was absolutely the right decision at the time. It’s not exactly the only clunky thing about the revival, after all—just look at the entirely empty Kallisti Wharf, for example. Perhaps someday, after enough other issues are ironed out, the SCORE and Homecoming developers will be able to take another look at Incarnates. But for now, we have what we have, and I’m going to try to help you make some sense of it. UNDERSTANDING THE INCARNATE POWERS WINDOW For this next section, you might want to have the game open and the Incarnate window available so you can follow along with me as I describe what you’re going to see. I would suggest beginning by pasting this macro into your game: /macro INC "windowtoggle Incarnate" This will create a button that will open the Incarnate window with one click, instead of having to open the Powers window and click the “Incarnate” link on top of that. It’s a lot more convenient if you’re going in and out of that window all the time—as you will be, once you start working with it. The Incarnate window has three main tabs: Equip, Create, and Convert. EQUIP This window shows all of your Incarnate power slots, which if any you’ve unlocked, and what percentage you’ve unlocked of any that haven’t been yet. Clicking on each power slot shows you a list on the right-hand side of any currently-available powers you might have in that category. After you create a new Incarnate power, you do have to come here and slot the new version of it before you have access to it. There’s a 5-minute cooldown on slotting new powers. Display Name notes below that this cooldown applies to any member of your team being attacked or activating powers. In my experience, that timer may reset after you change zones; I have been able to craft and slot new powers immediately after exiting completed Incarnate trials. CREATE This tab is one of the least intuitive parts of the whole City of Heroes user interface. On the left side are a list of categories for the different Incarnate powers. If you click on one, it expands to a list of the different types of that power. If you click on one of those types, in the middle you’ll see what looks like a stylized tree diagram with various Christmas tree ornaments on it—one at the bottom, two on the second row up, four on the third row up, and two on the top row again. On the right, you’ll see one or more “recipes”—lists of components that you need to create that particular power. Drag the bottom of this screen down to make it taller so you have room for more recipes to fit, and click on “Alpha”. Select one of the Alpha powers, and click on the single orb at the bottom of the tree. On the right-hand side, you should see two recipes—one using Shard-based components, the other using Thread-based components. I’ll go into more detail on that in the section on crafting Alphas, later. Whether you’re talking about Shards or Threads, there are four different rarity levels of Incarnate components: Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Very Rare. Each recipe uses two Common components, then one more component that is a different rarity depending on how high up the tree it is. The one at the very bottom uses three Common components, the two on the next level use two Common and one Uncommon, and so on. Also, each level above the first uses the power below it as a component. If you’re crafting a Tier 2 Incarnate ability, the Tier 1 ability you already have is one of the ingredients. The Tier 3 ability uses the Tier 2 below it as an ingredient. (So, if you’re planning on a specific Tier 3, you need to craft the Tier 2 on the same side of the tree as it is.) The Tier 4 ability uses any two Tier 3 abilities—so to craft a Tier 4, you actually have to craft your way up to possessing two separate Tier 3s. It doesn’t matter which two; there are six separate Tier 4 recipes representing each possible combination of two Tier 3s. The recipes are also crafted from this window—when you have all the ingredients, the recipe lights up, and there's a button you can click to create the power. If there are multiple recipes, as for Tier 4 powers, you just scroll down until you see the one that's lit up. CONVERT This screen allows you to create Incarnate components out of Shards, Threads, or Empyrean Merits, as well as “sidegrade” components to other components. I’ll go over what each section lets you do. INCARNATE SHARD This is the section for conversion of Incarnate Shards into other items. Common components cost 4 Shards, and Uncommon components cost a Common component plus 8 Shards for a total of 12 Shards. The only Rare component is a Notice of the Well, and it costs 4 Uncommon components, plus 40 Shards, for a total of 88 Shards—and 12.5 million Inf to boot. And the only Very Rare component, Favor of the Well, requires 2 Notices plus 32 Shards—a whopping 208 Incarnate Shards if you actually bothered to craft one from scratch—but you’ll probably almost never need to do that. Notices of the Well are given out one per week as rewards for the Weekly Strike Target Task or Strike Force (see the section below about building your Alpha), so there’s no point in spending 88 shards and 12.5 million Inf on one. And while it’s possible that you might want to craft a Favor of the Well, you’ll probably do it with two Notices you got from previous weeks’ WSTs so only have to pay 32 Shards. And maybe by the time you have two Notices, you’d have that many Shards to spend on it. Or you could skip the question entirely by using Thread-based components to make your Tier 4 Alpha. The next section, “Breakdown,” lets you turn a Shard-based component back into Shards, but you’ll only get a quarter or less of the Shards used to build it, so it doesn’t really seem like the wisest possible choice. Finally, “Upgrade” lets you convert 10 Shards to 10 Threads once every 20 hours, 10 Shards to 5 Threads at any time, a Notice of the Well to 40 Incarnate Threads, or a Favor of the Well into 100 Incarnate Threads. (I’m not really sure how that qualifies as an “Upgrade,” but whatever.) INCARNATE THREAD Just like the Shard section, the next section of the menu deals with converting Incarnate Threads into Thread-based components. I’ll go into more detail about these in the section discussing crafting powers from them. For now, it’s enough to know that these are the components you get from specifically Incarnate content—Incarnate Trials, the Apex and Tin Mage task forces, Dark Astoria missions, and so on. Also, from Vet Levels 1 to 11, you will get 8 installments of 120 Threads each time you level up (skipping the times you get Empyrean Merits for leveling; see below). The Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Very Rare sections work about the same as in Shards. Common components cost 20 Threads, Uncommon cost 60, Rare cost 4 Uncommon, 100 Threads (so 340 Threads in all) plus 25 million Inf, and Very Rare cost 4 Rare components (1360 Threads) plus 100 million Inf. But once again, you’re unlikely ever to craft a Rare or Very Rare component from other components. This is partly because you have a decent chance of getting some of these components as rewards for doing Incarnate content, but mainly because there’s a simpler way to make them—and I’ll be covering that in the next section. The final option under Incarnate Thread is “Incarnate XP,” which will let you exchange a single Thread for 50,000 Physical or Psychic Incarnate XP, used for unlocking your slots. This might have been a good deal back in Live, where you couldn’t easily get Incarnate XP outside of Trials, but Homecoming lets you get it along with regular XP once you hit 50. And 50,000 Incarnate XP is about what you’d get from just three or four good-sized mob spawns. So, it really doesn’t seem worth it now. Save your Threads and grind out the levels; it really won’t take all that long. ASTRAL MERITS, EMPYREAN MERITS These two sections deal with the same thing: converting Astral and Empyrean Merits into other things. Astral Merits are the Merits awarded for completing individual segments of Incarnate Trials, and each one can be converted to 4 Threads. (Also, 5 Astral Merits can be converted to 1 Empyrean Merit, but that’s done through the vendor Luna on Ouroboros, not through this control panel.) Empyrean Merits have more conversion options, though. You can convert one of them to 20 Threads—or you can convert 8 of them to a Rare component or 30 to a Very Rare component. Note that the game will actually give you Empyrean Merits as you level up, every 3 Vet levels, at the same time as it awards you one of the old Veteran Rewards badges from back in the day. Every 3 levels, from Vet level 3 to 24, you’ll get 20 Empyrean Merits when you level up. From 27 to 48, it’s 15 Merits, 51 to 69 is 10 Merits, and 72 to 99 is 5 Merits every three levels. So, by the time you hit Vet Level 9, you’d have enough Empyreans to craft two Very Rare components, or one Very Rare and three Rare with a little left over. You can also get 4 Empyrean Merits for a successful Hamidon Raid, or obtain them from various other Incarnate content. As I mentioned above, Astral and Empyrean Merits used to have merit vendors on Ouroboros, where you could trade Astrals and Empyreans for costume parts, auras, unlocks, Inspirations, and other rewards. (The complete list is here, if you’re curious. How many of those costume parts and auras do you recognize from the costume creator now?) But all the costume stuff was rolled into the freely unlocked stuff from the costume creator, and the Inspirations were changed to sell for Threads rather than Merits. (And the unlocks you could buy were largely unlocked for free with Homecoming!) In the end, there’s now only one Empyrean/Astral vendor left on Ouroboros—Luna, just to the right of the big building with the shards in it. She’ll convert Astral and Empyrean Merits back and forth, and sell super Inspirations at 10 Threads each and up. You can also convert Astral and Empyrean Merits to Reward Merits at any Reward Merit Vendor, or convert 50 Empyreans to 1 Transcendent Merit and back to make it easier to email them to your other characters. I’d strongly not recommend converting Empyreans to Reward Merits, by the way. Reward Merits are easy to come by, but Empyreans are much rarer, and you can’t convert Reward merits back into Empyreans. If you reach the point where you don’t need any more Empyreans on that character, you can always change them to Transcendents and give your other characters an Incarnate head start with them. COMMON, UNCOMMON, RARE, VERY RARE The final four sections are named for the rarity levels of the Incarnate components, and they include options to Sidegrade, Downgrade, or Breakdown Thread-based components of those rarities. Sidegrading costs a number of Threads to change a component into another component of the same rarity—useful if you have an extra of something but need something else to make your chosen recipe. Downgrading turns a component in one of the next rarity level down—but you don’t get any Threads back for it. As with the Shard option, Breakdown dismantles a component into a number of Threads—but you only get a fraction of the cost to create that component back. THE INCARNATE PROCESS The process of building Incarnate powers is pretty simple once you understand it, but a little hard to understand at first when the user interface is so confusing. You get Shards and Threads from mob drops, Threads and Empyreans from Vet level-ups, Astrals, Empyreans, and components from events, and you use all this stuff to build your way up each power tree, twice—you make your first Tier 3 to use, then your second Tier 3 to convert into a Tier 4. It just takes a while to grind out enough components to make everything—which process I’ll go over in a later section. It’s worth noting that, unlike the powers you get when you level up, you aren’t locked into the first Incarnate power you build. In fact, by the time you reach Vet level 99 and stop getting any further Empyrean Merits from leveling, you’ll have gotten enough drops to have built several powers for each slot if you wanted. For example, my Tanker and Brute have both Resilient and Spiritual Alphas at Tier 4, and can swap them out depending on whether they want to be tougher or recharge faster in the mission they’re doing. And all my characters have Incandescence Destiny because I find its fast-recharge Assemble-the-Team effect really useful, but some also have one of the other Destinies for times when they might want to buff people rather than teleport them. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with multiple powers, especially if you might need to use more than one in different situations. THE INCARNATE POWERS I’m going to run down the various slots and powers now, with commentary and recommendation on each. I’m going to cheat a little, and instead of giving the statistics for each one, I’ll just point you at the Paragonwiki pages which have nicely organized charts. As far as I know, even though a lot of stuff about the Incarnate system has changed from live, the abilities of the Incarnate powers should still be mostly identical. There’s no need for me to waste time and effort reinventing the wheel. The thing you should consider in picking a particular option for any of the Incarnate powers is not simply what the Tier 1 version of the power provides—look at both Tier 4 versions of it, too. It’s possible that even if the Tier 1 isn’t useful to you, the Tier 4 might just include the specific other things that you need. In addition to reading the wiki pages, you can also see what any given power does by mousing over it in the Incarnate powers window. ALPHA SLOT ABILITIES The Alpha slot is the only Incarnate slot that you can build from either Shards or Threads, because it was intended to be the one slot freely available to people who didn't pay to unlock the full Thread-based Incarnate system. As I'll explain later, I recommend building it from Shards as much as possible and saving the Threads for other slots. The Alpha slot is an always-on power that functions, essentially, as an extra Enhancement tacked onto to all of your powers that can use that particular category of Enhancement, and partly ignoring the effects of Enhancement Diversification that cap Enhancement of your powers at set limits. Any and all of your powers that can slot that category of Enhancement benefit from this extra Enhancement, while powers that can’t do not. An Alpha that boosts Range doesn’t just make your blasts shoot farther, it also lets you teleport farther if you have Teleport, and recall friends from farther away with Recall Friend. (Maybe even from all the way across Independence Port!) But it doesn’t do anything for your melee attacks, unless they can also be slotted with Range for some reason. Also, it will not affect powers that do not take Enhancements, such as temp powers, prestige powers, other Incarnate powers, etc. These powers each enhance one attribute at Tier 1—Damage, Endurance Modification, Healing, etc.—but at Tier 4, they can either enhance three attributes extremely well, or six attributes moderately well. Any given attribute only seems to show up in two powers—one as the Tier 1 ability, and another as a secondary ability from later Tiers. For example, Agility boosts Endurance Modification at Tier 1, and Recharge Rate in later Tiers. Spiritual boosts Recharge Rate in Tier 1. Musculature boosts Endurance Modification in later tiers. And so on. A Controller who is considering taking the Intuition Alpha because of its boost to Hold Duration might also want to look at Nerve, which primarily boosts Accuracy but also boosts Hold Duration and Confusion later on. If you’re picking an Alpha, try to find the Alpha that enhances the most things you do use, and the fewest things you don’t. My Tanker took Resilient Radial Paragon, because it boosted Damage Resistance and Taunt. It also boosted a few other things, which I don't much use, but it was worth having for the two things that it did. The Alpha Slot also offers a Level Shift with Tier 3 and 4 versions of the power, which makes you effectively one level higher than your “current” level. This Level Shift applies to any City of Heroes content when exemplared to level 45 or higher. I’ll have more to say about that in the section on advice for new Incarnates. JUDGEMENT SLOT ABILITIES Judgement is, not to put too fine a point on it, a nuke. It’s a high-damage, high-number-of-targets attack that can go off every couple of minutes. It can provide a nifty complement to the rest of your powers, particularly in regard to softening up huge crowds of adversaries. But which one do you want? There are a number of elements to consider. For one thing, there’s thematic appropriateness. My Fire/Fire Tanker and Brute both took Pyronic, because shooting a fireball was perfectly in keeping with their other talents for fire. Ditto my Dark/Dark Controller with Void, and my Empathy/Electric Defender with Ion. On the other hand, there are other things to look at as well. For example, there’s the type of damage. Do you want a most-often-resisted Smashing or Lethal damage, like Mighty or Vorpal have? Or one of the less commonly resisted elemental attacks, like all the rest? And then there’s the pattern of the attacks. Mighty and Void are both PBAoE attacks, Cryonic and Vorpal are cones, Pyronic is a ranged AoE, and Ion is a chained lightning attack that jumps from target to nearby target until it runs out or hits its target limit. So, if your target is a melee class and often surrounded by mobs, you might prefer to consider one of the PBAoEs rather than a cone. My Fire/Kinetic Controller, who often has to run into the middle of enemies to Fulcrum Shift them, went with Mighty, which not only does some decent damage but can be taken with a knock-up effect that makes it harder for the enemies to damage him before he can get out of range. Or, if you’re a min-maxer, Ion is probably the one you want regardless. It’s got high damage, hits an extremely high number of targets at the higher tiers, and you don’t particularly need to worry about where you aim it as long as you shoot it at any mob who’s near any other mobs—it chain-jumps from one to the next until it hits its max number of targets or runs out of nearby mobs. A lot of people complain that it’s overpowered; it’s certainly by far the most common Judgement you see in use. (If you see the words “Ion Judgement Jump” appearing over a lot of enemies’ heads at once, someone just used it.) Judgement is a click power. When you equip it on the Incarnate Equip tab, it creates a new power in your Powers window, which you can then drag to your preferred spot on your control panel. INTERFACE SLOT ABILITIES The Interface power adds an inherent proc to all damaging attacks, for debuffs, extra damage, or other effects. Most Interface power trees have two potential effects you can choose to concentrate on, and the two Tier 4 power options each do a lot of one effect and a little of the other. The debuffs can stack on a single mob up to 4 times, whether from one or multiple characters with the same Interface. My Fire/Fire Tanker and Brute went with Reactive, because a little extra fire damage and damage resistance debuffing was in keeping with their theme—they burn stuff. But see what works better for you. Note that a lot of the debuff effects you get are fairly small—for example, Reactive only offers a 2.5% Damage Resistance debuff for ten seconds, which even stacked the maximum of 4 times only amounts to 10%—so going with Radial Flawless Interface that has the higher chance for the damage-over-time proc might be more effective at helping to kill things all in all. I've heard reports that this slot may be bugged, and the 75% proc is the only one that actually goes off. I'm not sure of the truth of those, however. LORE SLOT ABILITIES Lore powers are Mastermind-style summonable pets that will stay around for 3 to 5 minutes, and have a 15-minute recharge time (meaning it’ll be at least 10 minutes after they go away that you can summon them again). There is a wide variety of pets available, encompassing all kinds of damage and all kinds of secondary effects. Unlike temp power pets, Lore pets will change zones with you. Lore pets use the same control panel as Mastermind pets, meaning you can set them to Aggressive, Defensive, or Passive modes, and order them to attack your target. Unlike Mastermind pets, you can't drag Inspirations onto them, though. In practical use, Lore pets are handy companions for adventuring, especially if you solo a lot. They can make clearing "defeat all" missions a little easier, as well as giving a boost against archvillains and monsters. They also figure into Hamidon raids; as soon as all the mitos are down, the raid leader will call for everyone to pop Lores and set them to Aggressive. And there is a specific time within the BAF Trial they should be saved for. The left (Core) side of the Lore power tree focuses on damage, with Minion, Lieutenant, and Boss pets that have primarily damaging powers. The right (Radial) side of the tree features a support pet. The right-side tier 4 power’s support Lieutenant has no damaging attacks, but is also intangible so it can’t be attacked by enemies. I will usually take the Core (damage) side on support characters like Controllers or Defenders, and those (like Tankers) who are tough enough not to need any extra support but could benefit from damaging things faster. But my characters who are chiefly damaging and a little squishier, like Brutes, Blasters, etc. will go with the Radial (support) side for a little extra healing and buffing power. As for just which Lore pet to get, much like with Judgement it comes down to a question of what’s more thematically appropriate vs. what’s more powerful. If you’re a Demons Mastermind and want to take the Demons Lore set to match, then go right ahead. If you’re looking for the most useful abilities, you might want to check out this list that @CR Miss on the Guides forums has been working on. Cimerorans have a reputation for having the highest single-target damage attacks, though they use the most-commonly-resisted Lethal damage type. The Immunes Surgeon from the support side of the tree has some nice healing abilities that can be helpful if you’re a Fire Brute doing an AE farm. Storms and Polar Lights have some decent AoE. Longbow has a giant robot with some good AoE and a -regen attack. (Also, Longbow has a giant frigging robot.) I’ve heard good things about Banished Pantheon, too. As with any other Incarnate power, you need not limit yourself to only one. You’ll get enough components, Threads, and Merits over time that you can experiment with multiple different Lore sets, or you can pick different ones for different characters and see how you like them all. At Tier 3 and 4, Lore applies an Incarnate Level Shift—a +1 to your level that only applies when doing Incarnate content, such as the Trials or Dark Astoria missions (though oddly enough, not Apex/Tin Mage for some reason). I’ll have more to say about in the section on advice for new Incarnates. DESTINY SLOT ABILITIES Destiny powers are click-to-cast AoE buff auras that mostly emanate from the caster to cover a wide radius. They have a variety of useful effects that are at their strongest in the first thirty seconds after being cast, then gradually fade over time. Higher levels of these buffs may increase radius or buff duration, or add additional buffs or other effects. Most of these are pretty straightforward buffs. Ageless boosts Recharge Rate and Endurance Reduction, sort of like a wide-area Speed Boost but without the bump to running speeds. Barrier gives everyone bubbles that boost Defense and Damage Resistance, and a couple of the higher-tier abilities are noteworthy for rezzing either one or two fallen allies—pretty handy for a power that’s up every couple of minutes. Clarion provides hugely powerful mez protection, and is often useful in cases where powerful mezzes are things to worry about—avoiding getting stunned by Romulus’s Nictus self-rez in the Imperious Task Force, for example, or in Rikti Mothership raids to protect against Rikti Mages, or in Hamidon raids to guard against mito-mezzes. Rebirth is a wide-area mega-heal. But I think one of the most generally useful Destiny powers, both as an Incarnate power and in the game in general, is Incandescence. Not to be confused with the Incandescent Strike Kheldian ability, the Incandescence Destiny is a whole-league version of Assemble the Team that fires off instantaneously and is available every two minutes. In addition to teleporting everyone to the target location, it also knocks back and stuns nearby foes, improves the effectiveness of heal powers, and has various other buffs at higher levels. This power is particularly useful in certain Incarnate Trials (such as in pulling the whole league out of the green disentigration beam in the Keyes Reactor Trial), but it’s extremely handy in general in pretty much any teaming or league situation. In Hamidon raids it’s useful for transporting everyone to the giant monster “walls” to take them down until Hamidon spawns, and gathering them all at the “safety rock” afterward to prepare to go in. In Rikti Mothership raids it can be useful in the event of the league taking significant casualties—instead of rezzing everyone one by one, have them all go to the hospital and fire off Incandescence a few seconds later. In the Justin Augustine Task Force, huge amounts of travel time can be saved by one team member with Incandescence going on ahead to where the next hunt will be while everyone else works on the current one, then porting them there when it’s done. And, of course, it’s even better than Assemble the Team for stealthing to the end of missions and porting everyone else there—there’s no excessively long casting time during which enemies can interrupt you, and you don’t have to wait a half hour for it to recharge. And since it’s up so often, you can use it in any circumstance (for example, fixing team splits, or porting everyone else to the mission door if you get there first) rather than saving it for when you might really need it. For these reasons, I suggest that everyone should craft at least the 60-Thread Tier 1 version of Incandescence even if they mainly use some other Destiny—it’s just super-useful having that on-demand Assemble the Team effect. Plus, thanks to its knockback and stuns, Incandescence can also be used offensively. You just pick up your entire team and throw it into a group of enemies, and the enemies get knocked back and stunned while your team gets buffed. You want to be careful how you do this, though—since Incandescence can’t be slotted, there’s no way to turn its Knockback into Knockdown. So you want to try to position the teleport target to knock enemies into a corner if possible, or against a wall—don’t scatter them every which way and make it harder for your Tanker to get aggro control. If you’re going to do this on a team, you should definitely let people know at the start that you’re inclined to use Incandescence offensively, and if they don’t want to be yanked around (and particularly if they're squishy) they should make sure that “prompt team teleport” is turned on. It might also be useful to warn them that an Incandescence is incoming before you cast it. And, of course, if people react badly to the idea, just don’t do it. At Tier 3 and 4, Destiny applies an Incarnate Level Shift—a +1 to your level that only applies when doing Incarnate content, such as the Trials or Dark Astoria missions (though oddly enough, not Apex/Tin Mage for some reason). I’ll have more to say about in the section on advice for new Incarnates. HYBRID SLOT ABILITIES Finally, Hybrid powers are two-in-one—they include an inherent ability from being slotted, as well as 0-Endurance timed toggles that don’t shut off if you get mezzed. The toggles will run for up to two minutes, then take two minutes to recharge. They can buff damage, regeneration, control, or the rest of the team, with various differentiated abilities as you climb the Tier tree. The Hybrid abilities that offer extra damage to controlled enemies include some interesting pop-ups over affected enemies. If you’re wondering why you saw “WAYLAY!” over an enemy’s head, that’s why. Again, take whichever one of these has good synergy with the other powers you already have. For my Tanker and Brute that was Melee, given its buffs to regeneration, Resist Damage, and Defense, and the taunt aura effect of the Radial branch of the tree. My controllers took the Control power, and my Defender took Support. Now that I’ve gone over the Incarnate control panel and slots, the next section of this guide will cover my advice to new players just getting into Incarnate abilities. Again, if you experienced Incarnates disagree with any of this, please discuss it in the comments—having different points of view available will help those new to the system decide for themselves. FIRST STEPS FOR NEW INCARNATES Welcome to level 50! You’re about to take your first steps into a much larger world. Here’s my advice on the best way to go about building up your Incarnate powers. You may choose to go about it some other way, of course; there are plenty of good ways to do it—but understanding the way I recommend should help you to work out for yourself which other way you might prefer. STEP ONE: CHECK YOUR BUILD Your Incarnate powers, when you have them, will sit on top of your normal build and make an already good build even better—so to start, make sure you already have a good build. If you leveled to 50 without any goals in mind, this is a good time to look back at your character, decide what you want your build to do, and respec into it. The best way to plan out a respec, in my opinion, is with the new Mids' Reborn: Hero Designer utility. The most recent version includes the new Sentinel class, new Enhancement sets, and all the new and newly-proliferated power sets for all the character classes. It will let you play with builds, and see what slotting particular Enhancement sets into them can do for you. I personally like to spec out my builds with it beforehand and build my character into them on the way up, but not everyone does it that way. So, go ahead—make a good build and respec into it. (Remember to take a screenshot of your power trays before you do the respec, for reference when you’re rebuilding your trays afterward.) Slot ATOs or Winter Super Pack Enhancements and catalyze them; slot purples; slot Overwhelming Force into a damage aura or other AoE power…go wild! You’re level 50, you deserve it. If you don’t quite have the money for that yet, you can still spec out your planned build and slot cheaper sets or common IOs until you can afford the more expensive ones. But you’re level 50 now, you make the most Inf per mob defeat of any level in the game, and you can no longer disable earning Influence for double XP—so you will have it sooner or later. (And that’s leaving aside methods of specifically grinding for loot, such as AE farming or Enhancement conversion.) And thanks to the way the Homecoming market works now, even the most expensive purples are still much more affordable than they ever were under Live. So, you’ve got options, if you care to use them. STEP TWO: BUILD YOUR ALPHA If you looked at that Paragonwiki page I recommended earlier, you will have noticed several ways of unlocking the Incarnate system, including doing Mender Ramiel’s arc, buying Incarnate XP with Threads, or outright buying the unlock from a vendor with Astral Merits. Which of those would I recommend? Well…none of them, actually. One of the changes Homecoming implemented was automatically unlocking the Incarnate system once you train up to level 50—no Mender Ramiel arc completion required. Once you train, you’ll immediately start earning Incarnate XP—and not just from special Incarnate content, either, but from ordinary adventuring. (Note that the Mender Ramiel arc will unlock your Alpha slot instantly upon completion, as well as awarding you an Incarnate Shard. If you want to unlock the slot right away, working through the arc would probably be faster than grinding out the XP. However, one of the missions involves a pair of elite bosses who can be tough to solo if your character isn't from a good damage-dealing class. You may want to stock up on Shivans and P2W store pet summons beforehand, or invite a friend or two to tag along—or if there's no other option, use your autocomplete to clear the mission.) The first batch of Incarnate XP will go toward unlocking your Alpha slot, and it unlocks pretty quickly—do a Task Force of any reasonable length, or even just get in a Rikti Mothership raid, and you’ll almost certainly have it unlocked by the time you’re done. And the other slots will follow that—a little more slowly, but keep adventuring and they’ll be done before you know it. The vendor who sold Alpha unlocks with Astral Merits no longer exists. You can still buy Incarnate XP with Threads (as I discussed in the description of the Incarnate power panel options), but really, I don’t recommend it. Unlocking all the slots doesn’t take long at all, so just grind a little more, and keep more Threads to spend on your power picks. SHARD-BASED COMPONENTS: HOW TO GET THEM While you’re unlocking your Alpha, you should also be thinking about building it. As a reminder, Alpha Slot powers can be built with either Shards or Threads. This is one of the more confusing aspects of the Incarnate power window, because the default window size is just small enough to show only one recipe and the scrollbar on the right indicating there are more recipes below can be very hard to notice. But both sets of recipes are there; you just have to scroll down to get to the Thread-based ones. You can, if you choose, apply the methods of gaining Thread-based stuff that I’ll cover in a later section for the other Incarnate power slots, and build the Alpha out of them, too. But I would tend to recommend using Shards as much as possible for the Alpha. You’re going to get Shard drops anyway, and they’re honestly not good for much other than the Alpha. You can convert 10 of them at a time into 10 Threads once a day, and 10 of them into 5 Threads at any time, but there’s not a lot else they’re really good for. So you might as well build as much of your Alpha with them as possible, and save your Threads for the other six slots. If you want to build out all your slots as fast as possible, that would be the best use of your resources. As for how you get Shards, you’ll get one if you do Mender Ramiel’s arc—it’s still available even if you no longer need to do it to unlock Incarnate abilities—and you’ll get them as occasional random drops during your other adventuring—along with Incarnate Threads. So, the main thing you need to do is any content you want to, and the drops will come. (Since you have a small chance of a drop with each enemy you defeat, things where you defeat large numbers of enemies quickly are particularly good for getting large quantities of Shards and Threads quickly: AE farms, Mothership Raids, etc. Also, monsters and AVs seem to have a higher than average chance of dropping Shards and Threads, so if you get in on the nightly triple Hamidon raids where everything you fight is classed as a monster, you'll probably end up with a handful of each in a very short time. Note that enemies must con at least white (that is, be the same level as you) to have a chance of dropping Incarnate stuff. So, doing missions at -1 or +0 (once you've gotten your first Level Shift) full of blues and greens won't be all that helpful for building out your Incarnate powers.) You might specifically want to do Rikti Mothership Raids to buy the Gr’ai Matter component at the Vanguard crafting table, and also do the Level 50 Task/Strike Forces—Imperious, Lady Grey, Miss Liberty, Lord Recluse—because these Task Forces give you the choice of a Shard-based Incarnate component on completion. Every component you get means that you are spending 4 fewer dropped Shards on what you need to craft the power—and you’ll have the chance of getting Shards from drops while doing them. You can only choose the component reward once every 18 hours, but you could certainly do the Task Forces once a day, and a single MSR could buy you several days’ worth of Gr’ai Matter. Apart from that, you can grind for Shard (and Thread) drops the same way you’d grind for XP and Inf, if you do or have a friend who does AE fire farms. LEVEL SHIFTING AND YOU Your first big goal should be to get your Alpha to at least Tier 3, because Tier 3 Alpha is where you get your first Incarnate Level Shift. The Level Shift is an odd little benefit of the Incarnate system, and it effectively makes your character one level higher than the game treats them. When you’re level “50+1,” level 50 mobs will be blue to you—but if you’re at +0 notoriety, the game will still give you those blue level 50 mobs in your missions, not white level 51s. You’ll keep this Level Shift as long as you aren’t exemplared below level 45, and this first one from the Alpha will apply to all content in the game that you can play at those levels. The Level Shifts from Lore and Destiny will apply to special Incarnate content only, such as the Incarnate Trials and Dark Astoria zone and missions (though oddly enough, not the Apex and Tin Mage Task Forces for some reason). I’ll touch on those again in the section on Thread-based powers. WEEKLY STRIKE TARGET And then there’s the Weekly Strike Target TF or SF, a rotating selection of Task and Strike forces which grants double Reward Merits but also awards a huge XP bonus if you’re not an Incarnate yet, or a Notice of the Well Shard component if you are level fifty with your Alpha slot unlocked. You have to have your Alpha unlocked to receive a Notice. You can only get one Strike Target reward per week, across any of the targets, so if you know you’re just about to hit 50, you might want to hold off on doing it until you can get your Alpha slot unlocked before you start it. The Notice of the Well that the WST awards you is a crucial component to crafting your Tier 3 Alpha—and it’s expensive enough to craft that you really want to make sure you get all the free ones you can. And another reason I suggest being sure to craft the Alpha with Shards is that you’re going to get that Notice of the Well anyway if you do the Weekly for the double Merit reward, so why not be able to use it? (You can break the Notice of the Well down into 40 Threads, and you probably should do that for future Notices once you’re finished building all the Alphas you want. But it’ll be a lot more efficient to build your T3 Alphas with them first.) THE TIER 4 ALPHA: SHARDS VS THREADS When I recommended using Shards to build your Alpha, I did make an exception for Tier 4. That’s because for Tier 4 you need a Favor of the Well, which takes two Notices and 32 Shards to make. Now, if you’ve been playing at level 50 for a while before getting into this Incarnate thing, you might very well have multiple Notices of the Well and bunches of Shards sitting around, but if you haven’t, you’re only going to be able to get one Notice per week going forward—so do you really want to wait two more weeks to craft your Tier 4? I don’t think so. Fortunately, crafting a Tier 4 Alpha with Thread-based components is just as easy for the Alpha as it is for the other powers I’ll discuss. So you can just do that and call it good. (By the same token, if you’re ready to craft the second Tier 3 you’ll need for that Tier 4 before you’re eligible to get another Notice from a WST, you may want to do that with Threads, too.) STEP THREE: BUILD LORE, DESTINY, AND THE OTHER THREAD-BASED SLOTS You don’t actually have to wait until you’ve built your Alpha to start on your Thread-based slots; you can work on both at the same time if and as you get enough Shards and Threads for them. But using Shards to build the Alpha means you can devote more Threads to the other slots, and you should certainly do so if you can. If you like, you can actually get started before you’ve even got the slots unlocked. You can craft Incarnate powers as soon as you have the components for them; you just can’t slot them until the slots are unlocked. So if you’re doing a lot of Incarnate Trials early on while you’re still unlocking the slots, you might want to make note of what components you’re going to need, so you can pick them from the reward rolls at the end of the Trials and work toward having the right ones to make the powers you want. And if you want to build them early so you're ready to drop them in as soon as they open up, that will be just fine. I would recommend that, apart from the Alpha, the first two Incarnate slots you should work on are Lore and Destiny. The reason is, those slots provide the Incarnate Level Shifts at Tier 3, making you that much more effective in Incarnate Trials (which I’ll discuss in a moment). Once you have all three, you’ll be at level 53, which means you’ll be on a more even footing with the level 54 mobs in most Incarnate Trials and other Incarnate content. That means you’ll be a more effective fighter in those trials, and those trials will be more likely to be successful. After you get those Level Shifts, you can build out the remaining powers in whatever order you like. You’ll probably want to get them all to Tier 3 before you start moving any up to Tier 4, though. THREAD-BASED COMPONENTS: HOW TO GET THEM There are three major sources of Thread-based components: Incarnate missions, such as those in Dark Astoria; Incarnate Task Forces, like Apex or Tin Mage; and Incarnate Trials, like Behavioral Adjustment Facility or Lambda Complex. INCARNATE MISSIONS Incarnate Missions are probably the simplest way for solo players to get their hands on Shard-based components. They are awarded at the end of Incarnate story arcs, including when the arcs are replayed via Ouroboros. As this guide by @ElPuerco indicates , the Dark Astoria introductory arc can be soloed at the lowest difficulty in about fifteen minutes, thus providing several components over the course of one hour of play. If you don’t enjoy having to depend on a large team of people not to screw things up for everybody else, and are of a class that solos easily, this might be the best course for you—especially after you’ve gotten your Incarnate level shifts and are at +3 and can do these missions at a Notoriety of -1, so you’ll be 3 or 4 levels higher than all the enemies. If you haven’t done this arc yet, and can gather a team of other people who also haven’t done it, you’ll be able to simultaneously complete the first few missions in the arc, then do the final mission once for each team member so each of you on the team gets as many components as there are team members who have the arc available. In Ouroboros, it runs Task Force style so there’s only one chance to run the final mission for everyone. INCARNATE TASK FORCES The next step up from those missions is doing the Incarnate Task Forces, of which there are only two—Apex and Tin Mage. These run similarly to all the other Task Forces, being primarily missions where you go places, click glowies, and defeat things. At the end of each of them, you’re awarded a choice of Incarnate Thread-based component. Also, if you earn the optional objective badges and “Master Of” badge for each, those should come with extra components, too. Unlike previous Task Forces, these do have specific Incarnate requirements—you have to have your Alpha unlocked and slotted in order to be able to participate meaningfully. If you don’t, you’re penalized 4 levels, meaning you’re going to be effectively level 46 while doing a 50+ Task Force, and will probably be dead weight at best. So if you don’t have your Alpha yet, you might want to focus on those Shard-based components I discuss above until you have at least the first Tier of it. INCARNATE TRIALS The main way of getting Incarnate components for most will be the series of Incarnate Trials that players get together and run. These trials usually call for leagues of 16 to 24 players, and take place over the course of a single mission in which players must complete several sets of challenges successfully in order to finish and win a Thread-based component. While going into great detail about these is beyond the scope of this guide, I can at least cover the basics of getting started in them. Incarnate Trials disable most of your temp or Day Job powers, though they don’t disable Accolade Powers. Interestingly enough, they also don’t disable many of the temp powers you get from Super Packs. You might lose your Resuscitator or Revive Ally powers, but any charge of the Super Pack “Restore” power you get will be right there for you to use at need. (So you may want to save those along and not use them in regular content.) Incarnate Trials usually form up in places where both Heroes and Villains can mingle, since both are eligible to participate in said trials. The most popular spot seems to be Pocket D, though you’ll also see some form up in Ouroboros. If you want to get in on such a trial, you might want to hang out in one of those places while you wait, and also watch the LFG channel just in case a trial starts forming up in another instance of the zone you’re in. Most pre-Incarnate Task Forces and Trials offer few challenges more stringent than going places, defeating bunches of enemies, and clicking on glowies. (You don’t even have to click on them simultaneously anymore, since Homecoming did away with that requirement.) However, most Incarnate Trials are considerably more nuanced—and more challenging. Goals vary by the individual Trial, but can include things like killing more than one archvillain simultaneously, killing enemies next to an archvillain to render it vulnerable, dragging an archvillain to a particular spot so other players can use temp powers on something there, and so on. At the simplest end of the trial spectrum are the Lambda Complex (LAM), Behavioral Adjustment Facility (BAF), and the (slightly more complicated) Keyes Reactor Trial. These are also the trials you see run the most often (to the chagrin of those who prefer some of the other, more complex ones). LAM is pretty basic—you just collect two sets of temp powers, then use them in a fight against the AV Marauder. It’s basic enough that a lot of people are bored of it, which is probably why it doesn’t get run as often as some of the other simple ones. (I would advise to stay away from “speed LAMs,” which is where you only bother collecting one set of the temp powers and disregard the other. It can be faster, but it can also be chancier because without the time boost from getting the second temps, you can run out of time to get enough of the first—and without using the second temp power, you can be overwhelmed by adds if you don’t kill Marauder fast enough. Maybe you’ll want to do things that way when you’re more experienced, but it’s just too easy for those to fail when inexperienced people are involved, resulting in a lot of frustration for all concerned.) BAF is probably the one that gets run more than any other, because it’s simple and short but also has some nice challenges (including defeating two different AVs twice each). It’s generally pretty hard to fail a BAF. If you’re just getting into Incarnate Trials, you should probably get your feet wet with these. Keyes is more complex, and has more of a requirement that its leaders know what they’re doing. There are a few aspects of the trial that are counterintuitive and require explanation (like the need not to damage the AV, Antimatter, until a certain point), and a few people who don’t know what they’re doing during the final AV fight can easily torpedo the trial for everybody. It’s worth noting that the Praetorian AVs from these trials do count toward the Dimensional Warder badge. If you do Maria Jenkins’s arc and then a BAF and a Keyes to get Siege and Antimatter, you will have that badge without having to do Tina McIntyre’s arc as well. Before doing these or any other Incarnate Trial, I would recommend that you review the write-up on ParagonWiki about the trial in question—but also pay attention to the trial leader. Are they willing to explain to newbies how this particular trial works (preferably while the team is forming up ahead of the event itself)? Do they seem to have a plan in mind for how to handle it? If not, you might be best off to bow out, at least until you have more experience with the trial yourself. My first Homecoming experience with the Keyes came from a so-called leader who had basically no instructions or guidance for the rest of the league, and just trusted everyone to know what to do already and work it out for themselves. It was such a disaster that it put me off trying another one for weeks. But if the leader does have it together, and is issuing orders, and the more experienced players don't seem to have any problem with them, you should follow those orders to the best of your abilities even if they don't seem to make any sense. There may be things they just haven't had time to explain yet. And once in a very great while, you might just run across a leader who has it so together that they make even the most complex trials seem simple without even trying. If you run across any amazing Incarnate Trial leaders like that, I recommend that you friend them, global-friend them if they’ll let you, and see if they have a global channel where they organize their trials. Good leaders are so rare, you definitely shouldn’t let them get away. You’ll get a choice of Thread-based component on successful completion of a trial—hopefully a Very Rare, possibly a Rare, more likely an Uncommon, or probably a Common. When you’re given the choice, you may want to pop up your Incarnate powers window and see which components you need to make the next power you want so you’ll know which one you should choose. (Unless it’s a Common, in which case you can pick pretty much any at random because you’ll probably need it sooner or later.) You can exit the trial and the window will stay open if you haven't yet made your choice. You will also get Astral Merits from completing specific challenges within Incarnate Trials, and an Empyrean merit at the end. You can also convert 5 Astral Merits into 1 Empyrean Merit at Luna on Ouroboros (which is really about the only useful thing you can do with Astral Merits). Earning the optional badges and Master Of from Incarnate Trials will earn you additional components and Astral Merits, which is nice if you're just starting out. Also, you shouldn't just limit yourself to those three. The other Incarnate Trials do get run from time to time, and are often very interesting—especially if you have one of those aforementioned amazingly good leaders at the helm. So, if you see one being announced on LFG, don't be afraid to jump in. The final Trial, Magisterium, does require that your character has their Lore and Destiny slots unlocked, but also offers a higher-than-usual chance of Rare or Very Rare components at the end. FURTHER INCARNATE PROGRESSION However you get components—be it missions, Task Forces, or Trials—the more of them you get, the more quickly you’re going to level up your Incarnate powers. I would strongly recommend saving the Threads and Empyrean Merits you get for leveling against the proverbial rainy day, and scooping as many components as you can from game content instead. Every Rare component you get saves you 8 Empyreans, and every Very Rare saves you 30. And as rarely as those two drop, you’ll have to do a lot of stuff to earn any. After you stop getting Threads as level-up rewards at Vet Level 11, you’re hardly ever going to get so many Threads at once again (save for converting Notices of the Well, at least), and those Empyreans slack off into a trickle as you near Vet Level 99. The farther you can stretch those threads and Merits, the more quickly you can build up all the Incarnate powers you need. Remember, you’re going to have to build Tier 1 through Tier 3 twice for each power before you can build its Tier 4. Another reason to save Empyreans is that, after you finish getting everything you could want to Tier 4, you can convert 50 of them into one Transcendent Merit for easier emailing to your other characters, to give them a head-start on building up their own Incarnate powers. But you have to have at least 50 to make the conversion—otherwise, you’re going to have to compose and send one email for each and every Empyrean you have. CLOSING THOUGHTS I hope that this guide has helped fill in some of the gaps in your Incarnate knowledge, and given you some ideas about how to use this system going forward. If there's anything that's still unclear, please let me know in the comments. If I didn't do a good enough job explaining something, I'll be happy to go back and expand the section to cover it better. Likewise, if I made any factual errors or mistakes, please tell me about those and I'll fix them. And, as previously stated, if you disagree with my opinions about anything, I'd love to have a discussion for the further elucidation of the people who come to read this later. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you in the City of Heroes!
  8. 46 points
    The Good Missions Guide or A heroic journey to 50 without powerleveling The Story is Actually Good Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s easier to powerlevel up to 50, buy IOs and go back through Ouroboros in Flashback missions, but this creates a jumbled storytelling mess. Also, it creates a feeling of character development and your "oh, it's X again" moments become "hey, I remember this! I helped X do Y in Z!" as characters appear and reappear later, giving the whole story a sense of continuity and progression. If you want to experience a version of the story organically and fluidly, here’s a guide to levelling. I’ve tried to cherry pick story arcs that meet the following criteria: Interesting missions (variety of objectives). Missions with unique maps or mechanics. Story flow - introducing characters and ideas that’ll show up again later. Rewards and unlocks, missions with temporary powers (you'll unlock three summons and a very useful resistance buff if you follow along). Things I just think are cool. I do plan on adding to this a bit as there are some points I want to go back to but as it is this will get you to 50 and show you a good time while you get there. Notable omissions are several of the really old story arcs that lack the flair of later arrivals and some "not a story arc BUT" missions (the origin contacts) - I couldn't realistically fit everything in. Also not touched upon are tip or radio missions, although I would say it's worth working through them to unlock your character as a vigilante for a bit more variety (you can cheat with Null the Gull, but the tip missions are all fairly good and so are the alignment shift ones and remember that this is a story guide). I fully admit I've gone for Rule of Cool in a few places, rather than exploring deep lore told only by easily missed contacts. You can still explore that yourself - I encourage it! But that's not what this guide is about. Included below are the names of the contacts, in order, with level bands taken from Paragon Wiki. Suggested Path Tutorial > Atlas Park > The Hollows > Kings Row > Faultline > First Ward & Striga > Night Ward & Croatoa > Peregrine Island > Cimerora & Ritki War Zone There are a few story arcs and task forces along the way that I also suggest, either because they contribute to the overall story or just because I think they're good. A Warning about XP It is very easy to outlevel certain zones and for that reason I recommend you do not use any exp boosts. Other times, you'll get halfway through a zone and not be able to speak to the next contact. Over the course of the game, there was a (near) global XP buff and a reduction in experience debt, so the levelling process is now noticeably quicker than a couple of the early zones were designed for. You’re deliberately taking the scenic route here. The following macro will create a button that will pause and unpause XP gain, allowing you to more easily control your levelling pace. I've indicated in this guide the points at which you should pause your experience gain to get the most from the story - a general rule of thumb is at levels ending in 4 or 9. /macro_image "DayJob_XPBoost" "XP Toggle" "option_toggle noxp" A Note for Kheldian Archetypes Both Peacebringers and Warshades have their own contacts in Sunstorm and Shadowstar respectively, each giving you a unique archetype storyline every five levels, starting at level 5. Each storyline is pretty decent, although they suffer from the slightly monotonous missions that many early game story arcs do. If you pick a Kheldian archetype, follow the story along when it comes up, but be really careful about not outlevelling other contacts while you do it. Levels 1-2: The Tutorials Okay, there really isn’t much here but you do get a couple of enhancements and inspirations for free and a run through of the basics of mission objectives. Outbreak runs you through the basics of your standard door missions. Galaxy City is, in my opinion, less good as a tutorial but more connected to the early story arcs. Your call, really. When you’re finished, you’ll end up in... Atlas Park The temptation here is to skip the early levels by running Death From Below. Do not do this! Believe it or not, the zone actually has a nice little story arc that foreshadows later zones and comes to a decent conclusion. You'll get your levels. Don't fret. There is a good variety to the missions and it really does show you a little bit of everything. All contacts are L1-7. Matthew Habershy > Officer Fields or Sondra Castel > Aaron Thiery Thanks to Roderick and PatientZero for pointing out you can only do one of the middle contacts - both arcs are actually pretty decent, so pick either. They both introduce Aaron Thiery. Next, talk to Twinshot for an *ahem* endearing and light-hearted introduction to some of the further aspects of the game. It’s basically a glorified tour of the introductory areas, but it's not done enormously well. Don't worry - it gets better. The game suggests you go to Kings Row next, and but first I suggest you stop over in a hazard zone. The Hollows A hazard zone is an area that generally has larger spawns, and they generally reflects the game in its very early state where the missions were a bit less distinct and there was a bit more of a focus on the grind, but I think it’d be a shame to miss the Hollows as it has a decent story and unlocks the Cavern of Transcendence trial. Pause your XP gain at level 9 until you have started Flux's arc. David Wincott (5-9) > Flux (5-9) > (see note) >Julius the Troll (10-14) > Talshak the Mystik (12-14) Meg Mason has repeatable non-story missions if you feel like running those. Be careful with the Frostfire mission - you might want help with this one. The level bands are fairly slim, so be very careful about out-levelling them, particularly at the end. Use the no-XP clicky with style and panache. Note: Due to the non-overlapping levels, if you find yourself finished with Flux but not ready for Julius the Troll, now would be a time to go for the Death from Below trial in the sewers with a full team or head over to Kings Row (and come back again). Pause your XP gain at 14 until you have started Talshak the Mystik's arc and Twinshot's arc. Kings Row Start off with the next part of Twinshot’s next Shining Stars story arc as it introduces a few characters and concepts you’ll see again later as well as having a nice little crossover to a the City of Villains equivalent tutorial. It introduces more than a few characters you see later in tip missions and other content, so it's worth doing for the story element - the final chapter is surprisingly good. You won’t stay here long, but it’s certainly worth paying it a visit. Sadly, it looks like this story chain was cut short on a cliffhanger when the game went under, but it’s still well done and worth doing. Shauna Stockwell > Eagle Eye (both 7-20) It’s a short pair of neat arcs ending in a solo mission. Before You Move On Now would be a good time to do Positron 1 and Positron 2, as well as Death From Below, Drowning in Blood and The Cavern of Transcendence if you haven’t already done them. Your goal is to get to to about level 17 or 18 and have a good time doing it. The Positron task forces are very good storytelling and set up the next zone you’ll go to. The trials are all pretty short and sweet with experienced teammates. If you’re still not there, try out the Synapse Task Force. Save your jetpack from the Positron task force if you can - you'll need it much later in the Shadow Shard. Montague Castanella (10-50) in the university in Steel Canyon can provide you access to the exclusive Midnighter Club, which you'll need to be part of much later on. When you're ready, it's time to go to one of my favourite zones. Pause your XP at level 19 until you've started Penelope Yin's Faultline arc. Faultline This zone is, in my opinion, where the "modern" game really begins and we see a clear move from "old" style content. It introduces a number of very important characters to the game's plot, has an interesting and unique map and has a huge variety in the missions it gives you. They are almost all stealthable, which is worth noting. A couple of them are defeat-all missions, but when I did it there were only a handful of enemies so it really won't take long. This zone is excellent. Jim Temblor (15-19) > Penelope Yin (15-19) > Doc Delilah (20-24) > Agent G (20-24) The last mission of this chain will grant you the Ouroboros Portal, which is a handy tool for time-travel and avoiding public transport. Pause your XP at level 24. Before you move on or if you want a break from Fautline, go and speak to Laura Lockheart and then Graham Easton (both 15-24) in Steel Canyon for a couple of memorable story arcs. Graham's arc introduces some enemies who you'll see in L50 content and Laura's arc is just very well written with some unusual moments. The University Now would be a good time to learn to craft some IOs. If you've been careful, you should have a bit of influence saved up by now. Head to the university in the southern end of Steel Canyon and do the short tutorial there by speaking to Admissions Officer Lenk. Now would also be a good time to do the Admiral Sutter Task Force that starts in Independence Port. It's a very story-focussed task force, linking Faultline, Praetoria, RWZ and Incarnate content. Keep your XP paused - 20-24 is busy. Next, there are actually several very good, slightly overlapping zones that I suggest you kind of do in tandem if you're careful. Striga has a storyline that starts off a little slow and ends in one of the cooler early game task forces and is definitely worth doing. First Ward has a very strong story that links to a lot of the later Praetorian content. Because of the contact level ranges, I'd start in Striga, do the first two contacts then head over to First Ward and work through there before finishing off in Striga. Keep your XP gain paused at 24 until you've completed the first two Striga arcs, then pause your XP gain again at level 29 until you've started Skipper LeGrange's arc in Croatoa - levels 20-29 have a lot of good content. First Ward Striga First Ward is a continuation of the Praetorian Going Rogue storyline to some extent, but it's so well done that I genuinely think it would be a shame to miss out. It has memorable characters, cool story interactions and an element of choice that hasn't really been seen up to this point. All contacts for this zone are 20-29 and it starts off by talking to Mistress Eva in Talos. Mistress Eva > The Doorman > Nadia > Palatine > Noble Savage > Katie Douglas > Blind Makwa > Cerulean > Master Midnight > Vanessa DeVore There's the Seed of Hamidon raid boss pootling about in the middle of the zone - you can take it down with eight capable heroes quite easily and it's worth doing. It's done so rarely that getting a team together on the LFG isn't hard. It's a somewhat anticlimactic battle, but you get some badges from it. I think this zone is often overlooked, which is a shame because it ends in a very cool sequence of missions and unlocks a pretty fun task force, as well as giving you a couple of very good temporary powers. The first story arc is arguably a bit boring and generic, but it builds up into something much better. Be very careful with your levels, as always. Stephenie Peebles (20-24) > Long Jack (20-24) > Tobias Hansen (25-29) > Lars Hansen (25-29) You can then do the Ernesto Hess task force as a bit of a glory lap. It's nothing super special, but it has unique maps and is well-paced and enjoyable. There is also the Moonfire task force here, which is part of the Kheldian storyline. Before You Move On If you're a vigilante you should speak to Shauna Braun in Independence Port to check out her new i26 story arc - it really helps progress the idea of your character as operating in shades of grey. Martin Weintraub in Talos Island has the Freaklympics early game story arc, which is pretty neat. It's also work heading over to Ouroboros and speaking to Twilight's Son for his Smoke and Mirrors arc, which was formerly a short task force. It's worth doing just to see the unique scenery, but the story isn't bad either. Then, we can continue on in Praetoria's otherworldly Night Ward and visit the nightmarish magical land of Croatoa. Because of level restrictions, I suggest you start in Croatoa being careful of the level bands, then head over to Night Ward. Pause your XP gain at 34 until you've started Buck Salinger's arc, then pause it at 39. Night Ward Croatoa Carrying on the story from First Ward, we've got the fairly unique zone of Night Ward, full of gaslamp fantasy world-of-the-dead mystery, knights and magic. Start off by talking to Mistress Maria in First Ward for the introduction. All contacts are 30-39. Mistress Maria > Montague Castanella > Ward > Sir Bedwyr > The Magician My only real complaint with Night Ward is that it just sort of stops. A few characters do turn up in later story arcs, though. This somewhat unique zone is, in many ways, similar to Striga. It has a few clunky missions at the start and then when it gets going becomes something fairly memorable with a decent task force unlock and some neat temporary powers. The storyline is good enough and there are some unique maps along the way. Gordon Bower (25-29) > Skipper LeGrange (25-29) > Kelly Nemmers (30>34) > Buck Salinger (30-34). At the end, you'll unlock the Katie Hannon task force, which was historically the quickest task force in the game and has a unique, if slightly unrelenting, first mission. It also has a few giant monsters around, two of which go into battle, which is worth seeing. Before You Move On Now would be an excellent time to stop by Ouroboros and speak to The Pilgrim (25-50) and then Mender Lazarus (30-39) for your introduction to the joys of time-travel and then a short mission chain that has thematic links to Striga and Cimerora. If you're a vigilante you could speak to The Major (30-40) in Brickstown. This mission is unique because it's one of the very, very few where you explicitly don't just "arrest" your enemies. It has some unusual steps and is worth doing, even if I think the whole thing is slightly bad taste. Peregrine Island This is very much the centre of the "old" end game and I consider it something of a right of passage to do the following, as it introduces a lot of archvillains that you'll see again later. Most of this was designed as team content, so now would be a good time to open things up on the LFG if you haven't already been doing so. You can relax on the levelling here, as apart from Tina Macintyre, there's nothing in this guide that you can outlevel any more. Tina Macintyre (40-44) The Anti-Matter Collision / The Instant Army Unai Kemen (45-50) To Save a Thousand Worlds Maria Jenkins (45-50) A Hero's Epic They'll help you get closer to the Portal Jockey accolade, which gives you a very nice permanent boost to health and endurance. Before You Move On Quickly head back to Croatoa and speak to Percy Winkley (30-50) at the University there for a small series of missions that give you some background lore about the world you're in. Now would also be a good time to head over to Atlas Park and talk to the City Representative (20/30-50) in city hall. She has two story arcs that were originally tied to costume unlocks, but they also have some background to later storylines. The Last Stretch Still with me? Glad to hear it. Next up, I'm sending you to two more very well-crafted zones, both with the very relaxed level range. Cimerora is accessed by going through the back door of the Midnighter Mansion accessed through Steel Canyon, Croatoa, or Founders' Falls and touching the crystal in the centre of the hallway. The Ritki War Zone can be accessed by going into one of the Vanguard bases and taking the portal. At this point, you can safely remove the XP pause button entirely; it has served its purpose and we thank it for its service. Most lower level content can still be accessed through the Flashback system in Ouroboros, and the small amount that can't can be got at through teaming with a lowbie. Cimerora Ritki War Zone This zone is notable for just being so stylistically unique and making good use of time travel as a plot device, as well as harking back to some Kheldian lore. As you go in, talk to the Midnighter standing in front of you for further instruction. Personally, I think the story progression is a bit messy, but it's still worth doing if only because the task force is so good. All contacts are L35-50. Midnighter > Senator Decimus Aquila > Marcus Valerius Additionally, there is a Hero-specific contact named Daedelus (40-50) with some missions that send you back to Paragon City and this zone ends with the glorious Imperius task force. I really like the storytelling in this zone. There's a good sense of progression and you meet up with a few characters we met earlier. Levantera (35-50) > Serpent Drummer (40-50) > Gaussian (45-50) > The Dark Watcher (45-50) There are a few task forces here, but for now give the Lady Grey task force a try as it most closely follows the storyline. Your glory lap here is unquestionably the Ritki Mothership Raid. Look for it on the LFG, head on over and join a league. Range and AoE attacks will help you, but if you don't know what you're doing then watch for instructions, follow the crowd and keep spamming those AoE attacks. Nearly there Either the Imperious task force or the Mothership raid should help you get the last few levels out as you approach 50 and they basically hold you down and breathe XP in your face, and are both absolutely worth doing at least once. Now would be a good time to revisit missed task forces and trials and follow up any contacts you might have missed. The Signature Story Arc Who Will Die? is worth doing now, if you want some story-centric content. It happens chronologically before some of the in-game stuff we've covered, so I've sort of left it out for that reason until now. Use Paragon Wiki to help you do them in the right order as it's not very obvious in-game if you're not using the Flashback system, but it's run like a series of solo-friendly story task forces so you might as well do it through Ouroboros as it requires time-travel to make sense if you're being a purist. Task Forces and Trials At this stage, you can access all non-incarnate task forces and trials. Most are pretty popular, although one or two are avoided for being too much of a slog. They're all worth doing, though. The Freedom Phalanx Task Forces Completing these will give you the Task Force Commander accolade. They vary between old-skool grindfests and newly refurbished storytelling episodes. Positron 1 & 2 (10/11-15/16) Rule of Three & Dam Hero - good storytelling with a free jetpack Synapse (15-20) Fall of the Clockwork King - a bit repetitive with a stronger ending Penelope Yin (20-25) A Clamor for the People - short and sweet Citadel (25-30) Citadel's Children - a bit grindy and repetitive Manticore (30-35) Following Countess Crey - a bit travel-heavy but there's a memorable battle at the end Numina (35-40) Soul of the Woodsman - use a guide for this one as there are 16 (fairly easy) hunt missions in a row that work best when your whole team is spread out over the relevant zones The Shadow Shard The four Shadow Shard task forces are, to put it mildly, a thankless grind through repetitive missions with enemies that debuff defence hard and often resist control effects, ending in a moderately cool final battle after hours and hours and hours and I think they're great. For crying out loud, don't do them more that once, but they're a true right of passage for any high level character. They involve a huge amount of travel, which is nightmarish for non-fliers or teleporters. If you can, grab the mission teleporters from the P2W vendor and coordinate who uses them, as well as the Ouroborous portal and maybe a jetpack temporary power. The scenery, however, is amazing. They sort of form one giant task force, and they suffer "a little bit" from pacing issues. Find a friendly group you can have a laugh with, put on some music and just surrender yourself to the grind. Dr. Quarterfield (40-44) > Sara Moore (40-50) > Justin Augustine (44-50) > Faathim the Kind (44-50) The Best of the Rest I'm not going to list all of them - use Paragon Wiki or the LFG for that, but here are the ones I think are especially worth doing: Moonfire (23-28) The Kheldian War - nothing too special about this one, but it links to later content in Dark Astoria, Ouroboros and Cimerora meaning the lore in those areas won't entirely drop on you out of nowhere. Katie Hannon (30-24) A Tangled Plot - Croatoa is a strange zone with unique enemies and a unique task force. The first mission is a bossfight marathon and the rest are a short tour of unique and unusual maps. Imperius (35-50) Time's Arrow - excellently paced and fairly varied in its objectives, this task force is a cathartic end to the Cimerora arc with some awesome set pieces and basically the best task force for hitting 50 quickly. Dr Khan (45-50) Return of the Reichsman - a decent task force with an interesting final battle with unique mechanics. Lady Grey (45-50) - the final chapter of the excellent Ritki War Zone arcs and worth doing for the lore and the gameplay. Ms Liberty (45-50) - often considered the most difficult task force in the game due to the final mission - started in Independence Port, not Atlas Park! Trials Trials are kind of short task forces and all are worth doing at least once. They vary between "that was it?" and genuine challenge, even for end-game built players. Death From Below is infamous for helping new characters get a few levels done nice and quickly at the start and therefore not realising that Atlas Park even has story arcs. Drowning in Blood is mechanically a bit more interesting and has a nice change of scenery if you're used to Paragon City. The three Terra Volta trials are the old blueside respec trials and are worth doing. The Abandoned Sewers Trial is surprisingly difficult with a unique vertical map, requiring more team coordination than you might expect at first glance. Eden is unique in its layout and the Cavern of Transcendence was, in my opinion, slightly ruined by the decision to make it soloable meaning one of the most challenging elements has been trivialised. What's next? Well, it's time for some incarnate-level content, but that's outside of the remit of this guide. Any comments, let me know! I'm a big fan of missions and story arcs and think there's a lot of really great content there that goes almost unplayed due to the "must get moar levelz" mentality, which is fine but not for me. Thanks!
  9. 46 points
    Issue 26, Page 4 Homecoming Crash Handler The new Homecoming Crash Handler has been enabled. If your game crashes, you will now be presented with a number of options for providing us with information to help diagnose and resolve the crash (see an example here). If you are still stuck on the safe mode client it is of paramount importance that you submit crash reports for the 32-bit or 64-bit clients. It is likely that this is the last major update that will support Safe Mode. Please read this thread for more information relating to the discontinuation of Safe Mode. Tanker & Brute Changes Scaling & Stats Tanker: Ranged damage modifier increased from 0.5 to 0.8, Melee damage modifier increased from 0.8 to 0.95, Bruise has been removed in favour of a flat damage scale increase. Buff modifiers increased to match Controller values. Damage buff cap increased from 400% to 500%. Brute: Ranged and Melee damage modifiers are now equal at 0.75. Damage buff cap lowered from 775% to 700%. All Brute and Tanker Epic pools now use ranged damage modifiers. Note that due to the above changes, Epic Pools should see no damage change at all. AoEs Most Tanker Melee AoE powers have had their target caps increased. Most cones now have a 10 target cap. Most PBAoEs now have a 16 target cap. Tanker now gets an inherent buff to the radius of AoE attacks and arc of cones. +50% for AoEs. +50% for cones. Some powers are unaffected by this buff. This is noted on the power description. Full list of Tanker target cap changes, area changes, etc: Brute Fury Generation Hitting AVs no longer gives bonus Fury, but Fury generation for attacking has been increased in a variety of ways: Brute Fury generation now takes into account the cast time of the attack for successful hits. Any attack slower than brawl will now generate bonus Fury if it lands a hit. Brutes now get bonus fury generation in teams - the larger the team, the larger the bonus. Fury now takes 10 seconds without attacking to start its accelerated decay, instead of 5 seconds. The goal of these changes is to improve Fury generation in teams when the Brute is not the only brute, or is in the company of another tanking AT. Gauntlet & PunchVoke Gauntlet is now applied via a global proc. Any single target power that takes endurance cost enhancements will trigger an AoE taunt. Every AoE power that takes endurance cost enhancements will taunt the enemies it hit. All Auras that take endurance cost enhancements will taunt the enemies they hit. Radius is now the same for all attacks (10ft, 5 targets max) Taunt scale is now 10% higher than the Brute's. Brute PunchVoke is now also applied via a global proc. Any power that either inflicts damage or takes accuracy enhancements will trigger PunchVoke. Power Acquisition Levels To improve Tanker AoE capability during level up progression, the following powers had their acquisition levels changed: Battle Axe > Whirling Axe = 20, Swoop = 28 Martial Arts > Dragon Tail = 20, Focus Chi = 28, Crippling Axe Kick = 35 Stone Melee> Tremor = 28, Hurl Boulder = 35 War Mace > Whirling Mace = 20, Clobber = 28 Taunt Auras Brute and Tanker Ice Armor powers no longer have built-in Taunt, they are now instead covered by the inherent global proc. Other Changes The following tanker and brute powers should now accept regular Taunt Enhancements: Oppressive Gloom, Cloak of Fear, Burn (note that burn patches don't taunt, only the up-front damage does.) Spines: Spine Burst> No longer ignores Radius buffs. Spines: Quills > Now ignore Radius buffs. Burn for Brute and Tankers should also accept Taunt Sets (note that any proc on burn will not pass through to the patch.) Brute > Martial Arts > Taunt / Crane Kick: Fixed incorrect power order. Pets & Henchmen Updates Mastermind pets which have been commanded to Stay or to Go To a location will hold that position and will not chase after targets or move closer to use powers that are out of range. Be aware this also means they will not move out of damage patches on their own. Mastermind pets in Follow mode will now always stay within a 100' radius of their owner, regardless if they are in Defensive or Aggressive stance. Pets that are primarily ranged attackers will try to stay in the Supremacy radius. The pet AI now ignores the aggro cap. This should prevent pets from standing around twiddling their thumbs in Incarnate Trials and other situations where many pets are attacking the same target. Pets now give a strong preference to selecting targets that are within 50' of the pet's owner. This helps melee-oriented Mastermind pets stay in Supremacy range more often, while still allowing them to move and effectively engage targets outside the range. A number of pets have been classified as "Ranged Only" pets. The AI for these pets will no longer change position in order to use melee powers such as Brawl. They still possess these powers and will use them opportunistically if a target is in range, but will not move in order to do so. The pets that no longer move in to use melee attacks are: Mercenaries > Soldiers Mercenaries > Medic Mercenaries > Spec Ops Mercenaries > Commando Necromancy > Lich Robotics > Battle Drones Robotics > Protector Bots Robotics > Assault Bot Thugs > Thugs Thugs > Arsonist Thugs > Enforcers Powers Combat Log Combat log output has been standardized. Many powers used to report the wrong damage type and effects in the combat log, this process has fixed that, in addition to making the combat log a lot easier to parse. Phantom Army Added new customisation options for Phantom Army Mirror (copy of current character costume) Phantom Mirror (copy of current character costume with Phantom Army VFX) Other Pool > Teleportation > Long Range Teleport: This power now grants a popup tray power that allows a second chance at teleporting should you fail to teleport the first time. The Second Chance power will remain for 2 minutes or until you zone. Lowered Weaken Resolve's -res debuff from scale -1.5 to scale -1.0. Brute > Katana > Golden Dragonfly: Max targets reduced from 10 to 5 Scrapper > Katana > Golden Dragonfly: Max targets reduced from 10 to 5 Stalker > Ninja Blade > Golden Dragonfly: Max targets reduced from 10 to 5 PvP Powers Changes Global Damage Procs like Hybrid Double Hit, Plant Manipulation's Toxins and Bio Armor's Offensive Adaptation should now use PvP damage formula in PvP instead of the PvE damage formula. Misc power changes: Mez Duration and Suppression rules have been enforced for the following enhancements: Mez Duration and Suppression rules have been enforced for the following powers: Mez Duration and Suppression rules have been enforced for the following player pet powers: Knockback Suppression rules have been enforced for the following powers: Knockback Suppression rules have been enforced for the following enhancements: Bases Renamed "Bathroom" tab to "Bath & Kitchen" Added 38 new base items created by @Naomi: Miscellaneous Added a new command line parameter: -gfxreset This will cause the game to reset all graphics settings and launch the game in windowed mode. Added some safety checks to game startup to ensure the game will not try to run borderless or on a monitor that's no longer connected. Switched to a different method of hooking the Print Screen key. This should fix the issues with using modifier keys in conjunction with it, as well as allow it to pass through to the OS so the traditional "copy to clipboard" functionality works again. Resynchronised modifier key state in certain edge cases (mostly involving the numeric keypad) to try and resolve issues of the shift key rarely getting stuck. Bug Fixes Fixed the team window showing "On mission map" when a teammate is in their Supergroup Base and vice versa. Prevent immediate crash when passing a -patchdir parameter to a nonexistent directory. This seems to be happening on certain Macs. Fixes for many Mapserver crashes unearthed by the new crash handler. Various fixes and stability improvements to the client. This should allow some users that were previously stuck on the Safe Mode client to now use the new client. Fixed a bug that allowed players to inadvertently delete the geometry of entire zones. Possibly fixed a bug in certain AMD/ATI video drivers that crash the client when queried for how much video memory they have. Provost Marchand (Brickstown) will no longer give Hero-only missions to Villains/Rogues under rare circumstances. Powers Fixes Archery > Ranged Shot Fixed a bug where would not animate in the character customization screen. Blaster Ranged > Electric Blast > Corrected an FXGEO feedback error with this power's FX. Blaster Support > Atomic Manipulation > Beta Decay: Text should no longer state it taunts enemies. Blaster Support > Atomic Manipulation > Electron Shackles: Should no longer accept Endurance Modification enhancements or sets. Blaster Support > Psoinic Manipulation > Drain Psych: -Regeneration effect should no longer be enhanceable. Dark Control > Umbra Beast: Should now accept Fear Enhancement and Sets. Devices > Targeting Drone: The power description for Targeting Drone has been fixed. Dominator > Fire Control > Fire Imps: Should now always summon 3 imps. Dominator > Psionic Assault > Drain Psych: -Regeneration effect should no longer be enhanceable. Dominator > Savage Assault > Call hawk & Feral Charge: Should no longer accept Dominator Archetype Enhancement sets. Pool > Force of Will > Mighty Leap > Takeoff effect can now be cancelled. Pool > Force of Will > Weaken Resolve: Fixed typos. Now accepts Accurate ToHit Debuff enhancements. Gravity Control > Singularity should now apply and take advantage of the Impact mechanic. Ice Melee > Frozen Fists (Brute/Stalker/Scrapper) Power Description should no longer say it adds -res. Incarnate > Hybrid : Should no longer fail to shut down after zoning. Martial Arts > Crippling Axe Kick: now accepts defense debuff enhancements and sets. Poison Weaken and Cold Domination -Special powers should no longer be boosted by +Special powers like Power Boost. As a rule, Str effects should not be affected by other Str effects. Pool > Concealment > Stealth and Invisibility: translucency issues should now, FINALLY be fixed. Pool > Leaping > Spring Attack: should now do damage when used by Sentinels Proton Volley's Fast-Snipe sphere FX should now tint properly. Radiation Armor > Beta Decay: Taunt magnitude should now always be Mag 4 Radiation Melee > Contamination AoE should now reliably trigger when hitting a contaminated target. Sentinel > Bio Armor > Athletic Regulation: Should no longer accept travel enhancement sets. Sentinel > Energy Aura > Power Armor: Should now accept Healing Enhancement Sets Sentinel > Fire Blast > Blazing Blast: Should now do 13 ticks of damage over time. Tanker Melee > Psionic Melee > Greater Psi Blade: Should no longer do AoE insight damage. Temporary Powers > Ethereal Shift should shut down automatically as other Phase Shift powers. Boosts > Performance Shifter > Chance for +Endurance: Should now have a chance to grant the caster Endurance if used on an offensive attack. Arachnos Soldiers > Summoned Spiders should no longer play a teleport fx every 10 seconds. AE Critter > Sonic Resonance > Liquefy: This power had a range of zero. It has been changed to 60ft. AE Critter > Pain Domination > Soothing Aura: This power is now an Auto, as most AE versions of Toggle powers. AE Critter > Force Fields > Personal Force Fields now lasts 30 seconds instead of 0.75 seconds. AE Critter > Assault Rifle > Ignite: Should now properly do damage.
  10. 45 points
    Take Your Child to Work Day To simulate a more true-to-life superhero experience, all heroes and villains must now take their children to work! Your child will follow you around and will always move slightly slower than you Be sure to take regular breaks so they can catch up Please note that, just like real children, you cannot dismiss them and they must be cared for at all times Powers Brawl This power has been significantly rebalanced to ensure all characters are on an even footing Nerf Bats All players now have the ability to nerf each other with large foam bats This change should finally ensure that the game is perfectly balanced, as all things should be Floors Floors have been removed from the game Nemesis Plots
  11. 44 points
    RANGED DAMAGE SET TESTING: Hello Everyone, Following up with what was done in the Scrapper Primary Testing, it is time to take a look at the Blaster Primaries! The above link to the Scrapper post will go into more details, but the premise of these tests are to isolate Ranged Primaries as much as possible to gauge their "realistic" base performance in a given mission environment. This is done through running a course 10 times per primary, and then recording the times to formulate an average Using a standardized Office Map, we can set a course that properly challenges the player with movement with corridors and different vertical spawn points that we see in normal missions. Pylon and Farm metrics are nice, but they do not really reflect normal game play. Broken up into 4 floors, this map contains custom-made ranged enemies that appear at roughly the Red Dot locations shown above. Floors 1-3 have at least 2 guaranteed Boss encounters, and Floor 4 has a guaranteed Elite Boss encounter. Red Lines represent clickable doors with a gentleman's rule to finish the room before moving through the door, and circled areas are where some herding up can be attempted if possible. As some may remember from the Scrapper test, the Warehouse environment was too open and heavily favored herding strategies for completion. That thread will be updated with Office Results soon as well. The ranged enemies in this map present just enough danger to the Blaster to where mitigation from the Primary will play a key role in completion, but they do not present such a threat that they cannot easily be overcome with normal play. The Blasters I used all have a near-identical SO build where I 3 slot all attacks for Damage, then 1 each of Acc/End/Rech except for the Nukes and AoEs which I opted for 3 Dam/Rech thanks to their built in Acc modifiers universally being better than 1 SO, and on normal AoEs I ran 2 rech and 1 Acc thanks to the Sustain ability. I also used /Elec Manip for each test with only Build Up and Force of Thunder being used. FoT would only be used between spawns to not have it's CC come into play, and the time spent using it per run was subtracted from the totals to show the "true" speed. I chose this in particular due to being the most "average" of the Sustains where it's secondary effect could be more easily isolated combined with a normal Build Up. Other sets like /Time could have fit if not for the +Rech on it's BU clone. Health and Stamina were 3 slotted as well as FoT 6 slotted, other powers used were CJ with 1 Def SO, and Hover with 1 Fly SO (Swift also had a fly SO). The ranged enemies and height restrictions on the map did not allow for much cheese if any, and aside from a few angles with cones I kept myself at near ground level. Running at +0/x3 allowed for a variety of mob encounters that often would be spread in such a way to utilize AoEs to their full potential as well as test ST / AoE / Area coverage alike. Like with Scrappers, if I died I restarted the mission and took note of the death in a "Safety" rating. The higher the rating, the more deaths I had. Each death I applied a 20s penalty to the average to give weight to sets with mitigation tools, which will be reflected in a separate column. So, with these rules in place to emulate an "average" mission that tests ST, AoE, and Mitigation of just the primaries at a basic level, lets see what happened: Sorted by AVG: Well, it seems that we have a certain set that is literally melting the competition, and two that appear to have Silencers on. In terms of raw average clear time, Fire is leaps and bounds the fastest with a tremendous lead over the other blast sets, and nearly having a 4x bigger gap from the average compared to the 2nd place Beam Rifle! On the flip side, both Assault Rifle and Sonic Blast are at the bottom with incredibly slow average clear times. Luckily, that is not the only measure. Sorted by SAFETY: Washing away the competition here is Water Blast! With it's combination of self healing, reliable knockdowns, and overall great damage it was one of the few sets to clear the course with 0 defeats at all, alongside Dark and Psy blast who all shared the trait of reliable (AoE) CC and decent secondary effects. Coming in second with 1 defeat was Ice Blast, which while it could reliably freeze a single target in it's tracks it had trouble vs crowds if Blizzard wasn't online, leading to multiple stray hits weaseling in and netting a lucky win for the NPC's. Fire is knocked here with 5 deaths, mostly against the Elite Boss spawn where the lack of mitigation outside of killing before you get killed lead to some unfortunate ends. On the bottom of the list though was Radiation Blast with a whopping 9 defeats! The set deals plenty of damage, but I found out the hard way that speed matters here. Many powers deal damage over time or simply animate slowly which allows hits to come in in ways that even Fire Blast didn't have to worry about due to raw application speed, on top of havign a tiny KB chance on it's cone + the ST stun being on a longish cooldown that lead to poor mitigation vs tougher single targets. Sorted by BEST TIME: Tracking the best time per set shows sort of the upper lvl they can achieve when you're really in the groove. Of note are Energy and Dark Blast attaining very fast clear times compared to where they end up when averaged out! Sorted by WORST TIME: Likewise, sorting by the worst time gives an idea of how well they perform in a less than ideal run. Water being so high here shows how consistent the set performs regardless of the enemy setup. Sorted by STANDARD DEVIATION: Speaking of consistency, the Standard Deviation shows us how much variance there was run-to-run on average per set. The smaller the deviation the better a set could probably just follow it's normal gameplan without needing to worry about as many X factors like spacing or special targeting. Sets that rely on such tactics ended up having much higher deviations as seen here. With these 5 metrics in mind, I was able to rank each primary based on the actual score per category + the gap between it and the next set, and then add up these values by weight. The lower the final score, the higher tiered the set is when looked at it alone: FINAL RESULTS: Its fitting that the only thing to beat Fire is Water IMO! Lets break this down per tier: S TIER: With everything put together, the safety and consistency of Water Blast gives it the edge over Fire's Raw Speed given it's lack of those key traits. Ice rounds out the S-Tier at the lower end simply due to lack of AoE speed while having the some of the best times vs the Boss encounters. Really not much else to add here aside from these three being incredibly solid sets at the base level. A TIER: Beam, Archery, and Energy are all almost tied in the A Tier. Beam and Archery boast some of the fastest recharging nukes and could reliably just delete certain spawns, with beam having a slight ST edge over Archery and vice versa with Archery having a bit better AoE. Energy was a bit slower given Nova recharges a bit slower, but there is a reason we call Nukes Nova's. When it was up and available, it would delete an entire spawn no questions asked and fling bosses about for safety, and the rest of the powers are all very solid versions of your standard blasts that lead to an overall good performance. I'd say the sets in these tiers were held back by not having as 100% reliable mitigation as sets in the S tier with either 100% knockdowns / slows that lead to a few defeats each, impacting Beam Rifle specifically. Nor did they have the raw... literal Fire power like Fire does nor the likes of Blizzard/Geyser to edge out just a bit quicker clear times in the case of Energy and Archery. B TIER: Next up we have Dual Pistols, Rad, and Dark Blast. These three all had separate issues holding them back, but lets start with Rad as we touched on it for the safety portion: it has none. The combination of slow animations, slow application of damage, and hard to apply/stack Mez effects (by itself) lead to it tanking hard in the safety adjustment + middling scores elsewhere brought it down compared to the high tiers. If you pair it with a very defensive secondary or team support it can shine, but isolated it felt very rough. On the flip side, Dark Blast was able to breeze through each spawn without a care. Guaranteed KB in a cone, solid ST damage, a great ST hold, a Self Heal, a nuke that soft-caps you vs anything left alive + all attacks stacking -ToHit made it probably the safest set in general, though it did pay for that safety when it comes to AoE performance. Having different shaped cones that deal damage in different amounts/ways lead to very inconsistent times based on the spawn set up room to room, leading to sub-average scores except for Best Time and Safety. The best way I could describe Dual Pistols at a base/isolated level is Anemic. Swapping mainly between Normal and Incendiary ammo depending on whether I needed safety or damage, I was able to clench an incredibly consistent performance, but it was consistently on the slow side. Despite the animations having been sped up, the application of damage is still slow and the mitigation is not super consistent. Add to that different ranged cones / PBAoE that requires >4s commitment where missing a key target leaves you open + slower animating ST attacks and well... you get a B-Tier. Luckily you can proc the hell out of the set! C TIER: ELEC BLAST The last few sets stand out in their own divisions, so I'll just talk about them as-is. Elec Blast was actually very very safe in practice even by itself as it's great TAoE Ball Lightning + SC would actually do solid work vs mobs of minions + Sparky taking care of stragglers, and the fact that thunderous Blast can be initiated safely + completely drain living targets into submission. In general, if you could survive the alpha you won teh fight vs Bosses and the Elite Boss with elec blast, with the Voltaic Sentinel contributing quite a lot of ST dps at a glance! Unfortunately, the issues add up when you consider the cast times of some key powers (Voltaic Sentinel, Short Circuit, Thunderous Blast) on top of End Drain really only working on bosses about halfway through the fight if not more if you happen to miss thanks to RNG lead to slower times and a bit of inconsistency. D TIER: PSY BLAST A surprisingly fun set, Psy Blast I could compare directly to Dark in many ways except for AoE.... which it struggles with. With only Psy Tornado and the Nuke to clear mobs with, I had to cycle ST attacks around frantically in between to clear areas. Luckily most of those ST attacks come with hefty -Rech which pairs well with Sustain, as well as a slew of soft/hard control to make it a very safe set of runs. This also made it weirdly faster the more boss spawns there were in the mission as I could tear through them faster than a packed area full on minions/LT's most of the time. If one of the powers were say, a sort of Cone or if Psy Nado was made to animate much faster it would easily bump up in the placings. E TIER: ASSAULT RIFLE I have a thread on this in the suggestions forum, but the short and sweet of it is Animation Times, different cone sizes, lack of aim and Ignite being weird. Full Auto takes 4s to animate and deals significantly less damage than similar "previously crashless" nukes, Flamethrower takes 7 seconds to apply its full damage after a 2.33s animation! Sniper Rifle animates slower than other fast snipes. To put the cherry on top, the Aim replacement found in Ignite not only takes a bit to animate but you need a method of keeping a foe in the patch which is actively fought by your other powers potentially knocking the guy out of the patch which is just silly. It was an actual slog for me to run AR through these tests with only /Build Up helping out from the secondary. F TIER: SONIC ATTACK It's not over till the... slowest set sings I guess. This set has major issues with animation times averaging around 2s a click outside the T1 attack. Sure, you can sleep groups very reliably but then taking them down is a snore-fest with only 3 ST attacks with the T3 animating slowly, and your other AoE's waking them up anyways. At least the Nuke applies damage dang near instantly compared to all other nukes (I think Psy may have done this as well) which was nice, but everything else just feels incredibly lackluster. Bosses, especially the Elite Boss, in general were a slog to get through with the poor ST output and needing to toss in Shockwave for safety every so often. I guess it is a bit of a philosophical debate though, given the secondary effect is a direct force multiplier... should it remain the worst performer in a vacuum? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ These are my thoughts and observations on the Blast primaries so far. Take it with a grain of salt though as these runs were designed to highlight just the primary with a little help from Build Up that could emulate the effects of secondary attacks / other effects if we eyeball this compared to Defs/Corrs as well. In the future I'll add in procs and the like to see how certain sets (Dual Pistols) may change radically. Thank you, @Galaxy Brain
  12. 44 points
    Hey folks, We know things have been really quiet from us lately, and we wanted to provide an update on what we've been up to. Homecoming and The Titan Network are working together and are in active negotiations with NCSoft in order to turn Homecoming into a legitimate operation, and we've been making significant strides in recent weeks. It's our intention to involve the entire community in this process when the time comes - which is not quite yet, but we'll certainly be shouting from the rooftops when it is - hopefully Soon™. Please hang tight for the time being, and keep killing those Skuls. EDIT: To be clear, Homecoming will remain completely free to play. - The Homecoming Team
  13. 43 points
    Hey all, Before we continue, a caveat: Some of the changes and plans mentioned below are either very early in development or still purely conceptual. Some of them will likely not make the cut and either change greatly or be scrapped entirely. Since Homecoming launched there’s been a few questions and concerns about why we’re making certain balance changes, so with Page 6 just around the corner we thought it would make sense to explain our overarching goals in this area. Expanding the end-game and creating more end-game content was an incredibly popular request in the A Question from The Homecoming Team thread, and is something that we are very interested in pursuing. However in order to be able to do that and for it actually work for everyone across the board, we need to clear up some of the existing balance issues in the game - both with specific powersets, whole ATs, and in more general areas. The best way to describe the current state of balance in the endgame is probably unfinished. The game closed down mid-way through the Incarnate system being developed, and before it had been through any significant post-release balance passes. In addition, the impact it had on the rest of the game hadn’t yet been given much consideration. Our overarching goal is to have every powerset / AT be viable and have a place in the game. Obviously, achieving this goal perfectly isn’t actually possible, so our true aim is to get as close to that bar as we are able to. In addition, we want your choices to matter. Currently there’s a large amount of homogenization at the endgame and many of the individual choices that you make for your character don’t have much of an impact, and for some decisions a few options are vastly stronger than anything else. Powersets & ATs This is where most of the balancing work has been done so far, and where a lot of work in the immediate future will also be happening. The primary goal with these changes is to ensure everything sits in a healthy medium, with every powerset being a valid pick and valuable in different circumstances. This means some sets will be buffed, and yes, some sets will be nerfed. However, we feel there are definitely more underperforming sets than there are overperforming ones - so expect to see more buffs than nerfs. There’s also a lot of sets to get through, so it may take a while for us to get to your favourite. To date, we’ve looked at Tankers, Dominators, Snipe powers and a few individual powersets. In the near future we’re going to be rolling out improvements to Energy Melee, Trick Arrow and Blaster secondary sets, whilst also reworking Titan Weapons, one of the most overperforming sets. Bringing these overperforming sets down to a healthy level is important in ensuring those key goals stated above are met. When one set is able to outdamage every other set in almost every circumstance, it causes those other sets to be less viable choices, and also makes it impractical for us to begin work on the end game - do we balance it around Titan Weapons or Trick Arrow? The answer is neither, of course. We want to balance around that healthy medium, but we’re not quite there yet. Procs & PPM Something we’ve recently started looking at is procs. We’re only scratching the surface here, but our goals are similar to that with powersets: Bringing each option towards a happy medium. One big topic that needs looking at specifically is PPM. This system was still in beta when the game shut down, so it never really graduated properly to the live servers, and never received any follow-up balance passes. There are numerous issues right now, such as the interaction it has with different types of recharge bonuses and AoEs, which causes the system to be unintuitive (slotting for recharge can make a power… less good!) in some areas and not well balanced in other areas (many procs are very strong in AoEs and very weak in single targets). Along with improving general game balance there’s a secondary benefit to cleaning up PPM and procs: it will allow us to continue building new enhancement sets with new and unique procs and set bonuses. We’ve got no firm plans to discuss just yet, but it is a key area we will be looking at in the future. Lastly... We’re also looking at other areas long-term, such as the impact that Incarnate abilities have on non-Incarnate content, Incarnate crafting, how +special buffs interact with long duration +def powers, and improving the enhancement system below level 50. You'll hear more about these as we start exploring them in the future. And that’s all for today. We hope the above has shed some light on why we’ve been making the changes that we’ve been making.
  14. 43 points
    Hey all, It’s been a while since we last did a deep dive into Homecoming’s finances, and with our operating costs settling into a fairly stable amount each month again, I thought it would be a good time to go over our monthly invoices to show exactly where the money for each service is going. Our latest invoices for each server are included at the bottom of each section. If you would like to see the invoices and skip the explanations, an album containing all of them is available here. OVH (Main Infrastructure) Total Monthly Cost: $4,645.44 Most of our hardware infrastructure is rented from OVH. As of the time of this post, we are currently renting the following on a monthly basis: 16 dedicated servers 4 SQL server licenses 7 failover IP address blocks Below is a detailed breakdown of the various servers, their purpose / role, and their cost. A full copy of our latest invoice from OVH with sensitive information redacted has been provided below as well. All of our servers are from OVH’s Advance Dedicated Server lineup. Please note that their Advanced server offerings are occasionally updated, and some of the specific configurations that we are currently using are no longer available. Every server we rent has a 1Gbps vRack upgrade at a cost of $23.00 per month, per server. This is an important upgrade that allows all of our servers to communicate over a VLAN with a full gigabit of bandwidth, which is necessary because of the amount of traffic that goes between our servers. Our hardware infrastructure might seem expensive compared to some other setups, but this is largely because we’re supporting many more concurrent users and mapservers (missions, AE maps, zones, etc.), and each of our services are built with redundancy and stability as a core factor. This means that we generally have warm spares for each core part of our infrastructure that we are ready to migrate to with very short notice in the event of an outage or other issue. See also: this amazing post by Telephone back in May. Map Hosts Total Monthly Cost: $2,484.93 Hosts (7): HC-MS-NA1, HC-MS-NA2, HC-MS-NA3, HC-MS-NA4, HC-MS-NA5, HC-MS-NA6, HC-MS-EU1 Our shared mapserver pool consists of 7 Advance-5 servers (6 servers in NA and one in EU). These host all the maps (every zone, mission, and AE map) running in the game. Each server costs $354.99 per month and has two Xeon Gold 5118 CPUs (24c/48t total @ 2.3GHz), and 96GB of memory. Database & Storage Servers Total Monthly Cost: $724.96 Hosts (4): HC-CentralDB0, HC-CentralDB1, HC-CentralDB2, HC-CentralDBEU We currently run 4 SQL Server 2017 database servers in a high-availability configuration (3 hot, 1 warm spare for redundancy). All of these servers run pretty high on their memory usage (typically at anywhere from 85-95% physical memory usage from the SQL servers). HC-CentralDB0 is an Advance-3 with a single Xeon D-2141I CPU, 64GB of memory, and 2 2TB SSDs at a cost of $213.99 per month. This server acts as a warm spare for each of the three other database servers in addition to providing read-only access to the data from each shard for various parts of our tooling and backend services. HC-CentralDB1 is an Advance-3 with a single Xeon D-2141I CPU and 64GB of memory at a cost of $160.99 per month. This server hosts the databases for the CoH global services (Auction House, Chat, Account, AE, etc.) in addition to the databases for Torchbearer and Indomitable. HC-CentralDB2 is an Advance-3 with a single Xeon D-2141I CPU and 64GB of memory at a cost of $160.99 per month. This server hosts the databases for Excelsior and Everlasting, in addition to the databases for all beta, prelease, and development shards. HC-CentralDBEU is an Advance STOR-2 in the European cluster with a single Xeon D-1541 (8c/16t @ 2.1GHz), 32GB of memory, 2 240GB SSDs, and 4 12TB HDDs (RAID, 220GB + 22TB of storage accessible) at a cost of $188.99 per month. This server hosts the database for Reunion in addition to acting as one of our backup targets and a general-purpose storage server. Virtual Machine Hosts Total Monthly Cost: $971.97 Hosts (3): HC-VM1, HC-VM2, HC-VM3 We currently use 3 Advance-4 servers running Windows Server Datacenter and Hyper-V to host all of our virtual machines. Each of these servers has a single AMD EPYC 7351P CPU (16c/32t), 256GB of memory, and 2 TB SSDs at a cost of $323.99 per month each. The virtual machines running on these servers are used for a variety of purposes, including: The DBServers for each NA shard (1 hot per shard plus warm spares on each other host for redundancy) The CoH auth servers (1 live, 2 warm spares for redundancy) 3 domain controllers (in a high-availability configuration) A Kubernetes cluster Our version control and build infrastructure The website and forums The content delivery network (CDN) Our development infrastructure Including our beta and pre-release shards Various other backend systems and tools The Bastion Host (AKA “Citadel”) Total Monthly Cost: $102.99 Hosts (1): HC-Citadel We currently use an Advance-1 server with a single Xeon D-2123I (4c/8ct) and 32GB of memory as a bastion host. This server costs $102.99 per month. Reunion’s DBServer Total Monthly Cost: $102.99 Hosts (1): HC-DB-Reunion We currently use an Advance-1 server in our European cluster as Reunion’s DBServer. This server has a single Xeon D-2123I (4c/8ct) and 32GB of memory, and costs $102.99 per month. Licenses & Failover IP Addresses Total Monthly Cost: $257.60 We currently have 4 SQL Server 2017 Web licenses (one for each of our SQL DB servers) at a cost of $64.40 each per month. We also have 7 failover IP blocks allocated to various servers and virtual machines. OVH no longer bills monthly for active IP addresses, so we are no longer paying for these on a monthly basis. See our latest invoice from OVH here: https://imgur.com/a/725kB5L Paperspace Total Monthly Cost: $25.00 Hosts (1): HC-Imagineer1 We currently rent a single Paperspace Air instance which is used as a rendering node for some of our tooling and future projects which will rely on the service. This instance is paid monthly at a cost of $22.00 per month for the base instance, and an additional $3.00 per month for a static IP address. See our latest invoice from Paperspace here: https://imgur.com/a/3w9IiRL External Services Total Monthly Cost: $140.75 Google G-Suite Total Monthly Cost: $121.02 We currently use Google G-Suite Business as our primary user email service, as one of our backup targets, and for collaboration using Google Drive and it’s suite of tools (Docs, Sheets, etc.). We have 9 users (some of which are “server” accounts) costing $108.00 per month and 1 active Google Voice number costing $13.02 per month. See our latest invoices from Google here: https://imgur.com/a/Qwz44dI Jira Cloud (Atlassian) Total Monthly Cost: $10.00 We currently have a 10-user Atlassian Jira Cloud account which we previously used for project management and issue tracking. We have moved away from this platform in favor of other options and plan to eliminate this charge very soon. See our latest invoice from Atlassian here: https://imgur.com/a/oneIiRr Twilio Total Monthly Cost: variable We use Twilio’s programmable SMS service to setup shared Homecoming accounts (such as social media accounts, etc.) with 2-factor authentication. The cost of this service is $1.00 per month plus $0.0075 per SMS message received. Billing on Twilio is balance based and the minimum balance charge is $20.00. As of the time of this post, we still have $15.90 remaining balance. See our latest invoice from Twilio here: https://imgur.com/a/FL5mf2d “Security / Admin Software” Total Monthly Cost: $9.73 If you’ve been paying attention to the monthly PayPal history we show in each Donations & Finances post you may have noticed there’s a monthly charge for which the name is redacted. As this charge is related to administration and security, we will not be disclosing the name of the product or service, or show the associated invoice.
  15. 43 points
    Hello everyone! Page 6 is almost ready for public testing, so it’s probably time to start talking about what’s in store. Today we’ve got a look at a new powerset, a discussion about our goals for game balance, and a developer diary from Piecemeal discussing the upcoming story arcs. New Powerset: Sonic Manipulation A new sonic-themed Blaster secondary with fairly well-rounded capabilities. It also features a Migraine mechanic, with many powers in the set having a small chance to inflict a short hold. This chance can be dramatically increased by using Sound Booster, the build up power of the set. T1: Sonic Thrust (Melee, Minor DMG(Smashing/Energy), Foe Knockback) A focused attack of intense sonic power that violently sends a nearby foe flying. Deals minimal damage, but can be very effective. Recharge: Fast T2: Strident Echo (Melee, Moderate DMG(Smashing/Energy), chance for Hold) Strident Echo deals minor damage over time. It has a low chance of causing a migraine, leaving the target shaking in pain and helpless. Recharge: Slow T3: Echo Chamber (Ranged, Minor DMG(Energy), Foe Hold) Encases the target in a field of sonic waves, dealing energy damage and holding them in place. Recharge: Slow T4: Sound Booster (Self +DMG, +To Hit, +Special) Greatly boosts your attacks for a few seconds. Slightly increases chance to hit. Moderately increases the duration of mez effects. Moderately increases the chance for Sound Manipulation powers to induce migraines. Recharge: Long T5: Deafening Wave (Melee (AoE), High DMG(Smashing/Energy), chance for Hold) You create a large field of sonic waves, causing damage to all foes around you. It has a moderate chance of causing migraines, leaving them shaking in pain and helpless. Recharge: Slow T6: Sound Barrier (Toggle: Self +Absorb, +Recovery, +Res(Smashing, Energy, Sleep)) Creates a barrier around the caster which reduces incoming energy and smashing damage, provides protection against sleep effects and grants an absorption shield. Recovery is also increased. Recharge: Moderate T7: Disruption Aura (Toggle: Foe -Res) You emit a constant wave of sonic energy around yourself, weakening the Damage Resistance of all nearby foes. Recharge: Moderate T8: Sound Cannon (Ranged (Cone), Foe Stun, Knockback) You generate a powerful sonic wave that will knock back and disorient foes in front of you for a short time. Recharge: Long T9: Earsplitter (Melee, Heavy DMG(Smashing/Energy), chance for Hold) You generate an Earsplitting sound wave right in the face of your foe, inflicting great damage. It has a good chance of causing a migraine, leaving them shaking in pain and helpless. Recharge: Slow Sonic Manipulation also comes alongside a set of changes to Blaster Manipulation sets. We’ve made a standardization pass on the strength of Blaster crowd control effects whilst also shoring up the damage and survivability of some lower performing sets. Game Balance & The Endgame Next up: We’re commonly asked what our goals are when it comes to game balance, so we’ve written a post explaining our goals, both for page 6 and the future. Check out the post here! Dev Diary - Piecemeal's Workshop of Horrors You may have seen Piecemeal skulking about the forum, posting cryptic messages and poems… Well, now it’s finally time for them to introduce themselves and what they’ve been working on. Head on over to this post for a peek inside their head - reader beware, they've got a very active imagination... And that’s not all! Page 6 has several more features coming with it, including… - The Homecoming Team
  16. 43 points
    The peace of mind of knowing that our characters aren't going to suddenly disappear? Not looking for a lot honestly 😛
  17. 41 points
    Hey all, Today we issued a ban wave to a number of accounts involved in RWT (Real World Trading - the act of exchanging real money for in-game goods and services). This is explicitly against the Code of Conduct: All accounts caught selling have been permanently banned, with no possibility of appeal. All accounts caught buying have been suspended for 2 weeks and had all influence removed from them. A total of 54 accounts have been actioned as part of this ban wave, with over 20 billion influence deleted. We are now fully capable of tracking down RWT activity going forwards, so we would advise you do not partake in such activities if you wish to continue playing on Homecoming. - The Homecoming Team
  18. 40 points
    Issue 26, Page 5 (Build 1) Testing Notes Be sure to read the Homecoming Beta FAQ to get started! The beta server is now called Brainstorm and will be joined by Aeon once testing starts next week so we're able to ensure comparability with Homecoming's multi-shard live environment (remember when a patch caused character transfers to break everything? never again!). Cheats have been re-enabled. All characters on Brainstorm and Aeon will be granted badges to unlock Accolades, Epics, Incarnates, Ouroboros access and Vanguard merits; in addition, the Salvage ingredients have been removed from all recipes. The Safe Mode client is now gone from the Beta shards. If you are unable to play the game on the 32-Bit or 64-Bit clients, please post in the relevant support threads for it (Windows support thread, Mac support thread) as Safe Mode will no longer be available when Page 5 hits the live servers. Changes from the previous build will be listed in green. Any changes or fixes that are only relevant to the beta builds (as in, not changes relevant to the live version of the game) will be listed in blue. Please use these focused feedback threads: Focused Feedback: Experimentation Focused Feedback: Shock Therapy Focused Feedback: New IO Sets Focused Feedback: Dark Melee Update New Origin Power Pool: Experimentation (Feedback Thread) "Experimentation gives you access to poisonous ranged attacks as well as powers that boost your attack power and the survivability of your allies. This pool's travel power is Speed of Sound. While active, this power allows you to run at incredible speeds and also gives you access to the Jaunt power. Jaunt allows you to quickly teleport long distances once every so often." As a reminder: Only one Origin Pool (Sorcery, Force of Will, Experimentation) can be active in a build at any one time. Powers T1: Experimental Injection (Melee Ranged, Ally +Regeneration, +Recovery, +Res(Status)) You inject an ally with a compound that greatly boosts their regeneration, recovery and resistance to status effects for a short time. Recharge: Long T2: Toxic Dart (Ranged, Minor DMG(Lethal), High DMG(Toxic)) You fire a toxic dart at your target causing an very minor amount of immediate lethal damage followed by a High amount of toxic damage over time. Recharge: Moderate T3: Speed of Sound (Toggle: Self +Speed, (Special)) Your experiments have yielded incredible results. By activating this power, you're able to run at incredible speeds. In fact, while this power is active, you gain access to the Jaunt power. Jaunt allows you to teleport to a distant location once every short while. Jaunt (Click, Self Teleport) Clicking on this power and then selecting a location will cause the caster to vanish and reappear at their target location. Recharge: Moderate T4: Corrosive Vial (Ranged (Targeted AoE), High DoT(Toxic), -Defense) You hurl a vial of toxic fluid that explodes upon impact leaving a corrosive puddle at your target's feet. Any foe that stands within the puddle will take toxic damage and have their defense reduced for a short while. Corrosive Vial requires you to have 2 powers from the Experimentation power pool. Damage: High (DoT), Recharge: Slow T5: Adrenal Booster (Self, +To Hit, +Recharge, +Damage, +Special) You inject yourself with a concentrated experimental serum that boosts your damage, recharge, chance to hit and secondary effects for a short time. Adrenal Booster requires you to have 2 powers from the Experimentation power pool. Recharge: Very Long New Support Powerset: Shock Therapy (Feedback Thread) "You are able to control and manipulate electricity to aid your allies and weaken your enemies. Some Shock Therapy powers build Static, which increases the number of targets your Circuit powers can chain to. Others consume Static to increase their effectiveness while also restoring a small amount of your health and endurance." A shocking new support powerset brought to you by @Cipher, @Jimmy, @GuyPerfect and our resident powers guru @Captain Powerhouse. The set has been built around chaining powers and a stacking / combo system that's similar to those found in many of the more modern melee and ranged damage sets, with a focus on wide variety of buffs for the whole team as well as damage and endurance debuffs for your enemies. Shock Therapy also introduces and makes use of a brand new mechanic which allows powers to dynamically change the number of targets they can hit - in this case, the four Circuit powers hit more targets for every stack of Static that you currently have. The set is currently available only as a Defender Primary. It will be ported to other support ATs after testing and feedback. Powers T1: Shock (Ranged, Foe -End, -Recovery, -DMG, Self +Static) Strike a single foe with a highly-charged electrical shock, draining some endurance and moderately reducing their recovery and damage output. Shock grants 1 stack of Static. Recharge: Moderate T2: Rejuvenating Circuit (Ranged (Special), Ally Heal, Self +Static) Create a circuit of healing energy between yourself and two nearby allies, healing them for a small amount. Every stack of Static you have will cause this power to chain to an additional ally. Each successive jump along the chain will heal the next target for less. Rejuvenating Circuit grants 1 stack of Static. Recharge: Moderate T3: Discharge (Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe -Dmg, -End, Self -Static) Discharge all stacks of Static to unleash a field of electricity around the targeted foe. This will drain endurance from nearby enemies and reduce the damage that they deal for a short while. The endurance drain effect of this power increases in strength with the number of stacks of Static you have. Discharge will consume all stacks of Static, and each stack consumed in this way will restore a small amount of your health and endurance. Recharge: Slow T4: Empowering Circuit: (Ranged (Special), Ally +DMG, +Special, Self +Static) Create a circuit of empowering energy between yourself and two nearby allies, increasing their damage output and the secondary effects of their powers. Every stack of Static you have will cause this power to chain to an additional ally. Each successive jump along the chain will empower the next target for less. Empowering Circuit grants 1 stack of Static. Recharge: Slow T5: Faraday Cage (Location (PBAoE), Team +Res(Status, Knockback, Energy, Negative, Psi, -Rech, -Rec, -End)) Create a large energy barrier at your location which protects allies from status effects, knockbacks, energy, negative and psionic damage, and recharge and recovery debuffs. Recharge: Slow T6: Insulating Circuit (Ranged (Special), Ally +Absorb, Self +Static) Create a circuit of protective energy between yourself and two nearby allies, granting them a small protective shield. Every stack of Static you have will cause this power to chain to an additional ally. Each successive jump along the chain will shield the next target for less. Insulating Circuit grants 1 stack of Static. Recharge: Slow T7: Defibrillate (Melee (Targeted AoE), Ally Rez, Self -Static) Strike a defeated ally with a highly-charged jolt of electricity, reviving them and any other nearby defeated allies. The amount of health and endurance allies revive with scales with the number of stacks of Static you have. Defibrillate will consume all stacks of Static, and each stack consumed in this way will restore a small amount of your health and endurance. Recharge: Long T8: Energizing Circuit (Ranged (Special), Ally +End, Self +Static) Create a circuit of pure energy between yourself and two nearby allies, restoring a small amount of their endurance. Every stack of Static you have will cause this power to chain to an additional ally. Each successive jump along the chain will restore less endurance to the next target. Energizing Circuit grants 1 stack of Static. Recharge: Slow T9: Amp Up (Ranged, Ally +Special, +Recharge, Self -Static) Empower an ally with raw energy, causing all of their abilities to unleash chained bolts of electricity at nearby foes. These bolts drain a small amount of endurance and have a chance to knock up the target. Amp Up also moderately increases their attack rate and greatly boosts the secondary effects of their powers. Their power effects like heals, defense buffs, endurance drains, disorients, holds, immobilizes and more, are all improved. The recharge bonus of this power increases in strength with the number of stacks of Static you have. Amp Up will consume all stacks of Static, and each stack consumed in this way will restore a small amount of your health and endurance. Recharge: Very Long Static (Circuit Boost, +Movement Speed) Every stack of Static you have increases the number of targets your Circuit powers can chain to, as well as increasing your movement speed by a small amount, up to a maximum of 5 stacks. Casting Discharge, Defibrillate or Amp Up will consume all stacks of Static. Consuming stacks of Static will restore a small amount of your health and endurance. New IO Sets (Feedback Thread) Synapse's Shock (Endurance Modification, Rare, 21-50) The first of two new Endurance Modification sets with a damage focus, designed to be useful in endurance-draining attack powers. Enhancements: Endurance Modification Damage / Recharge Endurance Modification / Recharge Damage / Recharge / Accuracy Damage / Accuracy / Endurance Reduction UNIQUE: Endurance Modification / 15% Increased Movement Speed Set Bonuses: 2: 7.5% Movement Speed 3: 15% Slow Resistance 4: 4% Regeneration 5: 6.25% Recharge 6: 4.5% Energy / Negative Resistance + 7.5% Mez Resistance Power Transfer (Endurance Modification, Rare, 21-50) The second damage-focused Endurance Modification set. Enhancements: Endurance Modification Damage / Recharge Endurance Modification / Damage Damage / Accuracy / Endurance Reduction Damage / Recharge / Accuracy / Endurance Reduction UNIQUE: Chance to Heal Self (2 PPM) Set Bonuses: 2: 6% Regeneration 3: 1.35% Max Endurance 4: 1.875% Max Health 5: 9% Accuracy 6: 7.5% Recharge Preemptive Optimization (Endurance Modification, Uncommon, 21-50) An Endurance Modification set with a focus on ally buff abilities that don't require accuracy or deal damage. Enhancements: Endurance Modification / Recharge Endurance Modification / Endurance Reduction Endurance Modification / Recharge / Endurance Reduction Endurance Modification / Recharge / Range Recharge / Endurance Reduction / Range Endurance Modification / Recharge / Endurance Reduction / Range Set Bonuses: 2: 1.8% Max Endurance 3: 1.5% Max Health 4: 3% Toxic / Psionic Resistance + 5% Mez Resistance 5: 3.75% Recharge 6: 3.75% Ranged Defense + 1.875 Energy / Negative Defense Bombardment (Targeted AoE, Rare, 30-50) Enhancements: Damage Accuracy / Recharge Damage / Recharge Accuracy / Damage / Recharge Accuracy / Damage / Recharge / Endurance Reduction Chance for Fire Damage (3 PPM) Set Bonuses: 2: 5% Increased Range 3: 2.25% Smashing / Lethal Resistance + 3.75% Mez Resistance 4: 9% Accuracy 5: 6.25% Recharge 6: 3.75% Ranged Defense + 1.875 Energy / Negative Defense These sets are not yet available for free from the merit vendor for testing purposes. This will be rectified in an upcoming patch. In the meantime you can use the /boost_set command with any of the following names to get a copy of the set: Synapses_Shock Power_Transfer Preemptive_Optimization Bombardment For example, to get a level 50 set of Synapse's Shock: /boost_set Synapses_Shock 50 Dark Melee Update (Feedback Thread) Dark Melee was seriously underperforming in the AoE department. These changes are aimed to increase the AoE potential of the set whilst having minimal impact on the single target potential. Shadow Maul (Tanker, Scrapper, Brute, Stalker) is now a much larger, faster cone that's actually capable of easily hitting multiple targets - especially on tanks! Arc increased from 45 to 120 degrees. Recharge increased from 8 to 14 seconds. Cast Time reduced from 3.07 to 2.35 seconds. Damage lowered from scale 2.156 to 1.588. DPS reduction is minor, it has only been lowered from scale 0.653 to scale 0.633. Target Cap increased from 10 to 16 for Tankers. Target Cap increased from 5 to 10 for Scrappers, Brutes and Stalkers. Dark Consumption (Tanker, Scrapper, Brute) has been reworked into a Lightning Rod-style mini-nuke, with its damage scaling based on your current Endurance percentage. At full Endurance, Dark Consumption will now deal similar damage to Lightning Rod. Recharge lowered from 180 seconds to 90 seconds. This brings the cooldown in line with Lightning Rod. Endurance recovered per target lowered from 25 to 12.5. This maintains the previous endurance/recharge ratio. Damage for this power is now variable, dealing damage equal to scale 2.2525 multiplied by the caster's current Endurance percentage. Example: Caster at 75% endurance deals scale 2.25 * 0.75 = 1.6875 scale damage. Enemies within a 3ft radius will take bonus damage equal to scale 0.9275 multiplied by the caster's current Endurance percentage. This replicates the behaviour of Lightning Rod which also deals bonus damage to targets within 3ft. General Powers with redirects will now display numbers properly in the detailed information window. Standardized combat spam for heal and endurance modification attributes. Standardized the text description denoting the recharge time of player powers: Less or equal to 3s: Very Fast More than 3s, less or equal to 6s: Fast More than 6s less or equal to 10s: Moderate More than 10s, less or equal to 60s: Slow More than 60s, less or equal to 240s: Long More than 240s, less or equal to 600s: Very Long More than 600s: Extremely Long A new 'General' channel has been added to the game. This is a new shard-wide channel like LFG and Help. The goal with adding this is to ensure that LFG and Help remain focused on their specific topics, with everything else being discussed in General. /general, /gen and /z can be used to send messages to General. All players can now move through Mastermind henchmen and push them out of the way, not just their owners. You're welcome. Chain powers now have a unique border, courtesy of @GuyPerfect: Beam Rifle (Sentinel) Refractor Beam Electric Control Jolting Chain Synaptic Overload Electric Melee Chain Induction Electricity Mastery (Sentinel) Rehabilitating Circuit Martial Assault Trick Shot Bug Fixes Fixed crashes relating to backend costume storage changes.
  19. 39 points
    I'm happy to publicly announce that there is an up-to-date rebirth of the old City of Data site. The site is accessible at https://cod.uberguy.net. This is meant as a successor to Red Tomax's original City of Data, and borrows heavily from that site's organization and visual display of information. Quite a few things have changed, , though, both in the game and our understanding of its data, so it's not identical to the old site. It shows more information in a lot of cases, and lets you see more "raw" data. This site would not have been possible without the extremely impressive work done by @RubyRedto create the Powers project and the coh.tips site. Ruby's Code Archeology blog post made me realize this project was achievable using Ruby's work as a starting point. I also want to thank @Bopperfor help trying out the early versions of the site, finding bugs and making suggestions. @Captain Powerhouse also gave valuable feedback, and some of his suggestions are still in the pipeline as tweaks and improvements. The site's data is extracted from Homecoming's game files using a modified version of Ruby's tool. This version exposes the raw data in a Python environment, where I perform additional transformations before exporting it as JSON. This version of the data acts as the backing for the website. The site is entirely dynamic on the client side - there is no server-side page rendering. This does mean the site requires Javascript to be enabled and a relatively modern browser. If you've updated your browser in the last couple of years, you should be fine. (If you haven't, I hope you have either an excellent antivirus or exceptional opsec skills.) There are some ways of displaying things the old CoD did which aren't the most practical for this version. They're possible, but more work (or cause more traffic) due to design decisions I made about how the power and other data is structured. Old CoD built display pages on the server, where the new CoD is entirely client-side logic. This means how the site displays things is more tightly coupled with decisions around the structure of the files it pulls in to show you data. For example, every power is sent as a distinct data file, so displaying a whole powerset on one page would currently require pulling down every power in the powerset. Do-able, but not great. (A more compact whole-powerset display is possible, but ideally calls for a better slice-and-dice export of the powerset as one file.) I've made some effort to check that the site works on mobile devices, but it is not really visually optimized for that. I have no way to test the site on Safari or iOS devices. I can test it on browsers that run on Linux, Windows and Android. Most of my testing was done in Chrome and Chromium-based browsers, plus Firefox. Questions and feedback are welcome. Be sure to check out the "Help" pages on the site, which are accessed via the question mark link on the top right of every page.
  20. 37 points
    Hey all! I wanted to give you a sneak-peek at something that I’ve started working on this weekend in order to gather the thoughts and feedback from the community on what you’d like to see in a tool like this. Pictured below is a very early version of an online build browser that can import builds from characters on any of our 5 live shards. The backing data (power data, icons, etc) is automatically updated as we patch the live game, so the browser is always up to date. I haven’t gotten to the point of computing and showing the attribute values (such as defense, recharge, and individual power numbers) yet but that’s something that I’m currently working on. My current plan with this project is to get it to the point where it can be used as a fully functioning online build browser and viewer (where you can search for and view public builds) and release it as such. Here are some screenshots of a build loaded from Excelsior; keep in mind that the the UI is very incomplete. The number on the right side of each power is the level that the character obtained the power and the number under enhancements is that enhancement's level (if it's not attuned). (Yes, I'm aware that the Titan-O has the wrong border, I'm working on it!) I should also say that this is still in very early development and we cannot provide an ETA for release of any part of it yet. The back-end is mostly complete but the front-end is still early in design and development. After this first stage I may continue developing it into a full build editor and planner, but in the meantime I’m looking forward to hearing what you all think and incorporating your ideas and feedback!
  21. 37 points
    Patch Notes | Beta Server FAQ | Feedback Threads | Bug Reports | Character Copy Beta Installation: Homecoming Launcher Note: This needs to be installed to a new location (not your existing CoH install directory) Hello everyone! We're incredibly happy to announce that the beta for Page 1 of Issue 27: Second Chances is now available to test on the beta server. What happened to Page 6 I hear you ask? Well, it was becoming too large to be just a page, and it was also the beginning of a new series of story content, so we decided it should instead be the beginning of the next issue - and thus, Issue 27: Second Chances was born. Issue 27, Page 1 is in fact so large, that we've put together this post to cover the highlights in case you're too afraid to delve into the gargantuan patch notes thread. We recommend using the new Homecoming Launcher to access the beta, but if you wish to use a legacy launcher (Tequila, etc), check out this thread. New Story Arcs: The Graveyard Shift & The Freakish Lab of Dr. Vahzilok Two new story arcs have been added to the game - one for heroes (The Graveyard Shift, level 20-29), and one for villains (The Freakish Lab of Dr. Vahzilok, level 30-39). These arcs are the first two instalments of the Freaklok storyline, introducing new contacts, enemy groups, mission maps and several unique mission mechanics! Costume Editor Update: Asymmetrical Shoulders After adding asymmetrical gloves and boots in Issue 26, Page 5, we've now expanded the costume creator to also allow asymmetrical shoulder pads. Even more importantly, shoulder kittens are now available for Male and Huge characters... and you can have two of them at the same time! New Blaster Secondary Powerset: Sonic Manipulation A new sonic-themed Blaster secondary with fairly well-rounded capabilities. It also features a Migraine mechanic, with many powers in the set having a small chance to inflict a short hold. This chance can be dramatically increased by using Sound Booster, the build up power of the set. Travel Changes: New Long Range Teleporter Accolade, Base Teleportation Updates and TUNNEL Updates This patch brings several changes to travel throughout the game. First of all: the GM-only command /enterbasefrompasscode is no longer available for players to use unconditionally, and can now only be used when you would normally be able to enter a base (whilst near a base portal or after using a base transporter power) or whilst already inside a supergroup base. This means you can still use transport hubs, but you must first gain access to a base normally - through a power or by travelling to a portal. Next, we've significantly increased the availability and utility of base beacons and base portals: 7 new base beacons have been added for zones in Praetoria and the Shadow Shard 16 new base portals have been added - every zone with a base beacon now also has a base portal Using a teleporter beacon now drops you near the base portal in that zone instead of at a random location on the map Several existing base portals have been moved to more convenient locations We've also added two new Supergroup Portal powers (one at the Pay 2 Win vendor, one from a day job). These powers allow you to summon a small temporary base portal that anyone can use (similar to an Ouroboros portal). Best of all: You can customize the colour! Who said size matters? As part of the rework to the Teleportation pool, Long Range Teleport was removed from the pool, and instead has been reimplemented as an Accolade power. You earn this power by gathering exploration accolades - the first one will unlock the power with that zone as the first destination, and each subsequent one you earn will add that zone to the list of destinations (note that not every zone can be added, see the image below or the patch notes for the full list). And finally, we've made several smaller improvements: Ouroboros can now be unlocked and accessed from level 1 Ouroboros portals now persist for a short while after you leave the zone, and they can be summoned whilst flying! Cimerora can now be unlocked and accessed at level 1 (plus, it's now much easier to access due to several base portals being located at universities) The hero and villain TUNNEL networks have been merged, and TUNNEL can now be used by Praetorians The recharge and cast times of most prestige, temporary and day job teleporter powers (Pocket D VIP Teleporter, Base Transporter, etc) have been reduced Overall, travel should now be more normalized. Although you can no longer instantly teleport from any location in the world, by using a combination of base portals, prestige powers, and the new accolade, travel around the game is still very fast, with many previously longer journeys (looking at you, Shadow Shard and Cimerora) now being much shorter. Improvements to Enhancements We've made a series of improvements to how you acquire, combine, and upgrade enhancements whilst levelling up. First of all, we've significantly increased the availability of Single Origin Enhancements in the early game: Vendors will sell them from level 5 and story arcs now award SOs instead of TOs or DOs. The low-level SOs sold at Yin's market can now be used by characters of any origin, and are cheaper than SOs from other stores. Secondly, combining enhancements is now a simpler process: Combining two enhancements will now simply increase the level of the enhancement, rather than creating a X+1 enhancement. This means you can now combine Hamidon, Titan and Hydra enhancements all the way up to level 53. And thirdly, a feature we initially tested many months ago: the enhancement upgrade button. You can now easily upgrade all of your equipped enhancements directly in your enhancement management screen. This has the same effect as purchasing enhancements 3 above your current level and slotting them over all of your existing enhancements. See it in action below. And much, much more! Revamps for Energy Melee, Titan Weapons, Trick Arrow, Teleportation and Blaster Secondaries Energy Melee proliferated to Scrappers Expanded support for gamepads 13 new badges A fix for the city map (15 years too late) Patch Notes | Beta Server FAQ | Feedback Threads | Bug Reports | Character Copy Installation: Homecoming Launcher Note: This needs to be installed to a new location (not your existing CoH install directory)
  22. 36 points
    A Little Backstory The original Mids' Hero/Villain Designer project was designed by Mids in order to allow City of Heroes players to efficiently plan their character's development. During the project's life cycle Titan Network took over its development and kept the project updated until 2012 when the last City of Heroes server shut down. The project had long since been abandoned it seemed as no further development had continued. In early 2019 with the re-emergence of City of Heroes thanks to the Homecoming team, the project seemingly resurfaced under the name of Pines Hero/Villain Designer (maintained by Pine) which contained several database updates for issue 25. A short while later another adaptation of the project emerged under the name of Mids' Reborn (maintained by Crytilis) which contained several more fixes and database adjustments. In June/July of 2019, a new project had begun thanks to Maslow who worked on cleaning up the internal code of the program itself and getting it into a manageable state. Maslow later approached Pine about co-development of the project and the two began to work on it side-by-side. In late July Crytilis joined the project upon being approached by Maslow after the two had talked back and forth since early June. It was then decided that production on each of their individual versions (Pines Hero/Villain Designer, and the original Mids' Reborn) would be stopped, and a new version created with a name agreed upon by all parties. The project has been reborn once more! This time with a new name, some new features, and a new team! Current Development Team Crytilis a.k.a Metalios (Senior Developer/Project Lead) Bopper Feles Noctis Zed In-Active Development Team Members Maslow Pine Procat Connect With Us! Official Discord: Click Here to Join! - This is the best place to get up-to-date information and ask questions. Official Github Repo: View our Repo Official Twitter: Tweet to us! What's Required To Run? Note: Only Windows 10 is officially supported. Windows: .NET 4.8 N/A MacOS: Homebrew Wine Winetricks .NET 4.8 "Install using Winetricks" Linux: Wine Winetricks .NET 4.8 "Install using Winetricks" N/A Note: May not work with MacOS Catalina & Big Sur without Crossover Download Information You can grab the latest version from our website -> https://midsreborn.com Found A Bug? Report It!, please remember to use the proper medium for reporting these bugs as we get hundreds of DM's per day. Report your bug HERE! *Please include which version of the app you are using along with the database version* Thank You's Mids, for creating Mids' Hero/Villain Designer. Titan Network, for doing the original C# conversion for parts of the app as well as keeping it updated until the shutdown. Homecoming, for running and hosting one of the most popular servers within the community. To all those who have tested various versions of the app and reported bugs in their proper mediums. To all those who have supported me (Metalios aka Crytilis) via Ko-Fi and Patreon.
  23. 36 points
    Powers Player Buffing Procs like Chance for Build Up should no longer proc on pseudo-pets, most of the time they did nothing and simply added confusion. Panacea no longer grants +Regen in PvP, instead it has the same Chance for +Heal as in PvE Bug Fixes Doc Buzzsaw was not aware of the decreased level range for Positron Part 1. She now spawns all the way down to level 8. Powers Bug Fixes Fixed the Tanker and Brute Global Taunt Proc not triggering on aura powers. Fixed bug with Gauntlet not triggering main-hit taunt messages. Clockwork Reassembly power should again calculate the chance for each individual spawned Gear, instead of only once at death. Average spawn count over time will not change, but it will be rare to get no Gears out of a defeated boss. Fixed many missing PStrings on crafting windows and mail attachments. Proton Volley's Fast-Snipe sphere FX should now tint properly in the Dark Theme. Fixed an issue with many powers displaying duplicate effects in their power info window. Addressed a bug where sometimes, after zoning, Bio Armor would have two both, offensive and defensive Adaptations active simultaneously. Many Lore Pet powers were not subject to PvP Mez suppression, this has been fixed. Players should no longer see a debuff icon when Carnival Master Illusionists summons pets. Players should no longer see a debuff icon when Tuatha Bosses use Animated Stone. Fixed short tool tip for Sirocco's Dervish to clarify it is a chance for damage. Mind Control > Terrify: This power no longer states it accepts Accurate ToHit Debuff sets. This power has never had a ToHit Debuff component. Fiery Melee > Breath of Fire: Fixed an animation bug when the power is used with Shield Defense. Energy Blast > Sniper Blast: Fixed sound sync issues with the tintable fast cast version of the power. Sentinel > Dark Blast > Antumbral Beam: Fixed missing sound FX. Dominator > Martial Assault > Masterful Throw (Quick Version): Adjusted the projectile and hit timing. Blaster > Devices > Caltrops: Enhancements and Procs should now work on this power. Dominator > Assault > Martial Assault > Caltrops: Enhancements and Procs should now work on this power. Dominator > Assault > Thorns > Thorntrops: Enhancements and Procs should now work on this power. Brute > Fury: Fixed a bug where some auras would passively grant the brute small amounts of +Fury. Blaster > Sonic Attack > Fixed PString messages on Power Customization. Fixed a bug where Targeting Drone's Up-Front damage would not always cancel out in combat. Incarnate > Interface (All Damage over Time Procs): Fixed a bug that resulted in lower than expected chance (thanks @Bopper & @Gulbasaur!) Short Tooltip for the following procs for the following procs changed to clarify they provide a chance for damage: Gladiator's Net Javelin Volley Mako's Bite Defender & Corruptor > Epic > Power Mastery > Power Build Up: This power should no longer have it's strength enhanced by other Power Build Up powers. Stalker > Ice Melee: Attacks in this powerset should now properly display CRITICAL float messages when they crit. Stalker > Ice Melee > Frost: This power should now take range enhancements, same as other versions of Ice Melee > Frost Pool > Sorcery > Rune of Protection: Clicking on this power should not trigger the animation if the power has not recharged. Pool > Hasten: Clicking on this power should not trigger the animation if the power has not recharged. Peacebringer > Light Form: Clicking on this power should not trigger the animation if the power has not recharged.
  24. 35 points
    Hello everyone! Over the past year we’ve had many, many players asking how they can help Homecoming. There are answers out there, but they tend to be a bit scattered and outdated, so we thought it might be best to put together a comprehensive post covering all the ways you’re able to help. Donations The most obvious method is also the one we get the most questions about, so here’s a few quick answers: Homecoming holds a donation window on the last Saturday of each month at around 13:00 Eastern At the beginning of each donation window we post a breakdown of our costs and expenses for the month up in the Finances & Donations forum We only take the exact amount we need to cover our expenses for the next month, plus any incidental costs and any amount required to refill our $1,250 contingency fund Once we’ve raised the necessary amount, the donation window closes, and you’ll need to wait until the next one if you wish to contribute The Finances & Donations FAQ has more information on (you guessed it!) finances and donations We understand that missing the donation window can be frustrating, which is one of the main reasons we put this post together - there are other ways to contribute that are just as valuable as donations. Testing We’re a small volunteer development team and have no internal QA resources - as such, we rely heavily on bug reports and testing from our players to ensure updates are released as smoothly as possible. If you’re willing to put a few hours here and there into testing upcoming patches, please read the Homecoming Beta FAQ to get started! Volunteering as a Game Master We couldn’t run Homecoming without our fantastic team of volunteer Game Masters. They put in countless hours every week responding to support tickets, helping players and generally keeping the peace. It’s hard - and sometimes thankless - work, but it is necessary in order to keep the game running smoothly. We’re always on the lookout for new GMs, so if you’re interested please fill out our new GM Application Form and we’ll get back to you if you’re a suitable candidate! (Note: We keep applications on file until we need more GMs - we'll be in touch when we need you!) While we want everyone who's interested in volunteering to apply, we’re in real need of volunteers that tick any of the following boxes: Players that can speak at least one language on top of being fluent in English (specifically we’re looking for French, Spanish and German) Mac OS and Linux experts Players that are available outside of peak US hours Players with in-depth knowledge of RP, Base Building or Architect Entertainment Development At present we’re not recruiting additional resources for the development team, but we do hope to open this up later in the year. Please keep an eye on future announcements and we’ll let you know when this changes! Discord Nitro If you have a Discord Nitro subscription, please consider using your boost on our Discord! It allows us to consider to maintain several cool benefits for our server. By boosting the server you'll get a nifty pink username, the ability to use emoji reactions in the announcements channel, and access to an entirely pointless Pocket D VIP Club channel on Discord. Generally Being Cool Last but not least, something everyone for everyone: Generally Being Cool. What do we mean by this? Well, it’s pretty simple: Be kind to your fellow players. Answer questions where you can. Follow the Code of Conduct and encourage others to do so too. Teach newcomers the ropes. Don’t be uncool. Doing these things not only helps everyone enjoy the game more, but also lessens the load on our volunteer team - which means they too can spend more time enjoying the game! That’s all for today. Thank you again for all your continued support - we couldn’t do this without you. - The Homecoming Team
  25. 35 points
    Between the forums and the Discord channel, I see a lot of folks confused about setting up base teleporters. It's easy to do once you understand the principles, but since there are things that aren't self-evident, I decided to put together a little guide. (With pictures and everything! Ooh! Ahh!) I've separated my lame jokes from the main text by using a different font color for your convenience. ;D Contents: The Basics The Components Setting Up a Zone Teleporter Setting Up an In-Base Teleporter Troubleshooting Tips, Tricks, & Tidbits #1: The Basics (or, What's All This Hullaballoo About Teleporters, Now?) Base teleporters are, in the simplest terms, a base item you can click that will move your character to somewhere else. Because real heroes & villains don't take cabs, and car insurance in Paragon is just outrageous. What base teleporters can do: They can transport a player to any city/hazard/trial zone that has a beacon and matches their alignment. They can transport a player to another spot within the base, a new function since the old days that's super-cool. What base teleporters cannot do: They cannot transport you to zones you can't access. (i.e., Heroes can't go to villain zones or vice-versa, and low-level Praetorians can't go to Primal Earth.) Silly baby goldsiders, you can't escape Cole's utopia that easily, muahaha! They cannot transport you from city zones into the base. (Though, as noted by justicebeliever--thanks!--you can get a base teleporter power by collecting badges or purchasing it from the P2W vendor.) They cannot change where you zone in to the base when you use a base portal, or make it so different people will zone into the base in different spots. No making the peons turn up in the back alley by the dumpster while the CEO shows up in the penthouse suite; sorry. A note on "Secret Entrance" Portals: Despite being a type of portal, the "secret entrance" is an entirely different beast than a teleporter, with different rules. The secret entrance cannot be deleted. So much for that Poe-themed base idea. There can be only one secret entrance. ...#highlander... If you ever see more than one, it's a glitch; leaving the base empty of people for 20 minutes should reset it. Though the secret entrance can be moved anywhere in the base, the entrance room can't be resized or deleted. Typing /stuck will return you to the secret entrance. Anyone entering the base through the secret entrance will always be facing south. And it just goes south from there! Haha! A-haha...ha...*cough* 😒 Leaving via the secret entrance will return you to the zone you were in before you entered the base. Déjà vu, or a glitch in the Matrix? You decide. If you entered using a base portal, you'll reappear beside it; if you entered any other way, you'll reappear at the zone's designated teleport spot. (Thanks to justicebeliever for the clarification. :) ) Okay, so now that we know what teleporters are and aren't, how do they work? #2: The Components (or, 'Porters & Beacons & 'Port Points, Oh My) Regular teleporters (i.e., the "teleport to zone" types from the live era) have two parts: Teleporter Beacon (the thing you click) (the place you go) Arcane Example: Tech Example: PI Paragon's VP of Engineering, Karen, agreed to be in these photos to provide a sense of scale. She's a shapeshifter and a bit of a clothes-horse, but so dependable and dedicated--I never see her leave her office! For in-base teleporters, there's one other component, a teleport point...but we'll come back to that in a bit. #3: Setting Up a Zone Teleporter (or, Transportation by IKEA) To make a working zone teleporter, all you need is a teleport device and a beacon of the same style placed within range. That's it! Back in my day, we only had one basic and one advanced 'porter for each style...and you needed a special Transportation Room and enough power to run the thing...and even then, the basic 'porters would only go to two places, uphill, BOTH WAYS! These young whipper-snappers and their free, pretty, 10-destination porters don't know how good they have it! Muttergrumblemumumble... (I'm totally kidding about the grumbling, to be clear. They can pry the new porters from my cold dead hands.) The beacons, up to ten per teleporter, can be placed anywhere...above the porter, behind it, buried in the floor, wherever...as long as they are within range. You can tell if a beacon is in range in two ways: Click on the beacon, and make sure there's a yellow box around the teleporter (or vice versa). -or- Click on either the beacon or teleporter, and check the object description box (the "Info" tab for beacons, or the "Aux" tab for the teleporter). The attached items should be listed. #4: Setting Up an In-Base Teleporter (or, "But I Don't Wanna Go Outside, Mom!") For teleporting to another area within the base, there's one more piece you need: a teleport point. Regular beacons teleport you to zone points the game already knows how to find. So, to make an in-base teleporter work, you need to explain to the game where you want people to end up. That's where this tab comes in: Currently, there are ten points available to place inside your base. When placed, they look like this: VP Karen not included. So, let's say you want to teleport from your office to your bathroom. When you gotta go, you gotta go, amirite? To do that: In your office, put a teleport device. In your office, put an Aleph beacon. In your bathroom, put the Aleph teleport point. (Teleport points don't have a style, and can be used with either arcane or tech devices.) And voila, you can teleport directly from the office to the potty. Base Teleporters: Bringing you proper hydration without fear since 2019. Note, the above setup will only get you to the bathroom. If you want to teleport back, you'll need to repeat the steps above, except in the opposite direction and using a second teleport point. #5: Troubleshooting (or, LIEZ!! It doesn't work!! UR AY FRAUD AN SHUD B ASHAYMED!!) I hope that amused someone because typing like that made me die a little inside. If you've placed a teleporter and it doesn't work the way it should, there are a few things to check: Did the beacon connect to the wrong teleporter? If you have two teleporters close together, the beacon may have linked to a different one than you expected. And next thing you know, the teleporter and the beacon are arguing about infidelity on Dr. Phil. Are you trying to connect more than ten destinations to a single porter? Any beyond ten won't connect. That's what happens when you let the henchmen do the math. Are you using a functional teleporter? As one might imagine, teleporters labeled as inactive or destroyed won't work, but it's an easy mis-click. Now where do I get a portal repair tech at 3 AM on a Saturday?!? The second-most common problem: Is your character the right alignment to see the zones in question? A villain character can't go to hero zones, and vice versa, so the list will be blank even if the beacons are connected and working properly. Nice try, Lord Recluse. And--*drum roll*-- the biggie: Is your beacon the same style as your teleporter? Items from the tech tab will not connect to items from the arcane tab; the styles must match. Arcane & tech elements in the same teleporter ensemble is so last season. Remember... goes with goes with #6: Tips, Tricks, & Tidbits (or, Things You Wish You'd Known Before Wasting That Last 3 Hours) The order zones appear in any teleport listing is according to the zone's ID number in the internal database. The only way you can affect the list order is to link beacons to separate teleporters. We won't discuss how long I tried to alphabetize the teleport beacons before I learned this. I (like a number of other folks, it seems) like to set up my zone 'porters with one for blueside city zones, one for blueside hazard/trial zones, one for redside zones, and one for everything else (although our current base has them split up slightly more for aesthetic reasons). If you aren't sure/can't remember which zones are which, this wiki page may help; it has zones separated by alignment, and you can sort the list by type or level. None of the teleporters are tintable, except the Oranbegan Portal in the Arcane tab. That one lets you recolor the runes that circle around the edge of the portal. I see a red portal and I want to paint it black... There are currently no doors in the base builder that open/close...but you can simulate one using in-base teleporters. You'll need two teleporters (the Interdimensional Shard is a popular choice because it's small), two beacons, and two teleport points. Place the Shards as far inside your doors as you like, as long as enough sticks out for people to click on. Place Beacon A on one side of the door, and Point A on the other...then place Beacon B on that side, and Point B back on the original side, as noted in this high-quality illustration: [Point A, Beacon B, Teleporter] {[DOOR(S)]} [Point B, Beacon A, Teleporter] Great, there goes our whole graphic design budget. Note, you'll want to use two teleporters and make sure your beacons connect the way you intend, because otherwise both destinations would show up on the same teleport list, and someone could inadvertently teleport to where they already are. Ha ha, suckers. Er, I mean... :-X Whatever direction you're facing when you click an in-base teleport point, that's the same way you'll be facing when you come out the other side. (As ajax34i observes, the points -- and the Secret Entrance, for that matter -- do have directional arrows you can see using the Hidden Markers option...but they don't seem to actually be correct or do anything.) Turn around, bright eyes... Since you're actually teleporting instead of using the door like a door, you have the option of putting the "other side of the door" anywhere in the base you like. It doesn't have to be physically near the original door. And they'll never know they've been fooled! MUAHAHAHA!! ...well, unless they look at the map. If devious hidden doors are your jam, you can easily bury your teleporter almost all the way inside pretty much anything...secret door hidden in the bookshelf, anyone? From Catgoyle: "For semi-secret in-base teleports, the globes are about the right size to fit the "interdimensional shard" into (and I hide the beacon under the floor -- enable room clipping)." Just make sure Alfred doesn't set it off accidentally while dusting Wayne Manor. There's no way to re-name the in-base teleport points. What you see is what you get. Fun Fact: I learned that the point names are letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Thanks, Google! Clicking a teleporter always brings up a pop-up destination menu, even if you only link one beacon. At present, there's no way to make it click-and-go like mission doors. Some of the flatter teleporters (the Carnival of Light portal, etc.) are difficult to select once they've been placed. In addition to the usual camera angle shuffle, it can help to hold shift, which helps you click objects hidden behind other things. If all else fails, you can choose "Current Room," sell off the portal, and start over. If a sound/visual effect remains after you delete a teleporter, leaving the base for 20 minutes should reset the map. Anybody else entering the base in that time will prevent the reset; stowaways walk the plank. WanderingAries adds that if you've read all this and decided it's too much work, you can always coalition with someone who's built zone teleporters already and use theirs. 😉 So there you have it, everything you need to be a physics-defying location hopper. Did I leave anything out? Did something get added/changed since this post was written? Did I...*GASP*...get something wrong? Or worse yet...HAVE A TYPO?!?!? :-[ Let me know, and I'll get it fixed. Happy base building!
  26. 35 points
    General Ambassador Kuhr'Rekt no longer requires the Native badge, which is unavailable to former Praetorians. The contact "Max" in Dark Astoria will no longer be stuck unable to give you any missions if you finished his arc using Ouroboros before running Dark Astoria normally. He should always, at the very least, offer the mission that introduces Praetor Duncan. Sentinels will now receive the Power of Scirocco clickie in the Barracuda SF. Fixed an issue that broke Windows XP compatibility with the 32-bit Client. Fix detection of more than 4GB of physical memory on 64-bit platforms. Be more aggressive about capturing the mouse pointer while in mouselook and camrotate mode. Fix the magical shrinking window on 64-bit; Windows Vista and newer in 64-bit mode report system metrics for window frame size differently. Costumes Added the following costume patterns from Derek Brown: Chisel, Crosshair, Grid, Oculus, Tech Shield, Trident and Widget. Enabled the Malaise pattern for players. Base Editor Added 676 items to the base editor. You can find them by searching for "New" in the Place Item view. The red and black floor grid should now be hidden outside of the base editor. Nature > Grass Valley has had its alignment corrected and should now be usable with other floor plate details (e.g. all the other grass). Existing bases will not be modified. Simply moving any existing Valleys will update their position. The following details have had their selection box fixed: Arcane Teleport > Carnival of Light Portal Arcane Teleport > Magic Portal Arcane Teleport > Summoning Portal Arcane Teleport > Summoning Portal (Inactive) Tech Teleport > Interdimensional Shard Tech Teleport > Black Hole Tech Teleport > White Hole Tech Teleport > Small Portal Bathroom > Bathtub Water Peacebringer FX Peacebringer customizable FX have been updated in order to actually use the secondary color. The glowy eyes have been reined in: All buff powers use the same eye glow VFX, so they will no longer stack. Attacks still spawn extra glowy eyes when used. This will get fixed someday. Conserve Energy will now have glowy eyes. The humming noise has been reined in: It no longer plays when activating attacks. It no longer plays when one VFX expires and transitions to another one. Being mezzed with the toggle sheilds on will no longer blow out your speakers. Inner Light now only plays it once instead of twice. Other stuff: White Dwarf Step no longer uses Warshade graphics. Quantum Shield's "No Bubble" setting no longer has fuzzy rings. Powers: Snipes General Changes ToHit is no longer required to achieve fast-snipe. Now, combat status determines if snipes are fast or slow, and ToHit buffs increase how much damage fast-snipe inflicts. The snipe will be fast if you have attacked or been attacked in the last 8 seconds; this is the same time as Stalker's Hide. Note that PvP scale is based only around the PvP damage formula. ToHit buffs and debuffs do not change quick snipe damage in PvP. The following fast snipe animations have been synced with their FX, no cast time changes: Moonbeam, Zapp, Sniper Blast, Proton Volley (they all remain at their original 1.33 second duration.) Added a new PVP IO Snipe set "Experienced Marksman"; includes proc that will always turn your Snipes into the fast version. Blaster/Defender/Corruptor Snipes 12 second recharge and 14.352 end cost. Base 2.28 scale damage in their "quick" form, down from 2.76 scale. Every point of ToHit buffing the player has will increase or decrease this damage, up to a cap of 2.76 scale damage with +22% ToHit buff. Slow form will do 4.5 scale damage. Dominator Snipes 20 second recharge and 18.512 end cost. Base 2.67 scale damage in their "quick" form, down from 3.56 scale. Every point of ToHit buffing the player has will increase or decrease this damage, up to a cap of 3.56 scale damage with +22% ToHit buff. Slow form will do 4.5 scale damage. Epic Snipes Will now have a base 1.75 scale damage in their quick form. Every point of ToHit buffing the player has will increase or decrease this damage, up to a cap of 2.3 scale damage with +22% ToHit buff. Slow form will do 3.56 scale damage Slow form crits will do 3.56 + 1.78 scale damage. Scrappers should now properly crit 10% of the time, instead of using Stalker requirements. Powers: Dominator Assault Sets Earth Assault Power Boost is now Power Up. (90s recharge, +34% damage, +75% str to other effects for 10 seconds.) Stone Spears: Cast time reduced from 2.10 seconds to 1.00 second. Tremor: Cast time reduced from 3.30 to 2.50 seconds. Hurl Boulder: Cast time reduced from 2.50 seconds to 1.50 second. Recharge increased from 8 seconds to 12 seconds. Damage increased from 86.64 to 120.5 damage. Heavy Mallet: Recharge increased from 12 to 14 seconds. Damage increased from 133.1 to 151.8 damage. Mud Pots: Increased radius to 15ft. Lowered endurance cost slightly. Damage lowered from scale 0.18 per tick to 0.13 per tick Electricity Assault: Thunder Strike: Cast time lowered to 2.5 seconds. Now knocks enemies down. ST and AoE Damage increased. Energy Assault Power Boost is now Power Up. (90s recharge, +34% damage, +75% str to other effects for 10 seconds.) Total Focus: Cast time shortened from 3.30 to 2.50 seconds. Power Burst: Cast time shortened from 2.00 to 1.67 seconds. New special mechanic. Most single target attacks have a 20% chance of granting Energy Focus mode. Hitting a foe with Total Focus will always grant Energy Focus mode. While in this mode, Whirling Hands will inflict a large amount of bonus damage. Power Burst will do some bonus damage. The mode will be removed if a power with bonus is used. Icy Assault Power Boost is now Power Up. (90s recharge, +34% damage, +75% str to other effects for 10 seconds.) Ice Bolt: Recharge increased from 4 seconds to 5 seconds. Damage increased from 52.9 to 61.3 damage. Ice Sword: Recharge increased from 8 seconds to 10 seconds. Damage increased from 95.8 to 114.5 damage. Ice Slash: Recharge increased from 10 to 17 seconds. Damage increased from 114.5 to 179.8 damage. Chilling Embrace: increased radius to 15ft. Added -10% damage str to affected enemies. Power now deals cold damage every 2 seconds to foes that are not under the Sleep status effect. Slightly lowered the speed movement debuff. Martial Assault Envenomed Blades: Fixed a bug where this power would sometimes proc more than once. Procs now ignores damage buffs and enhancements. Thunder Kick: Recharge lowered from 8 seconds to 7 seconds. Damage lowered from 95.8 to 86.4 damage. Trick Shot is now a proper chain attack, hits up to 5 targets. Damage lowered from scale 1.4 to scale 1.1 Spinning Kick: Recharge increased to 10 seconds. Target cap reduced to 5, same as all other melee cones. This power was also doing Single Target damage despite it being a cone. This has been fixed but recharge increase should keep damage decent. Dragon's Tail: Recharge reduced from 20 seconds to 16. Damage scale from 1.1 to 0.8985. Explosive Shuriken should no longer state it's an AoE, but still will do splash fire dot damage to foes around the main target. Psionic Assault Psionic Dart: Cast time reduced from 1.33 to 0.83 seconds. Telekinetic Thrust: Cast time reduced from 2.07 to 1.00 seconds. Recharge lowered from 8 seconds to 7 seconds. Damage lowerd from 95.8 to 86.4. Radioactive Assault Contaiminated Strike: Recharge increased from 5 seconds to 8 seconds. Damage increased from 67.7 to 95.7 damage. X-Ray Beam: Recharge from 10 seconds to 11 seconds. Damage increased from 103.5 to 112.0 damage. Devastating Blow: Recharge 18 seconds to 20 seconds. Damage increased from 189.2 to 207.9 Devastating Blow and Atom Smasher now accept Dominator ATOs. Savage Assault Vicious Slash: Recharge increased from 9 seconds to 11 seconds. Damage increased from 105.1 to 123.8 damage. Call Hawk: Recharge increased from 12 seconds to 14 seconds. Damage increased accordingly (variable damage.) Feral Charge: Target cap lowered to 5. Thorny Assault Aim replaced with Build Up. Thorny Darts: Recharge time increased from 3 to 4 seconds. Damage increased from 44.4 lethal to 52.8 lethal. Skewer: Cast time reduced from 1.63 seconds to 0.83 seconds. Recharge time lowered from 10 seconds to 6 seconds. Damage lowered from 114.45 to 77.1 damage. Chance for DoT increased from 80% to 85%. Impale: Cast time reduced from 2.43 seconds to 1.43 seconds. Recharge increased from 8 to 10 seconds. Damage increased from 86.6 to 103.5 damage. Flling Thorns: Lowered recharge to 10 seconds. Scale to 40.9 lethal damage and 4.5 toxic damage over time. Ripper: Recharge increased from 13 to 15 seconds, arc lowered to 60 degrees. Damage increased to 136.5 lethal damage. Thorn Barrage: Recharge time increased from 11 to 18 seconds. Damage increased to 42.8 lethal damage per tick. Powers: Devices Changed Web Grenade to Toxic Web Grenade, now deals scale 1 toxic DoT and can be slotted for damage Taser: Recharge reduced from 20 to 10 seconds, duration reduced from scale 10 to scale 5, damage increased from 0.25 to 1.96 (same damage as Energy Punch) Time Bomb: Animation is now 2.77 seconds, interrupt time removed, countdown reduced to 5 seconds, defiance values reduced to match (this only applies to this set, not to the Traps support set versions.) Trip Mine: Interrupt removed. Cast time is now 2.77 seconds. Recharge increased to 30 seconds. Targeting Drone now gives your first attack from out of combat a Built-Up effect (80% damage) and continues to provide a 20% damage buff while in combat. Powers: Stealth All self-stealth toggles should now recharge in 2 seconds. Pools > Concealment > Stealth: No longer slows the user down. Pools > Concealment > Invisibility: Endurance cost lowered from 0.65 to 0.2275. You are now be able to attack while this power is active, but should you attack, all it's defense will suppress. Illusion Control > Superior Invisibility: Endurance cost lowered from 0.52 to 0.182. Powers: Misc Changes & Bug Fixes Gravity Control > Propel: Adjusted physics parameters on objects to make them feel solid and not bounce around like rubber toys. Night Widow & Fortunata Vengeance: Now triggers on league members. The buff will still only apply to teammates. Beta Decay: FX now anchors on the player and not the world. Pool > Leaping > Spring Attack: now does Containment damage when used by Controllers. Pool > Sorcery > Enflame: Should now do damage for Sentinels Kheldians > Inherent: Should now see Sentinels the same way they see Blasters and Scrappers, for the purpose of their inherent powers. Controller > Ice Control > Flash Freeze: should be properly flagged as a Targeted AoE, not a Point Blank AoE. Stalker > Savage Melee > Shred: This power erroneously said it consumed Blood Frenzy stacks. The text has been corrected. This power generates one Blood Frenzy stacks instead. All other AT versions of the power had the correct text for Shred. Dominator > Feral Charge: Fixed a bug where sometimes it would do no damage if executed from maximum distance. Dominator > Savage Assault > Unkindness: This power erroneously said it consumed Blood Frenzy stacks. The text has been corrected. This power generates one Blood Frenzy stack, and it's DoT becomes stronger the more Blood Frenzy the caster has. This bonus to Unkindness makes up for the set's lack of Savage Leap and Hemorrage. Sentinel > Ice Blast > Chilling_Ray: Should now accept Slow enhancements. Sentinel > Regeneration > Dismiss Pain: Increased amount of MaxHP granted to 24% from 6%, should had not been that low to begin with. Beam Rifle > Disintegration: Should [hopefully] never linger after the target dies. Earth Control > Animate Stone: should no longer stop to reconsider it's life choices for about 6 seconds after using Hurl. Mu Mastery Epic Pool: Zap now uses Melee Damage Modifiers All versions of Beam Rifle's Penetrating Ray now has a 55% chance of spreading disintegration. All versions of Beam Rifle's Lancer Shot now has a 100% chance of spreading disintegration. Fixed a bug in the no-redraw version of fast-Archery's Snipe. Psionic Lance's quick FX was completely broken and out of sync. FX has been resync but this required a slightly slower animation (1.33 seconds.)
  27. 34 points
    So! one of the biggest issues faced when creating new powersets is the difficulty faced introducing new assets to the game, which is why many of the newer powersets are created from existing assets that are already used in other powersets (Such as Savage Assault, Ninja Training and Radiation Melee). In order to produce new powersets, it seems most likely that they would be created from what we have already, which is why we've seen many more Manipulation and Assault sets than any others (since they are mostly formed from existing powers). So with that in mind, I was pondering what other powersets could be engineered from the assets already available, effectively 'recycling' them into new forms. I had a couple of crude ideas that I've listed below, they are in no way a working product, more a proof of concept that could hopefully inspire a new arsenal of powersets that could be introduced in one way or the other. The aim of the game is to use as much existing material as I could, so they would seem plausible to implement at the least, and entirely possible at the most. Earth Blast You are able to upheave and project stone to powerful effect! Earth Blast focuses on a mixture of smashing and fire damage, and many attacks have a chance to stun your foes. - Stone Spears: Taken directly from Earth Assault. This power fits nicely for a simple single-target damage attack - Lava Blast: A power belonging to the Minions of Igneous, hurling lava that deals high fire DoT - Shards of Stone: A power belonging to the Talons of Vengeance Prophetess/Sibyl/Oracle of Earth, firing rocky shards in a cone. - Basalt Bomb: Another power belonging to the Minions of Igneous, hurling a ball of magma that explodes and deals high fire DoT. - Hurl Boulder: Taken from Earth Assault/Stone Melee. A good short range/high damage attack that was a nice fit. - Upthrust: A power belonging to the Talons of Vengeance Prophetess/Sibyl/Oracle of Earth. delivering smashing damage in an AoE, with a lethal DoT effect and chance to knockdown. - Ryolite: Another Minions of Igneous power, holds a foe and deals moderate fire DoT - Fissure: Another Earth Assault power. Fissure acts a nice ability later in the set with close range and high damage. - Meteor: Another unique Talons of Vengeance power. We remove the special NPC mechanics, and focus on the superior smashing damage, moderate fire DoT, and a chance to stun or knockback. Earth Manipulation You can manipulate the earth to contain and control your enemies, while bringing rocks crashing down upon them. - Stone Prison: Taken from Earth Control. This power suits just fine for the single target immobilize as you may expect. - Stone Fist: Taken from Stone Melee. This works as the first melee attack available. - Fossilize: Again taken from Earth Control. Just like many manipulation sets, the inclusion of a single target hold also seemed fitting. - Build Up: A standard Build Up power as expected. - Tremor: Taken from Stone Melee. This power works as a nice AoE melee attack as seen in other Manipulation sets. - Mud Bath: A modified version of Mud Pots. This power also grants endurance recovery and health regeneration to the player. - Fault: Taken from Stone Melee. This power works as a nice control power that has no damage. - Ash Fall: Another power belonging to the Talons of Vengeance Prophetess/Sibyl/Oracle of Earth, functioning much like Snow Storm - Seismic Smash: Taken from Stone Melee. This power works perfectly as a high damage melee attack with mez capability. Throwing Blades You are trained with deadly throwing blades, armed with an assortment of martial weaponry to attack your foes from afar. - Shuriken Throw: Taken from Martial Assault. This fits well for the low damage/quick recharge attack. - Throwing Dagger: An NPC power used by a multitude of enemies, ideal for a moderate damage ranged attack. - Trick Shot: Taken directly from Martial Assault. this ability works well as a nice AoE ability. - Shrapnel Shuriken: A renamed version of Weapon Mastery's Exploding Shuriken. This works as a basic AoE power. - Aim: Your basic blast set 'Aim' power. - Masterful Throw: Also taken from Martial Assault. This works perfectly as a snipe ability. - Fan of Blades: NPCs like Chance McKnight have a similar ability called 'Shurikens', which is a cone version of the standard Shuriken power. Though I would perhaps give it the Eviscerate/Ripper animation. - Explosive Shuriken: Taken from Martial Assault. this power works well as a low-range/high-damage attack - Blade Storm: The T9 for this set would likely be a mix of projectiles thrown in all directions, likely using the same animation as Typhoon's Edge. Other sets in this thread: Primaries (Blast, Control, Melee, Henchmen) Secondaries (Manipulation, Assault, Armor, Support) Ancillaries
  28. 34 points
    I dream of (in PVE) : - No FX options on all armors and all AT. (yes i want to have cool costume on my Bio and Rad armor too.) - The option to remove stealth effect on all stealth and Invis powers. (dam i love my stalker skin, spent hours to create several and... i turn hide on <f.ck>) - The option to make any buff with No FX. (i m fed up to spend so much time to try to remove color from my cold buff...) - The option at The Gull not to see buff FX. (please, some buff still have 2005ish textures and i have nothing against people with taste of s..t but when they vomit their buff on my toon... i feel ... dirty) This would help a lot of people to enjoy creating tons of costumes and low graphics computers would suffer less in full league.
  29. 34 points
    This has been discussed a little bit and is definitely something people are interested in looking at, but we've not currently got any plans (as there's a lot of things on the list of things people are interested in looking at 🙂 ). Take a look through the live patch notes and tell me where we've made characters useless. I'm not interested in hearing about your experiences with nerfs on live, because obviously we didn't have anything to do with that. Don't worry, we're well aware that most players don't post on the forums, and we're also well aware when posts are all bluster and no substance. This is crucial IMO - but it cuts both ways. It's pretty difficult to feel super when one team member can solo the entire mission without breaking a sweat.
  30. 34 points
    We're all still alive - real life has just been incredibly busy for many of us in recent months. Most of this is due to (or made signiciantly worse by) Coronavirus-related problems, and some of it just really bad timing. For the moment we're having to prioritise the small amount of free time we have available for the project, which means some things aren't getting much attention. The talks are still ongoing, and as that's the most important thing for the long-term goals that Homecoming has, it is the priority. From a development standpoint there's several things which are in progress (some of which are nearly ready for testing), but right now we don't actually have the capacity to run live development, testing and iteration on those features (see the Enhancement changes being stuck in limbo for an example of this). Once that capacity returns we'll start to see stuff hitting the test servers again. Whilst all of this is going on it's still a priority of ours to ensure the consistent and stable operation of the server. Our fantastic GM team has been critical in facilitatin this, so please be sure to thank them if you see them around 🙂 Can we really update the game without nerfing regen?
  31. 34 points
    To me, the most important thing about CoH is its community, which has generally been better behaved than other MMO communities. Anything that keeps the community intact, civil and cohesive would be my primary goal.
  32. 34 points
    I would love to not have to start over again! 🙂 Also, it would be great to see new incarnate slots developed and for the overall story arc of the game to be moved forward. I'm dying to see what Battalion looks like. Editing to add something important I forgot.... It would of course be amazing to see original members of the Dev team from live returning to the game (as long as they don't touch all the awesome stuff that was added in i25 :p)
  33. 34 points
  34. 34 points
  35. 33 points
  36. 33 points
    This day, Nov 30th 2012 a wave of darkness swept over Paragon City, Rogue Isles and Praetoria. Many stood against the darkness, but it overwhelmed us all. Now the darkness is gone and light has returned. So on this day that marks the 7th year of the shutdown, I want to say Thank You to the mystery person that saved the game all those years ago and a thank you to the admins and staff of Homecoming. LONG LIVE CITY OF HEROES!
  37. 32 points
    You can find the google doc here: Lore Pet List! What is on the doc? All the tier 4 Lore pets Core/Radial and their abilities + Numbers! Sheet 1: Lore Pet *Photos (Size) / *Abilities (Attacks/Buffs/Debuffs) / *Travel Powers Imgur album of photos: HERE! Sheet 2: Lore Pet DPS Numbers Credits to contributors can be found there. Let me know if there are any mistakes or something you would like me to try and add to the list- you can leave something here or ping me on discord! *Updated to get rid of extra rows so its easier to scroll through - April 2020
  38. 32 points
    Hello All! A handful of people over on Discord were talking about a lack of an updated Wiki for Homecoming, I've cloned Paragon Wiki to https://hcwiki.cityofheroes.dev/wiki/Main_Page and encourage folks to update it with current information for Homecoming. There have been a small handful of updates so far but there is lots of work to be done. So create an account and go nuts! As a note, I've removed ALL User: pages from the import of PWiki to remove any user information that people may not want copied, feel free to bring your User: page over from PWiki if you would like.
  39. 32 points
    I think there's two different threads of thought here. One is us posting what we're doing, and the other is the why. What are we working on? This has been covered somewhat extensively already in the thread, and while I agree with the general sentiment, I think there will be some room for flexibility in the future. As you're all aware the focus of our (currently) very small team is quite split right now between our goal of becoming legitimate, back-end work (being able to retire safe mode), and actual development. When the first two are dealt with everything will become a little more streamlined. We aren't being secretive just for the sake of it right now, it's simply because our attention is so split that we don't want to get anyone's hopes up about exciting stuff and then us have to shelve it for six months. Just look at the Tanker patch and how (understandably) restless the community was over that. Now imagine that if there were some new powersets, features or story arcs stuck in limbo! Wouldn't be pretty. I believe that with some careful management and engagement from the community it is possible to improve this without some of the risks mentioned above, but we're not quite in the position do so at the moment. There is cool stuff on the horizon - just be patient! Why do we make the decisions we make? This one isn't as simple. I'm going to quote something from the other thread and post the answer here as it's more relevant. You simply aren't going to be able to get this - because you're right, quality is an opinion. Game development is highly opinionated. Any worthwhile creative endeavour is. We've stated our guiding principles as best we can, and if we tried posting anything more concrete at the moment it probably wouldn't be entirely honest. Remember this isn't a commercial operation, so we have no reason to sugarcoat or spin anything (which is what you're used to experiencing from almost every other development team, regardless of their intentions). We're just going to stick with the truth as we see it - if we aren't sure about something, we aren't going to pretend that we are. If we (for the moment, anyway) only have loose guiding principles, then that's what we're going to tell you. If something changes, we'll say so. And in the interest of honesty - the discussion in the other thread was somewhat off-putting. Having to re-state the same answer three times because it seemingly wasn't the desired answer doesn't encourage us to spend time engaging. But we still do, because we love the game and the community as much as you do. Please just keep the above in mind when reading something you may not want to hear 🙂
  40. 32 points
    Hello! Today we've issued an update to our Code of Conduct. The key change is that we are no longer allowing characters that use copyrighted materials owned by other companies. This is the same as it was during the retail life of the game - we don't want to draw the ire of Marvel, DC, or other gigantic entities and unnecessarily put Homecoming at risk. Characters using copyrighted materials will have their name and/or costume reset. You will then be able to select a new name and create a new costume the next time you log in. - The Homecoming Team
  41. 32 points
    Aesthetics: New powersets (especially Wind Control) and costume pieces/sets
  42. 30 points
    Personally, I'm a big fan of "Don't worry about what other people do with their characters."
  43. 30 points
    Greetings, heroes and villains! I need your help. Our newest Ouroboros acolyte, Mender Derek, has made a terrible mistake! He was given a simple task; go to Cimerora and pick up a pizza. Instead, he decided to do some sightseeing of Paragon’s most infamous historic events... but forgot to close the doorways behind him... Throughout the month of July our timeline will collide with four events from our past: Starting today (June 30th), we’ll be thrown back to the Rikti World Invasion of 2007. Next week (July 7th) it’ll be October! Halloween will be upon us, with the deadly apocalypse and trick or treating available all week. Following that, on July 14th, the Mender Silos Nemesis invasion begins! Finally, the end of the month (July 21st), becomes the end of the year, as we celebrate the Holiday season once again! Throughout the month we expect the echos of Derek’s disastrous mistake to cause waves of villains from both the past and the future to find their way into our timestream. The Menders of Ouroborus and I will be there to fend them off, but we’ll need your help fending off these incursions! (AKA - Monster Mash!) - The event is in Kallisti Wharf, where the zone cap is 200 Players. Unfortunately, this is a set cap and the event will be first come, first serve. If you are unable to make it into this one, we hope you'll make it to another shard! Monster Mash Times/Shards: On Excelsior: Friday, July 10th at 6pm Eastern (10pm UTC) On Torchbearer: Sunday, July 12th at 5pm Eastern (9pm UTC) On Everlasting: Saturday, July 18th at 1pm Eastern (5pm UTC) On Indomitable: Saturday, July 18th at 5pm Eastern (9pm UTC) On Reunion: Saturday, July 25th at 4pm Eastern (8pm UTC) - Just before the Costume Contest! Location: Kallisti Wharf (Check above for dates/times/shards) - *To get there, you can take the monorail from most zones in Paragon City or the Smuggler’s Submarine from Sharkhead Isle, Grandville or The Abyss.* Details: - This is a Monster Mash! Come prepared to fight off waves of enemies! (There are no special badges being given. You will, however, receive credit towards your 'defeat' counts of enemies being spawned). - The event should last approx 1 Hour - The event starts at the designated time - be sure to get there early to be there for the beginning. - The zone cap is 200 Players. Unfortunately, this is a set cap and the event will be first come, first serve. If you are unable to make it into this one, we hope you'll make it to another shard! *This cap is double the size of any other zone. Due to this, and the nature of Monster Mashes, expect some lag. We highly encourage reducing graphics, minimizing costume FX and do NOT summon lore pets during the event.* - When entering the zone, please broadcast requesting to join a League. We will have one of our Menders add both Heroes AND Villains to their team. Our Menders are volunteering their time to help battle this anomaly and there may not be enough of them at each event; at which point we'll request players to form their own leagues! Finally, we’ll round the month off with a costume contest at Statesman Plaza in Kallisti Wharf on all five shards. Theme: Past and Future! Come dressed in outfits representing eras past or look towards the future and dazzle us with your innovative new ideas! Time: July 25th at 5pm Eastern 9pm UTC, 10pm UK time, 2pm Pacific time, 11pm central European time Prizes The 4 runner-up costumes on each shard will win: A permanent golden title: Past & Future Costume Contest Runner-Up The Fashion Victim Badge 150 reward merits The best costume on each shard will win: A permanent golden title: Past & Future Costume Contest Finalist The Fashion Victim Badge 300 reward merits The single best overall costume will win: A permanent golden title: Past & Future Costume Contest Winner The Fashion Victim Badge 1000 reward merits
  44. 30 points
    So you want to maximize your Endurance Recovery, to ensure you never run out of Endurance, with the fewest slots possible? These charts should help you pick the optimal slotting. The Recovery values are given in Endurance per Minute, rather than the typical in-game Endurance per Second, because Endurance per Minute results in nice, easy to follow numbers; Base Recovery is 100 endurance in one minute, and the chance for +Endurance procs operate on procs per minute, so working in Endurance per Minute means everything's using the same units and easy to compare. Universal End/Min Base Recovery 100 Numina Unique 10 Miracle Unique 15 Performance Shifter Proc 15 Panacea Proc 22.5 Stamina/Inexhaustable End/Min Base 25 First and second End Mod SO 8.325 Third End Mod SO 7.0825 First 50 End Mod IO 10.6 Second 50 End Mod IO 10.23 Third 50 End Mod IO 3.94 First 50+5 End Mod IO 13.25 Second 50+5 End Mod IO 10.725 Agility Core Paragon 7.5 Agility/Musculature Radial Paragon 5.5 Quick Recovery/Accelerate Metabolism End/Min Base 30 First and second End Mod SO 9.99 Third End Mod SO 8.499 First 50 End Mod IO 12.72 Second 50 End Mod IO 12.276 Third 50 End Mod IO 4.728 First 50+5 End Mod IO 15.9 Second 50+5 End Mod IO 12.87 Agility Core Paragon 9 Agility/Musculature Radial Paragon 6.6 Blaster Sustains (minus Drain Psyche) End/Min Base 50 First and second End Mod SO 16.65 Third End Mod SO 14.165 First 50 End Mod IO 21.2 Second 50 End Mod IO 20.46 Third 50 End Mod IO 7.88 First 50+5 End Mod IO 26.5 Second 50+5 End Mod IO 21.45 Agility Core Paragon 15 Agility/Musculature Radial Paragon 11 Physical Perfection End/Min Base 12.5 First and second End Mod SO 4.1625‬ Third End Mod SO 3.54125‬ First 50 End Mod IO 5.3‬ Second 50 End Mod IO 5.115 Third 50 End Mod IO 1.97‬ First 50+5 End Mod IO 6.625 Second 50+5 End Mod IO 5.3625‬ Agility Core Paragon 3.75 Agility/Musculature Radial Paragon 2.75 Arachnos Soldier and Arachnos Widow End/Min Base Recovery 105 Numina Unique 10.5 Miracle Unique 15.75 Stamina base 26.25 First and Second End Mod SO in Stamina 8.74125 Third End Mod SO in Stamina 7.436625 First 50 End Mod IO in Stamina 11.13 Second 50 End Mod IO in Stamina 10.7415 Third 50 End Mod IO in Stamina 4.137‬ First 50+5 End Mod IO in Stamina 13.9125‬ Second 50+5 End Mod IO in Stamina 11.26125‬ Agility Core Paragon (Stamina) 7.875 Agility/Musculature Radial Paragon (Stamina) 5.775 I tried to put together charts with the most common options people will have access to. If there's a common, permable +Recovery power I missed, let me know and I'll try to update the charts. One last note, about set bonuses: Since 100 End/Min is the base, Recovery set bonuses are easy to understand as well. For example, a 2.5% recovery set bonus is equal to 2.5 endurance per minute. (They suck, but that's another topic.) It's a little higher for VEATs, with their higher base Recovery, but not enough to really matter. Edit: Tried to improve readability by lightening more significant digits and darkening less significant ones. Edit: Added entries for the ED-exempt portions of tier 4 end mod-affecting Alpha abilities.
  45. 29 points
    My web-crawling hacker Website - Energy Melee/Electric Aura Scrapper
  46. 29 points
  47. 29 points
    Without giving anything back to the players? How about the fact that they provide a second chance to play a long dead game completely free of charge? Come on folks! Are we so used to the idea of CoH being back, that we now take it for granted, and want things that might be contrary to their efforts to make it permanent? The lack of faith demonstrated about their efforts is a little jarring, considering they've always been as transparent, and forthcoming as they can be within a legal framework, and never did anything to violate anyone's trust along the way. We are all in this together, and we can either do what's necessary to help see it through, or we can do things that potentially put the process in jeopardy.
  48. 29 points
    I'm happy with the servers as they are now, with ongoing development as available. The major thing I want is the security, that we're not one C&D notice away from oblivion. Not having to restart would be good too but not essential.
  49. 28 points
    We're One Year Old! It’s April 24th - exactly one year since Torchbearer, the first Homecoming shard, came online for the very first time - and conveniently, also only a few days shy of the 16th anniversary of City of Heroes’ retail launch. Looking back, those first few weeks were both immensely exciting and extremely chaotic for our community. It’s been a very long year for all of us, and we’ve come a long way - 5 shards, nearly 170 thousand accounts, over 1.3 million characters created and 5 major updates - with more to come! None of this would’ve been possible without the incredible support of our GM team, so we would also like to take this opportunity to extend a special thank you to all of our Game Master volunteers - both past and present - for your time and dedication over the past year. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you. And now… some festivities! 16th Anniversary Badge: Resurgent Following the vote earlier this month, Resurgent has been chosen as the name for the anniversary badge this year. Any character that logs in during the month of May will automatically receive this badge. Resurgent During the month of May all previous anniversary badges are also available to purchase from Luna in Ouroboros for 100 Reward Merits each. Invasion! Starting… now, Rikti invasions will be taking place all over Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. They’ll be here for two and a half weeks - until server maintenance finally defeats them once and for all on Tuesday the 12th of May. Anniversary Contests @GM Miss is hosting two contests to help celebrate the anniversary! Anniversary Screenshot Contest: Starting today and running until May 1st, we’re asking you to submit your favourite screenshot from the past year. Anniversary Costume Contest: On May 2nd we’ll be hosting an anniversary costume contest! Many prizes will be up for grabs, including permanent costume powers. And that’s all for today. Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey - this is only the beginning. - The Homecoming Team
  50. 28 points
    How to Suck at City of Heroes (and Villains) In most MMOs, experienced players know that there is no such thing as a bad group; there are only good groups, and funny groups. City of Heroes is afflicted with a player base many of whom are basically intelligent and friendly, meaning a lot fewer funny groups, which in turn denies us a lot of opportunities to rant on the forums. You can help. By learning to really suck at CoH, both game mechanically and socially, you can keep SG channels and global channels hopping with funny stories, giving other players the chance to bond as they commiserate. This guide gives you an overview to key ways in which you can completely fail at many aspects of City of Heroes. I try to cover build advice, character design, interaction with other players, and more. This guide is necessarily a work in progress, and I am deeply indebted to various pick-up groups for their contributions, feedback, and ongoing support. Section 0: Be ncsoft Really, this is the ultimate tactic. However, it may have been done to death. Consider avoiding it. Section 1: Philosophy To really suck at a game, there is one thing that is more important than anything else: You must take the game very seriously. This doesn't mean you have to put in a lot of effort learning to play the game, it means you have to be offended when other people play the game in a way you don't like, or when people fail to contribute directly to your positive game experience. Let's do a little pop quiz. You're in Port Oakes, and the zone is dead. You wanna do a couple quick paper missions to get your jet pack. You search the zone, and there's someone else there. You invite them to team with you. They decline the invitation. What do you do? A. Sit around waiting for someone else who can team with you, instead of just running the missions solo. B. Send them a chat message "y not?!?" and immediately ignore them before waiting for a response. C. Cuss them out at length for not knowing that this is a "multipalyer game, moron". D. Find some of your friends to team with, even if they're of different levels. It was a trick question; the answer is "A, B, and C". You can't do D, because you don't have any friends. However, the other three options are all correct. Let's examine them in a little more detail. Option A highlights a key strategy in sucking at CoH: Never do something alone when you can have someone else do it while you sit at the door berating them for not doing it fast enough. You should always be ready to let someone else do something for you. Option B shows a dextrous combination of two key strategies. The first is demanding that people justify themselves to you; the second is not actually paying attention to their response, and ideally making sure they know you weren't paying attention. Always remember that, if someone fails to enable you to play the way you want to play, it means they are stupid and wrong. Tell them so. Note that this is not a reciprocal arrangement; if other people want to tell you how to play, tell them in no uncertain terms to shut up. You know what you're doing; they don't. They aren't paying your $15 a month. Section 2: Character Building (yours) City of Heroes has taken the unfortunate path of making nearly everything viable, making it hard to do a really bad job of picking your initial sets. However, there is still some hope; you can pick a set for the wrong reasons. For instance, rather than playing Empathy as an amazing buff set that can empower your teammates to steamroll content, you could play it as a pure healing set, taking only the healing powers. This will utterly gimp your performance. Give serious thought to completely ignoring one of your sets, usually your secondary. A defender who never uses attacks can deprive a team of a major source of effective debuffs; a scrapper with no defensive abilities can faceplant faster than a "pure healer" defender can heal. Learn to slot. One strategy would be to stick with TOs at all levels because they are "cheaper". Also, slot for endurance reduction. You're always running out of endurance, right? So slot your attacks for endurance reduction, rather than accuracy or damage. This way, instead of killing things in fewer hits, or hitting more often, both of which indirectly reduce endurance consumption, you can focus on directly reducing endurance consumption. People will sometimes talk about "ED". Ignore them. Six-slot your powers for the trait you want. Again, it's crucial that you ignore, or insult, people who try to suggest ways your build might be able to more effectively accomplish your goals. What do they know? If they wanted to play your character, they should have thought of the name first. Section 3: Character Building (everyone else) Everyone else's build is your business. If they didn't make the right choices, that will cripple the team. So be sure to look closely at what they've got. If they haven't picked a core power of one of their sets, let them know. Don't let them just handwave it off; make sure they acknowledge that their choices were wrong and explain exactly how they'll rectify the situation. In rare cases, a particularly mule-headed sort will ignore you if you keep commenting on their build; this is why you should have a second account. Keep up the pressure. Remember, you're doing this to make the game better. Some people make choices so awful that there is no point in considering teaming with them. For instance, if someone were to take a travel power that doesn't have good synergies with their combat powers, that would be a sign that you should probably boot them from the team immediately. Similarly, if someone does something particularly unsalvageable, such as building a defender who isn't primarily focused on the defender's role (healing), boot them right away. Consider advertising the reasons for the boot in the local broadcast channel (see Chats and Channels, below). Section 4: Fighting Enemies The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is only one right way to fight in CoH, but there are many wrong ways. If people deviate from the ideal plan for your current situation, berate them mercilessly. Don't try to help or recover from a problematic situation; stand back and start blaming. It's vital that your long chat message about whose fault it is reaches team chat first. In general, a good strategy can be identified by the amount of planning and explanation it requires. If your strategy can be explained within one or two chat messages, it's probably going to be worthless when things start to happen -- in the frenzy of battle, simple rules and plans are unlikely to have taken all the contingencies into account. You need detailed multi-step plans. If the plan fails, identify who screwed up and let them know it was their fault. There are a few core strategies you should be familiar with, and a few general rules you need to know about how to develop a new strategy. I'm going to illustrate each general rule with an example of a strategy built to maximize its effect. Herding There are several ways to "herd" in City of Heroes. Some players figure that a tanker (or brute, or scrapper, or anyone else durable) can pick up some aggro, draw a spawn together, and pretty much just run with it. Never, ever, fall for this trap. You see the problem, right? It's way too simple. A good herding strategy should involve constant communication with detailed instructions. Obviously, the tank is the leader of the group, so the tank needs to control every aspect of the process. The tank should announce where the spawn will be herded to, warn people repeatedly not to get involved until the spawn is ready, then tell them when to attack. Do not rely on the judgement of other players. There is little chance that an experienced blaster will be able to somehow guess when it's safe to attack. Worse, a mistake could result in a team member dying; because of the extremely stiff penalties associated with death in CoH, this is a major disaster. Advanced players may find it more rewarding to die quickly while out of line of sight of the rest of the team, or while trying to bring the spawn back to the team. Ideally, the tank will die precisely as everyone else starts fighting, allowing aggro to be spread evenly among the blaster. This strategy illustrates a couple of general rules. First, the most efficient way to do any content is to have only one player active as often as possible. Too many cooks spoil the broth! If you have multiple players acting and making decisions, they may get out of synch or split the team. Having the other seven players wait for the right moment lets you keep the focus where it belongs -- on you. Secondly, it's worth noticing that this strategy played out entirely differently in the past, before the aggro and target caps. One of the best ways to suck at City of Heroes is to never, ever, change your behavior in response to massive changes in the game engine or combat mechanics. Mining Let's say you're not a tank. How do you make sure everything is about you? Simple! Set up mines and time bombs. These are a great way to keep gameplay focused, and therefore efficient, as you carefully set up a large mine field, describing in detail the order in which someone should pull a spawn through the field. While you're talking, and they're listening, the group is working the way it is supposed to. Again, see how the focus of the group on a single player makes that player more important and builds team spirit. Be careful not to use mining strategies only against spawns that are otherwise too hard for the group, or selectively based on circumstances. The point of a strategy is to use it all the time. Healing Pure healers are a build strategy, but healing is also a combat strategy. The key to healing is that you want to heal damage. That means damage has to be taken, first. Resistance and defense buffs for players reduce incoming damage, and that means less healing. Similarly, to-hit and damage debuffs for mobs mean less incoming damage, and thus less healing. But healing is what keeps you alive, so those things are bad. If you aren't dying, it is because someone is healing you. Sometimes, people will try to claim that they are helping by using powers which don't heal you. Don't be fooled. No green numbers? Boot that defender and get someone who knows how to play the game. Section 5: Chats and Channels Global channels, supergroup and coalition, broadcast, team chat, the help channel... All of these media exist to serve you. Be sure to use the right medium for any communication. Usually, that will be the broadcast channel or a global channel. The most important thing to understand about channels is the word "trolling". Trolling is the process of doing things which create drama, such as disagreeing with you, or providing some kind of reference or citation in support of a claim. People who do this are doing it because they love drama. Of course, in part they're getting the right idea; the purpose of channels is to provide a venue for drama. Every channel, whether it's a "global" channel or local broadcast, is there to provide entertainment to the participants, in the form of drama. On rare occasions, people will fail to specifically identify their religion or the intimate details of the sex life. Luckily, you can always tell, so you can use these as the basis of a compelling argument as to the worth of their contributions. This can, of course, lead to people trying to "troll" you by claiming that your behavior is offensive. Remember to petition them for harassment when they do this, especially if they announce that they have reported your behavior to the GMs. Special case: Tells Tells are a special case, because they are sort of like a channel, in that there are social norms for how they're used. First off, never use tells as a preamble to a super group or team invite. Just invite people. What would you tell them that they wouldn't get from the invite window? You don't want picky people with a sense of entitlement who are only interested in some teams, or might have expectations of a super group. These people will turn out to be horrible whiners. No, you want people who will click yes on anything you ask. That said, it is of course perfectly reasonable to send people tells asking them to join your super group. Don't restrict this to people you've met, or that you know in some way; as the section on super group recruiting will explain, limiting the field that way hurts your chances. Ask everyone. Use the search window to find people, so you don't risk missing people on the grounds that they're already in a super group or something stupid like that. Section 6: Teaming Blind invites. Nothing will fill a team faster than running down the search window clicking invite-to-team as fast as you can. Running a team is a heavy responsibility. To run a team, you have to be ready to make fun of how people play the game, kick them from the team if they annoy you, and sit around saying "ne1 hav bank mis?" Furthermore, it is up to you to ensure that your team composition is viable for missions. If you are running a level 28 team, for instance, do not invite anyone under level 26 to your team; they will be a liability to the team. Similarly, don't invite anyone over level 30, because when they "exemp" down, they will forget how to play their character. You may find it more rewarding to play on teams run by other people. This gives you a great opportunity to educate them about how to run a team more effectively. The most effective way to get a team is to pick a zone where there's a lot of under-dressed female heroes you can look at, and stand in one place saying "lft" in broadcast. Try not to be too specific about your archetype and level. If you are running a team, be sure to focus on the most crucial support role; be the person who gets the mission, then show leadership in helping people understand the mission objectives. For instance, if you could find a hunting mission, you could direct people to the most efficient way to repeatedly complete it. A decisive and clear-speaking leader could summarize this in only a few words; perhaps "Go. Hunt. Kill skulz." Section 7: Running a Super Group It's a tough call whether you should run your own super group or try to steal someone else's. The key thing is that you'd better be in charge. You may wonder how to tell whether a super group is good. Conveniently, the game provides an objective and reliable measure of the quality of supergroups, called "prestige". As the name suggests, this is a direct measure of how prestigious your super group is. It is, of course, necessary that group members always run "in SG mode", where they will be contributing prestige to your super group. (At higher levels, this can reduce the rate at which they acquire inf. Tough luck for them, your super group matters more.) Because super group membership is such a huge responsibility, it's important to have detailed rules and regulations for your super group. Never allow someone any kind of rank within your super group if they also participate in other super groups. Similarly, never allow any kind of criticism of your group or leadership; criticism of leadership leads to anarchy and chaos, and prevents a super group from running like the well-oiled military machine it is supposed to be. Your super group's channels are your chance to impose structure on the game. Be sure to enforce, as ruthlessly as necessary, any policies you set. Policies should be set to maintain the distinctive culture of your SG, and to encourage isolation; you don't want people getting along with, or interacting with, members of other SGs. Examples of good SG chat rules: Never use abbreviations such as "LFT" or "LFM". Never say anything that could lead SG members to think that you're gay. Never talk about activities that involved people outside the SG. Never discuss game features, such as AE, which are not part of the usual play style of your SG. On the other hand, some rules are so crippling, so extreme, that they prevent people from forming the esprit de corps that marks a successful community. Examples: No cussing. No derogatory remarks based on sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion. No promotion of RMT services. Never let people view your super group as a fun way to hang out with friends. The super group is all. It gives them access to the base. It gives them team mates. The super group is mother! The super group is father! Your group should have clear and explicit policies covering every conceivable case. Try to provide your own definitions for common English words; this technique, pioneered by cult leaders, allows you to create a separation between your "in" group and outsiders. Super group membership should be all or nothing. People who play other games, or play in other super groups, or play on the other faction, are not serious about your super group. Get rid of them. Better, just keep them in roles of non-authority, but continue to get prestige from them. Growing your SG Growing your SG is crucial, because only by drafting hundreds of players and trying to get them to level all their toons in SG mode can you get enough prestige to be a truly respected SG. Just as everyone respects any group that has lots of prestige, no one will take you seriously, or care what you think, if your SG isn't one of the top ten. Remember! Prestige is an objective measure of the quality of a super group. To make this work, you need people. Lots of people. Now, some people will just meet people they enjoy playing with, invite them to join a supergroup, and focus on whether they have fun together or enjoy each others' company. These people are losers. You will never see people who are having fun instead of farming prestige in the top ten list on any server. You might think you should announce your SG, or promote it by running events. Wrong. Advertisements in broadcast channels will not get you enough people. This is especially true if jealous and bitter people who want to sabotage you might respond with comments on their perception of your SG's quality. No, there are only two good ways to get people into your SG. The first is to use the search interface to find people who are sort of low level and invite them. Macro this, because you're going to be doing it a lot. Just send them all a message, something like "Hello, would you like to join a super group?" Now, you may have noticed that the search interface doesn't show you whether people are already in a super group. That's okay! As long as your request is polite, no one will mind. It doesn't matter how often you ask the same person, or their alts, or how badly you've treated them in the past. It's still a friendly question. So keep right on asking. Don't worry about responding to questions. For the most part, people who ask questions about your group before joining it aren't really interested. They're just stringing you along because you've already invited them twenty times. The people you want are people who say yes without knowing anything about your super group; these are the people who can be molded to serve your needs. Another great recruiting tactic is grouping. Group with people, then invite them to your super group. Some people do this wrong; they wait until they know which players they enjoy grouping with. Wrong. The goal is numbers, numbers, numbers. Nothing else matters. Just invite them. If they say no, kick them out of the team immediately; they are of no use to you. It's possible to screw this up, though. If you mention to people that you're recruiting, they might anticipate that you're not actually looking to run missions with them unless they're willing to serve your prestige-farming needs. So don't do that. Rely on the fact that players assume a mission invite is for the purpose of running missions. This will let you perform an elegant bait-and-switch, which nearly always makes a strong impression. Section 8: Communications Skills The fact is, it doesn't matter how you write, or spell. What matters is that if anyone criticizes your spelling or writing, you must freak the *@#!* out. Nothing helps drive home the irrelevance of communications skills like an outraged rant. Consider this representative sample: You sure told them. (Note that this has been censored for presentation on the forums; obviously, in game, you'd spell those words out, for approximate values of "spell".) Section 9: Roleplaying It is important to clearly state in your character's description that other people cannot read your mind, as only Mary Sues can read other people's minds. If someone else tries to tell you what their character is like, this might disrupt your RP. Be sure to tell them off for "godmoding". Generally, it is a safe bet that a female character who has some kind of costume is interested in explicit sexual roleplaying. Remember not to kill the mood by getting all meta-gamey and asking about this; it breaks immersion. People often won't know how they should react to your character; you can provide a "roleplaying hook" by describing exactly how they react to your character. For instance, if your skin exudes a powerful poison, it's important to tell people up front that anyone who touches you for any reason dies. Some people may "godmode" by making up excuses for why their character is supposedly "immune" to poison, such as being already dead or a robot or something. Be sure to clarify in your description that these exceptions don't work. Here's an example of a way you could make your background clear: See how well this works? Other players immediately know where they fit in interactions with you. Sometimes, people may not know why they should be interested in your character. Give subtle cues; for instance, you could macro an emote about touching some piece of jewelry you wear. Hit this macro often when roleplaying, so people know it's important. You can add to the mystery by reacting with furious rage if anyone dares ask about your mysterious traits. That helps cement that you are a serious roleplayer. Section 10: Advanced Topics If you've read this far, you are probably ready to really, really, annoy other players. However, you can always get better. Just remember that righteous indignation and blind fury are both great responses to nearly anything, and that it is a safe bet that other players are lying to you maliciously whenever they say anything inconvenient to you. Above all: Never have fun. If you start having fun, then other people might find it infectious and also have fun, and then where would we be?
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