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About Me

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  1. Updated 2021-01-23 This chart has been assembled from a variety of sources, relying primarily on the current Info text for each power and in-game testing of actions, times etc. It can be considered to supersede all other current information sources, including the patch notes, wiki and (in some cases) even the powers' Info data. Note that this is only the pool/prestige/temporary TP powers, and not those included in the Teleport and other power sets. Notes Base portals and the Ouroboros portal summoned by these powers no longer vanish when the summoner uses them. They persist, and can be used by any alt, for the duration specified. The Monitor Duty and Rapid Response Portal powers appear to be earned simultaneously, by logging out near base portals, and earn new uses in parallel by doing the same thing. The RRM power appears to lag getting the accolade, however, for unknown reasons. Ouroboros Portal The Ouro portal power can be obtained in several ways. The simplest is to dive through an Ouro portal. While you're at it, climb up the gnomon (big arc over the pool) to obtain the exploration badge. For the record, return transit from Ouroboros can be to any of the following zones (hero/villain limitations apply): Atlas Park Independence Port Talos Island Founder's Falls Peregrine Island Cap Au Diable Sharkhead Isle St. Martial Nerva Archipelago Grandville And while we're at it, the only way to get to the Echo Zones is via the Ouro portal at the rear of the building in Ouroboros. (Base transport beacons were removed in I27.) Long Range Teleporter The Long Range Teleporter is unlocked when an alt collects all exploration badges in a single zone for that zone's accolade badge. (Atlas Park and Mercy Island are the easiest, hint hint.) It can also be purchased from P2W if you find 1M Inf easier than hunting a few badges. After that, collecting any one exploration badge in any zone adds that zone to the LRTP's list of target zones. The LRTP can also be unlocked by spending one hour in Pocket D to obtain the Pocket D Gold VIP badge. The Pocket D beacon is unlocked if you gain the LRTP by getting the Pocket D badge. If you get the power any other way, you must unlock the Pocket D beacon by getting one of the two zone exploration badges. (Go for the Trucker one, daredevils.) LRTP Beacons The available Long Range TP zone beacons are (currently) as follows. Each can be obtained by collecting any one exploration badge in that zone. Inherent Your SG Base SG Base via passcode — note that base-entry macros will work in this menu Pocket D — may need to be unlocked Paragon City Atlas Park Kings Row The Hollows Perez Park Skyway City Steel Canyon Boomtown Faultline Talos Island Striga Isle Independence Port Terra Volta Croatoa Brickstown Crey's Folly Founders' Falls Eden Peregrine Island Rikti War Zone Kallisti Wharf — note odd grouping for this one Dark Astoria Rogue Isles Mercy Island Port Oakes Cap Au Diable Sharkhead Isle Nerva Archipelago St. Martial Grandville Praetoria Nova Praetoria Imperial City Neutropolis First Ward Night Ward Shadow Shard Firebase Zulu Cascade Archipelago The Chantry The Storm Palace Obsolete TP Powers The Pocket D VIP transporter has been removed with I27. The Long Range TP power has a Pocket D option, though. The many auction house TP powers may not be earnable by new alts any more, but if you had earned uses remaining, you can keep the power until they are exhausted. Some auction house teleport powers can still be obtained as temporary powers. The Base Entry Macro The short-lived, beloved "zap to base from anywhere, any time, no penalties" command/macro is no more. Well, it exists, but it was greatly nerfed from Dev/God power to something less game-breaking. It is still very convenient to create a macro for entry to your own SG base, if you have one. A good second choice is to use any SG base that publicizes their entry code and doesn't mind guest users. The original promoter of this power/macro/buff was the Cosmic Transport SG, which built a base with every portal and home feature you'd want. The macro definition below uses their base code. You can substitute your own or others, or even have multiple macros if you like. Clicking this macro icon while within a few feet of any base portal will instantly transport you to the corresponding SG base, without having to click through the "Your Base/Enter Passcode" menu. This also works when the LRTP menu is open. Other macro icons can be selected from the massive list of power icons (found on the website in the sig, and elsewhere). I picked a pretty and unusual one here. /macro_image DilemmaDiabolique_Diabolique_ShadowTeleport "TP to SG" enterbasefrompasscode COSMICTRANSPORT-6608 A version of this post with a reproducible version of the chart will be found at the Heroica! website in the sig. Corrections, updates and suggestions welcome. I'm just sorta kinda surprised no one has created this short, accurate chart in the months since I27! 😛
  2. There are a few invention origin enhancements that give you an instant boost to a stat, or add a special effect to an attack. Even if you're not super-mega-tricked out with IOs at level 50, there are a lot that add a lot to your build, starting at about level 10. Always buy them attuned from Wentworths/The Black Market/The Trading Post - You can access this by typing /ah in most outdoor areas, and in Pocket D. The reason for this is that they scale with your level, meaning you only need to buy them once. Most are a few million inf. The IOs have a bonus that affects you - if you add Steadfast Protection into a power that gives allies more resistance, they won't get the +3% defence from it, only you. There are a small number that specifically only affects your pets, but they are very clearly labelled. IOs also have a level limit, normally between 10 and 30. If you go three levels below the level of the enhancement, the bonus shuts off. How do I get a few million inf? Here is a guide. Here is another. Others exist. If you run story arcs or task/strike forces you get reward merits. You can go to a merit vendor and buy stuff through it. Generally, for a bit of cheap cash you can buy enhancement converters and sell them on the auction house, but if you're really clever you can craft cheap enhancements and convert them into ones that sell for a better price. You might not be super-rich, but you'll have enough to afford what you need as you're levelling. Stacking effects Generally speaking, you can't have more than five of the same effect from an enhancement bonus. If you use 10 Luck of the Gambler +recharge enhancements, you won't get all 10 bonuses - only the first five count. Some enhancements are unique, meaning you can only have one of them. Survival The Fighting power pool gives you access to Tough, which takes resistance slots. Combat Jumping, Hover, Stealth, Grant Invisibility and Afterburner all take defence slots. Health can take Healing slots and it is usually better value to put procs in Health than Healing enhancements, in my opinion. Steadfast Protection (cheap) Damage Resistance Slot +3% defence Gladiator's Armour (expensive) Damage Resistance Slot +3% defence Unbreakable Guard Damage Resistance Slot +7.5% hit points Reactive Defences Defence Slot +3-13% scaling damage resistance this gets higher as you lose hit points Shield Wall Defence Slot 5% damage resistance Preventative Medicine Healing Slot Chance for Absorb shield the chance increases as you lose hit points Panacea Healing Slot Chance for small (5%?) heal this also does the same for endurance and is worth taking for that reason alone Power Transfer Endurance Modification Slot Chance for small (5%?) heal this isn't unique but only one will actually trigger at a time Put in as many as you can fit into your build. 6% defence is better than it sounds. The two resistance bonuses mean you'll be taking between 8 and 18% less damage from (almost) all sources. The Preventative Medicine proc is sort of an emergency shield and has saved my skin more times than I can count. Additional ones dealing specifically with psionic damage (mainly useful if you're tanking): Impervium Armor Damage Resistance Slot +6% Psi resistance - not unique, you can have 5 of them Aegis Damage Resistance Slot +3% Psi resistance - unique, you can only have 1 Status effect resistance helps you recover from holds, sleeps etc slightly sooner but they do not prevent them from happening: Impervious Skin Damage Resistance Slot +7.5% Aegis Damage Resistance Slot +20% There are also several +Stealth enhancements. I recommend the Celerity one, slotted into Sprint - it turns it into a low-grade stealth power which is good for travelling round unmolested. Additionally, there are three knockback protection enhancements in the Karma, Blessing of the Zephyr and Steadfast Protection sets. One is probably enough for most builds - Hover can also mitigate knockback to a large extent. There are several other "chance to heal" and a couple of "chance for absorb" procs... the heal is only around 5%, but the absorb is about 15. I don't regret putting the absorb proc in my hold power, but it's also something I could live without. It's also worth going for the accolade passive bonuses which can give you 15% extra hit points. With those and Unbreakable Guard, you've got yourself +22.5% hit points, which is pretty notable. Increasing your total hit points also increases your regeneration and the size of absorb shields etc. There are a number of enhancements that increase your health regeneration... I'm slightly apprehensive to recommend these as they have a much more significant impact on archetypes that don't have problems surviving, but Regenerative Tissue gives you 25% Regeneration, which the highest you can get from a single IO. This will help you recover between fights a bit faster and stay upright in longer fights, but probably isn't enough to keep you from dropping without other methods of protecting yourself. Recharge This is global recharge - it makes almost all your powers recharge faster. For reference, Hasten gives you +70% recharge. Luck of the Gambler Defence Slot +7.5% recharge - you can have up to five of these, giving you a +32.5% recharge bonus as well as enhancing defence. If you have any defence powers, this is a very good use of a slot. There are a number of "one-slot wonder" pool powers like Grant Invisibility and Combat Jumping that you can take late in levelling just to use one of these enhancements if recharge is your goal. Force Feedback Knockback Slot Chance for +100% recharge for 5 seconds - if you have a lot of knockback powers, this can help keep your recharge generally quite high. For Kheldians, energy blasters, force field controllers, fortunatas etc, this can be quite noticeable. AoE powers are a good candidate for this - you only need it to proc on one enemy to get the effect. Endurance As a general rule: put an endurance reduction enhancement into the three attacks you use most often. Even if you run a lot of toggles, you might be better slotting your attacks for EndRed because of how often you use them than just doing the toggles. Panacea Healing Slot Chance for small (5%?) endurance boost. Miracle Healing Slot +15% endurance recovery. Numina's Convalescence Healing Slot +10% endurance recovery. Performance Shifter Endurance Modification Slot Chance for 7.5% endurance boost. You can put the Healing ones in Health and Performance Shifter in Stamina. Panacea and Performance Shifter are the best value mathematically. All four are more powerful than standard IOs under most circumstances. The accolade bonuses, mentioned above, can give you an extra 10% endurance. This also effectively improves endurance recovery by 10%. Damage and Extra Effects There are a few Chance for Build Up procs, which give you a damage and ToHit bonus for five seconds. Gaussian's is the only one I'd bother with - I'd usually put it in Build Up to make it even more build-uppy, but if you team a lot or are a Mastermind or Crab Spider you can slot it into Tactics as having more teammates including pets means it'll go off more often (it checks each person affected by Tactics separately, so more teammates = more Build Up procs) and you can kind of treat it like a critical hit mechanic. I have it in Build Up on my Stalker and Tactics on my Widow. There are a variety of damage procs you can put into your powers. These are a chance to do a set amount of additional damage. I'm not going to list them all, because you can look them up on the auction house and there are a lot of them. Check what enhancement sets a power can take on the enhancement screen and then use the filters to find a proc that suits your power. They generally start at level 10 for ATOs, 20 for control powers and 30 for attacks. Some general advice: Generally speaking, a power that does very low damage is a good candidate for a proc as you'll get more bang for your buck than you would adding another damage enhancement. If it does very low damage, adding an enhancement is still only enhancing a very small number, but a proc will add a flat amount of damage. You can add it to some powers that do no damage, turning them into a weak attack. It's also a way of sneaking round the diminishing returns of multiple enhancements, so you can add even more damage to an already very high damage attack. AoEs have a lower chance for it to trigger on each enemy to compensate for the fact that it hits a lot of targets. If you put a proc in a power with a slow recharge, it's almost guaranteed to go off, which is a good way of adding damage to things like nuke attacks or AoE holds with long cooldowns. Some pets can take procs, although they scale a bit weirdly for MM pets. As pet builds tend to be tight, I'd read a more detailed guide before dropping 10 million on procs for pets. There are also procs for status effects like hold and disorient, but they tend to be low magnitude, meaning they won't actually hold (or disorient) anything that's worth the effort. The Lockdown set has a +2 Mag Hold proc for 8 seconds, meaning you can upgrade a weaker hold power, albeit randomly. You won't be hitting Dominator levels of control, though. Contagious Confusion has a chance to confuse a fairly high number of targets within a fairly high radius without drawing aggro. It is quite expensive, but if you're feeling rich it's worth getting. I actually wish there were more procs like this - it's so unique. Sudden Acceleration has an enhancement that converts knockback to knockdown, which can turn annoying powers like Gale or Bonfire into very powerful control powers. The (expensive) Ragnarok set has a Chance for Knockdown proc that you can put into a power like Caltrops, which can make it into a more useful control power. Pets There are several enhancements that add to the survivability and utility of your pets - note that they affect your pets, not you. Masterminds will get the most use out of them, but certain other builds (crab spiders etc) may also see a lot of benefit. These create an aura around the player in a 20 foot aura, so keep your pets close: Edict of the Master, Call to Arms and (Superior) Command of the Mastermind (MM's only) add 5% pet defence Sovereign Right, Expedient Reinforcement and (Superior) Mark of Supremacy (MM's only) add 10% pet damage resistance (not psionics) Smaller bonuses (probably not worth it unless you have slots to spare): Soulbound Allegiance Pet Damage adds a chance for your pet to get a Build Up effect Commanding Presence Pet Damage resist taunts/placates Be warned, though, slotting for pets is often tight so you may want to think carefully about these. Try not to lose too much damage at the expense of survivability. Archetype Origin Enhancements Each archetype has two sets of enhancements unique to them, and each of those sets has one enhancement with a special effect. You can take them all at level 10 and then upgrade them at level 50. In most cases, they slot into an attack, although Masterminds have to put them in pets. Unless specified, they only trigger when the attack they're slotted into is used. Some are very, very good, some are nice but you can skip them until much later. The set bonuses for the ATOs are almost always very good, so definitely think about them later on. The following are noteworthy: Both Stalker ATOs are very powerful. Slot the Chance to Hide one in Assassin's Strike for double criticals and the Chance to Recharge Build Up anywhere it fits, then put Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control Chance for Build Up in Build Up itself for double build up a few times a minute. Get them as soon as you can afford them. The Form Empowerment one for Kheldians is a flat upgrade - get it when you can afford it. The other one you can leave until later. The Scrapper and Brute ones are a flat upgrade - get them when you can afford them. The Defender, Blaster and Corruptor ones are handy. The Soldiers of Arachnos fear proc works well in an AoE. Their toxic damage works like a global proc - it can go off in any damage power. Get the toxic damage one as soon as you can afford it. Get the fear proc one eventually and put it into an AoE attack for some damage mitigation. Controllers have an energy font and Dominators have a fiery orb, which are small, short-duration pets that lots of people find underwhelming. Apparently they work best in AoE status effect powers. Tankers with lots of resistance can probably skip the Chance for Res one, although the Absorb one is pretty good for anyone. Defence-based tankers should take both. If, like me, you left Live before the IO system came into full force, you might think "fizzle this shizzle, it's all too complicated" - it's not that bad, and hopefully this will help you get started. Any questions, please @ me and I'll try to help. Thanks to Veelectric Boogaloo for pointing out the Mez resistence and regen IOs and Erydanus for the specifics of the Stalker ATO.
  3. 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 (35-40) 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!
  4. Mr. Simpson – we have reason to believe that you have consumed - POISON! Poison is the most aggressive debuff set in the game. It is the kinetics of debuffing. If you attempt to play poison passively the results are always underwhelming. The set requires melee range to achieve maximum potential as the capstone power is a pbaoe aura that is several powers rolled into one. Poison doesn’t compromise, it doesn’t give you false hope through a weak self heal, or encourage you to sneak around. You either poison the enemy so they are weaker than you, or you die. People that have enjoyed melee oriented blasters and dominators usually pick up the set and run with it. Others that have played alternate debuff sets like radiation and go in thinking it will offer a similar play experience, often struggle. In this guide I will detail some of the intricacies of poison that make it a great set for those that take the time and investment into making it work. No, the set is not easy to use, and probably was never intended to be solo’d. We can’t change the ease of use, but we can build it so it can solo just about anything. This is a long guide so refer to the sections for ease of use Section 1 - Brief overview of poison for each AT 1.1 Corruptors 1.2 Masterminds 1.3 Controllers 1.4 Defenders Section 2 - Brief overview of each poison power 2.1 Alkaloid 2.2 Envenom 2.3 Weaken 2.4 Neurotoxic breath 2.5 Elixir of Life 2.6 Antidote 2.7 Paralytic Poison 2.8 Poison Trap 2.9 Venomous Gas Section 3 - In depth analysis of key poison mechanics 3.1 Envenom 3.2 Weaken 3.3 Poison Trap Section 4 - build synergies 4.1 The importance of mez protection 4.2 Cones…..grrr 4.3 What about healing? 4.4 Power pools 4.5 Epics 4.6 Incarnates Section 5 - My build 5.1 Why fireblast 5.2 Current build Section 6 - Fun stuff 6.1 The PYLONS 6.2 TF’s 6.3 GM’s Section 7 - the future ... Section 1 - Maleficent was a corruptor, but what should you be? Poison Is available to 4 AT’s. Two of them excel with it, two of them leave a bit to be desired. *I strongly recommend poison on controllers and defenders – though for very different reasons that I will touch on later. *I don’t recommend poison on corruptors, or masterminds, but that isn’t to say you can’t enjoy one. 1.1 Corrs – relative to defenders their debuffs are just too weak to make effective use of this set. Proc damage is significantly lower and personal protection through power pools and epic armors is too low in conjunction with the weaker debuffs. As far as I can tell nearly everything in poison is subject to AT scaling and everything scales properly between corrs and defs. The result is that defs are noticeably more potent with poison. The Corr ATO’s work reasonably well with this set though as health/endurance is always welcome and another purple damage proc is great. 1.2 MM’s – the debuff values are ok for what MM’s need to do, but the aoes are too small. As a result many of your pets take direct undebuffed damage from enemies and quickly become overwhelmed. The t9 has terrible uptime, otherwise the set would be salvageable. If MM’s had the t9 found in the other AT’s you could make a poison trap tanker-mind that could work reasonably well due to the synergy of PT and venomous gas . But they don’t. 1.3 Trollers – trollers offer a lot of mitigation. This degree of mitigation can more easily compensate for the fact that with poison you either weaken them until you overpower them, or you don’t. Their superior mitigation makes things like mez protection and personal defenses far less important. The set also offers good aoe damage and quick aoe containment, and lots of stackable holds to pair with your primary. You also get very high -res against bosses, which trollers often struggle to take down quickly. Finally, trollers get by far the best modifier on the -special aspect of weaken. It is really strong. In fact it is almost twice as strong as what corruptors get even though it is both a secondary set. 1.4 Defenders - Just about every debuff is strong and they are all scaled up to defender values correctly. For this reason if you want to have the quintessential poison experience it is best played on a defender. Additionally, the defender ATO procs work very well with this set providing consistent absorption and spot heals if placed correctly in your attacks This guide is primarily about defenders, so lets get into what makes poison tick. Section 2 - Pick your poison Short and sweet: *Weaknesses – no mez protection, no sustain powers, requires melee range *Strengths – unparalleled speed of swinging the battle by drastically weakening foes so they do little harm and take considerably more harm. 2.1 Alkaloid – slow projectile, single target ally heal. It’s not my job to keep you alive, so be glad we can skip this on defenders. I’d take this if I had a dedicated duo/trio, but on a full team there had better be someone else equipped to patch you up because I just view you as vengeance bait. (see elixir of life) Slotting: one of the heal sets. Preventative medicine proc if you are leaving it unslotted. 2.2 Envenom – second best power in the set. Available at lvl 1. Pretty fast cast time of 1.33 sec, 12 sec recharge Main target: -40% res, -37.5% def, some other stuff that usually doesn’t matter, but sometimes does (-regen, -heal) 8ft aoe: -20% res, -18.75% def, half of the other stuff that usually doesn’t matter I’d recommend putting accuracy in this power because it doesn’t do anything if it misses. Then achilies, then 2 damage procs. 2.3 Weaken – this is an extremely unique power. There is only one other power in the game that functions like weaken and it is single target and extremely difficult to perma. Weaken however, is spammable and has an aoe mechanic similar to envenom (half strength debuff). Sadly, the benefits of this power are often overlooked for sheer brute force, but where this power shines, it is blinding. Main target: -37.5% damage, -18.75% tohit, -74.5% special (reverse powerboost) 8ft AoE: -18.75% damage, -9.38% tohit, -37.25% special Slotting: Cloud senses goes well in this power. 2.4 Neurotoxic Breath – This is like a poor man’s shiver. Don’t get me wrong the -rech/speed value is fantastic and really cuts incoming damage over the duration. The issue is the cone is pretty narrow so you need to be max range of the power for it to hit most of the group. However, poison plays best in melee range and you want your t9 aura applied immediately. If this had the wide cone of shiver you would be able to use both venomous gas and still hit large numbers with neuro breath. Pretty good while leveling, but once you have venomous gas this will sit in your tray collecting dust. Maybe throw a chance for smashing proc in there. That lets you clearly see who you hit over the whole spawn. 2.5 Elixir of Life – hilarious in conjunction with vengeance. You rez them and they run off buffed to the gills from elixir. Elixer provides 100% rech boost, 50% damage boost and unlimited endurance…at a price. A short 90 seconds later the buffs expire and get replaced with a mag 1000 hold (ie toggle drop) puking and strong debuffs. Everyone else’s veng is still going strong so other buffers get lax. If you get lucky this happens in a spawn and they die again so you can refresh the teams’ veng. Lather, rinse, repeat. Of course they accept the rez, cause who wouldn’t? 10/10 power w/ veng on PUGs. Best used on scrappers as their swords tend to be sharper than they are. 2.6 Antidote – single target, ally mez protection. Good slow/-rech protection and a bit of cold/toxic resistance. Look, if I have to deal with mez, then so do you. That said, it is a good spot for unique Res IO’s if you aren’t taking fighting. And if you are in a duo/trio it is pretty good. It can also be the third leg of the elixir+veng strategy of killing your teammates if you instead want to use a blaster over a scrapper. Elixer buffs the blaster and you throw antidote on him for mez protection. That is now an overconfident blaster. When elixir drops, he splats. Not as much fun as a scrapper though as blasters are used to getting mezzed and dying. When elixir causes toggle drop/suppression on a scrapper they are genuinely confused. 2.7 Paralytic Poison – A not terribly fast single target hold. This allows you to fairly quickly hold a boss in conjunction with poison trap. It doesn’t last long, but maybe long enough to not die? This rolls procs super well and can actually do decent damage give the abundance of -res at your disposal. Definitely use this while leveling, maybe use it in your final build. It works reasonably well. 2.8 Poison Trap – not to be confused with Poison Trap. This poison trap doesn’t work the same as that poison trap. Confused? Ya me too. There are two powers in the game named Poison Trap, they are similar in some ways, but not in others. The one everyone talks about is Traps – poison trap (TPT). TPT has so much -regen that if you split it between all the defender primaries it would still be better at -regen than many sets. So what does PPT (poison - poison trap) do? A bunch of stuff, none of it really worth writing home about. However, doing a bunch of stuff, means it takes a bunch of procs. This power simultaneously rolls procs far better and far worse than you might expect. Slotting: as many procs as your build can support. See section 3.3 for more details. 2.9 Venomous Gas – This power takes just about everything poison does and then does it again in an auto hit pbaoe aura. I’m not sure if this power was supposed to “fix” poison when it was ported over to corrs, defs and trollers, but it sure seems like that was the intent. You’ll either love this power, or get mezzed repeatedly in the middle of spawns until you delete the character. Poison has no defense, no stealth, no resistances, no self heals, basically nothing that would support the need to be in the centre of a mob to utilize venomous gas. But that’s what makes it SO REWARDING. I’m not kidding. Once you get to a point where you can leverage venomous gas you start to feel really powerful and you start to witness a dramatic increase in team efficiency. 25% -res, 12.5% tohit debuff, 18.75% -dam, 12.5% -def Maybe that sounds great to you, maybe it doesn't. But even at a glance you should be able to see that it promotes the virtues of poison - negatively impact the enemy so they do less and you do more. Slotting: achilies, tohit debuff/end. Section 3 - Tetradotoxin, Amatoxin, Botulinum 3.1 Envenom Envenom is the most powerful single application -res power in the game. *Protip – alternate targets when recasting. The main debuff can stack with the aoe debuff giving -60% res. Fantastic if a minion is near an AV. The resistance debuffing is the main aspect of this power, but it also does a large defense debuff, a small amount of -regen and -heal. The aoe is admittedly small. I wish it was at least 12ft, or incorporated some delayed chaining mechanics to help it spread. Oh well, this is your targeted debuff, venomous gas is your group debuff. This power would still be worthwhile if it were single target (like it once was). The -regen is only 50% which isn’t fantastic, but it DOES stack when recast. It isn’t anything to celebrate, but it can help you get a handle on a GM’s regen if you keep it stacked 3-4x. You can see the impact it has on regen in the GM section (6.3) I personally think most -regen powers are too strong, or too weak. The sweet spot to me is 150-200%. That lets you have an impact, but still leaves room for another regen debuffer to have a role. The -heal is interesting, but rarely comes in to play. The target hit with the main debuff will receive 20% less healing. That can be helpful at times. If you envenom your target and cast weaken on the healer the results can be a near shut down of healing. 3.2 Weaken *Protip – alternate targets when recasting. The main debuff can stack with the aoe debuff giving -56.25% damage debuff, -28% tohit, and capping -special at 90% debuff. The nuts and bolts of debuffing damage: An often overlooked debuff. It works like it says on the tin. A 37.5% debuff will lower damage by 37.5%. However, this debuff has several interesting mechanics that make it incredible in some situations and not so hot in others. What makes it incredible? It is boosted by -res. A 37.5% -dam boosted by 65% -res (envenom+venomous gas) becomes 60% -dam. Poison can easily apply 56.25 to 75% -dam and debuff resistances by 65 to 85%. The result is often flooring an enemy’s damage at -90%. (look at the -damage on Jurassik) What else? -damage works independently from resistance. So if you do -90% damage debuff and have 50% resistance you end up taking 5% total damage. If you have 75% resistance you end up taking 2.5% damage. It can make some seemingly dangerous enemies a cake walk. An attack that would normally do 1000 damage can be reduced down to 25 damage. All by your lonesome. Poisoned! What makes it not so hot? The purple patch and enemy resistances. The purple patch is fairly straight forward, basically every level of difference between you and your enemy makes your debuffs less effective. +1 = 0.9, +2 = 0.8, +3 = 0.65, +4 = 0.48 When you hit +3 the potency of debuffs taper off hard. Probably too hard relative to other effects in the game on my opinion, but what can you do? Enemy resistances are a different matter. Resistance resists damage debuffs. Sometimes this matters a lot, sometimes it makes no difference. It matters when your target has resistances to the same type of damage that they deal. An example is Dra’Gon in the lady grey TF. He has 60% fire resistance and deals primarily fire damage. Also resistance resists resistance debuffs. Hahaha say what?. So previously where you can amplify your damage debuffs by applying -resistance, that is now also severely impacted. Examples using Dra'gon (60% fire resistance) while applying debuffing via envenom, weaken and venomous gas: +0 lvl: (56.25% dam debuff resisted by 60%) * ( 65% res debuff resisted by 60%) = 31.85% damage debuff +0 lvl: normal enemy = 92.81% damage debuff (capped at 90%) +3 lvl: (purple patch 36.65% dam debuff resisted by 60%) * (purple patch 42.25% res debuff resisted by 60%) = 19.37% damage debuff. +3 lvl: normal enemy = 52.13% damage debuff As you can see, you need to be very aware of what your enemy is capable of. An AV fight can be going super well and they are hitting like a wet noodle until they activate unstoppable. Suddenly they start hitting like a mack truck. Situational awareness is key. Lots of sets have -damage debuffs so that isn’t unique to poison. However, poison is also a good resistance debuffer so it ends up being very good overall at debuffing damage in most situations. (look at all that lovely -resistance that will boost your -damage) Weaken isn’t only useful for the -damage though. It also has an inverse powerboost. You ever see a scapper get one shot held by ghost widow’s ridiculous mag 100 hold and squirm helplessly until they die from the dot? Well you won’t see that if you hit her with weaken first. The hold will expire very quickly. Weaken drastically reduces the strength of many enemy abilities. Things like hold duration, defense debuffs, and heals are rendered almost useless. No one has any particular resistance to -special beyond the purple patch. So you hit silver mantis with it and suddenly her defense debuffs are a lot less impactful to the point that sets other than Super reflexes can shrug off some of her attacks. (Originally at 30% def, 2 of her attacks would normally drop me to -30% def, but I'm still at 0%) This aspect of the power doesn’t come in to play very often, or at least isn’t noticeable in most encounters. But it can spell the difference between victory and defeat like in the ghost widow example. 2/10 or 10/10 depending on the situation. 3.3 Poison Trap First off, it has a super fast cast time (which Traps -PT does not). And then it detonates when touched by an enemy into a big aoe hold. The hold only lasts like 7 or so seconds, but it can shut down most of the spawn for a short time. It gives you a nice little window to get some debuffs down. In addition to the hold it does a little bit of toxic dot damage. This could be useful for interrupting casters in some cases. What matters though is that it does an aoe hold and aoe damage. So it can take hold and pbaoe IO’s. The initial hold and damage procs roll at approx. 40-50% rate for 3.5ppm procs, which seems a bit lower than it probably should. However, after detonation the PPT releases a cloud that continues to do dot damage and periodically hold foes. So at 10 seconds it rolls its procs again at a lower probability than the initial detonation. (Ka-POW) PPT has some issues I’ll detail below. It is probably bugged and not working as well as it should. That said, it is still one of the most efficient powers in the game to place procs as it can frequently get over a 100% proc rate over the life of the power. The outcome is that while you focus on the bosses this power can often defeat most of the minions on its own. PPT with procs + a bit of aoe will finish off most spawns pretty quickly and safely. *issues with poison trap (and many other drop powers). - It only uses acc slotted into the power (so slots+alpha). Global acc, tohit buffs and even yellow insp have no impact on its accuracy. At least venomous gas helps it hit. People that think the power isn’t proccing well are probably just missing with it. -Secondly - the 3rd and 4th roll of procs are set up to automatically fail. It doesn’t matter what you do the chance to hit will always roll above 95 and miss. -Thirdly - The power can “critical” and double hit with procs instantly. I need to test this more, but I’ve only seen it happen with the pbaoe IO’s, which admittedly doesn’t make a ton of sense as you might expect the hold IO’s to do that given how the power works. -Fourth(ly) - The -recovery of the power hardly ever works. When it does work, it only lasts maybe 1 second. That said, it remains a very good proc power and very useful to helping poison do its job. If/when procs get overhauled my hope is this power gets a deep dive because it likely isn’t working as intended in all of its functions. Section 4 - When carrying poison, be sure to have an antidote on hand 4.1 Mez protection - I think the biggest weakness of poison is that if you get mezzed you will probably die. The set needs to be standing in the middle of a pack and you need to be actively applying debuffs and attacking to succeed. Even with weaken causing mez to last a fraction of the normal duration the toggle drop of venomous gas is often enough to get you killed. Solutions: Teaming - yah, but that’s not the point of this guide. Inspirations - yep, but there isn’t much you can’t do with enough inspirations. Some even rapidly port to their base to refill. I do my honest best to never use inspirations and certainly not as a key part of my build. P2W defense amplifier - you’d be silly not to pick this. 7.5% res all, 5% def all, 4 mag mez protection. 2.5 mil inf/hr at lvl 50. This is the best solution while leveling. Well worth the cash. I don’t use temp powers on final builds because I don’t see the difference between a power like this and a shivian against an AV. Defense - you can’t mez what you can’t hit. But poison has no innate defense and while s/l def is very easy to cap for defenders (scorpion shield) that only protects us from a moderate amount of mez attacks. Softcapping ranged defense and getting enough melee def that venomous gas’ tohit debuff gets you the rest of the way is no small endeavour. Rune of protection - awesome power. Great resistances and mez protection to most things including knockback. Unfortunately it is up only about 50% of the time and it requires you to go three powers deep in a pool. It can function as a break free too. Melee Hybrid - another awesome power. Good resistances and mez protection to most things excluding knockback. Also has really solid regen. Only up 50% of the time though and precludes that you don’t get a different hybrid like assault 😞 Clarion - probably the most obvious choice to cure the mez hole. Means you can’t use barrier or ageless though… 4.2 Cones - There are a lot of great cone powers out there. The issue for poison is that it needs pbaoe or taoe powers. You need to be in the middle of the spawn maximizing venomous gas, so cones conflict with the playstyle of poison. That means a set like dark blast, which would otherwise be a dream pairing, loses much of its prowess. You can still make an excellent poison/dark build, but imo ta/dark or storm/dark have more synergy. 4.3 Healing - poison does a lot to mitigate damage. It isn’t the best at it though to be sure. Damage will get through, sometimes lots of it. Relying on the regen from health will quickly let you down. Solutions: healing procs in health and stamina. These are great on just about any build, but they are essential for poison. Pancea and Power transfer can go a long way to repair chip damage. aid self - a strong heal that can help a fair amount with endurance too if you add field medic. I find aid self counter to the aggressive playstyle that poison espouses. dark blast/life drain - reliable, decent damage with procs. Life drain is a boon to sets like poison, ta and storm. However, as indicated in the discussion on cones in 4.1 dark blast has some issues playing nicely with poison. In addition to that the lack of aim can be significant when you really need to land a debuff, or just want to nuke at damage cap. water blast/dehydrate - reliable, decent damage with procs. Water has some great taoe powers and only one cone. The set takes quite a few procs. Honestly this is one of the best pairings you can make with poison. However, the single target damage leaves much to be desired. The attacks are a tad slow and it has no really heavy attack. The water jet instant recharge gimmick is sort of neat though. A team based poison would do well picking water. Melee hybrid - a great hybrid for poison. I already touched on it in the mez protection section, but melee hybrid provides strong regen as well. Rebirth destiny - yep, good heal with good regen. Means not taking clarion, ageless, or barrier though. All of which may be better for you. Defender ATO procs - one does a pbaoe heal, the other does a pbaoe absorb. If you put these in two heavy hitters (10 second recharge powers) they fire off a lot. An aggressive poison can make great use of these Entomb proc - put this in either paralytic poison or dominate/char. It gives you nearly 200pts of absorb every cast. It makes a tremendous difference. 4.4 Power Pools The reality is, you don’t “need” a lot of powers from poison to get the job done. Maybe that’s a good thing? Having skippable powers is a sign of weakness, but it sure helps out with build flexibility. Skip these for another build: Concealment - nah. Poison is best played in your face. Although phase shift would occasionally present value. Flight - if you enjoy it. But I feel mystic flight is a better option if this is your prefered path. Medicine - if you are really desperate for a self heal, but there are better, more synergistic ways to heal. Presence - don’t worry you’ll pull plenty of aggro haha. Conversely, many things will try to run. Teleport - only if you have a concept? poisoning people through space and time? Take a good look at these: Hasten - of course Leadership - you probably should. Defender values are very attractive. Tactics+kismet can all but let you skip out on acc slotting. Seeing through stealth/blindness isn’t frequently needed, but it sure is annoying. Fighting - just about everyone does these days… I personally skipped it on my poison defender. We all know how effective the pool is though. Leaping -- combat jump is a great power Force of Will - mighty leap is great, weaken resolve is pretty good if a bit slow. It is a surefire way to trigger achilies proc. Unleash potential is a very strong power. Not so great uptime though. Experimentation - Jaunt is really good for getting in to a spawn fast and affecting them with venomous gas. I haven't tried out corrosive vial, it "could" be a good addition. Adrenal boost is a nice offensive power. Not great uptime though. Sorcery - spirit ward is a good spot for preventative medicine, mystic flight is useful at times to chase fliers or avoid extremely dangerous melee attacks. I almost always fight on the ground personally. Rune of protection is awesome. Full mez protection, great damage resists and an achievable 50% uptime. I chose: leadership, combat jump, hasten, sorcery 4.5 Epics Defenders/corrs have some nice epic choices at the disposal. Controllers have very good epics. I'm going to discuss them from the point of view of a defender. Leviathan- good resistance shield (s/l/cold). hibernate can turn the battle around. The pet can add a lot of dps with the huge -res poison adds. Scorpion - only defensive shield (s/l), it makes softcapping s/l very easy for defenders. Focused accuracy can free up a lot of slotting options. Pet can add good dps Mu - great resistance shield (s/l/energy), powersink and conserve power make endurance management a non issue. Pet can add good dps and attacks from range which can be good sometimes. Soul - Double recharge soul drain is meh, powerboost used to boost - special but no longer does. As such it doesnt do a lot for poison. Ok resistance shield (s/l/negative). Mistress can do a lot of dps. Dark - Oppressive gloom works very well with venomous gas and can mitigate considerable damage. Dark consumption recharges too slow to rely on much. Ok resistance shield (s/l/negative), Awesome soul drain. One of the best epic powers in the game. Self rez can be useful. Electric- great resistance shield (s/l/energy), power sink and shocking bolt can all compliment poison very well. Unfortunately you need either electric fence or thunder strike to unlock the good powers. Power - conserve power is good. ok resistance shield (high s/L). Force of nature gives you 120 seconds of god mode resistances and strong recovery. Full end crash though. Powerbuildup is build up+ powerboost. recharge is too slow though. Fire - char. it is reason enough to take fire app. Decent resistance shield (s/l/fire), consume recharges too slow but has a fast cast and bigger aoe than dark consumption at least. Self rez has uses sometimes. Greater firesword isnt very good unfortunately. Psychic- dominate. as good or better than char. Great resistance shield (s/l/psi). Mass hypnosis has uses, but they are rare. Telekinesis costs too much and has no synergy with poison. World of confusion is fantastic w/confuse proc. Poison enhances confuse powers really well. Overall: Psychic is my favorite. It gives you another heavy hitter (proc'd dominate), A very useful shield and a confuse aura that works really well with venomous gas to provide meaningful mitigation and improve spawn clearing. Dark is my second favorite. Perma soul drain can give you really good damage output. Mu is my third choice. It makes endurance a non issue and the shield is great 4.6 Incarnates This is a huge category. I'm just going to highlight a few choices that go particularly well with poison. Alpha: musculature radial - improves damage, tohit debuffs, defense debuffs and gives you a bit of recovery. Everything poison likes. Cardiac core - solves endurance,boost resistances a bit. Nerve - really helps poison trap (see issues section 3.3) Interface: Reactive radial - good dot damage, a bit more -res which helps your -damage powers a little. Degen - probably the best for big game hunting. Lore: I dont use lore, but poison can make them do crazy damage Hybrid: Melee core- good resistances, good regen, mez protection Assault radial - proc damage is poison's forte. Destiny: honestly this will depend on the rest of your build options. Each destiny power has great potential for poison. If you can solve mez protection and endurance then barrier is incredible. Section 5 - I am Poison! I have created and played a lot of poison characters. I chose poison/fire for a variety of reasons. I dont think it is the most synergistic pairing, but it is extremely fun and effective. The set offers virtually no mitigation so everything I do is based on poison as the backbone. 5.1 Why fire? I mean, why not? Even in the world of procs fire is still the damage king. The thing about fire is it doesn’t “need” procs to do well, so you are free to enhance the recharge of blasts without drastically altering overall performance due to decreased proc damage. Some sets can hit harder than fire when heavily proc’d (ie radiation), but fire still does quite a bit more dps in the long run. In the end I enjoy playing fireblast, so that was my main motivation. 5.2 Current Build Ok, I’ve done a lot of respecs now and what I’ve discovered for poison is that I like it a lot more when I focus on solid resistances and coming back from the brink than opposed to softcapped defense followed by immediate occasional defeat. I think resistances and -damage debuffing go very well together and fit really well with the regen of melee hybrid as well as the small absorbs/heals of the defender procs. the result is that my failures are predictable and avoidable if I so choose. I very rarely go from hero to zero in the blink of an eye, which my defense based squishies can not replicate. However, if you plan on being hit that takes a lot more behind the scenes preparation than simply avoiding most damage/mez. Namely you require mez protection. That isn’t as easy as it sounds. I cycle rune of protection with melee hybrid. It doesn’t provide 100% uptime, but it is up most of the time. Those two powers also really round out resistances, so it works out pretty well. I have little doubt that the build would be stronger with cardiac and barrier instead of musculature and ageless, but the latter was a conscious decision to increase dps. I might finish out those two alternate incarnates though for some difficult encounters like the “final warwalker standoff” in the tinmage tf. I have been unable to pass that point solo no insp/temp/lore. I have assault radial at t4 as well as melee t4. If I know survival is a non issue then the extra dps is welcome (see pylon section).
  5. Hey there! Klypso from Homecoming/Excelsior here. This is a guide on how to play City of Heroes on Linux. We will be running the 64-Bit version of City of Heroes, if you are curious. This guide presumes that you already have you GPU drivers installed. NVIDIA users (may) have to install it themselves, while AMD users (may) not have to, but it doesn't hurt to check. If you have any issues, PLEASE make sure you've installed your GPU drivers properly. Also, if you're using an iGPU (Integrated GPU), disabling it should fix some issues that you may run into. Edit: There has been an official post by GM Tahquitz on how to use the new Homecoming launcher in order to download / install / setup HC to run on Linux. Please check it out here if you have issues with this one, or you want to use the official guide: Official Guide by GM Tahquitz. Edit 2: There have been some issues with rolling release distros that're on WINE 5.18 where HC doesn't launch at all, or has issues launching. I've been currently bypassing this issue by using the 32-bit client instead of the 64-bit one. Please, if you are having issues as well, try setting your Architecture to the 32-bit version within the official HC launcher, or through Tequila by using the second option. Tips are BLUE Attentions are RED My system specs: *Pop!_OS 20.04 *i7-4770 with Kernel version 5.4.0-7634-generic *Nvidia GTX 970 (using driver 440.100) *16GB DDR3 RAM To be able to do this, you'll need the files for i24 / Homecoming. If you don't already have it, then you can click this link here to download the files. They will be out of date, so we'll be updating them later on in the guide ourselves. Please note that FireFox can't download files past a certain size with that link, so you will need to use Chrome / Chromium to download the game. Prerequisites: *Linux *A dedicated graphics card (although integrated graphics should run as well, although I haven't tested) *A dual-core CPU (Tested on an i3-4130, i7-4770, and an AMD FX 4300 CPU) or better. *At least 4GB of RAM The start of the guide Now, we're going to need to have 3 things already for this process to be simplified. These three things are as followed: A copy of City of Heroes already, one that we have ourselves that we can simply copy over, or the one downloaded from the link above. Wine to already be installed. If you don't have it, you can easily install it yourself by following the guide here VIA the official WineHQ website for your current flavor of Linux. Just search for your flavor (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora) and open the Terminal, then copy-paste the commands it gives you to follow. Make sure to grab winehq-stable. For Lutris to be installed. Grab it here. We're going to go ahead and make sure that you have WINE properly installed. To do this, please run this in your Terminal. Do note that your version may be different than mine as this guide ages. Next, we have to add City of Heroes: Homecoming (CoH: HC) to Lutris. The video below will show you how to do so. Please note that it's a little fast as I need to be quick due to "Max total size" limits for uploading, and as such I had to compress the videos. Please, full-screen the videos so you can follow along. Adding_CoH.mp4 When you run CoH: HC (Tequila) for the first time, you'll encounter 3 of these pop-ups. They're necessary to run the program, so please, install them. Once that's done and those files are installed, we need to navigate to the CoH: HC directory, which is shown in this video. Please note that your directory may be different if you've placed it in a different folder. Selecting_Tequila_Directory(2).mp4 While validating files, you (may) come across an error that states "Insufficient Memory". Getting past this is simple, just exit out of Tequila first, and then click "Ok", as shown below Insufficient_Memory(1).mp4 Please note that it will always say that "The file Tequila.exe already exists", just click "Ok", as it doesn't matter. That's it! Every time you want to play CoH: HC, you need to run Lutris, then CoH: HC, then the 64-bit version of the game. Tequila will automatically update as it normally does. I hope this helps you with getting CoH: HC running on Linux! If you have any issues, please, post something here and I'll try my best to help you out!
  6. Frosticus

    Savage guide

    SAVAGE - to assault and maul by biting, rending, goring, etc.; tear at or mutilate - lacking the restraints normal to civilized human beings In this guide I will detail the how and the why behind Savage melee being one of the best stalkers you can make. Savage Melee was a late addition to the retail game. As such the design of the set sacrifices much less than the early stalker sets. Savage retains all of its aoe potential (and more) and has vastly superior single target damage when compared to other AT's that have access to the set. In comparison to other stalkers, Savage is head and shoulders above other sets for AoE and is a top tier performer in ST dps. Where Savage shines less, is the damage type (lethal) and a good portion of the ST damage is comprised of DoT. The majority of attacks are straight forward so I'll just briefly touch on them. Savage Strike - low damage, super fast recharge. A fine attack filler at low levels. Some people use it at high levels. I don't and wish we had a longer rech power instead. Maiming Slash - medium damage, fast recharge, bonus dot that can be meaningful. Shred - melee cone. A decent one at 80 degrees that also does -def. A such it can take some decent IO's. Some people like it, I don't bother with repositioning and the animation is too slow for me. Assassin's frenzy - same as most. The fast cast is slower than kinetic melee, but faster than street justice and noticeably faster than the sword sets. Make sure you get your hide ATO in here and if you can swing it, a couple damage procs Build Up – same as all stalkers get, Other AT’s get blood lust, which provides a very low +dam buff and instantly gives you 5 stacks of blood. They both have their merits, I prefer buildup for the extra damage and because I like to control my blood stacking. Placate – most skip this power these days. However, placate into hemorrhage is worthwhile as is placate into a good aoe. I don’t use it, but savage is a stalker that does potentially benefit from it. The final three powers in Savage all have unique mechanics that make the set excel. These powers are also responsible for why a lot of people overlook, or even downvote savage melee. I will attempt to explain the how and why these powers can be leveraged so well for stalkers. Rending flurry – pretty standard 8ft pbaoe. In base form it is more or less on par with pbaoes from other sets. Frozen aura is maybe a little better, Mass levitate is definitely better due to the control+proc options. That is until you have 5 stacks of blood frenzy. With 5 stacks the pbaoe expands to 15ft. Which makes it a much faster, harder hitting spine burst. I’ll discuss aoe strategy later, but hidden flurry with 5 stacks is very very good. Well worth the exhaustion status. Hemorrhage – at a glance this power is not so great. You’ve probably heard people saying it is skippable even. Mid’s shows crappy damage and ingame shows no damage. I can’t blame someone for overlooking this power. The power has one major drawback – it is a long duration dot and when you critical with it the critical portion isn’t delivered upfront like other dot powers (freezing touch, midnight grasp), but rather, massively improves the dot aspect. The chart below details how strong hemorrhage is from hide. But the power is actually really good unhidden too. At base it does more damage than headsplitter, skysplitter, eagles claw, freezing touch, midnight grasp…and the list continues. So unhidden damage is good, albeit often with overkill, or wasted attacks because the dot is pretty slow. The dot takes 5 seconds to complete. By comparison freezing touch does its dot damage in half the time and the critical hits are upfront damage. Hidden damage is where hemorrhage not only surpasses other single target attacks, but eclipses them. At 5 stacks a hidden hemorrhage deals 1.3x as much damage as a hidden crushing uppercut at combo lvl 3. As indicated in the chart it deals anywhere from 2.2x critical at 0-4 stacks to a 2.03x critical at 5 stacks. But again, it deals it over a considerable amount of time and is often wasted through overkill on anything less than a +2 boss. So in practice some other sets that deal their damage upfront can actually move through small spawns as fast, or faster than savage melee. Hemorrhage Number of blood stacks 0 4 5 Damage 188.49 212.01 258.46 Hidden Damage 418.31 471.74 525.66 Savage Leap – The crown jewel of the set. This power is a true tier 9. It improves tremendously upon what savage is already good at – aoe damage and single target damage. -It’s a big aoe, at least 15ft (sometimes it seems bigger) that hits 10 targets. -The closest comparison I can make is that savage leap is like a sentinel nuke once it is properly slotted. Which is to say, quite good. It is also nearly instant cast time. This results in savage stalkers having arguably some of the best aoe capabilities in the game. -it also improves single target damage because it instantly moves you to your target. That can be pretty handy for a stalker considering their melee prowess. In some situations this power is of tremendous benefit, such as getting close to hard to reach targets. -It recharges fast enough that you don’t need to feel apprehensive about using it in whatever situation you deem best. The image below shows the expected damage from max range with my preferred slotting. The physical damage is halved from point blank, but procs remain the same. You NEED damage procs in this power. It performs subpar without them, but with them it is amazing. 4 Damage procs, 1 -res proc, 1 purple +5 damage. *If not going musculature then drop a damage proc to fully enhance the +damage to ~95%. Single target strategy – pretty straight forward. Use hemorrhage from hide. Whether that means you open with it or follow AS with it, just make sure to get this from hide as much as possible. I highly recommend adding an epic attack into the rotation. I prefer a snipe. Hidden hemorrhage, AS, snipe is hilariously high damage. If you have the odd small gap in your st chain it really isn’t that big of a deal. Nothing short of an EB lives long and EB’s and AV’s will try to flee you often so you spend a lot of time chasing them. AoE strategy – this is a little more fun and unique to savage stalkers. You may want to open with an epic aoe for the 50% crit chance. Mu gives you the aforementioned snipe and a nice big aoe. Either way, that is up to you. Savage leap from max range is next. So target something meaty in the middle of the spawn and savage leap. Some stuff will die, some stuff won’t. Immediately follow up with AS. Savage leap from max range gives 3 blood stacks. Non-hidden AS gives 2. So now you are at 5 stacks which means rending flurry is fully charged. Use that 15ft pbaoe and laugh. Clean up any remaining bosses. Do it again on the next spawn because everything recharges nice and fast on Savage melee. Builds I’ve solo’d both a sav/bio and a sav/shield from 1-50 now. I strongly recommend shield because it is so well rounded and sturdy. It also helps a bit with single target damage and adds another nice big aoe. I’ll highlight some of the silly things my sav/shield has done below and attach my current build. That said, play the secondary you will enjoy most. They all have their strong points and weaknesses. *I personally try to avoid my inspiration tray and I don’t use lore. Those are self-imposed restrictions that alter how I build and play a fair amount. Savage melee is basically how I always imagined fire melee should be. Really good aoe, strong single target and no mitigation whatsoever. So plan accordingly. Build notes: designed to hit +3’s only. Exempts extremely well down to lvl 27 at x8 settings.
  7. Silencing/Modifying specific game sounds | Pt. I Revived from the archived forums: "How to silence specific game sounds" - By Impkin I pulled these posts from the archived forums. Impkin's instructions are largely intact and I cleaned and dredged through the thread down to the files identified up to the last post. If you returning to the thread and just want to jump straight to the sounds: Sounds Location and file names | Pt. I - Bases and Emotes Sounds Location and file names | Pt. II - Enviro and UI Sounds Location and file names | Pt. III - Powers: Air Superiority - Hasten Sounds Location and file names | Pt. IV - Powers: Havoc - Psionics Sounds Location and file names | Pt. V - Powers: Radiation - Willpower Sounds Location and file names | Pt. VI - Systems User-Created Sound Mods The Philotic Knight's Short Visual Guide OK, OK! I get it. So how do I silence a sound? These instructions are meant for anyone with minimal Windows knowledge. I want to provide enough information so that every CoH player can improve their personal game play experience. Do not be daunted by the post's length. If you can play CoH you can do this. The way to kill any game sound is to put another sound file in the correct directory with the name of the sound file used to make that noise. This replacement file must be in the Ogg Vorbis format and it can not be of zero length. In other words, to kill a sound you replace it with one second of silence. Where do I get one second of silence in the *.ogg format? However you want to. How I did it was to use a free program called Audacity. I got it here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ Run Audacity. Click on the "Generate" menu. Choose "Silence". It should have created 30 seconds of silence. Use your mouse and highlight about one second. This doesn't have to be exact. Click on the "Edit" menu. Choose "Trim". There is also a button following the "Cut", "Copy", "Paste" buttons called "Trim outside selection" that does the same thing. Click on the "File" menu. Choose "Export As Ogg Vorbis..." Call the file whatever you want and save it anyplace you want. I recommend calling it "silence.ogg" and saving it to the Desktop. You will be copying this file to folders you create and renaming it so keep that in mind when deciding what to call it and where to save it. Exit Audacity. You won't need to use Audacity again (for this) unless there is something wrong with that "silence.ogg" you just made. I have attached two files to this post: '_silence.ogg' and 'bloop.ogg'. I use the 'bloop' file to verify the sound I'm replacing is the one I'm looking for, since it's a lot easier to notice than silence. OK, now that I have a silent sound what do I do with it? You need to know where to copy it and what to rename it as so the game will use your silent sound file instead of the default sound file. The base location for all your silenced sound files is: C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\data\sound\ogg\ This assumes that you installed the game to its default directory. If you installed it someplace else then you should know enough to adapt these instructions to fit your custom installation. *You are not making any changes to any files owned/installed by CoH*. Simply put: if any of the following folders already exist then you or a 3rd party put them there. If you do not see the folders, you or the 3rd party would need to create them as follows: Open the "City of Heroes" folder and create a new folder called "data". Open the "data" folder you just created and add a new folder called "sound". Open the "sound" folder you just created and add a new folder called "ogg". You now have your base file location set. The sounds will be grouped in sub-folders inside the "ogg" folder. Each sound you wish to silence will go in a sub-folder. The name of the sub-folder depends on the sound. The information provided for a specific sound assumes you have already created the above base folder. The "Folder name:" provided here is located in the "C:\Program Files\City of Heroes\data\sound\ogg\" folder. The name of the folder is where you copy your "silence.ogg" file to. The "File name:" provided here is what you need to rename that copy of your "silence.ogg" file to. That is all there is to it. The next time you launch CoH that sound will not be made. If CoH is running while you do this (not recommended), exit completely (quit to desktop, not the log-in screen) first. Example: Description: Targeting Drone loop Folder name: weapons File name: targetdrone_loop.ogg To silence this sound you copy your "silence.ogg" file to a folder called "weapons". If you have never silenced a sound that goes in the "weapons" folder then you will need to make a "weapons" folder first. Once you copy your "silence.ogg" into the "weapons" folder you then rename it to "targetdrone_loop.ogg". Just to give you an idea of what you should see, here is my data\ogg folder\sub-folders: Specific how-to: If you hold down the "Ctrl" key you can click on and drag the "silence.ogg" file to the "weapons" folder you created. It will make a copy. You can also right-click on "silence.ogg" and pick "Copy". You then right-click on an empty spot in the open "weapons" folder/window and pick "Paste". To rename the "silence.ogg" file you copied into the "weapons" folder right-click on the file and choose "Rename" (or highlight it and press the "F2" key). Type "targetdrone_loop.ogg". I did what you said, but now CoH doesn't work right! How do I undo this? If you followed instructions then it will work. If something isn't working as you expect then something was not done right. Try again. Go slower. Follow the instructions more carefully. If the sound you expected to be silenced is still making noise then either the description was misunderstood or the wrong folder/file name has been posted. The quickest and easiest way to undo this customization is to rename the "data" folder you made. I use "_data". Or just delete it. If you suspect that your customizations are causing problems playing CoH then undo them. What happens the next time there is an update or a patch? One of the great things about CoH is it keeps improving. Should the name of a folder or file change in a future patch the game would default back to playing the intended sound. If just the sound was changed (the folder and file name remain the same) a customized client would still play the silenced sound. If one wished to hear the changed sound they could either disable the "data" folder or the specific sound file by renaming it. A comment about courtesy. If you found the sound bothersome then most likely so do other people. This customization *only* affects your client. Other players will still hear the sound(s) unless they also customized their clients. Be courteous to your fellow players. Just because you aren't bothered by keeping a power running all the time now because you silenced it doesn't mean you should keep it running when you don't need it. You obviously didn't like hearing that noise. Why inflict it on others when there is no reason to? Turn off your powers when you are just standing around chatting, training, buying, etc. Giving credit where credit is due. This isn't my brain-child. Someone explained the concept to me over a year ago. I am sorry that I do not remember who they are. All I've done is come up with the format to present this information and the how-to steps for enabling all players to benefit from it should they wish to. A special THANK YOU! to the sound designers. A big concern of mine is that this thread might be taken wrong. What I hope y'all take from this is that setting the volume low or muting the sound entirely simply isn't an option. Different people are sensitive to different things. That's all there is to this thread. Half of the game experience is auditory. You have the most wonderful toy box. Thank you for sharing your toys with us! _silence.ogg Bloop.ogg Silence-Bloop_test.zip
  8. More than just a Ninja - A Guide to Stalkers Index Introduction AT Powers inherent to Stalkers Primaries Secondaries Basic slotting Combat, Tricks Beginer Nin/Nin Build The ATO Synergy Advanced slotting Incarnates Advanced Nin/Nin Build Introduction Hello all, i have played a Stalker back in the day and was thrilled to play one here on homecoming. I mostly played on redside only before the ATs and alingnments allowed everyone to switch side and go rogue. Stalkers used to be good in PvP and bad on allmost everything else. After the introduction of the Bane i felt like the Stalkers are obsolete now. Maybe a lot of people think the same. because i have the impression that scrappers and blasters are regarded as the Damage gods and no one speaks about Stalkers anymore. Well i can asure you, that Stalkers are the real Damage gods and that is thanks to the Stalker revamp in issue 22. A lot of people have missed it like me. I was really surprised by the new System off Assassin's Focus. It is amazing how well a Stalker is doing in issue 27. Now what made me sit down and write this guide was the fact, that a lot of people in this forum seem to ask the same questions or just go on to create a Ninja/Ninja Stalker, don't get the AT and just quit like: “A Stalker? Yeah i made me a Ninja, too.“ But Stalkers can be so much more... Before we go into real stuff now let me clarify that i am writing this guide on my personel experience and this is my opinion. If you don't agree with me, that is totally fine. If i did something fundamentally wrong i will be glad to learn something new. Also i used Paragon Wiki for a lot of the informations, it was and still is one of the best sources of information for this game.
  9. Thought I would be fun to make a semi-chronological list of the pvp trends on Homecoming thus far, as well as reasons why they are popular and their originators to help out people who may be new to the scene. This list is made up of stuff that may have originated in the zone, but was good/cool enough to be proliferated and used in organized 8v8 pvp! Additionally, feel free to correct me or add your suggestions lol. Homecoming Begins 2019: The Ice/Plant Blasters Blaster: Ice Blast Originators: Dan, Silit, Nojiyo, bp, Everyone who wanted to play blaster Reason: A high amount of damage procs and be slotted, increasing damage by close to 150-300 points of extra damage, long cooldowns made sure these procs always fired and short, non-rooting animation allowed for a smooth attack chain. Blaster: Plant Manipulation Originators: Dan, Silit, Nojiyo, bp, Everyone who wanted to play blaster Reason: The Toxins power added extra damage to each attack fired (like +100 dmg), Strangler hits really hard and can be slotted for procs. June-ish 2019: Psi Blaster Primary, Trick Arrow Secondary, Psionic Melee Stalkers Blaster: Psychic Blast Originators: Can't remember the first psi blasters to pop up, I remember hp on Unrivaled though Reason: Range, Will Domination hits really hard, delayed damage and you can time attacks to hit at the same time. Blaster: Trick Arrow Originators: I think Silit had a Ice/TA, but I remember seeing a proliferation of Psi/TA blasters around this time. some gymnast! Reason: TA has web arrow which can stop all vertical movement. Additionally has some cool buffs with Gymnastics and Eagle Eye etc. Stalker: Psionic Melee Originators: Void, Unholy, Gore, Me kinda I was at least at the first kickball lolol Reason: Greater Psi Blade takes both Hold and Melee damage procs, allowing you to hit for over 1000 damage in a single hit sometimes. July-August-ish 2019: Poisons, Beams, Martial Combat, Gravity Defender/Corruptor/Mastermind: Poison Originators: Mez played a Poison MM I think, then Mallex made a post about it and played a /poison defender. Reason: Huge resistance debuff from Envenom, Weaken caused the Emps to heal for like 500 damage absorb pain lololol Blaster/Corruptor: Beam Rifle Originators: I remember Mez running around in zones with one and being kinda laughed at but now there are a lot of beams with puns for names. Dan, Silit too! Naturalizer Reason: Multiple beams can work together on a Disintegrated target, Lancer shot hits for a bunch and stuns. Blaster: Martial Combat Originators: Me!! Reasons: You teleport and look cool with your scythe circle aura. Also it can give you a free heal+break free combo power. But mostly to be stylish. Controller: Gravity Originators: I honestly saw Epsylon with his Grav/TA in zones then saw it in 8v8's with PONED, Dan, on Empathys, Dexington, barrier Reasons: Dimension Shift allows for a seconds phase that has some interesting interactions (e.g. you can still get nature buffs while in it). September 2019: Nature (buff gathers) and Fire Blasters Defender/Corruptor: Nature Affinity Originators: Macskull, Vinnie, Void etc. saved it for this timepoint because its used as a mass buff gather now Reasons: Wild Bastion gives +Absorb shield to the team, Overgrowth is literally so ridiculous, basically a Build Up level team damage buff that lasts for a whole minute, with multiple natures you're almost at the damage cap. Blaster/Corruptor: Fire Blast Originators: I saw MJB with a fire blaster at one of the recent kickballs Reasons: The snipe changes allows fire to have another hard hitting attack to fill out the attack chain, generally fast animating powers and dots. October 2019: Forcefields and Rogue-ing Defender/Controller: Forcefield Originators: Gravity Boots! Reasons: You get a cage, a super annoying repel, and a surprising amount of people don't have enough knockback protection Anyone who does damage: Rogue-ing Originators: Like, everyone Reasons: While a clean spike can evaporate a target, putting damage on multiple people messes with emp healing and spike timing of the other team. With enough offense, sometime 2-3 people will be dead at once! November 2019: Earth/Fire Dominators and Storms? Dominator: Earth Control/Fiery Assault Originators: No idea who was the first one but there's a consistent number at kickballs now. Meatloaf23 Reasons: Earth control has a high damage, relatively fast activation hold with fossilize. Fiery assault is the damage secondary for dominators with a long lasting damage buff of Embrace of Fire and the usual fire attacks of Blaze and Blazing Bolt. Defender/Corruptor/Controller: Storm Summoning Originators: I remember someone running a Storm back over the summer. But recently Justin has been griefing M3z with his grav/storm controller and its super funny to see him get mad on his stream (M3z Mad- "Gorillas" 3:20:40) and there's been at least 1 showing up to kickballs. Reasons: Hurricane -range. Maybe O2 boost if you're paying attention to your team. January 2020: Mystic Flight/Translocation and Hibernate Power Pool: Sorcery- Mystic Flight/Translocation Originators: Xhiggy/Ravenfrost/Kenician etc.,basically a lot of healers. Reasons: A two in one power that used as a survival strategy for healers in pvp. Usually used to teleport straight up to distance yourself from the fight and get out of range of blasters after using a big heal like absorb/share pain. Epic Pool: Hibernate Originators: Been around a while, then fell out of favor, and is now back. Reasons: Was once thought to be a less useful version of phase shift due to lag time of damage and not being able to be healed when activated. Now I guess more people are using it if they have high recharge stat so its up more than phase shift. Always Fashionable: Empathy! Defender/Controller: Empathy Originators: Xhiggy, yay Xhiggy! and Dan/Lib lol Reasons: You heal people, be a bro, be empathy. Currently not Trendy (sorry) Masterminds: You don't have a sugar daddy. Brutes/Scrapper/Tanker: Is not perfect, is not beautiful, does not look like Linda Evangelista I'll try to update as more trends appear lol.
  10. 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!
  11. Just a heads-up that the CoX Technical Guide has been updated to incorporate all the little stuff of the last year AND the I27 changes. The Guide is 95 pages of technical reference to the game, including binds, macros, window names and management, button names, base editing and much more... half reference tables, half very straightforward "how to" that even novices can follow. And a few tips from a day-one player. 🙂 It's paired with Gunner's Advanced Basic Bindfile (GABB), a completely revamped button-mapping suitable for 2020, not 2007. 😛 Grab yours — and don't forget to bookmark City of Zeroes while you're at it — at www.Shenanigunner.com.
  12. Remember the glory days? You know..... Pre-aggro cap burn, no diminishing returns, original Energy Transfer (RIP... D:) What if I told you they never left? What if I told you that you can RE-LIVE those glorious times RIGHT NOW! All you have to do is believe a madman like me. Now, lets dive into why you should stop EVERYTHING you are doing, read this super informative and fact based thread, and then make a Fire/Energy Tank. Energy Melee & You® Why? - BECAUSE IT'S F*%[email protected] Energy Melee! That's why! What about that cRuNcH you all KNOW you love? What about being able to file your taxes, meditate AND make your coffee in between attacks? Energy Melee offers all that and more! All silliness aside, let's dive into why Fire/Energy might be the most fun you've ever had as a Tank and why this classic deserves to be taken out for a ride. Let's go over the powers quick. Barrage - Standard T1 here except this T1 deals respectable damage and has a slower recharge for better proc rates if you're into that kinky stuff. Has the one-two punch and cRuNcH animation that feels great and overall a better pick than Energy Punch. Energy Punch - Nope. Don't take this power. You don't need it even for low level TFs and that is the only reason you would want it. Save the power pick for something more beneficial. Bone Smasher - What's not to like about smashing bones? More of that cRuNcH we all NEED and added job security for all the real heroes out there (shout out to all the medical personnel out there saving lives in RL!) You will frequently use this power at all levels and stages of your build, sort of a Swiss Army Knife power, take it and slot it. Proc it out? Just make sure you're smashing bones. Taunt - Even someone as delusional and mad as me laughs at any 'tAnKeR' who doesn't take Taunt! People tend to overlook this, but this power is useful for pulling villains off an ally who find themselves in over their head. The power description says to use this power cautiously but f*%# that. TAUNT THEM, TAUNT THEM ALL. Whirling Hands - Okay, can we all agree that the name of this power is the only thing that really needs to be looked at in Energy Melee? I'm going to say two things and it's going to confuse you. This power sucks and is a must have. Low level this power is incredible. I was running Posi 1 all the way to Numina's during a TF Commander Marathon and had a lot of success with this power. Build Up + Gauss BU Proc + Fiery Embrace make Burn + Whirling Hands (or any PBAoE lets be honest lol) do tremendous damage. Just take it. Stop asking questions. NEXT POWER. Stun - I'm not here to argue semantics, okay? Leave me alone. Don't take this power. NEXT. Build Up - This power is great and I'll explain in great detail why. Do more damage. Energy Transfer - The Holy Grail of Tanker attacks. Laugh maniacally as bullets and Infernos glance off you and enemies scream in terror as they see you charging up your attack. Demoralize them as they fail to damage you only to realize that YOUR attacks do more damage to YOU than they do. Maximum cRuNcH and insane damage when fully buffed by Build Up and Fiery Embrace. Total Focus - Total. Focus. TOTAL. I actually finished this thread about halfway through it's animation! That's the really great thing about Energy Melee, it gives you time to really do what YOU want to do. This things hits like a truck and you look hella fly while doing it! This rounds out your cRuNcH attack chain. Some of you may have noticed I haven't talked about the stunning aspect of Energy Melee. So let's talk about that. Energy Melee stuns. The end. It's all about the cRuNcH. Fiery Aura& You® Why? - Channel your inner pyromaniac, BURN ALL THE BABIES, ANARCHY! You are cloaked in FIRE. The visuals are stunning, the damage is amazing and the knock back infuriating. You want to be a part of this club, you WILL be a part of this club. Let's look at the powers. Blazing Aura - Name a better way to social distance. I'll wait. You literally radiate flames and burn everything around you, constantly. Free damage and a great place to put the +res proc from the Tanker ATO set. Also a great place to put the Winter ATO set too for added melee defense and a chance to knock down your enemies. Fire Shield - They say the best offense is a great defense. That's why you want to be on FIRE. Fire Shield grants you decent resistance to Smash/Lethal/Fire and slight resistance to Cold damage, as well as protection from disorient effects. Healing Flames - You can concentrate for a few moments to heal yourself, and since you are Totally Focused all the time this power will heal even more. Temperature Protection - Some people skip this and I think they are silly. Great place to put Psi resist IOs, +def IOs, KB IOs and grants you slow resistance. I normally take this at level 49. Consume - If you can find the slots to give this power love, do it. Consume really helps with endurance while leveling and even in some instances where you get drained. Plasma Shield - Not really much to say here, Plasma Shield gives you some solid resistance to Energy/Negative Energy and protection from Holds and Sleep. Take it and marvel in the beauty that is You. Burn - The moment we have all been waiting for.... We are nearing the end of this abomination of a guide. This power is amazing and absolutely essential in BURNING ALL THE BABIES. Take it and unleash your inner pyromaniac. Fiery Embrace - Fiery Embrace... old buddy old pal. I love this power, especially on Energy Melee. Total Focus and Energy Transfer have such huge base damage, and since the bonus fire damage is directly related to your base damage... Oh yeah. Wrap your fists in Energy and embrace them in Fire and watch your foes melt away before you! Rise of the Phoenix - Not a bad power, if dying as a Tank is your thing (and it shouldn't be... this is the ONE kink we should not allow) Whew... I'm not sure if that was more painful for you... or for me. Halfway through this I regretted what I had begun. All jokes aside, this is currently some of the most fun I've had in the game. I've heard Energy Melee is getting a look next issue, so I wanted to share my Fire/Energy Tank build. I was under the impression that Fiery Aura wasn't too great outside of farming and this build changed my mind entirely. So... If anyone wants to try it out, or use this as a very simple Energy Melee or Fiery Aura guide I'll be posting some of my other Fiery Aura or Energy Melee Tank builds. Here's the build! Quick stats at a glance: 2,586 HP 113.6 Endurance 258% Regen (27.8 HP/s) 197% Recovery (3.73 End/s) 0.93/s End Drain (including Super Speed + Sprint) +337 HP (18%) +57.5% Recharge +39% Accuracy +12 KB Protection No stacks/buffs (+Res ATO, Barrier) 46.8% Melee Defense 33.3% Smash/Lethal Defense 19.9% Defense to everything else 90% Smash/Lethal/Fire Resistance 73.8% Energy/Negative Resistance 56.5% Cold Resistance 49% Psionic Resistance 20% Toxic Resistance With stacks/buffs 51.8%+ Melee Defense 38.3% Smash/Lethal Defense 24.9% Defense to everything else 90% Smash/Lethal/Fire/Energy/Negative/Toxic Resistance 74.9% Cold Resistance 67.4% Psionic Resistance Toxic can be easily capped by preemptively using Healing Flames for the +Toxic resist. Melee Core has been overkill in terms of survivability for me, so Assault is something to consider here if you had to choose between one. Hero Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer https://github.com/ImaginaryDevelopment/imaginary-hero-designer Click this DataLink to open the build! Level 50 Magic Tanker Primary Power Set: Fiery Aura Secondary Power Set: Energy Melee Power Pool: Speed Power Pool: Leaping Power Pool: Fighting Power Pool: zc_Leadership Ancillary Pool: Energy Mastery Hero Profile: Level 1: Fire Shield -- UnbGrd-ResDam(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(3), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(3), UnbGrd-Rchg/ResDam(5), ImpArm-ResPsi(43) Level 1: Barrage -- SprGntFis-Acc/Dmg(A), SprGntFis-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(5), SprGntFis-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(7), SprGntFis-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(7), SprGntFis-Rchg/+Absorb(9) Level 2: Blazing Aura -- SprAvl-Acc/Dmg(A), SprAvl-Dmg/EndRdx(9), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(11), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(11), SprAvl-Rchg/KDProc(13), SprMghoft-Rchg/Res%(13) Level 4: Bone Smasher -- TchofDth-Acc/Dmg(A), TchofDth-Dmg/EndRdx(15), TchofDth-Dmg/Rchg(21), TchofDth-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(23), TchofDth-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(23), TchofDth-Dam%(25) Level 6: Healing Flames -- NmnCnv-Heal(A), NmnCnv-Heal/Rchg(37), NmnCnv-Heal/EndRdx/Rchg(40) Level 8: Consume -- PrfShf-EndMod/Acc/Rchg(A) Level 10: Taunt -- PrfZng-Taunt/Rchg/Rng(A) Level 12: Plasma Shield -- UnbGrd-ResDam(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(36), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(37), UnbGrd-Rchg/ResDam(37), ImpArm-ResPsi(43) Level 14: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(15) Level 16: Whirling Hands -- Obl-Dmg(A), Obl-Acc/Rchg(17), Obl-Dmg/Rchg(17), Obl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(19), Obl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(19), Obl-%Dam(21) Level 18: Burn -- Arm-Dmg/Rchg(A), Arm-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(27), Arm-Acc/Rchg(29), Arm-Dmg/EndRdx(29), Arm-Dam%(31), FuroftheG-ResDeb%(33) Level 20: Combat Jumping -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(25), Rct-ResDam%(27), Krm-ResKB(43) Level 22: Boxing -- Empty(A) Level 24: Tough -- UnbGrd-ResDam(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(34), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(34), UnbGrd-Max HP%(34), ImpArm-ResPsi(46) Level 26: Fiery Embrace -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(36) Level 28: Build Up -- GssSynFr--Build%(A), RechRdx-I(36) Level 30: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(31), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(31) Level 32: Temperature Protection -- StdPrt-ResKB(A), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(33), GldArm-3defTpProc(33), Ags-Psi/Status(45), ImpArm-ResPsi(45) Level 35: Energy Transfer -- SprMghoft-Acc/Dmg(A), SprMghoft-Dmg/Rchg(45), SprMghoft-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(48), SprMghoft-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(48), SprMghoft-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(48) Level 38: Total Focus -- Hct-Dmg(A), Hct-Dmg/Rchg(39), Hct-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(39), Hct-Acc/Rchg(39), Hct-Dmg/EndRdx(40), Hct-Dam%(46) Level 41: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(50), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(50) Level 44: Conserve Power -- RechRdx-I(A) Level 47: Physical Perfection -- PrfShf-End%(A) Level 49: Super Speed -- BlsoftheZ-ResKB(A), WntGif-ResSlow(50) Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A) Level 1: Gauntlet Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Qck-EndRdx/RunSpd(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Quick -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Rush -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Surge -- Empty(A) Level 1: Sprint -- Empty(A) Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A) Level 4: Ninja Run Level 2: Swift -- Run-I(A) Level 2: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End(A), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(42), Mrc-Rcvry+(42), Prv-Absorb%(46) Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A) Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-EndMod(A), PrfShf-EndMod/Rchg(40), PrfShf-End%(42) Level 0: Freedom Phalanx Reserve Level 0: Portal Jockey Level 0: Task Force Commander Level 0: The Atlas Medallion Level 50: Cardiac Core Paragon Level 50: Ion Core Final Judgement Level 50: Reactive Radial Flawless Interface Level 50: Barrier Core Epiphany Level 50: Melee Radial Embodiment ------------
  13. Talking about modding City or the new Homecoming Installer, I keep referring to the City Install Root, often shortened to '<root>'. It's where all the files of your City install are located. For the new HC Installer, it's everything, as all programs, library, settings, etc live in the files under that location. So, how to find it if you can't remember where it is. For the new HC Installer, just click on the gear icon in the upper right of its main window to get its Settings window. Install Location is stated front and centre (here to the default path). Note you can install the HC Launcher many times in different locations, as all are independent and use different links to start their respective Launchers. But only one install is needed to access everything including the Beta Shards and Multiboxing. For the Tequila installer, find the shortcut you use to launch Tequila, right-click on it, and select Properties. The Install Location is the "Start in" folder. If you happened to use Island Rum, it's found via its shortcut, similar to Tequila. In my install, it always had its own folder under the City Install Root. Here <root> is "C:\Prog\PL". I never got Island Rum and Tequila to co-exist, so I had to use a separate install location.
  14. I've been playing a fair number of teleporting toons and have used some binds that used to be quite popular. I am writing this guide to help you take advantage of them as well. Teleport and Mystic Flight There are two main teleportation binds that I use. You know how you have to use the power tray's [Teleport] button, then click into the game world somewhere? One of them removes the need to activate that button! Instead, you can just hold Shift when you Left Click to teleport yourself immediately. This isn't just easier when travelling. This opens up Teleport as a useful combat tool, allowing you to blink around a room during a fight. I've used this to move around a big room when my party needed me to be somewhere, and to save time when quickly escaping combat. If you use Sorcery's Mystic Flight you can also bind [Translocation] in the same way, but I personally feel the benefits are smaller. The binds are in a box at the bottom of this post. Recall Friend Ever drop in combat only to find the enemies standing on top of you, making you unable to revive easily? Back in the day a large number of Defenders would use [Recall Friend] to pull downed teammates out of combat. This would allow the teammate to use Awaken or other weak forms of revive without the fear of the same enemies that just killed them. Additionally, I often use Recall Friend to help my teammates reach the door of a Mission more quickly. To lessen the annoyance factor of someone immediately going to the hospital or complaining about being recalled unexpectedly, I created a bind that adds a private message to the person you're teleporting. This common courtesy also cuts down on the occasional teammate that doesn't realize they split the party complaining about you reuniting them. The bind is in a box at the bottom of this post. How to re-bind them: You can just copy any of these three (including the slash symbol at the beginning) by highlighting them and using Ctrl+C on your keyboard. Then, open the game. Get ready to type just like you were going to say something in the chat. (Maybe hit Enter, maybe click into the chat bar, whatever you usually do to talk in game.) Paste the bind into the chat bar by hitting Ctrl+V on your keyboard. You should see the copied text appear in the chat bar. Then, hit Enter like you're trying to say the text in chat. It doesn't matter if you correctly type the bind or not, you won't see anything until you try the bind out, so immediately try the bind out! Here are the binds: Teleport /bind lshift+lbutton powexecname teleport Mystic Flight /bind lshift+lbutton powexecname translocation Recall Friend /macro RF "tell $target, I'm about to move you to my location.$$powexecname recall friend"
  15. Recharge Guide Everything you need to know about Recharge…and then some By Bopper Written: 17 Nov 2019 Updated: N/A The purpose of this guide is to teach you everything you need to know about recharge. I have broken up this guide into chapters in an effort build up your understanding on how recharge works. My methods for building up your knowledge will be a bit backwards. Normally in a textbook, you will be given a formula, the formula will be derived, then you will see examples on how to use the formula. Instead, Chapter 1 will show you examples with step-by-step solutions in hopes of learning and observing all the details that goes into solving the Recharge Problem. In Chapter 2, I will introduce formulas that could be used for solving the examples from Chapter 1 in hopes that you can apply those formulas for your own needs. In Chapter 3, I introduce a new technique for solving the Recharge Problem that is faster and easier to implement, although it has its limitations. At that point, you will have all the knowledge you need to know. But if you would like to read on, Chapter 4 provides additional formulas that apply to the Recharge Problem that could be useful to you. Finally, Chapter 5 (not complete), will be additional examples that I will solve by request. If you have a specific problem and are having trouble, you can mention it in the comments and I will attempt to solve it and provide the solution in this chapter. If you prefer the PDF version or Word document version (they are much more readable than the forum's formatting), they are attached below. RechargeGuide.pdf RechargeGuide.docx Background information: I have discussed this topic previously, which you can check out here.
  16. One thing I'd really like to work on, if possible, is to create a group repository of information on Sentinels as a whole, explaining what makes a strong pairing from each primary to each secondary and all of the pool powers, as well as what distinguishes Sentinels from Scrappers and Blasters. I understand that this is a big undertaking, but I think it could be extremely helpful to new players. I have some thoughts on these subjects, but the fact of the matter is, I didn't play CoX live at a very high level of proficiency and there are limits to how much I've experienced in Sentinel as-is. I will say that i would like to avoid contributions from people who are of the position that there is no such thing as a weak choice of powerset in CoX, or of the position that any powerset is so bad it should not be taken by anyone with an interest in m making the most of their characters. I believe it is possible and responsible to speak in general terms about average player performance and also support a diversity of interests. There is no wrong way to play, but I want players to be reasonably well-informed going into their choices -- at least, if they want to be. Some enjoy the discovery! I think the best way to create such a project would be for people to submit "sets" of opinions, where they analyze multiple different powersets in compare and contrast, so that we can get a feel for each reviewer's independently, then have a "czar" for that powerset synthesize all the submissions into something that succinctly reflects the consensus and any important divergences thereof. However, that assumes a large interest in this project. I don't know if anyone else would be interested in contribution. Also, accepting general feedback at this stage. Post inspired in part by @oldskool and their excellent comments in various threads. Set Sign-Up Sheet List of posters reviewing what powersets. Set Name Reviewer 1 Reviewer 2 Reviewer 3 Reviewer 4 Primaries Archery @drbuzzard @oldskool Assault Rifle @oldskool @Sunsette Beam Rifle @Sunsette [X] Dark Blast @drbuzzard @oldskool Dual Pistols @oldskool [X] Energy Blast @Sunsette [X] Electric Blast Fire Blast @drbuzzard Ice Blast Psychic Blast @drbuzzard @oldskool Radiation Blast Sonic Attack Water Blast @drbuzzard Secondaries Bio Armor @drbuzzard Dark Armor @oldskool Electric Armor @Hopeling[X] Energy Aura @Sunsette [X] Fiery Aura @drbuzzard Ice Armor Invulnerability @Sunsette [X] Ninjitsu @drbuzzard @oldskool [X] Radiation Armor @Destlin Regeneration Super Reflexes @Sunsette [X] @drbuzzard Willpower @drbuzzard @oldskool [X] Epic Pools Dark Mastery Electricity Mastery @Sunsette Fire Mastery @Sunsette Ice Mastery @Sunsette Ninja Tool Mastery Psionic Mastery @Sunsette Leviathan Mastery Mace Mastery Mu Mastery Soul Mastery Utility Pools Concealment @Sunsette Fighting @Sunsette Flight @Sunsette Leadership @Sunsette Leaping @Sunsette Medicine @Sunsette Presence @Sunsette Sorcery @Sunsette Speed @Sunsette Teleportation @Sunsette We can have more reviewers than four, but I chose not to assume everyone in the world ever would want to participate in this. I'll increase the number of slots if necessary. I intend to do the synthesizing of reviews into a coherent whole and will also be doing primary reviews on a number of sets; please feel free to keep me honest and call me on my shit if you think I've done a poor job somewhere. I'm initially going to be conservative on picking sets and stick to ones I feel I have a very, very strong grasp on; I'll branch out to ones I feel I have an OK grasp on if we have a lot of holes. If you're interested in submitting a review, this is the current format. Submissions are not yet open, but will be soon barring major disagreements. Set Review Format (Tentative) Powerset Name Basic Qualities:0 If damage primary: High/Med/Low Single-Target Damage1, High/Med/Low AoE Damage2 (# Cones/# Spheres/# PBAoEs)3, High/Med/Low Control4 If survival secondary: High/Med/Low HP/Healing5, High/Med/Low Defense6, High/Med/Low Resistance7, High/Med/Low "Clicky-ness"8. If pool: The main purpose of this pool. Special Qualities: For primaries, list secondary effects here: knockback, knockdown, stun, -regen, -res, -def, etc. Do not include the benefits of Passive or Active Opportunity. For secondaries, list things that aren't defense, resistance, healing, absorbs, or max HP here. So +recharge, defense debuff resistance, any notable mez protection the set lacks or is weak in, etc. If pool: Can skip Other: Anything else that you think should be noted about this powerset. Significant changes in this powerset from their implementation on other archetypes should go here. Beginner's Notes: Any powers or strategies that are especially beneficial to low level or new players to this set. This is a good place to put down slotting ideas for before level 50 (keep it to under 10 million inf. costs please) as well as early level rotations. Skippables/Must-Haves: For primaries or secondaries, list the powers that typically are considered optional or bad. For pools, list powers that are the strongest in the set. Whenever possible, please explain your reasoning. Advanced Slotting: L50 builds. (sky's the limit for budget). Whenever possible, please explain your reasoning. This will probably be a pretty long section that needs subdivisions, I'll work on this some more. Base Rotation: The standard attack rotation leveling up or at early 50s, for people to refine. Note any cooldown benchmarks that may be necessary for a specific rotation if it requires over 70% or so enhancement or global recharge. Complementary Choices: Suggest any primary, secondary, or pool (save ones that are mutually exclusive with this one) that synergizes with this one, and explain why. Ex: Energy Blast synergizes well with pools that contain an AoE immobilize with knockback protection and a strong melee attack to make the most of position with Nova; Dark Blast synergizes well with Dark Mastery to completely floor the opponents' accuracy. Whenever possible, please explain your reasoning. Incarnates: Would skip this for pool powers generally speaking, but incarnate powers that pair notably well with this powerset. Whenever possible, please explain your reasoning. 0 All measures assuming fully geared and incarnated at 50; this is just so we have an empirical baseline. 1 High: ST damage of approximately ≥230+ DPS. // Medium: ST damage of approximately 190 DPS. // Low: ST damage of approximately ≤160 DPS. If damage type is mostly Smashing or Lethal, consider it one tier lower. 2 High: Has 3+ AoEs. // Medium: Has 2 AoEs. // Low: Has 1 AoE. If damage type is mostly Smashing or Lethal, consider it as having one fewer AoE. 3 The breakdown of the number and type of each AoE type. 4 High: Reliably reduces incoming damage from the average pack of enemies by 50% or more. // Medium: Reliably reduces incoming damage from the average pack of enemies by about a third or a quarter. // Low: Controls can be beneficial sometimes but not to be relied upon. 5 High: Unaided, can heal or absorb a third of base Max HP (400) every 10 seconds or less. // Medium: Unaided, can heal or absorb a third of base Max HP (400) every 20 seconds or so. // Low: Unaided, can heal or absorb a third of base Max HP (400) every 40 seconds or more. Does not include the benefits of Defensive Opportunity. 6 Use values derived from Reistorm's chart located here. High: Gets S/L/E or all Positional to ≥32.5%. // Medium: Gets some of S/L/E or Positional to ≥32.5%, or gets all of S/L/E to 20%+. // Low: Any other result. 7 Use values derived from Reistorm's chart located here. High: Gets S/L to ≥45% or S/L/E to ≥30%. // Medium: Gets S/L or E o to ≥45%, or gets all to 20+%. // Low: Any other result. 8 High: Has 2+ abilities with an enhanced cooldown of a minute or less used frequently. // Medium: Has an ability virtually used on 'autocast' or an ability with an enhanced cooldown of a minute or less that otherwise needs to be frequently used for a non-healing purpose. // Low: Active abilities with enhanced cooldowns of a minute or less are rarely used for any purpose but an emergency heal. Outline (Tentative) Why Play a Sentinel? Seize the Opportunity: Sentinel Basics The Never-Ending Battle: Attack and Defense Mechanics Zoom and Enhance: Enhancement Mechanics Four-Color Fantasy: Leveling Red, Blue, Gold, and Black Primary Colors: Blast Powerset Reviews Secondary Strategies: Defensive Powerset Reviews Fly Like an Eagle: Utility Pool Reviews EPIC!: Epic Pool Reviews The Alpha and the Omega: Incarnate Mechanics A Few Provisos: Badges, Macros, and other Miscellany At the moment these are all things I intend to write myself, but I will gladly take volunteers for any sections.
  17. GETTING AROUND THE CITIES OF HEROES AND VILLAINS or YOU'RE REALLY GOING PLACES NOW! City of Heroes and Villains is huge and pretty complicated, and there are lots of different zones to explore. What’s more, a lot of mission chains, Task Forces, and Strike Forces like to send you willy-nilly from one zone to another. But if you think travel is confusing now, you should have been here when the game was new. In the very early days of City of Heroes, inter-zone travel took a lot longer. There were two different, unlinked transit lines, and certain zones that were intentionally not part of them. For example, to get from Atlas Park to Firebase Zulu, you would have to take the transit line to Steel Canyon or Skyway City or Independence Port, cross the zone under your own power to get to the other transit line, take that to Talos Island, cross Talos Island to take the ferry to Peregrine Island, and then cross Peregrine Island to get to the Portal Corps building to reach Firebase Zulu. (And there were Shadow Shard Task Forces that were sadistic enough to send you from the Shadow Shard to Atlas Park and back.) There were supergroup bases that could save you some time, if sufficient effort had been put into getting as many teleport beacons as possible, but even those could only go so far. Now, years later, there are a wide variety of transport systems, shortcuts, long-distance teleports, and alternate routes. People who’ve played City of Heroes for a while have developed a feel for how to get from one place to another as quickly as possible, and can be off and running as soon as the next task force mission is up. However, newbies and those whose old City memories are still hazy can be left confused in the dust trying to work out how to get to from Peregrine Island to Independence Port before the rest of the team has already finished the mission there. This guide will serve as a handy reference to help people find the fastest way from one zone to another, and possibly even suggest some new ways of getting from place to place you hadn't considered before. A quick tip: if you need to get from one zone to another, hit Ctrl-F and search this guide on the zone names to find where I mention them. For most transit methods, I'll list all the reachable zones. (With the exception of supergroup base teleporters, because that would be nearly all of them.) Although there are many places you can cut through that offer exits to multiple parts of Paragon City or the Rogue Isles, they aren’t used as much for getting around as they used to be. The most popular methods for getting from place to place—Ouroboros, teleporters (supergroup, Pocket D, mission), and the LFG queue—will work from practically anywhere, saving time over the need to travel to specific locations in the world to get to other ones. Combined with the transit lines and TUNNEL system, these methods mean there is no longer much need to go to a particular location just to take a shortcut to another—but I include them here for the sake of completeness. THE MAP (NOT THE TERRITORY) First, the basics. The City of Heroes map display has two tabs. You’re probably most familiar with the right-hand “Zone” tab showing the region you’re currently in—either the current city zone, or the instanced mission map. However, you may not have paid any attention to the second tab, “City,” to the left, which gives an overview of the city area you’re currently in and shows how all the zones connect to each other. You can use the map of the current region to see all the exits from the zone you’re currently in. Most exits will appear as either green dots for normal zones, or red dots for hazard zones (some of which will have a black and yellow striped border around them, just to emphasize their hazardous nature). However, some exits have custom icons (such as the exit to Studio 55 in Pocket D). You can mouse over each icon to get a tooltip with the exit’s destination. Clicking on an exit will put an icon on the navigation display compass to show you which direction to go to get there. The overview tab can be useful in planning your trip—if you need to go to a zone for which none of the teleport or shortcut methods given below will work, you’ll need to get to the closest connecting zone and travel to the exit. It can also be helpful to know how the city is laid out in case you have business in adjoining zones. (In days of old, before Galaxy City was destroyed, people used to hold lap races from zone to zone around the inner loop of the city.) If either map is too small to make out the details, even zoomed in, you can drag the corner of the map out to make it bigger, which will make everything on the map window bigger as well. If you haven’t yet, I would also advise you to install the most recent Vidiotmaps add-on pack, which adds locations of badges, plaques, Shadow Shard gravity geysers, zone events, and other useful information to the map. It may be helpful to refer to these maps as you read descriptions of the transit lines and shortcuts in the remainder of this guide. TRANSIT LINES: MONORAIL (PARAGON CITY), BLACK HELICOPTER LINE AND FERRY (ROGUE ISLES) Formerly divided into Yellow and Green transit lines, the monorail has long been one of the primary means of getting around Paragon City. As noted above, it was originally two different routes where you had to physically cross some of the zones to change lines, but NCSoft eventually gave in to player complaints and unified the transit lines so you could travel to any station from any other station. Black Helicopter Transport and the Rogue Isles Ferry are the Rogue Isles equivalent to the monorail, and work the same way: you can hop any black helicopter or ferry to any destination they offer. The ferry was originally divided into multiple routes, but like the monorail they were eventually combined together. The monorail, helicopter, and ferry can all be used for “board transit” mission locations, where you have to use a transit line to get to the mission instance. MONORAIL DESTINATIONS Atlas Park Kings Row Steel Canyon (north and south) Skyway City (north and south) Talos Island Independence Port (north and south) Croatoa Brickstown Founders’ Falls BLACK HELICOPTER DESTINATIONS Mercy Island (north and south) Port Oakes Cap au Diable Sharkhead Isle Nerva Archipelago (north and south) St. Martial Grandville (north and south) ROGUE ISLES FERRY DESTINATIONS Mercy Island Port Oakes (east and west) Cap au Diable (north and south) Sharkhead Isle Nerva Archipelago St. Martial Grandville SHIPS AND SUBS In addition to the transit line, there are a few ships and submarines that serve as adjuncts to the stations and take you places they don’t reach. These include the ferry that connects Talos Island and Peregrine Island, the smuggler’s ship that connects Talos Island, Striga Island, and Independence Port, and the submarine that links Peregrine Island, Kallisti Wharf, The Abyss, and Grandville. These can be located as green or red exit dots on the map display. As with any exit that connects to multiple destinations, the smuggler ship and submarine can also be used for many “board transit” missions. TUNNEL SYSTEM In the very last update before City of Heroes shut down, NCSoft introduced the TUNNEL System, a system of dimensional portals connecting various destinations in Paragon City, the Rogue Isles, and Praetoria. Characters of Hero and Villain alignment who use the TUNNEL will not have access to the opposite alignment’s zones, but Vigilantes and Rogues will have access to both. All alignments can access the Praetoria zones. Thanks to the TUNNEL, characters can now hop straight from Atlas Park to Firebase Zulu should they want to. In many places that have both TUNNEL and Monorail or Black Helicopter/Ferry links, the TUNNEL is placed conveniently to the other transit system so it’s very easy to switch back and forth. TUNNEL DESTINATIONS Atlas Park Mercy Island Imperial City Underground Imperial Cap au Diable Talos Island First Ward Night Ward Nerva Archipelago Founders Falls Peregrine Island Firebase Zulu Dark Astoria SUPERGROUP BASES Back on Live, a well-equipped supergroup base was pretty rare, because it required a lot of time and dedication on the part of supergroup members to grind out enough prestige to grow and power the base to become big enough to support the best amenities—including teleporters that could put you in nearly any zone accessible to your character. However, in Homecoming, the whole prestige grind is one of the time sinks that SCORE got rid of. Now all base items are free, and prestige is no longer even a thing. This means that anyone who cares to put in the time and effort can build just as good a base for themselves and their own alts as they like—which includes getting all the teleporters to all the available zones. (Also, heroes and villains can share the same Supergroup, so bases can offer ports to all available destinations for both heroes and villains.) Relatively few zones are unavailable as base teleports: PVP zones, the Hive, the Abyss, the Shadow Shard, Cimerora, and various other extremely distant locales. Getting to any zone on offer from a SG base is usually as simple as going into the base, finding the teleporter room, and choosing the destination from the list. A well-arranged base will make it easy to see at a glance which zones are assigned to which teleporter. This is one of the absolute best ways to get to nearly any zone you need to reach. The only drawbacks are that sometimes the teleport location it lands you in is fairly remote from where you wanted to go, and some zones aren’t accessible that way at all. You aren’t limited to just your own SG base, either. Many supergroups make their bases available for use by the general public as a public service. If you don’t have access to or just don’t feel like building a good SG base yourself, you could check out one of those. To get in, you just have to enter their password at the base entrance or when using the Supergroup Base Teleport prestige or Day Job power—or plug it into one of the base teleport macros below. On Torchbearer, base WARPZONE-4141 is a small room with teleporters conveniently arranged by destination category. TORCHCS-5949 is a much larger base with many amenities available. If you play on a different server, check in its forum or channel on the Discord to find out about any similar bases available there. If you know of such a base, feel free to leave the passcode and server name in the comments, and I may add it to a future update. BASE TELEPORTERS There are a couple of different Supergroup Base teleport powers available. One of these is a Prestige power, available from the P2W store for 1 million Inf. This power can be fired off every thirty minutes. There is also a Day Job Accolade power that can be earned by spending time logged out at the base entrance when you have both the Patroller and Monitor Duty badges. Both of these powers require you to stand still for ten seconds or so as you use them, during which time the power can be interrupted by attacks or other effects. However, there is actually a faster way to get to any given supergroup base, with the use of the /enter_base_from_passcode command. If you type that slash command, followed by a base password, it will teleport you to that base instantaneously, with no execution time or cooldown. (And no 1 million Inf purchase fee, either.) If you want to add this command to one of your trays in the form of a macro, just type something like /macro WARP enter_base_from_passcode WARPZONE-4141 If you’d like to create a nicer-looking macro using a power icon image, you could use this instead: /macroimage DayJob_Teleport Superbase_Teleport enter_base_from_passcode WARPZONE-4141 Substitute the passcode for your own base, if you prefer. Your SG leader should be able to tell you what it is. If you’re the leader, you can simply set it for yourself with the command /sgpasscode [word] where [word] is the word you want to use. (The game adds the 4-digit number itself.) If you don’t know the passcode to your own base, you can at least use someone else’s base for convenient teleporter access while using the P2W store power to get to your own. (SCORE lead developer Leandro has said this command was never actually intended for player use, and will eventually be removed. So, enjoy it while you can; I'll remove it from the guide when it no longer works.) OUROBOROS Ouroboros is the “flashback” system that lets characters play through content they’ve outleveled. It’s located in a zone outside the normal timestream, and characters gain a teleport power allowing them to access that zone upon doing a mission arc or gaining a badge associated with time travel. (This includes the exploration badge within that zone itself, which is why people often ask for someone to summon an Ouroboros portal for them to let them go there and get it for themselves.) Characters must be at least level 14 before they can use the Ouroboros Teleporter to reach Ouroboros. The main exit from Ouroboros leads back to a number of zones in Paragon City and the Rogue Islands, and will also work for most “board transit” missions, meaning that players often find it most efficient to throw down an Ouro portal to avoid having to travel cross-zone to a tram station. (There are some “board transit” missions, such as the one in the Market Crash trial, that it won’t work for, but for those you can exit to Talos Island and come out very near the tram station there.) Heroes and Villains won’t be able to exit to each others’ zones, but Vigilantes and Rogues can exit to any. In a portal at the back of Ouroboros is another exit to the five Echoes of old zones that Ouroboros hosts: Atlas Park, Galaxy City, Faultline, Dark Astoria, and the Rikti Crash Site. These Echoes depict the original versions of zones that were removed or considerably changed with new Issues that came out, including containing the original badges and plaques from those zones (and replacing them with new ones in the new versions of the zones). The newest Vidiotmaps contains updated badge and plaque locations for all of those zones. The Echoes of Galaxy City and Dark Astoria can also be reached from supergroup teleporters—and characters below level 14 can teleport in from the base and use the exit in that zone to reach Ouroboros and get the badge and teleporter power that way (though they still can’t pass through that teleporter themselves until they hit level 14). Because Ouroboros makes it so easy to get from distant zones back to more central areas, the Ouroboros teleport power is often employed as a shortcut to get home from places like the Hive or Cimerora back to those zones in Paragon City or the Rogue Isles. It’s worth noting, however, that there is a way to use Ouroboros to get to zones that are not listed on Ouroboros’s exit. All you have to do is flash back to a mission arc belonging to such a contact, use the crystal to teleport to that contact, then quit the Ouroboros task force. Of course, there are enough other methods of speedy travel that it would probably be far simpler to use one of those than to go through the effort of clicking through an Ouroboros arc. Nonetheless, it’s good to know the option exists. OUROBOROS EXIT DESTINATIONS Atlas Park Cap Au Diable Talos Island Sharkhead Isle Independence Port Nerva Archipelago St. Martial Founders’ Falls Grandville Peregrine Island OUROBOROS ECHOES Echo: Atlas Park Echo: Galaxy City Echo: Faultline Echo: Dark Astoria Echo: Rikti Crash Site VANGUARD BASE (RIKTI WAR ZONE) Another co-op zone with multiple exits is the Vanguard Base in the Rikti War Zone. Heroes and villains have the option of three exits each (not counting the Crey's Folly zone exit a few hundred yards away) and Vigilantes and Rogues can take all six. This base has a lot of amenities, including a hospital, merit vendor, trainer, Enhancement store, supergroup base entrance, and even crafting tables, making it a great place to hang out—especially since it's in the zone where Rikti Mothership Raids are formed up. VANGUARD BASE EXITS Atlas Park Founders Falls Peregrine Island Cap au Diable St. Martial Grandville There is also a map exit to Crey’s Folly in the southeast part of the Rikti War Zone. THE MIDNIGHTER CLUB Best known as the place you can get to Cimerora from, this base offers three zone exits to Paragon City and one to the Rogue Isles that characters can use as their alignments permit. To have access, you either need to do the Midnighter story arc, launched from a contact inside the Steel Canyon or Cap Au Diable University, or go to Night Ward and enter the front door of the big spooky mansion to get the House Hunter badge. MIDNIGHTER CLUB EXITS Steel Canyon Croatoa Founders Falls Cap au Diable And, of course, there’s the exit to Cimerora through the crystal at the center. POCKET D Pocket D is probably the best-known co-op zone. It has all the amenities except crafting tables, plus a P2W Store and access to Null the Gull to change alignments or disable unwanted buff effects. There's even an Architect Entertainment annex built right in. You can get here from the entrances in any of the zones listed below (just look for the green dot on your map), or you can buy a Pocket D teleport power with a 30-minute cooldown from the P2W store (or get it free for hanging out in Pocket D for a couple of hours). Since the LFG teleport system can launch trials from anywhere (see below), this makes Pocket D a great place to form up any trial, Task Force, or Strike Force. Participants can make sure they're the right alignment, have the double-XP buff filled up, or even disable the Speed Buff run-speed effect if there's a Kinetic on the team and the trial involves lots of caves or catwalks. Then, when they're ready, the leader queues them up and they teleport to the contact or directly into the trial. (Pocket D is also one of the main places Incarnate Trials form up.) Plus, there are the eight exits available: four to Paragon City, three to the Rogue Isles, and one to Praetoria. Characters may take any exit their alignment permits—and can change their alignment at Null the Gull if they need to. POCKET D EXITS King’s Row Faultline Talos Island Founders’ Falls Port Oakes Sharkhead Isle St. Martial Studio 55 (Imperial City, Praetoria) PARAGON DANCE PARTY Back in the early days of the game, some of the Cryptic devs thought they’d do something nice for the roleplaying community, so on their own time and without official sanction they coded up a little dance club and tucked it in. It wasn’t anything fancy—just a reskin over a room from the warehouse tileset—but it proved so popular that it wasn’t too much longer before Pocket D was commissioned as an official, sanctioned dance club. PDP wasn’t popular with only the RPers, though. At the time, the transit lines were still split, so you had to travel the length of Steel, Skyway, or Independence Port to get from one line to the other. Since PDP had exits to Talos Island and Independence Port, and its Steel Canyon entrance was a lot closer to the south transit line than the other line all the way across the zone, the traffic between exits by shortcut-takers soon dwarfed the traffic on the dance floors. There was no zone map and the exits weren’t marked, but it wasn’t hard to memorize which one was which. When Pocket D was added, NCSoft removed the old Paragon Dance Party—but during the six-year interim when the game was being developed in secret by fans, the nostalgics in SCORE added it back in. So, you can still visit it, or use it as a shortcut if you like, even now. Of course, now that the transit lines are merged, there isn’t much call for taking that kind of shortcut anymore. And since Pocket D has a lot more amenities than this little dark empty warehouse, you don’t find too many people stopping here anymore. But it’s still a nice quiet spot to hang out, craft, and, yes, roleplay. PARAGON DANCE PARTY EXITS West: Independence Port North: Steel Canyon East: Talos Island GETTING AROUND THE SHADOW SHARD The Shadow Shard was Cryptic’s first attempt at creating real endgame content for City of Heroes, and the huge zones full of floating islands and gravity geysers present a number of travel questions all their own. The Shadow Shard is made up of four huge zones connected serially, with an exit in the east end of each zone leading to an entrance in the west end of the next: Firebase Zulu links to the Cascade Archipelago, which links to the Chantry, which links to the Storm Palace. These connections are in the form of green “vines” with swirly portals in the end. The military base at the west end of the Firebase Zulu zone also has exits that lead directly to the west end of each of the other three zones. These are circular clickable portals at the point of exit from the base, each labeled with the name of its zone. Those portals come out in little glowy balls near the swirly-vine entrance to the previous zone. (And there’s also a third exit to from Zulu to the Cascade Archipelago, from a cave in the Firebase Zulu military base that leads to a secret base, “Mole Point Charlie,” in the very middle.) There’s no “ground” in the Shadow Shard; if you fall off an island and can’t catch yourself with flight or teleport powers, you’ll be teleported back to the west end of the zone you’re in, near the swirly vine and glowy ball exits back to the previous zone and to Firebase Zulu. If you want to get to the east end of the zone you’re in, all you need to do, then, is drop into space and land at the west end, take the glowy ball portal back to Firebase Zulu, and then take the Firebase Zulu zone portal to whichever zone is east of your current zone. Then go back through the swirly vine, and that will take you to the east end of the previous zone. This can be particularly useful on Justin Augustine’s Task Force, which sometimes sends you to destinations on the east end of the Chantry. To get there, all you need to do is take the portal to Firebase Zulu, take the portal to the Storm Palace, and then take the vine back to the Chantry. Travel from place to place within the Shadow Shard zones themselves is accomplished by means of the “gravity geysers,” blue glowy fountains of mist that will fling you across great distances. (It is permissible to shout “Wheeeeeee!!!” at the top of your lungs as you hurtle through the air.) Vidiotmaps marks the location and direction of all geysers, which can be extremely useful when using them for travel. When using the gravity geysers for travel, you need to disable any powers that affect your movement rate, such as Super Speed, Super Jump, or Combat Jumping. Even then, sometimes the geysers can miss their target, so be ready to click on a flight power or temp power if you need to catch yourself before you fall out of the map. You can, of course, simply use flight or teleport powers to avoid geyser travel altogether—the Rocket Board and other non-combat flight powers are especially useful in this regard—but the geysers actually can get you across the zones fairly quickly if you’re any good at using them. I used to race against characters who habitually used the geysers, and they often beat my speed flying in a straight line. If you’re doing Shard missions or Task Forces on a full team, making sure that every team member has Team Transport can be a great way to avoid the question of geysers altogether—the half-hour cooldown for the first member’s TT power should be over by the time everyone else has had their turn. Mission Transporter plus Assemble the Team or Incandescence Destiny can also be useful, for missions in the same zone. The Rocket Board, Team Transport, and other useful prestige/temp powers can be purchased from the P2W store (of which there is one in Firebase Zulu, another one in Mole Point Charlie, and a third one next to the Enhancement vendor near Justin Augustine). THE LFG QUEUE TELEPORTER One of the most unexpectedly useful newer additions to City of Heroes is the LFG Queue. This is the panel you use in queueing up for Death From Below, Summer Blockbuster, and all the Incarnate Trials, among others. It lists all such Trials and Task/Strike Forces available to you based on your current level and alignment, so that you can choose the one you want to join and queue yourself or your team up for it. But it can also be spectacularly useful in helping you get around. Before the LFQ Queue, any Task Force, Strike Force, or Trial could only be started by visiting a specific contact to ask them for the mission. Some of these contacts are quite remote, and sometimes getting everybody there would be its own “trial”. But now, in addition to letting you queue directly into trials that don’t start from contacts, the LFG teleporter can send you and your entire team to the location of Task/Strike Force or Trial contacts. Or, if you’re soloing, it can send just you. The LFG Queue is supposed to work by you indicating you want to take part in a trial and waiting, and then whenever enough people are interested the trial starts. In practice, almost nobody actually uses it that way (perhaps because when you’re queued for a trial that might never happen, you can’t join any other teams or do much of anything else). So people form full trial teams and then queue them up so that they all hop into the trial right away. If you decide you want to start with a team smaller than the Task Force or Trial's maximum, and don’t want to wait for anyone else to decide to join you, you select the radio button at the lower right, to lock the trial for your group and begin with just the team members you have—and that’s also the key for using the LFG Queue to get from place to place. All you need to do is select a Task Force, Strike Force, or Trial that starts at a contact, lock the trial for your group, and queue up. The teleporter will then send you to that contact—but you’re not under any obligation to do their Task Force when you get there unless you want to talk to them and select the first mission. Once you arrive at the contact, you can go wherever you want from there. Of course, you do have to know where the Task Force contact actually is to know where porting to them will take you, but that’s the kind of thing you pick up with experience. Note that this will not work if you’re on a Task Force or Ouroboros mission already. Or, rather, it will work, but it will also remove you from that Task Force, so it kind of defeats the purpose of using it for that. This power will work best when used solo, because you only have to queue for yourself. If you’re on a team, all members of it have to be in the same zone, and they need to know what you’re doing so they don’t get confused and turn down the invitation to queue. But if you explain ahead of time, and everyone’s in the same place, it’s a great way to get your whole team from one place to another—for example, if you decide to form up your Task Force or Trial team in Pocket D, as I suggested in that section above. (Though sometimes when you travel this way, the game may give the team leadership star to some other team member when you arrive, and you’ll have to ask for it back.) There is no cooldown on this power; you can use it as often as you need to. It can even work to get you out of places where other teleport methods are disabled, such as PVP zones. I like to use LFG teleport when I hear of a Task Force forming that I’d like to be on—particularly when that’s Imperious’s Task Force, because of how annoying it is to travel to Cimerora the “normal” way, but it’s also nice for TF contacts who are some distance away from the nearest transit, like Moonfire or Hess. I’ll ask if there’s an opening, then ask them to wait thirty seconds before inviting me while I use the LFG Queue to teleport to the contact. That way I’m there immediately; I don’t have to mess around with traveling to the right zone and then making my way to the contact in the usual way. While not meant to be an exhaustive list, here are a few of the more useful Task Force contacts for LFG teleportation. Note that these will only be available to you if your character meets the level and alignment requirements to participate in the TF in question. Citadel (Citadel’s Children). All the Task Force Commander contacts are located across from a trainer and near a supergroup base exit, but Citadel is unique in that he is also positioned right next to the tram and TUNNEL. If you want to catch the tram or TUNNEL, Citadel’s your best bet. Katie Hannon (A Tangled Plot). If you want to get to a giant monster war in the north end of Croatoa, or see if Sally is available to be bopped on the nose, LFGporting to Katie will put you convenient to both of them. Note that you do have to have done the last Croatoa story arc to have unlocked her to be able to port to her. Maj. Richard Flagg (Terror Volta (3)). Maj. Flagg is located right by the middle Portal Corps building, so if you have business there, or need to be on the northeast end of Peregrine Island for other reasons (doing the Maria Jenkins arc, talking to Detective Selnum, starting the Dark Astoria content, heading north to hunt Rikti monkeys, etc.), this is the fastest way to get there. Imperious (Time’s Arrow). If you’re sick and tired of having to find a university and then change zones three more times to get to Cimerora, LFG queueing will seem like a gift from the (Roman) gods. There is no supergroup base teleport beacon for Cimerora, so this is just about the only fast way to get there. (You do have to have Cimerora unlocked for this Task Force to be available to select, of course.) Lady Grey (The Lady Grey Task Force). This is your instant port to the Vanguard base, where you can make use of all the amenities I described in the earlier section. (This is particularly useful given that the supergroup base teleport beacon to RWZ puts you way out in the middle of nowhere.) It’s also a speedy way to get there when you hear of a Mothership Raid forming up…except that the port may put you in the wrong instance of the RWZ for the raid, so be sure and check the /search window to see if you’re in the same instance where all the other people are, and if not, head to your alignment’s exit and quickly zone out and back into the right one. Mairenn MacGregor (Descent to the Hydra). This contact is located right next to the Atlas Park sewer entrance. If you want to go where all the people forming up DFBs hang out, or otherwise have a reason to want to get to the Sewer or Abandoned Sewer right away, this is who you’d pick. The Woodsman (Prisoners of Eden). If you’re wanting to get to a Hamidon Raid, this is the closest teleport destination to the Hive. (The supergroup base Eden teleporter will put you here, too, but using the LFG port means one fewer zone transition.) Ada Wellington (Market Crash). This puts you a lot closer to the university than the Kallisti Wharf supergroup base teleporter. With the single exception of using a Wentworth's teleporter to get to Steel Canyon (see below), this is the closest teleport destination to any university, if you’re looking to use the crafting tables or park for a Day Job. (This university doesn't have a Midnighter Club entrance, though.) And it’s a co-op zone, so is available to all alignments. Sara Moore (The Legend of Ruladak). Of all the Shadow Shard Task Force contacts, Sara Moore is especially worth mentioning for being located within Mole Point Charlie, the secret military base in the heart of the Cascade Archipelago. If you’re doing the Shadow Shard story arcs, you’ll be required to travel here several times—to visit the mole point, to carry fedexes to the contacts, and to return to the contacts once or twice after you run their earliest missions. And the first time, you’re expected to travel the long way, rather than using the secret portal in Firebase Zulu. But don’t mess with the gravity geysers, and don’t spend long minutes flying or teleporting across the zone. Just choose Sara Moore from the LFG list, queue, and there you are. (Also, you’ll be sent on a fedex to Justin Augustine, another Shard TF contact. Just use LFG to get to him, too, and save yourself yet more travel time.) (Props to Hedgefund, whose own LFG teleporter travel guide turned me on to this technique.) FIND A CONTACT TELEPORTER Your contacts list has a similar teleporter to the LFG Queue built into it, though this one isn’t quite as useful. If you open the contacts list, at the top you’ll see a blue button marked “Find Contact.” If you choose this, you can flip through all the remaining contacts available to you at your level. If you haven’t spoken to them yet, the window will say that you don’t know the contact, and will offer to teleport you to them. This makes it easy for you to find new content that you haven’t done yet if all your other contacts don’t have anything interesting to offer you. However, the teleporter will only work once per unknown contact. If you’ve used it already, the system considers you to know the contact now, and only allows you to select them from this point forward. Hence, it’s not exactly the most useful thing in terms of getting to the same place more than once. That being said, it can be useful in particular circumstances, if you should have the need to teleport to a given contact once. For example, if you need to unlock Cimerora in a hurry, you don’t have to take the time to find the nearest TUNNEL and take it to Night Ward, then find the mansion. Instead, simply teleport to Fireball or Trilogy from the “Find Contact” function. That will put you in the catacombs underneath the mansion in Night Ward. Go through the set of double doors with the Midnighter Medic standing next to them, then go out the front door, and you’ll have the House Hunter and Midnighter badges and be good to go. MISSION TELEPORTER and TEAM TRANSPORT I’ve already mentioned a couple of the teleport powers available from P2W—the Supergroup Base teleporter and the Pocket D teleporter. But there are a couple of other P2W store powers that can be particularly useful in getting from place to place as well. These two powers are effectively the same thing; they both have a 30-minute cooldown and will both teleport you to the currently selected door mission. It’s just that the Mission Teleporter only works on you and costs 1 million Inf, but the Team Transporter transports any team member in range and costs 10 millon Inf. (You can also use the Team Transporter solo.) Note that Team Transporter fires off in pulses; if you miss the first transport window, wait ten seconds or so and you’ll get another. Their use for getting to missions in distant zones (and in the Shadow Shard, as mentioned above) is obvious, but you can also use them as methods of zone transportation if you can call a contact giving missions where you want to go. Just get a mission there and use the teleporter. You can then call the contact back and drop the mission, if you don’t feel like doing it. Honorable mention goes to Assemble the Team and the Incarnate Incandescence Destiny power, for making it possible for you to port the rest of the team to the mission if they're in the same zone when you get to the door. At 10 million Inf, the Team Transporter is one of the most expensive powers available from P2W, but the first time a Shadow Shard Task Force sends you to Paragon City, then sends you back to the Shadow Shard again, you'll agree it's worth every penny. (All the more so because those Task Forces usually repeat this particular trick multiple times. That's part of why the Dr. Quaterfield TF used to take over eight hours to complete, but can now be done in about three.) If you have trouble affording that amount, this other guide I wrote could help with that. AUCTIONHOUSE TELEPORTERS In the I25+ version of City of Heroes, you can now access the auctionhouse anywhere you are (outside of a mission or supergroup base) thanks to the /AH command. But in the old "Live" version of the game, this command was a tier 8 Veteran Reward. If you couldn't use it yet, you had to travel to where one of the auctionhouses was physically located to be able to place and check bids. To make this easier, there were various teleport powers you could obtain that would take you to an auctionhouse when you fired them off. These powers are still in the game—and while they may no longer be necessary in order to trade, they can still be very useful in getting around. There are two different varieties of these powers you can obtain. Under the "Fixed Price" category, the auctionhouse sells teleporters that will take you to each different variety of auctionhouse in the game—the Consignment House, the Black Market, the Trading House, or the Underground Trader. They cost 10,000 Inf each. Due to a bug the way the game stands right now, you can buy more t han one charge—but you might as well not, because the power itself will be deleted when you use it no matter how many charges you have on it. Still, 10,000 Inf is practically a pittance, so you might as well grab one. (The Auctionhouse lists teleporter Inspirations, too, but these apparently no longer exist in the game. The only one you can actually buy is the round power icon.) The other variety comes from the Day Trader Day Job, which you obtain by logging your character out at an auctionhouse location. While you're logged out, you'll slowly earn uses of an Auctionhouse teleporter power (which you can have multiple charges on). Once you earn the Day Trader badge for having spent 100 hours logged out there, you'll earn those uses faster. This is one of the only Day Job powers you can earn without needing an Accolade, and if you'd like to have an extra way to get around the city that you can use even when LFG is unavailable to you, you might as well get in the habit of logging out at an auctionhouse. Using any auctionhouse teleport power means you cannot use any other such power for 30 minutes. LONG RANGE TELEPORT I’ve not had any experience with this, the final power from the Teleportation pool, as I’ve never been moved to take it on any characters, but as I understand it, it works more or less like the transit system—firing it off gives you a list of zones you can teleport to, depending on your alignment and where you currently are. I imagine it could be convenient to have, and maybe thematically relevant to a character for RP purposes—but look at what you’ve just read in this guide. There are already so many ways to get somewhere else quickly for free, why would you spend one of your precious 24 power slots on something like that? YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE So, with all these teleport powers at hand, where can’t you easily get from somewhere else? Not so many places. Really, there are only a handful of zones that can only be reached by going through a door from another zone. There are the Sewer and Abandoned Sewer, and the network of troll tunnels under the Hollows where the Cavern of Transcendence is. There are the PVP zones, and extreme hazard zones like the Hive and the Abyss. For those, you need to know what they’re connected to and where to go to get there. And you’ll learn those things the longer you adventure in the game. But for the rest, getting to any particular zone should simply be a matter of choosing whichever method is most easily available to you and using it. Hopefully, this guide gave you some good ideas of where to start. TRAVEL PLANNING It's beyond the scope of this guide to go into too much detail on where within a zone any given travel method will put you, but as you spend time traveling around, you'll start to learn these things for yourself from experience. And when you do, you'll find you can start making decisions of which method to used based on where it puts you. For example, if you ask a Task Force teammate who's gone on ahead what part of Steel Canyon a mission is in and they say "in the southwest, near the Perez Park entrance," you'll know that the closest exit to that part of the zone would be to take a Consignment House Teleporter to Wentworth's—you'd have to cross the whole width of the zone if you took the south tram line, and the supergroup base teleporter puts you all the way across the zone in the northeast. (And the LFG porter would kick you off the TF, so that's not even an option.) In big zones like Independence Port, this sort of planning can make a considerable difference. In any case, once you've been able to put some time into learning these ways to get around, before too long you'll find that you're now one of those people with the expertise to leave their less-savvy teammates in the dust. If and when that happens, be sure to message those teammates the link to this guide! As always, if I made any mistakes, left anything out, or you have other useful advice to add, please hit that reply button and let me know! I will update the guide as necessary. Thanks for reading my guide, and thanks for any feedback you have to offer.
  18. This will be pretty thrown together as I need to do other things tonight, but I felt we could use it right away. Basically, the ideal situation for first time Beta Testing is to backup your existing installation, point the installer at a different location, and cleanup as needed. Backup Tequila: Download New Launcher: Install New Launcher: Alternate Install Location: Launcher Main Screen (Initial Install): Launcher Main Screen (General): Login Management via Browser: Settings Basics: Basics of the File Structure: And that's it basically. Just a down and dirty thing I did, but if I had time I'd probably made it more magical (someone else please do!).
  19. The Mean Missions Guide or A villainous journey to 50 without powerleveling The Story is Actually Good - even if you're not! 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. The story is in the Rogue Isles less tied to geography than in Paragon City and more about themes and recurring enemy groups. I think that's pretty fitting for a villain. You're not there to make the world a better place for the greater good - you're there to make it a better place for you. You're playing the long game, here. Some storylines that start off in the single-digits don't really come to fruition until endgame. Some themes are also a bit inconsistent - the Destined One storyline sort of drifts in and out and it's counter-intuitively easy to miss it altogether if you're not directed to one particular contact. 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. Things I just think are cool. One important thing to note is that in the Rogue Isles and in Arachnos, in order to succeed you must show that you deserve success. Your contacts are rarely nice people and you are rarely doing nice jobs. Several missions give you a choice between mercy and murder, but that’s about as selfless as you’re going to get. Contacts aren't trustworthy and you need to start off small before you make a name for yourself. You have to prove your worth, repeatedly, and be prepared to defend your status. Please don't take this as canonical or anything like that - feel free to wander off the beaten track and read the comments below for other recommendations. Notable omissions are anything I think is too much of a faff to unlock and some out of the way contacts - I couldn't realistically fit everything in and redside contacts often have requirements before you can talk to them. Also not touched upon are tip missions, although I would say it's worth working through them to unlock your character as a rogue 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). As with my blueside guide, I'll periodically add to this to flesh it out as I go. Any feedback is really welcome! Contacts and Brokers One of the key difference between blue and redside mission gameplay is the fact that you have to unlock several contacts in a zone by first doing newspaper missions then a bank heist then unlock the contact. I’ll mark these where I can, but be aware that if you can’t see a contact you might need to go through a broker first. Remember - a theme redside is that you're nobody until you've earnt the right to be somebody, so why would contacts talk to someone so beneath them as you? You're just this fool who stumbled out of the Zig (or Galaxy City) with some help from Arachnos? Another key difference is how story arcs are linked - blueside and neutral/goldside zones tend to have a chain sequential contacts that move you along a narrative while redside quite often has two-contact chains with themes that are returned to in later zones. Included below are the names of the contacts, in order, with level bands taken from the wiki. 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" Travel Redside zones are harder to navigate in places. The Arachnos map designers must have got a special deal on dangerous walkways and improbably large walls. I suggest grabbing one of the flight powers from the P2W vendor if you’re not a flier for those times when ground navigation is too difficult. A Note for Soldiers and Widows The Villain Epic Archetypes have their own contacts and missions and I recommend doing them when they pop up. They explore Arachnos lore and show why you’re not just another grunt and I think they're worth doing. Do be cautious about not overshooting your levels, though. Suggested Path Some of these, particularly in the late game, have a lot of crossover with my blueside missions guide. Redside never really had a high enough population to support addition of new red-only content so at a certain point you’ll have to dip into more neutral territory. Occasionally, things will deviate a bit but this is broadly the direction we'll be heading in. Redside has a lot more overlap than blueside and the zone level distribution is a bit... odd. Tutorial > Mercy Island > Port Oakes> Cap Au Diable > First Ward & Sharkhead Isle > Night Ward & Nerva Archipelago > St Martial > Grandville, Cimerora & Ritki War Zone. 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. Breakout runs you through the basics of your standard door and explains how you, well, break out of the Zig. I recommend doing it at least once. Galaxy City is, in my opinion, less good as a tutorial and not really connected to the early redside story arcs. If you're concerned about character concept, Galaxy City has your fall to villainy happen on-screen, which you could either explain as an act of desperation in dire circumstances leading you down a path of selfishness in the name of self-preservation (useful for future rogues?) or you could be more vague about how you ended up in the Zig in the first place. Your call, really. When you’re finished, you’ll end up in... Mercy Island 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 fun little story arc that acts as a giant lore dump. 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. Pause your XP at level 7. Operative Kuzmin > Fire Wire or Doctor Weber > Lt Harris I enjoyed Fire Wire’s mission a bit more, but there’s not too much in it. Lt Harris’ last mission is quite distasteful and you may want to skip it if abusive relationships or stalking are a specific trigger. This mission is unusually dark if you actually follow the dialogue, which is unusual as the rest of the redside content is more akin to cartoon supervillainy. Whatever you choose, talk to Dr Graves for an 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. Kallinda > Mongoose are worth visiting as she provides some insight into your status as a Destined One, which is a recurrent theme throughout the redside story, and he gives pops up later. Matthew Burke > Doctor Creed provides some general background stuff about the snakes and foreshadows something that'll turn up waaaaay later. Port Oakes After the very busy Mercy Island, Port Oakes feels a bit desolate but the few arcs that are here are very good. Make sure you do Mr Bocor’s mission to retrieve the Loa Bone – it’s a nice little temporary power. Angelo Vendetti (5-9) > Mr Bocor (5-9) > The Radio (10-14) I'd recommend then going back and finishing Dr Graves' next two story arcs - it's more tutorial stuff and the writing is wildly inconsistent, but it has a pretty satisfying ending that has a crossover to the blueside equivalent and has some foreshadowing for one of the Patrons. Pause your XP at 10 until you’ve started The Radio then pause it again at 14. Cap au Diable You'll want to hit the brokers for this one. Dr Aeon seems to be the recurring lore point - he turns up much later. I'd start with Dr Shelley Percey - her arc and the one that she introduces are by far the more interesting ones here. Sadly, this is the point where you'll have to start grinding newspaper missions to get bank heists to unlock contacts from brokers. I highly recommend getting a form of stealth if you're running them solo to just save time. Dr Shelley Percey (10-14) > Marshal Brass (15-19) Dr Percey has a good mission after her story arc about the Council and nictus, which is a lore point that'll turn up later in Cimerora and beyond, but it also drops some good temporary powers. Martial Brass has a lot of stuff about Dr Aeon. Martial Brass also awards you the Entrusted with the Secret badge, which allow you to access Ouroborous, which is your go-to locale for time-travel and avoiding the ferry. Peter Themari (10-14) > Willy Wheeler (15-19) has bit of lore about about Longbow and Legacy Chain, both of whom are recurring enemies. Dmitri Krylov (10-14) > The Golden Roller (15-19) has a bit of lore about Facemaker and some fairly disparate missions. Bane Spider Reuben (15-24) has an enjoyable story arc and I also recommend Brother Hammond's (15-24) arc for some Luddite fun. Neither of them require brokers. Before You Move On Now would be a good time to do Death From Below and Drowning in Blood if you haven’t already done them as well as Virgil Tarikoss’ strike force. Seer Marino in Mercy Island should now be available as a contact that I recommend doing as has a good amount of Ghost Widow lore as is generally just quite well done. Your goal is to get to level 20, when you can swing over to Face and speak to the Facemaker herself to earn an additional costume slot. 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 Cap au Diable and do the short tutorial there by speaking to Dean John Yu. Ashley McKnight (14-50) just outside the university can provide you access to the exclusive Midnighter Club, which you'll need to be part of much later on. Now would also be a good time to do the Silver Mantis strike force that starts in Sharkhead Isle. It's nothing special, but getting to level 22 will is helpful for IO purposes. Next, there are actually several very good, very overlapping zones that I suggest you kind of do in tandem if you're careful. Be aware that First Ward and Night Ward move into Praetorian lore, which is much less relevant for villains than heroes. I think they're too well made to not do at least once, though. Sharkhead Isle This is the point, in my opinion, where redside missions start to come into their own and you move from lackey to a more arcive player in the wider Rogue Isles story. Remember to run some newspaper missions to get the brokers on your side if you need to. Vince Dubrovsky (20-24) > Cage Crash (20-24) > Diviner Maros (25-29) is one of the standouts here, in my opinion as it introduces the first real Captain Mako lore. Dean Macarthur (20-29) is the first contact I'd head for as he doesn't need a broker's introduction and his whole story arc is just really fun and he introduced Leonard (20-29) who continues the same story. This is such a Saturday Morning Cartoon storyline that you really shouldn't miss it. Vincent Ross has the other story arc I'd really recommend doing as it has a decent story and doesn't need a broker. More Legacy Chain hijinks. You should also have the Bling badge by now, so I'd recommend seeking out Doc Buzzsaw (25-29) for her set of missions, which tie into the general lore of the zone and the Freakshow group. Lock your XP gain at level 29 and keep it there throughout First Ward if you go there. First Ward - optional 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 Carter Mortesen in Cap au Diable. Carter Mortesen > 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 in a team of eight 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. Nerva Archipelago There is a lot of lore here that turns up at end game so all three story chains are surprisingly relevant if you want to know what's going on. Keep your XP locked to 29 until you've unlocked the initial contacts - yes, this will mean churning through a lot of newspaper missions. I hate the broker system. Due to the slightly dense level ranges here, you may find it easier to unlock the 25-29 contacts, level up elsewhere and then come back at level 34 for the next wave. Darla Mavis (24-29) > Psimon Omega (30-34) > Technician Naylor (35-39) introduces Nemesis, who is a big player blueside and is part of the excellent Signature Story Arc Pandora's Box. Shadowy Figure (24-29) > Timothy Raymond (30-34) > Kelly Uqua (35-39) is your first real introduction to Ritki redside, and you'll see them later in the Ritki War Zone. Lt Demitrovich (24-29) > Operative Rutger (30-34) > Magu Mu'Drakhan (35-39) has a number of heroes if you want a challenge but it the least lore focussed of the three in this version of the levelling journey - it has a lot relating to the Circle of Thorns and the Mu. Bobby Curtin (25-29) is an excellent contact if you're a rogue, with some excellent morally ambiguous choices. Night Ward - Optional 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 but lock your XP to 34 if you're zone hopping. Alternatively you can go up to 34, head to St Martial and do some missions there and then head back. 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. Before You Move On Now would be a good time to visit Mr Rodney in Cap au Diable for the old cape and aura unlock missions, then swing round to Face and speak to Gorgeous Glenda to unlock an additional costume slot. I'd also recommend using your Ouroborous portal and speaking to Mender Tesseract (25-34) and Mender Lazarus (30-39) for some time-travel shenanigans. Pause your XP at 34. St Martial Hardcase is a very worthwhile contact here as he has four story arcs with two at 30-34 and two at 34-39. Johnny Sonata (35-39) has a set of missions that link back to Hardcase's set, but you need the Obsessed badge (which isn't hard to get). Of the broker-unlock missions, Voracious Virandi (30-34) > Jezebel Jones (35-39) is the one I'd recommend for story reason. There are a few other contacts here that are unlocked via badges, but I'll leave those to your discretion. Before you leave St Martial, you can visit Lovely Linda (40-50) in Face to open up your level 40 costume slot. Lock your XP gain at 44. Grandville The final redside zone and home of the four Patrons, all of whom have had at least some foreshadowing by now. You'll first be sent to Arbiter Rein to choose your patron and cannot speak to them until you've done this. I'd argue that Ghost Widow and Scirocco have the most relevance in terms of lore, with Captain Mako and Black Scorpion having interesting but less important roles from a player perspective. All four of them have four story arcs (two starting at 40, two at 45) and all four of those are pretty good. They also all have (roughly) the same end-goal, which is also the end of you Destined One storyline. Aside from the patrons, there are a lot of worthwhile contacts in this zone. Westin Phipps (40-44) shows a much darker side of Arachnos than you've been hitherto been allowed to see. Terence Dobbs (40-44) deals with the Arachnoids, which you may remember from waaaaay back in Mercy Island. His follow up contact is Dr Forrester. Television (45-50) is a follow up to the Radio's earlier storyline. Vernon von Grun (45-50) has an excellent arc fighting the Devouring Earth. Operative Grillo (45-50) has some Snake-focussed missions that give some closure to your work in Mercy Island. Cimerora 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 villain-specific contact named Sister Airlia (40-50) with some missions that send you back to Rogue Isles and this zone ends with the glorious Imperius task force. Ritki War Zone 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. What's next? Well, it's time for some incarnate-level content, but that's outside of the remit of this guide. I know it's a bit short for now, but I'll add to it over time. 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!
  20. ---File links are Current as of 11/02/2020--- ***Tested on Mojave and Catalina*** I'll try to keep this up to date, but make sure to check Manga's original thread for the most current file (should it be updated again). This guide is a visual walk through of "Method 2". Backup Island Rum Install New Launcher Create a Launcher Shortcut First Launch Post Install Migration
  21. Well.... Here we go again. If you've read my other "guide" on my Fire/Energy Tank, then you'd know to stop reading right now. To those of you mad enough to continue on, I'd like to introduce you to my new love affair, MeEp. MeEp is my Fire/Dark Affinity/Fire Controller, a sadomasochists wet dream, a demon boi from Hell (who would have thought?). I hadn't played him in a long while, but decided it was time for a respec due to the changes to Fade no longer receiving +special buffs. And wow, what a success this has been. My goal was to reach 45%+ defense to Melee/Ranged/AoE despite Fade no longer getting extra defense from Clarion. And I was able to do so. So without further ado... Let's dive into it! Fire Control& You® Why? - Because any other secondary means you can't burn Nazis! MeEp takes great joy in burning Nazis in the physical plane, only to meet them once again in the depths of Hell. The damage is great, the knockback (or rather, knockdown) is GLORIOUS and the visuals are stunning. Notice a theme here? Neither do I. Fire hot, fire good, FIRE FUN. Now, let's go over the powers in GREAT detail. Ring of Fire - I'll spare you a Johnny Cash reference here, you'll need all the reprieve you can get from this madness. You're welcome. Ring of Fire is great! I've debated swapping this out for Fire Blast from the APP, but the difference in damage is neglible AND you can use this at low levels if you take it at a low level (and you should). Also, I lied. Take this power and unleash your inner Johnny Cash on unsuspecting victims. Char - Any good chef knows the secret to a good steak is just the right amount of char. S**t, thought I was on the Chicago Chefs Forums.. Umm.... I mean, this power is also great? Yeah. That's it. This is part of your ST rotation and also can stack an incredibly high magnitude of hold on your enemies. Take it, spam it, love it and use the power of Char to win over your enemies hearts... And stomachs. Fire Cages - If I could fall in love with a power... It would be this one, but also like 6 or 7 others. I'm a polygamist and you can't tell me it's wrong. Just take this power, burn Nazis and stop asking questions. This will help set up containment, keep mobs in your patches of super bouncy fun time and doom and also make your enemies visually stunning. It's a win-win for everyone involved. Smoke - Smoking is bad for you, but good for your enemies? I don't know. All I know is that I've never liked this power, especially in a meta that is so farkin fast. Which is a shame, because it IS a good power. It's just not a good power for me, and this build is so intricately woven.. There's just no room for it. Save your smoke for you, why would you want to smoke up your enemies? Hot Feet - Ahhhhh yeah! Say goodbye to your endurance bar! I love this power. Mainly because it forces me to be in PBAoE range at all times, which is EXACTLY how you should be playing this build, but it's also a unique power amongst Controllers. Once you get containment set up, you'll watch mobs melt as your DoT's tick away. It's epic. Flashfire - This is where I'll be giving some Controller veterans an aneurysm. I rarely use this power. I repeat, I rarely use this power. Take a stroll through the Controller forums and you'll see some of the veteran Controllers all saying the same thing: The meta is so quick, control powers are oftentimes obsolete. Flashfire + Howling Twilight takes 5.54 seconds to activate between the two. This is a LIFETIME on teams that ROFLstomp everything in their way and those 5.5 seconds can be better used on other powers like Tar Patch or Bonfire. I really only open wth this on low level teams. Cinders - I really want to like this power.. I really do. And I would, if I had the room to put it in this build. But I need to reiterate again, this build is TIGHT, so tight.. And I just can't find a way to utilize it. Which is a shame, because it activates SO quickly. But it also has a 240 second base recharge.. Which is awful. You'd be better off stacking Flashfire + Howling Twilight to shut down mobs. Bonfire - Now, the world don't move to the beat of just one drum, what might be right for you, may not be right for some. I don't think the people who came up with this ever played a Fire Control Controller... Bonfire is incredible. Slot the Overwhelming Force KB->KD IO and make your own drum beats! Bonfire + Tar Patch + Fire Cages is enough to completely neuter most mobs. The damage mitigation from this power alone is huge. Drop it on a group of enemies, jump into the middle of them and /e drum your heart out. Fire Imps - These little bastards.... I love them to death but they are SO reckless. It's a good thing you can buff them into oblivion so they can die anyways. Darkness Affinity& You® Why? - Because any other secondary restricts your access to the depths of Hell, where you can further torment the Nazis you put down. It's a literal tool-box full of everything you could possibly want. Defense debuff resistance? Check. Turn your entire team into emissaries of darkness? Yup. HP and endurance management? Mmmmmmmhmmmmm. Fluffy? F**k YEAH! This has quickly become my favorite Controller secondary.. And for good reason. So let's go over those reasons. Twilight Grasp - I can't even begin to tell you how many times I was kicked out of WalMart for stealing copies of Twilight... I couldn't tell you why I did it.. But just know that I did. And here we are. This "almost" helps keep your Imps alive... "Almost". Tar Patch - A match made in heaven for Bonfire. Open up the gates of Hell and torment your enemies. This used to be more effective back when Controllers/Corrupters had Defender debuff values for this power. I hardly notice, it's still great! And also.... it stacks! Drop Tar Patch whenever it is up. You won't regret it. Darkest Night - Just take it... Okay? Another power I use infrequently. I mostly use this to anchor a distant mob when I am at aggro cap. That way, when the Tank (or my whole team) finally catches up to me and takes the aggro I've acquired away from me, the mob I have this anchored to will come to me and my patches of DOOM. Useful for herd management and hard target debuffing. Howling Twilight - AWWWHOOOOOOO!!!!! "The wolve's howls echoed through the night, sending a chill down my spine." Love the sound this power makes... It doesn't sound like wolves at all.. But a demon boi can dream. Useful for rezzing your teammates (which should be as immortal as you if you are doing your job) and also helpful for making hard targets squishy! Throw this on an AV as well as a few applications of Twilight Grasp and you can substantially reduce an AV's regeneration rate. Shadow Fall - Ohhh.. So edgy, so cool. One of the few powers that offers resistance to Psionic damage for yourself AND your teammates! And it's only one of two in this set that do so! Take it... My Satan... Take it!!!! Fade - Oh yes... This power. Let me TELL YA about this power. First... You want this perma, and it is on this build. Second.. It offers defense debuff resistance! To my knowledge, it is the only power that does so on a team wide level, outside of Ageless. This is HUGE. How many resistance based builds are rocking 45% defense to S/L/E/N or Melee/Ranged? A lot. And this further bolsters those defense while also giving DDR? So good! It also offers resistance to various damage types, most notably, Psionics. Take this power and make it perma, ASAP. Soul Absorption - It just keeps getting better! Imagine if Regeneration Aura and Recovery Aura had a child and it became the spawn of Satan. That is this child. Nurture this child, it commands you. You can make this perma, and you should. This completely remedies your endurance woes, and believe me, there are endurance woes when running Hotfeet on top of the other toggles this build is running. This power is amazing and should be prioritized the second it becomes available AND you are surrounded by foes that are dead or alive. Black Hole - Finally a power that does exactly what the name implies. This power SUCKS. Next!!! Dark Servant - FLUFFY!!! It's always there, lurking, watching... He's been with you ever since you were a child, hiding in the shadows. Corrupting anyone who gets close to you. The bond you share with Fluffy is immeasurable. Respect it and it will respect you. Alright, now that THAT'S over. Let's dive into the build. Quick stats at a glance: Perma Fade, Soul Absorption and Hasten (with one FF +Recharge proc) 1,461 HP with accolades + set bonuses (1,257 HP with no accolades) 46% Defense to Melee/Ranged/AoE 39-42% Defense to all damage types 34.6% Defense debuff resistance 75% Resistance to Smash/Lethal 62.1% Resistance to Fire 49.8% Resistance to Negative Energy 45.2% Resistance to Cold 43.8% Resistance to Psionic 34% Resistance to Energy 8% Resistance to Toxic 28.5 HP/sec with 1 stack of Soul Absorption 5.52 End/sec with 1 stack of Soul Absoprtion 101% Global recharge (before Hasten) Team buffs: 24% Defense to all 34.6% Defense debuff resistance 35.85% Resistance to Psionic/Negative Energy 19.96% Resistance to Energy 15.89% Resistance to Smash/Lethal Perma Soul Absorption Strategy: Aggressive. When exemplared, I play a tad bit more cautiosly, often opening up with Flashfire +Howling Twilight before engaging mobs and dropping Tar Patch or spamming Fire Cages. At 50+ I throw no caution to the wind. I engage every mob first, always. It takes some time to drop Tar Patch and Bonfire, and I prefer to do that BEFORE my team engages. Otherwise, by the time you get all your goodies set up, the team has already killed them. This allows you to utilize your powers to the fullest extent. I cannot stress that enough. Aggressive play is going to get you the most bang for your buck. Anyways, here's the build! Let me know what you think or if there is any room for improvement. Off the top of my head, maybe taking the Agility Alpha would open up the door to save some slots, but endurance can be a bit taxing if you don't take Cardiac. There are a lot of things I'd like to add.. The Kismet IO, Power Transfer chance for heal IO... But as it stands, if I change even one IO, I lose 45% defense to all or perma Hasten. Hero Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer https://github.com/Crytilis/mids-reborn-hero-designer Click this DataLink to open the build! Level 50 Magic Controller Primary Power Set: Fire Control Secondary Power Set: Darkness Affinity Power Pool: Speed Power Pool: Leaping Power Pool: zc_Leadership Power Pool: Fighting Ancillary Pool: Fire Mastery Hero Profile: Level 1: Char -- SprWiloft-Acc/Conf/Hold/Immob/Sleep/Stun/Fear(A), SprWiloft-Conf/Hold/Immob/Sleep/Stun/Fear/Rchg(13), SprWiloft-EndRdx/Rchg(15), SprWiloft-Acc/Conf/Hold/Immob/Sleep/Stun/Fear/EndRdx(15), SprWiloft-Acc/Conf/Hold/Immob/Sleep/Stun/Fear/EndRdx/Rchg(25), SprWiloft-Rchg/Dmg%(27) Level 1: Twilight Grasp -- TchoftheN-Acc/Heal(A), TchoftheN-Acc/EndRdx/Heal/HP/Regen(11), TchoftheN-Heal(13) Level 2: Fire Cages -- PstBls-Acc/Dmg(A), PstBls-Dmg/EndRdx(27), PstBls-Dmg/Rchg(29), PstBls-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(29), PstBls-Dam%(31) Level 4: Tar Patch -- RechRdx-I(A) Level 6: Ring of Fire -- Apc-Dmg(A), Apc-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(7), Apc-Acc/Rchg(7), Apc-Dmg/EndRdx(9), Apc-Dam%(11) Level 8: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(9) Level 10: Darkest Night -- EndRdx-I(A) Level 12: Howling Twilight -- RechRdx-I(A) Level 14: Flashfire -- AbsAmz-Stun/Rchg(A), AbsAmz-Acc/Stun/Rchg(37), AbsAmz-Acc/Rchg(37), AbsAmz-EndRdx/Stun(37), AbsAmz-ToHitDeb%(40) Level 16: Shadow Fall -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(17), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(17), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(21) Level 18: Combat Jumping -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(19), Rct-ResDam%(19) Level 20: Fade -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def/Rchg(21), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(23), Ags-ResDam(23), Ags-ResDam/Rchg(25), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(42) Level 22: Super Speed -- BlsoftheZ-Travel(A), BlsoftheZ-Travel/EndRdx(42), BlsoftheZ-ResKB(42) Level 24: Hot Feet -- Arm-Dmg(A), Arm-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(34), Arm-Acc/Rchg(34), Arm-Dmg/EndRdx(36), Arm-Dam%(36), FuroftheG-ResDeb%(36) Level 26: Bonfire -- OvrFrc-Dam/KB(A), FrcFdb-Rechg%(50) Level 28: Soul Absorption -- NmnCnv-Heal(A), NmnCnv-Heal/Rchg(33), NmnCnv-Heal/EndRdx/Rchg(33), EffAdp-EndMod(33), EffAdp-EndMod/Rchg(34) Level 30: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(31), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(31) Level 32: Fire Imps -- SvrRgh-Acc/Dmg(A), SvrRgh-Dmg/EndRdx(43), SvrRgh-Acc/EndRdx(43), SvrRgh-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(43), SvrRgh-Acc(46), SvrRgh-PetResDam(46) Level 35: Boxing -- Empty(A) Level 38: Dark Servant -- GldNet-Acc/Hold(A), GldNet-Acc/Rchg(39), GldNet-EndRdx/Rchg/Hold(39), GldNet-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg/Hold(39), GldNet-Dam%(40), GldNet-Rchg/Hold(40) Level 41: Tough -- GldArm-3defTpProc(A) Level 44: Fire Ball -- Rgn-Dmg/Rchg(A), Rgn-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(45), Rgn-Acc/Rchg(45), Rgn-Dmg/EndRdx(45), Rgn-Knock%(46) Level 47: Fire Shield -- UnbGrd-ResDam(A), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(48), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(48), UnbGrd-Max HP%(48) Level 49: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(50), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(50) Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A) Level 1: Containment Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Qck-EndRdx/RunSpd(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Quick -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Rush -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Surge -- Empty(A) Level 1: Sprint -- Empty(A) Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A) Level 4: Ninja Run Level 2: Swift -- Run-I(A) Level 2: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End(A), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(3), Mrc-Rcvry+(5) Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A) Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-EndMod(A), PrfShf-EndMod/Rchg(3), PrfShf-End%(5) Level 0: Freedom Phalanx Reserve Level 0: Portal Jockey Level 0: Task Force Commander Level 0: The Atlas Medallion Level 50: Cardiac Core Paragon Level 50: Pyronic Core Final Judgement Level 50: Reactive Radial Flawless Interface Level 50: Control Core Embodiment Level 50: Clarion Radial Epiphany ------------
  22. I am of the opinion that Radiation Armor is the best set in the game when IO sets are added to it. Stone Armor has more mitigation potential, but the usability of the set is diminished by the penalties and lack of mobility in Granite armor. Plus, your costume is ugly in Granite form. Dark and Electric come close to Radiation in terms of mitigation, but lack the utilities and QOL benefits provided by Radiation Armor. For the sake of comparison, all powers are assumed to be slotted with 3 standard level 50 IOs, except inherent fitness only receiving 1 IO. Skip to the first reply if you just want to look at the example builds. Key Powers - Particle Shielding: This is Radiation Armor's best power. It provides an unenhanceable 50% recovery bonus for 1 minute, an enhanceable regeneration bonus, and a fairly large (1100+) absorb shield. The only downside is the absorb bonus is not enhanced by healing bonuses from your Alpha slot. With enough recharge bonus, the cooldown can be brought down close to 30 seconds, making the regeneration buff practically permanent. If the shielding is counted as healing for the sake of comparison, combined healing so far (inherent Health + Particle Shielding) is around 60 HP/s before IO set bonuses, Willpower needs about 3 targets in range to achieve the same HP/s. If the shielding is counted as temporary health, it is about the same amount as Invulnerability and Stone Armor's bonuses of ~1120 HP. - Gamma Boost: When at full health and unenhanced, this power provides about a 36% bonus to recovery. For comparison, Willpower provides 30% base. Combining Particle Shielding with Gamma Boost results in the highest recovery available on Tankers. Endurance should not be a problem for you once you get Particle Shielding down to around 60 seconds recharge. - Beta Decay: An auto-hit aura that gives you recharge bonus and debuffs defense so you can hit things easier. Auto-hit means it will keep enemies around you taunted, when other sets often have an accuracy check on their taunt auras. - Radiation Therapy: At first glance, this may look like Soul Drain. However, it should be noted it heals for a large chunk and small amount of health with no targets hit, plus it heals for the same small amount for each target hit. In addition, it performs a regeneration debuff on all targets hit. Radiation Therapy can potentially heal for around 400 + 80 + 80/target, and have about a 16 second cooldown. Combined with the healing from above, that puts Radiation Armor around 90 HP/s effective healing with no targets hit, which is equivalent to Willpower with 8 enemies in range. - Ground Zero: The damage on this isn't important. The fact it hits up to 30 targets makes this power stand out. Effectively, you get a PBAoE taunt that puts you on the threat table of more than the target cap. This is extremely useful in situations where your team is swarmed, like ITF or LGTF. As enemies targeting you die off, the enemies you hit with Ground Zero start attacking you instead of allies. - Meltdown: This is a great emergency click power in the game if you choose to use it. The crash only takes 10% of your endurance instead of 100%, unlike most other crashes. Personally, I skip it, but you may want it. Brute builds sometimes take it and rotate between Meltdown and Rune of Protection for a constant +~20% resistance to all damage. TL;DR: Radiation Armor has the potential to get more endurance recovery than any other Tanker, rivals Willpower's healing, and has effectively the same health pool as Invulnerability and Willpower, before Incarnate powers. It has amazing aggro management and an emergency power that won't kill you. IO Slotting and Builds - Defense or Resistance? If you can't afford very rare sets or ATOs, go for S/L defense and recharge bonus. Use Rune of Protection and/or Meltdown to shore up your resists when needed. An example build is below. If you can afford very rare sets and ATOs, get as much resistance as you can while using pool powers and global IOs to fill in your defense. Rely on teammates to soft-cap, or don't worry about defense because you don't really need it with all of your effective healing and 90% resists to the most important damage types. A build with 90% S/L/F/E/T and 75% C/N/P is provided below. - Slotting Toggles: Don't worry about endurance reduction. Your recovery is so high that only TW can come close to pushing the limits of what Radiation Armor's recovery provides. - Suggested Secondaries: Anything can work with Radiation Armor. You can go for damage or control, though I prefer the latter on my Tanker so I'm filling the role better. Knockdowns provide a great way to control groups and keep them from attacking you and your teammates. Converting a knockback to a knockdown is also an option to make sets like Energy Melee tolerable. Notable sets with AoE knockdowns include Battle Axe, Electrical, Ice, Kinetic, Psionic, Super Strength, and War Mace. Super Strength and Electrical Melee both have AoE disorients and AoE knockdowns they can use frequently to keep enemies under control effects. Ice Melee has additional control in the form of slow effects and a sleep effect. Defense debuff sets help your teammates hit more often, but are is rarely needed at 50 due to IO sets and the vast amount of defense debuffs others on your team may have. Any of the "bladed" weapon sets debuff defense, plus several other sets, including Radiation Melee. Don't forget you already have a defense debuff in the form of Beta Decay. Dark Melee debuffs to-hit, which is equivalent to adding defense to yourself. Super Strength and Titan Weapons are go-to sets for dealing damage. If you want to make a DPS Tanker, they should be more viable after the upcoming buff. - Suggested Epic Pools: Your Epic pool choice may depend on your secondary and how many power selections you have free. Adding an extra AoE or control effect can help round out your build or provide some usefulness outside of just tanking things. Take fewer attacks from your secondary if you want more options at 50. You don't need every attack to be a tank. Earth Mastery gives you an AoE sleep, which is useful if your group pulls more than they can handle. Hit a cluster of enemies with this, then tank another cluster to lighten the pressure on your squishies. Mu Mastery gives you two targeted AoE abilities, which can act as a ranged AoE taunt, while dealing some damage or immobilizing a group. Pyre Mastery has a great AoE resistance debuff, as well as a targeted AoE power. Anything with a hold effect can be useful for shutting down an Immunes Surgeon from range, or stacking holds on Hamidon encounters. This also gives you access to IO sets with some great bonuses that are hard to otherwise obtain.
  23. 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!
  24. A REWARD MERIT VENDOR PRIMER or HOW TO WIN ON THE MERITS Sometimes it looks like an ATM; sometimes it looks like a person. But either way, the Reward Merit Vendor always sells the same things. A few of them are good deals, or are necessary for transferring large amounts of particular kinds of merits from one character to another. But the vast majority of things that the Reward Merit Vendor sells (Recipes, Enhancements, etc.) are actually not good deals, and you should definitely leave alone. In this guide, I will tell you what everything is, and why you usually shouldn't buy it. You see, most things on the Reward Merit vendor actually aren't intended to be good deals. They're intended to provide a price ceiling on sales of those things in the Auction House. If the prices in the Auction House should ever become ridiculously high, the Reward Merit Vendor provides an alternate way people can get those items. But the AH prices would have to be ridiculously high for the Reward Merit Vendor listing to be a good deal. DISCLAIMER: As with any guide that quotes current market prices, the accuracy of this guide is subject to change should market conditions dramatically change. Always verify current prices on the market before you follow any advice from a marketing guide. CONVERTING MERITS TO INF WITH ENHANCEMENT CONVERTERS OR BOOSTERS As I'll explain shortly, you can convert Inf(luence/amy/ormation) to Reward Merits just by turning in a million Inf to get one Reward Merit. (Or you can do it 10 at a time.) But the only way to turn Reward Merits into cash is by buying something with Reward Merits that you can sell in the Auction House. Exactly what will get you the most Inf for Merits can vary depending on current going rates, but it's nearly always going to be Enhancement Converters or Enhancement Boosters. (Other potential candidates can include Enhancement Catalysts or Unslotters, so you might want to check the current AH prices for those as well and do a little bit of division to work out what the most Inf per merit is. But you won't usually go wrong with Converters or Boosters.) Converters are nearly always in high demand (because they're crucial to a particular method of earning Inf quickly), so you can list them for 1 Inf each to take the current high bid, and usually get a good chunk of money fast. Likewise, Enhancement Boosters are in high demand because it takes 25 to 30 of them to boost a single Enhancement set out to +5, and some people will boost every Enhancement they slot rather than Attuning. Converters can get as cheap as 70,000 Inf or as high as 100,000 Inf (or more) each, but they're usually going to go for 80,000 to 90,000 (at least as of the time this guide was written). Enhancement Boosters fluctuate more widely, between 1 and 2 million many times. So, let's do a little math. Say that you bought 3 Converters for 1 Merit, listed them on the market for 1 Inf to make an instant sale, and they sold for 80,000 Inf each. That works out to 240,000 Inf, or 216,000 Inf after the market takes its 10% cut. If they sold for 90,000, that would be 270,000 Inf, or 243,000 after fees. Multiply that by 100 (as most Recipes and Enhancements cost 100 Reward Merits each), and you get 21.6 to 24.3 million. Say that you bought an Enhancement Booster for 5 Merits and placed it on the Auction House for 1 Inf to make an instant sale, and it sold for 1,000,000 Inf. That works out to 200,000 Inf per Merit, or 180,000 after the market's 10% cut. I just tried selling a few Boosters for 1 Inf myself and they sold for about 1.25 million Inf each—225,000 Inf per Merit, or 22.5 million per 100 Merits. It seems unlikely that you'd get as high as 2 million Inf unless you set your asking price higher and waited for demand to go up—which you could certainly do if you weren't in a hurry for the money. But if you are in a hurry, 1 to 1.25 million per Booster listed for 1 Inf is still a decent rate of return considering that you only have to sell 1/15 as many items as if you were doing Converters. (Now, you could list the Converters or Boosters for a higher price than 1 Inf, to make sure you get at least 90,000 Inf per Converter, or at least 1.5 million Inf per Booster, for example—but due to the way the Auction House works, everyone who priced theirs lower than you will get to sell theirs first. The price probably will rise high enough that yours will sell eventually, but if you're in a hurry you might not want to wait that long. And that's another reason I suggest going with high-volume items like Converters or Boosters—so many people want them that you're still going to get a quite decent rate of return on a listed-for-1-Inf instant sale, rather than encountering a lowball bid that gives you much less than you'd expect. That being said, if you do have plenty of time—you're going to be spending all day at work or school, or will be away for the weekend, or whatever—it might not hurt to try placing a few higher-priced sale listings and see how many of them move by the time you get back.) UPDATE: In a comment below, @seebs points out that there's actually another lucrative Merits-to-Inf conversion option, at least in certain circumstances: certain Uncommon recipes. If you spend 20 Merits on a level 10 Steadfast Protection Resistance/Defense IO and craft it for a few thousand Inf, it could sell for around 6 million Inf (5,400,000 Inf after the auctionhouse fee). That works out to 270,000 Inf per Merit, which beats out Converters and Boosters—though you may need to wait a while for the Enhancements to sell, whereas with Converters or Boosters you can get the money immediately. So, as a rule of thumb, you should only pay 100 Reward Merits for a Recipe or Enhancement from the Reward Merit Vendor if the price for that particular Recipe or Enhancement is over 22 million on the Auction House. (Which it nearly never is. Most ATO Enhancements tend to go for 7 to 10 million Inf each, for example. But there are a few exceptions, which I'll cover as we get to them.) If the thing is significantly cheaper than 22 million, then it would be a better deal to turn Reward Merits into Inf by selling Converters or Boosters, and buy the thing with the Inf you get instead. (Unless, of course, that thing isn't actually available on the Auction House, in which case getting it for Merits is going to be the only way to get it quickly at all.) ADDRESSING OBJECTIONS Now, some people may complain that they don't want to have to go through the inconvenience of selling 100 Merits' worth of Converters—but honestly, it's not really all that hard, or time-consuming. You just drag the Converters from your Salvage window into the Auction House, choose "10" when it asks how many you want—then the "10" will be autofilled from then on, so you just need to drag, drop, and click 29 more times. Then you can go to the first stored batch of Converters, fill in "1" for the amount, and then just click on "Post" on the top row repeatedly until all the rows are gone. It's a little repetitive, maybe, but I bet it won't even take you one whole minute to do. And they should sell instantly at that price, so then it's just a matter of clicking "Get All Inf" to pull down the cash. Plus, if you're just buying one ATO, you don't even have to sell all 100 Merits' worth. Maybe you just sell 40 or 50 Merits' worth, that should get you more than enough cash for a single ATO. And, of course, Boosters represent another comparable Merits-to-Inf conversion mechanism that will land you about the same amount of Inf per Merit but with considerably less clicking and dragging involved. My one caveat is that Booster prices may be a little more prone to fluctuation than those of Converters, just because they don't move at quite the same volume of sales. Thus, I still recommend Converters as the most consistently reliable way to get a good Inf return for your Merit investment. You see, Converters are in such high supply (from folks converting Merits to Inf, or selling off Super Pack contents for profit) and high demand (from folks converting Uncommon Enhancements into Rare Enhancements to turn a profit, as explained in the guide linked above) that their prices are generally stable. They tend to fluctuate within a 20,000-Inf range, but rarely go below that range. (I have standing bids for Enhancement Converters at 70,000 Inf on some of my characters, and they go days or even weeks between any of them coming in. The price just doesn't fall that far that often.) This means that you can list your Enhancement Converters at 1 Inf each for a quick sale and still be practically certain you'll get about the same amount of Inf as the previous listings in the sale history, without falling victim to a lowball bid. (There are no 100% certainties in the market, but this one's pretty close.) Enhancement Boosters are more likely to have lowball bids, but even their lowball bids are generally still a decent amount of Inf per Merit. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit that I don't usually actually sell most of the Converters that I buy for Merits, because I make enough money through using them to convert Enhancements that I don't have to. (Though given how many clicks it can take to get a profitable conversion, I may not be that much better off than Converter sellers in that respect.) But apart from Converters and Boosters, the other types of special salvage just aren't in as high a demand, and you can't be as sure there isn't a lowball bid lurking out there that would give you a lot less Inf per Merit than you expect if you list low for a quick sale—and if you list at a higher price for a better profit, who knows how long it will take before that sale comes in? As I already said, it would be a good idea to check the current market going rates for the various different types of special salvage and do the division to see which option is likely to offer a better deal at any given time. You might even try listing one of each type of Salvage at 1 Inf to see how much the current highest low bid is, and work your math on those figures, before you decide which one to start buying and selling in bulk at any given time. As I point out in the disclaimer above, the accuracy of this information is subject to change if market conditions change, so always verify current prices on the Auction House before you risk any Inf or Merits. REWARD MERIT VENDOR CATEGORIES Now I'm going to list off all the categories you'll find in the Reward Merit Vendor, and what's under each one. Note that what categories you see in the store depends on your level; level 1 characters only get the Conversion and Salvage lists. Note that above the categories, there is a slider that goes from level 1 to level 50. Some options aren't available above or below certain levels, so if there's a particular level of item you need, you'll have to slide the slider to the right place for it. INF. TO REWARD MERITS As mentioned above, you can turn 1 million Inf into 1 Reward Merit, or 10 million into 10 Reward Merits. However, this is a bad deal, because the most you could get for turning that Merit back into Inf is around 250,000 Inf. So you're losing 75% of your Inf's value right there. There's nothing you can get with Reward Merits that you couldn't get more cheaply with Inf instead, particularly at that exchange rate—so it's better to let your Inf stay Inf. If you're about to hit the 2 billion per character Inf cap, then just email some of it to an alt, or stick it in Auction House bids for items that will never come in, like level 53 Hami-Os. Converting it to Merits is a losing proposition. VANGUARD TO REWARD MERITS This is used for converting the Vanguard Merits you get from Rikti Mothership Raids (and, less frequently, defeating individual Rikti) into Reward Merits. The conversion rate is 30 Vanguard Merits to 1 Reward Merit (or you can do 300 Vanguard to 10 Reward, also). The conversion rate used to be 10:1, but that was a relic of the days when the codebase was used to run a private, much lower-population server, where it wasn't as easy to get Mothership Raids together. Even at 30:1, a MSR is still a better Reward Merit per minute return than many Task or Strike Forces–the 900 to 1200 Vanguard Merits you'll get from a just-over-half-hour Mothership Raid will convert into 30 to 40 Reward Merits. So this conversion isn't actually a bad deal. That being said, there are a lot of nifty things you can buy with plain old Vanguard Merits at the special Vanguard crafting tables, such as the Gr'ai Matter Shard-based component if you're working on your Incarnate Alpha. And you can convert them to Reward Merits any time you need to, but you can't convert Reward Merits back to Vanguard Merits again. So, unless you're in an immediate Reward Merit crunch, you might as well let them stay Vanguard Merits until you need to change them (unless you're approaching the 10,000 Vanguard Merit cap, of course). ASTRAL/EMPYREAN TO REWARD MERITS This option will let you change the Astral or Empyrean Merits you get from doing Incarnate content into Reward Merits, at a rate of 2 Reward Merits per Astral or 10 per Empyrean. (Since you can convert 5 Astral Merits to 1 Empyrean Merit via Luna on Ouroboros, this means the exchange rate stays consistent between the two.) The thing is, that's not necessarily a good idea. There's no way to convert Reward merits back to Astral or Empyrean Merits. Also, while Reward Merits are easy to come by, Astrals and Empyreans are considerably harder. Once you convert those Incarnate Merits away, you can't get them back again—but if you've already bought all your Incarnate powers, you can email the unneeded Empyrean Merits to your other characters, with the help of another conversion option a little further down this menu. That's a much better use for leftover Astral or Empyrean Merits that you no longer need. REWARD TO HERO/VILLAIN MERITS, AND VICE VERSA The email system City of Heroes uses has the annoying limitation that if you want to email items to different characters or people, you have to do it one at a time. Which includes Reward Merits. Emailing dozens of Reward Merits one Merit at a time could drive you nuts, but fortunately you don't have to. You can convert 50 Reward Merits into 1 Hero or Villain Merit, then email that Hero or Villain Merit to your global so you can claim it from an alt. You'll still have to send multiple emails if you're wanting to move hundreds of Merits—but at least you won't have to send hundreds of emails. (If you want to move fewer than 50 Merits, and earning enough to hit 50 isn't an option, you can always convert them into Inf by selling Converters or Boosters, and then email that instead.) Incidentally, it doesn't matter whether you use Hero or Villain Merits. Anyone of any alignment can claim and convert either kind back. However, you can only send them to your own global, not to anyone else's. (On the live version of the game, Hero and Villain Merits used to be the rewards for doing Alignment Missions, and had their own Merit Vendors. But that all went by the wayside when SCORE simplified everything down.) EMPYREAN TO TRANSCENDENT MERITS, AND VICE VERSA This is that option I was mentioning for sending your spare Empyrean Merits to other characters a couple of sections back. Just as with the Reward to Hero/Villain Merits conversion, you can convert 50 Empyrean Merits to 1 Transcendent Merit, which you can then mail to your global for another alt to claim and convert back. (As with Hero/Villain Merits, you can only send them to your own global.) ENHANCEMENTS The next category of purchases from the Merit Vendor is Enhancements. ARCHETYPE ORIGIN ENHANCEMENTS These are the Enhancements that come in the Heroes and Villains or Vigilantes and Rogues Super Packs available for 10 million Inf each under Special Salvage in the Auction House. They're all available for 100 Reward Merits each. As noted above, that's usually a terrible deal, because their going rate on the Auction House is less than half the Inf you'd get from selling 100 Merits' worth of Enhancement Converters. The only time I'd buy an ATO for Merits would be if I needed a specific one to complete a set and there weren't many for sale—and even then, it would be cheaper to buy another of the set that was more common and use Converters to convert in-set until I got the one I wanted. (Or even buy a random Super Pack and convert the Enhancement in that across archetypes then archetype sets until i got the one I wanted.) Of course, that only tells half the story. Many times, the ATO you want simply can't be had on the market at all, even to the point of no Enhancements in the entire set being available. That's one circumstance where it wouldn't be such a bad idea to buy it with Reward Merits if you need to—but if you don't mind a little tedium, you can still get those ATOs more cheaply in Inf than the equivalent cost in Merits. If you have the money (or can convert Reward Merits into the money), take 10 Million Inf and buy a Heroes and Villains or Vigilantes and Rogues Super Pack, from the Salvage -> Special category of the Auction House. You'll probably get at least 1 random ATO in it. (Or you might get two, or you might get none. If you get none, you'll just have to try again.) If the ATO is of the set you want, you got lucky. If not, use Enhancement Converters to convert by Rarity: Archetype Enhancement, until you get one of the two sets of the Archetype you want. (You've got 1 in 12.5 odds.) If the one you get is in the set you want, great. If not, convert one more time by Type: (whatever the Archetype you're going for is), and it will automatically turn into an Enhancement from the other ATO set for that Archetype. Then you can convert within the set until you get the exact one you want. (If you happen to hit upon one of the two Brute ATO sets along the way, though, you'd be better served to sell that and start over with a new Super Pack. The Brute sets tend to sell for so much that it would practically be throwing money away not to cash them in.) As long as you didn't have to spend more than 150 Converters all in all, you still saved money over the Merit cost. Yes, that could be tedious and fiddly. But on the other hand, if you enjoy pumping quarters into a slot machine and pulling the lever until you get a good result, you might discover this is that very same kind of fun—and doesn't cost you any quarters. EVENT ENHANCEMENTS This is where you can get the Hold, Melee, PBAoE, Ranged, and Targeted AoE sets that come out of the 25 million Inf Lords of Winter Super Pack, as well as the Overwhelming Force Universal Damage set from Summer Blockbuster. They're all priced at the same 100 Merits each. Overwhelming Force is another terrible deal, as it generally goes for 6 to 8 million Inf per Enhancement on the AH, but the Winter sets are a rare case where buying them for Reward Merits actually might not be a bad deal. Most of the Winter set IOs are priced above 20 million Inf on the Auction House, since the Super Packs they come from are too. So, if you're slotting something out with a Winter IO set, it might be less hassle to buy them for Reward Merits than to try to get them for cash. (Especially if there aren't many of them even available on the Auction House at the time.) You might lose a little value, but probably not enough to worry about. That said, you might still be better off to convert those Reward Merits to Inf, or use any Inf you already have on hand, to buy Winter Super Packs instead. Buy as many Super Packs as you need Winter Enhancements, then Convert any Winter Enhancement that isn't the set you want until it is the set you want. There are so few Winter Enhancement sets that it won't take too many conversions to get there, plus you'll get all the other stuff that came in those Super Packs for "free". SINGLE ORIGIN ENHANCEMENTS This option will let you buy any regular Single Origin Enhancement for 1 Reward Merit each. They're only available starting from level 20; if you move the slider below that, the option disappears. I suppose if you want to get your hands on them fast, without having to travel to a store, the convenience is worth something—but in a store, individual SOs are a lot cheaper than the 200,000+ Inf you'd get from selling one Merit's worth of Converters. And, of course, level 20 is 5 levels earlier than SOs are available in stores—so if you're level 17 and want to tide yourself over until you can start using IOs, that might be worth 1 Merit per SO to you. RECIPE Here you can buy Recipes for various types of craftable Enhancements for Reward Merits (though, generally, you shouldn't). Whether you buy them with Merits or not, remember that these are just the recipes, not the finished Enhancements. You're going to have additional costs of salvage and crafting to to take into account to get an Enhancement out of them. In the case of purple recipes, that could run to 2 million Inf per IO. IO SET These are the standard yellow and orange Invention Set Recipes that drop from adventuring or can be found in the Auction House. They are available only within the level ranges of the set in question—so if you want to buy a Kinetic Combat Recipe, for example, you'll need to move the level slider back down to 40. Orange Recipes are 50 Merits each; yellow Recipes are 20 Merits each. At first glance, it seems the price has to be ridiculously high on the Auction House for it to be a better bargain to buy for Merits. How many yellow Recipes regularly sell for 5 million Inf, and how many orange sell for 12 million Inf? But then again, as I noted above, certain yellow Recipes actually might be worth buying, if the crafted Enhancement sells for over 5 million Inf. For example, level 10 Steadfast Protection Resistance/Defense IOs cost very little to build, but were selling for around 6 million Inf as of the time I updated this guide with that suggestion. So, take a look at the auction house and see if any other Uncommon IOs are selling for enough to make snagging them worthwhile. (If any crafted orange Enhancements are going for over 12 million, they could also be a good deal—but this seems unlikely, given that the most expensive ordinary Rares tend to top out at around 7 to 8 million. Plus, they'll cost a lot more to craft, requiring Rare salvage as they do.) PVP IO SET These are the sets that used to drop only during PVP but can now be found in PVE content as well. Weirdly, these sets are orange on the Auction House, but show up as purple in the Merit Vendor. But whatever the reason for the color change, these are available at whatever level you can move the slider to, starting at level 10. Remember that PVP set bonuses will apply through the entire level range they're available without needing to be Attuned—so if you buy them at 50, don't Attune them. If you slot them when you're lower than 50 and Attune them so they will level up with you, when you get to 50 you'll want to unslot and sell them, then re-buy un-Attuned ones you can plus up. And I'm probably sounding like a broken record here, but again, these are way overpriced in Merits compared to their Inf cost on the Auction House. PVP recipes might get as high as 12 to 15 million Inf, but they don't usually reach the 22 million required for 100 merits to be a better deal. STANDARD INVENTION ENHANCEMENTS These are the very same recipes you can buy from your workbench, if you haven't memorized them yet. No matter what level you buy, 10 to 50, each recipe always costs 5 Reward Merits. And, again: buying these is not a good value for the Merits. From a workbench, a level 50 Common Damage IO recipe costs 464,000 Inf. 5 Reward Merits' worth of Converters would net you over 1 million Inf, even after AH fees. And the lower level and cheaper a recipe is, the worse the deal it is. Would you pay 5 Merits for a level 10 Damage IO recipe that you could buy for 1,700 Inf? I don't think so. And the recipes are usually even cheaper on the Auction House. VERY RARE IO SET These are your purple sets, only available at level 50. Like the PVP sets, these keep their set bonuses all the way down without having to be Attuned, so be sure to Boost the Enhancements after you craft them instead. Like the Winter Enhancements, these might be worth buying for Merits. Some of the more popular ones, like Hecatomb, do have Recipe prices 20 million Inf and up on the Auction House, which means that any extra amount you'd be paying in Merits probably isn't enough to worry over. But others, like Coercive Persuasion, only cost half that. Sometimes you might even be able to buy the crafted Enhancement for less in Inf than the Recipe would cost in equivalent Merits. However, bear in mind that the Auction House sale history can be deceptive in items with that low a sales volume. Often, it will only show the times someone popped a recipe up with a low asking price and the highest lowball bid got it, and you'll find out if you place your own bids and creep up by millions that there are not currently any recipes available near those prices. (If you know well before level 50 that you're going to slot a particular purple set, and you have the cash on hand, you'd be best served to place a few high lowball bids of your own and see how many of them you can win by the time you're 50 and able to slot them.) Remember the rule of thumb: if something costs very much less than 22 million Inf, it's a better deal to buy it with Inf instead. So, check the prices on the Auction House—and even try placing a few test bids, if you have the cash on hand—before you decide to spend your Merits this way. If the particular purple Recipe or Enhancement that you want can't be had for love or Influence, you might think that buying the recipe with Reward Merits is not a bad deal. 100 Merits is cheaper than not being able to get it at all. And that is true. However, there's one more thing you should try first: find some purple Recipe or Enhancement that is still available. It doesn't matter what set it's in. Buy and craft that Recipe or Enhancement, then stock up on Enhancement converters and convert it until it becomes the specific purple set and Enhancement you want. (For more details on how conversion works, see this other guide of mine.) There are few enough purple sets that it won't take very long to get to the right set, and you'll probably still end up spending less in Inf for the recipe and converters than 100 Reward Merits would convert to. REWARD ROLLS In this section, you can spend Merits to roll random items. For 1 Merit, you can get a random large Inspiration. (Bearing in mind that you're spending 250,000 Inf worth of Merits on that random Inspiration, and you can probably buy the specific one you want from the Auction House for much less than that.) For 5 Merits, you can get a random rare Salvage of various types or level ranges (spending over 1 million Inf worth of Merits on something that will only sell for around 450,000 to 600,000 Inf in the market). Or for 10 Merits, you can get a random rare Recipe at various level ranges—bearing in mind that you're spending 2.5 million Inf worth of Merits on something that will probably only be worth a few hundred or thousand Inf on the Auction House. Seriously, what is the point of this? SALVAGE In this section, you can buy Enhancement Boosters, Enhancement Catalysts, Enhancement Converters, and Enhancement Unslotters. Given that all of these items are so inexpensive individually, prices fluctuate; they may or may not be a good deal at any given moment, but they're so cheap that it's usually not worth worrying about it. If you need a bunch of Enhancement Boosters, and you have the Merits to spare, you might as well go for it. (Also, remember that the only thing you should be buying Catalysts for in any case is turning ATOs into their Superior versions; using them to Attune ordinary Enhancements is a waste of money when you could simply sell the un-Attuned Enhancement and buy the Attuned version from the Auction House for the same price.) Enhancement Converters and Enhancement Boosters are, as I've noted, usually the thing that selling gives you the most Inf per Merit. That being the case, they're the only two items in the store that I can unreservedly recommend purchasing with Merits. Since they're what you would use to turn Merits into Inf, then by definition you can't get a better Merit-to-Inf deal. BUT WHY CAN'T I WASTE MY MONEY? Actually, you can. If you have a compelling need for some item, and don't want to mess with selling Converters or Boosters or waiting for an AH bid to come in, you are certainly free to ignore my advice and spend the Merits. They're your Merits; you earned them. Do whatever you want with them. There are some times when convenience may outweigh wanting to fiddle around for several minutes in the name of saving a little value here and there—especially if what you're after can't be had on the Auction House right now. But if you're going to do that, you should do it in full awareness that this isn't the cheapest way to get the stuff you want, and you're consciously making the decision to spend more than if you bought in Inf—not just doing it because you didn't know any better. I hope you'll find this guide helpful in navigating the various options available in the Reward Merit Vendor stores, and in deciding exactly how those Merits can be best spent. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know in the replies below!
  25. This guide takes a different approach on explaining Hamidon Raids. There are currently two guides available with general information about the raids that can be useful to be read before this one: How to Hamidon Raid Virtue-Style, Addendum, Homecoming Edition - ROBOKiTTY Comprehensive Guide to Hami Raiding - Foxfyre This guide aims to be complementary, offering another perspective on different roles in a raid and where most player builds can fit in. Know Your Enemy Quick recap on the nucleus and its mitos: Mitochondria Antibodies (Yellows) Can be hit mostly by melee damage, or attacks lacking positional flags (e.g., Blind, Dominate, etc). They have very high defense against ranged attacks. Their ranged attack deal very high area damage and also does stun and knockback. They have a very strong damage aura that also deals stun and knockback. Mitochondria Electrolytes (Blues) Can be hit mostly by ranged and single-target attacks. They have very high defense anything melee or AoE, including ranged targeted AoEs and cones. Attacks without positional flags will hit them as well. Their ranged attack drains endurance at a fixed rate (20% per hit), reduces recovery, slows movement and recharge, and causes terrorize/fear. They have a damage aura that does all of the above at a much faster rate, so meleeing them can be very dangerous. Mending Mitochondria (Greens) They heal the other mitos and the nucleus. Can be hit by anything, but only after they are held. It takes a while to break their defenses with a full team of controllers. Their ranged attack causes Toxic (not Special) damage, reduces the target's ability to receive healing and reduces regeneration by a large amount. This debuff lasts more than 1 minute and it's extremely easy to stack enough to floor anyone's regeneration if they get enough hits. The Hami Taunter is usually the primary victim of this. They have 100% resistance to Taunt. They tend to hit whoever is closer to them. Hamidon (Nucleus) Its attacks deal a mix of every other effect listed above. It's not immune to Taunt, so a dedicated taunter is able to have its attention for the full raid. Know Your Strategy Check the guides linked above for details team formations. Usually we have a formation like this: Taunter Team: they hold the yellows' attention, taunting from range. The Hamidon Taunter is usually on this team. Melee Team: they kill yellows with focused melee attacks. Ranged Team: they kill blues with focused ranged attacks. Control Team: they kill greens with focused holds and damage. The other two teams in a league have mixed types of characters fitting varying roles. So if you don't make any of the teams above, you can still do what's expected of your role. This is what this guide aims to clarify. This guide is divided in three major sections: Roles by AT Targeter Roles Hamidon Tanker Role
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