This article summarizes some of the major features in Issue 22. For more complete details, see the release date's patch notes.
- On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, the Beta Server was opened up for Issue 22 VIP Open Beta.
- Issue 22 was released to the Live Servers on Tuesday, March 6, 2012.
Mission and Story Content
Dark Astoria Zone Revamp
Dark Astoria is the decayed, urban epitaph to the dark god Mot. Largely unbeknownst to the original founders of this doomed city, a terrible being was entombed here in ages past. The death of the city has been steady, inexorable and irreversable. In recent years, Dark Astoria has been a dangerous place but now that the last remnants of Mot's bindings have begun to erode, the city exerts its mysterious pull, drawing the doomed to its streets to struggle or serve. At long last, Mot has been freed. His minions flock to Dark Astoria in greater numbers than ever before to revel in his power and witness as he devours all life on Primal Earth.
- Dark Astoria has been repopulated with Incarnate level enemies from the Banished Pantheon, Tsoo, Talons of Vengeance, Circle of Thorns and the new Knives of Vengeance, ranging in level from 50 to 54.
- The Banished Pantheon, Tsoo and Talons of Vengeance also feature new members to be fought at these level ranges. Lower levels are unchanged, except as noted below in the section for Villain Group Adjustments.
- Malta, Arachnos, 5th Column, Paragon Police and Knives of Artemis will also appear at Incarnate levels in missions only.
- New zone art: Moth Cemetery has been completely revamped from its original appearance and layout, the warwalls have taken a distinctly menacing hue and the fog has been lifted.
Dark Astoria Story Arcs
- The Dark Astoria arc begins when Captain Nolan of the PPD contacts heroes who have unlocked their Alpha Incarnate slot about an odd series of cases that have been occurring in Peregrine Island. He believes they may be linked to the events of Dark Astoria.
- Ephram Sha of the Midnight Squad has tasks befitting Incarnate-level Heroes in Dark Astoria. Help him push back the forces of Mot! Ephram Sha offers repeatable missions.
- Villains who have unlocked their Alpha Incarnate slot will receive a threatening Arachnos message from a deranged member of the organization. This man's madness may either be an intricate plot from Arachnos or an indication of something far more powerful that seeks to exact justice upon villains.
- The Circle of Thorns has an interest in the dark magics swirling around Dark Astoria. They have sent Maharaj, a powerful Madness Mage, to help Incarnate-level Villains sow chaos in the ranks of their foes. Maharaj offers repeatable missions.
Mid-Level Story Arcs
- Steel Canyon
- The 5th Column have mounted a counteroffensive against the Council, with Steel Canyon as the battlefield. Laura Lockhart, professional deprogrammer and 5th Column propaganda expert, is recruiting heroes to help investigate this recent surge of violence.
- The Steel Canyon Asian Art Museum's Grand Opening is underway, and the main exhibit has a hidden connection with the Tsoo... but with a death warrant out on your head, that may be the least of your concerns! Speak to Graham Easton for more details.
- Cap au Diable
- A mysterious man named Baron Zukor has arrived in Cap au Diable, and has put out a call to the Destined Ones... to turn to heroism? Infiltrate his strange cult of villains-turned-heroes and turn Zukor's game against him! See Bane Spider Ruben for more information.
- The Luddites have been blathering on about the evils of technology for ages, but a new prophecy has given you some inspiration. Brother Hammond is convinced that you are the Chosen One... and who are you to argue, when a free army of followers has just fallen into your lap?
Drowning In Blood Trial
In the aftermath of Galaxy City, all eyes have turned to Bloody Bay. For the past twenty years the small island has been the home of the Shivans, ever since the Shivan Comet almost collided with Earth. In recent days, though, all communication with the island has mysteriously stopped. Traveling along side either Longbow or Arachnos reinforcements, venture back to the island to uncover the events that transpired and search for insight into the Shivans.
The event takes place in an instanced outdoor mission version of Bloody Bay. Players will venture through the streets and wilderness of the island, facing Freakshow, Circle of Thorns and Shivans. The event is available via the Team-Up Teleporter and accommodates 4 to 8 players, level 15+.
Adamastor Zone Event
- Adamastor has broken free of Dark Astoria, lying in wait beyond its walls until his summoning rituals are completed by cultists of the Banished Pantheon. Prevent this Giant Monster from going on a rampage in Talos Island and Sharkhead Isle by finding the Ritual of Summoning: Adamastor and using it to summon and defeat the creature. Players may acquire the Ritual of Summoning: Adamastor as a random recipe drop from any Boss level or higher Banished Pantheon enemy, at any level the Banished Pantheon can be battled. It can then be converted into the Ritual of Summoning power at any Invention Worktable for 500 Influence.
- New Zone Events have been added in Talos Island (at the former doorway to Dark Astoria) and in Sharkhead Isle (in the sunken portion of Potters Field).
- Using the Ritual of Summoning in the zone event area will bring forth Adamastor, allowing heroes and villains alike to defeat him and earn the Keeper of Secrets badge.
- The Ritual of Summoning recipe is tradeable, mailable and auctionable.
- Adamastor awards each character who receives credit for his defeat up to 5 Threads and 10 Reward Merits once every 20hrs. This is per character, not per account.
Incarnate Trial - Dilemma Diabolique
- After dealing with Mot throughout the course of the Dark Astoria story arcs, there is one thread left unresolved: what was Diabolique's purpose in coming to Dark Astoria? It isn't long before the Incarnates learn that she has come to claim Mot's power for herself, in an effort to become Death Incarnate. This stage is set for this new trial with a special introductory story arc, with the story continuing to unfold in the trial itself. Battle against the Banished Pantheon and Diabolique's Demons as you cross between the worlds of the living and the dead try to stop Diabolique from completing her plans to become Death Incarnate!
- This event is level 54+3, requires 8 to 16 players, and takes place in and around the former Moth Cemetery, where Mot has emerged from below the ground. Diabolique has set up a defensive barrier to the central plateau, which must be breached in order to recover the sources of power Diabolique is using for her ritual to become Death Incarnate. After the effort to recover all of the power sources ends, Diabolique will send forth her new "pet", the Sentinel of Mot, to deal with the invaders. When the monstrous creature is dealt with, it is simply a matter of descending into Mot himself and confronting Diabolique... though it quickly becomes clear that she has one more trick up her sleeve.
- Dilemma Diabolique will award both Physical and Psychic Incarnate XP. Additionally, on completion it will award 2 Empyrean Merits. During the 20 hour cooldown, Dilemma Diabolique awards 1 Empyrean Merit for each completion.
Incarnate Rewards Without Trials
- VIP Players who are level 50 can receive Incarnate Rewards outside of the trials through participation in Dark Astoria's zone and mission content.
- Defeating enemies within Dark Astoria and its missions will award both Physical and Psychic Incarnate XP. Additionally, defeated enemies have a chance to drop Incarnate Threads.
- Enemies in this zone and its missions range from level 50 to 54, with higher level enemies providing more XP and greater chance for Thread drops.
- Repeatable Missions within Dark Astoria will award their choice of Incarnate Threads, Reward Merits, and Super Inspirations.
- The first Daily Repeatable completed will award more threads than subsequent Repeatables completed the same day, but threads can always be earned for completing Repeatables.
- Story Arcs within Dark Astoria will award players with their choice of one randomly chosen Incarnate Component pool, a randomly chosen Incarnate Merit, Incarnate Threads, Reward Merits or Super Inspirations.
- There is a chance to earn a Common, Uncommon, Rare or Very Rare Component with the Incarnate Component selection.
- There is a chance to earn an Astral or an Empyrean Merit with the Incarnate Merit selection.
- The story arcs use a similar lockout mechanism to that used in Signature Story Arcs, except with a 20-hour lockout for the reward choices, rather than 1 week.
- Incarnate Shards will not drop in Dark Astoria or its missions.
- Additionally, sub-level 50 VIPs should feel free to join their Incarnate friends in Dark Astoria. These players gain regular XP up to level 50, at which point they will automatically begin to earn Incarnate Rewards and accumulate Incarnate XP for as long as they remain in Dark Astoria.
- Darkness Control
- Darkness Affinity
- This is a secondary power set choice for Controllers. Darkness Affinity is a port of Dark Miasma, but has had a few changes made to it. Petrifying Gaze and Fearsome Stare have been removed and replaced with Fade and Soul Absorption. Fade is a powerful team defense buff with a short duration and Soul Absorption is a power that grants nearby allies a regeneration and recovery buff for each nearby defeated enemy. This power is free for VIP subscribers and available in the Paragon Market for premium players.
- Dark Assault
- This is a secondary power set choice for Dominators. Dark Assault is a combination of Dark Blast, Dark Melee and Dark Armor powers. It introduces a new power called Gather Shadows. This power grants the user a damage and secondary effect buff. This power is free for VIP subscribers and available in the Paragon Market for premium players.
Stalker Archetype Updates
- All Stalker APP attack powers now have a chance to critically hit, based on the number of players in the stalker's group. All single-target attacks in Stalker APPs now have a 100% chance to crit while Hidden. All AoE attacks in Stalker APPs now have a 50% chance to crit while Hidden. These values match the critical strike chances of Patron power pools and Stalker primary power set attacks.
- Assassin Strike (All versions): This power now functions differently while not Hidden (or have just used Placate). When attacking a foe when Hidden, it will behave normally dealing tremendous damage with a chance to demoralize nearby foes, but it can be interrupted. However, when the power is used while you're not Hidden it will deal Superior damage and is uninterruptible. Assassin Strike while not Hidden has a base 0% chance to crit. Assassin's Strike will gain an orange highlight ring when the user has 3 stacks of Assassin's Focus.
- Assassin's Focus: All damaging powers found in the Stalker's primary power set, other than Assassin Strike, have a chance to grant the user a stack of the Assassin's Focus buff. Powers with longer recharge times have a much higher chance to grant a stack of Assassin's Focus than those with fast recharge times. This buff will increase Assassin's Strike's chance to critically hit (for +100% damage) while not hidden by 33.3%. Assassin's Focus stacks up to 3 times. Using Assassin's Strike outside of hide will remove all stacks of Assassins's Focus. Assassin's Focus has a unique icon that should help distinguish it from other auto powers.
- Stalker Buffed Max HP modifier has been increased from 1 to 1.3. This results in Stalker's potential Buffed Max HP increasing from 1606 to 2088 at level 50. This will allow powers like Dull Pain and Frostworks as well as +Max HP set bonuses to have a greater potential effect.
- The above changes have been made to remove some unnecessary archetype penalties (low buffed max HP) as well as to allow Stalkers to deal more competitive single target burst damage.
Controller and Dominator Archetype Updates
- Dimension Shift has been re-designed. It is now a location-targeted Toggle instead of an enemy-targeted attack. It creates a zone of folded space for up to 20 seconds, phasing and immobilizing all foes in the area of effect for the duration. De-toggling the power qends the effect, allowing the foes to be attacked once more. Dimension Shift is now autohit, and works regardless of level differences between the user and the target.
- Dimension Shift can no longer be enhanced for Intangibility or Accuracy, as the power utilizes neither of these enhancement types.
- Dimension Shift can now be slotted for Immobilization enhancements and IO sets, increasing the duration that targets will be immobilized.
- Wormhole's effect radius has been increased from 15 feet to 20 feet. Wormhole also no longer causes targets to attack the user.
- Singularity's cast time for Crush has been reduced from 3.1 seconds to 1.33 seconds, and its cast time for Gravity Distortion has been reduced from 3.2 seconds to 1.83 seconds. Also, the damage of Singularity's Lift was been increased by 63%.
- Added a bonus mechanic to player versions of Lift and Propel. These powers now deal a small amount of additional damage, called "Impact!", to targets recently held by any player's Gravity Distortion power.
- Increased the damage of Lift by 63% (Controller only)
- Reduced the cast time of Propel from 3.5 seconds down to 2.07 seconds, and quickened the projectile speed. Color-customized Propel projectiles now properly synchronize with the power's in-game effects.
Other Controller Updates
- Jack Frost's power choice AI has been improved. He should now use all of his powers as they come off recharge, with much less idle time.
- Main Article: Issue 22 Badges
- Dimensional Warder: Players who own the Minds of Mayhem Trial completion badge will retroactively receive credit for defeating both Mother Mayhem and Malaise as part of the Dimensional Warder badge.
Team-Up Teleporter Improvements
- Players can now enter and remain in the Team-Up Teleporter queue while completing instanced missions or traveling to Supergroup bases. Accepting a TUT invitation on a mission will cause mid-way progress on that mission to be abandoned. Players returning from a TUT event map will return to the last non-instance map they traveled to.
- Players can now queue up for all regular Task Forces, Strike Forces, and Trials via the Team-Up Teleporter. Players can queue for any TF, SF or trial they can begin based upon level range, alignment, and any additional requirements such as the Alpha Slot Unlock or completion of a pre-requisite task. Rogues and Vigilantes can queue for content for either city regardless of current location.
- The TUT will assemble teams from the queue between the minimum and maximum players for the event and teleport accepting members to the Contact which starts the TF, SF, or Trial. Once players are teleported to that location and assembled into the team, the TUT is no longer involved in the process. The leader of the newly formed team can invite more players or talk to the Contact to start the content at their discretion.
- Features such as Join In Progress, Event Locking, and Vote Kick do not apply to these events. They are features specific to TUT-mediated events such as Death From Below and the Incarnate Trials.
- The TUT window now also displays an indicator for the current Weekly Strike Targets. The event will be highlighted and its tooltip will indicate the WST bonus.
- Challenge Trials such as Death From Below and Incarnate Trials should no longer modify their spawns based upon the lead player's difficulty settings.
Supergroup Base Teleporters
- Base Detail recipes have been added for "Hacked Telepad" (Tech) and "Magicked Telepad" (Arcane) with the same salvage costs as the Basic Telepad but an increased prestige cost.
- These new Telepads look and work exactly the same as Basic Telepads but support up to 6 Teleportation Aux Beacon connections - meaning one pad can link up to 6 zones.
- Arcane Base Telepads now correctly take players to Echo: Galaxy City instead of Destroyed Galaxy City.
- Costume Creator
- New Olympian Guard costume pieces.
- Added the Classic Steampunk, Victorian Steampunk, and Celestial Armor faces to the Special Helmets category for female characters.
- Mandible costume piece found in half helmet category under detail 2 has been ported to 6 other head categories.
- Propogated male/huge Baron, Steampunk, and Gunslinger jackets to female body type.
- Propagated Circle of Thorns patterns on chest and hips to female body type.
- An issue with cape rendering at the lowest graphics settings was resolved.
- Powers which change the entire appearance of a character such as Granite Armor or White Dwarf should now preview the appearance change in the Powers Customization UI.
- Paragon Rewards
- Super Packs have been added to the Paragon Rewards Program as a repeatable reward.
- Enhancement Converters
- see Main Article: Enhancement Converter Salvage.
- City of Heroes Issue 22 announced during Player Summit
- Staff Fighting Teaser
- Controller, Kheldian & Energy Melee discussed on December 7th "Coffee Talk"