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August 5, 2007

2007.08.05 20:17:41:26 CityOfHeroes

2007.08.05 20:17:41:26 CityOfHeroes
2007.08.05 20:17:41:26 CityOfHeroes

2007.08.05 20:17:16:54 CityOfHeroes

2007.08.05 20:17:16:54 CityOfHeroes
2007.08.05 20:17:16:54 CityOfHeroes

2007.08.05 20:17:05:46 CityOfHeroes

2007.08.05 20:17:05:46 CityOfHeroes
2007.08.05 20:17:05:46 CityOfHeroes

2007.08.05 20:16:26:46 CityOfHeroes

2007.08.05 20:16:26:46 CityOfHeroes
2007.08.05 20:16:26:46 CityOfHeroes

May 19, 2007

Advanced Costuming

Filed under: Customizing,Guides — Jeremy

Something I don't really see people do much in game is have costumes match the situation or to enhance the playstyle or work with the story of your character. If you don't know what I'm talking about or don't really know how to do it, keep reading!

Powering Up

Ice it!
Ice it!
Flame on!
Flame on!

Take the two costumes for fire and ice from the previous page. Imagine that you're running around in your "conservative" costume, but when you hit your battle cry, you set your costume to change to mega mode.

My normal way of doing this is to attach it to my "Ready" bind (which is F7 by default). Because it's confusing to teammates when you use non-standard words, I have it say "Ready" in team chat, and something custom in local just for fun. Here's a sample bind:

/bind f7 local "It's time for a barbecue"$$cc 1$$team Ready!

The Local part says something character-specific in local chat (which shows up but doesn't make a beep like team chat does so it won't annoy your team. CC 1 changes your costume from 0 (the default) to your second costume slot. The last part (Team Ready!) says "Ready!" in team chat. So your "Ready" bind works like normal, but has some extra stuff attached.

When the battle is over, reset yourself to the "calm" state with another bind:

/bind f8 local "The flames have ebbed"$$cc 0"

Here are some more examples:
Switching from normal to Melee or Blast mode
Switching from normal to Melee or Blast mode
Hooded stranger...Uh Oh! It's a Stalker!
Hooded stranger...Uh Oh! It's a Stalker!

On the left you see a Blaster with Fire Blast and Energy Manipulation. As a Blapper, he has a costume for "Rest mode", for "Melee Mode" (thus the heavy armor), and one for "Fire Blast Mode" (Red energy barely contained by the steel harness, oh yeah!).

The Morgan running around in her hooded disguise until it's time to do battle when she throws it off (too bad there's not an Emote for that).

Switching from Normal to Super

Mild mannered to: crazed brawler, military combatant, magic user, or standard super hero... It's up to you!
Mild mannered to: crazed brawler, military combatant, magic user, or standard super hero... It's up to you!

Here's a sample where a male character is first in his "Mild mannered alter-ego" costume. But when the battle begins, he switches to his other costume.

Release the beast!
Release the beast!

Here you have mister normal. What? The full moon is out!? Eek! What's that thing!?

Believe it or not, the two characters are identical other than costume. I used the leg length and physique sliders to make them appear as different as possible in size and mass. This was pretty impressive before the Superscience booster made it possible to change height, sex and body mass too!

Also since the costume change emotes were introduced, you can make your transition even more impactful 🙂


Full Theme Swapping

Jordan's five best costumes (so far)
Jordan's five best costumes (so far)

Making several costumes is fun, but for the maximum experience, change the "mood" by altering the text, colors, and emotes on your standard controls. Here's a little of what I mean. First, take this set of five costumes for Jordan.

To brag slightly, I really like my costume scheme. You have red, green, and blue (the primary colors of light) along with black and white. Each costume has a theme attached (which is where we get into the meat of this).

I apologize in advance for the pink aura. It's not my costume, it's an effect from a temporary power that I really wish would go away.


Classic Jordan

Jordan's First Costume. Unchanged since she was created.
Jordan's First Costume. Unchanged since she was created.

This was designed to be both feminine and not at the same time. Jordan in this mode is her normal self with roughly the same attitude and temperament you see in the Comics.


Casual Jordan

In casual clothes for just hangin' out.
In casual clothes for just hangin' out.

This is Jordan's second costume which has also been untouched since it was created. The main goal was to make it green, but it also became sort of an "opposite" costume in that the parts that are covered and not switch from her normal outfit.

Attitudanaly (not a real word), casual Jordan is a little more relaxed and playful.


Battle Jordan

What can I say, I liked the Justice Armor
What can I say, I liked the Justice Armor

When the Good vs Evil edition came out, it seems like everyone in the world was wearing these costume pieces, but what can I say, I really like them. I knew I was going to have a blue outfit (to complete the color theme) so the Justice Armor worked perfectly.

In the end, the outfit looks more like light armor, but definitely tougher than the standard outfits. In this mode, Jordan is a little more calculated and reserved, but also very focused and commanding. There are times when Jordan is team leader that this costume might pop out.


Dark Jordan

The over-whelming darkness
The over-whelming darkness

The story element behind this is that at certain times, the dark powers overwhelm her and she changes into a darker personality. Because of the darkness seeping from her, her clothes become ragged and torn and her hands and feet become covered in inky tar.

Personality-wise, she becomes moody, depressed and… well… dark.


Light Jordan

I love the cute little wings :)
I love the cute little wings 🙂

This is the second costume that I actually use an aura for, though the glow is much brighter than it should be… I'll have to fix that next time.

Anyway, this is her light aspect and you'll see that reflected in her speech and style. She floats like an angel while raining thunderous justice upon the enemy. She's calm, cool, and kind, but don't take that to mean that she's weak.


All With One Button

Dark costume, dark text, dark speech. The whole theme is changed with a single button press. Now, for how I do it...
Dark costume, dark text, dark speech. The whole theme is changed with a single button press. Now, for how I do it...
You already know that you can change costume with a single bind ("/bind somebutton cc 0" etc.), but what about the rest? Here is my bind script for the Classic and Dark Jordans:

/bind ` "cc 0$$local <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>Classic Jordan!$$bind_load_file c:\binds\red_jordan.txt"
/bind f1 "cc 1$$local <color #000000><bgcolor #919191>The Darkness! AAAH!$$bind_load_file c:\binds\dark_jordan.txt"

And here's how it works (I'll describe the first one):

  • /bind `

    Sets the backtick/tilde key to perform the following commands.

  • local <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>Classic Jordan!

    Says "Classic Jordan!" locally using a red text color and an darkish blue for a background (same colors as her costume).

    The reason I use local instead of team is because it can be very annoying to have a lot of text in team chat because every time someone says something, there's a noise so you know. There's no point in drawing people's attention when you don't have anything important to say.

  • bind_load_file c:\binds\red_jordan.txt

    Just like I showed you before. This loads a set of replacement binds for my commonly used buttons. For the most part, it just changes the colors and exact words she uses, but it's the same keys for the same functions.

And here's the file it loads. Copy it exactly into a text file and change the relevant text and colors to match for it to work for you.

Once again, the file doesn't include "/bind" before the binds because they are assumed.

jordan_red.txt

ENTER "afk Deeply Contemplating…$$startchat"
F5 "team <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>Welcome!$$em welcome"
F6 "local <color white><bgcolor #C4BC2A>GRATZ! $$ emote clap"
F7 "local <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>I am prepared!$$em nod$$Team <color #192331><bgcolor #192331>READY!"
F8 "team <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>Hmm. It's a $target"
F12 "team <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>$target! I'm opening a portal through the darkness!$$powexec_name recall friend"
Here's what each one does:
  • ENTER "afk Deeply Contemplating…$$startchat"

    This puts that bubble over my head while I'm typing. The key here is the text in it matches my theme.

  • F5 "team <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>Welcome!$$em welcome"

    Not fancy. I just use this to say Welcome when someone new joins the team, but I want it to match so I have to put the color codes in front of it. You'll have to do this for any bind that you have text attached to if you want the theme to be consistent.

  • F6 "local <color white><bgcolor #C4BC2A>GRATZ! $$ emote clap"

    A note on this one: I don't actually change the colors, but I included it to point out that you can have exceptions. This one is an exception because I wanted my gratz bind to be distinctive from normal text (in this case, Gold and White).

  • F7 "local <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>I am prepared!$$em nod$$Team <color #192331><bgcolor #192331>READY!"

    Says something locally, says READY in the team channel, and does an emote of some kind.

    I like to pick custom emotes to make the theme more real and different. Finding a new emote for everything is really difficult though. For this I use a neat site called Mantid's Animated Emote Guide. They have animated examples of EVERY emote and it's usually updated very quickly after every new issue.

  • F8 "team <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>Hmm. It's a $target"

    I use this one to alert my team to a problem enemy or just for fun. For example I click on a Void Slayer and hit the button to alert any Kheldians on the team. Both the color and text will change on this one to match the theme.

  • F12 "team <color #8E1818><bgcolor #192331>$target! I'm opening a portal through the darkness!$$powexec_name recall friend"

    My recall friend bind.

And here's my dark Jordan bind file just so you can see the contrast:

dark_jordan.txt

ENTER "afk The dark voices speak…$$startchat"
F5 "team <color #000000><bgcolor #919191>Welcome!$$em welcome"
F6 "local <color white><bgcolor #C4BC2A>GRATZ! $$ emote clap"
F7 "local <color #000000><bgcolor #919191>I must purge the darkness!$$em frustrated$$Team <color #919191><bgcolor #919191>READY!"
F8 "team <color #000000><bgcolor #919191>$target, I will take you to the darkness with me!"
F12 "team <color #000000><bgcolor #919191>$target! Prepare to be ripped through the nether realm!$$powexec_name recall friend"

Wrap Up

My four costume slots as of issue 7
My four costume slots as of issue 7
As of issue 9, you can have a total of five separate costumes per character. Using the techniques I described and these costume slots, you can create a whole new level of character customization.

May 18, 2007

All About Archetypes

Origin and Archetype selection screen. Borrowed from <a href=http://rpgamer.com>HERE</a>
Origin and Archetype selection screen. Borrowed from HERE

The at you choose will determines what kind of powers you will have and what your major style of gameplay will be. Here is a quick summary of the typical role each AT (a section on powers follows):

Note: I KNOW already! Yes, you can play any character any way. If you try hard, you can make a super-tough defender and play them like a tank. However, most people don't and the game isn't going to make it easy for you. Therefore, I'm going to explain this how it's done normally. This is a guide for newer players after all.

Heroes

Tanker Archetype Tanker

Bring a friend. Hell bring EVERYONE.<br/>I can take you all!
Bring a friend. Hell bring EVERYONE.
I can take you all!

Their job is to hold Aggro and survive as best they can while the rest of the group beats the tar out of whatever enemies are around. In short, their job is being tough. A tank will take a bat to the knee, a gunshot to the chest, and an axe to the head while his player is off taking a potty break with no problems.

Note that playing solo can be slow because of the low damage that most tanks do, but since dying is more rare (especially at high levels), Tanks rarely have to make frequent trips back and forth from the hospital to a tough mission.

Auto-power: Guantlet

Every time you hit an enemy, it and surrounding enemies are hit with a light taunt effect. This fits very well with the tank philosophy of "Hey! Bad guy! Leave those squishies alone". All you have to do is keep switching targets to keep them fully occupied on you. Having an AoE attack is especially useful for Tanks who want to keep their team safe.

Blaster Archetype Blaster

Everything looks better with a little fire
Everything looks better with a little fire

These are the mass destruction characters of the game. They are often the pullers because of their long range attacks and they're good for nailing flying foes, one's stuck in the ceiling, or runners. They also have the most aoe damage which is very fun, but also dangerous in that it draws aggro from anyone else (like the tank) directly to you. Being extremely squishy, it's important to use hit-and-run tactics, use the terrain to prevent being overwhelmed, or use the strengths of team members to stay alive.

Balancing the massive ranged power of the blaster without getting killed can be challenging and many people don't do it well. I have often teamed with blasters who really helped the team and were critical to the success of missions and tfs, while other times, vast pain and agony were the result of teaming with a "bad" blaster. The key is to be careful about the blasters on your team. A dumb tank will only get themselves killed while a dumb blaster will get everyone else killed.

Auto-power: Defiance

Woot!! They finally changed this worthless power into something useful. Forget what it used to do and let's focus on what it does now.

Not only can you use the first two powers of your primary powerset and the first power of your secondary while Mezzed, but every attack you perform from your primary and secondary (not pools or temp powers) adds a temporary bonus to your attack power (which can get insanely high after a while). Now that's a cool inherent power.

Controller Archetype Controller

You guys hold still for a second
You guys hold still for a second

Crowd Control. With a strong controller, it's possible to be effective without a tank because the enemies will be frozen, confused, held or whatever. This can be dangerous though. Because Controllers have low damage output, they can't kill a huge crowd before the holds wear off. Therefore, if they try to take on too many solo, it can get them into trouble. Likewise, if the team they're with doesn't fully take the aggro by the time the hold wears off, the entire room of bad guys will come looking for the 'Troller.

Auto-power: Containment

As far as auto powers go, this is one of the most useful. A controller automatically doubles damage dealt to any enemy that is under a control power's effect (such as holds, slows, confuse, etc.). Since controllers attacks are usually a hold, slow, sleep etc anyway, then pretty much all their attacks hit double.

Defender Archetype Defender

This team is under my protection!
This team is under my protection!

The Everything Character. I really like defenders because they have a good balance of attack/control and healing/support powers. A defender helps the team by altering the rules of play. Defender powers can provide team protection, weaken the enemy, provide healing, improve the stats of other players temporarily etc.

For example, one time while fighting a high-level Psionic powered av, my team found that he did about half damage with me around because of the defense bonus my character added to the team and the accuracy pentalty I applied to him.

It's interesting to note that the controller's secondary powers are the primary power sets for defenders. Because of this, there can be a lot of overlap in the duties of controllers and defenders, but generally, controllers are crowd control/team support and defenders are team support/enemy manipulation.

Auto-power: Vigilance

As team member's life totals fall, a Defender uses less endurance. This is very useful IF you're on a team and IF they're dying. This used to be a fairly so-so power until…

The newest update in i17 ALSO includes a damage bonus when soloing of up to 30%. This significantly helps Defenders solo or when on small teams (though the bonus is effectively nullified with a team of 3 or more).

Scrapper Archetype Scrapper

You are an eyesore. Prepare to meet your maker!
You are an eyesore. Prepare to meet your maker!

High damage, medium hit points. The scrapper's primary job during a team battle is to add damage to what the tank does and take out the problem enemies quickly. They are strongest when fighting one or two enemies at a time, but can dish out more damage than anyone (even blasters) to a single target. Because they are also decently tough, they can take enemies far above their level.

It should be noted that for people who either don't have the skill or the desire to worry about other team mates or complications like Aggro, Scrappers make a very good first character. This is also good for impatient people who just want to get out there and kills stuff.

Auto-power: Critical Hit

A portion of scrapper attacks will be critical hits which do double damage. Because of this, taking powers that hit multiple time such as Dark Maul (for Dark Melee scrappers) will give you better chances for landing criticals. Note that you have a better chance for critical when fighting tougher enemies.

Kheldians( Peacebringer Archetype Peacebringer / Warshade Archetype Warshade )

Nova. Borrowed from <a href=http://cohvault.ign.com>HERE</a>
Nova. Borrowed from HERE
Dwarf: Borrowed from <a href=http://starsofparagon.tripod.com/id17.html>HERE</a>
Dwarf: Borrowed from HERE

These odd character types are often seen as flying squid-like things. Each type has a large amount of abilities to choose from (far more than the other ATs, though I think all types should have this many powers or more), and some very cool inherent powers.

To play one, you first have to have at least one of your other characters on any server at level 50 20 (I think it was kind of cheap to change it to level 20, but whatever…).

Of note are the three major forms: human, nova, and dwarf. Human is normal and has the most variety of power while nova is the flying form I talked about before. Novas have great attack but no defense. Dwarfs are large bulky looking things that look more like giant lobsters and have the characteristics of a tank. Because of this, Kheldians have some of the best versatility as far as team members go

A void seeker. Not too dangerous to normal characters, but to Kheldians, these guys are a problem
A void seeker. Not too dangerous to normal characters, but to Kheldians, these guys are a problem

Auto-power:

Depending on the team member archetypes that are with a Kheldian, they gain bonuses to attack, defense, and resistances. For this reason, Kheldians benefit by joining a team of diverse archetypes. Also, Peacebringers have Fly from level 1 and Warshades have Teleport.

For whatever reason, the devs decided that Kheldians are too powerful and decided to add a special enemy type throughout the game to deal with them. The special enemy can be obvious or look like an ordinary enemy, but the name will usually have something like "Quantum" or "Void" in it. Kheldians are afraid of these because they can be taken out one or two hits from these enemies.

Villains

Brute Archetype Brute

Who're you callin' PINK!?
Who're you callin' PINK!?

Brutes are like a cross between scrappers and tanks. Their powersets are mostly the same as Tanks, but they can't hold Aggro as well. Instead, they get a damage buff for each enemy that surrounds them making them both very tough and very powerful.

Auto-power: Fury

Brutes have a fury bar which raises attack power the more full the bar gets. Staying in active battle and being surrounded by multiple enemies raises your fury bar.

Corruptor Archetype Corruptor

Don't worry. I'll donate your corpses to science... my science
Don't worry. I'll donate your corpses to science... my science

A Corruptor is a cross between a Blaster and Defender. They have strong ranged attacks (though weaker than a Blaster), and healing/support secondaries (mostly the same as the ones Defenders have).

If you've played Defenders, but were frustrated by their lack of punch or if you've played a Blaster and wished you could survive a little better, a Corruptor is a great type to play. You can do good damage, but with debuffs/heals, you can keep yourself alive much better than a Blaster.

Auto-power: Scourge

Scourge is a really neat power that does double damage to enemies who are below 50% life. If you are fighting a tough enemy, but can get him down below 50%, your damage accelerates greatly. Even better, the chance for Scourge becomes much greater the lower in life the enemy gets.

Brute Archetype Brute

You think I'm a Controller!? Eat this meathead!
You think I'm a Controller!? Eat this meathead!

Dominators are a mix between Controllers and Blasters. Their primary power sets are just like Controllers which are used to hold and control enemies. Their secondary powers are all ranged attacks like a blaster.

Auto-power: Domination

Dominators have a "Domination" bar that grows with the more control powers they use. Once the bar is mostly full, you can activate your domination (a power in your tray). While the effect is active, your holds and controls are more effective and deal more damage.

Mastermind Archetype Mastermind

Soon, all shall be my servants.
Soon, all shall be my servants.

Masterminds have Defender secondaries (heals, buffs/debuffs), but what really makes them cool is their primary. Their primary powers are completely unique among all archetypes (hero and villainside) and consist mostly of henchmen and powers that work with them.

They can be a bit complicated to play if you want to control your pets with fine detail, but a good set of binds makes that far easier. Even without binds, you can control them with the custom pet controls that Masterminds have access to.

Auto-power: Supremacy

Being pet-oriented, Masterminds give a bonus to attack and to-hit to any nearby pets.

Stalker Archetype Stalker

What do you mean "Where are you?"<br/> I'm right in front of you!!
What do you mean "Where are you?"
I'm right in front of you!!

Stalkers are scrappers that have two powers replaced by the Stalker-specific Hide (which renders you fully invisible and you have access to from level 1), and Assassin's Strike which is a ridiculously powerful single-target power (which you get at level 6).

It's pretty cool to have full invisibility from level one, but being far weaker in defense compared to scrappers makes them a bit more challenging to play.


Auto-power: Assassination

Stalkers do critical damage whenever they're hidden and have a chance for critical when their not.

Arachnos Soldier Archetype Arachnos Widow / Arachnos Widow Arachnos Widow

Spyder Webb: This cave stinks!<br/>We're leaving!<br/>Spyder's Attendant: Yes Miss Webb.
Spyder Webb: This cave stinks!
We're leaving!
Spyder's Attendant: Yes Miss Webb.

A soldier starts out something like a tough Assault Rifle Blaster with a strong team buff and defensive secondary. The Widow is a Claws scrapper with the same type of defensive secondary.

When each reaches 24, they are given a choice of which path to follow. For soldiers, they can become Crab Spiders or Bane Spiders. Widows can become Fortunas or Blood Widows. The main difference between the two is ranged attacks (Crab and Fortuna) versus melee with stealth (Bane and Blood).

To unlock this character type, you need to get a character to 50 20 just like the hero epic sorta-epic archetypes.

Auto-power: Conditioning

Higher base endurance and health recovery than other types.

Door Missions

Filed under: Customizing,Gameplay — Jeremy

As of issue 13, the mission objectives generally match one or more of the following:

  • Find crate/box/equipment

    Gotta find that study!
    Gotta find that study!

    These are easy if you have stealth powers. You just run around, find the Glowies and click on them. You can also hear the glowies from a decent distance away and with good speakers or headphones can tell its direction and distance very well with practice.

    Be careful though because while you're messing with a crate or computer, enemies that are very close will still notice you. A few tips for dealing with this is to hold, confuse, or distract nearby enemies with a pet until you're done and then run away. If you do use a pet, be sure to dismiss it before running to the next area or he'll bring Aggro with him.

    Note that later missions are a lot trickier with their objectives. This particular example just says to find the study, but it also had several desks that needed to be protected.

  • Destroy crates/boxes/equipment

    To complete this mission, I also have to destroy the altar
    To complete this mission, I also have to destroy the altar

    You must find and destroy some in-animate thing(s). These are not the same as glowies because they don't glow and they don't make noise. You must actually target all crate-looking things and hope it's the one you want. If it is, you will see a life bar like any other enemy and you whack on it until it explodes or is otherwise destroyed. These can be a total pain to locate and enemies are usually stacked around the object making these missions not much faster than a "kill all".

    Missions like this are a good time to use my Seek Bind

  • Protect crates/boxes/equipment

    Some guys hanging around a desk.
    Some guys hanging around a desk.
    Where are they going?Back to destroy that desk of course...
    Where are they going?Back to destroy that desk of course...

    You must find and save some in-animate thing(s) from destruction in some cases, the enemy is standing around the thing and won't attack it until you come close and in others, when you get near the thing, it will trigger waves of attacks from enemies who will head straight for the target unless you get their attention.

    This is a newer mission element and makes things more interesting, but is still a little buggy as of issue 6. Sometimes the waves don't show up for a long time and you leave to see what you missed only to find that they snuck by you somehow and destroyed the thing anyway.

    In other cases, the enemies are unholy-focused on the object no matter what you do preventing you from completing your objective. These missions can be frustrating for that reasons so beware.

    In Croatoa, the last mission in the arc by Skipper is to protect a henge or such, but the enemies completely ignore you most times making it nearly impossible to beat alone. I almost always hold my mission completion for this mission because of it.

  • Kill leader and crew

    Nuons are weak! Ha ha ha!
    Nuons are weak! Ha ha ha!

    You will go to a warehouse/cave/lab and have to find and destroy the leader and the people closest to him. The leader is usually in the furthest place from the entrance (highest floor, deepest cave, furthest room) and they will almost always talk when you get near them which causes his name to appear in your global chat box (which should match the name listed in the mission goal). Even if they don't talk (as they often don't in the later levels), you can point at each enemy with the mouse and it will show their name (or use a Seek Bind if you know their name).

    Sometimes it just says "kill leader" in the mission goal and doesn't give you a special named enemy to look for (usually in later levels). You can try to guess which one it is or if you're lucky, they'll have a special (non-generic) name, but the simplest thing to do is sneak or just run to the end of the mission (if you're tough enough) and start clearing it from the back (since the boss is usually at the very back).

    If you've killed the leader and the mission hasn't ended, first check to see if there was another mission task you hadn't completed yet then start clearing the mission from the location of the leader. Usually it's because you missed one of "his men" and as soon as you kill them, the mission will end.

    There's a newer feature that is supposed to show you the final objective(s) for the mission if you've completed most of the others. I would guess this is to reduce the number of requests for help they get from someone who lost track of a Runner or such.

  • Rescue Hostages

    Rescue 3 generic NPCs
    Rescue 3 generic NPCs

    You will be told how many hostages to find and they're pretty easy to spot by the behavior of the enemies standing in front of the hostage. There are always between two and three and they act in a "we have a hostage" kind of way. You will pick up on this very quickly.

    In this case, the hostages have names
    In this case, the hostages have names

    These can be good because you only have to rescue the hostages, but depending on the density of the enemies and the difficulty of finding some of those danged hostages, this kind will often become a "Kill all". This is because you will sometimes not be able to extract the hostages without attracting the other enemies or because there's a hostage hidden so well, that if you don't kill everything, you'll never be able to keep track of where you've been and where you haven't.

  • Escort/Kidnap Hostages

    This is the same as a hostage mission except that once you save them, you have to actually lead them to the mission exit. This really sucks because you not only have to go all the way back to the beginning, but you get ambushed a few times on the way.

    There's no way to tell ahead of time if a rescue mission will require an escort or not. You just have to save them and see. But keep in mind that ANY Radio mission that includes the word "Rescue" in the title is an escort mission (same for Villain kidnap missions)

    The only good thing about escorting is that sometimes the NPC will help! For example, the fortuneteller mission used to be a simple rescue and is now an escort, but she uses powers to fight with you on the way. It makes the mission much more interesting than it used to be (though sometimes the NPC dies and you fail so be careful).

  • "Kill (arrest) all" missions

    Mass destruction! Whee!
    Mass destruction! Whee!

    These are the "if it moves, kill it" kind of mission and are about the most aggravating when you're trying to get through quickly for a mission bonus. If you're playing a squishy character type, this can take a while (though changes to inherent powers for controllers and defenders and the advanced difficulty control has helped).

    To make the most of it, form a quick team. You will be able to move quicker and get better experience by bringing along more people. This is particularly important if you're trying to get it done in a hurry. For example, if dinner is starting and you suddenly find that you took timed kill all mission, you better get some help if you want to finish it without drawing family aggro

    Note that in "kill all" missions, most other mission tasks don't matter anymore. This is because if you kill everything, you'll have rescued everyone, found all glowies, defeated all "leaders", and protected or destroyed any objects.

    If you find that you're having trouble getting through missions with any kind of speed, try lowering your Mission Difficulty (Noteriety)

  • Simultaneous Action

    There are very few missions like this, but they require a certain number of team members to complete. The goal is to find the glowies, but you and your team have to touch them at the same time. The story is usually something like having to disarm two bombs at the same time or hacking into a computer system using three terminals at the same time.

    The key thing to note here is that you MUST have teammates with you (or a second account it.

Special Topics

Timed Missions

Time is running out... One hour and 9 minutes remaining.
Time is running out... One hour and 9 minutes remaining.

Timed missions are a real pain because you can't walk away from them and finish later (which busy people with real lives might have to do now and then). They're really not a problem as long as you don't have to suddenly deal with a family issue (like the kid just wet their pants or the wife is burning the kitchen to the ground).

For example, there was one time I didn't realize I had a two part mission. At the end of the first one, a second timed mission began automatically. I finished a different mission that had been waiting and checked for the next one and saw that I only had 8 minutes left to finish the second part of the first mission that I didn't know I had.

Oh, hell no!
Oh, hell no!

Even then, because I had stealth powers, I was able to get to the mission and finish it in time. The challenge comes later when the time limits get smaller and the mission gets tougher. For example, in the figure here, you see wolves. Lots of them. As a defender, there's no way I can take that many alone.

As it was, only with the help of a higher level tank who worked really fast was I able to complete the mission (barely) in time.


Also keep in mind that the timer runs from the time you accept the mission. If you discover you need to form a team, the time will keep running.

Train missions

To get to these missions, you go to any train in any zone and click on it like you were going to go to a different zone and your mission will be listed there. You will be taken to a small section of a normal city zone which is walled off with a blue force field where you will do your mission (which can have any combination of the objectives above).

This is hard as heck because a warehouse/lab/cave mission is very linear and well mapped, but in these missions, stuff is even harder to find. I've circled around for long periods of time trying to find that last glowie or the the last enemy in a "kill all". These missions are easy to Sneak, but can take a really long time.

On the other hand, one advantage to a train mission is the lack of travel time. If you put together a team, they can go to the nearest train rather than come to your zone. When you've finished the mission, everyone goes back to the zone they came from which helps them resume where they left off if they don't want to stay with the team after completing the misison.

Even better, you can access train missions from Ouroboros

Police Band Missions

A police scanner is one of your contacts now.
A police scanner is one of your contacts now.

To be able to do these, you need to get a scanner. Once you have it, you can just listen to the scanner to get a mission. The missions are random, but you get to choose from three possible options (so you can skip those annoying rescue missions for example).

There's no story plot to these, but once you've done three to five in a zone, you'll get a Safeguard mission. The best parts of this is that the missions are always in the same zone and you never have to run to a contact for them. They're also easy to drop for the same reason.

Replace radio with newspaper and Safeguard with Mayhem for Villains, but it works the exact same way.

All About Origins

Filed under: Customizing,Guides — Jeremy

There are five origins in the game each of which describes a different way that your hero gained their powers. Information about the significance of origin selection is very hard to find so here's a nice consolidated explanation:

  • Later in the game, you will get enhancements that are dual origin and single origin. If you want to get useful enhancements from the enemies you're fighting, you'll want to take missions from certain contacts and fight certain kinds of enemies.

    For example, if you are of magic origin, fighting CoT will give you magic enhancements, but not fighting nemesis. You'll find that you fill up on enhancements very quickly when you never get any you can use during a mission. Therefore, you'll often want to follow contacts and story lines that match with your origin.

    Note that this hardly matters if you use IOs and ignore standard enhancements like i do

  • Your origin determines your initial contact who will direct you to missions that are aligned with that origin. While later on, you can make choices that change the way you play the game, origin does determine, to a small degree, the story arc you take through the game and the first enemies you'll fight. See here for the full listing of early enemies as well as their resistances and weaknesses.

  • Recently, the devs added a temporary power based on your origin that you keep until level 10. They are designed to help you during the early part of the game and could accent your character design (powers described below).

About the only for most of these powers after level 10 is if you are Badge hunting and need to be able to Aggro an enemy that's extremely below your level without killing him. Otherwise, i would never pick any character based on this alone.

The origins are:

natural origin Natural

A natural hero is either highly trained or is a member of an elite group or alien race where all of their kind have this type of power.

Temp power – throwing knife. Does a small amount of ranged damage.

Early enemy – Council. Especially at low levels, council are a simple type of enemy to fight. They are good for beginners to face off against, but might not be as fun to fight as some of the other groups.

science origin Science

A science experiment or accident caused the manifestation of powers. If you get creative, this one can work well. For example, i had one hero who was a robot, but rather than technology, i said he was science because he was actually a human who's persona was transferred to the robot during a laboratory "accident" which was actually a failed assasination attempt.

Temp power – tranquilizer dart. Minor damage plus sleep.

Early enemy – vhazolik. This enemy type can be very tough for Squishies so you might want to choose something else to avoid missions with them.

magic origin Magic

The magic of this hero can come from within, from training, or from a powerful artifact, but either way they have tapped into the forces of the universe and learned to control it. This is one of my favorite types only because i like writing the back-stories of magic heroes.

Note that in later levels, the enemies that drop SO enhancements are CoT and Carnies. Carnies are very tough on squishies and cot are the #1 hated enemy in the game because of status effects like holds, sleeps, slows, reduced accuracy and such.

Since my first magic character was a "regen" scrapper, i didn't have any problem with these groups. This is because scrappers are tough enough for carnies and the "regen" powerset has a power that makes you all but immune to all knockbacks and status effects.

Temp power – apprentice charm. Minor damage and lowers RES.

Early enemy – hellions. Basically just a street gang. The toughest thing you'll fight at low levels is a fire user or two, but they're basically just a knives and guns type of crowd. The biggest advantage to fighting them early is they're everywhere in galaxy city and atlas park so hunting missions will be easy since they're not hard to find.

mutation origin Mutation

This hero was born with a mutation that makes them different from the others around them. For reference, all x-men are mutant heroes.

Temp power – mutagen. Does minor damage, reduces damage potential of the enemy and has a slight chance to choke the enemy for a few seconds.

Early enemy – skulls. Another gang that won't give you much trouble. The toughest early enemies are "bone daddies" who have basic darkness attacks.

technology origin Technology

Again, not super, but has super gadgets. They could be the brilliant person who created the technology or they could have recieved the tech from somewhere else.

Temp power – taser dart. Minor damage and chance to hold the enemy temporarily.

Early enemy – clockwork. They are fun to fight because they're the most interesting of the early enemies, but they can be harder to find for hunting missions. They do have some status effects so they'll be harder than council, hellions, or skulls.

Origin titles

I recently found out that your origin affects the titles you can choose for your character later in the game. There's a full listing here.

May 14, 2007

Jordan’s Level 32 Build

Updated: I16

01: Dark BlastCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement44%City of Heroes: damage enhancement85.75%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21.75%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement21.75%
01: Twilight GraspCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement70%City of Heroes: heal enhancement57%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement57%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement32.5%
02: GloomCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement44%City of Heroes: damage enhancement85.75%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21.75%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement21.75%
04: Tar PatchCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement70%City of Heroes: slow enhancement35%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement35%
06: Air SuperiorityCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement43.5%City of Heroes: damage enhancement43.5%
08: Shadow FallCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement79%City of Heroes: resist enhancement24%City of Heroes: def_buff enhancement24%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement35.5%
10: Darkest NightCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement70%
12: Recall FriendCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement35%
14: FlyCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement57.75%City of Heroes: fly enhancement57.75%
16: Howling TwilightCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement70%
18: SwiftCity of Heroes: fly enhancement35%
20: HealthCity of Heroes: heal enhancement70%
22: MoonbeamCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement60%City of Heroes: damage enhancement41%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement36.75%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement18%City of Heroes: interrupt enhancement22%City of Heroes: range enhancement22%
24: StaminaCity of Heroes: end_mod enhancement70%
26: Fearsome StareCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement62%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement40%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement22%City of Heroes: fear enhancement18%
28: Tenebrous TentaclesCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement44.5%City of Heroes: damage enhancement44.5%
30: Night FallCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement44.5%City of Heroes: damage enhancement66.75%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement22.25%
32: Dark ServantCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement35%

Somewhere between 24 and 32, go and do a Repec trial and use it to put your build on track for this version. Do your best to get either a jump or run Stealth IO and then you can drop Hasten and Super Speed for Air Superiority (a strong attack that helps you keep enemies off their feet) and Fly (or get the jump powers… it's all a matter of preference).

Keep in mind that it's very difficult to even GET to the respec trial if you don't have one of the two Safeguard travel powers or one of your team mates happens to have Recall Friend and can drag you to the reactor.

Also, by this time, you might have started paying attention to set bonuses on IOs. Focus on healing, regen, and damage to make up for your defendery weaknesses (but definitely accuracy too. You don't want you heal to miss!).

Play tips

  • Tenebrous Tentacles and Night fall work very well with each other. Typically, you will want to fire Tentacles first to root the enemies in place, then back up to fire Night fall (since Night Fall has a longer range, but a more narrow cone). Use this combo for hunting missions, badge hunting, or really anywhere that you find more than 2 or 3 enemies in a small cluster.
  • If you do the Positron TF, the final boss is and Arch-Villain called the Clockwork King. He uses psychic attacks so stay close to your team to make sure that they're covered by Shadow Fall's protection.
  • At this point, you have lots of options for control powers, but also good attacks with the Dark Blast powerset.

Character Generation Intro

Filed under: Customizing,Guides — Jeremy

It's widely accepted that CoH/V has the best character generation engine of any MMO. Use it to make the perfect character to suit your personality and playstyle.

Spend some time thinking about what kind of character you want to play. I've noticed that many people have a great fondness for their first characters while others are Altoholics. Either way, the attachment and fun that people have in CoH/V is often directly related to how much effort is put in to the character's design and story.

Right now, you can plan everything out about your character except for their exact look because the character creation engine is not available until your account is active.

The Devs have been harassed for a long time by myself and others to allow the character generation function to be accessed before activating an account. Their reason (as I understand) for not doing this is because people will make characters that look like copyrighted characters. Well, they either will or won't and having an active account or not has no bearing on it.

First of all, people who have never played are typically reeled in by the character generator. It's how I became interested and it's how I got a friend interested. Secondly, people like me who have played before get really excited about starting up again because of a character design I thought of. Being able to fully build that character offline would give me great encouragement to reactivate.

Anyway, that's what they decided and while I disagree with that decision, out of respect, I will not tell you about the "city of heroes korean character creator" which was leaked out over the Internet a while back. It's fairly old anyway which means it doesn't include a lot of the newer costume pieces and such so I won't mention it. The Korean character creator that is.

Some of my many heroes and villains
Some of my many heroes and villains

The normal method versus a "theme"

Typically, character generation goes from server selection to Origin, Archetype, powers, character design, story/name/battle cry, and starting city. However, there's no such thing as an order to creating a hero. Some start by picking the powers. Others by the sex. Still others think of a great name and build a theme entirely around that. The key to making a character that you will enjoy playing and showing off to others is to put some time and effort into it. But first, let's explain what Origin and Archetypes are.

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Blapper

A Blaster-Scrapper. One who is a Blaster, but builds their character and plays them more like a Tank.

Emote

An emote is an action that you can cause your character to perform by typing /e emotename in the chat window.

Kheldian

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.

Aggro

Aggro is short for aggression and means that an enemy is paying attention to you. Controlling aggro means to keep enemies too busy to attack other team members. Taking aggro is when you are getting hit because you were noticed. Taking too much aggro is what happens right before you die.

AoE

Area of effect. An AoE power is one that will affect not just yourself or your target, but anything around you/your target. For example, an AoE heal will affect nearby allies and an AoE attack will affect nearby enemies.

Woot!

We Own the Other Team. This term originates from player versus player team combat games, but has been adopted by all kinds of gamers.

Mez

Mesmerize. It means an psychic hold effect which typically leaves a hero defenseless by rendering them confused or unconcious and drops toggle powers.

Aggro

Aggro is short for aggression and means that an enemy is paying attention to you. Controlling aggro means to keep enemies too busy to attack other team members. Taking aggro is when you are getting hit because you were noticed. Taking too much aggro is what happens right before you die.

Glowie

Boxes or other equipment that glow and make a slow pulsing sound. Many missions include a task to find certain items or seek clues which usually involves finding glowies.

Aggro

Aggro is short for aggression and means that an enemy is paying attention to you. Controlling aggro means to keep enemies too busy to attack other team members. Taking aggro is when you are getting hit because you were noticed. Taking too much aggro is what happens right before you die.

Seek Bind

A "seek bind" is used to find items, enemies, or anything else that you can target much faster. For example, if your targets are "crates" or have the word crate in their name, type this:

/bind f target_name crate

Then tap F as you run around to auto-target anything that matches "crate" in your line of sight.

[Click for full description]

Dropping Missions

Every 3 days you can drop one of your missions, but still get full experience as if you had completed it normally. [Click for full description]

Seek Bind

A "seek bind" is used to find items, enemies, or anything else that you can target much faster. For example, if your targets are "crates" or have the word crate in their name, type this:

/bind f target_name crate

Then tap F as you run around to auto-target anything that matches "crate" in your line of sight.

[Click for full description]

Runner

During battles, some enemies, for whatever reason, may decide to run away. This can be a problem for mission completion or if some of your less experienced team members try to chase them (which usually draws aggro from other groups).

Police Band Scanner

The police band scanner (a.k.a "radio") is a special contact that allows you to pick up random missions from anywhere in your current zone. While the missions are one-shots, they can be retrieved quickly which is good for teams and allow you to do Safeguard missions. [Click for full description]

NPC

Non-player character. Any character in the game that is controlled by computer code rather than a live player is an NPC.

DO

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.

SO

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

Circle of Thorns

Circle of Thorns is a cultist group of demon worshipers. Usually abbreviated because it takes too long to type the full thing.

Note that they are one of the most hated enemy types because many types of the CoT use status effect powers such as stuns, accuracy debuffs, holds, slows, etc.

If you're just starving for deep, detailed, information about the CoT, click the link below:

IO - Invention Origin

IO stands for Invention Origin and refers to the new enhancement type introduced as of Issue 9. They are typically stronger than standard enhancements and have the awesome advantage of never becoming outleveled. Further, there are sets of IOs that provide special bonuses or powers when arranged properly.

Badge

Badges are special medal like things you get for accomplishing certain tasks. Some are related to finding remote locations, some for reading a series of historical plaques, and some for killing a certain number of a type of enemy.

Collecting badges earns several rewards. Gladiators for Arena battles and custom titles are two. The last are accolade powers that you get for certain combinations of badges (Hero accolades, Villain accolades).

Aggro

Aggro is short for aggression and means that an enemy is paying attention to you. Controlling aggro means to keep enemies too busy to attack other team members. Taking aggro is when you are getting hit because you were noticed. Taking too much aggro is what happens right before you die.

Council

Council are a military organization of sorts. I don't remember much else.

Squishy

Easy to kill.

SO

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

Circle of Thorns

Circle of Thorns is a cultist group of demon worshipers. Usually abbreviated because it takes too long to type the full thing.

Note that they are one of the most hated enemy types because many types of the CoT use status effect powers such as stuns, accuracy debuffs, holds, slows, etc.

If you're just starving for deep, detailed, information about the CoT, click the link below:

Carnies

Carnival of Shadows. An enemy type that based on a circus theme. They're a bit goofy, but they're very tough for more squishy characters to handle alone. This enemy type isn't often seen until about level 40 or so.

RES

Resistance. Refers to a character's ability to absorb or avoid certain kinds of damage. The defense is based on the type of damage such as fire, cold, energy etc.

Repec

Character Respecification. Getting one of these allows you to relevel your character from level 1 to your current level instantly. You can choose all new powers and slotting choices (though you have to stick with the same primary and secondary power choices. You get these typically after new Issues or from the Respec Trials which are basically task forces with a respec as the award.

IO - Invention Origin

IO stands for Invention Origin and refers to the new enhancement type introduced as of Issue 9. They are typically stronger than standard enhancements and have the awesome advantage of never becoming outleveled. Further, there are sets of IOs that provide special bonuses or powers when arranged properly.

CoH/V

CoH/V is shorthand for "CoH or CoV" (or more simply, it means either City of Heroes, City of Villians or both)

Massive Multiplayer Online

Refers to games such as Everquest, World of Warcraft and City of Heroes that are designed for online play with other live people. The key difference between this and online games such as Yahoo games is that there are anywhere from tens to hundreds of people playing together and collaboratively in the same virtual environment at the same time.

Altoholic

A person who is addicted to creating new characters. They will usually level them as far as the mid 20's at most before building a new character to play instead.

Devs

Developers. The game designers.

Origin

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

Archetype

Archetype is the choice of the type of hero/villain you will play. This determines your inherent toughness, power, and what Powersets will be available to you.