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  1. 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!
  2. Anyone experienced enough in build making able to share an Elec/Devices blaster build?
  3. 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 smidgin of the way there—but as far as these powers are concerned, a smidgin 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 immediatelhy 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. 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 Core Paragon, because it boosted Damage Resistance and Taunt. It also boosted Immobilize, which I don’t use, but I sure do use Damage Resistance and Taunt. I didn’t deem it worth losing a chunk of the Damage Resistance bonus to also boost Intangibility, Stun, and To-Hit Buffs with Resilent Radial Paragon, because my Tanker doesn’t use Intangibility or Stun either, and my accuracy is good enough already that I don’t need to boost To-Hit Buffs. 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 (though you certainly can still do it if you want to see the story play out). Once you train, you’ll immediately start earning Incarnate XP—and not just from special Incarnate content, either, but from ordinary adventuring. 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.) 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!
  4. Time Manipulation Guide by Bopper Written: 30 July 2019 Last updated: 2 August 2019 (Information that might help new Time Manipulation players for any archetype) A Quick Note from the Author Introduction Links to City of Data Information So that covers the majority of the details you would want for Time Manipulation. Now, I will spend some time talking about each power including some anecdotes of what I like to do with them and also provide some opinions. Basically, if you don’t care about what I think, now is the time to check out. My Summarized Opinion of Time Manipulation More Opinions, Broken Up by Powers Concluding Remarks Revision History Not a Guide Writer!
  5. Ghost of Scrapyard and You Potter's Field Edition By GM Sijin Scrapyard not spawning on your server? This guide should help you get past that. If you just want the 'how to' skip to section II. I. Understanding how it works Soon we will see a new spawn method where you can get the Ghost of Scrapyard to spawn by defeating Scrapyarders in the zone. Until then, or if you want to spawn him the old fashioned way, here is what you need to know regarding his Potter's Field spawn location, which seems to be the problematic one that gets stuck. The protesting Scrapyarders will spawn randomly at 4 general locations and make their way to the rally point near Scrapyard's spawn point (green circle). They travel along paths as roughly outlined in the below image. Once they reach the rally point they will pick up signs and then path back to their spawn points. On this image the spawn points on the right side are straight north of the rally point which is the large tree in the graveyard with metal 'signs' around it and the sledgehammer statue nearby. The Ghost of Scrapyard will only spawn if a large number of protesting Scrapyarders (hint: it's more than a single person can aggro) are within the rally point at once. Scrapyarders that are not part of the event do not count. Needs confirmation: Uncertain if the protesting Scrapyarders will count if they are in combat. Also uncertain if they have to have picked up signs to count. Okay, but why doesn't he spawn normally here? The short answer is because not enough miners gather in the rally point at once. The long answer is that there's a lot of enemies they can encounter on their way to the rally point, and a lot of terrain they can get stuck on. Compounding this issue, the miners will return from the rally point to their spawn points after getting their protestin' signs, as already mentioned. Because the rally point requires so many of them to be within its radius at a time to trigger the spawn, what tends to happen is only (part of) 1-2 groups wind up being in the radius at a time. This is caused by them getting stuck on terrain and/or getting delayed/defeated by normal zone spawns. This results in situations where you have protesters that spawned, made it to the rally point, wandered back to their spawn point and probably a bunch that are stuck on the hills, as those circled in the image below. Another ~6 are stuck at the bottom of the hill in this example, obscured from being shown in the image. II. 'Fixing' the spawn You'll probably want at least two high level/damage players, but the more you have that can follow instructions, the easier the last step will be to pull off successfully. This may be very difficult to manage solo as a caveat, except maybe for an incarnate+ level character. Your tasks are fairly simple: Clear all non-protester enemies out from around the spawn points and the paths the protesters will take to get to the rally point Optional: At least one player parking near the rally point will prevent the majority of respawns along the paths, a good job for a lower level/damage player. This can help in case your kill squads get far enough away that respawns can happen. Now the hard part: As many of the protesters in both north and south locations, including ones stuck on rocks/walls, need to be defeated as quickly as possible without aggroing any newly spawned protesters. For this reason it may be best to pull the protesters a short ways away from the spawn points if possible Occasionally the entire spawn of miners will be on one side, in which case the other side should still have one person there to prevent normal respawns from aggroing any protesters that respawn on that side. The goal is to get as many of the newly spawned protesters to arrive at the rally point at roughly the same time as possible. If this is done correctly the Ghost of Scrapyard will spawn. Alternatively you could try to aggro and drag the protesters into the rally point. This'll require at least two people. If they count while in combat, Scrapyard should spawn fairly quickly if both people are near aggro capped. Let me know if that works! If not you can try to disengage by flying straight up and seeing if they'll count once they drop aggro, though they may spread out significantly.
  6. Background: The original draft of this is up on reddit, but I figured not everyone is on reddit, and I DO need to start posting here more. This is NOT be a detailed power-per-power analysis. This is more HOW TO PICK a secondary based on how it will feel to play than HOW TO PLAY it. This is math light - I've purposely abstracted most of it out, and am not addressing DPA. Players that are interested in DPA usually know their way around a build and won't find much in a guide like this. 🙂 Dominator Secondary general info: Most sets have the following: a weak ranged attack, a weak melee attack, a mid-damage ranged attack, a mid-damage melee attack, aim/buildup/power boost/etc., a cone attack*, a pbaoe, a snipe or utility and a heavy melee OR heavy range attack. The caveat for cones is that there are a couple things I treat as cones that aren't actually cones but that function the same way in play and have similar damage #s : earth's short range aoe Fissure and Martial's Trick Shot. Psi, fire and thorns have a faster animating and recharging T1 that does less damage than the other sets. Insta-snipe: Domination: All sets with snipe can have access to insta for the first 15 seconds of domination (+25% tohit, you only need +22%). Outside of Domination: None : Fire and Psi will need to rely on Domination and some combination of team buffs/tactics/yellow inspirations to get insta-snipes. Aim (Savage, Thorns) : Neither of the sets with aim have a snipe. Power-Boost/Gather Shadows (Dark, Earth, Energy, Ice): Earth and Ice lack a snipe. Dark & Energy can get insta-snipe during powerboost by slotting tactics with 1 SO (20% tohit) and using the Kismet +6% proc. Build-Up (Elec, Rad) : Will require +tohit slotting (>30% worth) or Kismet +6% tohit proc to get build-up (and Rad's Fusion) up to 22%. Envenomed Blades: MA has what looks to be an OP version of fiery embrace that provides a base of 12% tohit that can be made very close to perma. With ~35% tohit slotted and the kismet proc, MA can have insta-snipe almost permanently. The Secondaries: Dark Assault power-boost with a damage bonus, two medium blasts (exact same damage), one of which has a small heal on it, and a heavy melee, and a snipe with access to insta. It does not have a medium melee attack. The secondary effect of -tohit can be useful if you are close to the defense cap, or keep it stacked heavily with the aoes. It seems to favor being in melee and using your ranged attacks there, or going in and out if you use the cone (which is very thin). Earth Assault power boost, TWO heavy melee attacks, a short range aoe that works great in melee, and an aura that slows and does damage. This set heavily favors melee. Electricity Assault build-up, a faster/weaker weak melee, no heavy ranged attack, the weakest heavy melee attack (with a small pbaoe damage component), a snipe with access to insta, and the voltaic sentinel pet. Aside from pairing with elec/, I haven't found much use for the end draining secondary effect. It seems to slightly favor melee. Energy Assault power boost, the strongest heavy melee attack, two big range attacks, snipe with access to insta with tactics+proc during power boost, and no cone. Must love KB. With insta-snipe, it has 3 very powerful ranged attacks, and lends itself best of all the dominator sets to being ranged. Fire Assault fiery embrace and consume, the strongest heavy range attack, a snipe with NO access to insta, and trades the secondary utility effects on powers for slightly more damage on all attacks. It favors melee, or moving in and out if you take the cone. Icy Assault power boost, its mid strength range attack is faster and weaker than normal, a heavy ranged attack with a hold on it, NO snipe, and a slow aura that does no damage. There doesn't seem to be anything special about it beyond the aura (and good DPA), so I would only play ice if I were going to take Chilling Embrace. The secondary slowing effect does exist, but takes several hits to be noticeable (and, in my experience, generally isn't except for the occasional boss). It favors melee (imho) due to chilling embrace. Martial Assault a weird fiery embrace clone that seems to need balancing/nerfing, its weak melee attack is a cone "for free", trick shot instead of a cone, a snipe with the best access to insta, a heavy ranged attack and caltrops. Maybe the lack of secondary effects is why Envenomed Blades is so strong? It lends itself very well to ranged play, or melee play using ranged attacks. Psionic Assault drain psyche instead of buildup/etc., TWO medium ranged attacks (one of which immobilizes), the largest cone, the best pbaoe (same size but 16 targets instead of 10), NO heavy melee OR ranged attack, and a snipe with NO access to insta. Like Icy, the secondary effect of -recharge can be difficult to observe in action, but it's there! This set favors moving in and out of melee to maximize - you want to take advantage of the cone, pbaoe and drain psyche since your single target attacks are lacking. Radioactive Assault a version of build up with much less ToHit (not super relevant), faster/weaker weak melee, TWO heavy melee attacks, the heaviest damage pbaoe (if the #s are correct), and a snipe with access to insta. The secondary contamination effect is "free" damage, and the -def on all the attacks is always appreciated. It favors melee. Savage Assault aim, improved weak and medium melee attacks (if the damage #s are correct in game), a self heal, a heavy ranged attack, and a second medium melee attack that teleports you to the target with bonus damage based on distance (??). It favors melee and gives you a great tool for jumping back into the fight if you have jumped out to use the cone. Thorny Assault aim, a short, wide arc cone, a heavy melee that is a cone, a heavy ranged, caltrops and extra damage (like fire, from dots). Somewhere between Earth and a set like psi or fire that favors actively moving in and out of combat. Melee attack chain options, vaguely ranked: The sets with heavy ranged attacks can and should use those, as they do about the same damage as T2 melee attacks. T1 & T2 ranged attacks should be avoided unless needed to fill out a chain, as they are lower damage than T1 melees. Counting heavy ranged attacks as T2 melees (roughly the same damage), and not counting snipes in sets that cannot insta them without insps we have: Martial: T1, T1+cone, T2, S Ice: T1, T2, T2 Psi: T1+KB, T2 Fire : T2, T2, Dark : T1, T3, S Thorns: T2, T2, T3(Cone) Elec : weak T1, T2, T3(with small pbaoe), S Earth : T1, T3, T3 Energy: T2, T2, T3, S Savage: weak T2, T2, T2+port, T3 Rad: weird T1, T2, T3, T3, S Ranged attack chain options: If you really want to play permanently at range (it's discouraged by many vet dom players, myself included, but it IS viable, and I'm attempting two different pure ranged builds currently), here are the ranged attack chain options: Worst: Earth: T1,T2 Rad: T1, T3, Cone Average: Psi: fast T1, T2, T2+immob, Cone Thorns: Fast T1, T2, T4 Elec: T1,T2,S, Cone Ice: T1, Weak T2, T4, Cone Decent: Dark: T1, T2, T2+Heal,S, Cone Fire: fast T1, T4, S, Cone Savage: T1, T4, S, Cone Best?: Martial: T1, trick shot, T4, S (best uptime) Energy: T1, T2, T3, T4,S It's also worth noting that the Grav primary has extra T2 & T4 ranged attacks (Lift & Propel), not even counting the bonus damage from impact. And Propel has the recharge of a T2… Mind's Levitation weaker than Lift. Notes : I have not addressed the epic sets but, especially given you can start them at 35, they can really fill out a hole in a secondary - something like taking Energy Transfer at 35 in lieu of a snipe can make a set that was lacking a solid melee chain work much better, or Bile Spray or Fire Ball instead of snipe on a /psi or /fire to give you a second aoe to fire off before you jump in…lots of options here. The way I build is to choose a power-set combo that seems to have interesting mechanical synergy or an engaging or fun playstyle - also likely rooted in synergy. Plenty of others go theme or story first, or just pick a combo for the cool visuals - I think all these are great ways to build a character, and hopefully this mini-guide is helpful to some of you. Background: On live I played plant/fire, elec/ice and ice/psi deep into incarnate content. All were 100% viable - I used the fire snipe in melee range without insta too! I also had grav/energy, ice/thorn, earth/elec, and dark/psi up to at least 50+1 and some incarnate content. Currently I am playing dark/savage, grav/martial, elec/rad, ice/earth & earth/energy, all in the 33-40 range. EDIT: I'll add some thoughts on the beta changes eventually, especially if they go live. I may add some DPA and attack chain stuff then as well, but that's not something I stress about.
  7. 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/Now: 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. 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) Dominators: You will never be glamour. (But might be a thing) 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.
  8. 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 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. You or the 3rd party would need to handle it on your own. 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". 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
  9. 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.
  10. RUNNING THE ABANDONED SEWER TRIAL or HOW TO GET A HEAD IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING Newcomers to the game who run the Death From Below trial may not be aware that this trial is essentially based on a much older trial, the Abandoned Sewer Trial (titled “Descent to the Hydra” in the LFG menu but almost no one ever calls it that) that was at one point considered one of the hardest things to do in the entire game. That older trial is still around, but I don’t often see it run anymore. It’s not part of the Weekly Strike Target rotation, either. This is a real pity, because the Abandoned Sewer Trial still offers a unique challenge, and is a great test of team leadership abilities. It has a 29-merit reward that can be scooped in less than an hour by a prepared and experienced team, as well as a badge for completion and an exploration badge for those badgers out there. (And, really, any handsome or attractive character really ought to have access to that completion badge, "Charmer.") On the theory that few people run it anymore because few people who might have the interest know or remember how, I’m going to show you how a successful run works for me. Hopefully this will lead to me seeing more calls on the LFG channel, “I’m putting together an Abandoned Sewer Trial, anyone wanna come?” ABANDONED SEWER TRIAL PREREQUISITES Under the old live version of the game, the Abandoned Sewer Trial was for level ranges 38 to 40, with an exemplar down to 40 if you were higher level. However, on Homecoming, the Abandoned Sewer Trial runs at level 50, offering full access to Incarnate powers should you have such available. I highly recommend bringing at least a few Incarnates along, because they’ll make the trial that much easier. (I don't know if other new versions of CoH have had the level cap lifted, too, but if you play there and they haven't, you can just ignore the parts where I talk about about Incarnates.) This is a blue (hero) side trial, so any alignment except Villain can participate. INGREDIENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRIAL Here are the things you should have before you start the Trial, if at all possible. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re a requirement, except possibly the first one, but they’ll all make certain aspects of it go a little more smoothly. Before starting, try to have: At least one character with a taunt and a good ability to stand up to ranged psychic damage (be that via defense, damage resistance, or just good healing), to tank the hydra head and distract it from the rest of the team. For the rest of this guide I’ll refer to this character as your Tanker, though it can also be a Brute, Scrapper, or any other character who meets the requirements. At least one Incarnate character with Incandescence Destiny. You might be able to get by with Assemble the Team once or twice, but if you are Incarnate, given that you’re not going to need an Incarnate level shift for this, you might want to go ahead and craft the 60-Thread level 1 version for use during this trial. It’s a lifesaver for fixing team splits, or rescuing someone quickly if they fall off a catwalk. Recall Friend is nice to have, too, but being able to summon the entire team instantaneously every two minutes is incredibly useful. The ability to rez. Doesn’t have to be a Defender/Corrupter or Controller—their rez powers are the best available, but the ally rez powers you can get from P2W, Day Jobs, or Super Packs will be sufficient. (And a tray of Awakens can help, too.) You may want to suggest all team members without their own innate rez powers buy at least a few charges of Resuscitator at the P2W. Even on a well-run Abandoned Sewer Trial, there can be a number of faceplants—and the nearest hospital is very far away. Jet packs for anyone who doesn’t have inherent flight. This trial takes place in a vertical map with narrow catwalks that it’s easy to fall (or be knocked) off, and a jet pack could let people catch themselves before they fall too far, or else avoid falling in the first place if they use them rather than walking. They’re also useful for letting buffers and ranged attackers hover out of the way while the melee fighters do their thing. Jet packs are cheap enough at the P2W store that anyone high level enough to run this trial should be able to afford an hour or so. Mission Teleport or Team Transporter for everyone on the team. This trial pre-dates the habit of putting in-zone hospitals in hard-to-reach trials. Hence, if someone intentionally or accidentally goes to the hospital or their supergroup base, they’ll end up all the way outside the Abandoned Sewers. Having one or both of these powers will give them a speedy way back to the mission if that happens (once every half-hour for each power, at least); otherwise, they’ll have to spend several minutes making it back on their own, or someone in the mission with teleport will have to fly all the way up to the exit to go out and fetch them once they hit the zone. FORMING UP THE TRIAL I strongly recommend forming up Abandoned Sewer Trial sorties in Pocket D and using the LFG teleporter to get to the contact, for a couple of good reasons. First, this will provide handy access to a P2W store, which players can use for purchasing some of the handy items I mentioned in the last section, as well as ensuring that their 2XP is topped off if applicable. Of course, there’s also a P2W in Atlas Park, where the trial starts—but the other big reason is that this also provides access to Null the Gull, who participants may want to visit first for a number of reasons: Making sure their alignment isn’t pure-Villain. Disabling Speed Boost’s run-speed effect if there’s a Kinetic buffer on the team. This trial involves lots of narrow catwalks, and even people who don’t ordinarily have a problem with getting superspeed conferred upon them might want to keep the best possible control over their maneuverability for this. They can always turn it back on again afterward. Disabling the run speed boost doesn’t affect the recharge rate and endurance recovery effects of Speed Boost. Disabling Group Flight’s effect on themselves, if they haven’t done it already and the team includes a Mastermind who uses it to make their pets fly. People should depend on their own jet packs to keep from falling, given that it’s easy to leave Group Flight’s area of effect. If you’re the team leader, you may want to suggest these things while you’re getting everyone together. Consider the relative levels of everyone on the team when setting Notoriety. If there are few level-shifted Incarnates and a lot of lower players, or you’re not very experienced with the trial yet, stick with +1 or +2 at most. If you’re mostly level shifts you can go higher if you want; if you want the Enhancement reward at the end to be level 50 you’ll need to go +4 to get it. Going +4 makes the enemies tougher, which can make an already hard challenge even harder—but it also makes the generators at the bottom tougher, and less vulnerable to accidental damage. So it is a trade-off. For at least your first few runs you’ll probably want to go with low difficulty regardless. Before you queue up the trial, remind everyone that you will need to talk to the contact, Mairenn MacGregor, just outside the Atlas Park Sewer Entrance, and you need everyone to be in the same zone for that, so please do not run off into the sewer immediately. If you don’t make that clear before you queue up, then sure as shooting at least half your team will run off into the sewer from pure Pavlovian reflex before you can even tell them not to, and it’ll be that much longer before you can actually get the trial started. INTO THE SEWERS Once you’ve spoken to the contact to start the trial, the first mission will be to defeat 100 Rikti in the Abandoned Sewers. The first thing you should do is lead the team into the Atlas Park sewer entrance, and direct them to the door set into the right wall. It’s possible some of your team members might not be experienced enough with the sewers to recognize they need to go through a second door, so you might want to make sure they all get through it before you go in yourself. (And you may also want to spare a smirk for all the lowbies gathered to form Death From Below teams. They don’t know what real “death from below” even looks like!) While most of your team works on the 100 Rikti hunt, one member of the team with Assemble the Team, Incandescence, or Recall Friend should make their way through the Abandoned Sewers toward the mission door. It’s at the same location as Hades Aspirant. Vidiotmaps marks the shortest path to the center, then north to the badge location. I don’t know whether it was by accident or design, but the next mission on the trial after the hunt is not the door mission, but clicking a glowie located next to the mission door. So, Mission Teleport and Team Transport won’t work to get anyone there until someone visits the site in person to click the glowie. (They will work to get people to the door after that happens, though.) The person heading there should arrive at about the same time the hunt finishes, so they can then port all the others to that location. Clicking the glowie will also start a 90-minute timer, so if you plan to give the rest of the team a briefing or pep talk before you start, you might want to request ahead of time that no one click it until you’re ready. You shouldn’t need anywhere near 90 minutes, of course, but it could make some people too nervous to listen to you if they see that timer start ticking, plus not having the door unlocked yet will prevent people from rushing into it before you finish briefing them. Once you’re all ready to enter, click the glowie, and in you go. DESCENT TO THE HYDRA As with the Eden Trial and Terra Volta Respec Trials, there’s no map for the interior of this instanced mission. Close your map window, get it out of the way, and do your best to keep track of where the rest of your team is without it. That’s about to become a challenge. Beyond the door is a circular antechamber, and once you move around the circle, you’ll see the entryway to the trial zone itself—with a spawn of Rikti in it waiting for you. Once you’ve cleared the Rikti, you can move forward into what awaits you: a vertical well laced with catwalks and platforms, which wind gradually down to the hydra at the bottom. Those catwalks are full of Rikti and a couple of Hatched Kraken monsters, and they also hold the chests that contain temp powers you need to defeat the hydra at the end so you can’t just skip it and go right to the bottom. (Be sure you advise your team of this, because team members in the habit of stealthing missions might otherwise be inclined to try it.) This part of the Task Force will consist of making your way gradually down the catwalks, collecting chests and defeating Rikti and the Hatched Kraken along the way. Your best strategy is to move slowly as a group, using flight or jet packs as much as possible to avoid falling off (and mez protection to keep from getting mezzed out of the sky by Rikti). Masterminds who don’t have Group Flight abilities for their pets may want to dismiss them and play Defender during this phase, just because it’s so easy for pets to get knocked back or fall off the catwalks. If they don’t die after they hit bottom, they may make their way back up the ramps, bringing a bunch of new “friends” along with them. People who fall off and die should be ported back up and rezzed. Don’t try to go down to them; bring them back to you. (If nobody has a teleport power, well, they’re on their own until you make your way down there.) Also remind them that if they hit hospital and don’t have Mission Teleport, they’re going to have a long walk back to the mission. Along the way down, you’ll encounter two Hatched Krakens on platforms at the center. (There are four more waiting at the bottom, but I’ll get to those later.) These monsters are similar to the one that shows up in Perez Park from time to time—weak vs. fire, and with a toxic damage spit attack. Back in the early days of live, these monsters gave a decent, AV-scaled chunk of XP each—but that made it attractive to powerlevelers to farm the Abandoned Sewer Trial just to kill those six Kraken and then reset the mission. The developers didn’t like that, so the Krakens’ XP was nerfed to where they don’t even give as much XP as the Rikti bosses they spawn alongside now. Which is annoying, especially since the new sewer trial for lowbies has five full-fledged AVs in it that they can kill over and over again as much as they like. (If you’d like to see that nerf undone now that there are much easier ways of powerleveling available, drop a supporting comment on this thread in the Suggestions forum.) Also along the way, you’ll run into a series of chests, colored either bright green or mustard yellow. The contents of these chests are key to completing the trial. THE WEAPON CHESTS Four of these chests should contain particle cannons, and the rest should contain thermite cannons. It’s supposed to be that the mustard yellow chests have particle cannons and the bright green ones have thermite cannons, but at least one of the chests is mis-colored. If you select the chest from a distance, you should see a notice in your target window calling it either a "Rikti Thermite Crate" or "Rikti Particle Crate." That should be accurate regardless of what color it is. The particle cannons are crucial when you get to the bottom of the map, because they do heavy damage to the hydra head. You want to be sure you have all four of them. Ask that when someone gets one they let you know, or else every so often ask for everyone with one to sound off. Once everyone gets a particle cannon, they should be sure that it's available for them to fire at need. It should be in their system tray (the temp power tray that appears above your normal trays), but some people don't like that tray and have Null the Gull disable it. Ask them all to make sure the temp power is accessible, because they are going to need it in a hurry. The thermite cannons are just cone attacks that do fire damage, and they’re good but not crucial for attacking the Hatched Kraken or the tentacles at the bottom. The most important things are that no one should get more than one particle cannon, and your Tanker should not get a particle cannon. Each person can only fire one particle cannon at a time, so to do the most damage at once to the hydra, those four particle cannon temp powers should go to four different people. You might ask that no one get more than one chest until you’re sure all four particle cannons are in separate hands. Someone firing a particle cannon can’t do anything else while that cannon is going off, and your Tanker will need to be taunting that hydra head continuously. It would be fine for them to have a thermite cannon, but you don’t want to risk them getting a particle cannon by mistake because they can’t taunt while they’re firing it. (For that matter, if there’s anyone who plans on healing that Tanker while they taunt the hydra, they should probably forego a particle cannon as well for that very same reason.) So if you’re not sure which chests are which cannons, have the Tanker hold off on getting any until you’re sure the four particle cannons have found good homes. HITTING BOTTOM Once four people have particle cannons, you’re free to proceed to the bottom. The simplest way to get there safely might be to have someone who can teleport other people go ahead to a safe spot and teleport the rest of the team to them. The bottom of the well is a circular area, with the force-field-enclosed hydra head in the center, a few dozen tentacles surrounding it, and four alcoves with force field generators and a spawn of Rikti located at the cardinal compass points. There will also be a Hatched Kraken in the vicinity of each generator alcove. There will be a number of rocks and ledges between the alcoves, providing safe spaces out of line of sight of the hydra where someone can port the team without aggroing anything onto them. Once the team is assembled and ready, you can move on to next steps. CLEARING THE AREA There are two critically important pieces of advice to keep in mind while clearing out the space around the hydra. First of all, the hydra has a nasty psi tornado attack that it will cast at anyone who strays too near. Stay out of line of sight of it as much as possible; when taking out the Hatched Kraken, lure them behind one of the ledges blocking you from the Hydra’s view. The other thing is that the force field generators should not be damaged prematurely. When clearing the Rikti, taunt them away from the generators before engaging (and make sure Controllers know not to hold or immobilize while they’re still next to the generator). Masterminds and Incarnates should set their pets to Passive and direct them to attack any individual targets manually. Classes who can’t control their pets should dismiss them. It is crucial that the force field generators not be destroyed yet, and if there’s only one fact you can get across to your players, that should be it. (It may actually not matter so much this first time, because by the time you're done clearing the tentacles and Hatched Kraken, any generators that were accidentally destroyed now should have respawned. But it's best to form the habit of leaving the generators alone regardless.) Keeping those facts in mind, your next step here is to clear out the Rikti surrounding the generators (without damaging the generators), the Hatched Kraken, and the tentacles. The Rikti and Kraken will be relatively simple; just pull them to somewhere away from the generators and out of line of sight of the hydra and clobber them. Some of the safe areas have passages on the ends to let you through to the next area where the next generator alcove is; others do not and you’ll have to make your way across in the open. Try to minimize your exposure to the hydra as much as possible while you’re clearing the generators. If you get faceplanted, hopefully someone else will be able to port and rez you. But once the generators are clear comes one of the more “fun” parts of the trial—you’ll have to clear out the tentacles around the hydra, in plain view of it. And while it’s under its force field, the hydra can’t be directly taunted. About all you can really do is have your Tanker run out first to try to draw its fire, and stay as close to the hydra as possible in the hopes that it will like them more. Otherwise, station someone with teleport in one of the safe spots, and have them port and rez anyone who needs it. Try to kill the tentacles as quickly as possible to minimize your exposure. The thermite cannons do decent damage to them, but so does any other fire-based attack or regular attacks in general. Once the area around the hydra is clear, you can retreat to a safe spot to plan the next move. DROPPING THE FORCE FIELD This is the part that often gives teams the most trouble. The Abandoned Sewer Trial is one of very few pre-Incarnate trials left anymore that requires team members to complete multiple goals simultaneously, and coordinating that can sometimes be a little tricky. To drop the force field covering the hydra so that you can damage it with the particle beams, you have to take out the generators. Once taken down, the generators will respawn in a couple of minutes, along with the Rikti that were guarding them. The force field will only stay down until the first generator to be destroyed respawns, so it is vital that all four generators be taken down at as close to the same time as possible for the field to stay down as long as possible. You could try to take down each generator to a sliver of health so everyone could then kill theirs at exactly the same time, but there’s a lot of potential for that to go wrong if someone damages just a little too much and takes their generator down early. The most efficient course is probably just to try to balance the amount of damage capability available at each generator and have people start attacking simultaneously. They may not all go down at exactly the same time, but it'll probably be close enough. When it comes to balancing that damage, you could assign specific team members to each alcove—but in practice, it’ll probably take about the same amount of time if you just let people find their own preferred spot, then do spot-checks on all alcoves to make sure there’s a good balance of damaging capabilities at each one. Once everyone's arranged everywhere, call out a countdown, and then on zero unleash hell. (It’s okay for people to summon their pets at this time, as long as they remember to dismiss them before the next time they need to clear the Rikti from the generators. Indeed, this would also be a good time for Incarnates to summon any available Lore pets and set them to Aggressive.) Good communication is vital at this point, because if someone misunderstands your order to get ready to attack as the order to attack, they could have their generator down before anyone else even starts attacking theirs, cutting down the amount of time you’ll have to attack the hydra considerably. But if you’re all on the ball and kill the generators more or less simultaneously and start firing immediately, you’ll have plenty of time to make sweet, sweet love to that half-a-melon with your particle beam cannons. KILLING THE HYDRA The instant that force field drops, your particle cannon holders should point them at the hydra head and fire it, while your Tanker moves to taunt the hydra and keep its psi attacks focused on them. (Ideally, your Tanker should be some ways around the hydra from any cannoneers, because the hydra’s attack is an AoE.) Healers should be ready to keep him standing up. Kinetics casting their heal from the hydra head itself can be particularly effective. The particle cannon will go off for about twenty seconds, at which point it can be fired again. If you were on the ball with the generators, you should be able to get off four or even five blasts before the force field comes back up again. (If it comes up in the middle of firing a blast, the blast will still do its damage until the cannon stops shooting.) After that, it’s simply a matter of lather, rinse, repeat—dismiss any uncontrollable pets and set controllable ones to Passive, taunt the Rikti away from the generators and take them out, synchronize destroying the generators, Tanker taunt, and cannons blast. When the hydra’s health reaches 50% and 25%, large groups of Rikti will spawn in. If you were really on the ball with the generators and cannons, you will probably reach that point before the force field comes back up for the first time. (Which is another good reason to summon pets and Lore pets when you take those generators down.) When the mass spawn happens, your Tanker should switch to taunting them, and you should clean them out after the force field comes back up, and before you go back to pulling the Rikti away from the generators. If you got to the first mass spawn after your first generator takedown, it should only take one more like that to take down the hydra head completely. Kill off any remaining Rikti from the second mass spawn and you’ll get the mission completion notice. Otherwise, keep on lathering, rinsing, and repeating until you do. Who says it’s hard to get a head these days? WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU GET A HEAD After you kill the head, remind everyone on the team to go to the center of the room where it was to make sure they get the exploration badge. (Your Tanker may have gotten it already just from being right up against the hydra.) When the reward panel comes up, I would recommend taking the 29 reward merits rather than the special enhancement. It’s just a multi-purpose enhancement like the one you get at the end of the Eden Trial, and unless you did the trial at +4, it’ll only be a level 48 or so anyway. You might be able to sell it for something on the AH, especially if it buckets with Hami-Os as I’ve been told it might, but you’d probably rather have the merits. And that’s that. Thank your team for coming, and if you can manage it before they start summoning Ouroboros portals, LFGport them all back out to the contact again to get them out of the sewers. I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide, and that it might make you inclined to try a run at this trial yourself. If you have an eligible character on or could transfer one to Torchbearer, I’ll be happy to give you a practical demonstration on an evening or weekend. Just global @RobotechMaster and see if I’d be up for it!
  11. The recent patch FINALLY made it possible to use a controller fairly well with CoX. Kudos and thanks to the devs. (There were controller keymap commands, but they were erratic and did not address dual-stick controllers like the DS4 well.) This guide is for folks using (1) a DS4 controller with (2) a driver like DS4Windows. Everyone else will have to figure it out themselves, although the base mapping in the game is to an emulated XBox-360 controller, so much of this can be translated easily to those with those controllers. Further warning, this is VERY MUCH a "tinker until it works for you" kind of setup, so be prepared to fiddle around a lot until you have a setup you like. But the good news is... it finally works well! Unless you are a major controller maven and will never go back to WASD+Mouse, I recommend that you use save/load keybind and option file features. Create one set of files for keyboard play, and a new set for controller play (and use a basic set of binds to load/save them easily, so you can switch and experiment). Details in the Guide, or ask for basic help on this. I am ASS/U/MING you've saved your tweaked keyboard mapping and are ready to mess with the overall keybind and tray setups. DS4 Keymapping Map Here's the visual map of DS4 keys to keymap commands: Mapping Controller Buttons in Options If you are relentlessly against hard and confusing things like editing bind files (that's a joke, kids), you CAN go to Options and set each button in the Secondary mapping column - just click the related setting and press the controller button. Easy-peasy and it even uses sensible names for the button names. But this is slow, will overwrite other choices you might have made for secondary control keys, and doesn't let you use multiple commands like a bind or macro. I really don't recommend it. However, you WILL need to go into Options and select/enable the correct controller type. Otherwise the controller may not be recognized. But then, go back on out and do your controller mapping this way... Mapping Controller Buttons via Bindfile I will keep this part simple; if you don't know how to manage load/save bindfiles and such, I point you to the Guide and move on. Here is a basic DS4 controller bind file set, which should map well to an XBox 360 controller as well: JOY1 "follow" JOY2 "target_enemy_near" JOY3 "target_enemy_next" JOY4 "powexec_name Fly" JOY5 "powexec_slot 4" JOY6 "powexec_slot 3" JOY7 "powexec_slot 2" JOY8 "powexec_slot 1" JOY9 "++autorun" JOY10 "+up" JOY11 "camreset$$camdistadjust 20" JOY12 "powexec_unqueue" JOYPAD_UP "powexec_slot 6" JOYPAD_DOWN "powexec_slot 8" JOYPAD_LEFT "powexec_slot 5" JOYPAD_RIGHT "powexec_slot 7" JOYSTICK1_UP "+forward" JOYSTICK1_DOWN "+backward" JOYSTICK1_LEFT "+left" JOYSTICK1_RIGHT "+right" JOYSTICK2_UP "+lookdown" JOYSTICK2_DOWN "+lookup" JOYSTICK2_LEFT "+turnleft" JOYSTICK2_RIGHT "+turnright" You can cut and paste this into a file, then load it for each alt using /bindloadfile [path][filename]. Highly recommended to keep the path and name simple, or even include a keybind for quick-loading it, so you can edit/load/test/repeat easily. Here, include this line somewhere in the file: SHIFT+F12 "bindloadfile [path][file]" Basic Controller Mapping Now, let's look at that mapping. Most of it should be a good start for any alt. The only specific or tricky thing is that I included one or two keys that apply only to a flying alt; feel free to remap these to suit other purposes. But... Left joystick controls movement - forward, back, strafe-left, strafe-right. Pretty standard. Left joystick click toggles Autorun. Right joystick controls camera - look-up, look-down, turn-left, turn-right (you may want to reverse look-up/down from my choice). Right joystick click activates Up/Jump. Big triggers are mapped to tray slots 1-1 and 1-2; little triggers are mapped to 1-3 and 1-4. This should allow you to position your basic four attacks for quick activation. The "Joypad" buttons at left are mapped, clockwise from the left, to tray slots 1-5 through 1-8. This should put all your secondary combat powers at the ready. The Symbol buttons at the right are mapped to targeting - target near, target next, and follow. The top button is mapped to Fly; you might have another use for it. And finally, the "system" buttons on the upper edge are mapped to (left) power-cancel, and (right) camera reset. The last is pretty essential as your alt will frequently end up turned away from the camera view in combat. The PS button is not mapped; the touchpad is mapped to mouse function but is so scraggy I haven't been able to use it for much. Advanced Control & Fine-Tuning And there you go. Start with this setup, with maybe a tweak on that Fly button. Then try these advancements: Reorder your powers in the first tray to make the best, most natural connection between them and the controller buttons. Better, put your "controller" powers in the tertiary tray, or even an extra tray, so that you can have separate keyboard and controller mappings. Use macros in that controller-power lineup to do fancy things without writing them into the key mapping. Adjust /speedturn (the argument is degrees-per-turn for each click of turn_left or turn_right) to adjust joystick turning speed. And share your tweaks, complete mapping sets, etc. This is just a start. Honest, I'm not a big controller maniac and CoX is not really-really set up for controller control. But the interface has finally been tweaked to let us use controllers... and I plan on playing with one for a while to see if there are advantages.
  12. So you wanna be a healer an Empath. Many would tell you that Empathy isn't needed anymore, that heals are bad, debuffs are king, and that Empaths are squishy. Well I'm here to set the record straight. #1 - An Empath isn't a Healer Empathy has some of the strongest buffs in the game: Fortitude Fortitude can be active on up to 7 teammates at once, and when used with Power Boost (from Soul Mastery) can softcap up to 4 teammates by itself. 5 if you pick Clarion Radial. It also increases Damage and To-Hit. When you see Fortitude available, find someone that doesn't have it on and cast it. When you see it almost about to recharge, find someone that doesn't have it on and get ready to cast it. This is Empathy's most pivotal power and utilizing it well is the key to playing Empathy optimally. Recovery Aura Our first RA power is an excellent tool for teammates who aren't fully optimized yet (most people aren't) and to make your build easily endurance stable. On a high recharge build this has a 3/4 uptime. Regeneration Aura This lets Regen do the work so we don't have to spend time healing those slight dips, thus giving us more time to Blast and debuff with Sonic. It's also very helpful in encounters where enemy AoE's bypass defenses. On a high recharge build this has a 3/4 uptime. Clear Mind While it's situational, CM can be very helpful in some scenarios (squishies getting aggro from CC'ers, the final fight in the ITF, and more). Adrenalin Boost This multi-purpose buff can be used in the following ways: Letting your teammate nuke more often, keeping an ally endurance stable (if he was out of range of your RA), and keeping a tank alive in difficult encounters. #2 - Heals and Rez are still useful Sometimes squishies get themselves in over their heads, sometimes the tank is not well built, sometimes boss mechanics bypass defenses. Heals are great for what I like to call Crisis Management. When defenses fail, when human error takes center stage, Empathy shines by having some of the strongest Crisis Management tools in its heals and a rez. Teammate ran off and is starting to die? Super Speed+Stealth to his location and Power Boost+Heal Other+Fortitude him, then super speed back to the main squad. Marauder getting ready to slam your team in Lambda? Prepare with Power Boost and immediately Healing Aura after the strike. Someone went down? Power Boost, Vengeance, Resurrect, and Fortitude. Now everyone's safe and sound. #3 - No debuffs? Sonic Attack to the rescue! Sonic Attack is the perfect pairing with Empathy. The biggest hole in Empathy's arsenal is the inability to debuff hard targets like AV's. No -res or -regen. Sonic Attack has a ton of -res, so much that -regen becomes less of a necessity. Shriek This is our "must-pick" tier 1 attack and is one we'll be using very often in our attack chain. Scream One of the two optional blast picks for Sonic, the other being Shout. I like Scream over Shout because it doesn't root you into place as much (giving you more time to react) and applies its damage+debuff instantly instead of at the end of the animation. Screech Screech is a long duration -res debuff power disguised as a CC. It can be used as a CC, in fact you do want to use it against problematic targets (surgeons and sappers) but to get the most use out of it you want it in your attack chain against hard targets. Howl Spamming Howl is a nice way to spend your time when you're not buffing, if your team is a bit slow on the AoE front you can help them get there faster by debuffing the mobs. In most cases you'll want to only cast this once and then start focusing on the bosses. Dreadful Wail Well now nukes are crashless. So that's nice. Dreadful Wail deals decent damage by itself, but its -res debuff lasts a very long time and the power can accept a -res proc as well (which, thanks to its cooldown will have a very high chance to proc). So you wanna use this whenever possible, whether it be on an AV as an opener or on a pack to help your teammates or Judgement melt it down. Oh it also stuns, so after you nuke, rest assured you won't start getting hit by everything. Attack Chains Hard Targets: Screech>Scream>Shriek>Scream Soft targets: Scream>Shriek #4 - Empaths aren't squishy Regeneration Aura, a self heal, and a high uptime on Power Boost means we have pretty good survivability, and my build also has ranged defense softcapped most of the time. Combined with Hover (which gets higher speed with Power Boost) and hardcapped S/L resists we can tank most encounters. Add in Clarion to give you extra +Special and CC protection, and Support Hybrid for a bit of extra defense and to give more support to our lore pets in an AV's damage phase. Power Boost is incredible as it gives us better heals, better defenses, better CC, better Fortitude, and better Hover Speed. With that out of the way, let's showcase our build: Hero Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.6.0.1 https://github.com/ImaginaryDevelopment/imaginary-hero-designer Click this DataLink to open the build! Auroxis: Level 50 Science Defender Primary Power Set: Empathy Secondary Power Set: Sonic Attack Power Pool: Speed Power Pool: Leadership Power Pool: Flight Power Pool: Fighting Ancillary Pool: Soul Mastery Hero Profile: Level 1: Healing Aura -- Prv-Absorb%(A), Prv-Heal/Rchg/EndRdx(3), Prv-Heal/Rchg(3), Prv-EndRdx/Rchg(5), Prv-Heal/EndRdx(5), Prv-Heal(7) Level 1: Shriek -- SprDfnBst-Acc/Dmg(A), SprDfnBst-Dmg/Rchg(7), SprDfnBst-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(9), SprDfnBst-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(9), SprDfnBst-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(11), SprDfnBst-Rchg/Heal%(19) Level 2: Heal Other -- Pnc-Heal(A), Pnc-Heal/EndRedux/Rchg(19), Pnc-Heal/Rchg(21), Pnc-EndRdx/Rchg(21), Pnc-Heal/EndRedux(23) Level 4: Scream -- Apc-Dam%(A), Apc-Dmg/EndRdx(11), Apc-Acc/Rchg(17), Apc-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(27), Apc-Dmg/Rchg(29), GldJvl-Dam%(29) Level 6: Resurrect -- RechRdx-I(A) Level 8: Clear Mind -- RechRdx-I(A) Level 10: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A) Level 12: Fortitude -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), RedFrt-Def(13), RedFrt-Def/Rchg(13), RedFrt-EndRdx/Rchg(15), RedFrt-Def/EndRdx(15), RedFrt-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(17) Level 14: Super Speed -- BlsoftheZ-ResKB(A) Level 16: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), RedFrt-Def(25), RedFrt-EndRdx/Rchg(25), RedFrt-Def/EndRdx(33), RedFrt-Def/EndRdx/Rchg(36), RedFrt-EndRdx(37) Level 18: Recovery Aura -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(23) Level 20: Assault -- EndRdx-I(A) Level 22: Vengeance -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A) Level 24: Howl -- SprVglAss-Rchg/+Absorb(A), SprVglAss-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(33), SprVglAss-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(34), VglAss-Acc/Dmg(34), VglAss-Dmg/Rchg(34), VglAss-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(45) Level 26: Regeneration Aura -- NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(A), NmnCnv-Heal(27), NmnCnv-Heal/EndRdx/Rchg(31), NmnCnv-Heal/EndRdx(37), NmnCnv-Heal/Rchg(43), NmnCnv-EndRdx/Rchg(43) Level 28: Hover -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), BlsoftheZ-Travel/EndRdx(31), BlsoftheZ-Travel(31), Rct-ResDam%(48) Level 30: Boxing -- Empty(A) Level 32: Adrenalin Boost -- Pnc-Heal(A), Pnc-Heal/EndRedux/Rchg(33), Pnc-Heal/Rchg(40), Pnc-EndRdx/Rchg(42), Pnc-Heal/EndRedux(42) Level 35: Screech -- AbsAmz-ToHitDeb%(A), AbsAmz-EndRdx/Stun(36), AbsAmz-Acc/Rchg(36), AbsAmz-Acc/Stun/Rchg(37), AbsAmz-Stun/Rchg(40), GldJvl-Dam%(46) Level 38: Dreadful Wail -- Arm-Dam%(A), Arm-Dmg/EndRdx(39), Arm-Acc/Rchg(39), Arm-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(39), Arm-Dmg/Rchg(40), FuroftheG-ResDeb%(45) Level 41: Dark Embrace -- GldArm-3defTpProc(A), GldArm-ResDam(42), GldArm-RechRes(43), GldArm-RechEnd(46), GldArm-End/Res(46), GldArm-Res/Rech/End(48) Level 44: Power Boost -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(45) Level 47: Tough -- StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(A), UnbGrd-Max HP%(48) Level 49: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(50), ShlWal-Def(50), ShlWal-Def/EndRdx(50) Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Quick -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Rush -- Empty(A) Level 1: Prestige Power Surge -- Clr-Stlth(A) Level 1: Sprint -- Run-I(A) Level 1: Vigilance Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A) Level 4: Ninja Run Level 2: Swift -- Flight-I(A) Level 2: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End(A) Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A) Level 2: Stamina -- EndMod-I(A) Level 0: Task Force Commander Level 0: The Atlas Medallion Level 0: Freedom Phalanx Reserve Level 0: Portal Jockey Level 50: Void Radial Final Judgement Level 50: Support Core Embodiment Level 50: Spiritual Core Paragon Level 50: Clarion Radial Epiphany Level 50: Degenerative Radial Flawless Interface Level 50: Banished Pantheon Core Superior Ally ------------
  13. KnightSoul

    Guide Index

    Last Update: 8/112019 (Internal links repaired. Please notify me if any are still faulty.) This is an index of Player Guides, for players, by players. Thank you to everyone that contributes. This is a resurrection of Zombie Man's pre-shutdown Guide to Guides. You can find The undead Guide to the Guides (Zombie Man 4-21-12, [i23]) on the web archive. Its full of all the pre-shutdown guides that countless players wrote and an excellent resource. This Index will be focused on the material written for the I26 Homecoming servers. [glow=yellow,2,300]Mirrors to be found at <placeholder> and <web.archive placeholder>.[/glow] Information on contributing is in section one, the first linked post. This post contains the links to the Index subsections below, allowing quick navigation to the links to the guides. Click the header to be on your way. I. Introduction: The Guide Index. II. Before You Start -Preparing to Play Manuals, New Player's Guides, Account Information, Overviews. Homecoming - What's new with City of Heroes Homecoming Account Info Beginner Guides Tips Guideposts for long range planning Character Creation Names and Titles Rolling Role-Players Origins Alternative Characters Costume Hero/Villain Planners III. Archetypes, Powersets, Powers and Builds Guide to Archetype and Powersets Heroes (Blaster, Controller, Defender, Scrapper, Tanker, Kheldian) Villains (Brute, Corruptor, Dominator, Mastermind, Stalker, Soldiers of Arachnos) New (Sentinel) Pool Powers Travel Powers Other Pool Powers Ancillary/Patron Pool Powers Specific Powers & Character Concepts What Archetypes Can Do Powers used by Several ATs Character Concepts In General Incarnate System General Incarnate Powers and Slots IV. Operating Your Game - How To Make Things Go Commands User Interface Binds & Macros How To Bind & Macro Binds for Specific Purposes Travel Binds Remapping V. Communicating With Others Playing Nicely Know Where and How to Speak Understanding One Another Sying it With Style VI. Combat Mechanics Introduction to Combat Defense, Accuracy, and To-Hit Damage, Experience, Rewards and Leveling Health and Endurance Other Combat Mechanics Control, Aggro and Strategy Pulling Managing Aggro VII. Foes Combating the Environment (PvE) Giant Monsters ArchVillains and the Hero class Foes in General and other Specific Foes Combating Other Players (PvP) VIII. Missions Contacts, Difficulty, and Missions in General Mayhem and Safeguard, Schemes and Policebands Specific Missions Trials, Raids, Events, and Task/Strike -Forces Hero Content Villain Content Shared Content Respecification Trials The Hamidon Raids Lord Recluse Strike Force Miss Liberty Task Force Ouroboros and Flashback Going Rogue and Praetoria Alignment System IX. Teams, Groups, and Bases Teaming How to form a team How to run a team- leader tips Team Strategy Knowing Your Teammates Capabilities Voice Communication Super (Villain) Groups and Bases Creating a group Creating a Base Base Salvage and Crafting (Not applicable in the Homecoming fork.) X Powers -Enhancements and Respecification Enhancements Respecification XI. Inventions - Enhancements, Recipes, "Loot" and the Market Inventions in General Invention Salvage, Recipes, and Drops The Consignment Markets and Economy XII. Other Game Systems Badges Setting Badge Title How to Get a Specific Badge How to get a Specific Badge Set Badge Lists Badge Trackers Arena and Gladiator Day Jobs Mission Architect XIII. The In-Game World - Tale of Three Cities Background, Storybook, and Lore Areas and Zones and other Places Finding Yourself Hero Zones Villain Zones Praetorian Zones Shared Zones XIV. The Out of Character Experience Community History, Customs and Culture Leading by (Bad) Example Comic Books and "The Industry" XV. Looking Under the Hood - Advanced Mechanics 3rd Party Customization (maps, graphics, sounds, fonts, icons) Screenshots, Demos, Videos Computers & PeripheralsHomecoming Development XVI. Getting Help and Other Resources Official Channels Using the Homecoming Forums Other Websites with Guides and Further Information
  14. 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 and another one in Mole Point Charlie). 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.
  15. Not REALLY a guide, but I don't know where else to stick it, so here it is. My basic binds that I'm using now that I switched from Teleport to Fly (since I'm doing Shadow Shard stuff now!) I remember seeing a long time ago a better set of binds that someone had made that somehow determined whether or not you were actually MOVING and turned fly on or off automatically depending on whether you were moving or not, but I don't recall where I found that. So, for a second best thing, here's my bind files. It turns on over on the first button press, then switches to fly, then back to hover, then turns off hover and repeats the cycle: bindhover.txt: e "powexectoggleon hover$$bind_load_file c:\coh\bindfly.txt" bindfly.txt: e "powexectoggleon fly$$bind_load_file c:\coh\bindhover2.txt" bindhover2.txt: e "powexectoggleon hover$$bind_load_file c:\coh\bindhoveroff.txt" bindhoveroff.txt: e "powexectoggleoff hover$$bind_load_file c:\coh\bindhover.txt" I initialize the loop by going ingame and typing: /bindloadfile c:\coh\bindhover.txt and pressing the "e" key on my keyboard to hover for the first time.
  16. 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"
  17. Printable List of Power Themes by Archetype in GoogleDocs Want to make a gun-slinging space marine? Not sure what archetype and power choices to take? This googleDoc has printable lists of power themes by archetype. It is sorted into themes available for ranged only, melee only, or available in both ranged and melee flavours, to help you make your choice. Database-friendly worksheets also available If you'd rather have the information flattened for easier manipulation, database-friendly flattened views are also included. Notes I created this manually based on ParagonWiki and Mid's data. Judgement calls were made on which powersets were consolidated as a single theme. For example, Fire and Thermal were consolidated. LINK HERE Preview:
  18. Some Guide Guidance by GM Fiddleback (Being a mere suggestion for those in need of it on the usage of formatting and tags in the new forum system.) Hello and welcome to this guidance on guides. This is intended for those who have never written a guide before and want some general guidelines by which to do so, those who have written guides before but want to update them to look reasonably nice on the new forums, and those who like to spectate and kibitz without actually having to make a guide at all. I will cover two things very briefly without going into too much detail. First, we will discuss tags and their usage. Second, we will discuss a few simple formatting choices and the reasons behind them. Tags You now find yourself using a system that allows you to apply tags to the content you create. These tags are intended to make it easy to find your content and to find content that is related to it. When you begin the process of creating your guide or other content, you will be offered the opportunity to select tags related to it. General advice for selecting these tags is as follows: Limit yourself to no more than three tags. This prevents an explosion of needless tags and helps coordinate different pieces of content together so they can be more easily found. If someone creates the very popular guide Joe's Guide to Running Into Walls for Fun and Profit and tags it 'economy', 'inf', and 'advice', your new guide, Susan's Guide For Which Walls Make The Most Profit should be tagged with at least one of, if not all three of, those tags in order to have it come up as related, and presumably useful, similar content. Make sure those three tags reflect the most important topics within your guide. It's no good writing the world's best guide to the tall buildings of Paragon City if no one can actually find it. Sure, it'll be at the top of the forum list for a few days, but that is short-lived glory. With tags you can make your content easy to find, but only if you properly tag it to reflect the information inside. Make your three tags very relevant to the guide you are writing. Don't elect to use tags such as 'cute', 'green', or 'amphibian' when your guide to tall buildings doesn't even mention Kermit at all. Pick one tag as an Item Prefix. Usually you'll want the one that is most relevant to your overall guide content. Think of it as the biggest category your guide would fit in. Formatting In general, you are free to use whatever formatting strikes your fancy and is most appropriate to your guide. We (the moderators and devs) thought it might be nice, however, if the guides could have a sort of similar look and feel. It's by no means mandatory, but if you'd like to work towards that goal or just need some general guidance, try the following. Font The default font choice and size in the editor is preferred. It's the generally best typeface for readability on the forums. Title Go ahead and repeat the title in the body of your guide. Right at the top. Set it to size 20, bold. Color it the default Yellow from the color picker. This ensures that it is big enough to stand out and visible enough on a quick look to verify the correct article is being read. Heading 1 (Main Headings) Headings make useful divisions in guides and other printed matter that help guide the reader through the content and find sections they are most interested in reading. Your main headers, generally the biggest sections and divisions within your document, should also be size 20, non-bold, and that same yellow. It really jumps out as you scroll through a document looking for something. Subheadings (Heading 2 and 3) Within and between main headings, you can further break your content down by subheading to emphasize certain elements of your main heading that are important. Here we take two steps down in size for a Heading 2 (size 18), and two more down for a Heading 3 (Size 16). The color for both, because color as well as size helps us navigate a document, is #00ccff which you will have to manually enter by selecting the paintbrush in the editor and then clicking More Colors and entering that code in the place indicated. Generally speaking, it is usually unnecessary to go much further down the heading chain than a Heading 3. That's a little too much sectioning in most cases. If your guide and content warrant it though, just keep stepping down by two for each subsequent heading level until your text is too too small to be seen. Graphics If your guide includes graphics, try to take the original picture at it's 'best', most readable size. Center it up in the frame so that things don't look 'left heavy'. By Ctrl+Right Clicking you can get a menu that allows you to adjust the size of the graphic as it appears in the post. Make that adjustment look properly balanced size-wise for the body of your text (somewhere around 400 vertical or horizontal pixels seems to be best). In other words, not so big that it overwhelms everything and not so small that a casual reader of the article can't tell what is going on. Keep in mind that by clicking on the graphic in the body of your text, the reader will get a pop up of the graphic at the original size you uploaded it. So readability isn't the prime concern, but should certainly be kept in mind. Other Niceties I find there is usually a preamble on most guides explaining their purpose and reason for existence. These I like to leave in the default text, but increase the size to 16. It makes it easy and quick to read and, if you've written it right, saves the reader time trying to decide if a guide covers what they want or not. After the preamble, which shouldn't be more than the first paragraph under the title, the main text can return to normal size. Indents, bullet and numerical lists, and URLs are on a case by case basis. What you do with them is up to you, but they should be consistent throughout a given document. You'll know if something doesn't look right in the document you are creating based on how the whole document looks overall. From there, just use your best judgement. And That's It... Please remember these are just suggestions and helpful tips for creating your guide. You are free to ignore any and all suggestions if you choose. We aren't going to beat you up over it. This is just intended to help folks get off on the right foot when it comes to creating, or cleaning up, their guides. Have a good game!
  19. Hi, I'm Sunsette. I'm not an especially experienced player, but I am obsessively thorough and like documenting things. There's not a lot on Sentinels or Energy Blast, so I thought I'd try to coalesce what we have and put it all together. While this guide is primarily written from the perspective of the Energy Blast Sentinel, it is my goal to collect a lot of general information useful on Sentinels as a whole, so as to help people transition to this archetype. Thus, I will try to explain things as if someone is new to the game or archetype as a whole, and not merely the powerset. TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Why Energy Blast? II. What Secondary? --IIa. Survival --IIb. Utility III. Guide to Enhancements --IIIa. Enhancement Types --IIIb. Hit the Slots --IIIc. Rating Format IV. Energy Blast Powers --IVa. Seize the Opportunity --IVb. Attack Chains and Aim --IVc. Area of Effect Attacks --IVd. School of Hard Knocks V. Secondary Powers VI. Utility Power Pools --VIa. Haste Makes Waste --VIb. Travel Powers --VIc. Defense Powers --VId. Miscellaneous Powers VII. Epic Power Pools --VIIa. Ancillary Power Pools --VIIb. Patron Power Pools VIII. Incarnate Slots --VIIIa. Alpha --VIIIb. Judgment --VIIIc. Interface --VIIId. Destiny --VIIIe. Lore --VIIIf. Hybrid IX. Example Builds X. A Note on Endurance XI. Force Feedback XII. Changelog I. Why Energy Blast? I chose Energy Blast because it's pretty. That's it. Everything else was secondary. I've wanted something like an Energy Blast sentinel since I discovered Ancillary Power Pools on my scrapper back in live and I found out how frickin' pretty Energy Torrent was in Body Mastery. I wish I could say that Energy Blast has a unique mechanical niche that it offers, but all of the tricks I've learned for Energy Blast can straight-up be done on another, better powerset available to Sentinels. Water, Fire, and Dual Pistols all have elements of this set and out-do it, mechanically. However, it is not an unusable set. While I would appreciate a balance pass that gives Energy Blast a little something more than "LOL RANDOM KNOCKBACK" to define it, it's perfectly usable. If you're willing to bleed for the effort. Its damage type is nothing to write home about but it's not awful either, slightly outpacing Water Blast although it is much less impressive in controls. It has more control than fire, and unlike Dual Pistols, it can Aim+Build Up. II. What Secondary? There's two mechanical aspects you need to evaluate when deciding your secondary: how well will it help you survive attacks, and how well it'll help you defeat enemies. If you've already chosen a secondary, skip to the next section, IIa. Survival Very few sets are purely defense (avoiding attacks) or resistance (toughing them out). Due to hidden math that I won't go over here, both defense and resistance get increasingly better the higher each is, up to the defense softcap (45%, plus enemies' base 50% chance to miss) and the resistance hard cap (75% for Sentinels). In simple terms this means that a Sentinel can potentially be hit by only 5% of attacks if defense softcapped, and take only 25% damage if resistance hardcapped. The reality is more complicated. Defenses are mutually exclusive; an attack is only checked against one of your defenses (Melee, Ranged, AoE, Smashing, Lethal, Energy, Negative Energy, Fire, Cold, Psionic) regardless of how many types the attack has, and it is checked against your highest relevant defense. Since the overwhelming majority of enemy damage involves Smashing, Lethal, or Energy, and backline Sentinels can expect to only be hit with Ranged or AoE attacks, it is relatively easy to build up a good defense even if your powerset lacks any. Resistance, however, is not mutually exclusive; each damage type (Smashing, Lethal, Energy, Negative Energy, Fire, Cold, Psionic, and Toxic) that an attack has is divided and resisted separately. This means that if an attack is 95% Fire and 5% Smashing, your Smashing Defense is very relevant -- but your Smashing Resistance is basically unimportant. If you have no fire resist, you're basically going to eat that attack unprotected, should it hit you. This picture provides a rough estimate of the baseline performance of all Sentinel secondary powersets at 50: All credit for this chart belongs to /u/Reistorm on reddit. All credit for this chart belongs to /u/Reistorm on reddit. Pure defense sets will perform well on survivability with little investment in extra powers and enhancements, because the defense softcap reduces average damage much more than the resistance hard cap. Defense sentinels get the most freedom in how they build. However, defense can suffer from a string of bad luck, as it is never possible to avoid more than 5% of all attacks in any circumstance; the hits that get through may easily defeat you in one or two strikes. Pure defense sets are very good for backline Sentinels who aren't expecting to be targeted often, but plateau in terms of performance relatively quickly at maximum level with Enhancement Sets; it's easy to get more defense from an item set bonus, but it's hard to get a meaningful amount of resistance to back it up. Defense Sets are Ninjitsu and Super Reflexes. Pure resistance sets have the benefit of significantly removing randomness from the equation, but as noted above, have less pure reduction of overall damage. In addition, status effects are not checked by damage resistance but by various forms of "mez resistance" that are hard to improve. Therefore, it is common for people using Resistance sets to aim for key defenses in the Smashing, Lethal, and Energy fields or Melee/Ranged/AoE fields to reach 32.5% or better. Resistance sets are more likely to carry significant self-healing, which is another point in their favor. This would seem to make resistance sets the best for survival -- and tankers and brutes, with their much higher resist hardcap, would agree. However, there is a status effect known as Defense DeBuff, and this effect is fairly common at high levels. Sets that are purely or primarily defense get some level of defense debuff protection, reducing the loss of defense. Resistance sets generally do not, and can find themselves stripped of virtually all defenses against such enemies. Resistance Sets are Electric Armor, Fiery Aura, and Radiation Armor. There's also Regeneration, which is really kind of its own thing but I don't have space to go over in depth. This leaves the third type of set, sets which inherently offer a mixture of the two. For the Sentinel, most are defense-leaning, and by and large I think these end up the strongest survival sets for a Sentinel at maximum level, but they often take the longest to become useful -- you won't have significant amounts of either defense or resistance until late. To make the most of their survival, you are committing to heavy investment in equipment and defensive powers. However, they often have defense debuff protection. Hybrid sets are Bio Armor, Dark Armor, Energy Aura, Ice Armor, Invulnerability, and Willpower. IIb. Utility Regardless of the secondary powerset you take, your defenses will generally be acceptable to get the job done. Your offense is more questionable. There's a few ways that a secondary powerset can improve your offense: 1. A direct damage improvement. Exclusive to Bio Armor, Fiery Aura, and Radiation Armor. 2. Improved recharge times. Exclusive to Energy Aura, Electric Armor, Radiation Armor, and Super Reflexes. 3. Foe debuffs and controls. Featured in Dark Armor, Electric Armor, Energy Aura, Ice Armor, Ninjitsu, and Radiation Armor 4. Improved endurance management. Most secondary powersets have this as an option. It's noteworthy that Dark Armor tends to have a lot of endurance problems, on the other hand. There are other additional perks each powerset has, but these are the most useful to discuss. Generally an Energy Blast Sentinel will prioritize 1 and 2, as Energy itself has no real synergy with 3; knocks forbid any sort of action for a brief period, while debuffs degrade the utility of actions when taken. However, teammates definitely will benefit from debuffs, so that's still an option. III. Guide to Enhancements IIIa. Enhancement Types There are five main kinds of enhancements, items used to improve the effect of your superpowers: - Training Origin: These enhancements drop randomly from level 1 to 21 and can be bought in stores. These are very, very weak. - Dual Origin: These enhancements require someone to have two of the five origins in the game to actually equip them. They are twice as strong as Training Origin, but still pretty weak. The lowest level DOs are available is 13. - Single Origin: These enhancements require someone to have one of the five origins in the game to equip them. They are twice as strong as Dual Origin, and are the original standard the game was based around. The lowest level SOs are available is generally 22, although there are some exceptions to this. - Special Origin: These are SO strength enhancements that affect two or more categories simultaneously. These drop from the Hamidon Raid, the Crystal Titan and Hydra Trials, and the Miss Liberty and Lord Recluse Taskforces. Don't plan your build around these before 50 and if you get any before 50, sell them on the Consignment House; Homecoming will convert Special Origin Enhancements of any level to all of the levels at which they can be found, so a good one is worth a lot of influence. These four kinds of Enhancements can be boosted up to two times by combining them with another enhancement of the same level. - Invention Origin: These enhancements, unlike the other four types, never 'wear out' -- you can never reach a level at which your IOs stop giving you a benefit. The drawback is that they're initially expensive to craft, and they do not reach their full strength until level 50. However, by level 25 IOs are almost as good as SOs, and at level 35, they are better. IOs sometimes boost more than one category at a time, although not as strongly as Special Origin usually. You can identify a standard IO by its hexagonal shape. You may go to any university and craft IOs, beginning at level 10. You will have to purchase a recipe from the workbench if you did not already find one to craft. IOs can come in 'sets' that grant special bonuses for slotting more than one IO from that set into a single power. If an IO is part of a set, you can never slot two of the exact same IO into the same power. There is a subtype of IO sets called 'attuned' and these enhancements automatically scale with your level to a maximum benefit of the IO set's possible highest level; sets cap out at any level from 20 to 50. These IOs have a round shape with a silver filigree border. If you have exceeded an attuned set's max level, the tooltip will say that it has continued to scale beyond that maximum level, but that is a lie. Finally, IOs that are not attuned can be 'boosted' up to five times using a fairly expensive enhancement booster. IO sets generally are very expensive for a new player, so I won't go into how to obtain them here. IIIb. Hit the Slots You cannot use the same strategy for putting enhancements in your powers from levels 1 to 50, unfortunately. What's optimal at 50 is not feasible at 10, and what's optimal at 10 is pretty trash at 50. Until you're near to level 50, the first thing you need to focus on is the efficacy of your attacks -- how well they do their job -- and the second target is your efficiency -- how much endurance or time they cost to do their job. -- Accuracy: As a general rule, 1 to 2 accuracy enhancements (I prefer one, for Energy Blast) of a recent level are all you need. While we previously discussed how bad TOs and DOs are, you get a bonus to your accuracy below combat level 20 that compensates. Note that you will lose this bonus whenever you sidekick above level 20, so be careful participating in higher-level content. -- Damage: Three of these, as fast as you can after accuracy. If it's defeated, it can't hurt you. That will leave you with one or two slots for endurance reduction and recharge reduction, which may feel (is) cramped. You will likely want to invest in a few -- not a lot, but a few, maybe two or three per attack power -- attuned IOs that combine two of the things you're looking for in order to save yourself a slot. As a general rule, the more attacks you take, the less you need recharge reduction, but that comes with its own problems. Slotting at 50 is a whole new ballgame, and I'll get into that on a per-power basis below. IIIc. Rating Format My Power Ratings are broken up like so: NAME: The Name of the Power (Tier; Level) TYPE: Attack, Heal, Buff, etc. DESCRIPTION: The official description of the attack. NOTES: My own general thoughts on this power. SEE ALSO: Other powers you may consider taking instead or alongside this one. HASTEN: How much you want Hasten for this power on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being lowest, and 5 being highest. SLOTTING: Recommendations on slotting this power as... Minimal: Ignoring set bonuses or going only for very small set bonuses. Offensive: Maximizing your damage (or mez if it's a control effect). Defensive: Going for defense set bonuses. Recharge: Maximizing your global recharge with this power. Unique: Targeting one of the unusual aspects of this power, these will generally be individual Unique IO recommendations or interesting choices from the Special Origin set.
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