The Let's Play Archive

City of Heroes

by Cleretic

Part 2: Kheldians - S.D.

Hello again! Professor Lightbulb here in Atlas Park, ready to give you more information about Origins and Archetypes that was too long to post before that you've all been asking for!

Now a lot a lot of this will have to with with in-game lore relatively recently history, so please bear with me as we begin:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, there were a race called the Kheldians. They're a short-lived race - 10 years, if that - but they found that they could extend their lifespan by merging with other races in a symbiotic relationship. Alternatively, they could just forcibly suck the lifeforce out of another being to achieve the same effect.

Naturally, there were disagreements. The ones who who preferred not being energy vampires became known as Peacebringers, while the others became known as the Nictus. Both sides fought - possibly violently, it's hard to say since neither side really talks about it. Fast forward to today, where both have arrived to earth and Paragon City.

Now the war is still being fought, with the Peacebringers allying with the people and heroes of Paragon City, and the Nictus allying with the Council, a military organization with ties to the facist Axis powers from World War 2. Complicating this are the Warshades - Nictii that regret their energy vampire ways and who are trying to redeem themselves.

What does this mean for the people of Paragon City and of Earth itself? A lot more alien heroes, for one. It might also require Vanguard to rethink their billboard strategy.

What's special about Kheldians? For starters, all Peacebringers who have merged with a host are Natural Origin (because their natural forms actually are flying squid aliens from outer space), while Warshades who have merged with a host (and the Nictus in general) are all Science Origin (because they altered themselves to become energy vampires through SCIENCE! or the closest flying alien squid approximation). More importantly, the merged Kheldians have alternate forms they can shapeshift into - the Nova form, which fires high energy blasts at its enemies, and the Dwarf form, which has a tough outer skin to shrug off blows.

Okay, alien sea creatures with energy blasts sound AWESOME. Where do I sign up?

Slow down there, Jimmy! You're not on the moon a registered hero yet! Let's talk about the Kheldian unique ability, Cosmic Balance for Peacebringers and Dark Sustenance for Warshades. Simply put, Kheldians leach off of thrive when on a team, gaining bonuses to damage output, damage resistance, and protection against control effects depending on what other Archetypes they're grouped with. For Peacebringers, their damage increases for every Tanker/Defender/Corruptor/Mastermind on their team, and their damage resistance increases with each Scrapper/Blaster/Brute/Stalker. Warshades get the exact opposite bonuses (resistance with Tankers/Defenders/Corruptors/Masterminds, etc.). Teaming with Controllers and Dominators increases protection against control effects for both types of Kheldian.

What happens when Kheldians group with each other?

They get an increase in resistance against slow effects.

Is that useful?

Nope. Well, in limited circumstances, I suppose. But you're better off with the other bonuses, to be honest.

That's, uh... okay then. What happens if they're solo?

Also nothing! No bonuses, just living off of their wits, their shapeshifting forms, and (at least early on), their hospital beacon to pick up their beaten-up body.

What the heck takes them down like that?

Just the natural dangers of the city. Street gangs, zombies, Rikti invasions, attack by Nemesis Army mole machines, giant robots, evil clones from another dimension, that sort of thing. This is also a good segue to talk about the Void Hunters.

The Void Hunters are a special mercenary force created by the Council specifically to combat Kheldians, and who hire themselves out to various villainous organizations in Paragon City for the same. Trained and augmented to resist Kheldian energy blasts, the real danger comes in the form of their signature weapon, the Quantum Array Gun. While damaging to normal heroes and villains, the Quantum Gun is tuned to disrupt Kheldian energies, causing extra damage and potentially stunning Kheldians as it tries to break apart the symbiotic meld between it(?)self and the host.

So there's a whole group of people that are carrying my Kryptonite in a handy gun form? This is sounding pretty terrible. Why would anyone merge with a Kheldian, then?

Well, merging with an alien space squid is said to revitalize and heal both alien and host, even from the brink of death. Mechanically speaking, experienced, high-level Warshades have a host of abilities for combat beyond their Nova and Dwarf forms, from draining their enemies' endurance to add to their own, to locking down their target, to damaging the enemies around them to increase damage, to even using the bodies of their dead defeated foes and extracting their essence to fight along with them. In short, Warshades can have a large bag of tricks to pull from when facing down the the threats that pop up in Paragon City.

What about Peacebringers?

What about Peacebringers?

Don't they have--

Okay, I'm actually going to break character for a moment. Peacebringers are... pretty bad. They're more focused on ranged/melee attacks and doing damage, except that Warshades have a better damage booster than they do. Peacebringers don't have the useful things Warshades do, like the hold (lockdown) power or the endurance recovery power. They can sort-of heal one person at a time, and can fly very fast, but those are rather poor compromises when you have to beat things up.

Kheldians in general are 'stance'-based Archetypes (in that you can shapeshift to Nova/Dwarf form to fill in gaps in a team), but you're arguably better off getting a 'regular' Archetype who will fill in a team role better. Not that either Kheldian types can't be great, but it can take a lot of work and patience, or at least more patience than I personally have. Anyway, back to your scheduled LP.

... oh my, did I black out there for a minute? What was the question again?

Uh... how do I become a alien squid?

Accessing answer... "Simply reach level 20 and the Archetype will unlock on the character creation screen", whatever that means.

Oh... kay, then.

Anyway, I should probably scan for bad sectors to make sure I don't black out again and reboot, so I'll conclude for now. Also this is getting longer than I thought. Next time I'll cover the last two Archetypes. Until then, enjoy your stay/stop robbing the damn bank in Paragon city!

Tl:dr version:
What are Kheldians?
Flying space squids.
FLYING. SPACE. SQUIDS. And occasionally lobsters.

Special thanks to Joe Kleinman for the storytime titleblock, and Paragon City heroine Maho-Tsukai Neko for the Dark Nova and Dwarf photos.