CoX: Adjusting to Hover

I have over a hundred City of Heroes characters, in aggregate. Back on Live, I had something like eighty characters, and now I have about sixty-four on Homecoming. At one point I thought it’d be interesting to graph up and see what the most common power across all my characters was, figuring that my reliance on things like Fire Armour would mean it was one of the early powers from that powerset.

But that assumption meant I wasn’t remembering travel pools, where for example, every character who flies probably has the power Fly. So then the competition is about which travel powers out of Super Speed, Fly or Super Jump, or the other, less good power pools.

Yeah I said it Teleport.

Point is I assumed that since the majority of my characters travel by flying (I think?) then that means Fly should be my most common power.

And no.

I was wrong.

The most common power across all my characters, the power literally every character on Homecoming has is this one.

Combat Jumping.

Combat Jumping is a neat little power in the leaping pool, which you used to need if you wanted the travel power Super Jump. It’s a power notable for being really efficient in what it does; it lets you move around very freely when jumping, it increases your jumping distance, and it adds a little to all your defenses for an extremely cheap endurance cost. It’s about 2.5% defense (all) and it’s stupidly cheap.

Because all my builds, eventually, gravitate towards some defense, I eventually wind up picking up Combat Jumping. I thought it was on most characters but I didn’t realise it was on everyone.

Combat Jumping is a cousin power of Hover, and Hasten, the powers that open up the other travel powers. Hasten is also pretty ubiquitous but I don’t have it on everyone, just on most everyone. Hover, I have on a bunch of characters but I never turned it on – it just holds an invention set to give me some passive bonus, usually recharge. Hover, you see, is slow and crappy and I don’t like it.

Except that’s not true.

I had a PVP Online Comic to link here, but apparently all the archives of the 24-year-old webcomic are Patreon-only, so just pretend I did that and it was very relatable and funny. Anyway.

Hover used to be a really unpleasant power, where you moved very slowly; it was a flight you could use in combat, but you were expected to toggle it on to stay still and fight, then toggle over to fly to move quickly. This is a movement mode that sucks, and the Homecoming developers noticed it sucks, and they made a change to the travel pools to try and equalise their overall utility. This meant a lot of numbers got changed, and a new power got added that gave you more control while you were flying. It even changed maximum speeds for these things.

Now, a character who bothers to do even the mildest improvement to their fly speed can hover as fast as a sprinting character can run, and we even get to customise hover so it looks different and doesn’t stick you in the aloof drifting pose for fighting. These are all pretty remarkable things where my concerns about hover are all kind of just gone

… and now there’s this new power, available to most characters who want to use ranged attacks, that means their builds have an extra 2.5% defense (all) available and that’s the kind of change I’m normally looking at spending 6 slots on.

Is Hover going to be as ubiquitous as Combat Jumping? Nope! Combat Jumping hits the ground faster, and it’s more useful to anyone who fights in melee, since I don’t have to worry about other axes of attack. But every character who relies on just ranged attacks has to now look at a build and ask themselves why not use Hover, and there’s also the fact that it stacks with Combat Jumping, so some builds can want both.

On the other hand there are some builds that run both, and there are some builds that are desperate for power choices where losing Combat Jumping to replace it with Hover opens up a new power pool choice. Also, if Hover is as convenient as Combat Jumping, suddenly you can make builds that rely on never letting enemies get into melee range with you, and instead building a character for maximum ranged defense instead, which also serves to protect you from mezzes.

And again

I have like, sixty characters.

And this is the kind of change that involves a fundamental gameplay shift for characters I built based on expertise, expertise that had gone underexamined for a decade.


Was all this change in the most recent pages? The one that’s got big rules shifts that mean I have to rebuild a lot of characters? Goodness, no, this change is a year old. I just didn’t notice. Ultimately, what you’re seeing here is just a bunch of notes of me adjusting to a game mechanic change from where it had been ten years ago.

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