Author Topic: A Guide to Power Types & Terminology  (Read 11071 times)

Kaiser Tarantula

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A Guide to Power Types & Terminology
« on: December 31, 2012, 05:20:23 AM »
A Guide to Power Types & Terminology
Or the answer to "what the heck do you mean by 'Lunge'?"

In CO, there are numerous powers that share similar mechanics, and are often grouped together under certain terminology.  Since this terminology can sometimes be obtuse to former CoH players (I know it was for me at first), I've decided to compile a list of terms that might serve as a glossary of power types.  Where possible, I've included the name of the power type, a few notes as to what it generally does, and some examples.

Energy Builder: A feeble-yet-rapid attack that costs no energy, and in fact generates energy for use by your other powers.  Most are combo powers (see below), and many have a special effect that can occur on the first hit of their combo.  All heroes have at least one energy builder; it's mandatory.  Energy builders come in two flavors; melee and ranged.  A melee energy builder, when used at range, becomes a taunt that deals no damage, but still generates energy.
Examples: Ice Shards (Ice), Wield Earth (Earth), Steady Shot (Munitions)

Blast: A chargeable single-target ranged attack power that has double the range of most ranged attacks (100 feet instead of 50).  Many Blasts have a secondary status effect.  Charging up a blast increases both its damage and cost, and can also increase the proc chance of the secondary effect.
Examples: Infernal Blast (Infernal Supernatural), Ego Blast (Telepathy), Gust (Wind)

Burst: A ranged attack that explodes or bursts when it strikes the target, allowing it to affect several enemies in close proximity to one another.  Many can be charged up like a blast for greater damage at a greater cost.  Some have secondary effects beyond mere damage.
Examples: Telekinetic Burst (Telekinesis), Fire Ball (Fire), Rocket (Munitions)

Ranged Cone: A ranged attack that doesn't just fire straight forward - it instead fans out over an arc both vertically and horizontally, producing a cone shaped area of effect with the wide-end centered on the target, and the narrowest part at you.  As a result, at longer ranges, a cone can affect several enemies at once, while up close, it might only hit just the target.  Cones are often maintained powers; they fire continuously, dealing several hits, until they run out of meter.
Examples: Shadow Embrace (Darkness), Torrent of Arrows (Archery), Crushing Wave (Force)

Cylinder: Cylinder attacks are area-of-effect attacks that fire a wide beam that penetrates through the target, potentially hitting several enemies that are lined up.  Some particularly wide cylinders can hit enemies that are closely-packed side-by-side as well.
Examples: Force Cascade (Force), Gigabolt (Electricity), Chest Beam (Power Armor)

Cone Melee: AKA Sweep or Cleave.  A melee attack that forms a short, wide cone AoE.  These are specifically intended to hit several targets in close range, and so have very wide arcs.
Examples: Frenzy (Bestial Supernatural), Dragon Kick (Unarmed), Cleave (Heavy Weapon)

Cylinder Melee: AKA Skewer or Piercing Melee A very rare instance of a cylinder area on a melee power.  Again, these have very wide cylinders to compensate for their short range, allowing them to hit several opponents, both off to the side and lined up.
Examples: Gauntlet Chainsaw (Gadgeteering), Skullcrusher (Heavy Weapon), Skewer (Heavy Weapon)

Lunge: AKA Charge or Rush A melee attack that can be launched at range, moving you directly next to the target, if it's within range.  You deal damage on contact with the enemy, and may apply a secondary effect.  This secondary effect may get stronger, or be replaced with a more potent secondary effect, if you Lunge from a sufficient distance.
Examples: Mighty Leap (Might), Void Shift (Darkness), Pounce (Bestial Supernatural)

Combo: A click attack power that changes with each consecutive usage on a target.  Most Energy builders are combo powers that concentrate all of their damage and secondary effects in their first shot, with successive shots being weaker.  Other combo powers typically consist of 3-hit combos, with a secondary effect (or greater damage) attached to the third hit in the combo.
Examples: Defensive Combo (Might), Laser Sword (Power Armor), Blade Tempest (Dual Blades)

Ultimate Attack: Each general power family has one "ultimate" power, which is shared between all powersets in that family.  These ultimate attacks generally have long cooldowns (one or more minutes), and typically leverage mechanics common to powers in the family.
Examples: Unleashed Rage (Brick Family), Planar Fracture (Mystic Family), Mind Link (Mentalist Family), Fury of the Dragon (Martial Arts Family), Energy Storm (Energy Projector Family), Implosion Engine (Technology Family)

Active Defense: A power with a long cooldown that provides a short-lived but intense defensive boost to its user.  Generally used as last-ditch defensive measures for dealing with rough tanking situations.  Some Active Defenses inflict Breakfree damage, much like an Active Offense (see below) would.
Examples: Resurgence (Bestial Supernatural), Unbreakable (Power Armor), Field Surge (Force)

Active Offense: A power with a long cooldown that provides a substantial increase to your damage, as well as 'inflicting' breakfree damage: breakfree damage does not actually harm you, but it does count as taking damage for the purpose of breaking holds, roots, and other mez effects.  These are useful for those situations where an enemy has to die now, rather than later.  Many active offenses have secondary effects besides a damage boost.
Examples: Cold Sheathe (Ice), Aggressor (Might), Lock N Load (Munitions)

Slotted Passive: A power that's always on, but requires you to place it in your Passive Slot in order to function.  You can take multiple Slotted Passive powers, but you can only ever use one at a time.  Slotted Passives come in offensive, defensive, and supportive varieties, and some take advantage of stacking mechanics; they start off weak, but under certain circumstances they build up stacks of their individual buff, making them stronger over time as a battle rages.
Examples: Electric Form (Electricity), Id Mastery (Telekinesis), Seraphim (Celestial)

Toggle: AKA Form.  Toggle powers have to be charged up to activate them, but once active they operate continuously with no intervention on the player's behalf.  Toggles slightly reduce your energy generation in exchange for providing a potent offensive buff, usually using stack mechanics.  There is an exception, in that there is one powerset with a defensive toggle; Force.  You may take multiple Toggle powers, but may only have one running at a time.
Examples: Inertial Dampening Field (Force), Concentration (Shared among Technology powersets), Form of the Tempest (Dual Blades)

Innate Passive: AKA Energy Unlock.  A power that runs constantly once you take it, without needing to be placed into your passive slot.  These powers always provide energy under certain circumstances - what these circumstances are depends on the power in question.
Examples: Overdrive (Power Armor), Wind Reverberation (Wind), Spirit Reveberation (Darkness)

Summon: AKA Uncontrolled Pets.  Summon Powers require you to use them on a target.  The pets that spawn will attack that target relentlessly until it dies, their duration expires, or their master is defeated.  You have no control over these pets once they are summoned, and they vanish once they've either run out of time or defeated their target.
Examples: Summon Shadows (Darkness), Collective Will (Telepathy), Pyromancer's Blades (Primal Sorcery)

Controllable Pets: These powers create more-or-less permanent pets that fight by your side and can be given limited orders.  They can be given orders to follow you, go to a target location, and attack a target, and some have additional custom powers that can be activated on command.  Controllable Pets last until defeated or dismissed, although some are limited to operating within their summoning circle and cannot leave it for long.  These will dissipate if you get too far away, such as changing zones.
Examples: Tyrannon's Familiar (Sorcery sets), Attack Toys! (Gadgeteering), Arctic Beast (Ice)


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Re: A Guide to Power Types & Terminology
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 09:48:49 AM »
Good info Kaiser.

Thunder Glove

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Re: A Guide to Power Types & Terminology
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 12:45:06 PM »
There's a couple of attacks that aren't classified as Summons but still summon something to follow your opponent around and continually attack them for the power's duration, and will even switch targets if the first one dies before the duration expires.  For example: Dust Devil (Wind), Ball Lightning (Electricity), and Orbital Cannon with the Anvil of Dawn enhancement (Gadgeteering).

They're usually classified as Ranged Area attacks instead of Summons.

Kaiser Tarantula

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Re: A Guide to Power Types & Terminology
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 03:57:38 AM »
There's actually lots of attacks that are classified as something other than they actually are.  Most of the time, there's a reason for this, too.

For instance, Pillar of Poz (sorcery sets) is a close area attack.  It damages and knocks back anything that's next to you.  But the game classifies it as a ranged area attack.  Why?  Because being a ranged area attack lets it use Ego for its damage, instead of Strength.  Similarly, Sigils of the Primal Storm/Ebon Weakness/Arcane  Runes/Radiant Sanctuary are actually immobile, uncontrolled pets, yet the game considers them area attacks (yet they scale their damage based on your super stats and intelligence, since the game uses pet mechanics for them).

It's usually a good idea to take the game's classifications with a grain of salt at times.  They're usually pretty reliable, but not always.  Read your descriptions, and click open the advanced descriptions too for more info.

General Idiot

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Re: A Guide to Power Types & Terminology
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 04:17:56 AM »
A lot of sets have the close area/ranged area thing. The difference usually is that ranged pbaoes have a much wider radius, usually 25 ft compared to the 10-15 tops you get from a melee pbaoe. And, as said, they scale with ego rather than strength.

But yeah, I'd also recommend checking the advanced description for all your powers.