City of Heroes
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How Do I Play My Hero in Teams?

You may run a lot of solo missions as a new hero, but with the rise of Architect Entertainment missions, more and more people are looking for teams. When you play on teams, suddenly your knowledge of your own archetype becomes paramount--you must know how best your archetype works to support the other members of your team, otherwise the team will struggle with any mission they attempt.

To better understand how each archetype generally plays in teams, I built a heroine of each archetype, and have observed how each one plays, both in solo and team situations. Below is what I have gleaned from my experience. However, these are very general guidelines, and your hero may play somewhat differently, depending on what powers from each powerset you have taken, as well as powers from generic power pools. If the guideline for your archetype doesn't seem to fit your hero's needs, experiment with the other guidelines and see if those work better. Your Controller may need to play more like the listing for the Defender here, or you may need to follow the Scrapper guidelines when you're playing your Tank; it depends on the kind of enemies you're facing, how much endurance it takes to fire off your powers, how much damage your character can withstand, etc.

Guidelines for All Players: If you have a Kheldian (Peacebringer or Warshade) on your team, remember to watch out for Void Seekers and any enemies with the word "Quantum" in their names; these enemies, using guns that shoot purplish-red energy, deal very high damage to Kheldians (double/triple the damage), and the Kheldian can't always fight back effectively against this powerful onslaught by himself or herself. Kheldians do get bonuses to their attacks from their teammates, but it is important to stick close to them and help them in this situation. Tab through a group of enemies, and if you see a Void or a Quantum, follow the procedures below according to what archetype you play.

Blasters: Your job in a team is to pick off larger enemies (or groups of enemies) before they become a problem. You can back up a Tank by shooting at some of the enemies that they pull closer; you can keep a Scrapper in the game by reducing the swarm of enemies that otherwise would overwhelm them. Also, you can help keep a Controller and/or Defender protected by shooting any enemies that start heading towards them. Your skills are especially helpful with tough Bosses, since you do a lot of damage on a shot. Just don't ever make the mistake of wading into the thick of the battle yourself--once you yourself are surrounded at close range, you won't be able to help anyone else!

Your best position in a battle is fairly far back from the Tankers and Scrappers, so that you can survey more of the battlefield and target any enemy as you need. Don't get so far back that you can't target anything, of course. It helps if you stand close to the Controller and/or Defender on your team, so that you can protect them with your higher damage output.

Controllers: Your job in a team is to neutralize groups of enemies so that your teammates can deal with them more efficiently. Immobilizing or holding a group so that your Tank and/or Scrapper can target each one individually without getting smacked around is a good idea; you can also slow them down so that the group can't run directly towards you, the Defender, or the Blaster on your team. You may not deal a lot of damage, but that's not your job; you facilitate your teammates' damage-dealing attacks, and help them stay alive while kicking butt. You also are the person who can lock down a damaging or irritating boss, like a Tsoo Sorcerer, so that your team can deal with the lackeys without getting killed in the process.

Your best position in a battle is farther back from the Tankers and Scrappers, positioned fairly close to the Defender and/or Blaster so that you can still use your holding, slowing, or immobilizing attacks, but you're not too close to the front lines. Don't get yourself too close to the actual battle much at all, unless you have healing abilities or can boost your teammates' Defenses or Attacks by being closer.

Defenders: Your job in a team is to support your teammates in whatever way you can. You may be the main healer on your team, a teleporter, or an ally buffer and enemy debuffer; you may also be a second-string attacker. Whatever you do, it is for the good of your team; you keep an eye on everyone's health and endurance bars, including your own! Keeping the Tanks, Scrappers, and Blasters on your team healed/boosted/defended is one part of your job; reducing your enemies' chances to hit and attack powers is the other part, so that you and the Controllers on your team stay alive. Keeping yourself healthy is very important--if you are defeated, the whole team may capsize, since you are all about team support!

Your best position in a battle is in between the close-combat heroes and the ranged-attack heroes. You need to be close enough to the Tanks and Scrappers to heal them, defend them, or boost them as needed; you also need to be close enough to the Controllers and Blasters to do the same. You walk a fine line between being too close to the action for your own good and too far away to help. You must stay mobile and flexible; this is what makes Defenders one of the hardest archetypes to succeed with.

Scrappers: Your job in a team is to kick as much butt in as little time as possible. Your superior damage output takes down bosses and lackeys very quickly, but you are also a bit fragile; you serve best right alongside the Tank of your team, destroying enemies so that they don't survive long enough to reach your Controllers, Blasters, and Defenders. You do have to keep an eye on your own health and endurance, and get yourself out of trouble if you get too surrounded. Don't get too proud and refuse to back out of a fight when you're clearly getting beaten down--that is when the Tank of your team can take over for you while you Rest, pop a Respite (or two or three!), and head back into the fray when you are ready!

Your best position in a battle is right up with the Tanks, on the frontlines, dealing as much damage as possible. When you need healing, you can drop back toward the Defender or the Controller on your team (whoever has Empathy or Medicine!); when you need to rest and gain back some endurance, you can run back toward the Blaster and Controller and let them pick off the enemies who pursue you. Keeping yourself alive is important, since without your damage output, the team can flounder. (Just remember, don't go off by yourself and try to take on a whole enemy spawn--that's a good way to get yourself killed. Play close to your team and you'll all be fine!)

Tankers: Your job in a team is to place yourself in harm's way time and again to protect your teammates, since you have the highest Defense of any archetype. You may not have to watch your health bar as much as the other archetypes, but you must watch the battlefield in front of you; if your Scrapper gets surrounded, it is you who must Taunt those excess enemies and draw them to you so you can kick their butts. If too many enemies start running towards your Controller, Blaster, and/or Defender, it is your job to place yourself between your teammates and the enemies, and to take the damage that was meant for them. You may not deal quite as much damage as the Scrapper, but you do well enough--well enough, in fact, to take over the main close combat if the Scrapper dies or needs to jump out of the battle for a few precious seconds of rest. You are the rock of a team.

Your best position in a battle is in the front lines alongside the Scrapper, and you usually don't need to move too much until all the enemies in that particular section of the level are destroyed. Do keep enough Inspirations on hand so that you can support yourself for a period of time, since you can't really drop back toward your Defenders and Controllers without taking the whole darn enemy group with you.

Kheldians: Your job in a team is to deal damage, in whatever way you have chosen to build your Peacebringer or Warshade. Since the Epic archetypes can choose attacks that are close combat as well as ranged, you can easily have a Kheldian that is like a Blaster, a Scrapper, or a combination of the two! However, this does not mean that you are invincible or that you always deal more damage than any of the other archetypes. Indeed, you do get bonuses for each different archetype represented on your team; a Peacebringer or Warshade playing on a team that has a Blaster, Scrapper, Controller, Defender, and Tanker gets TONS of bonuses to attacks! But you must be careful of a highly dangerous class of enemies in your missions: Void Seekers and Quantums. These bad guys deal lots of damage to you--you can easily get yourself killed if you try to deal with them all by yourself.

Your best position in a team can either be up with the Tanks and Scrappers, if you've taken a lot of close-combat attacks, or back with the Blasters, Controllers and Defenders if you've taken a lot of ranged attacks. Wherever you position yourself, you are at once formidable and vulnerable (especially if Voids and/or Quantums show up). Stick close to your team always, and you'll have lots of fun pwning the bad guys; get your Kheldian separated from the rest of the team, and you're courting disaster.