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Enhancements, Inventions, and Consignments. Oh My!


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Let's take a look at Enhancements, Inventions, and all the fun that comes with them.


1) Enhancement Basics


Starting at the basics! Enhancements usually come in five 'types'. Training, Dual-Origin, Single Origin, Hamidon (Special) Origin, and Invention.


  • Training enhancements can be slotted by anyone, but they are (comparatively) super weak. They usually boost most powers by 5-10% or so. They only boost one aspect of your powers.
  • Dual-origin enhancements are specific to two different origins, but they are TWICE as potent as Training (IE : 10-20%). For Example, a DO 'amulet' enhancement may only be slottable by Natural-origin or Magic-origin characters.
  • Single-origin enhancements can ONLY be slotted by a specific origin, but they are twice as potent as Dual-Origin. (20-40%)
  • Hamidon Origin enhancements (Also called 'Special Origin' or 'Special Enhancements') can be slotted by any origin, and they enhance TWO aspects of a power instead of one (Such as Damage & Accuracy, or Recharge & Endurance Reduction, etc). These can't normally be purchased, and are found in special encounters. Each power boost is roughly the same as a Single Origin.
  • Invention Origin enhancements are crafted instead of found (usually) and behave differently than the other four. I'll explain these in greater detail later on.


With all these enhancements, you can only use an enhancement that's 3 levels above or 3 levels below you. Enhancements over 3 levels can't be put into your powers, and below 3 levels provides ZERO effect. Enhancements get a bonus if they're higher level than you, and are weaker if they're lower level. So if you're level 20, you can slot enhancements up to level 23, or down to level 17. Level 16 or lower won't have any effect on your powers. Always keep an eye on your enhancements when you level - it can suck to have a power suddenly lose 30% of its effectiveness because you've outleveled your enhancements!


Training, Dual-Origin (DO), and Single-Origin (SO) enhancements can be found OR purchased from vendors - but DO and SO can only be bought at higher levels. DO enhancements start appearing on vendors at level 15, so you need to be 12 or higher to buy them. SO enhancements appear on vendors at level 25, so you need to be 22 to buy them.


Some trials and missions reward higher-quality enhancements as a bonus for being tougher. All those 'DFB' (Death from Below) groups you see advertised in chat are popular in part because they let low-level characters acquire random Single-Origin enhancements. Other trials, task forces, and similarly challenging content can give rewards normally only available to higher-level players, to encourage group play.


Hamidon Origins can only be found from defeating super tough fights, at the end of task forces, and similarly rare circumstances. Until Inventions came out, they were considered the best possible enhancements in the game; even now they're very desirable since many Invention enhancements can be quite costly and rare.



Invention Origin enhancements, IOs, change things up from normal enhancements in several ways.

First, they NEVER EXPIRE when you outlevel them. Instead of expiring, they have varying power levels based on their level. A level 10 IO will give the same bonus to a power if you're level 10, or if you're level 50. Because of this, IOs early on are much weaker than later. You still can only slot an IO that's at most 3 levels above you.


Low-level IOs have roughly equivalent power to training enhancements, mid-level IOs have roughly equivalent power to Dual-Origins, and so on. The highest level IOs (Level 50+) are a bit stronger than Single-Origin enhancements, making them potentially the strongest in the game. IOs won't need replacement as often due to their inability to be outleveled, but you'll want to replace them as you gain levels to ensure they're giving enough of a bonus to be worth keeping. After all, a 7% boost to a power that doesn't expire is not worth keeping over a 33% boost even if it does, right?


IOs can affect one statistic of a power, or multiple - they can be part of a 'set' which grants bonuses the more enhancements of that set are slotted, and in some instances do unique things like changing a knockBACK effect to a knockDOWN effect, or boosting HP/Endurance, or even granting a bonus to powers other than the one it's slotted in.


IOs are primarily crafted. While it's possible to get one here or there from a trial or other mission, this is very rare. Crafting is a whole system by itself, so let's take a look at that!


2) Crafting IOs - Getting started.


So you want to craft an IO! There's 4 things you need - The invention workbench, the invention Salvage, the invention recipe, and Inf.


Workbenches are located in very specific places, the easiest way to find them is to go to the University in Cap Au Diable or Steel Canyon. If you are in a supergroup, you can put workbenches in the SG base.


The second thing you need is salvage. Salvage drops at random from enemies you fight, the higher class of enemy (Bosses, Elite Bosses, Arch-Villains) have a higher chance to drop salvage than lower-classes (Minions and Lieutenants). Underlings can NEVER drop salvage, so don't try farming easy-to-kill enemies that spawn infinitely. Salvage is also easy to find on the Auction House (Wentworths for Heroes, Black Market for villains).


The last thing you need is a recipe. Unlike other games, recipes for IOs are single-use. So if you want to make 3 healing IOs, you need 3 Healing recipes. Even different levels use different recipes - you could find a level 10 Healing recipe from a random drop, and purchase a level 30 healing recipe.  Recipes for common IOs (Healing, Recharge, etc) can be bought from the workbench while recipes from sets have to be found at random. The AH is a great place to find the rarer recipes, or to (hopefully) get the common recipes cheaper than buying them from the workbench. If you need Inf, you can always consider selling off recipes you don't need!


Once you have the recipe & Salvage components, go to the workbench and hit create. IOs tend to be more expensive than other enhancements because the recipe can cost influence, the salvage (if you don't have it already) costs influence from the AH, and it costs money to craft as well. Be aware that trying to replace all your enhancements with IO can deplete your inf very, very fast!


One additional tip : If you make enough IOs of a particular type and level, you can MEMORIZE the recipe. Doing so makes it so that you no longer have to pay to purchase a recipe, and as such can craft IO's for significantly less cost. When you craft enough of a particular IO at a specific level, you earn a badge. If you're badge-hunting, then you can earn a total of 45 memorization badges. In addition, certain badges will grant you bonuses in the form of increasing the maximum amount of salvage or recipes you can carry!


For details on how many enhancements of a specific level you need to earn the badge, see this wiki page : https://cityofheroes.fandom.com/wiki/Memorization_Badges


3) Invention Sets


Sets are different from normal IOs in three ways : First, some sets can be 'unique'. If a set is unique, then you can only have one enhancement in that set slotted in ANY of your powers. Other times, specific IOs from a set might be unique - such as the global recharge reduction from 'Luck of the Draw'. The other pieces of the set aren't unique, but the 6th piece which offers a global always-on bonus is.


Second, sets provide different bonuses for different pieces. For the 'Panacea' healing set as an example, there's 6 different enhancements : Heal/Endurance, Endurance/Recharge,Heal/Recharge, Heal/Endurance/Recharge, Heal, and Boost HP/Endurance.


The first five pieces are like normal Healing, Endurance Reduction, or Recharge reduction enhancements. The 6th is a unique bonus that boosts your maximum HP and endurance. All together they boost a single power's healing by 97.49%, reduces the recharge by 73.78%, and reduces the endurance cost by 73.78%.


Last, sets provide unique bonuses the more you slot them into a specific power. As an example, here are the bonuses for the 'Panacea' set I mentioned above :

  • 2 Slotted : Gain 2.5% endurance recovery, 2.25% smash/lethal resist, and 3.75% mez resist (Immobilize, Hold, sleep, stun, etc).
  • 3 Slotted : Gain 10% HP Regen and 10% knockback resist.
  • 4 Slotted : Gain 1.5% max HP, 3% Fire/Cost resist, and an additional 5% mez resist.
  • 5 Slotted : Gain 7.5% recharge reduction to all powers, and 7.5% range to all powers.
  • 6 Slotted : Boost healing by 6%, gain 3.13% melee defense and 1.56% lethal/Smashing defense.


The important thing is these bonuses only apply if the enhancements are slotted into the SAME POWER. If you put 3 of them into 'Heal Other' and then 3 of them into 'Heal Self', you do not get all 6 of the bonuses, you only get the 2 and 3 slot ones. Put all 6 enhancements in the same power and get all 6 bonuses for maximum effect.


Now with sets being super powerful, having slot bonuses, and many times unique effects you wonder why would anyone want normal IOs or other enhancements? The tradeoff of course is since set recipes can't be bought from the Workbench, you're 100% reliant upon them dropping for you (rare) or buying them from the AH. Buying from the AH could be difficult and/or expensive when it comes to rare, hard-to-get and popular sets so be prepared to spend quite a lot of money or search for a while to find the recipe you want!


4) Consignments - CoH's unique auction house system


Since the Invention system and the AH go hand-in-hand, let's go over the consignment system a bit. The AH system is very different from what you're used to in other games because you go in blind.


The way it works is this :

Seller puts up a recipe on the AH saying 'Sell it for 10,000 inf.'

Buyer #1 sees the recipe is being sold, but does not see how much the recipe costs. He'll place a bid to try to buy it for 5000 inf. This bid isn't high enough to buy it right away, but the bid stays in the system.

Buyer #2 sees the recipe and is more impatient, he bids 100,000 inf. Since this is above Seller's cost, Seller gets the full 100,000 and Buyer #2 gets the recipe instantly.

Buyer #1's bid stays in the system until he either cancels it, or until someone lists another copy of the recipe for 5000 or less inf.


This can mean some difficulty in trying to know 'what should I sell this recipe for?' and 'How much should I bid for this recipe?'. To help that, there is a 'history' where you can see how much previous items have sold for. This isn't perfect, but it's a good starting point. If there's something you REALLY want, you can always place a bid, cancel if it doesn't win, place another (higher) bid, cancel if you don't win, and keep going until you find the price high enough to get that recipe. Keep in mind that selling an item for a large amount may get few buyers, but you might get lucky and sell for a lot of inf to an impatient person - or if it's a very rare and sought-after recipe!


The AH lets you sell all sorts of things. Recipes, Salvage, and enhancements (Both crafted and dropped) can all be sold. If you completed a difficult trial but the enhancement you got at the end isn't useful for you, put it up on the AH and get some cash out of it!



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Well let's fix that, shall we?


Before I get going, I want to go back over Invention Sets one more time, because there are some differences that can be important to know later on.  The four different types of Invention sets are:


Uncommon Normal (yellow).

Rare Normal (orange).

PvP (also orange).

Very Rare (purple).


The biggest differences here is that the very rare purple recipes/IOs only drop from level 47 and higher enemies, and you can only slot them at level 50, and the PvP recipes/IOs have one set of bonuses for when you're in a PvP zone or fight, and another set of bonuses for regular content.  Also, if you get into using converters (which I don't want to get into here), then purple IOs can only be converted to other purples, PvP IOs can only convert to other PvP IOs, but "normal" IOs can swap between uncommon (yellow) and rare (orange).  And that's a topic for a different guide.


Now!  On to the weirder stuff!


Archetype Origin enhancements (ATOs)


These are AT-specific enhancements that you don't craft.  These are what are called Attuned Enhancements, which is a fancy word that means they don't have a specific level -- similar to how GMs (Giant Monsters) are the same level to everyone, an Attuned Enhancement works for you at whatever level you are, provided you are at least level 10 (you can't slot them before then).  When you level up, they stay the same.  When you exemplar down, they stay the same.


Pretty neat, yes?  For every AT there are two ATO sets that you can slot into almost any of your primary or secondary powers, or at least those that do damage.  It doesn't matter what kind of damage you're doing either -- Ranged, Melee, PBAoE, Targeted AoE -- all that matters is that you have the set that works for your AT.  So for example, if you're a Defender, then the two sets are Defender's Bastion, and Vigilant Assault.


Most of these ATOs have very good set bonuses, including often defensive bonuses and recharge bonuses depending on the set and AT.


Also of note:  Attuned Enhancements are not account-bound like in the old days.  You can trade them or sell them or give them away.


How do you  get these?


1.  You buy them  from a merit vendor for 100 merits per ATO.


2.  You buy them from the auction house.  You will find them under Enhancements / Attuned Enhancements.  Note:  Make sure your search levels are between 1 and at least 50 because if you're searching only for level 35 IOs, as an example, none of the ATOs will appear for you.


3.  You get them by gambling on the Super Packs!  For this, you look in the auction house under Salvage / Special.  Here you'll find two different Super Packs for sale:  Hero & Villain, and Rogues and Vigilantes.  (And a third we'll go over in a moment).  These sell for 10 million influence.  They're seeded to the market by the GMs.  Once you've bought them you can trade the packs to other players or resell them at a loss if you want to for some reason.  They sit in your inventory until you click on them and select "open", at which  time you get a five-card display.  When you click on the cards, random rewards are revealed, such as special inspirations, reward merits, temp powers, and other things.  The last two card slots are a rare and a very rare reward, each of which could possibly be a random ATO.


Winter Origin enhancements (WIOs)


These are five sets of winter-themed attuned enhancements that are not AT specific.  We have one set each for:  Melee Damage, PBAoE Damage, Ranged Damage, Targeted AoE Damage, and Holds.  These are pretty similar to the ATOs, but any AT can use them since they are not AT specific -- you just need a power that has the type of damage the set requires, or a power than can take holds.



How do you  get these?


1.  Once again, you buy them  from a merit vendor for 100 merits per WIO.  They're listed under "Event Enhancements".


2.  You buy them from the auction house.  You also will find these under Enhancements / Attuned Enhancements.  Note:  Once again, make sure your search levels are between 1 and at least 50 or you won't see them.


3.  You get them by gambling on the Winter Super Packs!  You may have noticed when you looked in the auction house under Salvage / Special that Super Packs:  Lords of Winter can be bought for 25 million influence.  Why the higher price?  All of the Winter IOs grant two  types of defense bonuses (one is always Fire and Cold / Area of Effect, because Winter IOs should protect you from cold yes?).  Simply put, you can build up a huge amount of typed defense by slotting all five Winter IO sets.  Just about any AT can softcap typed defenses if they want to using these things, so the powers that be decided the packs really ought to cost a little more.  (But I note, the WIOs sell directly from the merit vendor for the same as ATOs)


As noted before, when you open a Super Pack:  Lords of Winter, you get five items, and the last two can be Winter IOs.  Or maybe you'll get a free costume change instead -- it's all a gamble!


ATOs frequently grant some sort of defense bonus, and also often a recharge bonus.  Winter IOs grand two different defense bonuses but none of them grant a recharge bonus.


Superior ATOs and WIOs


When you search for ATOs and Winter O's for sale in the market place, you may also notice "superior" versions of all of these, which show up as purple where normal ATOs and Winter O's are listed as orange.  These function very similarly to Purple IOs -- they have better bonuses than the regular versions, and you can only slot them at level 50.  If you reach level 50, then you can use a thing called an enhancement catalyst to transform a regular ATO or WIO that you have slotted into a superior version.


Please note!  Set bonuses from orange and purple ATOs and WIOs are treated as different sets!  If you are a blaster with all six pieces of Blaster's Wrath slotted, and you reach level 50 and catalyze two of those pieces, you will get the benefit of having 4 normal Blaster's Wrath slotted and 2 Superior Blaster's Wrath slotted.  If the first bonus is something you want to double down on, there may be an actual reason to do this, but normally you'll want to catalyze the full set to get the bigger bonuses.


You can buy Superior ATO's and WIO's on the market.  At least, eventually, when someone decides to sell them.  But for the most part I'd expect it's faster and cheaper to catalyze things.  You can earn a catalyst a day just from regular drops from playing the game, so it's only a matter of time before you have enough to do what you want.


Universal Damage enhancements


This is kind of a weird category all on its own that only contains the Overwhelming Force set.  This is also an attuned enhancement set.  It can't be converted into anything else, but you can use converters to change one piece into another if you're having trouble completing the set.  These, as the name indicates, can be slotted into any power that does damage.  There is no superior version, they can't be catalyzed.  I generally think of them as not as good as the ATOs and WIOs, but they have their place and the Knockback to Knockdown part of the set is extremely popular.  They're also much easier to get -- you earn one just by running the Summer Blockbuster Double Feature, which is fun to run anyway.  You can, of course, also buy them from the merit vendors or the market.


Other Attuned Enhancments


Now you may be saying to yourself, are there other attuned enhancements?  Yes!  Any IO has an attuned counterpart.  There are even attuned purple IOs, which is a whole 'nother level of stupid that I'll explain in a second, but here's the important thing:


Attuned IOs and regular IOs share the same supply pool on the market.  (For that matter, recipes and IOs of all levels share the same pool, in case you didn't know this.)


What this means is that if you craft a level 13 Cacophony: Accuracy/Recharge and list it for sale on the market, anyone can buy it at any level it can exist.  Cacophony is a level 10-30 recipe/IO, so I can buy a level 30 Cacophony Accuracy/Recharge IO and I may actually be buying yours.  Level doesn't matter -- and also whether it's attuned or not doesn't matter.  If I want to buy an attuned version, I just search for it under Attuned Enhancements instead of Crafted Enhancements.


Is this a good thing?


It depends on what you want.  The advantage of an attuned enhancement is that it scales up or down as you level up or exemplar down.  In the above example, your attuned Cacophony will never be any better than a level 30 Cacophony, but it will not lose its set bonuses if you exemplar down to level 15 to run a Positron 1 or 2 Task Force.


On the other hand, for people that want to get the most bang out of their build at level 50, they may want to boost their max level IOs to +5, which you can't do with an attuned IO.  This might be especially true if you have a set slotted like Kinetic Combat which caps out at level 35 -- boosting each of your IOs five times will effectively give you level 40 IOs, which means you're getting a bigger boost out of the set.  And you may want to do this to all of your level 50 IOs if you really, really want to operate on the bleeding edge of what your build can do.


But that's once again getting away from the main point of this little addition to khy's guide.  I just wanted to point out that if you're buying IOs from the market, to be aware that you can buy it as an attuned version for the same price.  That's something even I forget about sometimes and I do a lot of marketing.


Attuned Purple IOs  These can only be slotted at level 50, but have the added benefit of... well, there's really no added benefit because you can never slot them at lower than level 50.  You also can't boost them to +1 or +5 so they really serve no purpose, other than if someone hands you one, it still works like a normal purple IO outside of being unable to be boosted.


Just... don't.  Say no to attuned purple IOs.


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Oh, one more enhancement I should mention!


Prestige Enhancements


Prestige Enhancements are available for free at the P2W vendor. There's 5 total, all relatively similar to one another.


Each of the prestige enhancements offers a 16% boost to attack damage, a 16% recharge reduction, and a special effect. The special effect is a chance for smashing, lethal, psionic, or energy damage for four of the enhancements, and a chance to knock down enemies for the fifth.


Prestige enhancements do not scale up or down in power, and you can only have one of each slotted - but that means five free decently powerful enhancements can be obtained by any character straight from level one.

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For the most part this is great. However...


If you have a 'Panacea (Heal/Endurance)' slotted in one power, you can never use a Panacea (Heal/Endurance) in any other slot anywhere.


This is just incorrect. With the exception of specific enhancements labeled as Unique, you can slot the same sets in multiple powers. You can't slot more than one of the same set enhancement in the same power, however.

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Hmm, that's an aspect that I didn't realize we hadn't covered very well.  So let's fix that.


ATOs are unique.  You can only slot each set once, or each piece of each set once.

Winter O's are unique.  Same thing.

Overwhelming Force is a unique set (I believe -- I know you can't slot the Knockback > Knockdown more than once).

Very Rare/Purple IO's are unique.  Ditto.

Regular IOs, and PvP IOs, are for the most part not unique.


Most "specials" are unique -- that piece of a set that gives a special bonus.  Of note: 


Pancea +Hit Points/Endurance, MIracle +Recovery, Numina's Convalesense +Regeneration/+Recovery, KIsmet Accuracy +6%, Steadfast  PRotection Resistance/+Defense, GLadiator's Armor Teleport Protection/+3% Defense, Unbreakable Guard +Max HP, Shield Wall +Res (Teleportation)/+5% Resistance (All), Reactive Defenses:  Scaling Resist Damage, Regenerative Tissue +Regeneration, Preventive Medicine:  Chance for +Absorb, Aegis:  Psionic/Status Resistance, I'm pretty sure all of these are unique.


Impervious Skin: Status Resistance, Karma:  Knockdown Protection, Steadfast Protection: Knockback Protection, Blessing of the Zephyr: Knockback Protection, I can't remember if these are unique or if you can slot more than one.


Luck of the Gambler:  Defense/Global Recharge is not unique, you can slot up to five (after that you run into the Rule of Five, so you don't get any benefit for a sixth).


Impervium Armor:  Psionic Resistance is not unique.


Sudden Acceleration:  Knockback to Knockdown is not unique.

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Oh wow, I wish I'd known about being able to buy Attuned IOs for the same price as regular before I wasted so much money crafting and Attuning IO sets for my Tanker. Many of them were IOs I could have bought for less than the 4 million going rate for Catalysts on the market.


On the other hand, this does explain why it's so lucrative to buy Uncommon recipes, craft them, convert them out-of-set but in-same-type, and resell the rares you get on the Auction House. It's not just people too lazy to craft for themselves, it's people saving money by buying a fully Attuned IO for less than the cost of crafting it plus Attuning it themselves.

If you liked what I had to say, please check out my City of Heroes guides!

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For the most part this is great. However...


If you have a 'Panacea (Heal/Endurance)' slotted in one power, you can never use a Panacea (Heal/Endurance) in any other slot anywhere.


This is just incorrect. With the exception of specific enhancements labeled as Unique, you can slot the same sets in multiple powers. You can't slot more than one of the same set enhancement in the same power, however.


You're right, I apologize - I'd been told that in the sets that contain one unique IO the entire set became unique, but I see that's incorrect. I've updated the post with more accurate information.


I also added a bit of info about Memorization badges for badge-hunters or for people who want to craft and sell IOs on the AH.

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  • 2 weeks later

This needs to be stickied. And have glitter put on it. I did not read Shinobu's addition and I should have because I've been ignorant of ATOs until last week.

See me on Excelsior as Eridanus - Whisperkill - Kid Physics - Ranger Wilde - The Hometown Scrapper - Firewatch - and more!

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  • 1 year later

i'm getting close to hitting 50 and I dont know if it has changed since retail but for the sets is it more important for the ench to be max level or is it more important to just get the 6 piece bonus and have a mix of different levels in the set.

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a mix.. that's not an easy answer to read but it is what it is.


level 45 vs level 50 is going to be a tiny deference when all slotted up.


where a character is going to be used can also be a factor.

  • if the intention is to play various levels of content making them "attuned" may be the best way to go.
  • if a character is going to focus on high level content and might be trying o free up a slot, "boosting" may be the way to go.

I'll grab a link and post it.

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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