FAQ by pyber80

Version: 0.50 | Updated: 08/28/10 | Printable Version


Author - pyber1980
Copyright 2010 Josh Coomans
Date - August 28th 2010
Version - 0.50
Contact - brain-center@hotmail.com

Authorized Websites:



Version History

Version 0.50 - Initial FAQ with answers to most commonly asked questions.
Future versions will go into detail on classes, powersets and more.


Table of Contents

S1. Useful Links
S2. Introduction
S3. General Questions
S4. Gameplay Questions
S5. Other Questions
S6. Class Overview (future version)
S7. Powerset Overview (future version)
S8. Creating Your Character (future version)
S9. Odds and Ends (future version)
S10. Copyright
S11. Credits


S1. Useful Links

Homepage:  http://www.cityofheroes.com/

Official Forums:  http://boards.cityofheroes.com/index.php

NCSoft:  http://us.ncsoft.com/en/

Paragon Wiki:  http://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page

Mids' Hero Designer:  http://www.cohplanner.com/ (An extremly useful offline
tool to use in designing your character builds)

HeroStats:  http://www.herostats.org/ (A tool to keep track of in-game 
statistics such as drop rates, damage taken, badges earned, etc)

Badge Hunter: http://www.badge-hunter.com/ (Share your badge count, also
offers the Vidiotmaps map overlay and forums)


S2. Introduction

Well, with a grateful nod to HellsEmbrace for taking the time to create the 
original FAQ for CoH/V here at GameFaqs, I decided that it was time for a new
version to be submitted.  The last FAQ hadn't been updated since Issue 3 or 4
and we now have City of Villains, Going Rogue just went live and Issue 19 is 
on the horizon.  While many of the basics haven't changed, there have been 
enough changes, tweaks, updates and patches that a new FAQ is probably needed.

Allow me a moment to introduce myself.  Around here most people know me as 
pyber1980, but in-game I am more commonly known as Little Red Hamster or just 
plain Hammy.  I've been playing CoH/V since Issue 12, so I'm not one of the 
old-timers, but with the influx of new players since Going Rogue went live I 
sure do feel like one!  Guardian is my home server and if anyone feels like 
giving me a shout in-game about this FAQ, feel free to drop me a line at my
Global of @pyber. (no period)

Now then, you'll hopefully forgive me for this being my first submitted FAQ 
and bear with me if there's any problems.  But without further ado, on with 
the show!


S3. General Questions

Q: What is the official website?
A: The official website is found here: http://www.cityofheroes.com/

Q: Is this PC only?
A: No, it is also available for Mac, although only Intel-based Mac's are 
currently supported.

Q: Is this online only?
A: Yes it is.

Q: Is there a monthly fee, and if so, how much is it?
A: Yes, there is a montly fee.  The normal rate is $15/month, although you can 
knock a couple of dollars off that by purchasing time in bulk (ie, 6 months or 
12 months at a time).

Q: Are there time cards available for people unable to use credit cards?
A: Yes there are.  You can purchase 30-day CoH/V time cards or 30/60-day NCSoft
time cards from various retailers.  Also, its worth mentioning that you can use
Aion or Lineage time cards for CoH/V as well.

Q: I have City of Heroes.  Can I play City of Villains as well?
A: Yes you can.  CoV and CoH were combined some time ago and having one will 
grant you both.

Q: I have the EU client, can I use a NA key to activate my account?
A: No.  Game keys are tied to either specific region.  Thus only NA keys can be
used with the NA client, and EU keys with the EU client.

Q: Are there any expansions?
A: Yes, there is one. Going Rogue provides new level 1-20 content, 4 new zones,
4 new powersets and all the other goodies you would probably expect from a paid
expansion.  Going Rogue comes in two versions.  One is the basic expansion with
no bonus goodies or free game time (only available directly from the NCSoft 
online store), while the other is the Complete Collection, which comes with a 
few extras, including 30 days of game time (available as a physical box or 
digital download from the NCSoft online store).  The Complete Collection bonus
item pack can be purchased on its own as well from the NCSoft online store. Of
course, regardless of the version you get, Going Rogue does require you to have
a full CoH/V account to apply it to.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: The system requirements are as follows:

Minimum PC Requirements

Windows XP/Vista/7
Intel Pentium III 1GHz or AMD Athlon 1GHz
Nvidia GeForce 2 Series, ATI Radeon 8500 or Intel i810G Series
4GB Hard Drive Space
Broadband Internet Connection
Keyboard & Mouse

Recommended PC Requirements

Windows XP/Vista/7
Intel or AMD Dual Core CPU or better
2GB RAM or more
Nvidia GeForce FX5600 (or higher), ATI Radeon 9600 (or higher)
6GB Hard Drive Space
Broadband Internet Connection
Keyboard & Mouse

Recommended PC Ultra Mode requirements

Windows XP/Vista/7
Intel or AMD Dual Core CPU or better
4GB RAM or more
Nvidia GeForce 8 Series (or higher), ATI Radeon HD2000 Series (or higher)
6GB Hard Drive Space
Broadband Internet Connection
Keyboard & Mouse

Minimum Mac requirements

Mac OS X 10.5.5 Leopard
Intel Core Duo CPU
1GB RAM or more
Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT w/128MB, ATI Radeon X1600, Intel X3100
5GB Hard Drive Space
Broadband Internet Connection
Keyboard & Mouse

Recommended Mac Requirements

Mac OS X 10.6.3 Snow Leopard or better
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU or better
1GB RAM or more
Nvidia 7300 GT, ATI X1600, Intel X3100, (Intel GMA950 not supported)
5GB Hard Drive Space
Broadband Internet Connection
Keyboard & Mouse

Recommended Mac Ultra Mode Requirements

Mac OS X 10.6.3 Snow Leopard or better
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU or better
3GB RAM or more
Nvidia GeForce 8800 (or better), ATI Radeon 3870 (or better)
6GB Hard Drive Space
Broadband Internet Connection
Keyboard & Mouse


S4. Gameplay Questions

Q: What is the level cap?
A: The level cap in CoH/V is 50.

Q: What are team size limits?
A: Teams are limited to 8 members.

Q: Is there player vs. player?
A: Yes there is, although there is no open-world PvP.  PvP takes place in 
several level-specific PvP zones (Bloody Bay 15-25, Siren's Call 20-30, 
Warburg 30-38 and Recluse's Victory 40-50) or in PvP Arenas (located in 
various zones or accessed via the main menu in-game).

Q: How many classes (called archetypes or AT's in CoH/V) are there in the game?
A: There are five basic archetypes for each side (Hero and Villain), plus each
side also has two Epic AT's that are unlocked by getting a character to level 
20 on each respective side.  The AT's are as follows:

City of Heroes AT's:

Blaster (ranged primary, melee secondary)
Controller (control primary, support secondary)
Defender (support primary, ranged secondary)
Tanker (resistance/defense primary, melee secondary)
Scrapper (melee primary, resistance/defense secondary)

Peacebringer (Epic AT)
Warshade (Epic AT)

City of Villains AT's:

Corrupter (ranged primary, support secondary)
Dominator (control primary, ranged/melee secondary)
Mastermind (pet primary w/ ranged, support secondary)
Brute (melee primary, resistance/defense secondary)
Stalker (melee primary, resistance/defense secondary, uses stealth)

Widow (Epic AT)
Soldier (Epic AT)

Q: What are Power Pools?
A: Power Pools are extra small pools of powers to choose from beyond your 
Primary and Secondary powersets and are available to all AT's from level 6 
and up.  These include your travel powers, extra attacks, buffs and other 
assorted powers.  Ancillary and Patron Power Pools become available at level 
41, although Patron Power Pools require the completion of a Patron Arc, so 
are only available to characters of the Villain alignment (Heroes can earn 
PPP's by switching to Villainside and running a Patron Arc).

Q: When/how do I get a travel power (fly, superspeed, superjump or teleport)?
A: You can choose a travel power at level 14 from one of the Power Pools.  
You must pick one of the earlier powers out of your chosen power pool to 
unlock access to the proper travel power though (ie, take Hasten or Flurry 
before being able to pick Superspeed).  As a side note, the 60 month Veteran 
Reward includes the ability to choose your travel power at level 6 without 
having to take a pre-requisite power first.

Q: Can I change my character's power choices?
A: Yes you can.  You cannot choose a new Primary or Secondary powerset, but 
you can change what order you take the powers they contain and how they are 
slotted.  You can choose new Power Pools and how they are slotted as well.  
Character respecs can be gained the following ways:

-- By completing a Respec Trial 
-- By crafting a Respec Recipe 
-- By earning certain Veteran Rewards 
-- By purchasing one from the Online Store 
-- By being given a "freespec" 
-- By completing a Patron Arc 
-- By purchasing one with 250 Candy Canes during the Winter Events
-- By purchasing one with 10 Alignment Merits

Q: How can I change my mission difficulty?
A: Heroes go to see a Hero Corps Field Analyst to change difficulty settings, 
Villains go to see a Fortunata Fateweaver.  You can alter the number of 
Heroes/Villains you feel your are equivalent to, what level you would like 
mobs to spawn at, whether or not you want to fight Bosses and Elite Bosses 
while solo and whether or not you want Archvillains and Heroes to spawn at 
full power or as Elite Bosses.

Q: Is there side switching?
A: Yes there is, but you will require the Going Rogue expansion to take 
advantage of side switching.  As a side note, you can begin any one of the 
ten standard AT's in Praetoria (the alternate world Going Rogue is based in) 
and choose to go to either Heroside or Villainside for post-level 20 content.

Q: How does side switching work?
A: It requires that you own the Going Rogue paid expansion. To switch sides, 
you must be at least level 20. Pick up any regular mission or street-sweep for
level 20+ mobs to get a "Tip" mission. Run 10 Tip Missions and you will be 
given a Morality mission to complete to switch one degree of alignment 
(Villain to Rogue or Rogue to Hero. Hero to Vigilante or Vigilante to Villain).
You can only do five Tip missions in a 20-hour time period, so it will take 
approximately 40 hours of real time to switch one degree. This was done to 
keep people from switching alignments on a whim.

Q: Are there any benefits to remaining strictly Hero or Villain?
A: Yes there are. Aside from the badges earned, you can earn Alignment Merits 
that you can trade in for set recipes and rare salvage at your respective 
faction "club house". The first time you complete a set of Villain or Hero 
Tips and a Morality mission you will receive 50 Reward Merits instead though. 
Every time thereafter you will earn one Alignment Merit. You can also purchase
Alignment Merits from the same vendor as you trade them in to by giving him 
50 Reward Merits and 20 million Infamy/Influence.

Q: Are there guilds/clans?
A: Yes, although in CoH/V they are called Supergroups.  SG's can form 
coalitions with other SG's, and if you play in "SG Mode" you will earn Prestige
that can be spent on building and maintaining an SG base.

Q: What is Sidekicking and Exemplaring?
A: The Super-Sidekick system allows any player, regardless of level, to join a 
team and play at that teams level.  If you are too low, you will be Sidekicked 
up to one level below the team leaders level and if you are too high, you will 
be Exemplared down to the maximum allowed level for that mission or arc.  When 
Exemplaring down, you will still have access to powers up to five levels above 
what you're Exemplared down to (ie, if you Exemplar down to 28, you will still 
have access to your level 30 and 32 powers).

Q: Are there raids?
A: Yes there are a couple of raids in CoH/V.  There is the Hamidon Raid and 
the Rikti Mothership Raid.  The Rikti Mothership Raid takes place in the Rikti
War Zone co-op zone (level 1-50, 35+ to earn Vanguard Merits), so both Heroes 
and Villains can partake.  The Hamidon Raids can take place on both Villainside
(The Abyss, level 45-50) and Heroside (The Hive, level 45-50).  Both raids 
generally take multiple teams to complete, and participation is only limited 
by the number of people in the zones.

Q: What sort of endgame content is there?
A: CoH/V has never really been about the endgame, instead striving more for a 
"journey to 50" kind of style.  That said, there are the aformentioned Raids 
to do when you hit 50, as well as various high-level Strike Forces and Task 
Forces (Recluse SF, Statesman TF, Kahn TF, Barracuda SF, Lady Grey TF, all of 
which are 45-50), Ouroboros Flashback missions (complete content you missed 
basically), side switching to complete opposing faction content, min/max your 
characters, and the Cathedral of Pain Trial (level 10-50, auto-sidekicked up 
to 50 for duration).

Q: I've run out of Contacts for missions!  How do I get a new Contact?
A: If you've run out of active contacts to get missions from, head to a zone 
appropriate for your level and pick up a Scanner (Heroside) or Newspaper 
(Villainside) mission.  Upon completing five of these missions you will be 
asked to see a Broker that will send to either protect a bank (Heroside, 
called a Safeguard) or to rob a bank (Villainside, called a Mayhem).  Complete 
that bank mission within the time alloted (starts out as 15 minutes, can be 
extended by doing side missions within the bank mission) and then go to see 
your Broker.  He/she will then offer to introduce you to a new Contact.  If 
this is your first time using a specific Broker, they will offer you a choice 
of up to 3-4 new Contacts.  Scanner/Paper missions can be done at any time, 
even if you don't need a new Contact, as can the resulting Mayhem/Safeguard 


S5. Other Questions

Q: How do I access the Test Server?
A: Follow this link 
(http://boards.cityofheroes.com/announcement.php?f=576&a=16) and find 
the instructions appropriate to your system (PC or Mac).  Basically what you 
will need is a second copy of the game installed and then alter the launcher 
shortcut on your desktop to target the Test Server instead of the Live servers,
so make sure you enough hard drive space free.

Q: How do I copy characters to the Test server?
A: Follow this link 
(http://boards.cityofheroes.com/forumdisplay.php?f=548) which leads to 
the Development section of the Official Forums.  At the bottom of that section
is a direct link to the Character Copy Tool.  Follow the prompts and choose 
which server you want to copy a character from, choose the character, wait a 
few minutes and then log into the Test Server.  Repeat as needed, even copying 
the same character multiple times if you like.  As a side note, the Character 
Copy Tool is one-way only.  You cannot copy anything from the Test Server onto 
the Live servers.

Q: Does the game have any sort of achievement system?
A: Yes it does.  You can gain achievement badges by reaching various 
milestones with a specific character, like damage taken, certain number of a 
specific enemy defeated and healing points used on teammates, among other 

Q: So there's more than just achievement badges?
A: Yes there are.  There are currently over 1000 badges in various categories 
to collect, including achievement, exploration, crafting, event and accolade 
badges (accolades are earned by getting specific sets of badges).  These are 
only some of the available categories.

Q: Is there a crafting system?
A: Yes there is.  Most crafting is related to enhancing your character, but 
there are also some crafted costume pieces, base items and temporary powers.

Q: What are Enhancements?
A: Enhancements are what you place into your powers to increase their 
effectiveness.  They come in a few varieties:

-- Training Origins 
-- Dual-Origins 
-- Single-Origins 
-- Inventions 
-- Set Inventions 
-- Hamidon Origins
-- Crystal Titan Origins 
-- Hydra Origins 

Training Origin, Dual-Origin, Single-Origin and generic Invention Origin 
enhancements only add to a single aspect of the power they are slotted in, 
while Set Inventions, Hamidon, Crystal Titan and Hydra Origins affect multiple
aspects.  Note though, that enhancing powers is governed by a mechanic known 
as Enhancement Diversification, which caps the effectiveness of enhancements 
when slotting more than three of a single enhancement in a power.  As for the 
bonuses mentioned that Set Inventions can grant, you can stack the same bonus 
no more than five times on a character.  Some Set Inventions are also 
considered "Unique" and as such only one of a specific unique Invention may 
be slotted in a character.

Q: Is there a player economy?
A: There is.  All loot (salvage, inspirations, recipes and enhancements) can 
be bought or sold on the in-game Markets.  Crafting recipes and selling them 
is a common money-making practice in CoH/V, as is flipping.  Reward Merits, 
Architect Tickets, Alignment Merits and Vanguard Merits are non-tradeable, 
though they all but Vanguard Merits may be turned in at the appropriate 
vendors for recipes, salvage and inspirations.  Vanguard Merits may be traded
in for Vanguard costume pieces, temporary powers, a costume change emote and
the Salvage Sack (increases character salvage storage by 10).

Q: What sort of character customization is there?
A: Extensive customization.  When creating a character, you can alter their 
sex, height, weight and basic appearance, as well as choose from a huge 
selection of costume pieces and customize the colors (and in a few cases, 
use alternate animations) of your primary and secondary powers.  At any time 
after creating your character, you can visit a Tailor to alter certain aspects 
of your appearance (sex, height and weight alterations require the Superscience
Booster Pack) as well as your costumes and primary/secondary powers.

Q: Can I create characters based on any copyrighted material?
A: No, you cannot.  Paragon Studios is extremely adamant that copyright not be
violated in CoH/V in any way, shape or form.  If you do choose to try and 
create a character based on copyrighted material, you will likely be swiftly 
reported and run the risk of having your character name changed, costume(s) 
removed and in extreme cases, entire characters deleted.  There are homage 
characters in the game of course, but by and large they are fairly rare.  As 
a side note, the same punishments exist for characters using offensive names 
or biographies.

Q: How many costumes can a character have?
A: You can have up to five different costumes on a single character.  The 
second, third and fourth slots are acquired by completing a mission for the 
Tailor at levels 20, 30 and 40 respectively.  The fifth slot is gained by 
trading in four pieces of Halloween Event Salvage, which can be done at any 

Q: How do I get a cape and aura?
A: On Heroside, you get your capes and auras by completing missions for the 
City Representative in Atlas Park (capes at 20, auras at 30, cape missions 
must be done first).  For Villainside, you gain them by completing missions 
for Kalinda or Matthew Burke in Mercy Island (once again, capes at 20, auras 
at 30).

Q: What are character origins?
A: Character origins are the source of your characters superpowers.  There 
are five origins in CoH/V: Mutation, Magic, Technology, Science and Natural.  
Dual-origin Enhancements can be used by characters that are of either origin 
a specific enhancement requires, while Single-origin Enhancements are specific
to only a single origin.

Q: What is this "Incarnate System" I've heard about?
A: The Incarnate System is the upcoming new addition to the CoH/V endgame.  
What it will [apparently] consist of are missions that you complete to earn 
Incarnate Slots, which you can then fill with special Incarnate Enhancements,
which are crafted from, you guessed it, Incarnate Salvage.  Currently there 
are ten known Incarnate Slots, ranging from Alpha to Omega, with Omega being 
the highest level slot.  The Incarnate Enhancements include global buffs (such
as a global 33% Endurance Reduction cost of your powers), temporary powers 
(pet summons for example) and a few other things.  Not too much is known yet 
about the Incarnate System, but it is currently slated to be launched with 
Issue 19 "Incarnates".  The Going Rogue expansion will apparently be required
to partake in the Incarnate System.

Q: What is the Mission Architect?
A: The Mission Architect is exactly as the name suggests.  It gives players 
the ability to create and edit their own missions and story arcs from scratch, 
create custom enemies and allies for those missions, and publish them for other
people to play and rate.  While on a Mission Architect map, you still earn 
Infamy/Influence, experience and Prestige, but you do not get loot drops except
for Architect Tickets.  Those tickets can then be traded in for various items,
including salvage, enhancments and recipes.  You can also purchase more maps, 
enemy groups and costume pieces to use in your Architect creations.  As a side 
note, you do not gain progress on any of your normal badges (such as damage 
taken or mobs defeated) while in an Architect mission, but there are badges to
earn from those missions themselves.

Q: What are Task and Strike Forces?
A: Task and Strike Forces are special story arcs geared for teams and are 
generally more difficult than regular story arcs.  They always have a set goal
in mind that you will work towards throughout the T/SF, usually culminating 
in a fight with one or more Heroes or Arch-Villains (the highest tier of boss 
in CoH/V).  T/SF's are designed in specific level ranges.  If you do not meet 
the minimum level requirement, you cannot participate in that particular T/SF.
There is no real level limit on the high side to do a T/SF, but you will be 
Exemplared down to the maximum level allowed for a particular T/SF (ie, Silver
Mantis SF is levels 20-25.  If you're higher than 25, you will be brought down
to 25 for the duration of the SF).  Something else to note about T/SF's is 
that while you are on one, you are locked into that team until you quit or 
complete the T/SF.  New people cannot join a T/SF once it has begun either.

Q: I'd like to create my own Supergroup.  How do I do this?
A: To create a Supergroup, Heroes go to see the SG Registrar located in Atlas
Park, while Villains go to see the SG Registrar located in Port Oakes.  
Creating a Supergroup and registering a base are free, although if you want to
build a base to use, you will need members in your Supergroup earning Prestige 
(earned while running in "SG Mode").  Bases can be used to store and craft 
enhancements, store salvage and inspirations, access Ouroboros missions, 
transport to other zones (requires teleporters to be crafted and placed in the 
base) and resurrect yourself in a Medbay.  Plots range from the small "Hidden 
SPot" that you start out with, up to the "Massive Hidden/Secure" plots.  Rent 
is based on the number of certain items in your base, with the average cost 
being 100 Prestige per item (one item is 200, and one item is 300).

Q: What are "Globals"?
A: Globals refers to two things.  The first (and most important) is your 
Global Name.  This is your primary cross-server identity in the game and is 
what all your character names are tied to.  They also allow for communication 
across the various servers and factions.  The second thing that it refers to 
are the Global Chat Channels within the game.  These are player-created 
channels that you can join for various things, including server-specific chat,
team requests, SG and friend channels, and for general help.  They are called 
Global Channels because they are also cross-server, just like Global Names.

Q: What are Booster Packs?
A: Booster Packs are purchasable additions for your account ($9.99 USD from 
the Online Store).  They generally include new costume pieces themed to each 
specific Booster Pack, emotes, as well as a "temporary" power (temporary is 
only their classification in-game, as they do not expire).  The Booster Packs 
released thus far are as follows:

-- Super Booster I: Cyborg 
-- Super Booster II: Magic 
-- Super Booster III: Superscience 
-- Super Booster IV: Martial Arts 
-- Super Booster V: Mutant 

There are also a few Item Packs you can get, which are as follows:

-- Good vs. Evil Edition Item Pack 
-- Mac Edition Item Pack aka Valkyrie Pack 
-- Wedding Pack 
-- 30-day Jet Pack 


S6. Class Overview (future version)


S7. Powerset Overview (future version)


S8. Creating Your Character (future version)


S9. Odds and Ends (future version)


S10. Copyright

This FAQ is intended solely for use on www.gamefaqs.com and www.gamespot.com
and may not be reproduced, retransmitted or re-written in any way, shape or
form without the express permission of the author.  This FAQ is subject to 
copyright law and all its attendant rules, regulations and penalties.  This 
FAQ is submitted to www.gamefaqs.com and www.gamespot.com exclusively for use 
by the public and may not be sold.  Any requests for use elsewhere should be 
directed to the author prior to any other action.  If it is found that this 
FAQ has been copied in part, or in full on a site other than sites authorized 
by the author, it is subject to removal under copyright law.

Put simply, you may not do anything to or with this FAQ without asking me!

Also, all trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by 
their respective trademark and copyright holders.


S11. Credits

Credit for this FAQ needs to go first and foremost to the developers at Paragon
Studios (formerly NC NorCal, formerly Cryptic Studios) for giving us this 
wonderful game and being so willing to answer all my questions over the years.

Credit also goes to the users of the CoH and CoV forums at GameFAQs/GameSpot, 
in particular Dodgeball Boy, MrCardboardTube, Blademaster Orca, chikahiro94, 
MechaCrash, Beowulf2010, GF Lamer, Trident T, Fluffball and Slatz Grobnik.

Some more credit goes to the various users too numerous to list over on the 
official forums that have been answering questions to the benefit of all since
the game launched.