Incarnates Ascend, also referred to as Issue 20.5, was a major revision to City of Heroes and City of Villains. The title references additional endgame content for Incarnates added in Issue 20: Incarnates. Other items included were a new Incarnate Trial; updates to Team-Up Teleporter; new uses for Incarnate Merits; new costumes and auras; new Incarnate Lore pets; group aura buffs; and quality of life updates.
This article summarizes the major features in Issue 20.5. For more complete details, see the release date's patch notes.
- Open Beta testing for the Keyes Island Trial was previewed on May 31, 2011.
- The Beta Server was opened up for general Issue 20.5 Open Beta from May 31 to June 20, 2011.
- The Training Room was opened up for general Issue 20.5 Open Beta from June 20 to June 28, 2011.
- Issue 20 was released to the Live Servers on June 28, 2011.
New Incarnate Trial - Keyes Island
Keyes Island Reactor, located in Neutropolis, is the defining achievement of Anti-Matter's life. This sprawling complex is the source of Praetoria's power and is instrumental in keeping the city safe, providing all of the power for the city's protective Sonic Fences. It is the manufacturing site for portable generators which power the Clockwork and for many other amazing technologies. However, most critically for the Emperor's plans, the reactors are the source of power needed to fuel the portals used to send armies to Primal Earth.
The Keyes Island Reactor is an Incarnate Trial -- content meant to be a challenge for those who have reached level 50 and are interested in continuing their advancement as an Incarnate. Those who have not unlocked the Alpha Slot can do so here. Those who have unlocked their Alpha Slot, however, will be able to earn Incarnate XP for all four Incarnate slots introduced in Issue 20.
New Lore Pets
Choose from more Lore pets! We've expanded the Lore Incarnate Slot to provide additional suites of summonable pets to choose from. Summoning these new pets requires crafting new Incarnate abilities. (You can only have one type of Incarnate pets out at a time, and Incarnate Shifts from crafting multiple Lore abilities don't stack with each other.)The new pet choices are:
New In-Game Incarnate Merit Rewards
Astral and Empyrean merit vendors are now stationed in Ouroboros. They offer new in-game merit rewards in exchange for Astral Merits (less valuable) or Empyrean Merits (more valuable). These rewards include Ascension Armor pieces, chest emblems, auras, social and costume change emotes, account rewards, and Invention Origin recipes.
Display your Incarnate status loud and proud by donning the lustrous Ascension Armor accented by glowing glyphs. Ascension Armor represents the pinnacle of becoming an Incarnate. Each costume piece you purchase is unlocked account-wide, but it can only worn by a character that has achieved Level 50. The set pieces come with aura and no aura. The aura from this set can be combined with another costume aura.
New Chest Emblems
Select from exclusive new merit reward designs, including the incarnate power logos. These are Certifications, and are available to be claimed by all characters once purchased.
Pick from exclusive new merit reward auras. Once purchased, these auras are unlocked for all alts on one's account. Auras included are:
Clouds with Lightning Path
New Social and Costume Change Emotes
Select from exclusive new merit reward social and costume change emotes.
Purchase Super Inspirations that are more powerful and effective than normal Inspirations.
Astral Christy and Empyrean Michael offer vouchers, new account-bound rewards. Vouchers cannot be traded, but they can be accessed in your global mail. A Voucher can only be claimed once, unlike Certifications that can be claimed by every character on an account. These vouchers include Aura, Cape, Alpha Slot, Incarnate Shard, and Incarnate Thread Vouchers.
- Aura and Cape Vouchers let you unlock auras and capes early for one of your alts, even if they're only Level 1, rather than normally at Level 20 for capes and Level 30 for auras.
- Alpha Slot Vouchers are a boon if you prefer to play alone. Once one of your characters completes an Incarnate Trial, you can purchase and use an Alpha Slot Voucher. Each of these vouchers lets you unlock the Alpha Slot for another of your Level 50 characters.
- Incarnate Shard and Incarnate Thread Vouchers: Once you have completed at least once Incarnate Trial, you can buy Incarnate Shard and Incarnate Thread Vouchers and redeem them for, respectively, Incarnate Shards or Incarnate Threads on any of your level 50 characters.
Invention Origin Recipes
Get those Invention Origin recipes that you've always coveted! Buy Rare, Very Rare and PVP Set Invention Origin recipes that are hard to find or inconvenient to obtain.
The Team-Up Teleporter
The Team-Up Teleporter sets up two new categories of Leagues (groups of Teams) with differing benefits that incorporate the state of the art in team-up functionality.
Get more merits by joining an open League! Open Leagues that successfully complete an Incarnate Trial receive an additional Astral Merit upon completion. If you join an open League, you also receive a new buff: the Warmth of Prometheus. This buff increases damage and healing for those doing an Incarnate Trial and reduces the recharge time of most powers. Open League members can also vote to remove League members, pending a majority vote.
Create a private League just for trusted friends by creating a closed League. League leaders can now close a League, making the League exclusive so that uninvited characters cannot join it. Closed Leagues cannot vote to remove a League member. A closed League must still meet the minimum required number of characters in order to enter an Incarnate Trial.
Invite In Progress
League leaders can now invite eligible Level 50 characters into an Incarnate Trial in progress.
Quality of Life Upgrades
Group Area Buffs
To make buffing easier for Teams and Leagues, these buff powers now affect all the eligible characters within a 30-foot-radius around the targeted character. (Previously, you had to target and buff each individual character to use these powers.)
- Cold Domination (Defenders, Controllers, Corruptors): Ice Shield and Glacial Shield
- Force Field (Defenders, Controllers, Masterminds): Deflection Shield and Insulation Shield
- Kinetics (Defenders, Controllers, Corruptors): Increase Density and Speed Boost
- Sonic Resonance (Defenders, Controllers, Corruptors): Sonic Barrier and Sonic Haven
- Thermal Radiation (Controllers, Corruptors, Masterminds): Fire Shield and Plasma Shield
Additional Power Adjustments
- "Along with Incarnates Ascend we are introducing a means for players to flag themselves as whether or not they want to be movement-affected by some of the click buffs which can be cast by others on them (like Speed Boost). The rest of the power will take effect, but the movement-affecting (run, jump, flight) part will be ignored if you so desire. This is going to affect Speed Boost, Increase Density, Inertial Reduction, Enforced Morale, and Accelerate Metabolism (based on my current list).
- The same means will allow players to set a preference for Mystic Fortune to Always Ask, Always Accept or Always Deny.
- The endurance cost for Mastermind upgrade powers is also being decreased to fit more in line with these changes.
- Lastly, there is a subtlety to the Increase Density conversion to an AOE buff which the summary didn’t quite capture. The damage resistance component of the power is being made AOE-affecting, but the status effect protection component is going to still be single-target. The single target click powers which give status effect protection such as Clear Mind were not going to be made AOE wide (for balance purposes), but Increase Density having both facets makes it unique in this case. We are trying to split that difference with our approach."
Automatic Cut Scene Skipping In Incarnate Trials
If all the characters in a League have successfully completed an Incarnate Trial, the introductory cut scene for the Trial is automatically skipped so you can dive straight into the game action. Interstitial cut scenes (those in the middle of a Trial) are not skipped.