Base Building and Crafting Guide

Have Laser Beams shooting out your eyes? Enjoy dressing up in funny costumes and beating up bad guys (or good guys)? Here's the place to talk about it.

Moderator: Captains: City of Heroes

Post Reply
User avatar
Doctor Dude
X Member
Posts: 3420
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:00 am
Location: NY, NY

Base Building and Crafting Guide

Post by Doctor Dude »

I've only just started playing with the crafting tables to make some basic components, but haven't really made anything of consequence yet. I was interested in the topic so I researched it via the CoH boards and pirated pieces of other people's guides, responses in threads, etc. I regret that I didn't get names of everyone who's guides I used, but I know Nicci and Rhoffman provided a lot of the content.

Feel free to comment on anything you believe to be incorrect, I would be happy to research and/or correct as necessary.

Base Building and Crafting


Getting Started

If your Supergroup does not have a base, your Leader can set up one at the Supergroup Registrar in Atlas Park (for heroes) or Port Oakes (for villains). After you have registered a base you can use the Base Portals (found in every PvE zone in CoV and every non-hazard, non-trial zone in CoH) to enter your base. Initially, your base will have an Entrance Room and Main Portal and nothing more.


Prestige is Influence/Infamy (Inf) for bases. You use Prestige to pay for almost everything you add to your base. You also use Prestige to pay your base rent. Supergroup members earn this by defeating foes and completing missions in Supergroup mode. Unlike Influence/Infamy, Prestige doesn’t scale up as you go higher in levels. It is based on minion/lieutenant/boss and relative level to you (+1, -1, etc.) While in Supergroup mode, characters will earn full Inf until around level 20 or 25. Then the amount of Inf earned scales down until at around level 35 where you only earn Prestige while in Supergroup mode. Inf can be exchanged for Prestige at the town hall, at rates that are not even worth discussing. Save you inf to fund the activities of people who are running in Supergroup mode rather than trading it in.

All Supergroups get a "kicker" of 20,000 Prestige per member up to 15, for a total of 300,000 possible "free" Prestige. If you have gotten this free Prestige and your Supergroup membership drops BELOW 15, you will lose 20,000 Prestige for each member that departs. If your membership increases again, you regain the 20,000.

Bosses and Lieutenants give more Prestige per enemy. Mission doors in PvP zones give more Prestige for completion. Enemies at +con seem to give more Prestige. Due to the way rewards are split up, running a team with other SG members who are also in SG mode will result in more Prestige being earned collectively. So the most efficient way would obviously be a large team of SG members running PvP zone door missions at a boosted difficulty.

Prestige is a Supergroup resource. It is tied only to that Supergroup. If your Supergroup disbands for any reason, ALL EARNED PRESTIGE IS LOST. If you leave your Supergroup, your prestige does not come with you.


If you are in Supergroup mode, defeated foes will sometimes drop salvage items. You can use these to build special equipment for your base. Crafting using salvage will be discussed later. In addition, I7 will be introducing new craftable items that will allow you to “trade in” or convert salvage for inspirations and perhaps other benefits.

Supergroup Badges
You can now earn badges for your Supergroup, similar to regular badges. To satisfy the requirements you must be in Supergroup mode. All the members of your Supergroup contribute towards these badges. These badges will unlock recipes to build special base items.

1. Exploration Badges – these badges allow you to set up a teleporter pad in your base connecting the base to the zone for the specified badge (still subject to hazard zone character level requirements).
a. CoV: Mercy Isle Beacon, Port Oakes Beacon, Cap Au Diable Beacon, Sharkhead Beacon, Nerva Beacon, St. Martial Beacon
b. CoH: All Zones Except The Hive and the Shadow Shard

2. Achievement Badges – multiples indicate multiple levels of achievement. Exact statistics not available at this time.
a. Damage Taken - Analyzer Base Defense
b. Fire Damage Taken - Improved Igniter
c. Missions -Benedict DR Turret Plans - 200 CoT
d. Prestige - Benedict DR-2 Turret Plans; Benedict DR-3 Turret Plans
e. Mentoring - SG Mission Computer; Supercomputer
f. Damage Delivered - Autonomous Expert System Plans
g. Badge Collecting - Mega Monitor Plans - collect 5 SG badges
h. Healing - Auto-Doc (inspiration dispenser), Robo-Surgery, Combat Log
i. Debt Repayment - Repulsor Base Defense, Emergency Condenser
j. possible, but key to unlock currently not known - Fusion Generator Plans, Advanced Holodisplay Plans, Improved Energy Turret, Gas Trap Base Defense

3. Accomplishment Badges:
a. Eradicator - Successful Raid Defense
b. Shock Trooper - Successful Raid
c. Liberator - Steal an IoP

Who Can Edit?

Your base can be edited by any member of your Supergroup who has been given permission. The Supergroup leader can set Base Editing privileges by going to Supergroup/Options/Permissions. The leader can choose the rank(s) allowed to edit the base. Leaders are always able to edit a base. Only one person can edit at a time.

In the X-Syndicate and Syndicate X groups, the main SG rights are limited, but the alternate groups are open for editing by any member.
When you are in the Entrance Room of your base, a pop-up window listing three choices appears: Upgrade Plot, Add Personal Item and Edit Base.

Upgrade Plot

Your plot is the grid that you place all your rooms on. You start with the smallest plot available. To get a larger plot, use Upgrade Plot. Pick the grid you want your current base has to fit entirely within the grid plot you are changing to. You can upgrade (or downgrade) your plot at any time.
Each plot size has a maximum number of each item type that can be placed in it. This is listed in the window on the right. Be sure to choose a plot that will let you place the things you want and take care not too spend too much. You will need Prestige to place rooms and outfit your base after all.
If you have base edit privileges, entering the Entry Chamber will give you the option to edit the base plot. This can buy a bigger plot of the same type, or change types between Hidden and Secure. Please note that base plots are extremely expensive. The main difference between Hidden and Secure is that Secure is crazy expensive, allows twice the number of Core items, allows weapons/defenses in all rooms (hidden only allows in defensive rooms) and allows unlimited number of IoPs(hidden only allows one).

Please note, plot size determines the rent, so be careful when upgrading that we can afford the maintenance on the new plot!

Here is a good, not necessarily 100% authoritative, link for information on plots:

Add Personal Item

This button is grayed out until you build an item in the workshop. You build items with your salvage and place them even if you do not have base editing privileges. This way all members of your Supergroup can contribute to the base.
Once you have built an item, you can use Add Personal Item to open the base editor. It will display all the pieces you have built. You can then place the item using the same methods explained below.
Note, anyone can add a personal item in the base, there are no permission settings on this. Personal items may use control and power (see below), so before placing a personal item you have crafted, you may want to check the available power and control or check with someone who has editing rights. Once placed, a personal item can be moved, but not returned to your personal inventory, so choose what you craft wisely.

Edit Base

If you have base editing privileges, selecting Edit Base puts you into editor mode. This is where you do the bulk of your base designing, placing down rooms and filling those with useful and decorative items.

Base Rent

Base Rent is now calculated solely on your plot size. The larger the plot, the larger the rent. Secure plots also pay more rent, due to the number of defenses they are allowed to have. When they are re-introduced, Items of Power will reduce the amount of Rent due.

Existing supergroups will see this change take place immediately, but it is not retroactive. No supergroups will be receiving refunds for rent already paid. This change to rent will not effect any current rent owing. Superbase owners must pay off any rent currently due before they will see the new rent rates go into effect.

Plot Name Plot Size Rent

Tiny Hidden Spot 8x8 0
Small Hidden Spot 8x12 20000
Hidden Spot 12x12 43000
Small Secret Location 12x16 65000
Secret Location 16x16 105000
Large Secret Location 16x20 145000
Small Hidden Complex 20x20 200000
Hidden Complex 20x24 280000
Large Hidden Complex 24x24 350000
Massive Hidden Complex 24x28 610000
Small Secure Location 12x16 200000
Secure Location 16x16 420000
Large Secure Location 16x20 750000
Small Secure Complex 20x20 1300000
Secure Complex 20x24 2100000
Large Secure Complex 24x24 3200000
Massive Secure Complex 24x28 5000000

Base Editing in Detail

Getting Around

You can move around your base normally. If you double-click on a square in any room, you are instantly moved there. The right mouse button allows you to view from above or below (to place items on the ceiling, for example). Page Down will snap the camera close to you making it easier to see details in a room.

The window at the bottom of the screen has buttons for what you can do: Create Room, Pick Style, Place Item, and Current Room. Next to these buttons are tabs for different categories. Selecting a tab displays all pieces in that category. To place rooms and items, select the piece and move the mouse to where you want to place it. When it is in a valid location the highlight box changes to blue. Clicking will place it there.

The window on the left gives information about the room you are currently in. The Stats tab lists the types and numbers of items that room can accept. Remember your plot type also has limits on item placement that may be different from individual rooms. The window on the right gives details about the current selection.

Important Concepts: Energy and Control

Energy and Control are measures of the amount of power generation your base has, and how much computer power/whatever you have to run everything, respectively. Your base starts with zero power and zero control. Energy is generated by generators and the like; control comes from computers and arcane devices. The amounts of energy and control created and used by your base are shown in the lower right of your screen. There are two bars showing your power and control usage/generation, with the top part of each bar is usage, the lower part, generation.

Before any items will function, you have to set up some power and control. Create a power room and place a Basic Generator (it will be in the tab at the far left), then create a control room and place a Mainframe and some Databases. This will give you enough power and control to run most basic items. Even if you do not produce enough energy or control, you can still place items; however, they will be turned off and will not provide any benefits. Turned off items are grayed out to alert you.

To use the example above, the Mainframe is a Core Item. You can only have a certain number of these in your base. Each core item can have a number of Auxiliary items connected to it, such as Databases to the Mainframe. Each core item can only use certain kinds of Auxiliary items. There is also a limit on Auxiliary items - first, your base "plot" may have a limit. Second, the room you're using may have a limit, and thirdly, the Core item may have a limit. The maximum number of auxiliary items you can use on that core item is the LOWEST of these three numbers.

You can improve your control and power generation by either crafting better items, or changing to a Secure base plot, which allows double the number of core items. Note that both of these options are extremely expensive, running into the millions of Prestige.

Creating Rooms

Rooms have specific functions that determine what kinds of objects you can place in them. The tabs list the different categories of rooms – energy, control, defense, etc. Within each category are rooms that vary by number of items allowed, types of items and size. The left window provides exact details of each as you select it.

You will enter the base editor in "Create Room" mode. The menus at the bottom of the screen will display possible rooms you can build. To build a room, click on it and then move the mouse over the grid. You will see the outline of the room appear, blue if you can place it, red if the place is invalid. Rooms must be placed one square apart (to allow room for a doorway) and there must be a valid path to that doorway.

When you place a room, it must connect the Front Entrance either directly or through other rooms. A connecting hallway is automatically added between it and all adjacent rooms. If a room cannot be placed, first make sure it is one square away from all other rooms (rooms cannot touch each other). If a hallway will not appear where you think it should, check to see if there are items on the wall of the linking room since these will block connection. The base editor does not have a "clipboard". Any changes are made immediately to the actual base. So it requires that a valid path exist for all rooms at all times. Any newly placed room will automatically be connected to every adjacent room where the editor can fit a doorway in. You can delete some of these doorways afterwards, so long as there's a valid path to every room.

Here is a good, not necessarily 100% authoritative, link for information on rooms:

Lighting and Style

The Light Tab allows you to change the color and intensity of the general lighting in the room. There are three lights – high, middle, and low – and you can set each one separately. The display in the right window allows you to change the height of the floor and ceiling in the selected square. You can apply your choice to the entire room or base. You can also change the space to a solid pillar. Note, however, that the editor will not let you place a block if it prevents access to another room or to most functional items.
The Styles tab gives the whole room to a pre-set look. The remaining tabs allow you to change specific sections of the walls, ceiling, and floor. You can mix and match styles as much as you wish.

Technology vs Arcane Items

There really isn’t any difference between the Technology and Arcane functional items. Most of the descriptions used here refer to the Tech items for simplicity's sake. Every tech item has a corresponding arcane item that does the exact same thing. Any differences are unintentional design errors (for example, the technology Raid Teleporter is larger than the Arcane Raid Teleporter, allowing the Arcane to fit more conveniently in small teleport rooms). Note that you cannot mix types between Tech and Arcane when it comes to Core and Auxiliary items! A Tech Mainframe cannot be enhanced by an Arcane Auxiliary Control item!

Functional Items

These are items in your base that actually do something, as opposed to just look neat. These are items such as a Resurrection Ring - think private hospital - or a private zone teleporter, or crafting tables. These items all function differently, but they all require two things: (1) they must be placed in the appropriate room (Rez Ring in a Medical Room, for example); (2) they must have sufficient power and control. Some examples of functional items are:

* Rez Ring (equivalent to an Awaken, gives you the option to rez in your base instead of a Hospital, can be purchased)
* Auto-Doc (Auxiliary item for the Rez Ring, increases its rez ability, must be crafted)
* Inspiration Dispenser (Sells level 1 green/blue insps, buys some insps, must be crafted)
* Combat Logs (Aux item for Dispenser, lets it sell Break Frees, must be crafted)
* Basic Telepad (Allows teleport to two different zones, must be crafted)
* Crafting Tables (Allows item crafting, can be purchased)
* Supergroup Mission Computer (Allows PvP raids, Item of power Raid, special PvE task forces, must be crafted)
* Raid Teleporter (In combination with Mission Computer, allows you to attack other SG bases that are raid enabled, can be purchased)
* Several new Storage items are available that allow you to store various items in your base:

o Inspiration Receptacle: This item allows all members of the Supergroup to store Inspirations that they may not be using, but other members can use to greater benefit. A permission set in the SG Permissions allows a character to withdraw Inspirations from the Receptacle.
o Enhancement Container: This item allows all members of the Supergroup to store Enhancements in the Supergroup's base. Members with the proper SG Permission will be able to withdraw Enhancements from the Container.
o Salvage Bin: This item allows all members of the Supergroup to store salvage in the Supergroup's base. Members with the proper SG Permission will be able to withdraw Salvage (and just 'see' it from the base's worktables as well).

* Empowerment Stations: These are base items that allow players to convert basic salvage into Tier 2 salvage and cash Tier 2 salvage in for special buffs. Players can choose the buff applied from the recipes available at that Station, determined by the station rank.
* SG Logo Items: Numerous items can now be placed in your base that will display your Super Group's logo, including banners, stands, floor plates and more.

Functional items require refined materials. So, for example, the steps for creating a Basic Telepad go something like this: 2 Body Armor + 1 Black Market Superstuff = 1 Tech Power. 6 Tech Power = 1 Basic Telepad. Once you have enough material for the functional item, you can create it just like you created its materials. This is discussed a bit more in the Crafting section, including links to known formulas.

Anyone in the SG who crafts an item can place it in any valid location in the base. There is no privilege at present to prevent this, however there is a prestige cost to the group of placing the item and a rent cost of keeping the item.

Place Item

This is the where you place useful and decorative items in your base. Each room type has a different selection of items that can be placed in it. Items are divided into three general groups:

1. Main: These items provide the base functionality for your base. They include generators, ley taps, mainframes, teleporters, resurrection circles, and more.
2. Aux: Aux items improve main items they are attached to; a circuit breaker adds to the energy produced by a generator, for example. Aux items attach to specific main items. What attaches to what is shown in the Aux tab of the main item. The Aux item attaches to the nearest legal target in the same room. The two (main and aux) will highlight to show the link. Each main item can only have a limited number of aux items attached and this number may be less than the number of aux items allowed in the room.
3. Decorative: Decorative items do not count toward item limits and are included to let you create your base concept.

You can use the right mouse button to rotate a selected item. You can also click and drag the item to a new location after it has been placed. Select the "Place Item" button in the lower left. The view in the editor will zoom in and the "palette" will change to items that can be placed in the room. In general, the items in the first tabs will be the items which have a functional use, the rest are decorative.

Items cannot completely block doorways or access to key equipment. If an item does not place in a location that appears legal it is usually because a minimum distance is required between objects, especially where they would block a hallway.

If you delete an item, you recover the total Prestige cost but will lose any salvage used to build it.

Current Room

This displays all items in the selected room.

Delete Room

Select the room (click on it in Create Room mode). In the upper-left corner you will see a menu appear describing that room. Select the "Delete Room" button. You cannot delete the room if it's the entry room (the one with the blue column) or if deleting it would break the valid path criteria. If you delete a room its Prestige cost (and of all items in it) is returned to your Treasury; however, any salvage that was used to make items is lost forever. If you want to delete a room but not items in it, move those pieces to valid location in another room.

Stacking Stuff
Care of CaptA from the CoX forums;
CaptA wrote: One of the most common questions on the base building forum is “how do I stack stuff on stuff?”. Well, in an effort to help out my fellow base designers, I decided to come up with this brief guide.

Q: Which items can have items stacked on them?

A: Basically, items in the "Desks" tab are your only recourse. Here are examples of items that can have items stacked on them. Counters, cabinets, bookcases, and desks that already have stuff on them (phone, computer, etc.) WILL NOT accept items. Avoid the heartbreak and learn which items will accept stacked items early on.

Q: What can I stack on those desks?

A: Basically, anything small enough. Here are several items that can be stacked on top of desks, and this is another view of these items.

Q: Great, now how do I do it?

A: Well, it's pretty simple, really. Get an overhead view and select the item you want. Left-click the mouse to place the item. As long as you have space, multiple items can be placed.

Q: Hey, I saw you had multiple desks together in a few of your pics. How did you do that?

A: Again, it's pretty simple. You have to pay attention the the blue "crash boxes" around each item, but as long as the boxes are flush with the item edges, you can place them together. For instance, take two desks. You can right click one of them to spin it around and place it up against the first one. This can be done multiple times to make a larger stacking surface. Why? So you can place items like this big screen TV so your troops can watch the game when not bashing thugs. You can even stack some snacks for their enjoyment.

Q: What if I want to go totally overboard and tier desks so that I can stack stuff on stacked stuff? Pure insanity!

A: It's pretty easy - just follow the principles learned in single-level stacking. You can stack desks on deks like so. I used a gray desk on top of a white desk for contrast. Once this is done, you can stack items on these desks like this.

Stacking items is a breeze once you get the hang of it. You can even use the multi-desk configuration I've shown to stack stairs, filing cabinets, stone blocks, etc. I've seen these ideas used manytimes to make "walls" for sectioning rooms. Here is an overhead shot.

Use your imagination, and practice practice practice. Have fun!
Crafting Items

Your base starts with only simple versions of most items. To have better, you must gather recipes and salvage. Some recipes are automatically available to you. Others can be unlocked by earning Supergroup Badges and completing specific missions. You collect salvage by defeating mobs while in Supergroup mode.

All building is done in workshops using worktables. There are three levels of worktables for both Tech and Arcane: basic, advanced and expert. Selecting a worktable will display a list of what you can build there.
See the following the website for some not necessarily authoritative recipes:

An important note is that while it costs nothing to refine salvage into components, turning components into crafted items that are then placed in the base does have an initial prestige cost for placing them and ongoing implications for rent. If the item is later scrapped, the initial prestige to place it will be recovered, however the salvage used to create it will be lost.

How do I set up crafting in my base?

You must have power and control set up, first. You will require at least one table (the Basic Worktable/Forge) and probably all three to make some items. Worktables refine Tech Salvage, Forges refine Arcane Salvage. A complete "tree" of tables is Basic, Expert and Advanced. The Advanced table does NOT replace the Basic table, it supplements it. The complete tree is fairly expensive in terms of power and control, so you may need to add more control auxiliary items after setting the three tables up. It is unlikely that you will be able to keep BOTH the tech and arcane trees powered if you have anything else running in your base.

How do I craft?

If your crafting tables are set up and have sufficient power and control to work, just click one and get to work. You'll see a massive number of tabs under each one, showing what can be refined or created. Generally you'll want to trim this list down. In the lower right of each table, you'll see a select list. You can select options on this list to restrict it to only the things which can be crafted on that table (recommended). Note that this will generally lag you for a moment as the system trims down the list. You can also restrict the list to just the things you have the materials to make. And recipe which shows up in white is something you can make; click the double-right-arrow to expand the description, and then 'Create', and it's done.

Converting Salvage to Components and Components to Items

Building an item is a two-step process. In the first step you use multiple pieces of salvage to build components. Each table can build two types of components:

1. Basic Tech: Tech Material, Tech Power
2. Basic Arcane: Mystic Element, Mystic Foci
3. Advanced Tech: Tech Hardware, Tech Prototype
4. Advanced Arcane: Arcane Glyph, Arcane Essence
5. Expert Tech: Tech Software, Experimental Tech
6. Expert Arcane: Magical Ward, Magical Artifact

The second step is to use these components to build the actual item. Every item recipe lists the types and numbers of components you need to build it. The type of salvage originally used does not matter so long as the correct components are used. For example, the salvage drops Black Market Super-Stuff and Body Armor can be refined to create "Tech Power". If you find a recipe for tech power that takes those two types of salvage, you can refine them and create it. Tech Power will show up in your salvage list like the drops. While Tech Power is also a kind of salvage, some refer to it as "Material" for clarity's sake.

When you choose to build a component or item, the necessary pieces are automatically removed from your salvage inventory. You can then place the item using the Add Personal Item button in the Front Entrance. Items you build cannot be transferred from one base to another. Note that placing personal items does cost prestige. If you sell the item later, you will regain the Prestige cost, but all salvage used to build it will be lost.

What's this Disruptor Pylon thing in the list of things I can craft?

Don't touch that button! Disruptor Pylons are used only in offensive raids. It's a temporary power. If you create it, you will not see it in the list of personal items you can place, however you will not see it in your temporary powers list. These items are discussed in detail in the Base Raiding Guide, and are only usable for offensive raids.

Placing Crafted Items

These are placed through the "Place Personal Item" menu. Exit the base editor, and you should find yourself back in the entry room. Now select "Place Personal Item" to place items you've crafted into the base. If this button is grayed out, you don't have anything that can be placed. Crafted items have a Prestige cost for placement, just like other items.

Edited: 10/11/06 - Clarify benefits of secure base
Edited: 10/12/06 - Updated Hero Porter Badge and renamed Master Thief to Liberator for the "Steal an IoP" badge.
Edited: 11/9/06 - Explain personal items and use of power/control.
Edited: 2/7/07 - Added stacking instruction and updated Rent section.

Post Reply