So, there you are. Level 15, and being sent to someone called a “Warzone liason.” He tells you all about the existance of this thing called a “PVP zone.” For whatever reason – you don’t feel like PVPing, but decide to check it out. Can you do it?
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone gets a team of stalkers (if you’re a hero) or ice/energy blappers (if you’re a villain) assigned to them as soon as they enter the zones. The zones can be fun, and they can give some useful boosts – they can also be chaotic, and quite a shock to the unprepared player.
This guide is here to help you get in and out – though who knows, you might decide to stick around and play. Yes, there are other PVP guides here, but this is really aimed more at the PVE oriented crowd who just want to get in and out. (And yes, you should try PVP anyway…)
Who the heck are you to tell me this?
Memphis Bill. Nice to meet you. Been here since I3, played every AT to some extent. Yes, I PVP. No, I’m not one of the hardcore PVPers, and I’m reasonably sure I lose more than I win – on the other hand, I have fun, and can avoid notice if so desired the majority of the time.
As far as PVP and my attitude toward it?
I started PVPing waaay back in the 90s, playing Netmech/DOS over a modem – first with one other person, then with a group in the Registry (raises a glass of ‘schlager to the Black Sheep.) Yep. Predated Win95. I had a *blast* then – when you take out an “uber” gunboat ‘mech with a little thing half its size loaded with machineguns, or take out a 100 ton Clan Omnimech with your 1 ton Elemental (ok, by making the player shoot their own legs out trying to get to you, or falling on them from a mile or two up… but I still won,) it’s amusing.
Unfortunately, Diablo soured me on PVP – not least because it wasn’t “true” PVP, but a collection of hacks allowing people to kill and loot you in town. Diablo II didn’t improve matters, and I came to see PVP as something I flat out did not want in any game I played. I refused to see PVPers as anything more than a bunch of immature brats I didn’t want to deal with, figuring the group I’d played with was the exception.
Then along came City of Heroes. I’ll admit, the lack of PVP was a draw for me. As much as the lack of loot, not needing the Uber Armor of Uberness to be useful, the costume creator, the story arcs, and last but certainly not least, the community. The arena got introduced to yawns…
Then came City of Villains beta. And they wanted people to test out the PVP zones… And there I was, in lag city, battling it out, hunting one of my best friends, trying to make tactical decisions (find the defender that’s healing everyone) without getting killed myself. I was interested. When it went live, I took my lvl 15 brute into Bloody bay, and had a great time… then had a horrible time due to one group of people. I nearly swore off PVP… but I recalled, I *had* been having a good time. I went back in and, to be honest? I’ve had *far* more good experiences with good people than bad experiences with jerks.
And that’s part of why I’m writing this. I want to help you have a good experience in the PVP zones.
OK, ok, fine. So what’s all this about PVP?
PVP. Player versus Player. The enemies you’ve fought in-game so far are PVE – Player versus Environment. They don’t hold a grudge. They aren’t all that skilled. You get used to their routines and figure out how to take them out, and you level.
People… don’t have that weakness, usually. They *will* see you, remember you killed them last week, and set out to even the score. They’ll get angry. They’ll get cocky. They’ll laugh as they die, they’ll chat to see what happened. They’ll be a challenge.
There’s something you must remember going into the zones, though. PVP is not “Fair.” Five villains kill you and ignore the tank? Of course they do! You’ve got fewer defenses, and buff that tank! Take it as a lesson, or a compliment… you’re a bigger threat than that walking bag of hit points.
“Fair” exists (to the extent it can) in the arena. In the PVP zones, it’s “Do what you have to to survive.” Sound cutthroat? Perhaps it is – but it’s not that bad, at the same time.
There are four PVP zones for four level ranges. Bloody Bay, Siren’s Call, Warburg and Recluse’s Victory. I’m not going into Arena PVP because it’s a different animal entirely. We’ll hit each of the zones and tell you what to expect.
In ALL the zones, though, there are some features:
- They all have exploration and time badges some people want. It’s a means of attracting people to try it out.
- They all offer some sort of reward for being there.
- They all have a “mini game.”
- They all have NPCs you can fight – or draw your enemies into.
- They all have a base for your faction.
- Most offer missions. (Recluse’s Victory does not.)
About the base. Don’t *ever* make the mistake of thinking it’s a safe zone. It isn’t. It’s a FORTIFIED zone, yes – but as with any fortification, someone will find a way around it. It’s not foolproof. Never assume you’re completely safe.
I mentioned time badges. For spending a total of 5 hours (not, thank $deity, consecutive hours any more) in any PVP zone, you get a PVP time badge. Being in one of the missions in the zone does not count towards these – you have to be in the zone itself, and at risk. (REmember, the bases aren’t safe, just fortified.)
Finally, if you outlevel the first two PVP zones, you’ll no longer be offered missions there. You CAN, however, still go in. The zone will automatically exemplar you down to the highest level allowed – yes, you’ll lose powers, but you’ll be able to work off debt and earn INF and Prestige.
Now, the individual zones:
Minigame: Collect ore samples
Reward: A Shivan Shard (5 uses, summon Shivan Devestator elite boss. Re-obtainable.)
Mobs: Arachnos, Longbow, Freakshow, Shivans, Circle of Thorns, Banished Pantheon, sometimes Ghosts.
Other temp powers: Hyper Stealth for completing the patrol mission
Special notes: Only PVP zone you can freely buy inspirations in.
This and Warburg have the “goodie” powers most folks go after. The Shivan Shard is very useful. As a squishie, it’s extra damage and distraction. It’s nice having a pocket tank – and if you use it up, you can go get another one.
Before doing anything, talk to the Longbow or Arachnos liason there. Get the Patrol mission. (I know, “I don’t want to PVP.” You’ve done PVE patrols where you click on callboxes, right? Same thing.) Why do I stress doing this? Stealth without taking a pool. 30 minutes, and it’s able to be obtained up to five times. It’ll make a difference, and you should be able to finish the mission in three minutes or less. Stealth is *big* here – very few people will have Tactics or other +Perception powers.
Hit the callboxes, see the operative – boom, you have stealth! It does use END like any other power. (It does also stack with Hide, by the way.) Why do you want this? Because you WANT the Shivan. Go ahead, you don’t have to hide it, I know you do… even if you don’t yet.
No, don’t go out yet. This is the only zone you can freely purchase inspirations in. Some people complain about them – so what. Use them. Pick up some purples (for fending off Shivan attacks at the meteors,) at least one Sturdy (TP Foe protection,) and you’ll probably want some CABs and Respites if you do take damage. And never forget the Breakfree.
Now, look at your map (hit “M.”) You’ll see green dots scattered throughout it. Those are the locations of the meteors. Talk to the scientist/evil scientist. He’ll give you another temp power (ooh, shiny.) That’s your ore collector… no, don’t go out yet.
Look out from your base. What do you see? (Other than perhaps the other side running around.) If you answered water, go get a cookie. For all people complain about Stalkers, especially in here, all that blue stuff is a *big* bonus against them. Why?
In a PVP zone, you must be aware of your surroundings. Including two things:
- THe sound of a weapon being unsheathed (depending on the powerset) and
- the water rippling.
Yes, the water will *ripple* if someone’s moving in it. Three travel powers – Superjump, Superspeed, and Teleport – will still give themselves away no matter how well they’re hidden. If you play in first person or the default view… learn to zoom out a little. It’ll save your neck.
I won’t get into how to do the meteor mission – it’s easy, even solo, and it’s been handled on the boards many times. The rundown is:”
- Get a sample from each meteor
- Go defeat a firebase
- Use the ore processor inside to make a sample
- Return to the (evil) scientist for your reward.
If a PLAYER defeats you at any point that you have samples, they’ll get your sample and you’ll have to start over. If you die to a PVE mob, you won’t. How will they know you have samples?
You’ll glow green.
Aren’t you glad I mentioned grabbing that hyper stealth power first….
Minigame: Control the Zone
Reward: Depending on control level, temp powers are available to purchase.
Mobs: Arachnos, Longbow, Warriors, Tsoo, Sky Raiders. (Vaguely recall grey Clockwork too.)
Other temp powers: Combat Invisibility
Zone notes: SOs at 20!
Hey, look at you! Level 20. Nice cape and new duds, too. Congrats. Guess what else you get?
You get another nice shiny… well, ok, not shiny, partially destroyed PVP zone to play in. Lucky you! Yes, from levels 20-25, you can get into two PVP zones and get XP for PVE kills and missions. Thing is… you probably *don’t* want to spend a lot of time in Siren’s right at 20, unless you’re with a good team. Why?
You can get SOs for 6k of bounty. But you’re still using DOs and TOs… and should assume everyone else is fully SO’d up. You’re going to be at a bit of a disadvantage. Still, if you’re up for the risk, go for it. Someone will be designated “Bounty” on the other side, and you’ll see an amount for them. Kill them solo, get the full amount – yes, you need to get the “kill shot.” Kill them as part of a team, you’ll get the bounty split among the team.
So, you should solo, right?
Not on your life. At least not with most characters. You’ll generally be safer, get more kills, and get bounty faster if you’re teamed. Solo, with a few exceptions, you’re going to be swarmed by someone else who *is* on a team. Typical solists will be Stalkers, some Brutes, Tanks, Scrappers, and honestly I’ve done decently with my Peacebringer here. Even they will fall to a team, though.
Also – ANYONE eligible gives bounty (eligible meaning you haven’t fought them for a bit – just look in your PVP tab in your info box for who won’t give you bounty and for how long. Yes, that tab actually does something.) Not just your “designated bounty.”
Unlike bloody bay, you cannot buy inspirations here. You *CAN* earn medium size ones though – though you don’t get breakfrees, you get willpower, an older inspiration that has to be used ahead of time.
Now, look at the nav bar. You’ll see a divided red and blue line, and some note about “Zone control.” If you control the zone (it HAS to say your faction, don’t rely on the bar,) you can go to the merchant on your side and buy temp powers – temporary travel powers that last for 30 minutes from purchase (not of use,) web grenades, poison grenades, and if your side wins control twice in a row, other goodies (IR glasses for heroes, Arachnos mace for villains, as well as others.)
How do you get control?
Look at your map again. See the bright red “flash” there? That’s the hotspot. There are four of them. At those hotspots, you’ll see Arachnos and Longbow staring at each other… yes, they’re a bit buggy at the moment. They’ll stare at each other for what seems like ages (at least in the center hotspot,) then finally fight. When they do, whichever side wins moves the control a bit more to their side. Want to speed things up? Pick a fight. Go over and give a five knuckled “HI” to one of the guys on the other side, then run back, drawing them to your forces… yes, it’s a risk. And yeah, players love picking on you as you’re wounded… oh well… but if you get control, you get 100 bounty per battle you win (if you’re at the battle.)
Honestly, though, most people seem to ignore it and hunt other players. Bounty and SOs are king here.
By the way, be sure to cash out before leaving the zone, logging, or entering a mission. You WILL lose your bounty you’ve collected otherwise. From my experience, this tends to be the zone you’ll see the most battles in consistently.
Minigame: Get the missile codes
Reward: Three types of nuke (one per type.)
Mobs: Longbow, Arachnos, Rogue Arachnos, Malta titans, Arachnoids
Other temp powers: Hyper Phase
Special notes: <xfiles>Trust no one. </xfiles> Missions available past level cap.
Warburg. Home of tier 9s. You have grown stronger…
But so has everyone else.
And if you’re not teamed with them, you’re a target. Even if they’re on your “side.” Warburg is a Free for All zone. Outside of a small radius near your entrance, you can be attacked by anyone you’re not teamed with, even your own side. (The other side, obviously, doesn’t get turned off.)
Two big plusses here:
- The nukes. Go, fight Arachnoids. Get three scientists, they’ll give you their codes when you get to the bunker. Pick a type of nuke (Bio, Chemical Burn, Nuclear – they all have different effects, and AOE damage) and convert the codes, then turn up your graphics and launch the rocket. It helps vs AVs/Heroes. You can have one of each – a total of three nukes – at one time (though you have to get the codes for each and launch each, you don’t get them all at once. And you can’t mix and match – say, two bios and a nuke.)
- Hyper Phase. Why bother with the now-gutted (IMHO) pool power, when you can save a power choice and get this… which does the exact same thing? They both last for only 30 seconds. You have a total of two hours time using the temp power. That’s 240 times… even WITH the pool power, I don’t think I used it that much. It has the same four second activation, though.
Other than that, if you don’t want to go to the arena, this is where you can fight others of your side using all the primary and secondary powers at your disposal.
Last but not least… the missions here continue all the way through level 50. You’re exemped down to 38 in the zone (as my 39 brute remembered the other day…) but you’ll fight at full level inside the missions.
Minigame: Zone control!
Reward: Temporary mini-mech
Mobs: Lots and lots of Longbow and Arachnos.
Other temp powers: None
Special notes: Hi Ghost Widow! Can I get your autograph? No… dont’ put that tentacle there, it’s ok…
Epic powersets. Signature Characters. Heavies. All things that people think of with Recluse’s Victory.
The spiel is this – it’s an alternate dimension. There are six fortified dimensional anchors – neutral at first – that you have to defeat, then control, to control the timeline. The zone changes from Atlas Park to an Arachnos-ified Atlas Park (watch the statue of Atlas and the surrounding environment) if the villains gain control.
Once zone control is taken over, you get a bonus for villains killed, and temporal points. 1000 temporal points before the zone converts gives you a (one use) mini-Heavy.
What’s a heavy? A big, walking pile of ouch. Arachnos blasters or Longbow heavies put out a lot of damage – there are three of each in the zone. Take control of one an dgo hunting. They’re slow, but pack a wallop. The minis don’t do as much damage, but are still rather interesting…
What’s more interesting, though, is that once your side controls four pillboxes, the OTHER side gets reinforcements. *BIG* reinforcements. Namely, signature heroes or villains – States, Manti, Posi, Lord Recluse, GW, Mako (super-staker with sharks,) and more. They take some serious pounding to take down.
There’s no concealment power for doing a patrol – in fact, there are no missions in the zone at all, though there are exploration badges and badges for doing PVP related things (controlling heavies, pillboxes, etc.) Go in ready to fight.
OK, OK, so four zones. SO what do I do if I just want to peek in?
Be prepared. Seriously. Go get some inspriations. People will call you ten kinds of names for using them, but if you’re running in to grab badges or whatnot, go get ‘em. If they don’t want to fight someone using them, they can set up an arena match and ban them. Always go in with breakfrees, and if you can fit an orange in there, grab it for TP FOe protection.
If the “Trash talk” bothers you – turn off broadcast. I’d suggest against it in most cases, actually, as it gives you an idea of who’s out there. Take a look, laugh at some of the stuff that comes over… oh, but don’t say anything if you don’t want to get noticed. Seriously – I find it amusing that someone will say “Any (other side) in here?” If I’m grabbing powers, hittin gmissions or whatnot, I’m NOT ANSWERING.
In addition… as you step in, do a /whoall. Just type /whoall into the chat box. It WON’T show people who are hidden, or in missions. But it can give you an idea of how many folks are out there…
By the same token, use /hide. If they don’t know you’re there, they won’t be hunting you from the outset.
Go in *prepared.* Think of it this way. You know an AV’s coming up in a PVE battle, you don’t go in empty handed. Player characters are *really nasty AVs.* Go in prepared to fight.
If you REALLY want to avoid PVP… don’t go at the busiest times of day. The zones aren’t always populated. Go in at odd times, and it may be a walk in the park for you.
In the Zone
Use /whoall and /hide as mentioned.
And ignore broadcast. People will say all sorts of things – remember, they are PEOPLE behind there. They get frustrated and angry, too. Or they taunt you, and can say some really – sometimes odd, sometimes foul things. They’re trying to goad you… don’t let them. Dont’ answer. If it gets too bad, just minimize the chat window.
The biggest thing… keep moving. You can admire scenery all you want… as it goes past. If you want to stand still, remember – an assassin strike only takes three seconds. Bubbler? A few yellows gets a hit through. Don’t stand still longer than you need to. Use your inspirations against NPCs and PCs.
Also, while moving, don’t be *predictable.* Don’t stand on a badge and figure where the next one is. Go to vidiotmaps, take a look, and run from badge to badge. WHy? If you’re obviously “hunting something,” you can be ambushed at the next whatever it is.
For instance, when I’m in Bloody Bay getting meteor samples, I’ll often start flying/jumping/running toward a meteor I’ve been at already – then when Iv’e gone up a ways, switch direction to where I really want to go. Or go up in a spiral and let them guess where I’m going. Don’t give the other side free information – make it hard for them… and use those temp stealth powers.
Finally, if someone does corner you – fight. Have fun with it. You might lose – first few times in, you probably *will.* So what – you don’t get debt from player caused deaths. Don’t complain on broadcast (you’re trying not to be noticed, remember?) Give them a local “GJ” or “ow” or something (No, “ow” doesnt’ stand for anything. Ow is just “that hurt.” You know… Ow.) Some people will talk to you, give you ideas, etc. Others will try to brag… ignore them. And don’t rez right there – go to the hospital. Why leave yourself vulnerable?
Yes, that seems like a lot. But contrary to the picture painted by many, PVP zones aren’t “filled” with people just waiting to kill you, talk trash, insult your parentage and the like. Yes, there are some jerks – but there are in any group. Remember, the worst they can do to you is remove a bunch of red pixels for a little bit. You CAN get through PVP zones… and even have fun there.
I figured, what the heck, add a “Soloing the firebase” bit:
Bloody Bay minigame, collect ore samples – How to do this solo.
OK. You have your nice stealth power. Time to get yourself a Shivan.
Head over to Vidiotmaps bloody bay map to take a look at the layout. The main island is in a (general) “U” shape, with forests in the east, city in the west. The hero base is to the north, the villain base in the southeast.
Scattered along the island are the two things you need to work with for this mission:
- Meteor fragments (shown as green dots) and
- Firebases (red and white rectangles.)
The first thing I do before going *anywhere* is scout the firebases. I look at the ones closest to my base – southwest for the hero base, northwest and west for the villain base.
Firebases have a bunker in the middle (with four popup antipersonnel guns) and four turrets that surround them. The turrets are what you want to pay attention to. There will be a mix of three types of turrets:
- Minion (Dual Artillery gun)
- Lieutenant (Quad Artillery Gun)
- Boss (Missile turret.)
*USUALLY* the ones nearest the base don’t have Boss turrets, but that’s not always the case. Look for one that’s all minion, or minion and lieutenant, preferrably white and yellow – the faster you can do this, the better.
There are two key points to remember when dealing with firebases:
- The turrets don’t regenerate, and
- The turrets respawn on a timer – but ONLY destroyed ones, and all at once. Damaged turrets are left as is.
Once you find a suitable base, start attacking. Take all the turrets down to a sliver of health – do NOT defeat any of them. Try not to use attacks that have a damage-over-time component to them when they get low on health. Once they’re all low… go grab meteor fragments.
If you look at the map I linked to above and go to the right (forested) side, you’ll see one meteor smack dab in the middle of a bunch of trees. Hello, Meteor Panch. Regardless of what you do after this, I suggest getting this one first. Why? It’s the most enclosed, dangerous one to get. There are mobs around it (Banished Pantheon – some of which will pop up from the ground – and Circle of Thorns, typically.) Plus, there’s a canopy above, so you can’t just fly up and out of the way (or teleport, or SJ.) Enemy players can ambush you here, as well.
As I mentioned in the guide – pick up inspirations. Pop a pair of lucks as you get close – primarily to avoid NPC attacks, especially Shivans, as the “ore collection” is interruptable. Once you get this, get out of there.
For the rest of the meteors – I love having Fly, or at least Hover, and some sort of stealth. Coming at the meteors from ground level, you have to get *close,* and the Shivans will aggro on you as you get close. I’ve gotten “Out of Range” at 30 feet and less. If you can fly, though, you can come down, even unstealthed, and at 59 feet directly above the meteor you can collect the ore sample. The shivans sometimes wont’ aggro *at all,* and if they do, it’s usually too late to do anything about you having a sample.
Yes, remember, 59 feet, not yards.
The order you get the other meteors is purely up to you – I like to work my way from those farthest from my base to those closest. The Heroes have another potential trap to worry about – the Water Street meteor (Ek) is inside a scaffold-work, and it’s somewhat easy to get hung up inside or have someone try to box you in.
At five meteors – find your firebase, and destroy one of the outer turrets. Since you want this to be quick, destroy a minion turret. Leave the others alone. Get your sixth meteor, and go back to the firebase… then wait.
Watch the turret you destroyed. Sometime within five minutes, it’ll respawn. Destroy it again – you have five minutes from the time it respawns to destroy the other seven turrets (three outer, four machine gun on the bunker) and get into the bunker. When there, click the ore converter and book to your scientist. (Make sure it actually *converts* the ore – you’ll go from a set of six samples to a single one.)
THe bunker, as you see, is another great place to be ambushed – just two single-character-sized exits. Don’t waste time. Convert and go. If you click on something that says “Firebase defenses inactive,” go around the pillair in the middle and click on the ore converter instead.
When you meet the scientist, he’ll take the sample and give you a Shivan Shard. You now have your own pet Elite Boss Jello-tank.