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November 6, 2009

Jordan’s Level 50 Build

Filed under: City of Heroes,Defenders,Guides — Jeremy

Updated: I16

01: Dark BlastCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement40%City of Heroes: damage enhancement66%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement45%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement40%
01: Twilight GraspCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement80%City of Heroes: heal enhancement88%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement85%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement60%
02: GloomCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement45%City of Heroes: damage enhancement94%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement45%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement45%
04: Tar PatchCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement95%City of Heroes: slow enhancement60%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement60%
06: Air SuperiorityCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement48%City of Heroes: damage enhancement48%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement21%
08: Shadow FallCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement95%City of Heroes: resist enhancement41%City of Heroes: def_buff enhancement52%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement48%
10: Recall FriendCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement42%
12: Darkest NightCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement69%City of Heroes: acc_debuff enhancement41%
14: FlyCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement53%City of Heroes: fly enhancement92%
16: Howling TwilightCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement95%City of Heroes: slow enhancement60%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement60%
18: SwiftCity of Heroes: fly enhancement42%
20: HealthCity of Heroes: heal enhancement83%
22: MoonbeamCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement74%City of Heroes: damage enhancement92%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement42%City of Heroes: interrupt enhancement50%City of Heroes: range enhancement44%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21%
24: StaminaCity of Heroes: end_mod enhancement83%
26: Petrifying GazeCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement62%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement40%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement22%City of Heroes: fear enhancement18%
28: Fearsome StareCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement48%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement48%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement27%City of Heroes: fear enhancement74%
30: Tenebrous TentaclesCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement42%City of Heroes: damage enhancement78%City of Heroes: range enhancement47%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement48%City of Heroes: acc_debuff enhancement29%
32: Dark ServantCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement66%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement61%City of Heroes: heal enhancement42%City of Heroes: hold enhancement45%City of Heroes: acc_debuff enhancement38%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement61%
35: Night FallCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement48%City of Heroes: damage enhancement95%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement53%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21%
38: BlackstarCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement27%City of Heroes: damage enhancement79%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement79%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement27%
41: Dark ConsumptionCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement42%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement83%City of Heroes: damage enhancement66.75%City of Heroes: end_mod enhancement42%
44: Dark EmbraceCity of Heroes: resist enhancement50%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement22%
47: Soul DrainCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement42%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement69%City of Heroes: acc_buff enhancement16%
49: Dark PitCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement48%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement48%City of Heroes: stun enhancement21%

All my builds are designed for max utility at the lowest levels. Generally, single target stuff low level, team support stuff, and most of all, your travel power and sneak/tp combo.

At the later levels, some group control and damage powers start to creep in. Depending on if you PvP or not, you might want to rearrange some of the powers in the 24 to 30 range (since the Bloody Bay level cap is 25).

But there's no question of what power to get at level 32. With 3 slots per level starting at level 33 and two slot levels per power level now (meaning you now have two levels of enhancement slots per one level of new powers), you will easily have Dark Servant fully slotted by level 34.

At this level, pay close attention to IO set bonuses. Based on the sets I chose and the arrangement of each, I managed to reach 25% damage bonus, 27% accuracy, 11% +hitpoints, and 68% Regeneration rate!

Play Tips

  • A well known, but worth mentioning anyway, combo is the Soul Drain, Blackstar, Blue inspiration, Dark Consumption. With this you buff your attack tremendously, blast the hell out of everything, then gain enough endurance to drain whatever's left standing to put you back to near full endurance so you can keep fighting.
  • The previously mentioned combo with Tar Patch as a trap and Darkest Night as a pulling move allows you to tank for the team. Once they hit the Tar Patch, run into range and fire Tenebrous Tentacles to keep them in place and proceed to use Howling Twilight, Dark Pit, and Fearsome Stare to keep them completely defenseless while your team destroys them. If you don't have a team, that's ok, because with tentacles and Night Fall, you can do a fair bit of damage yourself anyway!

Jordan’s Level 16 Build

Updated: I16

01: Dark BlastCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement25%City of Heroes: damage enhancement32%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement12%
01: Twilight GraspCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement57%City of Heroes: heal enhancement23%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement23%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement10%
02: GloomCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement25%City of Heroes: damage enhancement25%
04: Tar PatchCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement30%City of Heroes: slow enhancement10%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement10%
06: HastenCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement38%
08: Shadow FallCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement35%City of Heroes: resist enhancement14%City of Heroes: def_buff enhancement15%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement23%
10: Darkest NightCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement38%
12: Recall FriendCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement19%
14: Super SpeedCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement19%
16: Howling TwilightCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement19%

Here are some general percentages you can reach with only uncommon (and maybe one rare) recipies at the market. You can probably reach better results than I did with rares here and there, but I wanted this to be a completely realistic build that anyone could use.

At this point, you have good attack power, the extremely useful Tar Patch and the all-powerful Darkest Night. Though I don't keep Super Speed in my final build, I have it at low levels because the Stealth procs for Sprint are too expensive at this level. With Super Speed and Shadow Fall, you'll have full invisibility so you can do the awesome Sneak and TP combo (for faster mission and TF completion).

There's very little point to worrying about IO set bonuses this early into the build. Just focus on raw numbers and deal with bonuses later.

Play tips

  • You will run out of endurance quite quickly so remember to turn off Super Speed before battles and only use Shadow Fall when sneaking or fighting things that use Energy, Negative Energy, or Psionics.
  • Because you're attacks are quite weak, use Tar Patch a lot. It makes your attacks far more powerful and slows enemies too.
  • Always use Darkest Night on bosses or large groups of enemies to lower their accuracy and damage. Don't forget that if you lay a Tar Patch then use Darkest Night to pull the enemies, they'll bunch up on the patch which means they'll all be debuffed.

May 14, 2007

Final Notes on the D3

Filed under: Defenders,Guides — Jeremy

Let's see… I found that I couldn't begin to handle the Shadow Shard because the accuracy debuffs and holds didn't seem to work at all (but oddly, fear did). Carnies were also very tough due to the strongmen who hit VERY hard. Recluse's Victory is just about a waste of time. If any of the signature Villains notices you, you're in trouble in a hurry. Also, you might be able to play PvP with the right build, but this isn't it. A D3 is good for team PvP, but solo, not so much (damage output is way too low).

On the other hand, badge hunting with Jordan is very easy. Flight helps to find and reach enemies and exploration badges as well as to travel around without getting stuck. Because of invisibility, getting the temp powers and badges in PvP zones is easier too. As a healer, you can get heal badges that non-healers can't.

D3's get the best pet in the game by far and have unique defenses against Psionics which few other characters have (and the only team Psionics defense power). D3's also get the best Rez in the game which doubles as a AoE stun.

In all, I have never once regretted making a D3. The person who told me how fun they were was dead on. Now that several villain types have access to dark powers, it's not as unique as it used to be, but as far as hero-side goes, it's still completely one of a kind.

Bonus: Jordan's 50th

Jordan was a fun character to bring to level 50. Even though I was excited to play with my Kheldians, I knew I would really miss the fight with Jordan. Of course, that's why I made my PB and WS into two aspects of her (couldn't let go ).

You should have seen me that night. Woo! It was an amazing feeling to make it to 50 the first time.
You should have seen me that night. Woo! It was an amazing feeling to make it to 50 the first time.
Can we say, ''new toy''? Time to make some Kheldians!
Can we say, ''new toy''? Time to make some Kheldians!
Woot! My Kheldians would be the light and dark parts of Jordan (That's why their symbol and names are Yin and Yang)
Woot! My Kheldians would be the light and dark parts of Jordan (That's why their symbol and names are Yin and Yang)
Jordan Yin, the light half of Jordan's personality
Jordan Yin, the light half of Jordan's personality
Jordan Yang, Jordan's darker half as a Peacebringer
Jordan Yang, Jordan's darker half as a Peacebringer

Of course, now you can get "epic" archetypes at only level 20 which I think kind of cheapens the whole thrill, but it will allow others to play with them which is good too.

That aside, be sure to check out Jordan's multi-billion influence build. In her "hopefully" final build, I ended up getting rid of Air Superiority and taking Hover instead as a pre-req for Fly. The reason is that I mostly team at higher levels, i17 Vigilance makes me more powerful alone anyway, I don't need the control as much as say a Blaster would, but I DO need the most defense possible.

Other than that, the build is mostly the same as my level 50 on the previous page, just that because of expensive sets, I was able to shuffle slots around for best effect and get to massive set bonus values! Here's a preview:

  • 72% regen
  • 63% accuracy
  • 23% end recovery
  • 20% recharge boost
  • 16% damage bonus
  • 11% hitpoints

D3 Basics

Filed under: Defenders,Guides — Jeremy

Pros

Rescuing a friend in trouble.
Rescuing a friend in trouble.

Defenders in general are a very versatile type, but as a D3, your variety of gameplay is astounding. You can heal, you can debuff, you can control, you can tank, and you can blast. You have a power for every situation.

Note that you have one of the only powers in the game that gives Psionics resistance to you and the ONLY one that gives Psionics resistance to your whole team.

You will go through the game in relative safety due to your secondary effect of reducing target accuracy. There are times you can take a break in the middle of a battle and come back with enemies still whiffing trying to hit you. Darkness powers also work very well in character design because there are themes and story plots that just work with a dark bent.

Cons

You're weak. Face it. Granted you get some pretty good defense/resistance from some toggle powers and you're hard to hit as long as you debuff the enemies, but when you do get hit, it doesn't take much to take you out. Certain enemies hit so hard that you can be taken out in one swing (Warwolves, certain Rikti bosses, and Carnie Strongmen come to mind).

Speaking of debuffs, an enemy might not be able to hit you at all, but your attacks are so weak that it can take a really long time to take an enemy out. With certain very powerful enemies, you may end up in a stalemate only because you can't do damage fast enough to win.

Doing less damage than a controller is downright embarassing

Fortunately, with Issue 17, they are modifying the Vigilance inherant power so that Defenders get a large damage bonus when soloing. It decreases for each other member on the team so you'll be normal strength on large teams, but at all other times, you'll actually be able to dish it out for once! Let's face it, doing less damage than a controller is kind of embarrassing.

The most serious drawback to a D3 that takes getting used to is that many of your powers require a "victim". For example, you have a pretty good group heal and the best Rez power in the game by far, but you have to have a targeted enemy to use them. However, this is really only a playstyle adjustment and once you get used to it, it's no big deal. Even better, learning this makes playing a Warshade a walk in the park since you will already be used to this drawback.

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.

D3 Powers

Filed under: Defenders,Guides — Jeremy
My build lets me take some amazing screenshots and Badge hunt very well
My build lets me take some amazing screenshots and Badge hunt very well

All your secondary effects reduce target accuracy so every time you hit something, you make it harder for them to hit you. Besides regular attacks, your secondary powerset has an AOE toggle debuff (Darkest Night) which is useful for a lot of different things. For this reason, you can lock down enemies in a hurry and fight in relative safety.

The most important reason to choose a D3 though is because it is ONLY a D3 Defender who has access to the Dark Blast and Dark Maisma pools. Most Defender primaries are shared with Controllers and most Defender secondaries are shared with Blasters. Dark is entirely your own (though that could change any time and Villains have access to the same powersets, though not both at the same time.)

Power Pool Recommendations

Read my Power Pools Guide for general information on the pools, but the following are D3 Defender specific issues with power pools.

Remember to check out Jeremy's Advanced Travel Guide for avoiding travel powers until later levels allowing you to get more regular powers first.

  • Fighting

    Waste of time for a D3. If you're desperate for the defensive bonuses later in this set (which you really don't need because you're destroying their accuracy), you'll have to take a worthless melee range power to do it.

  • Concealment

    You already have Shadow Fall which is group stealth and can't be used with any other stealth power so the only low level concealment power you can take is grant invisibility. Rather than grant invis, take recall friend and run to where you need everyone to be and TP them to you. Rather than Invisibility, get a stealth proc and turn on shadow fall and you have Invisibility without the restriction of only being able to have powers that affect yourself.

    In all, this seems like a pool you wouldn't have much use for.

  • Presence

    There are some clever ways to use this if you try hard enough. Challenge is a single target taunt which might be a great way to save your teammates when you don't have a tank or if the tank misses someone. Considering your strong ability to keep certain enemies from hitting you, this could be very useful.

    Provoke, I would avoid like the plague since you have no reason on earth to taunt whole groups of enemies. Bad, bad idea. ("Hey everyone! Come attack the squishy little Defender!" sure…)

    Intimidate is a single target fear effect which can stack with your existing fearsome stare (which is only Mag 2 while Intimidate Mag 3).

    Invoke panic is an AOE fear which can be useful to lock down groups while your Fearsome Stare recharges, in combo with Fearsome Stare, in case you DIDN'T take Fearsome Stare, and as a concept just to add additional fear powers.

    If you want to try something unusual, this could be just the thing.

  • Medicine

    Possibly useful. Each power warns that it can be interrupted, but in a large battle that's going right, you won't have anyone's attention anyway and should be able to use these fine. Use of this pool really comes down to how you want to play your character. I personally saw little point in using powers that I mostly already had in another form (and more powerful).

    The one defining reason to take this set is when using a second build. While many characters use their second build for PvP, I ended up using mine for an "ultra teambot". Jordan has all the leadership and extra heals and a rez from the medicine pool for better support during TFs or just long teaming sessions.

  • Leadership

    Though I never took a leadership power because I had too many other powers I wanted to take and I didn't want more drains on my endurance, D3's work well with leadership. This is because you have to stay close to your team members for heals anyway so you'll be in range for your leadership powers to help where another Defender build might operate more at range.

    Also, Defenders get the most benefit from Leadership powers. I never fit it into my build, but I did use it in my second build as I just described. Since I Dual Account, Jordan can just follow me and buff me by her very presence.

  • Teleportation

    For a D3, the teleport power that you definitely want is Recall Friend. This lets you pull slow teammates to the mission or zone entrances quickly. It also allows you to pull a team mate who's in trouble out of battle or pile dead bodies on top of each other for a killer full team resurrect with Howling Twilight. Lastly, you can sneak to the end of a mission (if you have Shadow Fall and Super Speed) and bring all your allies to you so you can finish "Kill Boss" missions quickly and easily.

    If you really like Teleport, maybe you could take it as your travel power, but my D3 is my main badge hunter and Fly is much better for that. I also use her for screenshots (also best with Fly), and scouting in general (Fly again).

  • Fitness

    You need this, take it. As to which of Swift or Hurdle, it depends on which travel power you take. If you took fly like I recommend, Swift is better because it can be slotted for fly.

    Note that it's possible to go without Stamina on some builds and Defenders are a good example due to the endurance bonus they get while teaming, but I can say that I use Stamina on Jordan's build so I can activate any and all powers with little to no pause.

  • Speed

    D3's have powers that take a long time to recharge. Having Hasten and firing it off pretty much every time it comes up keeps your Howling Twilight and Tar Patch available at the start of most battles. It's also useful when you need to Recall Friend the whole team.

    I had it when I was still using Super Speed for Invisibility reasons, but now that I have stealth procs I dropped Hasten and SS to take more powers from my primary set. I've made up a lot of the recharge difference with set bonuses and haven't really missed it.

  • Leaping

  • As a squishy character, Super Jump is a risky power to take because you can land in the middle of a group of enemies and get killed very quickly. Granted, if you choose to have some form of invisibility, this is less of an issue, but I still find Fly to be superior.

  • Fly

    Fly is my favorite travel power
    Fly is my favorite travel power
  • Fly may be slow, but I've already got Swift from the Fitness pool which will speed it up slightly. It also gives me safe travel, some protection from knockback/knockdown/knockup/ground-based slow effects and it's the best power for badge hunting so if you are building a badge-er, Fly will be your best bet.


Inherent Powers

Note that in every build, this is my slotting for the three default powers. As a Defender, you won't be close enough to brawl except possible in some situations in the early levels, Sprint is an endurance drain and you don't need it once you get a real travel power (unless you put a Stealth IO in it as I often do), and you will use Rest less and less through the levels so there's not much point in taking the trouble (and money) to slot these.

01: BrawlCity of Heroes: empty enhancement01
01: SprintCity of Heroes: empty enhancement01
02: RestCity of Heroes: empty enhancement02
Vigilance on your Power Effects bar
Vigilance on your Power Effects bar

As for your Archetype power, Defenders get Vigilance. With Vigilance, your powers cost less endurance as your teammates lose life. This is useful because you can have a lot of teammates and any one of them that's skirting death will give you the bonus (theoretically). The idea is that in a pinch, you can go crazy launching powers to try and save your team.

If you team a lot, it's this ability that can make it possible for you to skip the Fitness pool.

And as I said before, the new version (as of Issue 17) of Vigilance will increase your attack power when solo which will go a long way to making your alone time more productive and fun.

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.

PvP

Player vs Player. Though the Arenas allow players to combat each other, the zones designated for PvP combat are far more popular. Some only allow Villain vs Hero combat, while others allow free-for-all battles.

Rez

Short for resurrect.

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.

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.

Issue

Each new update to the game is called an Issue in sticking with the comic book super-hero theme. In other games, they'd be called expansions, but they're typically much smaller than expansions and come more often. As yet, access to new content has always been free in City of Heroes.