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How IOs Affect CoH/V Guides

It used to be that you could make enhancement recommendations based on the number and type of enhancement. Now that there's hundreds of kinds with varying strength, that's no longer possible. Now build recommendations have to look a little different.

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Why Set IOs Kick Even More Butt

Last Modified: August 7, 2010

The following are advantages to SET IOs only

Set IOs are the IOs that come in sets of 4 to 6 enhancements in a series. For a description of all the sets and what they do, use Paragon Wiki (an excellent resource for basic CoH/V information).

Note that all my calculations below are for level 50+ IOs because it makes the calculations simpler to understand when comparing against SOs.

They're Stronger

Take this slotting with SOs as an example:

City of Heroes: accuracy enhancementCity of Heroes: damage enhancement

Here you have a fairly basic enhancement combo to some attack. Improve a little accuracy and then add damage. But what if you add these instead:

Detonation Accuracy/Damage – Gives 26.5% bonus to accuracy AND damage (at level 50).
Air Burst Accuracy/Damage – Gives 26.5% bonus to accuracy AND damage (at level 50).

First, notice that the TOTAL amount of enhancement that you're getting is not 42.4 percent, but 53%! Taken together, using only TWO slots, you get a total of 53% bonus to accuracy and 53% bonus to damage. Compare that to 33% damage and 33% accuracy from two SOs and there's no contest at all.

They Save Slots

Now let's say you wanted to max out both accuracy and damage with SOs. That would take a slotting like this (all screenshots taken from Mid's):

Using only SOs to max out a power

Keep in mind that these slotting examples are for level 50 enhancements, but the principle still holds true at any level

Save One

Instead, replace the SOs with stronger IOs and replace the last two with a single "Accuracy/Damage" IO from any set (whichever is cheapest and easiest to get that still gives decent percentage bonus). Now you actually get MORE total damage and accuracy AND save a valuable slot for use in another power.

Using IOs to save a slot

Save Two

Or, if you can stand to lose a little off your total percentage, use straight IOs to save TWO slots. Ok sure, this seems to make you weaker, but remember set bonuses. 10% damage is hard, but 10% accuracy is pretty easy.

Using IOs to save two slots

Save Three

Lastly, to save three slots, use the "Accuracy/Damage" IOs from every set available and get something like this:

Using straight Set IOs for even more slot savings.

Tougher to pull off, but HUGE slot savings
If you're wondering why you couldn't just put in three of the "Air Burst Accuracy/Damage" enhancements (since Air Burst is fairly common and easy to get, why not use all of that one instead?). It's because you can't. I wish you could, but you can't put two of the same exact IO in one power. Take note.

Using this trick only works when there's enough set options for a power that you can do this without having to go for really rare and ultra rare Set IOs.

Set Bonuses

IO Sets are sets of enhancements with the same name, but that give different bonuses. For example, the previously mentioned "Air Burst" set has the following types of enhancements:

Damage/Endurance Reduction
Damage/Recharge Reduction

Now let's say you get Accuracy/Damage and Damage/Recharge. That gives:

+26.5% Accuracy, + 53% Damage, and +26.5% Recharge but because you have 2 of the Air Burst set, you get the level 2 set bonus. The set bonuses for Air Burst are as follows:

  • Two enhancements from the set in one power: improves the Knockback of all your powers by 2.0%.
  • Three enhancements from the set in one power: increases maximum Health by 0.75%.
  • Four enhancements from the set in one power: increases Smashing and Lethal Resistance by 0.63%.

This is a great way to overcome weaknesses in certain builds. For example, a Stone tank runs very slow when their best shield is active, but that can be greatly overcome with combinations of set run bonuses.

Keep in mind that you can only get the same bonus 5 times. That means that if you've already slotted five powers with sets that give a 2% bonus to over-all damage, a sixth is a waste. However, you can get more if they are a different amount (like 3% damage bonus).

Character Differentiation

Technically, this is an extension of the Set Bonus point, but it's important enough to have it's own section.

Using set bonuses can make your MA/SR Scrapper totally different than someone else's.

Using set bonuses you can get extreme bonuses to health regeneration, endurance recovery, accuracy etc. Maybe on your Defender, you find every possible bonus for health while I find all the ones for increased damage. Now, even if we have the exact same build, our effectiveness can be VERY different.

Unique Powers

There are special unique IOs that you can only have one of at a time (not per power, per character). They give special powers or effects like permenant stealth or resistance. This is too big a topic to cover here especially when others have done a plenty good job already so check Paragon Wiki for a list of all Unique IOs and what they do.

But as an example, I originally took Super Speed on my defender ONLY because I wanted full stealth when SS combined with Shadow Fall. Now that I can use the Stealth IOs, I was able to drop Super Speed and it's prerequisite power and fill those spaces with other powers from my Primary and Secondary instead!

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