Catalysts could be picked-up like items, and when collected, they were placed into an open slot within a Catalyst Grid. The player began with 3 open slots, but could unlock and purchase additional slots as they increased their Crogenitor Level. The maximum number of grid slots was 9 (3x3).
Their potency was increased by completing a "link", which was achieved when three catalysts of the same color were in a row. Prismatic Type catalysts could also be paired with another color to complete a link. Linked catalysts had what is called a "Link Bonus", and you could eventually have multiple bonuses by creating overlapping links, up-to a Quadruple Link Bonus.
By clicking-and-dragging with the cursor, a player could relocate catalysts to another open slot inside the grid, or swap its placement with one of their other catalysts. This was helpful when trying to complete links.
Also, by dragging-and-dropping a catalyst out of the grid, the player could place it back on the ground for another player to pick-up. This created a sort of 'Drop-Trade' system, and helped both players to complete catalyst links. (A word of caution, other players may not return the favor when dropping catalysts.)
Catalyst could be carried through each level during the campaign, and benefit your entire squad. However, after leaving the campaign, you lost whatever catalysts you then had. Also, catalysts did not occur during PvP.
Better catalysts occured more frequently in higher threat levels, and the number of catalysts dropped was increased during Co-op. The secondary stat +xx% Chance to Find Catalysts also increased the likelihood of finding catalysts.
Catalyst Types & Colors
Like items, catalysts were divided into different types, with each adding a certain stat based on their type. Also like items, they occurred as one of three rarities, and had different levels that reflected how powerful they were. But unlike items, they were each assigned a specific color according to their type.
This is a list of current catalyst types and their respective colors, as well as whatever stats those catalysts types may add.
(See Character Abilities & Stats for more information on these stats.)
Many catalysts did not make the final game. These were found in the game's .package files, and it is unknown which belonged to existing catalyst types, and which belonged to one of the unused catalyst colors.
- Damage Aura Catalyst - Increases damage by [x]% to all allies within [x]m.
- Power Cost Reduction Catalyst - Reduces the Power cost of the abilities of your heroes by [x]%.
- Knockback Catalyst - Chance for your heroes to knockback enemies increased by [x]%.
- Defense Catalyst - Reduces damage dealt to your heroes by [x]%.
- Increased Range Catalyst - Increases the range of attacks by your heroes by [x]%.
- Buff Duration Catalyst - Increases the duration of helpful statuses applied by your heroes by [x]%.
- Debuff Duration Catalyst - Increases the duration of harmful statuses inflicted by your heroes by [x]%.
- Immunity Catalyst of Stalwartness - Immunity to: Stun (common); Stun and Taunt (Rarefied); Stun, Taunt and Knockback (Purified).
- Immunity Catalyst of Fortitude - Immunity to: Poison and Disease (common); Poison, Disease and Burns (Rarefied); Poison, Disease, Burns and Curses (Purified).
- Immunity Catalyst of Vigilance - Immunity to: Sleep (common); Sleep and Terror (Rarefied); Sleep, Terror and Silence (Purified).
- Immunity Catalyst of Perseverance - Immunity to: Slow (common); Slow and Roots (Rarefied); Slow, Roots and Pulls (Purified).
- Pet Damage Catalyst - Increase the damage of pets summoned by your heroes by [x]%.
- Pet Health Catalyst - Increases the health of pets summoned by your heroes by [x]%.
- Spoffit Catalyst - Summons a friendly Spoffit to accompany you on your travels.
- Apparently, catalysts once had affixes like drop-loot items, such as 'of Proficiency' or 'of Carnage', reflecting which stat they added, but these were later removed in favor of their current names.
- At one point, rarer catalysts were simply called 'Rare' or 'Epic', but was later changed in Patch 220.127.116.11 to 'Rarefied' and 'Purified' to be more like items.
- Collected Catalysts once had a separate HUD that was brought-up by clicking the catalyst grid, as seen in the Producer Diary #2: Loot Collection. Here, the player could change the placement of catalysts within the grid, though it may not necessary to have use the HUD to do this.
- The 'Spoffit' summoned by the unused Spoffit Catalyst is a creature from Darkspore's predecessor game SPORE: Galactic Adventures, and has made frequent appearances in the "adventures" of that game. It's now a sort of Easter egg, and the .png of the Spoffit can still be found in Darkspore's .package files. (See article Spoffit on SporeWiki for more information.)