This episode we take a break from XPXPing to bring you some news, patch notes, and the (almost!) final installment of the IO Sets feature.
- Details About Mac Version & Perks
- New Video Ads for Mac!
- Massively.com gives City of Heroes 2008 Award!!
- URGENT! – Do NOT Use Witch Leather Top
- City of Heroes Featured on Apple Games!
- Live Patch — 1.22.09
- Announcing 57 & 60 Month Veteran Rewards!
- Mur Lafferty’s favorite character 🙂
- Promo:Movie Mantras
Clicky to see the full text for Part 4 of Fantastic Foe’s IO Sets feature
The following is the (more or less) final installment in the Fantastic Foe IO Set Featurettes, presenting specific character attributes and the IO sets that support them as bonuses.
I’ll be presenting the following topics based on protections to damage type, with commonly associated damages merged: ie. smashing and lethal, fire and cold, energy and negative energy, etc.
The percentage bonuses are rather small, and obviously aren’t meant to replace powersets.
When discussing resistances and defenses, I’d like to make a few statements:
1) 1% defense is roughly equivalent to 2% of resistance. The reasoning behind this non-binding law of protective equivalence has been hashed out in the forums. It’s not an exact science, but for lightweight discussions, it works okay.
2) % bonuses seem small, but they are worthwhile. +5% defense is the same benefit granted a character using a shield in Dungeons and Dragons, or any other +1 bonus to armor class, and I rarely in my days of gaming saw anyone forgo the use of a shield when it was available to them to have one on the basis that the bonus was too small.
Smashing/Lethal is not only the most common damage type in the game, but it is often a component of energy and elemental based attacks (i.e. being hit by a cold/smashing attack or fire/lethal) so improving Smashing/Lethal resistance or defense is usually a good investment.
Sadly, your options are limited when it comes to IO set bonuses versus Smash/Lethal.
Sets providing Smash/Lethal Resistance bonuses with 3 IOs:
Knockback: Kinetic Crash +2.5% Smashing Resistance
Sets providing Smash/Lethal Resistance bonuses with 4 IOs:
Targeted AOE: Air Burst + 0.63 Smash/Lethal Resist
Pet: Edict of the Master + 2.5% Lethal Resist
Sleep: Hibernation +1.25% Smash Resist [4 out of 5 required]
Smashing Lethal Defense
Sets providing Smash/Lethal Defense bonuses with 2 IOs:
To Hit Buff: Rectified Reticle +0.95% Smash/Lethal [2 of 3 required]
Sets providing Smash/Lethal Defense bonuses with 3 IOs:
Taunt: Annoyance +0.63 Smash/Lethal Def [3 of 3 required]
Taunt: Triumphant Insult +0.95 Smash/Lethal Defense [3/3]
To Hit Debuff: Discouraging Words +0.63 S/L Defense [3/3]
Sets providing Smash/Lethal Defense bonuses with 4 IOs:
Sleep:Lethargic Repose +1.88% Smashing Defense
Slow: Curtail Speed +1.25% Lethal Defense [4/5]
Immob: Enfeebled Operation +2.5% Lethal Defense
Taunt: Mocking Beratement +1.26% Smash/Lethal Defense
Sets providing Smash/Lethal Defense bonuses with 6 IOs:
Taunt: Perfect Zinger +1.58% Smash/Lethal Defense
And that’s it. More defense options are available than resistance, which is fine if you want marginal gains in defense since the defensive pool powers, ( i.e. combat jumping, hover, etc. ) offer very small defensive bonuses, even when slotted to explicitly improve defense. (I think the base is 2.5%, triple slotting with defense hits around 4% total)
Interestingly enough, all but one of the following sets provide either protections against the elemental damage of fire or cold attacks with only an investment of 3 set IOs. So Fire and Cold protections can be interwoven with other 2 and 3 IO set combinations.
When I first began researching IO bonuses against Fire and Cold, I assumed that there would be many sets that only provided protections against cold, or only against fire. That way one could reinforce a particular concept for a character, like you might do in the Champions pen and paper RPG. Say a character might be particularly resistant or particularly vulnerable to fire, totally unrelated to how they react against other damage types, such as cold damage. But in almost all cases in City of Heroes, bonuses from IO sets for fire apply to bonuses for cold.
Fire/Cold Damage Resistance
Sets providing Fire/Cold Resistance bonuses with 3 IOs:
PBAOE: Multi-Strike +0.95% Fire/Cold Resist
Ranged: Salvo +1.26% Fire/Cold Resist [3 of 3 required]
Targeted AOE: Positron’s Blast +1.58% Fire/Cold Resist
Sniper: Executioner’s Contract +3.13% COLD Resist
Heal: Doctored Wounds +1.26% Fire/Cold Resist
Defense: Gift of the Ancients +2.5% FIRE Resist
Defense: Red Fortune +1.26% Fire/Cold Resist
Immob: Debilitative Action +2.5% COLD Resist
Stun: Rope a Dope +0.95% Fire/Cold Resist
The following are from the rare unique level 50 sets (still 3 IOs):
Melee: Hecatomb +2.52% Fire/Cold Resistance
PBAOE: Armageddon +2.52% Fire/Cold Resistance
Targeted AOE: Ragnarok +2.52% Fire/Cold Resistance
Sleep: Fortunata Hypnosis +2.52% Fire/Cold Resistance
Immob: Gravitational Anchor +2.52% Fire/Cold Resistance
Hold: Unbreakable Constraint +2.52% Fire/Cold Resistance
Stun: Absolute Amazement +2.52% Fire/Cold Resistance
Fire/Cold Attack Defense
Sets providing Fire/Cold Defense bonuses with 3 IOs:
Ranged: Maelstrom’s Fury +1.88% COLD Def [3 of 4 needed]
Sniper: Exploit Weakness +0.63% Fire/Cold Def [3/4]
Pet: Blood Mandate +0.95% Fire/Cold Defense
Resist: Aegis +1.58% Fire/Cold Defense
Stun:Stagger +0.63% Fire/Cold Defense
And the exception to all other Fire/Cold bonus sets:
Set providing Fire/Cold Defense bonus with 5 IOs
Taunt: Mocking Beratement +1.58% Fire/Cold Defense
Alright, there are more options for boosting fire/cold and the percentages are larger than the smash/lethal set, although that is tempered by the fact that many of the resistance sets are unique and therefore part of an expensive pool of IOs. Still, you might be able to with very little effort get 3-4% defense, or 7-8% resistance to fire/cold attacks. That’s not too bad on defense, since it’ll stack with hover/combat jumping, and of course with the benefits of a Force Field: Insulation shield. (I say of course, like I know… but for all I know they don’t… I leave that answer as an exercise for the listener…)
ENERGY/NEGATIVE ENERGY RESISTANCE/DEFENSE
I should probably refer to energy attacks such as the energy component in Energy Blast or Radiation as “Positive Energy” since “Energy” in general should encompass “Negative Energy” as well. But I’m lazy, and that’s like 8 whole characters, so take it on spec that Energy and Negative Energy are Positive Energy and Negative Energy respectively. Capiche?
Again, most Energy and Neg. Energy protection bonuses are found in the 3 IO range, which leaves nice options for franken-slotting,Also, about half of the IO sets only apply a bonus to positive energy or negative energy but not both.
Energy/Negative Damage Resistance
Sets providing Energy Resistance bonuses with 3 IOs:
PBAOE: Scirocco’s Dervish +3.13% Negative Energy Resis.
Ranged: Tempest +0.63% Energy/Neg Energy Resis. [3 of 4]
Targeted AOE: Detonation +1.88% Energy Resis.
Immob: Enfeebled Operation +1.88% Neg. Energy Resis.
Hold: Paralytic +0.63% Energy/Neg Energy Resis [ 3 of 5]
Fear: Unspeakable Terror +2.5% Negative Energy Resis
To Hit Buff: Adjusted Targeting + 1.26% NRG/Neg. NRG Res
Set providing Energy Resistance bonus with 4 IOs:
To Hit Debuff: Dampened Spirits +2.5% Neg. Energy Res.
Energy/Negative Energy Defense
Sets providing Energy/Negative Energy Defense bonuses with 3 IOs:
Melee: Pulverizing Fisticuffs +0.65% NRG/Neg NRG Def [3/4]
Melee: Pounding Slugfest +0.63% Energy/Neg Energy Def[3/4]
PBAOE: Cleaving Blow +1.25% Energy Defense [3/4]
Ranged: Thundersrtrike +2.5% Energy Defense
Sniper: Calibrated Accuracy +0.95% Energy/Neg Energy Def
Sniper: Sting of the manticore +0.95% Energy/Neg Energy Def
Resist Dam:Reactive Armor +1.25% Energy Defense
Sleep: Lethargic Repose +1.88% Energy Defense
Fear: Nightmare +1.88% Negative Energy Defense
There’s not a huge number of sets, particularly that only half or so apply both to positive and negative flavored energy damage, but the percentages aren’t too bad, and you could probably get a +5% defense (or possible an equivalent combo of defense and resistance.) This might help plug a hole or two, but doesn’t seem super exciting. Certainly, IO set bonuses can easily improve the 2.5% unenhanced defense Hover gives (4% triple SO enhanced.)
Although Toxic damage and Psionic damage are unrelated, bonuses that protect against them tend to be linked in the IO set bonuses. So, for purposes of this featurette, they are related. So say we all.
With one exception, all Toxic Resistance, Psionic Resistance, and Psionic Defense bonus set IOs require total commitment: 6 IOs. (There is no Toxic Defense, by the way, as Toxic-damaging attacks have an attack vector (usually, I think) of ranged/special. The arcana involving an attack’s damage type and attack vector type might be a worthwhile feature one day….)
So, if you want to get any significant bonuses against Psionic or Toxic, prepare to pay. (Since any investment is probably going to be expensive, I don’t separate out the unique sets from the regular sets, since it’s all going to cost a ton.)
Sets that offer resistance bonuses against toxic or psionic damage for a mere 6 IOs:
Melee: Crushing Impact +2.5% Psi Res
Melee:Hecatomb +5% Toxic Res
PBAOE:Armageddon +5% Toxic Res
Ranged: Decimation +1.58% Toxic/Psi Res
Target AOE:Detonation +1.88% Toxic Res
Target AOE:Positron’s Blast +3.13% Res
Target AOE: Ragnarok +5% Toxic Res
Sniper: Sting of the Manticore +3.13% Toxic Res
Pet: Brilliant Leadership +1.26% Toxic/Psi Res
Pet:Edict of the Master +1.26% Toxic/Psi Res
Heal:Harmonized Healing +1.88% Toxic Res
Heal: Doctored Wounds +1.26% Toxic/Pis Res
Resist Damage: Impervium Armor +3.13% Psi Res
Resist Damage: Reactive Armor +1.25% Toxic Res
Resist Damage: Aegis +3.13% Toxic Res
Defense: Serendipity +1.25% Toxic Res
Defense: Gift of the Ancients +2.5% Psi Res
Defense: Luck of the Gambler +3.13% Psi Res
Confuse: Perplex +0.95% Toxic/Psi Res
Sleep: Lethargic Repose +1.88% Toxic Res
Sleep: Call of the Sandman +1.58% Toxic/Psi Res
Sleep: Fortunata Hypnosis +5% Toxic Res
Immob: Debilitative Action +2.5% Toxic Res
Immob: Gravitational Anchor +5% Toxic Res
Hold: Ghost Widow’s Embrace +3.13% Psi Res
Hold: Unbreakable Constraint +5% Toxic Res
Fear: Unspeakable Horror +2.5% Psi Res
Fear: Glimpse of the Abyss +3.13% Psi Res
Fear: Nightmare +0.95% Toxic/Psi Res
Stun: Absolute Amazement +5% Toxic Res
To Hit Debuff: Dark Watcher’s Despair +3.75% Psi Res
Psionic Defense (There is no toxic defense!)
Sets providing Psionic Defense bonuses with 2 IOs
Resist: Impervium Armor +1.88 Psi Defense
Sets providing Psionic Defense bonuses with 6 IOs
PBAOE:Scirocco’s Dervish +3.13% Psi Defense
Ranged: Devastation +3.75% Psi Defense
Ranged: Apocalypse +5% Psi Defense
Pet: Soulbound Allegiance +5% Psi Defense
Heal: Miracle +1.88% Psi Defense
Defense:Gift of the Ancients +2.5% Psi Defense
Stun: Rope a Dope +1.88% Psi Defense
Now, that’s a pretty fair amount of protective bonus sets, although of course I’ve munged (fancy technical term for moooshing…) Toxic and Psionic, but usually a set that protects against one does so against the other. Usually.
Anyway, if you have mad influence to burn to complete 6 IOs pieces, I mean a lot of influence, then it looks like you could rack up Resistance percentages easily from 5-15%. I mean, boatloads of influence, and the availability of the pieces in the market.
Defense, eh, you could probably easily (given cash and availability) hit 10% defense. Sure, 10% doesn’t sound that much, but that’s a +2 in D and D terms!
POSITIONAL (MELEE, RANGED, AOE) DEFENSE
This category of sets that contribute to positional defenses is a looooong list.
The previous defenses worked against attacks based on the type of damage that they did or roughly on the kind of elemental attack that it was. Positional defense is different in that it works regardless of the damage type of an attack; it defends against the vector or positional characteristic of the attack. Is it a melee attack like a punch? A ranged attack like a blast? Or an area of effect attack like an explosion? So Positional Defense is usually either a ranged defense, melee defense, or AOE defense
Since positional defenses work equally well regardless of the damage (a flaming sword attack or a kick are both melee, so melee defense can apply to both equally) they are intrinsically more useful than “typed” defenses, where you might have defense against lethal, fire, cold, energy, negative energy, psionic, and then get hit by a 100% smashing baseball.
Positional Defense bonuses from IO sets are also rather expensive, since most sets that offer any positional defenses usually require at least 5 IOs from a set. On the plus side, most percentages are at least +1.25%, so there’s no dinking around with 0.68% bonuses or similar nonsense.
And now, the list:
Sets providing Positional Defense bonuses with 3 IOs
Defense Debuff: Exploited Vulnerability +1.25% MELEE Def
Defense Debuff: Achilles Heel +1.88% AOE Def
Sets providing Positional Defense bonuses with 5 IOs
PBAOE:Multi Strike +1.88% AOE Def
PBAOE:Scirocco’s Dervish +3.13% AOE Def
Ranged:Ruin +1.88% AOE Def
Targeted AOE:Detonation +1.88% AOE Def
Sniper:Extreme Measures +2.5% AOE Def
Pets:Commanding Presence +1.88% AOE Def
Pets:Blood Mandate +3.75% AOE Def
Heal:Harmonized Healing +1.88% AOE Def
Heal:Miracle +1.88% AOE Def
Resist Damage:Reactive Armor +1.25% AOE Def
Resist Damage:Aegis +3.13% AOE Def
Confuse:Cacophony +2.5% AOE Def
Confuse:Perplex +1.88% AOE Def
Sleep:Lethargic Repose +1.88% AOE Def
Immob:Debilitative Action +2.5% AOE Def
Stun: Razzle Dazzle +2.5% MELEE Def
Sets providing Positional Defense bonuses with 6 IOs
Melee:Touch of Death +3.13% MELEE Def
Melee:Mako’s Bite +3.75% RANGED Def
PBAOE:Multistrike +1.88% MELEE Def
Ranged:Thunderstrike +2.5% RANGED Def
Sniper:Calibrated Accuracy +3.13% RANGED Def
Sniper:Executioners Contract +1.88% RANGED Def
Sniper:Extreme Measures +2.5% MELEE Def
Pets:Blood Mandate +3.75% RANGED Def
Pets:Sovereign Right +3.13% MELEE Def
Resist Damage:Titanium Coating +2.5% MELEE Def
Defense:Red Fortune +2.5% RANGED Def
Confuse:Malaise’s Illusions +3.13% RANGED Def
Confuse:Coercive Persuasion +5% RANGED Def
Sleep:Induced Coma +2.5% MELEE Def
Slow:Impeded Swiftness +2.5% MELEE Def
Slow:Tempered Readiness +1.88% RANGED Def
Slow:Pacing of the Turtle +3.13% RANGED Def
Immob:Enfeebled Operation +3.13% MELEE Def
Immob:Trap of the Hunter +3.13% RANGED Def
Hold:Neuronic Shutdown +2.5% RANGED Def
Hold:Essence of Curare +1.88% RANGED Def
Stun:Razzle Dazzle +2.5% AOE Def
Stun:Stupefy +3.13% RANGED Def
Knockback:Force Feedback +3.13% AOE Def
Endurance Mod:Performance Shifter +3.13% AOE Def
To Hit Buff:Gaussian’s Synchronized Fire Control +2.5% AOE, Melee, Ranged Def
Defense Debuff:Undermined Defense +2.5% AOE Def
Now, there are a lot of Sets that contribute to one of the three aspects of positional defense, and there are enough variations in percentages that, should you possess a ginormous supply of influence and the ability to make people sell some valuable IOs in the market, you could rack up some healthy percentages.
Totally as a thought experiment, lets say you could 5-stack three of the common percentages, 1.88, 2.5, and 3.13. That’s probably impossible, but lets just say you could. It is numerically impossible that you could do this for all three of the positional defense flavors, so mentally just pick your favorite, Melee, Ranged, or AOE.
(1.88 + 2.5 + 3.13) * 5 = 37.55%! Since the average even con minion only has a 50% to hit you, if you could mythically slot such a bonus, a bad guy when attacking on the vector you’re protected against would only have a 12.45 % chance of hitting. (More or less. I’m way simplifying the complicated To Hit calculation for conceptual reasons…I would encourage listeners more versed in the To Hit mechanics to confirm or refute my simplified math.)
Now, it’s doubtful you could slot 15 powers of the 24 (for non-Kheldians and not counting inherents) that we get during game to get such a godlike defense (against one of ranged, melee, *or* AOE) but it is reasonable that you could get a 10% bonus perhaps against one, two, or all three position vectors. Reasonable given availability of IOs and your cash reserves, of course.
If I can offer some general opinions on positional defense: even if percentages are small, defense is nice to have and positional defense is nicer than typed defense.
Traditional “hardened” types, Tanks, Scrappers, Brutes, and yes, even Peacebringers (even Human-Form PBs I consider hardened) probably don’t need the extra defense, but it always helps. Percentage bonuses of defense are always worth more to characters when adding to an existing base (this is true of resistance too, but I’m talking defense in this section, so move along with me.)
Non-hardened archetypes can certainly supplement what defenses they might have, and based on their play-styles, a particular kind of defense might be better than others. I tend to suggest AOE defense to characters who don’t want to necessarily be in melee, but end up their anyway, either because they want to get the benefit of an AOE heal being cast on the team tank’s opponent, or they’re using their hurricane to pin enemies in a corner, or they are standing next to a bad guy who happens to be the anchor of a mighty debuff effect. Or they just like being near the tank.
Being next to a tank doesn’t sound bad. Even if he’s not taunting, his gauntlet will be getting attention, and if you get in trouble the tank can start knocking down anyone bullying you, and the team defender (should they possess heals and have been keeping an eye on the tank) has you on their radar.
But… then the boss villain drops a Nuke. Even if none of the enemies are paying attention to you standing in the tank’s shadow, the grenade from that Council Lieutenant, or the missiles from that Malta Titan just don’t care, they are going to blow up next to you anyway while bouncing off the tank. So AOE defense can go a long way.
Second up would be Ranged defense, since characters not planning on melee’ing can usually maneuver out of melee range. But since it seems that every enemy has a ranged attack that waaay exceeds a player’s range, maneuvering beyond melee just gets you shot at. So, ratgned defense cuts down on the times your defeated by madly fleeing. Just stay out of range of the AOE flamethrowers.
But, if you really want Melee defense I’m not going to argue. Melee attacks usually do more damage than ranged, and if you know you’re going to get punched at, stabbed at, clawed, thumped etc, by all means, try to get some melee defense and reduce how often that happens.
Just be aware, positional defense bonuses usually don’t work with the traditional power pool defenses, like Combat Jumping or Hover. Those powers are usually good against all Damage Types, defense vs fire, cold, smashing, lethal, negative energy, etc. Typed Defense values and Positional Defense values don’t stack. I discovered this when Real Numbers became available, and I could monitor the defenses on my Super Reflexes scrapper, who now no longer turns on Combat Jumping.
Again, please correct me if I am talking out of my nether region. You know what I mean.
HOLD AND STUN RESISTANCE
I’m introducing Holds and Stuns together, since thematically they are similar, but I’ll present the sets that support protections separately.
Stun resistance is mostly in the 4 IO range, and Hold resistance is in the 5 IO range, but except for two sets, the bonuses for slotting against hold or against stun are from entirely different supersets of IOs.
I’m not a huge fan of the bonuses available. To accumulate a serious effect, you would probably have to take either Acrobatics to reduce time Held, and use Aid Self proactively to reduce time Stunned, and add bonuses from IO sets on top of that. Other than that, I suspect you can easily get 10% reductions in time spent stunned or held. I would be interested if anyone could get in the 30% range in either (particular in Stun resistance.)
Sets that offer Stun resistance bonuses for 4 IOs:
PBAOE:Multi-Strike +1.65% Stun Resistance
Ranged: Maelstrom’s Fury +1.65% Stun Resistance
Pet:Blood Mandate +1.65% Stun Resistance
Pet: Sovereign Right +2.75% Stun Resistance
Resist Damage: Titanium Coating +2.2% Stun Resistance
Confuse:Befuddling Aura +1.1% Stun Resistance
Confuse:Cacophony +2.2% Stun Resistance
Slow:Impeded Swiftness +2.2% Stun Resistance
Hold:Essence of Curare +1.65% Stun Resistance
Fear:Horror +1.1% Stun Resistance
Set that offers Stun resistance for 5 IOs:
Stun:Stagger +1% Stun Resistance [ 5 of 5 required]
Set that offers Hold resistance for 3 IOs:
Taunt: Mocking Beratement +2.75% Hold Resistance
Sets that offer Hold resistance for 5 IOs:
Melee:Touch of Death +2.75% Hold Resistance
Melee:Mako’s Bite +3.3% Hold Resistance
Ranged Damage:Devastation +3.3% Hold Resistance
Sniper:Executioner’s Contract +2.75% Hold Resistance
Pet:Edict of the Master +2.2% Hold Resistance
Pet:Sovereign Right +2.75% Hold Resistance
Pet:Soulbound Allegiance +4.4% Hold Resistance
Heal:Numina’s Convalescence +3.3% Hold Resistance
Resist Damage:Impervium Armor +2.75% Hold Resistance
Resist Damage:Titanium Coating +2.75% Hold Resistance
Defense: Gift of the Ancients +2.2% Hold Resistance
Defense: Luck of the Gambler +2.75% Hold Resistance
Slow: Impeded Swiftness +2.2% Hold Resistance
Slow: Pacing of the Turtle +2.75% Hold Resistance
Immob: Trap of the Hunter +2.75% Hold Resistance
Fear: Nightmare +1.65% Hold Resistance
Stun: Rope a Dope +1.88% Hold Resistance
I find it interesting that the inexpensive set for Hold Resistance is a Taunt set, since the classic Taunter, the Tank, usually has excellent Hold protections for PVE. PVP might be different…
AND THAT IS THAT! I’M DONE!
Well, not exactly. There were a handful of other attributes, but I’m passing on them by mentioning them this way. Some of the Heal IO sets improve all your healing, some of the Slow IO sets improve your slows, Confuse sets improve confuses, Fear sets improve Fear durations, etc. You’ll run into those bonuses pretty much as you gather up set IOs just to slot the usual enhancement bonuses. Those will jump out at you, and there’s no need to state them here.
I’d like to thank ParagonWiki’s page on Invention Origin sets, which saved me from making a big matrix of what each set offers. I appreciated being able to look at bonus values without having to look at recipes or crafted IO enhancements in Wentworths.
That being said, I take responsibility for any errors or irregularities in this report. In my defense, there were a lot of notes being taken and shuffled around, with bits of info being added to, amended, errors found, etc. I would have had my editor wife assist me or proofread, but I can’t afford her rates, the mercenary.
I hope that this report provides some value. I know I’d been wanting to beef up my level 50s, but had not really been putting the time in to see what I could do. After cataloging the values from IO sets, it gave me certain goals to achieve for my characters, which helped me draft up some recipe shopping lists, which of course gave me an Influence goal and prompted me to start in on playing them again.
Any reason to play my 50s is a good reason