Build Philosophy and Implementation

There are several continuing trends with the builds of all of my characters.  First and foremost is the taking of the Fitness Pool.  I do not have and never will have a character that does not have that pool and does not have 3 of the 4 powers.  I consider them non-negotiable.  Depending on the travel power taken I will decide weather I take Swift or Hurdle.  I take Hurdle if I have Super Speed otherwise I take Swift.  Stamina is ALWAYS three slotted.  I cannot fathom how people can operate that way, especially when they know they are burning off endurance and decide to slot endurance reducers in their powers.  Why waste a slot doing that when Stamina gets it done for you.  Next is the fact that on the majority of my toons I have Hasten.  I consider it pretty much as indispensable as the Fitness Pool because faster recharge means faster attacks and that means longer survival and more fighting fun.  I have a few toons that don't have it because of either thematic purposes or some other inherent power that accelerates their recharge.  The majority of my characters have flight.  I used to love Super Speed because it got you there the fastest without having to add slots beyond the initial one.  But once they added suppression I was a little salty.  Plus after all of these years, I am not worried about getting somewhere THAT fast.  And besides, you get to see the city from a whole different angle.  The Leadership Pool is on most of my toons, especially any that have a support role.  Defenders, Controllers, Masterminds, Corruptors, Dominators its automatic for me, and most will have 2 of the 4 (I never take Vengeance and only take Maneuvers when I have other +Defense powers as well).  A few Blasters will have it but generally only Assault even though the buff is small.  I DON'T put it on my Tankers, Brutes, Stalkers and Scrappers.  Melee types will always be outfitted with the Fighting Pool for the defense and damage resistance . . . say what you will, it makes a difference in the end game.

Power Pools I use rarely . . . Concealment, especially since they fucked up Phase Shift.  Teleport is taken either for thematic purposes or on Healers for medivac purposes.  It is a neat but ungainly travel power.  I have never ever used the Presence Pool, why would I need a taunt, I get it on Tanks, Brutes and Scrappers and the last thing my squishies want is aggro.  And I don't want to take two powers from a set just to get a low powered AoE fear.  Single target fear, I can blast them faster than that, even with a Defender.  Medicine gets a lot of talk but with only a few exceptions I see not use for it (pet AT's I sometimes take it.)

Other than that there are a couple of individual powers within pools that I have never and will never use.  Whirlwind, Air Superiority, Vengeance, Jump Kick, Group Anything (Fly, Teleport).  I am not saying what is good or bad, I am talking about my design philosophy.  I try to avoid selecting any power or pool that provides me only occasional use.  I also have a hard time swallowing taking two crap powers for one good power.  When Whirlwind allowed you to bypass rooting as a Blaster shooting, it was powerful, but that was fixed.  How often are you really facing fliers in game?  Seven of the 10 AT's in the game have ranged attacks before the level 41 Ancillary range.  Vengeance is a team buff when you die.  So solo it is useless and you have to die to buff.  Jump Kick . . . horrid activation time for mediocre result.  And Group travel powers, most people hate you for using Group Fly on them.

One other thing you may notice . . . I have no Kheldins.  You are correct.  I despise them.  I hate their implementation into the CoX story continuum.  From the story I hate that the Nictus and the lame assed Council took over the 5th Column and therefore took away one of the classic foes for heroes to fight.  From a story standpoint, why would a city (and planet) that is still recovering from being invaded and nearly destroyed by ALIEN Rikti embrace or even tolerate an alien species like the Kheldin.  The mistrust they would have coupled with the fact that these same Aliens are evil by and large (except the reformed few) would in reality have the city and Supergroups supporting and endorsing the Void Hunters.  I have no patience in a team for a toon that runs at the sight of a Nictus anything and demanding that I target it first.  I am tired of getting popped by Shadow Cyst's left around due to Kheldin taint.  Yes I know a lot of people enjoy playing them and I do not begrudge them that, but I do not like them and will never play one.

High Beam

The build schema for High Beam has changed numerous times since she was created.  In fact she has been Respec'd 8 times since she was created, the most for any character I have played consistently.  The main reason for this was the changing nature of my needs for her.  At first there were no "planners" for CoH so you had to do it on your own.  I am in the Blaster camp that they should always maintain range between themselves and their enemies.  I despise Blappers (Blasters who Scrap) because I consider them team risks who ultimately faceplant and usually get others killed as well.  My builds have little of no melee based powers.  Beam is the only character I wish I could respec my secondary too.  I took Ice because I wanted to be different back then, but I rarely use any of my ice powers other than Build Up.

Fitness/Speed/Flight - This has for the most part been her pool baseline.  I have respec'd while sticking with these.  Once was due to that disaster called Enhancement Diversification.  Another was to realign some power pick orders to better support exemping.

Fitness/Speed/Flight/Concealment - This was primarily for the Super Speed + Stealth combo in order to center up in a mob and Nova their asses.  Phase Shift was also nice before they screwed with it giving it a 30 second timer.  I ultimately rolled out of it because I used PS so rarely and I could definitely Nova people without SS + Stealth.

Fitness/Speed/Flight/Medicine - This was because I wanted to earn the badges for healing.  This build was short-lived because I believed (wrongly) that I would be able to live without those badges.  Sad part was I later burned another respec to get that pool back to again try and get the heal badges.  Of course when I learned how to get them in the arena, I respec'd out of Medicine again.

Fitness/Speed/Fighting/Leaping - Wow!  What the hell was I thinking.  I was tired of getting my ass beaten and mezzed so I foolishly made this build.  And even though I saw that I had become a toggle Blaster and was chewing through endurance like crazy, I did it.  This build did not last long.

Fitness/Speed/Flight/Leadership - This is her current baseline and by this time I have realized that there really is no fine tuning that I can do any more with her.  She is at the peak of my ability to play her.  Also, I do not play her often so it really doesn't matter.  I took Leadership for Assault to add a small amount of damage back to my toon that was taken from me by Enhancement Diversification.

Most recently she was respec'd to factor in all of the changes due to slotting Set Invention Origin Enhancements as part of the newly released Invention System (Issue 9).  I am very pleased as it stands, though due to some planning mistakes on my part, I know I will burn another respec to put a few things in that I missed.

Highland Hammer

Hammer has been respec'd very few times, three times in fact.  Once was simply to realign power picks.  Enhancement Diversification ruined the enjoyment I got playing this character and I have played her very rarely since.  Pretty sad.  As a Tanker, the build stayed consistent for the most part and because she ran up to 50 so fast, I didn't have a lot of time to ponder modifying her build.  She killed quick enough for me and I didn't die that much so I considered her optimized.  Min/Maxers might think differently, but I am not one of them.

Fitness/Leaping/Speed - Back before ED, I was pretty much exactly what the power set said I was supposed to be . . . Invulnerable.  However ED fucked that up.  This was what I used pre-ED.

Fitness/Leaping/Fighting - This was after ED.  I had to add the Fighting toggles to try and get back some of my resistance.  Against smashing or lethal I am back to my pre-ED levels, but I get murdered by fire.

Currently, based on my build planner, I can see some streamlining of this toon to restore some of her combat survivability and most importantly slow down the insane endurance burn she incurs.  Of course that will involve collecting a lot of set pieces and right now, that isn't going to happen because I just don't have the in game cash to spend yet (Beam took it all).

Siberian Shield

This toon has been respec'd a couple of times.  The finite details of them are lost to me but generally revolved around having (or not having) the Medicine pool to heal my little Jack Frost pet.  Being the third character I was running up to 50, I pretty much knew what to do, what to take and how to slot.  Plus by this time I was skilled at researching builds, where to get advice and how I was going to play her.  For the most part her build has never failed to satisfy me.  Issue 9 and inventions really don't factor very much for her and I only see a few minor slotting alterations happening.

Eternal Amazon

Now this is a streamlined character.  I have used 1 Respec on this character, and that was because of Enhancement Diversification.  probably the most perfect build I have ever played.  Having looked at the invention sets, there is very little I can do with her to improve her any further so I doubt I will be respecing her ever again unless the devs screw something major up.


Well this character is a classic example of respecing based on the points in the game that you reach.  Her AT is not conducive to solo work until around level 30.  Empathy is a very team oriented Primary set for Defenders, so until she hit 30, her build was designed around team support.  She literally only had one attack (not counting brawl).  From 30 to 40 she could solo pretty well with an acceptable amount of damage.  Once she hit 41 and got her Ancillary set the whole deal changed.  She moved to a more control oriented style and became a pretty good wrecking machine.

Low Beam

Though I am wary to say it, this character has perfect the most perfect build I have ever made.  I have not used any Respec on her . . . ever.  Unfortunately I hate Speed Boost.  Yes I know it's useful but I do not consider Low Beam to be a buff machine.  To me a Corruptors primary function is Blasting and that is what she is build around.  People who expect me to be nothing but their Speed Boost bitch are in for a rude awakening.  I took it but I am going to get rid of it when I burn a Respec off to do Set IO Slotting.

Munitions Mistress

Well this one has been respec'd a lot considering she is not level 50 yet.  I originally had Flight in her build but made the decision that she would depend singularly on the Flight and Jump Pack Temporary powers from Mayhem missions.  This freed up two power choices.  I have also used a Respec to add concealment to her build and realign the choosing of a few powers.  Unfortunately the devs didn't like people doing things like that so I was no longer able to recycle those missions and had to get the flight set back in the build.  The future looks pretty neat though with the addition of the Invention sets.

Street Wise

Even though in his mid-thirties I have had to Respec once but it was really just to realign some power selection order issues.  The build looks good to go.  The Thugs Mastermind set is by far my favorite of the MM sets and I am just floored by the power of Poison in conjunction with them.  The boys are simply devastating.  Plus they look cool.  Triple stacked Leadership buffs are amazing.


Considering my position regarding the second Freedom Account I would normally not pay much attention to them, but I like this character a lot and have actually used a respec once to replace Wormhole because I just never used it.  A respec may happen if I decide that the selected Ancillary set doesn't work out.

Sister Celcius

I have seen no reason so far that would facilitate having to respec her.  We shall see as she moves up in levels.  Damage is a little soft but there really isn't much I can do about that.  It should improve when I get my pet.


Fairly new to play so I haven't used any respecs on her.  However I do not foresee her build changing radically, if at all.

Kelli Katana

It seems that Scrappers are pretty clean to build across the board because I do not foresee having to respec this character either.  Eventually, and that is a long time down the road, I will realign her to factor in Set IO's.

Tesla Soldier

I have respec'd this characters build once to integrate Hasten into his mix.  Electric seems pretty cut and dry and I am not looking for the character to be a battery drainer so the slotting is pretty standard.

Fallen Geisha

A new character that looks like I will have no trouble with.

Madame Mirage

Another new character and this one also looks to have a clean build so far.

Agent Oktober

Yet again another new alt.

Eternal Assassin

So far there are no identified problems.

Cortex Crusher

I respec'd this toon once already to better line him up for his function as a deceiver.  I also added Concealment Pool to the mix.

Longbow Talon

I can see having to respec this character at least once but currently she is too low to worry about it.


Technically I have yet to burn a respec on this guy, but in fact since he was a hero . . . anyway, I know I will be using a respec later in the game to tune the armor builds.

Siren of Storms

At level 5 I haven't even though about it.