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The Character Item Menu, Hero Packs, and You: A User's Guide

Yomo Kimyata

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[NOTE:  I've been thinking about this guide for a bit, but I'm going to rush it out because I'd like people who were unaware to be able to purchase Winter Packs at a discount.  I'm almost certainly thinking too much.]




What in tarnation is the Character Items menu, you might ask?  It is an alt-er's best friend.  It's a great way for the rich to get richer.  And you can use it to really push your limits farther than you probably should.  But that's not important right now.  If you are not familiar with it, take a look at the Chat window (the one that's usually on the lower left of your screen, with Team, League, Friends, etc., across the top of it.  If you click on the Email header, you open up a subheader with Inbox and Character Items.  If you click on Character Items, this will show you all the account-wide character items that you have available.  If you've never heard of this before, it's probably empty.  If it is not empty, then it will show you the items in the order you received them.  This is practically useless, and it took me so long to figure this out that I feel like an idiot, so click the word Subject at the top of the list and it puts it in alphabetical order.  That's the only way you're going to find something quickly.


To the best of my knowledge, there are two ways to accumulate items in this folder.  One is for the GMs to gift you items (this is where they put things like merit rewards if you win a costume contest.)  The other, almost infinitely more common, is where items go when you open Super Packs.




Click here for the wiki link, but basically these are treasure chests you can purchase for inf, and when you open them, you get a semi-random assortment of items.  There are three different packs:  Heroes and Villains Packs, Rogues and Vigilantes Packs, and Lords of Winter Packs.  The first two are seeded in the /AH (under special salvage) at 10mm inf apiece, and the last is normally seeded at 25mm in the /AH, but is currently on sale for 15mm until the end of the latest winter event (early January 2022).  We'll discuss these at length later, but for the moment you should know that when you open a super pack, you will receive items that are not placed on the character that opened the pack, but in your Character Items menu.




Your Character Items menu is account locked, not character locked.  This means that any item in there can be accessed by any character on your account, regardless of shard, at any time.  If you open a pack on a character on Excelsior, you can then pull up your Character Items menu on a character on Torchbearer.  Ok, that sounds good right?  It gets better.  The Character Items menu is not instanced.  This means you can open it up at any time -- even in a mission or in your base.  Compare this to the /AH interface, which you cannot access inside of a mission (technical issues).




Not only is this kind of a way to transfer items across characters, but this is a way for you to access all kinds of items even when you are in a mission.  Ever been out of inspirations and the AV is down to a sliver of health, but she bonks you over the head and you're eating dirt?  Imagine if you could have accessed a green insp and stayed alive for only a few seconds more!  Or you're lying there on the ground, begging your teammates for a small yellow so you can make a wakie, but they are all out?  How about being able to pull off a power from your Character Items menu that would resurrect you?  Or you have a badger that needs to buy a bunch of badges with merits, but you're all out?  Wouldn't it be cool to pull some out of your communal stash?  The problem with the Character Items is that you cannot *put* specific items on it (unless you are a GM!), but you *can* use it as this account wide Bag of Holding for all the stuff you can get from opening packs.




Get rich or die trying.  There are other guides on how to use packs for profit, and I'll talk more about that later.  But once you have a comfortable cushion and can start putting inf into packs, it can be very useful.  As mentioned, there are three types of packs.  From here on out, I am going to refer to both Heroes and Villains packs and Rogues and Vigilante packs as Hero Packs, as they are pretty much interchangeable; and I'll refer to Lords of Winter Packs as Winter Packs.  There are a number of basic categories of items that you can get in packs, including:


Inspirations -- there are a variety of dual inspirations, team inspirations, and team dual inspirations that can drop from packs.  You can pull these from the Character Items menu and then use them like any inspiration.  You can even give them to others or trade them on the /AH.  These are hardly sexy, and most of them are not going to reap you huge gains in the marketplace (although some may).  But they can be very useful, especially if you are in a mission punching over your weight and you need to grab something to stay alive for a few seconds more.


Temporary Powers -- these are not tradeable, and some are more useful than others.  Some stack, some don't.  I'll describe them individually in a bit.


Services -- pretty niche items here, but this includes respecs and free tailor sessions.  I mean, it's not that these are all that difficult to come by, but they are there.


Special Salvage -- now we start getting into the value aspect of it.  Items include:  Brain Storm ideas (which I essentially only craft into rare random salvage and sell), Enhancement Converters (use them or sell them), Enhancement Boosters,, Enhancement Catalysts, Enhancement Unslotters (oh, how many unslotters!), and Reward Merits.  You can sell any of these directly (except merits, which must be converted into something else).  But I *love* having a communal pool of items.  I start a new character and want some converters?  Well, you can buy them at whatever price they are listed, or you can just pull off as many as you need from the menu.  I ding 50 and want to catalyze all my ATOs and boost my recharges in Hasten?  Take them off my stack rather than put in bids and wait for them to fill.  Also, Winter Packs contain Candy Canes, which can be used to buy stuff at the Winter Merchant.


Enhancements -- and here are the bones of the matter.  Hero Packs contain Archetype Enhancements (ATOs), which are attuned class specific enhancements, while Winter Packs contain Winter-os (WOs) which are attuned enhancements in their own class.  A couple of quick notes here.  There are 13 different classes of ATO (blaster, scrapper, etc.) and there are two types of ATO for each class (from each of the two types of Hero packs).  The only places these ATOs can come from is either Hero Packs or from the Merit Vendor (and generally they are more cost efficient from Hero Packs).  Each ATO can be converted in one of three ways:  in set, which will give one of the other five IOs from that set (3 converter cost); by category, which will give you one of the six IOs from the *other* class set (2 converter cost); or by rarity: archetype, which will give you a random ATO from one of the other 25 sets (1 converter cost).  You *can* convert by rarity and end up with the other ATO set for the same class.  Although it is possible to start with a defender ATO and convert by rarity until you get a brute ATO, that's not particularly cost efficient, it will be random, and it could take a long and frustrating path.  However, if I have a brute ATO and I want a specific brute ATO, in my experience it is very efficient to convert that ATO into the specific one you want.  There are five classes of WO (melee, melee AoE, ranged, ranged AoE, holds).  You can only convert them in set or by rarity.  And I have also found that if I have a random WO and I want a specific one, it is cost effective for me to just convert it until I have what I want.  I'd be happy to discuss the probabilities if anyone is interested.




Sure thing.  Let's start with the powers that are common to both the Hero Packs and the Winter Packs:


Experienced -- I tend to forget about this power, which gives you Patrol XP.  I'm honestly not sure the mechanics of this power, but the upshot is that you will level faster.  If you like levelling faster, yay!


Restore -- each charge of this power lets you rez an ally.  I think it's about the equivalent of giving them a medium wakie.  Totally useful thing to have if you have the room.


Revive -- each charge of this power lets you rez yourself.  This is the functional equivalent of emailing yourself a wakie.  60 second cooldown.


Windfall -- increases your drop rates of all kinds of goodies.  The fire farmer's equivalent of fire fertilizer.


25%, 50%, double xp boosters -- at this time, there is a bug that has these powers dropping instead of Experienced sometimes.  These are identical to the xp boosters you can buy for free from the P2W vendor, so in some ways they are useless.  On the other hand, I've found them useful for when your booster runs out and you don't want to have to find an accessible P2W vendor to refresh them at that exact moment in time.  Just pull an hour off your menu.  Regardless, they plan on fixing this bug in early January 2022.


Hero Packs only:


Defensive/Offensive/Survival Amplifiers -- these are the same powers that are offered in the P2W vendor for a price, and these powers stack duration with those.  But remember that in the P2W vendor, you pay inf for each hour of the power, and that price goes up as you level.  Here's a cost effective way to amplify your 50s, if you so choose.


Winter Packs only:


Build Snow Beast -- I kind of love this power.  Sometimes you just want to summon a giant snowman to distract an AV for a few seconds.  Good stuff.


Frosty Aegis -- nice (14.4% I think) toggle defense bonus to smashing, lethal, and cold.  Each charge of this power is good for ten minutes, and you can stack their duration.  


Frost Bite -- an hour long power (that starts as soon as you activate it, like an amplifier) that adds a small amount of cold damage to all your attacks.  I have no idea if the damage is significant or not since I forget to use it and when I don't forget I forget to look at the damage logs.


Winter Ward -- an hour long power that is actually really quite nice.  Check the wiki for details here.


You can also buy these powers (and more!) from the candy cane man.




See this thread.  Heck, bookmark it.  It's one of the most useful things Bopper has ever put together (to me!) and Bopper has put together a LOT of useful things.




Yes, and I will edit it into this section over the next few days, but that's all I have for now.


I welcome any questions or comments.  Sorry to put this together in such a rushed fashion, but I'll probably be too lazy to edit it later. 


Happy hunting!


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19 minutes ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

Experienced -- I tend to forget about this power, which gives you Patrol XP.  I'm honestly not sure the mechanics of this power, but the upshot is that you will level faster.  If you like levelling faster, yay


Not much to say about it really.



As the link says, it's 5 bars, or 1/2 of a level, of patrol xp.  The main thing to consider is that patrol xp is capped at 10 bars (1 level) so do NOT use a charge if you already have more than 5 bars of patrol xp.  


I noticed the link above says recharge is 2 hours but it's actually much less, something like 9 minutes.


Also I'll note that for the prior 2 anniversaries, in May, characters that log in during the anniversary period have been rewarded with 5 Experienced charges.  Certainly there's no guarantee that will continue but so far we're 2 for 2.


According to the probabilities thread linked in the OP, you can expect .27 Experienced charges per pack, so they're fairly rare and not something I would "spam" while leveling up.  In fact I don't use them at all while leveling up except for one notable exception.  I save them for when I'm 50 and really want to get to the next vet level asap to get more threads and Empyrean merits.  The notable exception for using while leveling is when I go debt farming in the early 30s for High Pain Threshold.  Patrol XP pays debt immediately at a 1-1 rate so with 1 charge I can get the 200,000 xp debt needed in one go of debt farming.

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As promised, some notes of a quick case study on profitability.  As a reminder, let me directly copy and paste the drop probabilities from @Bopper's thread:


Average amount of Rewards for Hero/Villain and Rogue/Vigilante Super Packs

  Average per Pack
Amplifier - Defense 0.0441
Amplifier - Offense 0.0441
Amplifier - Survival 0.0441
Brain Storm Ideas 19.7125
Revival 0.1628
Restore 0.1628
Character Respec 0.0310
Enhancement Booster 0.2288
Enhancement Catalyst 0.1537
Enhancement Converter 1.4002
Enhancement Unslotter 1.4002
ATO Enhancement 1.2079
Experienced 0.2699
Free Tailor Session 0.0667
Inspiration 0.9695
Reward Merits 9.7146
Windfall 0.0530



Average amount of Rewards for Lord of Winter Super Packs

  Average per Pack
Frosty Aegis 0.0441
Frost Bite 0.0441
Winter Ward 0.0441
Brain Storm Ideas 19.7125
Build Snow Beast 0.3256
Candy Canes 3.4716
Character Respec 0.0310
Enhancement Booster 0.2288
Enhancement Catalyst 0.1537
Enhancement Converter 0.7001
Enhancement Unslotter 0.7001
Winter Enhancement 1.2079
Experienced 0.2699
Free Tailor Session 0.0667
Inspiration 0.9695
Reward Merits 9.7146
Windfall 0.0530


I did two experiments.




Buy 5 Hero and Villain Packs and 5 Rogue and Vigilante Packs for 10mm each for a total outlay of 100mm.  I also had a buffer of 100mm for posting fees, so I started with a total of 200mm.


Here's what I got:


20x brain storm idea – 9

25x reward merit – 2

ATOs – 12

Inspirations – 5

Booster – 1

Catalyst – 6

Converter – 13

Unslotter – 18

Experienced – 2

Restore Power – 2

Revival Power – 4

Windfall – 2


If you want to work out how the probabilities match up, have at it.  But it's a really small sample set.  Even so, the number of ATO drops was dead on.


Anyway, I took everything that I could sell into inventory and listed it at 5 inf each -- the "fire sale" method.  If it didn't insta-sell (like some of the inspirations), I took it off the /AH and deleted it.  I changed all the merits to converters and listed all of them at 5 inf; I converted all the brain storms to rare salvage and listed them at 5 inf.  I figure that this is the "quick and dirty" method that is followed by a lot of people.  I pulled off the temp powers into inventory as well, even though you cannot resell them.


Started with 200mm, ended with 185,487,604 for a net loss of about 14 1/2mm.  Again, small sample set, but I hope to demonstrate here that the "fire sale" method is probably not going to make you a strong profit nowadays.




Buy 50 Hero Packs and 50 Rogue Packs for 10mm each for a total outlay of 1bn.  Buffer of 100mm for posting fees so total outlay of 1.1bn.


Here's what I got:


Converters – 130

Total ATOs – 131

20x Brain Storm – 105

25% XP Booster – 3

25x reward merit – 33

50% xp booster – 2

Character respec – 7

Defense amplifier – 4

Double xp booster – 2

Inspirations – 97

Booster – 24

Catalyst – 12

Unslotter – 175

Experienced – 14

Tailor Session – 5

Offense Amplifier – 4

Restore Power – 18

Revival Power – 15

Survival Amplifier – 1

Windfall Power – 5


The main difference is that this time I tried to make a profit instead of dumping everything.  I divided the ATOs into three categories:  crap, ok, good.  I used one converter on each of the bad ATOs to get a random ATO, and then listed all the bad and ok ATOs at one price and all the good ATOs at another higher price.  Some insta-sold; most did not.  After each day, any ATO that hadn't sold got pulled from the market and rerolled and relisted.  All merits were used for my super secret merit method which nets 50-100% more than dumping converters.  And everything I could sell, I listed at prices that I thought would move soon(tm).  Three days later (just now) I took whatever was left and dumped it.


Ended up with 1,491,287,722 on an outlay of 1.1bn for an ROI of 35.6% over three days.  Maybe someone else could do better; probably not significantly so.  My point is that I don't view this method of accumulating inf to be nearly as efficient (or enjoyable) as many other methods.  It takes a lot of knowledge, a lot of clicking, and time.


I did not do a case study on Winter Packs as the sale discount for the winter event makes comparing during the event and post-event irrelevant.

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