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Jeremy’s Contacts Guide

Last Modified: July 28, 2010

Contacts can be listed from your main menu at the top
Contacts can be listed from your main menu at the top

The first thing you'll do once you enter the game is be introduced to your first contact. Contacts are your non-player characters (NPC's) that are listed in your contacts menu (which is on your navigation bar). They give you missions and lead you through the various story plots in the game.

Here are my tips for making the most out of your contacts:

Story lines

Most contacts will offer you a choice of missions to take. One will usually follow a story line while the other is just to keep you busy. ALWAYS take the story line mission. Completing a story arc will give you experience and enhancement bonuses and can bring you into battles with special enemies such as Arch-Villains.

Note that the story mission can be any type of mission (mission types explained later), the key is to read the description and determine which option sounds like it continues the plot. Even if you make the wrong choice, you can usually still take the mission as long as you don't out-level the contact before you finish the arc.

Not all contacts will give you story arcs and it can be hard to tell. But as of issue 7?, contacts with story arcs have a small "book" icon next to them making it very clear that you should keep talking to them!

Maximize your contacts

Though you could finish all the missions for one contact at a time, you will spend a lot of time running around and see less of the game. Granted, you could just Roll another character and see some of what you missed that way, but if you're a casual gamer trying to maximize your time, you'll complete as many story arcs as you can in one run.

Note that with Flashbacks, you can replay many missions you missed the first time through.

Keep as many active missions from different contacts as you can which at the time of this writing is three seven. In doing this, you will often get compatible missions. Here are some examples:

  • Your contacts give you two to three missions in the same zone.
  • You have a mission to "kill 10 Hellions" and a door mission full of Hellions.
  • You have two missions at the same time to kill "10 Hellions" and "15 Hellions" in which each kill will count for both missions.
  • Your zone 1 contact keeps giving missions in zone 2, and zone 2 contact gives you mission for zone 1 so, though you have to travel, it's not as much of a waste.

Don't out-Level your contacts

Every contact has a level range. If you try to contact one contact when you're too low, they'll say that you must be a certain security level (level) before you can take any of their missions. If you gain enough levels and pass their range, they'll thank you for your help, but say that you've cleared them of missions (which won't be true, but they won't let you take any missions just the same). The trick is to not out-level your contact before you've completed their story arc.

Don't walk when you can call

Most contacts will give you their "cell" number after a few missions. As soon as they do, start calling them instead of running all the way back to saves valuable time. To "call", open the contacts menu and press the CALL button next to the info for that contact. If there is no CALL button, you haven't done enough missions for them yet.

Pick your referrals carefully

When you have done a certain amount of missions for a contact, they will either introduce you to a new contact or give you a choice between a few different people. Choosing a referral is an important way to control your travel through the story plots in the game.

Unless you have a reason to pick otherwise, alway choose ones that match your type so that when they offer you enhancements, they're the kind you can use. For example, I chose to be of magic nature during character creation (as opposed to technology, mutation, etc). By sticking with missions and contacts of a more magical nature, I will get enhancements that I can use. This becomes important later when you begin to get dual origin and single origin enhancements.

The only reason to choose otherwise is avoid enemy types you don't like or story plots you've followed before.

Of course, now that there's IOs, you might disregard this advice entirely. It's up to you.

Special Cases

Kheldian Contacts

Kheldians have special contacts that lead them through a story line that spans all 50 levels. Every 5 levels, there's a new story arc that consists of about 5 missions or so. Villain epics have a similar set of custom contacts.

Costume and Store Contacts

Some stores in Brickstown and Founder's Falls can only be accessed after you do a single mission for them. The same is true of the various Tailors around the game. Similarly, the City Representative in atlas will require you to complete a few missions to unlock capes or auras for use in costume design (for example, Shazel's flaming hair).

Self-contained zone contacts

There are certain zones which are entirely self contained. These tend to have better story plots and bigger bonuses than the others (partially because they're newer) as well as custom TFs. The best part of working with these contacts is that you never have to leave the zone which helps reduce wasting time travelling from place to place.

As of this writing, the self-contained zones in City of Heroes are The Hollows, Faultline, Striga Island, and Croatoa. Most Villain zones are already self-contained.

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Roll

An old D&D term, it means to create a character.

Flashback Missions

The flashback system allows high-level players to exemp down (like on a low Task Force) and play through game content they missed or skipped. [Click for full description]

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.

Brickstown

One of the zones in City of Heroes.

Founder's Falls

Founder's Falls is a higher level hero zone that is most noted for it's Venice-like design with waterways between buildings.

Tailor

Tailors are shops where you can have new costumes made or alter your current one. Each tailor will unlock a costume slot allowing you to create new alternate costumes, but you will have to do a mission for them first.

TF

Task Force. Certain contacts give task forces and each requires a certain minimum amount of players to begin. They consists of a series of missions or tasks while you follow a small story plot.

They are typically excellent experience and let you see some places in the game you'd never get to otherwise.