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Powers have many aspects, such as damage caused, accuracy, and endurance cost. Enhancements permanently improve one or more of those aspects. For example, for a typical ranged blast power, Enhancements can make it hit more frequently, cause more damage, reach farther, cost less endurance to use, or have a faster rate of fire. An Enhancement's type and level both affect how much benefit it gives to a power. Once an Enhancement is assigned to a power, it cannot be moved to a different power, although it can have its level increased or be replaced or removed entirely.

Enhancements can be bought from contacts and stores. They are also "dropped" randomly by defeated (non-player) enemies and are provided as rewards for some missions.

A common mistake made by new players is to refer to enhancements as enchantments, a carry-over from fantasy games.

Enhancement Types

There are three main types of Enhancements: Dual Origin, Single Origin and Invention Origin (abbreviated to DO, SO, and IO respectively). There are also several kinds of Special Enhancements, usually as rewards of a particularly difficult task set to players. Invention Origin and Special Enhancements are usable by any character. Dual-Origin and Single-Origin Enhancements are only usable by characters with an appropriate origin.

DOs and SOs improve only one particular aspect of a power. Special Enhancements improve multiple aspects. IOs may do either, or have a separate effect that affects the character in general, not the power they are slotted in.

Dual-Origin Enhancements

Dual-Origin Enhancements, often referred to as DOs, are half as powerful as Single-Origin, but much cheaper. DOs may only be used by a character whose origin matches one of the Enhancement's two. For example, a Natural/Magic DO is only usable by characters of a Natural or a Magical origin.

Dual-Origin Enhancements may be bought at origin-specific stores and NPCs in various zones and from individual contacts. They are available from stores and as drops at any level.

Each Origin only "crosses" with two others in Dual-Origin Enhancements. This may be relevant when deciding which stores to visit.

Character Origin Enhancement Types
Magic Magic/Mutation Magic/Natural
Mutation Mutation/Magic Mutation/Science
Natural Natural/Magic Natural/Technology
Science Science/Mutation Science/Technology
Technology Technology/Natural Technology/Science

Single-Origin Enhancements

Single-Origin Enhancements, often referred to as SOs, provide twice as much improvement as DOs.

Single-Origin enhancements may be bought at origin-specific stores and NPCs in various zones and from individual contacts. They are available from stores and as drops at any level. SOs are also sometimes provided as mission bonuses, and in the cases of Task Forces and Story Arcs, the player may even choose the aspect.

Most stores sell enhancements of all origins, but only display appropriate ones for your character. Unlocking Mr. Yin provides access to a limited selection of cheaper SO-strength enhancements.

Training Origin Enhancements

Training Origin Enhancements (TOs) are not normally found as of issue 27, but characters may still have them slotted or buy them from some vendors. They are half as strong as DOs; existing ones should be replaced if funds permit, and it is unlikely to be sensible to slot them rather than sell them.

Drop Rates

By origin

This section contains information that no longer applies to the current version of City of Heroes/Villains. TO/DO/SO drop rates changed in issue 27.

This table shows the exact chances that dropped Enhancements will be of a certain type, according to the patch notes for Issue 9. This is not the chance of getting an Enhancement as a reward for defeating an enemy.

Training Dual-Origin Single-Origin
1-12 100%    
13-21 50% 50%  
22-31   50% 50%
32-40   25% 75%
41-50     100%

By aspect

This table shows the relative chances of getting a specific type of enhancement (Accuracy, Damage, etc.) when you receive an enhancement drop. These rates apply to Dual and Single enhancement drops and the recipes from which common IOs are crafted.

Enhancement Drop Ratio Drop %
Endurance Discount 26 / 175 14.86%
Accuracy 20 / 175 11.43%
Damage 20 / 175 11.43%
Recharge 20 / 175 11.43%
Range 17 / 175 9.71%
Defense Buff 10 / 175 5.71%
Heal 10 / 175 5.71%
Resist Damage 10 / 175 5.71%
Fly 5 / 175 2.86%
Hold 5 / 175 2.86%
Immobilize 5 / 175 2.86%
Stun 5 / 175 2.86%
Run 3 / 175 1.71%
Sleep 3 / 175 1.71%
Slow 3 / 175 1.71%
ToHit DeBuff 3 / 175 1.71%
Knockback 2 / 175 1.14%
ToHit Buff 2 / 175 1.14%
Confuse 1 / 175 0.57%
Defense DeBuff 1 / 175 0.57%
Endurance Modification 1 / 175 0.57%
Fear 1 / 175 0.57%
Jump 1 / 175 0.57%
Taunt 1 / 175 0.57%

Special Enhancements

Main article: Special Enhancements

Special Enhancements are usable by all character archetypes and origins, but are only obtainable by completing some very difficult-to-accomplish tasks. Special Enhancements provide the same improvement as Single-Origin Enhancements, but to more than one aspect simultaneously. For example, a Special Enhancement may affect both the damage and accuracy of a power, whereas all other Enhancement types would affect either one or the other.

Currently, Special Enhancements include Hamidon Origin Enhancements, Crystal Titan Origin Enhancements, Hydra Origin Enhancements, D-Sync Origin Enhancements, and Talisman Enhancements.

Invention Origin Enhancements

Main article: Invention Origin Enhancements

Invention Origin Enhancements, often referred to as IOs, are usable by all character archetypes and origins, but must be crafted from recipes by using an Invention Worktable in a supergroup base or at a University. Invention Origin Enhancements only appear for level 10 and above.

Invention Origin Enhancements fall in to two categories: Standard (aka Common) Invention Origin Enhancements and Invention Origin Enhancement Sets. Both IO enhancement categories require three parts to create: a recipe, Invention Salvage and inf, and both can only be created at an invention worktable.

Both Invention Origin Enhancement categories always provide the same bonus to a power, regardless of character level - they never expire as a character advances in levels, and a lower level IO can still be slotted by a high level character. Generally though, the higher the level of the IO, the higher the benefit that it gives. A level 50 Invention Origin Enhancement provides approximately 27% more benefit compared to an even-level Single Origin Enhancement, and is less than 11% better than a +3-level SO. See also: Invention Origin Enhancement Scaling.

Standard Invention Origin Enhancements can be purchased (using inf) at a fixed cost, at any level, at an invention worktable, or if other players are selling them, through the Auction House . Standard IO Enhancements are only available at levels divisible by 5 (i.e. 10, 15, 20 etc). Standard IO Enhancements only ever improve one aspect of a power (much like a TO, DO or SO) and provide no other benefits apart from not expiring as the player levels.

Invention Origin Enhancement Sets (like Sting of the Manticore) are unable to be purchased dierectly with inf. They have to be earned, as either a dropped recipe from a defeated enemy, or completion of a mission, trial or task force. Both recipes and completed enhancements can, however, be auctioned through the Auction House, at a price to be determined by the seller. Recipes and certain archetype specific enhancements can also be purchased from a merit vendor using reward merits.

IO Enhancement sets are available at every level (i.e. not only those levels divisible by 5) and provide two further benefits to the player:

  • Firstly, not only do they give the standard bonuses to a power, many of them improve more than one aspect (like Range/Accuracy) which allows for more effective and diverse slotting options.
  • Secondly, IO sets also provide special effects when different members of the same set are slotted in the same power. You cannot put multiple identical IO set Enhancements into the same single power, but you may put multiple identical IO set Enhancements into different powers.

Slotting and Stacking

A power can only have as many Enhancements as it has slots. Every power begins with one slot. As a character increases in level, they receive additional slots which they can distribute however they choose among their powers, with the only limit being that no power can have more than six slots. Thus, each power may potentially be enhanced up to six times.

Each character also has an inventory tray that can hold up to seventy spare Enhancements. As there is limited room to display slots, each set of ten slots are placed in tabs.

Once a slot is assigned to a power, it is permanent. Once an Enhancement is put into a slot, it may not be reallocated to another slot or removed, although it can be destroyed, replaced with a different Enhancement (which also destroys the old one), or combined with a similar Enhancement to increase its level (more on that later). A player can use a power respecification to overcome these restrictions by completely rebuilding her character from level 1, but this is an all-or-nothing process, requiring every power and every slot to be re-chosen.

Enhancements may be stacked, or have multiple copies slotted within the same power, to provide larger bonuses to the aspects they enhance. The improvement that comes from stacking Enhancements is normally cumulative. However, when the total improvement becomes high enough, it is subject to Enhancement Diversification, which imposes diminishing returns. Typically, ED discourages you from putting more than 3 of the same aspect SO in a power.

To see when characters open up new enhancement slots, see the Leveling Chart.

Enhancement Levels

Every Enhancement has a level. All Enhancements (except Invention Origin Enhancements) must be within three levels of a character for the effect to be applied. For example, a level 12 character may use Enhancements that are level 9 through level 15. Enhancements that are slightly above or below the character's level provide slightly stronger or weaker benefits, respectively. Invention Origin Enhancements work slightly differently, providing a constant benefit if slotted, regardless of level.

  • Enhancements 4 or more levels above the character display their level in red. They cannot be inserted into slots. This includes Invention Origin Enhancements.
  • Enhancements from 1-3 levels above the character display their level in green. They provide an extra 5% of their usual benefits for each level above the character's. (That's “5% of the bonus”, not “another +5%”. For example, if an even-level SO gives a benefit of +20%, then a +1-level SO would give a benefit of +21%, not +25%.)
  • Enhancements equal to the character's level display their level in white. They provide their usual benefits.
  • Enhancements from 1-3 levels below the character display their level in yellow. They provide 10% less of their usual benefits for each level below the character's.
  • Enhancements 4 or more levels below the character display their level in red. They cannot be inserted into slots. Enhancements that are already in slots but become obsolete due to the character gaining levels stay in their slots but provide no benefits. Enhancements that are already slotted may be combined with equivalent appropriate-level Enhancements to provide an improvement, although at a low chance of success.

In the example image above, the effective level of the first accuracy Enhancement is equal to the character's level, 27. The effective level of the second, 26, is below the character's level. The effective level of the third and fourth Enhancements, 28, is above the character's level.

Combining Enhancements

Dual and Single Origin enhancements may be combined, which makes two of one type of Enhancement into one slightly higher-level one. Combining allows old Enhancements to be upgraded at a lower cost than buying new ones. It also allows a character to have Enhancements of a level not sold in stores or otherwise easily obtained. Combined enhancements can not be sold in the Auction House.

Enhancements may only be combined if:

  • They are the same type (both DO, or both SO).
  • They enhance the same aspect (or full set of aspects).
  • They both match the character's origin. Two DOs can combine as long as they both share an origin with the character, even if they don't have the same two origins as each other.
  • The higher of the two Enhancements is at most 2 levels above the character. If both Enhancements are the same level, they must both meet this requirement.

The most often-used method of combining involves one Enhancement already in a power and one in the inventory tray. It is also possible to combine two Enhancements that are already in the same power. A successful combination destroys the lower-level Enhancement, increases the level of the higher one by 1, and puts that upgraded Enhancement into the power.

Combining doesn't always work. Success or failure depends on how different the Enhancements' levels are from each other. Equal levels are guaranteed to combine. Every level between the two Enhancements adds a 5% chance of failure. A failed combine destroys the lower-level Enhancement and puts the higher one into the power without increasing its level. (Note that when combining from the tray, if the tray Enhancement is higher than the one in the power, a failure still replaces the low with the high, which is still an improvement.)

Upgrading Enhancements

The enhancement management screen has an "Upgrade" button. This replaces every SO the character has slotted with one of the maximum level the character can slot. The player is shown the cost and may approve or decline the purchase. This can be expensive, but is quick and easy if funds permit.

Enhancement Aspects and Schedules

Currently, there are 26 Enhancement aspects:

  • Accuracy
  • Confusion
  • Damage
  • Defense Buff
  • Defense Debuff
  • Endurance Modification
  • Endurance Reduction
  • Fear
  • Fly
  • Healing
  • Hold Duration
  • Immobilization Duration
  • Interrupt Time (or Activation Acceleration)
  • Jumping
  • Knockback Distance
  • Range Increase
  • Recharge Time
  • Resist Damage
  • Run Speed
  • Sleep
  • Slow (or Snare)
  • Stun
  • Taunt
  • To Hit Buff
  • To Hit Debuff

These aspects don't all receive the same benefit from Enhancements. Some get more boost than others. Aspects fit into four general categories, called schedules, according to how much benefit they get.

Schedule A

  • Accuracy, Confusion, Damage, Defense Debuff, Endurance Modification, Endurance Reduction, Fear, Fly, Healing, Hold Duration, Immobilization Duration, Jumping, Recharge Time, Run Speed, Sleep, Slow, Stun, Taunt

Aspects in the Schedule A category are enhanced by 33.33% when slotted with a Single-Origin Enhancement of equal level to the character, 16.66% when slotted with a Dual-Origin Enhancement of equal level as the character, and 8.35% when slotted with a Training Enhancement of equal level as the character:

Training Dual-Origin Single-Origin
and Special
–3 5.845 11.662 23.331
–2 6.680 13.328 26.664
–1 7.515 14.994 29.997
  0 8.350 16.660 33.330
+1 8.768 17.493 34.997
+2 9.185 18.326 36.663
+3 9.603 19.159 38.330

Schedule B

  • Defense Buff, Range Increase, Resist Damage, To Hit Buff, To Hit Debuff

Aspects in the Schedule B category are enhanced by 20% when slotted with a Single-Origin Enhancement of equal level to the character, 10% when slotted with a Dual-Origin Enhancement of equal level as the character, and 5% when slotted with a Training Enhancement of equal level as the character:

Training Dual-Origin Single-Origin
and Special
–3 3.50 7.0 14
–2 4.00 8.0 16
–1 4.50 9.0 18
  0 5.00 10.0 20
+1 5.25 10.5 21
+2 5.50 11.0 22
+3 5.75 11.5 23

Schedule C

  • Interrupt Time

Aspects in the Schedule C category are enhanced by 40% when slotted with a Single-Origin Enhancement of equal level to the character, 20% when slotted with a Dual-Origin Enhancement of equal level as the character, and 10% when slotted with a Training Enhancement of equal level as the character:

Training Dual-Origin Single-Origin
and Special
–3 7.0 14 28
–2 8.0 16 32
–1 9.0 18 36
  0 10.0 20 40
+1 10.5 21 42
+2 11.0 22 44
+3 11.5 23 46

Schedule D

  • Knockback Distance

Aspects in the Schedule D category are enhanced by 60% when slotted with a Single-Origin Enhancement of equal level to the character, 30% when slotted with a Dual-Origin Enhancement of equal level as the character, and 15% when slotted with a Training Enhancement of equal level as the character:

Training Dual-Origin Single-Origin
and Special
–3 10.50 21.0 42
–2 12.00 24.0 48
–1 13.50 27.0 54
  0 15.00 30.0 60
+1 15.75 31.5 63
+2 16.50 33.0 66
+3 17.25 34.5 69

Retired Aspects

This section contains information that no longer applies to the current version of City of Heroes/Villains. It is provided for historical purposes.

There are several Enhancement aspects that have been retired and combined into new ones. The currently known ones are:

  • Cone Range, which was incorporated into the Range aspect;
  • Endurance Drain, and
  • Endurance Recovery, which were merged into the Endurance Modification aspect;
  • Team Defense, and
  • Self Defense, which were merged into the Defense Buff aspect

Relative Enhancement Values

Effectiveness (%) Enhancement
11.66 -3 DO
11.70 Level 10 IO
13.33 -2 DO
14.63 Level 10 Dual Set IO
14.99 -1 DO
16.66 +0 DO
17.49 +1 DO
17.55 Level 10 Triple Set IO
18.33 +2 DO
18.8 Level 12 Dual Set IO
19.16 +3 DO
19.20 Level 15 IO
20.0 Level 11 Triple Set IO
20.9 Level 13 Dual Set IO
23.33 -3 SO
24.00 Level 15 Dual Set IO
25.60 Level 20 IO
26.66 -2 SO
28.80 Level 15 Triple Set IO
30.00 -1 SO
32.00 Level 20 Dual Set IO
32.00 Level 25 IO
32.7 Level 17 Triple Set IO
33.33 +0 SO
33.6 Level 21 Dual Set IO
34.7 Level 18 Triple Set IO
34.80 Level 30 IO
35.00 +1 SO
36.66 +2 SO
36.70 Level 35 IO
38.33 +3 SO
38.40 Level 20 Triple Set IO
38.4 Level 24 Dual Set IO
38.60 Level 40 IO
40.00 Level 25 Dual Set IO
40.50 Level 45 IO
42.40 Level 50 IO
43.50 Level 30 Dual Set IO
45.88 Level 35 Dual Set IO
48.00 Level 25 Triple Set IO
48.25 Level 40 Dual Set IO
50.63 Level 45 Dual Set IO
52.20 Level 30 Triple Set IO
53.00 Level 50 Dual Set IO
53.00 Superior Single Set IO
55.05 Level 35 Triple Set IO
57.90 Level 40 Triple Set IO
60.75 Level 45 Triple Set IO
63.60 Level 50 Triple Set IO
66.20 Superior Dual Set IO
66.66 +0 Dual HO
79.50 Superior Triple Set IO
99.99 +0 Triple HO

The following is a table of a combination of Dual Origin, Single Origin, Common Invention Origin, Hamidon (and Synthetic Hamidon) Origin, and a selection of Invention Set Enhancements, in order of enhancement effectiveness. It shows the relative value of all of these enhancements combined into one table. Naturally, this does not take into account the power it is being slotted into. An EndMod/Accuracy Set Enhancement will only be using half of its value in an auto-hit power, for instance. Likewise it does not take into account the relative usefulness of the effect being enhanced. A Centriole HO for instance would appear to be highly ranked, however because it enhances Range, it is generally not considered one of the best enhancements available. Nevertheless this table shows that SO level performance is possible as early as level 18 by slotting level 21 dual set enhancements or level 14 by slotting level 17 triple set enhancements.

The table assumes Schedule A Enhancements; however, the ordering would not change for other Schedules. The highlighted numbers represent traditional "signposts" of effectiveness. Before I9, an even-level SO was considered acceptable performance, while a +3 SO was considered ideal. When you hit level 47, you could begin to slot HOs, which represented the maximum effectiveness available before inventions. Very few powers can actually use all three enhanceable effects of triple HOs, but in theory they still represents the maximum possible effectiveness.

This list does not attempt to list every enhancement in the game. The omissions are quad set IOs, non even-level HOs, Hydra and Crystal "HO"s, and many possible levels of invention set enhancements. It is not intended to be comprehensive.


Enhancement Modification

Enhancements can be modified in several different ways.

See Also