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Enhancement Guide for COH, submitted for Premium Acct. : City of Heroes - Submissions

Posted: September 23rd, 2005, 10:07 am
 
khamko
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City Of Heroes Enhancement Guide

Written by: khamko
v1.3

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
========================================

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 isn’t 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. (thismeans 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
----------------------------------------
Werd to yer mommas

----------------------------------------
5.2 - Direct Contributors
----------------------------------------
mystyc, toasty, space sonic


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