A Respecification (a.k.a. "Power Respecification", "respec") allows a player to respecify a character. This allows Primary and Secondary Powers, Power Pool Powers and Enhancement Slot assignments to be changed. Power Set selections (both Primary and Secondary) cannot be changed.
Respecs can be gained from a number of sources, including various actions taken in-game, during some special events, and from the developers. These are described in detail below.
Respecs are often used to trade unwanted powers for more useful ones; rearrange hard-to-obtain Enhancements between powers (but remember that Enhancement Unslotters are readily available); and to optimise a character once they have reached level 50. Respecs are started by using the /respec command.
A character may accrue quite a number of respecs. Available respecs are shown when a character logs on. A system (green) message is displayed in the chat box stating, "You have x unclaimed respecs available," where x is the number of available respecs. In addition to this, a player may have also have a number of respecs they may claim for a character from their in-game mail.
Sources of Respecs
An respec can be earned in the following ways:
- Automatically every 10 experience levels.
- By buying a Respec Recipe from the Auction House, P2W Vendor, or Reward Merit Vendor (the AH is likely to be much cheaper).
- Completing a Terra Volta Respecification Trial for heroes, or a Tree of Thorns Respecification Trial for villains. A maximum of 3 respecs can be earned by a character in this way.
- For villains and rogues only, by completing the first Patron arc and unlocking a Patron Power Pool.
- For Soldiers of Arachnos only, by reaching Threat Level 24. This respec is mandatory and must be taken the next time that character trains.
- By opening Super Packs.
- Granted by the development team after some major changes to the game.
Earned Respecs and Free Respecs
Before Homecoming, there was a distinction between different kinds of respec, with some respecs requiring you to visit a special contact:
- Heroes: Jack Wolfe, located in City Hall in Atlas Park; and James Frost in Fort Trident.
- Villains: Arbiter Lupin, located next to to the AE Building in Nerva Archipelago; Arbiter Sawyer, standing near the Pocket D entrance in Port Oakes; and Jacob Stone in The Crucible.
- Praetorians: John Snow, in Imperial City, inside Studio 55.
If you use the slash command when you have no respecs available, you will receive a confusing message suggesting you visit one of these contacts to use "earned respecs", a legacy of this distinction.
Limitations and Respec Failures
Respecs are subject to a number of limitations and possible failures.
- A character must be at least level three.
- A character cannot be in strike force or task force mode. This includes all trials, strike forces, task forces, signature story arcs, mission architect missions and flashback missions,
- A character's Origin, Archetype, primary power set, secondary power set, and P2W Vendor powers cannot be changed.
- A power cannot be taken at a level that isn't possible for a character levelling normally. However, slots may be rearranged freely, even into "impossible" configurations (eg, six-slotting the power taken at level 49).
- Changes are permanent! For this reason, it's often wise to plan your new build in advance. (Note: a Character Planner program can be useful here, or testing the build on the Beta Testing Shards).
Sometimes, a player may receive a 'respec failed' message. These may occur for any number of reasons. Possible reasons are thought to be:
- Being in Task Force/Strike Force mode, including Flashback and Architect missions.
- Being in very busy zones.
- Being in a Supergroup Base or other instance.
- Not training up to the character's effective level before starting a respec (however, Soldiers of Arachnos always respec with an untrained level at level 24).
However, it's also possible that, since most respecs succeed, none of these things is particularly likely to cause a respec to fail; it's just that when the player tries again after trying one of those things, it succeeds by pure chance and so it seems as if whatever was tried worked.
If there were any un-slotted enhancements in the character's tray before the respec began, they might appear to have vanished after a respec failure, but if you log out and in again, they will reappear.
How to Respec
The process of completing a respec occurs in several stages. These are Power Selections, Enhancement Slot Selections, Slotting Enhancements, and finally Confirming. These stages are outlined below in brief.
Select all of your character's powers. All powers will be chosen in the order that they are available, level by level. Progress as your pick each power is shown in red at the bottom of the screen.
This stage mimics the normal training the character receives, with more powers available at later levels. The first choice mimics level 1 (character creation screen), the next choice level 2 (the first power received from a trainer), and so on.
For example, when the sixth power is selected, the powers available will be the powers available for selection with the character attained security level 10 (i.e. when he or she selected his or her sixth power).
When a respec is used, a character will be presented with the power selection screen to select his or her powers. The choice will be limited to the powers available when he or she first selected powers at level 1. After selecting a power, the character will be asked to select another power, this time with the powers available when he or she selected powers at level 2. For each subsequent power selection, the powers available will be the powers available for the next progressive level of the character.
Keep on selecting powers until no powers remain, and the respec then moves onto the next stage.
- For a chart showing at what levels new powers become available, see Leveling Chart
Enhancement Slot Selections
In this stage, all enhancement slots are placed. Again, progress is shown in red at the bottom of the window. This reflects the training a character receives at levels where no power is granted.
At each step of this stage, either two, three or six enhancement slots are placed, depending on the effective level. Higher level powers are greyed out and cannot be slotted until the effective level they were chosen is passed.
After all enhancement slots have been placed, the respec moves to the next stage.
- For a chart showing at what levels enhancements are slotted, see Leveling Chart
This stage shows a window labelled "Place Enhancements". All of the character's enhancements (slotted and unslotted) are automatically placed in the "unassigned" section.
Click and drag the desired enhancements into their respective slots. Unlike normal training, you can move slotted enhancements freely into and out of powers and slots during this stage.
You can also keep (but not slot) enhancements; just put them back into your inventory. When the respec is completed these will be available to your character in the Inventory tray.
This is the last formal stage of the respec process. It is worthwhile double-checking that you have slotted and placed all enhancements correctly before proceeding.
Click "Finish" to proceed to the final stage.
- Note: Enhancements that remain unassigned will be lost forever once the respec is completed. You are not compensated in any way for their loss.
The player is asked to confirm and finish the respec. A dialog box appears, and this is the last chance to change any aspect of the respec.
At this point all slotted enhancements will become locked in. All unassigned enhancements will be refunded for their sell-back price in Influence. Are you sure you wish to proceed?
Click No to return the the previous stage, and Yes to complete the respec.
When you click "Yes", you will not be able to go back. Any changes are now permanent, and powers, enhancement slots, and enhancement placements are locked in place. The only way to fix errors made in the respecification process is to respec again.
A handy command to remember after a respec is /clear_tray, as this will empty out a character's trays. After a respec, the game places powers in leveling order, followed by every single temporary, accolade, inherent, etc., power that the character has access to. Since the majority of players have their powers set up in a particular way, clearing the tray allows for a much easier process of placing powers where a player wants them; additionally, it will retain any macros the player has created for that character.
Rolling Back During a Respec
At any time during the respec, clicking the "Back" button at the bottom left of the window will take you back one step, even to previous stages.
Even at the final slotting stage, clicking back enough times will eventually bring you right back to the very first step taken in the respec.
Clicking "Next" advances the respec to the next step.
Obtaining respecs: Details
This section provides more information on each type of respec found in-game.
There are two sets of trials, which upon completion will allow an eligible character to choose a respec from a reward table:
- The Terra Volta Respecification Trial for heroes, and
- The Tree of Thorns Respecification Trial for villains
Each trial has three similar versions, each with a different minimum level. These are a levels 24, 34 and 44. Throughout a character's life in the game, they may earn no more than three respecs from these trials, no matter how many or in what order they do these trials.
From levels 24-33, a character can receive one respec from completing the first trial. From levels 34-43, a character can receive another respec from completing either of the first two trials. From levels 44 and up, a character may receive their third respec from completing any of the three trials.
A character can continue to participate in as many trials as they like, and will only be able to choose the other other rewards from the reward table at the end.
See also the official articles:
Patron Arc Respec
Each villain or rogue that completes the first Patron arc will also receive one respec. This can be used at any time thereafter, even the character does not wish to use a Patron Power Pool. Note that Patron Arc Respecifications are not lost if the character changes alignment to hero, though if the character changes to hero prior to finishing the arc, progress is halted and the respec will not be awarded until returning to villain or rogue to complete the arc.
Patron arcs can be undertaken from level 35 and onwards. Characters will receive a pop-up message from Arbiter Rein as soon as they are eligible to complete the arc, and should see him to choose a patron and then complete the arc.
Soldiers of Arachnos Respec
This is a mandatory respec, and must be taken the next time the character trains. It allows these archetypes to use all of the power sets that are unlocked for them at level 24.
Free respecs, or "freespecs", are sometimes granted after the launch of a new Issue (major update to the game software) when significant changes to the game mechanics are made. Unlike all other sorts of respecs, these can be used from anywhere in the game world, by typing the /respec command into the chat interface.
Note: Characters can have only one of these "freespecs" available at any time. If a new one is granted before the old one is used, it will overwrite the old. Use it or lose it!
- See also the official article: Respecs in City of Heroes
Characters may find Respec Recipes as rare drops from defeating enemies or trade them with other players either directly or through the Auction House. Crafting this recipe grants a free respec. These cannot be crafted if the character already has a free respec available.
A Respec Recipe can also be purchased from the P2W Vendor.
- While respecs are readily available, it is suggested to use a Character Planner and/or test new builds on the Beta Testing Shards before actually committing to the respec on the live server.
- The number of respecs a character has is shown each time they log into the game. A system (green text) message is displayed in the chat box stating, "You have x unclaimed respecs available," where x is the number of available respecs.
- Remember that the order in which a character's powers are selected determines which powers are available when that character is exemplared or malefactored with lower-level heroes and villains. In general, the most wanted or most often-used powers should be selected first.
- The names of the villain respec trial contacts, Sparcetriel, Trepsarciel, and Ractespriel, are all anagrams of "respec trial."
- After using a respec, using the /clear_tray command will clear all power trays of powers, as they will all fill up with random powers. This allows easier power placement onto the power trays. Taking a screenshot of the power trays will also help you restore the status quo after a respec.
- Respec (Slash Command)
- Terra Volta Respecification Trial
- Tree of Thorns Respecification Trial
- Jane Hallaway, the contact for first hero power respecification trial
- Captain James Harlan, the contact for second hero power respecification trial
- Major Richard Flagg, the contact for third hero power respecification trial
- Sparcetriel, the contact for the first villain power respecification trial
- Trepsarciel, the contact for the second villain power respecification trial
- Ractespriel, the contact for the third villain power respecification trial
- Respec Recipe
- Post-respec build
- Candy Keeper
- Candy Cane Salvage