Our regular gaming group has recently decided to pick up City of Heroes for our regular Tuesday night games mostly because grouping requirements in D&D Online are simply too unwieldy. I had canceled my DDO account relatively early so I haven't been in the Tuesday night games for a while. Well, City of Heroes is another matter entirely and I foresee being a regular attendant.
Now, you have to understand that City of Heroes is one of my favorite MMOGs and one I only stopped playing because I lacked a decent super group to play with. It's also one of only two MMOGs where I've ever reached the end-game--ADD and extended alt-itis generally combine to keep me from the top.
At any rate, I've played enough City of Heroes to have learned a bit and I thought I'd post this brief guide to travel powers.
There are four ways to get around CoH quickly: fly, jump, run, and teleport. Each travel power comes in a set of four powers. You can choose from the first two of these four when you reach level 6. The first two powers in the different travel areas are pretty minor and don't really help you get around at all. It's the third power that's the speedster. In order to select this third power, however, you have to be level 14 and have chosen one of the first two powers at some time.
So here's what all the noobs want to know: which travel power is best? Well, that's a good question, so here's my opinionated take on the CoH travel powers.
Running - "I am da FLASH."
Running is the fastest of all the travel powers over the long haul. It includes an "ignore me" component so bad guys will leave you alone as you run past. This is a good thing because the streets of Paragon City are dangerous. Running is also alone among the travel powers that lacks any kind of vertical component. This is its single biggest drawback and probably the reason the devs made it so speedy. Paragon City isn't kind to the street-bound, though you'll find small ramps and other geographical features that help ameliorate this somewhat. It takes some skill navigating very narrow ledges at very high speed, though, so this is not a choice for the dexterity-challenged. The other two powers in this pool aren't anything to write home about, either. One gives you another attack (hint: any class that needs attacks doesn't need any extra attacks after about level 8) and the other makes your attacks refresh faster. That second seems like it'd be attractive, but since it doesn't include regenerating endurance any faster, it's mostly a fast way to hit zero end.
Jumping - "Able to leap semi-tall buildings in a try or two."
Jumping is by far my favorite. It's the second fastest over the long haul, so it's a decent choice if you want to get where you are going very fast. Jumping gets you over all but the tallest obstacles with ease, though some targets are easier to hit if you're trying to maintain your overhead view. Since falling damage is so negligible, you really don't have to worry about those steep drop-offs or bridge tops. One of the first powers in this pool is an extra attack (see above) but the other, Combat Jumping, is a handy little defensive ability that also increases your jump distance very slightly. I keep Combat Jumping going during missions and then switch out to Super Jump when we're done.
The thing I like about jumping, though, is that it's just fun. Choosing to go for that next building or deciding to take a shorter hop on top of a large crane keeps you occupied while you're en route. It means you can't just auto-run and forget for long distances, though, but really flying is the only travel power where you can do this.
Flying - "It's a bird! Or a plane! Or, nah, just another latex-wearing goombah."
Flying is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to keep out of the way of the bad guys and can do their thing from a distance. The main reason for this is that fly has (in addition to a useless attack) a handy hover as one of its first two powers. A lot of bad guys have weak distance attacks, so this is useful for big battles with muscle-bound Brunos. In addition, flight makes it possible to go to any location no matter how high or isolated it might be with a minimum of fuss. Flight is the slowest movement power, but it's steady and reliable. Further, as I mentioned above, if it's going to be a while, hit auto-run and point yourself in the right direction and you can chat with your team or super group on your way. Long flights can run down your endurance, though, so it's tempting to slot some extra reductions there.
Teleport - "Now you see me..."
Teleporting has, by far, the most useful non-combat group ability in the game: Teleport Friend. This power allows you to teleport someone in your group to you, cutting those selling trips down immensely (unless your teleporter is the one dinking around). It means that someone across the zone in the Hallows can be right back at the mission entrance in nothing flat.
Unfortunately, teleporting as a means of travel yourself is both tedious and confusing. It's the fastest short-term means of travel (which can be handy if you're in trouble and have to exit fast), but eats endurance with lightning speed as well. When you first get the power, you have a hard time making it a km without exhausting your endurance entirely. In addition, you have only a second or two of built-in hover between the time you pop in somewhere and when you start falling. That means you have to choose your next location fast which makes cornering a real pain. To make matters worse, some objects aren't nearly as insubstantial as they seem. I've arrived more than once with an astonishingly close view of tree leaves telling me that I wasn't were I thought I would be.
I have semi-permanent characters with each of these powers. My decision tree looks something like this.
- If I'm a blaster, flight, hands down.
- If this character will group a lot, I'll pick up teleport.
- Finally, I go by character concept. If it's a character I want to be speedy, I'll choose running. Generally, though, this has only really happened once so I'll tend to default to jumping. It's my favorite for no reason beyond that jumping from rooftop to rooftop is a kick.