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The GSNOTTY List
"Gunner's Stuff No One Thought to Tell You"
This isn't a FAQ or a general gameplay guide. It's a collection of neat little bits that players can only learn by patiently rummaging through often outdated reference sites or being told on a Help channel. If you're new to the game, or have really forgotten everything, this page should get you past most of the early hurdles and misunderstandings and on to learning the endless complexity of Paragon City.
RESOURCE: Paragon Wiki
This is meant to be a quick-ref list, not an exhaustive explanation. Once you know what something is, you can search big references like Paragon Wiki for all the details you want. (Like so many things, it's knowing where to start, what first question to ask that's the hurdle. This is a list of starting points.) Click on any [PW] icon - no, not that one, it's a dummy- to open the relevant Paragon Wiki topic, which I have hand-selected to be the best next-level reference.
RESOURCE: The Technical Guide
It's expected that you've downloaded the Technical Guide from the first page, to answer the, well, technical questions that come up in each of these short answers. The Wiki is pretty much the master online repository of game info, but many pages on commands and other technical points remain incomplete and quite a few others have not been updated to the new server era. Read there with some caution and check the Guide for newer info.
— ’Gunner Lives!
You earn the basic game money by... doing almost everything, mostly defeating foes and completing missions. You can also sell junk and be gifted by kind, generous players (or your other higher alts). Called Inf because in CoH, it's Influence, in CoV it's Infamy and in Praetoria it's Information. All the same.
How much Inf do you have? Either open your ID from the main menu, or click on any vendor for the transaction window.
A million Inf used to be a lot. The game economy has gotten so inflated that a little attention to selling and auctioning things can give you milllions by the time you're level 10, and it just rolls in after that. An upper-level item is expensive at 25-30 million.
You can boost your Inf earnings by going into Options and turning off XP gain - your character will remain at its current level, but Inf from efforts will greatly increase. Some high level players can make millions in an hour by doing this.
How do I send Inf to another player? Like, myself?
Back in the old days, the only way to transfer items like Inf or enhancements to another one of your alts was to have a trusted intermediary take it from your rich alt and wait while you switched to your poor alt. It's easier now. You can game-email almost any item, including Inf, to any other player including your other alts.
Click Email on the chat window. Attach as much Inf as you want to send, along with any other single game token like an enhancement or salvage, if you like. Send it to a global user name (like, yours) - @PlayerName, etc. Now every alt under that global account and name will see the incoming email; you choose which one opens and claims the goodies.
Some players have a rich alt send several self-emails (selfie mails?) with a million or so Inf each; new alts can claim one to fund low-level enhancements without having to beg for loans. Email should persist until claimed, although in these days, some kinds of server resets and purges might clear stored mail. Don't park so much there that losing it would sting.
You're never really lost (even if you're a Lost)
CoX - which, by the way, is shorthand for "City of Heroes / City of Villains" or even "CoH/CoV" - has dozens of "zones" to separate the action. It's partly to focus the game, and partly because game engines/servers back in the day could only manage so many active elements and players in any one place. It will not be long before you get sent to another zone from the starting one. You don't need to ask for help - just open your map and find it yourself.
- Open your map by pressing M (in the default bind set), clicking "Map" on the navigation window (which itself is opened with the default key N), or typing '/map' in the chat window (which is opened by the default key C).
- Got your map? Now make it a little bigger by typing '/windowscale map 2'...
- There are two tabs, Zone and City. On the Zone map, point at the dots around the edge. One of them is almost certainly the zone gate you're looking for.
- Can't find it? Switch to the City map tab and point at each of the small areas. Each will tell you its name. Be patient until you discover them all - some are tiny and non-obvious. That should tell you where to look on the Zone map, or what other Zone you need to go through to get there. (That's more common later in the game.)
- Done with that big map? Click it away or make it smaller by typing '/windowscale map 1' - you can use any number between 0.6 and 3.0, by the way. With any window. You just need to know its name, which is listed in the Guide.
"Next time, take the train!"
All but a handful of (dangerous, hazard, no-go-for-newbies) zones have a train or tram station, marked on the map with a blue T in a white circle. Go to the nearest station and click on the waiting train door. You will get a list of zones you can transit to. (There is some compartmentalization of available zones, but the new servers have extended the list for most stations.)
Click on the zone you want, and away you go... no tedious trotting all the way across a zone or two to gates.
- Note that there are TWO train gates. You want the middle one to get somewhere. You will come out the one that's on the right side. Every noob tries to get somewhere on the right side at least once, but only alert other players will notice your ignorance. Look nonchalant as you stroll around to the main gate.
- Note also that there are often multiple instances of each zone - that server-limit thing again. When Atlas Park has all the players it can hold, the next player gets Altlas Park 2... and so on up to instances 4 and 5. For solo players, any instance will work fine. If you're looking for friends or teammates, though, you have to be in the same instance. If you're in Kings Row 2 and your team is in Kings Row 4, you have to go to a tram station and transit to the correct instance to join them.
All this junk is useful... or at least valuable
CoX drops a ton of items on you as you play. Here's what they are and what to do with them until you've learned enough to make better decisions:
- Enhancements: Round medallions you can "slot" into your powers and make them more powerful. There are four kinds: Training, Dual-Origin, Single-Origin and Invention-Origin. (Ignore any others; you'll understand them by the time you're of a level to use them.) In general... you can slot the Training ones to learn how to use them, but TOs add very little to your powers and are best sold off as you accumulate them. When you get your first DO drop, around level 10-12, it's worth reading up on how to choose, use and acquire Enhancements. You can see what you have by opening your Enhancements tray, using '/show enhancements' if you can't find the menu item. You slot them using the Manage option on that window. [PW]
- Inspirations: Little square icons that you can fire off to add temporary power to your powers. Two more will break you free of holds (which you typically don't encounter until level 10 or so), and revive - "rez" you from a defeat. Cheap; use 'em when you got 'em, and buy more from vendors before every mission. Worth reading up on the three levels of strength and how to combine them by the time you're at level 10 or so. [PW]
- Salvage: A myriad kinds of junk you get from defeating foes. Used in Recipes to craft Invention Origin enhancements. For noobs... just sell all white and yellow salvage at any vendor. Put orange ones on the Auction House for huge Inf rewards. [PW]
- Recipes: The required list of junk and Inf you need to craft an IO. Complex. Noobs: sell the white and yellow ones, auction the orange ones. IOs aren't really worth building, buying and using until around level 25. [PW]
- Merits: These somewhat rare rewards can be spent at Merit Vendors for advanced game features. Guard them carefully until you understand their worth.
Civilian NPCs are actually useful
Yup, they're annoying and they can push around a level-50 stone tank like a wastebasket. But the dim little civs wandering the streets have their use. It's all in their names.
When you click on civilians, they chat back at you. Some babble random nonsense about Tsoo and other heroes. But civilian NPCs whose names begin with certain letters will will tell you useful game and player stats:
- E: Edna and Ernest will tell you the official (real-world) server time, which is likely off by several time zones for you.
- F: Frank and Francesca will tell you the official in-game time. (See below for details.)
- G: Gordon and Greta will tell you how many players - "masks" - are in the zone currently.
- M: Max, Mongo and Mary will tell you the number of hours your current alt has been in the game.
- N: Nick, Nora and Nanoo will tell you the number of times your current alt has logged in.
- O: Oscar and Olivia will tell you how long your current alt has been on this server-day.
All names are representative - it's the first letter that matters. Use the Master Search bind to scope a civ-packed area for the one you need, then hit Follow.
All other letter-names just babble at you.
What am I pointing at?
Is your cursor or pointer so teeny you can't find it? Make it bigger! CoX was designed a couple of generations ago in screen size and resolution, and the default cursor size is now itty-bitty.
Go to Menu | Options | Windows and set your cursor size larger, like to the max of 200%. (You can also do this in Windows, by the way - go to mouse pointers and select "System Extra-Large.")
What Time Is It?
For about 99% of gameplay, the in-game, Paragon City local time is completely irrelevant. Most players don't even know there is a time clock or how long the game day is.
But you can find out what local time it is by asking any F-named civilian, as above. Or you can type '/showtime 1' in the chat window for a time display in the upper right corner. (As with all such commands, 'showtime 0' will make it go away.)
The clock runs a 24-hour cycle, from 00:00 to 24:00, with digital minutes - 100 minutes per hour - on a 30 minute schedule (1:48 ratio to real-world time). So now you know how long you have to wait until it's night and you can hunt nocturnal enemies like the Banished Pantheon and Circle of Thorns... which is just about the only time-of-day issue in the whole game. Night isn't even all that... nighty here.
For players without clocks, watches or cell phones, you can get the current real world time of the server by asking an E- civilian.
Just a side note, F-names seem to have become vanishingly rare. I only find one about every third session, and that's with searching in civ-crowded locations. Use the /showtime clock instead, I guess.
"How do I change my powers?" "How do I respec?"
CoX lets you rebuild your character from scratch - the only thing you can't do is change your primary or secondary power set. It's called "respec," short for "respecifying."
It used to be harder - respec chances were rare and expensive and had to be obtained through a tough mission trial. And then you had to go find a specific NPC to execute one.
They are still to be used carefully, but you get one free respec at levels 10, 20 and 30, can still run the Terra Volta trial to get another, and can even buy them for whopping prices. And all you have to do to use one is find a safe place to park and type '/respec' in the chat window.
"How do I change my mission level?"
You can adjust how difficult your missions are with several settings. In the Chat window, at the left of the line where you enter text, click on the blue "Quickchat" bubble. One option is "Notoriety." In there, you can set your mission difficulty to -1, 0 (normal) or +1-4 levels. It's not too unusual to have older missions be too easy, so pop out, change the level, and pop back in. You can also set a default mission team size, so if you solo and like lots of foes (as a bigger team would see), set that number higher.
You will, by the way, forget you did this and go into a new mission sooner or later to find it's all reds and purples, lots of them, staring you down. Just do the process in reverse to set your level back to normal.
"How do I change my character name? And my body type?"
You can change any alt's name in the Character Select window. Click the button at top left.
You can change your "global" name (e.g. @Shenanigunner) in Menu | Global | Rename. This name is used for all global chat and should be changed no more than once (if you got a bum name at startup or changed your main identity's name, for example.)
Even many experienced players don't know that you can change your alt's build type (male, female, huge) in any costume slot. So your Huge stone tanker could turn into a tiny Female fairy if that's how your backstory works.
Go to any Tailor shop you can access. Find the Cosmetic Surgeon in Icon, and the Facemaker in the villain side dives. These are different from the other employees and will allow you to re-costume starting with your build type.
The Reset Button
Sometimes, you want to restart a mission. Maybe you get another teammate, or there's a bug in the mission map, or you want to change your level before continuing.
Exit the mission. Select another mission in your list and make it active. (It will probably ask if you want to abandon progress in the current mission; say yup.) Then select the original mission again. All your hard work will have vanished.
If you don't have a second mission, you will have to exit the game and restart to reset... or grab a newspaper mission or any second mission from your contacts so you can do the switch-and-back.
Automatic Weapon Fire
You can set one, and only one power in your primary power tray to fire or activate automatically. Some players use it for a health or defense buff that has to be retriggered to be effective. Others use it for an initial attack power so that as soon as they close in on an enemy, that attack or debuff or other power fires.
To set this "auto" power, Ctrl-click on the desired power icon. The green ring will tell you it's been set. This will persist until you change the power around or Ctrl-click to select another power or cancel the selected one.
"I lost my Pet window. How do I get it back?"
An astonishing number of new Masterminds manage to have their Pet window disappear, and it's not easy to figure out how to get it back.
The fast way is to type 'show Pet' in the Chat window. There is also an item in the main Menu, on top of the health bars.
Pocket D & Paragon Dance Party
In the beginning, players would gather in places like Liberty Plaza and bomb each other with chat and emotes. This was bad. So the Developers create a special sub-zone where such local overload would bother no one: Paragon Dance Party. It still exists and has two entrances in Steel Canyon. No one much goes there any more, because...
Then the Devs created Pocket D (as in "pocket dimension"), a full-featured zone that both heroes and villains could enter, with a number of special portals and services. [PW]
There are entrances to Pocket D on both red and blue sides:
- Heroes can enter from or leave to Kings Row, Faultline, Talos Island and Founders' Falls.
- Villains can enter from or leave to Port Oakes, Sharkhead Isle and St. Martial.
- Praetorians don't get to visit until they can enter red or blue zones UNLESS they go through “Studio 55” in Imperial City. It's a bit of a journey to find Studio 55 and then the secretish passage across to Pocket D. (Thanks Raevyn_Darke for pointing out this oversight, which I, um, have used in the past...)
Visit "Null the Gull"
In the old days, it was hard to impossible to change many aspects of the game and gameplay. The new servers have made many things much easier. By the time you're about Level 10, you should visit Null the Gull in Pocket D. He's a gull - yes, a bird - sitting on top of a truck on the red side.
Read through his many services and options, just so you know all he can do. One of the most basic is changing your character alignment from Hero to Villain to Rogue to Vigilante - but he can so so much more. Like send you to secret zones.
Visit Ourobouros while you're at it
There is a wondrous alternate dimension in the game called Ourobouros. It's mostly a place to enter from one gate and leave by another, to get to alternate versions of zones, revisit old missions and the like. You can use it for faster travel if you're clever, and it becomes essential at higher levels.
To get there, you have to go through an Ourobouros portal - a shimmery gold gate thing. The easiest way is to park at any tram station or trainer and politely ask in Broadcast if someone around you will "drop an Ouro portal." The other way is to get to 'Echo: Galaxy City' by using a supergroup base portal, and use the permanent Ouro portal that's there. It's on the map as the tram station, but otherwise unmarked; take the tram to Ouroboros. (Thanks for the in-game corrections to this!)
Hop through, and after you finish going "Wow!" a lot, climb the huge gold arc thing over the pool – it's a gnomon, look it up – and when you get to the top, you'll get a badge and an Ouro portal power of your own. You can drop it once every so often to get back to Ouro or transit through it. It has a long recharge, about 15 minutes at present.
Be kind; occasionally drop it and announce it to the area so others can hop through. It disappears after you go through.
Don't yack in HELP
Most chat channels are limited to no more than the zone you are in. The one global channel that crosses all zones and servers is "Help"... which is meant to exchange help information among players. Despite the tendency for it to happen, don't use Help as a general chatter channel, and especially don't fill it with local blather and 'miss tells' - stuff meant to go to your team and completely mystifying BS to other Help users.
Use Help for help, and sparing cross-game communication. Thanks.