Hero By Night – Enhance This

As we all know City of Heroes doesn’t have much of a reward system. You get three basic things – Influence, Experience and Enhancements. You can learn fairly quickly about the necessity of a couple of these, before you really even play the game. Influence is the game’s form of currency. Most everyone should know how currency works. Experience is well… Experience. The final reward, that is unique to City of Heroes, is Enhancements. The Game Manual has a nice six page synopsis on what enhancements are, and how they work. The game also gives you some instructions on how to use enhancements but not much. Since the game is relatively new it is difficult for some people to find the info. Some of the information that you do find doesn’t tell you all you need to know either. That means you have to learn through in game experience. This becomes a problem for ‘Heroes By Night’ (HBN). If you don’t have a lot of time to play the game you don’t want to waste that time looking for information on the game. So sometimes things that are simple and/or subtle you just don’t know. This time around I’ll try to fill in the gaps about enhancements for my fellow HBNs and new comers alike.

Now, I’ve started quite a few characters. As I stated in a previous column my main toon went through 3 builds before I felt comfortable with him. Then he almost went into a fourth before I found out all I needed to know about enhancements. I won’t cover the basics because, believe it or not the Game Manual we all received with the game does a far better job then I would.

There is one thing I’m going to point out that the book mentions, but it seems like not a lot of people know. You can throw enhancements away if they are in a slot. Grab it; drag it to the trash icon and presto it’s gone. Well, you still have to confirm it but you get the idea. The reason I point this out is because the game tells you when you place an enhancement in a slot it can not be removed. So I thought that meant it was stuck there. While this news isn’t earth shattering it still sent me for a loop. Now along these same lines there is something the book doesn’t mention. You can replace an enhancement. Simply place the new desired enhancement on top of the one you would like to replace, confirm it and presto again. You have successfully replaced your enhancement. It’s faster then throwing the old one out and putting the new one in.

This information saved me from having to start my toon over. The in game message is what made me believe that once you put an enhancement in a slot you could not change either the type or origin. If you didn’t like your enhancement placement you either needed to either leave slots empty for future expansion or start your toon over. You can imagine my doom at around level 12 when I discovered level 15 Dual Origin enhancements in Steel Canyon but no place to put them. I have found this story repeated over and over again. I even knew once person that still had level 1 enhancements, in all of his powers while at level 26. Ouch.

There are some other things I’d like to mention about enhancements. The main thing I would like to say is that they are expensive. As you get higher levels and start to get access to Duel and Single Origin enhancements you’ll see the price begin to shoot up. Now you’ll be paying two or three times what a Training Enhancement of the same level costs. This puts a dent in getting your enhancements at low levels. You can start to use Duel Origin (DO) enhancements at level 15. My recommendation is not go over board. You won’t be getting many DOs until you’re in low to mid twenties. Which means you won’t be combining them and at level 19 they’ll all become useless. I spent close to 75,000 between levels to replace just my DOs with level 20s. Then I had to be back and spend another 25,000 and getting all my training enhancements upgraded.

The last point I want to point out about selling Enhancements. Since the DOs are so expansive when you get one that you can’t use and want to sell it you should go to the stores they can be purchased from. After speaking to one of my guild mates I discovered that she got an additional 6,000 Influence from selling a level 22 SO Enhancement by taking the extra few minutes to run to the correct store. I’ve personally tested this and found you do get extra Influence this way. DOs can be sold at either of the two stores that sell it for the same amount.

Okay. So I hit level 20 the other day and got my second costume. It’s cool that I have another costume to change into but there are some things about it that disturb me. The first and foremost you can’t initially redesign the costume. I figured I hit 20 and go through the design phase like I did when I created my toon. That is not the case. You simply get a second costume slot which is filled with your original costume. I say original because you can change things in between when you create your character and level 20. You then have to pay to change the parts on the original costume. The good thing about this is that at level 20 I am getting some nice help DOs to offset the cost but still.

Recently I install a program called the “map patch”. This patch was made a dedicated fan of City of Heroes. He took the time to create new maps that show the location of stores in particular zones. The patch also includes the sewer network under Perez Park. I don’t think I need to tell you how valuable this can be. You find it especially useful if you have to run to four or 5 different stores to sell enhancements. The best part about it is that the Devs are going to tolerate it because it’s not an exploit and it doesn’t change any of the game files. This is site I found it on – Map Patch

On a related note I’ve seen a lot of people post messages on the CoH official boards about the “purple patch”. The “purple patch” is the patch where the Devs made it more difficult for people to fight and kill purple con mobs. The debate on this is really polarized. There plenty of people out there that are saying that this is going to kill the game. They say it makes grouping worthless. They say it makes support classes worthless. I say – GET OVER IT.

The patch fixed what it was suppose to. Full groups of level 25 PCs were not meant to kill level 35s plus mobs. They just weren’t, end of story. Maybe I’m a little use to the idea because I’ve played several over MMOs. It was just accepted in those games that mobs that of significantly higher level then you, you couldn’t kill. They are meant to be tough and even a full group of people had trouble putting them down. Fighting these mobs solo was nearly impossible and usually taking them on was a quick way to start a corpse run.

I do need to admit they need to address the issue of grouping but not in the way that these nay sayers think. What I believe needs to be done is they simply need to increase bonuses for grouping. Make having more people in a group more rewarding. Another thing would be to make to increases resist to certain kind of damage. This would increase strategy and require the use of fore thought when taking on missions.

The end result is lots of things can be done to better the situation. The Devs are already hard at work on it. Remember it’s their world we just fight crime in it.

– Zameda [email protected] 16 August 2004

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