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  1. Hey there! ColdZero from Homecoming/Excelsior here. This is a guide on how to play City of Heroes on Linux. We will be running the 64-Bit version of City of Heroes, if you are curious. This guide presumes that you already have you GPU drivers installed. NVIDIA users (may) have to install it themselves, while AMD users (may) not have to, but it doesn't hurt to check. If you have any issues, PLEASE make sure you've installed your GPU drivers properly. Also, if you're using an iGPU (Integrated GPU), disabling it should fix some issues that you may run into. Tips are BLUE Attentions are RED My system specs: *Pop!_OS 20.04 *i7-4770 with Kernel version 5.4.0-7634-generic *Nvidia GTX 970 (using driver 440.100) *16GB DDR3 RAM To be able to do this, you'll need the files for i24 / Homecoming. If you don't already have it, then you can click this link here to download the files. They will be out of date, so we'll be updating them later on in the guide ourselves. Please note that FireFox can't download files past a certain size with that link, so you will need to use Chrome / Chromium to download the game. Prerequisites: *Linux *A dedicated graphics card (although integrated graphics should run as well, although I haven't tested) *A dual-core CPU (Tested on an i3-4130, i7-4770, and an AMD FX 4300 CPU) or better. *At least 4GB of RAM The start of the guide Now, we're going to need to have 3 things already for this process to be simplified. These three things are as followed: A copy of City of Heroes already, one that we have ourselves that we can simply copy over, or the one downloaded from the link above. Wine to already be installed. If you don't have it, you can easily install it yourself by following the guide here VIA the official WineHQ website for your current flavor of Linux. Just search for your flavor (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora) and open the Terminal, then copy-paste the commands it gives you to follow. Make sure to grab winehq-stable. For Lutris to be installed. Grab it here. We're going to go ahead and make sure that you have WINE properly installed. To do this, please run this in your Terminal. Do note that your version may be different than mine as this guide ages. Next, we have to add City of Heroes: Homecoming (CoH: HC) to Lutris. The video below will show you how to do so. Please note that it's a little fast as I need to be quick due to "Max total size" limits for uploading, and as such I had to compress the videos. Please, full-screen the videos so you can follow along. Adding_CoH.mp4 When you run CoH: HC (Tequila) for the first time, you'll encounter 3 of these pop-ups. They're necessary to run the program, so please, install them. Once that's done and those files are installed, we need to navigate to the CoH: HC directory, which is shown in this video. Please note that your directory may be different if you've placed it in a different folder. Selecting_Tequila_Directory(2).mp4 While validating files, you (may) come across an error that states "Insufficient Memory". Getting past this is simple, just exit out of Tequila first, and then click "Ok", as shown below Insufficient_Memory(1).mp4 Please note that it will always say that "The file Tequila.exe already exists", just click "Ok", as it doesn't matter. That's it! Every time you want to play CoH: HC, you need to run Lutris, then CoH: HC, then the 64-bit version of the game. Tequila will automatically update as it normally does. I hope this helps you with getting CoH: HC running on Linux! If you have any issues, please, post something here and I'll try my best to help you out!
  2. Currently a work in progress, but will be updating as I go. This thread will be used to compile my thoughts on Ice Tankers, all the secondary sets I've tried on Ice Tanking, As well as data mining things such as "How taunting actually works" and suggestions on how to improve/change Defense-based tanker sets.
  3. I have a lvl50 Stone Tank, lvl50 Warshade, lvl50 Peacebringer and other characters with teleport or, mystic flight. Along the way, I've come to know what I like and don't like. I also have a lot of binds and a lot of alts, leading me, like a lot of people I'd guess, to start putting energy in to one global profile to cover as much as makes sense and smaller profiles for toons that develop out of it. I'm up to 11 level 50s in all so, that global has matured a lot along the way. There's great guides on this topic already. They've definitely helped steer me along the way. if this is something you're interested in, I highly recommend checking the previous posts for more information. This guide will be focused on what I haven't come across yet. Couple quick things, 1. I haven't tried Jaunt yet. I suspect this works but it hasn't been tested. With P2W flight and Ninja/Beast Run, I don't tend to lean towards travel powers like back in live. My stone tank's run speed at almost 70mph. KInd of an extreme example although, at an average of 60mph on others... anyway. 2. I've messed around with powexeclocation but ultimately, my preference for teleport is excename. I use powexeclocation for other things and I'm fairly confident it can be used here, interchangeably. 3. I only like LeftDoubleClick, sometimes. I use the client to grab a, "fresh off the press" copy of keybind.txt as the base for my global file. I splurged on some extra characters and named it Global.txt. This first bit goes in there. @/Global.txt SHIFT+LBUTTON "powexecname Translocation$$powexecname Jaunt$$powexecname Teleport$$powexecname White Dwarf Step$$powexecname Shadow Step" LeftDoubleClick nop CTRL+LeftDoubleClick "bindloadfilesilent @/!/LDCTP1.txt" My active binds are kept in the Install/data folder. My subfolder is, "@", where all the binds go. CTRL+LeftDoubleClick loads a file to mimic SHIFT+LBUTTON. It's in another subfolder named, "!". It's for anything global, Global.txt couldn't manage alone. Edit to taste. @/!/LDCTP1.txt LeftDoubleClick "powexecname Translocation$$powexecname Jaunt$$powexecname Teleport$$powexecname White Dwarf Step$$powexecname Shadow Step" CTRL+LeftDoubleClick "bindloadfilesilent @/!/LDCTP0.txt" CTRL+: Flips LeftDoubleClick back to my preferred default, off. @/!/LDCTP0.txt LeftDoubleClick nop CTRL+LeftDoubleClick "bindloadfilesilent @/!/LDCTP1.txt" This manages itself until the next reset. Warshade Minimum So, on to warshades. We have Shadow Step covered, so Dwarf is all we're missing. I'm using, a minimalist global folder structure here. Everyone has their own methods, so I wanted to present a, "just the facts" version to illustrate my thinking and conforms to other methods with less to cut. Afterwards, a puffed-up opinion piece, closer to what I use. That being said, Essentially, I'm mimicing the above. 1. @/WSToonName/NotDwarfBinds.txt - Minimum <KEY1> "powexectoggleon Black Dwarf$$bindloadfilesilent @/Global.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/WSToonName/IsDwarfBinds.txt" This is a bare minimum option. <KEY1> loads the Dwarf binds. 2. @/WSToonName/IsDwarfBinds.txt - Minimum SHIFT+LBUTTON powexecname Black Dwarf Step LeftDoubleClick powexecname Black Dwarf Step CTRL+LeftDoubleClick "bindloadfilesilent @/!/WS-LDCTP0.txt" <KEY2> "powexectoggleoff Black Dwarf$$bindloadfilesilent @/Global.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/WSToonName/NotDwarfBinds.txt" Unlike the multi power option, I prefer LeftDoubleClick's default is functional if I go Dwarf. <KEY2>, pops back to human form and Shadow Step is restored. 3. @/!/WS-LDCTP0.txt - Minimum LeftDoubleClick nop CTRL+LeftDoubleClick "bindloadfilesilent @/!/WS-LDCTP1.txt" This keeps the activity, back and forth, in the global folder . 4. @/!/WS-LDCTP1.txt - Minimum LeftDoubleClick powexecname Black Dwarf Step CTRL+LeftDoubleClick "bindloadfilesilent @/!/WS-LDCTP0.txt" And, like the first bit, this manages itself until <KEY2> gets pressed. Then, were back to square one. WIth that, the teleport part is finished. It's nothing fancy but, hopefully useful. Warshade Options So, here's a little more QOL and global flexibility. The teleport part is essentially the same. For anyone just getting familiar with this, we're rolling binds. Anyone who's spent any time with them will testify, interrupts, too-much-too-fast keyboard action or occasional glitches can knock them out of sync. With easy access to reset them, it's hardly worth mentioning. WIthout, possible disaster. Likely frustration. There's a lot of ways to do this and, here's a couple I use a variation of. 1. @/Nictus/BuildWithDwarf/NotDwarfBinds.txt SHIFT+1 "powexectoggleon Dark Nova$$windowhide Tray7$$gototray 4$$unbindall$$bindloadfilesilent @/Global.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/General.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/!/Kheld.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/BuildWithNova/IsNovaBinds.txt" SHIFT+3 "powexectoggleon Black Dwarf$$windowhide tray7$$gototray 4$$unbindall$$bindloadfilesilent @/Global.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/General.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/!/Kheld.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/BuildWithDwarf/IsDwarfBinds.txt" SHIFT+C "+$$powexectoggleon Penumbral Shield$$powexectoggleon Twilight Shield$$powexectoggleon Gravity Shield" CTRL+C "powexectoggleoff Black Dwarf$$powexectoggleoff Dark Nova$$windowshow tray7$$gototray 9$$unbindall$$bindloadfilesilent @/Global.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/General.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/BuildWithDwarf/NotDwarfBinds" CTRL+R "up 0$$down 0$$forward 0$$backward 0$$left 0$$right 0$$camreset$$unbindall$$bindloadfilesilent @/Global.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/General.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/BuildWithDwarf/NotDwarfBinds.txt" I've added spaces, for legibility, that will need to be deleted before using. The rest of these can be edited for your pleasure. The Keys are relevant accept to illustrate one of the QOL pieces. SHIFT+1: Only added to illustrate where toggling on Nova fits in. SHIFT+3: Toggles Dwarf on, handles some window & tray stuff and then the binds load as follows. unbindall: I use this like it's part of an attack chain. Personally, I've found using it often means not really needing it. *(READ FOOTNOTE BEFORE USE!!) Global.tx: Now, it's my personal clean slate. Nictus/AllBuildBInds.txt: The Character's general binds load to catch Global overrides or, anything unique. Kheld.txt: I have global file for both forms, shared by PBs & WS so, Kheld.txt... This would be where it goes, if you do to otherwise, it's dead to us. BuildWithDwarf/NotDwarfBinds.txt: I spend more time on the human form so, a division. SHIFT+C: Notice the +$$ in the front, that's why I added the key names, it serves two functions In human, it kicks on two shields at once. More importantly, it picks up a cue from SHIFT+C in the next file and kicks on gravity shield, coming out of the other forms. If there's a bind issue, it buys a little time. CTRL+C: Emergency protocol if anything interrupted SHIFT+C. In most cases, rolling SHIFT+C works so, another key is the only choice for insurance. (Unbindall is in here too.) CTRL+R: Restores default NotDwarf state. I use this command for reset on everything. (Unbindall is in here too.) 2. @/Nictus/BuildWithDwarf/IsDwarfBinds.txt SHIFT+LBUTTON powexecname Black Dwarf Step LeftDoubleClick powexecname Black Dwarf Step CTRL+LeftDoubleClick "bindloadfilesilent @/!/Kheld/WS-LDCTP0.txt" SHIFT+3 "windowhide tray7$$gototray 4" SHIFT+C "-$$powexectoggleoff Black Dwarf$$powexectoggleoff Dark Nova$$windowshow Tray7$$gototray 9$$unbindall$$bindloadfilesilent @/Global.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/AllBuildBinds.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/BuildWithDwarf/NotDwarfBinds.txt" CTRL+C nop CTRL+R "up 0$$down 0$$forward 0$$backward 0$$left 0$$right 0$$camreset$$unbindall$$bindloadfilesilent @/Global.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/General.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/!/Kheld.txt$$bindloadfilesilent @/Nictus/BuildWithDwarf/IsDwarfBinds.txt" The teleport binds show up again. The path added a subfolder named /Kheld/ which isn't necessary. It's only there to further illustrate the global purpose. SHIFT+1: Is gone, carried over from the last file and still toggles Nova on. SHIFT+3: We're in Dwarf so, this just maintains the window and tray stuff. SHIFT+C: Starts with -$$ to carry over to the last SHIFT+C command and auto toggle a primary shield. Both forms are toggled off, window & tray stuff then load the previous state. (Unbindall is in here too.) CTRL+C: With the rolling bind on SHIFT+C having more to offer, I only wanted CTRL+C if, SHIFT+C fails. Deleting it here, preserves its original command if, preferred. CTRL+R: Restores default NotDwarf state. I use this command for reset on everything. (Unbindall is in here too.) The last two steps from the Minimum version are nearly identical. Only the paths have changed to protect the innocent. We went from, @/!/WS-LDCTP0.txt to. @/!/Kheld/WS-LDCTP0.txt. *UNBINDALL/KEYBINDRESET: These two commands are identical. They will wipe your active (Client managed) bind file clean. You won't be able to recover what was lost. Bindsavefile, managing files locally and knowing what you need to load and when, is imperative to successfully implementing either of these. If you're not sure what these do, don't use them without doing some homework. I apologize for endlessly nagging about this. I'd just hate to find out, I was the guy that walked you through vaporizing your data, like it didn't matter. If this tutorial was helpful, I posted a recovery guide right here. Thanks for checking out the guide! Let me know If there's any corrections, improvements or elaboration in order.
  4. R_M'S GUIDE TO R_M'S GUIDES or THE DAY THE HAT RACK FELL OVER It's been said that I'll write a guide at the drop of a hat. Just looking at all the guides I've written since City of Heroes came back in the form of Homecoming, it's possible the people saying it might be right. Here are all the post-Homecoming guides, from right here on this forum. Rather than the order in which they were written, I'm listing them in the order I think they would be useful to new players. The Complete Newcomer's Guide to City of Heroes Introduction to the Game Logging In and Character Creation Basic Terminology and Concepts Starting Out with Your First Character Mini-Guide: How to Autofill your Login Name and Password How to Make Millions on the Market in Minutes A P2W Store Primer A Reward Merit Vendor Primer R_M's Auction House Guide to Fixed-Price Items and Special Salvage A Powerleveling Primer Getting Around the City of Heroes and Villains (and Praetorians) How to Unlock All Mayhem Missions in a Hurry Running the Abandoned Sewer Trial Running a Speedy Justin Augustine TF A Comprehensive Guide to the Incarnate System Running the Behavioral Adjustment Facility Incarnate Trial R_M's Guide to Writing Guides But those aren't the only guides I've written to City of Heroes. Here are a few others that are still relevant (including a little updating by me for the new I25 realities). R_M's Guide to Team Leadership R_M's Consignment Market Buying Guide for the Casual Player R_M's Guide to Soloing the Bloody Bay Shiva Strike Mission And here are a couple that are out-of-date and need work to be brought current, if they can even be brought current at all. If I update them, I'll edit this post to move them to the previous category. For now, just remember: the stuff I say here may no longer be true. (This is especially true for the "XP Gain" guide, which is more useful as a reminder of how things used to work than an indication of how they work today.) R_M's Guide to Obtaining Invention Set Recipes Outside the Auction House R_M's I9/I10 XP Gain/Debt Loss Guide R_M's Guide to Getting Cheap Months (heh)
  5. Lobster's (Rambling) Guide to Mastermind Epic Pools (I'll be editing this to fix formatting and update as time permits, apologies for any errors in the initial post!) Background info: This is in part a guide to the mastermind epic pools, it's also prep for another post I'll make with suggestions for improvement, hopefully providing good examples as to why they are semi-terrible and, in my opinion, the worst collection of epic+patron powers (compared to the other ATs). Incarnate 50s on live: Bots/dark, Nec/dark, Nec/pain, Demon/pois, Merc/storm, Nin/Time, Beast/traps Non 50s on live : 30 level 30+ of varying combos. Current MMs: 50 Thug/cold, 50 beast/time, 38 nec/nature: 20s-mid 30s: Merc/rad, Demons/dark, merc/storm, demon/kin. What do *I* think an epic/patron (hereafter I'll just say "epic" for both) pool should provide? At least one of the following: It should give the AT access to something they can't typically do that affects how they can play and what they can do: for example blasters getting armors, controls and debuffs, scrappers getting ranged attacks, debuffs and controls, etc. It should provide a compelling and distinct reason to pick a given set over another. There is a marked difference between choosing Body Mastery (conserve power, focused accuracy, physical perfection) or Leviathan Mastery (snipe, ranged attacks, hold, pets) on a scrapper, or Ice Mastery vs. Leviathan master on a dominator, for example. What should it NOT do? Give the AT worse versions of what they already have (most attacks in the MM pools). Give the AT access to something they can't typically do in a sub-par fashion that doesn't let them do anything they couldn't do before : the attacks in the MM epics also fall in this category for me. Give them things that archetype doesn't want or need (more taunts for tanks, armor "nukes" for masterminds) Be basically the same as another epic pool but with a damage/element type shift. Mechanical background : MM attacks, ROUGH stats: T1 blast : ~30/3-4s/5.5-6.5 end T2 blast: ~50/6-8s/9.5-10.5 end Cone: ~45/14s/17 end Aoe: ~27/16s/19 end Energy Defender ROUGH stats for comparison. Note that other other than the sort of weird higher cone damage (For more end and more recharge), defenders do more damage across the board, and are a low damage AT. T1 blast: 36/4s/5end T2 blast: 60/8s/8.5end cone: 35/12s/12end aoe: 33/16s/15end The pools So, what does each having going for them? Charge Cone: 28/12s/15 1T HOLD 66% duration godmode (31% uptime with 155% global recharge) Melee (with minor pbaoe): 60/36s/12.7 Aoe hold (EMP: comes with penalties, huge recharge) Chill Range: 31/8s/10.6 Aoe sleep Long timer dull pain [25s downtime with 175% rech) ARMOR: S/L defense, C/F res Hibernate Field Range: 31/8s/10.6 ARMOR: S/L res Cone: 29/24s/14.8 Aoe: 27.5/16s/19 66% duration godmode (31% uptime with 155% global recharge) Heat Bonfire Range: 40/8s/6.5 Aoe: 38/32s/19 1t HOLD Self Res Leviathan Cone immob Cone: 36/32s/19 Melee: 109/40s/23 (for comparison, tanker KO Blow s 158/25s/18.5, and they can pair it with Rage) ARMOR: S/L/C res 1T Hold Mace Aoe immob ARMOR: S/L/E defense, tox res Aoe: 30/32s/19 POWER BOOST 1T hold Mu Cone: 30/32s/19 ARMOR: S/L/E res Aoe immob with -KB Melee: 60/36s/12.7 1T HOLD Soul Cone: 33/20s/16.4 ARMOR: S/L/N/T res Oppressive Gloom Cone immob 1T HOLD You'll note that I bolded some powers. These powers are the powers *I* label as the defining powers in a set - the powers (or power in some cases) that make that set unique and worth taking. These are the powers that either bring something new or unique to the table or are just plain good or fun. Digression: I DO NOT CONSIDER "DAMAGE VIA ATTACKS" as a thing for masterminds. I know some people like to use the attacks, or play crazy petless MMS, but I would argue that those people are playing against type (which is fine, but don't expect special consideration for it, it would be like a tank trying to play without their armors and focusing on soft controls or something). Therefore, if an epic pool is going to have attacks in it, it should provide them in a way that do significant damage, letting us do something we wouldn't normally do. A good comparison is the single target holds in the scrapper epics : they are pretty usable if you want to take them and, while worse than controller/dominator holds, when slotted they are very good at what they do. I would argue that all the attacks in the mastermind epics are garbage in the sense that while they do provide that attack, they don't provide it at a significant level to be relevant. I would be totally fine with an epic pool that had 2-3 attacks, mean for MMs who really want to attack, that were significantly stronger than the base mastermind attacks (in the same way that pool attacks - I've heard - are better than you would think because they don't suffer the mastermind damage penalties). The powers Armors: The resist armors are "fine" - and if you are taking a set with the armors and have room there's no reason not to take them, but they're not letting you do things you couldn't before. You were already tanky if you make the best use of bodyguard. They just make you a bit better at that. The defense armors (of which there are only TWO for 8 sets, we'll come back to that) however, are great, because they can let you hit the defcap for smashing and lethal, which is a new thing and can have a noticeable effect on play. Aoe immobilizes : There are a lot of them, so I don't consider most of them as set defining (except for Mu's, which has -KB which can be amazing to counter your pets knockback and keep enemies in bot burn patches for example), but they do give most sets access to a new, useful tool and are worth taking. Single target holds: These are sort of a middle ground in the sense that they do let some sets do things they couldn't, and make others much better at locking down bosses. However, they are present in many sets (like resist armors) so I don't rate them as set defining. However, I definitely recommend taking those whenever you have one available. The godmodes I have rated as unique and set defining but I personally view them as a waste except as set mules, but I understand others might disagree so I highlighted them in case that's your thing. Probably more relevant to tankermind builds who don't mind having the right inspirations available to offset the annoying crashes. AOE controls: the sleep from chill and EMP from charge : limited though these are, they are still aoe controls - something most secondaries lack - so they can be useful. That being said, I have never felt a need to take EMP (or the energy pool in general…), but I have use the sleep on occasion to aid with split pulling or to keep a second spawn from aggroing. Not much use in mid to late game teaming, basically a soloing aide. Hibernate & Rise of the Phoenix are unique and if you like them, worth taking the pool for. Power boost is amazing for many secondaries (goes great with /time's Farsight!). Strange that it is missing from the Energy pool, as it was a signature power in the blaster energy secondary to start…. It's also frustrating that it's only in a set that was already very good. KO Blow : I have never taken it because 23 end for an attack that does less damage than a Scrapper T1 (to give you an idea of how much of an enemy's life% you will hit for) is silly to me, no matter how cool the animation is. E very set has a terrible damage cone power, and some also have terrible damage blasts or single target attacks (yes, TF looks huge compared to our other attacks, but it's less than a scrapper T1). Tl;ndr: Why pick one pool over another? Charge - Pick it if you want EMP. For me, I can't think of a non-thematic reason why I would pick this pool - I don't think EMP is good enough to be worth the drawbacks and recharge. Also, as I said above, I don't think the attacks or godmodes - as they are - are good mechanical options for masterminds. Chill - pick it if you want to cap S/L defense and don't want mace. Dull pain and hibernate are also solid and more like the kind of long recharge defensive power I would want on an MM (compared to the godmodes), so overall it's a solid defensive set. Field - Don't pick this set? The only thing it has going for it is a godmode… It looks like it wants to be the ranged attack set, but the #s on these attacks are so bad I can't recommend them. This set should have had at least power boost or boost range going for it. Heat - Pick this for Bonfire. The attacks are crap, luckily you can skip them and grab Char (and Rise of the Phoenix if you really want a self rez). Bonfire was good before, now with the kb->kd proc it's an amazing control for MMs, with some damage (probably more if you run a bunch of procs). Leviathan - Take it for theme? I dunno, unless you want to throw sharks or spit vomit, I don't see anything special about this set. KO blow would be cool, except for the whole "less that T1 scrapper damage". Shame we didn't get the Arctic Breath option from brutes, that at least has -def and -res debuffs. One thing you can do with this set is use KB blow for the hold and get two holds from the set…I mean, that's something? Mace - pick this for Power Boost AND capping S/L defense. It also has a solid aoe immob and a hold - oh and a random skippable cone (same damage as your existing aoe but double the recharge!). If there's a "best" set for raw power, this is it. Mu - Pick this for Electrifying Fences (what??). Seriously. It's the only aoe immob we have access to that has -kb on it. Meaning that it will hold enemies in your Bots burn patch instead of letting them get knocked out of it by all the other blasts. It's also good to a lesser degree with mercs and thugs/ for the same reason. If you don't want to spend precious slots slotting KB->KD procs, and you're bots/, and none of the other epics scream out at you, grab the armor (b/c you have to and it's not bad), the aoe immob and the single target hold. Attacks are garbage. Soul Mastery - Pick this for Oppressive Gloom. If you're going to be in melee all the time (/time, /nature, etc.) having a permanent pbaoe stun aura is great! It only takes out minions, but that's still a decent amount of damage negated and can mag stack with other stuns (/storm's Thunderclap is the main one that comes to mind, but some pets have stunning attacks as well). Thoughts and hopes for the future I'm not happy with where the MM pools are right now, compared to other AT's pool options, but it is what it is - and there are some solid options in there! The recent dominator and snipe changes on the beta have given me hope for interesting balance changes going forward. I'm not sure how sweeping they'll be, but who knows! So I thought it was worth putting out my thoughts on these pools, after having spent ….way too many hours on too many masterminds on live and now. With this in mind, I'm working on a suggestion post for later tonight or tomorrow. EDIT: I finally got around to putting together and formatting my overhaul suggestions, which are here.
  6. R_M'S GUIDE TO WRITING GUIDES or GUIDECEPTION When someone on Discord suggested I write this, it was meant as a joke—but after I thought about it, I realized I did have a few pointers I could pass on about guide-writing. And passing on pointers is what writing a guide is all about, so…here we are. Hopefully these tips will provide you with a bit of guidance that will help you make your own guides even better. But if you want some really useful advice, and have the time and effort to spend, I'd suggest reading a book or two about technical writing for beginners. For example, Technical Writing for Dummies. It's fashionable to make fun of the "for Dummies" title, but these books are usually written in a clear and simple style that helps get the basic point across. It's not going to come close to what you'd get from a technical writing degree or even a single school course, but you don't exactly need to study rocket science to write a computer game guide. If you don't want to spend the money to buy it, you can probably find something suitable in your public library's ebook program. KEEP IT SIMPLE, SIR-OR-MA'AM First things first. There is a form of cognitive bias nearly everyone has, and about the only way to overcome it is work in technical support for a while. After we learn to do something, we tend to forget how hard it was to learn. We just know that it's easy for us now, and we unconsciously assume that everyone else knows about the same things. So we tend to skip steps that are obvious to us but aren't obvious to other people. For example, say you wanted to tell someone how to clear their web browser cache. Your natural impulse might be to say "All right, open your web browser's 'options' menu, and…" But the person you're talking to might not necessarily understand computers. You might need to start by telling them to log into Windows, or even to make sure that their computer's power switch is turned on. If your guide is going to be most useful, you need to start from basic principles. That's why, in my own guide to making millions on the market in minutes, I don't just tell people, "Craft an Uncommon Enhancement and convert it by type until you have a Rare." I go step by step, telling them how to open the converter interface, drag the Enhancement into it, and so on. It may help you to pretend you're explaining it to your mother. 🙂 ESCHEW OBFUSCATION Try to keep your language as simple as possible, avoiding using too many and too long words. If someone is trying to figure out an unfamiliar process, they shouldn't also have to struggle with unfamiliar words or grammar. I'm not always best at this, myself; my natural writing style tends toward verbosity. But pay attention to feedback. If someone tells you they're having a hard time understanding part of your instructions, you may have to go back and rephrase. TRY NOT TO GUESS Sometimes in some of my guides, I didn't know something, so I took a guess. Guess what parts of the guides turned out to be wrong? If you don't know something, and haven't been able to find it out, say so. It's okay; no one expects you to know everything. Of course, that only works when you actually know you're guessing. And, of course, if someone points out somewhere that you were wrong, you should correct the guide when you can. MAKE LISTS Lists can be useful when you have multiple things to discuss. If there are separate steps you're describing that lend themselves well to doing sequentially, a numbered list works great. If you want to describe multiple related things, a bullet list is a good choice. These make it easier for readers to process multiple steps or multiple items than just writing paragraphs about them. ASK FOR FEEDBACK It can be a good idea to run your guides by beta readers before you post them. They can tell you whether you're being clear enough for someone who isn't you to understand, as well as point out any problems with grammar or spelling they notice. If any other good ideas cross my mind, I'll make sure to update this guide to say so. As always, if I made any mistakes, please let me know!
  7. Greetings, fellow Khelds!🐙🎩 After running around in-game and here on the forums for a while, I decided to recreate my old Peacebringer guide and update it for Homecoming. The game may be a little different now but I wanted to give prospective PBs a place to start as they consider rolling one of our beloved energy sea creatures. I'll try to keep an eye on this post in the future to address any feedback or questions. Anyway, let's get into into it! Peacebringers STILL SUCK!!! (v. 1.1) You wanna play a Kheldian? Great! They’re challenging ATs to learn but super fun once you get the hang of it. So, to start your Warshade you should…What? You wanna play a Peacebringer? Why? They’re trash. Weak damage, no survivability, and they’ve got those lame light effects instead of the shadowy black and purple tendrils that make you a true edgelord! No lie, I’ve heard all of those arguments against playing a Peacebringer (Okay, maybe not the last one😅). I’m here to tell you that none of them are true. Peacebringers are a great AT and well worth the time it takes to learn, build, and play one well. But before we get into how you should go about doing any of that, let me fill you in on what my deal is. "Who are you, bro?" Name’s Timeshadow. I’m a player from the olden days of the live servers. I first picked up City of Heroes in 2007 after I found a box copy in a game store (They were kind of a big deal for us nerds back in the day🤓). I played consistently until the shutdown in 2012. During those 5 years, I fell in love with the interstellar seafood we know as Kheldians. I ran my first toon, a Scrapper, up to 50 just so I could unlock them (They used to be gated behind the level cap). As soon as I dinged that sweet last level, I immediately rolled a Warshade (I know, I know. Just bear with me here). I’ve got nothing against the darker side of HEATs (That’s Hero Epic Archetypes for those who aren’t familiar), my WS is still my namesake, but I found they’re just not for me. There are a few reasons for that but the main one is their lack of self-sufficiency. Everything that makes a WS great depends on having enemies, alive in some cases and dead in others, to draw on for fuel. I’m more of an independent kinda guy. "...Ok, so why should I listen to you about Peacebringers?" Well, you clicked on this guide so you’re obviously pretty desperate😜 Seriously though, I’ve logged hundreds of hours playing PB. I ran my main, Sunsquall, through plenty of TFs, PUGs, and Incarnate content back on live. When Homecoming went public, I recreated him and he’s still my main to this day. Through all that, I’ve redesigned him dozens of times. Defense builds, Human-only, you name it; the AT is special to me and I’ve invested a lot into making sure my PB can perform at the top of his game. Anyway, that’s enough about me. Let’s get into the guide. We’ll start off with a leveling walkthrough, then I’ll cover some IO sets you’ll wanna be on the lookout for once you’re ready to start dropping some Influence on your build. Levels 1-5: Just Getting By Honestly the first five levels are pretty trivial. You’ve got a couple of attacks, a Resistance toggle, and self-heal on a long cooldown that also boosts your MaxHP. I recommend taking Gleaming Bolt and Glinting Eye to give you something like an attack chain (They'll also be nice when you get your forms later on since they can be used while those forms are active). Shining Shield, your Smashing/Lethal Resistance toggle is okay but at this level the incoming damage you’ll be facing is so low that you really don’t need to worry about it. Essence Boost is a pretty big help if you do get into trouble but its long cooldown makes it kinda tough to use until you can get some slots into it down the road. At this level, you’re gonna spend most of your time using the inherent flight powers PBs get to stay out of danger while you blast from on high. The levels will pass pretty quickly so you won’t have much to worry about. Level 6: Tentacles of DOOM! Reaching level 6 is the first milestone of a Kheldian’s journey. Why, you ask? Because that’s when you get access to Bright Nova, otherwise known as Squid Form. This squiggly little thing is gonna be your primary form of ranged DPS. It’s a floating artillery platform that comes pre-loaded with two single target attacks (Bright Nova Bolt and Blast), and two AoEs (Bright Nova Scatter and Detonation). The best thing about Nova form is that it’s powerful enough to chew through most mobs’ HP at this level without any investment at all. That’ll change later on but for now you should enjoy being able to rain death from the sky at the click of a button. The other big thing about hitting level 6 is that it’s the time to start using some binds. Why do you need binds? Good question. See, Kheld forms come with their own set of unique powers that can only be accessed when in the associated form. In practice, that means you’re gonna have a lot of powers sitting in your trays. Using binds allows you to make sure you have quick, intuitive access to those unique powers whenever you change form. Let’s take a look at what your Nova bind should look like: That’s your basic bind to activate Bright Nova and switch one of your power trays to the one where you keep your Bright Nova powers. You just need to replace [Number] with…well, a number. In my case, I keep Bright Nova on my main tray (The one at the bottom of my screen) in slot 8 and my Bright Nova powers on tray 8. So, I just replace [Number] with 8 and I’m good to go. I also highly recommend that you use individual bind files for each form. Otherwise it can be difficult to make shifting in and out of your forms nice and smooth as it should be. Here’s what that looks like using the above bind as a base: With that first bind in place, you’ll have one bind to toggle Nova on, switch your tray, and load a file with whatever Nova binds you wanna set up. The second bind will turn Nova off and load the file that contains your Human form binds. The one snag with that set-up is if things get confused, either by input error or some kind of quirk in the game itself. It’s very realistic to assume that at some point you’re gonna be in one form with the binds for a completely different one having been loaded. It’s happened to me plenty of times but I deal with it by keeping a set of macros on an extra power tray that function only to let me load the bind file for whichever form I’m trying to use. They look something like this: Another thing about Bright Nova (And forms in general) is that they come with a built-in boost to your Endurance Recovery that negates the cost of keeping them on. That being said, you’ll probably notice that you can also slot them for End Reduction. Don’t ever do that. A lot of newbie Khelds make the mistake of thinking slotting EndRed into their forms will help manage the costs of using that form’s associated powers. Pro-Tip, it won’t. The only way to reduce the End cost of form powers is to slot them for EndRed individually. Levels 7-19: Building Blocks This is typically a bit of an awkward phase for most ATs. You’re picking up a lot of powers but you don’t have the slots, the Enhancements, or the blue bar to use them all effectively. PBs aren’t much different. Your primary is gonna start filling out a lot here. You’ve got Radiant Strike and Incandescent Strike, two out of the three core pieces of your Human form melee attack chain. There’s also Inner Light, the reworked version of Build Up that starts off giving you a big damage and ToHit buff for 10 seconds, then continues to provide a less impactful buff to the same stats for the next 30. It might not sound like much but the power’s effects carry over when you switch forms. That can create some interesting opportunities when you need to be more of a heavy Scrapper or really want something dead right this minute. By contrast, your secondary doesn’t have a lot to offer just yet. You’ve got two more Resistance toggles (Both of which are made completely irrelevant by Dwarf coming up at level 20) and the abomination that is Group Energy Flight. With the P2W vendor selling various jetpacks and such to any schmo with a little Influence, ain’t nobody gonna need you to make them fly. On top of that, the power comes with a nasty ToHit debuff that the game doesn’t even have the decency to tell you about. Nobody takes this. No-bo-dy. Also, don’t mess with Pulsar. On its face, it seems like a great power. A PBAoE Stun? Who wouldn’t love that? Yeah, that’s until you realize it’s only a mag 2 which means it won’t affect anything but minions. Total waste of a power pick. Level 20: It’s Dwarfin’ Time! Ah! At last, the TriForm comes to life! Remember those Quantum enemies that have been blasting you for huge damage and stunning you to death at the same time? Yeah, they’re dead now. The arrival of White Dwarf (Also known as Lobster Form) makes Quantums (And their later incarnation, the Void Hunters) pretty trivial. Out of the box, Dwarf form gives you about 50% Resistance to all damage types except Psionic. In addition to that, it’s got a full suite of melee attacks, a very effective self-heal, and a taunt. This is your tanking form and it’ll absolutely save your teammates lives. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Dwarf doesn’t have a damage aura like full-fledged Tanks do. That means you’ll have to use active techniques to hold aggro. Basically, you’re gonna need to hit things and use the taunt whenever it’s off cooldown if you wanna keep that Archvillain looking at you instead of your squishy little buddies. An important thing to remember about Dwarf form is that it gives you mezz protection equivalent to that of the defensive powersets. However, that protection only applies while Dwarf is active. On the plus side, that means you can activate Dwarf while mezzed and keep moving. The drawback is those mezzes don’t go away so if you drop out of Dwarf, either by choice or because you run out of End, you’ll suffer the effects of those mezzes again. Be sure to check and make sure there aren’t any nasty enemy powers still affecting you before you try to switch to another form. Dwarf making its glorious entrance also means it’s time for some more binds. Thankfully, they’re basically identical to the ones you’ll have already been using for Nova (You are using them, right? Better be😒). I won’t go over them here since you can just scroll up and modify the power names. However, I should point out that you can switch between Dwarf and Nova without going through Human, provided your form bind files have a bind that will activate the other form. Levels 20-31: Slots! I Need More Slots! Any Kheld player will tell you that slots are the enemy. More than any other AT, Khelds suffer from having way too many powers and not nearly enough slots for all of them. The way to deal with this is by prioritizing what’s important to you (Emphasis on “to you”) and ignoring other stuff until you can afford to make it work. Personally, I recommend focusing on your Nova and Human powers and leaving Dwarf for last. Some players prefer to slot Nova and Dwarf first, then fill in the Human powers. There’s really no wrong way to do this unless you try to keep everything even. I’m telling you now, that doesn’t work. You’ll end up with three forms that are all underpowered and that might be enough to convince you PBs really do suck. I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t get Stamina as an inherent power. Just about every toon was sucking wind and dreaming of the day when they’d be able to get the sweet, sweet Recovery buff it provides. Having it as baseline helps a lot but you’ll still probably want to slot it up as soon as you hit 21. In terms of powers, be sure to pick up Reform Essence at 22. It’s a weaker version of Dwarf’s self-heal and you’ll be using it a lot. In fact, if you alternate between the two, you’ll always have a self-heal ready to go whenever you need one. Keep in mind that even though it’s not as potent as Dwarf’s heal it’ll still restore about half your health once it’s slotted. Don’t pop it when you’re at 75% HP since most of its power will be wasted. At 24, you can grab Quantum Acceleration, a toggle power that’ll make you fly faster. I know, it’s not that great of an effect but the power can serve as a place for one of the Global Recharge procs which will be critical if you’re building for what most PBs do, permanent uptime on your Tier 9 secondary power that gives you capped resistances. Level 24 also brings Conserve Power, a click power that gives you an Endurance discount on all powers for a decent amount of time. It’s pretty okay but if you’re slotted correctly you shouldn’t really need it. You’re definitely gonna want Solar Flare, which becomes available at 26. It’s the PB version of Foot Stomp from the Super Strength powerset. The difference is it comes with Knockback instead of Knockdown as its secondary effect. That’s a problem. The last thing you want is to be that person who scatters the mobs after the Tank has gathered them all up. The only real way to deal with this is to get your hands on a particular type of Enhancement but I’ll cover that later. If you want to, go ahead and pickup Quantum Flight at level 28. It’s a phase toggle that makes you completely invulnerable at 30 second intervals and lets you fly around really fast. Problem is, you can’t affect anything other than yourself and phased enemies while the power is active. This is basically an “OH SH*T!!!” button. Take it or leave it, your call. Level 32: Pretty Lights Go Boom! Level 32 brings you two big damage AoE powers that work in very different ways, Photon Seekers and Dawn Strike. Dawn Strike is your typical nuke. You run into the middle of a spawn, hit this power, and watch everything go sailing off into the distance with a big chunk missing from their HP. Some enemies will just straight up die when this thing goes off. It’s a great way to clear out the minions and lieutenants at a stroke and really hurt bosses. Keep in mind though that this does KB so you need to be careful about when you use it. Think of it as more of an opener rather than part of your attack chain. Photon Seekers are pretty interesting. On use, this power spawns three little pets that will follow you around until they detect an enemy. Once they get a whiff of the bad guys, they’ll make a beeline for them and activate their self-destruct protocol, exploding and dishing out big damage to anything caught in their blast radius. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, it is but there’s a catch. Your Seeker bros are a little bit stupid. Once they come to life, you can’t really control which enemies they target so they’re apt to detonate at the edge of a spawn and potentially completely miss a majority of the mobs. You can mitigate this by summoning them when you’re standing in the middle of a spawn or hovering overhead (Seekers can’t fly so they’ll drop straight down onto the heads of those who are about to die). At this point, you’ve got just about all the powers you’ll need. You can blast with Nova, tank with Dwarf, and deliver some punishing melee attacks with Human. As I said before, you want to be using all three forms as they’re called for. Depending on the content you’re running and whether you’re solo or teamed up, you’ve got the tools to handle anything besides buffing and debuffing. What you should be doing now is learning how to play in a very fluid manner. Form camping is bad, m’kay? Levels 33-37: It’s All About How You Feel, Man Honestly, the best thing about these levels is getting three slots per ding instead of two. This is where you can really start pumping up those powers you’ve been ignoring up to now. Concentrate on making your powers effective in terms of damage, Recharge, and Endurance. If you’re using IO Sets (Which you don’t need to but really should be) try to cram as many bonuses in during this stage of your PB’s life as possible. +Recharge set bonuses are particularly valuable here because you’ve got the PB crown jewel coming up and getting it off cooldown as fast as possible is what most Peacebringers (Myself included) aim for in their builds. The only power of note in this bracket is Reform Essence, a self-rez that becomes available at 35. Some players argue against self-rezzes under the premise that a power you can only use when you’re dead is worthless. They’ll tell you all about how easy CoH is and the ready availability of rez inspirations. There’s some merit to that stance but I like having this power on my tray in case something goes wrong and I end up dying in a crowd of enemies or the support ATs on the team have their rezzes on cooldown. More self-sufficiency is always better, IMO. This particular bracket is pretty open in terms of power choices. You can dive into the pools for whatever seems interesting (A lot of players seem to like the Force of Will powers these days) or pick things that are passable with the built-in single slot. Your playstyle really won’t change here and you should be settling into the AT quite nicely by now. Level 38: The Glorious Light (Form) This is it, the power that really makes PB a standout, Light Form. This power is a click that gives you 85% Resistance to all damage except Psionics for 90 seconds. When it ends, you lose a good chunk of your HP and End but that’s really no problem since you’ve got two beefy self-heals at your disposal. As I mentioned earlier in the guide, one of the main goals for a lot of Peacebringer players is getting perma-Light Form. Having the power available again before its duration runs out lets you basically ignore incoming damage and focus solely on killing whatever’s trying to hurt you with its feeble attacks. Like Inner Light, Light Form’s effects carry over when you switch forms, meaning your Nova form is now just as tanky as Human and Dwarf. You get all the survivability with none of the drawbacks (Except that you still don’t have mezz protection). Until you get enough +Recharge to make Light Form perma or close to it, think of the power as something to use when you’re (a) dying or (b) up against something that can potentially kill you in a few hits. Levels 39+: Filling in the Gaps You’ve come far, my young sushi. This is the home stretch and, strangely, there’s not much to talk about. Due to the sheer number of powers in their primary and secondary, Khelds don’t get access to Epic Power Pools like other ATs do (I’m looking at you, VEATS😡). Fortunately, we really don’t need them. There’s so much to manage in our two main power pools that stacking Epics on top of that would probably just be overkill. Power choice here is entirely up to you but what you should be prioritizing are slots. Again, Khelds often suffer from slot starvation in a way no other AT does so this is a great time to take a look at your build and figure out which powers you want to finish slotting. Do you prefer to run at max level? Then you don’t have to worry about getting those slots allocated in any particular order. Do you wanna be able to help your friends run lower level content for XP, badges, etc.? Then you need to be thinking about how far down you’ll be exemp’d and what that means for your slot choices. This is also the point where I recommend beefing up your Dwarf powers. It’ll never be a DPS monster but having the ability to put out some respectable hurt while also keeping your team safe is always good. I’d advise against trying to go for anything crazy but you’ll definitely want the standard boosts to Accuracy and damage, maybe Recharge if you can fit it in. Beyond all that, you can grab powers that help you do things you otherwise couldn’t. Glowing Touch, the ally heal from your primary can make for a nice little surprise when somebody on your team is getting low on HP. Some players take the Leadership Pool on their Khelds. Nothing wrong with that but because most of its powers are toggles that can only be used in Human form, you might have a tough time keeping these running for your team. The click buffs are pretty good though. "Wow! That was actually kinda helpful man, thanks!" Kinda?! You son of a-😑 If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You now have a solid grasp of how a Peacebringer evolves as you cruise through the levels and, hopefully, are ready to roll one for yourself. Up next, I’ll cover some slotting recommendations for IOs that’ll help you really maximize your PB so you can get out there and sling light with the best of us. If you’re not interested in that or are just worn out from reading this wall of text, I’ll see ya in Paragon City. Take care😁
  8. This is an update/addendum to my old Issue 18 guide, mostly with new information to account for changes since i18. Information in the old guide should still be current unless superseded in this addendum. I may update this as I think of more to add. This addendum assumes you have read the Issue 18 guide linked above. Incarnate powers and the greatly relaxed alignment system are the main highlights of what's changed since i18. The general gist of how a Hamidon raid operates and the strategies have not changed greatly, but it is generally easier nowadays, given a similar level of experience in raiders. Quick Recap The Hamidon raid is a multi-team task characterized by some special mechanics. Hamidon appears as a giant single-celled organism with a nucleus in the middle surrounded by three rings of protective mitochondria. The ultimate goal is to defeat the nucleus. However, the mitochondria, which come in three varieties and are usually identified by their colours, pose a serious threat. Mitochondria Antibodies, which are yellow, fire large, devastating AoE blasts that stun and cause knockback. Mitochondria Electrolytes, which are blue, shoot chaining blasts that cause fear and drain endurance. Mending Mitochondria, which are green, send healing pulses to mitos and Hamidon itself and also deals toxic damage and debuff healing and regeneration. Yellows are the primary threat and are vulnerable mainly to melee attacks. Blues are vulnerable to ranged attacks. Greens are virtually invulnerable until locked down by holds, after which they quickly crumble. Hamidon itself has very high resistance and fires large, hard-hitting AoE blasts that cause stun/KB, mildly debuff healing and regeneration, and also drain a little endurance. Hamidon and its mitochondria ignore traditional defence and resistance. Instead, only the special inspiration Essence of the Earth, dropped by monsters that inhabit the zones Hamidon is found in, provides protection -- an EoE provides, for one minute, full Hamidon resistance and lowers yellow and Hamidon damage down to a manageable level. When Hamidon reaches certain health thresholds (75%, 50%, and 25%) for the first time, it will spawn a new set of mitochondria on top of any that has still not been defeated. These spawn events are called 'blooms'. The canonical strategy for defeating Hamidon, therefore, is to clear out the initial set of mitochondria, reduce Hamidon down to 75%, break off to engage and clear out the bloom (allowing Hamidon to heal back to full), and so on for the next two blooms before finally finishing off Hamidon. This mechanic has been copied in some later content, such as the Lord Winter trial. This addendum uses some jargon from Virtue that may be unfamiliar to many. Tanks or taunters are responsible for drawing the attention of Hamidon or yellow mitos, preferably from a range away from others. Spikers are meleers who descend en masse on yellows to rapidly defeat them. Assaulters are ranged attackers who neutralize blue mitos. Control means using holds to lock down green mitos in order to shut down their regenerating shields. Rewards Hamidon raid now grants, on completion, 80 merits, 4 Empyrean merits (which convert to 40 merits), or a random Hamidon enhancement (HO). The Emp merits and HO may only be chosen once every 18 hours, while the merit option is subject to diminishing returns (halved each time) within that same timeframe. Raids in both the Hive and the Abyss are considered the same activity and share the same timer. To qualify for the reward window, your team (not league) must have dealt damage to the Hamidon nucleus; you need not have personally damaged Hamidon, so a Hamidon tank with no ranged attack who taunts from a range will still get credit as long as their team as a whole has dealt damage. You can run two back-to-back raids, keep the second reward window up for 18 hours, and claim a full reward again after the time has elapsed. It is possible (if a hassle) to continue playing with the reward window up through most content. Note that another reward window will replace the old one, so avoid participating in tasks that open a reward window (e.g. incarnate trials and certain task forces, missions, and zone events). Hamidon's mitos used to be a good source of rare salvage drops, but this appears to have changed, and now they mostly drop common salvage. Because of their high enemy rank, Hamidon buds have decent enhancement converter and catalyst drop rates. Variation in strategies since i18 In general, some of the finer details of Hamidon raid mechanics are less relevant thanks to increased player power level. A brute-force approach can overpower many of the obstacles that were once a challenge. Green heals on yellows come in pulses, and it is trivial these days for a less-than-full team of spikers to output enough damage so that redirecting green heals elsewhere is less essential. The wide availability of long-lasting destiny buffs also reduces the threat posed by Hamidon blasts and removes a need for the Hamidon tank to stay at range. Raid groups with experienced yellow tanks may also skip the step of assignment, which was a lengthy part of pre-launch preparations. Instead, the raid leader could trust that yellow tanks have enough situational awareness to react in a timely fashion and that the rest of the raid group have the wherewithal to survive stray yellow blasts. The need for coordination and leadership is less stringent now with the league system allowing a raid leader to micromanage everything. The league can simply be told to follow a designated leader for yellows, blues, and greens respectively. The availability of the /ah command opens up the market in a raid, both as a storage place and as a means to acquire more inspirations. Be aware that EoE prices tend to spike during raids. Enterprising raiders might consider setting out low bids ahead of time to ensure a ready supply of EoEs, which reduces dependence on monster hunts yielding enough drops. Required roles 1 Hamidon tank 2-6 yellow tanks 3+ spikers 3+ assaulters 4+ control specialists 1-2+ support The above forms the core of what I think of as the bare minimum to pull off a Hamidon raid that is not an exercise in sheer frustration. Obviously, the more you have, the better it is likely to go. Typically, a raid will not need more than one Hamidon tank and six yellow tanks. If a raid group is low on yellow tanks, each may have to take on two or three yellows simultaneously. In a pinch, the Hamidon tank can also take on a yellow. In general, the fewer people you have, the more they'll have to take on dual duties. Spikers may split up and solo a yellow each to alleviate the burden on the tanks. Support should assist with assault and control when buffs are on cooldown. I'm usually comfortable with starting a raid if I have 20 or more people able to fill the above required roles. When a raid has 30 or more people, I become open to skipping the last two blooms depending on DPS. The more people are level 50+1 with all incarnate slots filled, the smoother a raid should be. Experience level of participating players is probably the most important factor. If no one knows what they're doing, then even a full league may run into trouble. While some ATs are more suitable than others, there is no hard restriction on the AT to perform each role. A tank does not have to be a tanker or brute. I myself have done Hamidon tanking as a tanker, brute, scrapper, stalker, and defender. Yellow tanking is best done by a tanker, brute, or scrapper because of their access to an autohit taunt power. However, any AT may take on yellow aggro by attacking them in melee, as long as splash damage on spikers is deemed an acceptable tradeoff. Regarding leagues When you try to invite people to a league, sometimes you may get the message, "Could not invite <Name>, BlockingAccept". This doesn't mean what it sounds like. They have not blocked anything. Simply send another invite. When you invite someone to a league, occasionally it may fail to actually put them on a team despite them appearing as such in the league UI. They will not get team credit for tasks or receive teamwide buffs. If the team or league is overfilled with someone glitched in this manner, it will glitch out the league UI. One method to check is to ask each individual to check their team window to make sure they are on a team. The team leader should have received the message, "Name was unable to join your team", and the victim should have also received the message "You were unable to join Name's team". You may also use /search to see if anyone on the league and in the zone is unteamed. This glitched state can be fixed by moving them to another team (and back) by dragging them in the league window, or you can kick them or ask them to quit and reinvite them. Sometimes, the league window may spontaneously become unpinnable and stretched out horizontally instead of rescaling vertically as normal. At the bottom right corner of the window, there are two arrows to readjust the league window. The right arrow stretches the window horizontally and the down arrow vertically. This adjustment should allow the league window to be pinnable again. If someone joins the league and appears to be in a locked team, they may still be on a TF, Ouroboros flashback, or AE arc. They will have to quit and be reinvited. A league is just a convenient assemblage of multiple teams. It does not replace team mechanics (although powers that target a friendly PC like recall friend and vengeance can work on leaguemates). Defeat credit is still only shared teamwide, as are team buffs. It is best not to leave someone solo on a league (unless that is what you want). You may reorganize teams by dragging bars around in the league window. Check to see that each team is led by a level 50, or the rest of the team will be exemped to a lower level. You may allow the team itself to resolve the issue, or you could move the team leader to another team, which will automatically pass the star to the next person in the team list (the order of which may not match the league display). You could also appoint new team leaders by dragging the desired person to an empty space in the league window (only possible if the league has 5 or fewer teams) and then dragging each member of the old team to the newly opened team. Note that the league UI may decide to flip the team order while you're doing this. There is no known slash command for most league operations, so the GUI is the only way to accomplish most tasks. There is no way to league-invite someone if they are not physically present or have not recently spoken. You can get around that by ensuring your own team has an open spot and then using the team invite command /invite to add them to your team. They can be moved after. An alternative is to (temporarily) add them as a server friend (/friend <name>) and then use the right-click context menu to send a league invite. Someone who is not in the same zone cannot be moved. If they happen to be a team leader, you cannot alter their team. There's not much you can do about it other than waiting or removing them from the league. If, when you try to move a player, you receive the message, " Player can't be moved to that team. The team may be full, locked, or you may have moved another player too recently and need to wait briefly before making another move." and none of the suggested reasons is true, that may mean that the player has the team leader on ignore. A league can have at most 48 members, while the Hive and the Abyss have a zone cap of 50. It's an unfortunate mismatch that means around two people may be left on their own. A raid leader could consider splitting the main league (e.g. two leagues of 25 each or capping the league at about 42 to allow an overflow team to form) or even forgoing leagues at all and coordinating the raid the old-fashioned way. Or the unteamed could just curse their luck and follow along. You can invite a whole team to a league, assuming you have enough space left. Mobility The Hamidon protoplasm is normally blanketed in a slow/interrupting effect. However, area effects appear to be bugged and apply inconsistently, so there is no longer a reliable jump height buff within the goo. Fortunately, jetpacks are cheap and accessible. Hamidon Buds Hamidon Buds have made a return. When Hamidon's body despawns, remnants called Hamidon Buds spawn randomly at players in the zone and as such may appear quite far from the main raid group, depending on player position. All Buds need to be cleared for Hamidon to spawn again. A thorough post-raid sweep is recommended if a subsequent raid is to follow. Incarnate powers The Hamidon nucleus and the monsters in the zones are levelless, but the mitos are level 50. Therefore, having an alpha level shift provides a noticeable benefit. For example, a yellow mito deals 521.6 upfront and 41.34x5 DoT damage to a level 50 character without an Essence of the Earth active. For a level 50 character with an alpha level shift, the damage goes down to 469.44 upfront and 37.2x5 DoT. Destiny is a game changer, though some are less useful than others. Barrier core has almost no noticeable benefit, as Hamidon raid mechanics almost entirely negates defence and resistance. Green mitos deal toxic damage, but the damage from green blasts alone is seldom a great threat in a Hamidon raid. Barrier radial's areal rez may come in handy situationally, though there are better uses for the slot. Rebirth core is simply outclassed by rebirth radial, as many ATs have low HP caps that don't benefit from a buff to max HP. Increasing max HP indirectly increases regen, but the amount from rebirth core is negligible compared to what rebirth radial grants. Rebirth core epiphany gives 374.8 max HP for the first 10 seconds, 160.62 for 30 seconds, 107.08 for one minute, and 53.54 for two minutes. My willpower tanker, as an example, has 3180 HP and 2.9%/s (about 92 HP/s) regen assuming one target in range for Rise to the Challenge and no debuffs. Rebirth core epiphany will hardcap the HP and raise regen to about 102 HP/s, so roughly an increase of 10 HP/s in the first 10 seconds. On the other hand, in the last 60 seconds alone, rebirth radial epiphany grants more than 15 HP/s. It's not even a contest. The timely use of rebirth radial aids in survival greatly and reduce dependence on EoEs. In short, rebirth radial is probably the best destiny power for a Hamidon raid. Ageless is probably the most popular destiny power, so in a raid setting, plenty of it should be going around, which will largely nullify the endurance drain from blue mitos. The extra recharge is also quite handy. Clarion helps cope with the mez effect from blue mitos and yellow and Hamidon blasts. This in combination with EoEs can allow a raid to endure enough yellow blasts from multiple blooms to finish off Hamidon. More on this later. Incandescence is situational. It can be used for emergency evacuation or when the raid needs to regroup. The healing buff roughly negates one green blast. It's not much, but there may be some limited benefit for the Hamidon tank, at the expense of staying ungrouped to avoid porting team/league mates along. There's not much to say about interface other than the fact that in a raid setting, it's likely that at least one person will have degenerative interface slotted. The consequence is that Hamidon's max HP can no longer be taken to be a constant, so the base numbers for the health thresholds will fluctuate. Raid leaders will have to use their own discretion as to when to call a bloom. Lore adds a lot of damage and is highly helpful in a DPS push through one or more blooms. Make sure to order lore pets to attack Hamidon and/or set them to aggressive. Of note, the highest damage lore type is Banished Pantheon core branch, while Longbow Cataphract from Longbow core has a large regeneration debuff. Assault and support hybrid may be saved for a DPS push as well. Melee hybrid can be of use in personal survival. Non-melee support for Mitochondria Antibodies (yellows) Yellow mitos have capped defence to attacks tagged ranged and AoE. There are a few nonpositional attacks that bypass that defence. Examples include blind from illusion control and mesmerize, dominate, and levitate from mind control, fortunatas, or defenders/corruptors with psychic mastery epic pool. These powers are not high damage but may come in handy when melee needs just a bit of help. Enough ToHit buffs, e.g. aim after power build up, may allow ranged attacks have a non-negligible chance of hitting. It's not an optimal use of resources, but it is an option. Fulcrum shift may be cast off a yellow mito to boost meleers in range. It is not necessary for the kin to be in melee range, though being so will give an extra boost. Autohit debuffs like enervating field can be applied on a yellow mito to lower its resistance. Absorb Hamidon ignores absorb shields. Power analysis Dark armour, with enough knockback protection, can survive tanking Hamidon for extended periods, potentially indefinitely, without EoEs or external buffs. Dark regeneration is not affected by the heal debuffs from Hamidon and green blasts. The main drawback is that missing can be deadly. It's possible to sandwich oneself in range of Hamidon and a low green mito to ensure two targets to use dark regeneration off. The spot can be tricky to find in a timely fashion, however. Siphon life from dark melee (and less reliably, radiation siphon from radiation melee) can further supplement the healing. Sets with capped or near-capped toxic resistance, such as stone armour and radiation armour, make excellent green aggro absorbers. Once yellows are out of the picture, they may stand or hover next to greens nearest the Hamidon tank to shield them from green blasts. Summons are great for absorbing green blasts as well. Carrion creepers from plant control is exceptional for this purpose. The downside is that pets also serve as jumping points for blue contagion, though this is usually much less of an issue than green or yellow blasts. Kinetics is highly beneficial in a Hamidon raid, because with Hamidon's high resistance, damage buffs add more damage than resistance debuffs. Kins should spam fulcrum shift and siphon power off Hamidon as much as possible. Something to note is that only the resistance component of increase density is AoE; the stun and KB protection still applies only to a single target. Skipping bloom(s) When Hamidon is defeated, all mitos despawn, so it is not necessary to clear every bloom, and a strong enough raid group can power through with sheer DPS and momentum. The key to a successful push is a judicial use of buffs and EoEs. A 100% push, sometimes called a Hamikaze, is the most risky and involves going straight for Hamidon without defeating any mito. By the end of the attack, there will be four sets of mitos. Failure to defeat Hamidon at this point essentially means a failed raid, as a quadruple bloom is simply not worth trying to recover from. A somewhat safer alternative is to clear the initial set of mitos and then take Hamidon from 100% to 0. Destiny and aura buffs and EoEs should be used for right around the time of the first bloom to spawn. A triple bloom is perhaps salvageable but almost never worth the effort to clean up. A 50% push is a compromise between speed and recoverability. This involves clearing the starting set of mitos, taking Hamidon down to 75%, clearing that bloom, and then taking down Hamidon. There will be a double bloom by the end. It's possible for a raid to wipe here, but cleaning up the aftermath is not especially difficult, though it can be rough if the raid is short on people or resources, or if morale takes a heavy hit from repeated wipes, and people start leaving. A 25% push skips the final bloom and was a reasonably safe option even back in Issue 18. Even if it fails, there is not much difference from the traditional method of clearing every bloom. Hamidon doesn't spawn a bloom immediately upon reaching a health threshold. There's often a slight, unpredictable delay, the length of which can vary. It takes a further moment for the newly spawned mitos to begin to react. The length of this indeterminate window can sometimes be a decisive factor in the success or failure of a push. Failure is generally the consequence of yellow blasts incapacitating the raid with stacking knockback and stuns and outright defeating players who have not activated an EoE. For extra safety, a raid may trade off a little DPS by sending the yellow aggro management team to disengage from Hamidon and get in position to intercept yellow blasts right before the first bloom. A yellow tank may in some cases have to manage up to six or more yellows at once in a triple bloom, which can be overwhelming, but they only have to last long enough to DPS to finish its job. Some stray yellow fire is difficult to avoid, but clarion, rebirth, and EoEs should suffice if DPS is sufficient. Clearing a double bloom A double bloom takes more coordination to clean up. Spike teams should focus on the same targets at a time. Sometimes it may be helpful to call a retreat to regroup and reapply aura buffs. Every mito defeated makes it progressively easier. The large amount of green blasts is devastating for the Hamidon tank, as EoEs do not protect against them. It is inadvisable for the tank to stay in range. A hit-and-run approach is likely to be safer: i.e., the tank should get in range to taunt and/or attack Hamidon and dart out of the protoplasm, only going back in occasionally to repeat the process. They should take care not to get too far, or Hamidon will aggro on another target. Clearing a triple bloom In a triple bloom, the protoplasm is too deadly to enter at all. The sheer amount of blue and green blasts will immediately incapacitate and defeat any who gets in range. The yellow blasts will lock anyone down with chain stuns and knockback. Yellow tanks will need mez protection buffs, and the raid should focus on chipping away at the yellows one at a time. Be prepared for many wipes without making much progress. Many if not most raid groups will find a triple bloom simply too much to clear. It's okay to cut your losses and try again elsewhere and/or elsewhen. Clearing a quadruple bloom? If any group manages this, I'd love to hear about it. Please record the attempt. Hamidon spawn RNG It takes between 5-50 monsters to spawn Hamidon. Sometimes the RNG leans more towards the latter, making the monster hunt long and tedious. At the entrance to the Hive, there are police drones that you can pull monsters to. Droning monsters counts towards spawning Hamidon. Hive/Abyss comparison Now that the alignment system has been greatly relaxed, most characters can go to both the Hive and the Abyss for Hamidon raiding, so how do they compare? Unfortunately, since devs hated villains, the Hive is the better choice. The Abyss is a more graphically intensive zone, so raid lag tends to be worse there. Monster density there is lower, with no monster walls as in the Hive, so monster hunts tend to take longer. There is a lack of drones to expedite a slow hunt, and that also means the hospital and the entrance to the zone is unguarded. Verticality is also more of an issue in the Abyss, with a lot of nooks and crannies for Hamidon buds to hide in and slow to navigate for nonflyers. HOs vs IOs With the introduction of enhancement boosters, IOs have further edged out the position HOs used to occupy. A level 50+5 dual IO is about equivalent to an equal-level dual HO. HOs can be combined to reach 50++, at which point they are slightly better. The difference is minor, only about 3% for Schedule A and 2% for Schedule B (defence, ToHit, resistance, range). Triple HOs are much better for powers that can make use of all three enhancement types. Examples include enzyme exposure (-ToHit/-defence/-endurance) in a power like radiation infection in the radiation emission powerset and membrane exposure (+ToHit/+defence/+recharge) in powers like mind link in Arachnos Widows and fortitude in empathy. No IO can replicate the effect. There are some movement powers that increase more than one type of travel speed and do not take universal travel set pieces (e.g. swift, qucikness, lightning reflexes, sprint). It is possible to slot a microfilament (+travel/-endurance) here. This is also an effect that no IO can replicate..
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