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Being an MMO, City of Heroes has a huge number of missions, game areas, special trials, and so on. Therefore, rather than being a step-by-step walkthrough of the entire game, this guide will focus on general game concepts, with possible smaller walkthroughs for task forces and such.
- At level 5, Players are directed to The Hollows by their second range of contacts. However, the zone can be rather difficult for a new player to get around in. Therefore, it's recommended that after talking to Officer Wincott, the player leave and resume their previous contacts - while the mission to talk to Wincott is almost unavoidable, it is not required to stay in the Hollows after talking to him. Also, talking to Wincott prior to receiving the mission may prevent you from getting it at all, so you can do it at your leisure. (The Hollows does have a minimum level of 5, however) Once the player feels more confident about their skills to travel a dangerous zone without dying, knock yourself out.
Earning and Using Enhancements
- Each power has 1 enhancement 'slot' to begin with, and can gain more at certain levels, up to a maximum of 6. Note that while some powers almost require using all 6, some powers would just be wasting slots if you gave them any. For example, do not slot inherent powers (sprint, rest, brawl, etc.). You do not get enough slots to give 6 to everything.
- Enhancements are useful over a three-level range, from -3 of your current level to +3. Being sidekicked or exemplared will not change whether or not they work. Green enhancements (+1 to +3) are better than white (+0), which are better than yellow (-3 to -1). Red enhancements do not give any bonuses.
- Training enhancements can be used by anyone. Double origin enhancements have only 2 of the 5 origins that can use it, while single origins can only be used by 1 of the 5. For example, a Mutant can use Mutant SOs, Mutant/Magic DOs, Mutant/Science DOs, and trainings. Trainings are generally used from levels 1-15, DOs from 15-25, and SOs from 25-50.
- The bonuses given by white (even-level) enhancements are as follows:
|To Hit Buff||B||8.30%||16.70%||33.30%|
|To Hit Debuff||A||8.30%||16.70%||33.30%|
ED is one of the dirty words of CoH, and represents one of the biggests nerfs in the games history. Originally, enhancement bonuses simply added on as you added more of them. For example, 6 white damage SOs would give an ~200% bonus to a power's damage output. Concerned that this was making powers too effective, in Issue 6 of CoH (and at launch of City of Villains) 'enhancement diversification' was added. This basically makes enhancements less effective once a certain bonus has been reached. This is generally around 6 DOs, or 3 SOs of a single kind. The following chart gives a few modifiers to help show the effects:
|Schedule||Multiply by .85 after:||Multiply by .15 after:|
Following ED, it is no longer as useful to 6-slot some powers as it once was. For example, the ideal slotting for a basic attack was previously 5 damage, 1 accuracy for most powers. Now, 3-4 damage and 2-3 accuracy is more common, or with 1 slot given to secondary effects of the power, or given to another power entirely. Note that even with ED, some secondary effects are simply not worth slotting, and it's still better to get 2% more damage than, say, 20% more range or 60% more knockback distance.
- Enhancements can be combined with others of the same kind to produce enhancements of a higher level - this is basically a cost-saving measure to keep your enhancements useful longer, and to allow you to use more of the enhancements you pick up. It is not cost-effective to buy new enhancements simply to combine them with old ones, it is usually better to just live with a level or two of yellowed enhancements and save your influence. Of course, red enhancements need to be combined or replaced as soon as possible.
- Enhancements can be combined two times, and each time they go up one level, marked by a '+'. For example, a 16++ is the same as an 18. Enhancements that have been combined twice can still be combined into a higher enhancement - for example, the 16++ could be combined with a 19 to create a 19+.
- There is a chance the combination will fail, which increases the more different the enhancements are in level. This means you cannot simply buy the cheapest enhancements and combine them with your level 50s, as in the end it will end up costing you more unless you get very lucky. However, if a combination fails, you always keep the higher level of the two.
- Enhancements can be combined using 1 that's been slotted, and 1 in your 10 inventory spots, or 2 that have been slotted already into the same power.
- Trainings and SOs can only be combined with trainings and SOs of the same kind, however DOs can be combined with other DOs as long as they share an origin (and that origin is the one of your character). They still, of course, must be of the same kind (damage and accuracy cannot be combined, for example).
Teams in CoH can have up to 8 members. While teaming with friends is always a blast, teaming with PUGs (pick-up groups, or groups of strangers) can often be a hit-or-miss experience, due to newbies, n00bs, and the just plain stupid or inconsiderate. There are some tips to avoiding bad team members, rehabilitating ones you find, and not being one yourself.
- Remember that you can put together teams yourself, you do not need to wait for someone else. The LFG (looking for group) screen is very detailed and lets you know a lot about who is available. One of the most frustrating parts of bad teams is bad leaders; by being the leader yourself this will hopefully avoid that situation.
- Use sidekicking and exemplaring effectively. Sidekicking brings a lower-level character (the sidekick) up to one level under that of the higher-level character (the mentor), while exemplaring brings a higher-level character (the exemplar) down to the lower-level character's (the aspirant's) level. In either case there must be at least a three level difference originally. Sidekicking does not give the sidekick any new powers, but exemplaring does bar the exemplar from using any powers obtained after the aspirant's level. Also, an exemplar does not earn xp, although they can pay off xp debt and earn influence and/or prestige.
If a player is more than 5 levels above or below a teammate's level, they will not earn xp. Also, a low member who refuses to sidekick will likely be a drain on the rest of the team, possibly resulting in deaths or team wipes. A high member who does not exemplar can keep the rest of the team from earning any significant xp. Don't be these people.
- Be willing to kick bad members from the team. You may be a charitable person, and be willing to believe that if a person makes a mistake, or was afk for two hours, or is advertising for the Klu Klux Klan, they might have a good reason for it. But when a member of the team has been warned about their behavior and it is affecting the team, have a spine and follow through: the team will be better for it.
- Be smart about which missions you do. This leads to several Do Nots: Do Not choose only your missions to do, unless there are no others. Do Not always do the highest-level mission simply because the xp is higher; if everyone is dying all the time it will actually slow you down. Also, think about where the missions are, to minimize the amount of running around the team needs to do. And if the mission has a difficult challenge, such as a timer or an arch-villain, be sure that the team is willing and ready to go for it.
- Get obsessive about "Team Balance". Sure, sure, in that other MMO you played, you needed a goddamn healer to get shit done. Great. But this is CoH, fool. We don't even have healers, except for Empaths. And if you ever call a defender a healer, smack yourself. There may be a few situations (Respec trials) where things get hairy enough to need some AT tweaking, but generally, go wild. As long as the players are decent, any AT mixture will do fine.
- Recruit players without telling them what you are doing. They may not be looking for what you're offering, and you do not want to find that out after twenty minutes of recruiting and getting set up in a mission. This also leads to:
- DO NOT send blind invites! A 'blind' invite is when you invite someone to a team without asking them if they want to team, or if they're not on the LFG list. Also, if they're on LFG, but their message says they want a tell first, send them a tell.
Protip: Sending a tell at the same time or after you send the invite still counts as a blind invite.
If you really, really need someone and no one is on LFG (for example, you need 6 people to start a Task Force), an occasional message in the broadcast or request channels is acceptable, but do not spam. Also, it is ok to ask people not on LFG as long as you do so politely, in actual English, and be specific about what it is you're offering and what you need.