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December 13, 2007

Why Set IOs Kick Even More Butt

Filed under: Customizing,Guides,Testing — Jeremy
The following are advantages to SET IOs only
The following are advantages to SET IOs only

Set IOs are the IOs that come in sets of 4 to 6 enhancements in a series. For a description of all the sets and what they do, use Paragon Wiki (an excellent resource for basic CoH/V information).

Note that all my calculations below are for level 50+ IOs because it makes the calculations simpler to understand when comparing against SOs.

They're Stronger

Take this slotting with SOs as an example:

City of Heroes: accuracy enhancementCity of Heroes: damage enhancement

Here you have a fairly basic enhancement combo to some attack. Improve a little accuracy and then add damage. But what if you add these instead:

Detonation Accuracy/Damage – Gives 26.5% bonus to accuracy AND damage (at level 50).
Air Burst Accuracy/Damage – Gives 26.5% bonus to accuracy AND damage (at level 50).

First, notice that the TOTAL amount of enhancement that you're getting is not 42.4 percent, but 53%! Taken together, using only TWO slots, you get a total of 53% bonus to accuracy and 53% bonus to damage. Compare that to 33% damage and 33% accuracy from two SOs and there's no contest at all.

They Save Slots

Now let's say you wanted to max out both accuracy and damage with SOs. That would take a slotting like this (all screenshots taken from Mid's):

Using only SOs to max out a power
Using only SOs to max out a power

Keep in mind that these slotting examples are for level 50 enhancements, but the principle still holds true at any level

Save One

Instead, replace the SOs with stronger IOs and replace the last two with a single "Accuracy/Damage" IO from any set (whichever is cheapest and easiest to get that still gives decent percentage bonus). Now you actually get MORE total damage and accuracy AND save a valuable slot for use in another power.

Using IOs to save a slot
Using IOs to save a slot

Save Two

Or, if you can stand to lose a little off your total percentage, use straight IOs to save TWO slots. Ok sure, this seems to make you weaker, but remember set bonuses. 10% damage is hard, but 10% accuracy is pretty easy.

Using IOs to save <i>two</i> slots
Using IOs to save two slots

Save Three

Lastly, to save three slots, use the "Accuracy/Damage" IOs from every set available and get something like this:

Using straight Set IOs for even <i>more</i> slot savings.
Using straight Set IOs for even more slot savings.

Tougher to pull off, but HUGE slot savings
If you're wondering why you couldn't just put in three of the "Air Burst Accuracy/Damage" enhancements (since Air Burst is fairly common and easy to get, why not use all of that one instead?). It's because you can't. I wish you could, but you can't put two of the same exact IO in one power. Take note.

Using this trick only works when there's enough set options for a power that you can do this without having to go for really rare and ultra rare Set IOs.

Set Bonuses

IO Sets are sets of enhancements with the same name, but that give different bonuses. For example, the previously mentioned "Air Burst" set has the following types of enhancements:

Damage/Endurance Reduction
Damage/Recharge Reduction

Now let's say you get Accuracy/Damage and Damage/Recharge. That gives:

+26.5% Accuracy, + 53% Damage, and +26.5% Recharge but because you have 2 of the Air Burst set, you get the level 2 set bonus. The set bonuses for Air Burst are as follows:

  • Two enhancements from the set in one power: improves the Knockback of all your powers by 2.0%.
  • Three enhancements from the set in one power: increases maximum Health by 0.75%.
  • Four enhancements from the set in one power: increases Smashing and Lethal Resistance by 0.63%.

This is a great way to overcome weaknesses in certain builds. For example, a Stone tank runs very slow when their best shield is active, but that can be greatly overcome with combinations of set run bonuses.

Keep in mind that you can only get the same bonus 5 times. That means that if you've already slotted five powers with sets that give a 2% bonus to over-all damage, a sixth is a waste. However, you can get more if they are a different amount (like 3% damage bonus).

Character Differentiation

Technically, this is an extension of the Set Bonus point, but it's important enough to have it's own section.

Using set bonuses can make your MA/SR Scrapper totally different than someone else's.

Using set bonuses you can get extreme bonuses to health regeneration, endurance recovery, accuracy etc. Maybe on your Defender, you find every possible bonus for health while I find all the ones for increased damage. Now, even if we have the exact same build, our effectiveness can be VERY different.

Unique Powers

There are special unique IOs that you can only have one of at a time (not per power, per character). They give special powers or effects like permenant stealth or resistance. This is too big a topic to cover here especially when others have done a plenty good job already so check Paragon Wiki for a list of all Unique IOs and what they do.

But as an example, I originally took Super Speed on my defender ONLY because I wanted full stealth when SS combined with Shadow Fall. Now that I can use the Stealth IOs, I was able to drop Super Speed and it's prerequisite power and fill those spaces with other powers from my Primary and Secondary instead!

Why Generic IOs Kick Butt

Filed under: Customizing,Guides — Jeremy
The following are advantages to ALL types of IOs
The following are advantages to ALL types of IOs

You Never Out-Level Them

With Training, Dual-Origin, or Single Origin enhancements, you can only use it if it's within 3 levels above or below you and the effectiveness of the enhancement varies depending on your level compared to its. Worst of all, after a few levels, you have to upgrade all your enhancements that have gotten too low level to be useful. It's a pain.

Red are too high or too low to use, yellow means it's getting stale.
Red are too high or too low to use, yellow means it's getting stale.

Check out this site for tons of information on standard enhancements, but here's the basic point:

Origin Level -4-3-2-1Your Level+1+2+3
Single Origin 0.00%-9.99%-6.66%-3.33% Base %+1.67%+3.33%+5%
Invention Origin (lvl 50) Base %Base %Base %Base % Base %Base %Base %Base %

For standard origins, origin type and your level determines it's power (where TOs have a base percentage of 8.33%, DOs have 16.67%, and SOs have 33.3%).

Note that there are two tiers of bonus depending on if the enhancement is Range, Damage Resistance, and Defense Buff (which use a lower value) or everything else (which use the numbers I gave here).

Alternatively, IOs give bonus based only on what level and type they are. The same IO at level 10 might only give 8%, but you'll get that 8% for as long as you want. Until you feel like upgrading or replacing it, it will still give you the same 8% bonus no matter what level you are.

They Are Cheaper Than SOs

There are badges for creating IOs so when high level badge-hunting types decide to get around to invention badges, they flood the market with low-level IOs.

Don't forget, buying enhancements from the market can be very cheap, but selling them there is usually a bad idea.

Granted, more useful IOs like accuracy or damage go pretty fast, but low level sleep, confuse, slow, or similar are generally around in great supply and are often cheaper than the comparable DO or SO from the stores.

Even better, it can be FAR cheaper to buy DOs and SOs from the market than the store as well. Correspondingly, this is why you DON'T want to sell DOs or SOs at the market when you can get more by selling it to a store or a trainer. And if you do, don't forget to sell the DO or SO at the right origin store for extra cash (Mutants don't want no stinking Magic enhancements and won't give you good money for them).

They're Stronger Than SOs

Through the levels, if you compare an IO with the available TO, DO, or SO, the IO is stronger. For example, a level 50 damage SO gives 33.3% bonus (assuming even level with you) while an IO gives 42.4%. The over-all enhancement strength is even higher if you count the multi-enhancing IOs (explained next)

They Save Slots

On of the problems with certain types of characters is having enough enhancement slots for everything you want to do. This is especially a problem with Kheldians.

But take the previous information and think about this: Because of ED the maximum you can enhance a power before you get only 5% or less benefit from further enhancements is about 95%. Therefore, with 3 SOs that give 33% each, any more than three SO's is completely wasted.

If you can live with 84.8% buff instead of 95%, you can save an enhancement slot everywhere you would normally have 3 SOs. Described visually:

95% EnhancementCity of Heroes: damage enhancementCity of Heroes: damage enhancementCity of Heroes: damage enhancement
85% EnhancementCity of Heroes: i_damage enhancementCity of Heroes: i_damage enhancement

If you are desperate for slots in other places, relax! You'll lose about 10% of your buff this way, but that's certainly acceptable in some circumstances when you consider having that extra enhancement slot for another power.

December 9, 2007

Invention Origin Enhancing

Filed under: Customizing,Guides — Jeremy

This is one of the major components to power customization. IOs are by far the best enhancement type in the game, but before I explain, let me go over the alternatives:

Training Enhancements

Training Origin are the cheapest, weakest and the first kind you see. They drop randomly from enemies and will be the first and easiest way for you to buff your powers and/or make some money. Their biggest advantage is that any type of hero can use them.

It used to be that you could get a level 40+ training enhancement drop from enemies, but they've finally fixed that. I mean, honestly, how does it make sense to have a high-level "training" enhancement. Isn't that contradictory by definition?

Dual-Origin Enhancements

Dual-Origin enhancements can be gotten around level 14 or so and they're more powerful than TOs, but can only be used by one or the other origin represented by border shown (in this case, Natural and Magic).

They are also dropped randomly by enemies, though the type that is dropped depends on the enemies you fight.

Single-Origin Enhancements

The most powerful standard enhancement type. These are purely Origin based meaning that only one origin type can use a particular type of enhancement (thus, single-origin).

Hamidon Origin Enhancements

The first type of enhancement that gives multiple bonuses (for example, buff's damage AND accuracy). Clearly these were highly prized, but the only way to get them was to defeat Hamidon which is hard, takes a long time, and only gives one of these types of enhancements when you defeat him (and what you get is random and may be useless to you). Clearly not for the casual gamer to bother with.

Invention Enhancements

These enhancements can be made with a combination of recipes and materials (which can either purchased from Wentworth's/Black Market or you can collect from enemy drops). Or if you don't want to wait and have the cash, you can just buy the enhancement directly from the market (if available). I think these far, far kick butt on all other enhancement types.

Note that Invention Origin enhancements come in two styles: sets (shown left) and standard (shown right). The sets have special bonuses when you use more than one of the enhancements in a set and the standard don't give any bonuses, but are typically stronger than any other type of enhancement just by themselves.

December 6, 2007

Hero Builders/Planners

Filed under: Customizing,Gameplay,Guides — Jeremy

This part is useful before your first time playing, but especially in between play sessions. For example, for the month prior to playing again, I can re-plot out powers and enhancements to compensate for new rules or additional levels that I know I'll get on my lower characters. It gives me a bit of a game plan for what to do when my account goes active again.

Mids Hero Planner

Mid's Hero Planner
Mid's Hero Planner

There's a small learning curve, but wow! The amount of info it gives you is awesome. Check out this pic for Jordan's build. She has massive defenses and I can see how I'm going to use my invention sets to buff her max HP and damage potential.

I don't know how you'd even manage to plan out a character anymore without a robust planner like this unless you planned to ignore invention enhancements entirely (which would be a bad idea).

Suckerpunch's Online Planner

Suckerpunch's Online Build Planner
Suckerpunch's Online Build Planner

The primary advantage to this version is that as changes and improvements are made, they're instantly applied and you can access it from anywhere. If your work doesn't allow software installs, this could be a huge advantage.

August 5, 2007

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2007.08.05 20:22:12:56 CityOfHeroes
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2007.08.05 20:21:38:25 CityOfHeroes
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2007.08.05 20:19:19:73 CityOfHeroes
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2007.08.05 20:17:44:79 CityOfHeroes

2007.08.05 20:17:44:79 CityOfHeroes
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CoH/V is shorthand for "CoH or CoV" (or more simply, it means either City of Heroes, City of Villians or both)


Training Origin enhancements are the first enhancements you get for your powers. They can be used by any type of hero, are cheap and easy to get, but don't give very strong bonuses.


Dual Origin Enhancements. These are significantly more powerful than training enhancements and will work for two different origins (thus dual origin). For example, there are Magic/Mutation enhancements that anyone of either origin can use. A technology character would only benefit by selling a Mag/Mut DO.


Single Origin enhancements. The strongest type of enhancement you can get. Generally, a single SO enhancement increases a power's attribute by 33%.


Kheldians are an alien life form that merges with humans to create powerful heroes. In the game, they're a special type you can only play after getting at least one of your characters to level 50.

Enhancement Diversification

A controversial change released with Issue 6 where any more than 3 of the same type of enhancement in a power becomes useless. Though many people complained very loudly about the change, ED has forced people to get more creative with powers than slotting "1 accuracy and 5 damage" in every stinking attack.


Origin refers to the method your hero/villain got their powers. Click the link for more details: