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  1. The Mean Missions Guide or A villainous journey to 50 without powerleveling The Story is Actually Good - even if you're not! Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s easier to powerlevel up to 50, buy IOs and go back through Ouroboros in Flashback missions, but this creates a jumbled storytelling mess. Also, it creates a feeling of character development and your "oh, it's X again" moments become "hey, I remember this! I helped X do Y in Z!" as characters appear and reappear later, giving the whole story a sense of continuity and progression. The story is in the Rogue Isles less tied to geography than in Paragon City and more about themes and recurring enemy groups. I think that's pretty fitting for a villain. You're not there to make the world a better place for the greater good - you're there to make it a better place for you. You're playing the long game, here. Some storylines that start off in the single-digits don't really come to fruition until endgame. Some themes are also a bit inconsistent - the Destined One storyline sort of drifts in and out and it's counter-intuitively easy to miss it altogether if you're not directed to one particular contact. I’ve tried to cherry pick story arcs that meet the following criteria: Interesting missions (variety of objectives). Missions with unique maps or mechanics. Story flow - introducing characters and ideas that’ll show up again later. Rewards and unlocks, missions with temporary powers. Things I just think are cool. One important thing to note is that in the Rogue Isles and in Arachnos, in order to succeed you must show that you deserve success. Your contacts are rarely nice people and you are rarely doing nice jobs. Several missions give you a choice between mercy and murder, but that’s about as selfless as you’re going to get. Contacts aren't trustworthy and you need to start off small before you make a name for yourself. You have to prove your worth, repeatedly, and be prepared to defend your status. Please don't take this as canonical or anything like that - feel free to wander off the beaten track and read the comments below for other recommendations. Notable omissions are anything I think is too much of a faff to unlock and some out of the way contacts - I couldn't realistically fit everything in and redside contacts often have requirements before you can talk to them. Also not touched upon are tip missions, although I would say it's worth working through them to unlock your character as a rogue for a bit more variety (you can cheat with Null the Gull, but the tip missions are all fairly good and so are the alignment shift ones and remember that this is a story guide). As with my blueside guide, I'll periodically add to this to flesh it out as I go. Any feedback is really welcome! Contacts and Brokers One of the key difference between blue and redside mission gameplay is the fact that you have to unlock several contacts in a zone by first doing newspaper missions then a bank heist then unlock the contact. I’ll mark these where I can, but be aware that if you can’t see a contact you might need to go through a broker first. Remember - a theme redside is that you're nobody until you've earnt the right to be somebody, so why would contacts talk to someone so beneath them as you? You're just this fool who stumbled out of the Zig (or Galaxy City) with some help from Arachnos? Another key difference is how story arcs are linked - blueside and neutral/goldside zones tend to have a chain sequential contacts that move you along a narrative while redside quite often has two-contact chains with themes that are returned to in later zones. Included below are the names of the contacts, in order, with level bands taken from the wiki. A Warning about XP It is very easy to outlevel certain zones and for that reason I recommend you do not use any exp boosts. Other times, you'll get halfway through a zone and not be able to speak to the next contact. Over the course of the game, there was a (near) global XP buff and a reduction in experience debt, so the levelling process is now noticeably quicker than a couple of the early zones were designed for. You’re deliberately taking the scenic route here. The following macro will create a button that will pause and unpause XP gain, allowing you to more easily control your levelling pace. I've indicated in this guide the points at which you should pause your experience gain to get the most from the story - a general rule of thumb is at levels ending in 4 or 9. /macro_image "DayJob_XPBoost" "XP Toggle" "option_toggle noxp" Travel Redside zones are harder to navigate in places. The Arachnos map designers must have got a special deal on dangerous walkways and improbably large walls. I suggest grabbing one of the flight powers from the P2W vendor if you’re not a flier for those times when ground navigation is too difficult. A Note for Soldiers and Widows The Villain Epic Archetypes have their own contacts and missions and I recommend doing them when they pop up. They explore Arachnos lore and show why you’re not just another grunt and I think they're worth doing. Do be cautious about not overshooting your levels, though. Suggested Path Some of these, particularly in the late game, have a lot of crossover with my blueside missions guide. Redside never really had a high enough population to support addition of new red-only content so at a certain point you’ll have to dip into more neutral territory. Occasionally, things will deviate a bit but this is broadly the direction we'll be heading in. Redside has a lot more overlap than blueside and the zone level distribution is a bit... odd. Tutorial > Mercy Island > Port Oakes> Cap Au Diable > First Ward & Sharkhead Isle > Night Ward & Nerva Archipelago > St Martial > Grandville, Cimerora & Ritki War Zone. Levels 1-2: The Tutorials Okay, there really isn’t much here but you do get a couple of enhancements and inspirations for free and a run through of the basics of mission objectives. Breakout runs you through the basics of your standard door and explains how you, well, break out of the Zig. I recommend doing it at least once. Galaxy City is, in my opinion, less good as a tutorial and not really connected to the early redside story arcs. If you're concerned about character concept, Galaxy City has your fall to villainy happen on-screen, which you could either explain as an act of desperation in dire circumstances leading you down a path of selfishness in the name of self-preservation (useful for future rogues?) or you could be more vague about how you ended up in the Zig in the first place. Your call, really. When you’re finished, you’ll end up in... Mercy Island The temptation here is to skip the early levels by running Death From Below. Do not do this! Believe it or not, the zone actually has a fun little story arc that acts as a giant lore dump. You'll get your levels. Don't fret. There is a good variety to the missions and it really does show you a little bit of everything. Pause your XP at level 7. Operative Kuzmin > Fire Wire or Doctor Weber > Lt Harris I enjoyed Fire Wire’s mission a bit more, but there’s not too much in it. Lt Harris’ last mission is quite distasteful and you may want to skip it if abusive relationships or stalking are a specific trigger. This mission is unusually dark if you actually follow the dialogue, which is unusual as the rest of the redside content is more akin to cartoon supervillainy. Whatever you choose, talk to Dr Graves for an introduction to some of the further aspects of the game. It’s basically a glorified tour of the introductory areas, but it's not done enormously well. Don't worry - it gets better. Kallinda > Mongoose are worth visiting as she provides some insight into your status as a Destined One, which is a recurrent theme throughout the redside story, and he gives pops up later. Matthew Burke > Doctor Creed provides some general background stuff about the snakes and foreshadows something that'll turn up waaaaay later. Port Oakes After the very busy Mercy Island, Port Oakes feels a bit desolate but the few arcs that are here are very good. Make sure you do Mr Bocor’s mission to retrieve the Loa Bone – it’s a nice little temporary power. Angelo Vendetti (5-9) > Mr Bocor (5-9) > The Radio (10-14) I'd recommend then going back and finishing Dr Graves' next two story arcs - it's more tutorial stuff and the writing is wildly inconsistent, but it has a pretty satisfying ending that has a crossover to the blueside equivalent and has some foreshadowing for one of the Patrons. Pause your XP at 10 until you’ve started The Radio then pause it again at 14. Cap au Diable You'll want to hit the brokers for this one. Dr Aeon seems to be the recurring lore point - he turns up much later. I'd start with Dr Shelley Percey - her arc and the one that she introduces are by far the more interesting ones here. Sadly, this is the point where you'll have to start grinding newspaper missions to get bank heists to unlock contacts from brokers. I highly recommend getting a form of stealth if you're running them solo to just save time. Dr Shelley Percey (10-14) > Marshal Brass (15-19) Dr Percey has a good mission after her story arc about the Council and nictus, which is a lore point that'll turn up later in Cimerora and beyond, but it also drops some good temporary powers. Martial Brass has a lot of stuff about Dr Aeon. Martial Brass also awards you the Entrusted with the Secret badge, which allow you to access Ouroborous, which is your go-to locale for time-travel and avoiding the ferry. Peter Themari (10-14) > Willy Wheeler (15-19) has bit of lore about about Longbow and Legacy Chain, both of whom are recurring enemies. Dmitri Krylov (10-14) > The Golden Roller (15-19) has a bit of lore about Facemaker and some fairly disparate missions. Bane Spider Reuben (15-24) has an enjoyable story arc and I also recommend Brother Hammond's (15-24) arc for some Luddite fun. Neither of them require brokers. Before You Move On Now would be a good time to do Death From Below and Drowning in Blood if you haven’t already done them as well as Virgil Tarikoss’ strike force. Seer Marino in Mercy Island should now be available as a contact that I recommend doing as has a good amount of Ghost Widow lore as is generally just quite well done. Your goal is to get to level 20, when you can swing over to Face and speak to the Facemaker herself to earn an additional costume slot. The University Now would be a good time to learn to craft some IOs. If you've been careful, you should have a bit of influence saved up by now. Head to the university in Cap au Diable and do the short tutorial there by speaking to Dean John Yu. Ashley McKnight (14-50) just outside the university can provide you access to the exclusive Midnighter Club, which you'll need to be part of much later on. Now would also be a good time to do the Silver Mantis strike force that starts in Sharkhead Isle. It's nothing special, but getting to level 22 will is helpful for IO purposes. Next, there are actually several very good, very overlapping zones that I suggest you kind of do in tandem if you're careful. Be aware that First Ward and Night Ward move into Praetorian lore, which is much less relevant for villains than heroes. I think they're too well made to not do at least once, though. Sharkhead Isle This is the point, in my opinion, where redside missions start to come into their own and you move from lackey to a more arcive player in the wider Rogue Isles story. Remember to run some newspaper missions to get the brokers on your side if you need to. Vince Dubrovsky (20-24) > Cage Crash (20-24) > Diviner Maros (25-29) is one of the standouts here, in my opinion as it introduces the first real Captain Mako lore. Dean Macarthur (20-29) is the first contact I'd head for as he doesn't need a broker's introduction and his whole story arc is just really fun and he introduced Leonard (20-29) who continues the same story. This is such a Saturday Morning Cartoon storyline that you really shouldn't miss it. Vincent Ross has the other story arc I'd really recommend doing as it has a decent story and doesn't need a broker. More Legacy Chain hijinks. You should also have the Bling badge by now, so I'd recommend seeking out Doc Buzzsaw (25-29) for her set of missions, which tie into the general lore of the zone and the Freakshow group. Lock your XP gain at level 29 and keep it there throughout First Ward if you go there. First Ward - optional First Ward is a continuation of the Praetorian Going Rogue storyline to some extent, but it's so well done that I genuinely think it would be a shame to miss out. It has memorable characters, cool story interactions and an element of choice that hasn't really been seen up to this point. All contacts for this zone are 20-29 and it starts off by talking to Carter Mortesen in Cap au Diable. Carter Mortesen > The Doorman > Nadia > Palatine > Noble Savage > Katie Douglas > Blind Makwa > Cerulean > Master Midnight > Vanessa DeVore There's the Seed of Hamidon raid boss pootling about in the middle of the zone - you can take it down in a team of eight quite easily and it's worth doing. It's done so rarely that getting a team together on the LFG isn't hard. It's a somewhat anticlimactic battle, but you get some badges from it. Nerva Archipelago There is a lot of lore here that turns up at end game so all three story chains are surprisingly relevant if you want to know what's going on. Keep your XP locked to 29 until you've unlocked the initial contacts - yes, this will mean churning through a lot of newspaper missions. I hate the broker system. Due to the slightly dense level ranges here, you may find it easier to unlock the 25-29 contacts, level up elsewhere and then come back at level 34 for the next wave. Darla Mavis (24-29) > Psimon Omega (30-34) > Technician Naylor (35-39) introduces Nemesis, who is a big player blueside and is part of the excellent Signature Story Arc Pandora's Box. Shadowy Figure (24-29) > Timothy Raymond (30-34) > Kelly Uqua (35-39) is your first real introduction to Ritki redside, and you'll see them later in the Ritki War Zone. Lt Demitrovich (24-29) > Operative Rutger (30-34) > Magu Mu'Drakhan (35-39) has a number of heroes if you want a challenge but it the least lore focussed of the three in this version of the levelling journey - it has a lot relating to the Circle of Thorns and the Mu. Bobby Curtin (25-29) is an excellent contact if you're a rogue, with some excellent morally ambiguous choices. Night Ward - Optional Carrying on the story from First Ward, we've got the fairly unique zone of Night Ward, full of gaslamp fantasy world-of-the-dead mystery, knights and magic. Start off by talking to Mistress Maria in First Ward for the introduction. All contacts are 30-39 but lock your XP to 34 if you're zone hopping. Alternatively you can go up to 34, head to St Martial and do some missions there and then head back. Mistress Maria > Montague Castanella > Ward > Sir Bedwyr > The Magician My only real complaint with Night Ward is that it just sort of stops. A few characters do turn up in later story arcs, though. Before You Move On Now would be a good time to visit Mr Rodney in Cap au Diable for the old cape and aura unlock missions, then swing round to Face and speak to Gorgeous Glenda to unlock an additional costume slot. I'd also recommend using your Ouroborous portal and speaking to Mender Tesseract (25-34) and Mender Lazarus (30-39) for some time-travel shenanigans. Pause your XP at 34. St Martial Hardcase is a very worthwhile contact here as he has four story arcs with two at 30-34 and two at 34-39. Johnny Sonata (35-39) has a set of missions that link back to Hardcase's set, but you need the Obsessed badge (which isn't hard to get). Of the broker-unlock missions, Voracious Virandi (30-34) > Jezebel Jones (35-39) is the one I'd recommend for story reason. There are a few other contacts here that are unlocked via badges, but I'll leave those to your discretion. Before you leave St Martial, you can visit Lovely Linda (40-50) in Face to open up your level 40 costume slot. Lock your XP gain at 44. Grandville The final redside zone and home of the four Patrons, all of whom have had at least some foreshadowing by now. You'll first be sent to Arbiter Rein to choose your patron and cannot speak to them until you've done this. I'd argue that Ghost Widow and Scirocco have the most relevance in terms of lore, with Captain Mako and Black Scorpion having interesting but less important roles from a player perspective. All four of them have four story arcs (two starting at 40, two at 45) and all four of those are pretty good. They also all have (roughly) the same end-goal, which is also the end of you Destined One storyline. Aside from the patrons, there are a lot of worthwhile contacts in this zone. Westin Phipps (40-44) shows a much darker side of Arachnos than you've been hitherto been allowed to see. Terence Dobbs (40-44) deals with the Arachnoids, which you may remember from waaaaay back in Mercy Island. His follow up contact is Dr Forrester. Television (45-50) is a follow up to the Radio's earlier storyline. Vernon von Grun (45-50) has an excellent arc fighting the Devouring Earth. Operative Grillo (45-50) has some Snake-focussed missions that give some closure to your work in Mercy Island. Cimerora This zone is notable for just being so stylistically unique and making good use of time travel as a plot device, as well as harking back to some Kheldian lore. As you go in, talk to the Midnighter standing in front of you for further instruction. Personally, I think the story progression is a bit messy, but it's still worth doing if only because the task force is so good. All contacts are L35-50. Midnighter > Senator Decimus Aquila > Marcus Valerius Additionally, there is a villain-specific contact named Sister Airlia (40-50) with some missions that send you back to Rogue Isles and this zone ends with the glorious Imperius task force. Ritki War Zone I really like the storytelling in this zone. There's a good sense of progression and you meet up with a few characters we met earlier. Levantera (35-50) > Serpent Drummer (40-50) > Gaussian (45-50) > The Dark Watcher (45-50) There are a few task forces here, but for now give the Lady Grey task force a try as it most closely follows the storyline. Your glory lap here is unquestionably the Ritki Mothership Raid. Look for it on the LFG, head on over and join a league. Range and AoE attacks will help you, but if you don't know what you're doing then watch for instructions, follow the crowd and keep spamming those AoE attacks. What's next? Well, it's time for some incarnate-level content, but that's outside of the remit of this guide. I know it's a bit short for now, but I'll add to it over time. Any comments, let me know! I'm a big fan of missions and story arcs and think there's a lot of really great content there that goes almost unplayed due to the "must get moar levelz" mentality, which is fine but not for me. Thanks!
  2. The Good Missions Guide or A heroic journey to 50 without powerleveling The Story is Actually Good Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s easier to powerlevel up to 50, buy IOs and go back through Ouroboros in Flashback missions, but this creates a jumbled storytelling mess. Also, it creates a feeling of character development and your "oh, it's X again" moments become "hey, I remember this! I helped X do Y in Z!" as characters appear and reappear later, giving the whole story a sense of continuity and progression. If you want to experience a version of the story organically and fluidly, here’s a guide to levelling. I’ve tried to cherry pick story arcs that meet the following criteria: Interesting missions (variety of objectives). Missions with unique maps or mechanics. Story flow - introducing characters and ideas that’ll show up again later. Rewards and unlocks, missions with temporary powers (you'll unlock three summons and a very useful resistance buff if you follow along). Things I just think are cool. I do plan on adding to this a bit as there are some points I want to go back to but as it is this will get you to 50 and show you a good time while you get there. Notable omissions are several of the really old story arcs that lack the flair of later arrivals and some "not a story arc BUT" missions (the origin contacts) - I couldn't realistically fit everything in. Also not touched upon are tip or radio missions, although I would say it's worth working through them to unlock your character as a vigilante for a bit more variety (you can cheat with Null the Gull, but the tip missions are all fairly good and so are the alignment shift ones and remember that this is a story guide). I fully admit I've gone for Rule of Cool in a few places, rather than exploring deep lore told only by easily missed contacts. You can still explore that yourself - I encourage it! But that's not what this guide is about. Included below are the names of the contacts, in order, with level bands taken from Paragon Wiki. Suggested Path Tutorial > Atlas Park > The Hollows > Kings Row > Faultline > First Ward & Striga > Night Ward & Croatoa > Peregrine Island > Cimerora & Ritki War Zone There are a few story arcs and task forces along the way that I also suggest, either because they contribute to the overall story or just because I think they're good. A Warning about XP It is very easy to outlevel certain zones and for that reason I recommend you do not use any exp boosts. Other times, you'll get halfway through a zone and not be able to speak to the next contact. Over the course of the game, there was a (near) global XP buff and a reduction in experience debt, so the levelling process is now noticeably quicker than a couple of the early zones were designed for. You’re deliberately taking the scenic route here. The following macro will create a button that will pause and unpause XP gain, allowing you to more easily control your levelling pace. I've indicated in this guide the points at which you should pause your experience gain to get the most from the story - a general rule of thumb is at levels ending in 4 or 9. /macro_image "DayJob_XPBoost" "XP Toggle" "option_toggle noxp" A Note for Kheldian Archetypes Both Peacebringers and Warshades have their own contacts in Sunstorm and Shadowstar respectively, each giving you a unique archetype storyline every five levels, starting at level 5. Each storyline is pretty decent, although they suffer from the slightly monotonous missions that many early game story arcs do. If you pick a Kheldian archetype, follow the story along when it comes up, but be really careful about not outlevelling other contacts while you do it. Levels 1-2: The Tutorials Okay, there really isn’t much here but you do get a couple of enhancements and inspirations for free and a run through of the basics of mission objectives. Outbreak runs you through the basics of your standard door missions. Galaxy City is, in my opinion, less good as a tutorial but more connected to the early story arcs. Your call, really. When you’re finished, you’ll end up in... Atlas Park The temptation here is to skip the early levels by running Death From Below. Do not do this! Believe it or not, the zone actually has a nice little story arc that foreshadows later zones and comes to a decent conclusion. You'll get your levels. Don't fret. There is a good variety to the missions and it really does show you a little bit of everything. All contacts are L1-7. Matthew Habershy > Officer Fields or Sondra Castel > Aaron Thiery Thanks to Roderick and PatientZero for pointing out you can only do one of the middle contacts - both arcs are actually pretty decent, so pick either. They both introduce Aaron Thiery. Next, talk to Twinshot for an *ahem* endearing and light-hearted introduction to some of the further aspects of the game. It’s basically a glorified tour of the introductory areas, but it's not done enormously well. Don't worry - it gets better. The game suggests you go to Kings Row next, and but first I suggest you stop over in a hazard zone. The Hollows A hazard zone is an area that generally has larger spawns, and they generally reflects the game in its very early state where the missions were a bit less distinct and there was a bit more of a focus on the grind, but I think it’d be a shame to miss the Hollows as it has a decent story and unlocks the Cavern of Transcendence trial. Pause your XP gain at level 9 until you have started Flux's arc. David Wincott (5-9) > Flux (5-9) > (see note) >Julius the Troll (10-14) > Talshak the Mystik (12-14) Meg Mason has repeatable non-story missions if you feel like running those. Be careful with the Frostfire mission - you might want help with this one. The level bands are fairly slim, so be very careful about out-levelling them, particularly at the end. Use the no-XP clicky with style and panache. Note: Due to the non-overlapping levels, if you find yourself finished with Flux but not ready for Julius the Troll, now would be a time to go for the Death from Below trial in the sewers with a full team or head over to Kings Row (and come back again). Pause your XP gain at 14 until you have started Talshak the Mystik's arc and Twinshot's arc. Kings Row Start off with the next part of Twinshot’s next Shining Stars story arc as it introduces a few characters and concepts you’ll see again later as well as having a nice little crossover to a the City of Villains equivalent tutorial. It introduces more than a few characters you see later in tip missions and other content, so it's worth doing for the story element - the final chapter is surprisingly good. You won’t stay here long, but it’s certainly worth paying it a visit. Sadly, it looks like this story chain was cut short on a cliffhanger when the game went under, but it’s still well done and worth doing. Shauna Stockwell > Eagle Eye (both 7-20) It’s a short pair of neat arcs ending in a solo mission. Before You Move On Now would be a good time to do Positron 1 and Positron 2, as well as Death From Below, Drowning in Blood and The Cavern of Transcendence if you haven’t already done them. Your goal is to get to to about level 17 or 18 and have a good time doing it. The Positron task forces are very good storytelling and set up the next zone you’ll go to. The trials are all pretty short and sweet with experienced teammates. If you’re still not there, try out the Synapse Task Force. Save your jetpack from the Positron task force if you can - you'll need it much later in the Shadow Shard. Montague Castanella (10-50) in the university in Steel Canyon can provide you access to the exclusive Midnighter Club, which you'll need to be part of much later on. When you're ready, it's time to go to one of my favourite zones. Pause your XP at level 19 until you've started Penelope Yin's Faultline arc. Faultline This zone is, in my opinion, where the "modern" game really begins and we see a clear move from "old" style content. It introduces a number of very important characters to the game's plot, has an interesting and unique map and has a huge variety in the missions it gives you. They are almost all stealthable, which is worth noting. A couple of them are defeat-all missions, but when I did it there were only a handful of enemies so it really won't take long. This zone is excellent. Jim Temblor (15-19) > Penelope Yin (15-19) > Doc Delilah (20-24) > Agent G (20-24) The last mission of this chain will grant you the Ouroboros Portal, which is a handy tool for time-travel and avoiding public transport. Pause your XP at level 24. Before you move on or if you want a break from Fautline, go and speak to Laura Lockheart and then Graham Easton (both 15-24) in Steel Canyon for a couple of memorable story arcs. Graham's arc introduces some enemies who you'll see in L50 content and Laura's arc is just very well written with some unusual moments. The University Now would be a good time to learn to craft some IOs. If you've been careful, you should have a bit of influence saved up by now. Head to the university in the southern end of Steel Canyon and do the short tutorial there by speaking to Admissions Officer Lenk. Now would also be a good time to do the Admiral Sutter Task Force that starts in Independence Port. It's a very story-focussed task force, linking Faultline, Praetoria, RWZ and Incarnate content. Keep your XP paused - 20-24 is busy. Next, there are actually several very good, slightly overlapping zones that I suggest you kind of do in tandem if you're careful. Striga has a storyline that starts off a little slow and ends in one of the cooler early game task forces and is definitely worth doing. First Ward has a very strong story that links to a lot of the later Praetorian content. Because of the contact level ranges, I'd start in Striga, do the first two contacts then head over to First Ward and work through there before finishing off in Striga. Keep your XP gain paused at 24 until you've completed the first two Striga arcs, then pause your XP gain again at level 29 until you've started Skipper LeGrange's arc in Croatoa - levels 20-29 have a lot of good content. First Ward Striga First Ward is a continuation of the Praetorian Going Rogue storyline to some extent, but it's so well done that I genuinely think it would be a shame to miss out. It has memorable characters, cool story interactions and an element of choice that hasn't really been seen up to this point. All contacts for this zone are 20-29 and it starts off by talking to Mistress Eva in Talos. Mistress Eva > The Doorman > Nadia > Palatine > Noble Savage > Katie Douglas > Blind Makwa > Cerulean > Master Midnight > Vanessa DeVore There's the Seed of Hamidon raid boss pootling about in the middle of the zone - you can take it down with eight capable heroes quite easily and it's worth doing. It's done so rarely that getting a team together on the LFG isn't hard. It's a somewhat anticlimactic battle, but you get some badges from it. I think this zone is often overlooked, which is a shame because it ends in a very cool sequence of missions and unlocks a pretty fun task force, as well as giving you a couple of very good temporary powers. The first story arc is arguably a bit boring and generic, but it builds up into something much better. Be very careful with your levels, as always. Stephenie Peebles (20-24) > Long Jack (20-24) > Tobias Hansen (25-29) > Lars Hansen (25-29) You can then do the Ernesto Hess task force as a bit of a glory lap. It's nothing super special, but it has unique maps and is well-paced and enjoyable. There is also the Moonfire task force here, which is part of the Kheldian storyline. Before You Move On If you're a vigilante you should speak to Shauna Braun in Independence Port to check out her new i26 story arc - it really helps progress the idea of your character as operating in shades of grey. Martin Weintraub in Talos Island has the Freaklympics early game story arc, which is pretty neat. It's also work heading over to Ouroboros and speaking to Twilight's Son for his Smoke and Mirrors arc, which was formerly a short task force. It's worth doing just to see the unique scenery, but the story isn't bad either. Then, we can continue on in Praetoria's otherworldly Night Ward and visit the nightmarish magical land of Croatoa. Because of level restrictions, I suggest you start in Croatoa being careful of the level bands, then head over to Night Ward. Pause your XP gain at 34 until you've started Buck Salinger's arc, then pause it at 39. Night Ward Croatoa Carrying on the story from First Ward, we've got the fairly unique zone of Night Ward, full of gaslamp fantasy world-of-the-dead mystery, knights and magic. Start off by talking to Mistress Maria in First Ward for the introduction. All contacts are 30-39. Mistress Maria > Montague Castanella > Ward > Sir Bedwyr > The Magician My only real complaint with Night Ward is that it just sort of stops. A few characters do turn up in later story arcs, though. This somewhat unique zone is, in many ways, similar to Striga. It has a few clunky missions at the start and then when it gets going becomes something fairly memorable with a decent task force unlock and some neat temporary powers. The storyline is good enough and there are some unique maps along the way. Gordon Bower (25-29) > Skipper LeGrange (25-29) > Kelly Nemmers (30>34) > Buck Salinger (30-34). At the end, you'll unlock the Katie Hannon task force, which was historically the quickest task force in the game and has a unique, if slightly unrelenting, first mission. It also has a few giant monsters around, two of which go into battle, which is worth seeing. Before You Move On Now would be an excellent time to stop by Ouroboros and speak to The Pilgrim (25-50) and then Mender Lazarus (30-39) for your introduction to the joys of time-travel and then a short mission chain that has thematic links to Striga and Cimerora. If you're a vigilante you could speak to The Major (35-40) in Brickstown. This mission is unique because it's one of the very, very few where you explicitly don't just "arrest" your enemies. It has some unusual steps and is worth doing, even if I think the whole thing is slightly bad taste. Peregrine Island This is very much the centre of the "old" end game and I consider it something of a right of passage to do the following, as it introduces a lot of archvillains that you'll see again later. Most of this was designed as team content, so now would be a good time to open things up on the LFG if you haven't already been doing so. You can relax on the levelling here, as apart from Tina Macintyre, there's nothing in this guide that you can outlevel any more. Tina Macintyre (40-44) The Anti-Matter Collision / The Instant Army Unai Kemen (45-50) To Save a Thousand Worlds Maria Jenkins (45-50) A Hero's Epic They'll help you get closer to the Portal Jockey accolade, which gives you a very nice permanent boost to health and endurance. Before You Move On Quickly head back to Croatoa and speak to Percy Winkley (30-50) at the University there for a small series of missions that give you some background lore about the world you're in. Now would also be a good time to head over to Atlas Park and talk to the City Representative (20/30-50) in city hall. She has two story arcs that were originally tied to costume unlocks, but they also have some background to later storylines. The Last Stretch Still with me? Glad to hear it. Next up, I'm sending you to two more very well-crafted zones, both with the very relaxed level range. Cimerora is accessed by going through the back door of the Midnighter Mansion accessed through Steel Canyon, Croatoa, or Founders' Falls and touching the crystal in the centre of the hallway. The Ritki War Zone can be accessed by going into one of the Vanguard bases and taking the portal. At this point, you can safely remove the XP pause button entirely; it has served its purpose and we thank it for its service. Most lower level content can still be accessed through the Flashback system in Ouroboros, and the small amount that can't can be got at through teaming with a lowbie. Cimerora Ritki War Zone This zone is notable for just being so stylistically unique and making good use of time travel as a plot device, as well as harking back to some Kheldian lore. As you go in, talk to the Midnighter standing in front of you for further instruction. Personally, I think the story progression is a bit messy, but it's still worth doing if only because the task force is so good. All contacts are L35-50. Midnighter > Senator Decimus Aquila > Marcus Valerius Additionally, there is a Hero-specific contact named Daedelus (40-50) with some missions that send you back to Paragon City and this zone ends with the glorious Imperius task force. I really like the storytelling in this zone. There's a good sense of progression and you meet up with a few characters we met earlier. Levantera (35-50) > Serpent Drummer (40-50) > Gaussian (45-50) > The Dark Watcher (45-50) There are a few task forces here, but for now give the Lady Grey task force a try as it most closely follows the storyline. Your glory lap here is unquestionably the Ritki Mothership Raid. Look for it on the LFG, head on over and join a league. Range and AoE attacks will help you, but if you don't know what you're doing then watch for instructions, follow the crowd and keep spamming those AoE attacks. Nearly there Either the Imperious task force or the Mothership raid should help you get the last few levels out as you approach 50 and they basically hold you down and breathe XP in your face, and are both absolutely worth doing at least once. Now would be a good time to revisit missed task forces and trials and follow up any contacts you might have missed. The Signature Story Arc Who Will Die? is worth doing now, if you want some story-centric content. It happens chronologically before some of the in-game stuff we've covered, so I've sort of left it out for that reason until now. Use Paragon Wiki to help you do them in the right order as it's not very obvious in-game if you're not using the Flashback system, but it's run like a series of solo-friendly story task forces so you might as well do it through Ouroboros as it requires time-travel to make sense if you're being a purist. Task Forces and Trials At this stage, you can access all non-incarnate task forces and trials. Most are pretty popular, although one or two are avoided for being too much of a slog. They're all worth doing, though. The Freedom Phalanx Task Forces Completing these will give you the Task Force Commander accolade. They vary between old-skool grindfests and newly refurbished storytelling episodes. Positron 1 & 2 (10/11-15/16) Rule of Three & Dam Hero - good storytelling with a free jetpack Synapse (15-20) Fall of the Clockwork King - a bit repetitive with a stronger ending Penelope Yin (20-25) A Clamor for the People - short and sweet Citadel (25-30) Citadel's Children - a bit grindy and repetitive Manticore (30-35) Following Countess Crey - a bit travel-heavy but there's a memorable battle at the end Numina (35-40) Soul of the Woodsman - use a guide for this one as there are 16 (fairly easy) hunt missions in a row that work best when your whole team is spread out over the relevant zones The Shadow Shard The four Shadow Shard task forces are, to put it mildly, a thankless grind through repetitive missions with enemies that debuff defence hard and often resist control effects, ending in a moderately cool final battle after hours and hours and hours and I think they're great. For crying out loud, don't do them more that once, but they're a true right of passage for any high level character. They involve a huge amount of travel, which is nightmarish for non-fliers or teleporters. If you can, grab the mission teleporters from the P2W vendor and coordinate who uses them, as well as the Ouroborous portal and maybe a jetpack temporary power. The scenery, however, is amazing. They sort of form one giant task force, and they suffer "a little bit" from pacing issues. Find a friendly group you can have a laugh with, put on some music and just surrender yourself to the grind. Dr. Quarterfield (40-44) > Sara Moore (40-50) > Justin Augustine (44-50) > Faathim the Kind (44-50) The Best of the Rest I'm not going to list all of them - use Paragon Wiki or the LFG for that, but here are the ones I think are especially worth doing: Moonfire (23-28) The Kheldian War - nothing too special about this one, but it links to later content in Dark Astoria, Ouroboros and Cimerora meaning the lore in those areas won't entirely drop on you out of nowhere. Katie Hannon (30-24) A Tangled Plot - Croatoa is a strange zone with unique enemies and a unique task force. The first mission is a bossfight marathon and the rest are a short tour of unique and unusual maps. Imperius (35-50) Time's Arrow - excellently paced and fairly varied in its objectives, this task force is a cathartic end to the Cimerora arc with some awesome set pieces and basically the best task force for hitting 50 quickly. Dr Khan (45-50) Return of the Reichsman - a decent task force with an interesting final battle with unique mechanics. Lady Grey (45-50) - the final chapter of the excellent Ritki War Zone arcs and worth doing for the lore and the gameplay. Ms Liberty (45-50) - often considered the most difficult task force in the game due to the final mission - started in Independence Port, not Atlas Park! Trials Trials are kind of short task forces and all are worth doing at least once. They vary between "that was it?" and genuine challenge, even for end-game built players. Death From Below is infamous for helping new characters get a few levels done nice and quickly at the start and therefore not realising that Atlas Park even has story arcs. Drowning in Blood is mechanically a bit more interesting and has a nice change of scenery if you're used to Paragon City. The three Terra Volta trials are the old blueside respec trials and are worth doing. The Abandoned Sewers Trial is surprisingly difficult with a unique vertical map, requiring more team coordination than you might expect at first glance. Eden is unique in its layout and the Cavern of Transcendence was, in my opinion, slightly ruined by the decision to make it soloable meaning one of the most challenging elements has been trivialised. What's next? Well, it's time for some incarnate-level content, but that's outside of the remit of this guide. Any comments, let me know! I'm a big fan of missions and story arcs and think there's a lot of really great content there that goes almost unplayed due to the "must get moar levelz" mentality, which is fine but not for me. Thanks!
  3. My character, Mara, is a Praetorian. When she reached level 14, Calvin Scott became her active contact. Instead of introducing her to Crow, he gave her his mission arc. It turns out his story arc involves killing Crow. As soon as she accepted Scott's mission, Crow's and Dr. Helix's story arc became inaccessible. I thought I had an easy fix for Mara. I got her level up to 22, ask someone to open Ouroboros Portal. It's not working. The portal said that it rejects her. Come on! I know she has done many dirty/questionable things, but she is level 22. Why would it bar her from entering? Later I realized her supergroup has a Pillar of Ice and Flame. How stupid I am. She ran the story arc, completed her first mission, and then got stuck. Because she is a loyalist, the resistance gate will not open and let her speak with Crow. She didn't have his number at that time. I guess her last option is to ask one of her supergroup members. That member must belong to the resistance group and roughly at the same level as Mara, or higher. Let us imagine this. A loyalist is asking her colleagues if they are a resistance member. If they are, they will bring her into their hideout deep underground. I hope this is going well for her. If anyone has a better solution, please let me know. Thank you.
  4. Howdy, I made an AE Adventure consisting of 3 Missions for this Halloween... It just needs some Beta Testing and Feedback for improvements... Also be aware there is a lot of text in the form of Clues, Pop ups, and dialogue with the contact (be aware, only the leader can see the Contact text if you test it with friends)... There is a GM in the final mission, but if anyone thinks it's a bit too hard, then I can downgrade it to something else and make the appropriate text changes... Let me know what you think of it... The AE # is 33618... It is meant to be story driven, and uses a unique and fun method with most of the text... If you think the pacing of the text is off, let me know in a PM here and/or in game, so I know where to look, so I can fix it...Thanks... Happy upcoming Halloween All, and can't wait for Trick or Treating in-game... Thanks, Zip
  5. Is there a way to turn these badges to story arcs? They got results anyway I'm assuming it should be way easier then write totally new story arc. Examples : Undefeated Badge : Here is where one of the brave souls to take up the mantle of Scirocco stood against, and fell to, the Rikti invaders. = Make that story arc either as personal story or just plain old ouroboros mission. Freedom Badge : This flag was crafted from Statesman's cape and was donated to Paragon City to replace the flag destroyed by the invading Rikti. It now flies over Paragon City Hall to honor the sacrifice made by Hero 1 and the rest of Omega Team. = I want to see Hero 1 so it should be story arc. I know that technically you can do that on AE but it is not official and AE somewhat is limited. Thoughts?
  6. Please could someone help me out? I'm looking for a list of missions (in order) which tell the main stories. When I say, "Main", I mean the ones involving Statesman (in Primal) and Cole (in Praetoria). Other signature arcs would be a bonus, but I'm interested in the Statesman stuff primarily.
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