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The Masters of BAF: A Guide for Leaders and Players


BlackSpectre

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The Masters of BAF: A Guide for Leaders and Players

 

 

Leading BAFs is very easy. All you need to know is the general flow of the trial, a little about team/league composition, and have a strategy. I’ve been doing BAFs a long time, so I figured I might as well share some of the wisdom I’ve gleaned. Everything you need to master the BAF trial is in this guide.

 

BAF is an acronym for Behavioral Adjustment Facility, and it is an entry level incarnate trial. It’s also one of the easiest and fastest, lasting only 20 minutes. All you need to be is level 50 to participate. The trial is initiated by clicking on the LFG window above Chat, selecting the Incarnate Trials tab, and scrolling down to select the trial. 

 

I need to mention here that there is a bug that will often boot players from the league if the league is “locked” in the LFG window. There are times you may want to lock the league, especially if the teams are not full. Just be aware that some players could be dropped. Once zoned into the BAF, you may re-invite them (or anyone). If a team is not full and the league is queued up to enter the trial, the team-up teleporter is supposed to wait a few minutes to give players a chance to queue up in the LFG queue and join the league. Unfortunately, there’s a long-standing bug that can randomly increase the wait time from just a few minutes to more than an hour. The best way around this is to fill up the teams before you queue up the trial. This will reduce the wait time to mere seconds. 

 

Tip: If you get disconnected, get mapserved, or otherwise get booted from the league, check the LFG window first. You can often rejoin the event that way. Otherwise send the league’s leader a tell and request they re-invite you.  

 

 

 

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Within a couple seconds of zoning into the BAF, a one-minute cutscene of Nightstar and Siege explaining their evil plans to Mother Mayhem will play if there is a character on the league who has not successfully completed a BAF, otherwise it will be skipped. There is actually some confusion about why the cutscene sometimes does not play. Theories I’ve heard are: 1) if no one enters the BAF through the door, and everyone jumps over the wall, then the cutscene won’t play, and 2) cutscenes are supposed to play every time, but they don’t because it’s a random bug. Thanks to @Piyerus, I found the old patch notes from when COH was live that specifically mention that the cutscenes in incarnate trials are skipped if everyone on the league has successfully completed that trial. 

 

Now that that is settled, let’s start with the flow of the trial.

 

 

THE FLOW OF A BAF

From start to finish, a BAF may be divided into 5 steps or phases.

 

 

Phase 1- Kill 40 robots

From your spawn point, jump over the wall or click on the door to enter the BAF. Warworks robots are littered across the lawn. Defeat 40 of them.  

 

Phase 2 – Defeat Nightstar

Nightstar spawns on the East side of the map. Get a volunteer to pull Nightstar to the center of the tennis court where the guard towers can not attack the league. Nightstar is a little bloodthirsty. You just need to get her aggro once and she’ll hunt you down all the way to the tennis courts. If you run, she’ll run. If you fly or jump, she’ll fly. Getting her to fly is by far the fastest way to pull Nightstar, and it's the easiest way to make sure she gets to the center of the tennis court by flying over all the blood-thirsty players who jump the gun and attack too early.

 

The biggest danger here is the guard towers. On your way back to the tennis courts, you will likely be hit by one or both of the guard towers on each side. Most of us can take one hit, but after that it gets dicey. You’ll want a puller with very high damage resistance and very high defense (at cap on both if possible). Tanks and brutes are ideal, but other archetypes can pull too. It all depends on their builds. Having someone to heal the puller, or buff them with a ton or resistance and defense, can help a lot. If in the unlikely event that the team lacks any players with high defense and resistance, you can disable the North guard tower for 30 seconds by clicking on the control console located at its base. This will give the puller free reign of the entire north half of the lawn and provide safe passage. If you do try to disable a tower, you’ll need to do it very quickly before the tower has a chance to target you. Unfortunately, disabling a guard tower will prevent the league from getting the “Alarm Raiser” badge and 1 extra Astral Merit, but depending on the league it may be preferable. You can also split the guard towers aggro to reduce the number of times a player is hit by asking at least 2 players to pull Nightstar. Another trick you can try is to throw out a pet as cannon fodder to take the aggro of the towers while you quickly make it back to the tennis courts. Alternately, players can volunteer to do the same thing and sacrifice themselves for the good of the league. Guard towers will lock their sights on a single player and continue attacking until that player is defeated or out of range. Then they will move on to the next unlucky contestant. The good news is that there will almost always be someone on the league who can take the brunt of the towers’ attacks and pull Nightstar without incident. It is so common, in fact, that the tips and tricks I mentioned above are mostly academic.

 

Tip: You can target the AVs quickly by clicking on their health bars in the Behavioral Adjustment Facility window.

 

 

Phase 3 – Stop prisoners from escaping

If 20 prisoners escape the mission will fail. If less than 20 prisoners escape, every player will be awarded an Astral merit. If no prisoners escaped, players will be awarded an additional Astral merit and a badge. Split up the league here. Team 1 North, teams 2 & 3 South. Stay in tight groups. Set all pets to “aggressive” so that they attack the prisoners. The escape lasts for 5 minutes. A timer begins counting down at 6 minutes, giving the league 1 minute before the prisoners start running. Incarnate Lore pets on the South team need to be spawned no later than 5:05 since prisoners begin to exit the door beside the team at 5:00. The doors are further away from the North team, so they have about 10 seconds additional time to spawn their pets. Lore pets will remain spawned for only 5 minutes and then they will disappear. From 2 to 10 prisoners spawn from each door every 10 seconds. Prisoners have very high mez resistance against everything except knockback. Holds, taunts, sleeps, etc. just don’t work on them. Slow and immobilize do work on the minions but usually don’t affect the lieutenants. Lastly, prisoners have a proc for a low magnitude PBAOE confuse called Mindwash Contagion that they can use against players. If you’re unlucky enough to get confused, don’t worry. It only lasts for a couple seconds. It’s rarely an issue, but it’s good to know just in case you suddenly can’t target one of the prisoners.

 

 

Phase 4 – Defeat Siege

Siege spawns on the West side of the map. Ask a volunteer to pull him to the center of the tennis courts or wherever the body of Nightstar is laying. Siege will lose aggro half-way to the tennis courts, so you will need to aggro him twice to get him there. Having high resistance and defense is very helpful here. Stay on a straight line between the tennis court and Siege. If you stray too far to either side, the towers will activate and start firing. The biggest threat is Siege’s minions. When all of them hit you with a constant barrage of energy fire it can be surprisingly effective at taking down your health bar. It’s best to stay far away from them if you can. Keep moving. Once back at the tennis courts, defeat Siege. 

 

 

Phase 5 – Defeat both Siege and Nightstar simultaneously

Both Siege and Nightstar will revive where they were previously defeated. Try to keep the AVs together to defeat them faster by taking advantage of AOEs. Watch their health bars and try to keep them even so that you may defeat the AVs at the same time. If one AV is defeated before the other, the league will have 10 seconds to defeat the second AV. If the league is unsuccessful, both AVs will revive and the team will have to fight them all over again from full health. The AVs will continue to revive until the team is able to defeat them simultaneously. Once both AVs are defeated, the trial ends.

 

Tip: If running the BAF again, make sure the Lore pets have recharged before you queue up. You might ask the team to tell you how much longer until the pets are recharged, or you could go into the game’s Options --> Windows tab --> scroll down to BETA to enable the recharge timers on your own Lore pet. On average it takes about 2.5 minutes to get from the start of the BAF to the prisoner escape phase, but I’ve been on a couple leagues that were able to advance to that phase in 30 seconds. It takes 60 seconds for the league to queue up and press the green button, so starting the BAF when the Lore pets still have 2 minutes left to recharge is a safe bet.

 

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STRATEGY: CHOKE-POINTS

 

Strategy comes into play most during the Prisoner Escape phase of the trial. There are at least 2 strategies for completing this part of a BAF, Door Sitting and Choke-points. I’m going to write about the choke-point or blockade method. The idea is to establish 2 choke-points or blockades to prevent running prisoners from escaping. One choke-point is located in the middle of the path, North of the tennis courts. The other in the middle of the path, South of the tennis courts. 

 

In many ways the choke-point strategy is much simpler than the door sitting strategy. Door sitting requires the league to be split up into 6 different groups, each guarding one of the 6 doorways that spawn prisoners. Whereas the choke-point strategy only requires 2 groups. The prisoners’ confuse power is much more of an issue with door sitting as well. Further, most everyone is facing the doors while door sitting, so any prisoners that might have gotten through a different player group are easier to miss. With choke-points, all players are right dab in the middle. No prisoners can get by without players seeing them. The exception is that once in a long while, knockback will unknowingly throw a prisoner between buildings. The prisoner then gets up and runs to freedom behind the buildings where no one can see them. It’s rare, but it happens. 

 

The beauty of the choke-point strategy is that it utilizes the AOEs from Lore pets. The idea is, as prisoners run into the team, they are instantly vaporized by the AOEs. A constant stream of 2-10 prisoners at a time may run into a choke-point. Theoretically, with enough Lore pets, players could just stand around twiddling their thumbs during this phase of the BAF. Needless to say, it is very important that the Lore pets are huddled together in a tight group so that their AOEs overlap, which means that players also need to form a tight, compact group. If players can do this, and with enough Lore pets, success is all but guaranteed. This is also where teams typically fall down.  

 

Once in a while a player will be seen standing in front of a door attacking the prisoners who spawn out of it. They all think they’re doing their part… defeating a portion of the prisoners and preventing those they defeat from escaping. The problem is, however, they are not helping to stop all the other prisoners, only those few at the one door. Further, there is a much greater chance for players to be affected by the prisoners’ confuse power while at the door. If you’re spending half the battle confused, you are not helping. The choke-point strategy is a team effort, not an individual one. It requires all players to be on deck, watching out for and defeating every prisoner. Some players figure that the prisoners they stop at the door will reduce the number of prisoners that the rest of the team needs to stop… but doing so is utterly unnecessary and wasted effort. Without the door sitter, the prisoners would merely run into the team and be instantly vaporized en mass. So not only does a door sitter’s efforts make no difference whatsoever, they are also otherwise preoccupied and are not helping the team stop every prisoner from escaping, and there are times when every single player is needed. 

 

There is always an exception, though. In all my time leading BAFs, I have only seen one player be able to shut down an entire door by himself and defeat every single prisoner spawned from that door. He was a spines/fire brute, and man was it impressive! In this one case, it’s worth it to have one player split off from the group and single handedly defeat 25-50% of all prisoners a team would need to defeat. 

 

Typically, if a team spreads out along the sidewalk rather than forming a compact group, it will spell doom for the league. Once in a long while, however, a team manages to pull it off. The leader of a BAF should not be too rigid in their thinking and should keep outcomes in mind. If players are not following the strategy exactly, but things are working out fine, then let them be. Everything’s going well. 

 

A team also needs hunters to chase down any prisoners who manage to get past the blockade. The ideal candidates to do this are those who do not have Lore pets but do have very high damage single target attacks. This is only ideal, however. A player with a Lore pet may often chase down a prisoner as long as they return to the group ASAP. It’s a trade-off. You weaken the group momentarily by taking your Lore pet away, but you save the group by stopping a prisoner who otherwise would have escaped. It involves a fair amount of risk, but as long as a player is aware that by chasing after the escapee they may have allowed more prisoners to get past the blockade, the trade-off usually pays off. As a rule of thumb, however, try to keep the Lore pets together as much as possible.

 

 

STRATEGY: STAY IN A TIGHT GROUP WHEN FIGHTING ARCHVILLAINS

 

Archvillains and their minions do a lot of damage. Players need a team’s abilities to heal and buff in order to survive. If you’re outside the healing aura and buff radius, you will likely be defeated. It’s that simple.

 

 

STRATEGY: MOVE AWAY ON SECOND RING WARNING

 

The AVs have a sequestering power. Basically, the more you aggro the AV, the more likely they will use their sequestering power on you. When they do it creates a red ring or circle around you. On the third time they use the power on you, the third warning, anyone caught within the radius will be held for 10 seconds. What makes this particularly nasty is when there are multiple players with overlapping rings who all have had a second ring warning. As soon as one of the players is hit again and gets a third warning, it triggers the hold on all of the overlapping rings that have had 2 warnings. This has the potential to kill half the league or more. The incarnate power Clarion can break this hold, and can even be used while held. It’s definitely a power worth having. Needless to say, if you get a second warning, move away from the team so that the only player who will be held is you. 

 

The exception is tanks. If a tank has an AV’s aggro, it is preferable for the tank to stand still and keep the AV where they are than to move away from the team and bring the AV with them. Moving the AV would force the league to move, which tends to spread out the team away from healing/buff auras, and then players die. It can also significantly increase the time to defeat the AV or worse, prevent the league from keeping the 2 AV’s heath even during the last battle and force the team to defeat the AVs all over again. It also nullifies any debuff or damage power that is location based since the AV moves away. Standing still will cause other players to be held, but believe it or not, it’s preferable. What can I say? It’s the lesser of two evils.  

 

Tank Tip: On the second ring warning, stop attacking and taunting.  Run or jump over the AV (and the players) using Ninja Run from side to side so that the AV only turns and does not move until the aggro/taunt wears off. This will allow you to move away from the group while keeping the AV stationary. Attack again once the red ring has disappeared. 

 

 

OPTIMAL STRATEGY: KEEP THE ARCHVILLAINS TOGETHER

 

During the last battle against 2 AVs, it’s best to keep them together so that they may both be affected by debuffs and AOEs. It’s literally killing two birds with one stone. Doing so will allow the players to defeat the AVs much more quickly, and has the added benefit of making it easier to keep the AV’s health bars even. One way to help keep them together is to pull the archvillain Seige to the spot where the archvillain Nightstar died. That way when Nightstar re-spawns she will already be standing next to Seige. Is it necessary? No, but it’s nice.  

 

 

OPTIMAL STRATEGY: PULL THE ARCHVILLAINS TO THE EXACT CENTER

 

It’s best if the AVs are pulled to the exact center of the tennis courts, and dropped right into the middle of the league where all the powers, debuffs, heals, and buffs are. This allows players to stay put rather than to move to the AV. It is safer and keeps everyone in the protective circle of the group. For this to work the league needs to refrain from attacking until the AV is in the center, or a tank with a good taunt needs to move the AV to the center. Is it necessary? Not at all, but it is less effort and safer.   

 

 

OPTIMAL STRATEGY: DEFEAT EVERY PRISONER

 

If every prisoner is defeated, those that do not have it will earn the “Not On My Watch” badge. Also every player will receive 1 extra Astral Merit. These can be converted into Empyrean Merits at 5 Astral Merits to 1 Empyrean Merit over at the juggling vender in Ouroboros. Empyrean merits are very valuable and are best used to purchase only rare and very rare incarnate salvage pieces. Is it necessary to defeat every prisoner? Nope, but it’s nice. Up to 19 prisoners can escape and the trial will still be a success. 

 

 

BUILDING A LEAGUE

 

If you know how to host or build a team, then you know how to build a league. Send a tell to the LFG chat channel letting people know that a BAF is forming and to send you a tell for an invite. If you like, you might also want to send a message using the Broadcast chat channel. Click on the name of anyone who responds in chat, and then click “Invite to League.” Click on the League window above chat to open it, and then click on the 2 arrows on the right to expand the window. You can make it horizontal or vertical with tiny arrows on the lower right corner. In order to queue up for a BAF all players must be in the same zone. Setting up a BAF in Ouroboros is an ideal location since both heroes and villains can enter that zone, and both can participate in a BAF. The zone is also meant to be the starting point for incarnates.

 

Tip: If you need access to a SuperGroup base for the teleporter, I can't think of a better community base to recommend than Moonbase Excelsior. It's amazing! Type this into your chat box to make a macro that will take you to the SG base: 

 /macro_image "BA_Megalomaniac" "Moonbase Excelsior" "enterbasefrompasscode EXCELSIOR-6984"

 

After inviting a player into the league, sometimes a small red mark appears on the player’s icon that tells you the player is “bugged.” What this means is they are locked into the team they are in and can not be moved to a different team. There can be multiple causes for this. In general, though, it seems as if it’s because the game thinks the player left something undone in the mission or event they were just in. Asking the player to call his contact for his last mission might clear up the issue, for example, but an easier way is asking the player to quit the league, and then re-inviting them. It is a sure-fire way to solve the problem. 

 

 

TEAM/LEAGUE COMPOSITION

 

Guideline: At least three +3’s on North team and six +3’s or more on South team.

 

City of Heroes is a complex game and team composition is also. The mix of archetypes matter, players’ skills matter, character builds matter, incarnate shifts matter, etc. There is, however, a simplistic way of forming a BAF that is easy and can help ensure its success. 

 

A BAF can have a minimum of 8 players in the league (changed from 12 in Issue 27 Page 4), and a maximum of 24 players. Due to the way the Team-up Teleporter works, the best league size to do a BAF is 24 players, or 3 teams. During the prisoner escape phase, enemies are spawned out of 6 doors. Prisoners from 2 of those doors travel along the North path. Prisoners from 4 doors travel along the South path. Twice as many prisoners travel South than North. That’s a 1:2 ratio, which means 1 team to create the choke-point North, and 2 teams to create the choke-point South.

 

Since this strategy relies on Lore pets, the 1:2 ratio needs to remain the same for them as well. Meaning, the Southern teams need to have twice as many Lore pets as the Northern team. It’s not really practical to poll the league to find out who has a Lore pet and who doesn’t. An easier way to make sure there are enough Lore pets at each choke-point is to distribute players whose incarnate level has been shifted 3 times (+3). Every player whose incarnate shift is +3 necessarily has a Lore pet. Therefore, all you need to do is make sure that for every player whose incarnate shift is +3 on the North team, 2 players whose incarnate shift is +3 are placed on the South team. There is a minimum, however. I have found that to prevent any prisoner from escaping generally requires at least three +3 players on the North team, and six +3 players on the South team. You can see if a player is +3 by clicking on them in the team or league window and then looking at your targeting window. It will be displayed there.

 

Another way to look at this is to merely distribute the +3 players evenly amongst all 3 teams. So, a minimum of three +3s on team 1, three +3s on team 2, and three +3s on team 3. It ends up being the same result as the 1:2 ratio method above.  Although I find it easier to work with the 1:2 ratio, everyone is different. 

 

Keep in mind this is a general guideline. I have led many leagues that had less +3 players on them and they still prevented every single prisoner from escaping. I have also led many leagues who had more +3 players on them and they let prisoners escape. You can’t take playing skill, character build, archetype, and luck completely out of the equation. However, on average I’ve found a minimum of three +3’s on the North team and six +3’s on the South team to be very effective.     

Although the archetype of the player is not as important as their incarnate shift level, I do prefer to have at least 2 blasters and 2 controllers (or the villain counterparts) on each team just in case things get crazy. Also if you find a team is low on +3 players, it’s possible to compensate for that deficiency by loading up the team with blasters if available. I figure 2 blasters are roughly equivalent to one +3 player. 

 

Lastly, I should mention that it is much more difficult for the South team to defend the choke-point than the North team. Since AOEs can handle 5 mobs just as easily as 10, the greater numbers of prisoners is not the problem. The difficulty is that the mobs hit the South choke-point twice as frequently as the North blockade. Think about how long it takes powers to recharge. If you blast a group of prisoners, and then right away another group of prisoners run into the choke-point before your AOE has recharged… well, you see the issue. Further, it also requires players to attack multiple times, twice as quickly. As soon as a player has dispatched one mob, another is right on its heels. Whereas at the North choke-point, there are usually several seconds before another mob hits the blockade again. As a result, the more +3 players you can put on the South team, the better. Lately, I have started to place only three +3 players on the North team, and all other +3's go on the South team… and I've been having great results!    

 

FUN FACT:  If 5 or more Lore pets are at the North blockade, the team can safely sit back and let the pets do all the work. Go get some coffee… read a book… consider it a 5 minute break. 
 

 

 

REWARDS

 

Players will receive one piece of incarnate salvage for every BAF completed. The rarity of the salvage is selected at random. Looking at my own collections of incarnate salvage on various characters, it appears the drop rates for each rarity of salvage is:

 

Very Rare – 8%    

Rare – 20%

Uncommon – 35%

Common – 37%

 

This is just an educated guess, however, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

Astral Merits – a player will receive a minimum of 3 Astral Merits for succeeding on each phase of the BAF, and a maximum of 9 depending on various situations. Typically, players receive 4-5 Astral merits per run.

 

Empyrean Merits -  1 Empyrean merit will be awarded for completing a BAF once every 20 hours. Additional BAFs completed within the 20 hour period will instead award 1 Astral merit.

 

Incarnate Threads

Used to craft incarnate salvage

 

Psychic Incarnate Experience

Used to unlock your incarnate power slots

 

There are other possible rewards but none of them are particularly exciting. If you’d like to learn more, check out the BAF page at the Unofficial Homecoming Wiki at https://hcwiki.cityofheroes.dev/wiki/Behavioral_Adjustment_Facility_Trial . 

 

 

A BAF LEADER’S ATTITUDE

 

Keep a positive attitude. All players are participating to have fun and enjoy the game. Always keep that in mind. The requirements to succeed at a BAF are fairly simple: defeat 40 bots, defeat AVs 4 times, don’t let 20 prisoners escape. If a team can do this, they have succeeded at the BAF and will be awarded their piece of incarnate salvage. This is a success! Anything more than this is icing on the cake. Nice, but not necessary. 

 

If a player is not reading chat and not following directions, it’s pointless to call them out and try to embarrass them into reading chat. They are not reading chat! So, anything you might say goes right over their head, unseen and unread. They will not be embarrassed because they are oblivious to the chat window. All it does is show the rest of the team that you are a little mean spirited, and it also helps take the fun out of playing. Instead, just try to work around the player.

 

For example, let’s say a player is fighting with teams 2 & 3 when they were assigned to fight with team 1. They’re not following your directions because they simply didn’t read them. They’re doing the best they can. They are fighting where they assumed they should fight, and they’re putting in a lot of effort. Instead of trying to get their attention, just move them onto team 2 or 3 and ask for a volunteer to join team 1. Many times it’s far easier and faster to adjust to a player than try to force a player to adjust to you. It also has the added benefit of not ruffling any feathers, and keeping the team cheerful and happy. 

 

There are times, however, when you absolutely need a player to read chat. I've tried some crazy stuff to get their attention including jumping up and down right in front of them, using the whistle, howl, and dance emotes, pushing them, running around them in circles, and lots of other things. Nothing worked until I stumbled on the following solution. The most effective way I've found to call a player's attention to chat is to spam the same message to them 6 times, one after the other. Even if you just glance at the chat window, seeing a block of text taking up the whole window that consists of the same words repeated over and over again is very jarring. It tends to catch the eye. Be warned, if you spam the same message 8 times, you will be banned from messaging for one or two minutes. The fastest and easiest way I've found to spam a message is, after I've sent the first one, press Enter, then the Up Arrow, then Enter again… and repeat.  

 

Be encouraging. Old vets like me might not need the encouragement, but players new to BAF do. They’re uncertain. They’ve never done anything like this before. They’re in uncharted waters, and there are new players in almost every BAF. So, offering words of encouragement to the league as you progress is super important. If prisoners escape, it can really stress players out. Let the league know that a few escaped prisoners is fine, and that the league is in good shape as long as 20 prisoners don’t escape. 

 

Give players as much praise as possible. If someone pulls an AV expertly, tell them. If a tank fights against the flow of an attacking league and manages to get the 2 AVs together, mention it. If the league defeats Nightstar in 3.5 seconds, celebrate it (this actually happened once)! Cheer whenever your league has a success and the league will begin to cheer too. 

 

That said, there are 3 things that can get under my skin while leading a BAF. The first is if someone uses league teleport. All it does is disorient and confuse the league. It can take an entire team away from where they need to be and allow prisoners to escape. It has the potential to cause a BAF to fail. I will give the player who used it a single warning, and if not heeded that player will be quickly kicked from the team. Problem solved. I should mention that anyone participating in a BAF should enable Prompt for Teleport in Options. You’ll hardly ever need it, but that one time when you do, you’ll be very thankful.  

 

The second thing that irks me is when the star is not passed back to leader before the Prisoner phase. Often the star will pass to another player after zoning into the trial. It seems to be a bug. If another team leader’s computer is able to load up the trial faster than the league leader’s, the league star passes to that player. The star needs to be passed back to the league leader before the prisoner phase begins. If not, the league becomes confused and invariably prisoners escape. The best thing I’ve found to do to prevent this situation is to send each team leader a private tell before the BAF begins asking if they’re ok with handing the star back if it passes to them. If they don’t respond, then you can assume they have difficulty reading chat and you should move them from the leader position on that team and select another player. Players that don’t return the star to the leader are not malicious… they’re oblivious. Not bad people, just unaware. Not inconsiderate, just distracted. Not stupid, just focused. Blaming those players is not only counterproductive but also unfair, so try to have a little compassion for them. That doesn’t stop me from being annoyed at the situation, though. 

 

 

MACROS FOR INSTRUCTIONS

 

The single, most important thing to make leading a BAF easy is creating macros to communicate with the league. Macros are buttons that are placed in the power tray and can execute powers, commands, emotes, and can automatically send a pre-written message to League chat when you click it. This is invaluable to giving the league step by step instructions as you progress through the BAF, especially for new players. Even without new players, people seem to need directions in order to stay on the same page and keep the BAF running smoothly.

 

To create a macro, enter the chat box and type: /macro <MacroName> “ChatChannel and message.” For example, /macro BAF1 “LEAGUE Prepare for a battle!” What you say, how you say it, and how many macros you make is completely up to you and your individual style. The macros that I use are basically the same ones used by a great player named @Tryanax on the Homecoming servers, with a few modifications. When I was first learning how to do a BAF, it was @Tyranax who taught me. If I was a Jedi, he would be my Jedi Master… but I digress.

 

At minimum, I recommend you issue the following instructions to the league as you move through the BAF (each one would be a separate macro):

 

  1. Kill 40 robots and then meet in the center of the tennis court.
  2. Thank you for pulling the AV to us.
  3. Team 1 to the North path, teams 2 & 3 to the South path. Form a tight group to leverage AOEs. Summon Lore pets at 5:05 and set them to Aggressive. Stop all prisoners from escaping.
  4. Thank you for pulling the AV to us.
  5. Keep the AVs health bars even to defeat the AVs at the same time.
  6. Fantastic job everyone! Thank you for joining the league!

 

 

Personally, I have a few more macros that address common problems and give additional instructions. However, anything more is completely up to you.

 

I've previously posted most of the macros I actually use. If you're interested, check out the following post:  Transfer MACROS Between Characters Effortlessly... A Quick How To Guide

 

 

POPMENUS AND CUSTOM WINDOWS FOR INSTRUCTIONS

 

If macros are not your thing and you'd rather have a window to open with all of these instructions, look into creating a PopMenu and a Custom Window. The macros in Custom Windows take up no space in your power trays and don't need to be organized and moved around on every single toon. In addition, Custom Windows are automatically on every alt and every toon you make. Turns out it's just easier. Might be easier for you too. Here is a copy of my PopMenu that I use for BAF.  Another PopMenu from one of Homecoming's outstanding players, @Oaklahomaman, can be found  here

 

 

EPILOGUE

 

After looking over what I’ve written here, I can see where someone might think leading a BAF is very complicated. However, it’s really not. Most of what I’ve written here are tips, advice, and useful information… most of which you don’t need to lead a BAF. The only thing you need to do is to distribute the +3 players evenly amongst each team and send the 6 instructions above to the league. That’s it.

 

BAFs help players to build their incarnate powers, and I hope this guide will help empower more players to lead and initiate BAFs. Most of us only have a small window of time to play. When players are attempting to build their incarnate powers, one of the most frustrating things is when a BAF is not running. Leading a BAF is a way to give back to the City of Heroes community as well as help yourself. It is also one of the most fun trials in the game.  

 

 

Continue reading with Part 2, The Masters of BAF: A Badge Guide...

 

 

 

Footnotes

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20120906092724/http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showthread.php?t=264322

 

Automatic Cut Scene Skipping In Incarnate Trials:  
 

  • If all the characters in a League have successfully completed an Incarnate Trial, the introductory cut scene for the Trial is automatically skipped so you can dive straight into the game action.
  • Interstitial cut scenes (those in the middle of a Trial) are not skipped.”

 

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Patch_Notes/2011-06-28

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Incarnates_Ascend#Automatic_Cut_Scene_Skipping_In_Incarnate_Trials

 

 

 

Edited by BlackSpectre
Added info about Custom Windows and Popmenus
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Great write up.

1 other thing I always liked about choke points vs door sitters is you stand a much greater chance of being confused at the door.I am not sure what mechanic causes this. But if you are spending half the fight confused you are not helping. 

Surprised about the middle of the tennis court part for AVs, all the ones I been on are against the wall of the north build, I had always heard this was to stay out of sight of the guard towers.

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You are so right! Oh man! It happens so infrequently, I completely forgot to mention that prisoners can confuse players! It's been a non-issue with coke-point. From ParagonWiki:

 

"Prisoners possess Mindwash Contagion, a PBAoE chance for low-magnitude confuse."

 

The only times I've been confused is when I was hunting down prisoners that broke through the blockade. It's only a little annoying. The confuse doesn't seem to last very long, 1 to 2 attempts to unsuccessfully target, and usually on the 3rd attempt I'm able to target the prisoner again. The first time it happened took me by surprise! "Hey! What's going on???! ... Oh. Confused. Nevermind." LOL

 

Thanks for the comments.

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  • 1 year later
  • 3 months later

I know this thread is ooold, but I still felt like giving some additional input...

 

A well built Ice/Dark Corruptor can solo camp a door (I did this multiple times: tar patch -res + rains² kills nearly everything), if stuff makes it through, it gets an ice single target in the face or if it's 4+ mobs a judgment.

I've also seen fire blaster friends obliterate stuff at doors all by themselves (well built high damage ones), never needing help to cover that door for the entire BAF phase.

I'm fairly sure other well built toons can do just the same.

 

Funny enough I have seen door-sitting strategies work way better than choke-points, too much stuff makes it through the choke-point way too often (as CC doesn't do much against these mobs), it would need an "insane" amount of coordinating the nuke-times of people evenly enough on the south path. Often people go all out on the first group and then they need to wait till stuff recharges... or you need well-oiled SG/buddy leagues with optimized toons for that occasion.

 

From my (rather small) experience, having the league spread dps evenly across all doors and just 2 dedicated chasers works marvelously... I only saw it fail once, which I'll put in the category "bad luck" (I'm on +-8 months of running itrials 1-2 per week, now).

 

 I can see how a MM-only league can use the chokepoint idea to great effect. A PUG league (is that a PUL?) with an even spread of mismatched AT is likely better at door-camping from what I could observe (concentrated bursts of enemies with downtimes for powers to recharge). So maybe the rule for PULL (PUL-Leaders? 😉 ) is to know what your league's strong an weak points will likely be? and delegate key responsibilities to people that are well built for this (single target kings are great for chasing runners, AoE best sit around and nuke when mobs run past doors/chokes/...)?

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  • 3 months later

Yeah, back on Live the most common  strategy for BAF was door sitting. There were too many variables that could go awry and often the BAF would fail. It was never certain. Always a craps shoot unless you had an amazing league. That said, it's definitely do-able. It was done for years. 

 

The choke-point strategy, however, takes nearly all of those variables and averages them across a huge group. Redundancies upon redundancies. It can work with almost any league regardless of whether players' builds are good or not, organized or not, in sync or not. Just about the only thing that can spell doom for a BAF using the choke point strategy is a lack of lore pets. And even then, if the players and their builds are awesome, they can totally compensate.

 

So is door sitting doable? Sure. Is it better? Nope. 

 

That said, just have fun. If door sitting is fun for you, then do it. If the league leader wants you to do the choke point strategy, then start and lead your own door-sitting BAF. There's usually more than enough interest for more than one BAF. It's all good.

 

You're totally right about other toons who can kill an entire door by themselves. I've see a few others now. My own fire blaster can do it. At the time I wrote this guide the only one I had seen shut down a door was a spines/fire brute. Doesn't mean no other toons can do it, merely that was the only one I had seen at the time. And in my BAFs, I'm happy to let people experiment by trying to shut down a door by themselves. Usually, there's more than enough lore pets to compensate for the lack of a player. 

 

P.S. This thread is old, but the guide is not. I keep it updated, so posting here is perfectly apprpropriate!  🙂

Edited by BlackSpectre
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  • 4 months later

When doing a MoBAF, is there any safe place to attack Nightstar from? I've been having trouble finding anyplace that won't get me killed. It seems like the field is a death sentence and going between the buildings is only slightly safer if at all. Is it just a matter of a few ppl will die to the towers and I've just been unlucky?

SCRAPPER: Sir Kit Breaker-Elec/Shield *DumDum Pounder-WM/Shield *Snoglobe-Claws/Ice *Ice Flow Joe-Axe/Ice *TANK: Gamma Goon-Rad/Rad *Bernjamin Tanklin-fire/claws *Skullgrin Von Killjoy-Invul/SS *Frozen Snowshoo-Ice/Ice Quarry Goon-Stone/SS *BRUTE: Megahertz Donut-EM/Shield *Ohm Ahgerd Stone/Elec *Shadow Goon-Dark/Dark *Devilaint Le'Z-Rad/Fire *STALKER: Double OHM 7-EM/EA *Sir Kit Interupt-Elec/Shield *TROLLER: Chilly Lilly-Ice/Rad *Chlorophyllis Vance-Plant/Storm *Mechamoo-Elec/Cold *Johnny Burnsalot-Fire/Kin *Countess Gone-Ill/Dark *Lady Gone-Dark/Dark *Calpernia Tomik-Ill/Rad *Porkchop Scallywag-Fire/Nat *Gone Daddy-Plant/Dark *Merrie Melody-Symp/Dark *Toot Sweet-Fire/Dark *Lord Gone-Grav/Dark *Misty Burnsalot-Fire/Storm *Maddie Burnsalot-Fire/Rad *DOM: Scorched Eartha-Earth/Fire *Gazebo Malarkey-Dark/Psi *Clawsin Bloom-Plant/Savage *Diatomaceous Earl-Plant/Thorn *Permafrostasha-Plant/Ice *Corn Cob Earth/Earth *MM: Stupid Robot-Bot/Elec *Dark Leader-Demons/Dark *Silas Greenback-Thugs/Time *FENDER: *Dr. Gone-Dark/Dark *BAG3L-FF/Sonic *BLASTER: PinPointress-Arch/TA *Shimmy Burnsalot-Fire/TA *Lil Beefy-Ice/Fire *H0TT-fire/fire *CORRUPTOR: Shady Burnsalot-Fire/Dark *Kinetic Koala-Ice/Kin *Atmospheric Hazel-Water/Storm *Hami Dum-Seismic/Nature *SOA *Big Gravy-Crabbermind *Sentinel: NP Seymour-Elec/Regen

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  • 4 weeks later

Pretty much unlucky, yes. Staying 10 feet in-between the buildings and staying on one side or the other offers you protection from one out of two towers. It's not perfect, but it is safer than staying in the middle. That said, the incarnate power Barrier ( a lot of defense) or heals works very well here. The ideal is to have a tanker take the brunt of the fire from towers but it doesn't always work out that way. Random chance.

Edited by BlackSpectre
fixed typos
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