PvP Zone Primer
Article by Radium_NA, with additional perspectives by EmperorSteele and Eric_Nelson
Edited and compiled by Austara
All of the following PvP zones have a level range associated with them. The lower number is a minimum required to get in, the upper one is simply an exemplar cap. If you're at least a level higher than the minimum, you get scaled up to the upper cap. If you're at least a level higher than the upper level cap for that zone, you get scaled down to that number. That said, onward!
Hero Access: Skyway City
Villain Access: Cap au Diable
Radium_NA: 4 Exploration badges for both factions, one history plaque only for villains for the Swashbuckler badge. 5 hours time spent badge (if you want it quickly, start an Ouroboros TF, then go to the zone and park yourself somewhere safe. The TF halts the auto-logout), PvP day job badge.
This zone is huge. I'm not quite sure why, since it's so difficult to find people if you're actually here to PvP. The main reason most people come here is for the Shivan shard temporary power. Talk to the scientist near the entrance for details. Basically, you are given a temporary power which you need to activate at all of the 6 meteors which have crash landed in the zone and are irradiating it (They're marked on your map). Once you have all six shards, go to one of the firebases (they're surrounded by turrets, which you need to defeat to access the console inside the central bunker). Be warned, you lose your shard(s) any time you are defeated by another player (and sometimes by NPC's I believe, it's been a while since I've tested personally).
The turrets which guard each firebase do respawn after a small period of time, and you can only activate the console when all of its surrounding turrets are defeated! If you're on a team, this can be done with minimal effort, but if you're alone, a trick to this is to whittle down the health of each turret to a sliver (they don't regenerate, unlike most enemies), then make a round of hitting them all quickly.
The zone design is actually rather nice if you can wander around exploring sometime in peace. The streets in here are trashed with Freakshow and Shivans everywhere, and the crazy Circle of Thorns around the beaches as well.
EmperorSteele adds: Bloody Bay is accessible from a helicopter in Skyway City, and is actually part of the Rogue Isles. It's a mostly abandoned, small island where several radioactive meteors struck not long ago. As if that wasn't bad enough, the dead began to rise from their graves, covered in large amounts of ectoplasm, becoming the creatures known as Shivans.
This time, you are not in direct conflict with the forces of Arachnos, however, both sides are sent on the same mission, and invariably, conflict will ensue: Collect meteor samples from each of the landing sites, then take them to an armed base whose defenses must be destroyed to analyze the samples. Doing this successfully will earn you the Shivan shard, a power that lets you summon one of the fierce Shivans to fight by your side for five minutes, and has five uses. It pays to be careful of other players; however, even on Virtue, it's rare to find another player in Bloody Bay, and if you do, they're more than likely just after a Shivan Shard and will give you no trouble.This zone is home to Freakshow, Circle of Thorns, Banished Pantheon, pirate ghosts (?), and of course, Shivans.
Hero Access: Steel Canyon
Villain Access: Sharkhead Isle
Radium_NA: 4 Exploration badges for both factions, one history plaque only for villains for the Swashbuckler badge. Another time spent badge.
This used to be the most popular zone before the Issue 13 changes hit, mainly for its accessibility to people of most level ranges.
This is the first, and only real zone, where you are awarded bounties for fighting players of the other faction. Your Navigation HUD on the top lists whoever your current bounty is (and you may be someone else's!). Defeating this player gives you a bonus which you can redeem at the NPC near the entrance to the zone. Also, helping fight the NPC battles on the Hotspots marked on the map allows the Vendor near the entrance to get bonus temporary powers for purchase.
The zone itself is a good contrast of the urban cityscape you see often on Heroside, which scales down into destruction at the water front, where Arachnos has established bases and is pushing forward. There are many high buildings you can use to your terrain advantage, dropping down to ambush others, etc.
The ledge with the three circle monuments by the Broad Shoulders badge used to be the called the 'duelling rings,' where people would come for 1v1 fights when the zone was too chaotic, or sparsely populated.
EmperorSteele adds: Accessible via Steel Canyon, Siren's Call is a section of the City that's been sealed off after a tragic accident; a radioactive hero's powers went berserk, destroying half the neighborhood, the war wall, and killing the hero himself. Arachnos has used this as an opportunity to infiltrate Paragon City. They've set up a small base just off the coast, and from there they send villains to fight heroes so that Arachnos forces may make their way into Paragon.
The zone has two main mini-games: Hotspots and Bounties. Hotspots are areas where Longbow and Arachnos forces are about to clash. When one side wins (either with or without player assistance), then heroes or villains gain better control of the zone, and the players who belong to the controlling faction can buy special items from a vendor in their base.
Bounties are called on players who have been successful at defeating other Players. A message will appear, and a marker will appear on the map with that player's last known location. The more bounty you collect, the more inspirations you can buy from the main zone contact.
The zone has a unique feel and look, and would probably be a much more popular zone if not for the forced PvP (or the anti PvP sentiment among the playerbase, take your pick). Tsoo, Warriors, and a few Sky Raiders can also be found here.
Hero Access: Kings Row
Villain Access: St. Martial
Radium_NA: 3 Exploration badges for both factions, one history plaque only for villains for the Arachnos Rising badge. Another time spent badge.
Warning: This is a Free-for-All zone, where you can attack ANYONE not on your team, fellow hero or villain or not! Though the zone isn't as busy as it was before, be wary of people joining your team, dropping at some inconvenient time, and backstabbing you!
The point of this zone is to commandeer the ICBM weapons, which give you very powerful temporary powers. The outside of the zone is, as you can see, chaotic. Marshal Blitz has broken off from Lord Recluse, and taken control of the island, impatiently pushing an aggressive policy on Paragon City. The WEB, however, is impressive. From whichever end of the zone you entered from, go down the first street to the first T intersection, and you should see a ruined area with some ruined blast doors leading to the underground.
This place is where the Launch codes are obtained. Down here, Arachnoids, Recluse's supersoldier program, have gotten loose, and they're fighting anything that gets in their way. Scattered around will be scientists who you can save. After you save each one, click on them to make you follow you, and a waypoint will appear on your map. Lead them back above ground to their designated bunker, and they will give you a portion of the launch code. You need to get three scientists to get one complete code.
Once you do this, three new navpoints will show up down in the WEB. You can redeem this code at one of the three terminals, for a Biological Nuke (PBAoE, Ally +Regeneration, +Dam), Chemical Nuke, (Ranged AoE Foe -Res(All), -DEF), or Nuclear .. Nuke (Ranged AoE, Extreme DoT(Energy), Foe -End, -Recovery). Once you activate the console underground, another navpoint will show up above ground, on the far East end of the map, where the launch pad itself is. You should be glowing green, so move quickly!
Each of these can only be used once before you need to do the whole thing again, but it can be very worth it. A quick way to get this is to get a team together, have each person save a scientist and have them follow, then have them drop their scientist, so you can escort them instead. Note that getting defeated loses your code portion(s)! Or, if you're feeling aggressive, you can defeat others for their codes too. Tends to make you very unpopular though, since the only people who tend to come for these are folks having troubles with their own story arcs, and the PvP'ers themselves never need to use the things, heh.
Note: Running around the zone a couple of times before you do this nuke run will help your efficiency, the underground can get very confusing to navigate, I really recommend badge-hunter's map overlay for this.
This used to be my favorite zone, aesthetically speaking. The dark gothic design of the buildings actually reminds me of Gotham City, and the chaos is very observable if you can walk around street level observing the displaced citizens.
Malta Operatives patrol the streets, hired by Blitz, and they're level 41s (their base of operations can be found on the coastline if you want to go exploring too), and since you're 38, they can be very rough. Also, for those hoping, I'm sorry to tell you that the Rogue Toxic Tarantulas wandering on the map do NOT count towards the Toxic badge, slightly different faction unfortunately.
EmperorSteele adds: Hopping aboard the Helicopter atop Police HQ in Kings Row will take you to this hotly contested area. Here, Nuclear powered orbital weapon delivery systems are fought over. So dangerous this technology is that even those you fight along side may not trust you to own it! (Anyone NOT on your team will be an enemy, unless you're on the boat.)
That's not all. This island was part of the Rogue Isles until they ceded, and they've "acquired" some help in the form of Malta Titans, which con as +3 bosses to you. There's also the Arachnids who scamper around in the underground warhead production facility who've taken scientists hostage. If you free a scientist and take them back to their bunker, they'll give you part of a launch code. Collect three launch codes, and you'll be able to procure the launch key for one of three "nukes": A straight up damage nuke, a debuff nuke, or a team buff nuke. Collect all three and impress your friends!
Watch yourself. This is one of the more popular PvP zones, so it's best to try and procure the nukes during off-peak hours.
The traditional duelling spot is under the Globe in the middle of the map.
Eric_Nelson adds: It should also be noted that none of the Arachnids count for badge credit -- in other words, "Rogue Toxic Tarantulas" do NOT give credit toward the Toxic Tarantula badge (Venomous). If you're out to get the Venomous badge, Warburg's Arachnos population won't help you a bit.
Hero Access: Atlas Park
Villain Access: Grandville
Radium_NA: 4 Exploration badges for both factions. Another time spent badge.
The final battle. I guess.
This fight takes temporal dimensions stuff to the limit. There are seven 'temporal anchors' located across the map, which, when one controls enough, the lore is such that it basically overruns other parallel realities, so that the Heroes or Villains can finally lay claim to victory over the opposing faction (don't worry, your PvE zones are unaffected). The nice touch with this zone is that each subsection you take over gets new textures; heroes controlling an anchor makes the shrubbery all green and the streets clean, Freedom Corps posters and such everywhere, and villains controlling an anchor makes all the vegetation die, the streets get littered, and graffiti takes over. It's rather impressive if you can see it.
The anchors in question are pillboxes, which are guarded by 4 turrets which you need to defeat (they're initially neutral). They're level 54 bosses, so they can be tough, if you don't get the help of the zone's other nifty feature: Heavy Support Mechs.
There are three of these mechs per faction, which you can find on your map (they respawn if whoever had them is defeated). These guys are level 52 Elite Bosses (I believe, been a while since I've actually targetted it to check), and are kitted out with enormous firepower and hitpoints, and can even be fully commanded much like any Mastermind pet. The downside? They can't be healed (any more anyway), but they can be buffed. They also tend to be a little slow.
Back to the pillboxes, once you defeat the 4 turrets, enter the middle of the box where the little bubble is, and click. You've now taken over an anchor! After you take over 5 for your faction, Archvillains from the opposing faction spawn on the map, a warning will show in your combat log. These AV's typically require two or more teams to defeat, and award their own badges and all, though mind you, they're tough, even with a Heavy. They will typically run to one of the Anchors and kill all of your turrets in short order, though they don't capture the node, so if you wish to continue taking over other pillboxes, go right ahead.
Once one faction has captured 6 pillboxes, the battle is “won” by that side, and a 5 minute counter begins for zone reset. During these 5 minutes, the winning faction can defeat the opposing side for bonus credit towards a Mini-Heavy temporary summon power you can obtain, or the losing side can defeat you to accelerate the zone reversion.
For hero players, this zone isn't particularly notable. It's a reskinned Atlas Park, with the earlier mentioned dynamic retexturing and effects of the zone. The only thing really new is the Villain base end, which has broken through one of the War-Walls and started the invasion.
Longbow and Arachnos are duking it out across the map though, the battles are interesting to watch if you're a fan of that, for many patrols run around the map, helping you fight to control the future.
The duelling spot is under the Atlas Globe in the middle of the map.
EmperorSteele adds: This is THE high level PvP zone. The background of this zone is such: the future of Atlas Park is in quantum flux, and so Heroes and Villains must fight and secure temporal "pillboxes" so that "their" future comes to pass. But you can forget about that; unlike Warburg and Bloody Bay, people come here to fight. The prize for "winning" takes either a long time or a concerted effort to win many, many fights, so most people don't bother (The prize, FYI, is a giant Longbow mech which can only be used once.)
There's no extra foes in this zone, just Longbow and Arachnos and other players--unless you count the pillbox defense systems. The way here is via a portal in City Hall's basement via an elevator in DATA's office.