Issue 6, titled Along Came a Spider, was a major revision to City of Heroes released on Thursday, October 27, 2005. The release of the issue was timed to coincide with the 3-day headstart of City of Villains.
This article summarizes some of the major features in Issue 6. For more complete details, see the release date's patch notes.
Some of the major features released in this issue were:
- All City of Villains material was released at the same time as Issue 6, but was only available to those who had pre-ordered the game. All others had to wait for the official launch date: October 31, 2005.
- The implementation of "Enhancement Diversification" (or "ED") in City of Heroes.
- The addition of the Bloody Bay, Siren's Call, and Warburg player versus player combat zones
- The addition of the gladiator combat type in the Arenas
- The implementation of Supergroup Bases, including the salvage collection feature
- Several graphical improvements, including Depth of Field effects, ragdoll physics, advanced water effects, bloom, etc.
- The Debt Cap was significantly lowered.
- Capped the number of enemies which would aggro on one character to 17, continuing the aggro limitations started in Issue 5).
- Addition of dual-origin enhancements which were previously only available through contacts (such as travel power enhancements) to the zone stores
- Reduced endurance cost for many powers, to offset the reduced benefit of putting more than 3 slots in Stamina, post-ED.
NOTE: These describe the changes as they existed at the time of the issue's release. Features may have been changed significantly by later updates.
New events in the far off Rogue Isles are beginning to have an effect on Paragon City.
- The contested zones of Bloody Bay, Siren's Call, and Warburg are open for exploration by Heroes. There are a number of new missions available in these zones. Eventually, both Heroes and Villains will have access to these zones and be able to compete for the prizes they offer.
- These are PvP zones. If you enter these zones, you will be subject to attack by other players, except for small safe zones.
- Characters in Supergroup mode can now gain Prestige and Salvage. These will be useful to players who own both City of Heroes and City of Villains in base building.
- There are new Badges that can be earned by Supergroups.
- Newly expanded Supergroup ranks and Supergroup permissions.
- Supergroup Leaders can change the colors and emblem of the Supergroup after creation.
- Players can now choose to hide their Supergroup emblem when in Supergroup mode.
- More levels of graphical detail available.
- Character texture quality and world texture quality can be set separately now.
- New refresh rate and vertical sync options.
- New graphics options to enable Depth of Field and Bloom visual effects on supported video cards.
- Changed World Detail slider maximum to 200%.
- Improved game stability.
- Gladiator Arena - you can now earn Badges to gain followers who will fight for you in a new type of Arena competition.
- New Options window with many new options.
- The confirmation screens for adding and deleting enhancements can be now be disabled.
- New pet window available from the Options window that displays the health of your pets, and grants the ability to unsummon specific pets.
- Macros can now be edited directly from the power tray.
- You can now give inspirations to team-mates by dragging them on to the team window.
- UI changes to Trade Window. You can now trade salvage and type in the amount of influence to be traded.
- New targeting commands:
- To get a list of parameters, type the command without any parameters.
- In PvP, all players have been given a 25% bonus to base Defense. This change was made to help power sets like Super Reflexes and Force Field that rely on Defense, as they were underperforming in PvP. These power sets were originally balanced against the base to hit chance of minions, which is much lower than the base to hit for characters. This change has no effect on PvE.
- Modified powers that protect yourself from Controlling effects (for example, Integration, Unstoppable, Rooted, etc). These powers will still protect you from Controlling effects, but multiple hits from controlling powers can overwhelm your protection more easily than before. However, these powers also improve over level, granting you more and more protection as your level increases.
- Pool powers: Stealth, Grant Invisibility, Invisibility, Combat Flight, Weave, Maneuvers, Vengeance, and Combat Jumping now buff Defense to ALL attacks. This change was also made to all Primary and Secondary Stealth and Invisibility powers (including, but not limited to, Cloak or Shadows, Cloaking Device, Superior Invisibility, and Group Invisibility). All Defense powers should now stack properly with each other. All powers short and long Help Text was updated to indicate this change.
- Force Field/Insulation Field now also buffs Defense to AoE Attacks. Dispersion Bubble now also buffs Defense to Melee and Ranged attacks. This will allow Force Field powers to better stack with all defensive powers, even Super Reflexes, and even with multiple shields from multiple allies.
- Changed Long and Short Help of Regeneration/Moment of Glory to clarify which Defense types it offers.
- Super Reflexes Auto powers now add some minor damage resistance that improves as the caster loses HP.
- Martial Arts/Eagles Claw critical hit now properly does Smashing instead of Lethal damage.
- Fixed bad short help text in Spines/Taunt. It said it was an AoE, but it is a single-target Taunt.
- Slightly Modified some Martial Arts damage scales, end costs and recharge times.
- Reduced the Terrorize duration of Dark Melee/Touch of Fear.
- Dark Armor/Dark Embrace no longer accepts Taunt Enhancements.
- Dark Armor/Death Shroud now accepts Taunt Enhancements.
- Improved Damage debuff of Tanker/Ice Armor/Chilling Embrace.
- The Storm Summoning/Lightning Storm pet was generating detoggle messages erroneously and has been fixed.
- Fixed a bug in the Thunder Clap power. It was Auto Hit, meaning Defense-based characters had less chance of mitigating its effects than intended. This change affects Defender and Controller Storm Summoning sets, Banished Pantheon Witch Doctors, Circle of Thorns Air Casters, one of the Heroes captured by the Devouring Earth and Skyfall from the Tsoo.
- Reduced the Endurance cost of Dark Melee/Siphon Life and Dark Blast/Life Drain.
- Reduced Endurance cost of Defender and Controller Empathy Resurrect powers.
- Sonic Resonance: Clarity and Sonic Dispersion powers have been switched in the order in which they can be chosen. This change affects Defenders and Controllers.
- Trick Arrow/Glue Arrow should no longer fade when the target dies.
- Trick Arrow/Poison Gas Arrow should no longer fade when the target dies.
- Trick Arrow/Disruption Arrow no longer accepts Damage Resist Enhancements. They were extraneous and had no effect.
- Removed Resist Damage Enhancements from Trick Arrow/Acid Arrow. They were extraneous and had no effect.
- Debuff F/X from Trick Arrow/Flash Arrow should be more visible throughout the duration now.
- Fixed Dark Miasma/Tar Patch activation animation from sometimes locking you into an animation loop.
- Fixed Empathy/Adrenaline Boost animation from activating before the power was recharged.
- Some Electrical Blast, Electrical Melee and Electrical Mastery powers now have a chance to return some of the endurance they drain back to the caster.
- Warshade/Eclipse now gives Psionic Resistance.
- Slightly reduced Perception Radius buff from Leadership/Tactics.
- There is now a maximum number of enemies that will attack/chase one character at a time - no more than 17 enemies will aggro on one character. If more than 17 enemies are elegible to attack one character, Bosses will take precedence over Lieutenants and Minions, Lieutenants will take precedence over Minions, higher level enemies will take precedence over lower level ones, and enemies that the character has affected with a power will take precedence over enemies the character has not touched.
- Most stores and contacts that only sold 10 types of Enhancements of a given type will now sell all Enhancements of that type. (In other words, we fixed key stores that were selling just the Power 10 to sell all Enhancements of that type).
- We have cut in half the amount of Debt you can carry at a maximum at any given time. Previously it was set at 10 defeats worth of Debt, it is now set at 5 defeats. (Defeats inside a mission map count as ½ a defeat since they generate only ½ the Debt). If your character has more Debt than the current cap when they log in, they will have their Debt lowered to that of the current cap.
This is a new system being implemented into City of Villains and City of Heroes (when City of Villains launches) to promote the use of more different types of Enhancements in powers. Using a system of diminishing returns, when slotting the same type of Enhancement into a power, you will begin to see less effect of that Enhancement when the bonus reaches a certain threshold. The effectiveness of Enhancements you are slotting can now be seen in the Enhancement screen.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does this mean?
- Simply, if you are slotting Enhancements and your bonus to a single attribute reaches 70% through Enhancements, you will begin to see a drop in the amount each Enhancement should be giving you. If you exceed 100% bonus, then the drop will be more severe. We have added to the Enhancement Slotting screen a display of how much bonus you are getting from your Enhancements. When you are adding in Enhancements that will be reduced in effectiveness you will be able to tell.
- Note that this only affects Enhancements of the same bonus. So you can have a Damage bonus of 66.66%, and an Accuracy bonus of 66.66% (from 2 Single Origin (SO) Damage and 2 SO Accuracy Enhancements) and you will not be affected in any way. Adding in another SO Damage Enhancement will not give you a 99% bonus, but a 94% bonus, because the damage bonus now exceeds 70%.
- A good rule of thumb is "2 Single Origins Enhancements (SOEs) = No Reduction. 3 SOEs = Slight Reduction. 4, 5 or 6 SOEs = Major Reduction"
- (Also note that the above examples are for Enhancements that are +8.35% bonus for Training, +16.6% bonus for Dual Origin (DO), and +33.3% bonus for Single Origin)
- What if I don't have more than 2 SOs of any one type in my powers already?
- Then you have nothing to worry about, your character will function exactly as they did previous to this feature being added.
- Does this affect Dual Origin Enhancements (DOs) at all?
- Yes, slightly. If you have 5 DOs of all the same type you would normally get an 83% bonus. Because of Enhancement Diversification your bonus will actually only get an 82% bonus. If you have 6 DOs of all the same type, instead of a 100% bonus you will have a bonus of 95%.
- Are Hamidon Enhancements affected?
- Yes. The bonuses that a Hamidon Enhancement gives you that exceed 70% will be reduced. Because of this change, Hamidon (and other dual-purpose) Enhancements are now combinable. You can only combine dual-purpose Enhancements that affect ALL the same bonuses (so you can combine Damage/Accuracy with another Damage/Accuracy, but not with a Damage/Range).
- This totally cripples my character! I thought you were done balancing the game?
- All the Issue 4 and 5 balance adjustments were done with this system in place internally here at Cryptic. All playtests, QA checks, difficulty adjustments and balances have been done with Enhancement Diversification in mind since March 2005.
- What about Stamina? I need this to make sure I have enough Endurance to power my powers.
- Because of the effect that Enhancement Diversification has on the Stamina power, we are lowering the Endurance cost of every non-Auto power in the game by 13.33%.
- What if a power only takes one type of Enhancement to begin with?
- You have a couple of choices. You can respec the character and only go so far as putting a couple slots into the power, or you can go with more slots and eke out a little more effectiveness out of the Enhancements.
- How can I tell when I am not getting full effectiveness out of an Enhancement?
- On the Enhancement Slotting Screen you will now see what bonuses Enhancements are giving you, and what effect slotting the next one will have. This will help you make the choice as to what Enhancements to slot over what.
- Does it matter what order I slot Enhancements in?
- No. The reduction in effectiveness is calculated off the total bonus you are receiving, so it does not matter what order you slotted the Enhancements in.
- How is combining Enhancements affected by this?
- Enhancements that are higher level than you give you a bonus above normal Enhancements, if you combine Enhancements to get a higher bonus, this may put you over the point at which a reduction in effectiveness takes place.
- Some Enhancements give me a 33.33%/16.66%/8.35% bonus, and others give me a different bonus, how are these affected by Enhancement Diversification?
- There are four categories of Enhancements, Schedule A, Schedule B, Schedule C, and Schedule D. The majority of Enhancements fall into the Schedule A category. This means that an even-level Training Origin Enhancement gives an 8.35% bonus, an even-level Dual Origin Enhancement gives me a 16.66% bonus, and an even-level Single Origin Enhancement gives a 33.33% bonus. All of the examples above assume using Schedule A Enhancements, since these are the most common.
- Schedule B Enhancements are Defense Buff, Damage Resistance, Range Increase and To Hit Buff. These have a smaller bonus because a small shift in these values has a larger impact on gameplay. With these Enhancements a Training Origin Enhancement gives a 5% bonus, a Dual Origin Enhancement gives a 10% bonus, and a Single Origin Enhancement gives a 20% bonus. Enhancement Diversification for these bonuses kicks in at 40% with a severe drop at 60%.
- What Enhancement Types are what bonuses (Schedules)?
- Here are details of each Schedule of Enhancement:
- Schedule A Enhancements (33.33%, 16.66%, 8.35% ) are
- Accuracy, Confuse, Damage, Defense DeBuff, Disorient, Drain Endurance, Endurance Discount, Fear, Fly, Heal, Hold, Immobilize, Intangible, Jump, Recharge, Recovery, Run, Sleep, Snare, Stun, Taunt, To Hit Debuff
- Schedule A Enhancements (33.33%, 16.66%, 8.35% ) are
- These bonus types start to see reduction when the bonus is 70% or more, and a severe reduction at 100% bonus or greater. So your bonuses when slotting in multiples of the same Single-Origin Enhancement work out to:
- 1 SO: +33.3%
- 2 SO: +66.6%
- 3 SO: +95%
- 4 SO: +100%
- 5 SO: +105%
- 6 SO: +110%
- Schedule B Enhancements* (20%, 10%, 5% ) are
- Range, Defense Buff, Resist Damage, To Hit Buff
- These bonus types start to see reduction when the bonus is 40% or more, and a severe reduction at 60% bonus or greater. So your bonuses when slotting in multiples of the same Single-Origin Enhancement work out to:
- 1 SO: +20%
- 2 SO: +40%
- 3 SO: +56%
- 4 SO: +59%
- 5 SO: +62%
- 6 SO: +65%
- Schedule C Enhancements* (40%, 20%, 10% ) are
- This bonus type starts to see reduction when the bonus is 80% or more, and a severe reduction at 120% bonus or greater. So your bonuses when slotting in multiples of the same Single-Origin Enhancement work out to:
- 1 SO: +40%
- 2 SO: +80%
- 3 SO: +112%
- 4 SO: +118%
- 5 SO: +124%
- 6 SO: +130%
- Schedule D Enhancements* (60%, 30%, 15% ) are
- This bonus type starts to see reduction when the bonus is 120% or more, and a severe reduction at 180% bonus or greater. So your bonuses when slotting in multiples of the same Single-Origin Enhancement work out to:
- 1 SO: +60%
- 2 SO: +120%
- 3 SO: +168%
- 4 SO: +177%
- 5 SO: +186%
- 6 SO: +195%