Working As Intended: A guide to City of Heroes Homecoming’s best player-crafted portal bases

    
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A few years ago, I was wandering around in City of Heroes when someone advertised a cool base in chat. All I had to do was head over to a supergroup base portal, type in the code flashed in text, and be welcomed into this person’s custom base. I was expecting something akin to the sterile tech bases of live, maybe a few pieces of furniture, some storage units, that sort of thing. Instead, I was treated to a sprawling spectacle with a night club, teleporters, a swimming pool, a tiki bar, and a pirate ship docked on the beach. I was speechless. Yes, I knew that Homecoming and SCORE before it had expanded the base system, but I had no idea how much.

And now with Homecoming securing the formal license to run City of Heroes for real and for true, a whole new generation of heroes and villains are finding that supergroup bases in the game are way better than they were on live. Today, I’m going to talk about what’s new – and hype up a few of the more useful bases you might want to know about.

The most important thing that Homecoming has done is wipe away the harshest supergroup (guild) requirements for bases. Oh, you still have to create an SG, but you can do that on any character, for free. You no longer need to run in a large guild and beg your guildies to sacrifice their influence to donate prestige to the guild for spending on the base; everything in the base is absolutely free, even power. That means you can roll a level one character, create a free supergroup, and then get to work building your masterpiece with 0 influence and 0 arrests under your belt, all without leaving the Atlas Park plaza area. In fact, if you get good at it, you can sell your services to other players and make bank. It is, simply put, a builder’s paradise, a whole new sandbox building game tacked on to the leveling game – nothing like the original bases, which were basically just guildhalls.

And of course, Homecoming has spent four years now adding more and more features and items to the bases to facilitate their construction and use – including a big expansion of teleporting tools, which has generated a whole subclass of public utility bases that are useful for everyone, not just for roleplayers and architects and my sandbox friendos.

To use these bases, you just need to know the passcode, run to a Base Portal in-game (or already be inside a base), and punch in the code. The passcode will look something like WORD-12345, where WORD is really a modifiable code word set by the owner and the number is really the ID number for the specific base. You can also stand near a Base Portal (or be inside a base) and type /enterbasefrompasscode X – where X is the passcode. Or you could build yourself a little macro or popmenu or even just make use of a pre-existing one to flit around to bases, all using the publicly published passcodes on the Wiki (here’s the list for Everlasting and Excelsior, for example) or on various player-organized spreadsheets. Update: There’s a new and better-organized spreadsheet base list now too! (And do note, the passcode string originated on Homecoming, so if you don’t remember any of this from live, that’s why!)

But most people who aren’t into RP or building will probably be content with just one: a utility hub for the server they’re on. These hub bases are built by players to include all of the services a player might need, like convenient teleports to all the zones in the game, crafting stations, costume NPCs, Quartermasters, Merit Vendors, and so forth. It can save you a lot of time, especially on a new character who doesn’t have teleports or a base of her own!

Over the last month, I’ve toured several hundred supergroup bases and found some favorites. More favorites than I can reasonably cover. So now, more than 600 words into this article (oops), I’m finally going to show you some of them! Specifically, the best and most useful utility hubs you can go visit right this minute, according to me.

Excelsior – Excelsior is the biggest server by quite a lot of players, but it doesn’t really have the base count of the midsized servers. However, it has some standouts; in fact, I actually started playing more on Excelsior specifically because of a few of the bases I loved.

  • STATION-18074 might be my favorite hub base on any server; it’s designed as an underground subway, with the cars as portals. The owner did a superb job integrating the other services into the theme.
  • COSMICTRANSPORT-6608 is a large, calming night-sky base. I always see lots of people using this base, so I know it’s popular.
  • COSMICCOFFEE-4899 is not really just a hub base, but it does have beautifully labeled base portals anyway. I’ll be talking about this base more in my next column. It’s so detailed and tiny (and if you know me, you know I’m more impressed by genius small bases than big ones).
  • ZIP-8992 is a pure utility base – a bit overwhelming, but so well-labeled and communicated I’ll forgive it.
  • BRHUB-28259 is a super clean and well-labeled portal base with A+ tech ambiance.
  • EXCELSIOR-6984 is also more than just a hub base; it’s a moon base. Super impressive! And the portals are right near the entrance.
  • DOLLAR-3786 is super small and set up like an office with phone booth portals.
  • SN-9845 is really a gorgeous classical outdoor base (and a bit laggy for it), but the portals are near the entrance. The whole place is so original.
  • COSMIC-8540 is another really creative, spooky base. Portals are just to the left when you zone in. Every time I come here, I find something new.

Everlasting – Everlasting is the roleplay server, and as such, it’s home to orders of magnitude more supergroup bases of all stripes, as roleplayers use them for scenes, screenshots, parties, and outings. However, sometimes you just need a port and a level up, so I have a few hub bases from my home server to promote:

  • HOPE-14269 is my favorite of the simpler bases on Everlasting; the clarity of labeling of tech objects just puts it above the rest.
  • ZONE-8888 is a super clean but dark and gloomy base with everything nice and compact – and again, nice labeling. Check out that number! Easy to remember, eh? (P.S. People will pay for SGs with good numbers! If you have an old SG from 2019, you might be sitting on a goldmine.)
  • TEATIME-17990 is a tiny, cozy street with nothing but teleporters – so cute, and fast to load too. (Edit: Actually, there’s way more to this base! I missed the door teleporter. Go have a tour!)
  • MARSBASE-3909 is designed as a legit transit station. The teleporters are super convenient.
  • TAXI-7985 is another simple base with good labeling – and it’s set up its taxis as the teleporters. Clever.
  • PORTALME-7659 has an unusual tech look and a nice setup.

Indomitable – Indommy has become my temporary home for a while because I just can’t pass up the wild experience buffs, and intriguingly, it has way more nice bases than I expected – and lots of hubs. My personal favorite portal bases:

  • TOUR-5307 is probably my favorite; I love the super simply, glowy blue look and easily navigated room. However, it’s only teleporters.
  • EGGS-7164 is another simple and clean portal base with good labeling, though again without full services.
  • FREEDUMB-276 is honestly more than a hub, as it’s got fabulous cozy ambiance and cool rooms.
  • HUB-6968 demonstrates how deep the bench is on Indomitable, as this one is just as good as the others, with a cool outdoor tech theme. Plus, how sad are they that they didn’t get 6969?
  • INVINCIBLE-3822 is one my nine-year-old discovered and told me about. It’s huge, but extremely well-labeled. Every zone has its own portal.
  • EUF-1676 is so soothing, and the convenient teleporter layout is unique.

Torchbearer – Torchums doesn’t seem to have as many public bases as I’d expect for its size, but it certainly has a few hubs I’ve kept on hand:

  • TBTP-7677 is my favorite owing to its clean layout and good color scheme.
  • HOP-9999 is just as good, honestly, and what a lucky number, right – super easy to remember.
  • VF-7962 is the Torchy version of Vel’s Folly, a small and atmospheric island hub that has been rebuilt on (I think?) every server.
  • LEVELUP-1122 just barely made my list because it looks so cool, but the ports can be hard to suss out.

Reunion – Reunion is the one server I haven’t personally played on much as it’s the European server (hosted in Germany). It’s tiny, but it still has some good hubs! Of course I had to tour:

  • TRAVEL-5254 is set up to look like a town market and a trolley depot. The vibe!
  • CROWNCHAMPION-1026 is a classic base look with some clever sunken floors and teleporter vibe.
  • OPEN-916 offers another basic but open layout with easily accessible portals, though without labeling.
  • VF-3749 is Vel’s Folly again, very useful on these smaller servers!

Remember, to visit any of these bases, you’ll simply stand near or in a Base Portal and type “/enterbasefrompasscode” followed by whatever the code is above.

Alternatively, you can download and use my popmenu for all these hub bases (and a few more I haven’t mentioned). As I explained in the macros and popmenu guide, you’ll drop the .mnu file into Homecoming\data\texts\English\menus, then fire up the game and type into chat /macroimage BA_Geas_Of_Kind_Ones PortalPop popmenu BreePortalPop to create the macro you can use. Just note, you’ll need to be on the right server to use bases on that server.

And that’s because supergroup bases, like supergroups themselves, are currently locked to those servers, meaning you can’t take them with you, unlike characters and influence and mail. In fact, the ability to transfer SG bases is very much wanted by players and devs, and I suspect the feature would also alleviate some of the congestion on Excelsior, but as it stands, people simply aren’t willing to abandon the bases they’ve worked so hard to build. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a base transfer feature in the future, but don’t expect it any time soon; I understand that bases have already been stretched well beyond their design intent and that tweaking them (and contending with the storage system within them) has become one of the team’s biggest challenges.

Likewise, if you dig around the base-related forums and the Homecoming tester Discord, you know that base-builders have been begging for even more quality-of-life features. I am apparently not at all alone in my desire to see some sort of in-game networking tools, like a “favorites” system like Trove’s, which would let players mark bases to return to and even offer direct-ports straight to other bases – essentially creating an Ultima Online-esque rune library or Star Wars Galaxies-like travel station. Yes, the devs are aware people want these features, and I can’t wait to see them because I worry that a really fantastic base-building toolset is going underutilized as it’s currently so unwieldy to find and use public bases designed for that purpose.

Now, if you’ve read this far, you’ll have also realized I didn’t cover how to construct your own supergroup base, which you might want to learn to do, as your own personal base or guild base will offer storage options you simply can’t get from public bases. That’s probably going to be beyond my scope for a while; I’m still relearning how it all works myself, so I’m far from expert (I last built a base four years ago and don’t really remember enough to teach you). Instead, I’ll point you to the official forums and YouTubers like Dacy (she is amazing!). You can probably have up a basic teleporter base of your own in a few hours if you’re sufficiently motivated.

I’ve still got more SG base articles in me, so next round, expect a run-down of my favorite non-hub bases – the most creative stuff I’ve found, the bases that made my jaw hit the floor and scored a permanent entry in my personal popmenu!

The MMORPG genre might be “working as intended,” but it can be so much more. Join Massively Overpowered Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce in her Working As Intended column for editorials about and meanderings through MMO design, ancient history, and wishful thinking. Armchair not included.
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