Your archetype determines the nature of your powers.
This choice will actually determine which power sets you can select for your primary and secondary powers.
Statesman's Tip: Selecting an archetype, which will determine the powers you can wield in play, is the single most important decision you will make about your hero. Make sure you select an archetype and power sets that harmonize well with your personality and playstyle.
Learn more about the five available Hero Archetypes.
Before you can play City of Heroes, you will, of course, need to create a hero. Once you’ve selected a server, just click on one of the blank Create Hero slots on your screen. The game will then walk you through the multi-part hero creation process.
Your Origin is the source of your powers. Were you born with them, or did you study for long months and years to perfect them? Or perhaps you acquired them after some encounter with mysterious forces?
Statesman's Tip: In gameplay, your Origin determines which Enhancements you can use, and where you can find them, as well as determining the identity of your first contacts. Your Origin has no effect on which power sets you can select, or how you advance in play.
You may select one of five available origins.
Perhaps your parents were exposed to strange radiations, or maybe it’s just the next leap forward in evolution, but your powers were encoded into your genes before you were born.
Exposure to chemicals, radiation, or some other scientific process has left you changed, with new and mysterious abilities far beyond the mass of humanity.
Unlike science heroes, whose bodies have been permanently changed by exposure to natural forces, as a technology hero you carry unique and advanced devices that allow you to produce superhuman effects.
Your origin involves no mysterious forces or secret discoveries; you have simply used your remarkable talents to train yourself to the very pinnacle of human potential.
“There are more things in heaven and earth” … supernatural forces are abroad in the world, and either through training and discipline, or simple chance, you have become a human nexus for them.
Power Sets & Starting Powers
Once you have selected your Origin and Archetype, you may choose your primary and secondary power sets and your starting powers.
Your choice of power sets is determined by your Archetype.
A power set is a group of nine related powers. The powers in your chosen power sets will come available throughout your heroic career.
The powers at the top of the list are, in general, more basic and therefore become available earlier, while the more exotic powers at the bottom of the list will only be available later in your career.
Statesman's Tip: Remember that as you progress upwards in level, your powers will grow along with you. The powers at the top of your power list, that you pick up early in your career, are not the least effective powers in your set, they are the most basic. Many heroes find themselves relying on their starting powers as much at the higher levels as they did when they were first starting out.
Your primary power set will form the cornerstone of your combat strategy. Upon character creation, you may select one of the two top powers in your primary power set.
Your secondary power set will support your primary powers. Upon character creation, you may use the top power in your secondary power set.
Gender and Build
On the next screen you will select a gender and build for your character. There are three basic body types to choose from, Female, Male and Huge — “Huge” is a male figure with superhumanly powerful muscle development.
Once you select your body type, you can customize the height of your hero from 4’ to over 7’ by adjusting the Short – Tall slider.
Additionally, you can further customize your avatar’s build by pre-selecting one of the default body types:
- Slim: Your avatar is svelte and has minimal body mass.
- Average: Your avatar is of average build.
- Athletic: Your avatar has good muscle definition. This is the default Hero body style.
- Heavy: Your avatar is above average in weight and muscle.
You can then further tweak your avatar’s build by adjusting the following sliders:
- Short/Tall: This will adjust how tall your avatar is.
- Physique: This will adjust how muscular your avatar is. Moving this to the left will make your character have less muscle mass, and moving this to the right will give him or her more.
- Shoulders: This will adjust the width of the avatar’s shoulders. Moving this to the left will make the shoulders narrower, moving this to the right will make the shoulders broader.
- Chest: This will adjust the circumference of the avatar’s chest. Moving this to the left will make it smaller, and moving this to the right will make the chest bigger.
Creating a unique costume for your hero is one of the most enjoyable tasks of character creation. Although there are literally millions of possible unique costume combinations, the costume design process is fun and easy if you just take it step by step.
First, select your hero’s skin color, and a primary color and accent color for his or her costume. Remember, you can go back and redo any choice you make as your design vision changes.
Now just work your way down, starting with the head (where you can choose from a wide variety of hairstyles, masks, helmets, glasses and more exotic choices), through the upper body (torso, gloves and belt) to the lower body (trunk and boots).
The costume design screen allows you to rotate the figure at will by clicking on the curved arrows, and to zoom in on your hero’s head and torso for an up-close look.
Take your time, explore the possibilities, and you are virtually guaranteed a cool and unique hero at the end of the process.
Name and Extras
Your final required choice in the character creation process is to give your character a unique name that reflects their powers, appearance or personality.
Statesman's Tip: Remember that a short, easy-to-spell name will help your fellow heroes communicate with you through /tells and other communications options. Is the name you wanted already taken? Let comics tradition come to your rescue. If you can’t be Bongo Man try Bongo Master, Bongo Boy, Bongo Lad, Captain Bongo or even Bongoman.
On the same screen where you enter your name, there are optional areas where you can enter a brief character history, and even a characteristic battle call (“It’s Bongo Time!” “Bon-GO!”).