Well now I’ve actually managed to catch some I can share my thoughts on yet another new system.
Essentially, it’s a more formal version of an Interrupt Ranking with more tangible prizes. You’re matched up with 19 other players and given a task to complete. This will usually be killing specific mobs, but it may include finding items among other things. You’ll be given up to three hours to do as well as you can, after-which there’ll be a 30-minute period before you can then claim your prize. Note that you’ll be matched based on the current character you’re logged in as!
If you’re online as the league starts, you’ll be matched with people randomly. If you log in after, it’ll match people together in the order they logged in. You will not be placed if you log in 15 minutes prior to the current round ending. The league ends at the same time regardless of when you logged in.
The scoring, if there is one at all for the objective, is pretty simplistic. Here’s a quick rundown of the ones I’ve seen so far:
- 2 points per kill for “kill a mob of a given type” leagues, regardless of enemy level or size.
- 1 point per kill for “kill a specific enemy” leagues, regardless of level
- 1 point per item found for “get a specific item” leagues.
When I say regardless of level, I mean a level 61 enemy is worth just as much as a lv80 one. For size, a Dark Ragne is worth the same as a Dagan for example.
Stargems! Actually quite a lot of Stargems if you manage to place in the top 3. It’s spread out as follows:
- 1st: 100SG
- 2nd: 50SG
- 3rd: 30SG
- 4th-10th: 10SG
- 11th-20th: 5SG
Note that to qualify for a prize, you’ll need to get at least one point or otherwise clear the objective at least once.
You can collect prizes by speaking to Mimi 30 minutes after a round ends.
There are two main factors in matchmaking for Arks Leagues, though for the most part it’s completely random.
The first is that you’ll be matched based on the highest class level on the character you’re currently logged in as. This will prevent new players from being matched with those who have capped.
The second thing is the time you logged on. You’ll only be matched with people who logged in around the same time as you and a little bit after you. This presumably helps ensure that you don’t get set at a disadvantage because you had real life obligations to attend to. This is also the most abusable part of the system as it is, which I’ll get into at the end of the post.
So how does one do well in an Arks League? I’ll be up front, a good amount of it is pure luck but enough is usually within your control that you can do well in a League if you play smart. The actual techniques are going to vary depending on what the target enemy is, so this is going to be general advice.
Enemy kill leagues always seem to require the enemy to be level 61+. As any enemy is worth the same amount of points, it’s best to try to kill enemies as close to that level as possible.
For kill leagues. the biggest deciding factor in how well you’ll do is your kills per minute. Nothing else matters, so you’re going to need to work out a way to maximise this. Ultimately, you’re going to have to do some research into this yourself because there’s no telling what targets future leagues will have. So I’m gonna note down some bullet point general advice to help with kills per minute:
- If you have a large enough group, doing a 12-man MPA farm can be a very efficient way of getting certain enemies. This works well on enemy type and some specific enemies if they have a high spawn rate in a Multi-Party zone.
- If you have 3 other people, you can hit up Super-Hard Advance Quests. This can be extremely effective for enemy type leagues if you can consistently pull off PSE Bursts. I do not advise running Desert or other SHAQs which have multiple enemy types for this.
- If you have 1 other person, consider hitting up Arks Quests and Free Fields which have bosses. The extra person will trigger trash mob spawns in the boss room, which can often be a large amount of the target enemy type. You’ll want to rush these unless the target enemy happens to spawn along the way.
- Consider quests which have set spawn layouts. This includes Time Attack Quests, Story Quests and Extreme Quests. This can be the most effective way to get some enemies, so it’s worth having all of Story unlocked (at least Episode 4 stuff). Remember, it’s kills per minute you want, so once you have killed a certain number of the target enemy, consider if it’d be quicker to continue or restart to get that spawn again.
- Look at quest records to see which ones have a high incidence of the target enemy. Not recommended as this is very luck dependent, but for some enemies you may not have a choice.
Item leagues have so far been enough of a rarity that as far as I’m aware no real techniques exist. They’re not level dependent, so common sense would suggest that doing them on the lowest level you can would be the best way to do it.
Finally, something that works generally well for Leagues at the moment is to log in late. As long as you’re more than 15 minutes before the end, you can still qualify for the prizes and you’ll be matched with other people who logged in around the same time. This means you’ll only have to keep your efforts up for say, 20 minutes instead of 3 hours.
It’s just another method you can get Stargems with, though a particularly effective one. As the matchmaking is random however, it will depend on the luck of the draw a bit. Sometimes you’re going to be placed with players you have no hope in hell’s chance of competing with. However, if you at least try you ought to be guaranteed a spot in the top 10 and if you do the bare minimum you’re guaranteed 5SG.
Is it worth it? Well 100SG works out to roughly 500yen. If you’re lucky and you log in late, that could be a mere 20 minutes of playtime for 500yen’s worth of gems, which isn’t bad. That said, if you’re playing your absolute hardest and 1st-3rd are getting more than twice your points/min or are getting times you cant hope to compete with then I would just throw in the towel. Go for the top 10 in that situation, because it isn’t worth risking your health for a few dollars’ worth of a virtual currency! If people in your group aren’t trying that hard, then put the minimum effort in to maintain 1st, 2nd or 3rd as the payout is quite a lot higher than 4th+. Of course this assumes you actually want Stargems, if you don’t then this system is worthless to you.
It’s kind of clumsy, honestly. The biggest problem it has is there is no incentive to log in earlier for the events, as you’ll have to work considerably harder for the same reward; 3 hours of grinding vs as little as 16min of grinding. I feel like they’d need to give people a set amount of time, for example from logging in you have 30 minutes to get as good a score as you can. It could still match you with people who logged in around your time, it’s just this way the playing field would be a lot more level overall. I suspect this would be a lot more taxing on their system but as it is the current system is incredibly open for exploitation.
The system does have some potential to incentivize running older content, though notably they seem to pair leagues up with scheduled Emergency Quests which rather defeats the point of that. It’s like Collection Files all over again…
Anyway that’s all I have to say about Leagues for now. Thank you for reading and let me know if I got anything particularly wrong in the comments.