Enhancement Guide by ketran1dr

Version: 1.3 | Updated: 08/17/04 | Printable Version

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 

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 

 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 
Dual Origin enhancements will modify attributes by 16.67%, or two times the 
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.