Beginner's guide to Paragon
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So, you've bought the game, installed it, and logged into a cool-sounding server. So now you are faced with a choice."Do I save kittens, or take over the world?" My advice would be to take whichever one sounds like more fun, but since this is called "A Beginner's guide to Paragon, I'm going to go with the assumption that you are playing a hero and make a beginner's guide to the Rogue Isles later. This guide is going to guide you through your first 10 or so levels as a brand new hero first learning the ropes of Paragon City.
Your first important choice is to choose your origin and archetype. These are both very important to your character, although origin only really starts to have an impact later in the game. Your Archetype, however, is immediately important to you, and I'll mainly be discussing it.
your origin is, in roleplaying terms, how you got your powers. In Gameplay terms, your origin affects what enhancements you can use, what your starting contact is in after the turorial, and the special power you get at the start of the game. The 5 origins and their respective powers are:
Your Archetype, commonly abbreviated AT, determines what types of powers you can use, how much health you have, and your role in a group, among other things. If you've played any RPG's before, MMO or not, you are probably familiar with the class system. That is what your archetype is. The hero Archetypes and their roles are:
The Blaster, who uses ranged attacks to deal lots of damage to the enemy, but is rather squishy in melee,
The Controller, who uses control powers to hinder the enemy somehow(it really depends on the power set),
The Defender, who buffs or enemies or debuffs foes(once again, it depends upon the power set),
The Scrapper, who excels in melee combat, but can get overwhelmed
The Tanker, who specializes in keeping enemies off the rest of the team and also doing some melee damage.
There are also two Epic Archetypes, known as Kheldians, who are very similar, but as they are only unlocked once you get to level 20, I will only briefly cover them. First, they both take more damage from attacks, but have good resistances to make up for this. Second, they can take 3 forms: Human, which can use a mixture of powers, Nova, which hangs back and throws bolts of energy, or Dwarf, which uses melee powers. If you want to read more about Kheldians, go to the article on them.
Now that you've chosen your Origin and Archetype, now you need to choose your powers.
You can see what sets of powers each Archetype has on their respective articles. Once you have chosen your power sets, you will need to choose 2 powers, although you only really make one choice, as the game only lets you choose one power from your secondary.
If you're playing a scrapper or a blaster, your primary is going to be an attack power. Your power choices in this case are usually a power that does less damage then the other, but has a fast Recharge, and one that does more damage, but recharges slower. If you're playing a Scrapper, I suggest taking the slower one, because it usually still has a "fast" recharge(it's literally listed that way, the other one is "very fast"), but if it says "moderate" or slower in the Recharge category, than take the other one. If you don't, then you'll likely spend a lot of time getting pounded on while you wait for a power to recharge. If you're playing a Blaster, I suggest taking the faster one, as the slower one usually has a recharge of "moderate".
As for Secondary Sets, I suggest taking one that, if you're a Scrapper, I would suggest taking a Toggle power and turning it on whenever you go into combat. As a Blaster, I suggest taking a power that inflicts some kind of Status Effect on an enemy, such as Chilblain in Ice Manipulation. The power will say if it inflicts a status effect (specifically Disorient, Sleep, Immobilize, Hold, Confuse, and Terrorize, although it's unlikely you'll get that last one from your first power).
As a Controller, you can pick one of two control powers. I really don't have many suggestions on this, but I can say that at first, anything with Disorient, Hold, or Immobilize, you're gonna want to pick up. These Status Effects are invaluable in the first few levels, and are, in my humble opinion, more useful than the others. Otherwise, choose a ranged power set that sounds fun to you, or goes well with the "feel" of your character, if you have one in mind.
As a Defender, choosing your Primary is really going to deside how you play the game. You basically have two choices. You can be a buffer, which includes the Force Field, Kinetics, and Sonic Resonance sets, or you can be a debuffer, which is the most offense-oriented of the subgroups, and is good for soloing (soloing, by the way, is playing while not in a group, and it usually isn't reccomended or common for Defenders, because they are in near-constant demand- every team needs a buffer.) To be a debuffer, I suggest taking the Cold Domination, Dark Miasma, Radiation Emission, Traps, and Trick Arrow sets. Now, keep in mind that all of these sets have powers that stray from the main focus of the set. For example, the Force Field set, primarily regarded as a buff set, has the Force Bolt power. Because of this, and this applies to all the ATs, you should read the descriptions of your powers before you decide which one to take.
Moving on, If you're playing a tanker, I suggest taking the toggle power that grants resistance or, if there are two, taking the one you like the most. But, once again, remember that this is just a guide, and you can take whatever you want to take.
So, you've chosen your Origin and Archetype, you've painstakingly chosen your powers, and now we move on to the next step: Costume Creation. After all, what's a hero without a costume? This part I'm pretty much going to leave up to you. I am, however, going to give you a few tips about general style and suchlike by compulsively making a list.
List of costume creation tips