The Players' Guide to the Cities/Missions

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Missions give the game variety and depth. They offer an alternative to merely wandering the streets looking for thugs who are asking for trouble. Furthermore, missions will be calibrated specifically to your (or your team's) level of ability, to provide maximum challenge with a good prospect of reward. Finally, missions are the primary way for your character to learn and follow the storyline that frames the game.

You may accept up to seven missions at any one time. All missions you have currently accepted are displayed in the Mission Window. If you are currently actively engaged in a mission, that mission is displayed on your Nav Window. The Nav Window displays your current mission task, plus the zone where the task needs to be completed, if you are not currently in that zone (not all mission tasks are zone-specific, but most are).

There is a substantial award of both experience and influence/infamy for successfully finishing a mission, on top of whatever you may have gained from defeating opponents along the way. If you fail to complete an assigned mission, you may still get a partial reward.

Note that some missions are timed. You will have a certain amount of time in which to complete these missions, and if you don't finish within that time, you will fail at the mission. This is a real-time limit that starts the moment you accept the mission. For this reason, it's a good idea to be cautious about accepting missions right before you know you're going to have to log off.

Some missions will require the help of one or more teammates. For example, a mission may require that several bombs are disarmed simultaneously. Read the mission descriptions carefully before accepting a mission so that you will know if you will need help to complete a mission.

Contacts

A contact is a NPC who gives you information and assistance as you battle the forces of evil or struggle to become more powerful than your peers. All of your missions will begin with a discussion between you and a contact, and the last thing you will do on a mission is return to the contact for a debriefing. In addition to assigning missions, contacts can also sell you enhancements and inspirations. Finally, contacts introduce you to new contacts from time to time. All of your contacts are listed in the Contact Window.

Contacts can always be found at the spot where you first met them. They appear on your zone map as a contact icon.

As you successfully complete missions for a given contact, that contact will grow to trust you and rely on you more. In time, they will offer you better-quality enhancements. When they fully trust you, they will even allow you to contact them via cell phone for mission assignments and debriefings, which can save a lot of time and energy running around town.

Eventually, however (after about five levels or so) your abilities will outstrip your contact's needs, and he or she will no longer accept your services. Instead, the contact will hand you off to a new contact who has need of assistance from a more powerful character such as yourself. When a contact offers to introduce you to a new contact, you are usually given some background information on two or more individuals you have to choose from and will be asked to pick one as your new contact.

Clues

Get A Clue

During your missions you will often uncover clues. Clues are information about your enemies' plans or capabilities which will be useful to your contacts and aid you in fighting that group. It is usually necessary to find all available clues in a mission in order to complete that mission.

Your clues are stored in the Clues Window. Most clues are erased at the end of the mission — if there are still clues in the Clues Window after the mission is over, it usually means that that mission was part of a story arc, and that further missions remain before the arc is complete.

Story Arcs

Story arcs are a series of linked missions that reveal deeper information about a specific enemy group. They are the best way of experiencing the underlying storyline of City of Heroes and City of Villains. There’s no way of telling which mission is going to set you off on a story arc before you take it, but if a mission leads directly to a new mission, you're well advised to go where the story is leading. Do be aware, however, that missions in a story arc tend to get more challenging as you progress. You'll probably want to assemble a team for the later missions of a storyline, rather than tackling them solo. When you successfully complete all the missions in a story arc, you're often awarded a souvenir — one of the clues from the story arc which you're allowed to keep as a trophy. Souvenirs are kept in their own section of the Clues Window.

Mission Types

Most missions fall within a few basic categories:

Door Missions

You are directed to a door leading to a mission map that only you (and your teammates) can open. The mission is specifically calibrated to be challenging based on the level and size of your group. Door missions tend to be the richest in clues and story information, and they offer the best opportunity to battle enemy bosses. Often these missions have special goals that must be accomplished — rescue hostages, disarm bombs, or gather clues, for example. When in a mission map, be on the lookout for objects that seem to flash and glow. (These objects are commonly referred to as "glowies" by players.) These might be a desk, a safe, a computer, a bomb, a simple box or another object. These objects are mission assignments, and you must investigate them in order to complete the mission (although some may turn out to be decoys or red herrings). Often these objects will yield clues, although not always (i.e. when disarming bombs).

Defeat Tasks

You are assigned to defeat a certain number of enemies from a specific group. Usually these missions require you to hunt in a specific zone, but some allow you to hunt anywhere. These missions are also commonly referred to as hunting missions.

Patrol Tasks

You are assigned to patrol a certain zone, to keep tabs on what's happening on the street. These missions take the form of traveling around the zone and checking in at a certain number of call boxes.

Errands

Your contact sends you to another NPC elsewhere to pick up or deliver something (either an object or information). Often these errands lead directly into door missions, or even story arcs. Errands frequently provide an opportunity for enemy groups looking for payback to catch you off guard, so be on the lookout for ambushes. These type of missions are commonly referred to as FEDEX missions because you are deliverying something to a specific person.

Police Band/Newspaper Missions

Police band or newspaper missions are special missions that are specific to a zone.

Heroes may obtain their police radio by speaking with any detective in the city that shows up as a contact on their zone map. The police band radio will then appear at the top of your contact list. You may then click on the radio to pick up missions in any zone appropriate to your level. After completing a number of police band, you may then visit a detective in the zone to obtain a safeguard mission. At the lower levels you will be offered a Safeguard after every three radios mission and once you reach level 20 that number increases to five radios before you will get a message telling you to visit the detective to be offered one.

Villains may obtain their copy of the Rogue Isle Protector by visiting any broker that shows up as a contact on their zone map. The Rogue Isle Protector will then appear at the top of your contact list. You may then click on the newspaper to pick up missions in any zone appropriate to your level. After completing a number of newspaper missions, you may then visit a broker within the zone to access a mayhem mission.

Safeguard/Mayhem Missions

In safeguard missions, heroes are given the primary goal of stopping a bank robbery and are given a short time limit. The bank robbery will begin as the first hero approaches the bank, or will eventually start automatically if the bank is left alone. There are also one or more secondary missions located on the mission map that will grant additional time and various bonuses. Secondary missions include preventing vandals from destroying objects within the zone, and side missions unlocked by defeating certain enemies. In addition, each safeguard mission contains a different exploration badge marker. In safeguard missions, the mission is complete when the all of the bank robbers are prevented from escaping. The timer will continue to tick away and will eject all characters from the map when it reaches zero. Mission bonuses may still be obtained to add time to the mission after completion. The number of side missions available increases as your level does starting with one or two in the first mission to stop the bank robbery in Atlas Park and finally ending with a total of 5 available side missions when you attempt to stop the robbery of the bank in Peregrine Island. Each side mission has a set amount of additional time it rewards and one side, Stop the Weapons Deal, will even award a Temp power.

In mayhem missions, villains are given the opportunity to rob a bank in Paragon City and are given a short time limit. There are also one or more secondary missions located on the mission map that will grant additional time and various bonuses. Secondary missions include destroying equipment and objects scattered throughout the zone, avoiding arrest, and side missions unlocked by defeating certain enemies. In addition, each mayhem mission contains a different exploration badge marker. In mayhem missions, the mission is complete when the bank's vault has been looted and all of the bank's guards have been eliminated. After mission completion, the timer will go away and villains may then roam the zone until they choose to leave the mission. If the timer reaches zero before mission completion, all characters will be ejected from the map.

Alignment Missions

After reaching level 20, defeating enemies will sometimes reward you with a Tip. A Tip is a special contact that you may only use once. When you select a Tip from the contact menu, you will be given a choice of different versions of the same Alignment Mission. If you are in Paragon City, you will be allowed to choose Hero or Vigilante missions. If you are in the Rogue Isles, you will pick between Villain and Rogue missions. You may only earn Public Fame for up to 5 Alignment Missions within a 20 hour period. The Tips tab of your Contact Window will show you how many points of Public Fame you currently have. Each one disappears after 20 hours, allowing you to collect another one. The Tips tab also shows you bars for Alignment Points toward alignments you are eligible for. These bars fill up as you complete Alignment Missions. Earning 10 Alignment Points toward an alignments will enable you to collect a Morality Tip needed for Morality Missions.

Completing Alignment Missions held by other characters will also count toward your Public Fame and Alignment Points if they are for an alignment for which you are eligible. (Vigilantes cannot earn Rogue Fame and Rogues cannon earn Vigilante Fame.) You can still complete Alignment Missions as part of a team after reaching your limit of Public Fame, but you will not earn additional Public Fame or Alignment Points.

The missions you will have access to will be dependent on your current alignment and location when viewing a Tip.

Current Alignment Location Missions Available
Align Status Hero.png Hero Paragon City Align Status Hero.png Hero
Align Status Vigilante.png Vigilante
Align Status Rogue.png Rogue Paragon City Align Status Hero.png Hero
Align Status Rogue.png Rogue
Rogue Isles Align Status Rogue.png Rogue
Align Status Villain.png Villain
Align Status Vigilante.png Vigilante Paragon City Align Status Hero.png Hero
Align Status Vigilante.png Vigilante
Rogue Isles Align Status Vigilante.png Vigilante
Align Status Villain.png Villain
Align Status Villain.png Villain Rogue Isles Align Status Rogue.png Rogue
Align Status Villain.png Villain

Morality Tip Missions

Earning 10 Alignment Points for a given alignment grants you access to corresponding Morality Missions. Morality Missions allow you to change your alignment or reassert your current alignment. Reasserting your alignment earns Vigilantes and Rogues with Reward Merits, and awards Heroes and Villains with Alignment Merits.

Morality Missions completed while on a team will only allow you to change or reassert your alignment if you are currently eligible for a Morality Mission of the same alignment. If you are not eligible for the properly aligned Morality Mission, the mission will count as an Alignment Mission for the corresponding alignment.

For additional information, see the following article: