In 2002, we were shocked to discover multiple discs appearing everywhere. These discs, we soon discovered, were actually dimensional portals, and what came through them devastated the world.
The Rikti: mysterious race from another world in another dimension with knowledge and technology that clearly surpassed our own
Millions were killed in the first day. Whole cities ravaged. Paragon City itself was fragmented and divided by huge War Walls that remain even to this day.
But for the first time in our history, the whole world joined forces to confront this threat. The sacrifices made were both shocking and heroic. The world was saved, but the price was high, especially for our champions.
Five years later, the skies darkened again. The Rikti were back.
This time, though, we were prepared. The United Nations defense force known as Vanguard had been preparing for the Rikti’s return and they made sure that they would not be allowed to put down any stakes on Earth ever again.
But just because we fought off the second invasion doesn’t mean that the threat is over with.
There is still a mothership on Earth. Even though it was crashed in 2002 and is surrounded by Vanguard forces, it is still active and providing support and intelligence for the Rikti forces still on the ground.
Plus there is a second Rikti mothership. It is connected somehow to the downed mothership inside the Rikti War Zone. Every so often it makes its approach to try to catch us off-guard.
This threat, by the way, is not just limited to Paragon City. The Rogue Isles are also a Rikti target, although the reasons why still remain unanswered.
Although you cannot see this second mothership, its presence is certainly felt when it approaches Earth’s atmosphere. In places where the mothership hovers over, the skies turn a sickly brown-and-green color. The presence of the mothership is also powerful enough to de-power the War Walls in Paragon City (not a surprise since they were built using Rikti technology), which allows for smaller ships to come in.
Fortunately the size of the arriving mothership is massive enough for Vanguard to give people up to five minutes warning to prepare and to head for shelter. Vanguard actually has anywhere up to twenty minutes warning time; however, the specific destination cannot be determined until about five minutes before arrival, so they will hold off on issuing specific alerts until that time.
The mothership cannot come as close to Earth as they did in 2002. Vanguard defense forces make sure of that. But that mothership can still send down ships and troops while they are overhead.
Your typical Rikti incursion has two stages to it.
The first stage is an air assault. This is where Rikti Drop Ships will bomb the area. They will fly in a straight pattern, one after another, and drop bombs on the area. It’s best to stay out of their way, though. The Drop Ships are more powerful than any single hero. In fact it usually takes a lot of heroes to bring down a single ship. Plus they fire energy bursts if you get too close to them. And, yes, it also means they will fire on you even if you are just standing still, so be very careful where you stand in certain city quadrants.
Be on the lookout for unexploded bombs or UEBs. UEBs are not duds! They are strategically dropped to cause serious morale damage when people come out to either look at the bomb or else try to diffuse it. The Paragon News Network lost a reporter and cameraman in the middle of a live broadcast when they assumed that a nearby UEB was a dud. Look for a warning light in the center of an UEB to determine its status. If it is green or yellow then you may have a chance to disable it before it explodes. But if it is red, then get as far away from it as you can, and keep others away from it as well.
The second stage is the ground assault. The Drop Ships will still continue to bomb the area, only now the mothership will start teleporting in troops to take on any life forces that they detect. These ground forces will consist of Rikti troopers, Rikti monkeys, and the occasional automated Rikti Probes.
The secret behind the deployment is that the longer you are in exposed areas, and the more people that are in that area, the more troops that will be teleported in. Eventually they will start deploying heavier weapons to try to overwhelm that resistance.
The trick to dealing with the Rikti is three-fold.
First, if you don’t want to fight, then stay out of sight! Head to a nearby store or police station or even an overpass and then wait it out. If the Rikti mothership cannot spot you from low orbit, then it will not consider you a threat and it will not send out troops to get you.
Second, avoid the Drop Ships entirely. You need extremely large numbers to hurt them and it doesn’t help you when you do take them down. You don’t even get a badge for your efforts, so don’t waste your time on those ships. Once you know what their bombing patterns are, then stay away from them when possible. Even if you’re on the ground and are not attacking the Drop Ships, they will attack you if you are within range of their weapons.
Third, the magic word to dealing with the Rikti is TEAMWORK! If you’re not already in a team, then get on one as soon as you can. And once you are in a team, then you need to stay together. Make sure everyone is together, even if you’re working in a League. Healers need to heal, and focus on nothing but healing. Everyone else just needs to stick around and do what they do best. The best part of working with a team is that every victory in that team is shared, so you get credit for every Rikti killed in your team, but that only applies when you are in the same vicinity as your team.
There are key areas where heroes (and I’m told villains as well) assemble to deal with Rikti incursions as groups. For instance, in Atlas Park, the key area is around Ms. Liberty. In Kings Row, it’s at the bottom of the stairs to the police headquarters. On Talos Island, it’s atop the giant rock in front of the train station. Once the skies start to turn, these are the places that you need to head to in order to find teams and take on the Rikti in overwhelming numbers.
There are two more helpful tips for dealing with incursions.
First, in Paragon City, the War Walls are a great indication as to when the Rikti are about to retreat. When the Rikti are ready to attack, their approach de-powers the War Walls. Likewise, when they are in the process of retreating, the first thing that happens is that the War Walls power back up. When you see the energy field of the War Walls come back on, then you know that the Rikti are in retreat.
Second, thanks to an arrangement made with Vanguard, you are immune from any kind of medical debt should you be killed during a Rikti incursion. This is important for higher-level operatives because medical debt can be very expensive if you are killed repeatedly and need to be recovered through the medical teleporters. So don’t hold back when you’re battling the Rikti. Give them everything you have, and both your team and the support services of Vanguard will do the same.
The Rikti can appear to be an overwhelming force, but they are not invincible, and they do not have infinite resources. Every incursion that we beat back costs them far more than they will ever admit to. Their failures cost them those vital resources, which is why their incursions are for a limited period of time.
But, unlike the Rikti, we have far more to lose if we fail.
Remember, this is our home world, not theirs.