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    Enhancement Guide by ketran1dr

    Version: 1.3 | Updated: 08/17/04 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    City Of Heroes Enhancement Guide
    
    Written by: Ketran1dr
    Viewed Best in Notepad, or any other mono-spaced format.
    Version 1.3
    
    Table Of Contents
    1.0 - Introduction
     1.1 - Blurb to the reader
     1.2 - Legal stuff
     1.3 - Purpose
    2.0 - Questions and answers
     2.1 - What is an enhancement?
     2.2 - Do I need enhancements?
     2.3 - How do I use enhancements?
     2.4 - How do I use enhancements effectively?
     2.5 - Do multiple enhancements stack?
    3.0 - Enhancement Mechanics
     3.1 - Formulas
     3.2 - Stacking vs. Combining
    4.0 - Enhancement Stats
    5.0 - Conclusion
     5.1 - Thanks
     5.2 - Direct Contributors
    
    ========================================
    1.0 - Introduction
    ========================================
    
    ----------------------------------------
     1.1 - Blurb to the reader
    ----------------------------------------
    
    Hi! Welcome to this little guide about enhancements.  This will be my first 
    officially published FAQ for any game on any platform, and I am glad you took 
    the time to read it.  Thanks.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     1.2 - Legal stuff
    ----------------------------------------
    
    You may use this guide on your site without asking permission so 
    long as you adhere to two simple guidelines:
    
    1) This guide may not be edited, in whole or in part, for use on 
    your site, and
    2) Access to this guide must be free and unrestricted
    
    If you are unwilling or unable to comply with one or both of these 
    conditions, then you must contact me via email (ketran1dr@netscape.net) 
    for permission for use.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     1.3 - Purpose
    ----------------------------------------
    
    This guide is written so that you (the reader) may better understand the 
    mechanics and thought behind the Enhancement system employed in City of 
    Heroes.
    
    With that in mind, let's move on.
    
    ========================================
    2.0 - Questions and answers
    ========================================
    In this section I will answer some common and some uncommon questions about 
    enhancements.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     2.1 - What is an enhancement?
    ----------------------------------------
    Enhancements are the only real items in the game, and these items are used to 
    improve the attributes of your attacks, enhancing them.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     2.2 - Do I need enhancements?
    ----------------------------------------
    Technically, you don't.  However, at every non-power level you get additional 
    enhancement slots to distribute among the powers you have, up to that level, 
    and having 60+ empty slots is kind of pointless.  You can use enhancements to 
    make your powers be ready quicker, to hit harder, hit more often, protect you 
    better, cost less, and modify a significant number of various attributes.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     2.3 - How do I use enhancements?
    ----------------------------------------
    This part is the easy part--you just grab the enhancement you want, and drag 
    it to an enhancement slot (one that isnít grayed out when you pick up the 
    enhancement) and drop it in.  It will ask you if you are sure you want to do 
    it, because once they go into the power, they cannot be taken out unless they 
    are being replaced--and during this process they are destroyed.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     2.4 - How do I use enhancements effectively?
    ----------------------------------------
    This is a good question, because there is a difference between using 
    enhancements and using them effectively.  Using enhancements, you can 
    reduce many attributes to 1/3 of the original value (such as recharge 
    time, or endurance cost) or increase others to as much as 3x their original 
    value (such as damage amount or healing amount).  The greatest return, 
    then, is when you use enhancements to adjust large attributes.  For example, 
    the inherent power Rest has a recharge time of 10 minutes.  You can, 
    conceivably, reduce this time to a mere 3 minutes and 20 seconds.  It is not 
    recommended to do this, because Rest is a relatively useless power later 
    on, but it served for a good example.
    
    On the flip side, if you have a toggle power (these tend to use minimal 
    endurance) and you try to reduce it's endurance cost to a mere third of 
    its original value, you will not notice a difference.  This is because you 
    are trying to take a really small percentage of a really small number.  Half 
    of 10 is 5, but half of 1000 is 500.  The mechanic and procedure is the same, 
    but the larger the starting value, the bigger the difference between it and 
    the result.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     2.5 - Do multiple enhancements stack?
    ----------------------------------------
    I hear this one a lot.  The question is asking if having two of the same 
    enhancement will produce a better result than just having one.  The answer 
    is yes, all enhancements stack, but some attributes have a cap.  To the best 
    of my knowledge, the only attributes that cap are travel abilities (leaping 
    height, run speed, flight speed), damage (I believe at 400% or so) and 
    accuracy (I believe the accuracy cap is 95%, though I may be wrong).
    
    ========================================
    3.0 - Enhancement Mechanics
    ========================================
    This section will discuss various mechanics behind the Enhancement system.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     3.1 - Enhancement Values
    ----------------------------------------
    Generally, enhancements modify the attributes they affect by multiples of 8.3_%.
    I write the underscore to indicate that the number preceding it repeats either 
    indefinitely, or to a point where it no longer matters.  All in-game numbers are
    rounded to 2 places, so I may follow that form as well.  In that case, they 
    adjust attributes by multiples of 8.33%
    
    Generic Origin enhancements will modify attributes by 8.33%, or one times the 
    value.
    Dual Origin enhancements will modify attributes by 16.67%, or two times the 
    value.
    Single Origin enhancements will modify attributes by 33.32%, or four times 
    the value.
    
    There are four enhancements that do not follow this exactly.  These 
    enhancements are the Range Increase, Cone Range Increase, Defense Buff, and 
    Resist Damage enhancements.  These all operate on the exact same principle, 
    but have a different base value.  The base value for these enhancements is 5%, 
    so GOs give 5%, DOs give 10% and SOs give 20%.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     3.2 - Formulas
    ----------------------------------------
    To the best of my knowledge, enhancements seem focused on one of two things: 
    Increasing an attribute or Decreasing an attribute. The formula for increasing 
    any attribute is:
    
    Base Attribute * ( 1 + Total enhancement amount )
    
    while the formula for decreasing any attribute is
    
    Base Attribute / ( 1 + Total enhancement amount )
    
    In each of these formulas, you start with the Bass Attribute (as in the above 
    example, a 10 minute recharge time) and perform the appropriate function using 
    the number 1 plus whatever the total enhancement amount is (in decimal form), 
    so that even if you have a total enhancement amount of 0, your powers still do 
    something.  Anyway, the amount is calculated in decimal, not percentage. (this
    means that a 10% increase in range is calculated as .10, and a 16.7% increase 
    in damage is calculated .167, and so on)
    
    ----------------------------------------
     3.3 - Enhancement levels
    ----------------------------------------
    The level of the enhancement, relative to your combat level, affects how 
    effective it is. The enhancement's relative level is referred to as White, 
    Green, Yellow, and Red.
    
    A green enhancement is 1-3 levels above your current combat level.
    A white enhancement is equal to your current combat level.
    A yellow enhancement is 1-3 levels below your current combat level.
    A red enhancement is more than 3 levels above or below your current level.
    
    White enhancements operate at their listed capacity.
    Green enhancements operate above their listed capacity, with a 5% bonus for 
    each level above yours.
    Yellow enhancements operate below their listed capacity, with a 10% penalty 
    for each level below yours.
    Red enhancements do not operate at all, as they are either too powerful or 
    too weak for you to use.  If an enhancement in one of your powers turns red, 
    it no longer does anything and should be replaced or combined.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     3.4 - Stacking vs. Combining
    ----------------------------------------
    In City of Heroes you have the ability to combine enhancements to increase 
    their effective life. You are able to use enhancements that are within 3 
    levels of your current combat level.  As I said in the questions section, 
    multiple enhancements stack, combining their bonuses.  The question at this 
    point becomes, which is better, to combine two enhancements of equal level or 
    stack them?  Generally, it is better to stack than to combine, but combination 
    has its use, too.  The best way to answer this is with a little mathematical 
    exercise.  Okay reader, pull out and dust off your calculator, grab a pencil 
    and paper, and get ready for some hard-core, old-school mathematics.
    
    Ready? good.
    
    Let's, for the sake of example, choose a power.  I'd pick Hasten, but it has 
    it's own recharge reduction ability, so that throws the numbers off a bit.  
    Let's choose Dull Pain, and take into consideration it's recharge time.
    
    Dull Pain has a recharge time of 6 minutes, or 360 seconds.  If you put one 
    even-level (white) Single Origin Recharge Reduction enhancement in it, it 
    reduces the recharge time to
    
    360 / ( 1 + .333 ) = 270 Seconds
    
    270 Seconds is 75% of 360 seconds, so one SO reduced the recharge by 25%.
    
    You have another even-level (white) single origin recharge reduction enhancement
    on hand, and you wonder whether it is better to combine or stack.  Let's say 
    that you combined it with your first one.  This causes your enhancement to 
    become a whatever-number-it-was (say, 25) plus enhancement (looks like 25+), 
    and it turns green.  This is a +1 green, as it is equivalent to one level above 
    you (now assumed to be 25, but the actual number is irrelevant).  This affects 
    the formula as follows
    
    360 / ( 1 + ( .333 * 1.05 ) ) = 266.7 seconds
    
    you see, a green enhancement (or an even-level plus) adds a 5% bonus to the 
    enhancement value.  in the process you save yourself roughly three seconds.
    
    Let's say you decided to stack it, instead.  You would then have two even level 
    (white) single origin enhancements in your power, both working to reduce the 
    recharge time.  It would look like this:
    
    360 / ( 1 + .333 + .333 ) = 216 seconds
    
    you see? you reduced it to approximately 60% of the original recharge time by 
    adding two even leveled SO recharge enhancements to it.  if you had combined 
    them, you would have only reduced it to about 74.1%.
    
    Now, while it is better to stack than combine, you may need to keep your 
    enhancements fresh so they don't start failing you.  This is why you can 
    combine enhancements--to extend the life of your enhancements, and save you 
    influence.  A generic damage enhancement sells for about 100 influence a level, 
    and you can usually sell it back for about 25-40 influence a level, depending 
    on where you sell it.  At the higher levels, each enhancement level starts 
    being worth hundreds of thousands of influence, so combining as a means to 
    prolong your enhancement life is a very good idea.
    
    ========================================
    4.0 - Enhancement Stats
    ========================================
    
    Enhancement Type	Generic		Dual Origin	Single Origin
    Accuracy		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Activation Acceleration	8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Confuse Duration	8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Damage			8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Defense Buff		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Drain Endurance		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Endurance Discount	8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Fear Duration		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Fly Speed		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Heal			8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Hold Duration		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Immobilize Duration	8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Intangible Duration	8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Jump Height		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Knockback		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Recharge Reduction	8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Recovery		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Run Speed		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Sleep Duration		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Snare 			8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Stun Duration		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Taunt Duration		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    toHit Buff		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    toHit Debuff		8.3%		16.7%		33.3%
    Cone Range Increase	5%		10%		20%
    Defense Buff		5%		10%		20%
    Range Increase		5%		10%		20%
    Resist Damage		5%		10%		20%
    
    This list is affected by the level of the origin in relation to your own.  
    The numbers listed are for a white (even) level origin, but they change as 
    depending on your/their level as follows:
    
    Enhancement	-3	-2	-1	0	+1	+2	+3
    SO (33.3%)	23.3%	26.6%	30.%	33.3%	35.%	36.6%	38.3%
    SO (20%)	14%	16%	18%	20%	21%	22%	23%
    DO (16.7%)	11.7%	13.4%	15%	16.7%	17.5%	18.4%	19.2%
    DO (10%)	7%	8%	9%	10%	10.5%	11%	11.5%
    GO (8.3%)	5.8%	6.6%	7.5%	8.3%	8.7%	9.1%	9.5%
    GO (5%)		3.5%	4%	4.5%	5%	5.3%	5.5%	5.8%
    
    ========================================
    5.0 - Conclusion
    ========================================
    ----------------------------------------
     5.1 - Thanks
    ----------------------------------------
    To Whoomp of the GameFAQs community, whose continuing sage advice and 
    kind insight helped me learn the fundamentals of enhancement mechanics.
    
    ----------------------------------------
     5.2 - Direct Contributors
    ----------------------------------------
    Whoomp, for pointing out that the Range, Cone Range, Resist Damage and 
    Defense Buff enhancements are different, and providing me with accurate
    enhancement bonuses/penalties for level difference.

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