A Task Force is a large-scale story arc in City of Heroes. Task forces are equivalent to Strike Forces in City of Villains.
Task forces are similar to Story Arcs in that they are a set of missions that tell a story. Task forces are started by talking to a task force contact, which is typically a signature hero. Unlike story arcs, task force contacts cannot be outleveled. Task forces can be started at any time, provided a team meets the task force's requirements, and characters may run them more than once.
Each task force has a minimum level requirement that must be met before the task force can be started. Each task force also has a maximum level associated with it; team members who exceed the maximum automatically exemplar down. There is no minimum team size for task forces, but for many of them, a solo player will struggle.
While running a task force, none of the team's other missions are available to them, and normal contacts won't interact with the player. This also means that stores who are contacts (such as Ghost Falcon or Serafina, for example) are unavailable for purchasing Enhancements during a task force. Arena stores, Pocket D, Wentworth's, and Ouroboros are still accessible to purchase (often much needed) inspirations. Once the task force has formed, you must continue to run the task force until you finish it or drop from it. Task force missions can be run over several play sessions; the game allows you to log out without dropping from the task force.
As of 2008-03-05 Task Forces will always spawn according to the number of members associated with the team, no matter if they are online or not. If 4 people start the Synapse Task Force, and one logs out, the groups will still spawn as if there were 4 people on the team. If the person instead quits the task force, then the spawns will scale for 3 people.
Task Forces by Level
On a "signature" Task Force, enemies will spawn based on the task force's maximum level (and the leader's notoriety setting) regardless of the team's composition. Therefore, signature Task Forces are usually done by characters at or above the top of the level range. The majority of Task Forces are "signature".
A non-signature Task Force spawns according to the highest level person on the team (and the leader's notoriety setting). These include Moonfire, Hess, Imperious, and all four of the Shadow Shard task forces.
In the table below, signature Task Forces are in bold, while non-signature Task Forces are in italics.
|Task Force Name||Contact||Suggested
|The Rule of Three||Positron||3||8 to 15||11||6||Accolade requirement for Positron's Ally and Task Force Commander.|
|Dam Heroes||Positron||3||11 to 16||15||7||Accolade requirement for Positron's Ally and Task Force Commander.|
|The Fall of the Clockwork King||Synapse||4||15 to 20||58||15||Accolade requirement for Task Force Commander.|
|A Clamor for the People||Penelope Yin||5||20 to 25||20||4||Accolade requirement for Task Force Commander, considered the fastest TF within the game.|
|The Sky is Falling||Admiral Sutter||4||20 to 40||22||3||Introduced as a bridge to Praetorian content.|
|The Kheldian War||Moonfire||6||23 to 28||32||11||Takes place in Striga Isle.|
|Citadel's Children||Citadel||6||25 to 30||40||11||Accolade requirement for Task Force Commander.|
|The MegaMech Cometh||Ernesto Hess||6||25 to 30||19||9||Takes place in Striga Isle.|
|Smoke and Mirrors||Twilight's Son||1||25 to 34||3||4||Takes place in Ouroboros.|
|A Tangled Plot||Katie Hannon||6||30 to 34||26||4||Takes place in Croatoa. Accolade requirement for Geas of the Kind Ones.|
|Following Countess Crey||Manticore||7||30 to 35||32||10||Accolade requirement for Task Force Commander.|
|The 5th Column Overthrow||Mender Lazarus||1||30 to 39||6||4||Takes place in Ouroboros.|
|Soul of the Woodsman||Numina||4||35 to 40||36||21||16 missions are hunting for "X of Y faction" in different zones. Accolade requirement for Task Force Commander.|
|Time's Arrow||Imperious||6||35 to 50||26 †||3||Takes place in Cimerora. Heroes and Villains can team up with each other. Has access to Advanced Difficulty settings, which grant bonus rewards including Prismatic Aether Particles.|
|Explorers and Exploiters||Dr. Quaterfield||8||40 to 45||122||24||Majority of TF takes place in the Shadow Shard. Considered the longest TF in the game.|
|The Legend of Ruladak||Sara Moore||8||40 to 50||63||15||Majority of TF takes place in the Shadow Shard.|
|The Saga of Faathim||Justin Augustine||8||44 to 50||42||16||Majority of TF takes place in the Shadow Shard. (10 of these missions are easy "travel to" missions)|
|The Saga of Lanaru||Faathim the Kind||8||44 to 50||73||22||Majority of TF takes place in the Shadow Shard.|
|Ms. Liberty Task Force||Ms. Liberty||8||45 to 50||38 †||5||Reward table choice includes random Synthetic Hamidon Enhancement, considered to be the hardest TF in the game. Replaced the Statesman Task Force.|
|The Lady Grey Task Force||The Lady Grey||8||45 to 50||37 †||5||Takes place in Rikti War Zone. Heroes and Villains can team up with each other.|
|Return of the Reichsman||Dr. Kahn||4||45 to 50||20 †||5||Most of the missions are accessed via the Train.|
|Trading Places||Mender Silos||1||46 to 50||14||5||Takes place in Ouroboros.|
|Alpha Strike||Apex||8||50||40||2||Mission entrances are all located in the Rikti War Zone. Heroes and Villains can team up with each other.|
|The Praetorian Offensive||Tin Mage Mark II||8||50||40||3||Mission entrances are all located in the Rikti War Zone. Heroes and Villains can team up with each other.|
† Merits only received if the Incarnate Component is not available and selected.
Task Forces only available through Ouroboros:
|Task Force Name||Contact||Suggested
|A Mind in Danger||Calvin Scott||6||30 to 35||10||12||Removed when Sister Psyche's consciousness was separated from Aurora Borealis' in Issue 4. Made available through Ouroboros in Issue 19.|
|The Rule of the Three||Positron||3||10 to 15||66||17||Replaced by the new two-part Positron Task Force in Issue 17. Available as an ordinary story arc through Ouroboros with smaller merit reward.|
|Clamor and Destruction||Sister Psyche||5||20 to 25||50||14||Replaced by the Penelope Yin Task Force in Issue 23. Available as a Flashback task force through Ouroboros. Accolade requirement for Task Force Commander.|
Task forces typically have badges associated with them and often have unique mobs.
- Completion of the Ms. Liberty Task Force with the above requirements will reward the team members with the Master of Ms. Liberty's Task Force Badge.
- Completion of the Imperious Task Force with the above requirements will reward the team members with the Master of the Imperious Task Force Badge.
- Completion of the Dr. Kahn Task Force with the above requirements will reward the team members with the Master of the 5th Column Task Force Badge.
- Completion of the Lady Grey Task Force with the above requirements will reward the team members with the Master of Lady Grey's Task Force Badge.
Earn all of the optional badges in the Incarnate Strike Forces.
- Earning the Drone Protector, Burden Bearer/Arm's Length, and Already Dead badges in the Apex Task Force awards characters with the Master of Apex's Task Force badge.
- Earning the Hacker, Midnight Dodger What Dodges At Midnight, Kitty's Got Claws, and Army of Neu badges in the Tin Mage Mark II Task Force awards characters with the Master of Tin Mage's Task Force badge.
- Defeating of the Aereus Colossi encounter in the third mission of the Imperious Task Force - accessible only in Advanced Difficulty modes, awards the Freezer Burn badge.
Each Task Force has a different reward amount assigned to it, based on datamined time required to complete it.
After claiming Merit Rewards from a Task Force, a player will receive half the amount of merits they gained the previous time for that same Task Force each time it is completed within the next 18 hours, to a minimum of 1 merit. Players can still receive a Synthetic Hamidon Enhancement from Statesman's Task Force, or earn full merits from other Task Forces.
The timer will reset after 18 hours, and players will again earn the full amount of merits from the Task Force.
Completing multiple different Task Forces in the same 18 hour period will not subject each subsequent different Task Force to diminishing returns.
Unlike Story Arcs, every team member received a completion reward at the end of a Task Force, not just the leader. Major Task Forces (i.e. not Ouroboros) offered the option for a Pool C Recipe drop, or the option to pick a standard Single Origin enhancement (out of Accuracy, Damage, Endurance, Recharge, and Range) instead.
The team leader Notoriety level setting affected enemy spawns according to specific criteria. It also affected the completion reward at the end, with a same-level rare recipe (if chosen) on Heroic, +1 level on Rugged, and +2 level on Invincible. This obviously did not apply if the character's true level was 49 (for the +2 level recipes) or 50 (for the +1 or +2 level recipes), as recipes above level 50 do not exist.
After claiming a recipe reward from a Task Force, a player could not receive another recipe from Task Forces for the next 3 hours. Players could still receive other rewards from it, or earn recipes from Trials, or could wait out the timer, e.g. by leaving the reward window up while playing or logging out and logging in back later.
- After the Merit Rewards update in February, Synapse erroneously listed Sister Psyche Task Force as having been changed to 50 merits. This is incorrect; not until Issue 14 was it raised to 50 merits.