Building a Better Team Support Toon, Part 1

On City of Heroes, many people spend lots of time playing solo–running a few quick missions before work or school, or just taking some time to hunt for badges to unwind. This in itself calls for a very efficient damage-dealing type of character (“toon” in the game’s parlance); you must be able to deal with everything you come up against on your own, so there’s no room for useless powers in your build.

Building a Solo Character =/= Building a Teaming Character

However, this style of building toons does not always suit team play. In a team, there are other players to think of–you can’t just go charging in, aggravate all the bad guys in a room, and expect that everyone will survive. Neither can you be the sole damage-dealer for the whole team, when there are enough bad guys generated for up to 8 players in a team. This is just asking for trouble.

To play best in a team, you’ve got to be willing to support your teammates. This usually requires a mindset shift, as described above, but it also helps if you have the following powers, too:

Helpful Team-Support Powers for Every Toon

  • Recall Friend (from the Teleportation power pool): Enables me to get another player’s toon across a wide hero zone in seconds, or to pull them back to a safe area in a mission if they have been defeated. Efficient for helping lowbie toons without travel powers get around faster, or for moving large teams from mission to mission in quick succession.
  • Aid Other and Resuscitate (from the Medicine power pool): These are both healing powers–Aid Other gives some health back to a fellow player, and Resuscitate brings a character back from being defeated, with full health but no endurance. These two powers don’t always work (they require an Accuracy check), but they are great for when the main healer of the team has been defeated and we need healing NOW.

These powers are the most useful, and since they are available from power pools rather than primary or secondary power trees, any toon can choose them as one of their power picks when they level up or respec.

I generally take both Recall Friend and most of the Medicine pool with my ranged-damage toons, but I even build my close-combat toons with at least the healing powers (Recall Friend is better with toons who play more at range than close-combat, I’ve found). This might take away from my damage-dealers’ available attack powers or defensive powers, but I find that building my character this way helps my teams (which makes me feel useful and helpful, leading to happy Robin).

Don’t forget, though: when you play team support, this means you need to watch out for your team. Have your Team window open so you can monitor the health and endurance of your teammates without having to see them personally on your screen, and don’t run ahead of your team or lag behind. Match this conscientious playstyle with good team-support powers, and you’re on your way to helping whatever team you join!

We’ll cover specific team-friendly powersets in the next installment of “Building a Better Team Support Toon:” Part 2!

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