City of Heroes
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Your Best Archetype: A Personality Match

After having built a heroine of each archetype, I have found that I generally play Tanks much easier than playing other archetypes (though with the right mood I have tons of fun playing even my Blaster and my Controller). It seems that my most natural archetype to play is a Tank--I play close to the action and I like to stay right at the enemy spawn until the battle's finished. (Also, I'm a bit stubborn, lol.)

This realization led me to wonder if everyone has a "most natural" archetype to play, and if so, what personality characteristics might indicate which archetype would be most natural. Thus, the following article, detailing the five basic hero archetypes and matching personality traits. Most of these recommendations are fairly general, based on my own experiences; if you see something that doesn't match or doesn't seem right, please feel free to send an email to skiesoveratlas{at}gmail{dot}com with your suggestion on how to improve this page's descriptions!

Natural Blaster Personality

Do you like to survey the whole battlefield, find the boss, and fire a shot that completely takes it out? Do you prefer to stand back and shoot enemies before they get too close? Then a Blaster may be your best archetype to play. Blasters are able to use Sniper powers as no other class can, and their damage capacity at range is unmatched. The secondary powersets often come with ways to hold or immobilize single targets--great for shutting down that annoying boss. Blasters are also able to access some of the same attack powersets that Defenders have--Defenders get them on secondary sets, while Blasters get them on primary sets.

Do remember that Blasters are not ranged Tanks--they can be overwhelmed very easily by too large a mob, especially when the mob surrounds them at close range. Similar to a Scrapper, handle your lowbie Blaster carefully (they'll be a bit like porcelain or glass), and be patient, since a lot of a Blaster's best powers come in in its teens, twenties, and more often thirties.

Natural Controller Personality

Do you enjoy the particular satisfaction of seeing a cloud of "-1"s erupt over enemies' heads? Do you prefer to be the team player who locks down the bad guys before they get to your group? Then a Controller may be just your style. Controllers can lock down and neutralize large groups of enemies, making it easier for teams to take out large spawns without anyone getting defeated. Controllers also get access to powers on their secondary sets that Defenders get on their primary sets--lots of team support powers are duplicated. If you prefer to stand back and watch the fight more often than getting into the fray, a Controller will be quite natural for you.

Controllers are fairly fragile, especially at very low levels, and don't deal a lot of damage, so they are not natural solo heroes. You will be much better off playing in a team with Tanks, Scrappers and Blasters who can better deal damage, because they will need your holds and immobilizations to stay alive. Be patient with your lowbie Controller and allow it to level up some (so that it can reach more of its field control powers) before you decide if you like it or not.

Natural Defender Personality

Do you like being a Jack- or Jill-of-all-trades, handling a lot of different types of battle actions? Do you enjoy being able to do whatever a team calls on you to do? Then a Defender could be your most natural archetype. Defenders could be described as a combination of a Blaster and a Controller; a Defender has a capacity to deal damage that surpasses a Controller, but can also provide team support that a Blaster can never hope to have naturally. Heroes called "healers" are often Defenders, though the healing powerset called Empathy is available to both Controllers and Defenders. Defenders can also be the team members who send their companions into battle glowing with buffs of every kind.

This archetype, however, is one of the hardest to balance, because if you go too heavy toward team support powers, you won't be able to do any missions by yourself, and if you go too heavy towards offense and damage, you won't be much more than a Blaster in another guise, with less damage capacity than the Blaster to boot. Defenders can be a bit squishy at low levels, but playing in large teams can help offset the squish factor. Decide how you'd like to build your Defender--if you want a second-string attacker, go more toward offensive powers. If you'd like a completely supportive character, go more toward team support. And if you want a little bit of both? It can be done--take enough attacks to be a pinch hitter if the team needs it, but don't leave out the team support for when you play on big teams! Defenders, like Blasters and Controllers, are late bloomers, so stick with the toon a little while before deciding whether it's right for you.

Natural Scrapper Personality

Do you love seeing an enemy fall in one or two strikes when you get in there with punches, kicks, and weapons? Do you prefer to charge straight into the mess and get the job done quickly and efficiently? Then a Scrapper may be your best archetype to try. Scrappers, like Blasters, deal amazing damage; unlike Blasters, they are close-combat instruments of demise. These toons can get in there and rip apart enemies so fast that your team will hardly be able to keep up with which enemies are dead and which are still staggering around. Scrappers also get access to defense powersets on their secondary list that Tanks get on their primary list, like Willpower and Regeneration, that can help offset a Scrapper's natural lower hit points.

Even considering this, however, never make the mistake of thinking your Scrapper is a Tank. Especially at low levels, your Scrapper will die a lot faster than any Tank of the same level, simply because of natural characteristics. All that damage capacity has to be offset by a weakness! Just like with a Blaster, you'll need to be careful of getting into a fight that's too big for your lowbie Scrapper to handle. Scrappers usually bloom into their prime earlier than Controllers, Defenders, and Blasters, so you'll be able to tell earlier if your build works or not.

Natural Tanker Personality

Do you relish being able to brush off the damage from an enemy's attacks like swatting away a fly? Do you prefer to run into the fight and bring all the action to you? Then a Tanker may be just what you'd like best. Tanks are high-defense machines, able to withstand more damage than any other class, which means that they will need to pop Respites less often, and be able to stand in the middle of the spawn and keep fighting. A Tank is often the last one of a team left standing. They also get access to attack sets in their secondary power sets that Scrappers get in their primary sets, which can help them deal better damage--but a Tank's high defense is offset by lower damage, on average.

Lowbie Tanks show their true colors very early on--within 5 to 7 levels, you can pretty much tell if a Tank is proving successful, or whether it may need to be respec'ed. Playing a Tank is a little easier at low levels than playing, say, a Controller or Defender, simply because you have to worry less about damage. But you still must build your Tank carefully so that it can withstand the types of damage it needs to--playing against a close-combat villain will teach you very quickly that you are not indestructible!